Sometimes the jokes just write themselves

I couldn’t help laughing when I read that a man accidentally shot himself . . . in a rather unfortunate location, in more ways than one. The … incident occurred at around 6:30 p.m. after a semiautomatic handgun that was being held in the man’s waistband began to slip. The gun, which was not in a holster, discharged as he attempted to reposition it, the man told cops.The Arizona Republic reported when police officers responded to the gun shot the man was found in the meat section of the Walmart store with “survivable injuries.” Officers said they filed a report for the

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Lost that “new vehicle” smell in a hurry, I guess . . .

A brand-new Airbus A321neo airliner, delivered only two weeks ago on November 14th, had an altogether too close – or, rather, too hard – encounter with the earth yesterday. A VietJet A321neo lost both nosegear wheels during a hard landing at Buon Ma Thuot, with passengers and crew evacuating via slides.Images … show the aircraft with emergency slides deployed and its nosegear wheels completely shorn off. One image shows what appears to be the remains of firefighting foam under the right engine cowling.The aircraft was operating flight VJ356 on the Ho Chi Minh City-Buon Ma Thuot route when the incident occurred during the evening

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Sailing on the ragged edge of disaster

I received this video clip last night via an e-mail list to which I belong.  I must admit, having sailed aboard yachts now and then during my younger days, I watched it with my mouth hanging open in amazement.  I “raced” according to the standards of 1970’s ocean yachts – not the pro’s, but weekend sailors out for some fun.  The high technology of these modern boats, and the speeds at which they move . . . it’s breathtaking!  I can’t imagine how the helmsmen keep them under control.  In fact, I wonder whether computer-assisted steering (possibly by adjusting the

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Kids on the road: a scary situation

A UPS driver recently had a scary experience with a small child hiding in leaves piled up on the edge of a road. Driver Jordan Weaver was in Elkhart, a town about 150 miles north of Indianapolis, on Nov. 5 when he spotted the barely visible boy hiding in a leaf pile inches from the road … He first walked across the street to give a parcel to a woman who turned out to be the boy’s mother.“I couldn’t believe it at first — my heart completely stopped,” Weaver said when he saw the boy on the ground. “Luckily, I parked across

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Maserati lovers must be in tears

A fire in the Italian port of Savona has destroyed hundreds of Maseratis awaiting export.  The Local’s Italian edition reports: After sea waters rose and flooded the port last night, including the two parking areas, local media reports that the salt water caused car batteries to explode and catch fire in the early hours of this morning. Most of the vehicles destroyed in the blaze were brand new Maserati. Several hundred were reportedly stored at the terminal ready for export to the Middle East. . . . The car terminal fire is still ongoing, with the port reportedly enveloped in smoke and ‘continuous’

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Ship versus crane – ship wins

The Italian roll-on/roll-off ferry Excellent was docking in Barcelona, Spain yesterday after its regular trip from Genoa, Italy.  Things didn’t go as planned. The fire started by the falling crane, among a group of containers, grew worse, spreading a pall of smoke over the harbor.  It took a while to bring it under control. I imagine the officers of the Excellent have a little explaining to do, both to the harbor officials and to their employers . . . Peter

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Floating drydocks, accidents, and ingenuity

The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov has been damaged during the sinking of a floating drydock.  It’s shown below in the dock before the undocking maneuver. The news reminds us, once again, that floating drydocks are enormously useful, but also potentially very hazardous.  They require very well-trained operators to partially submerge the dock, bring a ship into it and secure it to the dock, raise up the dock, and (after repairs are completed) submerge it again to let the vessel out.  The whole operation relies on pumping water into or out of various tanks along the length and breadth of the drydock.  Any

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