No one can predict when the earth will begin to shake and how strong it will be. Earthquakes seem to happen more often these days particularly if you live in the Ring of Fire. Usually, kiddie students go through a drill and are taught to cover their head and hide under the desk. Problem there is what if the desk doesn’t hold or if the earthquake is too strong that the roof falls on the desk. Also, there are new guidelines about earthquake drills. The standard one is kneel on the floor or under the desk and cover your head with your hands. Another one is drip and cover your head but make sure you’re near a huge object like a sofa or a huge desk. (some call this The Triangle of Life)
If you happen to be in Israel, they will tell you to stay in your bed and cover yourself with a pillow. If you happen to be in the Philippines, you will be told to get out of the house and “look for an open space”. Fact is that it seems that for very country, there are different guidelines about how to protect yourself from quakes.
My American friend Diane and I started to study what really works and have come up with the conclusion that the Triangle of Life is a better solution. We also agree with Israelis that when caught in your own home the best is to cover one head with pillows and be as calm as possible.
Recently, Heliumasia announced that a collaborative project has now come up with prototypes of an earthquake HAT, a really great start-up because of may save millions of life. It is based on the theory of the raw egg – remember your physics class? Wrap the egg NOT with foam but with “spaces in between” and the egg does not break even when you hurl it or drop it from a building. Imagine if something like a protective gear like that one was available to the world?
And it is now, but the start up seems uninteresting to Philippine politicians who are too busy politicking instead of thinking about disasters. This reminds me of an incident earlier when a Filipino “invented” a huge firetruck but he was deemed insane “because the streets of Manila are small”. He decided enough of dealing with the Philippines and offered the idea to America and the US was only to glad to help him out — thus we have those huge firetrucks in the big cities of America.
Innovation is simply improving on an idea, for instance in case of an earthquake there is an earthquake head protector invented made out of “soft beads”. Yes, there is foam, but foam doesn’t protect as much as a certain size of soft beads “because of the spaces in between” (remember the raw egg ?). Will it save lives ? Yes, probably millions of lives. Can it save limbs? Probably not.
But something that can save million lives should probably be front page news, except that Heliumasia and the innovators of this start up aren’t too keen on publicity. Point is that this is one start up that combines physics, design and could provide jobs for thousands if it is mass produced. There is nothing we can do about earthquakes but we can sure TRY and adapt to it somehow.
After all, mankind is not extinct precisely because of our specie’s capability to adapt. Remember the first woman (I insist she was a woman) who took the thinnest bone and decided to use it as a needed to cover her family to protect them during the Ice Age?
What is history anyway but a series of adaptations?