Thursday, September 29, 2005

Monday, September 26, 2005

war is outdated, says the Dalai Lama

from the Yahoo headlines today. by ROSA CIRIANNI, Associated Press Writer

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The Dalai Lama told 36,000 people at Rutgers Stadium that the concept of war was outdated and young people have a responsibility to make this century one of peace. More...

tags: conflict resolution, peace, Tibet, war

from boingboing today

this is from a novel currently being published on the Internet.

"So I'm building a tape-loading seashell robot toaster out of discarded obsolete technology because the world is full of capacious, capable, disposable junk and it cries out to be used again. It's a potlatch: I have so much material and computational wealth that I can afford to waste it on frivolous junk. I think that's why the collectors buy it, anyway."

tags: information architecture, portal, themepunk, perfect junk

also this announcement:

Online Video and the Future of Television
one-day conference in Berkeley
sponsored by the Intelligent Television project

Friday, September 30, 2005
9.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m.
The Hillside Club
2286 Cedar Street
Berkeley, CA 94709

More than 30 million hours of unique television programming are broadcast every year worldwide, and a growing fraction of it is digital, along with a flood of video from individuals, new production companies, and archives. The availability of large-scale public and private archives of television, video, and film offers enormous promise for educators, entrepreneurs, producers, broadcasters, and investors.

Nearly every aspect of television and video today is in transition. Storage is moving from tape to disk, distribution is moving from broadcast networks to the Internet, schedules are giving way to unscheduled or on-demand access, and viewing now happens via PCs, mobile phones, and home theaters.

This one-day conference, created by and Intelligent Television (, brings together archivists, educators, technologists, entrepreneurs, producers, legal experts, and investors to explore the enormous promise offered by the availability of online video and television content. Demonstrations and interactive panel discussions will highlight new video technologies, services, legal issues, and economic models. Participants from diverse -- and until now, largely disconnected -- specialties will be especially encouraged to interact.

Friday, September 23, 2005

a picture from this morning.
shown here is a granite landscape element by M. Koike,
one of the neighbors.

tags, Mitsunori Koike,, mori, forest, ishi, stone, moku, mokuteki

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

goats on a mountaintop

Photo by Mack Whatley.

from boingboing sept 19- Free Culture UK congress, Oct 1 Tom sez, Free Culture UK will hold their first national membership meeting at the World Summit on Free Information Infrastructures, Limehouse Town Hall, London, at 5.30pm Saturday 1st October. The meeting will cover the innovative Public Domain Burn campaign, the 14+14 copyright term reduction campaign and how to spread Creative Commons in the UK. The event is open to all and will help decide the direction of the next year's campaigning. Free Culture UK is a grassroots movement that supports an open, participatory culture. It was founded this summer with two aims: 1. to promote and empower creativity through social, legal and political means; and 2. to oppose those who would restrict our creative freedom. Local groups are already running successful projects such as Remix Reading, Remix Brighton, Loca Records, CNUK and Liquid Culture. Rufus Pollock, a member of Free Culture UK, said "with six local groups [Birmingham, Brighton, Deptford, Exeter, Leeds and Reading] already running, this is a network ready to make a real difference. Congress will give anyone interested in culture and creativity a chance to decide what our grassroots movement campaigns on over the next year, including how we promote Creative Commons and the Public Domain, and what sort of copyright system we lobby for." Anyone planning to attend should add their name to the wiki page. tags: design, sustainable systems, wiki, read, write, grassroots, predation, appropriation, culture as resource

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

dibs on the stuffed leopard and other important news

hi folks,

I just read an article in today's Washington Post by EJ Dionne called End of the Bush Era. those who are following the 'impeach Bush' meme in Technorati will no doubt find it an interesting read...

I also found an article today in the Christian Science Monitor called An Activist for Moderation that I like VERY much. It calls on Americans to strive for consensus & moderation in the interest of healing our nation.
I could not agree more with author Carla Seaquist's assertion that political and social extremism "combine in a toxic mix imperiling our security, making us spiritually ill, and gaining us the contempt of the world. Has moderation ever looked so good?"

what else... I read some FREAKY stuff in boingboing today...The Guardian says that the skins of executed prisoners in China are being harvested for use in cosmetics...sorry if that completely freaks you out...if it is any consolation this COMPLETELY freaks me out...

ok that's it for the freaky stuff. next item is a bit of art news. Joe Kelley will be teaching plein-air (open-air landscape) drawing at the Jacksonville Center in on that can be found on the loop under "scratch house news".

Also in the loop I have some pictures up of a friend's farm-shop. It is such a pleasant little shop and I had such a nice visit there today. I forgot to bring my money when I visited but I call dibs on the stuffed leopard with the handmade necklace. And the antler.

ok well I gotta go, thanks for reading.


tags: China, death penalty, cosmetics, human rights, impeach Bush, Bush administration, politics, art, democracy, Floyd, Virginia

some pictures from the greenstar shop

if you don't want another Cold War...say so!

Hi folks,

Below is a link to a Washington Post article published on Sunday. It describes a revised strategy by the Pentagon which will allow for the possibility of preemptive nuclear strikes against banned weapons.

Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan

I don't know about you, but I don't think I could stand another Cold War. The first one made me a nervous wreck. I spend my whole childhood convinced I was going to die before I became an adult.

Do we really need to put today's kids through that? Not to mention The Unmentionable.

If you think that the Pentagon is cooking up a terrible idea here, now is the time to SAY SO. And don't just vent to the blogosphere with doom and gloom "nice knowin' ya, world!" type posts. We owe the world more than that.

Even though it may seem to be the most sensible thing to do right now, PLEASE do not go hide under your bed with a bottle of whiskey. PLEASE make it your working assumption that humans are perfectly capable of creating lasting peace on Earth, and make that your starting point for the day.

If you have a blog, why not use it to publish open letters to your elected representatives telling them how you feel about this issue? Or send your elected representatives an e-mail or a letter. Or write a letter to the editor of your local paper, or write to a branch of the mainstream media. Find a petition to sign. Find some way to go on record with your opinions on this matter.

Tell whoever will listen that humans are destined for greater things than cannon fodder.

Don't just depress your friends and co-workers by telling them the world is about to end, and doesn't that suck. The world is not about to end. The world and its people are tough. We are even tougher than war, believe it or not.

Here is what I think: We are really NOT THAT FAR AWAY from peace. People are basically good and they have an inherent desire for social harmony. All the heartwarming stories we see and read in the aftermath of terrible disasters are the rule, not the exception in human nature.

Slimy politicians and other criminals have a great talent for dividing us and turning us against one another over trivial issues so they can steal from us while we are arguing. It's time for us to call BS on them once and for all.

with warm wishes for a beautiful day,

tags: pentagon, washington post, war, nuclear war, preemptive strike, weapons of mass destruction, WMD, peace, consensus

Monday, September 12, 2005

after we impeach him, what then?

Hi folks,

So, the Impeach Bush blogstorm is back on top in Technorati today. It dipped briefly to #2 but has been #1 since then as far as I know...on that subject here is a Newsweek article called How Bush Blew It. I saw a newscast this morning that says there are 1600 children separated from their parents or orphaned by the Katrina disaster...unbelievable...

in art news De Stenen Poort sent me some info on the stone sculpture symposium that will take place in the Netherlands from May 25 to June 2006. The deadline for application is November 1, 2005.

in the global warming department...there are a few articles in the loop about carbon loss in soils as a result of elevated temperature. I know this maybe sounds a little boring, I mean, who cares about dirt? but this is actually pretty huge. carbon loss from soil can be really significant, especially when soil is warmer. its a catch-22...the faster soils heat up, the faster they lose carbon...

I asked a scientist friend about this and learned that conservation tillage can keep soils at a lower temperature, thus reducing carbon loss. Microbial activity is greater in tilled soils, and that makes heat. Also no-till fields are generally lighter in color, which keeps the temperature lower.

Speaking of soil disturbance something that has always blown my mind is that we estimate our economic health as a nation on the construction of new homes. Preparing land for new home construction is just devastating to the soil. I can't even look at a new home site without getting a little queasy, now that I know what it costs us in soil.

I remember seeing a lecture by Dr. Norman Meyer in which he addressed the issue of productivity and the measurement of economic health. I came away from it thinking, The Gross National Product is wack. It is supposed to measure our productivity but all it really seems to measure is how hyperactive we are as a nation.


here is an example of the crazy stuff that goes into calculating the GNP: when a drunk driver hits another car and two cars full of people go to the hospital by ambulance or helicopter, the money that all that costs is a positive for the gross national product.


Smoking is another crazy example: Cigarettes cost money. They make people sick. The sick people need doctors. All this helps to keep the GNP puffed up.

Yep! WE are prosperous. We are so prosperous it's killing us.

Everyone who is helping to keep the Impeach Bush meme up and running should make sure we aren't so busy calling for his head on a pike that we forget to do the work that needs to be done to keep our Earth--and our civilization--in one piece.

Politics are a dirty, slimy mess and they always have been. We shouldn't get all shocked and self-congratulating when we find out that a politician has been robbing us blind, commiting despicable acts in our name, and generally making an ass of himself. Maybe I'm jaded, but isn't that what politicians do?

I can't get very excited about the Impeach Bush meme because I can't see how impeaching Bush would make this world any better. If we impeach Bush now, someone will have to take his place and that someone will undoubtedly be a politician. Possibly a much worse one.

Or maybe the new someone will be a little better for a while but five or ten years later the pendulum will have swung the other way and someone else will be getting vilified and maybe impeached and people who are otherwise perfectly intelligent will waste precious time bickering and being angry at each other.

Meanwhile crop fields will keep sliding into the sea, kids will keep dying of starvation, the ice caps will keep melting and our insane lemming's march of productivity will never cease for a moment.

Divide and conquer. That is the politician's game. Get the masses to argue, then exploit any weakness you see in the ranks and use it to fatten your resume and extend your powers.

If the human race is too foolish to have figured this out by now, perhaps we really do deserve to get treated like sheep.

tags: ecology, global warming, impeach Bush, soil conservation, soil science, conservation tillage, Gross National Product, rat race, energy, oil, war, Newsweek, Katrina, Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, stone sculpture symposium, Netherlands, carbon sequestration, politics

Saturday, September 10, 2005

tech, art & Katrina news for September 10

hi folks,

The Impeach Bush blogstorm seems to be subsiding a bit with something called coolstreaming (?) replacing it as the top search term in Technorati...anyway I hear that Bush's approval ratings have dropped to 38% today...

Yahoo headlines say that Bush has vowed to make New Orleans it "more vibrant than ever"...hopefully "vibrant" is not simply going to mean "gentrified"...

from the NYT via Boingboing:

Some experts warn that the crisis atmosphere and the open federal purse are a bonanza for lobbyists and private companies and are likely to lead to the contract abuses, cronyism and waste that numerous investigations have uncovered in post-war Iraq.

From Naomi Klein, also via Boingboing:

Jimmy Reiss, chairman of the New Orleans Business Council, told Newsweek that he has been brainstorming about how "to use this catastrophe as a once-in-an-eon opportunity to change the dynamic". The council's wish list is well-known: low wages, low taxes, more luxury condos and hotels.

can't remember where I read it but my favorite headline of the past few days has been "the Mainstream Media Grows a Spine"...

New content in the loop includes an article about censorship and the top ten stories the media has chosen (?) to ignore in the past year...mountaintop removal was #10. Kudos to Appalachian Voice newspaper for its dogged determination to bring this issue to light...the Toothless Media should take some lessons from AV.

I hear on my TV that there is a local need for foster pet parents for some of the pets that have been rescued from the Gulf area...dogs, cats, and goats. Pretty much every pet story I read on Katrina makes me start crying.

I sure wish I could be a foster goat mom but I don't think I am quite ready for the challenge of keeping tabs on a goat. Goats are smart, I am warned. Very smart. They are quite the little Houdinis, I am told.

Lets see, what else. I will be hanging some work up at Oddfella's in Floyd soon and also in the next week or so will be hanging some really cool photos by Mack Whatley up at the Traces Gallery in the Jacksonville Center. Right now David Franusich has some great photos up there so take a look if you get a chance.

Lauren, the lady at Greenstar Farm, just gave me some flyers for the new shop they have opened at the farm. Vintage stuff, toys, books, herbal remedies, folk art, soap, curios, baskets, seashells etc etc. Call the shop at (540) 951-4810 for hours & directions.

Well I need to go now but thanks for reading. Have a great day.


tags: Blacksburg, Floyd, Virginia, art, tech, news, technorati, impeach Bush, New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, reconstruction, gentrification, censorship, mountaintop removal

Thursday, September 08, 2005

no photos of the dead, says FEMA

hi folks,

You may not have heard about it yet but FEMA has ordered the media not to take any photographs of the dead in New Orleans. This story was in Reuters on September 6, and I have seen no mention of it in any of the major media.

Kudos to boingboing for letting folks know about this alarming new edict. If it were not for technorati, this story may have been quite effectively buried.

All week I have been having bad nightmares about snakes and alligators and ruined buildings and lost children. Now these bad dreams are getting mixed up with coal slurry impoundment dams like the enormous one just above Marsh Fork Elementary in West Virginia.

Massey Coal needs to get their act together and fix the situation they have created in Sundial. It's starting to give me an ulcer worrying about those kids. And I don't even know any of them! I can't even imagine how worried I would be if I had a kid that went to school there.

Hopefully the folks at Massey will get a clue about the general level of environmental awareness people are reaching in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and the lightning-fast speed with which citizens are able to route information on corporate greed and apathy.

If our friendly corporate neighbors learn anything from New Orleans, let's hope that they really begin to understand that it's not nice to rape Mother Nature, and that it's even more foolish to bank on an endless supply of miracles when you do. That's not what miracles were made for.

tags: Katrina, Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, mountaintop removal coal mining, strip mining, area mining, corporate accountability, environmental ethics, ecology, energy policy, education, environmental education, resource management, Louisiana, West Virginia, Appalachia, Massey, boycott, buycott, biodiesel

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

required reading: reports from inside the astrodome

Reports from inside the Astrodome
What it is: a transcript of interviews with evacuees inside the Astrodome.
Via boingboing.

"While much of the news sounds very dire -- and nobody will argue this is a bad situation for the evacuees, no matter how well it is run -- many of the people in the Astrodome complex were in very good spirits and were quick to offer praise of the people of Houston. There are plenty of issues that need to be discussed, but the evacuees are keeping the area very clean and equilaterally said they were happier to be in the Astrodome than stuck in the Superdome or elsewhere in New Orleans."

tags: New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, FEMA

Monday, September 05, 2005

in response to Bush's vow to "make it right" for Katrina victims

"Make it right" is right, Mr. Bush. That you must.

No more disaster response plans that bank on us “dodging the bullet”.

No more class chasm. No more ecological ghettoes.

No more lame answers for people who deserve real ones.

You can, should, and must “make it right”, Mr. Bush. Really right.

Our nation needs healing. We don't want to play Spin Doctor.


tags: Hurricane Katrina, Katrina victims, Katrina's Mess, FEMA, New Orleans

Sunday, September 04, 2005

We know where they are...We HAVE to help save them!

hi folks,
below is an email I read this morning about Katrina victims still trapped in New Orleans.
PLEASE pressure the media to make the public aware of this situation.
Private assistance MUST be arranged for these folks.


I am writing this to describe a horrific situation in NOLA that few are aware of, and those who are aware are doing little or nothing. As many of you have likely observed, the national media outlets are suggesting that hurricane relief is finally leading to vast improvements with each hour that passes. Food and water are being delivered, power restored, levees repaired, water drainage plans developed, and those still living successfully evacuated. Many are reporting that the final areas are being checked for survivors, as well as those who have passed at the hands of Katrina (and more often, neglect).

Unfortunately, this is not the case. As demonstrated on's blog section, many individuals know the exact locations and WORKING telephone numbers of family members, most of whom are elderly, sickly, starving, and in serious need of medical attention. When able to get through on emergency telephone numbers, a feat not to be taken lightly, they are dismissed or told that dispatch would be sent immediately, yet no one has come, even though calls have been placed for days.

Many do not require full evacuation, but basic medical attention and/or supplies. Many are completely immobile, and unable to access the limited relief sites or food drops. I spoke to one such individual, Ms. Lee Livermore, who was still trapped in her home earlier this evening (around 6:00pm EST).

Her nephew, living in Michigan, explained to me that she is diabetic, has difficulty moving, and he has been in contact with the coast guard, emergency services, and even the governor's office, yet nothing is being done. Stranded on a 3rd floor apartment, with little food, no sweets, and low blood sugar, her outlook is not promising. This is just one case out of hundreds, probably thousands.

Incredibly, much of this information is available through, a resource many of the
media are utilizing, yet remains unreported. The television broadcasts refer to none of this, simply stressing the importance of financial contributions, encouraging National Guard membership for potential volunteers, and emphasizing the positive direction the situation is

For more information on these people who are stranded and requiring immediate assistance, please visit
Note: specific contact information and locations ARE provided

Some of these people, primarily those in high profile areas, such as universities and hospitals, have since been rescued. Others, however, are being ignored, even though their situation and status is easily discernable and their telephone contacts are reliable and consistent. Addresses are always provided, as is contact information for family and friends.

After speaking with stranded individuals and their family members, the severity of the situation is obvious, yet rescue workers are overwhelmed or dismissive, often a combination of the two, with each call placed. We are being bombarded with images of the care and rescue of healthy, able-bodied people, yet so many of those who need our attention most are completely helpless.

After having little success using the emergency numbers provided by a variety of organizations and websites, I called CNN to explain the distress that these individuals are in. I was told that they have a department compiling information of those who need assistance, and that
the office would be open on TUESDAY, after the Labor Day holiday, so the best course of action is to leave a voicemail.

Understandably outraged, I called MSNBC, where the woman I spoke with was also shocked. She told me they have a voicemail box that was checked every 15 minutes, and my information could be left there. It was, not surprisingly, full, and I was disconnected, as has occurred on every subsequent call.

I encourage anyone in a position to help to do everything they can to assure that those whose locations are known, especially those requiring medical attention, be assisted IMMEDIATELY, with other search and rescue operations taking a lesser priority. Just because these people
are less visible and indoors, some perhaps in dry areas, should not exempt them from the care and attention being relegated to others.

I also ask that those who are able complain about the policies of the major media networks, both in collecting information on those in need, as well as the reporting of improvements, when many are STILL ALIVE, but will starve and die of their conditions in the very near future.

I understand that the extremely limited resources need to be conserved and delivered where most needed. As it is easy to ascertain the condition and whereabouts of many of these people, through a mere phone call, something that rescue agencies and certainly the media have
access to, it seems beyond remiss that their perilous situations be ignored.

If anyone has additional questions, information, or advice, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Brittany Turner
Saugerties, NY

Emergency numbers are available to any who need them by visiting

Friday, September 02, 2005

Heroism & humanity at ground zero

Below is a post from the Nola View weblog.
Please do whatever you can to let the international community and the American people know about the real situation in New Orleans. And please help pray for all the victims of this terrible event.


The positive stories must get out

Name: Robert LeBlanc

Home: 9858769172


Subject: My Hurricane Story -- The Positive Stories Must Get Out

Story: Please help me to get this story out. We need to get the truth out and these people helped.

Jeff Rau, a family and now personal friend to whom I will forever be linked, and I were volunteering with a boat and pulling people out of the water on Wednesday. I have a first-hand experience of what we encountered. In my opinion, everything that is going on in the media is a complete bastardization of what is really happening. The result is that good people are dying and losing family members. I have my own set of opinions about welfare and people working to improve thier own lot instead of looking for handouts, but what is occurring now is well beyond those borders. These people need help and need to get out. We can sort out all of the social and political issues later, but human beings with any sense of compassion would agree that the travesty that is going on here in New Orleans needs to end and people's lives need to be saved and families need to be put back together. Now.

I will tell you that I would probably disagree with most of the people that still need to be saved on political, social, and cultural values. However, it must be noted that these people love thier friends and families like I do, desire to live like I do, and care for their respective communities (I was even amazed at the site of seemingly young and poor black people caring for sickly and seemingly well-to-do white people and tourists still needing evacuation from New Orleans' downtown area) the same way I care for mine.

Eight people in particular who stood out during our rescue and whose stories deserve to be told:

1.) We were in motor boats all day ferrying people back and forth approximately a mile and a half each way (from Carrolton down Airline Hwy to the Causeway overpass). Early in the day, we witnessed a black man in a boat with no motor paddling with a piece of lumber. He rescued people in the boat and paddled them to safety (a mile and a half). He then, amidst all of the boats with motors, turned around and paddled back out across the mile and a half stretch to do his part in getting more people out. He refused to give up or occupy any of the motored boat resources because he did not want to slow us down in our efforts. I saw him at about 5:00 p.m., paddling away from the rescue point back out into the neighborhoods with about a half mile until he got to the neighborhood, just two hours before nightfall. I am sure that his trip took at least an hour and a half each trip, and he was going back to get more people knowing that he'd run out of daylight. He did all of this with that two-by-four.

2.) One of the groups that we rescued were 50 people standing on the bridge that crosses over Airline Hwy just before getting to Carrolton Ave going toward downtown. Most of these people had been there, with no food, water, or anyplace to go since Monday morning (we got to them Wed afternoon) and surrounded by 10 feet of water all around them. There was one guy who had been there since the beginning, organizing people and helping more people to get to the bridge safely as more water rose on Wednesday morning. He did not leave the bridge until everyone got off safely, even deferring to people who had gotten to the bridge Wed a.m. and, although inconvenienced by loss of power and weather damage, did have the luxury of some food and some water as late as Tuesday evening. This guy waited on the bridge until dusk, and was one of the last boats out that night. He could have easily not made it out that night and been stranded on the bridge alone.

3.) The third story may be the most compelling. I will not mince words. This was in a really rough neighborhood and we came across five seemingly unsavory characters. One had scars from what seemed to be gunshot wounds. We found these guys at a two-story recreational complex, one of the only two-story buildings in the neighborhood. They broke into the center and tried to rustle as many people as possible from the neighborhood into the center. These guys stayed outside in the center all day, getting everyone out of the rec center onto boats. We approached them at approximately 6:30 p.m., obviously one of the last trips of the day, and they sent us further into the neighborhood to get more people out of homes and off rooftops instead of getting on themselves. This at the risk of their not getting out and having to stay in the water for an undetermined (you have to understand the uncertainly that all of the people in these accounts faced without having any info on the rescue efforts, how far or deep the flooding was, or where to go if they want to swim or walk out) amount of time. These five guys were on the last boat out of the neighborhood at sundown. They were incredibly grateful, mentioned numerous times 'God is going to bless y'all for this'. When we got them to the dock, they offered us an Allen Iverson jersey off of one of their backs as a gesture of gratitude, which was literally probably the most valuable possession among them all. Obviously, we declined, but I remain tremendously impacted by this gesture.

I don't know what to do with all of this, but I think we need to get this story out. Some of what is being portrayed among the media is happening and is terrible, but it is among a very small group of people, not the majority. They make it seem like New Orleans has somehow taken the atmosphere of the mobs in Mogadishu portrayed in the book and movie "Black Hawk Down," which is making volunteers (including us) more hesitant and rescue attempts more difficult. As a result, people are dying. My family has been volunteering at the shelters here in Houma and can count on one hand the number of people among thousands who have not said "Thank You." or "God Bless You." Their lives shattered and families torn apart, gracious just to have us serve them beans and rice.

If anything, these eight people's stories deserve to be told, so that people across the world will know what they really did in the midst of this devastation. So that it will not be assumed that they were looting hospitals, they were shooting at helicopters. It must be known that they, like many other people that we encountered, sacrificed themselves during all of this to help other people in more dire straits than their own.

It is also important to know that this account is coming from someone who is politically conservative, believes in capitalism and free enterprise, and is traditionally against many of the opinions and stances of activists like Michael Moore and other liberals on most of the hot-topic political issues of the day. Believe me, I am not the political activist. This transcends politics. This is about humanity and helping mankind. We need to get these people out. Save their lives. We can sort out all of the political and social issues later. People need to know the truth of what is going on at the ground level so that they know that New Orleans and the people stranded there are, despite being panicked and desperate, gracious people and they deserve the chance to live. They need all of our help, as well.

This is an accurate account of things. Jeffery Rau would probably tell the same exact stories.

Robert LeBlanc

tags: Katrina survivors, rescue operations, New Orleans

all the babies have been rescued from Charity hospital

Good news from the Guardian Unlimited...New Orleans hospitals seem to be getting some of the help that they need:

Evacuations resumed Friday at some of New Orleans' most troubled hospitals where desperate doctors were being forced to make tough choices about which patients got dwindling supplies of food, water and medicines. Rescuers finally made it into Charity Hospital, the largest public hospital and trauma center in the city, where gunshots prevented efforts on Thursday to evacuate more than 220 patients. ``We moved all of the babies out of Charity this morning,'' said Keith Simon, spokesman for Acadian Ambulance Service Inc. "

God bless the brave men and women who got these children out alive.

tags: New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, disaster, search and rescue, humanitarian crisis

rumors of a google Earth rescue map seem to be true

here is a link to information on a satellite map said to be in the works to support New Orleans rescue operations. this could streamline the search and rescue process by giving personnel quicker access to the huge volumes of information being posted about people who are trapped in New Orleans.

tags: search and rescue, Hurricane Katrina, victim location, missing persons

required listening: Nagin interview link.

this link features audio of an interview with Mayor Nagin. it ends in tears.
from Ray in Austin.

tags: New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, humanitarian crisis, Lake Dubya

Let's get busy building the New Orleans diaspora.

Ok, folks. Let's get busy. Let's do what needs to be done. Let's get to work building the New Orleans Diaspora. Even if it's just virtual at first. Something needs to be done about this situation, and fast.

We need to work together to create some semblance of what New Orleans once was, and give Katrina's refugees something to cling to in the days ahead. Something we all can cling to in the days ahead.

Nothing is more demoralizing and frustrating than homelessness. And we all know, by now, what frustration can do to even the best of people. Having no home is not just a matter of physical comfort. Home is a culture. Home is identity. Home is self-esteem. Sure, the Internet offers at best a poor substitute for the real thing. But the real thing is gone.

Governor Blanco was quite understandably furious at suggestions that New Orleans should not be rebuilt. But the reality is that for the time being, New Orleans has gone away. We need to come to terms with this, and get really, really creative and cooperative about solutions to this problem. This is huge, but it's something we can do. I know it's something we can do.

If you want to help, just start publishing your ideas, stories, or photos and tag your posts building the New Orleans diaspora.

It's easy to get depressed at a time like this but I know that there are countless miracles in store for us as a nation. Let's be ready for them.

tags: Hurricane Katrina, Interdictor, building the New Orleans diaspora

reports on hospital evacuations from

Below is an article from that gives information on hospital evacuations in New Orleans.

Charity evacuation begins

By Jan Moller
Staff Writer

BATON ROUGE - State and federal authorities on Thursday morning began evacuating about 350 patients from Charity and University hospitals in New Orleans who have been stuck for days in facilities lacking water and working plumbing and where severe shortages of fuel and medicine have put strains on their ability to provide basic care.

Don Smithburg, who heads Louisiana State University's Health Care Services Division, said the evacuation came nearly 2 1/2 days after hospital administrators first asked for an evacuation in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday morning when levee breaches sent floodwaters coursing through the city.

Once the 230 or so patients at Charity Hospital are evacuated, authorities will start transporting the 120 patients who remained at University Hospital, which is also part of LSU's statewide public hospital system.

Smithburg said the evacuation didn't begin until after a physician at the hospital was able to get on the Internet and request help directly from someone working at the Superdome.

"Very quickly helicopters began to fly over to our campus and the evacuation of Big Charity began,'' said Smithburg, who did not know the name of the doctor or the person who was contacted.

With helicopters on the way, hospital staffers faced another obstacle: getting patients to Tulane University Hospital's eighth-floor helicopter landing pad from Charity Hospital, which is located across the street and doesn't have a place for aircraft to land.

"These patients have to be moved from one building to another through a series of crosswalks, parking garages, up stairwells (and) ultimately up to a rooftop," Smithburg said.

Earlier this week, Charity hospital was able to get about 60 of its most critically ill patients evacuated to the Superdome for evaluation and referral to other hospitals. Health and Hospitals Secretary Fred Cerise said that because elevators were not working at charity, physicians had to carry their patients on stretchers down several flights of stairs before they could be loaded onto boats or military vehicles for the short but perilous trip through the floodwaters.

Smithburg said evacuations are also proceeding at other hospitals designated as "priority" because they lack the most rudimentary tools needed to provide care. Most of the patients at Lindy Boggs Medical Center and Touro Infirmary had been evacuated as of Thursday afternoon, and patients at Chalmette Medical Center had also been transported away even though some staff remained there. Memorial Medical Center was also being evacuated, Smithburg said.

The only exception was the New Orleans VA Medical Center on Perdido St., where evacuations had not begun.

Evacuees are being flown to a staging area at the Causeway Boulevard overpass for triage, then transported by helicopter or ambulance to hospitals around Louisiana or in other states depending on their condition.

Cerise said hospitals have faced nearly impossible odds in trying to help their existing patients and provide for those who became injured or ill in Katrina's wake. "They can't do labs, they can't do X-rays," he said.

Cerise, who was a physician and administrator at Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge before taking over the health department, went to New Orleans Monday afternoon as Katrina's winds were dying down and spent the next three days in a trailer at the Superdome, helping to separate the sick and injured from other evacuees and get them sent off to other facilities.

Back in Baton Rouge Thursday afternoon, Cerise choked up at times as he described acts of heroism large and small by doctors and rescue workers struggling to sustain life amid deteriorating conditions and an impossible demand for services. Nursing home residents, dialysis patients and hospital evacuees were coming into the Superdome faster than authorities could diagnose and evacuate them.

"The need obviously is just overwhelming," Cerise said. "As many people as we can move away we have people moving in."

He said conditions at hospitals were also intolerable. "I'm sure that people have died and will die because there's not enough resources to go get everybody," he said.

Smithburg said he did not know why it took so long to start the evacuations, and why a doctor working under primitive conditions was able to achieve the kind of rapid response that LSU administrators working from the Office of Emergency Preparedness in Baton Rouge were not. "I want to know the answer to that myself," Smithburg said.

Mike Brown, who is coordinating federal relief efforts for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the problem with evacuating hospitals is that it takes time to get patients ready for transport. "The response that is occurring is actually a quite efficient and quick response at this time," he said.

Smithburg denied reports in some media that the hospitals have been victimized by looting and rioting that has erupted in other parts of the flood-ravaged city. "We're a very large institution and we have our own armed security guards. They are providing security within the walls of our facility," Smithburg said.

The last patient who leaves Charity Hospital may become a small part of history, as there are doubts whether the aging building on Tulane Avenue will be rebuilt following the damage done to it by Katrina's wrath.

"It may be the last time that we use that facility," Smithburg said.

1000 people trapped at University Hospital

Name: victoria gouletas

Home: 3129259055


Subject: My Hurricane Story -- University Hospital

Story: My best friend, Dr. Holly Loesch, is at University Hospital in New Orleans (Perido & Gravier) with about 1,000 other people (about 300 patients included). At 8am this morning, they were almost out of food and water and they are out of supplies. No one seems to know they are there. There has been no evacuation or even contact with authoritie
s. They have 1 generator which is by now (7pm) out of gas. People are dying in the hospital due to lack of supplies, etc. There is no helipad on the building and the surrounding streets are flooded, so they must be rescued by boat. The doctors and nurses were required to stay, but they have had NO support from any type of governmental agency. These people are desperate!!! Please help me to help them get rescued or to get them supplies!!!!

-Victoria Gouletas

tags: search and rescue, katrina, survivors

Thursday, September 01, 2005

slashdot post on the Interdictor

"The Interdictor, a DirectNIC crisis manager, is currently braving the madness of post-Katrina New Orleans. Server rescues, OC4 repairs and live video and audio feeds abound as he and his crew battle the odds with what seems like the entire internet at his back. 1700+ People are tracking his blog, and IRC channels are full to capacity." More...

tags: Katrina, rescue, communications, disaster, relief, New Orleans

posts from ground zero in New Orleans

The Interdictor is reporting firsthand on the situation in New Orleans with his blog at ground zero in New Orleans. Sample posts below. Truly horrifying stuff.

...National Guard shoving water off the backs of trucks. They're just pushing it off without stopping, people don't even know it's there at first -- they drop it on the side in debris, there's no sign or distribution point -- people are scared to go near it at first, because the drop points are guarded by troops or federal agents with assault rifles who don't let people come near them, which scares people off. It is a mess. When people actually get to the water, they are in such a rush to get it that one family left their small child behind and forget about him until Sig carried him back to the family...5. Lots of pics coming soon when Sig has time to update...It's raining now and I guess that's a relief from the heat. It's hot as hell down there in the sun. Crime is absolutely rampant: rapes, murders, rape-murder combinations...

tags: hurricane Katrina, disaster relief, humanitarian crisis, New Orleans, rescue

More Navy ships headed to the US Gulf

Thank God! Military personnel are heading to the US Gulf to help restore order and rescue victims of Hurricane Katrina. This was posted two minutes ago in the Yahoo headlines. From AP.

Please help pray for these brave troops and for the people they are assisting.


WASHINGTON - The military expects to put 30,000 National Guard troops on duty in the Gulf states as demands grow for more security and relief assistance, the commander in charge of military relief and rescue efforts said Thursday. More...

tags: Hurricane Katrina, rescue, crisis, New Orleans

"We need the military in here NOW"

I have seen this post several times in the past few hours on various weblogs...

"In case anyone in national security is reading this, get the word to President Bush that we need the military in here NOW. The Active Duty Armed Forces. Mr. President, we are losing this city. I don’t care what you’re hearing on the news. The city is being lost. It is the law of the jungle down here. The command and control structure here is barely functioning. I’m not sure it’s anyone’s fault — I’m not sure it could be any other way at this point. We need the kind of logistical support and infrastructure only the Active Duty military can provide. The hospitals are in dire straights. The police barely have any capabilities at this point. The National Guard is doing their best, but the situation is not being contained. I’m here to help in anyway I can, but my capabilities are limited and dropping. Please get the military here to maintain order before this city is lost."

tags: hurricane Katrina, humanitarian crisis, disaster relief, New Orleans, national security, Louisiana, rescue

four layers of hell in the Superdome

Below is a post from Joe's Razor. It is a summary of a Washington Post article on conditions at the Superdome.

Please help pray for all the victims of this terrible calamity.


The Washington Post describes the 'culture' that has arisen inside the Superdome the last few days, in four layers of hell:

--Level one is the playing field and low lying seats. A kind of civilization has developed here, with families using belongings to segregate their own space and keeping their space fairly orderly.

--Level two is the walkway ringing the lower level and which holds the bathrooms. The toilets have long overflowed, people have taken simply to doing their business in corners, stepping on human excrement the entire time. Dysentery will arrive very very soon.

--Level three is the area of the skyboxes, which are always dark. This has been designated the sex area, a "place for abandonment and coupling." Also in this area is a hidden source of beer that a few people have found.

--Level four is at the top of the Superdome--it is reserved for gangsters and druggies. Rumors abound about what goes on here but nobody knows for sure.

The entire article can be found here.

tags: humanitarian crisis, relief, New Orleans, Hurrican Katrina, rescue

Quick! We need that big can of Zero Tolerance.

I am almost too effing angry to think straight today.

Does anyone even know how many people are still trapped in New Orleans by violence and toxic floodwaters? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands?

Every minute there is a new post on nola's weblog about people who have desperately phoned friends or loved ones to find a way out of the spiraling violence that has left countless people trapped in New Orleans.

And all I can hear is the sound of fiddling. Slashdot, for example, has the power to instantly mobilize scores of IT professionals to do something about routing this information to someone who might be able to use it to save some lives. Instead, they are swapping stories about the video game industry. White man's world, white man's Internet.

As for our brave leaders...The Huffington Post says that Condelezza Rice is enjoying a broadway show. Let them eat MRE cake...

Bush vows "zero tolerance" against looters, but his Lip Service Cavalry isn't doing much good.

Help! seven people, only lightly armed, are under attack by well-organized and heavily armed looters. Please send help ASAP! Here is their exact location!


Oops! I guess you must have misplaced your big can of Zero Tolerance.

How the hell did this even happen? How were tens or hundreds of thousands of people even ALLOWED to stay in the death trap that is New Orleans in a monster hurricane?

wow! I am just drawing a COMPLETE BLANK here.

tags: Hurricane Katrina, humanitarian crisis, poverty, evacuation, relief, rescue, search and
rescue, looting, looters, Bush, foreign policy, racial bias, Nero, Rome, Triangle Shirtwaist

Urgent call for assistance to Katrina survivors in NO

11:41 am September 1
7 people trapped in Gallery Row Apartments 448 Julia Street

Name: Dave Gibbs

Home: 713 822-0141


Subject: My Hurricane Story -- Trapped Persons

Story: There are 7 people trapped in the Gallary Row apartments at 448 Julia Street (corner of Julia and Magazine). They were attacked by armed gang who hijacked their truck and drove it through a locked gate in the parking garage. They are unable to leave the building due to the heavy presence of large, well-organized armed looters. They expect the building to be attacked at any moment.

The trapped people are lightly armed (one shotgun and one pistol) but there are numerous entry points into the apartments. Currently the trapped people are holed up on the roof. Please send help ASAP.

tags: rescue, relief, hurricane Katrina, search and rescue, National Guard, looting, New Orleans, looters, violence, anarchy, humanitarian crisis

Anarchy traps Katrina survivors--please help!

below are just a few of the pleas for help posted on the Nola weblog. Anarchy has gripped the city and it has trapped many people who would otherwise have a safe route out of New Orleans. This list is growing very quickly. Please help in any way you can!

These posts are heartbreaking to read but if you have any way of routing any of this information to someone who might be able to help these terrified people, please do so!

tags: rescue operations, Hurricane Katrina, relief, humanitarian crisis


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Students Trapped at Xavier University

10:41 am

Name: Anita Ford

Home: (205)835-4588


Subject: My Hurricane Story -- Students Trapped at Xavier University

Story: Through out the days of listing to news stories reading articles on the web I have yet to here anyone mention anything about the students at Xavier University. There are at least 400 students trapped in the dormitory with no food or water. From my understanding the police officials did not check to see if there were people still on campus. This article is to inform anyone reading this that these people need help urgently. The girls are on the 5th floor and the boys on the 6th. There pliot is dire and should be attended to as soon as possible. Since you cant evacuate the Superdome then why not turn your efforts toward evacuating students at Xavier University. There needs to be some communication with the personal and students at Xavier also they need to inform the families of all the (missing) students on their wellbeing and what plans they have to get these people out of New Orleans and were they can be picked up, bused, flowen out from.


Trapped in hotel on Tulane Ave.

10:24 am

Name: rachelle harris

Phone: 770-439-0639


I am trying to get a message out to someone that there are people still strained in a hotel building at 3900 Tulane Ave. in New Orleans, LA. They are on the 39th floor trapped and can't get out because of the water!

family stranded in Carrolton area

Family stranded in Carrollton area

Name: Renee Taylor

Home: 336-765-1482


Subject: My Hurricane Story -- Rescue needed on Monroe Street in Carrollton Area

Story: My mother just recieved a phone call from relatives who are stranded at 3409 Monroe Street in the Carrollton area. They are in dire need of rescue. I have contacted the national Red Cross as well as my local chapter with no luck. I have contacted FEMA, but have not been able to get through. I am hoping that someone with a boat - national guard, police, anyone - can save them.

tags: victim location, search and rescue, Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans

30,000 troops going to the US gulf

a bit of good news from Reuters on the situation in New Orleans: 30,000 troops and and the US Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier are being sent to the Gulf Coast to restore order and provide aid to hurricane victims.

tags: Hurricane Katrina, looting, gunfire, Superdome, New Orleans, rescue operations

the nightmare gets worse: gunfire at the superdome

Just when I thought I couldn't get any sadder today--Evacuation of the superdome has been suspended after gunshots were fired at a rescue helicopter. Here is an excerpt from the MSNBC article:


NEW ORLEANS - National Guard troops in armored vehicles poured into New Orleans on Thursday to curb the growing lawlessness that included shots reportedly fired at a helicopter airlifting people out of the Superdome and arson fires outside the arena.

The scene at the Superdome became increasingly chaotic, with thousands of people rushing from nearby hotels and other buildings, hoping to climb onto the buses taking evacuees from the arena, officials said. Paramedics became increasingly alarmed by the sight of people with guns.

The operation to bus more than 20,000 people to the Houston Astrodome was suspended “until they gain control of the Superdome,” said Richard Zeuschlag, head of Acadian Ambulance, which was handling the evacuation of sick and injured people from the Superdome.

He said that military would not fly out of the Superdome either because of the gunfire and that the National Guard told him that it was sending 100 military police officers to gain control.
“That’s not enough,” Zeuschlag. “We need a thousand.”

He said medics were calling him and crying for help because they were so scared of people with guns at the Superdome. Read more...

tags: Hurricane Katrina

photography by David Franusich

The Traces gallery in Floyd, Virginia is currently featuring the work of David Franusich. David's black and white photography will be on display at Traces until September 19.