View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 12 September 2009

The Falling Man

Watched a documentary tonight about the Falling Man, the undescribably image of one of the people who fell from the WTC in New York on 9/11. As my tribute on this blog indicates, people tried to identify the man pictured, and initially concluded it was Norberto Hernandez. This was disproved. It then turned out to be Jonathan Briley, who worked in the Windows of the World restaurant, where Norberto Hernandez was employed as a chef. But, does it really matter who was captured, falling hundreds of feet to his death?


It matters more what the image stands for. And that transcends identity, ethnicity or nationality. It surmounts the politics, security and other implications that the dreadful events of 9/11 had. It brings it back down to the individual. Like the tombs to the unknown soldier that are scattered across the world. For it is the not knowing of the identity that gives the image its power.

9/11 will be remembered through the years, its acute pain lessened as time passes. If I can, I'll continue posting Norberto Hernandez' tribute on 11 September each year. Whether under the auspices of Project 2996, or under my own steam. Norberto's memory will live on. As will the memory of the several thousand others who died that day, 8 years ago.

Saturday 12 September

Equinox approaching rapidly, and it's getting dark by 8pm now. Nice sunset last night, will post pictures at a later stage. The island's shores are plagued by jellyfish, which are not just a nuisance. If they get into fishfarms, they are capable of killing the salmon - in 2002, £3m worth of farmed fish were killed in a fishfarm south of Stornoway.

Image courtesy Hebrides News

J-landers are reminded that Lisa Arthur's Facebook site was hacked, and is now closed down. She has reopened a new account. I am glad, in a way, that the hackers chose the wrong person. Everyone who knows Lisa is aware she's housebound, if not bedbound, due to her ill health. So it was pretty obvious it wasn't her over in London, asking for money.

Hurricane update - 12 September

While Fred, Linda and Mujigae fade into the history books, a flurry of new systems take over. Mujigae will have brought heavy rains to southern China and northern Vietnam - keep an eye on the news feeds for that.

Further east, along the 152nd degree longitude east, we find tropical depression 15W. This will strengthen rapidly and come barging through the Northern Marianas Islands on Tuesday as a 65 knots typhoon. Guam and surrounding islands are on typhoon or tropical storm watch. A previous tropical cyclone elicited the response from there that they'd crack open a beer and see what's doing on the beach.

The Philippines, more specifically Luzon, are feeling the effects of tropical disturbance 91W, which is referred to as Nando locally. This could develop into a formal tropical cyclone, but the Philippines will find the rains from 91W already more than enough to cope with. By the end of this week, 15W will come to haunt them as a powerful typhoon, although that is far from certain, actually. The latter system is still 30 degrees in longitude away to the east.

Missing - body found

Last weekend, a 17-year old jumped into the Falls of Foyers off Loch Ness and disappeared. Yesterday afternoon, search teams found the body of a man, thought to be that of Laurence Parrott. Formal identification is yet to take place (at time of typing, 5pm on Friday).

It reinforces the call, made by HM Coastguard yesterday to refrain from tombstoning. This teen-craze, which has risen in popularity, involves people jumping off high cliffs or piers without knowing what lies at the bottom. Assuming it is deep water, many have come to grief in shallow pools, having not taken into account the tides. Some have lost their lives. Videos of youngsters from the Isle of Lewis engaging in similar acts of lunacy were / are on Youtube, but some of the videos have been taken down by the website following complaints.

Late posting out of respect for the victims of 9/11