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Eastern New Orleans was badly flooded in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (see: Effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans). The park grounds are located on a low-lying section of Eastern New Orleans, with a 6-foot earthen flood berm running along the perimeter, creating an artificial basin. After the park's drainage pumps failed during the storm, the berm retained the combination of rainwater and sea water overflow from Lake Pontchartrain caused by Katrina's massive storm surge, submerging the entire park grounds in corrosive, brackish floodwater to a depth of 4–7 feet. The floodwater was not drained for over a month. Due to the damage received, the park has been (and is currently) closed indefinitely with no plans to reopen. Damage reports by Six Flags inspectors stated that the park buildings are 80% demolished, all of the flat rides (except for one which was being serviced off-site at the time of the storm) have been effectively destroyed by long term salt-water immersion, and both the wooden track and steel superstructure of the Mega Zeph have been damaged beyond likely hope of repair. The only large ride to escape relatively unscathed was the Batman: The Ride roller-coaster, due to its elevated station platform and corrosion-resistant support structure. On July 1, 2006, having previously announced that the park would be closed "at least" through 2007, Six Flags Inc. announced that they had concluded their damage assessments and declared the park to be an "effective total loss"—with no desire or intent by the company to undertake the prohibitive cost of rebuilding—and was in negotiations with the City of New Orleans to make an early exit from the 75-year lease which Six Flags entered into on the property. However, then-Mayor Ray Nagin said he planned to hold Six Flags to the lease agreement and force them to rebuild. If held to the terms of the lease agreement, Six Flags would be legally obligated to rebuild the park on the same site, but only to the extent of the insurance money Six Flags receives. Six Flags determined the value of assets destroyed by the storm at $32.5 million. As of September 2006, Six Flags had collected $11.5 million of insurance proceeds, bringing the insurance receivable balance to $24.4 million. It remains unknown whether the amount of money the park receives will be enough to successfully rebuild it. In January 2007, Six Flags officials revealed to the Times-Picayune that the company is suing its insurers for the remaining amount of $175 million in coverage. As of October 2010, Southern Star Amusement Inc. is still working to recover the park. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

Mitchell Lee Hedberg was an American stand-up comedian known for his surreal humor and unconventional comedic delivery. Hedberg's stand-up comedy was distinguished by the unique manner of speech (he rarely used contractions) that he adopted later in his career, his abrupt delivery, and his unusual stage presence. His material depended heavily upon word play, non-sequiturs, paraprosdokians and object observations. His act usually consisted equally of compact one- or two-liners resembling those of Steven Wright, in addition to longer routines, often with each line as a punchline. Many of his jokes stemmed from his everyday thoughts or situations. Because he suffered from stage fright, Hedberg often performed wearing sunglasses, with his head down, with his hair in his face or with his eyes closed in order to avoid eye contact with the audience. He would often stand upstage or perform with his back to the audience. He would also constantly move in one spot and, when holding the microphone in some skits, his nervousness would cause him to shake it uncontrollably. Hedberg's comedy and on-stage persona gained him a cult following, with audience members sometimes shouting out the punchlines to his jokes before he could finish them. Hedberg was known to be a drug user, referring to it in some of his jokes ("I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too"). Hedberg was arrested in Austin, Texas, in May 2003 for possession of heroin. On March 30, 2005, Hedberg was found dead in a hotel room in Livingston, NJ. Hedberg was born with a heart defect for which he received extensive treatment as a child. It was initially speculated that this condition may have played a part in his death. The New Jersey medical examiner's office reported "multiple drug toxicity", in the form of a cocaine and heroin "speedball", as the official cause of death. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

A diver propulsion vehicle (DPV, also known as an underwater propulsion vehicle or underwater scooter) is an item of diving equipment used by scuba and rebreather divers to increase range underwater. Range is restricted by the amount of breathing gas that can be carried, the rate at which that breathing gas is consumed under exertion, and the time limits imposed by the dive tables to avoid decompression sickness. A DPV usually consists of a battery-powered electric motor, which drives a propeller. The design must ensure that: the propeller is caged so that it cannot harm the diver, diving equipment or marine life; the vehicle cannot be accidentally started or run away from the diver; and it remains neutrally buoyant under all conditions. DPVs are useful for long journeys at constant depth where navigation is easy. Typical uses include cave diving and technical diving where the vehicles help move bulky equipment and make better use of the limited underwater time imposed by the decompression requirements of deep diving. For many recreational divers DPVs are not useful. Buoyancy control is vital for diver safety: The DPV has the potential to make buoyancy control difficult and cause barotrauma if the diver ascends or descends under power. Visibility of less than 5 metres makes navigating a DPV difficult. Also, many forms of smaller marine life are very well camouflaged or hide well and are only seen by divers who move very slowly and are very vigilant. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

A megatsunami is defined as a wave reaching more than 100 meters (328 feet) in the deep ocean. The highest wave ever recorded occurred on July 9, 1958 in Lituya Bay, Alaska reaching a height of 524 meters (1,720 feet), 250 feet taller than the Empire State Building. Near the crest of the Fairweather Mountains sit the Lituya and the North Crillon glaciers. They are each about 12 miles long and one mile wide with an elevation of 4000 ft (1,220m). The retreats of these glaciers form the present T shape of the bay, the Gilbert and Crillon inlets. The major earthquake that struck on the Fairweather Fault had a Richter scale reading of 7.9, and some sources have reported it to be as much as 8.3. The epicenter of the quake was at latitude 58.6N., longitude 137.1W. near the Fairweather Range, 7.5 miles east of the surface trace of the Fairweather fault, and 13 miles southeast of Lituya Bay. This earthquake had been the strongest in over 50 years for this region. The earthquake caused a subaerial rock fall in the Gilbert Inlet. This landslide caused 30 million cubic meters of rock to fall into the bay, creating the megatsunami. At 10:15 p.m. PST on July 9, 1958, which is still daylight at that time of year, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 struck the Lituya Bay area. The tide was ebbing at about plus 1.5m and the weather was clear. Anchored in Anchorage Cove, near the west side of the entrance of the bay, Bill and Vivian Swanson were on their boat fishing when the unthinkable happened: "With the first jolt, I tumbled out of the bunk and looked toward the head of the bay where all the noise was coming from. The mountains were shaking something awful, with slide of rock and snow, but what I noticed mostly was the glacier, the north glacier, the one they call Lituya Glacier. I know you can’t ordinarily see that glacier from where I was anchored. People shake their heads when I tell them I saw it that night. I can’t help it if they don’t believe me. I know the glacier is hidden by the point when you’re in Anchorage Cove, but I know what I saw that night, too. The glacier had risen in the air and moved forward so it was in sight. It must have risen several hundred feet. I don’t mean it was just hanging in the air. It seems to be solid, but it was jumping and shaking like crazy. Big chunks of ice were falling off the face of it and down into the water. That was six miles away and they still looked like big chunks. They came off the glacier like a big load of rocks spilling out of a dump truck. That went on for a little while—its hard to tell just how long—and then suddenly the glacier dropped back out of sight and there was a big wall of water going over the point. The wave started for us right after that and I was too busy to tell what else was happening up there." Based on this description, it is possible that the quake had caused the entire glacier (or a large portion of it) to slide over the cliff. What the fisherman may have seen, therefore, could have been that section breaking off and falling into the bay. This might account for the vast displacement of water, while leaving little or no evidence once the ice melted. The height of the wave, however, was accurately measured at 1,720 feet, based on the elevation extent of the damage caused to the foliage up the headlands around the bay. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE] is not affiliated with or endorsed by wikipedia. wikipedia and the wikipedia globe are registered trademarks of
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