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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 01, 2017, 04:36:14 pm »

The White House is apparently infested with mice, roaches, and ants :)

There is a situation in the Situation Room. White House work order requests obtained by NBC News4 reveal a number of intimate details about the first family's lives in D.C. (Melania Trump requested a large screen TV, the Oval Office bathroom needed a new toilet seat), but if there is one major takeaway about managing a historic building, it's that you can't be squeamish about pests.

To start, there are the mice, which reportedly got cozy in the Situation Room and the Navy mess food hall: "Add more traps, they spotted mice run in the small and big dining rooms," one request read. Another alarming request implored someone to "PLEASE … PICK UP DEAD MOUSE," with the deceased rodent's location apparently being Vice President Mike Pence's West Wing office.

Cockroaches are also a problem at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., with at least four infestations reported in the work order requests. Then there are the ants: "Treat for ants in the West Wing 1st floor COS Office, especially the main entrance and the small office," one order said. Another simply conveyed the urgency with its all-caps "ANTS."

Trump Tower this is not. Read a sampling of the White House work orders via NBC here.


The White House is apparently infested with mice, roaches, and ants :)

This is not newz.


Yep. Here's a picture of one that Mueller is zeroing in on:   

Russia? Where is that? Putin who? I was Golfing that day!
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 21, 2017, 09:26:25 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 07, 2017, 02:37:22 pm »

Agreed.  :(
Posted by: GWarnock
« on: November 07, 2017, 01:46:59 pm »

Irresponsible government, bought and paid for!!
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 06, 2017, 03:03:54 pm »

That's getting closer to the truth, but what it really is is a FU CK ED UP SOCIETY problem.

There were plenty of gunz around 20 years ago, but you didn't see a mass shooting every month.  This is a manifestation of collapse psychology.


"Guns Don’t Kill People, People Do?"

What exactly is wrong with the "guns don’t kill people, people do" argument?

Everyone's heard it, a lot of people believe it, and some even think it settles the whole gun control debate. (After all, that’s why it’s the NRA’s slogan, and why people brandish it on bumper stickers and post it endlessly on facebook.) Others, however, think the argument is terrible. Interestingly, however, I can’t find a solid consensus regarding what exactly is wrong with it. Some think it begs the question, others think it equivocates, still others think it merely oversimplifies the issue. Consequently, especially as a logician, I think it’s an argument worth some examination. 

Some might not want to read any further, thinking that by using the Sandy Hook tragedy to argue for gun regulations I am politicizing that tragedy. There are a couple of things to say in response. First, I'm not going to argue for or against gun regulations. I am simply going to examine this argument. There may still be good arguments against gun regulation, or there may not. All I want to know is whether or not this argument is one. Secondly, the notion that the political ramifications of a tragedy should not be discussed in the wake of that tragedy is itself fallacious. We do need to make sure our heads are emotionally clear before having a serious discussion, but it is not disrespectful to the victims of a tragedy to discuss possible ways that we might avoid similar tragedies. Besides, tragedies such as Sandy Hook have now become so common that if we are not allowed to speak about gun regulations in the wake of such tragedies, we will never be allowed to speak about it at all. Truth be told, the notion that one shouldn't talk about such things after a tragedy is a political notion itself, one invented by those against gun regulations because they know that people are more in favor of gun regulations after such tragedies.

So let us turn to the argument itself: “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” The first thing to notice is that the argument has no stated conclusion. What follows? Since the argument is usually given in the context of a discussion about gun regulation, by gun advocates, I assume the conclusion has something to do with that. But what exactly? That there should be no gun regulation at all? That there should not be more gun regulation than there is? That the increase in mass killings done with guns is irrelevant to whether or not there should be gun regulations? Who knows? And an argument without an obvious conclusion is hardly an argument at all.

In any event, it doesn't matter because no conclusion about gun regulation logically follows from these two statements. To understand why, let me articulate the difference between ultimate, intermediate, and proximate causes. Consider the words you are looking at right now. What "caused" the words to appear as they are appearing to you right now? You might say that I, the author, did; but that is not the whole story. The whole story is long and includes my fingers typing on a keyboard, the creation of an MSWord document, me posting the words on my blog, and so on. There is a long "causal chain" standing between my intention to type these words and the emission of light from your screen to your eyes. The causal chain starts with me; I am the ultimate cause. Other subsequent links in the chain—my typing, Justin’s postings, your clicking—are “intermediate causes." And the light emitting from your screen is the proximate cause—the thing or event most immediately responsible for your current experience.

The argument under consideration clarifies that, when it comes to murders, people are the ultimate cause and guns are merely proximate causes—the end of a causal chain that started with a person deciding to murder. But nothing follows from these facts about whether or not guns should be regulated. Such facts are true for all criminal activity, and even noncriminal activity that harms others: The ultimate cause is found in some decision that a person made; the event, activity, or object that most directly did the harming was only a proximate cause. But this tells us nothing about whether or not the proximate cause in question should be regulated or made illegal. For example, consider the following argument:

"Bazookas don't kill people; people kill people."

Although it is obviously true that bazookas are only proximate causes, it clearly does not follow that bazookas should be legal. Yes, bazookas don't kill people, people do—but bazookas make it a lot easier for people to kill people, and in great numbers. Further, a bazooka would not be useful for much else besides mass murders. Bazookas clearly should be illegal and the fact that they would only be proximate causes to mass murders does not change this. In fact, it is totally irrelevant to the issue; it has nothing to do the fact that they should be illegal. Why? Because other things are proximate causes to people’s demise, but obviously shouldn’t be illegal. For example, consider this argument (given in the aftermath of a bad car accident):

"Cars don't kill people; people kill people."

Obviously cars should not be illegal, but notice that this has nothing to do with the fact that they are proximate causes. Of course, they should be regulated; I shouldn't be allowed to go onto the highway in a car with no brakes. But all of that has to do what cars are for (they are not made for killing people), what role they play in society (it couldn't function without them) and so on. It's a complicated issue—one to which pointing out that cars are merely proximate causes to some deaths contributes nothing.

So clearly the argument under consideration, and any other argument that merely points out that guns are proximate causes ("stop blaming the guns and start blaming the person") is fallacious. Since people can't seem to agree on what fallacy such arguments employ, I would like to give a name to the mistake I have identified within them: "the fallacy of mistaking the relevance of proximate causation."

So, should all guns be illegal? After all, like the bazooka, they do make killing people in mass easier to accomplish. Then again, like cars, using them for mass murder is not their intended function. Most people agree that they should at least be regulated (at the least, most think that all gun sales should require a background check). But how strictly should they be regulated? Perhaps very strictly. After all, states with stricter gun regulations have fewer gun related deaths. Then again, there may be philosophical issues related to the protection of liberty that trump such utilitarian concerns. It’s a complicated issue.

And that’s my point: It’s a complicated issue. There are lots of relevant factors involved, but the fact that guns are proximate causes isn't one of them. So the next time someone quotes the NRA slogan, "Guns don't kill people; people kill people," in an attempt to end a discussion about gun control, do me a favor: point out that they have “mistaken the relevance of proximate causation,” pause briefly to enjoy the confused look on their face, and then patiently explain the fallacy to them.


I am pretty sure that nutcase would not have managed to kill 26 innocent people if he were armed with a baseball bat, although he might have gotten one or two.

We had another killing in Austin over the weekend. Interestingly, the only guy killed was a guy who was a professional guide, and ran a hunting ranch owned by his parents for the last several years. The shooter managed to wound three or four others before he killed the victim, who was trying to talk him down.

Motivation? The shooter was just drunk on his ass, and angry about something. He knew everyone he shot.

I am pretty sure that nutcase would not have managed to kill 26 innocent people if he were armed with a baseball bat, although he might have gotten one or two.

How about if he was armed with a Hummer or a Pipe Bomb?


Moron plus pipe bomb often equals Darwinian selection. In Texas we have pickup trucks bigger than Hummers. Lots of them.

No pedestrian/bike paths to barrel down in rural Texas. To take out a whole church you'd have to making pretty good speed on impact.

You don't HAVE to hit them inside the Church.  You can wait until they come streaming out after services are over.  You also don't HAVE to use a Hummer.  You could use a Freightliner and load the trailer with bricks.  You would flatten a stick built church like that hitting it at 80 or so.  As to Darwinian Selection with Pipe Bombs, I am unaware of any morons recently blowing themselves up this way.  Can you cite an example?

In any event, it's hard to imagine how they could collect up all the gunz distributed around Amerika.  You could ban new gun sales, but there would be a thriving Black Market and gunz would "leak" across the Mexican border.  Then you have your rednecks and Brandon "Lexington & Concord" Smiths who vow "You'll only take my gun over my cold, dead body."  I forsee some nice Waco style standoffs with the FBI & ATF.


If "Darwinian selection" (an EXCLUSIVELY SUBTRACTIVE PROCESS) had beans to do with the increase in violence in our society, we would have less violence, not more, as the more violent among us got killed off (i.e. selected out).

I do not want to get into a long drawn out argument about the violent humans getting around that by makin' babies before they get to the violent stage, thereby increasing their destructive gene pool percentage, rather than reducing it. That's bullshit on many levels, all of them objecctively scientific.

Classifying this increase in violence as an outlier/moronic/not systemic phenomenon is technically accurate but scientifically erroneous, simply because violence has increased in all areas of human society from sexual harrassment to bullying to greed based ruthless exploitation.

In all these areas people don't always get killed right away, but this breeds more anger, frustration and, of course, violence. So, the increase in violence is SYSTEMIC, not an outlier result of "low IQ" humans.

So this is not about intelligence levels, adabtability, evolution or guns, for that matter.

Of course Eddie is right that a baseball bat or some other blunt weapon will slow down the kill rate. RE is right that we have lots of machinery around to jack up the kill rate, so limiting everyone to a murf bat won't solve this problem of people going postal.

THIS IS ABOUT EVIL! Until we address the CAUSE of this EVIL (i.e. lack of EMPATHY for fellow earthlings) in our society, THINGS WILL GET WORSE, not better.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 01, 2017, 08:44:32 pm »

Watch Earthquaqes from 2001 to 2015
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 02, 2017, 10:47:54 pm »

Coast Guard Releases El Faro Investigation Report: Here’s the Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

October 1, 2017 by gCaptain

SS El Faro. Photo: Tote Maritime

Full article at link below:


Agelbert NOTE: They unfortunately refuse to admit a giant wave hit El Faro, but at least they recommended, among other things, that these types of ships no longer have the open lifeboats, as I had hoped they would. 

Excerpt from an article I wrote on future Ocean Wave activity:

* Agelbert NOTE: The container ship El Faro sank during Hurricane Juaquin on October 1, 2015. All 33 crewmembers perished. The lifeboats on El Faro were also 65 feet above the water line. From the condition of the lifeboat that was recovered, the evidence indicates a giant wave sank the El Faro. The authorities have not admitted this as of yet. But I am not the only one that strongly suspects that the condition of the lifeboat is evidence that a giant wave sank El Faro (Spanish for "Lighthouse"). 

Coast Guard Investigates El Faro Life Boat

Warming oceans are with us now and increasing the violence of the oceans. By chance, I recorded the SST (Sea Surface Temperature) off the East Coast of the USA the day before Hurricane Juaquin sank the El Faro container ship. Here's the September 30, 2015 (8 day average - proof  that it was really consistently hot out there!) screenshot:

Notice all that ocean surface at 27.8C (82F) hurricane forming minimum temperature or greater.

Here's two days later (one day after the El Faro Container ship sank). I superimposed the hurricane location. It is a one day average SST so the conditions when the El Faro sank are displayed.  I was not aware that the El Faro had been lost at the time I made these screenshots. Notice the cooler spot on the ocean precisely where Hurricane Juaquin is lashing El Faro. A hurricane transfers several degrees of water temperature directly to the atmosphere, which, in turn, increases the ferocity of the winds. Ferocious winds produce ferocious waves.

El Faro departed Jacksonville en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The El Faro was one of TWO cargo ships that went down because of Hurricane Juaquin (the 215 ft. MV Minouche that went down didn't make national headlines, because people, perhaps, might start to get "unnecessarily alarmed" about the increasing shipping losses from our increasingly violent oceans). All 12 crew of the MV Minouche were rescued.

MV Minouche

The Coast Guard pilot's voice shakes as he describes conditions they have never before experienced in rescue attempts when they were searching for the El Faro and rescuing the crew of the MV Minouche.

US Coast Guard search for El Faro; 12 rescued from MV Minouche
The El Faro, that went down with a crew of 33, all lost, 294 cars, trailers and trucks, along with hundreds of containers, had a type of lifeboat that is a death boat in stormy seas.

Here's a comment by a fellow who's handle is deckofficer:

Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decision-making...

I guess the only point I would like to make is some owners don't seem to value the lives of their crews. Schedules are tight and safety equipment is in many cases the bare minimum for certification. In the case of SS El Faro (it is my understanding this is a steam ship, not diesel) the open life boats as high on the super structure as they were meets requirements but certainly doesn't offer the all sea state conditions of deployment as free fall enclosed life boat capsules. If these souls are lost at sea, it is maddening that the simple added investment of better emergency egress would have saved their lives. I have done more lifeboat drills than I can remember, and for the older style gravity systems there was a good reason these drills only occurred on calm days.

When sea state is overwhelming and you have lost propulsion and need to abandon ship, do you want this....

Or this....


USCG Unlimited Tonnage Open Ocean (CMA)


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 26, 2017, 10:16:45 pm »


Bali volcanic eruption seems imminent, after massive seismic activity increase


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 25, 2017, 11:06:59 pm »

WATCH: Thunderstorms, Torrential Rain & Busy Traffic 4K Timelapse

September 24, 2017 by John Konrad

Read how it was done:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 23, 2017, 03:50:07 pm »

IMO Issues New Warning on Bauxite Cargoes

September 22, 2017 by Mike Schuler

MV Bulk Jupiter. Photo credit: Gearbulk

The International Maritime Organization has issued a new warning that a newly-discovered phenomenon – different from cargo liquefaction – could cause bauxite cargoes to become unstable when carried in bulk on a ship, potentially causing the vessel to capsize and sink.

Bauxite, a type of rock, is one of the world’s major sources of aluminium with around 100 million tonnes transported annually by sea. Although extremely rare, bauxite cargoes have been known to liquify and shift during shipping, which can cause a vessel to capsize at a moments notice.

In 2015, the Bahamas-flagged MV Bulk Jupiter unexpectedly sank off the coast of Vietnam while transporting 46,000 metric tons of bauxite loaded in Malaysia. All but one of the ship’s 19 crew members were lost in the accident.

While bauxite has been classified under the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code as a low-risk Group C cargo, under certain circumstances, in rare cases it has been known to exhibit liquefaction characteristics similar to high-risk ‘Group A’ cargoes. The IMSBC Code is the industry rulebook on how to deal with bulk cargoes.

In response to the Bulk Jupiter accident, the IMO requested that the global bauxite industry undertake research into the behavior and characteristics of bauxite cargoes during ocean transportation, leading to the formation of the Global Bauxite Working Group (GBWG). The group presented its findings from its research to an IMO Sub-Committee this week.

According to their report, the group found that certain forms of bauxite with a large proportion of smaller particles could be subject to a newly-identified phenomenon of “dynamic separation” when there is excess moisture in the cargo.

In such conditions, a liquid slurry (water and fine solids) can form above the solid material, according to the report. The resulting free surface effect of liquid “sloshing about” could significantly affect the vessel’s stability, leading to the risk of the ship capsizing.

To raise awareness about the potential risks posed by moisture, IMO’s Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers, which met this month at IMO Headquarters, issued new guidance on the carriage of bauxite in the form of a circular aimed at shippers, terminal operators, shipowners, ship operators, charterers, shipmasters and all other entities concerned.

The circular requests that extreme care and appropriate action be taken, taking into account the provisions of relevant IMO instruments, when handling and carrying bauxite in bulk.

The circular takes immediate effect, ahead of the next scheduled adoption (in 2019) of the new test methods and relevant schedules for bauxite cargoes during the routine scheduled updating of the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code.

The new circular updates a previous circular on the carriage of bauxite issued in 2015 following the Bulk Jupiter sinking, and invites Governments to note that some bauxite cargoes (specifically those with a larger proportion of smaller particles) present a risk caused by moisture and should be treated as Group A cargoes.

“Excess moisture in such cargoes can lead to a free surface slurry. This can cause atypical motion of the ship (wobbling). The master should take appropriate action in the event of this possible sign of cargo instability,” the IMO circular says.

The circular also includes the draft Test Procedure for Determining the transportable moisture limit (TML) for bauxite; the draft individual schedule for bauxite of Group A (Bulk Cargo Shipping Name “BAUXITE FINES”); and draft amendments to the existing individual schedule for bauxite of Group C (bauxite with a lower proportion of smaller particles and with a degree of saturation by moisture not liable to reach 70%).

For a copy of the GBWG Report on Research into the Behaviour of Bauxite during Shipping email media@imo.org.


Agelbert NOTE: The hazards in the oceans will get much, much worse within less than a decade because of Catastrophic Climate Change.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 17, 2017, 07:22:28 pm »

Excellent closeup of a powerful tornado:  :o 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 15, 2017, 07:07:46 pm »

SpaceX Blooper Reel – How Not to Land a Rocket at Sea  :P

By Mike Schuler on Sep 14, 2017 08:54 am

Elon Musk could be the only person in the world who could create a video like this and actually be cool about it, but I guess this is just the cost of doing business when you’re trying to sell your reusable space rockets to NASA. Then again this blooper reel is almost the epitome of the famous Elon Musk quote: “Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”

SpaceX landed its first reusable Falcon 9 rocket on the “droneship” in 2016 and earlier this year it achieved its first successful reflight, which the company described as a major milestone on the road to full and rapid rocket reusability.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 03, 2017, 08:50:36 pm »


Published on Aug 3, 2017

A massive fire has broken out at Dubai's 1,105ft tall Torch Tower.  :o

The blaze is thought to have started at around 1am local time (10pm BST) before shooting up one side of the 86 story building. Footage captured from the scene shows the flames illuminating the night's sky with debris cascading down onto the streets below. As the tower burned many gathered below to watch the fire engulf it.

Agelbert NOTE: Of course. THIS tower, unlike the WTC towers on 9/11, will "somehow" avoid collapsing like a ,uh, controlled demolition...

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 18, 2017, 07:10:22 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Trisomy 21 is an inherited condition (Down syndrome) that is not limited to lack of normal vocabulary skills. People with this used to be called "Mongoloids". Thankfully, that abusive term has been eliminated from civilized discourse.
The term Mongolian idiocy and similar terms have been used to refer to a specific type of mental deficiency associated with the genetic disorder now more commonly referred to as Down syndrome. The use of these terms has largely been abandoned because of their offensive and misleading implications about those with the disorder.

BUT, this excellent anecdote sheds some light on a particularly offensive and arrogant man we have all been forced to read about and listen to. ENJOY!    :D
How good an orator is Donald Trump?   

Nikki Primrose, Donald Trump? God help us all. 

Updated July 13, 2017

I have a sweet and beautiful aunt who just so happens to have Trisomy 21. Her name is Karen and she is in her forties, but her intellectual capabilities are more like those of a seven year-old. Her vocabulary is very simple and I'd estimate that 95% of her speech consists of fewer than 200 words.

My 6 year-old nephew Sam loves Karen, and they consider themselves BFFs (best of friends). Yesterday we were in the kitchen and a clip of Trump giving a rambling speech in the Rose Garden was playing on TV. I made a comment about how ridiculous he sounded, and Sam wagged his Cheeto covered finger at me and sternly told me not to say things like that. I had no idea the little dude had become a Trumpkin, so I asked him why. He put on his big boy voice and explained that “we don't make fun of people like Karen”.

When we asked why he thought the orange man on TV was like Karen, he said it was because he looked and spoke like her. We asked him to elaborate, and he said he looked like an old grown-up, but he sounded like “a little kid”. So according to Sam, Trump is not a great orator.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 04, 2017, 02:48:24 pm »

Can Going to the Theater Be a Traumatic Experience?

British playwrights and directors Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan first staged their theatrical adaptation of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984 in 2013, and the production played successfully to British and international audiences. However, the play, said to be true to the original writing, did not make it to Broadway until June 2017. After Donald Trump took office in the United States and the concept of “alternative facts” came to light, interest in 1984 and the kind of “thoughtcrime” described in the book skyrocketed. The Broadway production of 1984 has been described as an assault on the senses, with flashing strobe lights, a thundering jackhammer, and a lot of blood. Some theatergoers have had extreme reactions -- fainting, vomiting, and unrest have all been spawned by the play's unrelenting violence.

An intense night at the theater:

In Orwell’s dystopian classic, protagonist Winston Smith is brutally tortured for resisting the totalitarian regime led by Big Brother. While some adaptations have toned down the violence, the Hudson Theater production does not.

“The torture scenes are visceral, ghastly, and hair-raisingly vivid,” wrote one critic.

In the wake of Trump’s election, the book climbed to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list -- nearly 70 years after it was first published.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 09, 2017, 03:56:06 pm »

WATCH: Giant Crane Collapses After Being Hit by Ship at Jebel Ali
May 8, 2017 by Mike Schuler

An investigation has been launched after a CMA CGM containership struck a ship-to-shore crane while berthing at Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates, causing the giant to collapse.

The UK-flagged CMA CGM Centaurus contacted the quay while berthing at Jebel Ali on Thursday, May 4, causing the crane to collapse suddenly. A second crane was also shifted off its rails during the incident but remained upright and stable.

Amazingly there were no serious injuries even though there were many workers around at the time of the incident.

The dramatic incident was caught on video:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 29, 2017, 05:13:29 pm »

Watch: Skillful Navigation Between a Rock and an Iceberg in Antarctica

April 28, 2017 by gCaptain

In this video you can hear the Captain skillfully direct the helmsman while navigating through the Lemaire Channel between an iceberg and luna Booth Island off the Antarctic peninsula. Video filmed in March 2017.


Agelbert NOTE: Notice the sound and vibration when some of those rudder commands are executed.  8)
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 26, 2017, 06:57:14 pm »

Why are Lifeboats Killing Seafarers?

April 25, 2017 by Editorial

By Nick Yatsenko, Master Mariner

During my life at sea, I was always anxious during lifeboat drills. One of my relatives was employed on a MSC container carrier as an Engineer Watchkeeper, and during his routine inspection inside the free-fall lifeboat, the craft suddenly released and fell into the water while a ship was underway.

He was lucky enough to survive and suffered only severe injury to his knee, and since the vessel was close to the shore so he was evacuated by the helicopter. In the hospital, he had a surgery and then spent another year recovering.

When I was working for Maersk Line, one of our ships reported that a rescue boat accident resulted in one crewmember being killed instantly. Another crewmember was seriously injured.

Unfortunately, there is no comprehensive statistics on lifeboat accidents, but there is an ample amount of research showing a scary outcome. To name a few studies, from 1992-2004, marine insurer Gard “recorded 32 cases of accidental release of lifeboats. Five cases were without injury to people (there are certainly much more, but these five have been reported because they involved P&I claims), the others caused 12 deaths and injury to 74 people. Among the people injured there were several very serious cases of head and spine injury, some causing paralysis or possibly leading to death at a later stage. There were also a few cases where members’ vessels have picked up drifting lifeboats at sea – boats which had obviously fallen from the ships they belonged to.”

In 2001, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) published a review of a lifeboat and launching systems accidents covering a 10-year period from 1991, where seven people were killed and 10 injured.

Some of the recent cases of lifeboat accidents:

•Thomson Majesty Accident – Five Crew Killed During Lifeboat Drill on Cruise Ship

•Lifeboat Drill Accident: One Killed, Four Injured in Fall Aboard Harmony of the Seas

•Rescue Boat Accident on Norwegian Breakaway Injures Four.

•Lifeboat Accident on NCL’s Pride of America Sends Two Crew Members to Hospital

•MTM Westport: Fourth Seafarer/Lifeboat Death in Two Months

•Sailor Killed, Two Others Injured in Apparent Lifeboat Accident Off Germany

•Lifeboat Failure Leads to Fatalities Aboard Ensco Rig

(links to all the above at article link)

As the most of the accidents occurred during routine drills and maintenance activities, the main causes are design failure, lack of maintenance, and lack of proper training. “The equipment failure was reported to be the most common cause of accidents, within which quick release mechanism failure was identified as the most frequent cause,” according to a report by the Nautical Institute.

In response to the growing number of lifeboat accidents, the IMO has released new SOLAS Regulation III/1.5 and the amendments to Chapter IV of the LSA Code concern on-load release mechanisms fitted to new and existing cargo and passengers vessels. SOLAS Regulation III/1.5 also specifies other important dates:

1.“For ships constructed on or after 1 July 2014, on-load release and retrieval systems shall comply with the LSA Code, as amended by Resolution MSC.320(89); and

2.Member Governments are encouraged to ensure that ships constructed on or after 20 May 2011 but before 1 July 2014, on-load release and retrieval systems shall comply with the LSA Code, as amended by Resolution MSC.320(89).”

3.For vessels constructed prior to 20 May 2011, any on-load release systems that do not comply with paragraphs to of the revised LSA Code must be replaced at the first scheduled drydocking after 1 July 2014, but no later than 1 July 2019.

For the ships which are awaiting for the modification or fitting of the new design on-load release mechanism, the IMO has issued the “Guidelines for Evaluation and Replacement of Lifeboat Release and Retrieval Systems” and advise that Fall Preventer Devices (FPDs) are to be used with each existing RRS, in accordance with MSC.1/Circ.1327 “Guidelines for the Fitting and Use of Fall Preventer Devices (FPDs)”.

Some of the current requirements for the lifeboat/rescue boat inspections and maintenance are:

•Davit-launched lifeboats weekly moved from stowed position (SOLAS III/20.6.3)

•Monthly rescue boats other than a lifeboats launching (SOLAS III/

•Quarterly launching lifeboats & rescue boats (SOLAS III/ & .6, MSC/Circ. 1206)

•Six monthly free-fall lifeboat drill (SOLAS III/, MSC/Circ. 1206)

Considering all the accidents, do you think it is viable to break the boats from its stowed position every week?    Or even worse to launch them with the crew inside every 3 months?

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) went even further and recommended that the IMO undertake a study on the present value ;)  , need and desirability of lifeboats.

While I’m not ready to argue the present value of the lifeboats, I’m confident that only a change in on-load hooks design is not good enough. Many accidents occurred due to the failed winch operation, damaged wire or some minor imperfection such as remote wire control. I believe more radical changes are required, for example:

•Reduce requirement for the davit-launched lifeboats to be moved from stowed position from weekly to monthly or even quarterly.

•Reduce the launching of the lifeboats & rescue boats from quarterly and monthly respectively to annually. Or even more radically, test the off-load and on-load release mechanism by shore contractor only while the boat in stowed position, of course with the additional securing arrangements. Therefore completely removing the requirements to launch the boat with the crew inside. 

The crew has been trained how to use the survival craft during their STCW courses which are compulsory. During the external inspections the inspector, such as port state control can test the knowledge by asking relative questions. I’m very confident that in a case of emergency the crew would be able to lower the boat, start the engine, let go the hooks and steer away from the vessel.

This was originally published at http://nickyatsenko.com/blog.

To give you a bit of a visualization of lifeboat accidents, watch the videos below and imagine you are inside one of these boats.


Agelbert NOTE: This is a nice article about the dangers of practicing lifeboat drills.

In passing, let me say that the baloney about "present value" and "desirability" of lifeboats sounds like something some greedy manager working for Trump would come up with. It's just like these greed balls to use the drill accidents as an excuse to go back to cheap open top lifeboats. 

I think they left something out of the article, although they came up with some reasonable solutions to the problem.

What they didn't mention was that the old kind of open top lifeboat doesn't save ANYBODY in rough seas. The whole point of making these lifeboats that are sealed and launch free fall off a ship is to survive gigantic seas that the ship is sinking in.

That said, the injuries sustained in practice are really unnecessary because any dummy used for car crash tests or aircraft crash tests is what should be there in the drills (to see if injuries would have occurred and try to learn how to avoid them through extra harnesses and/or padding).

These boats hit the water hard. Every seaman knows what the deceleration is going to be and he is trained to brace when the lifeboat releases. So, yeah, stop putting people in there when you are practicing.

A once a year spin around the bay in a lifeboat by crew members is enough to teach them what to do once they have launched, which is the whole idea behind surviving the sinking of a ship.

The other problem is a mechanical one with something they call davit launching. I say put explosive bolts on the things and when you've got to release, IF THE MECHANISM DOESN'T WORK, BLOW THE CONNECTING CABLES AND GET THE HELL AWAY FROM THE SHIP!

Open the pod bay doors, HAL!
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 25, 2017, 08:00:57 pm »

Palloy, thank you for that bit of karmic news. It made my day. 

Webroot 'mistakenly' flags Windows as Malware and Facebook as Phishing site
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 25, 2017, 12:52:46 pm »

Viral Video: Out-of-Control Ferry Slams Head On Into Pier  :o

April 24, 2017 by Mike Schuler

Over a dozen people were injured Friday when an out-of-control ferry slammed into a breakwater at Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.

The accident was captured on video which went viral over the weekend, picking up nearly 1 million views on Youtube alone.

Spanish autorities say 13 people sustained injuries when the Volcán de Tamasite lost control and allided head on with the concrete pier.

The owner of the ferry, Naviera Armas, has blamed the accident on a loss of electrical power.

The ferry was reportedly carrying about 140 passengers when the accident occurred. A small oil slick was observed in the area.

The Volcán de Tamasite has been in service since 2004.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 04, 2017, 06:19:37 pm »

Scary Video: Disabled Sailboat Gets Tossed Into California Pier  :o

April 3, 2017 by Mike Schuler

Some scary video coming out of Redondo Beach, California shows a sailboat with four people on board get tossed through the pier’s pilings after the disabled boat drifted into the break.

Amazingly all four people managed to escape without serious injury or worse. 
A full 8-minute version of the video shows the people scramble to reach the beach as the sailboat gets swamped in the surf.

According to reports the incident occurred Saturday just after 7 p.m.

The full video is below:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 31, 2017, 05:23:07 pm »

Cargo Ship Collision Caught on Video

March 30, 2017 by Mike Schuler

Some incredible video coming from Nicaragua earlier this week showing a collision between a general cargo ship and smaller passenger vessel on the Escondido River.

The incident was captured on video by a passenger of the smaller vessel, identified as the Captain D:

The Nicaraguan Navy confirmed the incident occurred Tuesday morning on Nicaragua’s Escondido River approximately 25 miles east of El Rama. All 4o passengers and crew members of the Captain D were rescued before the ship sank a few hours of the crash, the Navy said.

The Antigua and Barbuda-flagged Jan Caribe has a gross tonnage of 2770. The ship was built in 1988.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 16, 2017, 02:54:23 pm »

Microsoft, Please Stop Breaking My PC With Windows 10’s Automatic Updates

Hey  Microsoft , could you please stop breaking my PC? The latest WPD driver update released on March 8, 2017 is just the latest in a long string of bad updates. If Windows 10 is going to force these updates on my system, the least Microsoft could do is test them properly first.

Don’t get us wrong: automatic updates are very important for security reasons, and we believe they are a good thing. The problem is that Microsoft isn’t just releasing security updates. They’re making major changes to Windows, and not testing the updates properly. They need to do better.

Full article:



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 24, 2017, 08:11:50 pm »

Watch: Stricken ‘Tide Carrier’ Rockin’ and Rollin’ Off Norway :o

February 23, 2017 by Mike Schuler

Some new video posted by Norway’s Hovedredningssentralen (spelling?) shows just how hairy the situation was yesterday for the stricken Tide Carrier off Norway. As we reported, the 263-meter barge carrier was dragging anchor dangerously close to shore just south of Bergen while dealing with some heavy weather. During the day helicopters evacuated all non-essential personnel and dropped […]

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 09, 2017, 05:15:45 pm »

Now if I can just stay clear of those cows, this should work out all right.  :D

How Newsworthy Were the Wright Brothers’
First Flights? ???

It may surprise you to learn that news of the first-ever powered airplane flight was not covered by the mainstream press.

It was actually a beekeeper named A.I. Root who first wrote about Orville and Wilbur Wright’s early flights in the pages of his obscure journal Gleanings in Bee Culture. Although Root didn’t witness the first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in December 1903, he was on hand in September 1904 when the brothers took a plane up and circled around, returning to their starting place.

The Wright brothers had obtained permission to use a local cow pasture known as Huffman Prairie, a few miles outside Dayton, Ohio. The owner did not charge them, but he did ask that the Wrights make sure his livestock were not harmed. Root witnessed several other flights at Huffman Prairie and reported the successes in his beekeeping journal.

The first family of fearless flying: 

•The Wrights built a hangar at Huffman Prairie and began experimenting with their second airplane. They started to use a catapult device to assist with takeoff in lighter winds.

•The Wrights added weight to the front of their 1904 Flyer to shift the center of gravity forward and increase stability. They also moved the elevator farther ahead of the wings, which made the plane easier to fly.

•It took 49 flights for the Wrights to equal their Kitty Hawk flight time. The first circular flight lasted 1 minute, 36 seconds and covered 4,080 feet (1.2 km).


Agelbert NOTE: Cows do not take kindly to being buzzed by airplanes. Back in 1966, the flight school I was attending at Opa Locka airport in Florida received numerous complaints from ranchers north of us (what was designated as the "practice area" for student pilots) between North Miami and Ft. Lauderdale (mostly open land at that time). The cows were being buzzed and having abortions. I never buzzed any cows or people. But there are stupid, empathy deficit disordered people in every profession, I guess. The only time you were supposed to be below 600 feet (the lowest altitude for ground reference maneuvers like turns about a point, pylon eights and S turns above a road) was when you were simulating an emergency landing (you got to about a 100 feet and then applied power when the instructor was satisfied that you would survive the forced landing and possibly not damage the aircraft).

I never went anywhere near a cow or a person. I saw cows and people and was perfectly aware of where they were at so I assume some idiots thought is was "fun" to buzz them. So it goes. There are way too many Homo SAPS among Homo Sapiens.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 21, 2016, 01:50:19 pm »

A "Deregulated" Regulus Cruise Missile "sending a message"

What’s the Fastest Way to Deliver Mail?

Domestic U.S. Air Mail was formally established as a class of service by the United States Post Office on 15 May 1918, when bags of mail were flown between Washington, Philadelphia, and New York.

In 1959, the U.S. Navy took postal delivery to the next level by packing a Regulus I cruise missile with mail aboard the submarine USS Barbero, docked at Norfolk, Virginia, and launching it to the naval air station in Mayport, Florida.

The missile, containing 3,000 letters symbolically addressed to President Dwight D. Eisenhower and other government officials, made the 100-mile (161 km) trip in 22 minutes. Although "rocket mail" never caught on as a practical method of postal delivery, the experiment succeeded as a not-so-subtle way to show off the U.S. military’s state-of-the-art missile guidance system during the Cold War.

The first and only missile mail:

•The storage space used for the mail was originally designed to hold the missile’s nuclear warhead. The Regulus was capable of sending mass destruction to a target 600 miles (966 km) away.

•U.S. Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield was ecstatic, saying, “Before man reaches the Moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to Britain, to India or Australia by guided missiles.” It was, however, the only time a missile has carried mail in the United States.

•Some of the Regulus I letters have found their way into private collections in the years since, and have sold for $100 USD or more.


Agelbert SNARK: The Trump kleptocratic Administration, after studying the Eisenhower Administration  ;D, has figured out a way to keep the "defense" contractors in bidness without having to bomb brown people. ;)

FEDEX, the winner of the contract,  has shown no interest in painting their corporate logo on the Deregulated Regulus because, according to a corporate cost/benefit analysis spokesman, "The things go too fast to be seen well".

Of course, FEDEX will be given appropriate "subsidies", like the other Brave and Loyal National Security Servants, the Fossil Fuel Industry.

After all, the "job creators" must preserve all the "jobs" that are "created" with OUR tax dollars.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 17, 2016, 05:48:51 pm »

El Faro Container Ship sank October 1, 2015 in a hurricane.

El Faro, Top 10 Failures Of The NTSB Investigation – gLive E21

December 16, 2016 by gCaptain

Agelbert NOTE: For full background info on the following video, see the post after the video. The full transcript shows that massive waves were striking the El Faro over an hour before it sank. Beyond some talk about "seas near Alaska", the crew never estimates the size of those waves.

Cargo ship severely listing as El Faro did shortly before sinking in a hurricane.

A wave that hit the ship causing a list of over 38 degrees is mentioned as a historical occurrence but at no time does the crew, or the NTSB that heard the full transcript, (except with "uhhhh" and "are you okay?" and "do you want a chair? - to the helmsman") directly mention wave height as a clear and present danger.

Admittedly, it was dark until the last hour or so, so they had no way of visual measurement. But as experienced mariners, they should have intuited wave height from the pounding.

When the ship was hulled, obviously it was caused by a powerful wave.

I do not understand why the NTSB doesn't not want to talk about wage height and damage unless they were told NOT to mention it because of the link between climate change and increasingly dangerous destructive waves. In the following video, the fact that the fuel is stored inside a double hull is pointed at as a major fault in the ship design. The containers are stored two hulls away from the sea. BUT, the fuel is only ONE hull from the sea.

SO, if the outer hull is pierced, the fuel gets contaminated and you lose power. This is a potential death sentence in rough seas. This happened to the El Faro.

But anyone reading/listening to the transcript of the last few hours will note the massive hits they (low frequency sounds recorded and helmsman difficulties) got BEFORE they lost power.

In fact, the ship was hulled BEFORE it lost power. So the wave height should be considered as the primary cause of the eventual sinking instead of the admittedly faulty design of storing fuel in between hulls (a stupidity born of crude oil tanker design documented by an MIT graduated expert in a book he wrote - mentioned in the video).

NTSB Releases El Faro VDR Bridge Audio Transcript; Opens Investigation Docket

December 13, 2016 by gCaptain


Agelbert NOTE: EVERYTHING said on the bridge during the last several harrowing hours is posted. The crew did all they could, but the storm was too strong.

Climate Change will make the oceans more and more hostile to shipping as the years go by. Yes, giant waves making shipping difficult to impossible have been predicted by Climate Scientists to increase, in frequency, size and duration, as a Climate Change consequence of Global Warming.

Here's my three part article that contains a lot of info on shipping that you may be interested in reading, as well as the references to recent, peer reviewed scientific studies predicting giant waves:

Climate Change, Blue Water Cargo Shipping and Predicted Ocean Wave Activity: Three Part Article

Climate Change, Blue Water Cargo Shipping and Predicted Ocean Wave Activity: PART TWO

Climate Change, Blue Water Cargo Shipping and Predicted Ocean Wave Activity: PART THREE
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 30, 2016, 04:31:37 pm »

Another Earthquake Shakes Italy :o :o :(







     L'Aquila Mayor Massimo Cialente, left, talks on the phone while surveying damage after the earthquake rattled the town on Oct. 30, 2016.  Alberto Orsini, epa

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 12, 2016, 02:49:39 pm »

Up to 80,000 Trout Escape After Cargo Ship Crashes Into Fish Farm in Denmark

October 11, 2016 by Reuters
The vessel involved in the incident is reported to be the MV Karmel, a Maltese-flagged general cargo ship. Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Aart van Bezooijen

ReutersCOPENHAGEN, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Danish anglers could be in for the fishing trip of their lives in a few days’ time, after a ship crashed into a fish farm and caused up to 80,000 rainbow trout to escape into the open sea.

The cargo vessel, sailing from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea to Kolding in Denmark, collided with the fish farm between the Danish islands Funen and Jutland on Tuesday, aquafarming firm Snaptun Fisk told Reuters.

The trout, weighing about 3 kg (6.6 lb) each, had been due to be slaughtered this week and were worth up to 10 million Danish crowns ($1.5 million), said Tim Petersen, co-owner and director at Snaptun Fisk.

“We will seek compensation from the shipowners,” he told Reuters.

The incident could damage the sea habitat, said Danish Technical University Aqua researcher Jon Svendsen. The escapees are likely to disturb the eggs and young of wild sea trout.

The rainbow trout, unused to life in the open sea, should only survive a few months.

“All sports fishermen should get out there with their gear and start fishing,” Soren Knabe, director of fishing association Vandpleje Fyn, told local broadcaster TV2/Fyn.

The trout will begin to bite after four to five days as they adjust to life in open waters, said Ulrik Jeppesen, a local angler, recalling similar previous incidents.

“I see this as a bit of a tragedy (for the environment), to be honest,” he said. “But I will probably make a trip or two out there.” (Reporting by Annabella Pultz Nielsen and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; editing by Andrew Roche)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016.


Agelbert NOTE: Is rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) a freshwater or saltwater fish? ???

Oncorhynchus mykiss

Rainbow trout usually mature at age 3 to 5 and grow to about 6 to 16 inches long, .... born in rivers but later venture out to the ocean and adapt to the salt water.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 05, 2016, 07:23:40 pm »

Amazing Bridge Span Positioning Machine!  :o 

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