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May 07, 2003

Packing and moving

A note from Friedrich von Blowhard and Michael Blowhard:

2Blowhards is going to be doing some redesigning, renovating, packing and moving over the next few days. So, though we expect that the site will remain visible, it'll be inactive for a little bit. Please enjoy what's here. We'll be back in the fray with fresh material starting next Monday. Thanks again for stopping by.

posted by Michael at May 7, 2003


And you'll start blogging again, right?


Btw, your banner graphic across the top takes forever to load via a modem. I don't know why as the chunks it's made from are all small. Maybe you need to oil it or something.

I look forward to your return.

Posted by: Yahmdallah on May 9, 2003 9:40 AM

A story you might find interesting:

Story last updated at 6:52 a.m. Sunday, May 11, 2003

Design of building prolonged standoff
New York Times

CLEVELAND--Police said Saturday that a gunman who killed one person and wounded two in a seven-hour attack Friday led SWAT teams on a "cat-and-mouse" chase through one of the United States' most idiosyncratic architectural complexes, the building that houses Case Western Reserve University's business school.

The attack ended about 11 p.m. Friday when officers shot and wounded a heavily armed man.

Police identified him as Biswanath Halder, 62, a former student in the MBA program and former university employee who once filed a lawsuit against another employee.

Ninety-three people were trapped during the standoff at the Peter B. Lewis Building, which houses the university's Weatherhead School of Management. The building, a brick complex topped with towering bursts of undulating stainless steel, was designed by Frank Gehry.

Its avant-garde design led to a prolonged hide-and-seek between SWAT team members and the gunman in a building that defies conventional shape. Officers said they chased the man, who had two semiautomatic weapons and wore a bulletproof vest, over several floors.

"There are no right angles in the building," said Chief Edward Lohn of the Cleveland police.

"There's a trail of blood throughout," he added. "The cat-and-mouse game moved room to room, floor to floor in that building."

Police said Halder wore a wig, a World War II Army helmet and a flak jacket. He was shot in the shoulder and abdomen but was able to walk to a stretcher on his own.

In letters to Cleveland officials posted on the Internet and purportedly written by Halder, the writer expresses anger over what he describes as another employee's erasure in 2000 of several computer files belonging to him, and he blames local law enforcement for not doing anything about it.

"No crime has ever gone unpunished," he wrote in one of the letters. "Society created the police department to apprehend criminals so that the criminals pay for their crimes."

Edward M. Hundert, the university's president, said the employee that Halder had sued escaped the building after the shooting began.

According to a resume for Halder posted on the Internet, he grew up in India, attended military school there and served in the Indian military's corps of electrical and mechanical engineers.

Norman E. Wallace, 30, an MBA student, was killed in the early moments of the attack.

"I'm sure he was one of the shining stars in his family," said Marlene Torres, a fellow first-year student in the MBA program. She said they both came from the inner city in Youngstown, adding that Wallace had been one of the few black students in the program.

A professor and a student were taken to the hospital but did not have life-threatening injuries, police said.

The attack began about 4 p.m. Friday when the gunman started firing outside the building before going inside. People inside hid under desks and barricaded offices and later described gunfire reverberating unpredictably through a building with 20-foot ceilings and large atriums.

Police responded quickly. Commander Jeffrey Martin, who oversees the city's SWAT team, said, "When we initially got the floor plans, we immediately knew it was going to be a challenge."

At some angles, the building looks like a brick trash can with giant metallic Kleenex piled on top. The "decentralized design" -- an understatement on the school's Web site -- has classrooms, faculty members and administrative offices and meeting areas dispersed on every floor.

This made it difficult to search and even "to ascertain the direction of noise," Lohn said.

Ultimately, Halder was chased to the top floor before he was shot and surrendered.

Posted by: jdt on May 11, 2003 9:51 AM

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