Monthly Archives: September 2020

‘Only dream about it’: Boat to give handicapped experience – Queensland Times

Posted: September 28, 2020 at 11:19 am

A specially designed boat which will give handicapped adventure seekers the chance to experience the high seas has a name of special significance.

President of Sport and Leisure for the Handicapped, Greg Balfour, said the boat would be able to comfortably fit eight people in wheelchairs and their carers.

He hopes it will be finished by Christmas.

"A lot of the kids we deal with out of the special ed unit say they've only dreamt about it," Mr Balfour said.

"When they first get on, their hands are shaking but once you get that boat going and the breeze in their face, they don't want to get back off."

Mr Balfour said this will be the third boat the organisation of 26 years is building, but this one is unique in the fact that it will tribute a Sunshine Coast man.

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The 8x8m landing craft boat will be named after Caloundra man, Aaron Flynn whose remains were found three years after he went missing in central Queensland.

Mr Flynn ran out of fuel as he made the long drive from Caloundra to Charters Towers to attend a family funeral in November 2016.

He was last seen by a passing motorist, walking beside the road, carrying a petrol tin and small Esky.

Mr Flynn's scattered bones were only found in bushland near Rubyvale, south of Charters Towers in July, last year.

Mr Balfour said Mr Flynn's parents, who owned a caravan repair centre at Meridan Plains, had set up a fundraising campaign for the organisation.

"They wanted to sponsor the association, she (Aaron's mum) told me the full story so we decided we wanted to name the boat after him," he said.

"When we told her, she broke down in tears.

"She was overwhelmed."

Mr Balfour was at the South Queensland Caravan, Camping, Fishing & 4WD Expo with fellow member Barry McDade raising money for the new boat.

"It gives handicapped kids and adults the opportunity to experience something they never would have been able to otherwise," Mr Balfour said.

"These kids don't experience a lot of that sort of stuff so it's something different.

"We originally had it aimed at kids but it's snowballed over the years so we we've included aged care homes now as well."

If you want to donate to the organisation, you can head to their Facebook page.

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Yesteryear: Cable television on its way in 1970 | lifestyle – Bend Bulletin

Posted: at 11:19 am

Compiled by the Deschutes County Historical Society from the archived copies of The Bulletin at the Deschutes Historical Museum

100 years ago

For the week ending

Sept. 26, 1920

That the forest fire in the yellow pine belt near Fox Butte burned over 2500 acres and killed approximately 1,500,000 feet of high grade timber was the statement of Forest Supervisor H.L. Plumb, who returned last night with Deputy Supervisor W.O. Harriman from the scene of the conflagration. A cruise will be made shortly to determine the exact amount of the loss.

The greater part of the damage was done on the first day of the fire, Mr. Plumb said, when a high wind spread the flames rapidly. Practically all reproduction in the tract was killed and much in the way of valuable forage plants destroyed. The fire did not "crown," as had been feared, the destruction of mature timber coming as a result of the flames catching in pitch spots near the ground.

Redmond will not be a contender for the county seat of Deschutes county, it was formally made known in Bend this morning, when a letter to this effect from R.H. Murrow, secretary of the Redmond Commercial club was received by D.G. McPherson, president of the Bend Commercial club.

"We think the joke has gone far enough about moving the permanent county seat to Redmond," Mr. Murrow wrote. "If you need any help, we will jump in and do anything we can to help you get it. Call on us.

"This idea of putting up $50,000 as an inducement to make Redmond the county seat was started a week or two ago, when there were very few members present at the Redmond Commercial club meeting. It has been discussed since, with very little approval from most of the members, who considered it as a joke, so a motion was passed at the last meeting granting all our rights to Bend for the permanent county seat."

Soft, wet snow from four to five feet deep on the summit of the divide 15 miles north of Sisters, turned back the party which set out yesterday morning from Sisters in search of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Tuck of Redmond, believed to be in Grizzly Basin at the foot of Mt. Jefferson, cut off from return by recent storms and the loss of their horses. John Tuck, father of the missing man, was notified of the failure, and phoned from Redmond to the ranger station at Detroit, 20 miles from the flat from the other side. He was assured that every effort would be made to locate the campers.

75 years ago

For the week ending

Sept. 26, 1945

Bend eventually will be headquarters for one of the largest novelty manufacturing plants in the United States, it was indicated today, when officials of the Oregon Trail Furniture shops here revealed plans for extensive expansion, not only of facilities but of its business.

And when the shops, which now employ 20 persons, are expanded to proposed capacity, between 50 and 60 persons will be employed, according to J.S. Simmons, president of the organization. Present plans call for doubling the present size of the plant, with the building eventually covering a floor space of approximately 100 by 400 feet. As soon as materials and machinery are available, a 200-foot extension will be made on the south end of the present building, it was said.

The Oregon Trail Furniture shops recently concluded a contract for the manufacture of ammunition boxes, and immediately started into the production of toy wooden rifles. At present, according to Ed F. Vogt, general superintendent, the plant is producing 2,000 of these daily.

Bend has an important spot on the weather map of the North American continent, and is part of a vast network of stations that supplies data for meteorologists who chart information for airmen, it can now be revealed, with the removal of weather censorship. Reporting day and night on a three-hour schedule, the Bend station has an international number, is manned by a staff of five and is completely equipped with weather instruments that range from an automatic rain measuring device to mercurial and aneroid barometers.

Known as an airway reporting point, the Bend station has been in operation just short of 15 years, but it was in the war period that it played its most important role, as work was intensified and new equipment was added. The Bend station was the first of the off-route airway offices set up in Central Oregon, on Dec. 30, 1930, and provided the first readings from the huge "blacked out" area of the interior country. About the same time, stations were established at Burns and Lakeview, and from this vast triangle was obtained information of vast importance to the makers of weather maps.

Deschutes county's 26th annual fair, held here over the weekend, was history today, as committees worked on their records and announced that the two-say show attracted a record attendance, with 4,000 spectators on hand for the Saturday rodeo and with an even greater crowd present for the Sunday show.

Some 1,700 persons attended the buckaroo breakfast Sunday morning. This, it is believed, is the largest group ever to attend a similar breakfast in the northwest. Present for the Warm Spring Indian pageant Saturday night was a crowd that filled the grandstand to capacity.

Present for the final day of the rodeo Sunday afternoon was a crowd believed to be the greatest ever to attend a one-day show at the county fair. All seating capacity was filled and there was standing room only along the rails. The western show went off smoothly and, spectators agreed, it was a top notch affair, with broncs winning over riders in many instances.

The fair was dedicated to victory, and to the Deschutes county men who died on foreign battlefields, or on the high seas.

At 6 o'clock Sunday evening, an 18-mile caravan of cars reached from Redmond to Bend, as motorists headed home from the rodeo.

50 years ago

For the week ending

Sept. 26, 1970

"There were buttons and switches everywhere buttons to call for food, for music, for clothing...There was the button that produced literature. And there were of course the buttons by which she communicated with her friends. The room was in touch with all that she cared for in the world."

Thus did the late E.M. Forster imagine the future in his story "The Machine Stops." The machine he described more than half a century ago bears a remarkable resemblance to the communications system that many experts believe will emerge in the United States. In the next two decades or so.

Through the medium of cable television, it is asserted, this country will become a "wired nation." It is envisioned that the viewer will be able to scan the morning headlines on a special channel and, by pressing a button, order a printout of the stories he wants to read at breakfast. Through a similar arrangement by cable the same babble that brings him conventional TV fare he will send and receive mail and telegrams, read his utility bills, order his groceries and do his banking. Cable television also known as community antenna television (CATV)- has been operative in numerous communities for years. It differs outwardly from conventional telecasting only in that signals are transmitted via coaxial cable rather than through the air.

The difference is an important one. Whereas over-the-air television can provide only seven signals at most from channels 2 through 13, CATV can provide up to 80 different signals via cable. To put it another way, as many as nine CATV signals can be transmitted in that part of the electromagnetic spectrum between channels 6 and 7.

Modern cable television systems are simply more sophisticated versions of the country's first CATV operation, established in 1950 at Langford, PA.

The National Cable Television Association reports that the average installation fee is $20.54 and the average monthly service fee is $5.01. The association estimates that around 2,400 CATV systems are now in operation, and that they serve approximately 4.5 million television sets- about 5 per cent of the nations total.

Looking to the future, William B. Gross of General Electric Co. told the National Cable Television Association convention last June that CATV might eventually enter into a multi- billion-dollar business of transmitting mail. Other speakers envisioned cable-TV techniques to provide meter reading, merchandising, shopping, property-protection services and stock market information. Only a few services like those are now available on cable television.

25 years ago

For the week ending

Sept. 26, 1995

Even for young folks, change doesn't always come easy. Still, a handful of students interviewed on Day 9 of Bend High School's new block schedule last week thought some good may come of the change. "Everybody is to class on time," said Addie Rehberg, a 17-year-old senior at the school.

That's partly because with four 90-minute periods through the day, there are 15 minutes between classes. Enough time, in fact, that "everybody is there five minutes early," said Mike Wyant, 17, a senior.

Rehberg added another benefit of the slower pace between classes: "You don't get pushed around and yelled at."

"It's not as much of a rush anymore," said Justin Ward, an 18-year old senior. Lunch hour is even better at twice as long as last year with 20 minutes of tutorial time and another 40 minutes to eat. That's up to an hour for the open-campus days when students can run out to a fast-food joint, eat in a leisurely manner, come back to campus and still have time to talk with friends before trekking back to the classroom.

The mellowed pace of four periods per day instead of seven or more may be nice, but that doesn't mean students are all immediately welcoming the change with open arms.

"At first, a lot of people were angry for one thing, we were not asked or even consulted," said 17-year-old senior Cadi Pfaff. "But I think as we're getting into the swing of things...I think people will get used to it."

Sixteen-year-old junior Sarah LaChapelle said teachers have been "really understanding" as both they and students adjust.

One thing students believe they're having to get used to is more work. "I think, like in history, you're doing double the reading you have to do on your own," said LaChapelle.

"I think teachers are trying to prepare us for college," said Ryan Fracker, 15, a sophomore.

Two of the four class periods offer subjects on alternate days, so students get a "good break between classes" said Ward.

It also puts a greater premium on attendance. "I was gone the first half hour of a class last week and I was lost," said Rehberg.

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Here’s How Much It Cost To Build The World’s Most Expensive Luxury Yacht Azzam – HotCars

Posted: at 11:19 am

On average, a 100-meter superyacht can fall between $100-200 million. The Azzam is nearly six times this size.

Size does matter, even in yachts, especially when it comes to the money that goes into building them. Which is why the worlds most expensive yacht has to be one of a kind.

With the launch of the gleaming new Azzam, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich could no longer lay claim to being the owner of the world's largest superyacht, Eclipse, though it remains a mighty contender on the high seas. Interestingly, the Eclipse has been home to many a partying celebrity as well.

But lets talk about the world's most expensive and once the largest yacht,the Azzam, that belongs to Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of UAE. It stands 590-feet long, a full 57-feet longer than the Eclipse. This means it's far bigger than a football field and even larger than the US Navy destroyers. Anything this big and fully geared with luxury cannot come cheap, can it?And the Azzam is super-duper expensive, costing hundreds of millions.

Heres what we know about the Azzam and the kind of money that went into building it. Plus, a little about the vessel that dethroned the Azzam from it's largest yacht title.

Lets begin from the bottom up to get a better estimate of the Azzam. On average, a 100-meter superyacht can fall between $100-200 million. The Azzam is nearly six times this size. Thats hint number one.

Then there is the annual upkeep, usually standing at about 10% of the yachts, value, easily running into thousands of dollars, sometimes also touching millions. Being Middle East royalty helps in one living the good life. Of course, this is also the country where you get to see the craziest cars on the road, especially in Dubai.

Maintaining a yacht is no cakewalk. When you calculate dockage fees, annual maintenance and repairs, staff salaries, insurance premiums, and gas charges, one realizes that a yacht is much like a white elephant. Of not much use, but a lot of expense. Most yachts, therefore, can only be owned by the super-rich as a means to show off their wealth and also reap its harvests.

And we talk of the President of the UAE, the fact that money is no issue to him, is brought home, even more, when you get to know of the monies that went into making this gorgeous yacht that most of us can only dream of even being on, let alone owning.

RELATED:Ferrari Made A Boat, And It Cost $70,000

For a while, the Azzam was the worlds largest yacht at 590-feet or 180-meters long. Now, it has been pushed back into the second position when it comes to size.

But if you talk about the amount of money that has gone into making the Azzam a haven on water, it still stands at number one and is far ahead of its competitors. Built at a whopping cost of $605 million, we are sure the Azzam comes loaded with luxury and all the world's finest that money can offer. Considering it belongs to the president of the UAE, the details of what went inside are confidential for obvious security purposes.

That said; Azzam employs a staff of 50. The construction of the interior was by Germanys Lrssen Yachts while for the exterior design, Italian firm Nauta Yachts were hired.

Unlike some boats that should be banned because they are too ugly, the Azzam is tastefully designed and looks gorgeous on the water.The top speed of the Azzam can cross 32 knots, pretty fast for a yacht this size, on two gas turbines and two diesel engines, combining for 47,000 horsepower. It cost about $10 million more than the previous largest-yacht titleholder, the Eclipse.

And yet, its triumph of being the largest has been shortlived for there's another yacht in the world now that may not be as expensive to build, but overshadows the Azzam in size, and well, intention.

RELATED:The Real Story Behind This Viper-Powered Porsche Boat

The worlds largest yacht is now the REV Ocean and stands at 600-feet in length. While she is a luxury yacht, what sets her apart is the fact that it is the worlds biggest research vessel as well, and will help fix overfishing, climate change, and plastic pollution in the water.

Kjell Inge Rkke is the proud owner of the REV Ocean, having made his fortune from fishing (the irony!) and offshore oil drilling. His idea was to give back, and the Rev Ocean is a hybrid vessel that has a yacht interior with luxury facilities for paying guests, with an ice-class hull and laboratories better at home in a polar research vehicle.

The best part of the REV Ocean is that money for the research and salaries of the scientists will come from the paying guests. The owner has leased it at just $1 per year to the eponymous non-profit he owns and the idea to save the world's oceans with an oceanic vessel is winning hearts.

That said, when it comes to price, the Azzam still holds on to its title. The REV Ocean, despite being the world's largest yacht, was built it an estimated cost of $350-500 million. The good thing is that getting on to the REV Ocean as a passenger is a lot easier than being invited to the Azzam. Plus, being on the REV Ocean means you do a little bit to save the oceans.

Sources: CNN, Forbes. TheTimes

NEXT:Lexus LY 650 Yacht: A Floating Condo With Two V8s

TikTok Teams Up With NASCAR's Ryan Vargas For Remainder Of The Season

Arun Singh Pundir has been a longtime media crackerjack and worked most of his life in sales and marketing. In 2018, he officially flipped and switched sides to the editorial. He lives with his wife, two rascally sons, and is a car and motorcycle nut in his free time. Not that he has too much free time. He currently writes for HotCars on anything that has any number or kind of wheels. He considers his Isuzu D-Max V-Cross, Suzuki Ciaz, and Royal Enfield Classic 500, the three current flames of his life. His dream is to drive around the world; even if it takes more than eighty days.

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New iron-based superelastic alloy capable of withstanding extreme temperatures – Green Car Congress

Posted: at 11:19 am

Researchers from Tohoku Universitys Graduate School of Engineering have discovered a novel iron-based superelastic alloy (SEA) capable of withstanding extreme temperaturesboth high and low. A paper on the work is published in Science.

SEAs are found in a wide variety of commercial applications because of their superelasticity, allowing them to regain their original shape. Superelasticity occurs when the metal undergoes deformation at the point known as critical stress.

Generally, SEAs have a positive temperature dependence; the critical stress increases as the temperature rises. Conventional metal-based SEAs such as Ti-Ni cannot be used at temperatures lower than -20 C or higher than 80 C and are costly to make. This limits their application to the form of thin wires or tubes.

Associate Professor at Tohoku University, Toshihiro Omori and his team developed an iron-based SEA system, known as Fe-Mn-Al-Cr-Ni. This cost-effective SEA can operate at a much wider temperature range.

A comparison of the stress-strain curves of the new iron-based SEA in comparison to Nickel-Titanium alloy. Credit: Tohoku University

A significant advantage of the new SEA is its controllable temperature-dependence. Increasing the amount of Chromium allowed the researchers to change the temperature dependence from a positive to a negative. Balancing the Chromium content resulted in zero temperature dependence with the critical stress remaining almost constant at various temperatures.

The discovery possesses wide-spread application for outer-space exploration given the large temperature fluctuations that occur, said Professor Omori.

Omori points to NASAs work on a superelastic tire that can withstand excessive deformation for Moon and Mars missions. The temperature differences between night and day on the Moon and Mars are -170 C to 120 C and -150 C to 20 C respectively.


Ji Xia, Yuki Noguchi, Xiao Xu, Takumi Odaira, Yuta Kimura, Makoto Nagasako, Toshihiro Omori, Ryosuke Kainuma (2020) Iron-based superelastic alloys with near-constant critical stress temperature dependence Science doi: 10.1126/science.abc1590

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Veteran helps others prevail in the sail | Features | –

Posted: at 11:18 am

UPPER KEYS Its been smooth sailing for retired U.S. Navy SEAL Joe Mastrangelo. Its because he runs a tight ship aboard his 22-foot boat called the Dutch Treat, on which he teaches fellow veterans, active duty personnel and the countys first responders how to navigate the high seas through his nonprofit Veteran Sailing Association.

Mastrangelo has taught about 165 honorably discharged veterans and law enforcement officers how to sail at no cost since late 2016.

Looking ahead, he plans to teach and certify through the American Sailing Association at least 10 more vets by the end of the year, which is heavily dependent on donated funds.

There are a few different courses to choose from that span three to five days. Mastrangelo also teaches more advanced-level classes, if students already have some background in sailing. After completing on-the-water training, students are expected to pass a written exam.

Vets do have to pay for their own transportation and board.

We are struggling financially just to keep these guys sailing. I cover all of the materials and expenses to get these guys out there. Every dime goes toward taking veterans sailing, Mastrangelo said. Ive been extremely fortunate that certain people have heard about his organization and have donated. Im doing what I can. It takes a lot to keep this thing running. Ive applied for grants, but they dont always come to fruition.

Its over the billowing sails and the promise of a high seas adventure that Mastrangelo connects with other veterans.

Its veterans helping veterans, the way it should be, he said.

Purple Heart recipient Dan Lama, who served in the U.S. Armys 25th Infantry Division in Iraq, completed his ASA 101 keelboat and 103 coastal cruising sailing certifications last week with Mastrangelo. Hes learned how to prevail in the sails.

You have to know what you are doing, and why you are doing it, he said. Much like life, this applies to sailing, he said.

I ran 30 nautical miles yesterday with Dan, Mastrangelo said. Dans nephew wants to sail across the Atlantic and make a living off the ocean, and maybe hell go with him.

Before they set sail, Mastrangelo said they spent hours preparing and cleaning hulls. He spends 40 to 50 hours per week on operations beyond teaching vets to sail.

If there is a mechanical issue, we go past sunset. If not, we usually start at 9 a.m. and go until about 6 p.m., Mastrangelo said.

Weve been jamming, he added. We have a whole military base in Key West and in Homestead.

Veteran Sailing Associations operations havent slowed during the COVID-19 pandemic. His Facebook page is covered with success stories of veterans who have passed the class over the last few years.

Its been smooth sailing for me. Im a Navy frogman. Im going to get it done and Ive been very fortunate, Mastrangelo said.

Veteran Sailing Association is located at 90791 Old Highway in Casa Mar Village. For more information, visit It can also be found on Facebook under the same name. Mastrangelo can be reached at 305-619-3433.

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PM Dr. Harris, ‘Climate change weighs heavily on our daily lives’ – The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer

Posted: at 11:18 am

NEW YORK The United Nations must continue efforts to reduce climate change and encourage biodiversity, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, told the General Debate on Sept.26 at the virtual 75th Opening Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

St. Kitts and Nevis is the smallest independent nation in the Western Hemisphere and the impact of climate change weighs heavily on our daily lives, said the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris. At this point in time, we are in the most active part of the hurricane season, at the mercy of Mother Nature, and for this reason climate change will always be high on our agenda.

Climate change for us is not something to be postponed for tomorrow. Indeed, it must be addressed like yesterday. We must regain the momentum and continue our work to consolidate the gains made so far.

Earlier this month, the UN warned that countries are set to miss critical targets to preserve and protect earths biodiversity. This requires, of course, immediate and drastic action.

We are pleased to advocate for Sustainable Development Goal #15, which calls for us to protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss, explained the Prime Minister.

I look forward to joining my SIDS colleagues at the High-level Summit on Biodiversity to champion the cause for us to protect our biodiversity not just on land but on our high seas.

For St. Kitts and Nevis, the ocean is our lifeblood. Let us protect it to preserve a stronger and safer future.

Food Security

The Food Systems Summit to be held next year is timely, since our current inadequacies, as exposed by the pandemic, demand a vigorous examination of our strategies for food production and nutrition security. I am particularly encouraged by the positive response of Kittitians and Nevisians in answering the call of my Government to strengthen our food security by scaling up our investments in agriculture and fisheries.

25th Anniversary of Fourth World Conference on Women

The 25th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women is to be celebrated. As we continue to hail the contribution of women to the socio-economic landscape of our country and the world at large, we are pleased to join in the commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women next week, said Dr. Harris.

Earlier this year, we commenced our examination of the national implementation of the Beijing Declaration. The findings revealed that the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has much to celebrate regarding the advancement of women over the past 25 years; but, of course, there is still much more ground yet to be covered, and many trails yet to be blazed.

Through the implementation of our National Gender Policy and other legislation and focused attention on the Beijing Declarations 12th Action Point The Girl Child, we will continue to prioritize our pursuit of gender equality and the empowerment of our women and girls, concluded Dr. Harris.

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A zombie tropical storm just came back to life in the Atlantic – The Verge

Posted: at 11:18 am

Tropical Storm Paulette just came back to life in the eastern Atlantic. The revival comes days after storm trackers issued what would have been their last update on Paulette. But you cant keep a storm like Paulette down its come back as a zombie.

Zombie isnt a technical designation, just a nickname for storms that peter out, only to come back from the dead when conditions allow. For a tropical storm to form (or rise again) it needs favorable wind conditions, plenty of warm and moist air, and warm ocean waters. It also needs to have the general structure of a tropical storm, with a warm center, and a lack of cold or warm fronts. That structure is what Paulette briefly lost last week, causing its untimely demise.

In other news, the National Weather Service is clearly just as tired of this year as the rest of us.

Paulettes resurrection comes more than a week after it slammed into Bermuda as a hurricane. On September 16th, during their last discussion of the storm, the forecasters predicted that there was some chance Paulette could pull something like this. At the time, Paulettes remains werent organized like a tropical storm, but it was still kicking, creating high seas and it was headed into warm water, which fuels cyclones like this one.

The conditions were good enough that Paulette re-formed on September 22nd, but its just staggering along. The latest forecast, as of this writing, says that Paulette is weakening and is expected to become a remnant again within a day.

While Paulettes second life is likely to be brief, other zombie storms have been far more powerful. In 2018, Leslie hammered the Iberian Peninsula after an exceedingly weird 19-day tour of the Atlantic. And in 2014, Hurricane Ana re-formed in the Pacific just in time to slam into British Columbia.

Zombie storms arent entirely uncommon in addition to Ana and Leslie, 2013s hurricane season saw both Humberto and Gabrielle rise from the dead, and in 2014 a different zombie storm re-formed just before Halloween. Thats spooky timing, but whats spookier than any zombie hurricane is the fact that over the past several decades, hurricanes have become stronger thanks to climate change.

This years hurricane season has already been extremely active. There have been so many storms that forecasters are now using the Greek alphabet to name new cyclones. Currently, were up to Beta.

Hurricane season will continue until November 30th.

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Port Authority: Sally did $12 million in damage, affected navigation –

Posted: at 11:18 am

Hurricane Sally did an estimated $12 million in damage to the Alabama State Port Authority, as well as channel and navigational damage causing ongoing delays for a few vessels.

The Port Authority board, which met Thursday, heard reports on the damage. Director and CEO John Driscoll told the board that the preliminary estimate of $12 million was being reviewed for accuracy. It consisted mostly of damage to roofs, warehouse doors and several wharves. He said about half the damaged facilities might be covered by insurance, and it was possible the Port Authority could apply for FEMA funds to help with the rest.

Overall, Driscoll said, we were a little bit lucky on our complex because of Sallys last-minute jog to the east. That meant the docks received no storm surge and far less rain than had been forecast.

However, the hurricane had other impacts offshore. It had moved and damaged several navigational buoys marking the offshore portion of the Mobile Ship Channel, and caused a portion of the channel in the Gulf of Mexico to fill in. Storm-induced shoaling reduced the allowed draft of ships from 45 feet to 41 feet.

Driscoll reported to the board that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began dredging on Friday, Sept. 18, but had to stop because of high seas. The Corps hopes to finish the job soon, he said. In the meantime, one ship with a 45-foot draft was waiting to enter. One coal ship with a 45-foot draft was waiting to leave the Port of Mobile, and a second was being loaded to the same depth.

Meanwhile, Driscoll said, the U.S. Coast Guard had moved the displaced buoys back into place on Sept. 18, allowing a traffic jam of 17 ships to begin clearing. But the Coast Guard needs a period of very calm seas to complete repairs to electronic equipment on at least one of the buoys and may not get that until next week. Until then, big ships will only be able to use the channel during daylight hours.

Thats a pretty significant thing, Driscoll said, adding that port officials will work with customers to minimize delays.

Judith Adams, the Port Authoritys vice president for marketing, said the damage was the most done to the Port Authority by a tropical storm in at least a decade.

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Heres why Howard Hughes Spruce Goose couldnt be an effective troop transport – The Aviation Geek Club

Posted: at 11:18 am

The largest wooden airplane ever constructed, and flown only one time, the Spruce Goose represents one of humanitysgreatest attempts to conquer the skies. It was born out of a need to move troops and material across the Atlantic Ocean, where in 1942, German submarines were sinking hundreds of Allied ships. Henry Kaiser, steel magnate and shipbuilder, conceived the idea of a massive flying transport and turned to Howard Hughes to design and build it. Hughes took on the task, made even more challenging by the governments restrictions on materials critical to the war effort, such as steel and aluminum. Six times larger than any aircraft of its time, the Spruce Goose, also known as the Hughes Flying Boat, is made entirely of wood.

Originally designated HK-1 for the first aircraft built by Hughes-Kaiser, the giant was re-designated H-4 Hercules when Henry Kaiser withdrew from the project in 1944.

But would the Spruce Goose have been a viable troop transport with more testing and development?

While staying at the floating museum and passenger ship turned hotel, the RMS Queen Mary on a business trip I was able to tour the Spruce Goose (of which 90% was constructed out of Birch, not Spruce. But the media thought spruce goose had the right ring to hook readers and listeners), says Gregg Gray, former Senior Noncommissioned Officer (SNCO) in the US Air Force, on Quora. As it was very close by where the Queen Mary is moored (when the aircraft was still in Long Beach, California) we felt compelled to go, she has a large drawing effect, its size is overwhelming (and I was then routinely flying on the huge Air Force jet cargo aircraft, the C-141B stateside and often the C-5B overseas, as well as the occasional Boeing 747 and the rare Lockheed L-1011 widebody; and I was staying on a huge ocean going, luxury passenger ship). My military co-workers and I were just gob smacked at the size of the aircraft.

The story we got from the tour guide was that at that time Hughes and his engineers were simply planning the days testing to collect data at faster surface speeds on the water, but it accidentally reach take off speed and flew very briefly, and very low (but somehow managed to get its picture taken for the newspaper).

I speculate, as others do, that Howard Hughes, who was at the controls that day, did it on purpose just to see if it would actually fly. I think at that point he was already aware that the project was doomed to end and never going into production. It probably would not have seen service even if the war had continued on. It appeared to be very problematic, as very large, complex, and complicated things tend to be, as well as a gas hog.

Gray continues:

It was 3,700 miles from Norfolk Naval Yard to Southampton and 3,800 miles to La Rochelle, France. Amsterdam is 3,900 miles from Norfolk and Naples, Italy is a staggering 4,650. (All of these are straight line distances, as the crow [or seagull] flies, if I may improvise slightly]. The design flight range was 3,000 miles at 250 mph. So it was going to have to find a refueling ship in the open ocean or an intermediate island like the Azores at 2,751 miles, and then another 1,500 miles to Southampton (Way back in the day I flew on a piston engine, propeller driven passenger aircraft from Scotland to the Azores, and on to New York, [then on to our car in Bayonne, NJ, followed by a drive to Tennessee to get back home to our family in Tennessee] we were very tired.). But just the flying portion by itself sucked, it wasnt any fun at all, in fact it was miserable and very cramped. The top speed hoped for out of the Spruce Goose was 250 mph, and realistically 200 mph was probably going to be achieved when fully loaded with combat troops in Full Battle Rattle. The proposed purpose was to avoid German U-boats sinking troop ships. This aircraft was still going to have to land in the water off the coast of the Azores, or on the high seas for a refueling ship. Now the miserable cramped, tired, and intolerate troops were one thing to deal with, after all it was four days or more minimum on the cramped troop surface ships, so they would have to tolerate that. What they couldnt tolerate was getting troops killed by U-boats lying in-wait for the aircraft, and no matter where you landed that was an issue. Water landings by aircraft in a sea full of U-boats gives the U-boat skippers an easy sitting duck (or goose in this case) for a target.

Flying for between 15 and 20 hours with just a short refueling break would have been exhausting. I have done it more than once, the Pentagon planned our flights to land just after daybreak so we could get in a full days work at our destination. What starts out as huge gets smaller as you go.

Now, not only is the aircraft huge now, but it was absolutelyginormousin the mid 1940s, she isalmost 2.5 times as long, and hasthree times the wingspan, and empty weighsmore than triple what was then our huge Boeing B-29 United States Air Force Bomber, the Superfortress(of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bomb fame). The B-29 had four engines producing8,800 horsepowertogether, the Spruce Goose achieved24,000 total horsepowerfrom 8 Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major28-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 3,000 hp (2,200 kW) each. It required three times as much horsepower because it was well over three times heavier at250,000 poundsversus the Superfortess at74,500 pounds. In fact,emptythe Spruce Gooseweighed almost twicewhat afully loaded B-29 weighed at takeoff when at combat overload weight. They were just insane numbers for the era. It was another20+ years before the big C-5A Galaxies and 747scame along which are in the same size range as the enormous H-4 Hercules (Spruce Goose).

Gray concludes;

As neat as all the specifications are, she still comes up short. I dont think it would have worked as a troop transport. Now days we just charter civilian passenger jets for routing troops deployments. The military cargo birds are busy moving heavy equipment and helicopters. Military cargo birds are usually used for pax when the troops have to deploy in full battle rattle and prepared for almost instant action.

The Spruce Goose is now housed at theEvergreen Aviation & Space MuseumnearMcMinnville, Oregon.

The following interesting video features the first and last flight of the Spruce Goose.

Photo credit: Federal Aviation Administration

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Heres why Howard Hughes Spruce Goose couldnt be an effective troop transport - The Aviation Geek Club

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Saltwater fishing: Redfish are on fire in Tampa Bay and elsewhere – The Ledger

Posted: at 11:18 am

Michael Wilson| Ledger correspondent

1At Big Pier 60 in Clearwater, Spanish mackerel and whiting have been the most consistent catches this week. A 20-inch flounder was caught over the weekend. A good size snook and a few speckled trout were also caught. Plenty of jack crevalle and ladyfish have been biting, reports Big Pier 60 Bait & Tackle (727-462-6466).

2At Madeira Beach, weather has limited offshore fishing, but we got out last Saturday and had a good red grouper bite starting at a depth of 110 feet. Big mangrove snapper, lanes, vermillion and triggerfish were in the mix as well, reports Capt. Dylan Hubbard of Hubbards Marina (727-393-1947). Weather should improve this weekend, look for red grouper and big mangroves starting at a depth of 90 feet, reports Hubbard.

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3At John's Pass, redfish have been on fire around the pass. Theyre all around the bridge, the docks, the jetties and even out on the beach. Good numbers of mangrove snapper are biting. Snook are thinning out, but plenty are still biting on swimbaits and Flair Hawk jigs at night. Live shrimp and pinfish are getting the snook during the day. The trout bite is best around the bridge and dock lights at night, reports Hubbard.

4At Fort De Soto Park, the snook and flounder bite has been good around the marina and the bridge. Mangrove snapper are biting along with a few sheepshead. The flats are producing a good redfish bite along with snook and trout. Sandy holes are holding flounder. The pier has been a wash with the wind and churned up water. A few snook are biting pinfish along the beach and in the pass, reports Capt. Claude Hinson of Tierra Verde Bait and Tackle (727-864-2108).

5Around the Sunshine Skyway and lower Tampa Bay, cooler water temps this week really turned on the action for gag grouper inside Tampa Bay. The snook, redfish and big trout bite remains consistent all over Terra Ceia and Miguel Bay. Numerous schools of Spanish mackerel are on the artificial reefs throughout the bay, reports Capt. John Gunter of Palmetto (863-838-5096). The mangrove lines on the high tides are producing redfish. The mouth of the Manatee River and the docks inside are also producing redfish, reports Capt. Shawn Crawford of Florida Sport Fishing Outfitters. (941-705-3160).

6At Anna Maria, redfish of all sizes can be found from north of the Manatee River mouth south to Palma Sola Bay. Trout action has been good around Terra Ceia. Nearshore, Spanish mackerel and a few kingfish have been caught 1-3 miles off the beach to the north, reports Capt. Scott Moore of Bradenton (941-713-1921). Some of the docks along the sound are producing snook, redfish, snapper and some flounder. The grass flats in water 3 to 7 feet deep have been good for trout, reports Crawford.

7At St. Petersburg, despite the wind, fishing is still good. Theres been plenty of redfish from Weedon Island down to Fort DeSoto. Live bait, cut bait and artificials are all producing. Big trout are biting pinfish under a cork on the deep grass flats off Pinellas Point. Snook are still biting, but starting to move into the canals and creeks. The mangrove snapper bite hasnt slowed, just about any structure is loaded with then. Theres a good amount of Spanish mackerel in the lower bay, reports Larry Mastry at Mastrys Tackle (727-896-8889).

8In the north end of Tampa Bay, the trout bite has picked up with the water cooling off a bit. Most of the flats are producing a good bite early and in the evening. Redfish are biting from Weedon Island north into the upper bay. Snook are still pretty good, but theyre starting to stage outside the creeks and canals. Plenty of mangrove snapper are still around, and more sheepshead are starting to show. Black drum are biting around the bridges and tripletail are moving in on the markers, reports Gandy Bait & Tackle (813-839-5551).

At Homosassa, fishing for redfish on the incoming tides has been good, and there havebeen some schools roaming the area. The trout bite has been very good in areas with yellow bottom west of St. Martins Keys, the pole line south ofHomosassa and near Bird Island. MirrOlure Lil Johns and D.O.A. Deadly Combos with a glow shrimp are producing. Look for a fall season push ofcobiaand triple tail on the markers and buoys as the waters continue to cool, reports Capt. William Toney of Homosassa Inshore Fishing Charters (352-621-9284).

At Fort Pierce, offshore has been a wash with the wind and high seas. At the inlet, whiting and a few pompano have been caught in the surf to south. Black drum and sheepshead are biting in the inlet, but not much else with the choppy water. Inside, some snapper are biting around the bridges and channel edges. In the river, a few redfish and trout are biting along the east shore out of the wind, reports Clint Walker at the Fishing Center of St. Lucie (772-465-7637).

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Saltwater fishing: Redfish are on fire in Tampa Bay and elsewhere - The Ledger

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