Other NSF News...Of Funny Kind

Melody points me to this gem of an advisory from the NSF:

In the event of a natural or anthropogenic disaster that interferes with an organization's ability to meet a proposal submission deadline, NSF has developed the following guidelines for use by impacted organizations.  These guidelines will take the place of the previous NSF practice of posting notices to the NSF website regarding each specific event.

Flexibility in meeting announced deadline dates because of a natural or anthropogenic disasters may be granted with the prior approval of the cognizant NSF Program Officer. Proposers should contact the cognizant NSF Program Officer in the Division/Office to which they intend to submit their proposal and request authorization to submit a "late proposal." Such contact should be via e-mail (or telephone, if e-mail is unavailable). Proposers should then follow the written or verbal guidance provided by the cognizant NSF Program Officer. Generally, NSF permits extension of the deadline by 5 business days. The Foundation, however, will work with each impacted organization on a case-by-case basis to address their specific issue(s). Proposers should be aware that all applications submitted after the submission deadline must be submitted through FastLane since Grants.gov does not accept proposals after the deadline.

Boldface mine. Yeah, read that again: you can get an extension for a natural disaster with prior approval. "Dude, Dr. Program Manager, I know there is going to be an earthquake on the day I have to submit, so could I please have an extension?"

More like this

"Dude, Dr. Program Manager, I know there is going to be an earthquake on the day I have to submit, so could I please have an extension?"

Yeah, but it could be considered supporting information if you are submitting to NSF 06-546.

Libertarians can predict earthquakes?

Sorry couldn't resist :)

Everyone knows you can use quantum physics to create earthquakes.

Also to cure cancer and provide cheap fuel for our SUVs. It's like magic.

Quantum physics is like Chuck Norris and not like Chuck Norris at the same time.

Today was the state-wide Earthquake Drill. Had this been The Big One, we might have some dead students. Seriously. I happen to have taken my Seismology courses at Caltech's Seismology Department 1968-1973, and personally know "The Earthquake Ladies" there [Dr. Kate Hutton and Dr. Lucy Jones] as they are known on local and national TV], and the senior faculty in that Department.

The Big Fake One hits Southern California
The Great Southern California ShakeOut -- a regional earthquake drill -- commenced with a simulated 7.8 quake at 10 a.m. Millions of people were expected to participate.
By Jia-Rui Chong
From the Los Angeles Times

10:51 AM PST, November 13, 2008

The Big One thrashed Southern California this morning -- in a practice scenario worthy of Hollywood's epic imagination.

In a plan developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners, the San Andreas fault slipped about 30 feet at Bombay Beach, just northeast of the Salton Sea, triggering a 7.8-magnitude earthquake at 10 a.m. that rumbled along 200 miles of the fault.

About 4,000 square miles of Southern California was shaken like a big bowl of Jell-o.

"This is like the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, but our equivalent of that event," said Lucy Jones, the chief scientist for this demonstration project, officially known as the Great Southern California ShakeOut.

Some 5 million people were expected to participate in the practice event this morning, making it the largest earthquake drill ever done in the U.S. Students practiced ducking under their desks, urban rescue teams extricated victims from buildings expected to collapse, and the Red Cross set up shelters in gymnasiums across the Southland.

It will take hours, if not days, for us to assess how well we fared, said Jay Alan, spokesman for the California Office of Homeland Security.

"I think we're as prepared as we can be, but we can always do better," he said.

At City Hall, the earthquake drill coincided with the regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning Commission, which had two high-profile issues on its agenda -- digital billboards and a 49-story tower planned for Century City. The nine-member panel interrupted its meeting, moved to another room, had difficulty with its microphones and struggled to get its video system up and running.

None of those problems had anything to do with the drill, however.

Instead, the disruptions were caused by the huge turnout for the Century City project. When the actual drill occurred, a City Hall security guard told the audience in the packed council chamber -- a room filled with lobbyists, union members and neighborhood activists -- that they were experiencing an earthquake drill and should immediately "duck, cover and hold."

No one did.

See how the earthquake rolled across your neighborhood.

Chong is a Times staff writer.


Times staff writer David Zahniser contributed to this story.

This is exactly why I was reluctant about getting that PMP certification. Sometimes "official" project/program managers do dumb things and make up ridiculous process documentation.