Northeast Blackout of 2003

On this day in 2003, the eastern United States and part of Canada were affected by a major power outage. At 4:10 PM ET, 21 power plants shut down in just three minutes. Over 50 million people were affected including residents of New York, Cleveland and Detroit, as well as Toronto and Ottawa, Canada. Power companies were able to restore some services within a few hours, while other areas were left in the dark for more than a day.

The outage stopped trains and elevators, and disrupted everything from cellular telephone service to operations at hospitals to traffic at airports. The loss of use of electric water pumps interrupted water service in many areas. There were even some reports of people being stranded mid-ride on amusement park roller coasters. The New York Stock Exchange and bond market however, was able to continue thanks to backup generators.

Some speculated that terrorists … Read more »

The Origin of the Purple Heart

On this day in 1782, General George Washington, the commander in chief of the Continental Army, creates the “Badge for Military Merit,” a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged with a narrow binding of silver, with the word Merit stitched across the face in silver. The badge was to be presented to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action” and permitted its wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge. The honoree’s name and regiment were also to be inscribed in a “Book of Merit.”

Washington’s “Purple Heart” was awarded to only three known soldiers during the Revolutionary War: Elijah Churchill, William Brown and Daniel Bissell, Jr. The “Book of Merit” was lost, and the decoration was largely forgotten until 1927, when General Charles P. Summerall, the U.S. Army chief of staff, sent an unsuccessful draft bill to Congress to “revive the Badge of Military Merit.” In … Read more »

How Breathing Affects Shooting

When shooting, a person takes normal breaths in and then exhales until he/she reaches a point called Natural Respiratory Pause (NRP). NRP is the time period when the shooter is completely relaxed in his/her respiratory cycle.

The natural respiratory cycle of inhaling and exhaling lasts about 4 to 5 seconds during normal breathing. Between respiratory cycles there is a NRP of about 2-3 seconds (a brief pause), but this pause can be extended up to 15 seconds for some shooters when firing a shot. The shooter’s physical condition, medical limitations, situational scenario, physiological factors, and lung capacity affect the duration of the NRP. This brief pause or holding of the breath should last as long as the shooter feels comfortable with it… a very personal factor that should not be dictated by anyone but the shooter. A big caution is that holding the breath longer than is comfortable will cause … Read more »

The Cost of Cyber Attacks

The majority of funds lost due to cyber attacks are declared unrecoverable

Cyber crimes are costly, but also poses other problems for organizations worldwide.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to detect cyber attacks and resolve the security issues created by them: the average time it takes an organization to detect a malicious or criminal attack is 170 days. Moreover, no industry is safe: all business sectors are affected to some degree.

Research conducted by the Ponemon Institute found the average annual cost of cyber crimes in the US totals over $12.7 million with an average of 138 successful attacks per week. What’s most troubling it that 68% of the funds lost are never recovered and most likely never will be.

So what does that mean for you? Keeping your financial information protected through strong passwords and password manager application when entering your information is crucial. Be aware of phishing attempts and … Read more »

War Over Words

On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress learned that General George Washington had refused to accept a letter, meant to open peace negotiations, from British General William Howe and his brother, Admiral Richard Viscount Howe, because it failed to use the title “general.” Congress responded by proclaiming that the commander in chief acted “with dignity becoming his station,” and directed all American commanders to receive only letters addressed to them in the “characters they respectively sustain.”

While congress was voting on the approval of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania early in July of 1776, the Howe brothers were busy assembling the largest European forces to land in the Americas on Staten Island, New York. General Washington had spent much of the spring of 1776 moving his 19,000 men from Boston to New York. There they would confront the 30,000 men under the Howe brothers.

The Howe brothers … Read more »