"Tales of brave Ulysses, and the sirens sweetly singing."
Those beautiful weird sisters' songs would lure sailors to their doom on a rocky coast. In World War I, air raid sirens would announce the arrival of the Zeppelins, with a cargo of death and destruction. Fire and Police sirens sound a similar warning, death is imminent, the grim reaper is nigh. Anyone in tornado country knows what a siren means on a hot summer evening. My father's last ride had the soundtrack of a wailing Ambulance siren.
A siren is a deal with fate. We accept its presence, and we can buy ourselves a little space, a little time, a little breathing room from its inevitability. We give ourselves a chance. Some people have suggested that an expanded tsunami warning system could have saved lives in the Indian Ocean. Some areas might have been spared - others, such as the obliterated villages in Sumatra where only the mosques were left standing - were probably too close for any warning to have helped. Still, we have tools, we have science, we have motivation. Faith is worthless against an Act of Nature - but we are not helpless.