Virginia Tech Shooting Updates

Wikipedia has a page on the shootings.

Wired’s Threat Level blog has more info including eyewitness accounts and cellphone video and is being updated at a fast pace.

“Shooter is an asian male, showed up at his girlfriend’s dorm (it was co-ed) and shot her to death. He wound up shooting the RA as well when he or she attempted to investigate the gunshots. Two hours elapse where the campus is NOT locked down and authorities attempt to search for the gunman. Well gunman appears at an engineering building looking for his (now dead) girlfriend’s new lover, chains the doors shut, and proceeds to go classroom by classroom wearing a bulletproof vest and wielding 2 9-MM pistols opening fire on students and faculty alike. The current count is 32 dead, 29 wounded and the gunman dead to an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

The Collegiate Times Breaking News section is also being updated with the latest news and stories about the tragedy. They also have a map of the shootings.

Flickr has a photo pool up under Virginia Tech Shooting.


NowPublic has compiled the emails sent by University to students warning them of the danger:

9:50 AM entitled “PLease stay put” (sic) from

A gunman is loose on campus. Stay in buildings until further notice. Stay away from all windows

10:16 AM entitled “All Classes Canceled; Stay where you are” from university:

Virginia Tech has canceled all classes. Those on campus are asked to remain where there are, lock their doors and stay away from windows. Persons off campus are asked not to come to campus.

Planet Blacksburg, a student run online news site has plenty of info about the shootings with first hand accounts:

Ruiqi Zhang, a junior computer engineering major, experienced the incident first hand in his class on the second floor of Norris.

“A student rushed in and told everybody to get down,” said Zhang. “We put a table against the door and when the gunman tried to shoulder his way in and when he saw that he couldn’t, he put two shots through the door.”

“It was the scariest moment of my life.”

Astronauts Returning From Moon Had to go through US Customs

They had to declare their moon rocks. Seriously!

Documents which have just come to light via the internet show that even if you’ve just travelled to the Moon and back – especially if you’ve just travelled to the Moon and back – the US Customs wants to know what you’ve got. Anyone who has visited the US will be familiar with the huge list of items which travellers are required to declare, such as plants, drugs and other preparations.

Historians at Nasa, the US space administration, have confirmed that the document, signed by the three crew members, Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins, is authentic. It lists their departure point as “Moon” and arrival as “Honolulu” on 24 July 1969.

(via Reddit)

The Mojave Phone Booth

From Wikipedia:

The Mojave phone booth was a lone telephone booth placed circa 1960 in the Mojave National Preserve which attracted an online following in 1997 due to its unusual location. The booth was 15 miles from the nearest interstate highway, and miles from any buildings. Its phone number was originally +1-714-733-9969, before the area code changed to 619 and then to 760; 733 is the Baker, California rate center.

Fans called the booth attempting to get a reply, and a few took trips to the booth to answer, often camping out at the site. Several callers kept recordings of their conversations. Over time, the booth became covered in graffiti, as many travelers would leave a message on it.

One of the more humorous incidents involving the phone booth was documented by Los Angeles Times writer John Glionna, who met 51-year-old Rick Karr there. Karr claims he was instructed by the Holy Spirit to answer the phone. He spent 32 days there, answering more than 500 phone calls including repeated calls from someone who identified himself as “Sergeant Zeno from the Pentagon.”

For more info you can go to the Mojave Phone Booth site.

The Nazi Triangle

Chart of concentration camp badges worn in Dachau, c. 1936.

From Design Observer:

If the canard that Adolf Hitler was a superb art director is meant to glorify the art directorial profession, think again. Although historians say he was the “art dictator” of Germany because he spent an inordinate amount of time overseeing the art and design of the Third Reich, he nonetheless had thousands of willing “executioners,” like Hugo Boss, designer and manufacturer of Wehrmacht and SS uniforms, doing the everyday work. Yet like art directors today, as Führer (leader) he received credit for everything under his domain, even those things he knew nothing about and had no hand in creating.

One such was the identification system implemented throughout the concentration camp network. No documentation has surfaced that proves Hitler had any direct input in developing the inverted triangle (known as the “Winkel”) made of variously colored fabrics to distinguish homosexuals from habitual criminals from political enemies from Jehovah’s Witnesses from Gypsies from, of course, Jews. But this color and symbol code (concentric circles distinguished failed escapees and were worn on prisoners’ sleeves like boy scout merit badges) was initiated shortly after the Nazis opened the infamous Dachau in 1933, in a former munitions factory in Upper Bavaria. Although the camp was originally designed for the “protective custody” of political offenders, it soon swelled up with the regime’s undesirables, most of who had to be segregated and then earmarked for “special treatment.” It is probable that camp commandant Theodor Eicke was responsible for — or even the designer of — the classification scheme which, like the camp layout itself, became the model for all other camps in occupied Europe. (In fact, prospective camp commandants were required to complete a special “school of violence” at Dachau).

(via Bifurcated Rivets)