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Cooley Hurd

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 23,900

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98 Years Ago Today: The Black Tom Explosion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Tom_explosion

The Black Tom explosion on July 30, 1916, in Jersey City, New Jersey, was an act of sabotage by German agents to destroy American-made munitions that were to be supplied to the Allies in World War I.

<snip>

After midnight on July 30, a series of small fires was discovered on the pier. Some guards fled, fearing an explosion. Others attempted to fight the fires and eventually called the Jersey City Fire Department.

At 2:08 AM, the first and largest of the explosions took place. Fragments from the explosion traveled long distances, some lodging in the Statue of Liberty and some in the clock tower of The Jersey Journal building in Journal Square, over a mile away, stopping the clock at 2:12 a.m. The explosion was the equivalent of an earthquake measuring between 5.0 and 5.5 on the Richter scale and was felt as far away as Philadelphia. Windows broke as far as 25 miles (40 km) away, including thousands in lower Manhattan. Some window panes in Times Square were completely shattered. The stained glass windows in St. Patrick's Church were destroyed. The outer wall of Jersey City's City Hall was cracked and the Brooklyn Bridge was shaken. People as far away as Maryland were awakened by what they thought was an earthquake.

Property damage from the attack was estimated at $20 million. The damage to the Statue of Liberty was estimated to be $100,000 and included the skirt and torch.

Immigrants being processed at Ellis Island had to be evacuated to lower Manhattan. Reports vary, but as many as seven people may have been killed, including:

a Jersey City policeman
a Lehigh Valley Railroad Chief Of Police
a ten week old infant
a barge captain

Injuries numbered in the hundreds. Smaller explosions continued to occur for hours after the initial blast.

<snip>







How to Swindle Soldiers

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/07/how-to-swindle-soldiers/375090/



Well, here is a clever new business strategy: Offer service members around the country and around the world financing for their appliances, furniture, and electronics, and then, when they fall behind on their loans, sue them in courts they can't get to to represent themselves.

Turns out: effective! Also: legal.

These are the conclusions of a new report jointly published by ProPublica and The Washington Post that looks at the financial "innovation" of USA Discounters and two other companies, Freedom Furniture and Electronics and Military Credit Services, that sell goods to service members on credit and then, if they fall behind, go after them in Virginia courts, regardless of where the service members are based. Together the three companies have filed 35,000 lawsuits in a little under a decade.

<snip>

For service members who don't appear in Virginia, a lawyer is appointed on their behalf. "But," Kiel writes, "the law does not specify what that lawyer must do." ProPublica found that in each of the 11 cases it examined, the same lawyer was selected as the defendant's representative, and he seems to have made minimal efforts on his clients' behalf. USA Discounters denied any "business relationship" with the attorney.

That USA Discounters' strategy lines up so perfectly with the SCRA loophole is, presumably, no accident. As John Odom, whom Kiel identifies as an expert on the SCRA, observes, "This looks like somebody who has really, really researched the best way to get around the entire intent of the SCRA."

</snip>



The Boss tells the tale of the Erie Canal:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_Bridge_(song)

*THIS* made my day!!!!!

Traditional Lyrics

Low Bridge

I've got a mule, her name is Sal
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal
She's a good old worker and a good old pal
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal
We've hauled some barges in our day
Filled with lumber, coal, and hay
And every inch of the way I (we) know
From Albany to Buffalo

Chorus:
Low bridge, everybody down
Low bridge cause we're coming to a town
And you'll always know your neighbor
And you'll always know your pal
If you've ever navigated on the Erie Canal
Get up there Sal, we've passed that lock,
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal
And we'll make Rome before six o'clock
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal
One more trip and back we'll go
Through the rain and sleet and snow
And every inch of the way I (we) know
From Albany to Buffalo
Low bridge, everybody down
Low bridge for we're coming to a town
And you'll always know your neighbor
And you'll always know your pal
If you've ever navigated on the Erie Canal.


I sailed my cruiser along this route.

Her journey ends. Costa Concordia arrives at Genoa for scrapping

Costa Concordia reaches her Valhalla...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/27/italy-concordia-idUSL6N0Q206H20140727



GENOA, Italy, July 27 (Reuters) - The wrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner limped into its last port on Sunday, when it was towed to the northern Italian city of Genoa to be broken up for scrap, two-and-a-half years after running aground and sinking with the loss of 32 lives.

After a four-day journey from the Tuscan island of Giglio, where it sank on Jan. 13, 2012, the 114,500-tonne hulk was manoeuvered into place and secured at the conclusion of one of the largest and most complex maritime salvages ever attempted.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi flew to Genoa to hail the completion of the operation which restored some pride to Italy after a disaster that was widely interpreted as a national humiliation as well as a human tragedy.

"This isn't a day for showing off or creating a spectacle, but it's a mark of gratitude from the prime minister for getting something done which everyone said would be impossible," Renzi told reporters on the dock, saluting the work of the salvage engineers from Italy and around the world.


</snip>

Punch me.. I'm a hippie. This song *still* resonates 43 years later:



...and it applies more today than then. Gaza; Ukraine; Domestic...

Mike Farrell - yes, BJ Hunnicutt - for Congressman Grayson!

#t=56

Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings. American Music...

...not just "Country Music". All (AFAIK) Liberals:



For your Saturday enjoyment (ProgRock, New Wave, Alternative, Grunge Boy here is digging it!)

History Nerd Saturday Documentary: Harry S Truman...

I've done enough outside. I've mowed the lawn of my elderly neighbors, and my own. Time to settle in and get my nerd freak on with a compelling documentary of one of my favorite POTUSes:

http://www.c-span.org/video/?151629-1/life-portrait-harry-s-truman

Costa Concordia is towed away to Genoa for scrap

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28437238

The wrecked Italian cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, is being towed on its final journey to the port of Genoa for scrapping.

Its removal is one of the biggest ever maritime salvage operations.

The Concordia struck a reef off the Italian island of Giglio in January 2012 and capsized, killing 32 people.

It was re-floated nine days ago and is being kept above the surface by giant buoyancy chambers. Over a dozen vessels will help to tow the ship.

The wreck was hauled upright in September last year but was still partially submerged, resting on six steel platforms.

The cruise ship is being towed to Genoa at two knots, almost at walking pace, with an escort of more than a dozen tug boats.

</snip>


If interested, you can follow the position of the wreck here (also has live webcam photos):

http://www.theparbucklingproject.com/tragitto.php

Greenpeace Activists to Shadow Costa Concordia During Tow

http://gcaptain.com/greenpeace-activists-to-shadow-costa-concordia-during-tow/



With the departure of the Costa Concordia from Giglio scheduled for Wednesday morning, environmental activists with Greenpeace and the Italian group Legambiente plan follow along with the convoy as it travels through one of Europe’s largest marine sanctuaries.

Greenpeace has been at the wreck site at Giglio all week to monitor for pollution and oil spills during the refloating operation as part of a joint operation between Greenpeace Italy and Legambiente called “Costa, We are Watching You”. The group plans to follow the stricken ship in a chartered sailboat once the wreck leaves for Genoa under tow.

“We’re particularly concerned about impacts on the Pelagos sanctuary, which protects whales and other marine life in the area,” said Greenpeace in blog post.

The Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals is a vast marine protected area extending over an area 87,500 square kilometers of water in the north-western Mediterranean Sea. The tow to Genoa is expected to take about 4 days and will take place entirely within the protected area.

</snip>


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