Wednesday, August 16, 2006

---Tragedy in America, Airliner Diverted, Typhoon Saomai, Cease-fire in Lebanon, Dell explosions, Pluto Saved, and Other Stories 

Philippians 4
4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. [NIV]

42,636 dead, 2,788,000 injured!
NHTSA: TSF2004.pdf
...in 2004, in automobile accidents in the U.S.. Of fatal automotive accidents in that year (the latest records available from NHTSA), 7,898 involved drivers 15-20 years old. If 42.000 Americans died in Iraq in 2004, we would certainly have a different President now. If thousands of children and teenagers had died in any other way, we would not rest until those responsible were brought to justice, and the horror that killed them was stopped once and for all.
But we continue this wholesale slaughter---much of it alcohol-fueled---as a daily routine which we describe as "transportation". Transportation, as practiced, doesn't actually work. If nobody has a better idea, at least raise the driving age!

Just in...
FOXNews.com[AP] - London-to-D.C. Flight Diverted to Boston After Passenger Disturbance
My Way News[AP] - Disturbance Diverts London-D.C. Flight
United flight 923 has been diverted to Boston because a woman confronted other passengers. She evidently had Vaseline™, matches, a screw driver, and a note mentioning “Al Quaeda”™, in spite of allegedly heightened aviation security.[Some officials are denying that she had the items now.] Live shots from Boston showed passengers’ baggage spread over several acres of taxiway.

Since nobody seems to have noticed....
My Way News [AP] - Death Toll in China Typhoon Hits 295
...life---and death---continue in the rest of the world. Typhoon Saomai struck coastal provinces of China last Thursday. It was China’s worst typhoon in about 50 years, and the death toll is rising as more dead are discovered on sea and land.

As predicted...
...in fact, as the adage goes, as everyone could have “seen it coming up 5th Avenue”, yet another U.S. administration caved in to international political pressure and sold Israel out to its enemies for short-term political benefit. Both the American and Israeli leaders claimed the horrific disaster in Lebanon as a “victory”, but virtually no one is “buying it”.
My Way News[AP] - Olmert Acknowledges War's 'Deficiencies'
Nobody “over here” will be in a position to speak ill of the steadfastness of the French or other Europeans for a while. By comparison with the lead-up to previous “World Wars”, I guess Lebanon would be the new “Czechoslovakia”.
There isn’t much else to be said about the U.N. mandated “settlement” in the Israeli-LebanoSyrioIranoSinoRussian conflict that hasn’t been covered better elsewhere:
Michelle Malkin: Wave the white flag--and Hizballah's
Malkin’s comments seem almost conciliatory compared to this assessment by at the Jerusalem Post:
Comment: An unmitigated disaster | Jerusalem Post
There are probably more than an thousand Lebanese and Israeli civilians dead, thousands more homeless, the economy and infrastructure of Lebanon has been devastated, Israeli armed forces have suffered hundreds dead and wounded in a demoralizing standoff with an irregular “asymmetric” force which it should have been easily able to destroy in detail, the unprecedented consensus of moderate Arab nations against the extremism of the SyrioIranoSinoRussian terrorists has been frittered away, and the political fortunes of the monstrous Hezbollah terrorists and their national supporters have been made stronger than ever.
Probably worst of all, the Hezbollah political operatives in Lebanon are now in a position to offer consolation and SyrioIranoSinoRussian money to Lebanese civilians to rebuild their homes and businesses. These monsters will be seen by a new generation of young men and boys (and presumably by girls, pregnant women, etc.) as "heroes". By comparison with the lead-up to previous “World Wars”, I guess this would be “making the trains run on time”.

Mein blog?
FOXNews.com - Iranian President Gets Personal in New Blog - Iran
Okay, so the comparison is probably inaccurate at best---there were probably some times when that other guy had a coherent thought. As for the introspections of a mediocre soccer player and political sock-puppet of pseudoreligious hell-mouths, I have better things to think about....

A cold day at Dell....
FOXNews.com - Dell Recalling 4.1 Million Potentially Explosive Laptop Batteries - Business And Money | Business News | Financial News
...one of potentially millions of pointless puns involving everyone’s favorite prefabricated computer mill and the recent events surrounding the lithium-ion batteries in many of its laptops. Spectacular images of Dell laptops going off like bombs are all over the web, and now making it to the regular news services:
The Inquirer: Dell laptop explodes at Japanese conference
The problem apparently stems from Li-ion power cells improperly manufactured by Sony, which contain stray metal shavings from the electrode crimping process, which short out and overheat---or go up in flames:
FOXNews.com[AP] - Dell Battery Danger Stems From Manufacturing Defect

FL Today Space: Bolts cause trepidation
Over at NASA, preparations to launch Atlantis on the first of the “hurry up and build” missions to ISS hit a medium snag. The bolts which fasten the KU-band antenna in the upper cargo bay appear to be shorter---and therefore weaker---than the original engineering specification. If the stress and vibration on ascent caused the antenna to tear away, the result would be catastrophic.

FL Today Space: NASA on mission to recover videos
Elsewhere at NASA, it has suddenly been realized that the only copies of the original high-quality videos of the historic Apollo moon landings have been kind of, well, misplaced:

“The tapes are not lost, insists the NASA official put in charge of the search. But he does not know where they are.”

JPL.NASA.GOV: Feature Stories: Cosmic Debate: What's Up With the Planets?
The decision of the International Astronomical Union is in---doubtless to everyone’s immense relief, Pluto gets to stay a planet, and its moon, Charon and the newly-discovered Kuiper object unofficially called “Xena” get to be planets. So, I guess Charon is kind of Pluto’s “co-planet”?
I hope my tax money isn’t paying for this. Oh, I'm unemployed---never mind---knock yourselves out.

New Scientist SPACE - Top 10: Weirdest cosmology theories
Some mind-stretching exercises, now. I particularly like the one where the Universe is a computer simulation and we are all just trapped in it. I’m ready to hit the “quit” button and erase the save-game files, now, if you don’t mind, and get back to my "real" life. Anybody?
Okay, first, I’d like to get the secret cheat codes to make certain people suddenly shrink to 1/10 normal size and get bright red clown noses, then I really want to quit and go do something else. Anybody?

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