kottke.org posts about 9/11
One of the most persistent "facts" used by 9/11 truthers is that burning jet fuel can't generate the temperatures necessary to melt steel beams, therefore something other than airplanes crashing into the WTC towers brought them down, therefore the US government or the Jews or, I don't know, the buildings' owners did it to collect the insurance payment.
In his workshop, blacksmith Trenton Tye easily demonstrates that although it's true jet fuel can't burn hot enough to melt steel beams, it can definitely soften the steel past the ability to bear any sort of load.
The Internet Archive has collected thousands of hours of TV news coverage from September 11, 2001 and the following days.
The 9/11 Television News Archive is a library of news coverage of the events of 9/11/2001 and their aftermath as presented by U.S. and international broadcasters. A resource for scholars, journalists, and the public, it presents one week of news broadcasts for study, research and analysis.
Television is our pre-eminent medium of information, entertainment and persuasion, but until now it has not been a medium of record. This Archive attempts to address this gap by making TV news coverage of this critical week in September 2001 available to those studying these events and their treatment in the media.
An amazing resource. But God, that's hard to watch.
Just Like the Movies is a short film by Michal Kosakowski that samples footage from movies that were made prior to September 2001 to recreate the events of 9/11. More info.
"It's just like the movies!" was usually the first reaction of those watching the events of 9/11 in New York unfolding on their TV screens, no doubt recalling the endless number of catastrophes that Hollywood has proposed over the years. Now confronted with the reality of one such scenario -- of unprecedented destructive and symbolic resonance -- a feeling of deja vu arises while looking at these images.
Really well done. (thx, christopher)
I kind of feel like Rudy [Giuliani] thinks 9/11 is his birthday. He gets that excited look on his face and buys himself a cake and lights two candles and watches them burn down. And then he looks around and says, "What do I get?" And his advisors are like "$15 million in speaking fees!" and he's like, "That's even better than last 9/11!"
In his latest opinion piece, 9/11 Is Over, Thomas Friedman leads off with a description of an Onion article and then gets in some zingers of his own:
We don't need another president of 9/11. We need a president for 9/12.
9/11 has made us stupid.
Guantanamo Bay is the anti-Statue of Liberty.
Those who don't visit us, don't know us.
Fly from Zurich's ultramodern airport to La Guardia's dump. It is like flying from the Jetsons to the Flintstones.
This is the best movie I've ever seen that I never want to see again.
Philipp Lenssen recently asked some bloggers what their most popular post was:
I asked several bloggers about their most popular, or one of their most popular, blog posts -- the kind that made an impact on people, had skyrocketing traffic numbers, or triggered a meme or changes.
I was asked to answer the question, but didn't get my response in on time. Here's what I would have answered. In terms of pure traffic, it wasn't the biggest, but my 9/11 post and the resulting 2-3 weeks of posts subsequent to that probably had the biggest relative impact on the site. My traffic immediately doubled and didn't go back down after things settled down a little. You might say that those two weeks made kottke.org, just like they gave birth to the war/political blogs. That day opened a lot of bloggers' eyes to the cynical truth that the traditional news media already knew: other people's tragedy and pain sells.
I don't regret covering 9/11 the way that I did because it came from the heart and I got so much email from people, even weeks and months afterward, who genuinely appreciated my small contribution. But following 9/11, I've been increasingly wary of covering similar situations in the same way because, knowing that cynical truth, a part of me would be doing it for selfish reasons: writing for hits, attention, and glory. I posted a few things early on about the Indonesian tsunami and the London Tube bombings, and hardly anything about Katrina (I took a week off instead, writing about anything else during that time seemed trivial and ridiculous). In some ways, 9/11 was the defining editorial moment for kottke.org. After that experience, I took more care in why I was writing about certain topics and when the answer was "to get attention" or "because it's a hot issue" or "if I piss off [big blogger], he'll link back to me in rebuttal and boost traffic" or "if I kiss [big blogger's] ass, he'll link to me" or "I need to cover this issue for kottke.org to remain relevant in the global news conversat-blah-blah-blah", I usually take a pass. That editorial stance has probably cost kottke.org a lot of traffic over the years, but that's a trade-off I'm completely comfortable with.
Hasan Elahi ran into some trouble with the FBI in 2002 (they thought he was a terrorist) and ever since, he's been voluntarily tracking his movements and putting the whole thing online: photos of meals, photos of toilets used, airports flown out of, credit card receipts, etc. His goal is to flood the market with information, so it devalues the information that the authorities have on him.
Not what you want to hear while on hold with Time Warner: "Panicked voice: 'I can't see and there's smoke.' Operator voice: 'Is there smoke? There isn't smoke, is there?'"
Haven't read it yet, but New York magazine has a ginormous feature called What If 9/11 Never Happened? "Without 9/11, would the London plot have been foiled? Without 9/11, would there have been an Iraq war? Without the Iraq war, would there have been a London plot?"
Q. Is it possible to use a wireless Internet connection on a plane?
A. Yes, if you happen to be flying on an airline that offers the service. International carriers like Korean Air, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines already have wireless broadband service on many routes; fees for using it vary. Check with your airline to see if it offers in-flight Internet.
So says the NY Times. While it may not be possible to use wireless Internet connections on the plane, it is possible to use wireless connections. Apple laptops can create networks which other computers with wireless capability can join. Bluetooth capable devices like laptops and cellphones can communicate with each other over smaller distances.
Since 9/11, I've often thought that this would be an effective way for a group of people to coordinate some nefarious action on a plane without attracting any attention. Five or six people scattered about the plane on laptops, iChatting plans to one another, wouldn't be unusual at all. Of course, a properly trained group wouldn't need to communicate with each other at all after boarding the plane. Nor, says Bruce Schneier, should we ban things like cellphones and Internet access on airplanes for security reasons.