Sunday, January 21, 2007
Not the grandest, because Canada never vies for such honors - it cannot...
A rare actual *big time shooting* takes place, in Nunavut rather than Toronto or misbegotten Montreal, but still... 3 dead and 2 wounded... At the same time, simultaneous shootings in India kill about 50. Instant upstaging accomplished.
When they thought a "big star" had met her end in an attention-grabbing tragic way - a private plane crash - Marie-Soleil Tougas' demise was upstaged that same month by Lady Di's own tragic and totally avoidable demise... And then Mother Teresa passed away... And, soon enough, especially after the tiny-plane crashing death of singer Aaliyah, the oddness of it went away - besides, Americans would not focus on a Quebecker artist's death, under those circumstances or whatever type of extraordinary circumstances there could be, not when one of their own had just gone the Buddy Holly way as well... And then, of course, 9/11 really took the spectacular aura of it and made it all its own...
And then there was the famous Ice Rain crisis of 1998 (soon the 9th anniversary of which will haunt those truly marked by it...)
The current ice rain woes in the USA are topping that and then some - it took a while, sure, but in the meantime they had all these spectacular hurricane seasons to contend with down south, so it has always been topped by the American side no matter which way you look at it.
I do not recall how many died back in 1998 - but the last I heard, they were 60 to have died during the ice rain storms in the USA. Hurricanes, tornadoes and tropical storms take their share of innocent lives - and Canada is spared all of these. Evidently, no matter how traumatic 1998 was, it is dwarfed by the southern neighbors' perennial plights...
And, since we are speaking of current events
and this is a Sunday - a bit of vintage Statistics Sundays for you all now:
2007 will mark two premieres of sorts.
First, this year will mark the first time ever that urban populations will top the number of people that live in rural settings, worldwide that is.
Secondly, for the first time ever too, more women are living spouseless than married. Or "with someone"... Or whatever they call it (speaking, again, of Montreal, there they refer to it as "conjoints de fait" - so, ah, matter-of-factly too!)
51% of the ladies out there are single and living alone - maybe not sleeping alone at all, but, officiously, "alone". Some see men. Some see women. Some see men and women. But they are all "alone" still, going to bed at night (to sleep, that is) all by their lonesome selves...
Nothing new to me there - after all, we are all born into this world alone.
And we will all die alone as well - barring a Titanic-like disaster.
Tue Jan 16, 10:26 AM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) - For the first time, a majority of American women are living without a spouse, media reported.
Not happy with fruitcake? Get what you really wanted
The New York Times, which based its report on an analysis of census results, said 51 percent of women in 2005 reported living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000.
"Coupled with the fact that in 2005 married couples became a minority of all American households for the first time, the trend could ultimately shape social and workplace policies, including the ways government and employers distribute benefits," the newspaper said.
It said that several factors are behind the shift including women marrying at a later age and living with partners for more often and for longer periods. Women are also living longer as widows and once divorced, often opt to stay single, the report said.
According to the Census figures, only about 30 percent of black women are living with a spouse, compared with 49 percent of Hispanic women, 55 percent of non-Hispanic white women and more than 60 percent of Asian women.
At least 21 dead in winter storms
Updated 1/15/2007 11:11 AM ET
Cheyenne Williams naps in the basement of the First Baptist Church which is functioning as the Red Cross shelter for Tulsa, during an ice storm Sunday. Williams and her grandmother are waiting for a bus to Joliet, Ill.
ICE STORM TYPES
* Windshields coated
* Bridges tricky
* Light ice on trees
(1/4 to 1/2 inch of ice)
* Tree limbs sag
* Most roads icy
* Power outages
(1/2 inch or more of ice)
* Widespread tree and powerline damage
* Roads impassable or dangerous
(Source: The Weather Channel)
A utility worker uses a pole to remove debris and fallen tree branches from frozen power lines in Springfield, Mo., Sunday. The third round of a powerful storm caused several deaths, dangerous driving conditions and widespread power outages that began earlier in the weekend.
By Monica Hortobagyi
and William M. Welch,
Fierce winter storms lashed the nation's middle section with sleet, snow and ice for the third day Sunday, tying up roadways, claiming 21 lives and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes without power.
The stormy weather was expected to clear by late Sunday, the National Weather Service reported. But forecasters said strong northerly winds today would drop wind chill temperatures into single digits and below zero in some areas.
Even Southern California, where the sky was clear and the sun bright on Sunday, endured record cold evening temperatures that jeopardized a nearly $1 billion citrus crop still in the field.
Waves of freezing rain, sleet and snow that began Friday caused traffic- and weather-related deaths in Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas and New York. Oklahoma and Missouri declared states of emergency.
Seven people were killed early Sunday near Elk City, Okla., when the minivan they were in hit a slick spot on Interstate 40, crossed the median and hit a tractor-trailer, the Highway Patrol reported.
In Missouri, a third day of wintry storms left 323,000 homes without power.
Gov. Matt Blunt activated the National Guard. Hundreds of Guard members were going door-to-door to check on elderly residents, said Susie Stonner, state Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman.
Almost half the Missouri homes without power — 153,000 — were in the St. Louis area. An additional 60,000 homes were without power in the Springfield area, she said.
"We're having the third wave of storms now," Stonner said Sunday evening. "We're supposed to get high wind gusts, which is terrible for power lines."
National Guard troops were helping road crews clear downed trees and debris that had fallen on local roads and highways, she said. At least six deaths were attributed to the storm in Missouri: five in traffic accidents and one due to carbon monoxide poisoning from a home heater, she said.
In Oklahoma, nearly 95,000 homes had no power.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol investigated more than 300 accidents Friday through Sunday — five times the number on a normal weekend, Capt. Chris West said.
"When this was still coming down, 35 mph was all you could do on the interstate," West said.
While the snow and rain may let up over the next few days, conditions will still be dangerous, West said. "This stuff's not going away."
California saw temperatures plunge below freezing overnight in citrus-growing areas of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. Orange, lemon and tangerine crops were at risk of being ruined.
"It was a very bad night," Nancy Lungren, spokeswoman for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, said. She said the full impact would not be known until inspectors can check picked fruit.
Record lows were reported Sunday throughout Southern California. Long Beach hit 31 degrees, beating the record set in 1963.
Contributing: Alan Gomez in McLean, Va.
Posted 1/14/2007 11:25 PM ET