Sunday Reads: Apollo 13 and Midget MansionPosted: April 13, 2014 | |
It is another year…for me at least…44 of them! I don’t have any plans today, except sit and worry about my Bebe who is off in Chicago. She has a performance today and then the competition tomorrow afternoon before she heads back to Banjoville.
A long ass bus ride back to Banjoville.
Anyway, before I get to the links just a quick note about the pictures for today’s post. They are all centered around the Apollo 13 mission that took off exactly 44 years ago today. Links to photo galleries at the end of this thread.
On to the newsy stories.
The latest on that horrific bus crash in California is confusing. Bus crash: Witness says FedEx truck lost control while changing lanes
A witness to Thursday’s deadly tour bus crash said the driver of the FedEx truck appeared to lose control while changing lanes before barreling across the center median of Interstate 5 and colliding head-on with a tour bus filled with high school students.
Ryan Householder told The Times on Saturday that he was mowing his lawn, which faces the southbound lanes of the highway, when he heard screeching tires Thursday. He looked up and watched the crash occur. The drivers of both vehicles were killed as were eight people on board the tour bus.
Householder, 31, said the FedEx truck, hauling two trailers, was in the slower of two southbound lanes behind a red van, he said. The truck tried to merge into the faster lane, he said, but there were two cars there.
At that point, the truck driver seemed to lose control of his vehicle, Householder said. The truck shot across the grassy median, shearing the tops off bushes that separate the northbound and southbound lanes.
The truck began straightening out, Householder said, but by that time it was already on the northbound lane and it collided with the bus carrying high school students on their way to Humboldt State University.
“When they collided, it was boom!” he said. Both vehicles erupted into fire.
The truck, Householder said, was not on fire before the crash.
However this is differs from another eyewitness earlier story: ORLAND, Calif: Conflicting accounts emerge about deadly California bus crash |
Bonnie and Joe Duran told TV reporters in Northern California late Friday that their Nissan Altima was sideswiped by the truck before it collided head-on with the bus. They said flames were visible from the big rig as it crossed the median and hit their car.
“It was on fire already,” Bonnie Duran said.
Investigators have not publicly responded to the Durans’ account.
Cameron Birk, the couple’s son-in-law, told The Times Saturday that he has talked to Joe Duran several times since the accident. He said Duran told him the couple were driving northbound on the interstate in the left lane, with Bonnie at the wheel, when they first saw the FedEx truck. Bonnie jerked the wheel to the right to avoid a head-on collision.
“The truck was already on fire when it had crossed the median,” Birk recalled Joe Duran telling him. “They were the first car it hit, so they just jerked the wheel hard and got side-wiped.” They spun out and got thrown into a ditch, Birk said.
World news is buzzing:
Tens of thousands of people took part in protests in central Paris and Rome, organized by hard-left parties opposed to government economic reform plans and austerity measures.
Police in Rome armed with batons charged members of a large splinter group — many wearing masks and helmets — and also used tear gas to push back the crowd, with protesters fighting back with rocks and firecrackers. One man lost a hand when a firecracker exploded before he could throw it.
There were dozens of lighter injuries among police and protesters, and at least six arrests, police said.
The protest was organized as a challenge to high housing costs and joblessness as a result of Italy’s long economic slowdown. The procession made its way peacefully through central Rome until the more violent element wearing helmets started throwing objects at police near the Labor Ministry.
And in a West Virginia water chemical crap spill of epic proportions: China: Water ban for millions after oil spill hits refinery town | Al Jazeera America
A crude oil leak from a pipeline owned by a unit of China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) is to blame for water contamination that has affected more than 2.4 million people in the Chinese city of Lanzhou, in the the landlocked northwest part of the country, according to Chinese media reports Saturday.
The leak poisoned the water source for a water plant, introducing hazardous levels of benzene into the city’s water, according to China’s official news agency Xinhua.
Residents scrambled to buy bottled water after authorities warned against using taps, in scenes reminiscent of a municipal water ban in the United States, following a coal-processing chemical spill that affected 300,000 West Virginians in January.
Xinhau cited Yan Zijiang, Lanzhou’s environmental protection chief, as saying that a leak in a pipeline owned by Lanzhou Petrochemical Co., a unit of CNPC, was to blame for the water contamination.
Read more on the pollution regulations they are trying to reign in over there in China.
Back in the USA:
I always giggle when I pass this.
That would make me giggle too.
For a quick list of services and such that are affected by that Heartbleed thingy: The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now
Some Internet companies that were vulnerable to the bug have already updated their servers with a security patch to fix the issue. This means you’ll need to go in and change your passwords immediately for these sites. Even that is no guarantee that your information wasn’t already compromised, but there’s also no indication that hackers knew about the exploit before this week. The companies that are advising customers to change their passwords are doing so as a precautionary measure.
Although changing your password regularly is always good practice, if a site or service hasn’t yet patched the problem, your information will still be vulnerable.
Also, if you reused the same password on multiple sites, and one of those sites was vulnerable, you’ll need to change the password everywhere. It’s not a good idea to use the same password across multiple sites, anyway.
We’ll keep updating the list as new information comes in. Last update: April 12, 10:30 p.m. ET
Hey, I don’t know about you all, but I missed this latest FBI arrest: FBI Smashes Alleged Radical-Right Terror Plot in Texas | Hatewatch
FBI agents in Texas have arrested a man who allegedly was plotting to use C-4 explosives and weapons to kill police officers, rob banks and armored cars, and blow up government buildings and mosques, authorities announced today.
Robert James Talbot Jr., 38, of Katy, Texas, was arrested Thursday on federal charges of attempted interference with commerce by robbery, solicitation to commit a crime of violence and possession of an explosive material, the FBI said.
After setting up a Facebook page called American Insurgent Movement (AIM), Talbot allegedly sought to recruit five or six like-minded people who wanted “to restore America Pre-Constitutionally and look forward to stopping the Regime with action by bloodshed.” He wrote this year on the AIM page that he was seeking people interested in “walking away from your life … to stop the regime.”
Oh boy are these people dumb, and ballsy too. Look at how bold and out-and-out racist this asshole was: Far-Right Texas Terrorist Planned Murder And Robbery Spree in the Name of ‘Liberty’ – The Daily Beast
Talbot had recruited his teammates via a Facebook group called the American Insurgent Movement to help him rob armored cars; the first phase of his larger scheme to kill police officers and blow up mosques and government buildings.
Talbot’s Facebook posts started to take on a sense of urgency as well. On January 30, according to the complaint, Talbot posted on the AIM page that “Liberty movement starts this summer for those who are up for anything. Email the admin if your [sic] interested in walking away from your life (we have weapons if you need a weapon) to stop the Regime. We always will be recruiting…”
But by February 9, Talbot had narrowed his search to “ONLY ex-military or self-trained men who trained in guerrilla warfare and understand war/battle to the fullest. I cannot take someone whom [sic] doesn’t understand what war/battle is or like,” he posted on Facebook, according to the complaint. “I don’t need someone freezing up when bullets are whizzing past there [sic] head and jeopardize the rest of the team. I can train you, but I have no time to put that much effort into someone mentally to handle blood and killing.”
But that is not the only “crazy” going on…there is another batch of nuts brewing in Nevada: Rancher vs BLM: a 20-year standoff ends with tense roundup — High Country News
Despite a running tab of court injunctions, complaints and conservation conflicts involving the BLM, the National Park Service, Clark County and environmental groups, and nearly $1 million in fines, Bundy has continued to run cattle on the federally-owned Bunkerville Allotment in the southern tip of Nevada, about 100 miles from Las Vegas. Over the years, the Department of Justice has more than once canceled BLM plans to round up the trespass cattle after blatant threats of violence from Bundy and his supporters, says Alan O’Neill, retired superintendent of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area adjacent to the allotment. The sieges at Ruby Ridge and Waco that fueled the ‘90s anti-government militia movement were fresh, he explains. “We were trying everything we could to resolve the issue peacefully. But he got more and more recalcitrant.”
This week, though, the BLM finally began rounding up Bundy’s estimated 900 cattle from a 1,200 square-mile area, putting an end to the illegal grazing once and for all. The agency isn’t saying exactly why now is the time to act; O’Neill suspects that the threat of lawsuit from the Center for Biological Diversity against the local and federal government for not implementing existing court orders may have forced the agency’s hand.
The situation quickly escalated. One of Bundy’s sons was arrested Sunday for refusing to stay off the lands BLM has closed during the cattle roundup. Videos from Wednesday show Bundy family members and supporters, including out-of-state militia members, angrily cursing and gesturing at BLM agents attempting to contain them within a “First Amendment Area” set up for protesting. More out-of-state militia members claim to be on the way, saying “they’re going in with force.” While Gov. Brian Sandoval disapproves of BLM’s handling of the situation, others applauded the agency for showing restraint in the face of threats. It was Bundy’s own promise to “be more physical” with the BLM during the impoundment operation, after all, that led the agency to set up strict public protest areas and press policies in the first place. “This is incendiary stuff,” former Nevada Gov. Richard Bryan said on a Nevada news show Thursday, expressing fear of more violence on the way. “Some of these folks are frankly half a bubble off…People really believe that the federal government has no jurisdiction over anything.”
If you believe in the authority of the federal government over public lands – established unequivocally in the U.S. Constitution – there is ample justification for the impoundment. In terms of environmental destruction alone, the BLM cites how Bundy’s cows have contaminated streams and springs, trampled acres of fragile desert soils and vegetation, and two instances of unauthorized reservoir construction, among other damages. Affected wildlife includes the rare relict leopard frog and the desert tortoise, at the crux of local conservation efforts.
Interestingly, Nevada political commentator Hugh Jackson points out that the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, and “self-described limited government Republicans” like Senator Dean Heller and Representatives Joe Heck and Mark Amodei have stayed conspicuously silent on the Bundy fight. Bundy’s support instead comes from a “small but loud chorus” of radical right-wingers. It may be that Bundy’s rallying cry that he is the “Last Man Standing” is more literally true than he or his supporters would care to admit.
Still, the impoundment isn’t over yet, and supporters and opponents continue to take sides; the longterm political implications of the spat are also unclear, and will likely depend on the BLM keeping as cool a head as possible during the tense proceedings. As Rob Mrowka, Las Vegas office of the Center for Biological Diversity senior scientist who has endured threats from Bundy and his supporters via email, voicemail and Twitter, says, “Nobody wants a martyr.”
At the center of the controversy — according to right-wing media figures — is the formerly endangered (and still threatened) desert tortoise. When Bundy’s grazing rights were modified by BLM in 1993, it was in part to protect the species, which inhabits the same publicly-owned desert areas trodden by Bundy’s cattle and was at the time on the brink of extinction.
That’s where the connection to the tortoise ends, however. In 1993, Bundy began refusing to pay grazing fees required by the new rules. This led to an escalating series of reprisals from the judicial system that culminated in an order to confiscate Bundy’s cattle in order to repay $1 million in fines and fees that over 20 years later remained unpaid. The current enforcement has less to do with protecting the tortoise, and more to do with Bundy’s refusal to comply with the law or recognize the legitimacy of the federal government.
Nevertheless, right-wing supporters of Bundy’s stand have tried to pin the conflict on the tortoise and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which is being depicted in negative terms ranging from being dismissed as irrelevant and economically harmful to becoming the basis for conspiracy theories about unlawful land grabs by Big Government.
On Fox, the situation afforded the network the opportunity to perpetuate the conservative narrative that the ESA unjustly puts the rights of wildlife above the rights of people. One host declared, “We’re not anti-turtle, but we are pro-logic and tradition.” His co-host sarcastically (and inaccurately) described the government’s position as “get the cows off so they can have the desert tortoise live there in peace.”
Fuckin’ a….of course Fox is really pushing it to their viewers:
Hannity interviewed Bundy on his Fox program on April 9, sympathizing with the rancher’s claims and arguing that allowing Bundy’s cattle to graze on public lands “keeps the price of meat down for every American consumer.”
His rhetoric had noticeably escalated two days later when he invited Bundy onto his radio program The Sean Hannity Show. Hannity argued that federal agents have “drawn the wrong line in the sand here,” praising Bundy because he “like[s] anybody that’s willing to fight.”
He went on, “I’m just afraid of what this government is capable of doing. I mean we saw what happened in Waco,” to which Bundy responded, “We have to have faith that America will stand. You know we would never won any of these wars from the Revolutionary War on up if we didn’t have faith and courage and fighting for something.”
Throughout the program, Hannity repeatedly pushed violent predictions, saying, “This can spiral out of control. You get one wrong person out there, this can spiral out of control really fast,” and “If it keeps going, this is going to end very, very badly.” He even demanded, “The government needs to stand down” because “this is only a symptom of how one person, standing up to the government, I’m telling you, [it is] my opinion that this crisis could come to a head, and lives could be lost.”
I guess more assholes are on their way: Armed Right-Wing Militia Members Descend On Nevada To Help Rancher Defy Court Order | ThinkProgress
The Oath Keepers, a right-wing law enforcement organization that warns about the government “disarm[ing] the American people” and “blockad[ing] American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps,” also announced that it will send people to support the defiant rancher.
Oooh, I’ve got more crazy for ya: Woman Charged for Encouraging Men to Rape New Owner of Her Dream Home
A San Diego woman who was outbid on her dream home faces felony charges for pulling a series of insane “pranks” against the home’s new owner, including inciting rape, listing the victim’s home for sale, and advertising high school parties at the house.
According to a felony complaint obtained by NBC 7, Kathy Rowe became enraged after the home she wanted was sold to another family. So Rowe did what any sensible person would do: She created an online ad in the new owner’s name, inviting random men to break into the house—the address for which was provided in the ad—to rape her. Two men responded to the ad, and one actually showed up at the house.
“I also love to be surprised and have a man just show up at the door and force his way in the door and on me, totally taking me while I say no,” she told one of the men. “Just stop by anytime Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. I like the element of surprise.”
Rowe also allegedly posted online advertisements for a a free fireworks giveaway and a high school New Year’s Eve party at the home. More than $1,000 in unsolicited magazine subscriptions were sent to the house, which Rowe also allegedly listed as for sale. And the complaint said Rowe sent Valentine’s Day cards in the victim’s husband’s name to different women in the neighborhood.
It is getting to the point where you just don’t want to interact with anyone these days.
Okay, I didn’t read this next article, I could care less…but the picture freaked me out…so I had to share:Human ‘Ken Doll’ Justin Jedlica Not Interested In Real-Life ‘Barbie Doll’ Valeria Lukyanova: EXCLUSIVE
From George Michael and Boy George:
New wave’s bleached roots sprouted from ’70s glam rock, another British subgenre featuring grown men playing dress-up, one that, unlike ’60s Beatlemania and ’80s synth pop, never caught on in any significant way in the United States. But for all their eyeliner, glitter and platform boots, there was something unmistakably straight about glam bands like Roxy Music, T. Rex and The Sweet as well as solo superstar David Bowie, despite his declaration of gayness in Melody Maker in 1972.
Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Spandau Ballet and their new-wave peers were an entirely different story. Yes, at its most flash-in-the-pan, new wave’s style was purely about being bright and shocking (see A Flock of Seagulls in all their sexless short-lived glory), but when stars like Boy George and Adam Ant got dolled up, it was more than just performance art. They were teen idols (unlike the glam rockers) and, in Ant’s case, a bona fide sex symbol, setting fashion trends while challenging the strict definition of masculinity and what “gay” and “straight” were supposed to look like. It was, in a sense, the first metrosexual movement.
To some awesome pictures from the cockpit of a little plane: Pilot Captures Crazy-Surreal Photo Series By Basically Just Sticking His Camera Out The Cockpit
Alex MacLean is used to seeing the world from up high. The photographer is also a licensed pilot, and he’s spent years “sticking his camera out the cockpit” of a small Cessna 182, snapping what he sees below.
The result is an astounding photo essay that pits man-made civilization against nature, animals against industry, and humans against the forces that, from above, are clearly mightier than we’ll ever be.
he story of NASA’s Apollo 13 mission has been told so well, so many times, across so many types of media, that there’s little point in rehashing the details here. From Ron Howard’s rousing 1995 movie (based on the unputdownable 1994 bestseller, Apollo 13, by TIME’s Jeff Kluger and Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell) to documentaries, oral histories and countless other accounts, the mission that many characterize as NASA’s “finest hour” has assumed a near-mythic resonance in the national consciousness — a resonance that endures, in large part, precisely because the stranger-than-fiction tale is true.
Here, in tribute to Apollo 13′s three-man crew — Lovell, Command Module pilot Jack Swigert and Lunar Module pilot Fred Haise — LIFE.com commemorates the mission with a series of intimate, stirring photos made at the Lovells’ Texas home, in the very midst of the crisis, by LIFE magazine’s Bill Eppridge.
April 11, 2012 marks the 42nd anniversary of the launch of Apollo 13, the ill-fated moon mission and the heroic rescue effort that brought the stricken capsule and all three astronauts safely back to Earth.
The launch came off without a hitch, and for two days the mission preceded as planned. Then an oxygen tank exploded, dashing hopes of a lunar landing and putting into jeopardy the lives of Commander James A. Lovell, Command Module pilot John L. “Jack” Swigert, and Lunar Module pilot Fred W. Haise. From then on, the goal was simply to save the astronauts.
It was dicey business. A power shortage forced the astronauts to endure temperatures as low as 40 °F, and an accumulation of carbon dioxide inside the command module forced to crew to make an improvised air filtration device. Ultimately, of course, the crew splashed down safely in the South Pacific.
The mission was memorably depicted in the critically acclaimed 1995 film “Apollo 13,” and images of the improvised air filter that saved the day (known as the “mail box”) were widely circulated.
But what did the rest of the mission look like? From the in-suit trainings that preceded the mission to the astronauts enjoying a steak and eggs breakfast on the fateful day, the images in the slideshow below give an in-depth look at what happened before, after and during the crisis.
Nasa has released more than 17,000 photos from the 33 Apollo astronauts who made it into space for the lunar missions, including the 12 men who set foot on the moon’s surface.
Not only was this one of NASA’s high moments, it was one of the highest. Here’s a syllogism every astronaut knows: Space pilots are test pilots; test pilots die; therefore, space pilots will die. The key is not to be one of them. That means that when you find your ship augering in, you find a way to pull out of it. No one at NASA had even simulated a failure in which the command module is disabled by an explosion, and the crew has to abandon ship for the lunar module; that would be somewhat like teaching student drivers what to do if they find their car hurtling through the air, over a cliff. They die is what they do. Such is the technological free fall that the Apollo 13 crew found itself in, and yet the preternaturally cool Jim Lovell — the first man to fly twice to the moon — and his rookie crew of Jack Swigert and Fred Haise pulled out of it and came home.
Amazing to think about these missions to the moon, and how today all these years later we have basically no space program to speak of…yeah. That is working out great for us.
Last link is a picture of Midget Mansion in Tampa Florida…the little house that meant so much to me when I was a little kid.
My daddy would come home from work and holler, “Who wants to see Midget Mansion?” And I would jump up and down all excited. Then we would get the entire family into our little Toyota and drive by this place and laugh like hell, usually ending up at the Frisch’s Big Boy for a Brawny Lad dinner since it was not too far away from our “cheap thrill ride.”
Okay…just indulge me as I post a piece of my childhood…it is my birthday for shits sake!
…here, on the corner of N Newport and Rome avenues, unbeknown to many, there’s a little house in a working class neighborhood, not far from a busy street.
This two-story square home sits on a corner lot, a few blocks from clogged Waters Avenue.
The first floor is just 7 feet high.
“It looks like a little playhouse,” said Theresa Meyer, manager of residential development for the city of Tampa. “I had no clue it existed. I’ve been working for the city since 1979.”
It’s part of a small compound that includes a barrel-shaped structure, a garage and an adjoining little building that holds a bathroom and kitchen.
Over the years, every time Yent passed through Tampa, he would make it a point to drive by the house.
“It was enough off the beaten path that unless you knew the inside scoop, you wouldn’t know it existed.”
The builder had used concrete to create the block house, sculpting reliefs of flowers in the walls and inscribing concrete pillars on the grounds.
Mosaic-tiled flowerpots adorn the yard. At the rear of the yard is the “keg house,” a barrel-shaped room with glass bottle windows.
The man who built the house died in 1962. He wasn’t a dwarf or even a man of small stature. In fact, Arthur Huse stood 6 feet 2.
In the early 1940s, the widower lived in an apartment in Tampa Heights. With his two sons serving overseas in the Army Air Corps, this plaster mason embarked on his pet project … the little compound.
“He just built it on his own,” recalled his son Wendell Huse, who is now 84 and living in an RV park in Dover with his wife, Henrietta. “I don’t know where he got the idea for it.”
When Huse came home from the service in 1945, the barrel home was finished, as was the little room with the bathroom and the kitchen. His father was still working on the main house, which took him about a year to complete.
“He built it from scratch,” Huse said. “He tiled the pots, mixed the cement. Everything.”
Wendell slept in the barrel room. It had a fireplace, brick floors and glass bottle windows.
And when Wendell got married, his wife moved in, too. The couple had three children.
“It was kind of crowded, but the family liked it,” Wendell Huse said.
See, even grown men who stand 6 foot 2 have strange obsessions with little people things…I mean midget mansions. You have to appreciate this family living in that little house for so many years. It must have felt like the old lady and the shoe? Or maybe like living in Munchkin Land.
Back to NASA and spaceflight for a moment…one question I have is this. When will we have a midget in space? That is what I want to know!
Give me some credit for finding that image…ya know, a picture of a”midget in a space suit” was a long shot. I love it!!!!!
Have a wonderful day, and if I can make myself go online later…I will see y’all in the comments.