“Continental drift causes an enormous level of financial hardship, personal tragedy property damage and destruction. Its earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunami kill indiscriminately. Plate tectonics must be stopped!” said Doctor Genevieve Sitarski from the University of New Mexico, Peyote Campus in her keynote address at the Conference on Ending Plate Tectonics, held earlier this year at the Shangra La hotel on Rosa Sentosa island, Singapore.
I had heard of the conference and asked my friend and gonzo journalist, Gonz Blinko to fly to Singapore to gather as much information on this emerging movement as he could. Gonz, as always, had iPhone in hand and recorded what he could under the veil of secrecy surrounding the event. This report was built from those recordings.
Gonz, “This may be the best place on Earth for us blind people. I think they’re Buddhists or some group that revere us. It’s weird, I sit at a restaurant and they make me something special and won’t let me pay, I go to the mall and strangers give me money, I think I’ll try the brothel and see what I can get for free there.”
[Editor’s note: The next few hours of audio are far too graphic to include here.]
Gonz (with giggling Asian sounding woman in background), “Conference starts in 20 minutes and we’re forty minutes across the island. Shit, think we’ll make it?”
“Don’t know,” says giggling Asian babe.
The recordings become strange at this point. Gonz yells at a taxi driver a whole lot, sounds of screeching wheels, brakes and high speed automotive engines punctuated by Gonz continuing to yell to the driver to go faster while the woman continues to laugh, scream and sound, in general, like she’s having the time of her life.
Gonz, “We made it on time and I’m sitting at a conference table, drinking coffee and acting like I’m actually interested.”
The voice of Doctor Sitarski from the PA dominates the recordings. “We are all gathered here, in this volcanic island to stop plate tectonics. We now have the technology…” The recording breaks off, dominated by Gonz’s sipping sounds and a few plates clanking against the microphone, presumedly because he was eating a stale, conference danish as he made the recording.
Sitarski, “Our next speaker is Doctor Hiroshi Udon of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, known to its students as ‘the big TIT. He’s speaking about potential engineering solutions to avoid another Fukushima like disaster. Doctor Udon…”
We hear some polite applause and Udon clears his throat. “”How many plate tectonic experts does it take to change a lightbulb?” He asks and, hearing no response from the audience at all, he adds, “We don’t change lightbulbs, we wait for the plates to bring us under the sun!” he exclaimed with a huge laugh, laughter unshared by his audience.
“Uh, ok, then…” added Udon, “Let’s look at the problem.
“We have a tectonic plate in the Sea of Japan. It moves violently now and then. The solution is silicon gel. If we pump a few thousand megatons of silicon gel into the crack in the Earth, we will buffer the violence of the plate motion by making the edges softer and more fluid, hence, the energy of the system will go into the soft silicon instead of rock, softening the blow substantially.”
Gonz, “Hmm…” and his pocket calculator starts talking over the speech as he tried to do the calculations following Professor Udon’s description of the system. “Shit, either he’s way off or I slipped a digit somewhere,” says Gonz as we hear the speaker grow soft as Gonz leaves the room for more coffee and another stale danish.
I don’t know how long Gonz was away from the conference, the recordings suggest he may have spent a few hours on the beautiful Singapore beach with the Asian woman friend who seems to punctuate every sentence she speaks with a giggle. The next relevant audio follows:
“In our analysis,silicon gel cannot absorb enough energy to stop the major effects of continental drift,” said an unidentified speaker with a thick German accent. “We believe we need something more like an epoxy, a substance that has both plastic and elastic realms of deformation. Silicon will certainly allow the plates to glide more easily but, an epoxy, like the O rings on the space shuttle, will provide both lubrication and slow the motion of the plates. Our computer models…”
Gonz, whispering, “Is this all real?”
Unidentified whispering male voice, “I don’t know, the Japanese think it’ll work.”
“You are the New York Times,” whispered Gonz, “Here, take a look at my numbers.” Sounds of person handing an object to another followed by a long sip of coffee followed by, “Ah….”“
Sitarski, “Our next speaker is a Russian mathematician from the Romanov Polytechnic Institute, please give a warm welcome to the rock star of the movement to stop geological drift, Professor Vladimir Throbaum.
“Thank you Doctor Sitarski,” said Vlad above the only applause noted on the recording, “I am here to present the most perfect solution to the problem of tectonic drift, it’s neither silicon nor epoxy. The ideal solution is ball bearings, trillions of ball bearings dumped into the cracks in the crust. Trillions and trillions of ball bearings…”
“Shit,” says Gonz as we hear the sounds of objects being thrown into a gear bag. “Fucking ball bearings, trillions of ball bearings. I’m going back to the brothel.” And, suddenly the recordings stop.