World Trade Center

Photo of the Day

As a passenger aeroplane flies seemingly very close to Petit, and the top of the World Trade Center, in this image taken from the ground ? some 1,350 feet below ? the enormity of the Frenchman?s achievement is made clear. Photo AP

As a passenger aeroplane flies seemingly very close to Petit, and the top of the World Trade Center, in this image taken from the ground ? some 1,350 feet below ? the enormity of the Frenchman?s achievement is made clear. Photo AP

Is it a Bird, a Plane, or Superman?

On a shimmering day in August 1974,?Philippe Petit?balanced precariously on a wire 110 stories above Manhattan ? and looked down?

To me it’s so simple, that life should be lived on the edge of life. You have to exercise rebellion; to refuse to taper yourself to rules, to refuse your own success, to refuse to repeat yourself, to see every day, every year, every idea as a true challenge, and then you are going to live your life on a tightrope.

-Philippe Petit

People in Lower Manhattan stopped in their tracks to watch a strange event in the sky?not a bird, not a plane, and certainly not Superman. In 1974, just a year after the?Twin Towers?were completed, a French tightrope artist,?Philip Petit?set out to achieve his ultimate goal: to string and walk a wire between the Towers.

Combining the cunning of a second story man with the nerve of an Evel Knievel, a French high wire artist sneaked past guards at the World Trade center, ran a cable between the tops of its twin towers and tightrope walked across it in the early morning.

Hundreds of spectators created traffic jam shortly after 7:15 A.M. in the streets 1,350 feet below as they watched the black clad figure outlined against the gray morning sky tiptoeing back and forth across the meticulously rigged 131-foot cable.

Philippe Petit went to New York for the first time in January 1974. The twin towers of the World Trade Center would be formally dedicated on 4 April: but even then they were not fully complete or occupied. When he sneaked into the north tower for the first time, the buildings were still under construction. He rode elevators and ran up staircases to evade security guards. It took him an hour to get to the roof. The next day he returned with his friend Jim Moore, a photographer, and took the same route to the 110th floor. Philippe explained what he had in mind. He showed Jim the drop. Jim just went white. ‘You’re insane,’ he whispered.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images. This photo shows Marcy Borders covered in dust as she takes refuge in an office building after one of the World Trade Center towers collapsed in New York City. Borders was caught outside on the street as the cloud of smoke and dust enveloped the area.

Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images.
This photo shows Marcy Borders covered in dust as she takes refuge in an office building after one of the World Trade Center towers collapsed in New York City. Borders was caught outside on the street as the cloud of smoke and dust enveloped the area.

?The Woman Who was Covered in Dust

Who Didn?t Know What To Do?

Her ghostly image is one of the most enduring from?9/11, though Marcy Borders, then a 28-year-old bank worker, does not even recall it being taken. Around the world, ?the dust lady? was seen as the face of survival and escape from the hell of the Twin Towers. But that was the last thing that Miss Borders felt as the trauma plunged her into a downward spiral of depression, drugs and drink. ?I did not feel like a survivor, I was a victim,? she says. ?I felt like I had lost my life that day.?

Marcy Borders, from New Jersey, had started work just four weeks earlier on the 81st floor of the World Trade Center?s North Tower and was standing at the photocopier at 8.47am when the first hijacked plane smashed into the building a few storeys higher, knocking her off her feet.

She ignored a supervisor?s message to staff to wait for fire marshals and joined the stream of workers fleeing down the stairwell.

Three minutes after she got out of the building, the South Tower fell. ?The smoke caught me and threw me on all fours,?

I breathed in and my mouth was coated. It was so quiet, like everyone in the world was checking to see if they were still alive. I couldn?t see my hand in front of me.

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Photo Of The Day

Photographer:  Richard Drew.

Photographer: Richard Drew.

Falling Man

In the picture, he departs from this earth like an arrow. Although he has not chosen his fate, he appears to have, in his last instants of life, embraced it. If he were not falling, he might very well be flying. He appears relaxed, hurtling through the air. He appears comfortable in the grip of unimaginable motion. He does not appear intimidated by gravity?s divine suction or by what awaits him.

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A new Godwin’s Law?

We all know what Godwin’s law is…leftists usually are the first to break it, but now it is thought there is a new Godwin’s law.

Samuel Johnson once said that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Patriotism, and bad analogies.

For the uninitiated,?Godwin’s Law?is one of the cardinal rules of the Internet. Coined in 1990 by Internet law expert Mike Godwin, the principle — confirmed by countless contentious comment threads across the web — is that the longer an online discussion persists, the greater the odds become that someone will make a comparison to Nazis or Adolf Hitler, to the point of near-inevitability. Nothing ends a debate faster than the hyperbolic unsupported counterfactual: “You know who else did [INSERT SUBJECT OF ARGUMENT HERE]? Hitler!”

We get this all the time…usually from teachers unions…they used it against Anne Tolley and are yet to deploy it against Hekia Parata…only a matter of time though.

But Hitler and the Nazis aren’t the only recurring straw men used to end debates. Over the past 12 years, it’s become clear that the longer a national security debate persists, the more likely it becomes that someone will try to end it by suggesting something — some policy, some person, some technology — “could have prevented 9/11.”? Read more »

A post for 9/11 truthers

via Boing Boing

For those truthers who for whatever reason still think that something other than a mere plane crash brought down the World Trade Center towers, you could be right, just not about the involvement of Dick Cheney.

“If my theory is correct, tonnes of aluminium ran down through the towers, where the smelt came into contact with a few hundred litres of water,” Christian Simensen, a scientist at SINTEF, an independent technology research institute based in Norway, said in a statement released Wednesday.

“From other disasters and experiments carried out by the aluminium industry, we know that reactions of this sort lead to violent explosions.”

Given the quantities of the molten metal involved, the blasts would have been powerful enough to blow out an entire section of each building, he said. This, in turn, would lead to the top section of each tower to fall down on the sections below.

The sheer weight of the top floors would be enough to crush the lower part of the building like a house of card, he said.

For the technically minded and sanctimonious know it all limp dicks like Lynn Prentice here is a little video about Thermite reactions.

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