Friday, October 8, 2010

Bunker, Bunker, Who's Got the Bunker?

From Popular Science to Boing Boing: The story of a $50,000-per-person bunker outside Los Angeles. Sign up now to save yourself and your family when the shit hits the fan! (Hey, it's half-price for children.)

Called Terra Vivos, the underground units are in the Mojave desert, about 50 miles from Barstow. Each person is allotted 100 square feet in the planned space.

Four bunk beds, sort of like a Scandinavian four-bed ferry compartment
The bunker (supposedly) has enough food, power and clean air to last a year, as well as tank-proof steel doors.

As pointed out in the Boing Boing comments, there are numerous problems with this housing concept:

  • How will you get there in L.A. traffic when everyone else panics, too?
  • Even if you can get there, how will you know they won't have already sealed the door?
  • Where does "fresh" air come from? It starts with "O" -- oh, yeah, outside!
  • How do you generate power for that long? One commenter estimated they'd need 200,000 gallons of diesel fuel on hand to run the generator.
  • Who would really want to be cooped up with a bunch of other people who were paranoid enough to pay to preserve themselves while everyone else dies?
Some of the best comments from Boing Boingers:

mncamera: I wonder how well the illusion of security is going to sell?

Donald Peterson:
Shall we form a pact? When the Big One goes down, incinerating all we held dear and everything that kept us sane and human reduced to ash and bone, let's all gather 'round Terra Vivos in our rags and leather armor, and devote all our energies to ensuring the dopes who bought into that joint absolutely do NOT repopulate our poor, beloved, benighted Earth. Let's roll huge rocks in front of their doors, fart into their air intakes, and mate with as many mutant species as possible in a centuries-long effort to make their existence as hellish as possible once they see fit to emerge.
mattdidthat: contributed a new version of the Eagles' Hotel California:

On the remains of a highway, fallout in my hair
Warm smell of destruction, rising up through the air
Mushroom cloud in the distance, I saw a shimmering blast
I sent a tweet and emailed my wife
Then I checked Google Maps

There he stood in the doorway;
He had Taco Bell
And I was thinking to myself,
"The apocalypse is starting to smell."
Then he lit up a Marlboro, and he fixed his toupee
Someone farted in the corridor,
I thought I heard him say

Welcome to Barstow, California
To our Vivos home, in our Vivos dome
Plenty of room in Barstow, California
The end is here, and we're out of beer

They don't have Internet access, or ESPN
He's saving DNA samples from men he calls friends
I didn't ask how he got them, just tried to forget
Some Lysol is needed, something smells like sweat

So I pulled out my iPod, seemed to work just fine
I said, "We can download music here when we're back online."
And still this feels like a dorm soiree
Playing Yahtzee in the middle of the night
Then you hear them say

Welcome to Barstow, California
To our Vivos home, in our Vivos dome
We're livin' underground in Barstow, California
Not a nice surprise, it's all sweaty guys

Concrete walls and ceiling,
I need a scotch, no ice
And he said, "We are all just homeowners--here, have some beans and rice"
And in the center chamber, they brought out canned green peas
They mixed it with some cheap ground beef
And a box of Mac & Cheese

Last thing I remember, I was barfing on the floor
I had to find some better food and a roommate who didn't snore
"Relax," said the fat man,
"This was built for the naive--
You can freak out any time you like, but you can never leave."

That makes me laugh every time I read it. Almost makes the craziness of the bunker mentality worth it.

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