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Monthly Archives: September 2005

As the Magic Kingdom shows, the world of tomorrow is just around the corner. Here are a few cool new things to keep a look out for (with some eye candy to boot).

Auto DoorTired of opening doors or using automatic doors that open way too wide? With the new Auto Door you don’t have to! The Tanaka Auto Door uses strips equipped with infrared sensors that open to the approximate shape of the person or object passing through, minimizing entry of dust, pollen, and bugs while keeping precious air-conditioning in. It even works for your pets! Check out the video.

iPod NanoIs that iPod Mini too big for you? Then you need to get yourself an iPod Nano! At a size 62% smaller than the iPod Mini, it’s smaller than a standard business card and just a little thicker. With the 2gig and 4gig models, you can take 500 or 1,000 songs with you anywhere you go. Where is this all headed you might ask? The iPod Flea! (via Alex)

Wolfram ToneBut with this new iPod Nano, what are you going to put on it? Tired of those same old beats on the radio? Try out Wolfram Tones! With a mixture of musical knowledge and mathematics, it can instantly create unique music. Give it a listen!

One of Disney’s cool new attractions allows you to make video postcards and email them to people. Surprisingly, it is one of the free, yes, free things at Disney. Here’s the one Rachel and I made.

Mission Space

Phew! Just got back from Disney, which was a wonderful trip minus a few hiccups. I spent the trip home reading every news source I could from Time Magazine to USA Today. It seems like a couple of things might have happened.

I thought that before I left, the failure of the administration was apparent. Now, the blatant lies are even more ridiculous and are quickly refuted by documented facts. The newest is that Bush had to plead with Louisiana governor Blanco to evacuate New Orleans. Official documents show she requested help and a state of emergency days before the hurricane reached the coast, while Bush was still on vacation.

What about Bush stating nobody could have foreseen the levees breaking? Max Mayfield, the director of the National Hurricane Center, told Bush about the extent of the damage in a video conference call the Saturday before the event. Max and his crew also had more extensive briefings for Brown and Chertoff days before the hurricane.

But don’t take my word for it. Look at the sources.

For a more detailed view of events and responses with sources included, check out this timeline which goes hour by hour. Please take a second just to browse it. It does a good job of explaining what happened when.

For those of you looking for a quick fix, however, One Good Move is hosting part of the Daily Show coverage.

Katrina's Devastation

Think our administration is doing everything in their power to help the situation in New Orleans?

President Bush is touring around the country giving speeches about how everything is under control while diverting critical resources for photo-ops, like helicopters and members of the Coast Guard.

Vice President Cheney is still on vacation in Jackson, Wyoming.

Condoleezza Rice is still on vacation in New York City where we she went shoe shopping and played tennis yesterday.

Mike Brown, the man in charge of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is having trouble managing the resources. Should this be a surprise? His only experience at management was with the International Arabian Horse Association which forced him to resign in the face of mounting litigation and financial disarray.

Now for the one really trying: Mayor Ray Nagin. In an interview last night, his voice cracked with anger and anguish at his frustration with the administration dragging their feet. I recommend watching the video.

For raw stories, check out Interdictor. Please donate.

Hurricane Katrina Damage

Tomorrow, I leave for Florida with Rachel to spend a vacation in Disney World. It feels very weird thinking that I am headed to the ‘happiest place on earth’ while knowing the devastation in New Orleans. The descriptions coming from inside the area are hellish at best. One man who is in charge of OC4 internet crisis control has become one of the most well known informants since he has been able to sustain an internet connection. Known as the Interdictor, the stories on his blog about the crime, the spread of corpses, and the rampant neglect by the National Guard are numbing, as if the articles on CNN and Reuters were not enough.

My friend, Molly, contacted me today and asked if I wanted to go help with the relief crews. I have to admit, I’ve thought about it more than once. While I continue to think about it, however, I am doing what those in the relief crews ask: donating money. If you feel so inclined, please help by making a donation to the Red Cross or other relief organization.

These donations are an incredible asset as our current administration continues to struggle with helping those in New Orleans. Normally, under these circumstances, I would leave all finger pointing behind. Bush, however, brought it upon himself in a speech that just makes my blood seethe. On ABC (via the BBC), Bush said:

I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did appreciate a serious storm but these levees got breached and as a result much of New Orleans is flooded and now we’re having to deal with it and will.

It’s one thing to stay quiet and another to lie in the face of so many deaths! But, I guess Bush has a track record of it.

In 2001, the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranked the potential damage to New Orleans as among the three likeliest, most catastrophic disasters facing this country.

In 2004, National Geographic did an entire article on what would happen in a hurricane disaster in New Orleans. The detail is prophetically chilling.

Scientists around the world have been declaring New Orleans’ environmental damage a huge problem for years.

Even worse, the money set aside to prevent this problem back in 1995 was funneled out of the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project (SELA) beginning in 2003 in order to go towards the war in Iraq, the one we knowingly entered under false assumptions.

If that was not enough, Scott McClellan had the gall in a press conference today to state that those who have not received food, water, and medicine have ways to get it. Anyone watching CNN knows there are thousands of people stuck in New Orleans, told not to leave their houses so that they do not get mugged or raped, who are getting no help. He also refused to give answers to tough questions about white house budget cuts to SELA and other organizations.

Let us continue to keep those in New Orleans in our prayers and support them through our aid. When everyone has been taken care of, let us remember to return and focus on how this could have been better prevented so we do not repeat the mistakes of our predecessors.

Update (09/02/2005): Hunter wrote a moving article today called ‘Left Behind‘ about the situation in New Orleans. Apparently, the thousands told to go to the the Convention Center still have not received adequate aid with the young and elderly now dying of dehydration. Also, here is another 2004 article about why FEMA is unable to cope with this natural disaster due to cuts by the Bush administration.