The President of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, his wife and 130 others, including a huge proportion of the elite of Polish politics, have died in a plane crash. [more inside]
"The reality is that the post-bailout era in which Goldman [Sachs] thrived has turned out to be a chaotic frenzy of high-stakes con-artistry, with taxpayers and clients bilked out of billions using a dizzying array of old-school hustles that, but for their ponderous complexity, would have fit well in slick grifter movies like The Sting and Matchstick Men. There's even a term in con-man lingo for what some of the banks are doing right now, with all their cosmetic gestures of scaling back bonuses and giving to charities. In the grifter world, calming down a mark so he doesn't call the cops is known as the "Cool Off.""
This morning, in Austin, Texas, a Piper Cherokee single-engine plane [was] crashed into an office building partially occupied by the IRS. It appears to be the work of an individual, but the story keeps getting weirder. The suspected person may have also burned his house down this morning.
The huge tanker smashed into the Princess Taiping at 20 knots, violently heaving the vessel out of the water, cleaving it in two. It did not stop to aid the 12 crew members it had thrown overboard and scattered across the night. Most of the crew, injured and in shock, clung to the partially submerged stern, praying for rescue. Masao Kinjo, a Japanese sailboat racer, found himself alone, far from his shipmates. The resolute mariner rigged the broken foremast on the front half of the ship and set sail for home. [more inside]
Olympian killed in luge accident Nodar Kumaritashvili of Georgia was killed when he wrecked on the luge course in Vancouver. This is the second crash today.
Sara Libby started it. A blogger for True/Slant, she wrote a column detailing why she thought Crash was the worst film of the decade. GD at PostBourgie agreed and added his own two cents. That got Ta-Nehisi Coates intrigued, who in turn wrote a post about Crash being a horrible movie and threatening to ban posters who liked it. His colleague at the Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, piles on as well. The Chicago Sun-Times notices this blossoming meme and writes a recap.
A Zimbabwean cargo aircraft crashed earlier today at Shanghai-Pudong airport, killing three and seriously injuring four. It is not yet known why the aircraft, an ex Varig MD-11F (pic) operated by an airline called Avient, failed to become airborne, but the airline itself has received quite some attention recently. Headquartered in Salisbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom, they almost went bankrupt, leaving behind massive debts in France, only to almost out of nowhere get this MD-11F, which crashed within a week of being acquired. (pprune, reg req) But that's not the only shady thing about this airline... [more inside]
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently had their 50th anniversary, and to taut the progress of car safety design, they've set a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air versus a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu, and shared the crash test videos on YouTube. [more inside]
"The unburied come back to haunt us." On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan took off from Lae, Papua New Guinea (map) in their Lockheed Electra en route to Howland Island (map). They were never seen again. [more inside]
Loved Nanaca Crash? Want to hurl a turtle instead? Toss the Turtle will be right up your alley. Easy concept, shoot turtle from cannon and watch him bounce and blow up as he careens across the screen. Enjoy!
Have you ever wondered what happens when a freight train drives through a tornado? Let me show you (2:01 SLYT)
The Austin Lounge Lizards are Too Big To Fail. (SLYT)
Remember that cool house from Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Yeah...well it's for sale. Great house as long as you don't have a frustrated teenager and a Ferrari.
The sky is a really big place, right? So how did a Boeing 737 and a Legacy 600 private jet manage to collide head-on at 37,000 feet over the Amazon jungle in Brazil? William Langewiesche's detailed analysis of the 2006 crash--which killed all 154 aboard the 737--provides some answers. [more inside]
Australian auto website offers anatomy of a crash-- a point by point account of what happens during an accident, up to and including the moment you realize it's happening. [more inside]
Peter Wallison, an economist who arguably predicted the housing crash and bailout in 1999 explains his current views on the crash: "Other players...played a part" but "...government policy over many years--particularly the use of the Community Reinvestment Act and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to distort the housing credit system-- underlies the current crisis."
Known as Black Box in the UK, Survival in the Sky was a four-episode 1996 series about commercial aviation accidents and the investigation of their causes. (Two additional episodes were filmed in 1998.) Not currently available on DVD, five of the six episodes are available in their entirety on YouTube (links within). [more inside]
US Airways Flight 1549 has crashed into the Hudson. Fortunately, it appears that everyone has survived. The culprit appears to be a bird strike from a flock of geese (as opposed to a single bird, which airplane engines are built to withstand). [more inside]
History Repeats Itself in Different Hues -- a readable Q&A data dump comparing the economics and policy responses of 1990s Japan and current events
By one measure, this stock market is as bad as any in the last 180 years.
Russian professor and information warrior, Igor Panarin, has predicted the collapse and breakup of the USA. (Potential artists' renderings 1 2) The interview was originally reported in the Russian newspaper, Izvestia. (Google Translated) The prediction has been met with varying levels of credulity, scoffed at by some and embraced by others. The prediction, which goes so far as to speculate exactly how the US might reorganize, was posted to Drudge and has offended many bloggers who, while excited by the prospects of secession, are insulted by the insinuation that the south may go Hispanic and not Confederate.
Influential billionaires like Carl, Thomas, Kirk, and Warren have been losing their shirts. And it's being felt around the world. [more inside]
The "Crash at Crush" was the intentional head-on crash of two Katy locomotives on Sept. 15, 1896. The results were not quite what Agent Crush had planned. Scott Joplin wrote The Great Crush Collision March [more pictures] to commemorate the event and it was also an inspiration for 'Head-On' Joe Connelly. [more inside]
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile | And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife | And you may ask yourself... Well...How did I get here?
On June 22, 1985, Air India flight 182 left Montreal en route to Delhi with 329 passengers aboard, most of them Canadian. Four hours later, an explosion in the baggage compartment destroyed the plane, killing all on board. Premiering tonight on CBC television, this documentary (trailer) recounts the final hours, days and weeks before the plane disappeared off Irish radar screens. It reveals the story of how Canada’s first major counter-terrorism operation failed to thwart the conspiracy and details the errors that resulted in the world’s most lethal act of aviation terrorism before Sept. 11. (previously on MetaFilter) [more inside]
The Next Bubble: Priming the markets for tomorrow's big crash. A layman's primer on the genesis and future of today's economic troubles, at Harper's Magazine.
It started with some broken bones and then Austrian skier Matthias Lanzinger had his lower leg amputated yesterday.
While the US equities markets were closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Day, stock markets around the world took a nosedive, losing billions in equity; the markets in Australia, South Korea, Japan, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Germany, France, the UK, and more countries have dropped at least 5% each (Canada only fell 4.75%), even though most of those markets had already been seriously down for several days prior. India has been hit particularly hard, at one point down a whopping 11%, tripping their markets' automatic "circuit breakers" for a mandatory time-out period, before scraping back up to close at 8% down. US futures markets are currently predicting a 650+ point drop just at the open Tuesday morning, before even a single trade goes through. [more inside]
On Nov 22, 1968, exactly 39 years ago, on a reasonably clear, uneventful day, a new JAL DC-8 descended toward the SFO airport. The landing was so well executed that no one was hurt when the pilot landed the plane into the San Francisco Bay, several miles from the airport. What explanation did 15 year veteran pilot Captain Kohei Asoh give for his botched landing? It was so unusual (especially in this day and age), so refreshingly honest, that it came to be known as the Asoh Defense. Amazingly, the plane was recovered, refurbished, and was in service for another 35 years.
RC Model Crashes [youtube] B-52, P-51, RC Model crash filmed with an on-board camera, Monoplane crash, Thunderbolt crash, Dogfight and mid-air collision
Consumer Reports has videos of over 150 different models of cars and trucks in crash tests. If you drive something much larger, learn about train crash tests, or, much more dramatically, watch crash tests of trains carrying nuclear flasks and airplanes. After you have seen it done, try to achieve the most dangerous crashes yourself with the Truck Dismount freeware game. [previously on truck dismount and airplanes]
Has Australia's largest cycling club attempted to cover up the possible causes of a fatal crash at its latest event? The Canberra Cycling Club's press release says that the race was conducted in accordance with Australian road rules. Their photo gallery for the event certainly shows small groups of riders keeping to one side of the centre line. Local sleuths The RiotACT say different.
While the Queen was in New Zealand on Christmas Eve 1953 a lahar destroyed a rail bridge in Tangiwai. When the Wellington to Auckland Express tried to cross the bridge, the resulting accident killed 151 people. On behalf of her mother, Prince Andrew is currently in New Zealand, commemorating a hero, and another lahar has errupted, from the same volcano. The death toll is zero.
What's worse? MySpace or American Idol? How about a website that finds all the MySpace pages for those aweful American Idol contestants (you know- the ones we are supposed to laugh at because they suck)?
Twenty-one years ago today a plane crashed in Gander, Newfoundland. The flight carried American soldiers heading home for the holidays, returning from a mission in the Sinai. Called the worst aviation disaster on Canadian soil, the crash killed the 248 soldiers and 8 crew members aboard. On December 16th, mere days after the crash, President Ronald Reagan gave a speech at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, to comfort the victims' families. As time passed, however, some of the families demanded answers from the US Government regarding the circumstances of the crash. In 1989, Robin Tallon, member of congress from South Carolina, assisted the families' by bringing the matter before Congress - and also sending a letter to then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney (scroll down page). In 1992, a Time Magazine article addressed forensic evidence which supported the idea of an on-board explosion prior to impact, as well as the flight's connections to Iran Contra and the terrorist group Islamic Jihad. This article also discusses the book written on the crash by Les Filotas, a dissenting member of the air safety board. The question was brought forth again in 1993, with a bill introduced requesting that a commission be formed to further investigate the circumstances of the crash. As with any disaster with unanswered questions, conspiracy theories abound. To this day, many of the questions surrounding Flight 1285 remain unanswered. While the crash may never be fully explained, one certainty remains - for the families whose loved ones never came home for Christmas, the twelfth day of the twelfth month will never be forgotten.
In a corporate jet flying 37,000 feet above the Amazon rainforest, I heard the three words I will never forget: “We’ve been hit.”
On September 2nd at 10:41 p.m. PDT the ESA's Smart-1 will crash into the moon. While no one is certain how bright the impact will be, some believe it may be visible to amateur astronomers. We've discussed this before, but tonight's the night!
US Navy Saftey Center Photos of the Week. Or: A Nearly Comprehensive But Not Entirely Inclusive Manual of Instruction On How to Qualify for a Darwin Award.
The impressive Gimli Glider. Yes, seriously: it can be a glider. An amazing story of a commercial pilot with mad emergency landing skillz.