The 2nd ‘R’ in Hurricanes

September 19, 2005

Tropical Storm Rita 5 day track from NOAA as of 9-19-05It continues to be an extra-busy hurricane season; Tropical Storm Hurricane Rita is gathering strength and getting ready to pound the Florida Keys on it’s way to the Texas Texas or Louisiana Gulf Coast.

Rita is only the second Atlantic storm to get an “R” name since they started naming them alphabetically back in 1953 (the first was Roxanne in 1995) — and Hurricane Season doesn’t officially end until November 30th, two and a half months from now.

Apparently if they run out of alphabetical names, they’ll go to Greek letters…

Looks like it’s going to be a bumpy fall…

If you want a handy, constantly-updated reference to this year’s hurricane season, Wikipedia’s 2005 Atlantic hurricane season page is a great place to start.

Alabama 3 – Katrina Relief Appeal

September 11, 2005

Alabama 3Brothers and Sisters, I’ve been remiss in mentioning that my favorite band, the UK’s Alabama 3, has up an MP3 of a new song, “Trying to get to Heaven (Before They Close the Door)” — it’s available free, but only if you donate to one of the various Hurricane Katrina charity funds (you’re on the honor system, but you don’t wanna piss off the Rev. D. Wayne.)

The back story is that after they got the news about Katrina, they headed into the studio and cut this track especially for this purpose (which is more than some folks over here were doing at the time — not bad for a club band from Brixton.)

They selected “Trying to get to Heaven”, a cover of an old Bob Dylan piece, as being particularly appropriate to the situation, but as you can imagine, it sounds a little different with Larry Love’s blues-soaked vocals than it did when Dylan did it.

“‘Cus I’m going down the river baby,
I’m going down to New Orleans.
When find out you’ve lost everything,
you find out you lose a little more.
I’ve been all around the world boys,
I’m trying to get to heaven before they close the door”

Alabama 3 – Trying to Get to Heaven (Before They Close the Door)

Excellent work, from the best band that nobody ever heard of…


September 6, 2005

Ooooh… I heard a new word today…

Has Katrina saved US media? (BBC)

Then as now, good reporting lies at the heart of what is changing.

But unlike Watergate, “Katrinagate” was public service journalism ruthlessly exposing the truth on a live and continuous basis.

Instead of secretive “Deep Throat” meetings in car-parks, cameras captured the immediate reality of what was happening at the New Orleans Convention Center, making a mockery of the stalling and excuses being put forward by those in power.

Amidst the horror, American broadcast journalism just might have grown its spine back, thanks to Katrina.

Hunter should have stuck around for this; he’d have enjoyed the next few months, I suspect.

(via the Interesting People list)

Feds Learn New Orleans Still There

September 2, 2005

Apparently the US government finally remembered that there were people who needed help in New Orleans, with troops finally arriving in force, a mere five days after Hurricane Katrina.
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What Gave

September 2, 2005

SF Writer Kathryn Cramer has put together a great collection of before-and-after imagery from Google Maps and other sources to try to make sense of (and make clearer) just where some of the critical levee breaks occured.

Although there’s still a bit of confusion, this makes some of the other photos I’ve seen a bit more understandable to me now; I guess I didn’t really understand that at least some of this was occuring along canals in mid-city, instead of directly along the banks of Lake Ponchartrain.


Hell & High Water – New Orleans is Burning

September 2, 2005

Credit: DirectNIC

I’m watching the live cam feed from the Survival of New Orleans Blog, and you can see the pall of smoke hanging over downtown, and plumes rising from various fires. If New Orleans wasn’t hell on earth already, it’s slowly becoming so…

Apparently the promised military presence is still in Iraq missing in action, as well.

Teams Alpha and Bravo finished the medium range recon and there are 3 separate locations on fire. We have pictures coming shortly.

During the recon, I spoke to some Federal Marshalls and NOPD. Morale is LOW. Very low. They’re not seeing the military presence they say they were promised. I told those guys they can’t possibly imagine how much we (the world) appreciate their dedication. I asked what civil rights the citizens have and the US Marshalls looked at me like I just fell off the turnip truck and chuckled. I asked if citizens can have guns for protection and he said if someone thinks he needs a gun, he should have already evacuated. He also said they are setting the city on fire.

The NOPD wants to know where “the two active duty brigades” were that he says they were told were supposed to arrive today. When I asked him what he would want to tell the world, he said Everyone keeps talking about the military presence in the city, and then asked me,” Do you see any military around here” in dusgust.

Please consider taking a moment and donating to the American Red Cross disaster relief effort.

The War at Home

September 1, 2005

I try to keep this blog about as non-political as they come. Not because I don’t have any personal interest in politics, but because there are plenty of places you can go to read or talk about politics; I can’t see a reason to provide another.

On the other hand, even though I was just an occasional visitor, New Orleans was near and dear to me, and I couldn’t not pass this article along.

Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen?

On June 8, 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; told the Times-Picayune: “It appears that the money has been moved in the president’s budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that’s the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can’t be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us.”…

…The 2004 hurricane season was the worst in decades. In spite of that, the federal government came back this spring with the steepest reduction in hurricane and flood-control funding for New Orleans in history. Because of the proposed cuts, the Corps office there imposed a hiring freeze. Officials said that money targeted for the SELA project — $10.4 million, down from $36.5 million — was not enough to start any new jobs.

(via Dateline: Bristol)

DirectNIC Still Standing

September 1, 2005

Credit: DirectNIC

I’ve been a serious fan of DirectNIC for a lot of years; they’ve always been an upstanding domain registrar and have several times pulled my ass out of a jam (usually of my own making) by making incredible things happen, often in the wee small hours of the morning.

These guys are talented and dedicated — I just had no idea how much, until I stumbled into The Survival of New Orleans Blog, being run by the folks who are keeping DirectNIC’s data center up and running, right in the heart of New Orlean’s beseiged central business district.
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