Empire State Building gets in the way of drone

drone dork

A New Jersey man was flying his drone over Manhattan Thursday night when a historic landmark, the Empire State Building, very rudely got in its flight path. The drone crashed into the skyscraper’s 40th floor and ended up tumbling down a few stories to rest on the ledge of the 36th floor…

The drone pilot, 27-year-old Sean Riddle, enlisted the help of the security guards at the Empire State Building to try to get his robot back. Security said sure and then went right behind Riddle’s back and called the cops. Riddle was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and violating the city’s rules on flying these unmanned aerial vehicles.

Cops say they’re not sure if the drone is still stuck up there or not, so maybe keep an eye out when you’re on 34th Street.


Corn dog crash in Louisiana closes Interstate Highway

Crews in Louisiana are still working to clean up the mess that was left when an 18-wheeler carrying corn dogs bound for California overturned on the section of I-220 that connects to LA 3132.

During the crash outside Shreveport, more than half of the 76,800 corn dogs on the truck ended up on the side of the road.

According to police, the crash happened around 3:40 a.m. Tuesday when the driver flipped the 18-wheeler and hit a guard rail.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Luckily the only injuries were those sustained by the Foster Farms corn dogs.

It’s unclear if the driver was carrying Mini Honey Crunchy Corn Dogs, Jumbo Honey Crunchy Corn Dogs, Chili Cheese Corn Dogs or Honey Crunchy Corn Dogs.

Fortunately, there’s little need to repackage the corn dogs potentially injured or abused by contact with the highway. The typical consumer of this uniquely American treat wouldn’t notice any difference in flavor, texture or bouquet.

General Bernanke took charge of 2008 War on Recession

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

In December 2008, Ben S. Bernanke, the self-effacing chairman of the Federal Reserve, declared war against a cascading recession that the Fed was late to see coming and took charge as general.

Breaking with protocol as the Federal Open Market Committee convened on the afternoon of Dec. 15, Bernanke asked his colleagues’ “indulgence” to speak first. Faced with cutting the benchmark interest rate to zero to fight a worsening crisis, Bernanke said the FOMC was about to embark on new approaches that contained “deep and difficult issues.”

“We are at a historic juncture, both for the U.S. economy and for the Federal Reserve,” said Bernanke…“The financial and economic crisis is severe despite extraordinary efforts not only by the Federal Reserve but also by other policymakers here and around the world.”

The Fed yesterday published meeting transcripts that reveal new details about the closed-door deliberations among policy makers as the financial crisis unfolded during 2008….The transcripts show policy makers had missed many warning signs earlier in the year. By December, as they gathered in the Fed’s Board Room beneath a bowl-shaped chandelier dangling two stories above, they understood they were in an economic emergency that required innovative, aggressive action.

The tale of a solitary event that led to policies agreed to by Congress and the Party of No – so fearful were the consequences. Since then, as part of a global dialectic, the analysis and response that flowed from a scholar of the Great Depression has lifted our economy back to merely struggling – from the prospect of crashing and burning.

The article is worth a read. The transcripts will doubtless end up as the source of one more film about the events. Predictable fools will chatter in hindsight analysis. Most of our politicians won’t learn a damned thing.

Latest US drone strike – a US Navy guided-missile cruiser

Safety record? A BQM-74 washed ashore in the Philippines after crashing off Guam

The guided-missile cruiser struck by an aerial-target drone during a training exercise off Ventura County returned to San Diego on Sunday for assessment and repair, officials said.

The Chancellorsville was struck on its port side by an BQM-74 series drone. Two sailors suffered burns.

The ship returned to San Diego under its own power…

Navy specialists are examining the extent of damage to the ship. Other technicians are investigating the possible cause of the drone malfunction.

The drone, controlled from Point Mugu, was being used during a routine exercise meant to test the ship’s radar system’s tracking ability. The test was not designed for the ship to shoot down the drone

Navy officials did not have any immediate records of any similar accident in which a drone struck a ship.

Not even footnotes about hitting any other nation’s ship either.

OTOH, you have to wonder if they were trying to shoot down the drone – and the drone won?

Hedge funds planned on a killing in Iceland. Iceland says, “Piss off!”

Tourists steaming in the Blue Lagoon

When Iceland’s banks failed in 2008 under $85 billion of debt, dozens of hedge funds flocked to the island betting they could make money buying up creditor claims. Five years later, they’re still waiting.

The firms, including Davidson Kempner Capital Management LLC and Taconic Capital Advisors LP, snapped up the claims on the lenders’ assets at prices far below face value. They were wagering, as they did when Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. went bust, that they’d profit as markets recovered, bank assets were sold off and creditors repaid. Over the years, about 80 firms joined, including Paulson & Co., which had made more than $1 billion betting on Lehman claims…

What the investors, some of them managing more money than Iceland’s $14 billion economy, may not have factored in was the backlash in the country of 320,000 people against the speculative Wall Street culture that, in their view, helped cause the failures of Glitnir Bank hf, Kaupthing Bank hf and Landsbanki Islands hf. While Lehman has paid out more than $40 billion to claim holders in the past five years, the hedge funds have yet to get any distributions from the Icelandic banks’ estates. The government, elected in April on a platform that included providing mortgage debt relief to Icelanders, has proposed paying the funds only part of their claims and using the difference to finance its campaign promise…

Attacks on the country’s banks “give off an unpleasant odor of unscrupulous dealers who have decided to make a last stab at breaking down the Icelandic financial system,” Morgunbladid newspaper editor David Oddsson said at the central bank’s annual meeting. “They will not get away with it.”

Keep on rocking in the Free World. Especially when the center of that world apparently is Reykjavik.

If you have nothing else to worry about over the next few days…

Scientists say a 1-ton research satellite will crash to Earth in the next few days but they aren’t sure where.

The Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer satellite will descend from an altitude of about 100 miles…

European Space Agency officials said when its about 50 miles above Earth, it will break apart and most of the pieces will burn up before they hit the ground Sunday or Monday.

A total of about 440 pounds of fragments of the satellite are expected to hit the ground.

“At present we can not say where the re-entry is going to happen except that it is not going to happen north of the 85 northern latitude or south of 85 southern latitude,” said Professor Heiner Klinkrad of the ESA.

“We are in contact with national civil protection agencies throughout Europe, of ESA member states, so they get all the information we have on the re-entry prediction and that also includes information on emergencies in case parts of the satellite fall on inhabited areas.”

So, if this piece of space junk lands on you – the appropriate civil authorities will know where to find your body. Whatever is left after impact. 🙂