Recently in Other... Category

I have one and use it when necessary. A good idea.

From gCaptain:

Twelve People Injured by Flying Lava Aboard Kilauea Volcano Tour Boat
A dozen people were injured on Monday when the tour boat they were on was struck by flying lava from the Kilauea volcano on Big Island of Hawaii.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it received a report of 12 people injured aboard a lava tour boat off Kapoho Bay, HI, where lava from the erupting Kilauea Volcano has been entering the ocean in recent months.

The Coast Guard reported that at approximately 6 a.m., its Sector Honolulu watchstanders received an initial report from 911 of three crewmembers and three sightseers injured aboard the tour boat Hot Shot near a lava flow in Kapoho Bay.

Hawaii County Fire Department reported initially that a lava bomb had injured 23 aboard the boat. The lava punctured the boat’s roof and it returned to Wailoa Harbor in Hilo, the fire department said.

Upon arrival in Hilo, the number of injured was revised to 12 total injured, three seriously and nine minor, the Coast Guard said. The injuries reportedly ranged in severity with the worst being a broken leg.

That could have been so much worse - glad the people are OK.

Great news from Thailand

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From the New York Post:

At least four boys emerge from cave in Thailand
At least four young members of a Thai soccer team have been rescued from the flooded cave where they were trapped along with eight teammates and their coach for more than two weeks, officials said Sunday.

The other team members and coach still remain in the underground cave awaiting rescue.

Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osotthanakon said at a press conference Sunday that four boys had been pulled out safely from the Tham Luang cave and taken to the hospital.

“This is more successful than I expected, Everyone’s happy,” the governor said

They were in a field trip to explore the cave when flash flood sealed off the entrance.

From Bloomberg comes this horrible tale:

Kentucky Bourbon Warehouse Collapses, Spilling 9,000 Barrels of Whiskey
Thousands of whiskey barrels crashed into a massive heap Friday when a large section of a decades-old storage warehouse collapsed at a distillery in the heart of Kentucky bourbon country.

The damaged warehouse at the Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown held about 18,000 barrels, and it appeared that up to half the barrels inside were affected, the distillery's owner said.

Thank God no injuries - the photo brings a tear to my eye:


Classical allusion in the post title.

What is Bob up to these days

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It seems that Bob Dylan is doing some interesting things these days - I knew that he was into metalwork and welding - and now this.

Check out Heaven's Door

From deadspin:

Writer Picks Up Poker For Book Stunt, Wins So Much Money That The Book Is On Hold
A little more than a year ago, New Yorker writer Maria Konnikova announced that she was diving into the world of professional poker as a new player, all for the purpose of writing a book about her experiences. Yesterday, PokerNews reported that the actual writing of the book is on hold because Konnikova, under the guidance of pro Erik Seidel, got too good at poker.

In January, Konnikova won $86,400 by beating a 240-person field at the PCA National; in her first tournament after deciding to drop blogs for cards, she won $57,000, according to PokerNews:

“PCA was the moment where everything kind of came together,” she said. “I’m learning and it’s sticking and I’m playing well. It’s a really wonderful feeling when you’re studying and working to have that validated.”

Her huge success forced Konnikova to re-evaluate her plans. With an incredible opportunity in what could be a historic poker event on the horizon, Konnikova decided she had to push the book schedule back and go all in on poker for the time being. She built a revised poker schedule, ramped up in terms of both buy-in sizes and quantity of events.

It paid off immediately, as she finished second in an Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau event for $57,519.

This kind of stunt has a rich tradition among writers and amateur athletes. George Plimpton kicked it off with NFLMLB, and NHL tryouts in the 1960s for a series of books. More recently, Sports Illustrated’s Michael McKnight spent huge amounts of time trying to learn how to dunk and hit a homer; Slate’s Stefan Fatsis wrote books about his attempts to become a kicker for the Denver Broncos and an elite Scrabble player; and Dan McLaughlin, who had never played a full round of golf before, decided to test out the Malcolm Gladwell-popularized 10,000 hour theory and become a professional golfer from the ground up. It didn’t work, exactly, though McLaughlin got very good.

Heh - sometimes life takes you in unexpected directions...


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XKCD nails it - so true:


Borg Vs. McEnroe - the movie

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It was a good day for a movie so T and I went to see Borg Vs. McEnroe

Excellent film and a fun job of interspersing older video clips with new footage. Well worth seeing on the big screen.

Good news - Darwin award

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Glad they took themselves out before potentially killing or injuring anyone else - from the Minneapolis, MN Star-Tribune:

Agents find 'explosives laboratory' at Wisconsin apartment
Court records say a state Department of Justice agent found an "explosives laboratory" and white supremacist literature while investigating a fatal explosion at a Wisconsin apartment building.

State investigator Kevin Heimerl says he found 13 jars of the explosive triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, in the Beaver Dam home, along with bomb-making instructions. WKOW-TV reports Heimerl says containers labeled TATP were also found in an apartment garage.

The explosion last month killed 28-year-old Benjamin Morrow, who lived in the apartment.

Yikes - I consider myself to be a competent chemist and have played with various explosives. I would not touch TATP if you paid me. Very nasty stuff. (P.S. - I still have all ten of my fingers).

A bit more:

TATP can explode if subjected to heat, friction, static electricity or shock. Authorities were forced to burn down the apartment building because the chemicals were too volatile to remove.

I rest my case. The muslim bomb builders love this stuff because it is cheap and can be made from common chemicals. They also call it The Mother of Satan with good reason.

Honey? Where did we park the car?

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From Russia Today:

Avalanche buries cars in parking lot after roaring down Russia’s Mt Elbrus
Footage on social media showed how a massive avalanche roared down the slope of Europe’s highest peak, Russia’s Mount Elbrus, burying over a dozen cars.

The rapid flow of snow hit the parking lot at the foot of Mount Elbrus in the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria on Saturday, emergency services said. Peaking at 5,642 meters, Mount Elbrus is in the top ten most prominent mountains in the world, and has some very popular ski resorts.

Numerous videos released on social media show the massive avalanche coming down on the vehicles, possibly damaging them beyond repair. Luckily, the snow stopped before hitting any major infrastructure, and the emergency services said that they haven’t received any reports of people hurt.

Yikes - I bet the ski patrol needed fresh undies - that would be a horrible thing to see unfolding.

Just heard about this group - they are studying a very important subject. Check out The Urban Freight Lab:

Urban Freight Lab
The Urban Freight Lab (UFL) is a living laboratory comprised of:

    • Retailers;
    • Urban truck freight carriers;
    • Technology companies supporting transportation and logistics;
    • Multifamily residential and retail/commercial building developers and operators; and
    • The City of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT).

Lab members act to improve the management of both public and private operations of urban goods delivery systems by engaging in strategic applied research and identifying priority problems for future research projects.

A bit more:

Final-50-Feet Research Project & Goals
The UFL’s first task is pilot testing promising low-cost and high-value actions to optimize operations of the Final-50-Feet of the urban goods delivery system. The Final 50 Feet is shorthand for the supply chain segment that begins when trucks pull into a parking space and stop moving—in public load/unload spaces at the curb or in an alley, or in a building’s loading dock or internal freight bay. It tracks the delivery process inside buildings, and ends where the customer takes receipt of their goods.

Interesting. Urban planners like to "nudge" people into living in smaller apartments and condos and drive smaller cars. They take away road space and hand it over to bicycle riders and "traffic calming" devices - roundabouts, serpentine streets and extending the sidewalk out into the roadway.

This has the immediate effect of reducing traffic but they overlook the fact that big trucks need to have access so that they can deliver food and materials to the people living there. This lab looks interesting.

Avalanche control to our North on the TransCanada Highway near Revelstoke:

The Winter Olympics

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Record cold and because everyone is hunkering inside, everyone's favorite virus - from the UK Metro:

Norovirus and freezing temperatures causing havoc at Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang
The Winter Olympics has been hit by an outbreak of the norovirus, with 54 new cases confirmed in Pyeongchang.

It brings the total suffering with the highly contagious virus to 86 with dozens of security guards at the Games affected. Many have been taken to hospital suffering severe diarrhoea and vomiting following the breakout on Sunday.

Consequently, 1,200 guards have been withdrawn from the Olympic sites and quarantined in their rooms with organisers forced to call in 900 soldiers as cover.

And the cold?

Temperatures during the opening ceremony are expected to be -10C, while the wind chill during rehearsals plummeted to -23C.

Yikes - I used to live in New England and it gets pretty cold there. -10°C is just plain nuts. That is 14°F.

Heh - the development of language

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Comes full circle:


From the Los Angeles Times:

Ventura County wildfire rages over 50,000 acres, destroys more than 150 structures; 27,000 flee
A fast-moving, wind-fueled wildfire swept into the city of Ventura early Tuesday, burning 50,000 acres, destroying homes and forcing more than 27,000 people to evacuate.

About 3,000 homes were evacuated, a firefighter was injured and Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Ventura County on Tuesday morning, as some 1,000 personnel continued to battle the Thomas fire.

Gusts up pver 60 MPH

Especially considering that Bill and Melinda have dropped over three Billion dollars on this travesty:

From Next Big Future:

Common core education has been a bigger failure than Microsoft Office Clippy

Usually, I am a day or two late on these but this time I am early.
National Situational Awareness Day is tomorrow, September 26th. From Pretty Loaded:

The First Ever National Situational Awareness Day!
We are excited to announce the first ever National Situational Awareness Day will be September 26th! This day was approved by the registrar of the National Day Calendar and was submitted for acceptance by Pretty Loaded. Situational Awareness is a skill that everyone can use immediately to improve their personal safety.

And a bit more:

What is Situational Awareness?
Situational awareness is really just another way of being mindful of your surroundings. Developing this skill will make you more present in daily activities, which in turn helps you make better decisions in all aspects of life.

The concept of situational awareness was identified during World War I by Oswald Boelke who realized ‘the importance of gaining an awareness of the enemy before the enemy gained a similar awareness, and devised methods for accomplishing this.’

In a dangerous situation, being aware of a threat even a few seconds early may keep someone safe by giving them time to act instead of react. The lack of or inadequate situational awareness has been identified as one of the primary factors in accidents attributed to human error.

Although situational awareness skills seem to be lacking in modern society, our ancestors used these skills to survive. It has been extensively taught for decades to law enforcement and the military, but it is not exclusive to them.

Most safety experts agree that situational awareness is the number one skill to learn for the safety of everyone.

Situational Awareness Day highlights the importance of using situational awareness skills in every day life to stay out of harm’s way. Harm may come in the form of walking in front of a moving car or that of an assailant, both of which can happen from any myriad of distractions which cause one to not be aware of the surroundings and situation.

Good stuff to practice - saves lives and you can use these skills to help others. Is that guy sitting down because they are tired or are they having a medical incident? When turning into a lane of traffic, do you look both ways - what if a bicycle rider was heading in the wrong way down the street? The need for situational awareness is - literally - all around you.

Our prayers go out to Mexico

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7.1 Magnitude earthquake close to Mexico City. The quake was deep so some of its strength is mitigated but still, first reports have about 200 dead and about 50 buildings collapsed.

Yikes - wildfires to our South

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From Reuters:

Largest wildfire in Los Angeles history forces hundreds to evacuate
A wildfire on the northern edge of Los Angeles rapidly grew on Saturday into what the mayor called the largest blaze in the city’s history, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of people and the closure of a major highway.

The 5,000-acre (2,023-hectare) La Tuna Fire, named after the canyon area where it erupted on Friday, has led authorities to evacuate more than 700 homes in a north Los Angeles neighborhood and in nearby Burbank and Glendale, officials said.

Authorities warned of erratic winds that could force them to widen the evacuation zone, after the fire destroyed one house in Los Angeles on Saturday.

That close to houses - could be a real probelm if the wind shifts. Dry as a bone down there.

Memo to self - avoid the shrimp

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Abbotsford is a large Canadian city to my northwest - about 15 miles. From the Vancouver Inquirer:

Tainted Buffet At Abbotsford Strip Club Blamed After Severe Diarrhea Incident On Stage
A popular strip club in Abbotsford, BC has been closed until further notice after several dancers contracted diarrhea last Friday night. The cause of the incident, which remains under investigation, has been initially linked to a contaminated buffet at the venue. While the investigation continues, the venue has not been named.

A bit more:

Patrons at the venue who were sitting near the stage were the most directly affected by the incident, which occurred close to 11pm. According to a witness at the venue, three dancers were performing on separate poles when the first sign of trouble emerged.

The article's author was having some fun writing - when the first sign of trouble emerged...

Newsweek - just the facts

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Hard hitting reporting there - from Newsweek:

Donald Trump’s presidency was written in the stars—at least that’s what astrologers are saying. He was born during a lunar eclipse, they point out, which makes him more susceptible to the power of eclipses. And if eclipses are monumental celestial events with real-world consequences, as astrologers believe, then the rare total solar eclipse happening in August could have major implications for Trump, especially given the growing drama around his administration.

“There’s been a lot of conversation about this eclipse in terms of what’s going on with Donald Trump,” says Wade Caves, an astrological consultant who earlier in July published a 29-page analysis of the coming eclipse. “The astrological world has been completely buzzing with this for quite some time, even more so since Donald Trump was inaugurated.”

In other words - oink, flap, oink, flap, oink, flap...


From the Smithsonian:

A Newly Discovered Diary Tells the Harrowing Story of the Deadly Halifax Explosion
We turn out of our hammocks at 6.30am and lash up and stow in the usual way,” a Royal Navy sailor named Frank Baker wrote in his diary on December 6, 1917. “We fall in on the upper deck at 7am and disperse to cleaning stations, busying ourselves scrubbing decks etc. until 8am when we ‘cease fire’ for breakfast.” Baker was pulling wartime duty as a ship inspector in the harbor of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the lookout for spies, contraband and saboteurs.

But there were no ships to be inspected that day, so after breakfast he and his crewmates aboard HMCS Acadia went back to their cleaning stations. “We...had just drawn soap and powder and the necessary utensils for cleaning paint work,” he wrote, “when the most awful explosion I ever heard or want to hear again occurred.”

What Frank Baker heard was the biggest explosion of the pre-atomic age, a catastrophe of almost biblical proportions. The 918 words he wrote for December 6 make up the only eyewitness account known to be written on the day of what is now called the Halifax Explosion. After World War I, his diary sat unread for decades. Now, it has been included in an exhibit on the explosion’s centennial at the Dartmouth Heritage Museum, across the harbor from Halifax. It is published here for the first time.

“The first thud shook the ship from stem to stern and the second one seemed to spin us all around, landing some [crew members] under the gun carriage and others flying in all directions all over the deck,” Baker wrote. Sailors 150 miles out to sea heard the blast. On land, people felt the jolt 300 miles away. The shock wave demolished almost everything within a half-mile. “Our first impression was that we were being attacked by submarines, and we all rushed for the upper deck, where we saw a veritable mountain of smoke of a yellowish hue and huge pieces of iron were flying all around us.”

Unseen by Baker, two ships had collided in the Narrows, a strait linking a wide basin with the harbor proper, which opens into the Atlantic to the southeast. An outbound Belgian relief ship, the Imo, had strayed off course. An inbound French freighter, the Mont-Blanc, couldn’t get out of its way. The Imo speared the Mont-Blanc at an angle near its bow. The freighter carried 2,925 tons of high explosives, including 246 tons of benzol, a highly flammable motor fuel, in drums lashed to its deck. Some of the drums toppled and ruptured. Spilled benzol caught fire. The Mont-Blanc’s crew, unable to contain the flames, abandoned ship.

The ghost vessel burned and drifted for about 15 minutes, coming to rest against a pier along the Halifax shore. Thousands of people on their way to work, already working at harborside jobs, or at home in Halifax and Dartmouth, stopped in their tracks to watch.

Then the Mont-Blanc blew.

Quite the story - more at the site. Another big explosion in Canada was the 1958 intentional demolition of Ripple Rock in British Columbia.

That moke will not be flying for a long long time - from San Jose, CA's The Mercury News:

Exclusive: SFO near miss might have triggered ‘greatest aviation disaster in history’
In what one aviation expert called a near-miss of what could have been the largest aviation disaster ever, an Air Canada pilot on Friday narrowly avoided a tragic mistake: landing on the San Francisco International Airport taxiway instead of the runway.

Sitting on Taxiway C shortly before midnight were four airplanes full of passengers and fuel awaiting permission to take off, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating the “rare” incident. An air traffic controller sent the descending Air Canada Airbus 320 on a “go-around” — an unusual event where pilots must pull up and circle around to try again — before the safe landing, according to the federal agency.

FAA investigators are still trying to determine how close the Air Canada aircraft came to landing and potentially crashing into the four aircraft below, but the apparent pilot error already has the aviation industry buzzing.

“If it is true, what happened probably came close to the greatest aviation disaster in history,” said retired United Airlines Capt. Ross Aimer, CEO of Aero Consulting Experts. He said he’s been contacted by pilots from across the country about the incident.

“If you could imagine an Airbus colliding with four passenger aircraft wide bodies, full of fuel and passengers, then you can imagine how horrific this could have been,” he said.

Ho. Li. Crap. The Air Canada pilot was coming in for a landing and lined up on the taxiway instead of the runway - completely different markings and lighting. The pilot remarked on seeing some airplane lights on the ground and the controllers sent him on a go-around. Thank God!

Yup - you are screwed

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From the internet:


He did it - El Capitan ascent

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From National Geographic:

Exclusive: Climber Completes the Most Dangerous Rope-Free Ascent Ever
Renowned rock climber Alex Honnold on Saturday became the first person to scale the iconic nearly 3,000-foot granite wall known as El Capitan without using ropes or other safety gear, completing what may be the greatest feat of pure rock climbing in the history of the sport.

He ascended the peak in 3 hours, 56 minutes, taking the final moderate pitch at a near run. At 9:28 a.m. PDT, under a blue sky and few wisps of cloud, he pulled his body over the rocky lip of summit and stood on a sandy ledge the size of a child’s bedroom.

Talk about having a pair of big brass ones... There is a video coming out.

Francesco Schettino? From Reuters:

Top Italian court upholds conviction of Costa Concordia captain
The former captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Friday by Italy's highest court for his role in the 2012 shipwreck, which killed 32 people off the Tuscan holiday island of Giglio.

Francesco Schettino was originally found guilty in 2015 of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his passengers. Friday's ruling marked the end of the appeals process, with the court upholding the initial verdict.

A bit more:

The Costa Concordia was carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew, when it hit rocks off Giglio on a chill January night, tearing a hole in its side and eventually keeling over.

Schettino was lambasted by the Italian media and branded "Captain Coward" for leaving the stricken ship while a chaotic night-time rescue operation was in full flow. Critics accused him of bringing shame to the whole country through his actions.

He departed from the course and sailed close to the island because one of his crewmembers was born there. Ran into some rocks and the rest is history. Here is a great 90 second time-lapse of the parbuckling and refloating of the ship:

Tip of the watch cap to gCaptain for both links

A skier fell into a 60' crevasse recording all the while:

Emory University was the home of Professor Michael A. Bellesiles whose anti-2nd amendment book Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture published in 2000 was found to be based on completely fabricated scholorship. Mr. Bellesiles is no longer teaching at Emory University but the cultural bias is still strong at that institution. From The Daily Caller:

University Will Pay ‘100 Percent’ Of Illegal Students’ Financial Needs
Emory University is keen to pay “100 percent of demonstrated financial need for undocumented students (with or without DACA) who are admitted as first-year, first-degree-seeking students,” according to an online description of coming fall program.

As The College Fix reports, the private Atlanta university has given the take care of illegals program the unwieldy name of “Need-Based Financial Aid Program for Undocumented Students, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) Students” and the information is all available on their website.

There’s money galore for illegals. “All Undocumented Students (with or without DACA) who are admitted as first-year, first-degree-seeking undergraduate students, who have graduated from a U.S. high school, and who are determined by Emory to have financial need, will be awarded Emory financial aid funds to assist them in meeting their demonstrated need,” the website promo declares.

If I were an alumnus, I would withhold any further endowments and send them a serious and heartfelt WTF Guys? This is just plain unreal...

Quote of the day - truth

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"The criterion of truth is that it works even if nobody is prepared to acknowledge it."
--Ludwig von Mises

From the "You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means" department - Cynthia Than writing at Inc:

United Airlines Did Not Have the Legal Right to Refuse Service to the Doctor Dragged Off Its Plane
On Sunday night, a video surfaced of a man being forcibly removed by airport security while he was on a United Airlines regional flight at O'Hare Airport in Chicago, Illinois. The elderly passenger in the video, who appeared to be unconscious as he was dragged from his seat, was later identified as 69-year-old David Dao, a doctor who refused to voluntarily give up his seat because he said that he had patients to see the next day.

widely circulated tweet and many major news outlets, including the New York Times and CNN, incorrectly reported that United Flight 3411 was overbooked. The practice of overbooking allows airlines to keep prices low for consumers since overselling seats means that a flight has a greater chance of being full. However, other passengers on the flight, and the CEO of United Airlines, explained that the flight was not, in fact, overbooked but that four passengers had been requested to give up their seats for crew members who had to commute to Louisville, Kentucky, to work on flights the following day.

And the law in question:

Since the flight was not actually overbooked, but instead only fully booked, with the exact number of passengers as seats available, United Airlines had no legal right to force any passengers to give up their seats to prioritize others. What United did was give preference to their employees over people who had reserved confirmed seats,  which would have been a violation of 14 CFR 250.2a (if the flight  were overbooked, as United had originally claimed). Since Dr. Dao was already seated, it was clear that his seat had already been "reserved" and "confirmed" to accommodate him specifically.

A United Airlines spokesperson said that since Dr. Dao refused to give up his seat and leave the plane voluntarily, airline employees "had to" call upon airport security to force him to comply. However, since the flight was not overbooked, United Airlines had no legal right to give his seat to another passenger. In United Airline's Contract of Service, they list the reasons that a passenger may be refused service, many of which are reasonable, such as "failure to pay" or lacking "proof of identity." Nowhere in the terms of service does United Airlines claim to have unilateral authority to refuse service to anyone, for any reason (which would be illegal anyway).

This is going to be an interesting lawsuit -- it will set a precident and Dr. Dao will get a very nice and very fat check.

I knew that Federal Research grants were a significant source of income to universities but I didn't realize just how much. From FOX News:

Critics to Ivy Leagues: 'Taxpayer gravy train needs to end'
Over a six-year period, Ivy League schools have received tens of billions in tax dollars, bringing in more money from taxpayers than from undergraduate student tuition. In fact, they received more federal cash than 16 state governments.

The stunning numbers are all part of a new report, first seen by Fox News, released Wednesday by Open the Books -- a non-profit group whose stated mission is to capture and post online all disclosed spending at every level of government.

The 43-page report shows the massive amount of money flowing into not-for-profit Ivy League schools, including payments and entitlements, costing taxpayers more than $41 billion from fiscal year 2010 to fiscal year 2015.

A bit more:

The study says another federal perk -- the schools pay no tax on investment gains on their endowment -- a tax break is estimated at $9.6 billion over the six years of the study.

And some of the studies that were funded:

One grant was given to Cornell for nearly $1 million to study whale presence in the Virginia offshore wind energy area. Other grants to Ivy League schools were to study college binge drinking, ethics in Tanzania and sex chromosomes in turtles.

They provide a link to download a PDF of the report - sobering!

Landslides of a different nature

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Horrible tragic landslide in Ethiopia - from the American Geophysical Union's Landslide Blog:

Koshe, Ethiopia: the worst garbage dump landslide in recent years
The death toll from the terrible garbage dump landslide at Koshe in Ethiopia on Saturday is now known to have reached 115, with fears that more bodies may remain buried.  The landslide occurred on Saturday when a section of the dump collapsed onto a slum built at the toe of the slope.  The majority of fatalities are reported to be women and children.  The most-informative set of images can be found in this CBS News article from a few days ago, including the image below of the crown of the landslide, which suggests that the crown of the landslide has a rotational component:


More at Africa Review:

Ethiopia rubbish dump landslide death toll soars to 115
The death toll from a landslide at Ethiopia's largest rubbish dump in the capital Addis Ababa climbed to 115 on Thursday, among them many women and children.

Tragedy struck on Saturday when part of the largest hillside at the Koshe rubbish dump collapsed, burying a slum that had been built on the landfill.

And this:

Koshe is the country's largest rubbish dump, and was home to a community of perhaps hundreds of people who collect and resell rubbish trucked in from around the capital city.

And this:

Although one of Africa's top economic performers, with GDP growing by about 10 percent in 2015 and Addis Ababa filled with high-rise buildings and newly paved roads, Ethiopia is still one of the world's poorest countries.

The people of Koshe lived in squalor of a degree that is uncommon in the city of four million people.

And of course, all of the money that we have pumped into foreign aid has gone into the pockets of the kleptocrats and has done absolutely nothing for these people. The United Nations is especially egregious in this respect which is why I am very glad that President Trump is cutting funding to them. Private organizations like Team Rubicon are the best people to operate in situations like this.

Talk about being in the right place at the right time:

I was right - Gold

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From February 19th, 2017:

If I was into panning for gold, I bet that now would be an excellent time to visit some streams - a lot of the streambeds have been washed over and new gold exposed.

From California's Chico Enterprise-Record:

Floods bring fresh prospects, adventures in gold mining
Now is not the time to quit your day job in hopes of striking it rich. However, people with a new or renewed interest in gold mining may be spending more of their summer weekends near rivers and streams.

Joey Wilson owns Adventures in Prospecting in Oroville, where he says there’s been more excitement among his gold mining customers.

“There’s always been gold in the Feather River,” he said. What’s new is that the recent floods have moved things around.

A fun and sometimes profitable hobby. One of the people interviewed in the article said that prospecting had better odds than playing the lottery.

Government artwork

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Very cool article from Atlas Obscura:

The American Government Is Searching For Its Own Lost Art
They are not America’s art police. There are no midnight raids, covert surveillance or undercover operations. Most everything is done through cordial emails, polite phone calls and, if necessary, civil court. While glamour is not top priority, make no mistake: The United States government wants its art back.

Special Agent Eric Radwick, who works in the Office of Investigations for the General Service Administration’s Office of the Inspector General, is working to do just that—to locate and recover government-owned long-lost artwork of the New Deal-era federal arts programs. It could be hidden in plain sight. It could be in grandma’s attic. It could be in the possession of art collectors. No matter if it was found in the trash or cost a few grand, the art is federal property and the government is looking for it. That means regularly monitoring auction house listings, Craigslist and eBay. It means coordinating with the art community about tips. It also means waiting for calls to the GSA hotline.

A bit more - how the WPA Program began:

On May 9th, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt received a rather curious letter from an old classmate and professional artist George Biddle. Since his March inauguration, President Roosevelt had implemented the most aggressive 100 days agenda in the country’s history in hopes of solving the Great Depression. While absurdly busy—he had just delivered his second Fireside Chat and was about to sign both the Farm Relief and Unemployment Relief bills—this note gave him pause. In it, Biddle wrote that he had long admired the Mexican government for paying artists “plumbers’ wages” to paint murals on government buildings expressing Mexican ideals. Perhaps the President should consider something similar in the United States?

If you find yourself anywhere near Portland, Oregon, a trip to the Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood is very much in order. This is a wonderfully preserved gem of WPA art and architecture.

Good news from France - avalanche

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From England's The Telegraph:

Ski disaster narrowly averted after avalanche on popular blue run in Tignes
Disaster was narrowly averted on Tuesday morning after an avalanche struck a blue run popular with family skiers in Tignes in the French Alps.

Gendarmes had earlier expressed fears that "many skiers" had been caught up in the avalanche on the Carline run that was open at the time of the avalanche around 10am.

However, police and rescue services later announced that nobody had been trapped under the snow.

An avalanche on a blue run would pose a major risk as skiers are not required to wear transceivers to locate them under the snow, unlike skiers who take more dangerous off-piste routes.

We are very attuned to avalanches here. We have lost too many good people.

Shin Lim is my favorite card magician - he was studying classical piano and developed carpal tunnel. He started working with cards as therapy and discovered that he liked doing magic more than playing music. Here he is with a routine and a message. The City of Lights is being torn apart by islamic immigrants who refuse to assimilate into the Parisian culture. Watch full-screen:

So true

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From a facebook post:


An idea - being prepared

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When a disaster happens, it would be really good to have records of important documents - drivers licenses, leases or bills of sale, certificates of birth, marriage, etc..., bank account numbers, etc...

Take a photo of them and save them in the cloud or on a thumb drive - you can buy encrypted drives for about $20.

From the FEMA YouTube channel

Ho. Li. Crap - meet Eli Bouchard

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The guy is nine years old:

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