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The Daily Word in San Francisco limousine fire, a man's boa constrictors and Bangladesh riots

San Francisco limousine catches fire, killing five women trapped inside.

Riots in Bangladesh, over an anti-blasphemy law, have left 19 people dead.

Risso could play in the majors!

Julia Martinez, 16, is being charged for first degree murder for the death of Maurice Gonzales.

Sure, Cobb. You can keep your boas.

news

The Daily Word in Sandy reactions, Route 66 housing project, zombie training

Be careful with those fake contact lenses this Halloween.

Hurricane Sandy conjures up fake pictures, technology delays, conspiracy theories and celebrity tweets.

When book giants merge.

Former Route 66 motel to undergo renovations for conversion into AIDS housing project.

CNN did a series of blog posts on the faiths of the presidential candidates.

Is that your real name?

Prescribed burn in SF National Forest may cause smoke over Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.

Ginormous fishing Gollum statue makes me want to fly to New Zealand real bad.

Human search history.

Police in Tulsa say a man being booked into a county jail had a woman's ear in his pocket.

Military zombie training is no joke.

Chaly / CC by-S.A. 2.0
Feature

Is “Megadrought” the new normal?

We've all heard the gloomy scenarios of global warming: extreme weather, drought, famine, breakdown of society, destruction of civilization. Here in New Mexico it feels like we’ve made the switch from esoteric to actual, from computer model to daily life. My perch in Placitas feels like a front-row seat to the apocalypse. Smoke is in the air. Neighbors are fighting over water. Some of my outdoor flower pots have melted in the heat. Wild animals are getting thirsty, hungry and bold. It turns out, this might just be the new normal for the American Southwest.

V.21 No.29 | 7/19/2012
Chaly / CC by-S.A. 2.0

Feature

Bone Dry

Southwest farms bite the dust as “megadrought” becomes the new normal

In a dirt parking lot near Many Farms, Ariz., a Navajo farmer sold me a mutton burrito. He hasn't used his tractor in two years, he told me, and he’s cooking instead of farming because "there isn't any water." He pointed east at the Chuska mountain range, which straddles the New Mexico border. In a normal year, water coming off the mountains reaches his fields, he said.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

news

Party down with your cylindrical fountains

And keep a hose nearby

Sparklers rule. And they’re legal.
Sparklers rule. And they’re legal.

We are in yet another extremely dry and dangerous fire season here in New Mexico. Because of this, Bernalillo County and Albuquerque officials restricted the use of fireworks. But they can’t ban them completely. Read about why in this week’s NewsCity.

The Albuquerque Fire Department announced that the sale and use of aerial fireworks and ground audible devices are prohibited within city limits. It is illegal to use any fireworks in the Bosque or any Open Space area. AFD advises that fireworks should only be used on paved or barren areas and with a readily available water source.

The only permissible fireworks are ground and handheld sparkling devices, cone fountains, crackling devices, cylindrical fountains, flitter sparklers, ground spinners, illuminating torches and wheels.

In 2011, AFD responded to more than 945 illegal fireworks calls during the Fourth of July weekend. Albuquerque Fire Chief James Breen says, “Any one of these incidents could have turned into a deadly fire just because somebody was acting carelessly.”

Bernalillo County issued fireworks restrictions for all unincorporated parts of the county. Bernalillo banned the sale and use of fireworks that shoot sparks or pieces higher than 10 feet or further than a 6-foot radius, or are louder than a cap gun.

Last year, both Gov. Martinez and Mayor Richard Berry became frustrated with their inability to ban fireworks completely. They both lobbied the Legislature unsuccessfully to pass a bill that would allow local authorities to completely ban fireworks during extreme fire danger.

Two major wildfires have already destroyed large areas of the state. The Whitewater-Baldy Complex in the Gila Wilderness is the largest fire in size in state history. The Little Bear fire in Lincoln County near Ruidoso destroyed hundreds of homes.

Stay updated about blazes in the state at NMfireinfo.

V.21 No.26 | 6/28/2012
Julia Minamata juliaminamata.com

Newscity

Rockets’ Red Glare

In the glow of wildfires, officials stare down the Fourth of July

Under state law, no one can ban fireworks completely. Not a city council or county commission, not a mayor or the governor. Not after the largest blaze in New Mexico history or the Bosque’s been charred.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

News

The Daily Word in $3 gas, dirty veggies and peaceful Iceland

Firefighters gain the upper hand in the Bosque.

Taliban attacks a hotel in Kabul.

Gas might go back down to $3 per gallon.

The Sandusky jury deliberates without hearing accusations from his foster son.

The highest temperatures on record in the U.S.

Dirty dozen list shows fruits and veggies with the most pesticides.

Police officers in Santa Fe who lie or participate in sexual misconduct can be fired immediately under a new policy.

What has come true from Blade Runner?

Find out where the rich keep their private islands.

Denham Fouts inspired his lovers and benefactors with cool disinterest.

Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world.

Cat shreds despite earthquake.

Science. It's a girl thing. Like sexiness and makeup.

The British Monarchy is hiring.

news

The Daily Word in depraved penguin sex and Gordon Ramsay self-destruction

Military suicide rate at highest level in ten years.

Is the Obama administration using leaks to bolster the President's image?

Small town murder rates are climbing.

It's not gonna happen, Jeb Bush.

Fire at the the downtown Hyatt overnight.

How prepared is the military for the eventual alien invasion?

Georgia widow wins $3 million lawsuit after husband dies during three-way.

"We're not racists, we just want to be with white people." said racist KKK member while defending the group's Adopt-A-Highway application.

Self-destruct with Gordon Ramsay.

Dead toddler comes back to life, then doesn't

The most shoplifted items are …

Trees reveal mysterious 1,200 year old radiation burst.

ATTN sinners: Introvale birth control pills recalled.

Depraved penguin sex scandalized uptight polar explorers.

Don't worry Israel, those weird lights in the sky are just the Russians testing their ICBs.

115 years together is enough for these tortoises.

Fiona Apple has a new album.

Pizza Hut getting into the gross sandwich business.

Happy Birthday, Peter Dinklage!!!

news

The Daily Word in fiery semi, unchicken, stripper database

Minority births are the majority in the U.S.

A semi truck carrying lighter fluid just combusted on I-40.

If you're wondering why there are throngs of people in Albuquerque on Sunday, it's the eclipse.

Will drones spy on us?

Council plans for a stripper database delayed.

Tape dress. Neat.

The world's oldest yoga teacher is 93. And she's a badass.

Republican Super Pac plotting extreme attack ads about President Obama.

Limbless man attempting to swim between five continents.

Coffee drinkers live longer, says my new favorite study.

Fake chicken meat-maker promises new nonflesh will be even better than the real thing.

Gale-force wind in yo face.

news

The Daily Word in AK-47s, sex workers and Darth Vader

Judge stops Gov. Martinez' license verification effort.

MVD didn't issue a driver's license to a teen who had his birth certificate and Social Security card.

Did BernCo put out this recycling plant fire in Southwest Albuquerque fast enough? And why is it always on fire?

Corrections secretary's boyfriend accused of shooting a gun on prison grounds.

PRC tech says he was fired after reporting employees were browsing online porn at work.

Man shot and killed by APD this week held a loaded AK-47, says Chief Schultz.

Those who profited off 9/11.

August was the first month since 2003 without the death of a U.S. solider in Iraq.

Darth Vader: Noooooooooo!

Justice Department sues to stop AT&T from buying T-Mobile.

George R. R. Martin is creepy, rape-y and racist, writes hilarious blogger.

Prosties and strip clubs in Tampa prep for the GOP convention in 2012.

Toddler wears fake T&A for pageant.

Did you hear about the guy with the $16 house?

It's OK if you think parenting is miserably hard work.

V.20 No.27 | 7/7/2011
The helicopter used by wildland firefighter Jessica Hall’s team, Sandia Helitack. Behind the chopper, the Monument Fire burns.
Jessica Hall

News Feature

Flame Wars

A year unlike any other

“At this point the fire behavior is like nothing we've ever seen,” says Jessica Hall, 31, a wildlands firefighter. “Although we know how to fight fire really well, and we've gotten really good at it, this type of season is so intense and unpredictable. A lot of our methods that would work another year are really ineffective.”

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

NEWS

Another reason not to smoke

Elise Kaplan

Yesterday, the Arby's on Tulane and Central added a new scent to the olfactory bouquet of hash browns, bacon and coffee.

Charred wood and smoke, with a hint of atmospheric heat to alight all senses.

Happily, the building didn't burn down and no one was hurt.

The smell originates from a case of local carelessness after a woman in her twenties flicked her cigarette butt into the shrubs, says Jeffrey Baca, the general manager of the Nob Hill Arby's.

“The whole thing went up in such a roar it wasn't even funny,” he says. “It burned up in a matter of seconds.”

Employees of the nearby Starbucks and Staples called the fire department, and the blaze was quickly extinguished.

Baca says rather than flee the scene the woman stayed to watch events unfold. While she took in the sights, she smoked another cigarette, he adds. The police deemed her liable and brought her to jail.

The only casualty, a rectangular Arby's sign, costs at least $1,200, Baca says, plus expenses for the wiring.

“It sucks because now we have to get new landscaping,” he says.

News

A fire as big as ...

Las Conchas fire
inciweb.org
Las Conchas fire

Maybe it's just me, but acres don't mean a whole lot to me. Numbers and statistics fly over my head, and what I really want is for someone to say “that means HUGE.”

The Las Conchas fire, 12 miles south of Los Alamos, is HUGE. Almost twice as HUGE as the Cerro Grande fire in 2000. It's grasping at the coattails of the 2003 Gila National Forest fire to become the HUGEST fire in New Mexico history.

HUGE adds up to 92,735 acres of wildfire.

One acre is roughly the size of a football field, including both end zones. There are 640 acres in a square mile. The Las Conchas fire covers at least 145 square miles. Albuquerque is only 181 square miles.

Winds can reach 40 mph. That's faster than you can drive on Central with a cop watching.

The firefighters have the area 3 percent contained. “Contained” in firefighter-speak means they've cleared areas ahead of the fire, hoping it will run out of fuel and burn itself out. Three percent is the sip of beer you leave at the bottom of your pint glass when you slide it across the bar for a refill.

Evacuations cleared out Los Alamos and surrounding areas. Thirteen homes have fallen prey to flames, and three more were damaged. Although a small football-field-size fire broke out at Los Alamos National Laboratory it was quickly extinguished without causing any damage.

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