Monday, June 28, 2010

How to Survive a Nuclear Attack

How to Survive a Nuclear Attack

Seek shelter immediately...If you are a few miles out, you will have about 10-15 seconds until the heat wave hits you, and maybe 20-30 seconds until the shockwave does.

Do not look at the fireball and cloud. Under no circumstances should you look directly at the fireball. On a clear day, this can cause temporary blindness at very large distances.[5]

If you can't find shelter, seek a depressed area nearby and lay face down, exposing as little skin as possible. If there is no shelter of this kind, dig as fast as possible. Even around 8 kilometers (5 miles) you will suffer third degree thermal-burns; still at 32 kilometers (20 miles) the heat can burn the skin off your body. The wind itself will peak at around 960 kilometers per hour (600mph) and will level anything or anybody caught in the open.
Failing the above options, get indoors, if, and only if, you can be sure that the building will not suffer significant blast and heat damage...Stay away from any windows, preferably in a room without one; even if the building does not suffer substantial damage, a nuclear explosion will blow out windows at enormous distances.[6]
Wear cotton clothes...Substances like nylon or any oil based material will ignite from the heat.

Remember: it's not the initial blast that creates the high death toll; it's radiation exposure....The fallout may rain down as contaminated black soot known as "black rain," which is very fatal and may be of extreme temperature. Fallout will contaminate anything it touches.

Once you have survived the blast and the initial radiation (for now at least; radiation symptoms have an incubation period), you must find protection against the burning black soot.

Standard clothing will help protect you from Alpha particles.

Beta particles...pose a serious threat, however, to the eyes, should they be exposed for a prolonged period. Once again this is harmful if ingested or inhaled, and clothing will help prevent Beta burns.

...Avoid exposure to Gamma radiation. Try not to spend more than 5 minutes exposed. If you are in a rural area, try finding a cave, or a fallen log into which you can crawl. Otherwise just dig a trench to lie in, with stacked earth around you.

Begin reinforcing your shelter from the inside by stacking dirt around the walls or anything else you can find. If in a trench, then create a roof, but only if materials are nearby; don't expose yourself when not necessary. Canvas from a parachute or tent will help stop fallout debris from piling on you, though it will not stop Gamma rays...Use the following to help you determine the amount of material you'll need to reduce radiation penetration to 1/1000:[8] Steel: 21 cm (0.7 feet), Rock: 70-100 cm (2-3 ft), Concrete: 66 cm (2.2 ft), Wood: 2.6 m (8.8 ft), Soil: 1 m (3.3 ft), Ice: 2 m (6.6 ft), Snow: 6 m (20-22 ft)

Plan on staying in your shelter for a minimum of 200 hours (8-9 days). Under no circumstances leave the shelter in the first forty-eight hours. Ration your supplies. You will need to ration to survive, obviously; therefore you will eventually expose yourself to the radiation (unless you are in a specific shelter with food and water).

Processed foods are okay to eat, so long as the container has no punctures and is relatively intact. Animals may be eaten but, they must be skinned carefully with the heart, liver and kidneys discarded. Try not to eat meat that is close to the bone, for bone marrow retains radiation.
 Plants in a "hot zone" are edible; those with edible roots or undergrowth (carrots, potatoes...) are highly recommended. Use an edibility test on the plants. See How to Test if a Plant Is Edible.

Open water may have received fallout particles and is harmful. Water from an underground source, such as a spring or covered well, is your best bet. (Consider making a basic pit-style solar still, as described in How to Make Water in the Desert.) Use water from streams and lakes only as a last resort. Create a filter by digging a hole about 1ft from the bank and drawing the water which seeps in. It may be cloudy or muddy so allow the sediments to sit, then boil the water to ensure safety from bacteria. If in a building, the water is usually safe. If there is no water (there most likely won't be), use the water already in the pipes by opening the faucet at the highest point of the house to let in air, then open a faucet at the lowest point of the house to drain the water.

Earthquake plus nuclear facilities

Christopher Hitchens wrote in Slate: "While the "negotiations" on Iran's weaponry are being artificially protracted by an irrational and corrupt regime, it should become part of our humanitarianism and our public diplomacy to warn the Iranian people of the man-made reasons that the results of a natural calamity would be hideously multiplied in their case… earthquake plus ill-maintained covert nuclear facilities...

Tehran Nuclear Research Center is located in suburban Amirabad, according to this article.

View Larger Map

Active faults around Tehran — courtesy of IIEES:

Iran seismic hazard map — courtesy of IIEES:

Iran fault activity — courtesy of IIEES:

Potassium Iodide Can Help Prevent Radiation Sickness

Taking Potassium Iodide can save your life if you take it soon after you are exposed to nuclear radiation. Here's some info. from this website:

What is Potassium Iodide (KI)?
Stable iodine is an important chemical needed by the body to make thyroid hormones. Most of the stable iodine in our bodies comes from the food we eat. KI is stable iodine in a medicine form.

What does KI do?
Following a radiological or nuclear event, radioactive iodine may be released into the air and then be breathed into the lungs. Radioactive iodine may also contaminate the local food supply and get into the body through food or through drink. When radioactive materials get into the body through breathing, eating, or drinking, we say that “internal contamination” has occurred. In the case of internal contamination with radioactive iodine, the thyroid gland quickly absorbs this chemical. Radioactive iodine absorbed by the thyroid can then injure the gland. Because non-radioactive KI acts to block radioactive iodine from being taken into the thyroid gland, it can help protect this gland from injury.

How does KI work?
The thyroid gland cannot tell the difference between stable and radioactive iodine and will absorb both. KI works by blocking radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid. When a person takes KI, the stable iodine in the medicine gets absorbed by the thyroid. Because KI contains so much stable iodine, the thyroid gland becomes “full” and cannot absorb any more iodine—either stable or radioactive—for the next 24 hours.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Self-Defense Against Baton

Partial List of Items Israel Prohibits from Entering Gaza

As reported by,
"The following list is approximate and partial, and it changes from time to time. It is based on information from Palestinian traders and businesspersons, international organizations, and the Palestinian Coordination Committee, all of whom "deduce" what is permitted and what is banned based on their experience requesting permission to bring goods into Gaza and the answers they receive from the Israeli authorities (approved or denied). It is not possible to verify this list with the Israeli authorities because they refuse to disclose information regarding the restrictions on transferring goods into Gaza. It should be noted that Israel permits some of the "prohibited" items into Gaza (for example: paper, biscuits, and chocolate), on the condition that they are for the use of international organizations, while requests from private merchants to purchase them are denied. For more information, see: Gisha, Restrictions on the Transfer of Goods into Gaza: Obstruction and Obfuscation, January 2010 (available at:"

Partial List of Items Israeli Prohibits from Entering Gaza as of May 2010

Prohibited Items*
fruit preserves
seeds and nuts
biscuits and sweets potato chips
gas for soft drinks
dried fruit
fresh meat
wood for construction
industrial salt
plastic/glass/metal containers
industrial margarine
tarpaulin sheets for huts
fabric (for clothing)
flavor and smell enhancers
fishing rods
various fishing nets
ropes for fishing
nylon nets for greenhouses
hatcheries and spare parts for hatcheries
spare parts for tractors
dairies for cowsheds
irrigation pipe systems
ropes to tie greenhouses
planters for saplings
heaters for chicken farms
musical instruments
size A4 paper
writing implements
sewing machines and spare parts

*Some of these items are permitted if they are for the use of international organizations.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Anti-rape device with teeth

The Free Keys rock "Ships"

by Julie Jigsawnovich

CNN iReport--The Free Keys emerged from Tehran's music underground to international acclaim when they were featured in the Cannes award winning film, No One Knows About the Persian Cats. Not approved by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, The Free Keys fled to Pune, India where they’ve now legally released the track, "Ships."

The unusual time signature, enticing riff and mischievous vocals beckon like some kind of rock siren across the waves in moonlight. Reverberating echoes loop back on themselves, reaching critical mass. Suddenly one feels like the floor is collapsing--and one is falling down, down to the bottom of the sea.

Some enjoy the sensation of falling, skydiving, high diving. But "Ships" does not convey simple thrills. It’s something deeper, more primal, more real—akin to the sinking feeling that something is deeply wrong and terrible events may be about to transpire.

Such keyed-up emotion is not surprising given that the The Free Keys received international exposure just as the regime was about to crack down. But “Ships” could be topical within the larger context. The Islamic Republic debuted its first domestically built destroyer warship earlier this year. More Israeli nuclear submarines have reportedly headed for the Persian Gulf amidst international speculation over potential Iranian blockades of the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for increased sanctions and threatened ship inspections. Hundreds of "bunker buster" deep penetration bombs were reportedly shipped to the U.S. base on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean south of Iran. And a few days ago Egypt allowed at least one Israeli and 11 American warships to pass through the Suez Canal reportedly headed towards Iran or U.S. ally, Pakistan. After all, just as the U.S. was passing "crushing sanctions", Tehran signed a $7 billion agreement inaugurating the construction of a gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan.

I asked The Free Keys' lead guitarist, Arya, whether the song is about war ships. He replied, "Ha ha, no. Actually it was merely a coincidence that we noticed too. 'Ships' is the title of our friend Rajan Virdee's poem that we used as lyrics. It's about a brewing love--and how in the abstract love has a strictly narcissistic motive behind it. One line in the poem says:
'But if such love is conjured under one spot-light
it's just as easily lost in despising and spite
like two ships crashing and burning in the night.'"

Ships launched by proud nations with complex, intertwined histories may approach each other soon. Will there be an engagement making The Free Keys' new track eerily prophetic? The music video for “Ships” is reminiscent of torpedoes and explosions.

Currently The Free Keys are offering listeners the opportunity to access this track for free. Arya continued, "The song is available for free download because it's a prototype version. Obviously the album version won't be. You can download it on "

Pishro Feat. Eliyas "Nejat" (Rescue)

Winning new converts to Iranian hip hop.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Don't let corporations become dictators

by Julie Jigsawnovich

The ATTN: Mr. Democrat video by Farbod Khoshtinat states that, "Democracy is not choking the voices so that no harsh word could aggrieve your ears." This video has drawn a worldwide enthusiastic response online. Iranians and non-Iranians alike are leaving glowing comments for it on YouTube. And the analytics map under the video shows world nations growing greener with each ATTN: Mr. Democrat view.

Although the dictatorial regime running the Islamic Republic diligently tries to block Iranians from watching YouTube, the color of Iran on the map proves that many Iranians are finding proxies to access the full internet.

Unfortunately, there's an even bigger threat to internet freedom--not from governments, but from corporations. Corporations could be even more effective than governments at preventing users from choosing what to view.

As Megan Tady wrote in the Huffington Post,"While the Internet allows people to create and share their work with the world without anyone's permission, phone and cable companies like Comcast and AT&T want to control the Internet - deciding which content loads fast, and which doesn't load at all. They could effectively silence artists and media makers everywhere, and you, too."

In addition to the strong grassroots support ATTN: Mr. Democrat received through social networks and private emails--Iranian, Azerbaijanian, French and American writers have embedded the video in their blogs. Plans by Comcast and AT&T to control the internet particularly endanger bloggers and small website owners who support democracy.

As the internet has become a central form of communication, internet freedom/net neutrality is vital to democracy. Don't let corporations become dictators. This issue is urgent, and the impact would be international. Please contact the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and President Obama, strongly urging them to protect free expression on the Internet--so that we can keep using the Internet the way we want to.

People living in the U.S. can
sign this petition to the FCC.

People living outside the U.S. can
contact the FCC through email here.

Everyone can contact President Obama.

Everyone can thank these Senators for their support.

I recommend the following advocacy group for this issue:

This article was republished at:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Female Genital Mutilation In Kurdistan, Iraq: Photos

Heat Wave Exhibition

Hichkas Feat. Pishro "Bazam Kalan" Video

(Click through for widescreen.)

This is like a dream mashup of vintage Sesame Street and Tehran rap! Learning Farsi could be so fun with these guys as teachers!

Hichkas Feat. Pishro "Bazam Kalan"
Music by Mahdyar
Directed by Masood Moeen

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Iranian and Israeli Filmmakers in close competition


Farbod Khoshtinat's short film, ATTN: Mr. Democrat, has been selected by judges for the Democracy Video Challenge to represent Iran in the final round of this competition. Khoshtinat's short is competing with videos from Israel and Algeria in the Near East category, one of six geographic divisions. Winners will be decided by "thumbs up" votes cast by signed in YouTube users who view the video via One vote per video may be cast each day through June 15, 2010.

How to vote for ATTN: Mr. Democrat
Sign In to your YouTube account
Go to

Click on VOTE, search for ATTN: Mr. Democrat

Click on green thumbs up to vote
YouTube Google analytics maps under the videos reflect the countries from which votes for the videos are cast. Countries grow greener as more votes are cast. The map for Khoshtinat's video (at ) shows far broader geographic support. Although some of the votes credited to the US and Canada could be due to proxy servers helping Iranians to access full internet despite the Iranian government's blockade against YouTube, voters in Russia, Scandinavia, Africa and Israel are also showing support for ATTN: Mr. Democrat. Wide support should come as no surprise because it is an exceptionally well written, highly artistic and beautifully scored short film--and because there are people all over the world who support freedom and fair elections.
Thousands of Iranians have risked imprisonment, torture and death for demanding freedom and democracy, especially when they question the outcome that the Islamic Republic proclaimed regarding the June 12, 2009 Iranian presidential election. In a biographical statement submitted with his video, Khoshtinat wrote, "I am an artist, an Iranian film maker and a twenty one year old freedom fighter. I believe that one of the greatest things about art is that it gives us the ability to see, imagine and feel things in a certain way. This belief was the main reason I wanted to participate in this challenge, to give the opportunity to the people around the world to see how democracy is practiced in my country, so I visualized it through art; I wanted them to see it through my certain way of visualizing. As a young student who is studying abroad, this was the least thing I could do for my people since we all are in the quest for democracy."

Khoshtinat is no mere student. He edited the music video sequences for the Cannes award-winning film, No One Knows About the Persian Cats. And the music video Khoshtinat made for Iranian rapper Hichkas' Ye Mosht Sarbaz has received over 200,000 views on YouTube. Khoshtinat was a teenager in Tehran when he made Hichkas' video under the pseudonym "Fred" in hopes of evading arrest for promoting Western music in violation of Iran's strict Islamic laws.

As of June 13, 2010, 3:19am, Khoshtinat's upload of ATTN: Mr. Democrat has received 10,912 views on YouTube. But because several thousand of those views took place before the May 15th beginning of the final round of this competition, many of those views could not be counted as votes. The closest competitor, Democracy Is… video by Israelis Tomer Zemel, Maria Levitin and Orit Englander received 7,042 views as of 3:19am June 13, 2010. But at least 5,000 of these views took place after the video was embedded on Russian websites,,, and was covered by Israeli journalists online and in Israeli newspapers.

The winner of this competition will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., New York and Hollywood, gala screenings of the winning videos in Hollywood, New York and Washington, exposure to filmmakers and the U.S. film and television industry, and meetings with democracy advocates from government, media and civil society.

How to vote for ATTN: Mr. Democrat
Sign In to your YouTube account
Go to
Click on VOTE, search for ATTN: Mr. Democrat
Click on green thumbs up to vote

For additional information about ATTN: Mr. Democrat and about director Farbod Khoshtinat please contact Media Advisor Julie Jigsawnovich at Jigsawnovich1 (at)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dabashi's "little torture"

by Julie Jigsawnovich

Hamid Dabashi's: "What's a little torture in Kahrizak and Evin...?" on CNN sounds more like PressTV.

Hamid Dabashi's states, "What's a little torture in Kahrizak and Evin over the last year compared to what the United States has done in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and Bagram Airbase in the course of its "war on terror" over the last decade?" 

Wait a minute. This sounds more like Iran's State-run Press TV than CNN. And why is Dabashi comparing events during a one year period to cumulative events occurring during a decade as if they were of equal value? This is just plain illogical. 

Dabashi's statement makes it sound as though torture in Iranian prisons only occurred over the last year, when in fact torture has increased over the last year.  Torture has been practiced in the Islamic Repulic of Iran for decades. 

Amnesty International recently released a report which includes details of torture

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran is also a great resource of information regarding specific cases of torture.

The torture and the travesties of justice are becoming so extreme in Iran that even members of the staunch Revolutionary Guards are defecting.

I welcome investigations into torture anywhere committed by anyone, because torture is ethically indefensible--and I don't believe torture keeps us safe. The bottom line is that human rights should be respected everywhere, by everyone. 

Former elite officers in Revolutionary Guard reveal increasing tensions in Iran regime

A two-month investigation by Guardian Films and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveals how hundreds of members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard are defecting - in protest at what they see as a 'betrayal' by the Iranian government

Iara Lee Releases Footage from Mavi Marmara

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Israel Navy officers slam gov for placing blame on the activists

Anshel Pfeffer reports in Haaretz

A group of top Israel Navy reserves officers on Sunday publicly called on Israel to allow an external probe into its commando raid of a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid flotilla last week, which left nine people dead and several more wounded.

In a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, the Navy officers denounced the commando raid as having "ended in tragedy both at the military and diplomatic levels."

"First and foremost, we protest the fact that responsibility for the tragic results was immediately thrust onto the organizers of the flotilla," wrote the officers. "This demonstrates contempt for the responsibility that belongs principally to the hierarchy of commanders and those who approved the mission. This shows contempt for the values of professionalism, the purity of weapons and for human lives."

The Navy officers' letter came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was convening his top ministers to deliberate a United Nations proposal to create a joint international committee alongside Turkey and the United States to investigate the circumstances of the deadly raid.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

CK1 shoes

These gorgeous shoes by the Iranian artist CK1 remind me a little bit of the Beatles Yellow Submarine film. They also have a bit of an 1980's East Village NY meets 2010 Tehran feeling, because the day-glow colors and the lines trigger memories of Keith Haring--yet the paisley pattern is distinctly Eastern.

I hope he finds a way to market them so that folks in NY can buy them. I hope these art shoes don't fall prey to sanctions.

Israel slams 'cultural terrorism' as Pixies cancel gig

It's ironic. There is more freedom of speech in Israel than in, say, Iran--where there are severe restrictions on music and on live performances. But when musicians choose not to speak--not to perform--as a form of protest, they are labeled terrorists by some Israelis. I wonder what the Israelis calling the musicians terrorists would have said if the musicians had appeared on stage, but instead of playing, had used the opportunity to discuss alternatives to current the Israeli policies. For instance, laws could be put into place that guarentee equal rights for persons of all religions, ethnicities--and equal rights for women. --Julie Jigsawnovich

Hazel Ward of AFP reports:
"JERUSALEM — Israel is falling victim to "cultural terrorism," a top music promoter charged on Sunday, after US alternative rock group The Pixies cancelled their first-ever gig in the Jewish state.

"The band was to have performed a single gig on Wednesday as part of a five-day music festival in Tel Aviv, but pulled out just days after a deadly Israeli naval raid on a foreign aid flotilla that left nine activists dead.

"The Pixies' decision to cancel comes three months after the band received an open letter from Israeli human rights activists urging them not to come to the Jewish state.

"'As much as some of us are huge fans and would love to hear your show, we won't cross the international picket line that is growing in numbers steadily nowadays to come and see you,' the group Boycott! wrote in an open letter to the band sent on March 1."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Miranada Rights Eroded

Today the Supreme Court issued a judgement limiting Miranda rights for criminal suspects.

Anything a suspect says may be used against them in a court of law, but the Supreme Court has now decided that suspects must break their silence and tell police they are going to remain quiet, if they wish to not answer questions. And if suspects want a lawyer, they must now request one.

" 'This decision means that police can keep shooting questions at a suspect who refuses to talk as long as they want in hopes that the person will crack and give them some information,' said Richard Friedman, a University of Michigan law professor."

Iran Hardliners Benefit from Israeli Attack