Thursday, December 31, 2015

Biggest container ship to visit US enters San Francisco Bay

Biggest container ship to visit US enters San Francisco Bay

Sacramento Bee - ‎1 hour ago‎
The container ship CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, the largest ship ever to call at an American port, sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge on the last morning of the old year Thursday to begin a new day in maritime commerce.

Biggest container ship to visit US enters San Francisco Bay

The Benjamin Franklin is 1,310 feet long and can carry 18,000 shipping containers
It is the first of a series of larger and larger ships heading for U.S. ports

Read more here:

Carson staffers quit, question his readiness for White House

Curbed LA

Carson staffers quit, question his readiness for White House

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Several top aides to Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson resigned on Thursday, citing frustration with the influence of the retired neurosurgeon's business manager and questioning his readiness for the White House.
Associated Press

Carson staffers quit, question his readiness for White House

Associated Press
FILE -- In this Dec. 23, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks in his home in Upperco, Md. Two of Carson’s top paid advisers are leaving the campaign with only a month to go before Iowa’s leadoff caucuses. That’s according to Carson’s Iowa director, Ryan Rhodes. He says Carson campaign manager Barry Bennett and senior campaign spokesman Doug Watts are “out” as of Thursday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Several top aides to Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson resigned on Thursday, citing frustration with the influence of the retired neurosurgeon's business manager and questioning his readiness for the White House.
Barry Bennett and Doug Watts, both seasoned political operatives, stepped down with less than five weeks before voters in Iowa begin the nominating process with the state's Feb. 1 caucuses.
Bennett was Carson's campaign manager. Watts was communications director. But Bennett said Carson's longtime business manager, Armstrong Williams, is the adviser who has Carson's ear, even though Williams does not have a formal role in the campaign.
Carson is "one of the smartest men I've ever worked for," Bennett said, but added that he believes Carson has become Williams' "script reader."
Bennett said that made it difficult to advise Carson and raised questions in his mind about what kind of president Carson would make if elected.
"You have to surround yourself with good people," Bennett said. "And he hasn't demonstrated that he can do that. No one wants Armstrong Williams anywhere near the Oval Office."
Williams replied Thursday: "Barry and I agree. I will be nowhere near the Oval Office when Dr. Carson is elected president. I will remain in my private practice."
Williams also disputed Bennett's characterization that his influence is inappropriate, and said the departures were more firings than resignations. "I'm sure Barry resigned because he wanted total control and he wasn't going to have that," Williams said.
Carson's campaign released a statement Thursday describing staff changes as "enhancements" that "will shift the campaign into higher gear." Along with Bennett and Watts, deputy campaign manager Lisa Coen also left.
Retired Army Major Gen. Robert Dees, who has been advising Carson on foreign policy and military affairs, will serve as campaign chairman. Ed Brookover, formerly a senior strategist, will serve as campaign manager.
"I don't think any one person should have the candidate's ear," Williams said. "I think he should listen to a multitude of advisers, inside the campaign and outside the campaign."
In Iowa, where Carson is trying to appeal to the large number of evangelical voters who take part in the state's leadoff caucuses, his state-based staff said the shake-up at campaign headquarters would have little or no impact on their organization.
"Whatever the issue was at the national level, it does not affect us at the Iowa level," said Rob Taylor, a Republican state representative and Carson's campaign chairman in the state.
The staff turmoil at the highest reaches of the Carson campaign is the latest setback for his presidential bid, which displayed significant fundraising power this summer and for a brief time was atop some preference polls.
But as quickly as Carson rose to the top of the GOP field, he began to falter. Bennett says Williams led Carson into multiple mistakes, particularly in the last two months as Carson struggled to establish foreign policy credentials amid increased voter concerns about national security.
Bennett and Watts' decision to leave the campaign came a week after Carson told The Associated Press in an interview that he was considering a major staff shakeup, only to walk back those comments hours later, declaring that he had "full confidence" in his team.
Williams arranged for that interview without Bennett's knowledge. Carson's subsequent statement of support for his team was issued after discussing his initial comments with Bennett and Watts, but Bennett said Thursday that those events were evidence his place in the campaign had become untenable.
Carson "told everybody else 'nobody wants staff changes,'" Bennett recalled. "Why the hell did you say it then? Armstrong had given him the talking points."
The interview "was Armstrong's calculation against us," Bennett said. "Ben was just the script reader. It was horribly embarrassing to us, the whole campaign staff. One hundred fifty people went home for Christmas with their families wondering whether they would keep their jobs. Excellent timing."
Bennett described Carson as "surprised" by the resignations. Williams, who says he spoke with Carson after the candidate spoke with Bennett, described Carson as "calm, confident, reassured and ready to move forward."
"This allows Dr. Carson a fresh start," Williams said.
Williams said he spoke with Dees, the new campaign chairman, on Thursday and described their relationship as "wonderful."
"I've spoken with the good general, congratulated him," Williams said. "We've been with Dr. Carson since the beginning of this operation."
Taylor said the campaign turnover was not unexpected and that Carson is actively engaged with the decision making. It helps that Carson's Iowa campaign director, Ryan Rhodes, will remain in his position and perhaps take on greater responsibilities, Taylor said.
"We've been moving forward in Iowa the whole time," Taylor said.
Barrow reported from Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Follow Bill Barrow and Thomas Beaumont on Twitter at: and
  end quote from:

Carson staffers quit, question his readiness for White House

Is the universe alive? YES!

“And they allowed Apollonius to ask questions; and he asked them of what they thought the cosmos was composed; but they replied; “Of elements.” “Are there then four?” he asked. “Not four,” said Larchas,  “but five.” “And how can there be a fifth,” said Apollonius, “alongside of water and air and earth and fire?” “There is the ether,” replied the other, “which we must regard as the stuff of which gods are made; for just as all mortal creatures inhale the wire, so do immortal and divine natures inhale the ether.” “Am I,” said Appollonius, “to regard the universe as a living creature?” “Yes,” said the other. – The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Philostratus, 220AD (source)
end partial quote from:  

This is my experience of the universe as well. The universe is alive. One could call the universe, "The Body of God" and one could call the ether "the Soul of God".

What is called Dark matter and Dark Fluid (dark meaning "Unknown" in this case) could be a part of this ether. But, I believe God is more than this. 

Could God Be also called "Life"?

Life is God and God is life and they cannot be separated in any useful way in the beginning, the middle and the end.

Good and bad in the end are relative terms to whatever being they are applied to. 

There is a statement from a Moody Blues song, "Turn the earth to sand and still commit no crime" which makes sense in this context.

To an adept the following makes sense but to a child it doesn't: "There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so."

In other words whatever rule system you apply to life creates an order of what good is and what bad is.

So, depending upon what your source of order is you will create both good and bad by your rules.

For example, rules of the road make road kill of all wild animals, birds and insects around the world. They may help mankind not die but they kill at random all birds and animals and have been thinning them out worldwide since automobiles and trucks have been built and driven. Humans live by these rules but these same rules make only road kill of wild animals and birds and insects around the world.

Is it good that mankind lives by these rules?

Is it good that wild animals all die by these rules?

And we are now in the 6th Great Extinction.

So, the rules of the road only help to create the extinction of many species.

So, are the rules of the road good or bad?

It depends upon whether you are a human thinking about this or a wild animal doesn't it?

'One hour, then that's it': Dubai fire survivor hangs from balcony

'One hour, then that's it': Dubai fire survivor hangs from balcony

The Address Downtown hotel burns as a huge fire rips through the building near the world's tallest tower, in Dubai
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Dubai (AFP) - Grasping the edge of a balcony 48 stories from the ground, just metres away from a raging fire, the photographer thought he may not live to see 2016.
"One hour, then that's it, I'm dead," he thought as he stood on the tiny sill of a balcony in Dubai's luxury The Address Downtown hotel, attached by a rope to a massive window-cleaning platform.
Not long before, he had entered the balcony with a friend to take photographs of the nearby New Year's Eve fireworks display for his newspaper.
But the night suddenly changed when a huge fire erupted in the hotel below them, engulfing several floors of the huge building in the heart of the skyscraper city.
"There's a fire," his friend shouted, rushing towards the nearest exit, before the photographer looked out and saw "smoke coming towards the balcony".
Afraid that he would die from suffocation, and unable to see how he could escape, the photographer decided there was only one thing for it: to tie a rope from himself to a window-cleaning platform and hang off the balcony.
He rolled out some 30 metres (100 feet) of a heavy-duty cable from a nearby machine used by workers to clean the tower's windows, attached it to his belt and photographing equipment and stepped off the edge.
The rope "was my saviour", he told AFP, asking not to be named and explaining that the fire was less than 10 metres away from him at that point.
- 'Afraid I might collapse' -
He feared he would die from suffocation, he said. "I wasn't sure what was happening downstairs. I was afraid I might collapse from the smoke."
Holding on for dear life outside the building, he began calling and texting his colleagues asking them to get in touch with the civil defence for help.
Civil defence representatives kept him calm as he waited to be rescued. "I was telling them I hoped to survive and see my wife," he said.
More than half an hour later, he heard rescue workers approaching his floor.
"When I saw lights and heard the sounds of footsteps at the floor I was in, I started tapping on the aluminium to get their attention," he said.
"I think I was the only person left stuck that long," he said, describing how he was led out through the smoke-filled corridors of the five-star hotel.
Dubai's police chief said that all the residents had been evacuated due to the blaze, the cause of which was unknown.
Not far away, Dubai's fireworks display erupted as usual to welcome in the new year, starting from the Burj Khalifa -- the world's tallest building -- before spreading across the skies above the city.
For the photographer, the start of 2016 is something he will never forget. "I'm excited because it's New Year, and (filled with) an adrenaline rush," he told AFP, his voice still shaky.
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end quote from:

'One hour, then that's it': Dubai fire survivor hangs from balcony

Grasping the edge of a balcony 48 stories from the ground, just metres away from a raging fire, the photographer thought he may not live to see 2016. "One hour, then that's it, I'm dead," he thought as he stood on the tiny sill of a balcony in Dubai's luxury The Address Downtown hotel, attached by…

945,000 visits to intuitivefred888

Happy New Year everyone!

Thanks for visiting my site and sharing my interests worldwide.

One of the amazing things since December 5th 2015 is you around the world have already visited this
one article:
10,365 times since December 5th which I find amazing and makes me proud of all of you taking such an interest in the survival of life on earth. And more are visiting this article even as I write this ongoing right now!

Have a Wonderful New Year Worldwide!



100 Big ideas

I found this special publication of National Geographic. The list 100 big ideas: Science Breakthroughs and Inventions: here are some of them:

Chapter 1
Matter and Chemicals
1. Fire
2. Rubber
3. Theory of Five elements
4. Concrete
5. Fireworks
6. The Scientific Method
7. Glass lenses
8. Periodic Table
9. Aluminum
10. Radiation and Marie Curie
11. Nylon
12. Nuclear Fission
13. Atomic Bomb
14. Polyethylene and Plastics
15. Laws of Convection
16. Programmable Matter

I think that's enough. If you want to read more about this likely you should buy the special issue of National Geographic or visit it online if you are able to do this. I also have an idea which I think would be fun to research so I can learn more about some of these things. So, I may put some of what I find researching these 16 subjects here at my site. I think first I'm interested in "Programmable matter" so likely I will create another article with research from what I find about that. How far I get will depend upon my time available and my interest. Also, my wife hasn't been well the last week so it will depend upon her needs too. Programmable Matter interests me because likely that is the subject (of the 16 subjects listed above that I know the least about presently). Then likely I would be interested in the "Laws of Convection" in relation to convection currents within a house or building but also all over planets atmospheres and oceans and lakes and rivers. It also might relate to currents also within the magma of a planet like Earth.

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Dubai New Year's fireworks kick off while fire engulfs nearby 63-story tower

Dvred the 10 am "Wolf" on Cnn so when I played it a few hours later I was able to see live footage of this disaster. The flames they said started on the 20th floor but I think they don't use fire retardant curtains and furniture as much there. Also, people were gathered nearby for watching fireworks. So, I'm watching now one whole side (all 63 floors of the hotel and Condo residence on fire on one side. There doesn't appear to be fire engines capable of dealing with this at this elevation. Many people were evacuated successfully. However, one wonders about New Year's Eve Parties on the upper floors especially with fire engulfing 40 stories or more at a time from the outside.

I'm wondering if this was a terrorist attack in Dubai at this point because of the timing of the event with a million people or more there waiting for epic fireworks.

Dubai New Year's fireworks kick off while fire engulfs nearby 63-story tower

Los Angeles Times - ‎1 hour ago‎
Firefighters are battling a blaze that has engulfed several floors of a high-rise in downtown Dubai. Firefighters are battling a blaze that has engulfed several floors of a high-rise in downtown Dubai.
The Address Downtown Dubai

Dubai New Year's fireworks kick off while fire engulfs nearby 63-story tower

A massive fireworks display kicked off for New Year's at the world's tallest tower in Dubai, while plumes of smoke billowed in the air from a fire raging at a nearby luxury tower.
Tens of thousands of people whistled and cheered at the show taking place at the Burj Khalifa skyscraper as teams of firefighters were working to put out the blaze that had engulfed a 63-story luxury hotel and residential building. Just minutes before the fireworks began, large explosions could be heard from inside the burning building, which was cloaked in thick black smoke. It was not clear what caused the blasts.
At least 14 people were slightly injured and one person suffered a heart attack from the smoke and over-crowding during evacuation late Thursday, according to Dubai Media Office. The statement said another person was moderately injured, without elaborating further. No children were among those injured, it said.
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Around 1 million people had been expected to gather around the Burj Khalifa to watch the fireworks. Dubai's economy depends heavily on tourism, and New Year's is one of the busiest seasons, drawing people from around the world to watch the fireworks that the emirate puts on at the world's tallest tower, as well as the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab and over a man-made palm-shaped island.
Organizers had installed 400,000 LED lights on the Burj Khalifa and used some 1.6 tons of fireworks for the seven-minute extravaganza. Two years ago on New Year's, Dubai broke the world record for the largest fireworks display.
The fire engulfed the Address Downtown, one of the most upscale hotels and residences in Dubai, which was likely to have been packed with people because of its clear view of the 2,715-foot-tall Burj Khalifa.
The hotel towers over the Souq Al Bahar, a popular shopping area with walkways that connect to the Burj Khalifa and the Middle East's largest mall, the Dubai Mall.
It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, which ran up the 63-story building. The Address is a 991-foot-tall skyscraper that has 626 luxury apartments and 196 hotel rooms, according to Skyscraper Center, which tracks such buildings.
Dubai's Media Office wrote on its official Twitter account that four teams of firefighters were working to put out the blaze. They said the fire appears to have originated on a 20th floor terrace.
The fire broke out about two hours before the midnight fireworks display was set to begin. To manage the crowds, Dubai police had closed off some roads and the metro before the fire broke out.
Nearly an hour after the fire began, some onlookers began to leave while others stood, pressed against crowd barricades, watching the blaze. Among them was Chris Browne, a tourist from London, who watched with her husband, Stephen, standing behind her. They said they hoped no one was injured.
"It's pretty scary stuff," she said.
Standing nearby, Stuart O'Donnell, a British intensive care nurse who works in Dubai, said he was worried for those inside the building as it was in a prime location to watch the fireworks display.
"You feel sad for the people inside. ... It spread so quickly when it started," he said.
See the most-read stories this hour >>
He and others in the crowd wondered what had started the blaze. "I do feel suspicious of when a fire breaks out on New Year's Eve," he said.
The Dubai Media Office said that Dubai's tourism department would provide guests evacuated from the building with alternative hotel accommodations.
After the fireworks show, Girlie Omilda, a Filipina who works in the aviation industry in Dubai, said she was glad to have seen the fireworks, even as the tower continued to burn. She too was concerned about threats from extremists such as the Islamic State group. She said Dubai's large expatriate, non-Muslim population made the city a tempting target.
"Sometimes it makes me feel unsafe," she said.
NEWSLETTER: Get the day's top headlines from Times Editor Davan Maharaj >>
Revelers around the world aren't letting security fears ruin the party
Terrorism arrest in upstate New York caps busy year for FBI
Higher pay, hoverboards and vaccinations: Hundreds of new laws in California
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Dubai New Year's fireworks kick off while fire engulfs nearby 63-story tower


Good news for California's historic drought:California snowpack at 136 percent of normal

Good news for California's historic drought

The water content of the critically important Sierra Nevada snowpack surges beyond its recent record low.  'It's a start' » 

Official: California snowpack at 136 percent of normal

Associated Press
Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources, does a telephone interview after performing the first manual snow survey of the season at Phillips Station near Echo Summit, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015. The survey showed the snowpack to be nearly 5 feet deep, with a water content of 16.3 inches, which is 136 percent of normal for this site at this time of year. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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ECHO SUMMIT, Calif. (AP) — The water content of the Sierra Nevada snowpack in drought-stricken California was 136 percent of normal Wednesday when officials took the winter's first manual survey — an encouraging result after nearly no snow was found at the site in April.
The latest snow level is a good sign, "but that's it — it's a start," said Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources.
After four years of drought, Gehrke plunged a measuring pole into a thick field of snow in the Central Sierra, which includes Lake Tahoe. His survey followed an electronic measurement last week that put the water content of the snowpack at 112 percent of normal. Even more snow has fallen since then.
The snowpack provides about 30 percent of California's water supply during the months when it melts and rushes through rivers and streams to fill reservoirs that remain critically low.
Last Jan. 1, the snowpack was a meager 45 percent of the historical average. On April 1, it had dropped to a record low of 5 percent.
Gehrke said snow must continue falling through April for him to feel confident the drought is easing.
"There's going to be those anxious moments when we start to get into a week, a week-and-a-half with no snow," he said.
A brewing El Nino system — a warming in the Pacific Ocean that alters weather worldwide — is expected to impact California and the rest of the nation in the coming months, according to a NASA report released Tuesday.
Its effects on California's drought are hard to predict, but Jet Propulsion Laboratory climatologist Bill Patzert said it should bring some relief. El Ninos in the early 1980s and late 1990s brought about twice as much rain as normal, he said.
The weather also caused mudslides, flooding and high surf in Southern California.
"The water story for much of the American West over most of the past decade has been dominated by punishing drought," Patzert said. "Now, we're preparing to see the flip-side of nature's water cycle — the arrival of steady, heavy rains and snowfall."
Forecasters expect a light to moderate storm system in Northern California early next week.
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Good news for California's historic drought

So, even though we aren't flooding like the Mississippi River in historic proportions yet, we are now at 136 percent of normal regarding our snowpack. 

But, if we are at 136 percent of normal now what will we be during the next few months?