Kenosha helicopter crash photos

Photos from helicopter crash into two story home at 6931 97th Ave Kenosha, WI. Taken on iPhone with help from my assistant Lola the Weimaraner.



An obvious choice, perhaps, but I have a complicated relationship with the letter.  Homophones are big for me; I like the play between sounds and definitions and contexts, as well as the sense of mistake or confusion or sleight of hand or pun that interchanging homophones brings.  Writing something like, “Bee, Leave Me Be” (a Vermont lyric), for instance, highlights words as objects to me.  “Bee” and “Be” and the confusion between the above statement and “Believe Me” make words into syllables – a type of exchange of objects and their meanings.

J and Jay have this connection.  Giving out my name, followed by my email address, jaypjohnson or jjohnson, can be very confusing and I often rely on spelling it out verbally.  Sometimes I consider the conequences of adopting the letter of the three-letter as my name, like J Mascis (actually Joseph).

The capitalization doesn’t affect my perception, unless it is the character alone.  Then, I do think of the above paragraph.  I do prefer the sans serif typeface, however.  If serif, full bar atop the cap-J and angled downslope on the front side of the lowercase version stem with a nice contrasting sphere atop.

With that lowercase preference, it seems both complimentary and unstable: sharp angles and perfect circles; a ball ready to roll backwards, against time and comprehension, towards the left margin.  With gravity, J is will always fall, rotating with the curve and getting stuck/achieving stability with the stem.  The hooked, inverse-J does give me hope, though the meaning of J would seem to be lost in that incarnation.

Unlocking Cellphones

California judge rules early cell phone termination fees illegal

The short is that the SCoCA ruled that cancellation fees are illegal, which – if this ruling holds up to the appeals that will follow- means consumers will be able to more freely transfer service, without penalty.

The exciting part: if phones are going to be more easily transfered between carriers, it will become economically advantageous for phones to have more open software and hardware, to ensure standards of service and features.

The downfall: that iPhone 3G (or whatever hot, new phone that’s out when the final appeal fails) I want won’t be subsidized under this forecasted circumstance of less-proprietary agreements b/w carriers and manufacturers.

Breaking News (Short Version)

Short version of post-critical remix.Thank you to: Sarah Marine, Stacie Williams, Maryke Burger, Korie Wishart, Sarah Joy Freese and Kristi Prins for their participation; everyone else asked who declined to participate due to temporal, social and technological barriers.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Breaking News (Short Version)", posted with vodpod

Editing Agents

When someone spreads false information about you, shouldn’t your first action be to correct the “false” information by, say, publishing accurate information with references and citations?


Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation
By Lynn Andriani — Publishers Weekly, 7/1/2008 7:40:00 AM
Literary agent Barbara Bauer is suing 19 bloggers and websites, including Wikipedia, YouTube and, claiming they are ruining her reputation, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported yesterday. Online critics call Bauer one of publishing’s “20 Worst Literary Agents,” claiming she charges clients high fees for little work, and is a “scam agent.”  Bauer did not return PW’s calls for comment.

Bauer’s web site says the New Jersey literary agent established her firm in 1984, and that she has helped get numerous books by award-winning authors published in multiple languages around the world.

Bauer also sued the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America web site. The case has caught the attention of free-speech groups and online activists.

The two sides are scheduled to argue the motion before a Monmouth County, NJ, judge today.

Good News about GoodSearch


Like Blackle, a derivative (GS is Yahoo! powered, Blackle is Google powered); instead of saving energy with Blackle, GoodSearch donates ad $ to a charity you get to pick.  Pretty awesome.  

Now, if only GoodSearch came in energy-saving black… 

(PS  I’m officially coning the term “in-activism”, which will mean “internet activism” a large umbrella combining social networks, web apps/search engines, Netroots communities and general new media used for social activism.  The play here is with the homophone “inactive” and the sometimes-held (but fading) assumption that “virtual” action has little or no bearing on “real” world results.)

Severe Storms Spark Warning, Fear

Severe Storms Spark Warning, Fear

June 7, 2008
County spared; tornado may have hit Racine area

With weather ripe for twisting, gusty winds and earth-drenching rains, Kenosha County sounded its warning sirens Friday afternoon, leaving many residents dreading what would come next.

But it didn’t. There were no tornadoes.

Many sought shelter in their homes, schools and businesses. Cars pulled off to the sides of roads. And yes, hundreds of us released big sighs of relief.

“We didn’t have many downed trees and there was nothing, no major damage … very few broken limbs came down on trees,” said Kenosha County Sheriff Lt. Shannon Rawson, after a local tornado watch expired at 6 p.m.

Instead, this time, Big T sped to the county north of us.

According to National Weather Service, a trained spotter reported a suspected tornado at 3 p.m. at Highway 20 and Britton Road about five miles east of the town of Waterford in western Racine County.

“At this point we haven’t confirmed that it was in fact a tornado,” said meteorologist Chris Franks. “Right now it’s all very preliminary. We want to have our expert speak with the person who spotted it. Until then it will be tough to kind of distinguish from a tornado or even if it could’ve been straight-line winds.”

Franks said the weather service had no reason to doubt the trained spotter’s information and issued a tornado warning based on that information. Weather service investigators would be looking at debris scatter patterns, particularly those coming off old oak trees at the location of the suspected tornado.

“If it happens that it was a tornado it would’ve been very low-level – an EF-0,” Franks said referring to the Enhanced Fujita scale used by weather forecasters to grade a tornado’s force. Tornadoes with a rating of EF-0 have winds between 65-85 miles per hour, based on a three-second gust guideline.

Racine County Sheriff’s deputies reported no major damage. Franks said the suspected tornado caused a number of branches and limbs to break off trees. 

There were, however, plenty of people in both Kenosha and Racine counties bracing for it.

Lockdowns in schools

School districts in both Kenosha and Racine counties prevented students from leaving school grounds until posted warnings expired.

The tornado warning forced Kenosha Unified officials to lock down school buildings and – just as the warning was lifted at 3:18 p.m. – students were again told to remain in their respective buildings until 3:40 p.m., according to a district statement.

All after-school activities and sports practices were canceled due to the unpredictable weather.

Ben Schliesman, emergency services director for Kenosha County, said the line of storms that pushed through in the mid-afternoon produced no reports of significant damage. 

At about 3:15 p.m., the county’s dispatch center received a report of a funnel cloud spotted near highways H and S between the town of Somers and the city of Kenosha. Although no tornado actually formed, sirens were activated shortly afterward, Schliesman said.

In times of severe weather, Schliesman said it is the county’s policy is to activate sirens for tornados, funnel clouds and winds of hurricane force.

Funnel clouds were also spotted in at least four other locations in Racine County including two at different times north and south of Sturtevant and another to the southeast of Waterford five minutes before the reported tornado. A funnel cloud was also spotted in Franksville at Highway K and Interstate 94.

Rain and sustained high winds also swept through Kansasville during Friday’s storms, but they did not leave much damage behind.

“It really got everybody more worried than anything else,” David Smith, who was working at the BP gas station off of highways 11 and 75 during the storm, said. “The bank shut down, but everything was fine.”

Like Wheatland’s storm

Shortly before 4 p.m. a line of severe thunderstorms pushed through Paddock Lake and later north and east into northern Kenosha, Somers, Racine and Milwaukee counties and into Lake Michigan.

Lightning strikes, wind and heavy rain had been reported in western Kenosha County, where authorities said cars had pulled over to the road due to the weather, according to the sheriff’s department. No injuries had been reported.

In Twin Lakes, menacing clouds were followed by heavy rain pouring out of a blue sky. Minutes later, the sky overhead was absent, save for a line of thunderclouds moving away north.

The quick-moving storms and the ring of tornado sirens from nearby Randall – which was also spared a tornado – recalled for many residents the Jan. 7 Wheatland tornado. That tornado – which destroyed some houses and caused millions in damage – made them more likely to take shelter when sirens rang Friday about 3 p.m., and then again at about 3:30 p.m.

The recent Wheatland disaster made Alyssa Menard, who lives in Wilmot but works at the same Subway, afraid. She worries since Wheatland was hit by a tornado once, it is more likely to be hit again.

“It seems like there’s more of a chance because of the other one,” she said, noting two friends were among January’s tornado victims.

Patricia Danielson was laundering clothes at the Twin Lakes Laundry, 111 S. Lake Ave., and despite the sirens, stayed and finished drying her clothes. Still, she too recalled the January tornado.

“Because of the direction, I thought it was going to Wheatland,” she said. “I thought ‘I hope it doesn’t hit them. They couldn’t use another one, because they’re still recovering.'”

Even after the storm passed, there was some confusion in Kenosha and other communities when storm sirens – blasting the all-clear signal – went off. In the city, the sirens’ tones seem to rise and fall as the siren spins, and can sound exactly the same as the take-shelter warning blasts.

Suspends Jensen hearing

A post-conviction hearing for the Mark Jensen murder case ended abruptly Friday because of the tornado threat in Kenosha County.

Ironically, Schroeder reminded the lawyers the January trial began with a tornado warning. During jury selection, lawyers, potential jurors and others were herded to the basement as a tornado threatened Walworth County. That tornado hit Wheatland instead.

The hearing Friday was cut short after Schroeder got two e-mail messages about a tornado warning here.

Skies were sunny, but winds were whipping and, given his past experience, Schroeder said his choices were either to end the hearing or adjourn to the basement.

In a rare display of agreement on the Jensen case, the lawyers opted to end the hearing.

“The case begins and ends with a tornado,” Schroeder joked.

Kenosha News reporters Jessica Hansen, Brian O’Connor and Matthew Olson contributed to this story.