Real-time Earth and Moon phase

Sunday, November 29, 2009

1st Sunday of Advent


Jesus said to his disciples:
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”

(Lk 21:25-28, 34-36)



Update:

Pope Benedict XVI's address at the St Peter Square, in part:
The Lord Jesus came in the past, he comes in the present and will come in the future. He embraces all the dimensions of time, because he died and rose, he is "the Living One" and, sharing our human precariousness, remains forever and offers us God's very stability. He is "flesh" like us, and is "rock" like God.

Whoever desires liberty, justice and peace may now lift himself up, and raise his head, because in Christ liberation is close (cf. Luke 21:28) -- as we read in today's Gospel. Hence, we can affirm that Jesus Christ does not only look at Christians, or only at believers, but at all men, because he, who is the center of faith, is also the foundation of hope. He is the hope that every human being constantly needs.

Dear brothers and sisters, the Virgin Mary fully incarnates the humanity that lives in hope based on faith in the living God. She is the Virgin of Advent; she is well-rooted in the present, in the "today" of salvation; she keeps in her heart all the past promises; and they extend to future fulfillment. Let us enter her school, to truly enter this time of grace and to welcome, with joy and responsibility, the coming of God to our personal and social history.
-- Amen

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The death of J. D. Farrell

In this blog we have seen a plethora of tragic cases that freaque waves swiped victims from shore in all kinds of nearshore places, at all kinds of times of the day all around the world ocean. Today we add another victim that had happened 30 years ago to a well-known British novelist, James Gordon Farrell (1935-1979). In Wikipedia Farrell's death was described this way:
. . . In 1979 Farrell decided to quit London to take up residence on the Sheep's Head
peninsula in southwestern Ireland. A few months later he drowned in Bantry Bay, apparently while angling.
In an article discussing a new book on JG Farrell's works, writer Brian Lynch provided some details on Farrell's death in the Independent.ie today:

Thirty years ago, in August 1979, 15 people died during a terrible storm that struck the Fastnet yacht race. The former British prime minister Ted Heath, a keen sailor and a participant in the race, very nearly died too. On the same day, but in relatively calm conditions, a man fishing on the rocks at Kilcrohane in Cork was swept away by a freak wave and drowned. Onlookers say that the man did not struggle in the water but seemed to accept his fate calmly.

This strangely unforgettable death was suffered by the then 44-year-old James Gordon Farrell, the author of three novels, . . .
Clearly 1979 was many years before "freaque wave" had become a popular media concept in connection with describing those drowning tragedies. But Lynch's new sketch on the historical case certainly makes sense -- at least not surprising from this blog's point of view. Lynch, a poet himself, described the last moment of Farrell rather poetically as "accept his fate calmly". How does a victim accept his or her fate when they known that they have become an inevitable victim anyway? We have been convinced that onshore freaque waves can happen any time at any place all around. Other than some Coastguard groups' perfunctory warnings, no one can predict or prevent it's happening. No one is even try to do any realistic study or measurement at the present. May be fate is the operating word here, since science certainly has not been able to do anything meaningful yet!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Big wave surfing picture

It's always exciting to see surfing pictures. Here's one in the Maui News today:


The picture was taken Wednesday by Ron Dahlquist of big wave surfer Archie Kalepa nears the bottom of a monster wave at the Jaws surf spot in Peahi.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Mr. Christopher Kocourek sent the following message on 21 November 2001:
Hi all,
Let us not forget to count our blessings and give
thanks to God who has blessed this great nation of ours.
In spite of 9-11, this nation enjoys the greatest
freedom and liberty that the world has ever known,
and there's no other place and/or time I'd rather be.
Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Christopher Kocourek
Tool & Die Designer
Flextronics Enclosure Systems
which I found from here and I think it is still the best and most concise and completely meaningful Thanksgiving messages ever. Yes, let us all have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Evil acts in Climate Research

Something disturbing in the climate science world has come to light in the last few days shocked the science world in general but still unknown to many people because a lot of media elements still are trying to pretend nothing has happened. It is hard to put it in a nutshell, but I think John Lott of FOXNews did successfully provided a super concise summary to begin his article:
Science depends on good quality of data. It also relies on replication and sharing data. But the last couple of days have uncovered some shocking revelations. Computer hackers have obtained 160 megabytes of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England. These e-mails, which have now been confirmed as real, involved many researchers across the globe with ideologically similar advocates around the world. They were brazenly discussing the destruction and hiding of data that did not support global warming claims. The academics here also worked closely with the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
There's one minor correction needed in the above paragraph, the size of the emails is 60 megabytes not 160.

As a proud data analyst myself, I am particularly sensitive to the cases of playing games with data. I think altering, messaging, creating, hiding, or destructing scientific data in scientific studies represent pure shame and even evil. All scientist should be outraged by the evildoings disclosed in the Climate Research Unit. I can excuse Algore because he's an idiot, knows nothing about science. But these people are trained scientist, they have no excuses and they should be all kicked out of science once and for all!

On the brighter side, however, these evil actions clearly and unmistakably demonstrated that their contention is wrong since they can only resort to fraudulent falsehoods to substantiate them, so there is really no anthropogenic global warming what so ever. UN IPCC should now be summarily abolished or disbanded!

Lucky angler in his own words

Three months ago, Tom Shiel reported this news in the Irish Times entitled "'Lucky' angler rescued off Achill":

A MAN who slipped and fell into the sea while shore angling on Achill Island, Co Mayo, on Saturday survived by treading water for about 90 minutes until a rescue helicopter winched him to safety.

The man, who did not have a lifejacket or other buoyancy aid, had to contend with strong currents.

“He certainly is a very lucky man,” said one rescuer yesterday, who did not wish to be named.

The man, who was later treated for hypothermia at Mayo General Hospital, is in his 40s and is visiting Achill.

He went shore fishing at a place known locally as White Stone Quarry near Dugort on the north side of Achill Island with a companion on Saturday.

Shortly after 2pm, the man slipped into the sea and could not get out because of a steep, slippery incline. Sea conditions were rough at the time with a force four or force five wind blowing.

The man, who is from the Birmingham area of England, was quickly swept out to sea by a strong current.

Yesterday the Mayo News published the details in the angler's own words:
Patrick Williamson, from Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham, was fishing along the rocks at the back of Whitestone Quarry at Slievemore on the north side of Achill Island. He tells The Mayo News how his life flashed before his eyes when a wave dragged him out to sea before he was rescued by the Achill Island Coastguard.

I WAS over in Ireland for a three week period for a conference in Kerry for the National Federation of Demolition Contractors, which I chair. My wife Jacqueline (nee McNamara) is from Achill and I travelled there on Friday to do a bit of fishing at the back of Slievemore. I had a colleague with me and at about 2pm a freak wave came on the rocks and caught the back of my legs and I slid into the water. The alarm was raised about five minutes later by my colleague.
There was a strong current and I couldn’t get out of the water and the tide was turning which pushed me further and further out. I was trying to keep afloat but it was hard and it felt like someone was dragging at my ankles. I was terrified and exhausted and I was saying to myself to just keep on top of the waves and not go under. I have to say that what people say about near death experiences and their life flashing through their eyes is all true. While I was in the water I just kept recounting all I did in my life.

I thought I was a goner but when I saw the orange jackets on the shore and saw them waving to me it gave me encouragement to hold on for a while longer. The Coastguard dinghy came up beside me and I was winched into the helicopter and brought to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar. At the time I did not realise how ill I was until I was told my body temperature was 26 degrees when it should be 38. I also lost a stone and a half while I was in the water. I was five days in Intensive Care suffering from hypothermia and the list of things that could have killed me if I was in the water for much longer was so long, it was hard to believe.

I am so glad to be alive today but I wouldn’t have made it without the heroes in the Achill Coastguard. They are all volunteers and they all risked their life to help me and I have to say they deserve all the praise they get. They are a credit to the island of Achill and deserve better facilities than they have.”
All it happened was "a freak wave came on the rocks and caught the back of my legs and I slid into the water", yes, it's that simple. It happens just in that very brief of a moment. Mr. Williamson was very lucky indeed. We congratulate for his luck and we are grateful to hear his real story during that brief moment in his own words. The harsh danger of being on those rocky shore and beaches just can not be over emphasized!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Indonesian ferry disaster

The Indonesian ferry boat sinking disaster yesterday is now world wide news as typified by this AFP report:

TANJUNG BALAI, Indonesia — The captain of an Indonesian ferry which sank killing 29 people rejected claims of overcrowding Monday and blamed a freak storm for the disaster, as officials launched an investigation.

The search for survivors from the Dumai Express resumed for a second day off Karimun island, near Singapore, amid fears scores of people could be lost at sea or trapped in the wreck at the bottom of the Malacca Strait.

With the official toll standing at 29 dead and 250 rescued, officials arrived at Karimun to try to piece together what caused the latest in a litany of ferry disasters in Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,000 islands.

The 147-tonne vessel's capacity was 273 passengers and crew, but local police said more than 400 people could have been on board. Two survivors told AFP its decks were packed with undocumented passengers.

Here's the ferry captain's contention:
Captain Johan Napitupulu rejected the allegations and said he had no warning he was sailing into a massive storm when he left Batam island on Sunday morning.

"The weather was fine when we left Batam port. There was no sign of rain and we also didn't get any warning from anybody saying the weather could turn bad at sea," he told AFP.

"About half an hour later the weather suddenly turned really, really bad. The waves were higher than two metres (six feet), the winds and currents were strong."

The captain said the crew had done all it could to arrange lifeboats and life-jackets for the terrified passengers.

"The ferry was sinking fast, front first. Within 27 minutes it was totally submerged... There was panic, everyone was screaming," Napitupulu said.

The word "freaque", representing either freak or rogue, to a large extent implies some happening that's basically unexpected. The captain is not first one to blame the disaster on a freaque storm -- which means that the storm was unexpected. Now I can be persuaded that a wave comes up unexpectedly, but an unexpected storm is a little far fetched for me. It may not be predicted by the weather people, but a quick storm comes up quickly in the open ocean is something to be expected for the alert sailors if they kept an eye on the air when they are out there. Isn't keeping an eye on the air and weather the job of the ferry boat captain?

Expect the unexpected should be an axiom for everyone especially sailors. Some one has called freaque waves as unexpected waves recently. I think that could be a misnomer. Unexpected things always happen. I have began to feel that freaque waves should be "expected waves" rather than "unexpected waves". Because when one treats it as expected, then one would always be alert and prepared for its occurrence. I have recently noticed some discussion on "unexpectedness" which seems to be some new thinking into the rare occurring cases. I did not see any actual numbers yet, but it appears to me intuitively that unexpectedness must be a very large number. Only the expectedness (probably there is no such word yet) can be correlated with the general conceptual basis of rare occurrence. Freaque waves, and freaque storms for that matter, are expected albeit with very small "expectedness"!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Psalm 93 : 3-4

The flood has raised up, LORD;
the flood has raised up its roar;
the flood has raised its pounding waves.

More powerful than the roar of many waters,
more powerful than the breakers of the sea,
powerful in the heavens is the LORD.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gigantic waves in eastern Atlantic Ocean

The ephotozine today has a message for big wave fun photographers: "If you're a fan of big waves you need to get yourself to the west coast of England this weekend as some big swells are forecast." with the following enticing pictures:

and this advice:
Although strong wind is always an accompanying force along with big waves, it is the increasing swell heights building in the mid Atlantic that are the most important to the photographer. Waves are predicted to be in excess of 30-40ft, but it’s the rogue waves that should be looked out for. Every twelfth or thirteenth wave seems to pack that extra ingredient, so with the right composition some truly spectacular images can be captured.
I am wondering how do they arrived at the "every twelfth or thirteenth wave seems to pack that extra ingredient" statement. Anyway it should be a place for big wave aficionados.

I also found this Youtube video of Longships Lighthouse took on the morning of March 10, 2008:



and this one "taken on the 7th of december 2007 in "Raz de Sein" at the western tip of France, in Brittany, on a (very) stormy day"!



More info on the lighthouses can be found here.

Happy wave watching!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tragedy at North Carolina beach

The peril of a simple walking on the beach is manifested again from this report by Jeb Phillips in the Columbus Dispatch this morning:

A West Side woman on vacation at North Carolina's Outer Banks drowned Sunday after a wave knocked her down and she inhaled water.

Wilma Froggatt, 63, was walking on the beach with her husband and a friend after days of being cooped up by bad weather, said David Froggatt, Wilma's husband of 46 years.

The Froggatts had arrived in the community of Rodanthe with another couple the previous Monday, and remnants of Hurricane Ida had begun hitting the Outer Banks on Wednesday. A part of the highway serving the area was washed out on Thursday.

The roughest conditions had passed by Sunday, and the Froggatts and their friend went to the Rodanthe beach in the early afternoon, Mr. Froggatt said. They were near a sandbag barrier when a "rogue wave" hit, he said. It knocked his wife down, and she began sliding toward the water. As he went after her, another wave drenched them both.

Mr. Froggatt was able to pull his wife away from the ocean, but she had trouble breathing. She managed to talk for a few minutes.

"She told me, 'I'm not going to make it,' " he said. "She told me she loved me."

By the time the first emergency responders arrived, she had lost consciousness, said Mike Daugherty, chief of the Chicamacomico Banks Fire Department. Daugherty was one of those first responders.

Mrs. Froggatt was taken to a Rodanthe helicopter pad and then flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Va., where she was pronounced dead. The chief medical examiner's office in the Tidewater District ruled the death an accidental drowning.

She had always loved to travel, especially to the East Coast, her husband said, and had a positive outlook on life.

"She was a wonderful companion," he said. "She was the rock of my life."

Our heartfelt sympathy and condolences go to Mr. Froggatt and his family and friends. The kind of freaque wave hit can not be considered as uncommon, but the damage it caused is of immeasurable human tragedy that no one should expect to suffer. Similar things happen all the time all around the globe. We don't know how to prevent it or predict its happening. We need more measurements for real research all around which are not presently available. A few academic textbook or computer exercises are grossly inadequate. When will the power that be be expected to pay attention to this kind of research needs?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Warnings on wave watching!

Wave watching is exciting -- only if you are certain at a safe distance away from the action. Here's a picture of watching waves at the Portland Bill near the southern central Dorset, England north side of the English Channel

as published in the DorsetEcho with the following report:

FAMILIES risked their lives to get a closer look at the monster waves hitting Portland during hurricane winds, coastguards said.

The Portland Bill Coastguard Rescue Team found hundreds of people had clambered over flood defences designed to keep them a safe distance back from 30-foot-high waves described as the roughest in 10 years at Chesil Cove.

They were shocked to find parents and their children among those strolling along the beach seemingly unaware that a wave could climb the beach and drag them into the stormy seas at any moment Coastguard and flood bailiff Bob Naerger said: “It was madness. One day somebody is going to lose their life down here.

“It is quite something to see down here and nobody wants to stop them looking at the waves but just be more responsible.”

Mr Naerger said he helped one girl aged five or six over the sea wall who told him she was ‘really scared’.

He added: “Parents don’t realise they are putting their lives at risk as I don’t think they’ve got a clue what the consequences could be.

“I don’t know what goes through their heads.”

A team of four coastguards warned people to stay behind the flood defences as waves threw pieces of wood and pebbles the size of tennis balls on to the beach and promenade.

Coastguard Nick Gould said: “All of a sudden you would get a rogue one and that could catch you out. You could be whipped off your feet and dragged down and then you are gone.”

Mr Gould said children were most at risk.

He added: “It was very careless behaviour because people with kids on the sea wall were letting them run around.

“You don’t need a big wave to wash a little kiddy away.

“There were people putting their kids over the floodgates and they need to be aware they are putting lives at risk.”

Nigel McColm, Portland Bill Coastguard station officer, branded the behaviour as ‘stupid’ in what he said was the ‘roughest sea at Chesil in 10 years’.

He said: “I liken it to playing football on the Dorchester bypass. If you get dragged into the sea you’ve got no chance of getting out.

“When those waves come up over the beach and it all drags back the pebbles you’ve got a hell of a drag going back with the pebbles.”

A coastguard spokesman said they recorded storm force 10 at Portland on Saturday and are expecting up to gale force 8 again this week.

I am wondering why people tend to ignore the obvious dangers involved. Mr. Gould of Coastguard gave very sober warning that everyone should remember first and foremost: “All of a sudden you would get a rogue one and that could catch you out. You could be whipped off your feet and dragged down and then you are gone.” That kind of things had been happened so many times all around the world, it is really no excuse not to be aware especially for family with small children. Wave watching is really not fun and game at any rate!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Today's Gospel

Jesus said to his disciples:
"In those days after that tribulation
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from the sky,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

"And then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in the clouds'
with great power and glory,
and then he will send out the angels
and gather his elect from the four winds,
from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.

"Learn a lesson from the fig tree.
When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves,
you know that summer is near.
In the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that he is near, at the gates.
Amen, I say to you,
this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away.

"But of that day or hour, no one knows,
neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

(Mk 13:24-32)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A case happened in Japan

This case reported by CKWS TV of Kingston, Ontario that was just happened in Japan but not much details, just these:
A dramatic rescue from Japan, 28 people were plucked from a sinking ship off the coast of Japan. The crew said a rogue wave hit them thirty kilometers from shore, forcing the ship onto it'a side. The Japanses Coast Guard sent three helicopters and six vessels to the scene and saved everybody.
The last statement about "saved everybody" is certainly music to everyone's ears.Good job for Japanese Coast Guard!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Remembering SS Edmund Fitzgerald with Mr. Lightfoot

It's November and inevitably we'll remember SS Edmund Fitzgerald again. It remains to be the victim of freaque waves, even though we can never verify it by any means. The sad story remains to be favorite pursuit of medias. Over the past year there was someone from Canada interested in making another program about Fitzgerald and contacted me about freaque waves speculations. I declined to respond since I don't think there's anything new to talk about. Here again 34 years later, we'll never forget the tragedy that happened. Thanks to Youtube, let's remember her with Mr. Lightfoot:



The lyrics of the song can be found here. Here's the last stanza:
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early.
A fabulous memorial page is given here at Echoes of History completes with the list of 29 crews that were lost on that voyage with Mr. Lightfoot read out all 29 names. Highly recommended!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Reading I

The jar of flour shall not go empty,
nor the jug of oil run dry,
until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.

(1 Kgs 17:14)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Star fish tragedy

Here's something which is not meant to be funny, but it might be:

Local Scientists still remain baffled about how and why tens of thousands of star fish became washed up on Lissadell beach in Sligo yesterday.

Between 20-50,000 of the fully formed adult of the species measuring between 3-8 inches in diameter appeared on the strand.

No explanation has surfaced as yet but the Department of Environment, heritage and local Government believe that they were as a result of a storm or freak wave.

It was reported by Ocean FM of Ireland. We know freaque waves can swipe someone on the beach shore into the ocean. But swipe 20 to 50 thousands star fishes from the ocean to the beach by a freaque wave? Well, you learn something new each day!

By the way here are the poor star fishes from Belfast Telegraph:

Freaque waves can do all that?

Munscong Bay storm

This is an awesome happy-ending story that happens in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Freaque wave may have played a cameo role here. The story reported as a staff report in the Sault Ste. Marie Evening News:
Munuscong -

MUNUSCONG BAY — For three friends from downstate a quiet duck hunt on Munuscong Bay turned into a battle for their lives on Friday, October 30.
“It was a quiet hunt, with none of us even taking our safety off. However it was pleasurable nonetheless, just to be out on the bay in one of my favorite places,” said Alonzo Knowles of Traverse City of the hunting trip with his two friends, Simon Joseph of Lake Ann and Kyle Marshall of Elk Rapids, and his dog, “Maisey.”
At the beginning of their hunt the weather was warm but very windy — out of the south at 30-plus mph. On their journey from Barbeau to Sand Island, they experienced 2 to 3 foot waves, which Knowles said aren’t uncommon on the bay and their boat handled it well.
“But our trip back was entirely different,” Knowles said.
Immediately after rounding the north point of Sand Island, the hunters realized that the waves were larger and were coming across the bow instead of beside the boat.
“In the dark, it was hard to tell that the waves had grown quite as much as they had,” Knowles said. “When we took our first wave over the bow of our boat, it was already too late.”

Knowles continued, “Maybe it was a rogue wave, but whatever the case, two more waves followed it and within 30 seconds we were swamped and going down.”
After another 30 seconds they were capsized and the three friends and the dog were in the cold water.
“It was an extremely unnerving moment for all of us,” Knowles said. “After 20 years hunting Munuscong and 30 years of chasing ducks on the Great Lakes, dangerous possibilities are always in the back of your mind, but it is not something that you want to dwell on.”
Fortunately, Knowles cellular phone was kept dry when they capsized. He had get just enough cell signal to get off a 911 call on which he gave their coordinates. Then the phone was thoroughly soaked and dead.
“The next two hours were the longest of all our lives,” Knowles said. “In retrospect, I was fortunate to be with two other strong, calm minded individuals who stepped up and displayed nothing less than heroic efforts towards our group’s survival.
“At some point around an hour or so into our ordeal,” Knowles added, “my dog Maisey, slipped off the bottom of our boat, and that was the last we saw of her. I can’t quite explain how we were able to hold onto the bottom of that boat, which was submerged below the water somewhat. The waves were crashing over us constantly and in 46 degree water our arms and legs were becoming non-responsive and with our core temps coming down. We realized it was only a matter of time before hypothermia would take hold and completely disable us.”
After receiving the 911 call, emergency crews were dispatched from the Sault and surrounding areas. Rescue teams from the U.S. Coast Guard from Sector Sault, the Michigan DNR, Michigan State Police, the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department and the Traverse City Coast Guard base. Also, when private citizens heard the distress call on the scanner, they helped with the search and rescue.
“I’m not sure exactly how many people were involved,” Knowles said. “But each responder selflessly put his life on the line for us that night. They fought through 3-5 foot waves, 30-plus mph winds and periods of fog to save our lives. Without their efforts, I question whether we would be alive today.”
After two hours in the water, the hunters were rescued by MSP Trooper Dan Rambo, Chippewa County Sheriff’s Deputy Kip Moeggenborg and one other officer whose name Knowles did not get.
“Shaking uncontrollably from the onset of hypothermia on the bottom of our boat, much of the ride back to shore was a blur to me,” Knowles said. “We were greeted by an ambulance with warm blankets open arms and smiling faces.
“Never in my life have I been so humbled,” Knowles added. “Thanks to the efforts of all involved, a most successful outcome was achieved. Not only had we been rescued, I was also informed that the word had gone out that my 18-month-old, yellow lab was lost in the marsh.”
Rambo and Moeggenborg went out of their way to get the word out to the local community about Maisey.
Concerned Barbeau residents mobilized their efforts and spent countless hours walking the shoreline, wading the swamps, and searching the marsh by boat. On Sunday morning, after 36 hours in the marsh, Maisey and Knowles were reunited. They found her after driving down several miles of flooded two tracks off of 18 Mile Road.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!,” Knowles said. “Never could I have imagined an outcome like this. I can’t begin to express how thankful we all are for your combined efforts.”

It is a simple heart warming story. But we just can't help enjoy the happy-ending to a dreadful situation that stated by waves. Yes, it might have been a freaque one. But it does not matter one way or the other. Things can happen regardless what it was!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Oasis of the Seas

Here she is, the Oasis of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship according to this livescience report by their senior writer Jeanna Bryner. The ship "stands 20 stories high, is as long as four football fields, and can accommodate 5,400 guests at double occupancy". Specifically she is also "1,180 feet long and displaces 100,000 tons" of water and " can hold 225,282 gross registered tons". Furthermore, for stability the ship is made very wide at 217 feet, which is of course not able to go through the 105 feet wide Panama Canal.

Of particular interest to me is the following discussion in the article:
. . . rogue waves are always a concern. Rogue waves are rare but towering problems that can soar 100 feet and are known to sink large cargo ships. Scientists have only recently begun to figure out what's behind the once-mythical waves. A study in 2008 suggested that in rare circumstances, waves that would normally cancel each other out can combine to form tall monsters in quick fashion.

The Oasis is no low-riding cargo ship, however.

"If it was struck by one I would expect there to be some local damage at the point of impact — maybe some broken portholes or bent railings, but little else," Collette said. "All ships are designed to make the chance of large-scale structural collapse very remote."

Hope the Oasis of the Seas will never face with the freaque waves problem. The article consulted Matthew Collette, assistant professor of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of Michigan. This fine article is very informational as well as educational. A good reading from the always superb Live Science collections!

Update

USA Today reports on November 6, 2009:
Royal Caribbean's much-ballyhooed, record-size Oasis of the Seas has hit extreme weather this week as it makes it way across the Atlantic to its new home in Fort Lauderdale. Here, the captain of the vessel, William Wright, talks about encountering nearly hurricane force winds and seas over 40 feet high.
Here's the video:

Sunday, November 01, 2009

All Saints Day Gospel

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.

(Mt 5:3-12)