Thursday, September 29, 2005

Near Miss for 2 Jets on a Las Vegas Runway


WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 - An America West passenger jet taking off from Las Vegas missed hitting an Air Canada jet by about 100 feet last Thursday night, according to a preliminary report, because a controller in the tower confused two planes and issued conflicting instructions.
The controller has been taken off duty and sent for more training, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, and the episode is under investigation.
America West Flight 539, departing for Cleveland, was cleared for takeoff about 11 p.m. local time on Runway 25 Right. At the same time, Air Canada Flight 593 had landed on Runway 25 Left, a parallel runway, on a flight from Toronto, and had been cleared to taxi to the terminal, across 25 Right. A collision was averted because the America West plane was airborne by the time it reached the point where the Air Canada plane was crossing.
The America West and Air Canada planes were both midsized Airbus jets that carry more than 100 passengers.
An F.A.A. spokeswoman said Wednesday that the agency did not believe that the America West plane had flown directly over the Air Canada plane, but that investigators were still trying to determine how close the two jets came.
Donn Walker, an F.A.A. spokesman, said the tower controller had cleared the America West plane for takeoff. Then a different America West plane, a Boeing 757, taxiing behind Flight 539, asked for a brief delay. The controller responded by revoking the takeoff clearance for the 757 - although he had never issued one for that plane - and cleared the Air Canada plane to cross the runway. Meanwhile Flight 539, duly cleared, rolled down the runway for takeoff.
"Our system is set up as much as possible to absorb human error and still not have a collision," Mr. Walker said.
He said, as did others, that the aviation agency had computer systems in place that would alert controllers to some kinds of human error, like pilots not following directions because they misheard an instruction or got lost in the field, but that it did not have an automatic system for warning controllers about confusing two airplanes.
In July at Kennedy International Airport in New York, a DC-8 cargo plane nearly hit a fully loaded Boeing 767 that blundered onto the active runway. The tower controller could not spot the problem because of heavy rain and clouds that cut visibility to near zero and made radar ineffective. The aviation agency has a system for seeing through clouds and rain, using signals given off by the planes themselves, as opposed to radar, which bounces electromagnetic energy off the planes' skins. But the agency has not installed it at Kennedy.

Electric Outlet Can Be Wireless Link


TOKYO (AP) - The common electric socket will serve as your home's connection to broadband with a new chip developed by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. - doing away with all the Ethernet cables or the hassle of hooking up to a wireless network device.
Products are still being developed, but gadgets embedded with the chip from the Japanese manufacturer of Panasonic products can hook up to a broadband network by plugging into the common electrical outlet, company officials said Thursday.
That's because the Osaka-based company has come up with technology to use electric wiring in the home to relay not just electricity but also data.
The technology has been around for some time - including in the United States - but Matsushita's system is unique in that it delivers fast-speed broadband information at up to 170 megabits per second, which is faster than Ethernet.
The advantage is that the lowly electric socket is everywhere. Right now, a broadband outlet still isn't usually available in every room, even in homes that have broadband connections.
In the future home envisioned by Matsushita, people will be able to download and watch high-definition movies in any room of the house that has an outlet.
Attach a special device made by Matsushita into a socket and all you have to do is plug your TV or other gadgets into a socket for instant connection to broadband, which allows for faster transmission of online information than dial-up telephone connections.
Matsushita hopes to eventually sell refrigerators, TVs and other products with the chip already installed.
A network-connected refrigerator may allow users to connect from a mobile phone or laptop to check whether you're low on eggs, for example. Or you may want to turn gadgets off or on, such as your washing machine or air-conditioner, from outside the home.
But for now, an adaptor when plugged into an outlet will allow gadgets with Ethernet connections - even those without the Matsushita chip - to receive broadband.
Matsushita official Tomiya Miyazaki said that even homes with optical fiber connections don't have broadband outlets in every room, and people are tired of setting up gadgets with their home wireless LAN device.
"Our goal is to have every gadget plugged in this way so that people don't have to even think about connecting it to broadband," he said.
Samples of the technology are being made available to companies, including other Japanese electronics makers, that may wish to use it for their products, Matsushita officials said. A demonstration of the technology will be on show at the CEATEC exhibition that showcases electronic technology, opening near Tokyo next month.
Acceptance of the technology is more likely in Europe and the United States because of stricter regulations over power line use in Japan, according to Matsushita. The company is in talks with the Japanese government to have regulations eased.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tim Sinclair Leaving WAYFM!

Tim is moving to where Heather lives. He'll be leaving late October, I think. The mornings just won't be the same without him.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

20:45:48 - Bush mobilises hurricane relief effort
18:47:57 - Hurricane Rita pours more water into New Orleans
16:09:17 - Fires and floods hit hurricane-stricken US
11:49:27 - Hurricane Rita brings widespread power cuts
09:30:19 - Hurricane Rita comes ashore
08:42:15 - Hurricane Rita brings early death and destruction
00:20:09 - Rita’s rains breach New Orleans levees


Hurricane Rita plowed into the Gulf Coast early Saturday, lashing Texas and Louisiana with driving rain, flooding low-lying regions, knocking power out to more than 675,000 people and sparking fires across the region.
Rita made landfall at 3:30 a.m. EDT as a Category 3 storm just east of Sabine Pass, on the Texas-Louisiana line, bringing a 20-foot storm surge and up to 25 inches of rain, the National Hurricane Center said. Within four hours it had weakened to a Category 2 storm, with top winds of 100 mph, as it moved further inland between Beaumont and Jasper, Texas.
Residents in hard-hit western Louisiana called police early Saturday to report roofs being ripped off and downed trees. Rescuers were forced to wait until the winds outside died down to safe levels.
"We can't even get out to check yet," said Sgt. Wendell Carroll of Louisiana's Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office. "All we can hear is the wind a' howling."
The storm spun off tornadoes as it churned northwest at 12 mph with winds that topped 120 mph, causing transformers to explode in the pre- dawn darkness. Four counties in southeast Texas were under a tornado warning early Saturday.
In Jasper County, north of Beaumont, a house with seven people inside floated in floodwaters after it came off its foundation, said sheriff's communications supervisor Alice Duckworth.
Duckworth said the 30 emergency workers were stuck in the emergency operations center because of flooding. "We can't get any fire trucks out," she said.
Rita spared the flood-prone cities of Houston and Galveston a direct hit. "It looks like the Houston and Galveston area has really lucked out," said Max Mayfield, director of the hurricane center.
But rain from Rita drenched parts of New Orleans on Saturday, straining an already fragile levee system that failed in places on Friday.
The National Weather Service said New Orleans was expected to get spurts of rain dropping 3 to 4 inches per hour. On Friday, hurricane- driven storm surges topped one levee, while another began leaking.
Fires were reported in and around Houston, including one in a two- story apartment building in southeast Houston that left at least eight units damaged, authorities said. Nobody was hurt, according to District Chief Jack Williams. Another blaze broke out before dawn at a shopping complex in Pasadena. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
In a hotel in Beaumont, Texas, near where Rita struck, windows were blown out and shards of glass and pieces of trees were strewn throughout the flooding lobby, KHOU-TV reported.
In Tyler County in eastern Texas, high winds ripped roofs off several buildings, including the police department in Woodville, sheriff's Chief Deputy Clint Sturrock said.
The junior high school in nearby Warren also lost its roof, and fire _ likely triggered by lightning _ broke out in a pile of logs. "We just let it burn," Sturrock said.
In Newton County, on the Texas-Louisiana line, power was out and the wind was howling. "It's blowing so hard here at the jail, it's about to suck the doors out," said county Judge Truman Dougharty.
He said trees were down throughout the county but that few calls were coming in to the sheriff's office _ probably because few people had phone service.
"All we can do is hang on," he said.
More than 675,000 CenterPoint Energy customers in Texas were without power in the company's service area, which stretches from Galveston into Houston north to Humble, company spokeswoman Patricia Frank said. Entergy spokesman David Caplan said about 55,000 of its Texas customers in the storm-affected area were without electricity.
Rita's heaviest rains _ up to 3 to 4 inches an hour _ fell in Lake Charles, La., National Weather Service meteorologist Patrick Omundson said. The town had 8 inches of rain more than two hours before the storm's landfall. Near the coastal town of Cameron, the weather service recorded a wind gust of 112 mph as the storm's center approached.
In Vinton, west of Lake Charles, police could see several building fires from their station and took calls from residents reporting others at homes and businesses throughout town, Lt. Arthur Phillips said.
"It's tore up pretty good," he said. "We've taken quite a beating."
The roof of the town's recreation center was completely torn off, and residents reported businesses destroyed by winds and homes damaged by fallen trees, Phillips said.
The storm brought chaos even far from its path. South of Dallas, a bus of Rita evacuees caught fire in gridlocked traffic, killing as many as 24 nursing home residents who thought they were getting out of harm's way.
In Galveston, about 100 miles away from the storm's eye, a fire erupted in the historic Strand district late Friday. Wind-whipped flames leapt across three buildings. City manager Steve LeBlanc said the blaze could have been caused by downed power lines.
"It was like a war zone, shooting fire across the street," Fire Chief Michael Varela said Saturday.
Officials estimated at least 90 percent of surrounding Jefferson County residents had heeded warnings that a storm surge could submerge swaths of the low-lying county _ including the seawall-and-levee- protected city of Port Arthur, near Sabine Pass.
As the storm raged, the torches of oil refineries could still be seen burning in the distance from downtown Beaumont. Officials worried about the storm's threat to those facilities and chemical plants strung along the Texas and Louisiana coast.
The facilities represent a quarter of the nation's oil refining capacity and business analysts said damage from Rita could send gas prices as high as $4 a gallon. Environmentalists warned of the risk of a toxic spill.
In the days before the storm's arrival, hundreds of thousands of residents of Texas and Louisiana fled their homes in a mass exodus of 2.8 million people that produced gridlock and heartbreak.
Grocery shelves were emptied, gas stations ran out of fuel and motorists had to push their cars to the side of highways after idling for hours in stuck traffic and running out of gas.
Nearly 1,300 patients were airlifted out of an airport near Beaumont in a rush Thursday night and Friday morning, but only after the county's top official made a panicked call to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison for help.
"We had patients throwing up. It was very ugly," said Jefferson County Judge Carl Griffith, who blamed delays on the Transportation Security Administration, which insisted every wheelchair-bound passenger be checked with a metal-detector.
Kandy Huffman had no way to leave, and she pushed her broken-down car down the street to her home with plans to ride out the storm in Port Arthur, where the streetlights were turned off and stores were boarded up.
"All you can do is pray for best," she said as a driving rain started to fall. "We're surrounded by the people we love. Even if we have to all cuddle up, we know where everybody is."
Late Friday, southwestern Louisiana was soaked by driving rain and coastal flooding. Sugarcane fields, ranches and marshlands were already under water at dusk in coastal Cameron Parish.
The sparsely populated region was almost completely evacuated, but authorities rushed to the aid of a man who had decided to ride out the storm in a house near the Gulf of Mexico after one of man's friends called for help. They were turned back by flooded roads.
Empty coastal highways and small towns were blasted with wind-swept rain. A metal hurricane evacuation route sign along one road wagged violently in the wind, and clumps of cattle huddled in fields.
Steve Rinard, a meteorologist in Lake Charles, said he could not keep count of the tornado warnings across southern Louisiana. "They were just popping up like firecrackers," he said.
President Bush, mindful of criticism the federal government was slow to respond to Hurricane Katrina three weeks ago, planned to visit his home state Saturday. He will go to the state's emergency operations center in Austin and then to San Antonio.
In Lake Charles, home to the nation's 12th-largest seaport and refineries run by ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Citgo and Shell, nearly all 70,000 residents had evacuated. Several riverboat casinos that mostly serve tourists from Texas also closed ahead of the storm.
"We see these storms a little differently after Katrina," said city administrator Paul Rainwater. "We all realize that no matter how safe you feel ... you have to take it seriously, you have to plan."
Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said over 90 percent of residents in southwestern parishes, about 150,000 people, had evacuated.
Some residents of southwest Louisiana headed to a shelter in Lafayette, joining evacuees from Hurricane Katrina who had been there nearly a month.
"I am thankful for my life and that we are all safe," said Blanche Edgarson, 53, of Plaquemines Parish, an area that was devastated by Katrina. "But I'm very depressed, and I don't know where we will go from here."

Monday, September 19, 2005

Katrina Relief Trip a Success!

Early Friday morning, 25 men and boys met at New Life Baptist Church at 6:00A.M.. Despite the rain, we managed to load all supplies, tools, and donations into various trucks and trailers. Then at about 6:30, we piled in and got on the road. Uneventful, normal, 6-7 hour trip, with one potty break (No women, so one was enough:)). We ended up at a plant in Laurel, Mississippi, where we met up with another church, and they divided us into 3 groups and sent us on missions. I ended up at a family's place where about 40 pine trees were laying like pick-up sticks, and others ready to fall. We began firing up the chainsaws, and hauling brush and logs. I hopped in an old farm truck and began making numerous trips into the yard, we loaded up, and hauled the load to the street, then went back for more. There was also another truck, trailer, and driver doing the same. About 7:00, we quit for the day, and 16 of us went to this one family's place to take showers, get a homecooked meal, and find a spot on the floor, or, if you were lucky like I was, a bed to crash in. ZZZZ Then comes 5:30, back to the plant to regroup and divide, and I ended up back at the same place. Another great day of felling trees, driving, hauling, and dumping. We finished up around 2:30, had prayer with the family, and went back to the same house for a shower, then we got back on the road. Ended back at the church at 10:00 or so. Overall, we had a great time being used by God to minister to another church. We ended all supporting the same church, the other groups went to various families homes to clear their yard. So now that we helped other members of the body, they'll be able to go further south, and help another church. It's a neat picture of the Body of Christ working together.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Tim Sinclair Engaged!

Wayfm's Morning show host is engaged to Heather! Congrats to both of them.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Why get in a hurry?

You know, with the price of gas now, it makes more sense just to take it easy on the road. No more zipping and zooming up around, I say just slow down and take it easy. It's a whole lot less stressful, let the other stressfuls zoom around you. I'm not condemning anyone, just putting in my 2 cents worth. I think I'll take it easy on the way home tonight.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Residents of Jefferson Parish hold hands as they wade through flooded streets Monday. The parish is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for three days. Some residents brought cameras to document damage for insurance claims.

Cindy Yankovich and Lynn Patterson examine the destruction in Paterson's home which was flooded during Hurricane Katrina in East Biloxi, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2005.

Search and Rescue workers from Oakland, Ca. rest while searching for victims in homes destroyed Hurricane Katrina in East Biloxi, Miss., Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2005.

U.S. Marines gather their gear after arriving by hovercraft on the shores of East Biloxi, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2005. Members of the armed forces are participating in distributing aid and patrolling the area devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Many Still Refuse to Leave New Orleans

New Orleans police officers are moving through the Hurricane Katrina- devastated city and trying to get thousands of residents who have resisted moving to leave, a deputy police chief said Monday.
During a news conference, Deputy Superintendent Warren Riley said police were telling the remaining residents that there is no food, water or jobs and nothing to remain in New Orleans for.
"This city has been destroyed," Riley said.
Riley said police did have the authority to force evacuations, but did not spell out whether officers are taking that step. In an earlier interview on WWL radio, Mayor Ray Nagin said that authorities were going to try to persuade people to leave. Officers will no longer be handing out water to people who will not evacuate, the mayor said.
Riley estimated that fewer than 10,000 people were left in the city. He said some simply did not want to leave their homes _ while others were hanging back to engage in criminal activities, such as looting.
"We don't know how long this is going to last," he said.
Riley also said police were asking people not to return to the city for now. New Orleans is still without utilities and has collapsed power lines all over the city, Riley said.
Riley said that after nearly a week of most police efforts being aimed at rescue, the department, aided by the National Guard, was turning toward "more of a law enforcement mode now."
"We are targeting looters, we are targeting those who want to create mayhem in this city," Riley said.
However, the department is short-staffed: between 400 and 500 officers on the 1,600-member police force are unaccounted for, Riley said. Some lost their homes and some are looking for their families, Riley said.
"Some simply left because they said they could not deal with the catastrophe," Riley said.
Riley said police communications, especially with other agencies, is improving after a chaotic start.
"We have moved from chaos to organized chaos and now we are better organized," Riley said.
With thousands of active military, National Guard units and federal agencies continuing to patrol the city, "we feel that the city is very secure," Riley said.
At a news conference in Baton Rouge, Maj. Gen. Bennett Landreneau, head of the Louisiana National Guard, said he expected to have 21,000 soliders in 13 hurricane-affected parishes by the end of Monday.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Is Corn Alcohol the Way to Go?

Wow, what can I say? Gas is ridiculous. Jeffrey in Georgia said gas is between 3 and 4 dollars a gallon, and that's from the stations that are still open. Someone here said GA is going dry. So, I say let's all start a still in our backyards and make an alternate fuel supply. Let's get diesel cars and go to McDonald's and get all their used French Fry Oil. What do ya'll think? Put in your 2 cents worth...

Gasoline futures surge to record high

US gasoline futures surged to a record high on Wednesday after the Department of Energy reported a 500,000 barrel drop in gasoline inventories to 194.4m barrels as stocks fell for a ninth week in succession.
The September Nymex gasoline contract rose 17.2 per cent to $2.90, its highest level since opening in 1984.

President Bush pledged Wednesday to do "all in our power" to save lives and provide sustenance to uncounted victims of Hurricane Katrina but cautioned that recovery of the Gulf Coast will take years.
"We're dealing with one of the worst natural disasters in our nation's history," he said at the White House after breaking off his Texas vacation and viewing the devastation from Air Force One.