Just on this side of the 25th anniversary of losing Challenger, today is Kansas's 150th birthday. Uhm. Yay. I guess. No, it's okay if you didn't get anything. Wait until 2061 to get worked up. By then Halley's Comet will be back around. There's a reason for festivity. 51 pics below.... )
Burning Kansan hit with pepper spray. That's typically more Cajun style.

Speaking of, What went wrong at the Las Vegas Sun and Greenspun Media Interactive: '"The Sun ... took a big gamble on new technology and a bold strategy brought to them by a self-described Internet nerd from Kansas" named Rob Curley.' No, the two stories are not as closely related as some on my f-list would like.
Just stuff I've seen flickering past my field of vision lately that caught my eye....

Via [livejournal.com profile] midnightvoyager: did you know that the Wichita City Hall had a drive-thru? Neither did I. Missed this when it originally happened; I confess to being a bit shamefully impressed with how well he did; better than I have in most of my similar digital exploits.

A football player named Owen Schmitt got his first start for the Seattle Seahawks this weekend. Well, he missed the first snap after, as he ran out onto the field during pre-game introductions and apparently part of a tradition of his, he smashed his helmet into his forehead repeatedly, but this time with enough enthusiasm to...well, watch the video. Or don't, if you're not into crimson-streaked athletes (it's in HD). He got all patched up during the national anthem, though, and was back out on the field for the second snap. See also the brief interview with the Seattle Times: "Discussing the finer points of non-linear algebra with Owen Schmitt" -- Just kidding. No discussion of higher math here. It's more like a new program called, "Helmet: Friend or Enemy?"

"Nighttime...DAYTIME! Nighttime...DAYTIME!"

How drunk do you have to be to be unable to simply get more beer? At a quarter 'til 11 in the morning? On a Tuesday? The answer: this drunk. Though, in his defense, maybe he just took an Ambien.
sigma7: Sims (dammit)
( Aug. 27th, 2009 09:56 am)
"Republicans are struggling right now to find the Great White Hope, and I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington." -- Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), yesterday.

I'm going to cut Jenkins a huuuuuge amount of slack and attribute her comments to ignorance as opposed to outright racism, for a number of reasons. First off, I'd like to think name-dropping James J. Jeffries into your political conversation, a boxer who challenged then-champion Jack Johnson saying "I am going into this fight for the sole purpose of proving that a white man is better than a Negro" (and that's about the only quote of his I feel comfortable quoting in its entirety) is, even for the current state of political discourse in this country, abhorrent. Second, it's entirely more likely for Jenkins to have glommed onto the phrase second-hand without realizing its origins in one of the most racially-charged events of the early 20th century: there've been enough ironic derivations of the title for someone to be aware the phrase exists and not understand its context. Third, and most compellingly, ideally, your invocation of a "Great White Hope" would be someone who does not, when the time finally comes to drop gloves, proceed to get his ass wiped all about the canvas by the man he mocked and derided.

That said, you would hope an elected official would be a little more aware of the historical context of their rhetoric when bandying it about. I'm guessing Jenkins has learned a history lesson in the last 24 hours.
Kansas abortion doc and political lightning rod George Tiller shot dead in his church. The official response from Operation Rescue:

"We are shocked at this morning’s disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down. Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning. We pray for Mr. Tiller’s family that they will find comfort and healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ."
It takes a special kind of person to rack up $18,000 in parking tickets and $13,000 in interest for not paying them off.

She said she accepts responsibility for the tickets, but nearly eight years later, she questions whether the amount is reasonable.

“You want to recoup costs and penalties, I get that,” the Topeka woman said. “But when the interest is nearly equal to the principal, there’s something diametrically wrong.”

Remember, she's a special kind of person (if her use of the word "diametrically" wasn't a clue itself):

Marcotte considers herself a responsible person who went to college and had worked the same job for 13 years. The lapse in judgment was out of character, she said.

sigma7: Sims (dammit)
( May. 20th, 2009 10:39 am)
Power hasn't gone out for over two months. Guess we were due. Posting via iPod difficult if workable. Grrr. Edit: and we're back, just long enough to drain the tiny EPS on the server, so let's see what we lost this time.
Just stopped by the Taco Bell in the Union and the very-overworked guy -- the only guy there -- said that the entire staff'd been fired today and he was treading water until his manager found someone to help him.

So I really can't complain about my day. Not sure who I feel worse for, the people who got canned or the last man standing. (At least none of us are this guy.)
sigma7: Sims (sad little sick jig)
( Apr. 25th, 2009 05:23 pm)
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has confirmed two cases of swine flu involving a husband and wife in Dickinson County. Which, for the uninitiated into Kansas geography, is about 25 miles away from here.

This is karmic retribution for me playing Pandemic 2 the other day, isn't it?
KC Star lays off 50 employees. (Moar info here.) No, this is not a repeat; this is the third time layoffs -- I'm sorry, "an involuntary workforce reduction" -- hit the paper in the last five months. This is not entirely remarkable -- US News & World Report has gone from weekly to biweekly to monthly in the same timespan. Not that US News is the most notable such incident (I could go on, but I think we can live with one less death knell today), just the most amusing to me because it gets shunted backwards almost as quickly as my NaNoWriMo project.

Anyone still employed by print, have an escape plan.
When you're a Democrat Senate candidate going up against a million-term incumbent in a so-red-it-hurts state like Kansas, down by only 17 points in the last poll, there's no room for error.

So the same state that brought you Dean of Student Life Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2002, brings you....

A campaign worker for Democrat Jim Slattery sent out an e-mail message today to thousands of supporters containing fictitious quotes and obscene language that ridiculed U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

The offensive message went to recipients this afternoon and purported to be written by Slattery campaign manager Julie Merz. It was followed by an apology from Ian Staples, deputy communications director for Slattery.

In fact, Staples sent out both e-mails. He said the first e-mail had been intended for internal use only but a software glitch with “placeholder” quotes was sent out rather than the final draft of the message.

In the first e-mail, Staples wrote that John of Dodge City said this of the veteran Republican senator: “Pat Roberts ... is an asshole.”

I love it when news orgs use the ellipsis of omission, because my imagination is much more entertaining than whatever reality is. (And this coming from a guy who's made similar mistakes with automated e-mail, as a few of you will remember....)

First parachutist does just fine. The second, not so much. Estimated speed at impact: 50 mph. Fatalities: two tubas. Injuries: one broken leg, one person knocked out, one injured neck/head, one bent trumpet.
A parachutist landing at Fort Riley's opening/review for the First Division landed in the band, four injured. Scanning YouTube now.
A former inmate ordered to testify at a hearing in the case of a Haysville nurse who is accused of running a “pill mill” with her husband said Monday she isn't a jailhouse informant.

Stacey Hill called The Associated Press on Monday to say news reports linking her to the case against Dr. Stephen Schneider and his wife, Linda, have put her in danger. Hill said she wants nothing to do with the case.

Sadly the headline is "Ex-inmate denies being 'pill mill' informant" and not "Hill nil as pill mill shill."
Two Kansas men pleaded guilty today to taking part in a small town high school graduation party that turned into a drunken incident in which a black student was tied and taunted with racial epithets. Repugnant details below. Not for the faint of heart. )
Fire at The Pines in Topeka. Of particular note to former residents on my f-list.

One of the houses in Manhattan that the tornado last week missed got hit by lightning this morning. I'd quote some of the story, but The Associated Press is being idiotic about bloggers and quotes, so I'll just paraphrase.

Speaking of, here's a list of everything in town seriously damaged, destroyed or otherwise annihilated. I've yet to see a media report about a reported suicide in town by a resident of one of those homes, but that could well be because of media policies regarding suicide. There's no consensus on the topic, and typically smaller publications err on the side of omission rather than deepening the wounds of survivors. In many cases you can make a compelling argument that proper publicity and context can redeem suicide coverage, and the framework of last week's storm and its catastrophic effect similarly make covering the act warranted. It's a vivid and painfully brutal example of the psychological damage that still lingers invisibly after the clouds have parted and cleanup begins, a reminder that your typical Midwestern stoicism isn't invulnerable or necessarily even workable.

Also, think twice before you shop PetSmart. Especially for a cockatiel.
This answers the questions of "How do you feel?" and "How was your week?" and "Which is your favorite of all the storm pictures?" all at the same time.

Stick vs. tire
Car on K-State campus, morning of June 12, 2008. Photo by K-State Web Technologies.

Yeah, it's kinda like that.
sigma7: Sims (it sucked)
( Jun. 13th, 2008 09:47 am)
Sorry for fixating on the nasty atmospheric phenomena for the last 36 hours, y'all. It's still quite alienating to see campus with half the trees on the north side either uprooted or creatively rearranged. And there's yellow insulation everywhere, for miles, on sidewalks, attached to cars, drooping from power lines.

Links of note: did I forget to mention that Ward Hall houses K-State's nuclear reactor? And yes, it got nailed. Everything's safe, though. (Or so they tell us.) More galleries of Manhattan, Chapman, but if you're like me (and everyone at work) you're approaching tornado burnout.

Also I should turn in my amateur meteorologist badge, because the tornado that hit Chapman's being classified as an EF3, and Manhattan's was actually an EF4. It was a damn skinny EF4, though. (Though a cow-orker says it'd shrunk by the time it got to campus; I believe that. Though most of the buildings on campus are hearty enough to stand up to upper-level tornados, they still have their weak spots -- nuclear reactors, arenas, the late Soil Erosion Lab.)

Okay, less spinny-cloudy-things from here on out. More ephemera. Promise.
sigma7: Sims (Spartaaaaaaa)
( Jun. 12th, 2008 04:20 pm)
Photo galleries of damage in Chapman and Soldier. Information on damage in Manhattan:

...Miller Ranch area: We can now see that our preliminary statement of 30 homes being leveled to the foundation wasn't correct. We estimate there were 15 homes that were "leveled." Numerous homes in the fairly new residential area received major/serious damage.

Amherst residential area: About 30 homes received major/serious damage, while several others received some sort of damage.

Amherst business area: The following businesses received catastrophic damage: Little Apple Honda/Toyota dealership, Waters True Value Hardware store, Amherst Self Storage and Southwestern Bell....

Dude, I used to live in Amherst Self Storage. (Also, clan all accounted for, all are well. It was a bad night, but today's going to be a good day.)
...Dr. Jon Wefald's guesstimating the final damage figure to be in the $20 million ballpark. (Wait. Firefox has "guesstimating" in its dictionary? Cool.) Many people walking across campus -- half of them picking up trash (and there's a lot of it) and the other half taking pictures of uprooted trees and general damage (and there's a lot of that, too). VIPs are en route, too.

If anybody wants to blame one person for the storm, try this guy. Transplanted from Greensburg, he moves to Manhattan -- College Heights, to be exact. Sorry, dude.

The tornado that hit Chapman was huge -- some are saying perhaps half a mile wide. What hit Manhattan was tiny in comparison. Wefald said something along the lines of "If it had been an F3 or F4, there may not be a Kansas State."

Edit: Watch the tornado approach the skycam atop a K-State dorm. I'd been watching that camera rather intently earlier in the night. I guess it's in a better place now. Like Missouri. Danke to [livejournal.com profile] rewil.

E2: Via [livejournal.com profile] dvandom, pics of Cardwell Hall. The Manhattan Mercury's website is even sadder than usual today (actually, I kinda like the minimalism) and they've got moar pics.

E3: Aerial footage from Manhattan, Chapman. The more news that comes out of Chapman, the worse it sounds. They're now saying 75-85% of the town is severely damaged.


sigma7: Sims (Default)


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags