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Cooley Hurd

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 24,079

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3 people missing after hot air balloon bursts into flames, crashes in Virginia

Source: CNN.com

(CNN) -- A hot air balloon drifted into power lines, burst into flames and crashed into a Virginia countryside Friday night. Three people believed to be in the burning gondola are missing.

Images from the scene showed the balloon soaring in the air with its bottom part ablaze.

Witnesses described people falling or jumping out of its basket from dizzying heights. Police are searching for its pilot and two passengers, who are missing after the crash 25 miles north of Richmond.

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"They were just screaming for anybody to help them. 'Help me, help me, sweet Jesus, help, I'm going to die. Oh my God, I'm going to die,'" she said.

Her daughter told her she saw someone falling out of the basket. Then Hager-Bradley also saw someone plummeting to the ground.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/10/us/virginia-hot-air-balloon-fire/index.html?hpt=hp_t1



Jesus...

FAA official: Private Drone, jetliner nearly collided over Florida

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/09/travel/unmanned-drone-danger/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

(CNN) -- A Federal Aviation Administration official warned this week about the dangers of even small unmanned aircraft, pointing specifically to a recent close call involving a drone and commercial airliner that could have caused "catastrophic" results.

Jim Williams, the head of the FAA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) office, discussed various potential perils during a presentation Thursday to those attending the Small Unmanned Business Expo. A video of his talk in San Francisco, and those of others, to those who operate, create or otherwise are involved or interested in such unmanned aircraft was posted to YouTube.

After saying "the FAA has got to be responsive to the entire industry," Williams referred to a pair of incidents in which drones caused injuries to people on the ground. One came at an event at Virginia Motor Speedway in which an "unauthorized, unmanned aircraft" crashed into the stands, and in the other a female triathlete in Australia had to get stitches after being struck by a small drone.

Then, Williams segued to a pilot's recent report of "a near midair collision" with a drone near the airport in Tallahassee, Florida. He did not specify who the pilot worked for and what she was flying. As to the drone, the pilot said that it appeared to be small, camouflaged, "remotely piloted" and about 2,300 feet up in the air at the time of the incident.

"The pilot said that the UAS was so close to his jet that he was sure he had collided with it," Williams said. "Thankfully, inspection to the airliner after landing found no damage. But this may not always be the case."

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Humans... the ultimate stop-gap.

Private Equity May Destroy the Shipping Sector

http://gcaptain.com/private-equity-funded-vessel-splurge-fuels-risk-shipping-sector/

By Keith Wallis

SINGAPORE, May 9 (Reuters) – The shipping industry faces a looming capacity glut as billions of dollars pumped into it by private equity have stoked a vessel-buying spree, threatening its prospects just as the sector is emerging from its worst downturn in three decades.

Backed by private equity and hedge fund financing, shipping companies have placed orders for thousands of new ships over the past two years, reminiscent of the ship-ordering binge of the mid-2000s that eventually led to overcapacity after the global financial crisis severely hit cargo demand.

The demand-supply equilibrium could tilt into overcapacity again from 2016, straining shipping companies’ finances. It may also make private equity’s exit from shipping less profitable, shipping experts said.

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Former TN Senator Harlan Mathews Dead at 87 (succeeded Gore in 1993)

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2014/05/09/former-us-sen-deputy-gov-harlan-mathews-dies/8890209/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=

Harlan Mathews, a longtime state official and right-hand man to a governor, a man who preferred to work behind the scenes but was briefly thrust into the limelight as a U.S. senator, died this morning, a family spokesman said. He was 87.

The cause of death was brain cancer. He died about 6 a.m.

Mr. Mathews was a fixture at the Capitol for all but a couple of years from 1950 into the 1990s, serving under four Democratic governors and holding the constitutional office of state treasurer — a position elected by the General Assembly — from 1974 to 1987.

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But Mr. Mathews held a very public role himself when he represented the state in Washington, D.C., at the end of his long career in public service. After U.S. Sen. Albert Gore was elected vice president in 1992, McWherter — who died in 2011 — appointed his top aide to fill the Senate seat.

Mr. Mathews served in the Senate for about two years until Fred Thompson, a Republican, won a special election in 1994. Hall, who served in the Clinton-Gore administration as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said Mr. Mathews was "the most electable Democrat we had" in Tennessee and would have given Thompson a tough race.

But Mr. Mathews didn't want to create a "fractious primary" and decided not to run against U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, who became the Democratic nominee, Hall said from Signal Mountain, Tenn.

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Cross Gently Senator...

77 years ago today... the end of the Golden Age of Airships

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindenburg_disaster

The Hindenburg disaster took place on Thursday, May 6, 1937, as the German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, which is located adjacent to the borough of Lakehurst, New Jersey. Of the 97 people on board (36 passengers and 61 crewmen), there were 35 fatalities. There was also one death of a ground crewman.
The disaster was the subject of spectacular newsreel coverage, photographs, and Herbert Morrison's recorded radio eyewitness reports from the landing field, which were broadcast the next day. A variety of hypotheses have been put forward for both the cause of ignition and the initial fuel for the ensuing fire. The incident shattered public confidence in the giant, passenger-carrying rigid airship and marked the end of the airship era.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindenburg_disaster#Disaster

Disaster

Hindenburg crashing.

At 7:25 p.m local time, the Hindenburg caught fire and quickly became engulfed in flames. Where the fire started is unknown; several witnesses on the port side saw yellow-red flames first jump forward of the top fin.

Other witnesses on the port side noted the fire actually began just ahead of the horizontal port fin, only then followed by flames in front of the upper fin. One, with views of the starboard side, saw flames beginning lower and farther aft, near cell 1. No. 2 Helmsman Helmut Lau also testified seeing the flames spreading from cell 4 into starboard. Although there were five newsreel cameramen and at least one spectator known to be filming the landing, no camera was rolling when the fire started.

Wherever they started, the flames quickly spread forward. Instantly, a water tank and a fuel tank burst out of the hull due to the shock of the blast. This shock also caused a crack behind the passenger decks, and the rear of the structure imploded. Buoyancy was lost on the stern of the ship, and the bow lurched upwards while the ship's back broke; the falling stern stayed in trim.

As the tail of the Hindenburg crashed into the ground, a burst of flame came out of the nose, killing nine of the 12 crew members in the bow. There was still gas in the bow section of the ship, so it continued to point upward as the stern collapsed down. The crack behind the passenger decks collapsed inward, causing the gas cell to explode. The scarlet lettering "Hindenburg" was erased by flames while the airship's bow descended. The airship's gondola wheel touched the ground, causing the bow to bounce up slightly as one final gas cell burned away. At this point, most of the fabric on the hull had also burned away and the bow finally crashed to the ground. Although the hydrogen had finished burning, the Hindenburg's diesel fuel burned for several more hours.

The time that it took for the airship to be destroyed has been disputed. Some observers believed that it took 34 seconds, others said that it took 32 or 37 seconds. Since none of the newsreel cameras were filming the airship when the fire started, the time of the start can only be estimated from various eyewitness accounts. One careful analysis of the flame spread by Addison Bain of NASA gives the flame front spread rate across the fabric skin as about 49 ft/s (15 m/s), which would have resulted in a total destruction time of about 16 seconds (245m / 15 m/s=16.3 s). Some of the duralumin framework of the airship was salvaged and shipped back to Germany, where it was recycled and used in the construction of military aircraft for the Luftwaffe. So were the frames of the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin and LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II when both were scrapped in 1940.

Every once in a while, I like to post a tribute to the one DUer who welcomed me...

...at the beginning of my DU experience (back in 2002) and made DU an awesome place for all.

My old, dear friend, NewYawker99. Where ever you are, you are missed and honored. Your legacy is DU itself.

Hi Skinner, EarlG and elad. I have a tiny gripe about Mobile DU...

When viewing the Greatest page via Mobile (on an Android device), and sorting by "Greatest By Time", after clicking on a link and returning back to the Greatest page, it doesn't remember that I sorted "By Time" - it returns me to "Greatest By Recs". Any chance that elad can fix this? (told ya it was a tiny gripe ).

As always, Thanks Guys!

There’s A Hidden Timebomb In The Senate Rules That Will Go Off If A Supreme Court Justice Retires

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/04/20/3428794/theres-a-hidden-timebomb-in-the-senate-rules-that-will-go-off-if-a-supreme-court-justice-retires/

As Jonathan Chait notes, only five Republican senators voted to confirm Justice Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, and three of those senators — Judd Gregg, Richard Lugar and Olympia Snowe — are no longer in the Senate. If Republicans take the Senate this November, there is a very real possibility that no one President Obama nominates to a Supreme Court vacancy, no matter what their record or qualifications, could be confirmed to the Court.

We made a similar point in 2012, when Tea Party candidate Richard Mourdock defeated Lugar in a Republican Senate primary after he attacked Lugar for his support of Kagan and Justice Sonia Sotomayor. As we wrote then, “in light of this incident, it is unlikely that any of the few remaining Republicans who backed an Obama Supreme Court appointee will be willing to risk their careers by doing the same again.”

Indeed, under the Senate’s current rules, Republicans could block a Supreme Court appointment right now, if they chose to, even though Democrats effectively control 55 percent of the Senate. Last November, when Senate Democrats voted to invoke the so-called “nuclear opinion” and end the GOP’s ability to require a supermajority to vote to confirm most nominees, they left in place the 60 supermajority requirement for Supreme Court confirmations. As a result, unless at least five Republicans oppose a GOP filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee, the current rules allow the GOP to keep that nominee from being confirmed.

Of course, if the vacancy were to arise right now, when Democrats control a solid majority of the Senate’s seats, it would be a simple matter to invoke the “nuclear option” again — a procedure that allows the Senate’s rules to be changed by a simple majority vote. But that assumes that a majority of the Senate is willing to support such a rules change.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson explains barriers imposed to him due to race:



Rapper Andre Johnson severs penis, jumps off building, but survives

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/16/showbiz/rapper-severed-penis/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Rapper Andre Johnson severed his penis and jumped from a Los Angeles apartment building early Wednesday, police said.
Johnson was seriously injured, but survived the fall from the second level of the building in North Hollywood, Los Angeles Police Sgt. William Mann said.
Johnson, along with his recovered penis, was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was being treated, Mann said.
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