Friday, October 15, 2010

Almost 1 year...

First picture: Day 1 (or 2)
Second picture: 6 month mark
Third picture: 11 months locked

1 year update coming soon! My "loc anniversary" is October 31st. This is just a sneak babies have progressed so much in a year. Anyway, I won't say too much now...gotta save the details for the one year update!
Shoot first, ask questions later..

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fewer than half of Americans oppose gay marriage, poll finds

By the CNN Wire Staff

UPDATED: 09:14 PM EDT 10.06.10

(CNN) - Fewer than half of Americans oppose legalized same-sex marriage, according to a new poll on the issue released Wednesday, with significant shifts in public opinion on the issue just since last year.

More Americans continue to oppose gay marriage than support it, according to the poll, which was released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center. But for the first time since Pew starting asking about same sex marriage 15 years ago, fewer than half of those polled said they oppose legalizing the institution.

The poll revealed other firsts. For the first time since Pew began asking about the issue, more white mainline Protestants and white Catholics favor gay marriage than oppose it.

"The shift in opinion on same-sex marriage has been broad-based, occurring across many demographic, political and religious groups," Pew's polling analysis said.

The analysis noted that political independents, who were opposed to gay marriage by a wide margin just last year, are now divided on the issue.

The poll -- which combines two surveys conducted from July to September of this year -- found that 42 percent of Americans favor same-sex marriage, while 48 percent oppose it.

In polls conducted in 2009, 37 percent favored gay marriage while 54 percent were opposed, Pew said.

"The public continues to be far more supportive of gays and lesbians serving openly in the military than of allowing legal same-sex marriages," the Pew's polling analysis notes.

Sixty percent of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, while 30 percent oppose it. Support for gays serving openly in the military has remained fairly stable over the last five years, Pew said.

On gay marriage, the new poll found significant differences of opinions along age, racial and partisan lines.

Americans in the so-called Millennial Generation -- those born after the 1980s -- favor gay marriage by 53 percent to 39 percent, the poll found. Among those born between 1928 and 1945, just 29 percent favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 59 percent are opposed.

Among Democrats, 53 percent support legalized gay marriage, while just 24 percent of Republicans do.

And while whites are evenly divided over gay marriage, the poll found, blacks oppose legalizing the institution by a wide margin.
Shoot first, ask questions later..

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

As rescue drill nears, miners in Chile still have long way to go (from

UPDATED: 06:16 AM EDT 10.05.10

Copiapo, Chile (CNN) - With 160 meters to go until the Plan B drill reaches 33 trapped miners, a breakthrough to the men may be imminent.

Then what?

At Camp Hope, the makeshift tent city where hundreds of family members are living, widespread celebrations will likely break out as the miners' loved ones receive news they have waited for more than 60 days to hear.

But despite any euphoria, the rescue operation will be entering its most dangerous phase for the men.

Chilean Mining Minister Laurence Golborne made clear to reporters Saturday that the operation can only be called a success if all the men are rescued from the mine safely.

"We haven't rescued anyone here," Golborne said. "We have to be very conservative, nothing is finished."

Officials said they expect to have the men above ground between October 15 and October 30.

If the Plan B drill reaches the 624 meters (2,047 feet) to the trapped men, the miners will be closer than ever to freedom. But they will still have a long way to go before their actual rescue.

Officials said they are still considering whether to line the completed mine shaft with steel casing. The operation would call for reinforcing the 70-centimeter (28-inch) hole with 26 steel tubes, each 24 meters (79 feet) in height. The casing would also provide a buffer between the mine walls and rescue capsules.

State engineer Rene Aguilar said that the casing would require days more work for rescuers. On Plans A and B, platforms would have to be built over the drills. That would not be necessary for Plan C, an oil drilling platform. Then a 400-ton winch would be moved into place to begin casing the hole.

The casing of the hole would take a total of about eight days to put in place and implement, Andre Sougarret, chief of the rescue operation, told reporters Monday.

But officials said they are still not convinced whether the casing the entire hole will be necessary. Sougarret said rescuers may only need to put the casing in the upper 100 meters of the hole.

"The rock there is broken," Sougarret said. "It needs to be cased."

A camera will be sent down the hole after it's drilled to inspect the integrity of the full length of the shaft to help officials decide whether to case the entire path to the miners.

Even if more than one drill reaches the mine, officials said they only plan to use a single opening in the rescue. The second drill hole would serve as a backup if anything were to go wrong with the rescue, Sougarret said. The miners will then be plucked one at a time from their underground prison by way of a rescue capsule.

Dubbed "The Phoenix," the capsule will be equipped with an oxygen supply, communications equipment, retractable wheels to help it travel up the rescue shaft and an escape hatch in case anything goes wrong.

Rescue officials said the capsule will use wired communication with the surface, since wireless contact could fail in the mine's depths.

The capsule weighs in at 420 kilograms (924 pounds) and its interior height is 6 feet 4 inches (1.9 meters). The diameter of the capsule is a mere 54 centimeters (21 inches), a tight squeeze for some of the men. Two more capsules are expect to arrive at the mine site this week.

A trainer brought to the mine site to help the miners slim down and condition themselves for the rescue says they will all fit inside.

"Some of them have lost close to 20 pounds," said Dr. Jean Romagnoli.

When the rescue takes place it could take each miner more than an hour to get to the surface. Romagnoli said each miner will have to spend at least half an hour standing in the capsule. His training, he said, is now focused on strengthening the miners' legs and follows the workouts that combat pilots receive to compensate for the stresses of flying at high speeds.

"The blood tends to stay in your lower limbs for long periods of time," Romagnoli said, which could cause "fainting due to diminished brain irrigation."

But the doctor said he believes all the men are ready physically and psychologically.

After the hole is drilled, officials said as a test the capsule will be lowered part of the way down, while still empty. Then a navy commando and a highly experienced paramedic will be lowered to the mine's floor to begin the rescue operation.

On Monday, officials said they had not decided the order in which the men would be brought to the surface, but it will be based on their physical condition. The healthiest men, requiring the least time and help for their ascent, would go first, Sougarret said.

But he denied that a list had been finalized.

"The order will depend on their physical and mental state at the time of the rescue," he said.

Once on the surface, the miners will be taken to a field hospital, set up near the extraction hole and be given antibiotics, intravenous fluids and an eye check. Officials have said a live picture of the rescue will be provided to the hundreds of media organizations covering the rescue from the mine site.

Trucks carrying the field hospital arrived at the mine on Saturday.

After an initial examination and triage, they will be transferred to an observation area within the mine complex, where they will have their first reunion with "one or two family members," Chilean Health Minister Jaime Manalich said last month.

Once all the miners are extracted, Manalich said they will be flown by helicopter to Copiapo Regional Hospital, a 15-minute flight. Three helicopter pads have been bulldozed in recent days, high in the hills overlooking the drill sites

Manalich said each of the miners will be kept at the hospital "without exception" for a minimum of two days for stabilization and observation.

The most immediate risk to the miners, Manalich said, would be the possibility of damage to their retinas, as they face bright sunlight after weeks underground.

Medics also will immunize the miners against common germs on the surface, which they have not been exposed to recently, he said.

Officials have also said the men could suffer from post-traumatic stress after their ordeal and record length of time spent underground finally ends
Shoot first, ask questions later..