I’m a news junkie, especially from non-US sources. Unfortunately, watching TV from Europe or Asia is hampered by a big problem–the curve of the Earth. The satellites that hit Europe and Asia are not exactly positioned to beam their signals down to the US. While I have the big dish to get some of the content, that is still reliant on the broadcaster ‘double bouncing’ their signal through an Earth station somewhere and not encrypting their feeds.
Online options are dispersed. Most of the good peer-to-peer programs like Sopcast and TVAnts are Windows only, and going to 100s of different websites can be a real pain.
So I’m pretty pleased to find Livestation. This is a small downloadable app that gives you a standard interface to a lot of different content from around the world. I’m watching Orange Sports from France right now, and can flip to Euronews and a few other feeds of interest. Right now I’m watching Al Jazeera English service (which is funny in the bias that it shows).
Try downloading it. Works on Macs, Windows and Linux.
Military Sealift Command has a number of ships up in Baltimore that you can see anytime you drive through the city. But it’s actually quite rare to see them afloat, unless you are off the coast of Iraq or some other trouble spot.
Today the USNS Mendonca, a ro-ro ship past the window with the AIS Ship plotter listing its final destination as ‘To Sea’. Maybe they sense an Obama victory and are getting the ships in place to bring back the tanks?
USNS Mendonca is one of Military Sealift Command’s nineteen Large, Medium-Speed Roll-on/Roll-off Ships and is part of the 21 ships in the Sealift Program Office.
Couple interesting vessels today. The first was a destroyer leaving Annapolis and making its way back toward Norfolk. Turns out it was the USS Cole, famous from the attack in Yemen a few years back. It was in Annapolis for the homecoming game (which Navy lost miserably to Pitt).
The second is the Gazela Primerio, a barquentine heading toward Baltimore for the annual clipper race which will be in a few days.
After the Cole was attacked it was ferried back to the US for repairs.
Haven’t posted any ship updates in awhile. We had a destroyer go by yesterday on the way to Annapolis. This little ship is passing the house right now.
With a name like this you'd think it was a table at Ikea
Cars/any rolling equipment
Heavy lifts up to 120 tons
Break bulk cargo
Vessels’ special features
Stern ramp, capacity 200 tons
Elevator serving all 3 decks
Heavy lift derrick 120 tons
Car decks serving upto 140 cars
Large hatch openings(26.7*8m)
Stabilisers minimising cargo damage
Forklifts on board, up to 25 tons
The vessels are fully self-sustained by own equipment for loading/discharging irrespective of port facilities.
It’s a new football formation making the rounds in the high school game. The New York Times is writing about it and there are quite a few links on Google.
By placing one of the quarterbacks at least seven yards behind the line of scrimmage, and no one under center to receive the snap, the A-11 qualifies as a scrimmage kick formation — the alignments used for punts and extra points. Thus interior linemen are granted an exception from having to wear jersey numbers 50 through 79. (The exception was intended to allow a team’s deep snapper not to have to switch to a lineman’s jersey if he was a back or an end.) Any player wearing jersey numbers 1 through 49 and 80 through 99 is potentially eligible to receive a pass.
There used to be a show called Danger UXB which told the story of the bomb defusers in the UK fighting the legacy of World War II. But here’s an interesting piece from the German side of things, published today in Der Spiegel.
In the whole of Germany, more than 2,000 tons of American and British aerial bombs and all sorts of munitions ranging from German hand grenades and tank mines to Russian artillery shells are recovered each year.
Kind of interesting is the reason some didn’t go off. Soil conditions and gravity prevented some of the chemical triggers from activating 60 years ago.
An estimated 20,000 delay-action bombs were dropped on Oranienburg during the war because it had a suspected atomic bomb research site, the Heinkel aircraft factory and a pharmaceutical plant. They were designed to explode between two and 146 hours after hitting the ground, to disrupt clearing up work and cause chaos.
But many failed to go off because Oranienburg has soft soil with a hard layer of gravel underneath. That meant bombs would penetrate the earth, bounce off the gravel and come to rest underground with their tips pointing back upwards. In that position gravity stops the chemical detonators from working. They contain a vial of acetone which bursts on impact and is meant to trickle down and dissolve a celluloid disk that keeps back the cocked firing pin.
But when the bomb is pointed upwards, the acetone seeps away from the celluloid, leaving only the vapors to wear the disk down.
A friend of mine, Dr. Liana Chua has published a book. No, it’s not an international spy novel, or a trashy romance, but a deep thought academic book ready in the cloistered Ivy covered halls around the world.
Since its inception, modern anthropology has stood at the confluence of two mutually constitutive modes of knowledge production: participant-observation and theoretical analysis. This unique combination of practice and theory has been the subject of recurrent intellectual and methodological debate, raising questions that strike at the very heart of the discipline. How Do We Know? is a timely contribution to emerging debates that seek to understand this relationship through the theme of evidence. Incorporating a diverse selection of case studies ranging from the Tibetan emotion of shame to films of Caribbean musicians, it critically addresses such questions as: What constitutes viable anthropological evidence? How does evidence generated through small-scale, intensive periods of participant-observation challenge or engender abstract theoretical models? Are certain types of evidence inherently better than others? How have recent interdisciplinary collaborations and technological innovations altered the shape of anthropological evidence? Extending a long-standing tradition of reflexivity within the discipline, the contributions to this volume are ethnographically-grounded and analytically ambitious meditations on the theme of evidence. Cumulatively, they challenge the boundaries of what anthropologists recognise and construct as evidence, while pointing to its thematic and conceptual potential in future anthropologies.
Liana is doing her post-doc work at Gonville and Caius college (yea, from Chariots of Fire in case you were wondering). And no, I haven’t read it. I’ll put it on the list of things to do…
The Washington Post has an interesting tidbit that you might not have heard about. During a previously disclosed attack on the Pope, it was not released that the Pope was actually stabbed and bleeding as a result of the incident.
On May 12, 1982, the pope was visiting the shrine city of Fatima in Portugal to give thanks for surviving a first assassination attempt a year earlier on May 13, 1981, when he was shot in St Peter’s Square by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca.
A crazed ultra-conservative Spanish priest, Juan Fernandez Krohn, lunged at the pope with a dagger and was knocked to the ground by police and arrested. The fact that the knife actually reached the pope and cut him was not known until now.
“I can now reveal that the Holy Father was wounded. When we got back to the room (in the Fatima sanctuary complex) there was blood,” Dziwisz says in the documentary.
My girlfriend (now wife) had just flown in from Hong Kong on a 12+ hour flight. I had flown over a few days earlier on business and we were meeting in London, seeing each other for the first time in months. I had but one idea for our first night together in months:
ROADTRIP TO HIGHBURY!
Arsenal was playing Lazio on September 27, 2000 in a driving rain and a match which everyone expected Arsenal to lose. Lazio came in not being the group favorite, but the overall favorite to win the Champions League that season. Arsenal, despite winning every game up to that point, was still looked at as suspect in European play.
I got my tickets from a ticket broker (first, and last time I’ll ever do that). My overpriced, semi-obstructed view seats ended up on the East Bank lower, which has the ambience of watching a football game in someone’s basement that is about a foot too short for most humans. Still it was Highbury and I was happy to be there.
My wife/girlfriend was not. On top of the rather long flight, change in time zones, and climate differences between HK and London, she was repeatedly warned by her colleagues “English Football is Dangerous!” Hooligan stories wafted through her head most of the flight, and she was actually afraid we would get beaten up.
My calming words eventually placated her. “It’s not like that anymore. It’s more of a family atmosphere. You’ll enjoy it.”
As we walked up the rather long ramp from the Arsenal station, we emerged into the London mist in front of six police horses in riot gear. Armored plates on their legs, plexiglass covers over the animal’s eyes, and a helmeted rider with a club and shield. She glanced over to me with a “thanks-for-taking-me-to-my-death” look that haunts my nightmares to this day. “It’ll get better” I told her.
Walking around Highbury is something I recommend to anyone who hasn’t been to the home of football. Not only the sights, the colors, the noise, but the smells are something that will stay with you for a long time to come. We moved down the rows of vendors, carefully looking at the shirts and programs and sweets for something worth buying.
“Piss Off Tottenham” with a little Calvin urinating on a Spurs logo caught my wife’s eye before my. It was next to a shirt saying “You’re a bunch of sheep shaggers” or something. Adding to the look of death I received earlier was the new glare of “you hang out with some classy people.”
“Let’s get something to eat” I broached to her, turning the corner on Avenell road and heading to the main entrance. I could smell something burning, not quite meat, not quite vegetable, more along the lines of burning dog hair. I headed up to the trailer housing men speaking a strange language (Turkish? Arabic? Welsh?) and ordered two “meat patties” for dinner. When the grey matter arrived on the bun, my wife and I stared at debating who would be first to die. Eventually I took one bite, spitting it out as the grease ran down my throat. “Let’s get something inside” she said chucking hers into the trash.
I pushed my way through the cellblock-like structure that is the Arsenal turnstyle, and had to help my wife (who is a bit weaker) enter the grounds. As we got through, I heard the name “Tony Adams” receive a loud cheer as it was announced on the public address that he would be playing following a long bout of injury.
The game was just marvelous. Arsenal dominated the play against a Lazio side that just seemed embarrassed. Freddie Ljunberg scored two, bracketing halftime in the 43 and 56th minute. “Two Nil, to the Arsenal” rang out from the rafters, with a booming voice of all four sides singing in unision. My wife cracked her first smile of the night “I didn’t know they’d be signing.” “You never know if they have something to sing about” I said. “But I’m glad they are.”
As the clock ticked down seats opened up in the lower rows and my wife and I moved down from under the cover of the East Deck Upper (the lower deck is “roofed” by the upper deck, keeping you dry but ruining your view, sort of). We got down to field level where we took a couple pictures and enjoyed the final whistle in the misting rain.
I’ve honestly lost track of how many times I’ve been to Highbury since that day, although my wife has not made it back since that night (fricking US INS–long story). I still delight in wandering the streets before the game, taking in the smells and buying too many sweets.