Category Archives: Thoughts & Observations

That one time I witnessed a fatal air show crash…

I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life. I grew up in a quiet, somewhat isolated part of the county, with low crime and friendly neighbors. Nothing big usually happens there. And likewise, despite the professional and travel experiences I’ve been privileged to have, I’ve stayed out of the way of major events. They say we remember bad/intense experiences better than most because the adrenaline burns them into our memory. 28 years later, I can still remember this very vividly.

Flash back to May 25th, 1986. Every year, the local airport, Berlin Municipal Airport (KBML) had an airshow. The runway way long enough that they could host some fairly large and interesting planes, military and private.

That year, one of the performers was the Flying Farmer – Bob Weymouth of Dresden, ME (pictured above). Typical stunt pilot in an older model fixed wing, single prop plane. In this case it was a 1946 Piper J3C-65, doing the typical dips, climbs, rolls and other common maneuvers. Weymouth was apparently a very experienced pilot with decades of stunt shows in this plane on his resume. Continue reading That one time I witnessed a fatal air show crash…

Game: Medical Condition or NPR Correspondent?

npr_logo1I listen to NPR everyday. They have many fine journalists, correspondents, hosts and other professionals and produce very intelligent and intriguing news and information pieces. I began to catalog some of the names of these people in my head and realized that many are very unique.  Some so unique that if you weren’t paying attention, they might blend right in as part of a medical or science segment. Here’s a small quiz to test your knowledge. Answers are below. No cheating.

Medical Condition or NPR Correspondent?

1) Spina Bifida
2) Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson
3) Creutzfeldt Jakob
4) Audie Cornish
5) Mandalit del Barco
6) Yuki Noguchi
7) Gonadal Dysgenesis
8) Filatow Dukes
9) Ofeibea Quist Arcton
10) Fitz Hugh Curtis
Bonus: Doualy Xaykaothao

Continue reading Game: Medical Condition or NPR Correspondent?

Those viral language maps prove “The Goonies” movie was linguistically accurate

By now, you’ve seen dozens of your facebook and twitter friends post this compilation of maps that visualize how/where people pronouce different things or refer to different things (i.e. pop vs. soda, or caramel vs. “carmel”):

22 Maps That Show How Americans Speak English Totally Differently From Each Other

Well, there’s one map that stood out for me. While the geographical breakdown was predictable, it nonetheless proves the linguistic accuracy of one of the best movies ever produced, 1985’s The Goonies.

Most will remember the character Sloth, who had many memorable lines/quips/sayings, most notably was his entrance into the pirate ship scene:

What’s my point? Well, The Goonies was set in Astoria, Oregon. According to map #7, this is deep in the heart of “you guys” county:

Yes. It is quite possible that if The Goonies had been set in Lexington, KY he may well have said, “Hey, You All,” or in Jacksonville, FL we may have heard, “Hey Y’all.”

Things you discover on NPR on weekends: TED radio hour

I have no idea who this woman is and I have some recollection of hearing of her book, but have no idea what it’s about. This came on the radio Saturday afternoon as I just happened to tune in while doing chores around the house. Her intro may seem a bit dark, but the concept of the talk is brilliant. It gets good around minute 6.  Some days you’re on. Some you’re completely off. When you’re off, it’s the most frustrating thing ever. This talk explores the process by which you can disembody creativity. It’s not yours, it’s on loan.

Novelty Beach Patrol/Lifeguard Clothing: What if I really need help?

I was recently in Florida and while perusing a beach themed souvenir store, I realized that there is a whole line of goods – from hats to shirts to ash trays – all emblazoned with LIFE GUARD or BEACH PATROL on them. Now this is cute if you’re not at the beach, or at the lake or pool, but what if you’re actually in need of life saving assistance near a body of water? Do we let people off the street walk around in lab coats or scrubs in a hospital? No. Do we let non-pilots walk around in pilot uniforms in airports or on planes. Not likely.

I’m not sure what the solution is, here, but I’m sure you now realize the problem.

Waist Watcher Soda

I have never seen anyone buy just one package/bottle/etc of Waist Watcher soda. Anytime I’ve seen anyone at any local grocery store, they are purchasing or have purchased 15 package/bottles/etc. I realize the stuff is cheap and low calorie, but what can possibly prompt people to hoard and/or consume such mass quantities?

Wait. They apparently make a “diet chocolate fudge” soda. Soda! OK, well maybe these folks have the right idea.