The President with 5 Stars Also Had Wings

If you are looking for a poster child for "overachiever" you might consider Dwight D. Eisenhower. This Kansas farm boy rose from modest beginnings to become one of only five Americans to achieve the five-star rank of General of the Army and the only one of those to become President of the United States. (see note... Continue Reading →

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Speedy Pit Stop

Mid-air refueling is impressive by any standard. For two or more aircraft to join together while flying at 300 mph, it requires pilot skill and technological sophistication well beyond average. Among the many impressive things about this feat is how quickly it happens. Modern refueling tankers deploy fuel at a rate of about 6,000 pounds... Continue Reading →

Tuning the Helicopters

Musical instruments can be costly, and any band student who has had to lug a tuba or bell set on a school bus knows they can be unwieldy, too. The Sousaphone or cello is nothing, however, compared to the principal instruments in  Karlheinz Stockhausen's "Helikopter-Streichquartett" -- four operational and flying helicopters. "Helikopter-Streichquartett" (German for "Helicopter String... Continue Reading →

I Tawt I Taw a RNAV (GPS) Approach to Runway 16

Pilots use agreed-upon geographic locations as reference points for navigation. Many times, these points have no distinct visible features, but they have been designated as points on a map so pilots can line up for landing or perform another maneuver. These locations, known as intersections, are identified with 5-letter names and are published on pilot charts and other... Continue Reading →

LEGO Never Tires of Making Tires

When it comes to the business of making tires, the LEGO toy company doesn't play around. In 2012 LEGO was awarded the Guinness World Record for "Largest Tire Manufacturer Per Year" in recognition of the 318 million tires produced annually. That amounts to a staggering 870,000 per day. The competition doesn't even come close. Consider... Continue Reading →

The Terror of London Cabbies — the Strange Case of Mrs. Giacometti Prodgers

Readers of the May 23, 1890 edition of the Chicago Tribune may have expressed amused curiosity at the following item in the Personals section: “Mrs. Giacometti Prodgers, the terror of London cabmen, is dead.” Who was this fearsome Mrs. Prodgers, and what did she do to cause even the heartiest of London's cabbies to flee at the... Continue Reading →

I’ll Be a Little Late For Dinner, Honey… Traffic is a Little Slow

The longest traffic jam on record happened on China National Highway 110, starting on August 14, 2010. The traffic jam slowed thousands of vehicles for more than 60 miles (100 km) and lasted for 12 days. Traffic at that time moved 0.6 miles per day. Occurring on China National Highway 110, many drivers were stuck in... Continue Reading →

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