Aluminum Overcast — God bless the boys who flew in these things

The lads and I had the amazing opportunity today to tour the IEAA’s air-worthy B-17, Aluminum Overcast.  I’ve been a fan of this particular bird since I was around the age of my older son, yet this is the first time I’ve gotten to go inside one. I don’t know how those guys did what […]

Flabbergasting history

Gizmag had this story about watch company Hublot creating a reproduction of the Antikythera mechanism, a celestial clock dating back to ancient Greece.  The story of how the mechanism was found and studied is amazing; the story of its origins is nearly incredible.

Stupid criticisms of Robert Falcon Scott, part 2

Jim Collins of Good To Great fame jumps into the dump-on-Scott bandwagon with a really poor reading of history. In his new book, Collins comes up with a new thesis as to why some companies do better than others:  because they’re like Roald Amundsen and they deliver consistent positive results at a given level, year […]

Stupid criticisms of Robert Falcon Scott, part 1

In this article, innovation author Robert F. Brands uses the story of the race to the South Pole to draw lessons about best practices and innovation. I’m in complete agreement with the ideas he’s trying to reinforce, that the best innovation combines the use of best practices and new ideas.  Good messages, though, are no […]

God bless our soldiers

There are no thanks enough for the brave ones we honor today, those who “gave the last full measure of devotion.” When I read Flags Of Our Fathers years ago, I took it as my tribute to them all to memorize the names of the men in the famous Joe Rosenthal photo of the flag-raising on […]

My review of The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson

I liked the book.  But it had its problems.  Here’s what I posted on Amazon.  (Not glowing text, but I still rated the book four stars.  Heck, I read the things in just a few days — it must have been good!) This is a really good book. From a science standpoint, it’s a defense […]

Trendy foolishness: the local food movement

I’m reading The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson, which tells the whats, hows and whys of the 1854 London cholera epidemic.  This morning I came across this passage: For millennia, most cities had been bound inexorably to the natural ecosystem that lay outside their walls; the energy flowing through the fields and forests around them established […]

A Bridge Too Far — epilogue

In reading up on Cornelius Ryan, the subject of three previous posts (here, here and here), I came across this absolutely wonderful article by Michael Shapiro.  What a perfect tribute to a good and talented man.

A Bridge Too Far, part 2

This is my second post about A Private Battle, the posthumously-published story of historian and reporter Cornelius Ryan’s fight with prostate cancer.  See the previous post here. This long post recounts an episode late in Ryan’s life, when the cancer had begun weakening his bones.  He had finally received a long-coveted honor, being elected a […]

A Bridge Too Far, part 1

Cornelius Ryan was one of my favorite historians and authors.  His trilogy of WWII histories, The Longest Day, The Last Battle, and A Bridge Too Far brought to vivid life the heroes and events of that conflict. After finishing The Longest Day recently — having previously read the other two — I read up on […]