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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Tuesday, September 11, 2001

DaveNet: To peace-loving people everywhere.

NY Times: Web Offers Both News and Comfort. "At, a site normally devoted to technical discussion of Web programming, people sent in pictures of the World Trade Center buildings collapsing and reports."

Closing comments. Hat-tip to Bill Seitz for remembering the Empire State Building webcam. And we got first-hand reports from people who were there. There were real-time human touches that are hard to capture in a print pub with a lead time. There's power in the new communication and development medium we're mastering. Far from being dead, the Web is just getting started.

Talking with Scoble this evening about this stuff, he told me about an earthquake web app in California that lets people report quakes and it aggregates the data and distributes rescue resources accordingly. Someday soon every home will have a weblog, and we'll have great aggregation tools that allow us to quickly assemble lists of loved ones who survived. A new button on cellphones that says "I made it" and it flows the fact to all your concerned friends. Today I learned first-hand what it feels like to worry about a family member caught up in catastrophe. That kind of information doesn't need a business model.

Anyway, it's time for me to sign off for the night. Today I started at about 5:30AM, and typed and read and thought and felt every minute of the day. I'm wiped. I'm also lucky -- I get to come back tomorrow. Thousands of Americans aren't so lucky. Their families and friends won't sleep so well tonight. Say a prayer for all of us, and for the world. Those assholes fucked with a very powerful country. I hope we all survive that. Peace and love, Uncle Gravy.

Survey: Have you been to the World Trade Center?

Eric Soroos: "Buildings are designed to provide a few hours of fire protection for normal fires. But for extreme events (like the big earthquake), the design criteria becomes 'survive long enough to evacuate.'"

On a scale of 1 to 10, how weird is this page?

Lockergnome: Blogging is hogging mind boggling bloggers.

Jeff Barr: "It seems to me that the work of Syndication can help in some small way to make the world a better place."

Wes Felter: "I'm hearing rumors that gas prices have doubled and tripled during the day in some places. Has anyone witnessed that?"

Wes says: "I didn't understand how they could have collapsed; the buildings didn't look damaged below the crash sites." NPR interviewed a Berkeley engineering professor, he explained what happened. Basically the steel in the top 20 stories got very hot and softened, and collapsed on the lower 90 stories. They couldn't handle that kind of load, so they collapsed too.

John Robb on the knives used in the hijacking and the implications for America's future wealth.

Great Buildings: The World Trade Center.

Engineering News-Record: Dynamic Duo of Height.

Historical anecdotes about the WTC.

Eugene Pervago reports from Mexico.

Reuters: Putin Expresses Condolences to American People.

Editorials: Houston Chronicle, Seattle Times, London Guardian.

Joel Spolsky: "Here on the Upper West Side, about 5 miles north of Ground Zero, I saw streams of people in business clothes walking home. I saw people planning to walk all the way up to the George Washington bridge and then across to New Jersey where they lived."

US Attorney General Ashcroft at a press conference: Hijackers were armed with knives. President Bush will speak at 5:30PM Pacific.

John Perry Barlow compares today's events to the burning of the Reichstag that led to the Nazi takeover of the German government in 1933. He said in a published email "Within a few hours, we will see beginning the most vigorous efforts to end what remains of freedom in America. Those of who are willing to sacrifice a little - largely illusory - safety in order to maintain our faith in the original ideals of America will have to fight for those ideals just as vigorously."

These were not terrorist attacks. The Pentagon is the US military headquarters. It's an impossible stretch to see that as terrorism. If the targets of attack were only civillian targets, that's terrorism. This picture must haunt the military. Soldiers look helplessly as their headquarters burns and their colleagues die. The attack on the Pentagon was an act of war.

Internet News: World Markets Plunge on US Terrorist Attacks.

London Times: Quotes from a day of terror.

Boston Globe: '''This is a price you pay for a weak response to the Lockerbie bombing, a weak response to the first World Trade Center bombing, a weak response to the bombing of the USS Cole, a weak response to the Africa embassy bombings,'' he said. ''We've allowed Osama bin Laden to go on with life, to be protected by the Taliban in Afghanistan.'''

Brent Simmons: "CNN reports that the White House states that the explosions are not a U.S. strike."

James Spahr: "The photo below is from my apartment and I have others. It will be a while before I can post them. 3 of my ISP's trunks where severed this morning, obviously these things are far from a priority right now."

Jonathan Shapiro: "This act required logistic support and coordination involving hundreds of people, with major-league funding."

Daniel Schorr on NPR: "With Pearl Harbor there was a return address." An important point as the cowardice of today's attack sinks in.

FDR: "Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."

Full text of FDR's Pearl Harbor speech.

Google is caching major news sites today. (Screen shot.)

News.Com photo essay.

NY Times: "From the World Financial Center, another tall office building across the street to the west of the Trade Towers, employees watched out the windows in shock as the building fell. Angelo Echevaria, 49, said he had to prod fellow workers who were frozen with fear, urging them to evacuate."

This is London: "An Arab journalist with access to Bin Laden said today that the terrorist leader warned three weeks ago that he and his followers would carry out an unprecedented attack on US interests for its support of Israel."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Minutes earlier, a man who said he was a passenger on the plane told an emergency dispatcher in a cell phone call: 'We are being hijacked, we are being hijacked!'"

Press release: "With great sadness, Akamai Technologies, Inc. today announced the passing of Daniel C. Lewin, co-founder, chief technology officer and board member of the Company. American Airlines confirmed that he was on board the Boston to Los Angeles flight that crashed in New York City today. Danny was 31 years old and is survived by his wife and two sons."

My dad is OK. Just talked with him on the phone. He was in Grand Central Station when the subways shut down. He walked from mid-town over the 59th Street Bridge with thousands of other New Yorkers. He didn't know the planes were hijacked. What a relief that both my parents survived. And thanks for all the good wishes.

Afghan News Network: "This is a terrible act of horror and our hearts go out to everyone involved in this heartless terrorist attack. This act is against the teachings of Islam and Muslim nations condemn this attack."

Where to donate blood in the Bay Area.

Check in here if you're alive in New York City or any other affected city. And if you see this guy walking around Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens, send me an email.

Still no word from my father. I just went outside and heard a plane overhead. On most days that would be a pretty normal thing. Today I wondered what was going on on that plane. A friend was coming to visit from Florida for the weekend. Now that's off. It's just beginning to sink in how much things have changed. Yesterday would it have made no sense to run a survey to ask if we are at war. Yesterday was a normal day. Today started normally too. I have a feeling that the takeaway from this will be There's No Time Like Now. Yeah, there's no time like now to start forgiving, to turn the other cheek, to show the world not that we're tough, but that we're commited to making the world a better place. Do I think our government will do that? No I don't.

China People's Daily: "Chinese President Jiang Zemin here at midnight September 11 conveyed a message to U.S. President George W. Bush in which Jiang expressed sympathy to him and to the U.S. government and people for the disastrous attacks against the U.S. He also expressed condolences to the family members of the victims."

CNN: Chronology of Terror.

London Times: Attacks Celebrated on West Bank.

Selenium: "I am only a block from the White House. There are currently two layers of security around the White House from what I can see. There is an outer layer has Secret Service and other police officers to turn back people and cars, and an inner on complete with road blocks."

Jerusalem Post: Exclusive interview with WTC architect.

Jerusalem Post: Israel evacuates embassies, Palestinians celebrate.

Maurice Rickard: "I'm in Pittsburgh. A United flight (a 757) went down in a rural area 70-80 miles southeast of here, near Somerset. NPR has reported that one of the passengers called 911 on a cell phone, and indicated that the flight was indeed hijacked."

Jason Levine: "I'm beseeching everyone in NYC to go donate blood over on Q; you may want to ask people to do the same."

I just got an email from a Amy Harmon at the NY Times. She says: "I am working on a story about how people are responding across the Net to the news of today's terrorist attacks, and I noticed that you're devoting your blog to it. I wondered if you might have a minute to talk about the impulse to collect and share news and reaction and how the Net facilitates that." I can't get through to NY on the phone. I see this as an opportunity to cover a big news story, it's largely the same reason the NY Times home page is all about this. We want to figure out what happened, what it means, and where we go from here. The world changed today. It's still very fresh. Is there an opportunity for something good to come from this? I think so. Talking with my mother on the phone she's sure that Jewish people will be blamed for this. I asked can we hope for something better to come from this. Perhaps a new connection between peace-loving people everywhere?

AP: New York City Shuts Down.

A mailing list for discussion of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and other sites.

Joichi Ito: "A Japanese military analyst mentioned on national TV in Japan that US forces have been issuing warnings and raising the level of alertness over the last week around the world and early comments from the analyst suggest that there was some warning."

Rob Fahrni: "My wife informs me that there are still fifty domestic flights in the air and two international flights that cannot be contacted. This may not be over by a long shot."

Joe Foss: "I have heard from one person (an in-law) who was on the 57th floor of tower one when the plane hit. He is now home safe. He said the emergency systems in the tower were functioning and it was the most orderly evacuation he could imagine under the circumstances."

Cameron Barrett: "There is soot falling out of the sky outside my apartment in Brooklyn."

My father was in downtown NY when the planes crashed. My mother saw the whole thing from a rooftop in Brooklyn. She had a camera. We haven't heard from my father yet.

Survey: Is the US at war?

All air traffic in the US has been grounded. The President who is in the air now is returning to Washington. A third plane has crashed into the Pentagon.

Timothy Timlin: "A fifth hijacked plane crashed near Camp David, MD. There is a sixth hijacked plane circling around in Virginia airspace; it is surrounded by our aircraft at this time."

Please post news and pointers to pictures to this discussion group. Email is fine, but let's use all the communication tools we have.

One tower of the WTC has collapsed. (Update -- the other tower collapsed at 7:30AM.)

Webcam photo of where the WTC used to be.

Photo of the Pentagon burning.

A dramatic picture that gives you an idea of what's happening in NY.

Mirrored video of the tower collapses.

Reports of a plane crash in Pittsburgh at 7:40AM Pacific.

I've gotten email asking my position on Palestinian terrorism. Apparently I'm listed on some website as a supporter of such acts. Here's my statement. "I am Jewish, son of Holocaust survivors, first generation American. I am against terrorism, period. I support Israel, but understand and empathize with the frustration of Palestinians. I have a friend who is Palestinian. Jews who think all of them are terrorists are mistaken. They are more like us than they are different."

Grace Suh, in NY, has a photo-essay of the WTC demise.

Nando Times has lots of photos too.

A screen shot of the NY Times home page at 7:21AM Pacific.

Stories: Washington Post, BBC, London Times, Chicago Tribune, CNN.

Scobelizer: America Under Attack.

Bryan McCormick: "I'm at the epicenter. According to a neighbor everyone in WTC2 below the 90th floor got out alive."

Adam Curry: "The US embassy in Amsterdam is now surounded by heavily armed guards and news crews. All flights to the US grounded at Schiphol Airport."

John Robb: "What is amazing to me is that for an operation this large and closely coordinated we had no warning."

Jim Biancolo: "I don't expect you to respond, but I had to take a shot at asking, since yours is one of the few news sites that's up. Have you heard anything about evacuation plans around the Pentagon - where they're sending the injured and uninjured. Trying to track down information for a friend whose husband works there."

Richard Martin: "Tower two has collapsed. Pentagon has been dropped in on by an explosion on the helo pad. A helocopter has fallen on to the mall, the White House has been evacuated along with Treasury and others. This is deep. The two planes were a 767 from Boston (Logan) hijacked and the second was a United flight. The Sears tower is being evacuated."

Ariel McNichol: "From London the news reports that 'The United States is under seige.' Now Tony Blair is on TV saying that the center of asking his people for empathy to the US, a place of carnage, with innocent people dead, etc...and now he asks all the UK to send a condolences, and he's going on about democracies of the world needing to come together to erradicate the evil terrorism of this world. He looks genuinely upset, and is planning an emergency return to London...HOLY FUCK! I really hope that you're safe over there in California. LOVE, LOVE, Love Ariel in London."

I just tried calling my parents in NY. "Beep beep beep.. All circuits are busy."

6:45AM: I sent out a bulletin.

6:15AM: Bill Seitz reports that a plane has crashed into NY's World Trade Center.

The Empire State Building cam provides a real-time view. (Screen shot.)

Mike Donellan has a color picture and links. It was a hijacked United Airlines plane.

Update: Two planes hit the WTC.

Bush: It was a terrorist act.

Reuters: A Palestinian group is claiming responsibility.

NPR: American Airlines flight from Boston, a Boeing 767, hijacked. Heavy loss of life.

Most of the news sites are too busy to get through to. Interesting, perhaps the Web isn't as dead as some say it is.

Author David Bank will do readings from Breaking Windows in Berkeley and Menlo Park next week.

Wired: Hollywood Loves Hollings' Bill.

SchoolBlogs is offering free Manila hosting.


Last update: Monday, October 08, 2001 at 7:49 PM Eastern.

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