Monday, July 08, 2013

Monday Post

So went Calgary, so goes Toronto

Evening commuters in Toronto and the GTA are having to contend with heavy downpours and flash flooding as a band of slow-moving thunderstorms passes through the city.

Pearson International Airport reported 90 mm of rain over the past two hours, which according to Chris Scott of The Weather Network, is more than one month's worth of rain for Toronto.
Stay high and dry.

The death toll in Quebec explosion now rises to thirteen:

Eight more bodies have been found in Lac-Mégantic, Que., bringing the official body count up to 13 people after a runaway train carrying crude oil set off a series of explosions and flattened the town's busy downtown.

Police said some 50 people are missing — a figure that includes the 13 unidentified bodies that have been recovered since the train derailed at about 1 a.m. ET Saturday.

Police are asking family members to provide toothbrushes, combs, or other items that might provide DNA from their missing relatives to help investigators identify the bodies.

About 2,000 of the town's 6,000 residents were forced to leave their homes on Saturday, but 1,500 of those evacuees may be able to return home as soon as Tuesday.

While some residents prepare to move home, the community has a long road ahead as it faces rebuilding the downtown core that was levelled in the series of blasts.

Before the train carrying crude oil rolled into town after midnight, it was parked uphill in Nantes — about 12 kilometres from Lac-Mégantic.

The president of the railway's parent company, Rail World Inc., said the train was properly secured before the engineer left for the night.

Witnesses in Nantes said that they had seen sparks and a cloud of diesel smoke as the train came to a stop a few hours before the derailment.

Just saying: pipelines.


Related: the Betazoid freak puts his foot in his mouth:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper wished Lac-Megantic residents a safe and speedy return home following a deadly train derailment, as federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair claimed the Conservative government’s policies allowed such a “tragic” accident to unfold.

Harper said in a statement on Saturday “our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those affected by this morning's tragic train derailment and subsequent fires” and the “government is monitoring the situation and we stand by ready to provide any assistance requested by the province.”

Pipelines are the safest method for the transportation of petroleum products safer than tankers, trucks or rail (Source: U.S. Department of Transportation). Steel pipelines provide the safest, most efficient and economical way to transport crude oil. Each year, millions of gallons of crude oil and petroleum products are safely transported through pipelines. National pipeline statistics indicate that pipeline accidents are uncommon and that leaks tend to be small; most pipeline leaks involve three barrels or less, 80 per cent of spills involve less than 50 barrels and less than 0.5 per cent of spills total more than 10,000 barrels.

It is times like these that I am reminded of the timeless lessons the Bible has to offer:

Take heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father who is in heaven.
Therefore when thou dost an alms deed, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honoured by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.

But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth.

That thy alms may be in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee.

And when ye pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, that love to stand and pray in the synagogues and corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men: Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.


Firstly, we should commend Trudeau, Harper and May — and the thousands of other volunteers — for taking time out their busy schedules to help the flood victims.

More importantly, it's great that these were 'no media events' — even though the parties released pictures of themselves.

Hopefully politicians are starting to understand that politically motivated photo-ops in times of disaster are not appreciated by the public.

Oh, I'm sure. Harper is from Alberta and is prime minister so it's no surprise where he was. Who took money from charities again?

Because he's Mark Steyn:

As in the Congolese civil war, where both sides agreed that pygmies made excellent appetizers, in the Egyptian political stand-off, the young men of both pro- and anti-Morsi forces agree on little else except that the chicks are fair game. This ugly aspect has gone strikingly under-reported in America for over two years, ever since CBS chose to downplay the rape of its own correspondent. So I’m very glad NPR chose to do a story on this grim subject, “Sexual Assaults Reportedly Rampant During Egypt Protests.” To put it in the terms famously formulated by Whoopi Goldberg, this isn’t rape-rape but rape-rape-rape...

Some people will do anything for money:

Belgian doctors have developed a low-cost version of test-tube baby technology for use in developing countries, where sophisticated Western systems are unaffordable for most couples.

People can play God at bargain basement prices!

This is a touching story:

A mother and her newborn son are both lucky to be alive today.
Wei Liu was eight months pregnant when she was critically injured in a car crash in Manchester, England, on May 3.

The taxi Wei, 30, and her boyfriend Geng Yu, 24, were riding in was struck by a car. Wei suffered a severed artery above her heart, fractured ribs and a shattered pelvis. Her odds of survival were not promising.

She was rushed to Manchester Royal Infirmary where doctors fought to keep her alive — and performed an emergency caesarean to deliver her son, Lucas, a month early.

Wei awoke from a coma three days later to discover that she was no longer pregnant.

"The last thing I remember is the taxi turning across Great Ancoats Street as I was on the phone to a friend. The next thing, I woke up with people all around me. I had something in my mouth so I couldn’t speak but I realized my belly had gone smaller and my baby was gone," she tells the Manchester Evening News.

"Because I couldn’t talk I kept just touching my belly and heard people saying, 'Your baby is fine.'"

Wei recognizes that both her and her baby boy are lucky to be alive.

"I found out later the doctors had told my boyfriend to be prepared because they hadn’t seen that many people survive things like this before," she says.

"I think at one point he was asked if he would rather save me or the baby. He was in the next bed shouting and saw my friend crying because my heart had stopped beating for a few seconds and they thought I was dead. A few days later I woke up again and Geng was there in a wheelchair. That was when I got to hold Lucas for the first time."

"I still can’t work out how I survived," she adds. "I just feel so lucky to be alive and that Lucas is okay."

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