Sonar Images Give New Insight Into Wreck Of The Titanic–History Channel Documentary April 15th

Hat Tip To James

Two robot vehicles scanned the ocean bottom day and night with sonar cameras, moving at 3mph back and forth in a grid pattern to create 130,000 high-resolution photos on a computer to provide a detailed mosaic of the wreck.  Incredible. 

New detail: Researchers have pieced together what is believed to be the first comprehensive map of the entire 3-by-5-mile Titanic debris field. This image shows the main body of the vessel

Marks on the ocean bottom suggest the stern rotated like a helicopter blade as the ship sank, smashing into the sea floor two and a half miles down at considerable speed, grinding the hull deep into the silt.

The bow, on the other hand, plunged straight down and landed relatively gently.

‘When you look at the sonar map, you can see exactly what happened,’ said Paul-Henry Nargeolet, one of the expedition’s leaders.

It is well known that the two halves settled almost half a mile apart.

But previous maps of the floor around the main wreckage were incomplete. Titanic historian Parks Stephenson said that studying the site with old maps was ‘like trying to navigate a dark room with a weak flashlight’.

‘But with the sonar map, it’s like suddenly the entire room lit up and you can go from room to room with a magnifying glass and document it,’ he said.

‘Nothing like this has ever been done for the Titanic site.’

The items mapped out include a huge tangle of the remains of a deckhouse, a large chunk of the side of the ship and a hatch cover that blew off the bow section as it sank to the bottom.

Other items include five of the ship’s huge boilers, a revolving door and even a lightning rod from a mast.

Full details of the new findings will be revealed by the History Channel in a two-hour documentary on April 15, exactly 100 years after the Titanic sank.

Pictures Of In-Air Struggle Between Female Eagle And Intruder

For background on this ongoing dramatic show that Mother Nature is providing from Norfolk Botanical Gardens today please click here.

For pictures of the in-air sky show that took place this week as the female ‘owner’ of the nest took off after another female eagle that is trying to lay claim to the nest click here.

This is–needless to say–speculator photography of this amazing show!


What To Do With Syria’s Vast Stockpile Of Chemical And Biological Weapons?

These are among the many issues that must be considered when thinking about how to handle the removal of Syria’s leadership.  These matters can be dealt with, and should not deter the continued work to make sure the bloody regime of President Bashar al-Assad ends very soon.

The American and Jordanian militaries are jointly developing plans to secure what is believed to be Syria’s vast stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, said U.S. and Arab officials briefed on the discussions.

The groundwork comes amid mounting concerns about Damascus’s arsenal of nerve agents and mustard gas at a time of growing instability in the country. One plan would call for Jordanian Special Operations units, acting as part of any broader Arab League peacekeeping mission, to go into Syria to secure nearly a dozen sites thought to contain weapons, these officials said.

A high-level delegation of Jordanian defense officials visited the Pentagon late last month to discuss the threat of Syrian weapons of mass destruction and other security issues, said officials from both governments.

U.S. officials stressed that Washington and Amman don’t foresee unilateral commando raids inside Syria, due to the potential for direct conflict with President Bashar al-Assad’s security forces. But they said that locating and securing the sites will be a central part of any peacekeeping mission that is eventually allowed into the country.

“Anything of that nature has to be done in a permissive environment,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on the discussions with the Jordanians. “If you do not have a permissive environment, you will have a hard time getting anyone to go in… No one is going to want to fight their way in through bad stuff, like chem and bio weapons.”

Video: Intruder Eagle Making For High Drama At Eggless Nest

DOUBLE UPDATE—You know this is a major event when the Botanical Gardens alerts followers in this manner.  “A Text alert will be sent if female returns. We will put out a text alert if the #3 female returns. We may be putting out an alert this evening that states the nest is being challenged in case some aren’t aware.”

UPDATE–This added comment will make sense as you read this post.  Since developments continue to take place it should be noted that as of Friday afternoon the last time the female has been seen was Thursday morning.   This is not a good sign.  Female #3 has not been seen since yesterday morning. They do not know where she is – or why she hasn’t returned to the nest area. Staff at the Garden have not reported any injured eagle – nor that they have spotted her anywhere else in the Garden where visitors are not able to go. Female #4 was at the nest area earlier – but hasn’t been seen recently. The male brought a fish earlier and ate it. Then he brought a stick and puttered around the nest a bit. He has been annoyed by the lower tenant (squirrel) – and is now just perching at the edge of his nest….

Now to the orginal post.

Mother Nature has been providing a show this week that makes anything on television pale in comparison.

This blog is covering the nesting eagles at Norfolk Botanical Gardens.  (Widget link can be located on the right side of this blog)   Last year this nest suffered the death of the female eagle due to a jet hitting her, and the rescue of the three babies.  This year the male eagle had a series of romantic interactions before finally settling down with a mate.  The nest has been worked on, and is a huge home waiting for eggs to be laid.

Then… intruder eagle(s) started making problems.

The professionals at the gardens are providing a whole series of pictures and updates.  They offered readers this news today.

(DT is the female eagle that is the mate for the male from last season.)

06:07 Dad stands and chatters a little..maybe calling DT.  He’s facing the front head bent, still vocalizing, almost standing like a statue…so still 06:13  Dad still standing at the nest front, still chattering a bit, almost makes me feels he whining for DT to come home.  He’s not moving very much either…little head moving but still like a statue 06:24  Reese up, moving the cam in close on dad.  Dad just doesnt’ seem right..I don’t know…sad, or upset…something

06:32  Dad’s head feathers raised up in a sign of aggression. We think that an intruder eagle, possible the same female, is there…dad definetely in alert mode.  I sure hope this intruder female didn’t chase DT away and is trying to make this her nest with dad.  DT come home

06:48  Can see just how close intruder is to the nest and can also see the fountain below that we hear on the cam

You are extraordinarily fortunate to be able to observe something that is very, very rare – the possible replacement by yet a fourth 5 year old female at the NBG nest. NO ONE has ever seen this happen before. The moderators and I are trying our very best to provide you with accurate information and data about what you are seeing. No guesses or rumor but FACTS. No one of knows just what is going to happen next. Stay tuned.

Earlier this week there was dramatic footage of what was thought to be a young male eagle attempting to take over the nest. There seems to be speculation now that this was actually a female eagle attacking.   Following this fight the watchers at the gardens report  they have no idea if there were any injuries from those altercations – except to notice the feathers that look like they have some damage.

Rush Limbaugh Running PSA’s Instead Of Ads–Now Even Non-Profits Want Off His Show

This is delicious.

AdAge quotes data from a Media Matters for America survey, saying that “of the 69 commercial spots on Wednesday’s three-hour show, more than half were public service announcements.” It should be noted that Media Matters is actively working to persuade advertisers to avoid Limbaugh’s Premiere-syndicated show. To Media Matters campaign director Angelo Carusone, the sudden appearance of PSAs for the United Negro College Fund and Big Brothers/Big Sisters  “is a sign the boycott is working.” One of the public service organizations which has benefited from the airtime would like to opt out. The American Heart Association’s Matthew Bannister says “It is our practice to be a content-sensitive advertiser, and in light of the current controversy, we will be asking [Cumulus-owned] WABC to no longer utilize these unpaid PSAs.”

Mitt Romney Needs A Political Make-Over

There is clearly a need for a Sister Souljah moment in the Mitt Romney campaign.

Another way for presidential candidates to give themselves image make-overs is some kind of highly visible conflict — including, if opportunity presents, with someone on their own side. 

“How do you find a moment of strength?” asked Castellanos. “You stand up to either your friends or your opponents.”

The consultant said Romney missed a window in recent days by not standing up in a very visible way to talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh, a darling of conservatives, to censure him for insulting a woman who spoke out in favor of contraceptives being covered by insurance. Alternatively, he advised, Romney could get off the defensive over his record of firing workers during his business career with a kind of damn-right strategy. Under this scenario, the former investment banker might stand in front of some federal agency and promise to shut it down the same way he did unprofitable businesses.

The third way for Romney to chase away his reputation for weakness or expediency is through artful improvisation, using an unexpected crisis to project a presidential style. Obama was widely credited for a poised performance during the early days of the financial meltdown in 2008, while John McCain set himself back with statements that seemed harried and irrelevant.

Unexpected crises are a bit hard to schedule, of course. But veterans of presidential campaigns say there are inevitably moments when a nominee will get a chance to have voters imagine him in the Oval Office.