Hero Teachers of the Ohio School Shooting

Via CNN.

Frank Hall insists he’s just a football coach and a study hall teacher, not a hero.

But what else do you call someone who, as students crouched for cover and ran for their lives after bullets rang out in the Chardon High School cafeteria, ran at the shooter? Who kept on chasing him, out the door of the Ohio school, during which witnesses reported another shot being fired? And who, after all that, headed back into the cafeteria to comfort the victims?

Joseph Ricci, a math teacher at the school. Kaylee O’Donnell, a 10th-grader, recalled how Ricci shut the door to his classroom, told students to crouch down at the front of the room, then went into a locker and pulled out a bullet-proof vest.

Then, she said, Ricci put on the vest and left the room. Soon thereafter, he brought one of the shooting victims inside the room, talking to him and trying to reassure him until more help came.

“Teachers say … their job is, if somebody comes in and shoots, they will put their life on the line,” said O’Donnell, describing Ricci as someone who is “honest, he’s trustworthy (and) you can go to him for anything.”

“You never know it until it actually happens. He showed us, instead of told us. That really amazes me, how brave he was.”

These people did things they did not have to do. They could have stayed down, hiding. Instead, they willingly risked their lives to take the initiative against the threat. That is heroic.


New Under the Sun? 7 Marathons, 7 Continents, 5 Days

Richard Donovan is a 42 year old Irishman. The ancient Greeks (or Celts for that matter) would have called him a god. Today, demigod is probably sufficient.

The man, if he is in fact a human, ran seven 26.2 mile marathons, one on each continent, in five days. This is a jaw-dropping physical and mental feat. He’s done it twice, once in 2009, and once in Feb 2012 – coming in at 4 days, 22 hours. Donovan did it to raise money for the charity Goal, whose purpose is to relieve suffering in the war-wracked Darfur region of Sudan.

World Marathon Challenge website

Antarctic Ice Marathon

Video at CNN.


Odyssey Marine Case Ending Well For Spain

Almost five years ago in this blog, I wrote about Odyssey Marine’s recovery of $500 million of gold and silver coins from the Atlantic seafloor, and Spain’s lawsuit to claim the treasure. I posted several updates. But the case disappeared into the legal quagmire and I saw little word of it in the intervening years.

Now it seems a total resolution hinges on one near-certain SCOTUS denial of cert. Spain has won the case, and now has custody of the coins. Central to Spain’s victory is the claim that the vessel was a Spanish naval ship, the rights to which Spain had never relinquished, as recognized in the 1763 Treaty of Paris. I also see that my analysis at the end of the previously linked post was spot on: “I’m very skeptical of Odyssey’s confident pronouncements in press releases on its ability to retain the treasure (or at least the lion’s share) in the legal arena.” Score one for me.

Good video at CNN here.

Odyssey Marine has an informative summary of the case and its current status, here.


Inside Stephen Colbert’s Crusade Against Citizens United