Archive for September 2011
Reentry Date: July 11, 1979
Reentry Location: South Western Australia
Size: 79 metric tons
Type: Uncontrolled reentry
The American space station’s reentry was celebrated by media in the United States, with two competing San Francisco newspapers even offering rewards for parts or damaged property.
Name: Salyut 7/Kosmos 1686
Reentry Date: February 7, 1991
Reentry Location: Capitán Bermúdez, Argentina
Size: 40 metric tons
Type: Large, uncontrolled reentry
The Soviet space station had been uninhabited for almost 5 years when it returned to Earth, along with the unmanned spacecraft Kosmos 1686, showering a small Argentinian town with debris.
Reentry Date: March 23, 2001
Reentry Location: South Pacific Ocean
Size: 120 metric tons
Type: Large, controlled destructive reentry
Mir, despite efforts to save the 15-year-old Russian space station for commercial purposes, reentered the atmosphere over Fiji, and fragments fell into the South Pacific.
Name:Saturn S-II-13 (Saturn V Stage)
Reentry Date: January 11, 1975
Reentry Location: Atlantic
Size: 49 metric tons
Type: Uncontrolled reentry
The S-II was the second stage used on the massive Saturn V rocket, famous for launching Apollo astronauts to the moon. The S-II was used for the 13 launches of the Saturn V, including the 49 metric ton stage that reentered on January 11, 1975.
Name: Cosmos 1402 (nuclear spy satellite)
Reentry Date: January 23, 1983
Reentry Location: Indian Ocean
Size: 4 metric tons
Type: Uncontrolled reentry
Satellite nuclear reactors were normally jettisoned to a safe “parking orbit” when the satellites reentered, but Cosmos 1402′s reactor remained attached until breaking up over the Indian Ocean. Here, an American orbital analyst monitors the satellites trajectory from NORAD.
Name:Mars 96 (Mars probe)
Reentry Date: November 17, 1996
Reentry Location: Bolivia, Chile, Pacific Ocean
Size: 7 metric tons
Type: Uncontrolled reentry
Mars 96 was a Russian satellite meant to send four probes to Mars, but failed and returned to Earth crashing into an unknown location in Bolivia, Chile, or the Pacific. No parts of the spacecraft, including its 200 grams of plutonium-238 fuel, have been found.
Space Shuttle Columbia
Reentry Date: February 1, 2003
Reentry Location: Texas, Louisiana
Size: 106 metric tons
Type: Large, controlled, destructive reentry
During the reentry of STS-107, damage to the shuttle’s left wing shielding during launch allowed hot gases to enter the wing structure of the shuttle, leading to the disintegration of the vehicle. All seven crew members were killed, and debris was scattered over northern Texas and eastern Louisiana.
This is Somerset, Manitoba. Located in the south central part of the province, 30 miles (50 kilometres) north of the U.S. border. This is where I grew up. It is a small town, population 420. It is getting smaller every year as the residents die off from old age. The farms have become massive operations. Fewer people farm the land as the huge machinery doesn’t require as many people to put in and harvest the crops. This leads to a decline in population in the area. Not as many services are needed. Enrollment is down in the schools and this causes a decrease in teachers and support staff.
But the town still has a movie theater, two bars, a grocery store, two garage repair shops, two restaurants, government offices, skating and curling rinks, a community hall, giant grain elevator and a few miscellaneous other small businesses. Somerset will still be around for a long time yet. And the people that live there love the quiet and solitude.
It’s the kind of beast Steven Spielberg might feature in a movie. Villagers in Bunawan township in the Philippines celebrated what they hope is the end of a reign of terror when they captured a 21 feet long, 2,370 pound crocodile. Two years ago, a child was eaten by a crocodile that was never caught. Since July, a fisherman went missing, and a croc is a prime suspect. Villagers also reported that they saw a crocodile kill a water buffalo this summer. But this week, using steel cable traps and an animal carcass as bait, they caught the beast and it’s the largest crocodile ever to be taken alive. It took nearly 100 people to haul the monster from a creek, then a crane to lift it into a truck. While this capture may set Guinness Book records, there are still an estimated 250 such giant freshwater crocodiles still in the wild and roughly 1,000 of the saltwater variety. So perhaps they shouldn’t celebrate too quickly. And don’t forget Spielberg’s classic film Jaws in which the residents of a town terrorized by a great white shark rejoice when one of the creatures is killed, only to learn a harsh lesson later — -the real culprit was still out in the water. We hope the real life story has a better ending.
The Giant Squid
The giant squid has never been captured alive. These enormous sea creatures — scientists estimate that they may grow to be as much as 45 feet long and weigh up to a ton — occasionally wash up on shore but are more often found by deep sea fishermen who accidentally catch them in their commercial trawl nets. Giant squids have eight thick arms and two longer tentacles. Their eyes can be as much as 10 inches in diameter. In 2004, Japanese scientists successfully photographed a live squid nearly 3,000 feet underwater off the coast of the Ogasawara Islands. And here’s a fun thought: these inky cephalopods might be the true objects of sailors’ terror-filled tales or misguided affections, as sightings of merpeople and sea monsters date back hundreds of years. The most famous fictional incarnation of this legendary animal can be found in Jules Verne’s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea in which the crew of the Nautilus does battle with a nefarious giant squid that has tentacles as long as the ship itself. Actually, now that we think about it, maybe it’s better that live squids don’t surface very often.
The World’s Largest Spider: Goliath Birdeater Tarantula
Arachnophobes, take this opportunity to look away, because the Goliath Birdeater Tarantula might be your biggest fear. As the largest spider in terms of mass, the Goliath Tarantula can grow up to nearly a foot across, weighing in at more than six ounces, with fangs that are over an inch long. Native to the remote rain forests of South America, this tarantula was named based on reports from explorers who claimed to see one eating a hummingbird. But while their scale can prompt them to seek out this type of large prey, for the most part, the Goliath primarily feeds on insects and other invertebrates, which it traps using its silk web and kills with its fatal venom. Despite their creepy appearance and vicious reputation, however, the tarantula’s bite is no worse than a wasp sting to humans, and to date there have been no reports of human fatalities due to this arachnid. Not like that makes us want to cuddle up to the Goliath anytime in the foreseeable future.
Don’t let its appearance fool you. That blob floating in the ocean is far from innocuous and it isn’t a jellyfish. As the name implies, the Portuguese Man-of-War isn’t a nice beast to meet in the ocean, as roughly 10,000 people swimming off the Australian coast discover each year. The creature is actually a “colonial organism” made of multiple polyps, the largest, a bladder filled with gas that is similar to the atmosphere, is often mistaken for a jellyfish — and it gives the animal it’s name since the bladder looks like the sail of an old Man-of-War battle ship). The other three polyps, gastrozooid (feeding), gonozooid (reproduction) and dactylozooid (defense), are clustered around the
bladder. The dactylzooids compose tentacles that can be more than 150 feet in length. Tiny fish can live in the tentacles, but when a human or larger fish is stung, the venom leaves red welts that can last multiple days. The recommended treatment is to apply salt water to the sting. Unlike jelly fish, vinegar is not recommended as a treatment, and contrary to old wives’ tales, urine is not a recommended treatment for a jellyfish or a Man-of-War. Let’s just say that avoiding this animal all together is the best defense.
Why pick one gigantic, ugly fish when you can pick three? First up is the rarely seen oarfish, an eel that is the Guinness Book of World Records holder as the longest bony fish in the world. Oarfish — really a family of several species — can grow to as long as 56 ft. in length. While they usually live in deep water, they can sometimes float to the surface when dying — a habit that’s caused them to be mistaken for mythical sea serpents. The Brazilian arapaima is the biggest freshwater fish on the planet — they can reach 14 ft. and tip the scales at morethan 400 lbs. Unfortunately for their survival, arapaima are also very tasty — the species is threatened by overfishing. That’s not something the very nasty giant snakehead has to worry about, though. The Southeast Asian river fish is pretty big, but it’s also extremely aggressive, attacking anything that might threaten its young — including human beings. The snakehead can walk on land with its soft pectoral fins, and even breathe air for a little while. Don’t make one mad — it will find you.
These guys definitely win for the least scary name, but the box jellyfish is proof that some of the most innocent-looking things can actually be incredibly dangerous — sort of like Justin Bieber. The fearsome box jellyfish or sea wasp can be found in the tropical Indo-Pacific, and their tentacles, each of which contain about 5,000 stinging cells, pack a serious punch. Box jellyfish poison is among the most toxic in the world, attacking the heart and nervous system. The pain from a sting is apparently so great victims beg to have the poisoned limbs amputated, and can sometimes simply go into heart failure because of the agony. Oh, and they’re also nearly translucent, meaning swimmers can collide with them unaware. Your best bet might be to make friends with a sea turtle — they’re impervious to the box jelly venom, and love to eat the spongy creatures.
There are a lot of ways to get on this list: be super poisonous, be super scary or just be nasty looking. But the Burmese python does it the old-fashioned way — it’s just really, really big. The constrictor is one of the largest snakes in the world, usually growing up to 25 ft. and some 200 lbs, but there have been pythons as long as 50 ft. and as heavy as 1,000 lbs. And the snakes put that bulk to good use — they grab their victims with sharp teeth, wrap themselves around their target and simply squeeze. After their lunch has suffocated, the pythons swallow them whole with super-stretchy jaws. Fortunately, Burmese pythons rarely attack human beings, and thanks to habitat loss in the Southeast Asian jungle, the snakes are actually now a threatened species. So they should be more afraid of you — though if you meet one in a dark corner of the rainforest, somehow I doubt that’ll be the case.
With over 5,000 eye-witness accounts, tens of thousands of documented footprints, recorded vocalizations and some video, photo and film evidence the Sasquatch creature is a either a grand legend, or a blood and bones entity. Sane people report seeing the creature close up. And they say it is not a bi-pedal bear or a guy in a gorilla suit. It is a big, smelly ape that walks on 2 legs. But damn can this thing hide. Eventually one is going to eat some rotten berries and get disoriented, then it may stagger onto a hilly highway, and some big rambling semi truck is going to nail it dead on. Then the skeptics won’t know what to say.
As far as anybody knows the Sasquatch hasn’t killed any human beings. Although Teddy Roosevelt wrote about an incident in Montana in the 1910′s where a montain man was stalked by a Bigfoot. His badly beaten body was found by two trappers some time later. Farmers and ranchers have reported missing chickens and sheep shortly after a Sasquatch was observed in the area.
The police service haven’t updated their site to the most current statistics. The actual homicide number is 32. Edmonton is at 38 homicides. It will be a photo finish between Winnipeg and Edmonton to see who gets the title “murder capital of Canada.”
North American society is highly addicted to petroleum. The substance is used in many industries to make plastics, fertilizers, pesticides, asphalt and lubricants etc. But it is mainly used to make fuels, especially gasoline. North Americans love their private vehicles. Many households have 3 or 4 vehicles. Many households have as many vehicles as they have T.V.’s. Junior and Missy each have their own car. It is rather crazy.
But if this is the reality, let’s get our energy from reliable sources. The Oil Sands in Alberta are a filthy, dirty and disgusting energy source. The areas where the sands are extracted look like nuclear warhead testing sites. Filthy trailing ponds and pollution smoking up out of the processing facilities. It is ugly. But, it is abundant, and it is in Canada.
I assert that we should sell the Americans all the energy they will take. That way they won’t have to rely on foreign sources to satisfy their gluttonous oil appetite. When the Americans are forced to rely on oil from the Middle East they are always scheming against those governments with C.I.A. plots and subplots to keep the torrent flowing. During the 1973 OPEC oil embargo the U.S. was preparing an invasion of Saudi Arabia. The U.S. was slugging it out in Vietnam in a major war, yet they were sending warships into the Mediterranean and moving bombers into the region in preparation of an all out invasion of the Arabian peninsula. Perhaps the Bush invasion of Iraq had something to do with oil.
So let’s get this pipeline built. With 21st century technology it will be safe. These engineering firms know what they are doing. It will create thousands of jobs. And most importantly, America won’t have to rely on sources of oil from countries where the populations and governments basically hate them and in times of crisis could be extremely unreliable. And the U.S. intelligence agencies will not be meddling as much in the affairs of other countries.
The Keystone Pipeline System is a pipeline system to transport synthetic crude oil from the Athabasca Oil Sands in northeastern Alberta, Canada to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma, and further to the U.S. Gulf Coast. It consists of the operational “Keystone Pipeline” and proposed Keystone XL (Keystone Expansion) pipeline. Keystone XL has faced lawsuits from oil refineries, criticism from environmentalists and some members of the United States Congress. The U.S. Department of State in 2010 extended the deadline for federal agencies to decide if the pipeline is in the national interest.
The Keystone XL extension was proposed in 2008. The application was filed in the beginning of 2009 and the National Energy Board of Canada started hearings in September 2009. It was approved by the National Energy Board on March 11, 2010. The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission granted a permit on February 19, 2010.
The 3,456 kilometres (2,147 mi) long pipeline runs from Hardisty, Alberta to the United States refineries in Wood River, Illinois and Patoka, Illinois. The Canadian section involves approximately 864 kilometres (537 mi) of pipeline converted from the Canadian Mainline natural gas pipeline and 373 kilometres (232 mi) of new pipeline, pump stations and terminal facilities at Hardisty, Alberta. The United States section is 2,219 kilometres (1,379 mi) long. It runs through Buchanan, Clinton and Caldwell counties in Missouri, and Nemaha, Brown and Doniphan counties in Kansas. In Jefferson County, Nebraska, a 291 miles (468 km) long extension would take the pipeline to the oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma.
The 3,190 kilometres (1,980 mi) long Keystone XL starts from the same area in Alberta as the main pipeline. The Canadian section will consist of 529 kilometres (329 mi) of new pipeline. It enters the United States at Morgan, Montana, and travel through South Dakota and Nebraska. It joins the main Keystone Pipeline at Steele City, Nebraska. From there it runs parallel to the Cushing extensions. From Cushing, it would be expanded to Port Arthur, Texas, and Houston, Texas. The pipeline will reach Illinois in late 2012, to Oklahoma in late 2012, and to Texas in 2013. TransCanada says the pipeline will later be expanded to reach refineries in the USA Gulf Coast.
Recent times have not been good for dictators. Mubarek, Gaddafi and Ben Ali in Tunisia have been overthrown. Okay, that wily Gaddafi is still holding and hiding out. But 2011 was the year of overthrow the dictator. Hopefully it will continue into 2012. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran and Assad in Syria are ripe for the picking. These reprobates should get overthrown ASAP. Not to mention that 87-year-old despicable tyrant in Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, that mean old goat just won’t die.
To celebrate the year of tyrant overthrow I am borrowing material from Mad Magazine from an article titled Dictators next to be Overthrown. All fictionalized of course.
RAMADA IBN MUFTI: Sultan of Slurbistan
How he came to power: Won it in a poker game in 1957.
Why his people want him out: Insists on wearing big, dumb head scarf during rambling 5 hour speeches. And the widespread torture doesn’t exactly help his image either.
Memorable quote: “Call me a mass-murdering cannibal pedophile if you must, but at least I put the jaywalkers in prison.”
Misc. fun fact: Has over 100 children, though not all with the same woman.
Where he may end up: Guest on Dancing With The Stars.
GRUNHELGA IV: Ruler For Life Of Guildenstern
How she came to power: Her brother owns the company that makes the voting machines, so it was really pretty easy.
Why her people want her out: Her plan to convert the city’s only public playground into a missile testing range, even though they already have a perfectly good range downtown.
Misc. fun fact: Used her own funds to set up a casino for handicapped children.
Where she may end up: Whining on the couch of whoever took Oprah’s place.
SHIH TZU LUNG: Beloved Potenate For Life, Satsuma
How he came to power: On the third day of the third week of the third month, he spotted a rainbow above a mountaintop, which seemed as good a reason as any to assassinate the then-current leader.
Why his people want him out: It was revealed that he earned his nickname, “The Lion of the Delta,” due to his fondness for raw antelope meat.
Misc. fun fact: Sharply criticized a NATO food-drop effort, noting that there was no Frankenberry cereal, his favourite.
Where he may end up: In the V.P. slot if Texas Gov. Rick Perry gets the G.O.P. nomination.
INTESTINO DEL SALAMANDAREZ: President of Dos Muertos
How he came to power: Installed by the C.I.A. in 1983 during the “War to Install Our Guy.”
Why his people want him out: Ardent supporter of Tea Party diva Sarah Palin.
Uniform: For official functions, he favours an “I’m With Stupid” tee-shirt, novelty spinning bow tie, and vintaged spiked Prussian Army helmet he got on eBay.
Misc. fun fact: Has gone through 73 tasters, a Guinness Book World Record.
Where he may end up: As a bench coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
HANFORD ”SKIPPY” MBOBATASU: Grand Exhalted Eminence Of Lalaland
How he came to power: Default winner in 1992 election after his five opponents were mysteriously trampled by “rogue giraffes.”
Why his people want him out: He only allows freedom of speech if it’s in the form of a dirty limerick.
Uniform: His “formal military attire” is haphazardly BeDazzled UPS uniform.
Misc. fun fact: His palace boasts a muffler repair shop on the ground floor.
Where he may end up: Being choke-slammed by Snooki at Wrestlemania #28.
DMITRI CZUCHLIZCHACHECK: Prime Minister of People’s Republic of Analdesia
How he came to power: Worked his way up from the mailroom.
Why his people want him out: Orders beheadings for “sedition against the state” for anybody who reads the print on toothpaste tubes.
Memorable quote: “I did not have sex with that woman. I had sex with that woman.”
Misc. fun fact: He was named “Coochie Coo” by George W. Bush, who didn’t even try to pronounce his last name.
Where he may end up: Back in the mailroom.
A strange geological formation occurs along the Pacific coast of the northwest United States. They are found especially along the Washington and Oregon coasts. Islands that pop out of the ocean and are particularly tall. They make for picturesque scenery.
Sea stacks are found around the world. A different type of stack is the Flower Pot Rocks along the coast of the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick.
A stack is a geological landform consisting of a steep and often vertical column or columns of rock in the sea near a coast, isolated by erosion. Stacks are formed through processes of coastal geomorphology, which are entirely natural. Time, wind and water are the only factors involved in the formation of a stack. They are formed when part of a headland is eroded by hydraulic action, which is the force of the sea or water crashing against the rock. The force of the water weakens cracks in the headland, causing them to later collapse, forming free-standing stacks and even a small island.
Flower Pot Rocks in New Brunswick
2ft-tall cheerleader becomes world’s shortest woman
A dancing, cheerleading 2ft tall American has been named world’s shortest living woman by Guinness World Records.