Thursday, October 31, 2019

Book Review - Bloody Genius

"Bloody Genius" is the latest Virgil Flowers mystery by John Sandford.  A well known professor and medical researcher is murdered in the library and the local police are stuck so the governor calls in Virgil to help out. A reluctant Virgil wades into the investigation but keeps hitting dead ends. The read is slow for the first 150 pages but the last 130 pages will keep you fully engaged.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Floating Hotel Fail

Nessy, on the sidebar, uncovered a fascinating story about a floating hotel that was installed in Australia and it's journey to North Korea. I suspect that this would never be done in the US because of the Jones Act. There would simply be too much liability. The Jones Act was originally intended to protect seamen but the definition of employees covered under the Jones Act has been expanded over the years so that it now includes anyone on board a floating vessel.

Go read the story here.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Crane Demolition at the Hard Rock Collapse

Nothing is more fun than watching things blow up. You can imagine the excitement in New Orleans with people wanting to see the implosion of the two cranes at the Hard Rock hotel collapse. The left crane topped and actually imbedded itself in the street and is now standing like a spear in the ground. While the second crane didn't come completely down, it was planned to fall into the building but missed it's target by a few feet, everyone seems to be satisfied with the result. Some businesses in the area lost windows from the pressure wave. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel Collapse

This is a good drone video of the New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel Collapse.

The two tower cranes are both damaged and engineers do not know how to brace them as the building is not stable. There are concerns about the weather this weekend bringing wind and rain. An area around the building has been evacuated and traffic blocked.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Notre Dame Update

We finally walked by Notre Dame yesterday. The entire block is circled with an 8 foot high fence of corrugated metal topped with razor wire. They are serious about security! The playground/park behind the cathedral is now home to stacks of containers used as construction offices. The pretty garden along the river side is now storage for scaffolding. Most of the center of the building is covered in scaffolding. (The scaffolding contractor will make a fortune from this job) The flying buttresses are all supported with framing made from heavy timber. There is temporary roof over the center of the building. (If the tarp was blue it would remind me of New Orleans after Katrina.)  Word is that this will be going on for 5 years.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Climate Change in Europe

Recently a 16 year old Swede got international attention for her rants on climate change. It's understandable if you are aware of how climate change is part of everyday life in Europe.

In almost everything you do in daily life in Europe, you are reminded of you carbon footprint. If you use Google Maps to find direction somewhere, you will be told how many grams of carbon you will be emitting depending upon your transportation option - car, public transportation, or walking. If you buy a train ticket, the amount of your share of carbon will be printed on the ticket. If you want to buy an apartment, it will have an energy rating which is shown on the advertising. If you want to drive a car within the periferique in Paris, you will need a special air emission sticker making it difficult for drivers from other countries to come into the city. In the news, climate change is treated like a scientific fact with no comments about the validity of the data. The term is used casually to explain every weather anomaly.

Is it any wonder that this amount of propaganda produces teenage angst?

Myself, I read that there recently 5 earthquakes within one hour in Missouri. That is much more of a concern to me.

A Little Excitement

My wife and I were walking back from the Bastille market towards the Isle of St Louis and our apartment when I hear a helicopter circling low over the area. They never fly helicopters over the city unless there is a problem. (The last time I saw it was when the police was tracking an armed bank robber on a motorcycle.) Then I see the pilot setting up to land on the very bridge that we had to walk across to get to the island - Pont Marie. Rotary wing guys hate to land anywhere that is not a certified landing pad because of the obstructions that they can run into, like light poles, but this guy did it anyway.

The gathering crowd was puzzled and curious and we found someone who spoke English and was able to see the news on his phone. Someone had attacked police officers at the Prefecture (HQ across from Notre Dame) and this operation was obviously part of the response. You will probably learn more about it on the news.

It just goes to show that you never know what you will find in Paris.

Here's a link to the story with a picture of the helicopter on the bridge.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Head Count

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, drugs and murder will make you lose your head. The KSA beheaded 17 this month, playing catch up to last month. Year to date head count is 152.