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An Oldie But Goodie

If you are cleaning up ash as a result of the bushfires, you should read this post from a while ago: Cleaning Up.

Wood ash is some nasty stuff and should be respected. I didn’t specifically say it, but I hope people realize that the last thing you want to do is to use a leaf blower on it. It can do serious damage to your lungs.

February 8, 2009   8 Comments

Whose Side Are They On?

I came across this on CNet: Congressman Twitters secret trip to Iraq

For security reasons, the congressional delegation led by House Minority Leader John Boehner to Iraq today was supposed to be secret. Everything had been going fine in that regard. Even media outlets that knew of the trip, like the Congressional Quarterly, kept a lid on the news.

That was, until Representative Peter Hoekstra Twittered his arrival into Baghdad. “Just landed in Baghdad. I believe it may be first time I’ve had bb service in Iraq. 11 th trip here,” he sent from his Blackberry.

This is the guy, the Ranking Member [senior Republican] on the House committee on Intelligence, and he doesn’t know anyone can read a Twitter feed.

And people wonder why we can’t catch bin Laden […heads off mumbling and shaking his head.]

February 8, 2009   5 Comments

Certainly Not Running For President

It’s the Times Picayune with the continuing saga of Bobby Jindal not running for President, this time in Arkansas

On Saturday morning, Jindal will attend the “Wal-Mart Morning Meeting” at the Walton Life Fitness Center in Bentonville, Ark., and he will thank Wal-Mart leaders for their assistance to Louisiana during the hurricanes that have struck the state in the last four years.

Jindal held two fundraising events in North Carolina on Wednesday. In recent months Jindal has held fundraisers in Florida, Texas, Connecticut and Mississippi.

He just visited Iowa, and hasn’t stopped by New Hampshire yet, so he can’t be running for President, and he doesn’t seem to be spending a whole lot of time running the government of Louisiana.

February 8, 2009   18 Comments

Australian Bushfires

This is Australian Broadcasting’s Main Bushfire Page.

Update: Australia’s worst bushfire disaster

The death toll from horrific bushfires across Victoria this weekend has reached 96, surpassing the number of people who perished in the 1983 Ash Wednesday blazes.

More than 700 homes have been lost in what is being described as ‘Hell on Earth’, and it is feared the death toll will pass 100.

Twenty-six fires continue to burn across Victoria; 12 of those are out of control. Authorities suspect arsonists are responsible for some fires.

The Kinglake Complex blaze continues to burn out of control and so far has burnt through more than 220,000 hectares [850 miles²].

Wikipedia has a current event page up: 2009 Victorian bushfires.

Maps: Busy, but good idea of how many fires there are, also useful links in the left sidebar.

Here’s a cleaner view based on official reporting that is updated. The green tags for “safe” areas are usually due to the lack of anything else to burn.
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February 8, 2009   16 Comments