News PM Punch

November 18, 2013

newsmanCold and windy this Monday afternoon, and though we’re forecast for rain to arrive anytime now, the weather-ambiance this near the coast leaves calling the shots up in the air — thunderstorms are predicted for tomorrow.
Life is a wait-and-see routine sometimes.

Technology’s storm sight is Instagram: @shanahan7, Tazewell County, Ill. The house… Damn :/ it’s all broken. Damn tornados!!!!!!!#Illinois #poor #sad #saveIllinois #tornado#destruction #damage #RIP (via NPR).

An instant spin on the on the way-old town crier — in near-real time, the world can quick-eye anything — people, place or event — and have in hand, a literal, up-close-and-personal view of whatever. On the NPR link above are a few pix and words describing/displaying the damage off tornadoes this weekend in Illinois. A wide chunk of the US Midwest got hit with 80+ tornadoes, at least one an EF4, winds near 170 mph.
From USAToday:

Here, the debris from shattered homes was strewn for acres in every direction.
Cars were overturned, roofs caved in and household effects blown, in some cases, for miles.
Children’s toys, sporting goods, appliances, insulation, and other mundane necessities of life lay unclaimed across the newly-harvested corn fields.
A mattress spring, shorn of its filling, was perched ontop of the trunk of a broken tree.
“It’s like the stuff you see on tv,” said Rachel Rockhold, who has lived in Washington for the past four years.
“If you look in one direction, it’s our nice little neighborhood and in the other there is nothing left.”
Rockhold took shelter in her basement during the tornado.
When she emerged after it had passed she said she came outside to see her neighbors, “walking around like zombies.”

And this note on the unusual appearance of these tornadoes — close to calling it an encounter with climate change:

Weather service meteorologist Matt Friedlein said such strong storms are rare this late in the year because there usually isn’t enough heat from the sun to sustain the thunderstorms.
But he said temperatures Sunday had been expected to reach into the 60s and 70s, which he said is warm enough to help produce severe weather when it is coupled with winds, which are typically stronger this time of year than in the summer.
“You don’t need temperatures in the 80s and 90s to produce severe weather (because) the strong winds compensate for for the lack of heating,” Friedlein said.
“That sets the stage for what we call wind shear, which may produce tornadoes.”

All the air is warmer, that’s the kicker.
And for a gnarly view of the surreal damage done by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, go up with a drone — the widespread mutilation of the coastal area is really beyond words. In the video at the link, the drone in passing casts its own toy-like, copter-shadow on the chewed ground.

Meanwhile, the stand-your-ground guy, George Zimmerman was arrested this afternoon for domestic aggravated assault with a weapon, domestic battery and criminal mischief, in an incident where he reportedly pulled a shotgun on his girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe. An argument turned into chaos.
Noteworthy:

Scheibe’s neighbors said it was frightening to learn that Zimmerman had been living nearby.
“Just when you thought you heard the last of George Zimmerman,” said neighbor Catherine Cantrell.
She said she had twice seen a man who looked like Zimmerman get out of a truck that’s been in the driveway for nearly a month.
The truck parked there Monday appeared to be the same one that reporters have seen Zimmerman drive previously.
“I’m in absolute shock. He was never outside. It’s not like he was out flaunting around,” she said.

George has a much-unhappy existence.

And in the supposedly great nation, there’s shit deep in the jungle — Detroit is a dark example:

The thousands of inoperable streetlights in the city and miles of darkened neighborhoods and thoroughfares are some of the most visible emblems of Detroit’s mismanagement and decades-long decline.
As many as 40 percent of the city’s 88,000 street and alley lights are estimated to be out.
That astounding figure, adopted by Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr and routinely cited by national and international news media, has led to some comparisons of city services to that of a Third World country.

Read the whole piece for a glimpse into an American-bred nightmare.

And more Rob Ford — he’s blown the load, and apparently gotten into a running knock-down during Toronto’s City Council meeting today: “Oh my God, he’s attacked somebody!”
Ford is part-n-parcel of the Bob Filner/Anthony Weiner political axis, just even nuttier.

And that’s the cupcake for this PM.

(Illustration above found here).

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