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Month September 2005

Louisiana’s Flood Predicted

I found a interesting article giving some detail on what happened in Louisiana, the interesting thing about the article is that it was written in October of 2004. The article called “Gone with the Water” was written Bourne, Joel K Jr for the National Geographic. Volume: 206; Number: 4; ISSN: 00279358; Publication Date: 10-01-2004; Page: 89) The highlights of the article are shown below:

HUMAN TRACKS in the form of pipeline canals slice through the marsh near Leeville, an area suffering a high rate of wetland loss. More than 8,000 miles of canals crisscross the state’s wetlands, fueling erosion and saltwater intrusion and altering the natural hydrology.

It was a broiling August afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Big Easy, the City That Care Forgot. Those who ventured outside moved as if they were swimming in tupelo honey. Those inside paid silent homage to the man who invented air-conditioning as they watched TV “storm teams” warn of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing surprising there: Hurricanes in August are as much a part of life in this town as hangovers on Ash Wednesday.

But the next day the storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city. As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however-the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party.

The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing a deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over. Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level-more than eight feet below in places-so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall washed over the brick ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard houses of the Ninth Ward, over the white-columned porches of the Garden District, until it raced through the bars and strip joints on Bourbon Street like the pale rider of the Apocalypse. As it reached 25 feet over parts of the city, people climbed onto roofs to escape it.

Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.

When did this calamity happen? It hasn’t yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a terrorist attack on New York City. Even the Red Cross no longer opens hurricane shelters in the city, claiming the risk to its workers is too great.

Such high stakes compelled a host of unlikely bedfellows-scientists, environmental groups, business leaders, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-to forge a radical plan to protect what’s left. Drafted by the Corps a year ago, the Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) project was initially estimated to cost up to 14 billion dollars over 30 years, almost twice as much as current efforts to save the Everglades. But the Bush Administration balked at the price tag, supporting instead a plan to spend up to two billion dollars over the next ten years to fund the most promising projects. Either way, Congress must authorize the money before work can begin.

“We’ll go to war and spend billions of dollars to protect oil and gas interests overseas,” Breaux says as he drives his truck past platform anchors the size of two-story houses. “But here at home?” He shrugs. “Where else you gonna drill? Not California. Not Florida. Not in ANWR.

This article is worth reading in it’s full entirety. The article also talks about the wetland destruction, the oil industry in the area, and it’s importance to the people of Louisiana and the U.S.. The article also contains discussions with the local people and they give some insights about Louisiana’s condition.

Links:

My kitty

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Lots of Apple News: Rokr, iPod Nano and More

Lots of Apple News…

I’ve read some of the first Google News links on today’s Apple announcements. And I’ve watched the Steve Jobs’ Keynote http://stream.apple.akadns.net/ which was given and broadcasted over the net today. Jobs did a great job but I didn’t care for the Kanye West’s performance. But it was fun to see a Rapper say FUCK THE POLICE! In front of a bunch of computer nerds.

iTunes 5 has new to it, which I still haven’t decided if I like or not. You can see song and artist at the same time now. New look you can created nested playlist. New search bar in library and iTunes music store, which I really like. Cuz now I can just jump to podcast after I’ve been looking at music. You can now sync with M$ outlook, (sync up those virus attachments lol take your virus everywhere with you. Lol. It would have been nice if they had a Sunbird or Thunderbird address book option. Parental controls were added to the preferences to allow adults to block the music store, podcasts, or what iTunes music store deems as explicit.

New iTunes Music Store content was added. Madonna and Harry potter complete collections (fart). Which I could care less about. The Harry Potter audiobooks are IMO way too expensive ranging from $32.95-49.95.

Here are some images of the of iTunes 5.

ROKR

The Motorola ROKR E1 was announced at the keynote today. Go down the links at the bottom of this blog to check it out. It features:

  • Camera that does pictures and video
  • Built-in stereo speakers.
  • Headphones that double as headset and microphone
  • Automatically pauses music when incoming call comes in, then resume it where it left off.

When reading through a NY times (link is now broken, sorry) time article I found that…
“It has a color display for viewing album art and features built-in dual-stereo speakers, as well as stereo headphones that also serve as a mobile headset with microphones.” Later on in the article Roger Kay, president and chief analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates states “A cell phone is not the optimal device for listening to music. Among other things, you need two headsets, one for phone (one ear, with mike) and one for music (stereo phones, no mike).” WHAT! but I thought I just read said that it features “…Stereo headphones that also serve as a mobile headset with microphones” lol I sure Roger Kay made this statement before the device was released, therefore I think it is stupid for the journalist to use the quote. I guess the journalist had to make sure to “give both sides of the story” which means to quote any negative comment against the ROKR even if it is based on speculation and predates the release of the device. Anyways to get back on topic.
I think it is an nice device, I don’t really like the way it looks and personally, because of all the silver styling; black and white would have been nicer or just less silver more white. Also it would have been better if t-mobile was carrying the phone, I don’t care much for Cingular’s plans, but I’m just glad it wasn’t Sprint. It’s a great alternative to a shuffle, since the ROKR has a color screen and holds about 100 songs and has pretty good stereo speakers which I like. If your in need of a new phone and you don’t have an iPod I’d recommend it. Personally I’d rather just carry my iPod Photo everywhere with me.

iPod nano

Great new device I love it, I’m glad they went back to white and I thinks it’s cool that they did it in black also. The only possible downside is that the headphones plug in to the bottom of the device. But that makes it easier for people who jog and use lanyards or armbands, so maybe it’s a plus. Since it’s storage is flash and not hard drive based it will never skip and will withstand bouncy movement with out any problems. Also it has the same functionality of the iPod Photo (Now called just the iPod). It can sync up with you photo library and all that jazz.

From Apple’s website:

  • Holds up to 1,000 songs and full-color album art
  • Only 3.5 x 1.6 x 0.27 inches and 1.5 ounces
  • Bright 1.5-inch color LCD display
  • Up to 14 hours of battery life(1)
  • Apple Click Wheel
  • Charges and syncs via USB
  • Accessory-compatible Dock connector
  • Completely skip-free playback
  • Works with Mac OS X or Windows 2000/XP
  • Plays music, podcasts and audiobooks
  • Holds up to 25,000 photos
  • Syncs contacts, calendars and to-do lists

Other Apple Stuff

The ad campaign is in its usual style, young people dancing to upbeat music Apple is showcasing the phone on their website, and so is cingular, they also have TV ads set to air. What I thought was “cool” was the makemedance.com site. Here you can watch the TV ads (Wow isn’t that grand) and they have an interactive demo where you can make different people dance including yourself. Here Is some pics of me dancing and a bad quality video also.

To coincide with the introduction of the Harry Potter book onto the iTunes Music Store, They have offered a 20GB iPod Hogwarts Edition. The only difference it has has from the normal 20GB pod is a laser inscribed Hogwarts Logo on the back of the iPod.

Personally I rather have and Apple Phone that looks like this.

Links

Engadget Links