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WootBot


quality posts: 17 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

On August 28, 1565, the feast day of St. Augustine, a Spanish admiral named Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sighted land in Florida. His men founded a settlement there which is still called St. Augustine, making it the oldest European-founded city in the United States. This August, we've asked Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings to cast his keen, cosmopolitan eye on American cities coast to coast, the better to debunk some misinformation about them that's as old as the hills, almost as old as St. Augustine itself.

The Debunker: Is New Orleans Located Below Sea Level?

When the levees broke in New Orleans in 2005, I heard more than one person (thousands of miles away and unaffected by the disaster, of course!) note, with a smirk and a shrug, that, hey, that's what happens when you build a major coastal city below sea level. But I was shocked when this actually became a political talking point in the post-Katrina conversation. When House Speaker Dennis Hastert (recently in the news again doing prison time after accusations of being a serial child molester!) was asked about rebuilding New Orleans, given its low elevation, he replied, "I don't know. That doesn't make sense to me."

The Debunker

Leaving aside the silly notion that elevation should determine how disaster relief funds are spent, there's a factual problem here. A 2007 Tulane University study found that most of urbanized New Orleans—51 percent of the city's land area, and over half of its pre-Katrina population—actually lies above sea level. In fact, the entire city was above sea level for most of its lifespan. It was only during the last century that soil subsidence lowered much of the city below the level of the Gulf of Mexico.

But that's beside the point, politicians of a Hastert-esque bent might reply. The half of the city above sea level isn't the problem—it didn't flood! But the geographic facts don't bear this out. Many New Orleans neighborhoods devastated by Katrina, including the famously low-lying and flood-prone Lower Ninth, are actually largely above sea level—and certainly higher than nearby neighborhoods like Lakeview, where rebuilding was never in question. Those neighborhoods, in a shocking twist, are whiter and more affluent.

Unfortunately for New Orleans, sea level isn't a fixed quantity. A paper published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences predicted that New Orleans will be one of the coastal cities hit hardest by global warming, with seas rising over six feet in the century to come. If the city is going to survive, it needs a vastly more reliable flood-control system than the Army Corps of Engineers one that failed in 2005.

Quick Quiz: The U.S. state with lowest mean elevation is not Louisiana or Florida, but what state in the Northeast?

Ken Jennings is the author of eleven books, most recently his Junior Genius Guides, Because I Said So!, and Maphead. He's also the proud owner of an underwhelming Bag o' Crap. Follow him at ken-jennings.com or on Twitter as @KenJennings.

therealjrn


quality posts: 84 Private Messages therealjrn

I don't know Ken...I was watching the same news you were during the flood. My BIL worked for FEMA afterward. You judicious choice of shading 51% as "over half" might be technically correct, but really now...I could call it "virtually half" under water too.

These little short paragraphs of a blog you have here isn't the proper forum to address the wasteful squandering of taxpayer funds for decades by the local NO politicians is it?

moles1138


quality posts: 49 Private Messages moles1138

Moxy Fruvous doing an Improv after having just read a Trivial Pursuit question in the Green Room.
(WARNING: POTTY MOUTH)

They do say Mt. Washington is in Maine when it is in NH. They can be excused...they are Canadian. ;P

WoosterRooster


quality posts: 2 Private Messages WoosterRooster



It's pretty much under sea level.

I'm Wooster, the Woot Rooster

OldElvis


quality posts: 2 Private Messages OldElvis

Rhode Island?

We will find a way or we will make one. Hannibal ~ 200 B.C.

BIGELLOW


quality posts: 20 Private Messages BIGELLOW
DrPepper wrote:What did Della wear? (Delaware)



Her brand New Jersey.

halo1123


quality posts: 0 Private Messages halo1123

I think you missed this -
"The largest design-build civil works construction project in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers history"
http://www.enr.com/articles/12780-new-orleans-floodwall-sets-record-for-corps

And this - 100 year flood zone protection
http://www.npr.org/2016/09/30/495794999/new-maps-label-much-of-new-orleans-out-of-flood-hazard-area

But what you really missed is - Mitch the idiot Mayor of N'awlins recently tried to take over the pumping stations through the public works... and broke da pumps!!! lol

http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2017/08/i_thought_we_were_on_a_mitch_h.html

You could have had a real riot article had you googled it!!!


sed1313


quality posts: 0 Private Messages sed1313

I am not overly political but I want to make sure all the WOOT followers are aware of how narrow minded KJ is. Here is a post he made on his twitter account.

"When Trump starts a war, I'm just hoping the other side understands the deal and only bombs, like, the Midwest and the South."

Go read his twitter page and you will see a lot more like that.

clearskiestomt


quality posts: 1 Private Messages clearskiestomt
sed1313 wrote:I am not overly political but I want to make sure all the WOOT followers are aware of how narrow minded KJ is. Here is a post he made on his twitter account.

"When Trump starts a war, I'm just hoping the other side understands the deal and only bombs, like, the Midwest and the South."

Go read his twitter page and you will see a lot more like that.



Just an FYI: For many folks (about 60% + of the population according to recent pols), joking about trump is not exactly a detractor.

Now I'm not taking a stand for (Trump) or against here, and I'm not sure what you were trying to do with that post - just thought that might need to be pointed out...

'cause - well - y'know - truthiness...

therealjrn


quality posts: 84 Private Messages therealjrn
clearskiestomt wrote:Just an FYI: For many folks (about 60% + of the population according to recent pols), joking about trump is not exactly a detractor.

Now I'm not taking a stand for (Trump) or against here, and I'm not sure what you were trying to do with that post - just thought that might need to be pointed out...

'cause - well - y'know - truthiness...


Lol. What "polls"?

daveinwarshington


quality posts: 100 Private Messages daveinwarshington
therealjrn wrote:Lol. What "polls"?

Poles?


davidbowser


quality posts: 2 Private Messages davidbowser
therealjrn wrote:Lol. What "polls"?



A little dated, but Fox News has tended to be a pretty consistent polling source, but they have the number at 53%.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/19/fox-news-poll-53-percent-disapprove-trump-even-as-voters-feel-better-about-economy.html

mpaluzzi


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mpaluzzi
moles1138 wrote:Moxy Fruvous doing an Improv after having just read a Trivial Pursuit question in the Green Room.
(WARNING: POTTY MOUTH)

They do say Mt. Washington is in Maine when it is in NH. They can be excused...they are Canadian. ;P



Nice to a see a fellow fruhead - but technically the Fruvous lads sang about the lowest highest point, not the lowest mean elevation.

Great albums - with the lads could get back together for just one more night!

moles1138


quality posts: 49 Private Messages moles1138
mpaluzzi wrote:Nice to a see a fellow fruhead - but technically the Fruvous lads sang about the lowest highest point, not the lowest mean elevation.

Great albums - with the lads could get back together for just one more night!



I realized that after posting.

I don't think that'll ever happen with Jian's legal troubles.


I only saw them 8 times. 6 with my (now) wife. They were "our" band. Our first date was at one of their shows.

Now we go see Carbon Leaf.

gabeshuman


quality posts: 0 Private Messages gabeshuman

Say all the bad things you want about NO. Where else are you going to go where your neighbors and boss can't see you to get knee-walking drunk, pee on a fire hydrant, and drool over bare breasts in the street?

olcubmaster


quality posts: 33 Private Messages olcubmaster
gabeshuman wrote:Say all the bad things you want about NO. Where else are you going to go where your neighbors and boss can't see you to get knee-walking drunk, pee on a fire hydrant, and drool over bare breasts in the street?



Never been to New York, eh?

Sugar 'em up and send 'em home

olcubmaster


quality posts: 33 Private Messages olcubmaster
gabeshuman wrote:Say all the bad things you want about NO. Where else are you going to go where your neighbors and boss can't see you to get knee-walking drunk, pee on a fire hydrant, and drool over bare breasts in the street?



Actually, many of my favorite artists hail from NO. Tops among them, Paul Sanchez.


If you're not familiar with him, check out his Nine Lives - A Musical Story of New Orleans.

Sugar 'em up and send 'em home

cklun


quality posts: 43 Private Messages cklun

Volunteer Moderator

nothing to add here...just trying to get my name as the last post on this page



"I NEVER EVER share garlic balls!"]

therealjrn


quality posts: 84 Private Messages therealjrn
cklun wrote:nothing to add here...just trying to get my name as the last post on this page


Good job!

cklun


quality posts: 43 Private Messages cklun

Volunteer Moderator

therealjrn wrote:Good job!


TY



"I NEVER EVER share garlic balls!"]

therealjrn


quality posts: 84 Private Messages therealjrn
cklun wrote:TY


YW

cklun


quality posts: 43 Private Messages cklun

Volunteer Moderator

therealjrn wrote:YW



stop it



"I NEVER EVER share garlic balls!"]

hot72chev


quality posts: 28 Private Messages hot72chev
cklun wrote:TY



Stop it, you two...don't make me come in here.

x12
It seemed like a good idea at the time.

cklun


quality posts: 43 Private Messages cklun

Volunteer Moderator

hot72chev wrote:Stop it, you two...don't make me come in here.



uh oh



"I NEVER EVER share garlic balls!"]

therealjrn


quality posts: 84 Private Messages therealjrn
cklun wrote:uh oh


you're in trouuuuuuble!

cklun


quality posts: 43 Private Messages cklun

Volunteer Moderator

therealjrn wrote:you're in trouuuuuuble!



u..not me!



"I NEVER EVER share garlic balls!"]

mackie112


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mackie112

yes but nola is in a bowl with it being below sea level mid city and higher elevations along the levee. the reason uptown didn't flood was because of the natural levee. lakeview and mid city flooded as well and the neint' waard' flood due to close proximity of the waterways which broke. duh!