‘Crown Fire’ forces residents in Southern California to evacuate homes

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‘Crown Fire’ forces residents in Southern California to evacuate homes

Friday, July 30, 2010

Antelope Valley, California — A huge wildfire that has been burning in the High Desert of Southern California since 2:00 pm (2200 UTC) yesterday continues to threaten residents in the city of Palmdale in the Antelope Valley region of the Los Angeles County this afternoon. Mandatory evacuation orders have been set in place, affecting 2,000 homes.

The fire is one of three that ignited yesterday in the Mojave Desert and San Gabriel Mountains. The first was a 30-acre fire that began to the west of Lancaster in the Fairmont area. It was contained and suppressed by mid-afternoon, but the other two fires ignited while firefighters were battling the first. The second fire, the “Briggs Fire”, began shortly after 2:00 pm near 8334 Soledad Canyon Road and Briggs Road, south of the freeway. It burned 500 acres south of the 14 Freeway, but the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACFD) now has it contained, and firefighters are hopeful that it will burn itself out as it edges closer to the 160,577-acre burn area of last year’s Station Fire. The third fire, the “Crown Fire”, broke out at around the same time as the Briggs Fire on the northern side of the 14 Freeway near Acton. The Crown fire has so far burned 13,000 acres and has been heading north into Leona Valley and Palmdale.

Over 800 firefighters are now tackling the Crown Fire on the ground, Boeing 747 and McDonnell Douglas DC-10 fixed-wing aircraft have taken to the skies to drop Phos-Chek slurry (a red powdery fire retardant that is a mixture of mostly water and fertilizer, and doesn’t evaporate) on the fire, and modified Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters known as “Firehawks” are making water-drops. As well as LACFD, firefighters from Los Angeles City Fire Department, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) are also helping to battle the fire. Weather conditions and topography have hindered their efforts, as temperatures rose to 98 degrees Fahrenheit today, with windspeeds of 25mph. Tonight, the National Weather Service predicts winds will reach as high as 50mph.

The fire burned down a Los Angeles County Sheriff Department communications tower, forcing Lancaster and Palmdale-based deputies to set up mobile operations bases and coordinate their efforts using cell phones and computers. Last night, the California Aqueduct acted as a barrier to the fire.

Residents of Leona Valley, Lake Elizabeth, Ritter Ranch, Rancho Vista, Ana Verde and Palmdale received Reverse 911 telephone calls last night alerting them of mandatory evacuations. Many of the evacuation orders were lifted this morning as the spread of the fire decreased. However, as winds picked up in the afternoon, fire embers were carried across the aqueduct and the fire is now heading towards a highly-populated area of Palmdale. Residents who were allowed back into their homes were re-evacuated to Red Cross shelters set up in local schools and parks.The fire is also threatening five high-voltage power lines that supply electricity to much of Southern California. 21 customers in the immediate vicinity have been without power since yesterday.

At 5:00 pm, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, police and fire officials held a press conference. The governor said that the fire was 20% contained and had burned 13,000 acres. It is thought that the fire began when workers in Agua Dulce caused sparks by hammering the bolts when they were removing a tire from a rim.

Car and train collide in Buffalo, New York

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Car and train collide in Buffalo, New York

Friday, January 12, 2007

Buffalo, New York —Reports say that a subway train and a car have collided in downtown Buffalo, New York.

Witnesses say that calls to 911 came in just before 12:00 p.m. [EST] that a car had driven onto the tracks of the Metro Rail operated by the Niagra Frontier Transit Authority at the Theatre District rail stop which is near West Tupper and Main Streets in Downtown Buffalo.

The train was traveling on the northbound track toward the Allen Medical Station when the vehicle apparently began to drive norhtbound away from the train. The train did stop but still managed to make light contact with the vehicle from behind.

The driver of the car is reported to be a 73 year-old male who was not injured in the accident but is currently being evaluated at Erie County Medical Center. Witnesses say the man was “out of it” when police arrived. It is unknown if charges will be filed against the driver.

There were no injuries to passengers and witnesses have stated that all the passengers on the train were evacuated.

Buffalo is now the smallest city in the U.S. to have a subway system.

Co-creator of Berenstain Bears dies at 82

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Co-creator of Berenstain Bears dies at 82

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Stan Berenstain, co-creator of the popular Berenstain Bears children’s books, has died due to complications from cancer at age 82. Along with his wife, Jan Berenstain, Stan and Jan Berenstain published over 200 books aimed at teaching children to read and helping them with lessons such as sharing, new siblings.

The first Berenstain Bears book was published in 1962 and titled “The Big Honey Hunt”. With the help of head of children’s publishing at Random House, author Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, the Berenstains created a franchise that drew millions of young readers.

Until 1997, when they hired an employee to run the company’s computer, Mr. Berenstain and his family managed the entire ursine enterprise, which has branched out into two television series, videos, stage musicals, toys, cereal and other products.

According to an interview of the Berenstain Bears official website, Papa Bear is based on Stan, Mama on Jan; Stan clarifies that he’s “not as stupid” as Papa.

Stan fed his interest in drawing as a child, by drawing on paper bags and cardboard.

John Constable painting location mystery solved after 195 years

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John Constable painting location mystery solved after 195 years
September 3rd, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The mystery of the location of a viewpoint used by English painter John Constable has been solved, after nearly 200 years. The Stour Valley and Dedham Church was painted in Suffolk, England, between 1814 and 1815, but changes to the landscape meant that the spot he chose was not known, despite the best efforts of historians and art experts.

Now the puzzle has been answered. Martin Atkinson, who works for the National Trust as property manager for East Suffolk, used clues from the painting and looked at old maps to track down the viewpoint. Trees had grown, a hedgerow had been planted and boundaries had moved or disappeared, but Atkinson eventually worked out where Constable had stood. He said, “When I discovered that I had worked out the location where Constable painted this particular masterpiece, I couldn’t believe it. All the pieces of the jigsaw finally fitted together.”

Atkinson used an 1817 map of East Bergholt, where Constable grew up, as a reference point, but found that the view would have changed not long after the painting was completed. “The foreground didn’t fit at all, it was quite unusual as we know Constable painted it in the open air so he would have been standing in the scene. The hedgerow in his work no longer exists and there’s another hedgerow that runs across the scene today which wasn’t there. When you stand on the road on which he would have stood, and use the oak tree as a reference point, you see the same view. It’s great to see where an old master stood – and be inspired by the same view,” he said.

Suffolk, where Constable painted many of his finest paintings, is often called “Constable country”. Most, but not all, of the locations that Constable depicted are known. The picture is now housed in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.

Study shows that aspirin might do more harm than good

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Study shows that aspirin might do more harm than good
September 1st, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Monday, August 31, 2009

A study performed at Edinburgh University, Scotland has shown that aspirin may do more harm to your health than good.

The research at the university in Scotland was to assess the effects of taking aspirin on a daily basis where no prior or existing medical conditions would merit its prescription. The researchers monitored 3,350 patients aged between 50–75, who were thought to be at risk of heart disease, but did not show any significant symptoms at the start of the study. Over an eight-year time period, 181 of those people taking aspirin had heart attacks or strokes.

More than 3,000 men aged 50–75 were randomly assigned to receive a daily dose of aspirin or a placebo pill and were watched over the eight year time period. There were 34 major bleeds in people taking aspirin, or 2%, in comparison to 1.2% of those who took the placebo. The Aspirin for Asymptomatic Atherosclerosis (AAA) have found that the routine use of aspirin does not prevent vascular disease or conditions and the use of it “could not be supported.”

Peter Weissberg, a professor at the British Heart Foundation, the company which was partly responsible in funding for the trials said, “we know that patients with symptoms of artery disease, such as angina, heart attack or stroke, can reduce their risk of further problems by taking a small dose of aspirin each day. The findings of this study agree with our current advice that people who do not have symptomatic or diagnosed artery or heart disease should not take aspirin, because the risks of bleeding may outweigh the benefits. Because it’s been around for a long time, people think, ‘It must be safe and it can’t do any harm’. They are taking it ‘just in case’ but it’s much more dangerous than some other drugs that people get concerned about, like statins.”

Professor Gerry Fowkes presented the research from the University of Edinburgh at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Barcelona, Spain, which was attended by more than 30,000 heart specialists.

“Our research suggests that aspirin should not be prescribed to the general population, although it does have benefits for people with established heart disease or other conditions,” stated Fowkes.

Cars big winner as 34th Annual Annie Awards handed out

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Cars big winner as 34th Annual Annie Awards handed out
August 24th, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cars drove home the big prize last night, from the 34th Annual Annie Awards. The animation industry’s highest honor, ASIFA-Hollywood’s Annies recognise contributions to animation, writing, directing, storyboarding, voice acting, composing, and much more.

As mentioned, Pixar took home the big prize last night, after facing stiff competition from four other Happy Feet, Monster House, Open Season, and Over the Hedge.

But the biggest winner of the night didn’t get a “Best Animated Feature” nod at all. Flushed Away won five feature animation categories including Animated Effects (Scott Cegielski), Character Animation (Gabe Hordos), Production Design (Pierre-Olivier Vincent), Voice Acting (Sir Ian McKellan as Toad), Writing (Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, Chris Lloyd, Joe Keenan, and Will Davies).

Over The Hedge won awards for Directing (Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick), Storyboarding (Gary Graham), and Character Design (Nicolas Marlet).

Of little surprise, Randy Newman won an Annie for Cars in the “Music in an Animated Feature Production” category. Newman has won many Oscars for his movie music, and has a nomination this year for the song “Our Town”. Newman didn’t attend the Annies, instead picking up a Grammy for “Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media”.

DisneyToon Studios’ Bambi II won “Best Home Entertainment Production”, while “Best Animated Short Subject” went to Blue Sky Studios’ No Time For Nuts, which is based on Ice Age.

“Best Animated Video Game” went to Flushed Away The Game, while a United Airlines ad named “Dragon” won a “Best Animated Television Commercial” Annie for DUCK Studios.

Contents

  • 1 Foster an Annie fav on TV
  • 2 Wikinews was there
  • 3 Related news
  • 4 Sources

Canada’s supercomputer goes online

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Canada’s supercomputer goes online
August 20th, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Friday, June 19, 2009

The University of Toronto SciNet Consortium went online yesterday with the IBM System x iDataPlex Supercomputer.

U of T’s IBM System x is now the fastest computer outside of the United States, the largest Intel processor based IBM installation internationally and the twelfth most powerful globally. It will be used for a wide variety of operations, such as analysing climate change models, aerospace, astrophysics, genetics, bioinformatics, chemical physics, medical imaging research and other highly calculation-intensive tasks.

The C$50 million dollar supercomputer can perform 300 trillion calculations per second and uses the equivalent amount of energy which would power 4,000 homes. The supercomputer will be cooled by outdoor winter air assisted by a water based cooling system during warmer summer months.

The computer will provide computations for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) that started preliminary experiments on September 10, 2008 at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC will produce cataclysmic collisions that will mimic the conditions that existed shortly after the beginning of time. The IBM System x’s 30,240 Intel 5500 series 2.53 GHz processor cores — arranged in 45 file-like stacks — will examine the results of the particle collisions.

Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

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Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs
August 18th, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Tuesday, March 29, 2005A team of Australian surgeons yesterday reattached both hands and one foot to 10-year-old Perth boy, Terry Vo, after a brick wall which collapsed during a game of basketball fell on him, severing the limbs. The wall gave way while Terry performed a slam-dunk, during a game at a friend’s birthday party.

The boy was today awake and smiling, still in some pain but in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery, according to plastic surgeon, Mr Robert Love.

“What we have is parts that are very much alive so the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving,” Mr Love told reporters today.

“The fact that he is moving his fingers, and of course when he wakes up he will move both fingers and toes, is not a surprise,” Mr Love had said yesterday.

“The question is more the sensory return that he will get in the hand itself and the fine movements he will have in the fingers and the toes, and that will come with time, hopefully. We will assess that over the next 18 months to two years.

“I’m sure that he’ll enjoy a game of basketball in the future.”

The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges, resulted in the three limbs being cut through about 7cm above the wrists and ankle.

Terry’s father Tan said of his only child, the injuries were terrible, “I was scared to look at him, a horrible thing.”

The hands and foot were placed in an ice-filled Esky and rushed to hospital with the boy, where three teams of medical experts were assembled, and he was given a blood transfusion after experiencing massive blood loss. Eight hours of complex micro-surgery on Saturday night were followed by a further two hours of skin grafts yesterday.

“What he will lose because it was such a large zone of traumatised skin and muscle and so on, he will lose some of the skin so he’ll certainly require lots of further surgery regardless of whether the skin survives,” said Mr Love said today.

The boy was kept unconscious under anaesthetic between the two procedures. In an interview yesterday, Mr Love explained why:

“He could have actually been woken up the next day. Because we were intending to take him back to theatre for a second look, to look at the traumatised skin flaps, to close more of his wounds and to do split skin grafting, it was felt the best thing to do would be to keep him stable and to keep him anaesthetised.”

Professor Wayne Morrison, director of the respected Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery and head of plastic and hand surgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said he believed the operation to be a world first.

Media reports exaggerate cell phone risks again

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Media reports exaggerate cell phone risks again
August 18th, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Monday, September 22, 2008

Several mainstream news outlets have misstated and overstated a possible link between cellular phone use and decreased fertility in men. A single experiment, which has not yet been published in any peer reviewed journal or replicated by other scientists, observed an average decrease in sperm motility and an increase in free radicals among laboratory sperm samples that were exposed to radiation similar to the radiation produced by cellular phone use.

Dr. Ashok Agarwal of the Cleveland Clinic estimates the overall health impact of cellular phones as “very safe” and reassured a Cable News Network reporter that the research was too premature to advise lifestyle changes for the public. “Our study has not provided proof that you should stop putting cell phones in your pocket. There are many things that need to be proven before we get to that stage.” He noted that his own cell phone was in his trouser pocket while he was giving the interview. Dr. Agarwal is the lead researcher for the study and Director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.

Cell phone industry spokesman Joe Farren agreed with Dr. Agarwal’s assessment about the devices’ overall safety: “The weight of the published scientific evidence, in addition to the opinion of global health organizations, shows that there is no link between wireless usage and adverse health effects.”

The controlled experiment used sperm samples from thirty-two donors: twenty-three healthy men and nine men who had fertility problems. Sperm were then exposed to radiation for one hour at 850 megahertz, the most common frequency for cell phones in the United States. Dr. Agarwal’s study raises a possible concern that cell phones kept on belts or trouser pockets and used in conjunction with wireless bluetooth earpieces “could cause harmful effects due to the proximity of the phones and the exposure that they are causing to the gonads.” He also noted that follow-up research is needed to determine whether the body’s skin and other tissue affords protection from the potential damage.

Several news sources ran misleading reports that overstated the risk.

The Los Angeles Times asserted a fallacious causal relationship that Dr. Agarwhal had not drawn and ignored his opinions that cellular phones are safe and no change in phone use is necessary. Instead, the piece opened by ordering men to stop keeping cell phones in their pockets:

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“Attention male cellphone users of reproductive age: Take that phone out of your pocket. Information published today suggests that the radio-frequency energy released by cellphones decreases sperm quality in men.”

Ciol News ran a similar account:

“Beware men! Do you have the habit of keeping your mobile phone in the pockets of your trousers while talking on hand-free? Or do clip the mobile to your belt while talking? If so you are doing that at the cost of your fertility, warns a recent study.”

Mobile Magazine went a step further, also alluding to previous media exaggerations about cellular phone dangers:

“Oh no! It seems that mobile phones are getting even more problematic than ever. After getting linked to everything from migraines to cancer, it seems that the radiation from cell phones is now being connected to stupid sperm. Yes, I’m talking about the little swimmers that lead into a conversation about the birds and the bees.”

Mobile Magazine also ended in a misleading manner with “I wonder if it’s healthier to put your phone in your shirt pocket instead,” failing to mention that Dr. Agarwal had addressed that concern and had called it an unnecessary precaution.

Not all news sources overplayed the findings. CNN and United Press International ran balanced reports that did not suggest dangers or precautions beyond the lead researcher’s conclusions.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

‘Aviator,’ ‘Baby’ dominate 2005 Academy Awards

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‘Aviator,’ ‘Baby’ dominate 2005 Academy Awards
August 18th, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Monday, February 28, 2005File:Oscar icon by reiartur.png

The 77th Annual Academy Awards were held on February 27th, 2005 and broadcast live across the world. Some of the more poignant moments included a tribute to Johnny Carson, frequent host of the Awards, as well as a video tribute to many people involved in the movie industry who died in the past year, including Rodney Dangerfield, Ossie Davis, Christopher Reeve, Marlon Brando, and Ronald Reagan, set to the music of Yo Yo Ma.