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Top Dog

The Westminster Dog Show just ended and Stump the Sussex spaniel named best in show

At 10, a Sussex spaniel called Stump became the oldest best in show winner at America’s top canine competition, coming out of retirement last week and taking the big prize Tuesday night.

Sussex spaniels look like sawed-off Irish setters, but let’s hear it for the old guy!

February 11, 2009   9 Comments

The Fires Are Slowly Being Contained

The latest updates from the ABC and the BBC. There are still a dozen fires that are out of control, but progress is being made in anticipation of higher wind conditions next week. There has been some rain which will help, and scrub the air a bit.

There are still jerks in this world:

Arsonists struck in north-east Victoria overnight, diverting crews from blazes that have already contributed to the worst bushfire disaster in the state’s history.

Two fires were lit at Stanley near Beechworth, but crews managed to extinguish them before they could cause any major damage or exacerbate the threat to local communities. It is understood police have a description of a car seen in the vicinity of the fires and are searching for two people.

The death toll is expected to raise, easily over 200 as crews are beginning to inspect damaged and destroyed buildings, with at least a hundred people still carried as missing in Marysville alone. To really be over there would need to be a week of soaking rains that would put out the existing fires and reduce the chance of another fire starting as easily.

Having seen puddles from alloy wheels in some of the pictures, I did some research. Aluminum melts at +660° C while iron melts at +1535° C. The temperature of the fire in that area would have been above 1200° F. As anyone who has ever camped out can tell you, you don’t get those kinds of temperatures from a standard campfire. That’s what the wind does in a wildfire, it acts like a bellows in a forge.

February 11, 2009   4 Comments

Winning The Battle But …

losing the war. The results of yesterday’s election in Israel are trickling in and, based on exit polls, it looks like a last minute surge may allow Kadima to claim a victory over Likud. The BBC article, Israeli rivals claim election win, explains the problem: the order of finish would appear to be Kadima, Likud, Yisrael Beitenu, and Labor, and Kadima only won 30 seats, 25% of the 120 member Knesset.

Likud claimed victory based on the combined seats of Likud and Yisrael Beitenu being larger than Kadima and Labor, but it will be a major juggling match for anyone to form a government with the vote this fractured.

February 11, 2009   2 Comments