Second SFO Disaster Avoided Seconds Before Crash 20130725

“On July 25th, flight EVA28, a Boeing 777 flying from Taiwan to SFO, was on the final approach for runway 28L when they were alerted by ATC that they were only at 600ft above the ground at less than 4NM from the threshold. SFO’s tower directed the flight crew to climb immediately and declare missed approach. Assuming they were flying at 140 knots (typical approach speed of a 777), they were less than 2 minutes from the runway and at a 3 degree angle (approx 500ft/min descent), about a minute from impact. This is the same type of aircraft and runway used by the crashed Asiana flight. Similar weather conditions and awfully similar flight path. Is there a structural problem with computer-aided pilot’s ability to fly visual approaches?”

What goes on when you’re not there… :-)

Wonderful finger pickin’ by Ewam Dobson too…

Fact-free reporting + internet lemmings = “the real story”

from First Draft…

I was at home last week to take part in a lecture series at a nearby university’s branch campus. The gig was a good one: Lecture on media to a group of “lifetime learners,” who were all amazingly attuned to the media, the world at large and me. Just before I left to give my lecture that morning, Mom was reading through her email, which included a “forward” that my grandfather had sent her regarding “the real story” about Trayvon Martin. The email included a number of “facts” about Martin, including his busts for selling drugs, his violent outbursts at certain people and his attack on a bus driver.

“Wow,” Mom said. “I didn’t know any of that…”
“Where did it come from?” I asked.
“Your grandfather.”
I paused. “No. I mean where did HE get it from?”
“I really don’t know. It’s an email forward.”

The email bugged me a great deal of the drive out to the U, particularly the part about the bus driver, so before I went into the lecture hall, I started digging around
online. I found a handful of sites that referred to this incident, all of which referred to one source: a blogger named Dan Linenhan at

That source’s source? An alleged tweet from Martin’s cousin that said: “Yu ain’t tell me you swung on a bus driver.” Even digging a bit deeper, other reports argued the tweet was sent to a different Trayvon Martin. Other issues regarding drug sales (a Michelle Malkin special) later again turned out to be untrue and associated with another Trayvon. Although she retracted her comments later, other sources (like this email) kept reporting it as fact.

When I brought all this back to Mom, she was a little disenchanted with the whole process.

“How can they print that stuff if it’s not true?”

I don’t know if it’s generational or not, but trust in the press was germane to my older family members. I still remember my grandmother being distraught over a misprinting in the local newspaper regarding an event at the senior center. She went expecting a fish fry, only to find out that the paper’s notice had the wrong date. She couldn’t really understand that.

In her mind, if the newspaper said there was a fish fry at the senior center on Friday, well, dammit, there had better be a fish fry at the senior center on Friday.

Now, well, who knows?

For years, I’ve taught journalism students the most basic rule about facts: If your mother says she loves you, go check it out. However, I can’t tell you the number of people who rely on one source for information, get by with the “I just know it” paradigm or never stop to think that just because someone said it, that doesn’t make it true.

I was flipping through some emails when I found that Eddie Gaedel’s bat was going up for auction. Gaedel was the ultimate stunt plied by baseball’s most amusing owner, Bill Veeck. When he owned the moribund St. Louis Browns, Veeck sent the midget up to bat, wearing the number “1/8.” Here’s the quote from the auction company that drove me nuts:

“Veeck was behind some of the most famous, and infamous, ballpark stunts in the history of America’s pastime,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports at Heritage Auctions, “including Cleveland Municipal Stadium’s disastrous 10 cent beer night in 1974. It was his 1951 stunt with Gaedel as the smallest batter in league history, however, that he is most remembered for.”

Anyone with half a brain, a touch of baseball history or even access to fucking Wikipedia could tell you that Veeck had NOTHING TO DO WITH 10-cent beer night in 1974. He sold the Indians in 1949 to deal with the financial obligations associated with his divorce. He never owned the team again.

He was, however, associated with “Disco Demolition Night” in 1979 when he owned the Chicago White Sox.

Still, this important-sounding dude said it. Why bother to check it?

I have also told students that I try to teach by one basic rule: If I know the answer and I can tell it to you, I will. If I don’t know, I’m not going to bullshit you. I’ll tell you I don’t know but then I’ll go and look it up so that I CAN tell it to you.

That approach seems to be in the minority these days. The more bullshit you spew, the more you can get away with.

During the Republican presidential debates, the Associated Press limited its fact-checking of Michelle Bachmann’s assertions, noting that without such a “quota” her bullshit would “overload” the debate stories. In other words, you’re so full of shit that we can’t keep a lid on it, so we’ll let you get away with some of it.

More at

Ardie’s cat says I See You…


Today at the North Pole… a lake…

128pm … visit the camera at

Bear, in Red Wing, Near Votech

bear red wing near vo tech 20130710

RW Bear Near Votech

Quoting the RE “About 8 a.m. Tuesday morning my husband, Vic, looked out our Red Wing porch window to find a black bear enjoying the food we put out for the birds! He called me to grab the camera and this is what we saw. At one point the bear ambled to our lower level patio door, peeked in and then moved on. When the neighbor’s car started up he ran into the woods. He returned later to finish his meal and completely destroyed the bird feeder!” photo by Sheryl Voth(2677 Country Ct, Red Wing, MN 55066) –





I know that you will not come back
Not answer to my call or whistle
Not come even at your pleasure
As was your way.
Yet, I will leave your “good dog” pad and dish
Beside the kitchen sink, a while.
Your rawhide bone beneath a chair
The cans of dog food on the shelf
Your favorite ball, which you
hid in the boxwood hedge.

I’ll listen in the early morning light,
For your muted huff, not quite a bark,
Suggesting you be let out.
And lie in half-sleep until
I hear your harplike
Single scratch upon the screen
To signal you had answered nature’s call
Made your accustomed rounds
Checked the limits of the grounds,
For trace of groundhogs, raccoons, even bears
And now returned intent on sleep
On bed, or rug, or floor
depending on your mood.

And if not answered,
Lie down in silent protest
Against my failure to respond
And to show resentment of the
Indifference of the stolid door.

I will not yet remove
The mist of dog hair
From your favorite chair.
Not yet discard the frazzled frisbee
You could catch, making plays,
Going away, like Willie Mays.
But having proved your skill
Refused to fetch;
Let retrievers tire themselves
In repetitious runs, you seemed to say.
You would run figure eights,
Disdaining simple circles
Jump hedges just for sport.
Eat holes in woolen blankets
But leave untouched
the silk or satin bindings.
Herd sheep and cattle
Spurn running rabbits and deer,
That would not play your game.

You swam with ducks
And walked among wild geese.
Ate Turns but not Rolaids,
You knew no dog-like shame.
And died by no dog’s disease at end,
But by one that also lays its claim on men.

Eugene McCarthy