Archive for September, 2005


Friday, September 23rd, 2005

THE world’s content-free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. My thanks once again to Jeff for showing me the way.

National Geographicstradomus – October 2004

Monday, September 5th, 2005

The Louisiana bayou, hardest working marsh in America, is in big trouble with dire consequences for residents, the nearby city of New Orleans, and seafood lovers everywhere.It was a broiling August afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Big Easy, the City That Care Forgot. Those who ventured outside moved as if they were swimming in tupelo honey. Those inside paid silent homage to the man who invented air-conditioning as they watched TV “storm teams” warn of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing surprising there: Hurricanes in August are as much a part of life in this town as hangovers on Ash Wednesday.

But the next day the storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city. As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however—the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party.

The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing a deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over. Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level—more than eight feet below in places—so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall washed over the brick ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard houses of the Ninth Ward, over the white-columned porches of the Garden District, until it raced through the bars and strip joints on Bourbon Street like the pale rider of the Apocalypse. As it reached 25 feet (eight meters) over parts of the city, people climbed onto roofs to escape it.

Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.

When did this calamity happen? It hasn’t—yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a terrorist attack on New York City. Even the Red Cross no longer opens hurricane shelters in the city, claiming the risk to its workers is too great.

August – A Record Month

Thursday, September 1st, 2005

FYI – monthly income for August 2005 (new career) surpassed my monthly income for May 2004 (previous career). The new road looks promising, the ride is quite smooth, the fog is lifting, and the car is running like a swiss watch. Looking forward to a continuing pleasant journey – although the weather outside the car appears threatening.

Coming to the Rescue?

Thursday, September 1st, 2005

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR – News) announced today that it will donate $100,000 to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts supervised by the American Red Cross and United Way. This gift will be supplemented by contributions from Fluor employees worldwide. The company will match employee contributions at the rate of 50 cents to the dollar.

They say its the thought that counts – but what really matters is the size of the thought. I personally would have thought that one of the world’s most admired engineering firms in the world – who stands to make substantial financial gains from insurance monies for repairing the damage, would have 1) contributed a larger portion, and 2) increased the size of their matching donation. Hell, an L.A.-based used record store is matching donations from customers “dollar for dollar”.

Sorry, guys. I’m not impressed, not that it matters. Enjoy the trip to Dallas.