Wednesday, October 18, 2006

donnie darko?

Shocked by bolt from the blue

A four and a half inch bolt that appears to have fallen from a plane.Photo: Jon Reid
Jano Gibson and David BraithwaiteOctober 18, 2006 - 1:30PM
Air safety authorities are investigating reports an 11 centimetre-long bolt fell off an aircraft and smashed through the roof of a Sydney home this morning.
Five Dock resident Angelo Margiotta, who has a heart condition, was in his kitchen when he heard a loud bang above his Preston Avenue home shortly before 9am.
"I was sitting at the kitchen table having my coffee at about 8.30am and I heard a big, big, big loud bang,'' he said.
He said the noise was louder than a gun shot.
"I used to go hunting. I used to shoot rabbits. I know the noise a gunshot makes. This is worse than a gunshot.''
Mr Margiotta contacted firefighters who found a tile "which appeared to have high speed impact damage," NSW Fire Brigades spokesman, Inspector Gordon Boath, said.
"On closer inspection a firefighter found a bolt in the roof. Suspecting that it may have come from an aircraft, the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority [CASA] and the Australian Transportation Safety Bureau were notified and any investigations have been left with them."
One aircraft engineer, who did not want to be named, said the size (about 12cm) and the presence of a serial number indicated it was an aviation bolt.
"You don't buy bolts like that from Bunnings," he said.However, it could have come from any part of a plane of any size, he said.
CASA will today visit Mr Margiotta's home to examine the bolt, the authority's spokesman, Peter Gibson, said.
"If it is from a plane, it will have a serial number on the bolt and with a bit of detective work we will be able to trace it back to the aircraft type and then from there we will attempt to identify which plane it may have come from," he said.
"But that's all making the assumption that it did come from an aircraft [and] there's no evidence at this stage that it did come from a plane."
If the bolt had no serial number "we will declare it an unknown bolt from the blue," he said.
Mr Gibson said CASA had investigated three reports over the past ten years of bolt-like objects falling from the sky into Sydney homes.
"All three turned out not to be from planes. You've got to be careful not to jump to the conclusion that just because it fell out of the sky it came from a plane."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The evil trinity; cigarettes, alcohol, internet

welcome to my first actual, involves writing post. I have made it from Sydney to China suitcase intact and we only lost temporarily one suitcase and, oh yeah, two aussies in a taxi with no money, no clue where we were or where we were staying and without a woed of chinese under their belt. (Surprisingly the taxi driver showed some ingenuity and drove to another hotel which had people who spoke English and through the process of elimination figured out where we were staying. Somewhere on my 36 hour epic journey across the world I found a newspaper article in "China Daily" that must be shared regarding the three great evils for adolescents alcohol, smoking, and internet cafes.
Ignoring the fact that these three acts are amassed into one category the article which I will abridge said already standing punishments for these things have been found to be not severe enough and in a draft amendment far more severe punishments will be issued for noth the youth and the cafe owners who do not comply to the bans. Li Dekui, vice president of the Standing Committee states that internet cafe's play a serious negative role in the lives of minors "many people call internet cafes 'electronic heroin'"

I like many read this and laughed with cynicism as many others will, then I considered the term 'net junkie' and it gave me pause that we ourselves do refer the internet as having drug like qualities... Certainly it is adictive, and it takes away masses of our lives. however I can't get passed the good that comes from the internet. As someone who has on several occaisions left my family and friends to travel for longer periods of time I appreciate the possibilites the internet offers for keeping contact with loved ones (and up to date on Neighbours), additionlly over the years I have found unlimited information on a multitude of topics and yes the majority was relatively useless but now I can sleep soundly at night knowing all the words to "i've been everywhere" and I know how to complete all seven leisure suit larry's with a complete score.
Not all of the net is about these pesky topics of 'free speech', and 'information' infact the vast majority of it is the useless crap that it's unlikely that anyone will ever look for. So I implore Li Dekui to look beyond the dagers of excessive internet use and celebrate the tool that opens the world to things that you don't want to, and may never need to knowbefore he condemns this technology.

Saturday, August 12, 2006