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?

About Air Hostesses, Citizen Journalists and Greasemonkey Scripts

Gothamist is a popular blog that uses New York newspapers the same way BoingBoing uses the Internet: they pluck quotes and pictures from interesting new stories mostly from the Post and New York Times, but also don’t consider it below them to pilfer content from other blogs. Unlike BoingBoing they have a few original posts, including interviews with various New York types. Usually these are no talent filmmakers, D-grade actors, performance artists and other artsie-fartsties. Many times I was tempted to write something similar to this Greasemonkey script, but just like with Xeni’s posts, Gothamist’s interviews have an interesting tidbit in them once in a while:

From an interview with a flight attendant:
“Do you live in a crash pad?
Oh god, there’s like 25 people there. All flight attendants and pilots. It’s crazy. if you want to see a good reality show, they should put cameras in there.”

This is an idea so good that I am truly surprised that Mark Burnett did not think of this yet. A reality show about airline workers would be so awesome it’s not even funny. Those crash pads must be overflowing with sexuality and drama. The only problem will be coming up with a name : “CRASHPADS� and CRASHPAD� are Registered Trademarks of Flight Crew Services”.

I could not pass on the temptation to slap together a Greasemonkey Dumbgothamist script (download it here) that crudely attempts to remove annoying “editorial we” from Gothamist. I spent about 20 minutes modifying Dumbquotes.