Death Toll of Bulgaria Hellish Bus Crash Hits 16

Society | May 28, 2009, Thursday // 12:33| Views: | Comments: 42
Bulgaria: Death Toll of Bulgaria Hellish Bus Crash Hits 16 A bus careered down a mountainside and plowed through a crowd of pedestrians heading to a religious festival in southeastern Bulgaria Thursday, killing at least 16 people and injuring at least 20. Photo by BGNES

Sixteen people have been killed and another twenty injured as a bus sliced into a throng of tourists near the town of Yambol in southeastern Bulgaria.

The tourists, gathered in the area on the occasion of the religious holiday Ascension Day, or the so called Spasovden, were climbing towards the Bakadzhik peak, when the bus, coming in the opposite direction, cut into them.

Police said a technical malfunction caused failure of the bus's brakes.

The bus was a thirty-year-old charter coach, which had recently passed successfully a technical check-up.

Reports say people, who are gathered in the area for the holiday, are in panic and are worriedly searching for relatives and friends, if they have not seen them for the last few hours.

Rescue teams and ambulances have arrived at the location and the injured have been taken to the Emergency Room in the nearby city of Yambol.

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#42
NellieotAmerica - 30 May 2009 // 15:44:27

Bill

"When I first came here, you could get 4 Mark for a dollar."

WOW! It must have been fun living in Germany then. You had 4 times as much money as the Germans and you still couldn't find a wife!

That's the problem with retirement and living on a fixed income--it doesn't keep up with the actual value of money.

#41
Bill - 30 May 2009 // 11:05:25

Nelie:

Yes, I can eat, and even surprisingly well. However, my retirement plans were pretty well shot down by political developments. Retirement, at least for people in my area of civil service, approximately halves the income. I was therefore planning on living on half. But then, during the Reagan administration, it was decided to devaluate the dollar to aid exports, and my income was halved again! So I now have to live on 1/4 of my earlier income.

It's liveable, but it doesn't permit some of the things I would have liked to do.

When I first came here, you could get 4 Mark for a dollar. Then came both the Euro and more devaluation of both the Mark and the dollar, and made things more expensive. Many Germans are agitating getting out of the EU and getting the Mark back. I think they're right. For example, I used to get a TV program magazine. The publisher said he wasn't going to raise the price when the Euro came in. But the Euro was worth more than a Mark, so one Euro was still more expensive than one Mark.

Many people here, I among them, are thorougly dissatisfied with the Euro. Not only is the value making things more expensive, whoever designed the coins made some of them so similar you have to read them to tell them apart. Then, too, in what I suppose was a kow-tow to individual sovereignty, each country mints its own Euro coins, and they all have a different design! The first time I got a Dutch Eurocent coin, I thought it was a slug!

#40
mavro from australia - 30 May 2009 // 08:04:34

Nothing is more important than what condition was the bus driver in.
Even the best bus on the best road can still be the scene of a crash.

#39
Bill - 30 May 2009 // 03:19:58

Nellie.

I've never heard a cupola called anything else than a cupola. Belvedere never.

At least I was right about portico and campanile.

Not to sound puffed up or otherwise bragging, but yes, I have lived a widely varied life, and it's taught me a lot. I therefore bristle when I get all these accusations on this forum about how uninformed I am.

People today aren't trained to be observant like I was. Many times, when I have guests in the car and point something out to them, I get, "Man, you notice everything." for a response. I was raised to know what was going on around me. My high school biology teacher was instrumental in this, because he was forever shouting at us, "Don't just look. Observe".

But I think after all this, you might have gotten a little insight into what I called the "Brotherhood of the Sea". Those symbols on the chart that Eurotourist dug up--or did you actually do it?--are known to mariners all over the world, and navigational charts are printed that way. It's especially important when approaching shore at night to know where the channel is, and to be warned of obstructions. The chart symbols will tell what kind of buoy is where, the signal patterns the lighthouses throw, where the range towers are, etc., and mariners all over the world can read them. Since shipping is such an international thing, the merchantmen as well as the warshps, a common language and understanding is necessary, and it's been there a lot longer than many other societies.

Just for fun, the next time you do any night flying take a look at the airport beacons. They also flash signals like the lighthouses do, but one you can easily see is this: Suppose you have a military air base and a civilian airport relatively close to each other. How do you tell them apart at night? The civilian airport's beacon will flash a beam of white light. A military airport will flash two beams of white light.

For mariners with lighthouses and buoys to contend with, you have to know the difference between a flashing light and an occulting light. The difference is relatively simple, but it's critical. A flashing light is one which is primarily dark and gives off flashes of light. An occulting light is one which is primarily bright and gives flashes of darkness.

It's all a matter of learning what you have to know in order to live in a particular enviornment. I've never regretted the choice to have the Navy as my milieu for my military service. Some of the best years of my life.

The Navy has one big advantage the other services don't. When we go to sea, or to a foreign country, we take our home base with us. We're self-sufficient. In a foreign port, we don't need hotel space. We live on the ship. Most important of all, in comparison with the Air Force or even Naval aviators, is that if you're in the middle of the ocean and you have engine failure, ships are much safer than airplanes.

#38
NellieotAmerica - 30 May 2009 // 01:20:03

Bill

Yes, everything is so much more fun when a person is young. Nothing is as much fun when a person gets old. However, 75 is the new 60 and you are far from old. You have a few good years left in you. Having said this, I should also add that the only thing a person really owns is his story. You have lived a good one.

Not to diverge, but it must be getting expensive for you to live in the Eurozone on a fixed dollar income, since the dollar is in a free fall against the euro. Can you afford to eat anymore?

#37
NellieotAmerica - 30 May 2009 // 01:13:11

Bill

Belvedere - Projection from top of roof; also called cupola.

Cupola - A cup-shaped cap over a structure; often found on carriage houses.

Campanile - A tower.

Lancet Window - Window with a pointed arch.

Corbel - Bracket or block projecting from the face of a wall.

Portico - Porch supported by columns, usually above entrance.

Oh, yeah.....MY dictionary has pictures of all these. lol

#36
NellieotAmerica - 30 May 2009 // 01:06:04

Bill

Just so you know--quoins are the brick or stone blocks used to accentuate the vertical corner of a building.

#35
Bill - 30 May 2009 // 01:03:36

Nellie:

The blue goose for our ship (an aircraft carrier) was more of a carry-all van which had the cargo space rigged wth benches. It was simply a taxi for the use of members of OUR crew, although if we shared a pier with another ship we extended guest privileges. The carriers are usually the farthest from the shore station, because the piers have to be longer than for smaller ships, and the water deeper. But we often had another carrier moored to the other side of the pier.

Yes, I've been back to Italy a few times since I've been in Germany, but now, approaching senility, it isn't as much fun as it used to be. In those days riding an Italian bus with one hand around the pole, one foot on the platform, and the rest of the body outside the bus was exciting. Not any more. Nowadays, with the walking troubles I have, I wouldn't dare try to step from a quay down into a small boat. It used to be adventure. Now it's hazardous.

I have a wonderful collection of stories and memories, though, of people, places and things, which is a personal treasure. Some of them are hilarious, like when the Captain went on leave, we put his private boat in the water and used it to tow aquaplaning!

Or how we beached the ship at Suda Bay, Crete, and sold beer to the rest of the fleet on the beach. We had the fattest welfare and recreation fund in the Mediterranean!. (The regulatons say that beer may be carried on naval vessels, but only as cargo. It must be consumed on shore and outsdie the continental United States.) We we ran the ship up onto the beach, lowered the bow ramp, and then, as the sailors on the ships anchored out in the bay realized what we were doing, they came ashore in their own boats, and we sold them beer out of our store. Lots of fun you can't have today.

You also have to take into consideration that I was in much better physical shape in those days, too.

#34
NellieotAmerica - 30 May 2009 // 00:08:39

Bill

Germany is not all that far from Italy, most Germans go at least once a year. Don't tell me you never went back all the while you were working in Germany?!? Like.........the last 35 years?

Oh, and about the blue goose of your nostalgia--a glorified golf cart, is it? You should have walked, better for you by far. Too much blue goose is why you didn't get enough exercise when you should have.

#33
Bill - 30 May 2009 // 00:05:53

Nellie:

Correct! Right on the button. Proud of you. Now keep that up.

#32
NellieotAmerica - 30 May 2009 // 00:02:32

Bill

"The whole technique of offset lithography is based on a simple chemical fact. Do you know what it is?"

The repulsion of oil and water.

#31
Bill - 30 May 2009 // 00:02:29

Nellie:

As I understand the word, "campanile", it means a bell tower. One of the most famous stands on St. Mark's Square in Venice.The word is derived from "campana", the Italian for bell.

As I understand belvedere, it's related to a gazebo, but more formal and more sturdy, i.e. not made of slats like a gazebo but marble, with pillars and often a dome. One sees them in formal gardens. Apparently belvederes were built on slopes or hills, because this word, too, is derived from Italian, and means to see beauty. i.e. a viewpoint.

The other words I don't know.

I'm not professionally trained, but as I said, in my day a broad education was required, not a specialized one, so I picked up a bit of this and a bit of that.

If you want to get a comparison of size, I was up in the dome of St. Peter's cathedral in Rome one day, when they were setting up for a mass consecration of priests or cardinals, I forget which, but at any rate it was going to be televised. From my viewpoint at the base of the drum, I could look down into the cathedral from a considerable height. I don't know if you know how big studio floodlights are, but I'd estimae two feet diameter at the lens. I was astounded to see two men, walking abreast, each of them carrying two studio floodlights--one in each hand--walking down the architrave! Now that's big"

The height of the church at the high altar is more than the length of a football field. That place is huge.

So I know enough architecture to be able to appreciate a beautiful piece of work, even though I don't know the details of how it was created. I've looked at some of the big cathedrals of Europe and wondered how the architect knew how to figure out where each individual stone was to go.

St. Peter's also has some mosaic work that's amazing. From the floor, you would think they were paintings, but they're pictures in pieces of stone, fitted into a sculptured granite frame!

I go St. Peter's every time I'm in Rome, just to get myself adjusted again to how small we are in the scheme of things. I also spend a few hours in the Vatican Museum, which is worth the trip in itself.

Ah, nostalgia. As Rolli would say, those were the days. Much of what you can do now wasn't possible when I was there. When I was in the Navy and visiting Rome, there were only two places in the city where you could look down into the Vatican Gardens. One was from the terrace of the Colegio di Propagande Fide. The other was from up on the dome of St. Peter's. Now you can get bus tours through the garden.

#30
NellieotAmerica - 29 May 2009 // 23:54:55

Bill

How about this one?

"The “Blue Goose” is the nickname of the large, thick, blue podium that the President always speaks from. Prior to a Presidential speech, press availability, or remarks of any kind, a Secret Service agent or military aide attaches the Presidential Seal to the front of the “Blue Goose” lectern. The Presidential Seal is not supposed to be attached to a podium or lectern that the President is not speaking from. Like many other Presidential necessities, the Blue Goose is bulletproof. It is equipped with microphones, a place for the President to set his speech down, a spot for the President to keep a glass of water, and is wired to support a TelePrompTer if necessary. A smaller lectern with the Presidential Seal attached to a single thin shelf is sometimes used for remarks that the President makes inside the White House. For outdoor events and remarks made while traveling, the President nearly always uses the bulletproof Blue Goose."

See what I mean? There are so many blue geese. How the heck should I know what's on your mind?

#29
NellieotAmerica - 29 May 2009 // 23:47:20

Bill

VP-22
Squadron Logo
NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii
Tail Code: [WB/AE/CE/QA]
Name: Blue Geese

VP-22
VP-4D14 Established: 15SEP28
VP-4B Redesignated: 21JAN31
VP-4F Redesignated: 17JUL33
VP-4 Redesignated: 01OCT37
VP-22 Redesignated: 01JUL39 | Disestablished: 18APR42

VP-22
VB-102 Established: 15FEB43
VPB-102 Redesignated: 01OCT44
VP-102 Redesignated: 15MAY45
VP-HL-2 Redesignated: 15NOV45
VP-22 Redesignated 01SEP 48 | Disestablished: 31MAR94

#28
NellieotAmerica - 29 May 2009 // 23:45:14

Bill

I got it--You are a blue goose. lol

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