The excellent first edition of Matthew Braga's new Secret World newsletter looks at exactly who you're calling when you use a satellite phone or Garmin emergency beacon to call for help:
It turns out that, anytime someone calls 911 on a satellite phone, or presses the SOS button on a dedicated GPS tracker — anywhere in the world — those messages typically go to one place: The International Emergency Response Coordination Center, or IERCC, about an hour outside of Houston, Texas. The center has coordinated more than 10,000 rescues in 169 countries, and responds to anywhere from 30 to 60 requests each day. Whether you’re a hermit in the Scottish highlands in medical distress, or a kayaker in eastern Tajikistan with altitude sickness (true stories) the IERCC is your point of first contact. Every hour, every day of the year, a rotating team of six watchstanders determine the closest available search and rescue team and coordinate the response.
The IERCC headquarters includes what sounds like a real-life vault from Fallout:
The entrances were hidden within a pair of massive pagodas, with gunports for the armed guards to shoot at whoever who came near.
Read the rest of the newsletter here, including a description of drone warfare involving tractor beams.
Exploding Topics is a newsletter that presents terms and words that are trending in Google Search. The latest newsletter looks at Dermaplaning (using a “scalpel to shave layers of dead skin cells from your face), SaaS SEO (“part of the ‘extreme marketing specialization’ metatrend”), Podcast Microphone, Back Market (“a marketplace for buying and selling refurbished […]
Matt Levine’s consistently excellent newsletter for Bloomberg is called Money Stuff, and is typically focused on white collar crime and crime-adjacent behavior. Monday’s edition looks at the New York Times’ article on on the possible existence of Epstein-related incriminating videos, and attempts to explain why the story doesn’t actually allege criminal behavior by the lawyers […]
I highly recommend McKinley Valentine’s email newsletter, The Whippet. In each issue she presents interesting ideas, art, videos, and articles. Here’s an item from the latest issue (#85): How to survive solitary confinement I like to read things like this, keep it in my pocket, so I worry less about what if it happens. The […]
For all their amazing growth over the past 25 years, the most impressive thing about the monumental rise of Amazon might be the speed and sophistication of their lightning-fast delivery network. Sometimes it doesn’t even take 24 hours for the idea you ordered to be perched right on your front porch, ready for use. The […]
You could actually watch a Tyrannosaurus Rex walk down your street right now. And no, this isn’t the latest Jurassic Park sequel. Of course, it isn’t real either, just a Google recreation of some pretty realistic looking dinosaurs transplanted right into any environment around you courtesy of augmented reality. Yet it’s just another example of […]
A guy on the Apple discussion forum started a thread titled, “Why do your Charger Cables have the lifespan of a housefly?” That question is probably enough to elicit a whole bunch of head nods from virtually everyone reading this, whether you’re an iPhone user, an Android owner or have virtually any device that needs […]