Jocelyn's Other Desk

The writings of Jocelyn Smith, aspiring author, soon-to-be lawyer, once and future politician, all-around opinionated twentysomething.

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Location: Orlando, Florida, United States

I'm a lawyer in Florida, working on three novels, a screenplay, and half a dozen pieces of fanfiction at any given moment.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hurricane Katrina: The Result of Years of Depraved Indifference.

Please don't think that I lack sympathy for the victims of that catastrophe in Louisiana and Mississippi. I don't by any means. The news doesn't make me cry often, but today it did. The people who've suffered the most aren't the ones that this BlogRant is directed at.

Yes, a rant. There is only one emotion that I feel while watching the coverage of Hurricane Katrina more than grief...and that is rage. Rage and disgust, directed at every person who has been in a position of authority in the governments of those states for the past fifty years.

Why? Simple:

They knew.

I wanted to be a meteorologist when I was a kid; I loved storms. I watched documentaries about hurricanes and tornados before I could spell either word, and read all the books I could lay my scrawny hands on. And over and over, the same "nightmare scenario" came up: a direct hit on New Orleans, the beautiful, Southern, coastal city sitting there below sea level with those puny dikes and levees that wouldn't do a damn bit of good in the face of a major storm surge. They talked about it on the news, on National Geographic, on the Weather Channel--everyone talked about it every time hurricane season rolled around: New Orleans would be devastated if a major hurricane hit.

And yet the state and federal governments did nothing.

Everyone knew. This country, our federal and state governments, everyone has known for longer than I've been alive what would happen if a major hurricane struck New Orleans. Weather patterns are unpredictable in the short term, but not so much in the long term. It was only a matter of when.

They all knew, for decades upon decades, that one day the currents of the atmosphere would bring a hurricane along that path. It was bound to happen--this week it did. They've known for decades it would happen, and they didn't get ready.

You cannot prepare for a natural disaster with a set date and time of when the event will strike. The only thing that you can do, whether it's a hurricane, an earthquake, a tornado, OR a tsunami, is to make your society is ALWAYS ready, on a day-to-day basis. To prevent catastrophes like the one unfolding before our eyes right now, your only choice is to be prepared ALWAYS.

They knew. They didn't prepare. They knew what the cost would be, and that innocent people would pay the price.

Mr. President, we don't need your empty promises. State Governors, we don't need your excuses. Not yours, not your predecessors' for the past half-century. You, all of you, knew this would happen. Make no mistake: you deserve to be blamed.

Everytime you refused funding, or refused to raise taxes to gain the funding, for emergency preparedness in those states, or in every other state that has ever faced a natural disaster, you condemned innocent citizens to death or ruin. Those citizens depend on you, their government officials, to prepare them for contingencies and emergencies--precisely this sort of scenario!

But for whatever reason: political popularity, ignorance, the "ostrich syndrome", and the "let my successor deal with it" effect, the people you swore to preserve and protect are dead and dying and suffering now because of your actions. Your lack of actions.

You have been warned for decades and decades that Katrina would come. It was a logistical certainty--the only question was when. And you did not act. You did not prepare.

6000 people died in Galveston, Texas at the beginning of the 19th century because of a nation's lack of understanding of the force of weather, and how to predict it. Katrina's death toll may go even higher--here at the dawn of the 21st century! But the government officials who have been warned for years on end that New Orleans was incredibly vulnerable have no such excuse. Willful ignorance is the kindest term.

On Law & Order, we often hear the phrase "depraved indifference to human life" used to describe people refuse to protect the lives of those for whom they are responsible. It translates into murder in the second degree and carries a penalty of twenty-five years to life in prison.

It's not about Democrats or Republicans, or the Iraq wars past or present. Every state and federal official who has held office in the Gulf coast region since Hurricane Camille is culpable for Katrina's toll.

Don't tell me not to point fingers.

You were responsible.
You were warned.
You knew.

I only hope this country sees that and makes you all pay for the damage your decades of depraved indifference has caused.

Print-On-Demand Wants ME--Again!

Didn't we go through this song and dance a few weeks ago?

Dear Jocelyn,
My name is T---- R-----, Marketing Manager for Xlibris Corporation. I sent you an email about two weeks ago.

Ah, thank you for the clarification. I wasn't interested then, and I remain uninterested.

And as I stated before we came across your name at Blogger and thought you might be interested in self-publishing. I like to send out a follow up email message just to be sure I didn't overlook you the last time. If I did fail to include you on my previous email correspondence, my apologies.

You did, and I seem to recall that I clicked on the little thingy-doey requesting no further emails since I am emphatically NOT interested.

I've included contact details below should you require more information. If you have no interest in our company or services please click here and you will receive no further correspondence.
Funny, I did that last time, and yet here you are again.

I would like to take the opportunity here to let you know that we are offering some incredible specials for this month only. One of those specials I am especially excited about as it is a brand new product for us and we are offering it for free for this month only. Publish with us in August and get your very own tailored website featuring your book or books. For further details regarding this and other specials please visit our website or call a publishing consultant at 1-888-795-4274. You can also order a publishing kit online by clicking here. I thank you for your time and look forward to working with you.

I don't. Thank you for wasting my time yet again. What part of "no" don't you understand?


Jocelyn C. Smith

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

More Self-Indulgent Cat Lover Bragging...

Yes, I have already paraded him around my LiveJournal, and now all my Blog readers get to meet him.

Behold Tara, the most beautiful cat to ever live. I have been sometimes mother cat, sometimes litter mate to that precious little eight-pound, long-haired tuxedo since I was six years old, and most recently he has been the test model for my new digital camera (whose case strap is in the corner of the picture.)

I adore cats, and none more than Tara. He lives in Florida with my parents; my hectic, constantly-moving law student lifestyle is too intense for an aged feline citizen like him. And I never stop missing him.

As with my LJ readers, be warned: any comments that do not express unconditional adoration of His Preciousness shall result in the commentor being cyber-stalked and ritually dismembered on the altar of the goddess Bast.

(And you all just wish your cat was that pretty!)

Academia, Fan Fiction, and Obsession...

Mix well.

My academic freedom paper that I did this summer was a weak effort at best--hard to focus on academics when you're doing 10-12 hour days at work.

So now, in my Theoretical Foundations of Intellectual Property Law Seminar, I have a chance to flex my mental muscles again with another paper. I'd like to manage at least one serious academic work before graduating Georgetown.

SO...I shall endeavor to determine, based on the most current Intellectual Property Law available, how fan fiction really does measure up under current "fair use" doctrine and other copyright doctrines. My argument in favor of the legality of fanfic has always been fair use-based, while opponents tend to invoke "moral" or "natural" rights of copyright owners.

I will look at it based on...

1) The initial purposes of fair use
2) Court and legislative interpretation of fair use
3) The development and application of "moral" and "natural" rights in copyright law
4) Whether and how economic interests come into play
5) In sum...whether fan fiction as a medium of expression is or should be protected under current intellectual property law, or whether and how the rights of the creator of the original ideas permit the creator to prevent or restrain fan fiction?

Yeah...I'd enjoy researching that topic. I do it on my free time as it is anyway. Perhaps if I manage to actually make it academically sound, I could publish it in a journal.

Have The Jammers Gone To Ground?

Where have they gone?

Claire, the Shaking Heads, FandomJam, the Legions...all have vanished without a trace. Did the fandom_wankers get ahold of them again?

Of course, it's been rather quiet around there lately, but I shall miss our debates if they have all disappeared.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Intellectual Property Overload!

This semester it's going to all IP, all the time!

I just dropped Health Law (I'm doing the "practice" version in my Public Policy clinc and it's a boring subject anyway) and signed up for a seminar on the Theoretical Foundations of Intellectual Property law, which will, "evaluate and compare a variety of theoretical foundations for recognizing or refusing to recognize legal ownership of intangible intellectual goods."

This makes me very happy. I am a nerd.

The other seminar I am taking is Comparative Cyberspace/Telecommunications Law, covering such exciting topics as
  • free speech on the Internet (watch out, Claire!)
  • telecommunications competition and development
  • Internet privacy
  • copyright and domain names
  • spectrum policy and wireless communications
  • jurisdiction

This makes me happy too. I am an incredible nerd.

Both courses are writing courses--meaning no exams this semester and words cannot DESCRIBE how happy THAT make me--so I shall probably have to come up with a subject for a term paper relating to the Internet and intellectual property...

Oh gee...wonder what I'll write about?

My IP class professor knows about my fanfiction hobby, so she may want me to write about something else. Perhaps the Purdue v. Brown case and scenes a faire...

And next semester I'm taking Trademarks.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Writer's Blahs

I haven't had it this bad in months. Nothing is motivating me at the moment, not my novels, not my screenplay, not my outlines, not my fanfic. And certainly not my law school first-day reading assignments.

It could well be start-of-semester blues. I'm back in Georgetown Law's student center (cheapest ten-month lease in Washington, DC), with my lovely view of I-395, deafening traffic noise, and delivered groceries, feeling like a 1L again, but gads, I am bored.

I know the one and only way to deal with the proverbial "writer's block" is to push on through it until the words start flowing more swiftly, but it's still a drag. And usually if I get blocked on a novel, I have at least one fanfic that's interesting me that I can switch to for awhile, just for a "change of scenery." Or vice versa if the fanfic juices aren't flowing. At the moment, I feel like my brain is full of wet cement, and I tend to be at a loss if I'm not writing something!

You know: it's the "don't wanna go anywhere, don't wanna do anything, would-take-a-nap-if-I-hadn't-already-slept-till-12:30 pm" feeling.

It will probably get better this week or next week, once school has started and the routine of life is a little more normal. And my Gilbert & Sullivan activities start up again.

But for now...bleh.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Print-On-Demand Wants ME!

The following is an email I received this morning, intersparsed with my commentary...

Dear Jocelyn,
My name is T----- R-----, Marketing Manager for Xlibris Corporation, a print-on-demand self-publishing company.

We obtained your name and email address from Blogger in an effort on our part to find people who might be interested in self-publishing.

(Glaring accusingly at Blogger) Funny, although my profile says that I'm a writer, I wonder how out of all the writers-to-be who blog, they found mine! That never happened with LiveJournal. And here I thought I was getting a little more grown-up.

If you are interested, I've included a brief description of who we are
Color me incredibly NOT interested. The only self-publishing I do is fanfic.
When I go pro, I will go all the way.

I do send out follow up messages, so if you are not interested in our company or services please

click here and I will send no further correspondence. I completely understand how annoying unwanted email messages can be; if this is the case here my sincerest apologies.

Apology accepted. At least they were polite about it. As for the "clicking here", done and done.

For those who would like more information Xlibris is partially owned by Random House Ventures, the world?s largest trade book publisher. We have published over 14,000 titles and paid out over twelve million dollars in royalties.

Yeah, yeah, I know all about Random House. Hey, Lewis! Look who's putting out feelers with their vanity press to little ol' Jocelyn!

Everyday we help authors by offering flexible, inexpensive methods of publishing, editing, marketing, distributing and selling books both in trade and full color. I understand that each author has different requirements. And that is why we offer packages that are tailored to your individual needs. At Xlibris we believe in author control.

Riiiiight. (Snort!) At the moment, my "individual need" is for the hair on the back of my neck to stop standing up.

If you would like to find out more about us, visit our website or email us at Or better yet call us at 1-888-795-4274 -- we are open 24/7. Be sure to ask your publishing consultant for a free publishing kit and book sample when you call. You can also order a publishing kit online by clicking here. I thank you very much for your time and look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks, but no thanks, Madame. I may be a never-before-published, hasn't-finished-first-novel-yet law student dweeb, but I have my pride. I'll publish my original stories for free on (sister site of, where my fanfic is posted) before I pay a red cent to some print-on-demand racket.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Dark Side of Fandom...

No, not pornography (this time.) I mean the OTHER dark side of fandom. In my own fandom, no less! Be warned, readers: this post contains spoilers for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Please proceed accordingly.

As most of you know by now, I am a 24-year-old woman, starting my third year at one of the country's finest law schools, one year away from graduation and recent recipient of a job offer from a large and wonderful law firm for whom I just completed a summer associateship. And I am also an active member of the Harry Potter fandom.

'Tis silly, I freely admit. But a lawyer-to-be needs a little silly in her life. I'm well aware that amid the fun of writing fanfiction and going to Midnight Magic release parties, many of my fellow Pottermaniacs are much younger--or not much younger but still less mature.

In this case, the dark side of fandom is in the actions of fans demonstrating a belief that they are somehow ABOVE the original author of the books, J.K. Rowling. (In other words, proving Lee Goldberg and his ilk right in all the worst assumptions they make about fans and fanfiction writers and readers in particular. Knowing me, as most of my readers do, you can imagine why I consider this a major sin, the worst that a so-called "fan" can commit.)


Even those of you who loathe the Harry Potter books will be hard-pressed to avoid hearing of the "shipper" phenomenon, and the great debate amongst the fans of these stories. But for those who have by some miracle managed to avoid it, a "shipper" is a fan who desires to see a relationship between a particular pair of characters: ie Ron/Hermione, Harry/Hermione, Harry/Ginny, etc.

For roughly the past seven years, author J.K. Rowling has hinted rather strongly that Harry Potter's two best friends, Ron and Hermione, would become involved before the series was over. Many fans squealed with delight, searched the books for clues of the impending teen love story, and wrote fanfiction speculating on how the momentous event would come to pass. There was also much speculation that romance was in store for Harry and Ron's little sister, Ginny.

However, there was another group of fans who "shipped" Harry and Hermione...vocally. They insisted that a wealth of evidence existed in the books of the chemistry between the two characters, pointed to "hints" in the text, and protested that the personalities of the two characters was such that Harry and Hermione belonged together in the books.

Finally, with the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling's hints (which she described in an interview with as "anvil-sized") were confirmed, and Harry/Hermione shippers' hopes were dashed: Ron and Hermione paired off, as did Harry and Ginny.

And all hell broke loose in the Harry Potter fandom.

Even in a fandom comprised heavily of teenagers, it is hard to imagine so spectacular a display of apparent mass psychosis that is not connected with politics, economics, or religion. The Harry/Hermione shippers went absolutely ballistic.

Fandom_Wank, a web journal that tracks (and mercilessly mocks) the shenanigans of bickering fans of all books, movies, games, what-have-you, has kept a running record of the histrionics that resulted from the pairings in Book 6.

The Harry/Hermione shippers began by:

1) Declaring that Rowling's pairing of Ron and Hermione over the objections of the Harry/Hermione shippers demonstrates a "lack of craft."

2) Calling Rowling a "traitor" and "unwelcome". (In art, no less.)

3) Declaring that Rowling is a lousy writer who developed the Harry/Hermione romance "inadvertantly."

4) Calling the site owners of Mugglenet and The Leaky Cauldron every name in the book because they referred to the Harry/Hermione shippers as "delusional."

They soon graduated to...(wait for it)...

1) Comparing the Ron/Hermione shippers, the Mugglenet site owner, AND J.K. Rowling to slave traders, and the Harry/Hermione shippers to slaves:

Ya know, come to think of it, people like Emerson [Mugglenet site owner who called Harry/Hermione shippers "delusional"] were probably the kinda people that started slavery. I mean, think about it, they thought the slaves were animals, just because they had different colored skin. Emerson thinks we're stupid and delusional for having different beliefs. Get the similarities here, people? Now, I'm not black, but boy, do I feel for the black people. If I lived in the 1800's, I wouldn't keep slaves, and if someone has a difference of opinion than me now, that's fine, believe what you want.
2) Comparing themselves to victims of religious persecution...
I can see where they were going with this...a different analogy would probably have been better.Maybe the religious persecution during Mary Tudor's reign, or the Salem Witch Hunt/Trials, the religous crusades, the wars in Bosnia etc. We harmonians are being "persecuted" for our differening viewpoints/perspectives...Of course no one is dying because of this, but all in all we are being persecuted for our different beliefs. "Bloody" Mary Tudor, killed Protestants because she so hated their different views on Christ. This is an extreme indeed, but the mentality behind it, the vitrol, is the same.

3) Comparing themselves to the victims of international government conspiracies...
Most people cannot find Iraq on a globe or have any idea how Patriot Act I and II turn the US into a police state but all those people still have their opinions about politics. :blink: Also, JKR fueled prejudices against people who investigate political and economical conspiracies, scams and cover-ups. JKR created Luna and her father as stereotype tin-foil-hat-wearing conspiracy nutcases who run stories entirely based on rumors and laughable
witness-accounts.I am thankful for all the brave people who have risked their carreers and even their lives to investigate the truth. People who were slandered as nutcases for investigating issues that are now today totally admitted facts. Like Operation Northwoods for example, the pentagon-plans to conduct real and staged terror attacks against the US-population and blame the attacks on Cuba to have a pretext for invasion. Or read how the US army blew up their own ship around 1900, the USS Maine, and blamed it on Spain as a pretext for war.Check out the investigations of people like Alex Jones and judge for yourself. read that right. (Don't believe me? You'll find the above two comparisons and other asinine declarations of victimhood here and also here, with links to the message boards where the original conversations took place. Thank you again, Fandom_Wank!)

Then Fanfiction...or Something Like It...Comes Into Play.

Anyway, just when we thought they could not grow any more obnoxious, arrogant, or bratty, another clique of Harry/Hermione shippers in extreme denial decided to "rewrite" Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince with "corrections": namely pairing off Harry and Hermione rather than Harry and Ginny Weasley.

But why would I, a die-hard fanfiction lover, object to this? Well, at face value, I don't. Or I wouldn't...if it didn't remind me so much of this post at Lee Goldberg's blog, satirizing the arrogance of fans who take it upon themselves to "correct" an original author's work as if they know better.

But isn't that what all fanwriters do, you ask? No, certainly not. Most fanwriters acknowledge that their work is mere speculation or fantasizing or wishful thinking, and willingly surrender their daydreams to the "real thing." Until the Harry/Hermione phenomenon erupted in its full, ugly glory, I would never have believed even if you told me that my fellow Harry Potter fans could descend to this.

But they did. And it's darn embarrassing to be a fan of those books at this moment.

Because those so-called fans have declared their preferred pairing to be "right," and J.K. Rowling, the author, the creator, and the one who knows better than any human being on the face of the earth which character belongs with which, to be "wrong."

So they're going to "fix" it for her. Shamelessly. Resolutely. Arrogantly. Disgustingly.

I react so strongly because of my status as not only a Harry Potter fan, but a fanwriter, who is immensely grateful to Ms. Rowling for the support she has shown for fan hobbies. The acid those "shippers" have flung at her since the sixth book was released is astonishing. Sometimes it's funny. Sometimes not so much.

You may attack a writer for writing badly, but to declare your "right" to dictate to her where to take her plot is the absolute height of arrogance. Rowling owes those brats nothing, in the way of plotlines or (even less) apologies.

I've been accused in debates past of lacking a "writer's soul," (as the reason for my writing fanfiction in lieu of original fiction only.) I think the reason I am so outraged by the Harry/Hermione crowd's actions is that as a fanwriter, I react with both a writer's soul AND a fan's soul. A writer has the "right to write," whatever she chooses, without interference or demands from the public, whether those demands are based on politics, prejudice, or simple fannish desire. A fan has the right to enjoy the written work, to speculate, to hope for this plotline or that--but not to INTERFERE with the writer's right.

I seriously doubt that the shippers' actions will hurt J.K. Rowling, billionaire that she is, having already survived the hysterics of religious objections to her books, and I doubt she will feel any real pressure to change her planned plot for the seventh Harry Potter book.

But as a fan and a fanwriter, I remain embarrassed.

Sunday, Sunday...

Interesting to hear that summary judgment was granted to Random House in the Perdue/Brown-Da Vinci case.

I'd be interested in a couple of things that weren't apparent from the Order that the Judge handed down.

1) Why wasn't there more focus on The Da Vinci Legacy, which sounds like it would have been the one with substantial similarities to The Da Vinci Code?

2) Why did Random House & Brown & Co stipulate to having had access to the Perdue books? (Seems a pretty big chunk of ground to give.)

3) Did Judge Daniels actually read all the books (would probably have taken a long time) or simply rely on assorted briefs, analyses by other parties? What would the Copyright Law standard have required of him? (And was the synopsis of each book in his Order his own writing or someone else's?)

My thoughts on the reactions of others...[STANDARD DISCLAMER: This ain't legal advice, I'm not a lawyer for another year, you know the drill, and I don't necessarily know what I'm talkin' about so don't rely on anything I say and don't try to sue me if you do and I turned out to be wrong.]

1) Whether or not Judge Daniels is an idiot...'tis not for me to say. I have not read any of the books in question.

2) Whether or not Brown and Random House have been "cleared" of plagiarism/copyright a manner of speaking, yes.
  • Summary Judgment is a little tricky, because there is an appeal available that could still lead to trial. However, the Judge HAS found that there is no genuine issue of material fact--which is a pretty hefty ruling. What Summary Judgment means is that there is absolutely no way any sane jury or bench trial could find in favor of Perdue, so the ruling saves the courts and the parties the cost of holding the trial since we know there's only one outcome. But of course, you can appeal it and argue that the Judge erred.
  • To appeal a grant of Summary Judgment, the party who lost has to only convince the Appeals Court that there WAS an issue of material fact. (Often, the mistake trial judges make is ruling on the merits of the evidence the parties have presented when they're only supposed to determine whether the parties have presented evidence to support all elements of their claims. However, in a federal Copyright case, this is not necessarily the standard.) The Appeals Court doesn't have to decide whether that issue will go in the losing party's favor or not, just that the issue existed and is properly for the jury to decide.
  • Intellectual property cases such as patents or copyrights often are different from your average trials because the early parts of the case necessarily require that the Judge look at the weight of the evidence (which is normally reserved for a jury alone.)
  • In layman's terms: it's damn complicated and chancy as hell.
  • On the other hand, although the standard for reversing a summary judgment seems easier, most Appeals Courts will not overturn the trial judge's decision absent "abuse of discretion" or at best, "clear error." Appeals courts generally defer heavily to a trial judge's findings.

3) Will the Perdue crew prevail on appeal?

  • Danged if I know. But I'll be looking forward to seeing what comes next. I shall dissect Judge Daniels's opinion in more detail at another time, and if I'm bored enough (which, one week into my vacation, I may well be soon) see what the Appeal standard is for that jurisdiction.

In other news, Claire has disappeared again. Oy! Claire! Email me and tell me where I might find you now and continue our sparring sessions!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Job News

Forgive me while I engage in a self-indulgent bout of happy job announcement.

My offer letter came today. I got the job at the firm where I worked this summer.

In other news, my parents got the house they put an offer on, and my mother got the job transfer she'd been hoping for.

Good luck came in threes.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A Rant...That Has Nothing To Do With Fanfiction!

Yes, I am so blown away (no pun intended) by the sheer dumbass factor that I'm cross-posting an entry from my LiveJournal.

Yes, some things just get my goat, and little boys playing scientist and soliciting donations for an endeavor they obviously don't have a clue about is one of them.

Brace yourselves for a major rant, friends!

What has got our level-headed, sweet-and-innocent little lawyer-in-training so riled up?

They wanna go out there and destroy tornados. With bombs, cloud-seeding, and lasers.

As I told my LJ readers--the stupidity! IT BURNS!

So why won't a bomb stop a tornado?
  • Because, geniuses, maybe it hasn't occurred to you that tornados, in all their destructive force, trigger explosions all the time.
  • Recall Twister, where the fuel truck gets tossed and blows up? That was one of the few semi-realistic moments in that exceedingly-unrealistic-but-hysterically-funny show--tornados have blown fuel lines, fuel tanks, gas mains all the time. And those things blow HARD. An explosion doesn't phase a tornado.
  • It'd take an explosion of far more destructive power THAN the tornado itself to create enough force to disrupt the air currents that form the tornado--and that would defeat the purpose. You'd level everything for five miles. "Oh, but we stopped the tornado! Yeah, we flattened your house with our big warhead, but we stopped the tornado! Thank us!"

Okay, so why won't cloud-seeding stop a tornado?
  • TORNADOS AREN'T CLOUDS, YOU MORONS! Yes, I know they look like clouds, but they ain't.
  • Tornados are air. Air moving really, REALLY fast, in a really tight, narrow pattern, triggered by the overall structure of a much-larger weather system. Not all thunderstorms produce tornados, because not all produce the exact overall conditions that can cause the tornado to form.
  • HOWEVER...just because they're hard to produce in nature doesn't mean they're easy to destroy. The whole, awesome power of a tornado comes from the fact that once the conditions are right, the air pattern that forms the classic funnel cloud we all recognize is spectacularly strong.
  • Tornados do not dissipate because of some "disruption," but rather because the energy levels in the storm and the surrounding air decrease to the point where it can't be sustained anymore.
  • Cloud-seeding technology can barely trigger an early rain storm, if even that. It's been tried. They tried it on hurricanes, they tried in on supercells (thunderstorms) of varying sizes for decades. The problem is that adding more solid matter to the clouds in order to create more rain STILL does not deal with the core problem of air patterns that create most of the destruction in a storm.

What about a laser? Couldn't THAT stop a tornado?
  • Uh, yeah. Since when do lasers affect air patterns?
  • You cannot "chop off" a funnel cloud. It is not a cloud that can be swept away with a wave of the hand (or anything else, for that matter.)
  • The power of the air current being driven down from the parent thunderstorm is almost beyond human comprehension, unless you have a Physics degree (damn, I wish I hadn't bombed that class in high school! It put an end to my dream of studying Meteorology right then!)
Bottom Line
  • Until you can come up with a way to contain an explosion about the size and destructive force of the Mother Of All Bombs (MOAB) so that it doesn't flatten everything for several miles, you cannot blow away a tornado.
  • Until your cloud-seeding can actually make the heat-cold, high pressure-low pressure imbalances that form a massive thunderstorm go away, you cannot cloud-seed a tornado.
  • Until your laser can actually disrupt an air current as strong as nuclear fallout, you cannot laser-slice a tornado.
  • There are truly no words to describe how stupid you people are. I am not normally driven to such language, but the sheer DUMBASS factor is just off the scale.

As you've undoubtedly gathered, it irks me to see little boys playing scientist and making assumptions about the physics and mathematics that goes into questions that NOAA and the NSSL have been trying for decades to deal with. These dweebs haven't the faintest idea what they're talking about, but rather than actually doing their homework, they're soliciting donations.

If it was merely a case that they were discussing the IDEA of modifying or destroying tornados, that wouldn't bother me nearly as much as this attitude, clearly demonstrated on their website, that they "have the solution."

You don't, kids. You don't have a solution, or a clue. And I sure as hell hope you don't have any money. Try getting a Meteorology degree before you start talking about trucking around Tornado Alley farmlands with explosives.

(Fume, fume, fume!)