16 April 2012

Monday Musings...
We're starting this week off in the Heartland with a bit of a "soft" day, and that means some rain...
Temps will be in the 60s today (how seasonal), but will be dropping this evening back to another one of those "freeze warning" type of thing.
Riding the weather roller-coaster, kids...keep your arms inside the car at all times.
But, let's not let any of that deter us from what needs to get done today...fair enough?
Let's get rolling...
*** I'll wager you haven't heard of the name Thomas Barnes (NYPD Lt, ret), but you will today.
This story shows what happens when the right person is in the right place at the right time...WITH A GUN.
A retired NYPD (Brooklyn gang unit - 2005) officer shot and killed a pharmacy bandit who got more than the Oxycontin he was looking for.
And to think this robbery happened up in Harlem (where the gun used in the robbery was later linked to similar holdups).
Three uniformed NYPD officers responded to the panic button alarm (activated by the store employee) and while one of the bandits initially surrendered to police, the 2nd one came out and attempted to shoot his way past the officers.
Wyatt Rudolph, 23, (recently-deceased and black...imagine that) was already wanted on warrants for two other shootings (in NYC), aimed his .32 caliber revolver at the three uniformed officers as he exited the store, and that's when Barnes crouched behind his boss's SUV at a gas station across the street and let go three rounds at Rudolph, killing him, and potentially saving the other three officers. The fact the Rudolph's handgun failed to immediately fire was also a blessing, otherwise the officers could have been shot and possible killed as well.
During the mayhem, the 2nd suspect managed to escape with the stash of drugs. The suspect who escaped custody was described as a light-skinned black or Hispanic, 5'10" - 6' tall, wearing a black HOODIE with a red lining.
Rudolph had been on the lam since last year when he (mistakenly) gunned down another person in Sandy Springs, GA.
Here's the link to the related story:
Gotta hand it to Thomas Barnes...nice shooting and the good guys ALL get to go home to their families...the way it SHOULD be.
And, NYC can breathe easier knowing that they have ONE LESS thug on THEIR streets.
No charges will be sought against Barnes...hell, I say pin a damn MEDAL on the man.
A head shot from 55 feet away during a stressful (read combat) situation isn't anything to sneeze at.
When the zombies come, I want THIS man at my side.
*** And speaking of pharmacy robberies...we had another here in Ft. Wayne:
Here's the link:
Cripes, didn't we JUST have this place robbed in January?
The perp is described as white (for a change), 5'10" - 6', very thin, having a shadow of a moustache, with a pock-marked face, wearing a black-billed stocking cap and an olive-colored military style jacket.
He handed a note to the pharmacist, claiming he was armed and demanded drugs...
((It would be at THAT point, that I would pull my pistol on HIM and say: "I showed you MY gun..lemme see YOURS, a$$hole!"))
As long as Walgreens has this "hands off" policy when it comes to employees being ARMED in ANY fashion, we can expect MORE robberies from perps with NOTES...go figure.
I mean, at LEAST let the store pharmacy have some O/C (pepper spray) or a button they can push to bring down a protective glass between them and the robbers.
Same goes for the banks and credit unions around town...protect those who REQUIRE protection.
It pains me to see innocent people placed in harm's way because some store chain will jump through hoops whenever a thug hands notes to pharmacists IN those stores. whether the perp has a weapon or NOT is not the issue...rolling over and complying to such human refuse IS.
Suffice it to say that if I'm ever in a Walgreens when something like this goes down, I'll grab anything at hand on the shelves to take the bastard the hell down (and I know where they keep the canes). Hell, an aerosol anything (cologne, air freshener, even furniture polish) would do the job, as would splashing some drain cleaner into a potential robber's eyes (I know what aisle THAT'S located in, too).
Given the opportunity, ANYTHING can be turned into an ad hoc weapon...when the "need arises".
*** And speaking of "needs", there's this story about an innocuous traffic stop that yielded more than a burned out tail light or a swerving vehicle.
Here's the story link:
Will you look at that...a HEROIN BUST...from a traffic stop (this was in DeKalb County, Indiana).
And it was a 54 year old woman, one Kim Klinker (love the irony of THAT name for this felony) who got the free ride to jail and was later released on bond. Guess someone isn't getting their "hit" today, hmm?
Now, is it just me, or is that a little TOO "mature" to be messing with crap like that?
*** Lastly today, this past weekend saw a plethora of shows devoted to the centennial of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, and one would be hard pressed to have missed all the shows.
The best of the lot (imho) was a two-hour presentation last evening on History Channel, entitled:
"Titanic At 100: Mystery Solved"
This worked nicely with both the Bob Ballard show (on Nat-Geo) and the Len Goldman show (on PBS), both of which looked into the PEOPLE behind the ship itself, such as the "Guarantee Group" (of 9).
But the History Channel show used technology similar to the NTSB when they "reconstruct" an aircraft from a crash scene.
How to do that with Titanic?

Simple...utilize 2 AUVs (Autonomous Underwater vehicles, quaintly named "Ginger" and "MaryAnn" ) to take a sonographic "photo" and digitally map the ENTIRE area of the wreck located 2 miles down, which is roughly FIFTEEN SQUARE MILES.
The AUVs operate without tethers, and roam about on a pre-planned course, then return to the mother ship for pickup.
It was very exciting to see the wreck "rebuilt" in a "virtual hangar", and to also have the question as to the missing pieces of the wreck explained in detail, as well as how the ship broke apart. This worked very well with the 2-hour show with James Cameron (Titanic: The Final Word - Nat Geo channel) and his "team" of 8 specialists who provided keen insight as to Titanic's breakup and descent into the sea.
While many have tried to point a finger and something or someone regarding WHY Titanic sank, there is ONE factor I would like you to consider.
And I will do so in a minute.
--Can we say that Titanic lacked the proper number of lifeboats?
Designer Thomas Andrews argued for SIXTY-ONE lifeboats, but got (only) TWENTY, which was six ABOVE the limit required by maritime laws at the time. (lifeboats were added by tonnage, with a sixteen boat limit)
So Titanic was in "compliance" of the laws...
-- Captain Edward Smith was "racing" across the sea to set a record.
Granted that 22 knots was a brisk pace in those days, but they were well SOUTH of the pack ice and ice fields, so they believed they were in no danger. The Californinan, another British ship radioed they were surrounded by ice (10 miles away), but Titanic's wireless operator told them to stop jamming THEIR wireless signals to the mainland (people wanted messages sent to others...like a Victorian cell phone...bragging rights for the rich)
-- Some will contend that poor quality rivets were to blame for seems tearing along the hull.
Similar rivets were tested using MODERN techniques, and they withstood over 35,000 lbs pressure!
The surrounding steel deformed rather than have the rivets pop.
And yes, the water temperature might have had something to do with the molecular changes brought about by the stress inflicted by the force of side-swiping the iceberg.
-- There was no moon with which to see oncoming bergs, and the ONLY way to tell that one was near, was to notice the absence of stars along the horizon, for it was a clear (and calm) night. There was no wake along the surface of the water to denote an approaching iceberg.
-- Andrews told the captain that the damage was mortal and that Titanic would remain afloat for possibly another hour.
In fact, the ship remained afloat for TWO hours and fifteen minutes, surpassing even the designer's projection.
-- Most ships when they sink tend to LIST to port or starboard, finally rolling over.
Titanic did not. Any list was barely perceptible and that meant that ALL lifeboats were able to be lowered away, unlike other ships that were unable to launch one entire side of lifeboats, adding to the death count.
besides, lifeboats are meant to ferry passengers to rescue ships that arrive...
-- Titanic had no other ship in the immediate area, save for the Californian, whose wireless operator had gone to bed for the night,as their ship wasn't moving with all the ice they had around them. The survivors of Titanic were fortunate that the Carpathian was able to arrive when it did.
So...what can *I* postulate from ALL of this?
That there was no ONE determining factor that led to the demise of Titanic.
It...was...FATE (destiny's sibling) that sank that ocean liner...no more, no less.
All the small things, inconsequential as they might have been accumulated, built up until there was no other outcome for what transpired.
Second-guessing all the "woulda, coulda shouldas" in the world might have prevented this catastrophe, but they did not.
It was allowed to play out, as fate intended, and with the predictable outcome.
The story of this liner didn't end in the North Atlantic...it only began.
Thanks to the creation of the International Ice Patrol, not one person has lost their life due to accidents involving icebergs since, and safety protocols were changed to ensure that ALL passengers and crew have a seat on a lifeboat.
Often times, it takes a tragedy to wake us up...much like Apollo 1, or Challenger.
We need a swift lick in our complacency from time to time, so as to not allow any arrogance we might derive from our accomplishments to trump those accomplishments.
We learn from our mistakes, and FATE is there to make sure that occurs.
And I do believe we all become better human beings as a result, however tragic a lesson we learn in the process.
Don't forget to think of those suffering the twisters along the Midwest from TX to KS (and all points in between), also...and do whatever you feel you need to to help. Nothing is ever too small.
Have yourselves a great week.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


Momma Fargo said...

Hip, hip hooray for Thomas Barnes! That's why the right to carry is so important...for the good guys. Bad guys are always going to break the rules and find a way to have a gun. Why not arm the good guys? LOL

Have a great day, Bob G. !

Bob G. said...

Momma Fargo:
And THAT is why you're my FAVORITE Hawaiian-themed party-goer...you got a REAL good fashion sense...a nice gun "goes with everything"...right?

Hey, thanks for taking the time to stop on by today and comment,.

Roll safe (and luau-free) out there.

CWMartin said...

Don't exactly believe in fate... or karma (despite my constant invoking of it). I'd say that SOMEONE noticed a strong similarity between the Titanic and the Tower of Babel...

Bob G. said...

Normally, I tend to be a realist and hold karma AND fate in lesser regard that perhaps I should.
The TOB analogy is something I didn't even think about, but that makes sense.

Whenever MANKIND gets a bit too haughty (for whatever reason and by whatever means), there is always a "higher power" to which we all become answerable.

To be permitted to bulld, create, or achieve is one thing...
To sit back and believe that We are the architects of such things ALONE (and that absolutely nothing can happen to change that) seems a bit presumptuous on our part.

I liken that to tempting "fate"...
(or thumbing one's nose at that higher power).
Either one can get you in a world of hurt.

Thanks for stopping on by today and taking the time to comment.

You stay safe up in Scrappy Hollow.