Big Data to the Rescue – Nomi Tareen Smith

In the White House West Wing headed towards a ground floor conference room, Washington, D.C.

“So what are you going to say?”

“To whom?”

“The President silly.”

“What do you mean?”

“You did prepare, I mean really, George. Where are your notes? Are they in here?”

“Made ya look, Marge.”

“It’s not funny; this one is for the money.”


“George, Margery? The President will be with us in a few minutes; why don’t you come in and have a seat at the table?”

“Thank you…”

“Peter Manheim, Presidential Science Advisor; I love those initials. Have a seat by me here, George. Margery, how about that seat there?”


“Got it, Marge.”

“So, George, is it real?”

“They both are Dr. Manheim; where do I hook in?”

“Here, the system will automatically query your machine.”

“But I have specialized protocols…”

“No matter, George, done. Can we see a preview?”

“Sure, here we have a four-dimensional record…”

“Is this real data?”

“Taken continuously over the past 7 weeks.”

“I see, using what network for the tomography?”

“All of them.”

“Really? And it shows…?”

“Both the Yellowstone and Canary Islands hotspots have 85 and 63 percent chances, respectively, of surface eruption in the next 5 to 10 years and lower but significant chances of erupting within the year.”

“What did you predict last year for the same time frames?”

“32 and 23 percent for the 5 to 10 years and negligible for the 1 year frame, Dr. Manheim.”

“Margery, how are we situated on funding?”

“Forty seven percent spent, Peter. The Constellation servers are paying off; we’d be out of money, otherwise.”

“Hmm, I’ll see what I can do about that, Margery.”

The President is twenty-five seconds out.

“Dr. Manheim, he’s on his way.”

“Thank you.”


“Mr. President.”

“I don’t believe I know everyone, Peter.”

“Mr. President, may I introduce Dr. Margery Wholecloud at your right hand and Dr. George Majorski at my side.”

“Glad to meet you both, Peter’s been telling me of your good work. Please sit. What am I going to see today Peter?”

“George, why don’t you start the video and I’ll summarize what you told me just now?”


“Mr. President, this is a video of deep magma flow under Yellowstone, on the left of the screen, and the Canary Islands on the right. As you see, the flows become hotter over a 7 week period. We believe this indicates almost certain surface eruptions within three years and eleven months give or take a few months at both sites. It’s likely there will be a sustained super-eruption at Yellowstone that will obliterate flora and fauna across the Great Divide and saturate the stratosphere because of the anticipated volume, viscosity and gases.  The Canary Islands event will also impact us and our Atlantic allies. Isn’t that right, George?”


“Alright, so what are we to do, Peter?”

“As we discussed, Mr. President”

“Approved, anything else?”

“No, Mr. President.”

“Thank you everyone, good to meet you both.”

“Thank you Mr. President.”


“Okay, let’s take our seats. George, you did great.”