Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Straight from MSNBC: “Fire crews and police could only watch after a man waded into San Francisco Bay, stood up to his neck and waited. They wanted to do something, but a policy tied to earlier budget cuts strictly forbade them from trying to save the 50-year-old, officials said.
A witness finally pulled the apparently suicidal man’s lifeless body from the 54-degree water.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that the man, later identified as Raymond Zack, spent nearly an hour in the water before he drowned.
First responders and about 75 people watched the incident on Monday from a beach in Alameda, a city of about 75,000 people across from San Francisco.Witnesses included Amy Gahran, a reporter who photographed the scene from the beach for Oakland Local.
Interim Alameda Fire Chief Mike D’Orazi said that due to 2009 budget cuts his crews did not have the training or cold-water gear to go into the water.
“The incident yesterday was deeply regrettable,” he said Tuesday. “But I can also see it from our firefighters’ perspective. They’re standing there wanting to do something, but they are handcuffed by policy at that point.”
But Tuesday night, after hearing from angry residents at a City Council meeting, the city promised to spend up to $40,000 to certify 16 firefighters in land-based water rescues, KGO-TV reported.
“This just strikes me as not just a problem with funding, but a problem with the culture of what’s going on in our city, that no one would take the time and help this drowning man,” KGO quoted resident Adam Gillitt as saying.
A witness, Perry Smith, said Zack was visible from the shore of Crown Memorial State Beach and was looking at people.
“We expected to see at some point that there would be a concern for him,” another witness, Gary Barlow, told KGO.
Witness Sharon Brunetti told the Mercury News that Zack’s stepmother stopped her on the beach and asked her to call 911, saying he was threatening to take his own life.
Zack “gradually inched out farther and farther” from the shore but occasionally glanced back over his shoulder at the beach, Brunetti said.
“The next thing he was floating face down,” the Mercury News quoted her as saying.
Too shallow for boat
The Coast Guard was called to the scene, but the water was too shallow for its boat. A Coast Guard helicopter arrived more than an hour later because it had been on another call and had to refuel.
As for police, they didn’t have the gear for the cold water and couldn’t risk being pulled under.
“Certainly this was tragic, but police officers are tasked with ensuring public safety, including the safety of personnel who are sent to try to resolve these kinds of situations,” Alameda police Lt. Sean Lynch said.
“He was engaged in a deliberate act of taking his own life,” Lynch told the Mercury News. “We did not know whether he was violent, whether drugs were involved. It’s not a situation of a typical rescue.”
There are no lifeguards at the beach, said Isa Polt-Jones, a spokeswoman with the East Bay Regional Park District. Signs at the park advise swimmers to enter the water at their own risk.”
Straight from Gizmag: “AeroVironment, the California-based company behind the largest, highest and longest flying unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the Global Observer, has now achieved a remarkable technical milestone with a much smaller aircraft. With its “Nano Hummingbird” the company has for the first time achieved controlled precision hovering and fast-forward flight of a two-wing, flapping wing aircraft that carries its own energy source and relies only on its flapping wings for propulsion and control.
The hand-made final concept demonstrator Nano Hummingbird has a wingspan of 16 cm (6.5 in) and weighs just 19 g (2/3 oz), which is less than the weight of a AA battery. Into this tiny and lightweight package the AeroVironment UAS team has managed to cram all the systems required for flight, including batteries, motors, communications systems and even a video camera.
The aircraft can climb and descend vertically, fly sideways left and right, fly forward and backward, as well as rotating clockwise and counter-clockwise – all under remote control and while carrying a video camera payload. It is even capable of doing a 360-degree loop.
The Nano Hummingbird can be fitted with a removable body fairing, which is shaped to have the appearance of a real hummingbird and, although it is larger and heavier than an average hummingbird, the aircraft is actually smaller and lighter than the largest hummingbird found in nature.
The achievement was part of the Phase II contract awarded by DARPA to AeroVironment to design and build a flying prototype “hummingbird-like” aircraft for the Nano Air Vehicle (NAV) program.
To meet the technical goals of the contract AeroVironment needed to:
* Demonstrate precision hover flight within a virtual two-meter diameter sphere for one minute.
* Demonstrate hover stability in a wind gust flight which required the aircraft to hover and tolerate a two-meter per second (five mph) wind gust from the side, without drifting downwind more than one meter.
* Demonstrate a continuous hover endurance of eight minutes with no external power source.
* Fly and demonstrate controlled, transition flight from hover to 11 mph (17.7 km/h) fast forward flight and back to hover flight.
* Demonstrate flying from outdoors to indoors, and back outdoors through a normal-size doorway.
* Demonstrate flying indoors ‘heads-down’ where the pilot operates the aircraft only looking at the live video image stream from the aircraft, without looking at or hearing the aircraft directly.
* Fly the aircraft in hover and fast forward flight with bird-shaped body and bird-shaped wings.
AeroVironment says that not only did its Nano Hummingbird meet all of these requirements, but that it also exceeded many of them.”
Straight from Think Progress: “BP is paying the man in charge of overseeing its $20 billion victim compensation fund for its devastation of the Gulf of Mexico over $10 million a year. The choice of Washington attorney Kenneth Feinberg to manage the fund in June 2010 was widely lauded at the time, as he had dealt with the challenging tasks of managing the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and serving as Obama’s special master for TARP executive compensation. “I’m running an independent claims facility,” Feinberg told the world.
Since then, however, Feinberg has battled with the victims of BP’s toxic crime, trying to compel them to accept small checks in return for signing away any further right to challenge BP. He claimed that “the Gulf of Mexico should largely recover from BP’s oil spill by the end of next year,” in flat contradiction to all scientific evidence.
A federal judge rebuked Feinberg for claiming to be “independent” when he is in fact a paid contractor of BP, and now even the oil-friendly Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is outraged by the size of Feinberg’s take from the disgraced oil giant:
Feinberg, a Washington lawyer who previously administered the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, and his law firm negotiated a contract with BP to be paid $850,000 a month for overseeing the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which doles out compensation to victims of the oil spill. That salary comes up for review every three months, Vitter said. . . . He also said the $850,000 a month salary “seems staggering, particularly in that it’s not tied in any way to any certain number of hours worked by any certain number of people.”
Feinberg’s compensation from BP — which pays for the services of four attorneys — dwarfs what nearly any of the claimants are receiving for having their livelihoods and communities devastated and poisoned. Meanwhile, BP is complaining that Feinberg’s settlements are too generous.”
Don’ t make the same mistake I did and put off watching this video because of its ten minute length, watch it now!
Straight from the Small World News Service: “A holidaymaker who tried to take a model soldier on a plane was stunned when airport officials ordered him to remove the trinket’s three-inch gun – as it was a safety threat.
Canadian tourist Ken Lloyd bought the nine-inch model soldier holding a replica SA80 rifle during a visit to the Royal Signals Museum at Blandford Camp, Dorset.
But when he tried to take the #135 keepsake through Gatwick Airport in his hand luggage it triggered a security alert at the scanners.
Officials declared the moulded gun could not go on the plane because it was a ‘firearm’.
Mr Lloyd was forced to snap off the model weapon – which was then posted back to their home in Ontario, Canada.
He said: ”As the figurine’s SA80 rifle was pulled from the box, the security search officer contacted her supervisor.
”The moulded SA80 could not pass.
”My wife asked for a ‘reality check’, explaining how this offending piece of sculptured moulding is a 9 inch painted model with a moulded and painted rifle that is part of the figure.
”The supervisor was confident within the surety of the regulations and a ‘firearm’ is a firearm and cannot pass.
”The rifle could not travel; she would have to return back to the main airport concourse.
”The two patrolling policemen didn’t seem to mind. They didn’t even notice. The numerous security people sitting around the concourse didn’t leap to their feet as she passed.”
The resin model, which cost #135, depicts a typical British army signaller dressed in camouflage fatigues.
As they returned home Mr and Mrs Lloyd packed the sculpture into its box and tucked it into their hand luggage.
After being stopped at the airport security desk, they were directed back to the airport concourse, where they bought a padded envelope from WH Smith to post the rifle home.
But the package was too big for the airport’s postboxes and eventually a customer services assistant posted it and the envelope arrived at their home five days later.
Mr Lloyd added: ”The little SA80 was bent but not broken, with its story perhaps becoming part of Gatwick’s unofficial mythology of how unthinking regulations successfully protected the free world from the threat of terrorism.”
Adam Forty, curator at the Royal Signals Museum at Blandford Camp, Dorset, said: ”The military museum takes security very seriously, especially around military installations and airports, but this does seem more than a little excessive.
”It is probably just as well we didn’t sell Mrs Lloyd a toy tank.”
A spokeswoman for Gatwick Airport said: ”Items including firearms and items with the appearance of firearms are prohibited.
”There are lots of other reasons an item could be prevented from going through security, such as large items that do not fit in overhead lockers on the aircraft.”
Straight from Oregon Live: “Birgilio Marin-Fuentes couldn’t stop coughing, couldn’t sleep and decided to seek care at the closest hospital.
His wife, Claudia Luis Garcia, offered to accompany him, but the 61-year-old didn’t see a need.
Marin-Fuentes left his Southeast Portland home sometime between midnight and 12:30 a.m. Thursday and drove in his black Kia 1.4 miles to Portland Adventist Medical Center.
Suffering a heart attack, he crashed into a steel pillar and wall inside the first level of the hospital’s parking garage, below a sign that read “Emergency parking only” about 125 feet from the emergency room entrance.
No one noticed him for about 20 minutes, hospital officials said. But once a bystander did, the person flagged down Portland Officer Angela Luty, who was leaving the hospital’s emergency room on an unrelated traffic case.
At 12:47 a.m., Luty radioed to dispatch that a car had plowed into a pillar in the garage. Thirteen seconds later, dispatch called out fire and an ambulance to respond.
Two minutes later, Luty and a second officer, Robert Quick, found Marin-Fuentes unresponsive and unconscious in his car in the parking garage, and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
“Hospital said they won’t come out,” Officer Andrew Hearst radioed to dispatch. “We need to contact AMR first.”
The officers were stunned.
“It’s certainly very frustrating for the officers who are not medical professionals in a hospital parking lot, to be told they have to call for an ambulance to help this man. The officers didn’t stand there and argue, they continued CPR,” Simpson said. “But they were in disbelief.”
At 12:48 a.m., dispatch said an ambulance was in route.
Meanwhile, Luty, who joined the bureau a year ago and is assigned to the traffic division, continued chest compressions, while Officer Robert Quick, a 9-year–veteran, gave breaths while they waited for an ambulance.
The ambulance pulled up at 12:53 a.m., six minutes after police were flagged down. Marin-Fuentes was wheeled on a gurney into the ER between 12:56 and 12:58. Marin-Fuentes was pronounced dead at 1:22 a.m.
“They just felt really helpless,” said Sgt. Debbie Steigleder, the officers’ supervisor who arrived at the scene later. “To know that literally 150 feet or so away there are doctors and nurses there…It’s just extremely frustrating.”
Portland Adventist Hospital officials say they followed protocol by calling 9-1-1 to the crash scene, and sent out the charge nurse, nursing supervisor and two security officials who have a mobile defibrillator to the parking garage. They also sent an ambulance paramedic who was at the hospital. ( See hospital statement at end of post.)
“We do call 9-1-1 to make sure trained responders can safely transport a patient to the emergency department,” said Dr. Kelli Westcott, Portland Adventist’s vice chair of emergency services. “We activate the EMS system so the trained responders can safely transport you to the emergency department because we want to give everybody the timely care that they deserve.”
Westcott said a nursing supervisor assisted the officers in the resuscitation efforts, yet the hospital’s official statement released late Thursday afternoon said the nursing supervisor arrived to find the ambulance already there and preparing the patient for transport to the ER.
“If a nursing supervisor came out there, that person never made themselves known,” Simpson said.
The hospital said the first notification they got was that it was a car crash.
“Calling 911 is protocol because an ambulance is equipped with life-saving devices to remove someone from an automobile,” said Judy Leach, director of the hospital’s public affairs.
She stressed that the hospital usually calls 911 and sends their own staff into such situations, whether its someone suffering a gunshot wound, heart attack or other medical emergency on their campus.
“Unfortunately, someone tried to transfer themselves to the emergency department. That’s the saddest part of what happened today,” Westcott said. She urged the public to call 9-1-1 for any medical emergency.
Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer Monday called for a federal investigation into whether Portland Adventist Medical Center violated any laws. He asked the Center For Medicare and Medicaid Services to conduct an independent review, and said he’s sending the federal law to Oregon hospitals. (See statement at end of post.)
“It is not just heartbreaking, but incomprehensible that a hospital fully capable of treating this medical emergency left police officers with no medical equipment to tend to a patient,” Blumenauer said. “If the police statements are correct, this incident defies common sense and it may well defy federal law.”
He cited the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, passed in 1986, that requires all Medicare participating hospitals with emergency departments to treat any critically ill patients on their premises, including parking lots. Marin-Fuentes died of natural causes due to heart disease, according to the state medical examiner’s office.
His wife and brother-in-law had gone to the hospital later Thursday morning to try to take photos of any damage from the crash, and contact a lawyer. They said they were still seeking information, but felt a mix of guilt, anger and sorrow.
“If I would have went with him, he would’ve been alive,” his wife, Luis-Garcia said through tears, her 12-year-old daughter acting as interpreter this afternoon. “They left him to die.”
Claudia’s brother, Faustino Luis, said he can’t understand why his brother-in-law couldn’t get help immediately from the hospital.
“If he had the accident there, why didn’t the hospital help him?” he asked, speaking from his sister’s home. “Why didn’t they try to help him?”
Marin-Fuentes came to the United States from Cuba. Here, he worked for a carwash in Southeast Portland, where he lived with his wife and daughter.
The officers who tried desperately to revive Marin-Fuentes are disturbed, their sergeant said.
“It’s very upsetting for both of the officers. Officer Luty is a brand-new officer. She did a phenomenal job. It’s hard for us to do something like that, to have such personal contact with somebody and they die. It’s hard for us to be put in that position where you feel helpless.”
Steigleder said it was obvious that Marin-Fuentes tried to get emergency help.
“He made it to the hospital. He just didn’t make it out of the car unfortunately.”
She talked about the incident at roll call Thursday night, and what to do in the future should something like this occur. As a sergeant, she said she might have rushed into the ER and grabbed a gurney herself to wheel out to the car.
“Maybe pick them up and carry them into the hospital so they could get the advanced life support they need,” she said. “I don’t know what else we could do.”"
The Captain America movie trailer with the music it actually deserves:
The world’s largest association of pilots has gone to war following the suspension of an American pilot for refusing to be scanned, as well as fears that that scanners could emit twenty times more radiation than that of which was previously announced by authorities who introduced them. It now has called on its members to demand a “pat down” search rather than expose themselves to the increased radiation from scanners. The moves have been backed by privacy organisation Big Brother Watch, which warned that scanners were a danger.
Alex Deane, director of the civil liberties campaign group said: “Scanners are dangerous. There’s a reason that the nurse stands behind a screen when you get an x-ray at hospital. Radiation is potentially harmful, even in small doses, and the regularity with which frequent flyers are exposed to potentially cancer-causing radiation.
“If pilots aren’t going to be scanned, why should members of the public? This stance from a professional group, the world’s leading association of pilots, must shake the government out of its absurd position on scanners.
He also warns that in the UK alone you “cannot opt for a pat-down search instead of a scan” The Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety, which includes the European Commission, International Atomic Energy Agency, Nuclear Energy Agency and the World Health OrganiSation has written a report that states that Air passengers should be made aware of the health risks of airport body screenings.
It also says governments must explain any decision to expose the public to higher levels of cancer-causing radiation as well as noting that pregnant women and children should not be subject to scanning.”
Straight from Dvorak Uncensored: “I watched CBS’s news show last night with Katie Couric so you don’t have to. They spent quite a lot of time marveling at how clean the beaches were and how the skimmer boats had practically nothing to pick up. Showed graphics on how massive oil spill had now shrunk to seemingly insignificant size. Guess the crisis is over. If you can’t trust Katie who in this world can you trust?
“WASHINGTON (AFP) – With BP’s broken well in the Gulf of Mexico finally capped, the focus shifts to the surface clean-up and the question on everyone’s lips is: where is all the oil?”
NEW ORLEANS (Mother Jones) – I don’t know who the fuck these everyones are, but I’m happy to help out them, and ABC, and this AFP reporter writing that due to BP’s stunningly successful skimming and burning efforts, “the real difficulty now is finding any oil to clean up.”
I sent one text message to Bloomberg’s Lizzie O’Leary, who’s standing on Grand Isle, Louisiana, right now, asking how the beach looks. “Lower part past the barrier untouched with globs of oil that washed up last night,” she said. By “untouched,” she means by cleanup crews, and that “barrier” she’s talking about is the one the press isn’t allowed past.
I can’t even count the number of correspondents down here who’ve pointed out that digging a finger under the surface of supposedly clean sand turns up crude, or the number of cleanup workers who’ve said cleanup efforts are strictly cosmetic, or that no matter what they do the contamination just keeps bubbling up.
It’s BP’s job to whitewash this story and make it easier to indulge the desire to forget about the scope of the devastation, guys. Not the media’s.”
This might possibily be the greatest movie ever put on film! Behold the awesomeness of MACHETE!
***UPDATE: Since the Illegal version of the Machete trailer was pulled so quickly, I’ve updated this post with the newest red band version of the trailer that was just released. In my opinion it isn’t quite as good, but the sheer awesomeness of Machete can overcome just about anything.
Not only is this perhaps the greatest music video EVER made, it is pure unadulterated lyrical genius! Don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself. I’ll leave you with this: “Water, fire, air and dirt. Fuckin’ magnets, how do they work? I don’t want to talk to a scientist, ya’ll motherfuckers lying and getting me pissed.”
Straight from the ‘I Smell An IRS Ass Kicking Headed This Way Dept.’ via ConnectMidMichigan.com: “New types of money are popping up across Mid-Michigan and supporters say, it’s not counterfeit, but rather a competing currency.
Right now, you can buy a meal or visit a chiropractor without using actual U.S. legal tender.
They sound like real money and look like real money. But you can’t take them to the bank because they’re not made at a government mint. They’re made at private mints.
“I sell three or four every single day and then I get one or two back a week,” said Dave Gillie, owner of Gillies Coney Island Restaurant in Genesee Township.
Gillie also accepts silver, gold, copper and other precious metals to pay for food.
He says, if he wanted to, he could accept marbles.
“Do people have to accept dollars or money? No, they don’t,” Gillie said. “They can accept anything they want or they can refuse to accept anything.”
He’s absolutely right.
The U.S. Treasury Department says the Coinage Act of 1965 says “private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash, unless there is a state law which says otherwise.”
That allows gas stations to say they don’t accept 50- or $100 bills after a certain time of day in hopes of not getting robbed.
A chiropractic office in Lapeer County’s Deerfield Township allows creativity when it comes to payment.
“This establishment accepts any form of silver, gold, chicken, apple pie, if someone works it out with me,” said Jeff Kotchounian of Deerfield Chiropractic. “I’ve taken many things.”
Jeff Kotchounian says he’s used this Ron Paul half troy ounce of silver to get $25 worth of gas from a local station.
While the government and banks don’t accept them, many others do.
So why is there interest in these competing currencies?
Is it just novelty or is there something deeper?”