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Nepal Earthquake

The US Geological Survey has the technical details on the 7.8 quake which was shallow [approx. 10 miles deep] with a epicenter in the Kathmandu Valley.

The BBC has been reporting Nepal earthquake: Death toll passes 1,000.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in Nepal’s deadliest earthquake for more than 80 years, police say.

The 7.8 magnitude quake struck an area of central Nepal between the capital, Kathmandu, and the city of Pokhara.

There were also victims in India, Bangladesh, Tibet and on Mount Everest, where avalanches were triggered.

Many well-known local structures have been flattened, and the aftershocks are still continuing, causing people to sleep outside away from buildings.

The last estimate I saw was 1800 victims, but the number will probably rise higher as the rubble is searched and smaller towns are visited.

April 25, 2015   4 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

To Leap or Not To Leap

Friday Cat Blogging

Leaf or grass?

[Editor: Hadley paused to consider chasing a blowing leaf, but decided to eat some more grass.]

The Friday Ark for lots of animal pictures.

April 24, 2015   2 Comments

Hubble Turns 25

The ABC notes the silver celebration: NASA marks Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th anniversary with release of Westerlund 2 star cluster. There is a video of the cluster and a link to Hubble’s ‘greatest hits’.

The universe is filled with wonders that we only know about because of instruments like Hubble. Hubble has managed to affirm or refute many theories about the formation of our universe which make things more understandable.

April 24, 2015   5 Comments

ANZAC Day

Australia & New Zealand flags

It is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, which is similar to the American Veterans Day, in that it began as a remembrance of World War I, and has become more generalized over the years.

“Anzac Day commemorates the involvement of Australian and New Zealand troops in a World War I campaign on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey.” This year is the centennial of the Gallipoli landing.

The Gallipoli Campaign began as a Winston Churchill [then First Lord of the Admiralty] plan that spun out of control and got a lot of people killed on both sides with nothing much changing, but then, that was quite common in World War I.

Peter Weir made a movie, Gallipoli, which, if nothing else, proves that Sergeant Alvin York, and T.E. Lawrence weren’t the only people who fought in World War I.

April 24, 2015   7 Comments

Pleistocene Park?

The BBC noticed that the Mammoth genome sequence has been completed.

Yes, there really are people who want to modify an elephant egg to produce a mammoth. They are less clear why they want to do this, but they are apparently moving ahead with the project.

I hate to be a naysayer, but is the era of global warming really the ideal environment for reintroducing a species that flourished during the Ice Age? The last known mammoths went extinct on Wrangle Island in the Russian Arctic 4000 years ago when things were still much colder than today.

The money being spent on the recreation of mammoths would be better spent on reducing global climate change so we don’t have more existing species going the way of the mammoth – extinction.

April 23, 2015   No Comments

Saint George’s Day

Cross of St. George

Saint George is the patron saint of England, Georgia [the country], Bulgaria, Portugal, Catalonia, and the city of Moscow. Orthodox countries tend to celebrate George on November 23rd.

PETA condemns George for his senseless slaughter of dragons. The YWCA condemns the condemnation and wants to know when PETA is going to volunteer to be DragonChow™

It is UNESCO’s International Day of the Book.

It is also the birth and death day of Billy the Bard, who was a great writer in desperate need of a spelling checker.

Master Shakespeare gave all of the best lines to villains supplying low humor to those who have read the Folio, e.g. Arlen Specter quoting Iago, reputedly in support of Clarence Thomas.

April 23, 2015   No Comments

Show A Little Respect

Momma Earth

She’s the only planet we have, if we blow it, we can’t pack up and move.

Wikipedia has an Earth Day entry, with links to other sites.

April 22, 2015   5 Comments

Miscellany

Today is Queen Elizabeth’s 89th birthday, but it won’t be officially celebrated until June.

It was cool today after the cold front that has been stalled in the area and responsible for over a week of rain finally made its way through. The temperature is expected to bounce back tomorrow which will make my cats happy. I put the heater away, so last night was not pleasant for them.

Sydney and New South Wales Australia are being mugged by an intense low pressure system that has caused flooding and winds of over 60mph. While not an ‘official’ tropical storm, the effects are the same with major damage in the area.

April 21, 2015   5 Comments

More Police State News

From the BBC: FBI admits forensic evidence errors in hundreds of cases.

When it is done intentionally it isn’t an ‘error’, it is a crime: perjury at a minimum. People were executed based on the lies created by the FBI’s analysis of the evidence.

Hundreds of cases will have to be reviewed, basically every case that used hair analysis performed at the FBI lab that resulted in a conviction.

April 20, 2015   6 Comments

Five Years Ago

Gulf Gusher symbolOil started flowing into the Gulf when the Deepwater Horizon exploded at 9:53PM CDT on April 20th, 2010. It stopped at 2:25PM CDT on July 15th after spewing 190 million gallons [4.5 million barrels] of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The explosion killed 11 workers on the platform, and the oil and dispersants shortened the lives of countless others.

The CBC has a broad overview of the costs and a video report on conditions today.

The US corporate media, like the US government and BP think that people are too fragile to hear the truth about what happened and what is continuing to happen in the Gulf. A major portion of the oil that was spilled is sitting in cold water on the bottom of the Gulf waiting for a hurricane to bring it ashore.

April 20, 2015   3 Comments

Delivering The Mail

With next to nothing going on right now the most interesting Florida story was about Doug Hughes, a Ruskin, Florida mailman, who wanted to deliver letters to the Congresscritters about campaign finance reform and decided to fly his gyrocopter to DC and land on the lawn near the Capitol building.

Lots of people took videos of the flight, which is low and slow, and the consensus is that the videos are funnier with the Inspector Gadget theme playing.

A gyrocopter flies so low and slow that it stays below radar, and shooting it down would probably cause more damage that following it to see what was going on. It can’t carry much weight beyond a pilot, so even if there were explosives on board, it would be less dangerous to move people out of the way, rather that bringing it down.

April 18, 2015   4 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Bored

Friday Cat Blogging

Where is everyone?

[Editor: Hadley came out for the first time in days as the sun peeked through, but there was nothing to attract his interest.]

The Friday Ark for lots of animal pictures.

April 17, 2015   2 Comments

The Scum of the Earth

From McClatchy: As it moved to seize home, bank never told widow her loan was insured

WASHINGTON — For more than a decade after her husband died, Laura Coleman Biggs paid her mortgage to a Bank of America subsidiary. She was never told, even as she was weeks from losing her home, that her husband had actually protected her against foreclosure.

George “Kenny” Mitchell had taken out a special lender-pushed insurance policy to pay off most of his loan if he died.

Read the entire thing to understand that this insurance policy paid off $100,000 on the $120,000 loan, leaving his widow with only a $20,000 mortgage. The bank not only didn’t tell her about the policy, it continued to collect the premiums for the policy from her. Since the bank is the beneficiary, the widow wouldn’t be aware of the policy.

Why are these crooks still allowed to operate?

April 16, 2015   7 Comments

Tax Day

Friday Cat Blogging

Property and Excise are 8 today.

The traditional theme music for the day on YouTube.

So, why did M$ decide to issue its monthly patches today, when people are using their computers to finish up their taxes?

April 15, 2015   8 Comments