Re: Australian Fires and Floods

2009-02-10 Thread Charlie Bell

On 10/02/2009, at 9:17 AM, Rceeberger wrote:
 There are towns in southern Australia where they won't let people  
 back in,
 due to the numbers of bodies still lying in the streets.

They have to let the forensics teams in first.

 These towns are all
 quite rural, and there is just no way any governmental entities  
 could be
 prepared for such a death toll over a broad area.

It's rural, but it's only spitting distance from Melbourne. Kinglake,  
which was razed, is on my local cycling club's weekly training  
circuit, and we're in suburbia. It's hard for people who haven't been  
to Oz to appreciate how fast the population density drops off as one  
heads out of the city. Maybe it's similar in parts of the USA, say  
coming out of Oklahoma City maybe (I'm guessing - someone help me  
out!), but the contrast between a city of 3.5 million and the tiny  
hamlets outside the 50km radius from the city is quite marked.

 I really feel for their Prime Minister. Regardless of his politics,  
 his
 humanity shows as he is completely lost for words and trying to hold  
 back
 tears. (Watching news from there is hard, they have so much pain to  
 deal
 with.)

There's been hardly anyone able to speak without a quiver in their  
voice. I found out today that the guys I go to footie with lost  
several friends. We'll all be at the Melbourne - Adelaide match this  
Saturday. It's going to be a very weird affair.

 Australia always stands with and by us though all sorts of ordeals.  
 Anyone
 know of a good way an American can be helpful?

Australian Red Cross is managing the appeal. You can donate online:
http://www.redcross.org.au/vic/services_emergencyservices_victorian-bushfires-appeal-2009.htm

Or give something to your local volunteer fire service. In a few  
months, it'll be the northern hemisphere on fire.

Charlie.
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Re: Australian Fires and Floods

2009-02-10 Thread Alberto Monteiro
Rob asked:

 Anyone know of a good way an 
 American can be helpful?

Probably not now. The worst problem in this kind of disaster is
logistics, not money.

Since December, the brazilian state of Santa Catarina - among
the richest of Brazil, probable comparable with any european
country in terms of Human Develpment Index - suffers major
catastrophic floods.

There were campaings to collect clothes, water, food, etc - and 
all the things that were donated were either stolen or incinerated,
as the problem was not that they didn't have them, but that these
goods couldn't get there - because the _roads_ collapsed.

I think the situation in Australia is the same. Those people lost
their homes, but they can pull themselves out of ruin after the crisis.
During the crisis, the best thing outsiders can do is try to
keep their roads free, and help remove them from the disaster area.

Alberto Monteiro

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Re: Australian Fires and Floods

2009-02-10 Thread Charlie Bell

On 10/02/2009, at 9:50 PM, Alberto Monteiro wrote:
 There were campaings to collect clothes, water, food, etc - and
 all the things that were donated were either stolen or incinerated,
 as the problem was not that they didn't have them, but that these
 goods couldn't get there - because the _roads_ collapsed.\

They're specifically saying We don't want stuff. If you want to help,  
give money to the Red Cross, offer accomodation to the Department of  
Human Services, or register as a blood donor. They need the money to  
rebuild, but they want to spend it locally, not spend money moving  
stuff around.


 I think the situation in Australia is the same. Those people lost
 their homes, but they can pull themselves out of ruin after the  
 crisis.

With help.

 During the crisis, the best thing outsiders can do is try to
 keep their roads free, and help remove them from the disaster area.

Oh, they removed themselves. It's stopping them going back in that's  
the problem.

Charlie.
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Re: The trouble with conspiracy theories

2009-02-10 Thread Ronn! Blankenship
At 09:26 PM Monday 2/9/2009, Dave Land wrote:
On Feb 7, 2009, at 10:21 PM, Ronn! Blankenship wrote:

  At 06:53 AM Friday 2/6/2009, Pat Mathews wrote:
 
 
  http://counterknowledge.com/2009/02/the-trouble-with-conspiracy-theories/
 
  Basic thesis: little conspiracies exist all over the place. Global
  conspiracies are un-doable given the inability to herd all those
  cats.
 
  I was disappointed that the EDS commercial was just ranked fifth on
  last week's show of all-time best Super Bowl commercials, 'cuz it
  leaves me ROTFLOL so hard I have tears in my eyes . . .

Maybe it came in 5th because the commercial is almost a decade old?


How old is the Mean Joe Green Coke commercial?


. . . ronn!  :)



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Re: Australian Fires and Floods

2009-02-10 Thread Bruce Bostwick
On Feb 10, 2009, at 4:50 AM, Alberto Monteiro wrote:

 Rob asked:

 Anyone know of a good way an
 American can be helpful?

 Probably not now. The worst problem in this kind of disaster is
 logistics, not money.

 Since December, the brazilian state of Santa Catarina - among
 the richest of Brazil, probable comparable with any european
 country in terms of Human Develpment Index - suffers major
 catastrophic floods.

 There were campaings to collect clothes, water, food, etc - and
 all the things that were donated were either stolen or incinerated,
 as the problem was not that they didn't have them, but that these
 goods couldn't get there - because the _roads_ collapsed.

 I think the situation in Australia is the same. Those people lost
 their homes, but they can pull themselves out of ruin after the  
 crisis.
 During the crisis, the best thing outsiders can do is try to
 keep their roads free, and help remove them from the disaster area.

 Alberto Monteiro

Never underestimate the importance of the logistics and rebuilding  
basic infrastructure.

And we should know that after the post-Katrina aid and emergency  
management crisis in New Orleans and the Delta parishes.  It's easy to  
just send stuff, but Alberto is absolutely right in that if there's  
no infrastructure to deliver it, a lot of resources are wasted both in  
gathering stuff to send and the logistics of shipping it around the  
world.  The Red Cross is a good starting point for contributions as  
they're familiar with what the most urgent needs are on the ground  
there right now.

On this one we'd like to think of ourselves collectively as 'da men',  
sir. -- Toby Ziegler



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Re: The trouble with conspiracy theories

2009-02-10 Thread Nick Arnett
All global conspiracies are generated by a secret association of church
officials and the Trilateral Commission, led byDick Cheney.  Everybody knows
that.

I'm a registered participant in the truly evil, extremely secret top-posting
conspiracy.

Nick

On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 4:53 AM, Pat Mathews mathew...@msn.com wrote:



 http://counterknowledge.com/2009/02/the-trouble-with-conspiracy-theories/

 Basic thesis: little conspiracies exist all over the place. Global
 conspiracies are un-doable given the inability to herd all those cats.

 http://idiotgrrl.livejournal.com/





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One way to get your name in print

2009-02-10 Thread Nick Arnett
Get laid off, get a mention:
http://www.informationweek.com/news/management/careers/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=213001013

I'm on the second page.

The author and I worked together 20 years ago at InfoWorld.

Nick
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Re: The trouble with conspiracy theories

2009-02-10 Thread Dave Land

On Feb 10, 2009, at 5:18 AM, Ronn! Blankenship wrote:

 At 09:26 PM Monday 2/9/2009, Dave Land wrote:
 On Feb 7, 2009, at 10:21 PM, Ronn! Blankenship wrote:

 At 06:53 AM Friday 2/6/2009, Pat Mathews wrote:


 http://counterknowledge.com/2009/02/the-trouble-with-conspiracy-theories/

 Basic thesis: little conspiracies exist all over the place. Global
 conspiracies are un-doable given the inability to herd all those
 cats.

 I was disappointed that the EDS commercial was just ranked fifth on
 last week's show of all-time best Super Bowl commercials, 'cuz it
 leaves me ROTFLOL so hard I have tears in my eyes . . .

 Maybe it came in 5th because the commercial is almost a decade old?

 How old is the Mean Joe Green Coke commercial?

30 years this year, I think. Was the cats commercial a send-up of the
original EDS commercial from 2000, just a repeat, or did it take the  
story
further? I don't know.

What I liked about the Polamalu ad was the way it paid homage the old  
Mean
Joe Greene ad, but had its own flavor with the brand manager dudes.

Dave

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Re: One way to get your name in print

2009-02-10 Thread Dave Land
On Feb 10, 2009, at 8:51 AM, Nick Arnett wrote:

 Get laid off, get a mention:
 http://www.informationweek.com/news/management/careers/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=213001013

 I'm on the second page.

 The author and I worked together 20 years ago at InfoWorld.

Evidently, you're following this job-search rule: Don't be the  
looking-for-a-job guy, be the doing-interesting-things guy.

Dave

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Re: One way to get your name in print

2009-02-10 Thread Nick Arnett
On Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 10:55 AM, Dave Land dml...@gmail.com wrote:


 Evidently, you're following this job-search rule: Don't be the
 looking-for-a-job guy, be the doing-interesting-things guy.


Funny thing, the headhunter who recruited me for the position I'm
interviewing for says that he pretty much only recruits employed people,
doesn't use the resume sites, etc.  I'm guessing he's bending his rules a
bit these days.

Nick
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Darwinism

2009-02-10 Thread William T Goodall
With the bicentennial of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of  
_The Origin of Species_ this year there's been a lot of news coverage  
lately on 'Darwinism', and with the politicisation of the subject by  
religionists and the  misdirection favoured by those trying to  
confound the matter the agenda of some of these stories is hard to  
parse.

This essay

http://tinyurl.com/ctpuqq

in _The New York Times_  'Darwinism Must Die So That Evolution May  
Live' is an example.

Scientists don't talk about Darwinism, creationists do.

This seems to be an attempt at 'framing' the science by altering the  
terms of the debate. I can understand how frustrated rational people  
get at the rhetorical antics of the superstitious religionists but  
fighting truth-mangling with more truth-mangling seems wrong to me.

Necessary lies Maru
-- 
William T Goodall
Mail : w...@wtgab.demon.co.uk
Web  : http://www.wtgab.demon.co.uk
Blog : http://radio.weblogs.com/0111221/

There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant  
market share. No chance - Steve Ballmer


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Re: Darwinism

2009-02-10 Thread Max Battcher
William T Goodall wrote:
 in _The New York Times_  'Darwinism Must Die So That Evolution May  
 Live' is an example.
 
 Scientists don't talk about Darwinism, creationists do.

I can't think of a recent example by just about anyone of the term 
darwinism that was outside of the phrase social darwinism or in 
reference to the darwin awards.

If there is a word that must die because it has too much emotional 
baggage among creationists the word is evolution and unfortunately we 
have no better replacement and would probably lose more in changing 
words than we would gain...

 This seems to be an attempt at 'framing' the science by altering the  
 terms of the debate. I can understand how frustrated rational people  
 get at the rhetorical antics of the superstitious religionists but  
 fighting truth-mangling with more truth-mangling seems wrong to me.

Well, 'framing' uses the connotation of a word against its denotation, 
and so those most susceptible to issues of framing are those that don't 
bother to seek the actual definitions of a word and actual contexts of 
its usage.  Science using framing is akin to fighting ignorance with a 
slightly different aerosol form of ignorance.  It won't solve any real 
issues.  But who knows how to solve the real issues here?

--
--Max Battcher--
http://worldmaker.net

We haven't evolved past the need for words Maru
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Re: Australian Fires and Floods, L3, ATTN Jo Anne

2009-02-10 Thread Doug Pensinger
Charlie wrote:

Or give something to your local volunteer fire service. In a few
 months, it'll be the northern hemisphere on fire.


So true.  There were two fires in Santa Cruz county last June which, prior
to that, had been known as asbestos county because of the lack of
wildfires over the previous century or so.  My sister's brother, his brother
and his brother's son are all firefighters, so I get a little of the inside
poop.  Here's a little bit of it from my brother in law.  The background is
that he's a firefighter in the Santa Cruz area but has been assigned to a
strike team fighting a fire in Butte county north of Sacramento, near where
Jo Anne lives.

We arrived at Chico Base on June 25th with a strike team of 5 Type I engines
and a leader.  We were generally on a 24 hour schedule, although our days on
usually started by 5am and we never really relaxed until dinner time the
next day.  When in base camp we ate large portions of institutional food
served in a huge building on the Fairgrounds.  On the days we deployed we
picked up sack lunches and MRE's and filled coolers with ice, water and
Gatorades.  Showers were available in a trailer unit after standing in lines
using a disposable towel.



Because of the heat and workload we all drank gallons each day to avoid
dehydration.  Some nights we were able to catch naps on the fire line or a
dusty Drop Point on the ground or pretzled into the engine.  We cut fire
line with hand tools both directly and indirectly on the fire.  We also put
in long hose lays to directly fight fire or to support another operation.
 We worked with other firefighters from all around the state each day.



After working above the dusty Concow area for 10 days we were ready for a
change.  We were assigned structure protection on the 7th up the Feather
River Canyon at the small hamlet of Tobin.  Here we deployed and prepared
the structures in case the wind picked up again and blew the fire across the
river.  At about 10 pm we were re-deployed to structure protection the in
Concow area.  We were told that the Camp Fire had crossed a control line and
was headed directly towards Concow with our nearest strike team a while
out.



We were assigned to Mountain Pine Rd.   We assessed the 4 houses, 2 of which
were occupied.  We urged both families to leave as soon as they could as we
saw the orange glow approaching across the canyon.  With 4 homes and only 1
engine we were faced with the tough decisions.  We chose to make a stand at
the house we were most likely going to be able to save.  Fortunately the
homeowners seemed to know what we would be doing and the house was nearly
prepared for us.  They had moved most of the combustibles away, had a green
lawn with only a few trees and ladder fuels directly next to the house.
They already had a ladder to the house roof as well as the garage.  All of
the garden hoses were accessible.  The house had wood siding and,
thankfully, a composition roof.  Although the homeowners had left the house
locked one of our crew members was able to crawl in to the garage through
the dog door and then we pulled the pins on the door to the house.  We
unlocked all of the doors so we could easily access the house if we needed
to.  We checked for light drapes or any other combustibles in front of the
windows.  Then back outside where we moved the wooden patio furniture into
the garage.  Up on the roofs we went to check for combustible litter.  The
engineer deployed a hose line to the front of the structure and another to
the front as well as a self-protection line on the ground.



We knew the fire was approaching as we heard the freight train sound.  We
saw the orange glow take definition as the flames crowned in to the nearby
trees.  The other engine on the road closer to the fire had reported such
extreme fire behavior that they had already taken shelter in their chosen
residence.  I knew we were next.  The roar of the crowning fire got louder
as it circled us at first then started numerous spot fire behind us.  My
crew stayed on the hose line taking shelter until an object near and
directly threatening the home began to burn, these spots are where we
concentrated our efforts.  There was no way we were going to put out this
fire with our 600 gallons of water so we were in conservation mode.  The
engineer used his hose line to keep our engine from burning on the side
directly facing the flame front.  There was a tree on fire next to the house
which we pulled the line to, then the wooden fence, then the wood pile on
the back side of the large garage.  The line would not reach so we added
another 100' of Wildland inch-and-a-half.  All the while we were breathing
in hot air and smoke and being pelted by burning brands and over 50 mph
winds with the fire as loud as a locomotive and flames well over the height
of the mature trees rolling over our heads.  The smoke, heat embers and
inability to see or breath was finally such that we took shelter in the
house.  I