published in newsday

Oh, with Katrina and my trip to Asia, this completely slipped my mind. I was interviewed regarding The Electric Company, and my comments were published in Newsday. I said a heck of a lot more, but the quote Willow chose sums up my thoughts on the whole release nicely.

The geek who bought the only remaining Scanimate analogue TV animation machine recently sent me a copy of his Scanimate DVD-1, a fascinating history of TV graphics choc-a-bloc full of logos, analogue synthesis, and quite a few Electric Company demo reels. It’s even got the opening to the show that was only used for the pilot, along with the original theme music in a different arrangement! Fascinating stuff, though I wish there was more detail on the machine’s inner workings itself. Highly recommended.

gmail anyone?

I have 100 invites remaining for gmail, Google’s web-based email service with ~2.5GB of storage. Anyone want an account? Anyone want a second account? A third account? Contact me.

news from pawpaw

I have just spoken with my grandfather, at an area hospital in Ft. Worth, TX, USA. I provide you this first-hand account of the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the eastern New Orleans suburb of Chalmette, in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, USA:

It all started Saturday morning. They were supposed to evacuate me, and they never did. I had a…heart attack, so an ambulance finally came and took me to the hospital [ed: Chalmette Medical Center]…. I was on the second floor, in the emergency room.

And then the storm hit, and then there was rising water. So they decided to evacuate us from the hospital on Saturday. So they took [ed: pause to blow nose] me in a boat to the St. Bernard Jailhouse. And they kept me in there until they decided to evacuate me again. The jail was dry.

I stayed at the Jail for 1 day. There were 6 people in the room I was in.

And from there, on Monday they evacuated me with helicopter. They put me in a truck and transported me about a mile away, to where the helicopter was. There was no helipad, it was just where they could land it. There were 7 of us in the helicopter. They didn’t put my bag on the helicopter, so I lost my cell phone, identification, and other information. The helicopter took me to Clearview and I-10. They let us out of the helicopter, they were supposed to get an ambulance, but they couldn’t find one, so they left me on the stretcher there.

And after a while an ambulance picked me up, I was all by myself, bloated [ed: if my grandfather does not receive the correct treatment, he can bloat up] and I looked depressed, so the ambulance driver decided to give me a lift. There was the driver and his assistant, and a patient in the back. So he put me in the front seat, and I rode in the ambulance to the airport. So I stayed about 4 or 5 hours in the ambulance, until they finally let us into the airport.

So I stood in line, registered, gave my name, and my Social Security Number, and my home address. And then I waited, and waited, and waited, I guess about 5 hours. And then they finally decided to take me to the airport planning area, where I waited, and waited, and waited…

On Wednesday…. And then an army truck took me to the airstrip, and…. There was a big transport plane waiting for us [ed: seems it was a C-130] So I got in there, and they raised the gate, and the plane took off. There were about 24 people in the plane, sitting on the seats on the side because there’s nothing in the middle, and they put 2 patients on stretchers in the middle. [ed: He says that there was no place for others to sit, so they only took those who could fit in seats and on the stretchers.]

It took about an hour and a half to get to Fort Worth. It took about 8 or 9 or 10 hours to get me to the hospital I’m at now. I’ve been here since Thursday, but I couldn’t get a hold of you because I didn’t have my bag.

I then asked him about the condition of the area:

All I saw was a lake. Looking out the window all I saw was water. The hospital’s first floor was flooded, but it is only equipment and storage and stuff. Patients start on the second floor. The ones that wanted to volunteer went to the roof of the Chalmette Medical Center. The patients didn’t go up there. Most of the nurses went with us. We were never left alone, they came with us.

If you are an interested party I may consider releasing an edited audio stream.

wiki wipes wohali

I am spent – nearly 8 hours of intense, adrenaline-filled IRC and wiki updating. The NOLA Intel wiki never looked so good, if I do say so myself. And there are lots of people helping out with transcription, though we could always use more people.

What a fulfilling activity, disseminating and sorting first-hand accounts, audio and video feeds. Now, I rest. In a couple of hours, there will be an update from my grandfather.

good news

Confirmation: First hand from hospital staff, my grandfather is “alive and well” in Texas. I will be interviewing him in the morning and posting a transcription to this blog, as I’m not allowed to speak with him between 11PM and 9AM.


Continuing to assist with updates and live chat/transcription at . Join us, volunteer, we need help! If you can transcribe police scanners, your assistance is much needed!

more st. bernard info

Info regarding Chalmette Medical Center and Methodist hospitals available here. Unfortunately there is no person list, nor info if anyone who was there died in transit (naturally)

Aerial photo of Chalmette, my home for much of my childhood. I can finally see it in this photo. It’s mostly submerged but not completely. Still don’t know if the waters have risen since the 31st of August.

nagin interview

Here is a mirrored copy of the mp3 of the WWL radio interview with Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans. Warning, strong language and reality check. Don’t believe everything you hear on CNN. [edit: Now uncensored version, starts earlier.]

About to head to Japan. I’ll check in when I get there. Stay tuned on IRC.

no word

not a single one from emergency crews, family or staff about my grandfather. I guess I’ll know by the end of the weekend; if there’s no response, he’s dead.

breaking news

From :

Hostage Situation in New Orleans

Just a heads up, armed looters have taken over one of the medical centers in New Orleans where the injured people were being sent. They are holding the entire staff of the hospital hostage and firing at the national guard. An FBI SWAT team has just been flown in (from Baton Rouge I believe) and they are just now getting situated. I’m not sure of any online scanners that are up monitoring the state trs. That is where alot of traffic is going on at.

LSP Troop B is requesting immediate backup. Troopers, riot squad, and national guard. He said the crowd is triple the size it was earlier and they are about to be overrun.

The location is 610 and eleshafield. [ed: ??]