Sarah Palin's enemies are automatically added to the Endangered Species List.

calendar   Friday - February 19, 2010


In a comment on another post Rich K said this is a Bizzaro world. Yeah. It most definitely is that.

For example, all sorts of ppl are holding all sorts of events in aid for Haiti. Kate Moss broke down in tears and couldn’t contain herself as a dress she had that was designed by that fellow who recently topped himself, sold at auction for Haiti aid for, £100,000.  You can work out the dollar amount. $1.54 to the £1.00. For a dress.  It was bought by her business partner.  At least I think he is.  I’m pretty certain he is.  I wonder if he’ll return it to her. ??

Then, there there was this.

David Walliams and James Corden kiss to raise money for Haiti earthquake victims at Naomi Campbell’s Fashion for Relief show.

Two guys mouth to mouth to raise money?  The photo was stomach churning. Disgusting, no kidding. Who gives to a charity just coz two loony tunes do that?

If a cause is worthy, why would it take two guys doing disgusting things to induce someone to donate? And even on a scale that doesn’t involve the bizarre or sickening, why would someone riding a bike or walking or running for some charity, induce anyone to give anything?  I read about silly make up the event to raise money in the local weekly amateur paper.  Bobby Jones age 11 walks two miles for ,,,, (pick a charity).  Alice Smith rides her bike for Haiti aid.
It always seems so artificial. Maybe it’s just me but I think those events are a bit stagey and dumb.

And then we have ...... ta-da BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

Young criminals who escape with soft community punishments such as building bird boxes go on to commit more than 100,000 extra crimes each year, figures show.

By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor

Juvenile offenders handed community-based penalties instead of custody were responsible for more than 650,000 further offences over just six years.

It meant teenage and child criminals who were dealt with lightly for one offence then accounted for one in every 50 of the 33 million crimes recorded by police between 2002 and early 2008.

The “Making Good” programme has already seen young criminals being left to build bird boxes or make badges as part of their “punishment”.

Activities under other schemes have previously included creating costumes for the Notting Hill carnival.

Analysis by the Conservatives on MoJ reoffending figures estimates some 667,073 crimes were committed by children aged ten to 17 who had previously been given a community-based punishment.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 02/19/2010 at 11:49 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeCULTURE IN DECLINENews-BriefsStoopid-PeopleUK •  
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Silvio Berlusconi shortlists dental hygienist as political candidate. (score one for eye candy)

I thought I’d start the day, late as it is, with humor.  True, it isn’t so funny to many but hey.  Not so poor Silvio is keeping up the tradition of Italian stallions, or at least the perception, and someone has to do it ya know. It can’t be easy.  Plus, he provide the press with copy and usually that’s pretty funny.

Last week Mr Berlusconi caused another furore after joking that while Italy had succeeded in staunching the flow of Albanian illegal immigrants crossing the Adriatic, he would be prepared to make an exception for “beautiful girls”.

His ex wife sees no humor in his carrying on but hell.  She’s no innocent either. After all, he was married when she was seeing him. He finally left the wife for her and so his fidelity or lack thereof should have been no surprise.  And anyway, he’s Italian.  He has a stallion license.

Not all Silvio’s lassies are stunners however. So he’s an equal opportunity letch.

Silvio Berlusconi has shortlisted his dental hygienist to contest crucial elections next month, despite the furore caused by his attempts to promote showgirls as candidates last year.

By Nick Squires in Rome

The Italian prime minister has spent weeks denying reports that his party would stack its list of candidates with attractive young models or actresses.
But the 73-year-old premier was apparently unable to resist the charms of Nicole Minetti, a showgirl turned dental hygienist who he met when his teeth were being repaired after he was attacked by a man with a history of mental illness in Milan in December.


Despite the furore and the wrath of his wife caused by his attempts last year to promote a string of glamorous women as candidates for the European elections, Miss Minetti is reportedly now on a short list to run as a candidate for Mr Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PDL) party in Lombardy, northern Italy.

A former dancer who has appeared on various TV variety shows, she graduated as a dental hygienist last November and within weeks was tending to the prime minister when he was treated in Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital for two broken teeth and a smashed nose following the assault on Dec 13.
Hers will not be the only pretty face in the ranks of Mr Berlusconi’s party as it seeks to consolidate its hold on power in the elections in 13 of Italy’s 20 regions at the end of March.
Graziana Capone, a law graduate and model who has been dubbed “the Angelina Jolie of Puglia,” the southern region from which she hails, was recently hired to help mould Mr Berlusconi’s image on television, La Repubblica reported. She had also been touted as a possible candidate in the elections.

A smiling Mr Berlusconi was photographed this week as he presented four women who hope to be elected as regional governors, two of whom have cover girl looks: Monica Faenzi and Anna Maria Bernini.
His penchant for favouring brains over beauty earned him exasperated criticism from the main opposition party.

“Berlusconi chooses candidates more for their good looks than for their experience,” said Anna Finocchiaro, the Senate leader of the Democratic Party. “He’s filled parliament with beautiful girls, albeit competent, but they don’t count for anything within the party.”

But loyalists within the ranks of his party angrily hit back. Margherita Boniver, an MP, told Corriere della Sera: “I’m astonished. You only have to look at the CVs of our candidates to understand that they are people who are dedicated to politics,” said Barbara Saltamartini, an MP who has responsibility for equal opportunities within the PDL, said that Miss Finocchiaro’s remarks had shown “that she is an enemy of women”.

The glamorous line-up invited comparisons with the row which broke out last year when Mr Berlusconi’s party proposed fielding a bevy of actresses, models and reality television starlets as candidates for the European parliament elections in June.

His wife, Veronica Lario, branded the plan “shamelessly tacky” and a week later demanded a divorce after nearly 30 years of marriage.
In the end most of the women were ditched from the line-up and only one, Barbara Matera, 27, a television presenter, actress and former Miss Italy contender, was elected to Brussels.

She revealed that her role model was Mara Carfagna, the former men’s magazine model who Mr Berlusconi made his equal opportunities minister when he returned to power in 2008.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 02/19/2010 at 09:15 AM   
Filed Under: • CelebritiesEye-CandyFun-StuffGovernmentHumorPolitically-Incorrect •  
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calendar   Thursday - February 18, 2010


Canada’s last WW I veteran dies

Soldier’s death at age 109 marks ‘an end of an era’


John Babcock and his wife Dorothy at his 109birthday party July23, 2009.

The Prime Minister’s Office says Canada’s last known First World War veteran, John Babcock, has died at age 109.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement in Ottawa Thursday night announcing Babcock’s death.

“As a nation, we honour his service and mourn his passing,” Harper said. “The passing of Mr. Babcock marks the end of an era.”

Babcock was the last link to the 650,000 Canadian men and women who served in the First World War, Harper noted.

“His family mourns the passing of a great man. Canada mourns the passing of the generation that asserted our independence on the world stage and established our international reputation as an unwavering champion of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”

Babcock joined the military at age 16, but because of his age wasn’t allowed on the front lines.

This news was just released 20 minutes ago. I think 2010 will be the last year for all of these old gents. There are only a very few left the world over, 3 or 4 I think.

Rest in peace old soldier.

From Wiki:

John Henry Foster “Jack” Babcock (July 23, 1900 – February 18, 2010) was, at age 109, the last known surviving veteran of the Canadian military to have served in the First World War and, since the death of Harry Patch, the conflict’s oldest surviving participant. Babcock first attempted to join the army at the age of fifteen, but was turned down and sent to work in Halifax until he was placed in the Young Soldiers Battalion in August 1917. Babcock was then transferred to Britain, where he continued his training until the end of the war.

Having never seen combat, Babcock never considered himself a veteran and moved to the United States in the 1920s, where he joined the United States Army and eventually became an electrician. In May 2007, following the death of Dwight Wilson, he became the last surviving veteran of the First World War who served with the Canadian forces.[1] From that point he received international attention, including 109th birthday greetings from the Queen of Canada, the Governor General of Canada and the Canadian Prime Minister[2] until his death on February 18, 2010.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/18/2010 at 08:52 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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Really Good News, Slghtly Bad News





No. 82154-2

En Banc

Filed February 18, 2010

We must answer whether the Second Amendment applies to the states—an issue Heller explicitly sidestepped. Id. at 2813 n.23.

Incorporation is “[t]he process of applying the provisions of the Bill of Rights to the states by interpreting the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause as encompassing those provisions.”

Heller also found universal support for an individual right to bear arms in pre-Civil War case law and commentary.

The Heller Court also analyzed post-Civil War case law and commentary to conclude a key purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was to ensure freed blacks had the right to keep and bear arms.

Considering Cruikshank:

Moreover Cruikshank merely held the federal Constitution does not apply to private individuals: “The only obligation resting upon the United States is to see that the states do not deny the right. This the [Fourteenth] amendment guarantees, but no more. The power of the national government is limited to the enforcement of this guaranty.”

Courts that rely on this precedent misunderstand its holding.  Because Cruikshank and Presser predate the Supreme Court’s process of selectively applying the Bill of Rights to the states under Duncan, they cannot impede the current incorporation doctrine. Nevertheless in early 2009 the Second Circuit puzzlingly and reluctantly relied on Presser to reject incorporation.

On the other hand a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit recently abandoned Cruikshank, Presser, and Miller v. Texas as obsolete. Nordyke v. King, 563 F.3d 439 (9th Cir. 2009). But on July 29, 2009 the court voted to rehear the matter en banc.

Although it cannot be cited as precedent “by or to any court of the Ninth Circuit,” Nordyke v. King, 575 F.3d 890, 891 (9th Cir. 2009) (Nordyke II), the panel decision persuasively applied the Second Amendment to the states via the due process clause.

Bottom Line:

Pursuant to Duncan the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms from state interference through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This right is necessary to an Anglo-American regime of ordered liberty and fundamental to the American scheme of justice.


The Second Amendment right to bear arms applies to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

So we have a state supreme court finding that the 2nd is incorporated, a few weeks before SCOTUS is scheduled to hear arguments on McDonald v. City of Chicago, which asks the same question. (that case will be heard March 2, 2010)

The Washington State Supreme Court found that the 14th incorporates the 2nd. Will SCOTUS do the same? Stay tuned.

Is this a good decision? Yes. But then again no.

The best decision would be to say that the 14th merely re-affirms by incorporation what already existed under the 2nd. That the 2nd applies even without the 14th existing. Shades of difference perhaps, but the “universal support for an individual right to bear arms in pre-Civil War case law” found by Heller means exactly that. The right could not be infringed BEFORE the 14th existed, so the 14th really doesn’t need to be used as justification now that it does exist. But it doesn’t hurt to say that it can’t be infringed NOW because of the 14th, so there ya go. An extra layer of armor I guess.

Oooh, I’m getting a nice feeling about this. I think Slaughterhouses is going to be overturned. I can’t wait to read Scalia’s consent and Sotomayor’s dissent.

Read more about the Sieyes decision at The Voloch Conspiracy. Read the decision yourself, it’s only 24 very widely spaced and footnoted pages, so it reads fast. The kid (Sieyes) lost. His claim was that the 2nd let him have a gun when he was under age because he’s still a citizen. He didn’t prove that. But the people won. That’s a good thing.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/18/2010 at 05:29 PM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun Control •  
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No Kidding

IAEA Report: Iran could be working on nukes!!

Ann Coulter: No shit, Sherlock.

2007 US Intelligence Report: Iran quit trying to make nukes years ago.

Keith Olberdouche: Bush lied!! Waaa waaa waaa!

BMEWS in 2007: Don’t buy this BS. Bomb them now.

BMEWS in 2009: Iran probably already has the bomb. Bomb them now.

BMEWS in 2010: Iran absolutely already has the bomb.  Bomb them now.

There ya go. That saved me 10,000 words at the keyboard.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/18/2010 at 05:12 PM   
Filed Under: • IranWar On Terror •  
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A Change In The Weather

It’s HOT Out Today!

Ok, I say that with quite a bit of sarcasm, but I think it hit 45°F today. The snowpack is shrinking madly; we’re down to perhaps 5"-6" on the ground. Shingles are appearing on roofs again, and the plowed off snow by the side of the road is starting to become it’s proper color: black. I may have even seen a couple small patches of dirt here and there too.

While we have had temps hovering right at or slightly above freezing several times, I think this is the first time it’s been this warm since before Christmas. It’s not Spring yet, but I’ll take what I can get an be happy for it.


... so I’m sure another massive snow is on the way next week. This has been the coldest, snowiest winter here in NJ in at least a decade.

And just for more warming news, Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is bailing. Just a couple months before the big conference in Mexico. I wonder why?? LOL

Top U.N. climate change official Yvo de Boer told The Associated Press Thursday that he was resigning after nearly four years, a period when governments struggled without success to agree on a new global warming deal. His departure takes effect July 1, five months before 193 nations are due to reconvene in Mexico for another attempt to reach a binding worldwide accord on controlling greenhouse gases.

De Boer is known to be deeply disappointed with outcome of the last summit in Copenhagen, which drew 120 world leaders but failed to reach more than a vague promise by several countries to limit carbon emissions—and even that deal fell short of consensus.

But he denied to the AP that his decision to quit was a result of frustration with Copenhagen.

“Copenhagen wasn’t what I had hoped it would be,” he acknowledged, but the summit nonetheless prompted governments to submit plans and targets for reining in the emissions primarily blamed for global warming. “I think that’s a pretty solid foundation for the global response that many are looking for,” he said.

De Boer’s resignation comes in the wake of the continuing Climate-gate scandal—a story that began with the leak of stolen e-mails from top climate scientists and led to revelations of sloppy science, efforts to suppress dissenting opinions and ultimately flaws in the U.N.’s top climate policy document.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/18/2010 at 04:45 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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School ‘spied on pupils at home through webcams’ …..  stand by for legal action …

This came through about a half hour ago. When I saw the headline I immediately thought it was here. But no. The USA.  Woo-Hoo.  Gonna be trouble now you betcha.
How could they (the school obviously) be so damn stupid? With all the law suits for doing less, with all the talk about big brother etc., the person or persons responsible sure weren’t thinking too clearly. No wait.  They weren’t thinking at all.

Administrators of a wealthy suburban school district have been spying on students and their families at home after giving them laptops fitted with webcams, according to a lawsuit filed by parents.

By Tom Leonard in New York
Published: 6:40PM GMT 18 Feb 2010

The Lower Merion School District, which administers a Philadelphia suburb that is one of the wealthiest parts of Pennsylvania, issued all 1,800 students at its two high schools with laptops so they could access school materials at home.

However, according to a civil action filed in the local US district court, neither parents nor their children were ever warned that the access worked both ways.

Michael and Holly Robbins claim they were alerted to the snooping when an assistant principal at Harriton High School warned their son, Blake, in November last year that he was “engaged in improper behaviour in his home”, citing a photo taken on his laptop webcam as evidence.

Mr Robbins said he later verified through the assistant principal, Lindy Matsko, that the school district was able at any time to “remotely activate” the webcam in a student’s laptop and “view and capture” whatever image was in its line of sight, all without the user’s knowledge or permission.

The lawsuit also argues that “many of the images captured and intercepted may consist of minors and their parents or friends in compromising or embarrassing positions” including “various stages of undress”, the lawsuit adds.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 02/18/2010 at 02:14 PM   
Filed Under: • EducationStoopid-PeopleUSA •  
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Europeans resist Obama on Gitmo prisoners.

I’ve done a bit of chopping here at a site of German origin.  Pretty interesting I think.  Europeans been on us (USA) to close Gitmo like it’s their damn business. So ok, bad move I think but Barry says he’ll close. Any takers for the prisoners?  Uh huh.  Right.  Some lip service maybe.

Trans-Atlantic Relations

Europeans still resisting Obama over Guantanamo inmates

European countries on the whole are still reluctant to take in detainees from Guantanamo Bay despite the best persuasive efforts of the United States. While some have grudgingly agreed to help, others still resist.

One of the major obstacles in finally closing the book on the military prison in Cuba is the White House’s struggle to convince foreign governments to accept detainees.

Obama had promised to close the facility during his first year in office but that deadline passed in January. At the time of the deadline passing, 192 detainees remained at the much-criticized camp, with fewer than 50 inmates having left Cuba since Obama took office.

While canvassing for host nations has been worldwide, the Obama administration has specifically concentrated its powers of persuasion on its allies in Europe. However, Obama has yet to charm many in Europe into accepting detainees.

the US says it would be really grateful if the Europeans help, and on the other it says, ‘well, you told us to sort out this mess, now help us to sort it out’. Mostly the Americans are making it very clear that any help will be much appreciated.”

Despite being given the chance to curry favor with Washington, European governments on the whole are reluctant to help, although some have grudgingly pledged to assist. Some of those who have agreed to take in Guantanamo detainees have preferred not to advertise the fact.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 02/18/2010 at 12:48 PM   
Filed Under: • Illegal-Aliens and ImmigrationInternationalNews-BriefsObama, The OneTerroristsUSA •  
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Neighbours fight plan to surround £60m estate with four mile wall.

Here’s an interesting exercise. Arab spends millions on a property. Never mind Arab. Anyone who spends that much to buy a property should at least in theory have the right to fence it off.  Yes?  But here we’re talking about a very different kind of setting.  Should that make any difference?

A court has approved the building of a wall around the property by an Arab royal, for security.  However, folks living in the area and even one who has lived there lifelong, say NO.  So they are appealing.

One report said the wall would be seven feet high, but another said six feet. Wish they’d get together and agree on a figure so ppl reading the supposed “facts” would get at least that much straight.

Take a look at the photo. That’s one big wall anyway.

I feel sorry for the folks in the area who will lose a nice view.  I suspect however that anyone with the money to buy and renovate the mansion would want a wall for security as well as privacy.  Especially in these times. 

Great Wall of Windsor: Neighbours fight plan to surround £60m estate

By Nick Collins

Ascot Place, which boasts an 18th century mansion surrounded by immaculate parkland, is set in unspoilt countryside just minutes from Windsor Great Park and Berkshire Polo Club.

But residents whose gardens back on to the estate say the beautiful views could be spoilt after plans by the land’s Arab owner to build a four mile long wall around the entire estate were approved by local authorities.


The property was bought for £19 million in 1989 by the ruler of Abu Dhabi, and is to be brought back into active use as one of the private residences of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the head of the royal family.

Last year, Bracknell Forest Borough Council granted permission for the wall to be erected around the grade II listed property for security purposes.

But a solicitor, whose garden faces onto the estate, has won the right to challenge the council’s decision at the High Court after arguing that the development – dubbed the “great wall of Windsor” – should be blocked.

Abigail Zoe Lewis, 32, from Winkfield, Berkshire, argued at London’s High Court that the wall would be too near to listed buildings, and was given permission to take her case to a full judicial review.

Mr Justice Irwin said her submission was “just arguable”, but added the scheme was not subject to normal planning application notifications, because it was an application for a lawful development certificate, not planning consent.

He acknowledged that plans for a “structure of this size” could have a “really major impact on the environment of those who live in such a place as this”.

Speaking outside court after the ruling, Miss Lewis, who has lived in the hamlet of Winkfield since she was five, said: “There is a genuine concern in the village that the wall would be so vast.

“The estate is lovely and, as you are driving along the roads next to it, you can see swathes of valleys. Instead of seeing that, if the scheme goes ahead, you will just see a brick wall.”

Lawyers representing the council argued that Miss Lewis had left it too late to bring her application, and that the proposed wall was a lawful development.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 02/18/2010 at 11:19 AM   
Filed Under: • News-BriefsUK •  
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kind of idle

Not much posting from me the past few days. Nothing much is striking my interest. I’m once again both fed up and bored silly with politics: same old same old, and it’s never going to change.

The Mouse Count is now at 2. And it took me making exactly two trips down there in the morning for them to realize it was in their best interest ($$) to toss the dead mice themselves. Or at least check the traps and call me for a disposal if necessary. Both mice caught in the same trap in the same spot, half way up the steel shelving unit that the employees keep their snack food and coffee supplies on. Beats me how the mice get there to get caught in that one trap, as I’ve got traps on the floor all around and on each lower shelf as well. It could be that they come down from the suspended ceiling. Which means the trap that catches them is the first one in line. Whatever.


I’ve been learning a bit about locomotives and “tractive effort”. Tractive effort is the metric used to express the starting and pulling power of a locomotive. While steam engines from days gone by produced their power from high pressure steam acting on a big piston that moved large and intricate levers, modern diesel locomotives use motors. The engine is only there to run a generator, and electricity runs a motor that turns the wheels that pull the train. It’s quite amazing just how much more powerful a solution this is than the old way. For example, the brand new steam locomotive (did you know there was such a thing?) called the Tornado, built in the UK to modern specifications for £3million, has a tractive effort of 2700 metric horsepower, or 2000 KW, which is about 38,000 lb/ft of torque.


The Tornado, UK’s brand new steam engine

This steam locomotive is just a slightly improved version of a standard choo-choo from back in the day. It is not a giant engine, or even a very large one, but it is representative of a size of engine that was very common at the time. It is classified as a “4-6-2” because it has 4 wheels under the boiler, 6 driving wheels nearly 7 feet in diameter, and 2 wheels under the firebox in the back. The very largest, and rarest, articulated steam engines (double sized boilers, 2 sets of driving wheels, and a hinge in the middle), such as the 2-8-8-2 could manage 152,000 lb/ft; these monsters were essentially 2 very large locomotives welded together. They could haul a lot of freight, but not always very fast. The very largest articulated engine ever built, a 2-8-8-8-4 Triplex could produce perhaps 199,000 lb/ft of tractive effort, but it could barely go 5 mph. A typical large American steam engine could produce 70,000-90,000 lb/ft.


The Virginian, the largest steam engine ever built. Top speed: 5mph

These are big numbers. A whole lot of power. Enough to pull a train. Enough to pull a string of passenger cars when the electric trains freeze up in England due to Global Warming. And while the steam engines had a certain charm, a powerful magnificence you could understand just by looking at, they pale in comparison to a modern diesel “electro-motive” engine. The latest General Electric Evolution turbo-diesel locomotive uses a 12 cylinder engine to produce 4400 horsepower which turns the generators that run the AC motors to both sets of 6 drive wheels, and provides 166,000 lb/ft of continuous tractive effort and up to 198,000 lb/ft of starting tractive effort. Which makes today’s standard diesel locomotive just as powerful as the most potent steam behemoths of ages past, with far less maintenance, much higher speed, and orders of magnitude less pollution. It’s simply a better way. Night and day better. Oh, and that Evolution 12 cylinder engine not only makes as much power as the older 16 cylinder engine, it does it on less fuel and makes fewer emissions as well. And it’s quieter too. So it’s a better, better way.


The latest engine from GE, The Evolution

For more on train physics, see this link.

So what can you do with engines like these? How about pull a line of freight cars 3 1/2 miles long? One super train, 9 engines I think, but it hauls the same load as 600 tractor-trailer trucks. One engineer at the controls. Possibly a fireman on board. One or two guys. In charge of 300 freight cars and 9 engines. 8 of those engines are run by remote control. Economical in the extreme!

Yes, containerized shipping has come to the railroads too. Those odd looking freight cars in the video are called intermodal double stack wells. “Intermodal” because they carry trucks on the train. Two shipping modes together. But they could just as easily be called “internodal”, because each “car” is actually several cars in one. Thus “nodes”. Each sub-car, or node, is a hollow steel frame that can carry two standard shipping containers stacked one on top of the other. The containers sit low in the car, down between the wheels, which keeps the center of gravity low, so they can go around corners faster. Unlike regular boxcars, which have a set of 4 wheels under each end, the intermodal’s wheel sets are shared between the cars or nodes; this cuts the rolling resistance down 40% and provides a smoother ride for the cargo. They are also called “multiple unit articulated double stack cars” since the shared wheel set has a hinge point for each car on it, thus the articulation. But I think “intermodal double stack wells” is just as long-winded a name, and even more train-tech-speak. Any railroad insider would know that those things are both articulated and double stackable. Not trying to confuse anyone even more, but the set of wheels under any train car are called “trucks”. So a tractor on trucks pulls a trail of cars with tractor truck trailers on them, over the tracks. That’s a train today. And the tracks themselves, made of rails and ties, are called a roadbed.  The ties, those great baulks of timber that the rails are nailed to,"sleep" in the stony bed of the road, the rocky road, so they are also called “sleepers”. Got it? LOL Trains have their own vocabulary. Look up “switch frog” and “outside slip”.


“insert shipping container A into slot B, then tighten retaining bolts C, D, E, and F”

The internodal double stack wells come in several sizes and configurations, but mostly they are built as 3 and 5 node units. The only downside to their use is the internodal part: the extended wheelbase of the shared wheel sets makes for a larger turning radius, which limits their use to single run tracks without tight curves, and to double run tracks where the second set of tracks isn’t too close. But they save so much money that my guess is that the old tracks will be moved and modified to allow their use. It’s a better way, and that’s what drives the free market.

All aboooooard!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/18/2010 at 09:54 AM   
Filed Under: • Daily Lifeplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Wednesday - February 17, 2010

rights group says body scanners at airports might be illegal. they would say that. wouldn’t they?

Toward the end of this article is mentions hurting “community relations.” Uh huh.  We can read through that ok.
In a report I heard yesterday, it was clearly stated (by yman rights creeps of course) that muslim travellers wouldn’t know if they were being unfairly targeted by security people. No kidding. That’s what they’re saying.  I don’t understand that. Couldn’t they, if they wanted to and many obviously appear to, say that about any security check?

I have no idea how good these scanners are. It’s a sure bet somebody someplace will eventually find a way around it. But if that’s what we have and if it helps, why is it automatic that rights of ppl are being violated or might be violated?  I should think human rights do-gooders would be happy to see something in place that might protect ppl’s right to life. 

Airport body scanners ‘may be illegal’

Press Association

Using body scanners at UK airports, such as London Heathrow, may be illegal, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has warned.

Scanners at Heathrow and Manchester airports may be breaking discrimination law and breaching passengers’ rights to privacy, the commission said.

The EHRC has written to Transport Secretary Lord Adonis on the issue.

The commission said it recognised the threat posed by terrorism but criticised “the apparent absence of safeguards to ensure the body scanners are operated in a lawful, fair and non-discriminatory manner”.

It also has “serious doubts that the decision to roll (body scanning) out in all UK airports complies with the law”.

Commission chairman Trevor Phillips said: “The right to life is the ultimate human right and we support the Government’s review of security policies.

“State action like border checks, stop-and-search and full body scanning are undertaken for good reasons. But without proper care such policies can end up being applied in ways which do discriminate against vulnerable groups or harm good community relations.

“National security policies are intended to protect our lives and our freedoms but it would be the ultimate defeat if that protection destroyed our other liberties.”



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 02/17/2010 at 12:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Health and SafetyTerroristsUK •  
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The worst cold snap for 20 years. Lawns and Bambi die in cold.

There must be a mistake somewhere.  This can not be correct. Quick, someone call Al Bore.

The worst cold snap for 20 years is turning Britain’s lawns PINK

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 4:18 PM on 17th February 2010

It used to be that the grass was always greener on the other side. But the coldest winter in 20 years is changing all that with gardeners all over Britain reporting that their lawns are turning pink.

The strange pinky-white blotches are being caused by a fungus that thrives in cold, snowy weather.

The disease called fusarium, or snow mould, has been reported from Surrey to Scotland with Northumberland and Yorkshire particularly badly hit.


Thousands of deer starving to death due to bitter cold

By Fiona Macrae
Last updated at 4:04 PM on 17th February 2010

Thousands of deer are starving to death because the coldest winter in 20 years has robbed them of their food supply.

With grass and heather buried under snow and ice, up to 30 per cent of animals have perished on some estates and many more are expected to die before spring.

Some gamekeepers are finding carcasses daily and walkers have been told to prepare themselves for the sight of dead or dying animals.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 02/17/2010 at 12:12 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherUK •  
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calendar   Tuesday - February 16, 2010

It’s a start

Faced with a terrible school situation in a town in Rhode Island, a place where just 7% of the 11th grade students are proficient in math, the school superintendent came up with a plan to improve things. The teachers would have to do some tutoring, eat lunch with the kids once in a while, and work less than half an hour longer per day.

The teachers get paid in the $70-$80K bracket. Plus bennies. Average income in the town is $22K.

The teachers union said no.

So the superintendent fired the whole damn bunch of them.


Original story here


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/16/2010 at 10:49 PM   
Filed Under: • Education •  
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The Wagah border is the only road linking India and Pakistan. And every night, the border is closed with a most unusual ceremony.  Only 156 seconds long, it is one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen.

H/T Jim Miller


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 02/16/2010 at 04:31 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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