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Posts from — September 2012

Why Airliners Don’t Have Screens On Their Windows

Attaturk found this little gem over at Wonkette:

Romney said. “When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous…”

It isn’t quite as dangerous as the decompression of a modern passenger aircraft at cruising altitudes. Some of the effects can be extremely nasty.

There are very good reasons why aircrews eat bland food before flying, know what Beano does, take Sudafed prior to flights, and never drink carbonated beverages before or during flights. Water is your friend on long flights.

If the pilot had released the oxygen masks to help people avoid smoke inhalation, there would have been a definite risk of making the fire much worse. There are no valves on those masks, and people wearing petroleum-based make-up have a risk of getting burned by the interaction with oxygen. The Apollo One crew died in an oxygen fire ignited by a spark in the electrical circuits that surrounded them.

The pilot got the plane to the ground as soon as he could so the fire could be extinguished and the passengers evacuated. The on-board fire extinguishers are usually not good for living things, so they are used rarely and only in extreme emergencies. Most of those used for electrical fires work by depriving the fire of oxygen, which is not good for the passengers.

CEOs tend not to inform themselves about issues before they make their decisions – the facts would just slow down the process.

Note: I have personally been through several explosive decompressions. Don’t try this at home, and don’t attempt pressure breathing – trust me, you wouldn’t like it.

September 24, 2012   28 Comments

Not Good

If you enter “Revert back to iOS 5 from iOS 6” into Google you get 938,000 hits, several of which on the front page explain the procedure in detail.

Apparently the newest iPhone operating system has eliminated some features that use Google services like Maps and YouTube, and the replacements are not ready for prime-time. Users are not happy.

I understand why Apple doesn’t want Google benefiting from its products, but a lot of people do depend on Google resources, and this may be a deal-breaker, especially among people in urban areas.

September 24, 2012   6 Comments

Tropical Storm Nadine – Day 14

Tropical Storm NadinePosition: 32.2N 29.0W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West [280°] near 7 mph [11 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 45 mph [ 75 kph].
Wind Gusts: 55 mph [ 90 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 185 miles [295 km].
Minimum central pressure: 996 mb ↑.

Currently about 415 miles [ 670 km] South-Southwest of the Azores.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 24, 2012   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Nadine – Day 14

People Are Noticing

The BBC is now asking: Is Barack Obama a Tory?

Of course he is, all you have to do is review his voting record in Illinois and the US Senate. He is more conservative than Reagan and is enacting Republican policies. If the Republican Party hadn’t gone off the edge they could have had everything they had always hoped for.

September 23, 2012   Comments Off on People Are Noticing

Tropical Storm Nadine – Day 13

Tropical Storm NadinePosition: 31.0N 26.3W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West-Northwest [290°] near 3 mph [ 6 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 60 mph [ 95 kph].
Wind Gusts: 75 mph [120 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 230 Miles [370 km].
Minimum central pressure: 985 mb ↓.

Currently about 485 miles [ 780 km] South of the Azores.

After taking a day off, Nadine has regained tropical characteristics and is back. The NHC has a Global Hawk drone following the storm, so the satellite data is confirmed.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 23, 2012   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Nadine – Day 13

Say What?

The Miami Herald tells me that the Fraudster-in-chief has his knickers in a twist over the FEMA rejection of his request for money to cover the costs of Issac.

We got rain. He has Okaloosa County on the list, and we didn’t even lose power. We have been getting a lot of rain all summer, and this was some more rain. There was some flooding, but it didn’t even cut US-98 on the barrier island.

FEMA is currently headed by Craig Fugate. The Fraudster is not going to snow him with tales of woe because Craig was the head of Florida’s state emergency operations under Bush and Crist. The guy knows Florida and knows tropical cyclones. You aren’t going to sell him a sob story about how hard up the state is over heavy rains.

The Fraudster made emergency declarations for South Florida counties before the storm got here. You have to meet the criteria to get the help. They might have been a bit more liberal with cash if the Republicans in the House had provided the cash, but that didn’t happen, and isn’t going to, so the state is going to have to pay its own bills.

September 22, 2012   Comments Off on Say What?

The Way I See It

Election 2012

Neither party represents anything to the left of center and the Republicans have fallen off the right edge of reality.

Zero will do nothing for you, and Rmoney intends to do a lot of things to you to help out the 1%.

You have an empty chair battling an empty suit, Chicago vs the Cayman Islands.

The Newsbiscuit [British satire] says that Good and Evil are neck and neck in the polls as both shift to centre ground, but in the US both parties have shifted to the right, and are ignoring everything from the center to the left.

I expect many on the left to vote for Dr Jill Stein of the Green Party, and Gary Johnson will pick up a lot of Republican votes on the Libertarian line.

Both candidates are right-wing authoritarian war-mongers who support failed economic policies, and refuse to take the obvious actions to fix the economy. Mitt the twit, like the rest of the 1% is intent on making ‘your money R money’, while Zero favors the slow suicide of austerity.

Not with a bang, but with a whimper…

September 22, 2012   12 Comments

Autumnal Equinox

You can watch the arrival of the equinox at Archæoastronomy. It takes place at 9:49AM CDT this morning.

It’s time to man the rakes in northern climes while Spring arrives below the Equator.

September 22, 2012   4 Comments

Overheard Through The Noise

My Mother has her television on all day. It acts like white noise, blocking the sound from the road she lives on, and a night light in the evening. Most of the time she is busy crocheting or knitting and doesn’t actually pay attention to it. When I’m at her house I can’t really ignore what is on, especially if she is on a news channel. She forgets to mute it because she doesn’t pay attention to it, so I have to remind her.

I can’t give cites, because I don’t watch the programs enough to identify the people talking, but I noticed something that seemed to be a theme running through the conversations about the problems of Mitt the twit – his campaign is a mess.

It was pointed out that most people don’t know enough about what Senators actually do, or what CEOs do to make a decision about the competence of candidates based on those jobs, but there is no way of avoiding campaigns. The hypothesis is that running a good and effective campaign is more important than normally credited for the success of the candidate with swing voters than has been realized. Apparently a number of people use it as a measure of competence for the office, independent of the actual policies espoused.

It makes a lot of sense if you review recent Presidential races. The Shrubbery and Zero are both skilled at running for office, even if they are not effective after they win.

The Mittster should be a lot closer than he currently is, but he cannot take advantage of opportunities, and doesn’t respond well to problems. He is in the middle of a major mess, and he is handing out bonuses to major members of his campaign staff – how is that reasonable? It defies logic that someone who has been running for President for over a decade has such inept staff work and scheduling.

September 22, 2012   4 Comments

Post-Tropical Cyclone Nadine – Day 11

Post-Tropical Cyclone NadinePosition: 31.9N 26.6W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: South-Southeast [165°] near 13 mph [20 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 60 mph [ 95 kph].
Wind Gusts: 75 mph [120 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 275 Miles [445 km].
Minimum central pressure: 984 mb ↑.

Currently about 420 miles [ 680 km] South of the Azores.

Nadine has lost its subtropical characteristics and become a post-tropical cyclone. This is the final advisory on the storm, unless it regenerates.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 21, 2012   Comments Off on Post-Tropical Cyclone Nadine – Day 11

Friday Cat Blogging

Sharing Space

Friday Cat Blogging

Don’t try anything …

[Editor: Weasel decided that the new kits had a good spot and plopped down beside them. The kitten with the all black face has white feet and a chest/belly stripe. The kitten that was watching last week is sleeping right behind him/her.]

Friday Ark

September 21, 2012   7 Comments

Winning Friends Around The World

The Congressional Republicans are certainly impressing our foreign allies. The ABC reports on a speech by Australia’s version of the Secretary of the Treasury: Swan attacks Republican ‘cranks and crazies’

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has delivered a speech labelling some elements of the United States Republican party as “cranks and crazies”.

Mr Swan’s speech at the Financial Services Council breakfast in Sydney comes less than two months before the US election.

His speech referred to political gridlock over spending cuts and tax increases due to kick in early next year, which could tip the US economy back into recession.

“Let’s be blunt, the biggest threat to the world’s biggest economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over parts of the Republican Party,” he said.

“Despite (US president Barack) Obama’s goodwill … the national interest was held hostage by the rise of the extreme right Tea-Party wing of the Republicans.

“There can be few things more alarming in public policy than a political group which was genuinely prepared to see the government of the United States default on its obligations in order to score a political point.”

When the US sneezes other countries catch cold or even pneumonia. We have already had a rating agency downgrade the US because of the last standoff, and the next one could produce recession. As long as the Republicans continue to play stupid games, and people fail to understand that the economy isn’t growing because of a lack consumer demand, not a lack of business confidence, the US will slide back into recession.

September 20, 2012   2 Comments

Tropical Storm Nadine – Day 10

Tropical Storm NadinePosition: 36.1N 28.2W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: East-Southeast [120°] near 9 mph [15 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 65 mph [100 kph].
Wind Gusts: 75 mph [120 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 275 Miles [445 km].
Minimum central pressure: 981 mb.

Currently about 190 miles [ 305 km] South-Southwest of the Azores.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Azores.

Nadine is beginning to transition to a post-tropical cyclone after bringing tropical storm conditions to most of the Azores.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 20, 2012   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Nadine – Day 10

Short Takes

Listening to a call-in show on NPR in the car, and a woman called in to complain about unions not helping to get rid of ‘bad teachers’.

If a defense attorney helps the prosecutor convict the defendant, he/she becomes an ex-attorney. Unions are formed to protect the rights of the members. Hiring and firing are management responsibilities. If a school district can’t get rid of bad teachers, they have bad administrators. Most of the problems with the Chicago school system sound like management problems to me, and the teachers don’t select the administrators. If the administrators are unable to follow the discipline procedure and fire an employee, fire the administrators, don’t complain about the union.

Steve Hynd at the Agonist noticed a report in the Jerusalem Post that said US taxpayers have spent more than Israeli taxpayers on the Israel Defense Force for the past three years. Maybe, if Israeli taxpayers had to pay for the Likud’s aggressive policies, they wouldn’t elect them.

Ayn Rand Paul Ryan has advocated eliminating US foreign aid. I get a feeling that no one has told him that the bulk of all US aid goes to Israel followed by Egypt. He would find himself in serious trouble with AIPAC if he pushes this concept.

Digby noticed that Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput is endorsing the social policy of everyone’s favorite chain-smoking Russian immigrant atheist that are espoused by Ayn Rand Paul Ryan. Maybe someone should explain the implications of his statements on the non-profit status of his diocese. The IRS has rules about such things.

September 19, 2012   Comments Off on Short Takes