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Blue_Tires's Journal
Blue_Tires's Journal
May 29, 2013

Allegation ends coach's career

THE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR walked onto the field unannounced, wearing jeans and sandals, and Todd Hoffner knew in that moment that something was terribly wrong. Nobody interrupted his football practices at Minnesota State Mankato without advance notice and permission. His success as head coach was based on maintaining total control; each practice was scripted to the minute. He believed small disruptions in preparation became big problems during games, so he sometimes asked his players to recite a motto: No mistakes. No distractions. No surprises.

Now, on Aug. 17, 2012, his life was about to become the story of all three.

The athletic director approached Hoffner at midfield and told the coach he wanted to speak with him privately. "What's this about?" Hoffner asked, but the athletic director simply motioned for him to follow. Only a month earlier, Hoffner had earned a new four-year contract with a raise of more than 15 percent, and he had already stated his plans to stay at Mankato for the rest of his career. Hoffner and the AD walked into an adjacent building, where a woman from the university's human resources department was waiting. She handed Hoffner a typed note on university letterhead, and he hurriedly began to read, each phrase blurring into the next. Investigative leave. Effective immediately. No longer permitted on university grounds...

...He was about to suspend his cable on a Tuesday morning when five police cars pulled up to his house. Two officers approached the door. Hoffner greeted them outside.

"What's all this about?" Hoffner asked.

This time he got an answer, and it only confounded him more.

He was under arrest on suspicion of producing and possessing child pornography....


May 28, 2013

Final trip for Orkney shortest flight pilot

A pilot who has completed the world's shortest scheduled flight more than 12,000 times is to take to the skies over Orkney for the last time.

Stuart Linklater, 59, will retire after making his final trip on the route between Westray and Papa Westray.

It takes just two minutes - including taxiing - to complete the 1.7 mile flight, which is about the same length as the runway at Edinburgh Airport.

Mr Linklater, a pilot with Loganair, has spent 24 years in the job.

During his time on the inter-isle routes - which also includes flights to Stronsay, Sanday, North Ronaldsay and Eday - the Orkney-based pilot has chalked up more than 1.3 million miles in the single-manned, eight-seater Britten-Norman Islander aircraft used on the service.

Mr Linklater, who will continue working part-time for Loganair operating aircraft out of Glasgow, said: "I've thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Orkney inter-isle service and have worked with and carried so many interesting people over the 24 years I've spent piloting the Islander.


May 23, 2013

Meanwhile, in Russia...

May 20, 2013

Oh, so *NOW* they tell me...

Press rewind: The cassette tape returns

The humble cassette tape, a happy memory for many music fans of a certain age, has staged a comeback for one Canadian company.

The first order came in 1989: 10 cassettes. With that began Analogue Media Technologies, a company created to help bands market their music.

Musicians would bring finished master recordings and graphic design templates, and Analogue, now also called Duplication.ca, would turn those materials into slickly produced albums, complete with labels, cover art and liner notes, ready for sale or distribution.

It started with cassettes and vinyl, but then the trends shifted towards CDs, then DVDs and Blu-ray.

Now, they find themselves returning to the medium that started it all.

"We're back to cassettes as one of the main attractions," says Ms Gorman.

Analogue now says that cassette recordings make up 25% of the business. That is quite a change from five years ago, when cassette tapes seemed to be going the way of the defunct 8-track cartridge - the music format that was popular in the 1960s and 70s.


May 16, 2013

Lulzsec hacker group handed jail sentences

Source: BBC

British hackers who were behind a series of high profile cyber-attacks in 2011 have been sentenced.

The four men, Ryan Cleary, Jake Davis, Mustafa al-Bassam and Ryan Ackroyd, were part of the Lulzsec hacking group.

Cleary was jailed for 32 months, Davis for two years and Ackroyd for 30 months. Al Bassam was given a 20-month suspended sentence.

Targets included Sony Pictures, games maker EA, News International and the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency....

...Some of the four could face extradition to the US as US law enforcement agencies have lodged indictments against them.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22552753

More background:
May 15, 2013

Sole survivor of Northwest 255 crash breaks silence

DETROIT (AP) — Cecelia Crocker's body provides her with a constant reminder of the most traumatic event of her life — one that she doesn't otherwise remember.

At only 4 years old, Crocker was the lone survivor of a 1987 plane crash that killed 154 people aboard and two on the ground near Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

In the new documentary, "Sole Survivor," Crocker breaks her silence, discussing how the crash of the Phoenix-bound jetliner has affected her.

"I think about the accident every day. It's kind of hard not to think about it when I look in the mirror," she said. "I have visual scars. My arms and my legs. And I have a scar on my forehead."

Crocker, 30, also sports an airplane tattoo on her left wrist.

"I got this tattoo as a reminder of where I've come from. I see it as — so many scars were put on my body against my will — and I decided to put this on my body for myself," she says in the film.



May 15, 2013

Sgt. John Russell: Wrenching testimony in penalty phase

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. — Lt. Col. Michael Jones was the last psychiatrist to see Sgt. John Russell before the sergeant returned to the Iraq mental health clinic with an M-16 rifle, killing two doctors and three other fellow servicemen.

In the four years since, Russell’s lawyers have laid much of the blame on Jones, who they say mocked Russell’s threat to kill himself. But in dramatic courtroom testimony Monday, after a military judge determined Russell had acted with premeditation, Jones offered a fierce defense of the doctors and insisted the killings were not the result of untreated mental illness.

“I guess I should be grateful for being alive … [and] since that day, the soul-searching has been relentless,” Jones said as the sentencing phase opened in Russell’s weeklong court-martial on five counts of premeditated murder.

“I believe both professionally and in my heart that Sgt. Russell committed a deliberate and premeditated act. It was like hijacking an airplane. There was no indecision. He was so focused. He was judge, jury and executioner for his idea of justice,” Jones said. “We saw vengeance that day.”

Earlier Monday, Judge David L. Conn found that Russell, now 48, acted with premeditation in the 2009 shootings of all five victims, rejecting defense claims that Russell’s acts were the result of severe depression, brain damage and post-combat stress exacerbated by his treatment by Army mental health providers. The sentencing hearing began immediately afterward. Conn must impose a life sentence, but could decide to make Russell eligible for parole.


May 15, 2013

USA Today doubles down on the stupid

"IRS gave liberals a pass" at the top of the front page...

Yeah, nothing misleading or sensationalist about that headline

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