I think the little boy in all of us likes to watch things fall down and go boom.
"LOOK!" Corb emailed me the other day, as I was in work, attaching a link that he had seen on (forgive me, Lord) Fox News.
Aside from being a cool video, Corb had sent it to me because one month earlier, I actually had flown to Chester County, South Carolina to check out a test run that the Institute for Business and Home Safety had been holding for their facility, to make certain everything worked perfectly before their opening day. The photos at the top of the page were ones I took at that testing, which I've had to sit on for the past few weeks.
Of course, it was a pretty intense sight to see. The facility's designed to test a variety of natural hazards, such as hurricane and wildfire. I think the only thing they can't do are earthquake and plagues of locusts, and plagues of locusts might be available in a year or to, who knows?
They started their tests at far lower intensities, of course. First at 10 or 20 miles an hour. You can see the two houses: one fortified to withstand hurricane-force winds, one built at "normal" spec, start to shake and shimmer, gently. Then, over the course of the next two hours, they start to build things up the intensity.
When our house fell and went boom, I totally wasn't expecting it. I knew the winds were at a little over ninety, and could see the normal house shaking a little, but nothing had really happened for a few minutes, so I had gone back to talking to a friend about arranging the event. Then suddenly, mid-conversation, we noticed that the normal house was beginning to move. Quickly, we turned to look into the test lab, and slowly, it start to inch away from the foundation. Then suddenly BOOM! There it was, splattered against the side of the wall like a broken egg.
Everyone was pretty impressed. There were cries and cheers. I looked over at the director of the facility, and she had tears in her eyes. "I wasn't 100 percent sure it would work," she said. A dream come true.
It was a pretty amazing thing to watch, and it made you wonder what it's like to be in a house that's being swept away by a hurricane. It must be the scariest thing in the world.
I think I'll take my chances with a plague of locusts.