Woody Epstein passed away of a sudden stroke on February 5th, 2019.[Read more…] about He Was a Good Cook. Fuck Authority.
Woody has prepared two early reports on the Hokkaido Earthquake on 6 September 2018.[Read more…] about Early Analysis of the Hokkaido Earthquake
I am a long time resident of Japan, engaged in probabilistic risk assessment, or PRA. For almost 30 years I have helped engineers, scientists, and policy makers to understand the inherent risks of dangerous activities in areas such as aerospace, oil and gas, chemical weapon disposal, transportation, and, of course, nuclear power generation. I have always considered myself to be good at my work, delivering cogent insights to my clients and preparing them for accidents by focusing on the answers to three simple questions,
"What can go wrong?", "How likely is it?", and "What are the consequences?"
All of this changed on March 11, 2011, when the shortcomings of the risk profession hit me like the “A” train roaring across Brooklyn late on a Saturday night.
What did I learn? I learned three new answers to the three above questions:
- The safer we make a technological system through analysis and testing, then when the system fails, the likelihood is that the failure will be catastrophic;
- The current state of earthquake or tsunami (in fact any natural hazard) science is not yet at a level where we can predict when, where, or how severe the impact will be;
- Risk is not just a numerical measure, but an understanding and continual conversation between technologists, policy makers, and ordinary people as to when “safe” is safe enough.
If my thoughts can reach the hearts and minds of one engineer, one policy maker, and especially the young people who will have to make the decisions of the future, then perhaps I can help create a safer world where people prepare for the unexpected.
For as long as he’s lived in Japan, and as much he travels, it’s a wonder this hasn’t happened already. But the lurking crew from TV Tokyo’s Why Did YOU Come to Japan? show finally zeroed in on Woody at Narita Airport back in February. The show, which airs weekly on Monday evenings, interviews and does close reporting of foreigners visiting Japan. And once a month, the show features stories about food. The crew had no idea they’d hit the mother lode with Woody– a foreigner living in Japan, who speaks Japanese, and can really, really cook.
Intrigued, the YOU crew found themselves at Woody’s home in Ageo, where he cooked them dinner. In his tiny 3m2 kitchen, Woody channels the spirit of our Grandma Pearl. He loves to cook traditional Japanese and Jewish fare. But Chef don’t stop there. It’s on to Paris and Marseille; Jerusalem; Tehran; Chengdu; and Verona, making that city’s signature dish, risotto Amarone (cue up the overture to Nabucco). He’s even made a completely from scratch American Thanksgiving dinner for 12, with help from me and his son, Boone.
For the YOU crew, Woody prepared Japanese sea bass (suzuki) stuffed with oysters and sticky rice (mochi kome). It’s a meal that’s really simple to make, tastes and looks great, and it’s something that nearly any Japanese husband could regularly make for their wife. It’s a meal that certainly hit home for the YOU crew.
Enjoy this video of Woody cooking for Why Did You Come to Japan? which aired on 13 March 2017.
Since 2012, ABS Consulting (ABSG Consulting), Appendix R Solutions (ARS), Curtiss-Wright, and RIZZO Associates have been working together to provide fire prevention and analysis services; seismic, flooding, and other external hazards evaluations; and full-scope Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) services. These world-class organizations are collaborating to provide quality solutions to emerging needs and new regulatory requirements. We now call this collaboration the Risk Alliance.
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The preliminary report by Woody Epstein, Takanao Nishimoto, Koji Okumura, Sam Swan, and Peter Yanev.
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