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  • Michael Krakovskiy 9:55 am on July 21, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aviation, , , , , Dublin, fewer non-sports heroes, , Grace Hopper, Grace Murray Hopper, Investment, Ireland, , , , Steve Fossett, Steve Fossett and Co., , The Spirit of St. Louis, , , , USS Hopper   

    Dare and Do 

    Rear Admiral Dr. Grace Murray Hopper coined the expression “it’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.” Just that alone justifies naming a ship and a park after her, but she did a few extraordinary things and coined some other expressions as well. Her motto, “Dare and Do” is also rather inspirational.

    Unfortunately I do not own RADM Hopper’s autograph, but I have the next best thing. You see, a Brooklyn-based aviator and mechanic, one of the builders of “The Spirit of St. Louis”, Corrigan became famous in his own right by practicing Dr. Hopper’s prescription. He modified his own plane for a transatlantic flight, but spent years battling the bureaucracy. Finally he took off from Floyd Bennett field on a trip to California, but due to a “navigational error” (which he never admitted to be a ruse) ended up in Dublin, Ireland. Amused and impressed New Yorkers gave him a ticker tape parade, the Post printed a headline in reverse and for the rest of his life he was know as “Wrong Way” Corrigan. And here’s an autograph from my collection:

    Corrigan and Hopper were born and died around the same time. They were a part of the Greatest Generation (by the way “American Generations” articles at Wikipedia are outstanding). Did something die with them? Why is the Canyon of Heroes so infrequently hosting ticker tape parades? Why didn’t Burt Rutan, Steve Fossett and Co. get one? Are there fewer non-sports heroes or is my generation, or is this all a result of the decline of the ticker tape machine?

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 12:37 am on April 24, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aviation, Blimp, , Deadprogrammer, , , Goodyear Blimp, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, , , Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow   

    Captain Deadprogrammer and the World of Today 

    This is one of the many photos in the series that will need to be reshot. I was looking for this picture to happen for a long time, but when the opportunity finally occurred, my main camera was broken, the new one is not ordered yet and my old standby camera had enough juice only for one or two pictures.

    On Friday the Goodyear Blimp was loitering around the Empire State building for some reason. Of course the photo is of poor quality, Goodyear Blimp is no Hindenberg and is positioned incorrectly to use the mooring mast, but I guess this is as close as it gets for me to take a picture that I imagined so many times when looking at the Empire State Building. Seeing that scene in “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” made it worth my while to go to that otherwise not very interesting movie.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 12:18 pm on August 30, 2004 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aviation, , , Frank DeLear, , Igor, Igor Sikorsky, , , S-40, Sikorsky, The Last Guardian of Everness, , Ukrainian people   

    Dream A Little Dream Of S-40 

    If you’ve been readin my journal for a while, you might know how important dreams are to me.

    There are a lot of important and famous dreams recorded in history – Mendeleev seeing the periodic table; Kekule seeing the worm Oroborous and understanding the benzine ring; Chief Sitting Bull seeing soldiers falling upside down and predicting victory of the Little Big Horn, Hitler seeing the trench engulfed in molten lava in his dream and leaving it thus saving himself, Julius Caesar having a dream in which one website that will be left unnamed says “his mother appeared” and then “taking” Rome, etc.

    Over the weekend I was reading Igor Sikorsky, His Three Careers in Aviation by Frank DeLear, and in it was an example of a forshadowing dream that I haven’t encountered before.

    The book says that when he was 11 years old, Sikorsky had a dream in which he was standing in a narrow passageway. There was a bluish light overhead and the floor with a fine carpet under his feet. The floor was vibrating, but for some reason he immediately realized that it wasn’t a train or a boat, but a flying machine. He walked through to a door that led to a richly decorated lounge and then woke up. Since he was born in 1889, this would make it the year of 1900 when he had the dream. The Wright Brothers flight was three years away.

    Years later, in America Sikorsky was walking through his latest design, the S-40 plane and was struck by a sense of deja vu. There it was, bluish light of fluorescent lamps overhead, the vibration and the fine carpet and even the smoking lounge at the end.

    (the photo is from Igor Sikorsky, His Three Careers in Aviation) by Frank DeLear

    Next in my reading queue: John C. Wright’s The Last Guardian of Everness – a fantasy that deals with dream worlds and such. Figures.

     
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