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 […]
From ordering from Amazon to paying bills over the web to something as simple as bottled water, we’re all hooked on modern convenience. We can’t help it. There are just too many modern world advances that save us too much time not to become a creature of comfort and go the easy route. Even if […]
No matter whether you go into the office or work from home, whether you roll out of bed at 5 a.m. or never get up before 9, we all agree a day can on how you feel first thing in the morning when you wake up. If you wake up feeling groggy or out of […]
The aluminum can is a great invention. And for 60 years, it and its crafty little addition, the pull tab, have made transporting and drinking all of our favorite beers, soft drinks and other beverages about 1,000 percent easier. Of course, evolution continues — and even an innovation as awesome as the aluminum can is […]