—New Orleans Levees Badly Built, It’s a “Christmas Tree” Again, Michael Yon Revisited, Hayabusa Thruster Leaking, VOIP Services Miss 911 Deadline


Failed New Orleans Levees Were Badly Built [FOXNews.com/AP]
The steel pilings for the critical levees which failed after hurrican Katrina were driven about half as far into the embankments as design documents for the construction intended. A study of the levees by LSU engineers showed that they would have failed even if built to specification.
It is Louisiana, after all. The bill for generations of endemic social and political corruption is finally coming due.

Congress Can Say “Christmas Tree” Again [FOXNews.com ]
It’s becoming a challenge to our national survival. Public officials who use our time and money to indulge this abysmal foolishness must become former public officials by the most expeditious means available.

Michael Yon : Online Magazine
Once again, Michael Yon has been reporting from Iraq as an unpaid, independent journalist. He provides an invaluable insight into the experiences of American soldiers in the Iraq War and its aftermath. The unit he was embedded with has now returned to the U.S..

Bad News for Martian Life at Meridiani [JPL]
Conditions in the area where the Opportunity rover landed have been historically “strongly acidic, oxidizing, and sometimes wet” Overall, it would be a tough place for life to develop.

After Historic Success, Hayabusa Has New Problem [Spaceflight Now]
After the Japanese probe finally achieved its most important and historic mission goal—the collection of a sample of material from the asteroid Itokawa—it has developed a new and daunting probem. One of its thrusters is leaking gas, and the probe is in danger of missing its window for the return to Earth with the sample.

Major VOIP Phone Services Fail to Meet 911 Deadline [My Way News]
Vonage, AT&T, and others failed to satisfy an FCC mandate to provide reliable 911 services to all their customers. It is not clear yet what the penalty for the non-compliance will be.

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