Daily Archives: July 25, 2014

You’d think his mother would have warned him about this


Change your underwear, lose your life

Change your underwear, lose your life

Underpants Bomber’s attempt to blow up airliner failed because he didn’t change his underwear for two weeks.

The notorious underwear bomber’s plot in 2009 to blow up a plane on Christmas Day failed because the explosives became ‘degraded’ after he wore the same pair of underpants for two weeks, according to a U.S. official.

Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was on a suicide mission when he attempted to detonate a bomb in his underpants as the plane, en route from Amsterdam, approached Detroit.

The bomb however failed to detonate aboard the flight, which was carrying nearly 300 people, but caused a brief fire that caused burns to his groin.

He was sentenced to life without parole in February 2012 after he pleaded guilty to all charges on the second day of his trial the previous October.

The head of the Transportation Security Administration said this week the bomb failed to detonate because of how long Abdulmutallab had been wearing his underwear.

John Pistole told the Aspen Security Forum: ‘The bomber had had the device with him for over two weeks.’

Mr Pistole was then asked whether the bomb had become ‘damp’, to which he replied: ‘Let’s say it was degraded.


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Trigger warning: Gun haters reach a new hysteria



Toy guns and the very-much-imaginary "pulse gun"

(Miniature) toy guns and the very-much-imaginary “pulse rifle”

The Daily Kos actually prints a story by one Jim Anton,”Guns, Goons and Georgia”: a screed from a man who is terrified of toy guns, imaginary guns and camera tripods. Ban camera tripods, because they could frighten someone? Really?

The Daily Caller’s Dan Cannon (no kidding) reports on the report.

First off, besides the content of the article (which we’ll get to), I can almost write an entire article on the image that was included with the post. The image is of a bunch of toy model guns, including a “Pulse Rifle,” you know a completely science fiction based firearm that doesn’t exist, even a little bit. The image is accompanied by a caption that reads “These guns can be purchased anywhere in Georgia and carried into a church, bar, school or library.” Sigh. Besides the fact that the guns are toys and/or non-existent, the quote is just wrong. The part of HB 826 that addressed school carry was only for licensed teachers (there was a separate bill that seemed to allow school carry, but it will likely have to be clarified in court) and churches have to specifically opt-in to allow carry.

Here’s the bit about scary tripods from Mr. Jim Anton:

I was determined not to let the obscenity of Guns Everywhere ruin my day.  I would enjoy hiking with my grandchildren no matter what.  So at 5:30 a.m., when my energy was high, and the air was particularly crisp and the forest full of song, I picked up the children.

We were hiking for about half an hour when I noticed a strange man coming towards us.  What was that he was carrying?  Was it a rifle of some kind?  It looked unmistakably like a gun – a rifle or a shotgun.

But this was conservation land – in Massachusetts not Georgia!  Even if he had a gun, I had no reason to worry…  or did I?  If he had a gun, it probably wasn’t loaded, and he was on his way to a target range.  Through a conservation area???

When he got close enough, I realized that he wasn’t carrying a gun but a tripod in a carrying case.  He was a nature photographer.   He took pictures of living things instead of killing them.  I thanked my lucky stars that I lived in a place where I could go for a very long walk with two small children, and not ever see a single person with a gun.

And if you still aren’t persuaded about the vileness of gun owners, Anton adds this clincher:

I went home and did some research.  According to the latest U.S. census, Georgia has one of the highest poverty rates in America.  It is in the bottom quartile when it comes to graduating students from high school, and is very low in achievement in higher education.  It is also in the worst quartile when it comes to cigarette use, obesity and teen pregnancy.


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Contracts reported


15 Palmer Terrace

15 Palmer Terrace

15 Palmer Terrace, Riverside, asking $2.495 million.


14 Dialstone Lane

14 Dialstone Lane

14 Dialstone Lane, Riverside, $1.995 million. This house last sold in 2010 for $1.8 million and in 2007 for $2. I’d thought $2.1, even $2.2 would have been a fair price for this, so the buyer made out well.


4 Gregory Road

4 Gregory Road

4 Gregory Road, Cos Cob, $2.150, under contract before completion.


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The fourth time’s the trick

26 Richmond Hill Road

26 Richmond Hill Road

Brother Gideon’s the agent of record for today’s sale of 26 Richmond Hill Road, four acre land sale, full price, $1.599 million. While it did start at $3.3 million back in 2006, it had dropped to $1.699 by 2010, and stayed there over the years and through the tenure of three agents, without result. Gideon stepped in as the fourth agent, and voila – sale in 94 days. We all know Gid’s a genius at real estate, but sometimes, a buyer just finally happens along.

I’ll be expecting a nice contribution from him to his nephew’s John fund.

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Ron Howard sells house

Full asking price, $27.5 million, two weeks.Nice to have rich friends? Tamar Lurie, listing agent.


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Solar flare almost destroyed the earth in 2012? This blog had the news then – the rest of the press is just waking up to it

Last daysI wrote about this on July 12 , 2012, to be precise (“solar flare coming our way”) and I’ve been linking to articles on the necessity of hardening our grid to protect against solar storms since at least as early as 2009 . but the press is just catching up to it now: Solar flare nearly destroyed the earth two years ago – NASA

A recent revelation by NASA explains how on July 23, 2012 Earth had a near miss with a solar flare, or Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), from the most powerful solar storm on the sun in over 150 years, but nobody decided to mention it.

“If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” says Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado.

We managed to just avoid the event through lucky timing as the sun’s aim narrowly turned away from Earth. Had it occurred a week earlier when it WAS pointing at us the result could have been frighteningly different.

“I have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did,” says Baker. “If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire.

The power of this ejection would have raced across space to knock us back to the dark ages. It’s believed a direct CME hit would have the potential to wipe out communication networks, GPS, and electrical grids to cause widespread blackout. The article goes on to say it would disable “everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.”

Just ten minutes without electricity, internet or communication across the globe is a scary thought and the effects of this event could last years. It would be chaos and disaster on an epic scale.

“According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina. Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair.”

So can all breathe a worldwide sigh of relief? Well, not quite. Physicist Pete Riley, who published a paper entitled “On the probability of occurrence of extreme space weather events” has calculated the odds of a solar storm strong enough to disrupt our lives in the next ten years is 12 per cent.

“Initially, I was quite surprised that the odds were so high, but the statistics appear to be correct,” says Riley. “It is a sobering figure.”

And people are worried about global warming? Harden our electric grid, now.


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