Wednesday, July 19, 2006

---Indonesia Hit Again, WWIII?, Airbus Failures, the Downloadable Camera 

Indonesia hit again
My Way News[AP] - Death Toll in Indonesian Tsunami Hits 341
Actually, I think the latest reports put it at over 500, rising so fast that it’s almost impossible to post before the number changes. It has been all but relegated to secondary news status by events in the Middle East.
Another earthquake off Indonesia caused a wave that struck Java, one of the places which wasn’t affected by the catastrophic tsunamis last year, and where the warning system hadn’t been implemented yet.

My Way News - Israel May Send Ground Troops Into Lebanon
The usual suspects at FoxNews began comparing the current world crises to conditions which produced the last two world wars, and predicted WWIII is imminent. Now Iran’s thinly disguised terrorist irregular army is “welcoming” it. The prospect of a "World War" isn’t that far-fetched, of course---the whole world is again violently polarized along political, ethnic, and, of course, religious fault lines that threaten to rupture at any time.
Although news coverage of the Israeli operations in Lebanon might suggest that they are “acting out” on some intense frustrations over the continuing terrorist attacks from their northern border and maybe don’t really have much idea of what to do next, there are other opinions:
OPFOR: Prepping the Battlespace ->
This analysis suggests that the Israeli operations to date are meant to fully isolate Hezbollah from resupply and reinforcement, in preparation for its destruction.
As always, innocent and fairly innocent people are going to get hurt. The evidence is that the evacuation of tens of thousands of foreign nationals is not going that smoothly. Americans are chafing as they watch other nations picking up their citizens as the U.S. citizens wait for the cruise ships chartered by the government to arrive---there were some rumors that the U.S. military was planning to charge a fee for evacuation. The Chinese in Lebanon, of course, have mostly made their way to Syria.

Airbus has other problems...
The Observer | International | What made an Airbus rudder snap in mid-air?
...than the late delivery of the mega-jumbo A380’s. There have been at least three incidents of structural failure in the carbon-composite fin-rudder assemblies of the extremely popular A300/310 airliners. One was the 2001 crash of American Airlines flight 587soon after the 9/11 attacks, with the loss of all on board, which was ultimately blamed on excessive use of the rudder by the co-pilot. The incident above, Air Transat flight 961 last year, involved the sudden, unexplained departure of the rudder at cruising altitude and speed, when the rudder of these aircraft is not expected to be under any significant load. The plane landed safely in Cuba, but could easily have lost the fin as well, which would have been unsurvivable.
Then there
was the report by a FedEx crew in 2002 of uncommanded excursions of the rudder of an A300. FedEx investigations showed that the hydraulic actuator for the rudder “tore a large hole around its hinges, in exactly the spot where the rudders of both flight 961 and flight 587 parted company from the rest of the aircraft.
Airbus has been blamed for prescribing lax, visual-only inspection techniques for the composite parts. Meanwhile, several pilots have demanded transfer to Boeing aircraft, and some have even changed their travel plans to avoid Airbus aircraft.

It had to happen eventually
Downloadable Paper Camera-Linatree Dirkon [found on BlogsNow]
I always knew that someday, someone would come up with a downloadable paper camera. This clever device is styled to look like an SLR, and uses 35mm film and a pin-hole instead of a conventional lens.

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