Friday, August 19, 2011

A farewell lunch for iReport intern Cortnee

A farewell lunch for iReport intern Cortnee

A farewell lunch for iReport intern Cortnee

Posted: 19 Aug 2011 11:20 AM PDT

Today was the last day at iReport for our wonderful summer intern, Cortnee. Not only was she an essential and hardworking part of the iReport team, she was just plain fun to be around. So, as a way of saying thank you, we all went out to lunch for some delicious asian-fusion, and wished her good luck with her final semester at the University of Alabama. (ROLL TIDE!)



1. Photobombed by the waiter.

2. Dave studies the menu carefully while Cortnee listens to me yammer.

3. Nicole and Cortnee

4. Your humble narrator

5. Cortnee    

6. Fried calamari

7. Dragon sushi rolls


Godspeed, Cortnee! You're going to be sorely missed.

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My handwriting

Posted: 19 Aug 2011 06:47 AM PDT

Over the years, my handwriting has morphed into a mix of print and script. I had to write faster and faster to take accurate notes while in journalism school and this is what resulted. I'm quite fond of it. It's got a certain ease and simplicity to it.

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Giant super cell trashes Alberta

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 10:16 PM PDT

This came across Calgary at 8 p.m. tonight Aug. 18 as I was coming back into town after a trip to Northern Alberta. The vehicles, roads and light poles give perspective and true color values.


Everything in this photo is real, taken with my cloud camera. Here are 4 or 5 of 350 shots taken this eve.


It destroyed yards, homes, rooves, crops and caused mulitple accidents. The true extent of the devastation we will not know for several days.

We call this the white Alberta threshing machine. It comes in advance of the green combines if there are any crops left to take off after this thing is through.



No country for old men. Nor am I a stranger to adverstiy, Aug. 12 one year a go we suffered the greatest hail storm in Canada's history and had over 30,000 in damages to our home and vehiucles. This is a similar strom almost one year to the date.. NO problemo. We are insured and we start the cleanup Sat. though my wife is heartbroken about her beautiful yard and tomatoes. Things could always be quake, no loss of like, no Fukushima, no drought and death and no fires as in Texas. We'll recover but our brief short summer growing season is just a bit more brief and cold. Temperatures dropped with this monster from 21 Celcius to 6 degrees C. in 5 minutes. Then the white machine cut things to pieces. Am dreaming of Hawaii now. NOw you knowe why most of my photos are of the South Pacific, it is what I dream of.

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Calm Morning Turned to Chaos by attack

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 09:17 PM PDT

photos from this morning attack on british counsil

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Electrical storms over lower Manhattan

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 08:58 PM PDT

For several hours this evening, Aug 18th 2011, there was persistant lightning over New York City. These shots were taken from my apartment in Brooklyn Heights. Amazing weather with the best back drop in the world!

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Kabul: British Embassy Bombing 8/19/2011

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 08:18 PM PDT

Insurgents attackd a British Embassy installation in Kabul, AF this morning two blocks away from me. I woke up with the first blast ringing in my ears and our whole house shaking. This is the smoke from the second blast which happened right after my friends and I went on the roof. The fighting is still ongoing, gunfire and blasts continue as I type.

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Baby ducks and mom.

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 06:43 PM PDT

A clip I took of 5 baby ducks and their mom in front of my apartment.

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Storm Over New York

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 04:34 PM PDT

A severe storm rolls over New York City

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International students protest conditions at Hershey plant

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 03:12 PM PDT

Hundreds of students gathered to plan the 4th day of a protest against the Hershey company. According to the students, they paid thousands of dollars to be part of a program on which they would work at the Hershey Chocolate plant. However, they quickly discovered that they were assigned menial jobs that were hard on their backs and hands, which was not what they were promised before coming to the US. Also, the rent for their living facilities was steadily increased until one student figured out that after the deductions from the company, he was making less than $5 an hour. The group of students are planning to meet with representatives of the company tomorrow to discuss how to proceed.

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The one houndred thousand umbella's chilean students march

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 01:14 PM PDT

One houndred thousand students on the streets... one houndred thousand umbrellas inthe cold morning in Santiago of Chile

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Super-Fog from Swamp Fire Closes Road. Air Alert Upgraded to Code Red

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 11:21 AM PDT

This morning at 10 AM, officials monitoring the Great Dismal Swamp Fire that has raged since an August 4 lightening strike, reported "super fog" conditions.

"Both yesterday and today, the region experienced what is known as a 'super-fog' event," when smoke and vapor produce zero visibility they said.

What looks like poor exposure in the August 16 photo above, is actually the fog that began settling in, as the super-fog was building momentum.  The even heavier band of fog seen along the ground in Suffolk has now risen and engulfs the roads and the entire area.

The fire is located in the middle of the swamp south of Lake Drummond, and is only accessible by "Ditches," most of which are now closed.

Code Orange air quality alerts have been issued for Hampton Roads throughout the weeks, as the fire continues to burn and has now invaded the peat in the Great Dismal Swamp, the GDS wildlife refuge, and the GDS state park located in North Carolina.

Today, the Air Quality Alert was upgraded to a Code Red for Yorktown Poquosin, Hampton, and Newport News, Virginia which is located farther north on the Peninsula of Hampton Roads. A Code Red Alert is issued when not only those with respiratory conditions, but everyone is at risk.  The rest of HR is under a Code Orange. The air in Hampton Roads systematically clears and fogs, depending on when and where the winds shift.

The number of firefighters who have come from all over the southeast has continued to rise daily and now stands at 432, up from 362 on August 14.

This has been an especially challenging fire to fight, and firefighters are now using canoes to navigate the canals which have been flooded in the hopes of stopping the spreading fire burning in the six foot deep layer of peat.

For the past few days, firefighters have been concentrating on containing the fire within a perimeter and laying and repairing pipes.  The pipes are draining water from the swamp's natural lake, Lake Drummond to flood the ditches which then drench the peat.  Experts have commented continuously though, that rain AND their efforts are needed to put out the dangerous spreading fire.  And even with a lot of rain, they estimated the fire will burn at least a month.

The fire spokesperson said that firefighters are still in danger from the trees, burnt from their roots, falling silently all around them. They block roadways and also fuel the fire, which has now burned 6,071 acres officially.

Drivers had difficulty at rush hour navigating through the fog on the major routes of 664 and Rt. 17.

Route 58, a major thoroughfare used to connect drivers to the interstates and cities in HR was closed by noon today, due to poor visibility from the smoke.

This fire is the largest fire ever recorded in the historical Great Dismal Swamp which spans Virginia and North Carolina at their borders.

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Nieve Stgo Chile

Posted: 18 Aug 2011 10:06 AM PDT

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Posted: 18 Aug 2011 09:56 AM PDT

Christian Aracena G. Enviado desde mi iPhone

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Protests in Bangalore, India in support of anti-corruption crusade

Posted: 17 Aug 2011 11:11 PM PDT

I went to attend protest meet at Bangalore's Freedom Park, to support Anna Hazare's fight against corruption and his Lokpal bill (people's ombudsman bill). The venue was crowded with students, senior citizens, professionals etc.

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India Against Corruption, Bangalore - Protest isn't all boring speeches!

Posted: 17 Aug 2011 07:36 PM PDT

The IAC protest fast is still on - it's day 4 now. But the thousands of people gathered were in for a treat with a ventriloquist making telling points yet haveing the crowd in splits!

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Texas Wildlife Suffers from the Drought

Posted: 17 Aug 2011 06:59 PM PDT

Back in June when the killdeers were nesting on the ground I noticed a nest in the drive at the marina.  Poor killdeer was patiently sitting on the nest in direct sunlight and even then the sun was merciless, heating up the stones where the eggs were resting.  The mother would stand over them and shade them from the heat.  We really thought they would never hatch; surely be cooked from the sunlight.  However, here's one of the moms standing over the babes to protect them from the heat.


Texas wildlife is truly suffering now.  All the lakes in our neighborhood are gone and a creek and gully are vanishing too.  We're now seeing all sorts of wildlife that normally won't leave the wooded areas.


Oh, and this is in Houston.  Pity the rest of the state where life is always much harder.

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The Face of Hunger in the Horn of Africa

Posted: 17 Aug 2011 12:07 PM PDT

Jon Warren, World Vision photographer

This is the face of severe malnutrition. No mother should have to experience the emotional distress of not being able to provide enough food for her children. I met Layla Mohamed and her one year-old baby on my last morning in Somalia, on a quick trip to the IDP* camp near the World Vision office in Garowe, in the Puntland region of northeastern Somalia.

The staff had agreed to take me back to the camp one last time to check on the condition of a very ill six year-old boy, Khaleed, I met my first day. I had been worrying about his condition since our first meeting, and I finally received good news. Khaleed had been given ORS and Plumpy'Nut for severe malnutrition by World Vision staff and was now sitting up on his own. What a relief! He was surviving!

Then Layla came up to us in desperation with her 1 year-old baby, Zam Zam, hoping we could do something to help her child as well. She looked bewildered about what was happening to her baby.

At only 23, Layla already had five children and had been a child bride. Staff told me she may have married as early as 10 or 12 years old. Layla fled the conflict in Mogadishu with her husband and children, but now she is completely consumed with fighting to save her baby boy.

World Vision staff gave her Plumpy'Nut to feed him and urged her to take him immediately to the camp center for malnourished children. After reminding her not to neglect regular breast feedings, Layla replied, "I don't sleep enough because I am so worried. I wake up in the night and give drink to the baby."

More than 29,000 children from Somalia under the age of 5 have died of malnutrition and other related illnesses during the past three months in the Horn of Africa famine, according to the U.S. government.

*Internationally displaced person

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Millennium Park Event for IAC

Posted: 17 Aug 2011 09:59 AM PDT

People in Chicago showing their support for India's anti-corruptions movement.

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Recalling 9/11: Personal memories of the World Trade Center

Posted: 17 Aug 2011 09:21 AM PDT

The morning of September 11, 2001, was as quiet as most as the sun rose and interstate traffic began to build across America.


I was due to arrive at a business meeting in midtown Atlanta at one of two high rise buildings known informally as the King and Queen buildings.


As I watched Cable News Network, anchors broke in from a commercial break to state a plane had just crashed into one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center.


"Clearly, something relatively devestating happening this morning there...", CNN first stated at 8:49 am EDT that morning.


Flashback memories of a B-25's crash into the Empire State Building in July 1945 filled my mind, and I quickly inserted a fresh VHS tape into my VCR to begin recording the next hour's events.


As I dressed and prepared to leave home, CNN continued to broadcast the increasing drama which continued to unfold during the morning.


I sat down in shock as a single plane crash turned into multiple terrorist driven crashes into the second tower and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C.


Later, America learned about Flight 93's force down into the fields of Pennsylvania by it's passengers -- an act which likely saved the White House.


I still feels chills as I recall the news of the morning unfold.


America had gone on heightened alert.


Time prompted me to leave my house and drive to the King building and work in midtown Atlanta.


Once arriving, several inside mentioned to me their fears that Atlanta was next as news of the attacks moved down the east coast.


Skyscrappers in most large cities reacted by closing early that day and employees with children called schools to get more information as fear spread.


Little information was known, and I witnessed Atlantan's asking if their city was next.


For the first time since December 1941, Americans became concerned of a possible attack on their city, not just Atlanta but across the nation.


One year prior to 9/11, this reporter visited and photographed the World Trade Center.


The images I took are now historic of a once beautiful architectural design now fallen. Destroyed.


The buildings were a sight to study and as you took the elevator up, the pressure of my ears seemed to increase as I neared the top level of the South Tower nearly 1,400 feet above Lower Manhattan.


New York is a beautiful region of America and the view only increased my appreciation for the city.


It took me several years to watch my VHS tape recording of CNN's broadcast that morning. The images, like most, I will not forget.


The sense of loss, overwhelming.

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Senior year of High School...

Posted: 17 Aug 2011 07:21 AM PDT

I was 17 years old, in the very beginning of my final year in high school. Lee Senior in Sanford NC, how ready I was to walk across the stage and receive a piece of paper for all my hardwork and begin my life away from this small town. High School for me had been wonderful and yet so much happened in the world during my four years there... the Columbine massacre happened when I was a Freshman in Colorado, affecting people I knew in my own school... the new Millenium when I was a sophomore.... but nothing could compare to what was about to occur this day in September of my senior year.


As usual, my day began by running a bit late because I hated to wake up, stopping by a nearby gas station to grab a cup of my favorite cappucino as we did not have a starbucks nearby so I made do. Then I was off to school to enjoy another fun filled day of learning... and yes I say that in jest. As much as I loved learning, even I admit, school was tedious and most of the time boring. So I said hi to my friends, talked about something unimportant I'm sure, then headed off to first period which always began at 8:05... Biology 2. I don't remember what we were learning that day, I don't remember much of anything... It was here that the announcement came on from our vice Principal for all teachers to turn on their televisions... and when they did, a scene came on which I'll never forget as long as I live.


One of the two towers was on fire and the newsreporter was saying that it was a plane. I don't remember which newstation we were watching or who it was doing the report... I simply stared at the pictures on the screen in absolute horror. As I watched with my entire class, the second plane came flying in and I just remember everyone screaming in shock.


I knew in my heart, that it was a terrorist attack. Why they were attacking us I did not know, for I was young and did not know much if anything about politics. For me, my cares were soley on what outfit to wear, what my boyfriend and I were going to do... but now I knew that from this moment on... our lives would never be the same because for the first time since Pearl Harbor, someone dared to attack the USA on our own soil.


As the day went on, news of other planes being hijacked spread, the whole world had changed. Despite not knowing anyone in New York... a lot of us sat together crying. We cried because our fellow Americans, other human beings, no matter race, religion, sex, or anything... had been murdered in cold blood. Innocent children who had barely begun to live, wives, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, husbands, nieces, nephews, best friends.... all gone... all because someone decided to be a coward and not come face to face and fight it out like a man.


There was anger, there was hatred, there was a deep sadness... and a feeling of helplessness... for what could I do to help anyone?


I'll always remember where I was, I'll always remember what it did to our country, I'll always remember what it did to humanity.

Nothing can or ever will be the same.

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Tir Na nOg Cottage Pie

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 07:04 PM PDT

I am the pub manager at Tir na nOg, and the cottage pie (a ground beef pie topped with mashed potatoes) is one of our most popular dishes. It's my grandmother's recipe. I have been eating this since I could get solid food into me. I in turn made it for my own family and friends, and over the years I have handed it on so many times by request. When Tir Na nOg Irish Pub hired me 8 years ago, I suggested it to the chef. He has been dishing it out to thousands ever since.

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