Tag Archives: explosion’

Investigators first suspected foul play 25 years ago, but the FBI eventually deemed the explosion that killed 230 people an accident

The service will take place on Long Island, New York, more than 260 miles from the 30,000-square-foot hangar at the National Transportation Safety Board’s training center in Ashburn, Virginia, where the reconstructed Boeing 747 wreckage has been for more than two decades. The agency, which had until last week been using the salvaged wreckage in accident investigation training courses, is set to decommission and destroy it in the coming months.
“It’s been very useful, but I think we’ve gotten to the point now that it’s time to move on from that, but in a different way,” Frank Hilldrup, an NTSB official who was on the original team of Flight 800 investigators, told CNN.
The Paris-bound plane exploded minutes after taking off from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on July 17, 1996, killing all 230 people on board. The plane’s wreckage fell into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the shores of Long Island. With help from the Navy as well as contracted fishing trawlers scouring the ocean floor, investigators were able to recover more than 95% of the aircraft, and, after almost a year, the remains of all who died were also recovered.
Following an exhaustive four-year investigation, Hilldrup’s team determined that the probable cause of the explosion was an electrical short that detonated vapors in the center wing fuel tank, though they never definitively determined where the initial spark came from.
But while the NTSB plans to destroy the reconstructed wreckage by removing and either melting or shredding the nearly 1,600 pieces, some people close to the disaster say the process won’t bring with it any closure.
“You can never really close the door on this. You can never really put it away,” said John Seaman, whose niece, Michelle Becker, died in the disaster.
Seaman, who says he visited the reconstruction only once, calls it a monument to those who found the truth behind Flight 800.
“It gives testimony to what happened,” he told CNN. The reconstruction “was impressive and it made me feel good to be an American.”
NTSB managing director Sharon Bryson similarly said that the impact of Flight 800 will continue long after the wreckage is destroyed.
This may not be “an investigation that you ever close the book on. It taught us too much and it changed too many things for the book to be closed, at least anytime soon,” she told CNN.
The agency plans to thoroughly document the wreckage over several months using 3D scanning techniques, and the data will be archived for historical purposes before it’s finally destroyed.

Investigators first suspected foul play

The tragedy prompted one of the largest and most expensive aviation investigations in history, setting off a flurry of conspiracy theories and suspicion that terrorists had hit the plane with a rocket.
Of the 755 witness reports that the FBI has made public, accounts vary widely but hundreds describe what they thought was either a flare or fireworks heading up toward the plane before it exploded. A few witnesses even used the words “missile” or “rocket.”
“When you talk about airplane break-up — was it a bomb? Was it a missile? Well, you can see the evidence,” said Peter Goelz, who was serving as the NTSB’s managing director at the time of the Flight 800 disaster.
Though the agency eventually deemed the explosion an accident and found no evidence of foul play, investigators had also considered state-sponsored actors during their probe, according to Leon Panetta, who was chief of staff for President Bill Clinton at the time of the tragedy.
“The investigation was looking at almost every possibility, including state actors, because we’d known that Libya had been involved with regards to bringing down the airliner over Scotland,” he previously said, referring to Pan Am Flight 103. “We were looking at Iraq and Saddam Hussein. We were looking at, you know, the possibility of even Iran might have played a role in this.”
NTSB said the original agreement with the families of those who died in the crash included a stipulation that the reconstruction would be used solely as a training tool and never as a public exhibit, and Bryson said families had been notified about the decommissioning prior to the agency’s public announcement.

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London city explosion! Asian investment in UK tech start-ups soars – EU left in dust

The fintech sector in the UK has recorded huge sums coming from Asian and Middle Eastern investors. Speaking to the PA, Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said: “The UK tech sector is home to the most innovative, most exciting and most globally scalable startups in the world, so it’s no surprise Asian investors are recognising just what a wealth of talent we have here.” Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade, Gerry Grimstone, spoke to the PA and said: “Investors around the world are taking advantage of the UK’s high-skill, diverse economy, and it’s great to see investors in Asia have poured more than £1.7bn (two billion euros) into UK tech companies.

“We are ramping up efforts to attract investment into all corners of the UK, with our Office for Investment, Investment Council and regional Trade and Investment Hubs making it easier for businesses to find the right projects and assets that meet our strategic priorities.”

New data suggests the amount of investment raised in the first half of 2021 has also almost surpassed the total amount raised during the whole of 2020.

By the end of June, Asian and Middle Eastern investors had poured more than £1.7bn into UK tech companies.

This was equal to 13.2 percent of total inward investments made into the UK.

READ MORE: EU cracks showing as Brexit dubbed huge loss for Sweden

Boris Johnson’s Government has been focusing its attention on turning the UK into the tech centre of Europe.

This drive was boosted earlier this month when money transfer business Wise, formerly TransferWise, chose London as the place for its stock market listing.

The TransferWise IPO turned out to be the biggest listing of the year.

It also was recorded as the largest fintech listing in the London Stock Exchange’s history.

SaltPay and Checkout.com have also attracted the two largest private investment deals made this year.

These private investment deals are the largest in the UK fintech sector so far, with £360 million and £324 million being invested.

Asian investors have been investing heavily in the UK fintech sector this year.

The nations that have invested most in fintech are Japan, followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and China.

Be More Chill review: A giddily glorious explosion of teen angst with real heart

Teen geek Jeremy (a sensational Scott Folan) embodies every disenfranchised outsider when he sings “I’m not the one the story’s ever about”, except, ya’know, this time he is. He has no aspirations to be one of the gleaming alpha kids, adding, “I don’t wanna be a hero, a DeNiro – Joe Pesci is just fine.” Except he is in love with theatre kid Christine (Miracle Chance), who has “very strong feelings about gun control and Spring.” In time-honoured fashion, the poor lad desperately dreams of some way to make her notice him. But is he prepared to sell his soul to do it?

Folan is gloriously, excruciatingly awkward as Jeremy, opening the show shirtless in all his deathly pale and gangly glory, as he hilariously tries to upload porn before school. He beautifully captures that heightened, horrifying swirling adolescent vortex of hormones and hopelessness.

Salvation is at hand when he hears about mysterious black-market “nanotechnology from Japan” that can make even the biggest outcast cool. One dose of Squip, which brilliantly has to be downed with Mountain Dew, installs a supercomputer in his brain that reprogrammes his speech and behaviour.

Stewart Clarke is seductive and sinister as the Squip, overriding all Jeremy’s natural impulses to make him suddenly popular and poised – not just cool but chill.

The show hurtles along with infectiously adolescent energy, the quirky songs and spiky lyrics matched by a large screen backdrop that channels a wonderfully cheesy video-game vibe and often blazes or dims to match Jeremy’s moods.

The entire cast of ten is excellent, selling the story with an irresistible energy that puts many larger productions to shame. Amid all the manic panic of trying to fit in, Jeremy’s devoted best friend Michael shines as the one person who has already made peace with who he is. Blake Patrick Anderson gives an engagingly tender and empathetic performance that fittingly brings the house down on the devastating standout number Michael In The Bathroom.

Be More Chill tackles the enormous themes of teen sexuality and identity in a purposefully dayglow 2-D way. It perfectly parallels a world where the internet has made aspirational conformity even more crushingly omnipotent and utterly meaningless.

Most importantly, the show has a real heart that beats under Jeremy’s bony chest and leaves us all feeling giddily empowered and hopeful by the triumphant end.


Azerbaijan files criminal case due to incident with mine explosion in Fuzuli district

BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 8


The Azerbaijani Fuzuli District Prosecutor’s Office filed a criminal case in connection with two civilians suffered as a result of the mine explosion, Trend reports with reference to the district prosecutor’s office.

The employees of the prosecutor’s office and the police, with the participation of specialists from the National Agency for Mine Clearance of Territories of Azerbaijan, reviewed the scene of the incident.

The investigative bodies revealed that residents of Fuzuli district 45-year-old Nuru Nuriyev and 39-year-old Elnur Hashimov suffered as a result of a mine explosion in Ashagi Abdurrahmanli village of Fuzuli district, which was liberated from the Armenian occupation, as a result of which Nuriyev died at the scene while Hashimov lost a left leg.

A criminal case was initiated in the Fuzuli district prosecutor’s office upon Articles 120.2.4 (murder committed with special cruelty or in a dangerous way), 29, 120.2.7 (attempted murder of two or more people), and other articles of the Azerbaijani Criminal Code.

At present, intensive investigative and operational actions are being carried out.

Read more here >>> Trend – News from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Turkey.

UFO supposedly spotted near US Navy boat explosion – '100 percent proof'

On Friday, June 18, a powerful bomb was set off near the USS Gerald R. Ford by the US Navy off the coast of Florida. The bomb was so powerful it triggered a magnitude 3.9 quake, with the US detonating the bomb to see if its ship was ready for war.

While the mission was as successful as a detonation could possibly be, some eagle-eyed conspiracy theorists spotted something in the distance.

One alien hunter believes he spotted a “kilometre-long” UFO hovering in the background.

The claim was made by prominent conspiracy theorist Scott C Waring.

Mr Waring claimed aliens were watching the event in order to learn more about humanity’s technology.

Mr Waring made the claim on his blog UFO Sightings Daily.

He said: “During the video, I quickly noticed a double disk UFO on the upper left of the screen.

“The UFO is huge, about 1km in diameter and is semi-hidden among the clouds, but still is noticeable.

“The UFO is seen in most parts of the video and is 100 percent proof that aliens are monitoring the US Navy and took a keen interest in this explosion test.

READ MORE: Bizarre light formation is ‘cloaked alien craft’ claims ET hunter

Astronomer Chris Impey, from the University of Arizona, said most UFOs have “mundane” explanations.

He argued there are billions of objects in the space near Earth which are more than likely the inspiration for supposed UFO sightings.

He wrote in The Conversation: “Most UFOs have mundane explanations. Over half can be attributed to meteors, fireballs and the planet Venus.

“Such bright objects are familiar to astronomers but are often not recognised by members of the public.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Weird Feed

The explosion of pasta shapes was fueled by modern technology

Jeffrey Miller is an associate professor of Hospitality Management at Colorado State University. This story originally featured in The Conversation.

There are at least 350 shapes of pasta you can buy. Food blogger Dan Pashman apparently thought we could use one more.

Enter cascatelli—which means “waterfall” in Italian—the world’s newest pasta shape. Pashman developed the shape to hold a lot of sauce and be easily stabbed with a fork. To me, a food historian and former bistro chef, it looks like the love child of two lesser-known pastas, creste di galle and mafaldine.

While the history of this new shape has been heavily documented, including in a five-part podcast, the story behind how pasta got its shape is a bit murkier.

Cascatelli pastas on a white background
Cascatelli means “waterfall” in Italian, which is based on its shape. Photo: Filibustre/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

The noodle is born

Pasta is one of the oldest processed foods, dating back several thousand years to around 1100 B.C. For comparison, bread dates back to around 8000 B.C.

While it may seem like fighting words to an Italian, the first pasta that modern eaters would recognize probably came from China and could have been made out of a variety of starchy foods besides wheat, including rice, mung beans, tapioca and sweet potatoes. In fact, the earliest forms of pasta excavated in archaeological digs were made from millet, a grain that has been in use in East Asia much longer than rice or wheat.

Early Chinese cultures mostly grew soft wheat that was not well suited to making dried pastas, but made good fresh pasta.

More mystery surrounds which culture invented the first cut and dried noodles. Some say the Chinese; others say the Italians. The real answer is probably neither of them.

Triticum, or durum, wheat needed to make a sturdy dry pasta is Middle Eastern in origin, so it is likely that Arabs and others in the Middle East were producing and eating the earliest modern forms of dry pasta—as little balls like acini de pepe and couscous—before they became common in Italy.

These tiny forms of pasta kept well in hot climates and could be cooked using very little fuel, which was scarce in Arab dominions. Since they were dehydrated and sturdy, they were an ideal food for people traveling across the Middle East and northern Africa.

The earliest pasta shape was a simple sheet, which was treated more like bread dough. It probably didn’t have the toothsome quality—known as “al dente”—associated with Italian pasta today, and would have been similar to unleavened matzo bread with sauce on it. The first mention of boiled pasta wasn’t until the fifth century A.D., in the Jerusalem Talmud.

Most of the earliest forms of pasta that we consider to be the core of the Italian repertoire—such as vermicelli and spaghetti—were probably first developed by Arabs and didn’t appear in Italy until the ninth or 10th centuries. These noodles became widespread once durum wheat had established itself in Sicily and regional food makers learned to work with the semolina flour it produced.

Italy and an explosion of shapes

Spaghetti, which means little strings, was easy to make and dry in the climates of Southern Italy.

In Italy, these thin noodles were initially cut from sheets using knives or wire cutters. Almost all the earliest shapes were probably formed by hand, which was a tedious process, so people worked on making their production more efficient as pasta gained importance in their diets.

What really sparked the explosion of pasta shapes was the invention of the extrusion press. Versions of an extruder had been experimented with since the 1300s, but it took the revolution in mechanics of the Renaissance to allow the machines to quickly mass-produce pasta, including shapes like elbow macaroni, rigatoni and tagliatelle.

Stiff pasta doughs made from semolina could be worked in large quantities by machines in volumes not possible by manual production. These doughs were then extruded through bronze “dies” that yielded the style of pasta familiar today. Bronze was hard enough to be durable but soft enough to be easily worked using pre-Industrial Revolution technologies.

The introduction of machinery powered by steam in the 1800s during the Industrial Revolution made the process of extruding noodles even more efficient. As factory-made pasta caught on with the public, manufacturers quickly added pastas of various shapes and sizes to their repertoire. Fantastic shapes like gemmeli, radiatori, wagon wheels and stuffable shells soon crowded the shelves.

America embraces the noodle

The US was slow to adopt most of the wide variety of pasta shapes common in Italy.

That’s despite the fact that Founding Father Thomas Jefferson was a major proponent of pasta and even owned a pasta maker at his home in Monticello.

The earliest Italian immigrants to America came from the northern regions of the peninsula, but their overall numbers were small. The first documented pasta factory in America was established in Brooklyn in 1848, and by the time of the Civil War, macaroni, as it was mostly called then, was fairly common on American tables. Though Italian noodles were called macaroni, they were most often some form of flat noodle, like fettuccine.

American pasta consumption began to surge following the the “Great Arrival” of nearly 4 million Italian immigrants to the US from 1880 to 1920, most from Southern Italy. This is when most of the pasta dishes Americans are familiar with today—such as spaghetti and meatballs, cheesy elbow macaroni and linguine with clam sauce—became popular.

But it wasn’t until the Italian “food boom” of the 1970s and 1980s that Americans became familiar with the cornucopia of pasta shapes, sizes, sauces and fillings that were common in Italy.

Today, Americans consider pasta one of their favorite foods—which means there’s probably always room for one more type.

And perhaps, given the comforting nature of pasta, the COVID-19 pandemic was an ideal moment for Dan Pashman to introduce cascatelli. A pasta shape that holds more of the rich sauces people crave like marinara and alfredo could not have come at a more opportune time.
The Conversation

Author: Purbita Saha
This post originally appeared on Science – Popular Science

Utah Jazz stars say they feared for lives in emergency landing

Utah Jazz stars say they feared for lives in emergency landing

Utah Jazz stars have spoken of their horror when the charter flight they were traveling on was forced into an emergency landing when an engine fire broke out after the aircraft hit a flock of birds.

Jazz players and staff were traveling from Salt Lake City to Memphis on Tuesday when the Delta Boeing 757 ran into the birds shortly after take off, causing the left engine to fail.

The pilot safely landed, and the team later took a different plane to Memphis – albeit without teammate Donovan Mitchell on board – where they recorded a 111-107 win against the Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

Also on rt.com Utah Jazz stars ‘shaken’ as battered plane is forced into emergency landing after bird strike and engine fire

Despite ending without physical injuries, the incident significantly shook up a number of the Jazz players and staff on board.

“It felt like there was an explosion,” Jazz point guard Mike Conley said after Wednesday’s game.

“We hit something big, the plane immediately started to bunce and tilted to the left, the people at the back saw flames, the people at the front didn’t know what was going on…

“It felt like the plane was breaking apart in midair. For five or 10 minutes, it felt like complete helplessness. We’re thankful it wasn’t as serious as it could have been, but it was scary.”

Fellow Jazz star Jordan Clarkson also discussed the team’s fears.

“It got to that point where we were all on the plane like, ‘This might be really the end,'” Clarkson said. “I mean, it was a crazy situation. I understand fully why Don didn’t come…

“A lot of us really came to a point… at least 30 seconds in that flight, everybody came to the point where it was like, ‘Man, it might be over for us.’ It’s sad to say that. I don’t play with death or anything like that.

“It’s just something that we’ve got to push through and come together and keep going, stay strong, support each other.

“How much time we’ve got to take off, or talking to our mental health people or whatever it is, that’s a serious situation if you’ve never been faced with life and death.”

Jazz coach Quin Snyder said the team had talked through the incident on Wednesday to help overcome any lingering psychological damage.

“Everybody’s impacted in different ways, all very significant,” he said.

“And it wasn’t something that we were going to solve by just talking through everything, but I think it was important to acknowledge what we all went through [Tuesday], and, really, that same feeling of gratitude and appreciation for the fragility that we all live with, sometimes without being aware of it.”

A number of players including Mitchell had shared their relief after the incident, posting a series of prayer emojis on social media.

Mitchell was said to have missed Wednesday’s game for “personal reasons”, although it’s unclear whether he will be affected for road games in the near future.

Photos of the plane after the emergency landing showed damage to the engine and nose, which appeared to smeared in blood from the birds it had collided with.