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Nice Of Them To Notice

A quick check showed that neither PBS or NPR thought it was worthwhile to mention Labor Day in their programming [outside of references in campaigning on labor day at parades in Iowa and New Hampshire], while the CBC had all kinds of features today.

I guess labor is just too controversial for the media.

September 3, 2007   4 Comments

Obersturmfury Felix [Cat 4]-3

FelixPosition: 14.4 N/81.1 W. [10PM CDT]
Movement: West [270°] near 19 mph.
Maximum sustained winds: 135 mph [Cat 4].
Gusts: 160mph
Minimum central pressure: 951 mb.
Hurricane Force Wind Radius: 30 miles.
Tropical Storm Force Wind Radius: 115 miles.

It currently 145 miles East-Southest of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua/Honduras border.

Felix has just complete an eyewall replacement and the pressure is starting to drop again, which means it will get stronger as it heads in to land just to the south of the of the Nicaragua/Honduras border tomorrow morning. It has also slowed slightly giving it more time to strengthen.

September 3, 2007   Comments Off on Obersturmfury Felix [Cat 4]-3

For Oldtimers

CNet has a photo essay of rebuilding an Altair 8800. It was a mid-70s kit PC with an Intel 8080, and S-100 bus architecture. The machine pictured had 32KB of RAM, an 8-inch floppy, and used CP/M.

Enough to make the solder burns from the early years flare up.

September 3, 2007   2 Comments

Something Totally Different

So we had a minor deluge while I was outside filling cat dishes and I ducked into the carport to wait it out, as they usually don’t last more than 15 minutes. I looked up and saw a large spider in an amazing gold colored web. The spider turned out to be a Golden Silk Orbweaver [Nephila clavipes] and the female I saw was the color of old ivory with black fuzz around the joints of its legs. From the tip of a rear leg to the tip of a front leg was about 4 inches. Even in the rain the web was golden yellow against the white of the carport ceiling.

The male of the species, who I first thought was a juvenile, was a ways off and not nearly as interesting. They eat a lot of flying insects, which is fine by me.

September 3, 2007   4 Comments

And His Maths Sucked

Well, General Sir Mike Jackson thought Rummy’s ops plan was worthless, so now we hear from British Major General Timothy “Tim” Cross, the senior logistics officer for the British Army at the time of the invasion.

The Associated Press reports: Retired UK general criticizes U.S. Iraq policy

LONDON, England (AP) — A second retired British general slammed the United States over its Iraq policy, saying in a newspaper interview published Sunday that it had been “fatally flawed.”

Maj. Gen. Tim Cross, the most senior British officer involved in the postwar planning, said he had raised serious concerns about the possibility of Iraq falling into chaos but said former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dismissed the warnings.

“Right from the very beginning we were all very concerned about the lack of detail that had gone into the postwar plan and there is no doubt that Rumsfeld was at the heart of that process,” Cross said in the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

[Read more →]

September 3, 2007   2 Comments

The Rich Get Richer, And Everyone Else Is Screwed

Since it’s Labor Day we might as well get the reality for working people stated again, so CNN/Money magazine lays it out: GDP growth not reaching paychecks

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The economic expansion that began six years ago has failed to benefit most workers, according to a report from the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, released Monday.

Productivity growth, although slower of late, has been strong since 2000. After a sluggish start in the period, employment has picked up, although at a slower pace than in past recoveries. Yet, that growth hasn’t transferred to workers’ paychecks, particularly for workers at the lower and middle end of the pay scale, the report found.

After rising quickly in the second half of the 1990s, most workers real wages have been stagnant in the 2000s, especially since 2003.

[Read more →]

September 3, 2007   4 Comments

Obersturmfury Felix [Cat 4]-2

FelixPosition: 14.2 N/78.7 W. [1PM CDT]
Movement: West near 21 mph.
Maximum sustained winds: 145 mph [Cat 4].
Gusts: 195mph
Minimum central pressure: 950 mb.
Hurricane Force Wind Radius: 30 miles.
Tropical Storm Force Wind Radius: 115 miles.

It currently 365 miles East of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua/Honduras border.

The pressure is rising and the winds are dropping. Without shear it is shaking itself into less organization, which may be related to the strengthening ridge to the North suppling steering and the higher forward speed. It is good news to those in its path. It looks set to hit the lightly inhabited Mosquito Coast first.

4PM CDT Still Cat 4, wind down to 135 pressure up to 953mb, still heading West towards Cabo Gracias a Dios.

September 3, 2007   Comments Off on Obersturmfury Felix [Cat 4]-2

Hauptsturmfury Felix [Cat 5]-2

FelixPosition: 14.3 N/77.8 W.
Movement: West [280°] near 21 mph.
Maximum sustained winds: 160 mph [Cat 5].
Gusts: 200mph
Minimum central pressure: 940 mb.
Hurricane Force Wind Radius: 30 miles.
Tropical Storm Force Wind Radius: 115 miles.

It currently 365 miles East of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua/Honduras border.

The pressure has come up 10 mb overnight and the winds dropped 5 mph. The eye looks a little ragged. This gives hope of some weakening before landfall.

It has been moving more to the due West pulling the forecast track to the South. This puts landfall in northeastern Nicaragua and then plowing through Honduras, rather than passing by to the North and slamming the Yucatan like Dean. Felix is still a small, tightly wound storm, so wind damage will be limited to a small area. If it expands before landfall and starts drawing moisture from the Pacific as well as the Caribbean, the water damage will be much greater.

Update: Dr. Jeff Masters reports that Felix now holds the record for intensification from formation as a tropical depression to becoming a Category 5 hurricane: 51 hours. Most storms spend more time than that becoming a Category 1 hurricane.

September 3, 2007   Comments Off on Hauptsturmfury Felix [Cat 5]-2