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  • feedwordpress 08:01:43 on 2018/10/22 Permalink
    Tags: André-Jacques Garnerin, avaition, , Google Earth, , parachute, ,   

    “There is only one perfect view — the view of the sky straight over our heads, and that all these views on earth are but bungled copies of it”*… 


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    7 sq miles

    (Clockwise, from upper left) Seven-square-mile views of Manhattan; Chaganbulage Administrative Village in Inner Mongolia; Venice, Italy; and farms in Plymouth, Washington

     

    Spending time looking at the varying and beautiful images of our planet from above in Google Earth, zooming in and out at dizzying rates, I thought it would be interesting to compare all of these vistas at a fixed scale—to see what New York City, Venice, or the Grand Canyon would look like from the same virtual height. So, the following images are snapshots from Google Earth, all rectangles of the same size and scale, approximately three and a half miles (5.6 kilometers) wide by two miles (3.2 kilometers) tall—showing seven square miles (18.1 square kilometers, or 4,480 acres) of the surface of our planet in each view…

    The Atlantic‘s Alan Taylor takes us a remarkable tour of the earth:  “Seven Square Miles.”

    * E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

    ###

    As we gaze groundward, we might recall that it was on this date in 1797 that André-Jacques Garnerin accomplished the first successful parachute jump.  He ascended to 2,230 ft. above the Parc Monceau, Paris, with a balloon, then released it and unfurled a silk parachute.  Lacking any vent in the top of the parachute, Garnerin descended with violent oscillations– as a result of which, he suffered the first case of airsickness.

    Garnerin releases the balloon and descends with the help of a parachute, 1797. (Illustration from the late 19th century.)

    source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:29 on 2018/06/08 Permalink
    Tags: , Circumnavigation, , John H. Wilson, Pan Am, parachute, , Worle War II   

    “I was once told that flying involves long hours of boredom, interrupted by moments of extreme fright”*… 


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    Boeing Model 314 Clipper “California Clipper,” Pan American Airways [source]

    On December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, there was a Pan Am Clipper proceeding to Auckland, New Zealand [from its San Francisco base] when the radio operator announced to the crew, in a panicked voice, that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. The Captain realized that this was not a joke, after looking over at the radio operator’s face, and said, “Please confirm the details of your news with Pan Am headquarters in New Caledonia.”

    When the radio operator returned to the Captain’s side he advised that the news was in fact correct and they advised me to tell you the following, Implement Plan A.” The Captain reached for a sealed envelope from his jacket…

    And so began a globe-circling trek that ended on January 6, 1942 at La Guardia’s Marine Air Terminal: total flight time was 209 hours; total distance, 31,500 miles (a circuitous route that involved dodging first Japanese then German military aircraft that considered the American plane “a strategic military resource” to be destroyed).  It was the first around-the-world flight by a commercial airliner… the hard way.

    Read the fascinating story of this unintended circumnavigation at “The Long Way Home….Pan Am Flight 18602.”

    * “Franklin W. Dixon” (the shared pseudonym of the many authors of The Hardy Boys novels)

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    As we buckle our seatbelts, we might recall that it was on this day in 1920 that Lt. John H. “Dynamite” Wilson of the 96th Aero Squadron, Kelly Field, Texas, leapt with a parachute from a De Haviland B airplane at an altitude of approximately 20,000 feet and made a safe landing in a turnip patch.

     source (and larger version)

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:38 on 2015/10/22 Permalink
    Tags: airsickness, Alvin Toffler, , , Future Shock, , Garnerin, , parachute, ,   

    “You got to be worried when they’re agreeing about anything… Prophets. That’s the last bloody thing you want prophets to do”*… 


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    email readers click here for video

    We may define future shock as the distress, both physical and psychological, that arises from an overload of the human organism’s physical adaptive systems and it’s decision-making processes… Put more simply, future shock is the human response to over-stimulation…

    – Alvin Toffler

    The film above is a documentary based on Future Shock, the book written in 1970 by sociologist and futurist Alvin Toffler…

    Released in 1972, with a cigar-chomping Orson Welles as on-screen narrator, this piece of futurism
    is darkly dystopian and oozing techno-paranoia… A great opening features a montage of car crashes and civil unrest intercut with two figures walking in a green field (while creepy synthesizers play in the background) who are soon revealed to be automatons with creepy robot faces — a nice metaphor for the fear of the unrecognizable, cold, and chaotic future society that Toffler thought we were all headed for…

    More background in the notes accompanying the film.

    (After watching the film, take a whack at being a futurist yourself; try the card game, “The Thing From the Future“…)

    * China Miéville, Kraken

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    As we brace for change, we might recall that it was on this date in 1797 that André-Jacques Garnerin accomplished the first successful parachute jump.  He ascended to 2,230 ft. above the Parc Monceau, Paris, with a balloon, then released it and unfurled a silk parachute.  Lacking any vent in the top of the parachute, Garnerin descended with violent oscillations– as a result of which, he suffered the first case of airsickness.

    Garnerin releases the balloon and descends with the help of a parachute, 1797. (Illustration from the late 19th century.)

    source

     

     
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