Gunman kills self and hostage in Texas NASA building

Friday, April 20, 2007

Front gate of Johnson Space Center.

Around 1:40 p.m. CDT, NASA employees reported that two shots were fired in the NASA Building 44 in the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. A SWAT team later reported that Bill Phillips, a contract engineer with Jacobs Engineering, had killed David Beverly as well as himself, leaving a female hostage physically unharmed.

Phillips entered a conference room with gun drawn and ordered all but one person out. Phillips barricaded himself on the second floor of the two-story building, with David Beverly and another female hostage. The building was evacuated and police were summoned. NASA security, Houston police and a SWAT team were on the scene.

Houston news reported at 5:22 p.m. CDT that Bill Phillips, the gunman, and David Beverly, the hostage, were both dead. Police reported that the SWAT team heard one shot and decided to engage, but before they reached the room they heard another shot. When SWAT reached the scene, the male hostage was dead from a bullet to the chest, the gunman was dead from a bullet to the head, and the female hostage, Fran Cranshaw, was gagged and bound to a chair with duct tape, but was otherwise unharmed.

All NASA employees had first been warned to stay in their buildings but were later told by NASA they were free to go home if their working day was over. Mission Control locked its doors during this incident, as this is a standard procedure in such situations. No NASA Mission has been affected by this incident, according to NASA.

In the first press conference, police said that communication to the gunman had not yet been established, but that negotiators had already tried it two times unsuccessfully.

The motive of the hostage-taking, and whether the three people had any connection to each other, is currently under investigation.

The Houston Chronicle reports that last month Phillips had received one e-mail from his employer, Jacob engineering Inc., “describing problems with his work and offering suggestions on improvement.” Jacobs printed that e-mail on March 18, the same day he bought the 38-caliber gun that police suspect was used in the shooting.

Despite reassurances by Cranshaw and Beverly, Phillips would not believe that management was not going to fire him, according to Cranshaw. During the 3-hour standoff, Phillips used a dry-erase board in the room indicating he was tired of being called “stupid,” police said last Saturday.

Michael Sampson, the co-manager of the space agency’s Electronic Parts and Packaging Program, who had known Beverly for ten years, described him as friendly, peaceful person, with a positive attitude to his co-workers.

Relatives describe Phillips as a loner who always kept to himself. He had lost his father in 2003, but had decided not to return to his hometown in Tennessee. Smith, a cousin of Phillips, remarked that in the Christmas card he had received from him last year, Phillips said that he was feeling lonely and without family, but nothing in the card suggested anything so tragic.

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Egypt Tour Package Deals

Egypt Tour Package Deals


Carmine BagleyIn case you are preparing to travel to Egypt, there is every probability to be given a tour bundle. Egypt is a nation in North Africa where the pyramid is found. To obtain a good perspective of the pyramid and various other few attractions, it is essential to take a trip there. Therefore, you make certain to recognize the worth of Egypt tour packages perfectly. It is generally provided by a visitor solution. There are several tourist solutions in Egypt that run this kind of function. Here is my web page; Egypt tours

It is commonly a good idea to look for the best type that will suit your spending plan. There are several Egypt trip packages that can provide individuals affordable option. It is far better to constantly examine your spending plan when planning for Egypt tour package deals. Budget is one of the fundamental factors to think about when intending to experience the touch of Egypt trip bundles. Guarantee to not travel there by spending a lot. You can do online hunt for Egypt tour packages that include economical amount. This will certainly assist you take a trip there and prefer everything about the country.

Referral is an additional aspect to know when talking about Egypt trip package deals. It is often better to ask from individuals that have actually gone there in the past. You can ask your household, friends, relatives and representatives to help. You will surely have 1-2 recommendations. Ensure to contact the referrals and ask of their solution. This will help you to select the best Egypt tour package that glow with longevity. Suggestion is an essential element that can not be ignored when talking about Egypt tour plans. With the assistance of recommendations, you make sure to be in the right hand. Considering that there are many services in Egypt that run in this niche. If you manage to locate the most effective, the entire getaway holiday will certainly sound extremely terrific.

Checking on the high quality of solution operating on Egypt trip bundles is another element to comprehend. There are many folks who could not separate in between one solution and another. With the assistance of quality, you will certainly have the ability to distinguish between one Egypt tour plan from another. This is the only method that could provide you an edge in variety. It is a terrific idea to constantly inspect with the quality of the package deal that tourism service is providing while planning to take a trip to Egyp. With high quality, you will have the opportunity to discover the most effective solution that costs your spending plan. You can give it a try today. Professionalism is another fantastic element that could function properly when discussing Egypt trip plans. There are many professionals in the field of function. Guarantee to look at the status of the plan your are intending to get. You will have the ability to uncover if it is professional or not. The professional Egypt tour bundles are five-star in attributes. They normally have unique plan to folks that worth it. Professionalism and reliability is a far better concept that can be counted when discussing Egypt trip packages.

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US Senate unanimously passes genetic nondiscrimination bill

Human chromosomes, which contain a person’s genes. Image: Steffen Dietzel.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

In a unanimous 95-0 vote Thursday, the United States Senate passed a bill that would forbid employers and health insurance companies from discriminating against someone based on information learned through genetic testing.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, described by Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy as “the first major new civil rights bill of the new century,” will now be sent back to the House of Representatives, where it could be approved as early as next week. President George W. Bush, who would have to sign the bill for it to become law, has voiced his support for the legislation.

The bill forbids employers from firing, refusing to hire, or otherwise discriminating against employees based on genetic information, such as a family history of a hereditary disease. It also makes it illegal for employers to request genetic information of an employee or the employee’s family.

Health insurance companies are also addressed in the bill, which forbids them from requesting genetic information or using such information to set premium rates or determine enrollment eligibility. However, insurance companies would still have the right to base one’s health coverage on the actual presence of a genetic disease.

Americans can now be confident that their genetic information cannot be used by health insurers or employers in harmful or hurtful ways.

“For the first time we act to prevent discrimination before it has taken firm hold and that’s why this legislation is unique and groundbreaking,” said Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, who sponsored the bill along with Sen. Kennedy and Sen. Mike Enzi. Snowe fears the threat of discrimination may discourage people from undergoing genetic testing, which can help to diagnose a wide range of diseases and lead to lifesaving therapy.

Kathy Hudson, director of the Genetics and Public Policy Center, reports that 92 percent are worried that information gained in genetic testing may be used against them. “After a very long wait,” she says, “Americans can now be confident that their genetic information cannot be used by health insurers or employers in harmful or hurtful ways.”

One part of the bill addresses this concern. “Federal legislation establishing a national and uniform basic standard is necessary to fully protect the public from discrimination and allay their concerns about the potential for discrimination,” the bill reads, “thereby allowing individuals to take advantage of genetic testing, technologies, research, and new therapies.”

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn initially blocked Senate action on the bill, warning that it could potentially lead to excessive lawsuits against employers and insurers. But after changes were made to the bill to ease his concerns earlier this week, he supported the legislation and allowed the Senate to vote on it. “We certainly improved the bill from a liability standpoint,” said Coburn, an obstetrician.

Similar bills were unanimously passed by the Senate in 2003 and 2005, but in both years the bill stalled in the House. The current bill was passed in the House of Representatives a year ago by a 420-3 vote. A genetic nondiscrimination bill was first introduced 13 years ago by New York Representatives Louise Slaughter, who says the House will “get it out to the White House as quickly as we can.”

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International Talk Like A Pirate Day held on Saturday

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Shiver me timbers!: The founders of the event

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is being celebrated today, as it has every September 19 for the last decade.

The tradition was started by John Baur and Mark Summers, known to fellow pirates as Cap’n Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket. It became popular in 2002, when US author Dave Barry joined the support. Baur and Summers are both published authors themselves, as well as self-publishing books.

In Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom the Campaign for Real Ale has organised a pirate pub crawl, while a London pub is offering rum at £0.50 a time. There are several events linked to the cancer charity Marie Curie. A Los Angeles bar is offering a day of ‘sexy pirate talk’.

Australia’s Whitsunday Islands are holding an event organised by a man identified by ABC only as Captain Dan van Blarcom. “We’re the polite pirates and we always use our manners and say please and thank you and ensure our visitors always come first,” he said, adding that people caught not having fun may be made to walk the plank and that there are “some pirate hip hop music and other pirate songs” on offer.

Bauer and Summers started the day after deciding that raquetball was much more fun when various pirate sayings were mixed into the game. The picked today as it was one of the few dates Summers could remember that did not already have a major holiday, being his ex-wife’s birthday.

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Get The Right Service Provider For Mold Removal And Remediation


Mold is a fungus that is present in nature. Certain types of molds can be carried into your home by air moving through open doors and windows or on the clothing of people. These fungi reproduce by means of spores. When these spores come into contact with water or moisture, they can present a problem for the health of household occupants. Mold can also deteriorate or ruin certain surfaces it comes into contact with. For this reason, it’s prudent to find the right service provider for Mold Removal and Remediation when you have excessive mold growth in your home.

You may not have dealt with the presence of mold in our home before. Talk to other homeowners about this problem. Get referrals so you can investigate different service providers. You can also get information from a building contractor you trust. This professional often works with various service providers while constructing homes and buildings. Learn about the quality of labor and customer service each service provider offered. Choose two technicians to further check out.

Prepare a list of questions to ask each service provider. Do this so you won’t forget to ask important questions. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • What methods do you use to remove mold?

  • What processes do you use to restore a home to a pre-loss condition?

  • Do you use chemicals during remediation?

  • Who is responsible for the disposal of ruined materials?

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

It’s helpful to hire a mold remediation expert who is a registered technician of the IICRC, Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certificate. This non-profit organization sets industry standards for the removal and remediation of mold. When you need to have a sampling of the mold in your home, have it done by an accredited laboratory independent of the mold removal. This will prevent a conflict of interests.

By considering all garnered details, you can make a decision on who you want to hire. For more information on Mold Removal and Remediation services, please talk to an expert at Baney Construction and Restoration. This business can handle such services as mold remediation, storm response, water removal, insurance restoration, fire damage, and smoke damage.

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Australian House of Representatives acknowledges Cyclone Larry efforts

Wednesday, March 29, 2006The Australian House of Representatives today acknowledged the impact of the recent devastating Cyclone Larry and the efforts of the support given to the residents and communities of north Queensland in order to restore normal life.

Phillip Ruddock (Liberal, Berowra) moved a motion expressing this after Question Time today, which included a description of the devastation wrought on the area, the response by the Australian Government and the Australian Defence Force, and thanked the efforts of people for their “willingness to roll up their sleeves and get on with the job of cleaning up and rebuilding their towns and centres.”

The Leader of the Opposition, Kim Beazley (Labor, Brand) supported the motion, and congratulated the move to put General Peter Cosgrove in charge of operations, stating that soldiers “know how to work through logistics issues…how to work around officialdom or blockages”, praised both local federal and state members of Parliament, and especially the Labor Queensland state premier, Peter Beattie.

Bob Katter (Independent, Kennedy) was more critical in his speech. Katter thanked Beattie for his immediate response, but also described his confrontation with him and said how first responses were “simply not working”, but also praised Beattie’s decision on Cosgrove. Katter also described how the incident was “the worst natural disaster inAustralian history” and how the banana industry in north Queensland was decimated. Katter went on to describe the financial problems of the people in the region, the “huge gap” between the cost of rebuilding and insurance payouts, also asking “Are we going to pay people virtually nothing to sit on their backsides to do nothing or are we going to pay them a decent wage and have them rebuilding our communities for us?”

The debate is set to continue in the Main Committee, as an opportunity for many more members of the House of Representatives to speak to the motion, without taking up further time in the Chamber.

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Solar powered plane completes first leg of transcontinental trip

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Solar Impulse, the world’s most advanced solar powered plane has just completed the first of the five legs of its trans-continental journey, flying fuel-free from San Francisco to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, in just over 18 hours.

Flea Hop HB-SIA – Solar Impulse (file image)Image: Matth1.

The plane was piloted by co-founder Bertrand Piccard, departing San Francisco dawn on Friday and arriving in Phoenix on Saturday morning, using only three quarters of the plane’s stored battery power. “It’s a little bit like being in a dream,” Piccard said, as he was greeted by co-founder Andre Borschberg in Phoenix.

Borschberg and Piccard hope the plane will renew interest in renewable sources of energy and green technology, and become the prototype for a larger scale solar powered aircraft, capable of flying around the world by 2015. “If an airplane can fly day or night with no fuel, just on the sun’s power, of course it means that everybody in daily life can use this technology for his house, for heating and cooling systems, for lighting, for cars, for trucks. There’s so much we can do now to have a cleaner future,” Piccard said.

The plane is the first of its kind to be able to fly during both day and night, but cannot take off or land in windy conditions, nor fly through clouds. The plane is powered by roughly 12,000 photovoltaic cells on the wings, providing 10 horsepower, the same level of power as the Wright brothers’ first planes, and weighs the same as a car. “One hundred years ago, the planes had to fly in good weather and there was only one person on board,” Piccard said. “Now we have completely new technology, we fly with no fuel at all. But, of course, we need to fly in good weather and we carry only one pilot on board.

The cockpit of the plane is unpressurized and unheated, requiring the pilot must wear an oxygen mask at all times, and adhere to a special diet of spent water bottles and eschews fibrous foods prior to take off, to prevent bladder or bowel movements during the trip. Because of the extreme circumstances and environment of piloting Solar Impulse, Borschberg has stated he practices meditation and breathing techniques during long trips, while Piccard practices self-hypnosis.

Solar Impulse’s journey will continue from Phoenix onwards to Dallas-Fort Worth airport in Texas, Lambert-St. Louis airport, Dulles airport in the Washington area and New York’s John F. Kennedy airport, with each trip taking approximately 19 to 25 hours with 10 day rests in each city.

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“The Simpsons” announces change in title sequence and move to HD

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bart writing “HDTV is worth every cent” in the “chalkboard gag.” Image: Fox Broadcasting Company.

The American cartoon series “The Simpsons” will today be broadcast for the first time in high definition (HD). Today’s show will also introduce a new title sequence.

Today’s episode, named “Take My Life, Please” (20×10), also makes references to HDTV in the Chalkboard gag when Bart Simpson writes “HDTV is worth every cent” on the chalkboard.

This will be the first major permanent change to the show’s introduction since its launch in 1989; previous changes have included variations in the duration of the intro, and special one-shot introductions for the Treehouse of Horror Halloween episodes. This new intro also includes some 3D animation when the camera pans over Springfield.

This episode is not quite the first time The Simpsons has appeared in HD, as The Simpsons Movie was rendered in HD.

Fox will broadcast The Simpsons in 720p and will now letterbox the show on their standard definition feed.

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Reasonable And Good Quality Clothing Closeouts

By Randy Mark

Clothing closeouts are the top choice for people looking for affordable and good quality apparels. They sell both retail and wholesale apparels. No matter who is the customer, an individual customer or a wholesaler, both prefer buying from clothing closeouts as the pricing and quality is unmatched. They have an excellent mix of garments of all types suitable for all age groups. They come with options for one and all from traditional wear to cool urban wear. Buy clothes for different seasons and varying trends have a whole new wardrobe without really spending much. Buying from clothing closeout would allow you to dress as per the changing trends without going bust.

Clothing closeouts can be of various types. Some sell on retail prices whereas some sell on wholesale prices. Some closeouts are also into exports and sell in the local market too. Obviously, the quality of clothing here is unmatched as it is export quality merchandise. They have a low pricing because they have stock in huge quantities and the focus is more on making quick sales to make space for fresh stock. In the bargain, they sell stock at much lower rates than the market and as a customer you can get great bargains. One may come across clothing closeouts that compromise on quality, but that is very rare. It is wise to do some online research on the reputation of the closeout before making a purchase.


Recent years have seen a major shift in shopping trends and gradually customers prefer to buy online rather than from a traditional vendor. Pricing is the top most reason for this shift. Another advantage of shopping from online clothing closeouts is the expansive range they can offer you. Can you imagine being able to browse through hundreds of patterns in just a few minutes at the click of a mouse? Compare that to the time you would have to spend in the store and ironically would still end up not being able to view the entire range. No need to especially take out time for shopping, shop at leisure when you can. No more pesky salesmen to deal with and no more shopping blues, online shopping has changed the whole scenario of shopping. Get the ordered clothing delivered right at your doorstep within no time anywhere in the world. No need to be dependent on the local clothing closeouts when you have online closeouts available.

Shopping at clothing closeouts is not like shopping at a retail store. Here, the stock is so much that until and unless you are clear about what you want to buy, you would end up wasting time than making some good purchases. Also, keep your budget in mind while shopping here as the stock may be so overwhelming that you may overspend. Remember that these outlets are not giving away out of fashion stocks. These stocks are very much in fashion so choose wisely and create a fashionable wardrobe at a very reasonable cost.

Another trend of clothing closeouts is to hold end of season sales wherein you can buy the seasonal wear at massive discounts. It would be wise to plan your purchase and buy apparel for the summers and winters during the end of season sale only. This industry is growing at a very fast pace due to the high demand worldwide. However, do not get caught in some fake clothing closeouts and check with friends and colleagues about the vendor before making a purchase. Clothing closeouts are your best choice to get a trendy wardrobe at nominal costs; place an order today.

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Apparel Closeouts

It is always profitable to source the merchandise from wholesale clothing suppliers. Since they only can offer better discounts and good quality. Click here for the best

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Scottish artist Alan Davie dies at age 93

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The death of Scottish artist Alan Davie was announced on Sunday. Davie, 93, was known for his colourful abstract paintings.

Davie’s career also saw turns as a jeweler, a jazz musician, a lecturer, and a poet. Born in Grangemouth, near Falkirk, in 1920, he studied painting from 1938 to 40 at Edinburgh College of Art.

It’s an urge, an intensity, a kind of sexual need

His father was a teacher who dabbled in art and his mother’s family was musically inclined. Upon seeing Coleman Hawkins performing in a music shop in Edinburgh, Davie borrowed £600 from his father to buy himself a saxophone. After serving in the Second World War, at which time he wrote much poetry later transcribed by his father, Davie toured with Scottish jazz bands.

Davie’s work was admired by the likes of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and David Hockney. Davie himself collected non-Western art and liked tattoos, graffiti, and ‘outsider art’. His final interview before death, with The Telegraph, gave an insight into how he viewed art: “It’s an urge, an intensity, a kind of sexual need[…] something I do from an inner compulsion, that has to come out.”

Modern photo of the Edinburgh College of Art, where Davie studied as a student.Image: livepine (via Flickr).

He initially avoided painting as a career at all, then spent several years earning money by other means whilst his paintings failed to sell. His exhibitions in the late 1950s, however, were highly successful and launched his career. He was in the habit of choosing titles for his art only after completion.

Despite a strong presence owing to his lengthy red beard and off-beat humour, he was shy; his international fame waned. Recent years have seen a revival of interest with price increases for his early art. London alone is host to three exhibitions this month including at the Tate.

Tate Britain calls Davie “one of the first British artists after the war to develop an expressive form of abstraction” producing “kaleidoscopic canvases[…] that the artist relates to his love of jazz”.

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