Archive for December 7th, 2017

Quote of the day.

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

The Los Angeles Police Department has advised drivers to be wary of following navigation apps that direct them through areas that are on fire.

(Previously on WCD.)

Shocked, shocked I am!

Thursday, December 7th, 2017


We have a firing. In the Cleveland Browns organization.

But not head coach Hue Jackson.

Sashi Brown, the “Executive Vice President of Football Operations” was fired earlier today.

But wait, it gets better! The Browns are bringing back Jackson as head coach next year!

“We have great appreciation and gratitude for Sashi’s commitment and leadership to our organization but believe transitioning to someone with strong experience and success in drafting and building consistently winning football teams is critical to the future of the Cleveland Browns,” team owner Jimmy Haslam said in a statement.


Brown’s signature move was trading the No. 2 pick in the 2016 draft to the Philadelphia Eagles for a boatload of picks. The Eagles drafted Wentz, and are now 10-2. They’re Super Bowl contenders, and the Browns are trying to avoid becoming the second team in NFL history to go 0-16.
With picks acquired in that trade, Brown selected receiver Corey Coleman, right tackle Shon Coleman, quarterback Cody Kessler, receiver Ricardo Louis, safety Derrick Kindred, receiver Jordan Payton, offensive lineman Spencer Drango, Jabrill Peppers and DeShone Kizer.

Historical note, suitable for use in schools.

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

I was so busy yesterday that I missed this, but December 6th this year was the 100th anniversary of the Halifax explosion.

For some reason, I don’t think this is generally well remembered, outside of Halifax anyway. I knew about it at a fairly young age, but that was because I read a first-hand account of it in a really old “Reader’s Digest” that one of my grandparents had around the house.

Halifax was a pretty busy port in December of 1917. There was a war on, after all. On the morning of the 6th, the SS Imo (a Norwegian flagged ship chartered to carry relief supplies for Belgium, but empty at the time) struck the SS Mont-Blanc, a French flagged ship, in a narrow section of the harbor.

The Mont-Blanc was heavily loaded with high explosives for the war effort, and also barrels of benzol. It sounds like the initial collision was at low speed, and damage to both ships was minimal.

At first.

But the collision started a fire on the Mont-Blanc.

The commotion soon brought out crowds in the largely working-class neighborhood along the narrows. Some survivors’ accounts described the immediate aftermath almost as if it were a fireworks display, with exploding barrels of benzol bursting in the sky. Many people, to their later harm, peered down at the harbor from the hillside neighborhood through windows.

At 9:04:35 AM local time (according to Wikipedia) the Mont-Blanc exploded.

Vince Coleman, the dispatcher for the rail line that ran along the front, feared the worst and telegraphed a stop order to a train heading for the city: “Munitions ship on fire. Making for Pier 6. Goodbye.” He died almost immediately afterward. The city, which was a hub for undersea cables from Europe, lost all communications with the rest of the world.

Over 2,000 people were killed. Somewhere between 9,000 and 10,000 more were injured.

Plays, special exhibitions, films and events, as well as shop windows commemorating the anniversary, are spread throughout the city.

The shop windows are deeply ironic: an estimated 600 people were blinded by flying glass.

The explosion is estimated to have been the equivalent of 2.9 kilotons of TNT. (Little Boy, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, had an estimated yield between 12 and 18 kilotons. Wikipedia gives an estimate for the Grandicamp explosion in Texas City of 2.7 kilotons equivalent, but hedges that a bit.) Before the atomic bomb, this was the largest man-made explosion in history.

The ship was completely blown apart and a powerful blast wave radiated away from the explosion at more than 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) per second. Temperatures of 5,000 °C (9,000 °F) and pressures of thousands of atmospheres accompanied the moment of detonation at the centre of the explosion. White-hot shards of iron fell down upon Halifax and Dartmouth. Mont-Blanc’s forward 90 mm gun, its barrel melted away, landed approximately 5.6 kilometres (3.5 mi) north of the explosion site near Albro Lake in Dartmouth, and the shank of her anchor, weighing half a ton, landed 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi) south at Armdale.

The NYT has a good article up. Wikipedia entry.

TMQ Watch: In Defense of Eli.

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

(Guest post from Infidel de Manahatta, as promised.)

Was he as good as Peyton? No but that’s not really a fair comparison. But Eli still belongs in the HOF.