Your Phone Will Ring Soon

Ahead of the high-profile EAS test taking place today, here are a bunch of fake EAS videos on YouTube to entertain you.

By Ernie Smith

If I ever have any deep regrets about running this newsletter, it’s that I wasted one of my best story ideas on a period in which nobody was reading Tedium.

On January 22, 2015, less than a month into launch, I wrote about the Emergency Alert System, or EAS, particularly the small community of people who were developing EAS simulations of their own.

Given that today, in a matter of minutes, there’s going to be a loud alert hitting your devices if you live in the U.S., I figured now was a good time to look back at one of my favorite finds in the history of this little newsletter.

One of the channels I mentioned in that piece, The EAS Experience, has unfortunately not updated in about two years, but it remains one of the most unusual YouTube channels on the internet. It’s literally someone who designed a series of simulations of emergency alerts for things that didn’t actually happen, as a hobby. Some of them are real—but many are just imagined, as the slogan of the channel “Where weather and creativity collide” implies.

Above is an example—a theoretical of an Emergency Alert System test on the AT&T Universe cable system if the 2021 EAS test looked like tests that took place in the past.

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The most popular clip on the channel, dating back a full decade at this point, is the most obviously fake one: An invasion of the United States by aliens.

Sadly, The EAS Experience appears to no longer be updating, but other YouTube channels have taken up the mantle, with one channel, YP, taking on some particularly unusual scenarios for the EAS system, including one posted three months ago in which the moon falls out of orbit and crashes into the Earth. You know, things that are likely to happen.

If you’re in the mood for a zombie outbreak or a nuclear attack when you need background noise to tune out with, YouTube has you covered, just like with everything else.

And in case you need something a little less “normie” for your EAS YouTube viewing, I recommend EAceS, who seems to take the EAS theme down some particularly cursed paths.

I’m sending this now in case you need to EAS pregame ahead of the actual EAS test. I won’t judge you.

Emergency Links

A quick reminder that the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine isn’t perfect from Richard MacManus, the creator of ReadWriteWeb, who had trouble getting accurate screenshots from the site.

One angle I didn’t mention in my piece about microwaves, but is more than worth mentioning, came up via Tom Scott a few years ago. It involves reanimation, in case you were wondering. (↬ Infoseepage on Mastodon)

Finally, a dongle-themed petition.

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And see you tomorrow!


Ernie Smith

Your time was just wasted by Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the editor of Tedium, and an active internet snarker. Between his many internet side projects, he finds time to hang out with his wife Cat, who's funnier than he is.

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