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Book Review: Pistol Poets

March 23, 2017 Leave a comment

I’ve got kind of a rule never to read novels set in academia where the main character is a writer as I’ve found most have a “hothouse fiction” flavor to them. But rules are made to be broken and I made an exception with Pistol Poets. Alas, I almost didn’t make it past the first chapter. A quick search of Google maps would have shown Victor that East St. Louis is in Illinois, not Missouri. Other distractions included “automatic” pistols, clips and cordite, making this seem more a poorly researched MFA project with potential than prime time fiction. (3 of 5 Stars)

Link to Pistol Poets on Amazon

Categories: What I've Read

Chuck Berry RIP : Hail, Hail, Rock ‘n’ Roll!

March 22, 2017 Leave a comment

The Immortal Jukebox

Chuck Berry has died. May he rest in peace.

I will write an extensive tribute later.

He was a Founding Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

He was a Rock ‘n’ Roll Prophet and The Rock ‘n’ Roll Poet.

He was a writer with the immediate understanding of a top class journalist, the widescreen vision of an historian and the timing of a comedian on the stage.

He is one of the greatest chroniclers of American Life.

Hail, Hail, Hail Chuck Berry!

Here he is with a special favourite of mine, ‘School Days’

‘Up in the mornin’ and out to school
The teacher is teachin’ the Golden Rule
American history and practical math
You study’ em hard and hopin’ to pass
Workin’ your fingers right down to the bone
And the guy behind you won’t leave you alone

Ring ring goes the bell
The cook in the lunchroom’s ready to sell

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Categories: Poetry, Reblogged Posts

Walking on Frozen Baikal, The Deepest and Oldest Lake on Earth

March 15, 2017 Leave a comment

ALK3R

According to photographer Kristina Makeeva: “Baikal is impressive. It’s the deepest and the cleanest lake on Earth. When we were planning a trip, we didn’t even suspect it is so wonderful, majestic and fairy. We were raptured over its beauty so much, that we almost didn’t sleep all 3 days we were here.”

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Book Reviews: A Wright Brothers Twofer

March 14, 2017 Leave a comment

The Wright Brothers on Amazon.com

I was cruising along in this bio and unexpectedly slammed head-on into the epilogue–well before Wilbur died and all of the patent hassles with Glenn Curtiss, et al.  This book is less a history than an outstanding tribute to the Wright Brothers’ accomplishment, ending in 1910 with the first and only flight Wilbur and Orville ever made together at the pinnacle of their acclaim, having showcased their Flyer in Europe and America. Being familiar with their story, what McCullough really captured for me was the impact on the times had by an invention we now take for granted.  (5 of 5 Stars)

 

I started my reading journey through the history of aviation with Orville Wright’s first hand account of how he and Wilbur invented the airplane. It is an amazingly clear and concise telling of how the airplane came to be.  A great read for both pilots and ground pounders with lots of drawings and pics that I had to see again after reading McCullough’s book.  (5 of 5 Stars)

 


 

“On July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong, another American born and raised in western Ohio, stepped onto the moon, he carried with him, in tribute to the Wright brothers, a small swatch of the muslin from a wing of their 1903 Flyer. “

 

Excerpt From: The Wright Brothers by David McCullough.

 

 

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.III

March 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Defence of the Realm

Spitfire III 2

The legend of the Supermarine Spitfire was forged in the skies over Britain during the summer of 1940. The graceful looking aircraft made it easy for the British media spindoctors to turn R.J. Mitchell’s design in to an unbeatable weapon of war as far as the public image was concerned but this hid the truth that already its shortcomings were becoming obvious even before the Battle of Britain and the early Spitfire Mk.I and the slightly improved Mk.II would need replacing by 1941.

The Supermarine engineers returned to the drawing board and looked at almost every aspect of the aircraft taking in to account the lessons learned from the early experiences in service. Assigned the in-house designation of Supermarine Type 330 the Spitfire Mk.III would need to be faster than its predecessors in order to allow it to keep up with the latest German fighters and to achieve that the…

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Book Review: The Airplane, How Ideas Gave Us Wings

March 7, 2017 Leave a comment

An extremely pleasant surprise, this book is not a traditional history of aviation, cataloging the different makes and models of aircraft through the years. Instead, Jay Spenser has authored the “biography” of a thing. And just as a man’s character can be revealed through the trajectory of events and experiences on his path from youth to adulthood, the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” is understood as the “grown-up” Wright Flyer achieved through a lifetime of technological advances. As a pilot and aviation aficionado, I came away seeing the airplane in a new light and perspective. (5 of 5 Stars)

Link to The Airplane on Amazon

Categories: What I've Read

Ever wonder what constitutes Light? Infographic…

March 1, 2017 Leave a comment
Categories: Reblogged Posts
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