That's an amazing photo of a mind-bending aircraft. There was a great article about that firefighting operation in Air&Space Smithsonian Magazine probably 20 years ago. Their demise was likely due in no small part to the fact that they were making a lot of parts from scratch to keep them in the air. » 9/15/14 11:28pm Yesterday 11:28pm

Nah, I'm an occasional cyclist in the city, and most of them are terrible. I mean, I'll go through an intersection without stopping when I can see both ways it's clear, but bikers in Philly will cross against the light at 4 vs. 4-lane intersections like Broad and Spring Garden. » 9/11/14 10:25pm Thursday 10:25pm

I remember waking up on 9/11 and looking out the window and thinking it would be a great day for a bike ride. I didn't have to be at work until 3 in the afternoon, so mornings back then were pretty leisurely. I was just getting out of bed, when my roommate burst into my room and said something to the effect of… » 9/11/14 9:47pm Thursday 9:47pm

I once spent two weeks riding around Ecuador in a guady, rattling Hino tourist bus, but I was in college, had a girl to put my arm around and beer was available in gas station vending machines, so there wasn't much to complain about. The frat boys on the trip with us insisted on playing Phish on an endless loop on the… » 9/03/14 12:09pm 9/03/14 12:09pm

It's safer if you have an engine failure in the pattern and can't make a safe emergency landing. It's safer if you get lost in IMC and run out of gas. It's safer if you get into a spin, and can't recover using standard procedures. It's safer when all the redundancies and safety procedures that pilots ordinarily use… » 8/30/14 11:44pm 8/30/14 11:44pm

When you're driving, the exhaust streams out behind the car and is dissipated into the atmosphere. When you're idling, it blows whichever way the wind is going, which could be underneath the car or over and around it. And that's if the exhaust system was in good shape with no leaks. » 8/28/14 12:33pm 8/28/14 12:33pm

That's assuming the disabilities were noticed and diagnosed. It's entirely possible to walk out of the hospital with a kid and the child never have contact with a healthcare provider until it's time to go to school. That's plenty of time to have five disabled kids and a sixth on the way before anyone flags that… » 8/03/14 1:25pm 8/03/14 1:25pm

That's very sad. I hope that people won't get the idea that these unusual aircraft are unsafe. I flew in (on?) one about a decade ago for a story I wrote about the centenary of the Wright brothers' first flight. My impression was that it's the closest thing you can get to the very early days of flight in an aircraft… » 8/01/14 11:18pm 8/01/14 11:18pm

Spring of 1997 I decide it's time to buy a car to get me back and forth to college, and my dad offers to match the what I have in the bank, so we go out looking for a simple, reliable used car. After hitting the used lots at a few dealerships, with the NADA guide in a back pocket, we find a four or five year old Geo… » 8/01/14 11:01pm 8/01/14 11:01pm

Somewhere, and I'm upset to realize I don't know where right now, I have the full set of these in English. My grandpa, who worked in the motor trade in the UK and was an enthusiastic 2CV owner, brought them over to the states when he visited me as a kid. I thought I had them with my actual Tintin books, but they're… » 8/01/14 10:25pm 8/01/14 10:25pm