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Cooley Hurd

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 26,544

Journal Archives

25 years ago today. They blew their horns...

...and the Wall came down!

I don't think there are any Russians, and there ain't no Yanks...
Just corporate criminals playing with tanks.

Very funny campaign commercial! Al Stirpe (Sturpee) NY Assembly

"Albany Al! Albany Al!"

"Stirpe hates birds!"

Has anyone been watching the new season of Alpha House??


Alpha House is a television series released in 2013 produced by Amazon Studios. The show stars John Goodman, Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy and Mark Consuelos as four U.S. Senators who share a house in Washington, D.C. It was created by Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau.

The series is inspired by real-life Congressmen who share a home in D.C.: Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Representative George Miller (D-CA).

The series has a number of cameos from celebrities such as Bill Murray (as Senator Vernon Smits) and politicians such as Schumer as himself. Amazon Studios offered the first three episodes of Alpha House for free, with each subsequent episode released weekly thereafter for Amazon Prime members on Amazon Instant Video.

On February 11, 2014, the series was renewed for a second season. Production for the second season began filming in July of 2014, and will be released on October 24, 2014.

This season, it features:

-Singing Senators

-Koch(esque) Brothers Drones

-their childrens' reality show


-FoxNews-coached RW Authoritarian senators

I could go on and on...

CNN: News conference regarding Hannah Graham coming up

...they're implying a body may have been found. FYI.

ABC affiliate link:

A joint law enforcement briefing regarding the Hannah Graham investigation will be held at 5:30pm on Saturday, October 18, 2014. The briefing will be at the Albemarle County Police Department at 1600 5th Street, Charlottesville, Virginia.

35 Years Ago Today: US Dept of Education created


Congress established the United States Department of Education (ED) on May 4, 1980, in the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88, 93 Stat. 668, October 17, 1979). Under this law, ED's mission is to:

• Strengthen the federal commitment to assuring access to equal educational opportunity for every individual;

• Supplement and complement the efforts of states, the local school systems and other instrumentalities of the states, the private sector, public and private nonprofit educational research institutions, community-based organizations, parents, and students to improve the quality of education;

• Encourage the increased involvement of the public, parents, and students in federal education programs;

• Promote improvements in the quality and usefulness of education through federally supported research, evaluation, and sharing of information;

• Improve the coordination of federal education programs;

• Improve the management of federal education activities;

• Increase the accountability of federal education programs to the president, the Congress, and the public.

In the Senate, 69 voted in favor and 22 voted against separating education from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. In the House of Representatives, 215 voted in favor and 201 voted against. President Carter signed the bill on October 17, 1979.

Following the establishment of the Department of Education, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was renamed the Department of Health and Human Services.

39 Years Ago Tonight: NBC's Saturday Night Premieres w/ Host George Carlin


The opening skit with John Belushi and Michael O'Donohue:

The first monologue:

I still recall sitting in front of the ol' Radiation King TV watching this (I was 10).

Gay marriage is on pace to be legal in 73 states by next Tuesday.


Nate Silver
Gay marriage is on pace to be legal in 73 states by next Tuesday. http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/the-expansion-of-same-sex-marriage-over-time/

Michael Brown grand jury under review for misconduct: Report

Source: MSNBC

St. Louis officials are looking into a report of misconduct by a member of the grand jury investigating the police shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, The Washington Post reported Wednesday evening.

Read more: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/michael-brown-grand-jury-under-review-misconduct-report

Lifeboat fail? I call it a win!


Unfortunately we don’t have any info about this video whatsoever except that we can see it was filmed onboard a Chinese-flagged ship and, yes, it actually does look like someone went along for the ride.

For contrast, another lifeboat test drop (more conventional) :

I love this shit!

20 years ago today: MS Estonia disaster


The Estonia disaster occurred on Wednesday, 28 September 1994, between about 00:55 to 01:50 (UTC+2) as the ship was crossing the Baltic Sea, en route from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm. Estonia was on a scheduled crossing with departure at 19:00 on 27 September. She had been expected in Stockholm the next morning at about 09:30. She was carrying 989 people: 803 passengers and 186 crew. Most of the passengers were Scandinavian, while most of the crew members were Estonian (several Swedish passengers were of Estonian origin). The ship was fully loaded, and was listing slightly to port because of poor cargo distribution.

According to the final disaster report the weather was rough, with a wind of 15 to 20 metres per second (29 to 39 kn; 34 to 45 mph), force 7–8 on the Beaufort scale and a significant wave height of 4 to 6 metres (13 to 20 ft) compared with the highest measured significant wave height in the Baltic Sea of 7.7 metres (25.3 ft). Esa Mäkelä, the captain of Silja Europa who was appointed on scene commander for the subsequent rescue effort, described the weather as "normally bad", or like a typical autumn storm in the Baltic Sea. All scheduled passenger ferries were at sea. The official report says that while the exact speed at the time of the accident is not known, Estonia had very regular voyage times, averaging 16 to 17 knots (30 to 31 km/h; 18 to 20 mph), perhaps implying she did not slow down for adverse conditions. The chief mate of the Viking Line cruiseferry Mariella tracked Estonia's speed by radar at approximately 14.2 knots (26.3 km/h; 16.3 mph) before the first signs of distress, while the Silja Europa's officers estimated her speed at 14 to 15 knots (26 to 28 km/h; 16 to 17 mph) at midnight.

The first sign of trouble aboard Estonia was when a metallic bang was heard, caused by a heavy wave hitting the bow doors around 01:00, when the ship was on the outskirts of the Turku archipelago, but an inspection—limited to checking the indicator lights for the ramp and visor—showed no problems. Over the next 10 minutes, similar noises were reported by passengers and other crew. At about 01:15, the visor separated in which the ship's bow door opened and the ship immediately took on a heavy starboard list (initial 30 to 40 degrees, but by 01:30, the ship had rolled 90 degrees) as water flooded into the vehicle deck. Estonia was turned to port and slowed before her four engines cut out completely.

At about 01:20 a weak female voice called "Häire, häire, laeval on häire", Estonian for "Alarm, alarm, there is alarm on the ship", over the public address system, which was followed immediately by an internal alarm for the crew, then one minute later by the general lifeboat alarm. The vessel's rapid lean and the flooding prevented many people in the cabins from ascending to the boat deck. A Mayday was communicated by the ship's crew at 01:22, but did not follow international formats. Estonia directed a call to Silja Europa and only after making contact with her the radio operator uttered the word "Mayday". In English, the radio operator on Silja Europa, chief mate Teijo Seppelin replied: "Estonia, are you calling mayday?" After that, the voice of Andres Tammes took over on Estonia and the conversation shifted to Finnish. Tammes was able to provide some details about their situation but due to loss of power, he could not give their position, which delayed rescue operations somewhat. Some minutes later power returned (or somebody on the bridge managed to lower himself to the starboard side of the bridge to check the marine GPS which will display the ship's position even in a blackout condition), and the Estonia was able to radio their position to Silja Europa and Mariella. The ship disappeared from the radar screens of other ships at around 01:50, and sank at 59°23′N 21°42′E, about 22 nautical miles (41 km; 25 mi) on bearing 157° from Utö island, Finland, in 74 to 85 metres (243 to 279 ft) of water.

Rescue effort

Search and rescue followed arrangements set up under the 1979 International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (the SAR Convention) and the nearest Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre MRCC Turku coordinated the effort in accordance with Finland's plans. The Baltic is one of the world's busiest shipping areas with 2,000 vessels at sea at any time and these plans assumed the ship's own boats and nearby ferries would provide immediate help and helicopters could be airborne after an hour. This scheme had worked for the relatively small number of accidents involving sinkings (3 in 2006), particularly as most ships have few people on board.

Mariella, the first of five ferries to reach the scene of the accident, arrived at 02:12. MRCC Turku failed to acknowledge the Mayday immediately and Mariella's report was relayed by Helsinki Radio as the less urgent pan-pan message. A full scale emergency was only declared at 02:30. Mariella winched open liferafts into the sea onto which 13 people on Estonia's rafts successfully transferred, and reported the location of other rafts to Swedish and Finnish rescue helicopters, the first of which arrived at 03:05. The former took survivors to shore, while the latter—Finnish border guard helicopters Super Puma OH-HVG and Agusta Bell 412 OH-HVD—chose the riskier option of landing on the ferries. The pilot of OH-HVG stated that landing on the ferries was the most difficult part of the whole rescue operation; despite that, this single helicopter rescued 44 people, more than all the ferries. Isabella saved 16 survivors with her rescue slide.

Of the 989 on board, 138 were rescued alive, but one died later in hospital. Ships rescued 34 and helicopters 104; the ferries played a much smaller part than the planners had intended because it was too dangerous to launch their man-overboard (MOB) boats or lifeboats. The accident claimed 852 lives (501 Swedes, 285 Estonians, 17 Latvians, 10 Finns and 44 people of other nationalities: 1 from each of Belarus, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, 2 from Morocco, 3 from Lithuania, 5 from Denmark, 6 from Norway, 10 from Germany, 11 from Russia), by drowning and hypothermia (the water temperature was 10–11 °C/50–52 °F). One prominent victim of the sinking was the Estonian singer Urmas Alender.

94 bodies were recovered; 93 were recovered within 33 days of the accident, and the last was found 18 months later. By the time the rescue helicopters arrived, around a third of the people who escaped from the Estonia had died of hypothermia, and less than a half of those who had managed to leave the ship were eventually rescued. The survivors of the shipwreck were mostly young, of strong physical composition, and male. Seven people over 55 years of age survived. There were no survivors under age 12. About 650 people were inside the ship when it sank. The commission estimate up to 310 passengers reached the outer decks and 160 climbed into the liferafts or lifeboats essential for survival. About 650 of the 757 missing persons are believed to be inside the ship.
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