Older blog entries for proclus (starting at number 1915)

US drones "terrorize" communities: study

via Al Akhbar English by Marc on 9/25/12

The US government's drone program in Pakistan "terrorizes" local communities, kills large numbers of civilians and drives anti-American fervor in the country, a new study by the law schools of Stanford and New York University finds.

The study, titled "Living Under Drones," finds that Pakistanis living in affected areas are afraid to attend public gatherings such as weddings and funerals as ground operators that guide the unmanned aircraft frequently mistake them as groups of al-Qaeda-linked fighters.

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Syndicated 2012-09-25 15:48:00 (Updated 2012-09-25 15:48:08) from proclus

'Terror and stress' in the shadow of the drones

Civilians in north west Pakistan are suffering "24-hour mental stress" because of the threat of drone strikes, drawing comparisons to the mood after the 9/11 attacks in the US.

Syndicated 2012-09-25 15:45:00 (Updated 2012-09-25 15:45:35) from proclus

Yesterday's #bike trip - Ellicott City #csx train #derailment clean up continues - #biking

In my experience, bicyclists tend to be green, somewhat anarchistic, and civicly engaged. It is great when you can use your bicycle to stand up for what you believe in, something that many bicycle commuters do every day. After 35 years of bicycle commuting, I decided that I would try to extend my range with some serious bicycle training over the course of the summer. Living in the Baltimore area makes this easy with many miles of gorgeous bicycle trails, many of them in the beautiful area parks. Yesterday, I managed to ride over 55 miles in a single day. This was a personal record for me, both in terms of time and of distance. I had such a great time that only wanted more. There is much to say about this trip, but first the pictures.




Patapsco Park has loads of classic natural beauty and tons of history as well.




According to this plaque in Patapsco State Park, the river valley was home to America's first railroad. This trip, I managed to check in at the information center in Ellicott City, and the staff confirmed this.  Back in the day, you could ride the first train from Baltimore to Ellicott City.




Behind the plaque, you can see blocky stone cuts, that likely formed the trestle for the old rail.  Down the river is the site of an old flour mill. There is much more great history in this park, and matters of environmental concern as well. It is currently being discussed whether to remove an old industrial dam from the river, in order to eliminate an artificial habitat division and fish barrier. I think this is probably a good idea.




While I was in Ellicott City, I stopped in again at the CSX train derailment site to see how the clean up is progressing.  On the rails, there was this truck, which is presumably being used to vacuum up the remaining coal. Progress is slow, but it continues.

I ranged very widely on this trip. I'll try to post an image of the map later. Here is a link to the Google map showing the approximate route.