Archive for July 2012

500 Million Indians without juice   Leave a comment



Hundreds of millions of people have been left without electricity in northern and eastern India after a massive power breakdown.

More than half the country was hit by the power cuts after three grids collapsed – one for a second day.

Hundreds of trains have come to a standstill and hospitals are running on backup generators.

The country’s power minister has blamed the crisis on states drawing too much power from the national grid.

The breakdowns in the northern, eastern, and north-eastern grids mean around 600m people have been affected in 20 of India’s states.

Traffic jams

In a statement on national TV on Tuesday evening, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said he had appealed to states to stop trying to take more than their quota of power.





“I have also instructed my officials to penalise the states which overdraw from the grid,” he said.

Media reports in India have suggested that Uttar Pradesh is among the states that government officials have been blaming for the grid collapse.

But officials in the state denied this, saying there was “no reason to believe that any power operations in Uttar Pradesh triggered it”.

Anil K Gupta, the chairman of the state’s power company, called for “further investigation to ascertain the real cause”.

Also on Tuesday it was announced that Mr Shinde had been promoted to the post of home minister, in a widely anticipated cabinet reshuffle.

‘Complete mess’

By late on Tuesday, officials said the north-eastern grid was fully up and running. The northern grid was running at 75% capacity and the eastern at 40%.

In Delhi, Metro services were halted and staff evacuated trains. Many traffic lights in the city failed, leading to massive traffic jams.

Much of the country’s railway network has started moving again, although a full service is not expected for many hours and there is a huge backlog to clear.

The failure on the northern grid on Monday also caused severe disruption and travel chaos across northern India.

One shopworker in Delhi, Anu Chopra, 21, said: “I can understand this happening once in a while but how can one allow such a thing to happen two days in a row?

“It just shows our infrastructure is in a complete mess. There is no transparency and no accountability whatsoever.”

In eastern India, around 200 miners were trapped underground as lifts failed, but officials later said they had all been rescued.



With so many areas without air conditioning, some Indians decided to jump the train and head to the beach.


Posted July 31, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Fishing boat sinks same day as owner’s burial   Leave a comment


Stan Bennett’s shrimp boat sank beneath the waterline on Saturday, the same day he was buried.



A shrimp boat sank this weekend while it was tied up at the wharf in St. John’s, just hours before its owner was buried after a long battle with cancer, in an incident that the family describes as “spooky.”

Stan Bennett died last week after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Early on Saturday morning, the family learned that Bennett’s vessel was taking on water while it was tied up at the small boat basin near Prosser’s Rock, on the south side of St. John’s Harbour. It continued sinking into the water, with most of it submerged despite efforts from the Canadian Coast Guard to pull it up.

His son, also named Stan Bennett, said the circumstances — especially the timing — were bizarre.

“She’s been out in storms, the spring of the year and the fall of the year. Hurricanes. For her to sink tied up at the wharf, in the middle of the summer, the word of the day is spooky,” Bennett told CBC News.

“The day we put our father in the ground, his boat goes to the bottom of the harbour. What other word can you use?”

The cause of the problem has not yet been found.

The coast guard had been preparing for another attempt Monday to lift the boat with a crane.

Bennett said while the boat was insured, the family still take a financial hit because they will lose the rest of the shrimp harvesting season. He said the overall loss is more than $300,000.





This was one very, very strange coincidence.  But it is great ammunition for believers in the paranormal!

Posted July 30, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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The Cow Portfolio   Leave a comment



Below are some photos I have taken of cow herds in south central Manitoba.  To me the cow of the pasture seems so content and satisfied.  As they chew their cud and let off the odd rare moo, their faces look like they do not have a worry in the world.  They just shift from one corner of the pasture to the next where the grass is more tasty and thick.  Just have a cow crap whenever and wherever the need arises.  No complications, no bickering with the bull, no calf running away with the other cow’s calf to go breed in the other corner of the pasture, no drunken steers to deal with, all is good.


The Cow – by Robert Louis Stephenson

The friendly cow all red and white,

I love with all my heart:

She gives me cream with all her might,

To eat with apple-tart.

She wanders lowing here and there,

And yet she cannot stray,

All in the pleasant open air,

The pleasant light of day;

And blown by all the winds that pass

And wet with all the showers, She walks among the meadow grass

And eats the meadow flowers.





Down by the sliprails stands our cow
Chewing, chewing, chewing,
does not care what folks out there
In the great, big world are
She sees the small cloud-shadows pass
And green grass shining
If she does think, what does she think
About it all, I

She sees the swallows skimming by
Above the sweet young
The light reeds swaying in […]



The Cow is too well known, I fear, To need an introduction here.

If She should vanish from Earth’s face It would be Hard to fill Her place;

For with the Cow would disappear So much that every one holds Dear.

Oh, think of all the Boots and Shoes, Milk Punches, Gladstone Bags, and Stews […]





Thank you, pretty cow, that made Pleasant milk to soak my bread,

Every day and every night,

Warm, and fresh, and sweet, and white.

Do not chew the hemlock rank, Growing on the weedy bank;

But the yellow cowslips eat;

They perhaps will make it sweet. Where the purple violet grows,

Where the bubbling water flows, Where the […]



This is one of the most timid herds I have ever come across.  They were huddled near Manitou, Manitoba.  The matriarch cow must be paranoid, as all her underlings look like they just saw a Sasquatch!  This herd should relax, a sudden thunder-clap could send them into a hysterical stampede, which could lead to a kamikaze charge into a barbed wire fence.



Here is a very content pasture cow herd in south central Manitoba.

Posted July 29, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Some very provocative holes   Leave a comment


Copper mine, Bingham Canyon, Utah







Darvaza, The burning gates of Turkmenistan







Chuquicamata copper mine, Chile







Diavik diamond mine, Canada







Sink hole in Guatemala, a consequence of tropical storm Agatha






Kimberley big hole, South Africa







Mirny diamond mine, Siberia, Russia








Posted July 28, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Alternative rendition of This Magic Moment   Leave a comment


This magic moment So different and so new Was like any other Until I met you And then it happened It took me by suprise I knew that you felt it too I could see it by the look in your eyes

Sweeter than wine Softer than a summer’s night Everything I want, I have Whenever I hold you tight

This magic moment, While your lips are close to mine, Will last forever, Forever, ’til the end of time

So why won’t you dance with me? Why won’t you dance with me?

This magic moment So different and so new Was like any other Until I met you

And then it happened It took me by suprise I knew that you felt it too I could see it by the look in your eyes

Sweeter than wine Softer than a summer’s night Everything I want, I have Whenever I hold you tight




Posted July 28, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Thunderbirds are Go!   Leave a comment


Thunderbirds is a British science fiction television series first broadcast during 1965 and 1966 which was devised by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and made by their company, AP Films, using a form of marionette puppetry dubbed “Supermarionation”. The series followed the adventures of International Rescue, a secretive organisation created to help those in grave danger using technically advanced equipment and machinery launched from its hidden Tracy Island base. The series focused on the head of the organisation, ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy, and his five sons who piloted the “Thunderbird” crafts. Its London agent, Lady Penelope, also makes frequent appearances. Perennially popular, the series has benefited from periodic revivals since – as well as subsequently inspiring other television programmes and advertisements, theatrical productions, feature films and substantial merchandise.





Posted July 27, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Let the Games begin!   Leave a comment


Maverick Arts Publishing has created a new calendar depicting guinea pigs going for gold at a huge sporting event like the Olympics. The Guinea Pig Games 2013 calendar features the furry creatures competing in events such as hurdles, swimming, showjumping and cycling.























Posted July 27, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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This is incredibly bizarre   Leave a comment


Meanwhile in Russia WTF


Posted July 27, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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One World Trade Center construction update   Leave a comment


By July 13, 2012, the tower’s steel had risen to the nominal 104th floor, its concrete flooring had been installed to the 94th floor, and its glass panels had reached the 81st floor.  The building’s structure is expected to top out sometime in the summer of 2012, whereupon its 408-foot (124 m) radio antenna will be installed.









I’m not quite sure what the steelworkers are doing on the crane, but they look pretty confident.  Got to admit these boys get quite the view during their workday.




Posted July 26, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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The Battle for Aleppo, Syria is about to commence   1 comment







Syria conflict: Troops ‘mass before Aleppo battle’


Syrian rebels in Aleppo have begun stockpiling ammunition and medical supplies as government forces prepare outside the city for a major battle.

Artillery and helicopter gunships have resumed attacking rebel targets and 14 people have been killed, activists say.

Troops and tanks are said to be ringing the city and reinforcements are reportedly on their way to join them.

In Damascus, activists said the army had pounded the capital’s last rebel-held areas and 20 civilians had died.

Five children and four women were killed, according to London-based pro-opposition group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, when shells hit the Yalda area. Helicopters also attacked the nearby district of Hajar al-Aswad.

The government has said its forces are trying to dislodge the “remnants of mercenary terrorist groups”.

Checkpoints and snipers

In Syria’s commercial hub of Aleppo, rebels have set up checkpoints and sniper positions and claim to be in control of half of the city.

A Syrian security source was quoted by AFP news agency as saying that special forces had begun arriving on the edges of Aleppo in readiness for a “generalised counter-offensive on Friday or Saturday”.

A similar account has emerged from the the Human Rights Observatory, which talks of reinforcements arriving from the main Damascus to Aleppo road to the south.

Columns of troops and tanks are also thought to be travelling from the city of Hama, and from the border posts with Turkey in Idlib province.

Aleppo is the country’s commercial capital, and key to the battle to control the north of the country.

Street battles have been reported throughout the city for days, as rebels try to hold on to neighbourhoods captured in an offensive that began at the weekend.

Although it was relatively quiet on Thursday, activists said artillery fire could be heard in the Salah al-Din neighbourhood in the southwest of the city and clashes in Tariq al-Bab in the east had led to two rebels being killed.

Foreign journalists operate under heavy restrictions in Syria so claims made by either side are difficult to verify.








Syrian Arab Army

Military age 18
Conscription Mandatory for all males (2010 numbers pre-Syrian uprising)
Active personnel 220,000
Reserve personnel 280,000

10,885 Armoured Fighting Vehicles:

  • 4,950 Main battle tanks (including 1,150 in storage)
  • 1,125 Amphibious Armoured Scout Cars
  • 2,950 Infantry fighting vehicles
  • 1,860 Armoured personnel carriers
  • 4,815+ Towed Artillery Pieces:
    • 1,010+ Mortars
    • 2,130+ Gun/Howitzers (400 in storage)
    • 1,675+ Anti-aircraft guns (300+ in storage)
  • 1,136 Self-Propelled Artillery Pieces:
    • 485 Self-propelled howitzers
    • 650 Self-propelled anti-aircraft guns (240 in storage)
  • 6,890+ Anti Tank Guided Weapon Launchers (4,290 in storage)
  • 500+ Multiple Launch Rocket Systems
  • 102+ Surface to Surface/Ship Missile Launchers:
    • 86+ Tactical ballistic missile launchers
    • 16+ Anti-ship missile launchers
  • 4,235+ Surface to Air Missile Launchers:
    • 4,000+ MANPADS
    • 235 Self-propelled air-defence systems

Posted July 26, 2012 by markosun in Uncategorized

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