Gunman kills self and hostage in Texas NASA building

Friday, April 20, 2007

Around 1:40 p.m. CDT, NASA employees reported that two shots were fired in the NASA Building 44 in the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. A SWAT team later reported that Bill Phillips, a contract engineer with Jacobs Engineering, had killed David Beverly as well as himself, leaving a female hostage physically unharmed.

Phillips entered a conference room with gun drawn and ordered all but one person out. Phillips barricaded himself on the second floor of the two-story building, with David Beverly and another female hostage. The building was evacuated and police were summoned. NASA security, Houston police and a SWAT team were on the scene.

Houston news reported at 5:22 p.m. CDT that Bill Phillips, the gunman, and David Beverly, the hostage, were both dead. Police reported that the SWAT team heard one shot and decided to engage, but before they reached the room they heard another shot. When SWAT reached the scene, the male hostage was dead from a bullet to the chest, the gunman was dead from a bullet to the head, and the female hostage, Fran Cranshaw, was gagged and bound to a chair with duct tape, but was otherwise unharmed.

All NASA employees had first been warned to stay in their buildings but were later told by NASA they were free to go home if their working day was over. Mission Control locked its doors during this incident, as this is a standard procedure in such situations. No NASA Mission has been affected by this incident, according to NASA.

In the first press conference, police said that communication to the gunman had not yet been established, but that negotiators had already tried it two times unsuccessfully.

The motive of the hostage-taking, and whether the three people had any connection to each other, is currently under investigation.

The Houston Chronicle reports that last month Phillips had received one e-mail from his employer, Jacob engineering Inc., “describing problems with his work and offering suggestions on improvement.” Jacobs printed that e-mail on March 18, the same day he bought the 38-caliber gun that police suspect was used in the shooting.

Despite reassurances by Cranshaw and Beverly, Phillips would not believe that management was not going to fire him, according to Cranshaw. During the 3-hour standoff, Phillips used a dry-erase board in the room indicating he was tired of being called “stupid,” police said last Saturday.

Michael Sampson, the co-manager of the space agency’s Electronic Parts and Packaging Program, who had known Beverly for ten years, described him as friendly, peaceful person, with a positive attitude to his co-workers.

Relatives describe Phillips as a loner who always kept to himself. He had lost his father in 2003, but had decided not to return to his hometown in Tennessee. Smith, a cousin of Phillips, remarked that in the Christmas card he had received from him last year, Phillips said that he was feeling lonely and without family, but nothing in the card suggested anything so tragic.

Highway bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, collapses

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Interstate 35W Mississippi River eight-lane bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota has collapsed on both sides of the highway over the Mississippi River during rush hour.

Previous reports indicated at least nine people had died, but Minneapolis police revised this to four during a 7:30 a.m. (local time) press conference. Tim Dolan, the Minneapolis Police Chief later stated that “several [adding to the four] people are confirmed dead at the scene,” but would not elaborate on how many. At least 79 have been injured and at least 8 are still missing, still believed to be in the rubble.

The road was busy with bumper-to-bumper traffic in four lanes when the entire 1907 foot (581 m) steel arch bridge collapsed. At least 50 cars were traveling on the bridge, including a school bus. The Red Cross said that 60 children were aboard a school bus, and that ten of those were admitted to a hospital.

The entire length of the bridge over the river collapsed at 6:05 p.m. CDT (UTC-5). The bridge, built in 1967, cleared the water level by 64 feet; the deck surface and pavement were considerably higher.

Reports say that people may be trapped in the water. Further, “many voids may contain survivors, but we cannot search those voids until it’s safe,” said Jim Clack, Minneapolis Fire Chief, during a press conference.

“One has died from drowning,” said a doctor from the medical center during an 8:00 pm press conference, who also said that so far 22 are in “yellow condition” and at least six are in “critical condition.”

Minneapolis officials have stated during an earlier press conference that “people are being sent downtown and all survivors are off the bridge. We are seeking help from the Red Cross.” and “[…]at least 60 children are receiving trauma care some with severe injures, some with minor injuries.”

Most of the injured have been received by Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown Minneapolis for medical treatment. Area hospitals are requesting all off duty staff and all Minneapolis ambulances to report. Residents are being encouraged to stay away from the area to let emergency crews do their work.

It is not known what caused the collapse, but there was construction being performed on the bridge’s road surface which included the use of jackhammers and the FBI has ruled out terrorism.

“Although it is much too early to make any determination of the cause, we have no reason at this time to believe there is any nexus to terrorism,” said Paul McCabe, an FBI spokesman.

In 2001 a stress inspection was done and Minnesota Department of Transportation stated that the bridge “should not have any problems with fatigue cracking in the foreseeable future.”

Typically an eight-lane bridge, the bridge was reduced to four lanes (two in each direction) during the current construction. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) had just announced overnight lane reductions on the bridge to one lane in each direction for the late evening hours of July 31 and August 1.

38 miners killed in Russian mine explosion

Thursday, May 24, 2007

At least 38 miners are dead after methane exploded in an underground coal mine in Russia. 180 people made it out of the mine, and at least 7 of those were seriously injured. At least 217 miners were inside when the explosion occurred.

“Up to 45 people could have been at the epicenter of the blast. One hundred and eighty people have been brought out. Of these, five have life-threatening injuries. The fate of the other [trapped] miners is unknown. According to the (mining) company’s information, there were 194 workers and 23 engineering inspectors underground [when the mine exploded],” said a spokesman for Russia’s Emergency Ministry.

The explosion occurred at the Yubileynaya (Jubilee) Mine located in Novokuznetsk, Russia in the Kemerovo Oblast at approximately 7:40 a.m. local time on Thursday [11:40 p.m. eastern time on Wednesday]. Yuzhkuzbassugol currently owns the mining facility.

The mine has already received several violations, and according to Russia’s industrial safety agency the mine would likely lose its license to operate. “Such a decision could be taken after an inquiry into all the circumstances of the accident at the Yubileinaya mine. Particularly since we have already found violations at Yuzhkuzbassugol mines.”

Wikinews discusses H1N1 with the WHO

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a program of the United Nations and a global authority on human health. In an interview with Wikinews, the WHO tells about the current H1N1 pandemic.

The organization’s 93rd update as of March 26, 2010 states 213 countries, territories, and other communities have laboratory-confirmed cases and there have been at least 16,931 confirmed deaths, including 4,653 deaths in Europe and 7,673 in the Americas.

Wikinews reporter Mike Morales talks with Karen Mah, a media relations representative for the WHO, and asks her several questions.

October 16th, 2018

Mechanical Engineering Analysis And Investigation}

Mechanical Engineering Analysis and Investigation



Mechanical Engineering is one of the most important disciplines of Engineering having a combination and principles of physics and material science solely contributing the sector of designing, manufacturing and maintaining the mechanical systems and resources which also include mechanical machinery. In the 21st century the world has been blessed with great technological and scientific advancements endeavoring mankind to go beyond imaginations and make happen what was impossible. In the modern day world all the big structures are based on the concepts of a combination between civil and mechanical science. The basic components comprise of Mechanics, Mechatronics and Robotics, Structural analysis, Thermodynamics, Designing and Drafting.

Heavy losses are recorded as a result of mechanical disasters caused by any heavy machinery in the process of manufacturing products, structural building process or failures in equipment. In general the common reasons for such kind of malfunctioning or failure or any kind of fault in the designing of such product or heavy machinery, or misuse of the machinery, work overload and the product or equipment or machinery is altered after purchasing or after a short usage according to customers own requirement under no supervision of any mechanical engineering expert. In these cases apart from the incurred losses it is highly important to sort and find out the cause that resulted such incident which not only helps you to be aware for onwards but this extensive Mechanical Engineering Analysis and Investigation also helps the field of modern day engineering to come up with new advancements, researched mechanical products, equipment and machinery to help the mankind working in a more safe and secure environment.

In the area of mechanical investigations and analysis the name of Scientific Expert Analysis (S-E-A) Ltd has a renowned name and is the market leader working and contributing since 1970. The S-E-A expert analysts recommend the following overview of the mechanical engineering analysis process.

Product Analysis and Testing

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Causal analysis

Industry Standards Review

In case of fire disaster or explosive disaster the dedicated team of forensic research engineers including civil, mechanical, biomedical, biomechanical, electrical and metallurgical engineers follows the following process of analysis;

Primary Scene Analysis

The investigation involves a complete visual overview of the site that includes a full photographic data collection of the site.

Causal Analysis

Fire investigators analysis the origin and possibilities of fire

Electrical investigators are responsible for all types of electrical disorders, failures and malfunctioning areas

Mechanical Analysis

Conducts a complete analysis of the mechanical objects to identify any kind of alteration, misuse, failure, incompatibility or working overload.

Laboratory Analysis

The expert team of engineers at the research center and testing laboratory conducts an in depth analysis of all kinds of chemical agents involved in the incidents or found in the data collection, oxidants and examines the collected sample from the place of incident to identify the source of flame or fire, accelerant and ignition agents.

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October 16th, 2018

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UEFA Euro 2016, day 12: Ukraine-Poland, Northern Ireland-Germany, Czech Republic-Turkey and Croatia-Spain

Friday, June 24, 2016

On Tuesday, in UEFA Euro 2016, Poland defeated Ukraine 1–0, Germany defeated Northern Ireland 1–0, Czech Republic lost 0–2 to Turkey and Croatia defeated Spain 2–1. Poland, Germany, Spain, and Croatia have all qualified for the Last 16 knockout phase.

After Poland drew 0–0 against Germany, Robert Lewandowski led them against Ukraine in their final group match. Two Ukrainian players were booked in the first half. Jakub B?aszczykowski scored the only goal of the game for the Poles in the 54th minute. Poland won 1–0 and advanced to the Last 16 knockout phase of the tournament by finishing second in the Group C table with 7 points. Ukraine finished last in the table and have been eliminated.

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer led Germany against Northern Ireland. Mario Gomez scored the only goal of the match just before the half-hour mark as Germany won the game 1–0. Germany have qualified for the Last 16 round, finishing first in Group C table with 7 points — edging above Poland on goal difference.

Turkey struck early as Burak Y?lmaz found the net in the 10th minute. Ozan Tufan’s goal in the second half was enough for the Turks to claim three points and finish third in Group D. The Czech Republic were eliminated from the tournament, finishing last in the group table with one point.

Ivan Rakiti? faced his FC Barcelona teammate Andrés Iniesta as Croatia played Spain. Álvaro Morata scored an early goal for Spain in the 7th minute, providing the defending champions an early lead. But Nikola Kalini? scored a tap-in in the 45th minute to equalise for the Croats.

In the second half, Spain won a penalty, but Spanish captain Sergio Ramos’s kick was saved by Danijel Subaši?. In the 87th minute, Ivan Periši? scored the winning goal for Croatia, and they qualified for the Last 16 stage by finishing first in the Group D table. Croatia were undefeated in the group stage. Spain, second in Group D, also qualified for the knockout phase.

Pentagon proposes Taiwanese arms sale

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The US Department of Defense has notified Congress of a potential arms sale to Taiwan, with a value of $6 billion, that was first pledged by the Bush administration.

The deal, that would include helicopters and anti-missile defences, angered China, who stated that the move would “seriously damage” US–China relations, as Beijing considers the island to be a break-away province of China, having split away after civil war in 1949.

There is a stand-off between China and Taiwan. China has a large number of weapons aimed at Taiwan, and has threatened to use them in the past. Taiwan denounces this, warning that, if 1,500 missiles were not removed, relations between the two nations would deteriorate.

The act of notifying Congress is a legal requirement and does not mean that the sale will go ahead. A thirty-day deadline is in place for politicians to decide on the proposition before it goes ahead. In a statement, the Pentagon listed the items being negotiated over, including 114 Patriot missiles and sixty helicopters. It will also include two minesweepers. The US is the main arms supplier for Taiwan.

General James L. Jones, the National Security Advisor for the Obama administration, said that China had been fully consulted about the deal. “We all recognise that there are certain things that countries will do periodically that may not make everybody completely happy,” he stated. However, he maintained that the US was “bent towards a new relationship” between themselves and China.

A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., Wang Baodong, said yesterday that the arms sale was a “gross intervention into China’s internal affairs”. He went on to assert that the trade “seriously endangers China’s national security”.

Ties between the United States and China, already stretched by the recent row over internet censorship, in which Google threatened to withdraw its presence in the country, have been strained by the announcement. China maintains, according to a press release on 22 January, that the Internet in their country is “open”, with the “most vibrant” sites based in China. Beijing wishes the United States to “respect each other’s core interest”, and to “ensure the healthy stable development” of their relationship.

October 14th, 2018

3 Unconventional Containers And Ideas On How To Handle Cremains}

3 unconventional containers and ideas on how to handle cremains


Hal Stevens

Inurnment and scattering are the most popular ways of handling cremains, other ways have also become well-liked. While some are somewhat extremesuch as having a container with the cremains shot out of a cannon, or even more intenseinto space, others are very charming and sentimental.

1.Keepsake urns, for example, are becoming a very popular alternative container for cremated remains. Keepsake urns are smaller urns that hold a portion of the cremated remains. They range in design from very simple to very detailed works of art. The concept behind the keepsake is to allow each family member to have a small amount of the cremated remains to create a personal memorial. Very often, keepsakes are sold in multiples, especially if there are several family members who are interested in having their own memorial to the deceased. Some keepsakes are a little more unusual, but artistic and beautiful. A glass sculpture or paperweight can be created which encases a portion of the cremains.

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2.Some choose to mix a small bit of the cremains into paint and paint a picture with the mixture. There are services which can help you with this. An Internet search will provide several options.

3.Another kind of keepsake is cremation jewelry. While the idea may sound odd initially, cremation jewelry is a unique way to remember your loved one. Cremation keepsake jewelry is jewelry in which a portion of the cremains has been incorporated in some way. Cremation jewelry comes in many styles and material. Some cremation jewelry incorporates small crystal containers which house a portion of the remains and are mounted in a precious metal as a ring, bracelet or necklace. Another form of cremation jewelry is the cremation or memorial diamond which is a man-made diamond with all of the chemical properties of a natural diamond which has been created from the carbon of cremated remains or a lock of hair. Each diamond is unique and, like a natural diamond can be mounted and worn in many different ways. Cremation jewelry is suitable for both men and women, of all ages and serves as a means of keeping a piece of your loved one near you at all times.

Many options exist these days from traditional placement in an urn (inurnment) which can either be kept in the home, in a special spot in a cemetery, buried, entombed or placed in a mausoleum to less traditional options such as being converted into a piece of jewelry.

Hal is the author of several critically acclaimed eBooks specifically written to help people deal with end of life issues. His eBooks include topics such as: cremation, writing and delivering a eulogy, eco-friendly green funerals, funeral planning, organ donation, and buying and selling cemetery plots. To find out more about his CemeterySpot family of free services and resources, to learn more about his books, and to get a free gift, please visit: http://www.cemeteryspot.com.

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3 unconventional containers and ideas on how to handle cremains}