Archive for the ‘Unique events’ category

Random Thoughts…

June 3, 2009

There’s a lot of stuff rattling around in my brain—random thoughts about this and that…

So, as the late comedian George Carlin used to say—here’s a few of my brain droppings.


The disappearance of Air France flight #447 over the Atlantic has unleashed a huge amount of speculation from the media— more than usual perhaps because the plane was lost over a desolate section of Ocean with no aural communication from the crew.

One of the early—and oft reported pieces of speculation was that “lightning brought down” the huge jet.

Trouble with that “theory’’  is that it can be disproved with the click or two of a computer key, and the blabbering no-nothings of the media did not a seconds research before spewing out useless garbage.

All the speculating newsies had to do was a quick Google search for “aircraft & lightning” they would have found a tons of information about how planes are designed to withstand lightning strikes…

They’d find stats showing dozens of aircraft are struck every month by lightning world-wide.

Do the genius brains in newsrooms need more proof?

A few more keystrokes  would have revealed this video of Qantas Jet struck while in mid air:

OR this video of a jumbo jet getting struck just after takeoff…

There are several other videos on line, including a small, private plane getting zapped by lightning and shots from inside the cabin of an aircraft of a lightning strike.

It’s not necessary to post ‘em all—you get the point.


Back in April, Actress Demi Moore got all kinds of headline coverage when a San Jose, California woman sent her an on-line suicide threat via Twitter.

Her followers saw the threat and called the local police who interrupted the woman’s suicide attempt.

Although Moore didn’t save the life, she got the credit…

Now— a city councilor in Atlanta, Georgia has used the Twitter to save someone right in front of him.

As you can read here, Councilman Kwanza Hall spotted a woman having a seizure on a street corner.

He decided to Tweet for help because his cell phone battery was low, and he feared he wouldn’t have enough juice to stay on the line with the local 9-1-1 center.

His text: “Need a paramedic on corner of John Wesley Dobbs and Jackson st. Woman on the ground unconscious. Pls ReTweet

That message was picked up by his followers—and with-in seconds—an ambulance was dispatched, arriving in time to save the woman’s life.

EYE betcha she’s “singing” the praises of Twitter today.


My Zimbio

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Double Takes….

April 21, 2009

Sometimes things are not what they seem at first glance…

What you see is NOT always what you get.

Below are a few examples of things that deserve a closer look.


Imagine yourself in a crowded train station during the height of the morning commute. The background music playing on the building’s speakers is a classic show tune from The Sound Of Music.

Someone is so entranced the by music they begin singing and dancing to it..

Soon someone else joins in.. Then another, and another ’til 200 people are all creating a song-and-dance performance right before your eyes.

Well, that’s what happened in Antwerp’s Central Train station when a group of performers staged what appeared to be an ad-lib musical before scores of startled commuters.

In all, 200 performers participated in this stunt that was to serve as a promotion for a Belgian TV channel that was producing its own production of The Sound Of Music.

The best part about this video is the reaction shots of various commuters as the performance unfolded.


Here’s little item that you should be able to read it with ease— despite the fact it looks like gibberish on first glance

Not Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rgh it pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Turns out the human brain doesn’t always see spelling—but rather recognizes patterns.

So as long as the first and last letter of the word is in the right spot—and the word has the correct number of letters, your brain will process it correctly..


Take a look at this photo.

There is a train in it.

Well, strictly speaking—the train isn’t in the picture yet…

But if you click on this clip below you’ll see how this active railroad line suddenly becomes a market in Bangkok, Thailand.

Seconds after the train passes—there’s no sign of a railway…
NOW that deserves a double-take !


My Zimbio

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A 2-Minute Cosmic Warning…

March 4, 2009

A little asteroid in space ALMOST rocked our world.

It was small—but had it hit, the space rock classified as “2009 DD45″ could have created the same kind of destruction as a small nuclear device.

The asteroid took sky-watchers by surprise—spotted on its track just two days before it whizzed by on March 2nd as you can read here

Not only wasn’t it detected early—but it passed with-in the moon’s orbit—at 40,000 miles above the Earth’s surface.  That height is just about twice the altitude of most communications satellites—and a real near-miss by astronomical standards.

Here’s a video of 2009DD45’s little surprise visit.

If you look closely, you’ll see it moving slowly— it’s the faint object right in the center the video shown below.

The story here isn’t the closeness of the fly-by—but rather the fact that we had virtually NO WARNING until it was almost too late.

For years—scientists have been scanning the skies for Near Earth Objects—and have assured us that they can give us enough warning to take action.

Less than a month ago, EYE wrote this post about NASA’s attempts to calculate when an asteroid it was tracking was going to hit the Earth.

As we pointed out— the rocket scientists there had a bit of a problem figuring out exactly when the asteroid called “1999 AN10” will hit..

And that darn thing’s coming a lot closer than “2009 DD45″— because its going to whiz in at 19,000 miles which is between the Earth and the geosynchronous satellites that ring the planet.

Like Murphy once said, “what can go wrong, will go wrong,” and when it comes to figuring out if the Earth is going to be pummeled from outer space—don’t bet that we’ll even get a 2-minute warning!


My Zimbio

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How Much Space Do We Really Have….

February 18, 2009

They’re still trying to figure out exactly what caused the daytime fireball a couple of days ago in Texas.

Video of a road race shot by a Texas TV News photographer inadvertently caught the object’s plummet  to earth.

At first  they  thought it was pieces of debris from a collision of two satellites this past weekend.

But as you can read here, officials say that’s not the case.

Their best guess, a meteorite that burned up.

They’re estimating based on the size and duration of the fireball that it was less than 30 miles up when it put on its show.

We’re lucky it was a small object.

Despite the vast emptiness of space—this little old planet manages to get itself in the way of some pretty large flying rocks now and again—rocks that can change the everything if they make it all the way to the earth’s  surface.

Just ask the Dinosaurs.

For years scientists have been on the lookout for Near Earth Objects or NEO’s that could come blazing into our atmosphere.

The thought being—if they can figure out what’s aiming at us—maybe they can prevent it from doing major damage.

And now—scientists may have that chance.

According to NASA’s Near Earth Object project— an asteroid named 1999 AN10 is coming darn close to earth in 19 years.

The space agency says the rock is a kilometer wide—and in 2027, it’ll pass with-in 19,000 miles of the earth’s surface.

How close is that?

Well, we’ve got a whole band of stationary satellites in geosynchronous orbit around the earth that are 23,000 miles above the surface.

As you can see in this chart— the asteroid will pass between THEM and the EARTH..

Astrologically speaking—that’s darn close!

Although NASA insists that’s not close enough to collide with the earth—it’s still TOO CLOSE to leave the asteroid unaffected.

The space agency admits the pass will be close enough that the Earth’s gravity will affect the asteroid’s orbit— meaning when it circles around for it’s next encounter—it’ll smack RIGHT into the earth !

Originally, scientists thought the collision would happen in 2039… As you can read here, they’re now waffling on that and say it’s more likely to collide with us in 2044 or 2046..

But, here’s the rub.

They really can’t say for sure because their data has a lot of uncertainty.

It could be worse—or not happen at all.

One thing that should probably be done—find a way to deflect 1999 AN10’s orbit when it makes it’s close pass in 2027…

We’ve got nearly 2 decades to figure out HOW to do it…

If the effort is successful, we will have all the space we need.


My Zimbio

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Waves of Desperation…

January 7, 2009

They say it’s an Ill-wind that blows nobody any good—and in the case of an British adventurer and explorer—the winds he encountered on a unique odyssey ultimately were winds of good fortune indeed—although it didn’t seem like that at first.

2005 was one of the worst years for hurricanes on record—and it was also the year that  Dom Mee tried to cross the North Atlantic from Canada to England in this tiny 14-foot boat powered only by a kite-sail…

His adventure and the hurricane ravaged seas collided—truncating Dom’s efforts 39 days into the quest.

He was battered at various times by hurricanes Irene, Maria, Katrina and Ophelia while they were in the open ocean. But, it was the remnants of Hurricane Rita that finally doomed the expedition.

His little vessel capsized 8 times—and filled with water. At one point, he actually clung to the hull of the boat for 5 hours before another massive wave righted the craft.

When he was rescued shortly thereafter by the Canadian Coast Guard his boat the Little Murka, was left to it drift aimlessly at sea.

Eventually the barnacle encrusted vessel washed ashore in Ireland.

Mee was reunited with the craft—which still contained the waterproof video camera he used for recording his odyssey.

And when he checked the camera— it turned out the tape was still good.

What follows are 10 of some of the most dramatic minutes of video you’ll ever see of a man who is desperate against the elements…


Like the ocean Dom was sailing, the video contains SALTY language

But—there’s more to the story than this video.

After Mee was rescued—he penned this firsthand account for the Britian’s Guardian.

The article was written BEFORE the tape surfaced—because he concludes his story with the explanation that he escaped only with his life and that “the sea took everything else.”

The discovery of the video adds a thrilling post-script to this harrowing attempt to best nature.


My Zimbio

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