Posts Tagged ‘news’

Wild Video of Guy Driving Burning Oil Truck

March 15, 2011

An amazing video just came out of Turkey, which shows a big oil tank truck bursting into flames and a guy hopping into the burning truck and driving it away.

A still from a video of a guy who drove a burning oil tanker truck away from people to prevent deaths and injuries

 

The guy is being hailed as a hero. His logic was to drive the tanker, which was going to explode, out of a populated area so there’d be fewer fatalities and less damage. He drove it more than a mile, to an area that wasn’t so built up.

There was some damage, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. And the truck driver survived with just minor injuries.

Watch the amazing video:

Apocalyptic Movies Now Reality

March 13, 2011

It used to be if you wanted to see some dramatric, over-the-top otherworldly disaster, you’d have to rely on Hollywood.

The movies would try to outdo each other subjecting cities and people to fictional mega-disasters. The movies still do. But depressingly, it seems real life has gotten just as bad over the past ten years.

New Orleans drowned by Hurricane Katrina, 2005.

We’ve been subjected to the horrible spectacle of the World Trade Center attack, the first big tsunami disaster of 2004, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and more.

Recently, the mega-disasters have been coming fast and furious: The floods in Austrailia, the earthquake in New Zealand, and now the tsunami in Japan.

The religious wackos say this is a sign of the end times. They seem to be joyous in the face of all this human death and misery. Frankly, I just want to smack these people. Gawd, using horrible things to smugly justify their own false religious beliefs, or worse, scam money from the gullible.

The tsunami was just two days ago, and already, almost everybody has seen this horrifying picture of the tsunami rolling into a Japanese town. We now have immediate access to disasters.

What’s really going on is everybody has a camera now. Think about it. If the Japanese earthquake and tsunami happened 30 years ago, of course it would be all over the news, and we would have surely seen televised images of the destruction.

Now, everybody instinctively thinks: Media. That’s why so many people in Japan got their cameras rolling as soon as the Tokyo skyscrapers started rocking back and forth like tall grass in a windstorm.

It’s why the television stations over there thought to hop into an airplane to take aerial shots of the tsunami rolling over Japanese humanity. And we get videos that both fascinate and horrify, like this one:

I’m not criticizing all this. Humans want to share. So if they have a greater ability to share their shock, fear, awe and catastrophe, they will.

Now, we have hundreds of you-are-there videos of the earthquake and tsunami at our fingertips. We can’t help watching them over and over again, and finding new videos that are constantly appearing on YouTube and more Internet sites than anyone can count.

We talk about them constantly. “Did you see the video taken inside the supermarket?” “Oh my God, that video shows the wave taking a whole village of houses away.”

When disaster strikes we are bombarded with images like this one of Japan more than ever before.

We are immeresd in big disasters like we’ve never been before. It makes it so we can’t help wondering if we are next in line to be obliterated in the Next Big Catastrophe.

No wonder a lot of us think Mother Nature is constantly trying to outdo herself to find creative ways to kill us all.

Japan’s Quake and Tsunami Vs. My Stupid Whining.

March 11, 2011

So far this week I’ve complained about:

–A big snowstorm that inconvenienced me.

–A sore shoulder that makes me want to keep taking aspiring.

—A leak in my roof at home

— Wet shoes and socks.

—Being tired.

Aerial photo shows a tsunami surging across Japan Thursday.

In others, I have nothing to whine about. I say this because of that horrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which is so big, so bad, so…..I don’t have the words for it.

It makes you think things are so tenuous. For everybody living there, everything was probably going along fine, then this hit and turned their world upside down, or ended it altogether in an instant.

So, I, and everybody else here will go on and deal with the yucky weather, and whatever trivial things ail us, knowing full well we have the extreme luxury to whine about such things. I know I am extremely lucky to have just the “problems” I described above.

Another aerial view of the Japan tsunami.

Below are some jawdropping videos of the quake/tsunami. I apologize that some might begin with highly inappropriate for the situation advertisements for Frosted Mini Wheats.

Here’s a video of the tsunami hitting an airport.

Next, a news report summarizing the initial quake/tsunami/fires. The destruction looks like the end of the world to me.

This news video shows video of the earthquake as things were shaking. Those poor people look so terrified. I hope they’re OK

The tsunami crashing through a harbor town

A flooded city and a frightening, otherworldly whirlpool triggered by the quake/tsunami

Darlusz Has Had it Up to Here With Snow

March 10, 2011

“Oh, look at dat, it snow again. It too much. Make it stop.”

Those are the words Darlusz the frog who lives here used to wake me up from a sound sleep early this morning at my house in St. Albans, Vermont.

Darlusz the frog next to my mailbox, after I shoveled it out this week and left a giant snowbank behind.

“Why you no tell me winter here like dat back when I move here. I no like living in glacier,” Darlusz said. “This snieg, it make me sad,” he said, using the Polish word for snow.

“Well, winters aren’t usually this snowy. And you usually start to get thaws in March. This is a weird one,”  I said.

“But why dis? Why so much now?. I do someting and get punish?,” Darlusz asked.

“No, this isn’t your fault,” I said, tapping him lightly on the head. “Believe it or not, some people blame this on global warming,” I said.

“Ach, no. But it cold, not warm. It crazy, you say warm cause all dis snieg,” Darlusz said.

“First of all, it’s not proven. This snow could be a fluke,” I replied “But I’ve read that a warmer world means there’s more moisture in the air. If there’s more moisture in the air, we can get bigger storms and much more rain. Or snow if it’s cold enough. Remember, global warming doesn’t exactly cancel out winter,” I said, now on a roll.

Darlusz the frog huddles against a two-foot deep wall of accumulated snow in my driveway, using it to protect himself from continued cold winter winds. st

“Ah, dat science it confusing. I get, what you say, frustrated tinking about it,” Darlusz said.

“Yeah, a lot of people do,” I admitted. “Some are frustrated to the point of anger. Some people don’t want to believe global warming exists. It does, almost all the scientists agree. And they all agree that the weather will keep getting weirder as a result. It’s the picky details like whether all this snow has anything to do with it that is shaky,” I said.

“I see on TV dat people, day yell and day scream dat global warming do not exist. So why you say everybody say it does,” Darlusz asked.

“The people with the loudest voices aren’t necessarily the ones that are right,” I said. But almost all scientists agree global warming is real.   You’re right, Darlusz, people who don’t think global warming exists get very angry when you bring it up. When I wrote about this very subject in my weather blog for the Burlington Free Press, I got so many angry comments about it. They said I’ve been duped into believing global warming exists,”

“So why you even say anything if you get yelled at, Darlusz asked

“Because I don’t think people who yell should scare us,” I said.

“Why doz people so mad anyway,” Darlusz asked.

Gawd, that frog’s questions never end.

“A lot of reasons,” I said. They don’t trust the government, or authority, and think global warming gets them fraudulent research funds, or it will lead to laws that will take some of their rights away. I see their point. Nobody should blindly trust the government, or every scientist. But in the case of global warming, I do think the verdict is in. It’s happening. Just how exactly how it will play out is anybody’s guess.”

“And dat why people mad, day don’t like not know what come next,? Darlusz asked

“Exactly. That’s at least part of it. And they don’t know who to trust, they worry that people will make them change their lifestyle to prevent further warming, or there will be more government control, or they just think that since governments have sold them on a bill of goods in the past, it will happen again.

“So the instinct of the people who deny global warming are good, but  they are just sticking their heads in the sand rather than influencing how our response to climate changes should be. That’s the end of my lecture today, Darlusz.”

“We go shovel now,” Darlusz said. “Da snowbanks, day so big. Where we put da new snow dat fell,”?  he asked.

“Darlusz, that’s the toughest question you asked all morning,” I replied.

Note to Robber: Learn How to Use Mask

March 10, 2011

Welcome back folks, to my recurring posts on helpful suggestions for criminals to ge through their exploits.

A still from a surveillance camera of a robber who couldn't get his act together

I’m going to revisit masks, which are key in preventing our stupid criminals from being identified by all those awful security cameras out there.

I talked about this back in January, when a Vermont bank robber, on the coldest day of the year, on the day it made the most sense to wear a ski mask, robbed the bank without said mask.

Pretty dumb, and he was arrested quickly.

Now we have a robber who could use some tips on dressing for a crime. The key is to put on your ski mask before the robbery, not during it. And be sure to use a mask that’s easy to put on and take off.

Struggling with a mask really interferes with the robbery, as this hilarious security cam video shows:

As you can see, our robber’s lack of preparedness makes it awfully easy for people to identify him.  Though so far, he hasn’t been caught.

By the way, the guy having trouble with the mask needs other help. According to media reports, he demanded money from the cash register, but the clerk said he couldn’t open it.

The clerk invited the robber to try opening the cash drawer himself, but he couldn’t do it. I think the clerk locked it and hid the key. The robber left the store empty handed. Except for the ski mask he couldn’t put  on.

Logic clearly wasn’t working here. Think about it, dear robber: The clerk says he can’t open the cash register. Then how does he make change for all  his non-robber customers?

Does the clerk demand exact change from the customers? If so where does he put the money.

Robber, I hate to think ill of people, but I think the clerk lied to you. How rude!

Anyway, better luck next time. Or, more likely, good luck in the slammer

Muslim Haters Defying Logic

March 9, 2011

If one apple is bad, the entire batch has to be thrown out, so goes the logic to today’s American politicians and activists.

Exhibit A is Muslims in the news this week. Timed around some hearings this week by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., we have groups who think every single Muslim on the planet is a terrorist.

In a still from a video, a bunch of idiots (background) yell insults at Muslims attending a dinner last month in Orange County, California

Dude, if that were true, we’d have a terrorist attack in every town in the nation every day. Don’t wish for that. Things are bad enough in the world already.

King will hold Congressional hearings this week on whether Muslims in the United States are being radicalized. He’s come under criticism for focusing just on Muslims, rather than all terrorist groups. Others say it’s good he’s examining the issue. In any event, he’s a Congressman and he can hold his hearings like them or not.

The hearings might be helping to galvanize some pretty idiotic Americans, who insist that all Muslims are terrorists and need to be kicked out of the country.

To me, the logic is like this. In my vegetable garden in the summer, there are weeds. I must get rid of the weeds to make the plants I want thrive, and leave everything else to grow.  Makes sense.

To these anti-Muslim protestors, there are weeds in the garden, so I must get rid of every plant in the garden, including the vegetables to have a successful garden.

Uh, no, I’d end up with a bare patch of mud.

Which seems to be what some protestors want in this country. True, a tiny proportion of American Muslims are terrorists or terrorists sympathizers, and we need to hammer away at that group until they’re gone for good. Terrorists deserve their own special, harsh hell.

But so do the most extreme Muslim haters.

Below is a vile video from last month in Orange County, California. It shows members  of a American-Muslim relief agency were holding a dinner.

The Muslims in the video are just minding their own business. But the crowd gets ugly. The protestors think somehow they’re protecting America, but they are the most un-American group I’ve seen. I wonder if we should somehow banish them instead. Watch:

The idiots in the protest, as you saw in the video, were yelling at the Muslims to go home. The Muslims live in California for the most part, so that wouldn’t exactly achieve the morons’ goal of ridding the United States of Muslims. But reality is a foreign concept to these morons.

Oops, can’t say the word “foreign” in front of that group, right?

And notice the city councilor saying her son is a Marine and wishes he would mow down some Muslims with his weaponry, just for fun.

Um, since when are death threats legal? I guess they are if you are a city councilor in some no name city.

Frankly, I almost think the likes of these people, and all those anti-Muslim extremists, are somehow in cahoots with the terrorists. What better way to recruit terrorists than to spout over the top, angry, nonsensical, inflammatory nonsense against Muslims?

Or maybe it’s just easier for them. It’s hard work picking out the handful of terrorists from the millions of peaceful, normal Muslims in this country. God forbid we do any hard work. Or thinking.

Because an empty garden devoid of anything good is just simpler to deal with, isn’t it?

Cindi Lauper Cures Airport Jam

March 8, 2011

It’s happened to most of us. The airport is in chaos, flights are canceled, nobody is telling us what’s going on, we’re trapped, and everybody is mad.

Cyndi Lauper saved the day recently at an Argentinian airport.

Too bad Cindi Lauper isn’t in every airport. She was in one when the above mentioned situation happened in Buenos Ares recently. She calmed the crowd down with just one rendition of her signature “Girls Just What to Have Fun.”

I love her. I need my own personal Cindi Lauper to get through my frustrating days.

Give it a watch:

More On Vermont’s Record March Storm

March 8, 2011

It’s official. Today’s snowstorm in Burlington, Vermont was the largest March snowstorm in the city’s history.

Battery Street in Burlington, Vermont, usually full of cars, is full of snow but lacking in traffic as the snowstorm comes to an end.

It’s also now the third snowiest winter on record, so far, and more snow is in the forecast.

I thought I’d share more photos and videos of  the day, since I like weather porn so much. (Weather porn is pics and videos of storms. So don’t worry, no naked people in this post)

First video, below, is what it’s like to drive in a whiteout, as I did today.

Second one is Church Street in Burlington during a vain attempt to clear snow. Usually they get rid of all the snow on Church Street, which is a pedestrian mall.

Third video is a Burlington sidewalk plow getting hopelessly stuck.

Epic Snowstorm Slams Vermont

March 7, 2011

This was one of those snowstorms you tell your grandkids about

Except I’ll never have grandkid, but never mind.Visibility is low in today's snowstorm along the road in front of my St. Albans, Vermont home.

About two feet of snow dumped on us since yesterday, and things have basically fallen apart. A foot of snow is not that big a deal in Vermont. When you get to two feet, you really notice. Such a storm really changes your routine.

I shoveled for two hours today, just to get a narrow path out of my driveway that barely accommodated my truck. I will do a lot more shoveling this week.

This is what my truck looked like when I stepped outside my St. Albans, Vermont house this morning after nearly two feet of snow fell.

After I got out of my driveway, I drove to work, barely. Sometimes, I had to guess where the road was because of the whiteouts.

Burlington, Vermont really is a ghost town today. There’s a few intrepid people in cars out in the streets, but some of those cars are stuck. A few people are going to and fro on skis and snowshoes.

Downtown Burlington is shut down. All businesses are closed, and all but the main arteries have a foot of snow on them, at least. You can’t drive anywhere.

Here's what I looked like after shoveling my driveway for two hours in a blizzard this morning.

As regular readers know, I wasn’t looking forward to the snowstorm before it came. But now that it has turned out to be such a huge one, there’s some excitement, at least for now.

I love how such a big storm changes things so dramatically. Things stop. The world looks completely different when its buried in snow, and snowbanks seem to reach for the sky, like the damn Alps or something.

College Street in downtown Burlington just before noon today. The street is usually jammed with cars and people during the middle of the day. Not today.

Lately, we keep getting record-size snowstorms up here in Vermont. Eight of Burlington’s 20 biggest snowstorms over the past 120 years have occured since 2000. Three of Burlington’s five snowiest winters, including this one, have happened since 2000.

This might be related to global warming, believe it or not. A warmer world means more water vapor sits in the atmosphere. More water vapor makes stronger, wetter storms. The stronger wetter storms can still produce epic amount of snows. There you go.

This car and bike in downtown Burlington, Vermont Monday don't look like they're going anywhere anytime soon after a storm dumped two feet of snow on the city.

So, if trends continue, I’ll have to get used to epic snowstorms. Seems they come fast and furious.

I also loaded some videos I took of the storm on YouTube. You can see them below.

An Antidote to Westboro

March 6, 2011

You might have seen on the news last week that the disgusting Westboro Baptist Church won a Supreme Court victory.

Westboro is that small collection of uber-morons who go to funerals and other solemn events. They hold signs that say “God Hates Fags” and things like that and yell equally demonic, stupid things.

Patriot Guard Riders at a funeral. The group, consisting largely of veterans, drowns out the hating and hated Westboro Baptist Church at funerals and other solemn events.

The Supreme Court said the First Amendment gives them the right to do that.

A lot of people disagree with that court decision. I don’t. It was the right decision.

True, I detest Westboro, and I feel terrible  for the people victimized by those horrific “people” from Westboro. (I’m not sure they’re human)

But if some government agency starts telling us what we can and cannot say , where does it end? I would be thrilled if Westboro would shut up and go away to their own special hell, now if not sooner.

My larger point is all of our Constitutional rights have two side. Yes, we have these rights. The right to free speech. To worship as we choose. To own a gun.

Too many people forget the second half of these rights is responsibility. Responsibility is at least as important as rights.

Yeah, I know I sound like I’m telling you to eat your vegetables and wear your earmuffs. But sometimes you just gotta. If I sound like your mother, sue me.

We have the responsibility to drown out outfits like the Westboro jerks with our own voices. We have the responsibility to worship without knocking down some other religion that is not causing problems, but not our own theology. We have the responsibility to use our guns safely, and make sure nutcases who are going to open fire on crowd don’t have access to them.

In that spirit, I was happy to see a video of a group taking responsibility to counteract the Westboro Moron Club.

With permission from the families, the group called the Patriot Guard Riders show up at funerals where Westboro is picketing. They drown out the pinheads with motorcycles, music and prayer.

The Patriot Guard Riders is largely composed of veterans. They’ve been doing this good work for years.  The Riders do this voluntarily. Members say they figure they have the responsibility to help in these situations.

Bingo.

Another group, by the way, sometimes dresses as angels, and they use their big white angel wings to block the view of the Westboro jerks’ signs, as Romaine Patterson recently wrote in the Washington Post.

Watch the video (tip of the hat to Melinda Moulton via Facebook for reminding me of this group) to see the Patriot Guard Riders show how it ought to be done: