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White Flight: The Wright Brothers
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If you are stuck at the Atlanta airport at the moment, maybe you aren’t in the mood to appreciate their invention, but this is the 114th anniversary of the Wright Brothers.

I wrote in VDARE back in 2010:

For more than forty years, the teaching business has been completely dominated by the prejudices of the Sixties People, whose Gramscian “long march through the institutions” has left them in control of the schools.

What is striking to somebody like me, who grew up during the 1960s and 1970s, is the subsequent lack of generational rebellion. Kids these days tend toward intellectual conformism. They trust anyone over 30 who tells them what everybody else is telling them.

Why have the Sixties People proven so enduring in molding young people’s minds? My theory: The Sixties mindset—aggrieved, resentful, and unrealistic—is perfectly attuned to appeal permanently to the worst instincts of adolescents.

And yet young people do have a finer side—their hunger for heroes—that history books once tried to fulfill rather than exploit. For example, I was galvanized in 1975 when I read Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison’s tribute in his Oxford History of the American People to Orville and Wilbur Wright:

“Few things in our history are more admirable than the skill, the pluck, the quiet self-confidence, the alertness to reject fixed ideas and to work out new ones, and the absence of pose and publicity, with which these Wright brothers made the dream of ages—man’s conquest of the air—come true.”

But the Wright brothers aren’t the kind of heroes we like anymore. In our Age of Oprah, rather than Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering. ….

This Heroes of Suffering fetish is exacerbated in modern history textbooks by the “diversity” imperative.

Take, for example, one US history textbook widely used in high school Advanced Placement courses and in college courses: Nation of Nations: A Narrative History of the American Republic (McGraw-Hill, Fourth Edition).

It’s in many ways an impressive book. The amount of labor that went into it is enormous. And, as you notice the political mandates under which the five historian co-authors labored, you begin to feel sorry for them.

You feel even sorrier for the students, however. The need to include a huge amount of material celebrating each politically organized diversity group has bloated the textbook to 1277 oversized pages. It costs $108.78 on Amazon, and weighs in at a vertebrae-compressing 5.4 pounds.

That’s child abuse! If a kid is assigned five textbooks this massive, that’s a backpack that weighs 27 pounds.

No wonder high school students seldom ride bicycles to school anymore. They’re so top-heavy they’d topple over.

Celebrating diversity just take a lot of space. Even with a tome this immense, diversity awareness means that there isn’t room in all 1277 pages to mention…the Wright brothers. …

 
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  1. Nothing bodes more ill for the future of this nation than our decision to embrace victimhood as a virtue to aspire to as opposed to strength, along with a host of other counter-virtues. Think of this in the most naive way possible: why on earth would you *want* to be a genuine victim, as opposed to an inventor, a conqueror, or hell, just a decent upstanding citizen? Then release the naivete, and let the repelling, passive-aggressive nature, on a gut level, of what modern American culture cherishes sink in.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Whiskey
    Women WANT to be victims. Its a form of status. There are no men I can think of who have Munchausen-by-proxy Disease (its all women who claim falsely their kids or people under their care have cancer or something).

    Women LOVE LOVE LOVE being beautiful victims. Its a way to get sympathy and resources which they can't just go out and take.

    Men LOVE LOVE LOVE just getting something -- for many non-Whites that means aping Kull the Conqueror or something; for White men it has been creating something amazing like the Wright Brothers.

    Women gain status through sympathy and social approval, men gain status through accomplishment which creates social approval.

    Women's values run our society -- to its destruction.
    , @BenKenobi
    The difference in morality between the GoodWhites and the BadWhites is not black and white, but blue and orange.

    A good Eloi will not notice a Morlock even as fang tears flesh.

    A bad Eloi -- a Dark Eloi -- notices the Morlock from a mile away, and acts accordingly.
    , @Tom-in-VA
    I think that is the reason that progressives hate Trump on such a visceral level. He loves and celebrates winning and winners, and hates losing and losers. That goes against the spirit of the Current Year.
    , @Sarah Toga
    this is why Trump was absolutely correct to say of John McCain, "He's not a war hero. (people say) He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."

    At first I thought Trump's comment was an unforced error. Later I realized this: Trump doesn't do victimhood. By contrast McCain's entire career is all about garner sympathy and votes for his captivity in the Hanoi Hilton, his permanent injuries, etc.

    From the day his daddy got him into Annapolis McCain gamed the system, never truly built, nor created, nor achieved.

    Trump exposing McCain that way also exposed much of what is wrong with The Stupid Party. Exposed in one brief, blunt truth sentence.

    Think back to V-E Day 1945 - Americans celebrated victory. We knew how to win.

    Trump is a man from Historic America. Not a single fiber of victimhood in his being.

    The next step is for the rest of us to abandon the pathetic "celebrate victims and losers" mindset - to instead adopt our historic "celebrate winning" mindset. Like Trump.
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  2. One of the reasons I got out of the APUSH racket is that in order to prepare kids to take the exam you have to spend a lot of time on the multiculture-gender fair aspects of US History, so that Jackson can only be a villain, and WWII is the Holocaust, Japanese Internment, the gratuitous use of the A-bomb, and if you have time, the race riots in Detroit in 1943. Oh, and you have to spend a lot of time on the insufferable reformers of the 1840s. Most History teachers have no problem with this. I kinda do.
    And I might add, there are heroes in the new history, but they are MLK, Jane Addams, Helen Hunt Jackson et al. The Wright Brothers need not apply.

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    • Replies: @advancedatheist
    Frankly I think we should agree-and-amplify on Andrew Jackson:

    Andrew Jackson owned slaves and killed Indians?

    How cool is that? Wow, what a badass! He puts modern white men to shame.
    , @AndrewR
    Is it really that bad??
    , @anonymous
    "The Wright Brothers need not apply."

    Ditto for Philo Farnsworth.

    Who?

    Look him up on Wiki. A bleepin' GENIUS!!! Who died tragically.
    , @Tiny Duck
    So basically you are a racist


    Good riddance

    Oh by the way Wright stole his "invention" from an African Black Arab
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  3. Great article, but I think this was premature:

    What is striking to somebody like me, who grew up during the 1960s and 1970s, is the subsequent lack of generational rebellion. Kids these days tend toward intellectual conformism. They trust anyone over 30 who tells them what everybody else is telling them.

    Obviously it would have been hard for Steve to realize this in 2010, but there was in fact such a counter-culture emerging on 4chan’s imageboards, which is basically where the alt-right came from. I’m surprised that the alt-right is routinely hysterically described by mainstream figures as every kind of -ist and committing every kind of -ism in the book except for “ageism”, because pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.

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    • Replies: @gunner29

    pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.
     
    We had the best music of the last 100 years, but screwed the pooch on just about everything else. It would interesting to observe the next 50 years and see how they deal with what we inflicted on the country....I'll be lucky to see the next 20.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    ... pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.
     
    The definition of "Baby Boomer" is someone whose parents think he's soft on perversion, while his children call him a "homophobe", as if it were a real word.

    You can hardly blame such people for ignoring the criticisms of other "generations".
    , @John Derbyshire
    Don't look at me, anyone: I'm pre-Boomer, born 1945.
    , @J.Ross
    This, but: there is a community of dissidents, but, being dissidents, it's pretty diverse. The best flag has a Gadsden rattlesnake coiling a fasces. The term "alt-right" is getting passively accepted out of laziness and because there is no better term. The terms "alt-right" and "/ourguy/" both stink of the desperate need of the Cathedral to have a convenient handle with which to make us all go away ("4chan is one person and calls Richard Spencer /ourguy/, but Spencer is dumb and bad, so that makes 4chan dumb and bad"). Our strength and our most enemy-maddening advantage is that we have no such salient.
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  4. The Wright brothers were extremely clever and industrious men who set a goal and did it. They were probably the first in flight, too. But Connecticut’s state legislature says otherwise . . .

    http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/wright-brothers-first-flight-fight/index.html

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    In France, it is popularly considered that Santos-Dumont was first.

    There is some small justification for this, because the early Wright flights were from a catapult and not a autonomous take off, and the distances and altitudes were meager. And the Wrights' control system was not really very good.
    , @Hibernian
    It's long been known that others such as Octave Chanute were working on the same type of technology in the same approximate time frame.
    , @syonredux
    Just to head-off certain conversations:

    Folks, I assume you’ve all tumbled to the truth about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the tooth fairy; I think you’re ready for the truth about inventors. They rarely cook up a new device or process from scratch; more often they merely add a few essential twists to an almost-there technology that’s waiting to be born. Just so with aircraft. Even discounting man-lifting kites, balloons, parachutes, gliders, and airships, lots of people beat the Wrights to powered heavier-than-air takeoffs. What the Wrights invented was the first practical airplane — one capable of controlled, sustained flight.

    First, Stringfellow. He recorded a successful indoor flight with a small steam-powered model propeller plane in 1848. So sure, Stringfellow achieved powered — but unmanned — flight.

    The next major contender was Felix du Temple, whose manned powered plane launched from a ramp in 1874 and was airborne only briefly. This was less a sustained flight than a powered glide.

    In 1890, Frenchman Clement Ader piloted the first manned plane to take off from level ground under its own power, in uncontrolled but arguably sustained flight (definitions vary). A worthy feat, but Ader loses points for his discredited claims of an 1897 flight.
    Your Scottish entrant, Tony, was probably Preston Watson. His brother once claimed Preston had flown a powered plane in 1903 but later determined the craft in question was a glider. Not everyone got the memo.

    New Zealander Richard Pearse made short semisuccessful flights in a gasoline-powered plane, probably in mid-1903 (the year is disputed). If so, they were the first powered flights with theoretically reasonable controls. Most of his attempts were interrupted by hedges in the testing area, and Pearse later admitted the plane was “uncontrollable.” Practical airplane, no; first powered hedge clippers, maybe.

    Other notable manned but uncontrolled planes before the Wrights include those of Mozhaisky (1884, Russia), Hiram “Machine Gun” Maxim (1894, England), Wilhelm Kress (1901, Austria), Karl Jatho (1903, Germany), and Langley (1903, U.S.).

    That leaves the flights of the Wright brothers in 1903, right? Actually, that plane, taking off from a rail under its own power and flying upwards of 260 meters, was fully controllable in theory only. The Wrights had tested their wing-warping system for executing banked turns on gliders but didn’t risk powered turns at this point.

    In 1904, the Wrights tested a new plane in Ohio. Early flights disappointed, the fault of both Dayton’s undependable winds and oversensitive pitch controls. To combat the former, they built a starting derrick (read: a catapult) to pull them up to flying speed quickly. (The plane could take off without it but that required a much longer rail.) To improve pitch control, they added ballast and modified the elevators.

    Only after licking these problems did the Wrights attempt turns. By late 1904 they were flying in circles, a convenient standard for controlled flight. They made flights up to five minutes long in 1904 and, in a third plane, up to 38 minutes long in 1905. It’s this third plane that many regard as the first practical airplane.

    It’s sometimes said the Wrights’ early flights weren’t witnessed. In fact, dozens attended their 1903-’05 flights, and photographs show these planes aloft. One witness was Octave Chanute, another aviation pioneer. What’s undeniable is that the flights weren’t certified by an official body such as the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. FAI rules, which postdate the early Wright flights, don’t allow starting assistance like the brothers’ derrick (or for that matter aircraft carriers’ steam catapults). Whether the Wrights could have made such impressive flights sans catapult is probable but unknowable. They flew well after unassisted takeoffs in 1908 at Kitty Hawk using the 1905 airframe, but these results aren’t directly comparable because they’d installed a more powerful engine.

    Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian expat in France, won the honor of the first FAI-certified flight with a somewhat poorly controlled 220-meter trip in 1906. At the time Europeans doubted the Wrights’ claims, and Santos-Dumont contended he was first, period.


    In everything but certification, though, the Wrights were well ahead of the pack. Their longest flights of 1903, ’04, and ’05 and their first circular flight weren’t matched for three to four years. When Wilbur flew in Europe in 1908 without a catapult, he shattered all previous FAI records for distance, duration, and altitude.

    In later patent disputes, the Wrights were prickly, which cost them friends, including Chanute. They come off like money-grubbing SOBs — but SOBs who nonetheless invented (all together now) the first practical airplane.

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2780/the-wright-stuff/
    , @Karl
    4 Paul Joliffe > The Wright brothers were extremely clever and industrious men


    the patent records indicate that they were NOT the first to conceive of using left-handed threading on that one pedal of a bicycle pedal which "wants" to un-screw-itself-in when the bicycle is pedaled forward.... but they DID make it the industry standard

    The bicycle version of Thomas Edison, should we say?
    , @Bill B.
    Australians - not what they were. From the CNN report:

    Australian aviation historian John Brown says he found key photographic evidence. Last March, while rummaging through a museum attic in Germany, Brown says he found a lost photo that may depict the plane in flight.
    "It was quite an emotional moment for me. I just jumped up in the air screaming," Brown says when experts confirmed that the photo was authentic.
     
    , @Sarah Toga
    everybody knows . . . Africans invented manned flight . . . flying pyramids 'n everything . . . those White boys from the Midwest always steal everything . . .
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  5. Alt-Wright is ‘racist’.

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  6. @nebulafox
    Nothing bodes more ill for the future of this nation than our decision to embrace victimhood as a virtue to aspire to as opposed to strength, along with a host of other counter-virtues. Think of this in the most naive way possible: why on earth would you *want* to be a genuine victim, as opposed to an inventor, a conqueror, or hell, just a decent upstanding citizen? Then release the naivete, and let the repelling, passive-aggressive nature, on a gut level, of what modern American culture cherishes sink in.

    Women WANT to be victims. Its a form of status. There are no men I can think of who have Munchausen-by-proxy Disease (its all women who claim falsely their kids or people under their care have cancer or something).

    Women LOVE LOVE LOVE being beautiful victims. Its a way to get sympathy and resources which they can’t just go out and take.

    Men LOVE LOVE LOVE just getting something — for many non-Whites that means aping Kull the Conqueror or something; for White men it has been creating something amazing like the Wright Brothers.

    Women gain status through sympathy and social approval, men gain status through accomplishment which creates social approval.

    Women’s values run our society — to its destruction.

    Read More
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  7. Maybe BBC can make a biopic and call them Wright Brothas with two black guys. Both homo.

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    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    "Maybe BBC can make a biopic and call them Wright Brothas with two black guys. Both homo."

    And one of them a girl.
    , @JerryC
    That would make them...verysmartbrothas. *Removes sunglasses*
    , @Lurker

    Maybe BBC can make a biopic and call them Wright Brothas with two black guys. Both homo.
     
    Very good! But with one qualification, The Agenda™ is clear, black men cannot be depicted as homos.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Maybe BBC can make a biopic and call them Wright Brothas with two black guys. Both homo.
     
    Directed by the Wachowskis!
    , @workforlivn
    Their Wright flyer would go upside down at the end.

    https://youtu.be/_nhxm5QEbYI?t=6m25s
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  8. “Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering”

    Heroes of suffering sounds a bit like Roman Catholic Saints. Is there an end of the dominance of Protestantism and rise of Catholics and Jews aspect to this?

    I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. Stories of Indian attacks also seem to be exaggerated. The theme of victimhood in early America might be an interesting topic. Maybe a stretch but, Melville’s characters from Moby Dick and Billy Bud are Heroes of Suffering?

    How does veneration of the ‘lost cause’ fit into your Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering analysis?

    The Heroes of Suffering theme might have started with the failed post WWII Korean and Vietnam wars and the need to celebrate veterans of lost causes.

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    • Replies: @edgeslider
    It definitely has a post-Christian aspect to it. Cherry picked Christian doctrines thoroughly marinated in Marxism
    , @Percy Gryce

    Heroes of suffering sounds a bit like Roman Catholic Saints.
     
    Catholic saints come in both the accomplishing and suffering flavors. Think of the two patron saint of the missions: Francis Xavier, who made it to India and Japan and to the threshold of China, and Therese Martin, the cloistered nun who died of tuberculosis at the age of 24 in the Carmel at Lisieux.

    Or think of Niels Stensen, the Danish physician convert who made great contributions to anatomy and then basically created modern geology. The last years of his life he spent as a threadbare missionary bishop in northern Germany.
    , @Curle
    “I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. ”

    The Pilgrims were like the Boston Marathon bombing immigrants, total twats in their home country of whom the authorities were glad to be rid of.

    The Virginians brought them here and came to regret the decision. The Thanksgiving story was mostly a post civil war contrivance conceived to invent a new hero story for the replacement overlords to supplant the Virginia story.

    Many of the Pilgrim spawn returned just long enough to cause trouble in the English Civil War and then returned. We would undoubtably be a better country if the Virginian leaders of the colony had denied them passage here from the outset.
    , @syonredux

    I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated.
     
    For the Pilgrims, it was more a matter of not wanting to see their children get "Dutchified" in the Netherlands.

    Stories of Indian attacks also seem to be exaggerated.
     
    Dunno. Some of the Indian Wars were pretty vicious. Take, say, King Philip's War:

    The war was the single greatest calamity to occur in seventeenth century Puritan New England and is considered by many to be the deadliest war in the history of European settlement in North America in proportion to the population.[5] In the space of little more than a year, twelve of the region's towns were destroyed and many more damaged, the colony's economy was all but ruined, and its population was decimated, losing one-tenth of all men available for military service.[6]:656 [7] More than half of New England's towns were attacked by Indians
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Philip%27s_War

    The theme of victimhood in early America might be an interesting topic. Maybe a stretch but, Melville’s characters from Moby Dick and Billy Bud are Heroes of Suffering?
     
    Billy Bud, perhaps. He has Christ-like qualities. Not Ahab, though;he has too much of Lucifer in his makeup:

    Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee.
     
    , @Cortes
    “I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. Stories of Indian attacks also seem to be exaggerated. The theme of victimhood in early America might be an interesting topic. Maybe a stretch but, Melville’s characters from Moby Dick and Billy Bud are Heroes of Suffering?”

    Poor old Bartleby the Scrivener: always on the outside, looking in...

    “Ah, Bartleby! Ah, humanity!”

    , @YetAnotherAnon
    "Heroes of suffering sounds a bit like Roman Catholic Saints. Is there an end of the dominance of Protestantism ..."

    Protestants do suffering - or did before the 1960s.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxe's_Book_of_Martyrs

    Acts and Monuments is credited as among the most influential of English texts. Gordon Rupp called it "an event". He counted it as a “normative document”, and as one of the Six Makers of English Religion.

    And guilt too

    "Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men;

    We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against thy divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable.

    Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant, that we may ever hereafter Serve and please thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
     
    Book Of Common Prayer (old style)
    , @Rosamond Vincy
    There's a difference between Martyrs and Victims. Martyrs willingly allow themselves to be sacrificed for a good cause.
    , @Hibernian
    You start by saying it's a Catholic and Jewish thing and then you immediately give a Protestant example.

    The Puritans were persecuted in England until they took over under the leadership of Cromwell. The Puritans did a good job of persecuting each other in Massachusetts, resulting in the founding of Rhode Island. They also hung a persistent woman Quaker missionary.
    , @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Dang it— George complaining about Pilgrims again, and I’m late to the party! Ahh, no worries, I see that syonredux has got things well in hand.
    , @Sarah Toga
    Let's look at right now.

    Our 'ol buddy George Soros and his mischievous foundations are busy giving filthy lucre to bribe many Protestant sects, and if I understand correctly, some Roman Catholic agencies - all in the service of open borders (helping "Heroes of Suffering") and globalism.

    By the same token, the "Faith Based Initiatives" of "Dubya" and his advisor Marvin Olasky also got religious groups hooked on easy cash from Uncle Sugar. The refugee resettlement contractors are mostly church and Jewish groups that suck taxpayer teat.

    We are watching the Southern Baptists and some other former Moral Majority associated groups become the new Religious Left. Look up the prototype cuck-vangelist Russell Moore.

    Those religious groups were perpetually starved for funding - so George found a way to buy their worship. So easy.

    Those "Christian men of principle" sold themselves cheap.

    Hey - almost a new and weird kind of indulgence, except Soros never feels guilt for his crimes against humanity.

    Nothing here to do with aircraft, just following the Heroes of Suffering concept.
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  9. I liked this book:

    The Wright Brothers Paperback – May 3, 2016
    by David McCullough

    https://www.amazon.com/Wright-Brothers-David-McCullough/dp/1476728755

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    • Replies: @Percy Gryce
    Yes, it's a well written book from which I learned much, including that Wilbur was on his way to Yale when he assaulted by a schoolmate who would go on to become a notorious serial killer. Wilbur never made it to college, which allowed the brothers to collaborate their entire lives.
    , @Sarah Toga
    I'm reading through the works of David McCullough. Very readable, well researched.
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  10. Kitty Hawk?
    Seems appropriative and culturally insensitive.
    There is more than a hint of patriarchy due to that warlike bird image, softened only by a soft, purring pussy. Where were the Wright sisters, suppressed again?
    No wonder history had to be reviewed. Who is next, Henrietta Ford?

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    Where were the Wright sisters, suppressed again?
     
    The Wrights had a sister named Katherine, as I recall from the book about them I read less than a year ago. Here it is, by David McCullough. Katherine was very helpful at home, as Orville and Wilbur really got going in the mid-19-oughts, to demo their flyers in France. They had a mechanic friend too, who was especially helpful with the powerplant, and it was more like a 3-man team for a good while.

    I guess Katherine was too oppressed to go to France, knowing what the girls in France don't wear and all....
    , @AnotherDad

    There is more than a hint of patriarchy due to that warlike bird image, softened only by a soft, purring pussy.
     
    Softened? You're reading "Kitty Hawk" the wrong way. It's flat out pussy grabbing! Might as well be a paean to the PGIC.
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  11. Everyone woke knows that African American women were the first ones to fly, followed by early feminist witches. The Wrong Skinned Brothers simply stole their breakthroughs. We wuzz aviators n flying witches n sheeit

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  12. The Wright brothers were much, much more than their First Flight at Kill Devil Hills and “first!”

    This is not about the Moon landing where Neil Armstrong got their first! and space exploration has not amounted to much since then.

    Any of a number of people at the time could have built craft with enough lift and enough power to fly for a short time. What the Wright brothers figured out was how to steer the thing, how to control their Flyer along multiple axis directions.

    Their secret to success was figuring out that it was not enough to fly, you had to seriously control which way you are going. While a lot of other people were still figuring out how to fly, many of them did, the Wright brothers were doing these demonstrations where they flew in the way we understand it today, they dipped and zoomed and turned and put on quite the show that they could control their flights.

    Now the Wright flyer has an odd flight control setup compared to the current general aviation aircraft that you can take flying lessons in. It is probably dangerous for a modern pilot to attempt to operate a Wright flyer, and maybe you had to develop more of a “body position” sense to operate it, maybe much more like a modern helicopter, which they tell me is more of a “knack” that you need to train into your muscles rather than the listen-to-what-your-instructor-tells-you to operate a modern fixed-wing craft.

    But there was much more to their accomplishment than simply getting airborne for a short time. Their accomplishment with maneuverability put aviation on the fast-track to where it is today.

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Yep they invented wing-warping, the precursor to ailerons. They understood that you needed to control the machine around 3 axes, which I think was a brand new idea.

    These guys made their own wind-tunnel back in Ohio to test some of the wing shapes. They didn't have engineering degrees (if there was such a thing in 1900), but they worked as engineers, not as silly Mythbusters.

    The book I mentioned in my last comment is not too technical and very readable and interesting. I highly recommend it.

    , @Diversity Heretic
    The Wrights figured out that the key to flight was control--everyone else focused on lift, thrust and drag. The Wright patent was, IIRC, not for a flying machine, but for a system of control. The Wright wing-warping is used now only rarely; now the system is based on ailerons, but the principle is the same. I think that they had a long-running patent infringement suit against Glenn Curtiss. They were the sons of a Protestant pastor and seem to have been asexual--I don't think any biographer has discovered any heterosexual or homosexual affair in their lives. Wilbur died in 1912 but Orville lived until 1948. The Air Force arranged a flyby of F-80s, the most modern plane in the arsenal, to pass over as he was interred next to his father, mother, brother and sister in Dayton, Ohio. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton is named, in part, after the Wright Brothers. They were among the greatest genuises the human race has ever produced. That they are not mentioned in a book on American history is absolutely shameful.
    , @Jack D
    At the time of the centennial of flight, a number of people built replicas of the 1903 Wright Flyer and no one could really get them to fly very well - it was more of a proof of concept than an actual flyable aircraft. However they continued working on it and their Flyer III of 1905 was flyable in a useful way - it could stay in the air for 1/2 hour or more and fly many miles. Superficially it looks much like the 1903 Flyer but they almost doubled the size of the elevator and rudder and moved them about twice the distance from the wings. They also separated control of the rudder from the wing warping control - before they had been linked together. This made all the difference from something that tended to pitch over and crash all the time (it's a miracle that neither of the brothers was killed in the early experiments though Orville was severely injured) to something that was much more stable and controllable.
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  13. On the other hand, these days we see a lot of positive propaganda about Silicon Valley innovators, except perhaps for the crimethinking Peter Thiel.

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    • Replies: @Lugash
    Zuck was on the (s)hit list because of Russia, but seems to have escaped due to the sexual harassment scandal.
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  14. @Ganderson
    One of the reasons I got out of the APUSH racket is that in order to prepare kids to take the exam you have to spend a lot of time on the multiculture-gender fair aspects of US History, so that Jackson can only be a villain, and WWII is the Holocaust, Japanese Internment, the gratuitous use of the A-bomb, and if you have time, the race riots in Detroit in 1943. Oh, and you have to spend a lot of time on the insufferable reformers of the 1840s. Most History teachers have no problem with this. I kinda do.
    And I might add, there are heroes in the new history, but they are MLK, Jane Addams, Helen Hunt Jackson et al. The Wright Brothers need not apply.

    Frankly I think we should agree-and-amplify on Andrew Jackson:

    Andrew Jackson owned slaves and killed Indians?

    How cool is that? Wow, what a badass! He puts modern white men to shame.

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    • Replies: @Ganderson
    My sarc meter is not well calibrated this am...
    , @George
    "Andrew Jackson owned slaves and killed Indians?"

    You forgot the Brits, he killed Brits, while they were firing bottle rockets at him and playing bag pipes.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_New_Orleans

    But actually these days most white people are serfs and we are killing mostly Muslims, so I think we are making more progress than you do.
    , @Paleo Liberal
    One of my ancestors was a Major in the Cherokee battalion that fought under Andrew Jackson in the Creek War. Tecumseh and his brother The Prophet were half Creek, and a large contingent of Creeks allied themselves with Tecumseh. The other Creeks, Cherokees and US soldiers fought against them. Sadly, The Prophet had convinced his relatives that believers would be immune to the White Man's bullets. They weren't.

    After the Creek War, many of the Cherokee who fought under Jackson greatly admired the man. One prominent Cherokee named his son after Jackson. In fact, my ancestors were assassinated for agreeing that the Cherokee should be removed to Indian Territory, and some of my ancestors signed the treaty. My ancestors wanted the Cherokee time to establish their own nation without white interference.

    During the War my Cherokee ancestors sided with the Confederacy.

    Even the Cherokee who hated Jackson admired him as a general.
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  15. @Ganderson
    One of the reasons I got out of the APUSH racket is that in order to prepare kids to take the exam you have to spend a lot of time on the multiculture-gender fair aspects of US History, so that Jackson can only be a villain, and WWII is the Holocaust, Japanese Internment, the gratuitous use of the A-bomb, and if you have time, the race riots in Detroit in 1943. Oh, and you have to spend a lot of time on the insufferable reformers of the 1840s. Most History teachers have no problem with this. I kinda do.
    And I might add, there are heroes in the new history, but they are MLK, Jane Addams, Helen Hunt Jackson et al. The Wright Brothers need not apply.

    Is it really that bad??

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    • Replies: @Ganderson
    I exaggerate slightly for effect, but, our school uses Eric Foner, the old commie's book, for our one level down from AP book.
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  16. Why have the Sixties People proven so enduring in molding young people’s minds? My theory: The Sixties mindset—aggrieved, resentful, and unrealistic—is perfectly attuned to appeal permanently to the worst instincts of adolescents.

    I suspect the unusually large cohort of white Americans which came of age around the same time because of the baby boom has something to do with this.

    In other words, this generation produced inadvertently something like a Peter Pan or “Lord of the Flies” culture because of the relative weakness of adult supervision.

    In a more demographically normal country, these youngsters would have taken cues about how to behave from their elders instead of their peers.

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  17. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    This is a good laugh too:

    https://medium.com/the-long-now-foundation/books-library-civilization-future-knowledge-3a8f750d6b86

    What Books Would You Choose to Restart Civilization?
    Long Now’s crowd-curated Manual For Civilization library fits within a long tradition of projects to gather essential books and democratize human knowledge for future generations

    24 Selections

    1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann.
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.
    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
    Beloved by Toni Morrison.
    Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary America by Stephen J. Pyne.
    The Collected Erotica: An Illustrated Celebration of Human Sexuality Through the Ages by Charlotte Hill and William Wallace.

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    • LOL: advancedatheist
    • Replies: @PiltdownMan

    What Books Would You Choose to Restart Civilization?
     
    Appropriately, the list includes the title A Confederacy of Dunces.
    , @advancedatheist
    You know, if Anne Frank had survived the war, and if she had a normal life afterwards, she probably would have aged into a familiar sort of Jewish scold. Would anyone have wanted to read her teenage diaries then?
    , @advancedatheist
    Books which assume or promote racism, sexism, heteronormativity, tribalism, a hierarchical understanding of society and so forth should wear far better than a lot of the current nonsense because they map man's nature more accurately.

    Also we live in a highly aberrational time, and we have regression towards the mean working in our favor over the long run.
    , @Mr. Blank
    God, I hope that’s not a representative sample. I would think that the appropriate mix of literature necessary to “rebuild human civilization” would be something like 80 percent scientific/math/technical treatises and maybe 20 percent “cultural” stuff. And the cultural stuff should heavily emphasize human frailty and folly. (So “A Confederacy of Dunces” would definitely make the list; not too sure about the others.)
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  18. @Paul Jolliffe
    The Wright brothers were extremely clever and industrious men who set a goal and did it. They were probably the first in flight, too. But Connecticut's state legislature says otherwise . . .

    http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/wright-brothers-first-flight-fight/index.html

    In France, it is popularly considered that Santos-Dumont was first.

    There is some small justification for this, because the early Wright flights were from a catapult and not a autonomous take off, and the distances and altitudes were meager. And the Wrights’ control system was not really very good.

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Nope, that is complete bull. Alberto Dumont flew around Paris in the very late 1890's in a controllable, powered, dirigible. It did not use wings to fly, though he dabbled in winged flight later. He was this man-about-town in Paris who would land his dangerous contraption (fuel tank pretty close to a bag of hydrogen!) in horse-carriage parking spots and go into the bars. Cool stuff, as I learned in a big about the man, but it was not going anywhere.

    The catapult-launched planes were the Glenn Curtis ones, in competition with the Wrights. Curtis did not learn enough about aircraft control to compete and had a major crash early on ( one of the Wrights had a major crash... I hate that I can't remember the detail of which brother ... in France I'm pretty sure. It wasn't a set-back for the flying, but it was as set-back to his health, for sure.)

    Now, the French had reasons to crow about aviation later on, as they made big gains during the 2nd decade of the 20th century in aviation. This explains why most of the airframe parts are French words - aileron, fuselage, empennage (the tail assembly), etc.
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  19. @the Supreme Gentleman
    Great article, but I think this was premature:

    What is striking to somebody like me, who grew up during the 1960s and 1970s, is the subsequent lack of generational rebellion. Kids these days tend toward intellectual conformism. They trust anyone over 30 who tells them what everybody else is telling them.
     
    Obviously it would have been hard for Steve to realize this in 2010, but there was in fact such a counter-culture emerging on 4chan's imageboards, which is basically where the alt-right came from. I'm surprised that the alt-right is routinely hysterically described by mainstream figures as every kind of -ist and committing every kind of -ism in the book except for "ageism", because pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.

    pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.

    We had the best music of the last 100 years, but screwed the pooch on just about everything else. It would interesting to observe the next 50 years and see how they deal with what we inflicted on the country….I’ll be lucky to see the next 20.

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    • Replies: @bartok

    We had the best music of the last 100 years, but screwed the pooch on just about everything else.
     
    Don't be too hard on yourselves. The Silent Generation was just as awful, albeit quiet about it. Silents divorced in droves in the '70s, leaving Gen X to grow up in broken families.
    , @Reg Cæsar



    pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.
     
    We had the best music of the last 100 years, but screwed the pooch on just about everything else. It would interesting to observe the next 50 years and see how they deal with what we inflicted on the country….I’ll be lucky to see the next 20.

     

    If you remember the "best music of the last 100 years" when it was played new, I congratulate you on your reaching centenarian status. The main attraction of 1960s music was its diversity; on most other benchmarks the standards slipped, and slipped, and slipped, and slip to this day.

    How you can blame nuclear warfare, AFDC, urban renewal, network television, legal abortion, no-fault divorce, upside-down immigration policy, questionable space exploration, and God knows what else on people who did not come of age until after the 1964 election just goes to show how far educational standards have slipped. Can't these people count?
    , @Neil Templeton
    Best music of the last 100 years? I don't think so. Lots of competition there. Maybe start with the blues/jazz product in 20's and 30's. Also country music in 40s and 50's. Anyway, not a whole lot of parameters on which to objectively compare differing eras of music. Best thing baby boomers' music had going for it was huge advances in electronics and marketing, increases to disposable income for the middle class, and the pill which dissolved traditional barriers to sex and allowed millions of sub-males to taste the conqueror's share of gratuitous copulation.
    , @Mr. Blank
    As a Gen-Xer, I must reluctantly concur on the “best music” part, though I tend to chalk it up mostly to timing rather than genius. Boomers arrived just in time to take maximum advantage of a lot of exciting new technologies in music, from instuments to recording to post-production to distribution. To their credit, they did a great job with the opportunities, but one wonders if previous generations could have done better.

    Jimi Hendrix was incredible, no doubt, but I shudder in awe at what Wagner could have achieved if he had access to the same musical palette.
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  20. @Paul Jolliffe
    The Wright brothers were extremely clever and industrious men who set a goal and did it. They were probably the first in flight, too. But Connecticut's state legislature says otherwise . . .

    http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/wright-brothers-first-flight-fight/index.html

    It’s long been known that others such as Octave Chanute were working on the same type of technology in the same approximate time frame.

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    • Replies: @newrouter
    Many used this in experimenting:

    "The concept was introduced by Sir George Stokes in 1851,[2] but the Reynolds number was named by Arnold Sommerfeld in 1908[3] after Osborne Reynolds (1842–1912), who popularized its use in 1883"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynolds_number
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  21. > Celebrating diversity just take a lot of space.

    Or just empties our brains.

    On that note, I’d like to wish everyone a “happy December global festivities”.

    This is how this odd greeting came to pass: Google showed me a mildly annoying and infantile colored cartoon of penguins. Feeling vaguely curious, I clicked, and was shown three more, larger pictures of childish cartoon birds in winter, sharing presents. Predictably disappointed and slightly baffled at the inaneness of it all, I clicked on the annoyingly labeled “Learn more” button, and was directed to a Google search for “December global festivities”, which surely gets the prize for most boring and fruitless search of the day (that may yet acquire some self-referential, self-generated content over time).

    I get that we live in a diverse world where not everyone celebrates Christmas. So I sympathize with Google’s conundrum, with its world audience. But I hate everything about this kind of empty celebration. Call me a global grinch.

    I don’t even know what to wish everyone here, as I post this comment to the world. Merry Christmas? It doesn’t really compute with all the atheist, Muslim, Jewish, Taoist/Buddhist, and other people I know.

    Perhaps this: merry Christmas to those who care, and to the others, best wishes!

    For what it’s worth, in Asia where I am right now it’s “merry Christmas” left and right. Which is nice I suppose. But I’m eager to rejoin my family and celebrate Christmas in a place and with people where Christmas still has some small vestiges of a reality that I can recognize.

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    • Replies: @CCZ
    Santa Claus, Christmas trees, bows and wrapped gifts, bells, doves, red and green decorations or blue and silver decorations are INAPPROPRIATE and OFFENSIVE to "our" diverse community.

    University of Minnesota officials recently distributed documents to employees and student-workers advising them to keep “inappropriate religious celebrations” out of public spaces.

    The document, titled “Religious Diversity and the Holidays,” encouraged recipients “to recognize the holidays in ways that are respectful of the diversity of the University community.” It listed several specific examples of “religious iconography” the university says are inappropriate for display.

    “In general, the following are not appropriate for gatherings and displays at this time of year since they typically represent specific religious iconography:

    Santa Claus, Angels, Christmas trees, Star of Bethlehem, Dreidels, Nativity scene, Bows/wrapped gifts, Menorah, Bells, Doves, Red and Green or Blue and White/Silver decoration themes (red and green are representative of the Christian tradition as blue and white/silver are for Jewish Hanukkah that is also celebrated at this time of year).”
     

    Inappropriate displays could result in a Bias Team Investigation!!
    , @istevefan

    I don’t even know what to wish everyone here, as I post this comment to the world.
     
    We didn't seem to have that problem 49 years ago.
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  22. The black writer Paul Lawrence Dunbar attended Central High School in Dayton, Ohio. He was a classmate and friend of Orville Wright. While in high school Orville started a printing business with his older brother Wilbur and they were the first to print Dunbar’s writings, including The Tattler, Dayton’s first weekly black newspaper. The Wrights were unable to publish Dunbar’s first book since their printing shop did not have equipment to bind books. However, their father was a bishop in the United Brethern Church, so Dunbar was able to use the United Brethen’s publishing house for the poetry book.

    wrightstories.com/paul-laurence-dunbar-the-wright-brothers-friend/

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    • Replies: @Bill B.

    The black writer Paul Lawrence Dunbar attended Central High School in Dayton, Ohio. He was a classmate and friend of Orville Wright.
     
    Interesting story. Sad end.
    , @Father O'Hara
    In this life you may not get all you pay for/ but you will surely pay for all you get.
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  23. @Hibernian
    It's long been known that others such as Octave Chanute were working on the same type of technology in the same approximate time frame.

    Many used this in experimenting:

    “The concept was introduced by Sir George Stokes in 1851,[2] but the Reynolds number was named by Arnold Sommerfeld in 1908[3] after Osborne Reynolds (1842–1912), who popularized its use in 1883″

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynolds_number

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  24. In other news, Cornel West goes after TNC: https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/17/ta-nehisi-coates-neoliberal-black-struggle-cornel-west?CMP=share_btn_tw&__twitter_impression=true

    Can’t say West is really all that persuasive but pass the popcorn anyway.

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    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    Brother Cornel hates, hates, hates being dethroned as the leading black public intellectual theoretician of his time.
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  25. @Paul Jolliffe
    The Wright brothers were extremely clever and industrious men who set a goal and did it. They were probably the first in flight, too. But Connecticut's state legislature says otherwise . . .

    http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/wright-brothers-first-flight-fight/index.html

    Just to head-off certain conversations:

    Folks, I assume you’ve all tumbled to the truth about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the tooth fairy; I think you’re ready for the truth about inventors. They rarely cook up a new device or process from scratch; more often they merely add a few essential twists to an almost-there technology that’s waiting to be born. Just so with aircraft. Even discounting man-lifting kites, balloons, parachutes, gliders, and airships, lots of people beat the Wrights to powered heavier-than-air takeoffs. What the Wrights invented was the first practical airplane — one capable of controlled, sustained flight.

    First, Stringfellow. He recorded a successful indoor flight with a small steam-powered model propeller plane in 1848. So sure, Stringfellow achieved powered — but unmanned — flight.

    The next major contender was Felix du Temple, whose manned powered plane launched from a ramp in 1874 and was airborne only briefly. This was less a sustained flight than a powered glide.

    In 1890, Frenchman Clement Ader piloted the first manned plane to take off from level ground under its own power, in uncontrolled but arguably sustained flight (definitions vary). A worthy feat, but Ader loses points for his discredited claims of an 1897 flight.
    Your Scottish entrant, Tony, was probably Preston Watson. His brother once claimed Preston had flown a powered plane in 1903 but later determined the craft in question was a glider. Not everyone got the memo.

    New Zealander Richard Pearse made short semisuccessful flights in a gasoline-powered plane, probably in mid-1903 (the year is disputed). If so, they were the first powered flights with theoretically reasonable controls. Most of his attempts were interrupted by hedges in the testing area, and Pearse later admitted the plane was “uncontrollable.” Practical airplane, no; first powered hedge clippers, maybe.

    Other notable manned but uncontrolled planes before the Wrights include those of Mozhaisky (1884, Russia), Hiram “Machine Gun” Maxim (1894, England), Wilhelm Kress (1901, Austria), Karl Jatho (1903, Germany), and Langley (1903, U.S.).

    That leaves the flights of the Wright brothers in 1903, right? Actually, that plane, taking off from a rail under its own power and flying upwards of 260 meters, was fully controllable in theory only. The Wrights had tested their wing-warping system for executing banked turns on gliders but didn’t risk powered turns at this point.

    In 1904, the Wrights tested a new plane in Ohio. Early flights disappointed, the fault of both Dayton’s undependable winds and oversensitive pitch controls. To combat the former, they built a starting derrick (read: a catapult) to pull them up to flying speed quickly. (The plane could take off without it but that required a much longer rail.) To improve pitch control, they added ballast and modified the elevators.

    Only after licking these problems did the Wrights attempt turns. By late 1904 they were flying in circles, a convenient standard for controlled flight. They made flights up to five minutes long in 1904 and, in a third plane, up to 38 minutes long in 1905. It’s this third plane that many regard as the first practical airplane.

    It’s sometimes said the Wrights’ early flights weren’t witnessed. In fact, dozens attended their 1903-’05 flights, and photographs show these planes aloft. One witness was Octave Chanute, another aviation pioneer. What’s undeniable is that the flights weren’t certified by an official body such as the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. FAI rules, which postdate the early Wright flights, don’t allow starting assistance like the brothers’ derrick (or for that matter aircraft carriers’ steam catapults). Whether the Wrights could have made such impressive flights sans catapult is probable but unknowable. They flew well after unassisted takeoffs in 1908 at Kitty Hawk using the 1905 airframe, but these results aren’t directly comparable because they’d installed a more powerful engine.

    Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian expat in France, won the honor of the first FAI-certified flight with a somewhat poorly controlled 220-meter trip in 1906. At the time Europeans doubted the Wrights’ claims, and Santos-Dumont contended he was first, period.

    In everything but certification, though, the Wrights were well ahead of the pack. Their longest flights of 1903, ’04, and ’05 and their first circular flight weren’t matched for three to four years. When Wilbur flew in Europe in 1908 without a catapult, he shattered all previous FAI records for distance, duration, and altitude.

    In later patent disputes, the Wrights were prickly, which cost them friends, including Chanute. They come off like money-grubbing SOBs — but SOBs who nonetheless invented (all together now) the first practical airplane.

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2780/the-wright-stuff/

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    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    In that history of powered flight, it is natural that you left out the English aristocrat, George Cayley, but when I was growing up, Cayley was seen as being as central to the history of flight as the Wright Brothers.

    In a remarkable intellectual feat, Cayley figured out, cold, the mathematical equations and theory governing controlled flight in 1799, sitting in his country estate.

    54 years later, he got around to designing and building a working glider using his principles, and, being an aristocrat, launched his footman at the controls of his invention. It is said, probably apocryphally, that the man, thoroughly shaken by the short flight, promptly handed in his resignation as he climbed out.

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  26. @Ganderson
    One of the reasons I got out of the APUSH racket is that in order to prepare kids to take the exam you have to spend a lot of time on the multiculture-gender fair aspects of US History, so that Jackson can only be a villain, and WWII is the Holocaust, Japanese Internment, the gratuitous use of the A-bomb, and if you have time, the race riots in Detroit in 1943. Oh, and you have to spend a lot of time on the insufferable reformers of the 1840s. Most History teachers have no problem with this. I kinda do.
    And I might add, there are heroes in the new history, but they are MLK, Jane Addams, Helen Hunt Jackson et al. The Wright Brothers need not apply.

    “The Wright Brothers need not apply.”

    Ditto for Philo Farnsworth.

    Who?

    Look him up on Wiki. A bleepin’ GENIUS!!! Who died tragically.

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    • Replies: @Ganderson
    Yup.
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  27. @nebulafox
    Nothing bodes more ill for the future of this nation than our decision to embrace victimhood as a virtue to aspire to as opposed to strength, along with a host of other counter-virtues. Think of this in the most naive way possible: why on earth would you *want* to be a genuine victim, as opposed to an inventor, a conqueror, or hell, just a decent upstanding citizen? Then release the naivete, and let the repelling, passive-aggressive nature, on a gut level, of what modern American culture cherishes sink in.

    The difference in morality between the GoodWhites and the BadWhites is not black and white, but blue and orange.

    A good Eloi will not notice a Morlock even as fang tears flesh.

    A bad Eloi — a Dark Eloi — notices the Morlock from a mile away, and acts accordingly.

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  28. A great article, thanks for reposting. I wouldn’t be surprised if Charles Lindbergh isn’t in that history book, either. When my kids were in the fourth grade, I asked them who Lindbergh was, and they didn’t know. They’d never heard of him. They both knew who Amelia Earhart was, however, ad nauseam.

    To say I was upset would be an understatement. It wasn’t just that the accomplishments of Lindbergh were being overlooked, it was that his truly unique status among American heroes was being ignored by school history books. Nobody could touch him – not Jim Thorpe, not George Washington Carver, not Amelia Earhart…not even the great Babe Ruth. I even had to remind my liberal college professor wife that Amelia Earhart, as courageous as she was, was largely remembered during her era for her tragic failure, whereas Lindbergh was remembered for his brilliant and triumphant accomplishment.

    So, to revisit my childrens’ progress in 20th century American history (after reading this article) I just asked my son – now a high school sophomore who gets straight A’s – “Do you know Lindbergh was?”

    “Who?” he asked.

    “Charles Lindbergh,” I said.

    He repeated the name slowly (and incorrectly) and shook his head. Seems he’d forgotten what I’d taught him in the fourth grade. “Do you know who Amelia Earhart was?” I asked.

    “Oh, sure I do.” he smiled. “Wait…wasn’t Lindbergh the one who first crossed the Atlantic non-stop in a plane?” He hadn’t forgotten after all.

    “That’s right. Did they ever talk about him in school?”

    “No,” he said. He’d only heard about him from me. We did see the Spirit of St. Louis at the Smithsonian while in DC this past summer, but I’m guessing they’ll take that down before long.

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    J, Amelia Earhart didn't even navigate, which is a major part of this type of accomplishment. She didn't trust her navigator upon landfall over Africa (after the long leg from NE Brazil), so she turned down the coast opposite from what he reckoned, and luckily they had enough fuel to do a 180 and get to the field they intended to fly to. I'm not saying they would have died, but they'd have landed somewhere, possibly broke the plane, and ruined the mission.

    Granted, the navigator was a drunkard, so, I dunno whose fault it was that they missed the Pacific Island they needed to find on that fateful leg out of the Orient.

    Now, Lindbergh, in contrast, had been up 24 hours before he even started his solo flight (his own fault, but he was doing last-minute promotion of the feat) He fought sleep like a demon more than any other obstacle on the trip. Have you ever been driving when you know you should have pulled over hours back? You end up sticking your head out the window, shouting at yourself, whatever to stay awake, even after a Coke. Lindbergh couldn't pull over, and he had to stay out of the icing conditions in the clouds (well, those planes couldn't be flown on instruments anyway) sometimes by getting down to 100 ft or so. That meant he had to be extra vigilant not to hit the water.

    There's no comparison between the skills of Lindbergh's and Earhart's feats- her's was just a typical affirmative action stunt, albeit a few decades ahead of its time.
    , @Danindc
    Agreed. That pisses me off. Every kid should know the 12 men who walked on the moon as well. I bet only 20% know Armstrong. And why don't they teach about Congressional Medal of Honor winners etc. .
    , @Anonymous
    Lindbergh was a fine aviator and an intelligent and decent, responsible man but he was not the first to cross the Atlantic, and he did not invent anything to do with his flight. He was the first to meet the conditions of the Orteig Prize:

    The Orteig Prize was a $25,000 reward ($342,000 as of 2015)[2] offered on May 22, 1919, by New York hotel owner Raymond Orteig to the first allied aviator(s) to fly non-stop from New York City to Paris or vice versa.[1] The offer was in the spirit of several similar aviation prize offers, and was made in a letter to Alan Ramsay Hawley, president of the Aero Club of America at the behest of Aero Club secretary Augustus Post.

    Gentlemen: As a stimulus to the courageous aviators, I desire to offer, through the auspices and regulations of the Aero Club of America, a prize of $25,000 to the first aviator of any Allied Country crossing the Atlantic in one flight, from Paris to New York or New York to Paris, all other details in your care.

    Yours very sincerely,

    Raymond Orteig[3]

    The Aero Club replied on May 26 with Orteig confirming his offer three days later. His offer was accepted by the Aero Club and Augustus Post set up a formal structure to administer the competition.

    Coincidentally, just a few weeks later Alcock and Brown successfully completed the first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic from Newfoundland to Ireland, winning an earlier prize offer, and in late June the British airship R34 made an east-west crossing from East Fortune, Scotland, to Long Island, New York, returning by the same route in early July.

    On offer for five years, the goal of the prize seemed beyond the capacity of aircraft of the time and the prize attracted no competitors. After its original term had expired Orteig reissued the prize on June 1, 1925 by depositing $25,000 in negotiable securities at the Bryant Bank with the awarding put under the control of a seven-member board of trustees.[4] By then the state of aviation technology had advanced to the point that numerous competitors vied for the prize.
     
    That he was able to secure funding to have the Ryan NYP custom built and that he was able to fly the 30+ hour mission solo were huge achievements. But he was not an engineer or a discoverer of any new principles.

    His mission was much more impressive than anything Earhart actually did: although from all accounts she was a competent flier.
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  29. @Anonymous
    This is a good laugh too:

    https://medium.com/the-long-now-foundation/books-library-civilization-future-knowledge-3a8f750d6b86


    What Books Would You Choose to Restart Civilization?
    Long Now’s crowd-curated Manual For Civilization library fits within a long tradition of projects to gather essential books and democratize human knowledge for future generations
    ...
    24 Selections

    1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann.
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.
    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
    Beloved by Toni Morrison.
    Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary America by Stephen J. Pyne.
    The Collected Erotica: An Illustrated Celebration of Human Sexuality Through the Ages by Charlotte Hill and William Wallace.
    ...
     

    What Books Would You Choose to Restart Civilization?

    Appropriately, the list includes the title A Confederacy of Dunces.

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  30. @Ivy
    Kitty Hawk?
    Seems appropriative and culturally insensitive.
    There is more than a hint of patriarchy due to that warlike bird image, softened only by a soft, purring pussy. Where were the Wright sisters, suppressed again?
    No wonder history had to be reviewed. Who is next, Henrietta Ford?

    Where were the Wright sisters, suppressed again?

    The Wrights had a sister named Katherine, as I recall from the book about them I read less than a year ago. Here it is, by David McCullough. Katherine was very helpful at home, as Orville and Wilbur really got going in the mid-19-oughts, to demo their flyers in France. They had a mechanic friend too, who was especially helpful with the powerplant, and it was more like a 3-man team for a good while.

    I guess Katherine was too oppressed to go to France, knowing what the girls in France don’t wear and all….

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    • Replies: @John Mansfield
    Actually, Katharine (with two a's) did go to France, and the French loved her. They had the idea that since she was a college graduate and high school Latin teacher, then her education most have included math too, and she must be the secret genius guiding her brothers' work. Miss Wright was very supportive of her brothers (and father), but she did not contribute in any technical or scientific way. A delightful short book on her was The Wright Sister: Katharine Wright and Her Famous Brothers by Richard Mauer. It felt a little like Willa Cather’s O Pioneers. I loved this view of the Wright Brothers’ project, and of a single woman in Dayton, Ohio 1903.

    Another nice book by Mauer is The Wild Colorado: The True Adventures of Fred Dellenbaugh, Age 17, on the Second Powell Expedition into the Grand Canyon. To balance my children’s voluminous fantasy reading with other, good writing based on the world that actually exists, and to fortify their connection with their heritage, I was looking for a suitable book on John Wesley Powell, explorer of the Colorado River. Richard Maurer wrote one that was just what I was after. This short book, 120 pages, tells a wonderful tale of a young man who gained a place in a glorious, sometimes boring, highly challenging undertaking, and returned home two years later with a course for his life initiated.
    , @Jack D
    Katherine did go to France. From the wiki:

    "Wilbur asked Katharine to go to France with Orville, and in 1909 they joined him in Pau. She quickly dominated the social scene, being far more outgoing and charming than the notoriously shy brothers. French newspapers were fascinated by what they saw as the human side of the Wrights. She was awarded, along with Wilbur and Orville, the Legion d'honneur, making her one of a very few women from the U.S. who have received it."

    The Wright Brothers were spregy, nerdy kind of guys. They were fantastic mechanics and inventors but socially awkward. They never married and Katherine filled the role of the woman of the household. McCollough writes that their entire non-business social circle consisted of maybe 8 people - they were just very private and uncomfortable in social settings.

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  31. @Arclight
    In other news, Cornel West goes after TNC: https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/17/ta-nehisi-coates-neoliberal-black-struggle-cornel-west?CMP=share_btn_tw&__twitter_impression=true

    Can't say West is really all that persuasive but pass the popcorn anyway.

    Brother Cornel hates, hates, hates being dethroned as the leading black public intellectual theoretician of his time.

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    • Agree: syonredux
    • Replies: @Arclight
    Maybe he can channel his angst into another spoken world album.

    Also, he hasn't commented on his partner Tavis Smiley's alleged misbehavior yet...
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  32. @gunner29

    pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.
     
    We had the best music of the last 100 years, but screwed the pooch on just about everything else. It would interesting to observe the next 50 years and see how they deal with what we inflicted on the country....I'll be lucky to see the next 20.

    We had the best music of the last 100 years, but screwed the pooch on just about everything else.

    Don’t be too hard on yourselves. The Silent Generation was just as awful, albeit quiet about it. Silents divorced in droves in the ’70s, leaving Gen X to grow up in broken families.

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  33. @Inquiring Mind
    The Wright brothers were much, much more than their First Flight at Kill Devil Hills and "first!"

    This is not about the Moon landing where Neil Armstrong got their first! and space exploration has not amounted to much since then.

    Any of a number of people at the time could have built craft with enough lift and enough power to fly for a short time. What the Wright brothers figured out was how to steer the thing, how to control their Flyer along multiple axis directions.

    Their secret to success was figuring out that it was not enough to fly, you had to seriously control which way you are going. While a lot of other people were still figuring out how to fly, many of them did, the Wright brothers were doing these demonstrations where they flew in the way we understand it today, they dipped and zoomed and turned and put on quite the show that they could control their flights.

    Now the Wright flyer has an odd flight control setup compared to the current general aviation aircraft that you can take flying lessons in. It is probably dangerous for a modern pilot to attempt to operate a Wright flyer, and maybe you had to develop more of a "body position" sense to operate it, maybe much more like a modern helicopter, which they tell me is more of a "knack" that you need to train into your muscles rather than the listen-to-what-your-instructor-tells-you to operate a modern fixed-wing craft.

    But there was much more to their accomplishment than simply getting airborne for a short time. Their accomplishment with maneuverability put aviation on the fast-track to where it is today.

    Yep they invented wing-warping, the precursor to ailerons. They understood that you needed to control the machine around 3 axes, which I think was a brand new idea.

    These guys made their own wind-tunnel back in Ohio to test some of the wing shapes. They didn’t have engineering degrees (if there was such a thing in 1900), but they worked as engineers, not as silly Mythbusters.

    The book I mentioned in my last comment is not too technical and very readable and interesting. I highly recommend it.

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    • Replies: @syonredux
    Orville and Wilbur Wright, The Inventors of the 3-axis Flight Control System, 9 Months before their powered flight at Kitty Hawk

    The names of Orville and Wilbur Wright are synonymous with flight and are best known for being the first to achieve powered flight on December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk North Carolina [1]. Most of us can even visualize the black and white photographs or the sketched images of the Wright Flyer with Orville Wright lying on his stomach at the controls for the 12 second of flight. However what most people outside of the world of aviation do not realize is that nine months prior to the historical day at Kitty Hawk, the Wright Brothers submitted a patent application that would not only be the cornerstone of the technology that would allow them to achieve powered flight, but would be what some historians say is their greatest contribution to manned flight, both past, present, and future.
     

    On March 23, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent Office for their “Flying Machine” to legally document the theory and application of the 3-axis flight control system. It is important to note that the flying machine in their patent was a glider, and not a “powered” flying machine [2]. However more importantly, contained within the patent for their glider, was the invention of the revolutionary 3-axis flight control system. The 3-axis flight control system documented in the patent finally allowed for the control of pitch, yaw, and the roll of their glider. Pitch allows them to raise or lower the nose of the glider. Yaw allows the glider to turn left and right, and roll allows them to manipulate the level of the wings
     
    https://historyengine.richmond.edu/episodes/view/5774
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  34. Thank you Mr. Sailer for throwing a bone out for the stem crowd. Also Merry Christmas!

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  35. @syonredux
    Just to head-off certain conversations:

    Folks, I assume you’ve all tumbled to the truth about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the tooth fairy; I think you’re ready for the truth about inventors. They rarely cook up a new device or process from scratch; more often they merely add a few essential twists to an almost-there technology that’s waiting to be born. Just so with aircraft. Even discounting man-lifting kites, balloons, parachutes, gliders, and airships, lots of people beat the Wrights to powered heavier-than-air takeoffs. What the Wrights invented was the first practical airplane — one capable of controlled, sustained flight.

    First, Stringfellow. He recorded a successful indoor flight with a small steam-powered model propeller plane in 1848. So sure, Stringfellow achieved powered — but unmanned — flight.

    The next major contender was Felix du Temple, whose manned powered plane launched from a ramp in 1874 and was airborne only briefly. This was less a sustained flight than a powered glide.

    In 1890, Frenchman Clement Ader piloted the first manned plane to take off from level ground under its own power, in uncontrolled but arguably sustained flight (definitions vary). A worthy feat, but Ader loses points for his discredited claims of an 1897 flight.
    Your Scottish entrant, Tony, was probably Preston Watson. His brother once claimed Preston had flown a powered plane in 1903 but later determined the craft in question was a glider. Not everyone got the memo.

    New Zealander Richard Pearse made short semisuccessful flights in a gasoline-powered plane, probably in mid-1903 (the year is disputed). If so, they were the first powered flights with theoretically reasonable controls. Most of his attempts were interrupted by hedges in the testing area, and Pearse later admitted the plane was “uncontrollable.” Practical airplane, no; first powered hedge clippers, maybe.

    Other notable manned but uncontrolled planes before the Wrights include those of Mozhaisky (1884, Russia), Hiram “Machine Gun” Maxim (1894, England), Wilhelm Kress (1901, Austria), Karl Jatho (1903, Germany), and Langley (1903, U.S.).

    That leaves the flights of the Wright brothers in 1903, right? Actually, that plane, taking off from a rail under its own power and flying upwards of 260 meters, was fully controllable in theory only. The Wrights had tested their wing-warping system for executing banked turns on gliders but didn’t risk powered turns at this point.

    In 1904, the Wrights tested a new plane in Ohio. Early flights disappointed, the fault of both Dayton’s undependable winds and oversensitive pitch controls. To combat the former, they built a starting derrick (read: a catapult) to pull them up to flying speed quickly. (The plane could take off without it but that required a much longer rail.) To improve pitch control, they added ballast and modified the elevators.

    Only after licking these problems did the Wrights attempt turns. By late 1904 they were flying in circles, a convenient standard for controlled flight. They made flights up to five minutes long in 1904 and, in a third plane, up to 38 minutes long in 1905. It’s this third plane that many regard as the first practical airplane.

    It’s sometimes said the Wrights’ early flights weren’t witnessed. In fact, dozens attended their 1903-’05 flights, and photographs show these planes aloft. One witness was Octave Chanute, another aviation pioneer. What’s undeniable is that the flights weren’t certified by an official body such as the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. FAI rules, which postdate the early Wright flights, don’t allow starting assistance like the brothers’ derrick (or for that matter aircraft carriers’ steam catapults). Whether the Wrights could have made such impressive flights sans catapult is probable but unknowable. They flew well after unassisted takeoffs in 1908 at Kitty Hawk using the 1905 airframe, but these results aren’t directly comparable because they’d installed a more powerful engine.

    Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian expat in France, won the honor of the first FAI-certified flight with a somewhat poorly controlled 220-meter trip in 1906. At the time Europeans doubted the Wrights’ claims, and Santos-Dumont contended he was first, period.


    In everything but certification, though, the Wrights were well ahead of the pack. Their longest flights of 1903, ’04, and ’05 and their first circular flight weren’t matched for three to four years. When Wilbur flew in Europe in 1908 without a catapult, he shattered all previous FAI records for distance, duration, and altitude.

    In later patent disputes, the Wrights were prickly, which cost them friends, including Chanute. They come off like money-grubbing SOBs — but SOBs who nonetheless invented (all together now) the first practical airplane.

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2780/the-wright-stuff/

    In that history of powered flight, it is natural that you left out the English aristocrat, George Cayley, but when I was growing up, Cayley was seen as being as central to the history of flight as the Wright Brothers.

    In a remarkable intellectual feat, Cayley figured out, cold, the mathematical equations and theory governing controlled flight in 1799, sitting in his country estate.

    54 years later, he got around to designing and building a working glider using his principles, and, being an aristocrat, launched his footman at the controls of his invention. It is said, probably apocryphally, that the man, thoroughly shaken by the short flight, promptly handed in his resignation as he climbed out.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    In that history of powered flight, it is natural that you left out the English aristocrat, George Cayley, but when I was growing up, Cayley was seen as being as central to the history of flight as the Wright Brothers.
     
    I didn't leave him out; The Straight Dope did. I suppose that he was excluded because Cayley, despite his importance to the theory of flight, is not usually claimed to be the inventor of the aeroplane.
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  36. I would highly recommend the Wright Brothers National Monument in Kitty Hawk. Even if their accomplishments are not adequately taught in public schools, the National Parks Service operates an excellent memorial of their work.

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    • Replies: @Hibernian
    Also Boeing's "Museum of Flight" at Boeing Field just south of Seattle.
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  37. “our decision to embrace victimhood” (nebulafox):
    Whomever this “we” may reference – it doesn’t encompass the majority of schoolkids. Victimhood is about the last thing you can sell to them. Actually they are more in need of getting their heroes downsized from the superhero format to the more lifelike one of real historical personages. “You victim” is the most often-heard putdown on German schoolyards. It has become a term of ridicule for the kids.

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  38. @Anon
    Maybe BBC can make a biopic and call them Wright Brothas with two black guys. Both homo.

    “Maybe BBC can make a biopic and call them Wright Brothas with two black guys. Both homo.”

    And one of them a girl.

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  39. @Anonymous
    In France, it is popularly considered that Santos-Dumont was first.

    There is some small justification for this, because the early Wright flights were from a catapult and not a autonomous take off, and the distances and altitudes were meager. And the Wrights' control system was not really very good.

    Nope, that is complete bull. Alberto Dumont flew around Paris in the very late 1890′s in a controllable, powered, dirigible. It did not use wings to fly, though he dabbled in winged flight later. He was this man-about-town in Paris who would land his dangerous contraption (fuel tank pretty close to a bag of hydrogen!) in horse-carriage parking spots and go into the bars. Cool stuff, as I learned in a big about the man, but it was not going anywhere.

    The catapult-launched planes were the Glenn Curtis ones, in competition with the Wrights. Curtis did not learn enough about aircraft control to compete and had a major crash early on ( one of the Wrights had a major crash… I hate that I can’t remember the detail of which brother … in France I’m pretty sure. It wasn’t a set-back for the flying, but it was as set-back to his health, for sure.)

    Now, the French had reasons to crow about aviation later on, as they made big gains during the 2nd decade of the 20th century in aviation. This explains why most of the airframe parts are French words – aileron, fuselage, empennage (the tail assembly), etc.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Curtiss used a catapult, as I recall, to launch a reworked Langley design built before the turn of the century to invalidate Wright patent claims. He also had a very different control system than the standard aircraft. But he was flying off wheels by 1907 or 1908 as I recall.
    He was also a bicycle maker and a motorcycle maker and his engines were an outgrowth of that. Curtiss and Wright later merged to form Curtiss-Wright, the engine manufacturer that played second fiddle to P&W throughout the radial years and early gas turbines. Now they make ruggedized embeddable computer systems.
    , @Diversity Heretic
    For years, the Smitsonian Institution claimed that Samuel P. Langley built the first "aircraft capable of flight," even though his catapult-launched effort fell into the Potomac River. It was salvaged, extensively modified and did actually fly much later, hence the Smithsonian's claim. The rivalry between the Smithsonian and the Wrights was so intense that the Wright Flyer was on display in London until about 1948. IIRC, there is a model of the Langley Flyer way up in the corner of the main hall of the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, although the principal exhibit is the Wright Flyer.

    When the Wrights first demonstrated their machine in Europe, the Europeans realized how far behind they were. They caught up quickly however.
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  40. The first people to fly were the Chinese, who were building man-carrying kites thousands of years ago. The Wright brothers are a footnote to this.

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    • Replies: @newrouter
    Thank you Xi Jinping for your input!
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Thanks very much for that tidbit, "Man who loved China". Did these kite-piloting men sign up willingly - just curious?

    The only people who really fly anyway are skydivers, when it comes down to it. Not the BASE jumpers though - they are basically nutcases who fall.
    , @Malcolm X-Lax
    They were all beat by the first man to accidentally fall off a cliff.
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  41. If a kid is assigned five textbooks this massive, that’s a backpack that weighs 27 pounds.

    Five textbooks is a low estimate: one of my children is taking seven courses. And when you consider that many high schools no longer assign lockers, due to concerns about drugs and guns, it’s clear that kids would have to cart all those books to school and home again each day.

    In Japan, it has long been the practice to have short, cheap, paperback textbooks, and no lockers. Students must take these books home, where their parents can keep track of what they are learning and help them, if necessary.

    And, of course, ethnically homogeneous Japan does not cheer on victimized minorities in its textbooks. One more subtle way in which the lack of diversity leads to a better functioning society.

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    • Replies: @Sandmich
    of course, ethnically homogeneous Japan does not cheer on victimized minorities in its textbooks
    ---
    Judging by the contents of the Hiroshima Nuclear Shrine (or whatever they call it), Japan can do victimization worship as well as anyone else.
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  42. @Anonymous
    This is a good laugh too:

    https://medium.com/the-long-now-foundation/books-library-civilization-future-knowledge-3a8f750d6b86


    What Books Would You Choose to Restart Civilization?
    Long Now’s crowd-curated Manual For Civilization library fits within a long tradition of projects to gather essential books and democratize human knowledge for future generations
    ...
    24 Selections

    1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann.
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.
    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
    Beloved by Toni Morrison.
    Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary America by Stephen J. Pyne.
    The Collected Erotica: An Illustrated Celebration of Human Sexuality Through the Ages by Charlotte Hill and William Wallace.
    ...
     

    You know, if Anne Frank had survived the war, and if she had a normal life afterwards, she probably would have aged into a familiar sort of Jewish scold. Would anyone have wanted to read her teenage diaries then?

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    • Replies: @Karl
    42 advancedaatheist > You know, if Anne Frank had survived the war, and if she had a normal life afterwards


    the American Jews adore her, because she never did anything but hide.

    You might like to read the story of :

    Hannah Senesh was one of 37 Jews from Palestine who parachuted into Yugoslavia to save the Hungarian Jews who were about to be deported to Auschwitz. Hannah was arrested at the Hungarian border, imprisoned, tortured, and eventually executed by a firing squad. She never revealed the details of her mission.


    Jane Eisner doesn't want to talk about Hannah Senesh
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  43. @European-American
    > Celebrating diversity just take a lot of space.

    Or just empties our brains.

    On that note, I’d like to wish everyone a “happy December global festivities”.

    This is how this odd greeting came to pass: Google showed me a mildly annoying and infantile colored cartoon of penguins. Feeling vaguely curious, I clicked, and was shown three more, larger pictures of childish cartoon birds in winter, sharing presents. Predictably disappointed and slightly baffled at the inaneness of it all, I clicked on the annoyingly labeled “Learn more” button, and was directed to a Google search for “December global festivities”, which surely gets the prize for most boring and fruitless search of the day (that may yet acquire some self-referential, self-generated content over time).

    I get that we live in a diverse world where not everyone celebrates Christmas. So I sympathize with Google’s conundrum, with its world audience. But I hate everything about this kind of empty celebration. Call me a global grinch.

    I don’t even know what to wish everyone here, as I post this comment to the world. Merry Christmas? It doesn’t really compute with all the atheist, Muslim, Jewish, Taoist/Buddhist, and other people I know.

    Perhaps this: merry Christmas to those who care, and to the others, best wishes!

    For what it’s worth, in Asia where I am right now it’s “merry Christmas” left and right. Which is nice I suppose. But I’m eager to rejoin my family and celebrate Christmas in a place and with people where Christmas still has some small vestiges of a reality that I can recognize.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq_D6iKygKI

    Santa Claus, Christmas trees, bows and wrapped gifts, bells, doves, red and green decorations or blue and silver decorations are INAPPROPRIATE and OFFENSIVE to “our” diverse community.

    University of Minnesota officials recently distributed documents to employees and student-workers advising them to keep “inappropriate religious celebrations” out of public spaces.

    The document, titled “Religious Diversity and the Holidays,” encouraged recipients “to recognize the holidays in ways that are respectful of the diversity of the University community.” It listed several specific examples of “religious iconography” the university says are inappropriate for display.

    “In general, the following are not appropriate for gatherings and displays at this time of year since they typically represent specific religious iconography:

    Santa Claus, Angels, Christmas trees, Star of Bethlehem, Dreidels, Nativity scene, Bows/wrapped gifts, Menorah, Bells, Doves, Red and Green or Blue and White/Silver decoration themes (red and green are representative of the Christian tradition as blue and white/silver are for Jewish Hanukkah that is also celebrated at this time of year).”

    Inappropriate displays could result in a Bias Team Investigation!!

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  44. @J1234
    A great article, thanks for reposting. I wouldn't be surprised if Charles Lindbergh isn't in that history book, either. When my kids were in the fourth grade, I asked them who Lindbergh was, and they didn't know. They'd never heard of him. They both knew who Amelia Earhart was, however, ad nauseam.

    To say I was upset would be an understatement. It wasn't just that the accomplishments of Lindbergh were being overlooked, it was that his truly unique status among American heroes was being ignored by school history books. Nobody could touch him - not Jim Thorpe, not George Washington Carver, not Amelia Earhart...not even the great Babe Ruth. I even had to remind my liberal college professor wife that Amelia Earhart, as courageous as she was, was largely remembered during her era for her tragic failure, whereas Lindbergh was remembered for his brilliant and triumphant accomplishment.

    So, to revisit my childrens' progress in 20th century American history (after reading this article) I just asked my son - now a high school sophomore who gets straight A's - "Do you know Lindbergh was?"

    "Who?" he asked.

    "Charles Lindbergh," I said.

    He repeated the name slowly (and incorrectly) and shook his head. Seems he'd forgotten what I'd taught him in the fourth grade. "Do you know who Amelia Earhart was?" I asked.

    "Oh, sure I do." he smiled. "Wait...wasn't Lindbergh the one who first crossed the Atlantic non-stop in a plane?" He hadn't forgotten after all.

    "That's right. Did they ever talk about him in school?"

    "No," he said. He'd only heard about him from me. We did see the Spirit of St. Louis at the Smithsonian while in DC this past summer, but I'm guessing they'll take that down before long.

    J, Amelia Earhart didn’t even navigate, which is a major part of this type of accomplishment. She didn’t trust her navigator upon landfall over Africa (after the long leg from NE Brazil), so she turned down the coast opposite from what he reckoned, and luckily they had enough fuel to do a 180 and get to the field they intended to fly to. I’m not saying they would have died, but they’d have landed somewhere, possibly broke the plane, and ruined the mission.

    Granted, the navigator was a drunkard, so, I dunno whose fault it was that they missed the Pacific Island they needed to find on that fateful leg out of the Orient.

    Now, Lindbergh, in contrast, had been up 24 hours before he even started his solo flight (his own fault, but he was doing last-minute promotion of the feat) He fought sleep like a demon more than any other obstacle on the trip. Have you ever been driving when you know you should have pulled over hours back? You end up sticking your head out the window, shouting at yourself, whatever to stay awake, even after a Coke. Lindbergh couldn’t pull over, and he had to stay out of the icing conditions in the clouds (well, those planes couldn’t be flown on instruments anyway) sometimes by getting down to 100 ft or so. That meant he had to be extra vigilant not to hit the water.

    There’s no comparison between the skills of Lindbergh’s and Earhart’s feats- her’s was just a typical affirmative action stunt, albeit a few decades ahead of its time.

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    • Replies: @Curle
    “There’s no comparison between the skills of Lindbergh’s and Earhart’s ”

    Sure, but he defended intolerant European men and she kinda looks like a lezzie so under the rules of the current year she wins.
    , @al gore rhythms
    I thought I was the only person who shouted at himself to stay awake on car journeys.
    , @Simply Simon
    Achmed, I believe you are wrong when you state "well, those airplanes couldn't be flown on instruments anyway." The Spirit was equipped with needle, ball, altimeter, airspeed indicator and rate of climb, all that is needed to fly in instrument conditions. I am quite sure Lindbergh was proficient at instrument flying going back to his air mail days.. He probably would have flown in the clouds except for lack of de-icing equipment. Lindbergh was an incredibly intelligent man. His failing if you want to call it that was to be an America Firster and an isolationist, which did not set well with President Roosevelt. Notwithstanding, his contributions to aviation were immense and if anyone cares to read there are volumes dealing with his history.
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  45. The history of flight is a history of brothers. First the Montgolfiers (first balloon), then the Roberts (first gas balloon) then the Wrights.

    I wonder if that means something.

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  46. @Anonymous
    The first people to fly were the Chinese, who were building man-carrying kites thousands of years ago. The Wright brothers are a footnote to this.

    Thank you Xi Jinping for your input!

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  47. @PiltdownMan
    In that history of powered flight, it is natural that you left out the English aristocrat, George Cayley, but when I was growing up, Cayley was seen as being as central to the history of flight as the Wright Brothers.

    In a remarkable intellectual feat, Cayley figured out, cold, the mathematical equations and theory governing controlled flight in 1799, sitting in his country estate.

    54 years later, he got around to designing and building a working glider using his principles, and, being an aristocrat, launched his footman at the controls of his invention. It is said, probably apocryphally, that the man, thoroughly shaken by the short flight, promptly handed in his resignation as he climbed out.

    In that history of powered flight, it is natural that you left out the English aristocrat, George Cayley, but when I was growing up, Cayley was seen as being as central to the history of flight as the Wright Brothers.

    I didn’t leave him out; The Straight Dope did. I suppose that he was excluded because Cayley, despite his importance to the theory of flight, is not usually claimed to be the inventor of the aeroplane.

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  48. I encourage everyone to go to the Smithsonian of Air and Space in Washington DC. I was there in February this year and took my 6 year old. The original Wright bros. plane is just sitting right there. Amazing. I have been to Kitty Hawk and seen the replica but it just ain’t the same. The V2 rocket is pretty cool too.

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    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    I encourage everyone to go to the Smithsonian of Air and Space in Washington DC.
     
    And after that, go to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center out by Dulles. Parking is $12 IIRC but admission is free. You are confronted by an SR-71 Blackbird when you walk in. It's awesome.

    https://airandspace.si.edu/udvar-hazy-center
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  49. @Anonymous
    This is a good laugh too:

    https://medium.com/the-long-now-foundation/books-library-civilization-future-knowledge-3a8f750d6b86


    What Books Would You Choose to Restart Civilization?
    Long Now’s crowd-curated Manual For Civilization library fits within a long tradition of projects to gather essential books and democratize human knowledge for future generations
    ...
    24 Selections

    1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann.
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.
    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
    Beloved by Toni Morrison.
    Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary America by Stephen J. Pyne.
    The Collected Erotica: An Illustrated Celebration of Human Sexuality Through the Ages by Charlotte Hill and William Wallace.
    ...
     

    Books which assume or promote racism, sexism, heteronormativity, tribalism, a hierarchical understanding of society and so forth should wear far better than a lot of the current nonsense because they map man’s nature more accurately.

    Also we live in a highly aberrational time, and we have regression towards the mean working in our favor over the long run.

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  50. @Anonymous
    The first people to fly were the Chinese, who were building man-carrying kites thousands of years ago. The Wright brothers are a footnote to this.

    Thanks very much for that tidbit, “Man who loved China”. Did these kite-piloting men sign up willingly – just curious?

    The only people who really fly anyway are skydivers, when it comes down to it. Not the BASE jumpers though – they are basically nutcases who fall.

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  51. @Anon
    Maybe BBC can make a biopic and call them Wright Brothas with two black guys. Both homo.

    That would make them…verysmartbrothas. *Removes sunglasses*

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  52. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    There’s a long-term fad in publishing known as the ‘I’m been abused memoirs.’ Publishers aren’t as keen on, ‘I accomplished something memoirs.’ There’s a type of person who feels catharsis when they read an abuse memoir, starting with feeling bad for the author, flying into utter outrage at the injustice of it, and then getting an emotional payoff in the end when you read about the narrator finally taking charge of their life and overcoming abuse. There’s a zillion books out there like that. It’s called the hurt/comfort trope. It’s an entire genre at Fanfiction.net, where it’s part of the drop-down menu.

    Once you have a trained seal audience who keeps quivering like a bowl of neurotic jelly and wanting more of that trope, they spent like crazy to feed it. People hooked on anxiety, outrage, and a feeling of injustice are easy to extract money from. Injustice makes it feel like you’re donating to charity when you buy a book about how badly someone has been mistreated, so it’s not like you’re going out and selfishly buying yourself a milkshake or something like that. It’s good-spent money, not bad-spent money, so doing a lot more of this type of spending is ‘good.’ Publishers have figured out they make megabucks out of these readers, so they keep feeding their tastes.

    Bookbub, which sends out emails for temporarily discounted titles for a lot of major publishers, promotes in their history section what I like to call the ‘Daily Holocaust.’ Yes, they send out emails about a new, discounted Holocaust book or some other type of ‘Jews have been mistreated’ history book practically every single day. It’s usually paired with a non-Holocaust history book, and I have noticed something rather amusing about these two types of books. Quite often the non-Holocaust book will stay discounted for a month or so at a price of around $1.99 to 99 cents, but the Holocaust book always shoots back up to $9.99 exactly 24 hours later, because publishers have figured out that frightened, weeping, high-strung and neurotic Jews will pay full freight once you get their attention and lure them in. Not surprisingly, Bookbub’s biography and memoir section is filled with ‘I’ve been abused books.’

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    • Replies: @Curle
    I remember a period in the 90s when it seemed every third female lit major was writing a memoir about her depression. So much so it briefly became a thing. I think Elizabeth Wurtzel kick started it with Prozac Nation.
    , @Anon
    https://www.amazon.com/House-Rules-Memoir-Rachel-Sontag/dp/0061341223

    http://www.sontaghouserules.com/
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  53. @Achmed E. Newman
    Yep they invented wing-warping, the precursor to ailerons. They understood that you needed to control the machine around 3 axes, which I think was a brand new idea.

    These guys made their own wind-tunnel back in Ohio to test some of the wing shapes. They didn't have engineering degrees (if there was such a thing in 1900), but they worked as engineers, not as silly Mythbusters.

    The book I mentioned in my last comment is not too technical and very readable and interesting. I highly recommend it.

    Orville and Wilbur Wright, The Inventors of the 3-axis Flight Control System, 9 Months before their powered flight at Kitty Hawk

    The names of Orville and Wilbur Wright are synonymous with flight and are best known for being the first to achieve powered flight on December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk North Carolina [1]. Most of us can even visualize the black and white photographs or the sketched images of the Wright Flyer with Orville Wright lying on his stomach at the controls for the 12 second of flight. However what most people outside of the world of aviation do not realize is that nine months prior to the historical day at Kitty Hawk, the Wright Brothers submitted a patent application that would not only be the cornerstone of the technology that would allow them to achieve powered flight, but would be what some historians say is their greatest contribution to manned flight, both past, present, and future.

    On March 23, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent Office for their “Flying Machine” to legally document the theory and application of the 3-axis flight control system. It is important to note that the flying machine in their patent was a glider, and not a “powered” flying machine [2]. However more importantly, contained within the patent for their glider, was the invention of the revolutionary 3-axis flight control system. The 3-axis flight control system documented in the patent finally allowed for the control of pitch, yaw, and the roll of their glider. Pitch allows them to raise or lower the nose of the glider. Yaw allows the glider to turn left and right, and roll allows them to manipulate the level of the wings

    https://historyengine.richmond.edu/episodes/view/5774

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    Pitch allows them to raise or lower the nose of the glider. Yaw allows the glider to turn left and right, and roll allows them to manipulate the level of the wings
     
    Sure as shootin', as soon as this historian starts to write his own words, he fucks it up. Yaw and roll are both part of a turn - that's what others had not understood. "Manipulate the level of the wings"? WTF?

    Pitch - rotation about the transverse axis
    Roll - rotation about the longitudinal axis
    Yaw - rotation about the vertical axis.

    Simple to describe, but the idea that this control was necessary for "coordinated" flight was unknown (or at least unpublished) until Orville and Wilbur Wrights's work.
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  54. “But the Wright brothers aren’t the kind of heroes we like anymore. In our Age of Oprah, rather than Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering. ….”

    Ethical Code #1: Honors to the Strong. Under this code we admire the Wright brothers, skilled surgeons, the airline pilot who lands the disabled plane. This old Roman code is still celebrated in sports, the military, the hard sciences, and conservative politics.

    But, this good code brings an evil in the door with it. Romans were cruel and greedy. For every noble Caesar there were many more Caligulas (think Wall Street today). As a remedy we get…

    Ethical Code #2: Blessed are the weak. The New Testament code puts the brakes on our cruelty. We abolish slavery, give aid to the widows and orphans, improve conditions in our sweatshops.

    But this good code also brings an evil in the door with it, and it’s name is Hillary. Moral sanctimony, hypocricy, and phony victim-hood (bathos instead of pathos). As a remedy we need…

    Ethical Code #3: Reason is the only Virtue. As is often remarked on this blog, the Left’s greatest flaw is their lack of a warm brain. Socrates’ code teaches that Reason isn’t just a skill; it is a moral virtue and we have a duty to practice it.

    The problem with the Left isn’t that they practice Code #2. It’s that they do a really bad job of practicing Code #2. And they can’t reconcile their opinions with the equally important demands of Codes #1 and #3.

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  55. @syonredux
    Orville and Wilbur Wright, The Inventors of the 3-axis Flight Control System, 9 Months before their powered flight at Kitty Hawk

    The names of Orville and Wilbur Wright are synonymous with flight and are best known for being the first to achieve powered flight on December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk North Carolina [1]. Most of us can even visualize the black and white photographs or the sketched images of the Wright Flyer with Orville Wright lying on his stomach at the controls for the 12 second of flight. However what most people outside of the world of aviation do not realize is that nine months prior to the historical day at Kitty Hawk, the Wright Brothers submitted a patent application that would not only be the cornerstone of the technology that would allow them to achieve powered flight, but would be what some historians say is their greatest contribution to manned flight, both past, present, and future.
     

    On March 23, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent Office for their “Flying Machine” to legally document the theory and application of the 3-axis flight control system. It is important to note that the flying machine in their patent was a glider, and not a “powered” flying machine [2]. However more importantly, contained within the patent for their glider, was the invention of the revolutionary 3-axis flight control system. The 3-axis flight control system documented in the patent finally allowed for the control of pitch, yaw, and the roll of their glider. Pitch allows them to raise or lower the nose of the glider. Yaw allows the glider to turn left and right, and roll allows them to manipulate the level of the wings
     
    https://historyengine.richmond.edu/episodes/view/5774

    Pitch allows them to raise or lower the nose of the glider. Yaw allows the glider to turn left and right, and roll allows them to manipulate the level of the wings

    Sure as shootin’, as soon as this historian starts to write his own words, he fucks it up. Yaw and roll are both part of a turn – that’s what others had not understood. “Manipulate the level of the wings”? WTF?

    Pitch – rotation about the transverse axis
    Roll – rotation about the longitudinal axis
    Yaw – rotation about the vertical axis.

    Simple to describe, but the idea that this control was necessary for “coordinated” flight was unknown (or at least unpublished) until Orville and Wilbur Wrights’s work.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The Wrights understood the need for three axis controls, they just didn't do them particularly well, at least until others had shown the way. Actually, you really need only pitch and roll in a perfectly, or even appropriately designed airplane. Yaw (rudder) is really only to compensate for torque and P-factor in propeller aircraft, asymmetric thrust in multiengine airplanes with an engine out, and for aerobatics and crosswind landings.

    The Wrights had horizontal stabilizers in front of, rather than behind the wings, called canards.
    (The idea was revived by Burt and Dick Rutan in the early seventies : I have the same mixed respect for the Rutans as I have for someone who can memorize the phone book, and I told that to Dick to his face once. ) They did not understand what was involved in making such an arrangement stable:

    Flyer stability

    The Flyer was conceived as a control-canard, as the Wrights were more concerned with control than stability. However, it was found to be so highly unstable that it was barely controllable. Following the first flight, ballast was added to the nose to move the center of gravity forward and reduce pitch instability. However the basics of pitch stability of the canard configuration were not understood by the Wright Brothers. F.E.C. Culick stated, "The backward state of the general theory and understanding of flight mechanics hindered them... Indeed, the most serious gap in their knowledge was probably the basic reason for their unwitting mistake in selecting their canard configuration".
     
    (Wikipedia)

    At least six or seven people built fully controllable and dynamically stable airplanes before the Wrights finally did.

    I am not trying to minimize the Wrights' contributions, but to put them in perspective. Like a lot of things, powered heavier than air flight became inevitable once the existing glider was combined with the just-about-existing internal combustion engine light enough to power one along. The Wrights did a lot of valuable work, but Curtiss in the US, Santos-Dumont (a jet setter before jets, or indeed even dirigibles, in Brazil and Europe), Bleriot in France, all were going there at the same time and in some ways better.

    Indeed, in the 1930s, the Baslers built a working steam airplane and a man named Bernie Pietenpol built an airplane that could fly on a junkyard Ford Model A engine, which showed that the idea was inevitable.
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  56. @George
    "Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering"

    Heroes of suffering sounds a bit like Roman Catholic Saints. Is there an end of the dominance of Protestantism and rise of Catholics and Jews aspect to this?

    I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. Stories of Indian attacks also seem to be exaggerated. The theme of victimhood in early America might be an interesting topic. Maybe a stretch but, Melville's characters from Moby Dick and Billy Bud are Heroes of Suffering?

    How does veneration of the 'lost cause' fit into your Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering analysis?

    The Heroes of Suffering theme might have started with the failed post WWII Korean and Vietnam wars and the need to celebrate veterans of lost causes.

    It definitely has a post-Christian aspect to it. Cherry picked Christian doctrines thoroughly marinated in Marxism

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  57. I’ve always been amused by the claim that the Wright brothers weren’t the first to fly because… their takeoff was catapault-assisted.

    So when an F/A-18 takes off from an aircraft carrier, and flies several hundred miles at speeds approaching the speed of sound… it never really flew at all, because it didn’t technically take off fully under its own power?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The X-15 flew Mach 6, but the SR-71 is the far more impressive achievement, despite half the speed. The X-15 had to be dropped from a B-52 at altitude and a flight carried it only within the State of California, about half the way from San Diego to Sacramento. The SR had worldwide range, albeit with multiple aerial refuellings.

    And the F-18 can certainly take off under its own power from a reasonable runway. I wouldn't be surprised if it could deck roll off a carrier if it were light enough and the carrier had enough airspeed over the deck. (Nuclear carriers can do 30 kts into a 30 kt wind: a skilled pilot can thus "hover" a light plane over its deck.)
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  58. @gunner29

    pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.
     
    We had the best music of the last 100 years, but screwed the pooch on just about everything else. It would interesting to observe the next 50 years and see how they deal with what we inflicted on the country....I'll be lucky to see the next 20.

    pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.

    We had the best music of the last 100 years, but screwed the pooch on just about everything else. It would interesting to observe the next 50 years and see how they deal with what we inflicted on the country….I’ll be lucky to see the next 20.

    If you remember the “best music of the last 100 years” when it was played new, I congratulate you on your reaching centenarian status. The main attraction of 1960s music was its diversity; on most other benchmarks the standards slipped, and slipped, and slipped, and slip to this day.

    How you can blame nuclear warfare, AFDC, urban renewal, network television, legal abortion, no-fault divorce, upside-down immigration policy, questionable space exploration, and God knows what else on people who did not come of age until after the 1964 election just goes to show how far educational standards have slipped. Can’t these people count?

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    • Agree: dfordoom
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Not to mention that some of us weren't even born until 1964, and have surprisingly little in common with people born in 1946.

    The Generation This / Generation That thing we have going on is remarkably arbitrary, if you bother to think about it. I could just as well decide to start a generation after Sputnik, or after the Korean War, or after the first man on the moon.
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  59. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    OT: If you look at the California Fire Map, The Thomas fire has formed a complete circle around Ojai going SW down to Lake Casitas. You can’t drive in and out of that area any more, and frankly, it looks like all property in that area, meaning the entire town of Ojai, is screwed. It’s just a matter of time before it burns and anybody left there is going to die if they aren’t evacuated by air.

    http://www.calfire.ca.gov/general/firemaps

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  60. @George
    "Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering"

    Heroes of suffering sounds a bit like Roman Catholic Saints. Is there an end of the dominance of Protestantism and rise of Catholics and Jews aspect to this?

    I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. Stories of Indian attacks also seem to be exaggerated. The theme of victimhood in early America might be an interesting topic. Maybe a stretch but, Melville's characters from Moby Dick and Billy Bud are Heroes of Suffering?

    How does veneration of the 'lost cause' fit into your Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering analysis?

    The Heroes of Suffering theme might have started with the failed post WWII Korean and Vietnam wars and the need to celebrate veterans of lost causes.

    Heroes of suffering sounds a bit like Roman Catholic Saints.

    Catholic saints come in both the accomplishing and suffering flavors. Think of the two patron saint of the missions: Francis Xavier, who made it to India and Japan and to the threshold of China, and Therese Martin, the cloistered nun who died of tuberculosis at the age of 24 in the Carmel at Lisieux.

    Or think of Niels Stensen, the Danish physician convert who made great contributions to anatomy and then basically created modern geology. The last years of his life he spent as a threadbare missionary bishop in northern Germany.

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  61. @the Supreme Gentleman
    Great article, but I think this was premature:

    What is striking to somebody like me, who grew up during the 1960s and 1970s, is the subsequent lack of generational rebellion. Kids these days tend toward intellectual conformism. They trust anyone over 30 who tells them what everybody else is telling them.
     
    Obviously it would have been hard for Steve to realize this in 2010, but there was in fact such a counter-culture emerging on 4chan's imageboards, which is basically where the alt-right came from. I'm surprised that the alt-right is routinely hysterically described by mainstream figures as every kind of -ist and committing every kind of -ism in the book except for "ageism", because pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.

    … pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.

    The definition of “Baby Boomer” is someone whose parents think he’s soft on perversion, while his children call him a “homophobe”, as if it were a real word.

    You can hardly blame such people for ignoring the criticisms of other “generations”.

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  62. @George
    "Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering"

    Heroes of suffering sounds a bit like Roman Catholic Saints. Is there an end of the dominance of Protestantism and rise of Catholics and Jews aspect to this?

    I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. Stories of Indian attacks also seem to be exaggerated. The theme of victimhood in early America might be an interesting topic. Maybe a stretch but, Melville's characters from Moby Dick and Billy Bud are Heroes of Suffering?

    How does veneration of the 'lost cause' fit into your Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering analysis?

    The Heroes of Suffering theme might have started with the failed post WWII Korean and Vietnam wars and the need to celebrate veterans of lost causes.

    “I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. ”

    The Pilgrims were like the Boston Marathon bombing immigrants, total twats in their home country of whom the authorities were glad to be rid of.

    The Virginians brought them here and came to regret the decision. The Thanksgiving story was mostly a post civil war contrivance conceived to invent a new hero story for the replacement overlords to supplant the Virginia story.

    Many of the Pilgrim spawn returned just long enough to cause trouble in the English Civil War and then returned. We would undoubtably be a better country if the Virginian leaders of the colony had denied them passage here from the outset.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Many of the Pilgrim spawn returned just long enough to cause trouble in the English Civil War and then returned.
     
    Think that you are confusing the Pilgrims with the Puritans....
    , @syonredux

    The Thanksgiving story was mostly a post civil war contrivance conceived to invent a new hero story for the replacement overlords to supplant the Virginia story.
     
    Jamestown was bound to lose to Plymouth; New England had the writers (Longfellow, Hawthorne, Lowell, etc), whereas the South was a something of a literary desert (poor Poe had go North to make a kiving).

    We would undoubtably be a better country if the Virginian leaders of the colony had denied them passage here from the outset.
     
    Minus the Puritan migration, the USA would be a sorry thing, nothing more than White trash and Blacks ruled over by a decadent "slavocracy"...
    , @Ximenes
    While we're on the subject, Wilbur and Orville Wright were full-blooded Yankees, i.e., descendants of the Puritans.
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  63. @Anon
    Maybe BBC can make a biopic and call them Wright Brothas with two black guys. Both homo.

    Maybe BBC can make a biopic and call them Wright Brothas with two black guys. Both homo.

    Very good! But with one qualification, The Agenda™ is clear, black men cannot be depicted as homos.

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  64. @newrouter
    I liked this book:


    The Wright Brothers Paperback – May 3, 2016
    by David McCullough

    https://www.amazon.com/Wright-Brothers-David-McCullough/dp/1476728755

    Yes, it’s a well written book from which I learned much, including that Wilbur was on his way to Yale when he assaulted by a schoolmate who would go on to become a notorious serial killer. Wilbur never made it to college, which allowed the brothers to collaborate their entire lives.

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    • Replies: @newrouter
    There is a "moxie" element missing today.
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  65. The mess in Atlanta airport, while the result of a fire, is an excellent example of what a Day Without White Men would be like. Except it would be every airport. And that’s just for starters.

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    • Replies: @Bleuteaux
    These massive systemic failures are a good example of what's to come. Fires burning up half a state, dams collapsing, enormous finance hacks (Equifax), planes disappearing into the Indian ocean without a trace, the re-introduction of 3rd world disease, etc.

    Steve says there aren't enough white people in schools any more. Eventually, there's not going to be enough white people in our entire economic infrastructure to keep up the facade of a functioning society.
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  66. @gunner29

    pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.
     
    We had the best music of the last 100 years, but screwed the pooch on just about everything else. It would interesting to observe the next 50 years and see how they deal with what we inflicted on the country....I'll be lucky to see the next 20.

    Best music of the last 100 years? I don’t think so. Lots of competition there. Maybe start with the blues/jazz product in 20′s and 30′s. Also country music in 40s and 50′s. Anyway, not a whole lot of parameters on which to objectively compare differing eras of music. Best thing baby boomers’ music had going for it was huge advances in electronics and marketing, increases to disposable income for the middle class, and the pill which dissolved traditional barriers to sex and allowed millions of sub-males to taste the conqueror’s share of gratuitous copulation.

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    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    "the pill which dissolved traditional barriers to sex and allowed millions of sub-males to taste the conqueror’s share of gratuitous copulation"

    Something which seems to be reversing or reverting. I was never long without a woman in my youth despite in no way being an alpha male (and five foot seven to boot). My six-foot-plus sons are better looking than I ever was, yet don't seem to be reaping the rewards in the quantity I'd expect (they may just be keeping quiet though, I certainly didn't tell my folks everything).

    I think there was probably a lot of "I can do it, so I will do it" around in those first post-Pill years.

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  67. @Achmed E. Newman
    J, Amelia Earhart didn't even navigate, which is a major part of this type of accomplishment. She didn't trust her navigator upon landfall over Africa (after the long leg from NE Brazil), so she turned down the coast opposite from what he reckoned, and luckily they had enough fuel to do a 180 and get to the field they intended to fly to. I'm not saying they would have died, but they'd have landed somewhere, possibly broke the plane, and ruined the mission.

    Granted, the navigator was a drunkard, so, I dunno whose fault it was that they missed the Pacific Island they needed to find on that fateful leg out of the Orient.

    Now, Lindbergh, in contrast, had been up 24 hours before he even started his solo flight (his own fault, but he was doing last-minute promotion of the feat) He fought sleep like a demon more than any other obstacle on the trip. Have you ever been driving when you know you should have pulled over hours back? You end up sticking your head out the window, shouting at yourself, whatever to stay awake, even after a Coke. Lindbergh couldn't pull over, and he had to stay out of the icing conditions in the clouds (well, those planes couldn't be flown on instruments anyway) sometimes by getting down to 100 ft or so. That meant he had to be extra vigilant not to hit the water.

    There's no comparison between the skills of Lindbergh's and Earhart's feats- her's was just a typical affirmative action stunt, albeit a few decades ahead of its time.

    “There’s no comparison between the skills of Lindbergh’s and Earhart’s ”

    Sure, but he defended intolerant European men and she kinda looks like a lezzie so under the rules of the current year she wins.

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  68. @J1234
    A great article, thanks for reposting. I wouldn't be surprised if Charles Lindbergh isn't in that history book, either. When my kids were in the fourth grade, I asked them who Lindbergh was, and they didn't know. They'd never heard of him. They both knew who Amelia Earhart was, however, ad nauseam.

    To say I was upset would be an understatement. It wasn't just that the accomplishments of Lindbergh were being overlooked, it was that his truly unique status among American heroes was being ignored by school history books. Nobody could touch him - not Jim Thorpe, not George Washington Carver, not Amelia Earhart...not even the great Babe Ruth. I even had to remind my liberal college professor wife that Amelia Earhart, as courageous as she was, was largely remembered during her era for her tragic failure, whereas Lindbergh was remembered for his brilliant and triumphant accomplishment.

    So, to revisit my childrens' progress in 20th century American history (after reading this article) I just asked my son - now a high school sophomore who gets straight A's - "Do you know Lindbergh was?"

    "Who?" he asked.

    "Charles Lindbergh," I said.

    He repeated the name slowly (and incorrectly) and shook his head. Seems he'd forgotten what I'd taught him in the fourth grade. "Do you know who Amelia Earhart was?" I asked.

    "Oh, sure I do." he smiled. "Wait...wasn't Lindbergh the one who first crossed the Atlantic non-stop in a plane?" He hadn't forgotten after all.

    "That's right. Did they ever talk about him in school?"

    "No," he said. He'd only heard about him from me. We did see the Spirit of St. Louis at the Smithsonian while in DC this past summer, but I'm guessing they'll take that down before long.

    Agreed. That pisses me off. Every kid should know the 12 men who walked on the moon as well. I bet only 20% know Armstrong. And why don’t they teach about Congressional Medal of Honor winners etc. .

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    • Replies: @Ximenes

    "Every kid should know the 12 men who walked on the moon as well. I bet only 20% know Armstrong."
     
    Be careful what you wish for. We know the Wright brothers flew. That 12 men walked on the moon, not so much.
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  69. @Anon
    There's a long-term fad in publishing known as the 'I'm been abused memoirs.' Publishers aren't as keen on, 'I accomplished something memoirs.' There's a type of person who feels catharsis when they read an abuse memoir, starting with feeling bad for the author, flying into utter outrage at the injustice of it, and then getting an emotional payoff in the end when you read about the narrator finally taking charge of their life and overcoming abuse. There's a zillion books out there like that. It's called the hurt/comfort trope. It's an entire genre at Fanfiction.net, where it's part of the drop-down menu.

    Once you have a trained seal audience who keeps quivering like a bowl of neurotic jelly and wanting more of that trope, they spent like crazy to feed it. People hooked on anxiety, outrage, and a feeling of injustice are easy to extract money from. Injustice makes it feel like you're donating to charity when you buy a book about how badly someone has been mistreated, so it's not like you're going out and selfishly buying yourself a milkshake or something like that. It's good-spent money, not bad-spent money, so doing a lot more of this type of spending is 'good.' Publishers have figured out they make megabucks out of these readers, so they keep feeding their tastes.

    Bookbub, which sends out emails for temporarily discounted titles for a lot of major publishers, promotes in their history section what I like to call the 'Daily Holocaust.' Yes, they send out emails about a new, discounted Holocaust book or some other type of 'Jews have been mistreated' history book practically every single day. It's usually paired with a non-Holocaust history book, and I have noticed something rather amusing about these two types of books. Quite often the non-Holocaust book will stay discounted for a month or so at a price of around $1.99 to 99 cents, but the Holocaust book always shoots back up to $9.99 exactly 24 hours later, because publishers have figured out that frightened, weeping, high-strung and neurotic Jews will pay full freight once you get their attention and lure them in. Not surprisingly, Bookbub's biography and memoir section is filled with 'I've been abused books.'

    I remember a period in the 90s when it seemed every third female lit major was writing a memoir about her depression. So much so it briefly became a thing. I think Elizabeth Wurtzel kick started it with Prozac Nation.

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    • Replies: @Hunsdon
    Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar?
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  70. @Curle
    “I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. ”

    The Pilgrims were like the Boston Marathon bombing immigrants, total twats in their home country of whom the authorities were glad to be rid of.

    The Virginians brought them here and came to regret the decision. The Thanksgiving story was mostly a post civil war contrivance conceived to invent a new hero story for the replacement overlords to supplant the Virginia story.

    Many of the Pilgrim spawn returned just long enough to cause trouble in the English Civil War and then returned. We would undoubtably be a better country if the Virginian leaders of the colony had denied them passage here from the outset.

    Many of the Pilgrim spawn returned just long enough to cause trouble in the English Civil War and then returned.

    Think that you are confusing the Pilgrims with the Puritans….

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    • Replies: @Curle
    The Pilgrims were Puritans and historian Edmond Morgan describes the period of the English Civil War as one where there was extensive back and forth traffic by the Puritan residents of Mass/Plymouth and England as they volunteered in Cromwell’s New Model Army and were later supporters of his regime. Virginia stayed loyal to the crown.

    Read or watch a performance of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night sometime to get a sense of how these people were regarded. Malvolio, the goat of the play, is a Puritan.
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  71. @Percy Gryce
    Yes, it's a well written book from which I learned much, including that Wilbur was on his way to Yale when he assaulted by a schoolmate who would go on to become a notorious serial killer. Wilbur never made it to college, which allowed the brothers to collaborate their entire lives.

    There is a “moxie” element missing today.

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  72. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Pitch allows them to raise or lower the nose of the glider. Yaw allows the glider to turn left and right, and roll allows them to manipulate the level of the wings
     
    Sure as shootin', as soon as this historian starts to write his own words, he fucks it up. Yaw and roll are both part of a turn - that's what others had not understood. "Manipulate the level of the wings"? WTF?

    Pitch - rotation about the transverse axis
    Roll - rotation about the longitudinal axis
    Yaw - rotation about the vertical axis.

    Simple to describe, but the idea that this control was necessary for "coordinated" flight was unknown (or at least unpublished) until Orville and Wilbur Wrights's work.

    The Wrights understood the need for three axis controls, they just didn’t do them particularly well, at least until others had shown the way. Actually, you really need only pitch and roll in a perfectly, or even appropriately designed airplane. Yaw (rudder) is really only to compensate for torque and P-factor in propeller aircraft, asymmetric thrust in multiengine airplanes with an engine out, and for aerobatics and crosswind landings.

    The Wrights had horizontal stabilizers in front of, rather than behind the wings, called canards.
    (The idea was revived by Burt and Dick Rutan in the early seventies : I have the same mixed respect for the Rutans as I have for someone who can memorize the phone book, and I told that to Dick to his face once. ) They did not understand what was involved in making such an arrangement stable:

    Flyer stability

    The Flyer was conceived as a control-canard, as the Wrights were more concerned with control than stability. However, it was found to be so highly unstable that it was barely controllable. Following the first flight, ballast was added to the nose to move the center of gravity forward and reduce pitch instability. However the basics of pitch stability of the canard configuration were not understood by the Wright Brothers. F.E.C. Culick stated, “The backward state of the general theory and understanding of flight mechanics hindered them… Indeed, the most serious gap in their knowledge was probably the basic reason for their unwitting mistake in selecting their canard configuration”.

    (Wikipedia)

    At least six or seven people built fully controllable and dynamically stable airplanes before the Wrights finally did.

    I am not trying to minimize the Wrights’ contributions, but to put them in perspective. Like a lot of things, powered heavier than air flight became inevitable once the existing glider was combined with the just-about-existing internal combustion engine light enough to power one along. The Wrights did a lot of valuable work, but Curtiss in the US, Santos-Dumont (a jet setter before jets, or indeed even dirigibles, in Brazil and Europe), Bleriot in France, all were going there at the same time and in some ways better.

    Indeed, in the 1930s, the Baslers built a working steam airplane and a man named Bernie Pietenpol built an airplane that could fly on a junkyard Ford Model A engine, which showed that the idea was inevitable.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    I am not trying to minimize the Wrights’ contributions, but to put them in perspective. Like a lot of things, powered heavier than air flight became inevitable once the existing glider was combined with the just-about-existing internal combustion engine light enough to power one along. The Wrights did a lot of valuable work, but Curtiss in the US, Santos-Dumont (a jet setter before jets, or indeed even dirigibles, in Brazil and Europe), Bleriot in France, all were going there at the same time and in some ways better.
     
    True of a lot of things in technology. For example, the steamboat was independently developed in the 1780s in three separate countries: France (Jouffroy d'Abbans), USA (John Fitch), and Scotland (William Symington). And then there's the telegraph, independently developed in England (Wheatstone) and the USA (Morse and Vail)in the 1830s.
    , @syonredux

    At least six or seven people built fully controllable and dynamically stable airplanes before the Wrights finally did.
     
    Who were they? If such aeroplanes existed before the Wrights, why were the Wrights feted in France?:

    Facing much skepticism in the French aeronautical community and outright scorn by some newspapers that called him a "bluffeur", Wilbur began official public demonstrations on August 8, 1908 at the Hunaudières horse racing track near the town of Le Mans, France. His first flight lasted only one minute 45 seconds, but his ability to effortlessly make banking turns and fly a circle amazed and stunned onlookers, including several pioneer French aviators, among them Louis Blériot. In the following days, Wilbur made a series of technically challenging flights, including figure-eights, demonstrating his skills as a pilot and the capability of his flying machine, which far surpassed those of all other pioneering aircraft and pilots of the day.[103][104]

    The French public was thrilled by Wilbur's feats and flocked to the field by the thousands, and the Wright brothers instantly became world-famous. Former doubters issued apologies and effusive praise. L'Aérophile editor Georges Besançon wrote that the flights "have completely dissipated all doubts. Not one of the former detractors of the Wrights dare question, today, the previous experiments of the men who were truly the first to fly ..."[105] Leading French aviation promoter Ernest Archdeacon wrote, "For a long time, the Wright brothers have been accused in Europe of bluff ... They are today hallowed in France, and I feel an intense pleasure ... to make amends.
     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_brothers#Public_showing
    , @Achmed E. Newman

    Yaw (rudder) is really only to compensate for torque and P-factor in propeller aircraft, asymmetric thrust in multiengine airplanes with an engine out, and for aerobatics and crosswind landings.
     
    You are thinking of the fact that rudder (right in US-built a/c with rh-turning engines for P-factor) is required on takeoff. Rudder is required in every turn for coordinated flight, meaning no slipping (side movement towards inside of the turn) or skidding (side movement toward outside of a turn). Granted, swept-wing jets don't need much rudder input by the pilots assumimg engines all engines running smoothly - they have a yaw damper anyway, require for control of Dutch-roll tendencies.

    Yes, indeed the Wright's flyers were canard designs. That alone does not make them unstable. Pitch instability results when the center of lift is forward of the center of mass. That was probably what the Wrights did not understand (very simple to understand AFTER realizing the simple physics).The canard design is more efficient, and with the low airspeed from an 18 Hp engine, or whatever the first ones were, you need an efficient design. The canard uses positive (up) lift to keep the wing from pitching the plane nose-down, while a normal aft hor. stabilizer provides negative (dowm) lift for the same reason, which subtracts from total lift.

    As far as the history, read McCollough's book. I don't think what he wrote is in dispute.
    , @John Mansfield
    It is notable how close in time, even overlapping, were the developments of the airplane and of the automobile. It suggests that the key enabling technology that both were waiting for was the gasoline IC engine.
    , @Jack D
    Flight is all about power to weight ratio. Someone else in this thread said that you could get a refrigerator to fly if you had enough power. This is an exaggeration for emphasis and not literally true, but you get the idea. 40 HP, the amount of power that a Ford Model A engine has, doesn't seem like much, until you hear that the Wright Bros. only had 12 HP to work with. Having 3x the power available to you solves a lot of problems.

    Also, later builders benefited from having the basic dynamics of flight well worked out for them. By the 1930s, Pietnelpol could go to a library and learn enough about aircraft design to build a working aircraft. But when the Wrights went to a library, that shelf was empty - THEY had to write the book before they could even begin.
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  73. @George
    "Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering"

    Heroes of suffering sounds a bit like Roman Catholic Saints. Is there an end of the dominance of Protestantism and rise of Catholics and Jews aspect to this?

    I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. Stories of Indian attacks also seem to be exaggerated. The theme of victimhood in early America might be an interesting topic. Maybe a stretch but, Melville's characters from Moby Dick and Billy Bud are Heroes of Suffering?

    How does veneration of the 'lost cause' fit into your Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering analysis?

    The Heroes of Suffering theme might have started with the failed post WWII Korean and Vietnam wars and the need to celebrate veterans of lost causes.

    I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated.

    For the Pilgrims, it was more a matter of not wanting to see their children get “Dutchified” in the Netherlands.

    Stories of Indian attacks also seem to be exaggerated.

    Dunno. Some of the Indian Wars were pretty vicious. Take, say, King Philip’s War:

    The war was the single greatest calamity to occur in seventeenth century Puritan New England and is considered by many to be the deadliest war in the history of European settlement in North America in proportion to the population.[5] In the space of little more than a year, twelve of the region’s towns were destroyed and many more damaged, the colony’s economy was all but ruined, and its population was decimated, losing one-tenth of all men available for military service.[6]:656 [7] More than half of New England’s towns were attacked by Indians

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Philip%27s_War

    The theme of victimhood in early America might be an interesting topic. Maybe a stretch but, Melville’s characters from Moby Dick and Billy Bud are Heroes of Suffering?

    Billy Bud, perhaps. He has Christ-like qualities. Not Ahab, though;he has too much of Lucifer in his makeup:

    Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.

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  74. @advancedatheist
    On the other hand, these days we see a lot of positive propaganda about Silicon Valley innovators, except perhaps for the crimethinking Peter Thiel.

    Zuck was on the (s)hit list because of Russia, but seems to have escaped due to the sexual harassment scandal.

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  75. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Taco
    I’ve always been amused by the claim that the Wright brothers weren’t the first to fly because... their takeoff was catapault-assisted.

    So when an F/A-18 takes off from an aircraft carrier, and flies several hundred miles at speeds approaching the speed of sound... it never really flew at all, because it didn’t technically take off fully under its own power?

    The X-15 flew Mach 6, but the SR-71 is the far more impressive achievement, despite half the speed. The X-15 had to be dropped from a B-52 at altitude and a flight carried it only within the State of California, about half the way from San Diego to Sacramento. The SR had worldwide range, albeit with multiple aerial refuellings.

    And the F-18 can certainly take off under its own power from a reasonable runway. I wouldn’t be surprised if it could deck roll off a carrier if it were light enough and the carrier had enough airspeed over the deck. (Nuclear carriers can do 30 kts into a 30 kt wind: a skilled pilot can thus “hover” a light plane over its deck.)

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  76. @Curle
    “I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. ”

    The Pilgrims were like the Boston Marathon bombing immigrants, total twats in their home country of whom the authorities were glad to be rid of.

    The Virginians brought them here and came to regret the decision. The Thanksgiving story was mostly a post civil war contrivance conceived to invent a new hero story for the replacement overlords to supplant the Virginia story.

    Many of the Pilgrim spawn returned just long enough to cause trouble in the English Civil War and then returned. We would undoubtably be a better country if the Virginian leaders of the colony had denied them passage here from the outset.

    The Thanksgiving story was mostly a post civil war contrivance conceived to invent a new hero story for the replacement overlords to supplant the Virginia story.

    Jamestown was bound to lose to Plymouth; New England had the writers (Longfellow, Hawthorne, Lowell, etc), whereas the South was a something of a literary desert (poor Poe had go North to make a kiving).

    We would undoubtably be a better country if the Virginian leaders of the colony had denied them passage here from the outset.

    Minus the Puritan migration, the USA would be a sorry thing, nothing more than White trash and Blacks ruled over by a decadent “slavocracy”…

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    • Replies: @Curle
    “Jamestown was bound to lose to Plymouth”

    Virginia was nearly twice the population of Massachusetts at the Revolution and of considerably greater importance and interest to the British government. There is no point in time under British rule where Massachusetts could be characterized as more significant than Virginia. It was, and remained for some time, primarily a dumping ground for undesirables. An early version of Australia.
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  77. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman
    Nope, that is complete bull. Alberto Dumont flew around Paris in the very late 1890's in a controllable, powered, dirigible. It did not use wings to fly, though he dabbled in winged flight later. He was this man-about-town in Paris who would land his dangerous contraption (fuel tank pretty close to a bag of hydrogen!) in horse-carriage parking spots and go into the bars. Cool stuff, as I learned in a big about the man, but it was not going anywhere.

    The catapult-launched planes were the Glenn Curtis ones, in competition with the Wrights. Curtis did not learn enough about aircraft control to compete and had a major crash early on ( one of the Wrights had a major crash... I hate that I can't remember the detail of which brother ... in France I'm pretty sure. It wasn't a set-back for the flying, but it was as set-back to his health, for sure.)

    Now, the French had reasons to crow about aviation later on, as they made big gains during the 2nd decade of the 20th century in aviation. This explains why most of the airframe parts are French words - aileron, fuselage, empennage (the tail assembly), etc.

    Curtiss used a catapult, as I recall, to launch a reworked Langley design built before the turn of the century to invalidate Wright patent claims. He also had a very different control system than the standard aircraft. But he was flying off wheels by 1907 or 1908 as I recall.
    He was also a bicycle maker and a motorcycle maker and his engines were an outgrowth of that. Curtiss and Wright later merged to form Curtiss-Wright, the engine manufacturer that played second fiddle to P&W throughout the radial years and early gas turbines. Now they make ruggedized embeddable computer systems.

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    • Replies: @newrouter
    Go ahead dismiss the "narrative" .
    , @syonredux

    Curtiss used a catapult, as I recall, to launch a reworked Langley design built before the turn of the century to invalidate Wright patent claims.

     

    Pretty extensively reworked:

    But the government makes an interesting bedfellow. Charles Walcott, a long-time friend of Langley's who'd been influential in funding his work, was made director of the Smithsonian Institution in 1906 -- the same year Langley died. He immediately set up a Langley medal, a Langley Aero Lab, a Langley memorial. And then, in 1914, he funded Glenn Curtiss, who'd been involved in a bitter patent dispute with the Wrights, to reconstruct the Langley machine and show that it really could fly.

    Curtiss went to work, strengthening the structure, adding controls, reshaping it aerodynamically, relocating the center of gravity -- in short, making it airworthy. In 1914 he flew it for 150 feet, and then he went back and replaced the old motor as well. On the basis of Curtiss's reconstruction, the Smithsonian honored Langley for having built the first successful flying machine.
     
    https://www.uh.edu/engines/epi32.htm
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  78. @Anon
    Maybe BBC can make a biopic and call them Wright Brothas with two black guys. Both homo.

    Maybe BBC can make a biopic and call them Wright Brothas with two black guys. Both homo.

    Directed by the Wachowskis!

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  79. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @J1234
    A great article, thanks for reposting. I wouldn't be surprised if Charles Lindbergh isn't in that history book, either. When my kids were in the fourth grade, I asked them who Lindbergh was, and they didn't know. They'd never heard of him. They both knew who Amelia Earhart was, however, ad nauseam.

    To say I was upset would be an understatement. It wasn't just that the accomplishments of Lindbergh were being overlooked, it was that his truly unique status among American heroes was being ignored by school history books. Nobody could touch him - not Jim Thorpe, not George Washington Carver, not Amelia Earhart...not even the great Babe Ruth. I even had to remind my liberal college professor wife that Amelia Earhart, as courageous as she was, was largely remembered during her era for her tragic failure, whereas Lindbergh was remembered for his brilliant and triumphant accomplishment.

    So, to revisit my childrens' progress in 20th century American history (after reading this article) I just asked my son - now a high school sophomore who gets straight A's - "Do you know Lindbergh was?"

    "Who?" he asked.

    "Charles Lindbergh," I said.

    He repeated the name slowly (and incorrectly) and shook his head. Seems he'd forgotten what I'd taught him in the fourth grade. "Do you know who Amelia Earhart was?" I asked.

    "Oh, sure I do." he smiled. "Wait...wasn't Lindbergh the one who first crossed the Atlantic non-stop in a plane?" He hadn't forgotten after all.

    "That's right. Did they ever talk about him in school?"

    "No," he said. He'd only heard about him from me. We did see the Spirit of St. Louis at the Smithsonian while in DC this past summer, but I'm guessing they'll take that down before long.

    Lindbergh was a fine aviator and an intelligent and decent, responsible man but he was not the first to cross the Atlantic, and he did not invent anything to do with his flight. He was the first to meet the conditions of the Orteig Prize:

    The Orteig Prize was a $25,000 reward ($342,000 as of 2015)[2] offered on May 22, 1919, by New York hotel owner Raymond Orteig to the first allied aviator(s) to fly non-stop from New York City to Paris or vice versa.[1] The offer was in the spirit of several similar aviation prize offers, and was made in a letter to Alan Ramsay Hawley, president of the Aero Club of America at the behest of Aero Club secretary Augustus Post.

    Gentlemen: As a stimulus to the courageous aviators, I desire to offer, through the auspices and regulations of the Aero Club of America, a prize of $25,000 to the first aviator of any Allied Country crossing the Atlantic in one flight, from Paris to New York or New York to Paris, all other details in your care.

    Yours very sincerely,

    Raymond Orteig[3]

    The Aero Club replied on May 26 with Orteig confirming his offer three days later. His offer was accepted by the Aero Club and Augustus Post set up a formal structure to administer the competition.

    Coincidentally, just a few weeks later Alcock and Brown successfully completed the first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic from Newfoundland to Ireland, winning an earlier prize offer, and in late June the British airship R34 made an east-west crossing from East Fortune, Scotland, to Long Island, New York, returning by the same route in early July.

    On offer for five years, the goal of the prize seemed beyond the capacity of aircraft of the time and the prize attracted no competitors. After its original term had expired Orteig reissued the prize on June 1, 1925 by depositing $25,000 in negotiable securities at the Bryant Bank with the awarding put under the control of a seven-member board of trustees.[4] By then the state of aviation technology had advanced to the point that numerous competitors vied for the prize.

    That he was able to secure funding to have the Ryan NYP custom built and that he was able to fly the 30+ hour mission solo were huge achievements. But he was not an engineer or a discoverer of any new principles.

    His mission was much more impressive than anything Earhart actually did: although from all accounts she was a competent flier.

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    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    Anonymous:

    Because of his politics the Roosevelt administration denied Lindbergh a commission to serve in WWII.

    I believe he circumvented this by serving as a consultant and discovered a serious flaw in the performance of the Japanese Zero plane which proved of great value to the war effort.
    , @J1234

    Lindbergh was a fine aviator and an intelligent and decent, responsible man but he was not the first to cross the Atlantic, and he did not invent anything to do with his flight.
     
    Good point, but to be fair, remember that the Wright brothers weren't really the first to fly. Gustave Whitehead may have flown earlier, and Otto Lilienthal flew almost as far without an engine as the Wrights did with one (and before they did.) What Lindbergh and the Wrights did was meet some criteria that had somehow become the standard for all attempting to achieve a particular goal in aviation.

    The point of all of this is the historical significance and social impact that the Wrights and Lindbergh had on the world back when they succeeded in their efforts, and that modern historians are trying to ignore that significance. Columbus wasn't the first to discover the New World, but his achievement nevertheless had a profound impact. Schoolbook historians try to give children the impression that Chinese explorers who may have landed on the continent earlier were just as significant as Columbus, which is a lie.

    Amelia Earhart was a brave soul, but she's lifted up as the preeminent flyer of her time by some historians who write schoolbooks because she was a courageous woman, not because she's the best symbol of progress in aviation.

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  80. @syonredux

    Many of the Pilgrim spawn returned just long enough to cause trouble in the English Civil War and then returned.
     
    Think that you are confusing the Pilgrims with the Puritans....

    The Pilgrims were Puritans and historian Edmond Morgan describes the period of the English Civil War as one where there was extensive back and forth traffic by the Puritan residents of Mass/Plymouth and England as they volunteered in Cromwell’s New Model Army and were later supporters of his regime. Virginia stayed loyal to the crown.

    Read or watch a performance of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night sometime to get a sense of how these people were regarded. Malvolio, the goat of the play, is a Puritan.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Some comment from Revilo P. Oliver:

    The advertisement goes on to assure us that

    'The Geneva Bible was the Bible of choice for William Shakespeare and John Milton. The 1599 edition was the Bible the Pilgrims were holding when they stepped on Plymouth Rock. ... This Bible [is] the foundation stone upon which our Christian American Republic was laid.'

    Welladay! Christians are incorrigible, so we must note that Shakespeare (whether he was the actor or the Earl of Oxford), like Webster, whose opinion I indicated above, and everyone connected with the theatre, detested the Puritans and all their works, since attending theatrical performances was high on those fanatics' list of deadly sins for which Yahweh ordained drastic punishment. I do not recall having read anything in which Milton expresses an opinion about translations of the Bible, but he was a Puritan. The Pilgrims probably did have a copy of the Geneva Bible, which was extremely popular in England, where it was proscribed by law and possession of a copy was sometimes treated as a felony. Many of the founders of the United States (e.g., George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin--assuming that he was not really an atheist) were Deists; many more were, at least nominally, Anglicans, who would have spurned the Puritans' seditious version of their holy book; and even many of the influential descendants of the Puritans in New England (e.g., John Adams) had abandoned Calvinism. The American Republic, which lasted until 1861, was based on political abstention from every variety of religion.

    The Geneva Bible is an English version made by William Whittington (5) and two of his friends, Puritans who, perhaps resisting a temptation to become glorious martyrs at an early age, hied themselves to Geneva, perceiving that the climate in England was not healthful for them during the reign of Queen Mary. Their translation of the "Old Testament" was based on the English version approved by King Henry VIII (often called the 'Great Bible' or 'Cranmer's Bible'), revised with the aid of three Latin translations, especially that by Sebastian Münster (1534), and Calvinistic ideas; the "New Testament" was Tyndale's version, revised with the aid of Beza's Latin translation (1542). (6) It is unlikely that there was any real consultation of Hebrew and Greek texts. Calvin doubtless approved the Geneva Bible, although he could not have read it. Its strident Calvinism depends largely on the marginal annotations, many of which were translated from Calvin's writings.


    (footnote 6. This translation has the great merit of being in decent Latin that can be read without discomfort. I obtained my copy, dated 1949, from the British Bible Society, which, when I last heard, was keeping that edition in print. Beza was a learned man, but nevertheless so godly that he believed that all vile heretics (i.e., everyone who was not a Calvinist) should be burned at the stake to prevent them from leading others to eternal damnation; when he succeeded Calvin in Geneva, however, he relaxed some of the rigors of theocratic despotism. He presented one of the most important Biblical manuscripts, the famous Codex Bezae, to Cambridge University, giving a disingenuous and perhaps mendacious account of how it had come into his possession.)

    There are innumerable English translations of the Bible, but in all of them the stories are essentially the same, differing only in diction and in details that concern only theologians who use them to whet their own axes. The Bible is not like another famous story-book, usually called the Arabian Nights, of which the four commonly used English translations differ enormously in content.
     
    http://www.revilo-oliver.com/rpo/calvin.htm
    , @syonredux

    The Pilgrims were Puritans
     
    Not quite. The Pilgrims were more interested in getting away from the Church of England. The Puritans, in contrast, wanted to purify it. Different states of mind, dear fellow.

    historian Edmond Morgan describes the period of the English Civil War as one where there was extensive back and forth traffic by the Puritan residents of Mass/Plymouth and England as they volunteered in Cromwell’s New Model Army and were later supporters of his regime.
     
    Again, most of the back-and-forth stuff was done by Puritans from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, people like Sir Henry Vane ( a supporter of Anne Hutchinson), Increase Mather, etc

    Virginia stayed loyal to the crown.

     

    Well, they did bend the knee to Cromwell in 1652....

    Read or watch a performance of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night sometime to get a sense of how these people were regarded. Malvolio, the goat of the play, is a Puritan.
     
    Yes, I've read it several times.
    , @Rosamond Vincy
    "Measure for Measure" also goes after Puritan hypocrisy.
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  81. @syonredux

    The Thanksgiving story was mostly a post civil war contrivance conceived to invent a new hero story for the replacement overlords to supplant the Virginia story.
     
    Jamestown was bound to lose to Plymouth; New England had the writers (Longfellow, Hawthorne, Lowell, etc), whereas the South was a something of a literary desert (poor Poe had go North to make a kiving).

    We would undoubtably be a better country if the Virginian leaders of the colony had denied them passage here from the outset.
     
    Minus the Puritan migration, the USA would be a sorry thing, nothing more than White trash and Blacks ruled over by a decadent "slavocracy"...

    “Jamestown was bound to lose to Plymouth”

    Virginia was nearly twice the population of Massachusetts at the Revolution and of considerably greater importance and interest to the British government. There is no point in time under British rule where Massachusetts could be characterized as more significant than Virginia. It was, and remained for some time, primarily a dumping ground for undesirables. An early version of Australia.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    “Jamestown was bound to lose to Plymouth”

    Virginia was nearly twice the population of Massachusetts at the Revolution
     

    Let's see, total populations for both MA and VA in 1780, both White and Black:

    Virginia: White, 317,422 Black, 220,582

    Massachusetts: White, 263,805 Black, 4,822

    Virginia: White percentage, 59.0 Black, 41.0

    Massachusetts: White percentage, 98.2 Black percentage, 1.8

    https://userpages.umbc.edu/~bouton/History407/SlaveStats.htm

    So, yes, dear fellow, it's roughly double, but only if you count the Blacks....

    Frankly, I would much rather live in a state that was only 1.8 % Black, as opposed to Virginia's 41% Black....


    and of considerably greater importance and interest to the British government. There is no point in time under British rule where Massachusetts could be characterized as more significant than Virginia

     

    Very short-sighted of them.....

    It was, and remained for some time, primarily a dumping ground for undesirables. An early version of Australia.

     
    Dunno. The Puritan Great Migration was self-organized....so not much dumping there.And the population was largely middle-class and literate.... Virginia, in contrast, had large numbers of debtors and the illiterate rural poor...not to mention all those slaves...
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Not part of the same argument here, but the colony Georgia was America's Australia.
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  82. @Anonymous
    Curtiss used a catapult, as I recall, to launch a reworked Langley design built before the turn of the century to invalidate Wright patent claims. He also had a very different control system than the standard aircraft. But he was flying off wheels by 1907 or 1908 as I recall.
    He was also a bicycle maker and a motorcycle maker and his engines were an outgrowth of that. Curtiss and Wright later merged to form Curtiss-Wright, the engine manufacturer that played second fiddle to P&W throughout the radial years and early gas turbines. Now they make ruggedized embeddable computer systems.

    Go ahead dismiss the “narrative” .

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  83. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Curle
    The Pilgrims were Puritans and historian Edmond Morgan describes the period of the English Civil War as one where there was extensive back and forth traffic by the Puritan residents of Mass/Plymouth and England as they volunteered in Cromwell’s New Model Army and were later supporters of his regime. Virginia stayed loyal to the crown.

    Read or watch a performance of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night sometime to get a sense of how these people were regarded. Malvolio, the goat of the play, is a Puritan.

    Some comment from Revilo P. Oliver:

    The advertisement goes on to assure us that

    ‘The Geneva Bible was the Bible of choice for William Shakespeare and John Milton. The 1599 edition was the Bible the Pilgrims were holding when they stepped on Plymouth Rock. … This Bible [is] the foundation stone upon which our Christian American Republic was laid.’

    Welladay! Christians are incorrigible, so we must note that Shakespeare (whether he was the actor or the Earl of Oxford), like Webster, whose opinion I indicated above, and everyone connected with the theatre, detested the Puritans and all their works, since attending theatrical performances was high on those fanatics’ list of deadly sins for which Yahweh ordained drastic punishment. I do not recall having read anything in which Milton expresses an opinion about translations of the Bible, but he was a Puritan. The Pilgrims probably did have a copy of the Geneva Bible, which was extremely popular in England, where it was proscribed by law and possession of a copy was sometimes treated as a felony. Many of the founders of the United States (e.g., George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin–assuming that he was not really an atheist) were Deists; many more were, at least nominally, Anglicans, who would have spurned the Puritans’ seditious version of their holy book; and even many of the influential descendants of the Puritans in New England (e.g., John Adams) had abandoned Calvinism. The American Republic, which lasted until 1861, was based on political abstention from every variety of religion.

    The Geneva Bible is an English version made by William Whittington (5) and two of his friends, Puritans who, perhaps resisting a temptation to become glorious martyrs at an early age, hied themselves to Geneva, perceiving that the climate in England was not healthful for them during the reign of Queen Mary. Their translation of the “Old Testament” was based on the English version approved by King Henry VIII (often called the ‘Great Bible’ or ‘Cranmer’s Bible’), revised with the aid of three Latin translations, especially that by Sebastian Münster (1534), and Calvinistic ideas; the “New Testament” was Tyndale’s version, revised with the aid of Beza’s Latin translation (1542). (6) It is unlikely that there was any real consultation of Hebrew and Greek texts. Calvin doubtless approved the Geneva Bible, although he could not have read it. Its strident Calvinism depends largely on the marginal annotations, many of which were translated from Calvin’s writings.

    (footnote 6. This translation has the great merit of being in decent Latin that can be read without discomfort. I obtained my copy, dated 1949, from the British Bible Society, which, when I last heard, was keeping that edition in print. Beza was a learned man, but nevertheless so godly that he believed that all vile heretics (i.e., everyone who was not a Calvinist) should be burned at the stake to prevent them from leading others to eternal damnation; when he succeeded Calvin in Geneva, however, he relaxed some of the rigors of theocratic despotism. He presented one of the most important Biblical manuscripts, the famous Codex Bezae, to Cambridge University, giving a disingenuous and perhaps mendacious account of how it had come into his possession.)

    There are innumerable English translations of the Bible, but in all of them the stories are essentially the same, differing only in diction and in details that concern only theologians who use them to whet their own axes. The Bible is not like another famous story-book, usually called the Arabian Nights, of which the four commonly used English translations differ enormously in content.

    http://www.revilo-oliver.com/rpo/calvin.htm

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  84. @Anonymous
    This is a good laugh too:

    https://medium.com/the-long-now-foundation/books-library-civilization-future-knowledge-3a8f750d6b86


    What Books Would You Choose to Restart Civilization?
    Long Now’s crowd-curated Manual For Civilization library fits within a long tradition of projects to gather essential books and democratize human knowledge for future generations
    ...
    24 Selections

    1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann.
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.
    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
    Beloved by Toni Morrison.
    Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary America by Stephen J. Pyne.
    The Collected Erotica: An Illustrated Celebration of Human Sexuality Through the Ages by Charlotte Hill and William Wallace.
    ...
     

    God, I hope that’s not a representative sample. I would think that the appropriate mix of literature necessary to “rebuild human civilization” would be something like 80 percent scientific/math/technical treatises and maybe 20 percent “cultural” stuff. And the cultural stuff should heavily emphasize human frailty and folly. (So “A Confederacy of Dunces” would definitely make the list; not too sure about the others.)

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  85. Meh, my backpack weighed 40 lbs in Jr high 25 years ago

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  86. @European-American
    > Celebrating diversity just take a lot of space.

    Or just empties our brains.

    On that note, I’d like to wish everyone a “happy December global festivities”.

    This is how this odd greeting came to pass: Google showed me a mildly annoying and infantile colored cartoon of penguins. Feeling vaguely curious, I clicked, and was shown three more, larger pictures of childish cartoon birds in winter, sharing presents. Predictably disappointed and slightly baffled at the inaneness of it all, I clicked on the annoyingly labeled “Learn more” button, and was directed to a Google search for “December global festivities”, which surely gets the prize for most boring and fruitless search of the day (that may yet acquire some self-referential, self-generated content over time).

    I get that we live in a diverse world where not everyone celebrates Christmas. So I sympathize with Google’s conundrum, with its world audience. But I hate everything about this kind of empty celebration. Call me a global grinch.

    I don’t even know what to wish everyone here, as I post this comment to the world. Merry Christmas? It doesn’t really compute with all the atheist, Muslim, Jewish, Taoist/Buddhist, and other people I know.

    Perhaps this: merry Christmas to those who care, and to the others, best wishes!

    For what it’s worth, in Asia where I am right now it’s “merry Christmas” left and right. Which is nice I suppose. But I’m eager to rejoin my family and celebrate Christmas in a place and with people where Christmas still has some small vestiges of a reality that I can recognize.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq_D6iKygKI

    I don’t even know what to wish everyone here, as I post this comment to the world.

    We didn’t seem to have that problem 49 years ago.

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    wow, interesting recording. It's like science fiction...
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  87. The Wright Brothers discovery of flight may be vulnerable to Stigler’s law. “No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer“.

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  88. @gunner29

    pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.
     
    We had the best music of the last 100 years, but screwed the pooch on just about everything else. It would interesting to observe the next 50 years and see how they deal with what we inflicted on the country....I'll be lucky to see the next 20.

    As a Gen-Xer, I must reluctantly concur on the “best music” part, though I tend to chalk it up mostly to timing rather than genius. Boomers arrived just in time to take maximum advantage of a lot of exciting new technologies in music, from instuments to recording to post-production to distribution. To their credit, they did a great job with the opportunities, but one wonders if previous generations could have done better.

    Jimi Hendrix was incredible, no doubt, but I shudder in awe at what Wagner could have achieved if he had access to the same musical palette.

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  89. @istevefan

    I don’t even know what to wish everyone here, as I post this comment to the world.
     
    We didn't seem to have that problem 49 years ago.

    wow, interesting recording. It’s like science fiction…

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  90. Demographic trends explain why music was better in the 60s and 70s. Music is most popular with young people. A society with a lot of young people will produce a lot of music. A society that produces a lot of music will produce better music.

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    • Replies: @istevefan
    I heard this factoid watching a documentary on PBS. They stated that in 1967 the US hit 200 million in population of which 50% where 25 years or less. Unstated was the demographics which would probably have been at least 85% white.
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  91. @Inquiring Mind
    The Wright brothers were much, much more than their First Flight at Kill Devil Hills and "first!"

    This is not about the Moon landing where Neil Armstrong got their first! and space exploration has not amounted to much since then.

    Any of a number of people at the time could have built craft with enough lift and enough power to fly for a short time. What the Wright brothers figured out was how to steer the thing, how to control their Flyer along multiple axis directions.

    Their secret to success was figuring out that it was not enough to fly, you had to seriously control which way you are going. While a lot of other people were still figuring out how to fly, many of them did, the Wright brothers were doing these demonstrations where they flew in the way we understand it today, they dipped and zoomed and turned and put on quite the show that they could control their flights.

    Now the Wright flyer has an odd flight control setup compared to the current general aviation aircraft that you can take flying lessons in. It is probably dangerous for a modern pilot to attempt to operate a Wright flyer, and maybe you had to develop more of a "body position" sense to operate it, maybe much more like a modern helicopter, which they tell me is more of a "knack" that you need to train into your muscles rather than the listen-to-what-your-instructor-tells-you to operate a modern fixed-wing craft.

    But there was much more to their accomplishment than simply getting airborne for a short time. Their accomplishment with maneuverability put aviation on the fast-track to where it is today.

    The Wrights figured out that the key to flight was control–everyone else focused on lift, thrust and drag. The Wright patent was, IIRC, not for a flying machine, but for a system of control. The Wright wing-warping is used now only rarely; now the system is based on ailerons, but the principle is the same. I think that they had a long-running patent infringement suit against Glenn Curtiss. They were the sons of a Protestant pastor and seem to have been asexual–I don’t think any biographer has discovered any heterosexual or homosexual affair in their lives. Wilbur died in 1912 but Orville lived until 1948. The Air Force arranged a flyby of F-80s, the most modern plane in the arsenal, to pass over as he was interred next to his father, mother, brother and sister in Dayton, Ohio. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton is named, in part, after the Wright Brothers. They were among the greatest genuises the human race has ever produced. That they are not mentioned in a book on American history is absolutely shameful.

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  92. @Anonymous
    Lindbergh was a fine aviator and an intelligent and decent, responsible man but he was not the first to cross the Atlantic, and he did not invent anything to do with his flight. He was the first to meet the conditions of the Orteig Prize:

    The Orteig Prize was a $25,000 reward ($342,000 as of 2015)[2] offered on May 22, 1919, by New York hotel owner Raymond Orteig to the first allied aviator(s) to fly non-stop from New York City to Paris or vice versa.[1] The offer was in the spirit of several similar aviation prize offers, and was made in a letter to Alan Ramsay Hawley, president of the Aero Club of America at the behest of Aero Club secretary Augustus Post.

    Gentlemen: As a stimulus to the courageous aviators, I desire to offer, through the auspices and regulations of the Aero Club of America, a prize of $25,000 to the first aviator of any Allied Country crossing the Atlantic in one flight, from Paris to New York or New York to Paris, all other details in your care.

    Yours very sincerely,

    Raymond Orteig[3]

    The Aero Club replied on May 26 with Orteig confirming his offer three days later. His offer was accepted by the Aero Club and Augustus Post set up a formal structure to administer the competition.

    Coincidentally, just a few weeks later Alcock and Brown successfully completed the first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic from Newfoundland to Ireland, winning an earlier prize offer, and in late June the British airship R34 made an east-west crossing from East Fortune, Scotland, to Long Island, New York, returning by the same route in early July.

    On offer for five years, the goal of the prize seemed beyond the capacity of aircraft of the time and the prize attracted no competitors. After its original term had expired Orteig reissued the prize on June 1, 1925 by depositing $25,000 in negotiable securities at the Bryant Bank with the awarding put under the control of a seven-member board of trustees.[4] By then the state of aviation technology had advanced to the point that numerous competitors vied for the prize.
     
    That he was able to secure funding to have the Ryan NYP custom built and that he was able to fly the 30+ hour mission solo were huge achievements. But he was not an engineer or a discoverer of any new principles.

    His mission was much more impressive than anything Earhart actually did: although from all accounts she was a competent flier.

    Anonymous:

    Because of his politics the Roosevelt administration denied Lindbergh a commission to serve in WWII.

    I believe he circumvented this by serving as a consultant and discovered a serious flaw in the performance of the Japanese Zero plane which proved of great value to the war effort.

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    My recollection is that Lindbergh's greatest contribution was to encourage pilots to "lean" their mixtures at high altitude, so as to conserve fuel and extend range, which was very important in the Pacific Theater. An A6M type Zero fighter was captured largely intact in the Aleutians sometime in 1942 and was studied extensively. The Zero's strengths and weaknesses were actually pretty well understood by Claire Chenault, who commanded the American Volunteer Group in China.
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  93. @Achmed E. Newman
    Nope, that is complete bull. Alberto Dumont flew around Paris in the very late 1890's in a controllable, powered, dirigible. It did not use wings to fly, though he dabbled in winged flight later. He was this man-about-town in Paris who would land his dangerous contraption (fuel tank pretty close to a bag of hydrogen!) in horse-carriage parking spots and go into the bars. Cool stuff, as I learned in a big about the man, but it was not going anywhere.

    The catapult-launched planes were the Glenn Curtis ones, in competition with the Wrights. Curtis did not learn enough about aircraft control to compete and had a major crash early on ( one of the Wrights had a major crash... I hate that I can't remember the detail of which brother ... in France I'm pretty sure. It wasn't a set-back for the flying, but it was as set-back to his health, for sure.)

    Now, the French had reasons to crow about aviation later on, as they made big gains during the 2nd decade of the 20th century in aviation. This explains why most of the airframe parts are French words - aileron, fuselage, empennage (the tail assembly), etc.

    For years, the Smitsonian Institution claimed that Samuel P. Langley built the first “aircraft capable of flight,” even though his catapult-launched effort fell into the Potomac River. It was salvaged, extensively modified and did actually fly much later, hence the Smithsonian’s claim. The rivalry between the Smithsonian and the Wrights was so intense that the Wright Flyer was on display in London until about 1948. IIRC, there is a model of the Langley Flyer way up in the corner of the main hall of the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, although the principal exhibit is the Wright Flyer.

    When the Wrights first demonstrated their machine in Europe, the Europeans realized how far behind they were. They caught up quickly however.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    But the government makes an interesting bedfellow. Charles Walcott, a long-time friend of Langley’s who’d been influential in funding his work, was made director of the Smithsonian Institution in 1906 — the same year Langley died. He immediately set up a Langley medal, a Langley Aero Lab, a Langley memorial. And then, in 1914, he funded Glenn Curtiss, who’d been involved in a bitter patent dispute with the Wrights, to reconstruct the Langley machine and show that it really could fly.

    Curtiss went to work, strengthening the structure, adding controls, reshaping it aerodynamically, relocating the center of gravity — in short, making it airworthy. In 1914 he flew it for 150 feet, and then he went back and replaced the old motor as well. On the basis of Curtiss’s reconstruction, the Smithsonian honored Langley for having built the first successful flying machine.
     
    https://www.uh.edu/engines/epi32.htm
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Yes, the world was ecstatic, especially the Frenchmen and others that watched the Wrights fly their machine around/above the big arena in Paris, and later on longer loops all around the region. In the US, besides their short flights at Kitty Hawk, later flights were at Huffman Prairie back in Ohio and then flights at some kind of Army proving grounds. None of these were in front of the general public.

    The French who observed the demonstrations were not disdainful in any way, as one might have speculated. It sounds, from the McCollough book, that the people were so impressed and excited. This excitement spread in France more than it did in the US in the next decade anyway.
    , @Jack D
    One of the conditions in the contract for bringing back the Wright Flyer from London and donating it to the Smithsonian is that the museum had to agree never to claim anymore that Langley's plane (or anyone else's) was first.

    “Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor its successors, nor any museum or other agency … or its successors shall publish or permit to be displayed a statement or label in connection with or in respect of any aircraft model or design of earlier date than the Wright Aeroplane of 1903, claiming in effect that such aircraft was capable of carrying a man under its own power in controlled flight.”
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  94. @Anonymous
    The Wrights understood the need for three axis controls, they just didn't do them particularly well, at least until others had shown the way. Actually, you really need only pitch and roll in a perfectly, or even appropriately designed airplane. Yaw (rudder) is really only to compensate for torque and P-factor in propeller aircraft, asymmetric thrust in multiengine airplanes with an engine out, and for aerobatics and crosswind landings.

    The Wrights had horizontal stabilizers in front of, rather than behind the wings, called canards.
    (The idea was revived by Burt and Dick Rutan in the early seventies : I have the same mixed respect for the Rutans as I have for someone who can memorize the phone book, and I told that to Dick to his face once. ) They did not understand what was involved in making such an arrangement stable:

    Flyer stability

    The Flyer was conceived as a control-canard, as the Wrights were more concerned with control than stability. However, it was found to be so highly unstable that it was barely controllable. Following the first flight, ballast was added to the nose to move the center of gravity forward and reduce pitch instability. However the basics of pitch stability of the canard configuration were not understood by the Wright Brothers. F.E.C. Culick stated, "The backward state of the general theory and understanding of flight mechanics hindered them... Indeed, the most serious gap in their knowledge was probably the basic reason for their unwitting mistake in selecting their canard configuration".
     
    (Wikipedia)

    At least six or seven people built fully controllable and dynamically stable airplanes before the Wrights finally did.

    I am not trying to minimize the Wrights' contributions, but to put them in perspective. Like a lot of things, powered heavier than air flight became inevitable once the existing glider was combined with the just-about-existing internal combustion engine light enough to power one along. The Wrights did a lot of valuable work, but Curtiss in the US, Santos-Dumont (a jet setter before jets, or indeed even dirigibles, in Brazil and Europe), Bleriot in France, all were going there at the same time and in some ways better.

    Indeed, in the 1930s, the Baslers built a working steam airplane and a man named Bernie Pietenpol built an airplane that could fly on a junkyard Ford Model A engine, which showed that the idea was inevitable.

    I am not trying to minimize the Wrights’ contributions, but to put them in perspective. Like a lot of things, powered heavier than air flight became inevitable once the existing glider was combined with the just-about-existing internal combustion engine light enough to power one along. The Wrights did a lot of valuable work, but Curtiss in the US, Santos-Dumont (a jet setter before jets, or indeed even dirigibles, in Brazil and Europe), Bleriot in France, all were going there at the same time and in some ways better.

    True of a lot of things in technology. For example, the steamboat was independently developed in the 1780s in three separate countries: France (Jouffroy d’Abbans), USA (John Fitch), and Scotland (William Symington). And then there’s the telegraph, independently developed in England (Wheatstone) and the USA (Morse and Vail)in the 1830s.

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    And then there’s the telegraph, independently developed in England (Wheatstone) and the USA (Morse and Vail)in the 1830s.
     
    ... and French Claude Chappe, who invented the semaphore telegraph in 1792.
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  95. @Anonymous
    The Wrights understood the need for three axis controls, they just didn't do them particularly well, at least until others had shown the way. Actually, you really need only pitch and roll in a perfectly, or even appropriately designed airplane. Yaw (rudder) is really only to compensate for torque and P-factor in propeller aircraft, asymmetric thrust in multiengine airplanes with an engine out, and for aerobatics and crosswind landings.

    The Wrights had horizontal stabilizers in front of, rather than behind the wings, called canards.
    (The idea was revived by Burt and Dick Rutan in the early seventies : I have the same mixed respect for the Rutans as I have for someone who can memorize the phone book, and I told that to Dick to his face once. ) They did not understand what was involved in making such an arrangement stable:

    Flyer stability

    The Flyer was conceived as a control-canard, as the Wrights were more concerned with control than stability. However, it was found to be so highly unstable that it was barely controllable. Following the first flight, ballast was added to the nose to move the center of gravity forward and reduce pitch instability. However the basics of pitch stability of the canard configuration were not understood by the Wright Brothers. F.E.C. Culick stated, "The backward state of the general theory and understanding of flight mechanics hindered them... Indeed, the most serious gap in their knowledge was probably the basic reason for their unwitting mistake in selecting their canard configuration".
     
    (Wikipedia)

    At least six or seven people built fully controllable and dynamically stable airplanes before the Wrights finally did.

    I am not trying to minimize the Wrights' contributions, but to put them in perspective. Like a lot of things, powered heavier than air flight became inevitable once the existing glider was combined with the just-about-existing internal combustion engine light enough to power one along. The Wrights did a lot of valuable work, but Curtiss in the US, Santos-Dumont (a jet setter before jets, or indeed even dirigibles, in Brazil and Europe), Bleriot in France, all were going there at the same time and in some ways better.

    Indeed, in the 1930s, the Baslers built a working steam airplane and a man named Bernie Pietenpol built an airplane that could fly on a junkyard Ford Model A engine, which showed that the idea was inevitable.

    At least six or seven people built fully controllable and dynamically stable airplanes before the Wrights finally did.

    Who were they? If such aeroplanes existed before the Wrights, why were the Wrights feted in France?:

    Facing much skepticism in the French aeronautical community and outright scorn by some newspapers that called him a “bluffeur”, Wilbur began official public demonstrations on August 8, 1908 at the Hunaudières horse racing track near the town of Le Mans, France. His first flight lasted only one minute 45 seconds, but his ability to effortlessly make banking turns and fly a circle amazed and stunned onlookers, including several pioneer French aviators, among them Louis Blériot. In the following days, Wilbur made a series of technically challenging flights, including figure-eights, demonstrating his skills as a pilot and the capability of his flying machine, which far surpassed those of all other pioneering aircraft and pilots of the day.[103][104]

    The French public was thrilled by Wilbur’s feats and flocked to the field by the thousands, and the Wright brothers instantly became world-famous. Former doubters issued apologies and effusive praise. L’Aérophile editor Georges Besançon wrote that the flights “have completely dissipated all doubts. Not one of the former detractors of the Wrights dare question, today, the previous experiments of the men who were truly the first to fly …”[105] Leading French aviation promoter Ernest Archdeacon wrote, “For a long time, the Wright brothers have been accused in Europe of bluff … They are today hallowed in France, and I feel an intense pleasure … to make amends.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_brothers#Public_showing

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  96. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Of course, this ‘hero of suffering’ business is pure nonsense.

    The word ‘hero’, of course, comes from the ancient Greek, and originally denoted a man, a warrior, who by a singular act of military valor and bravery changed the course of a battle.

    These days, people like that truly odious John McCain get called ‘heroes’ merely for the act of being captured by the enemy and being another man’s bitch. That is *not* ‘heroic’ – anyone can do it.
    Surely if ‘suffering’ was the definition of ‘hero’ every cancer patient would be the biggest ‘hero’.

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  97. @George
    "Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering"

    Heroes of suffering sounds a bit like Roman Catholic Saints. Is there an end of the dominance of Protestantism and rise of Catholics and Jews aspect to this?

    I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. Stories of Indian attacks also seem to be exaggerated. The theme of victimhood in early America might be an interesting topic. Maybe a stretch but, Melville's characters from Moby Dick and Billy Bud are Heroes of Suffering?

    How does veneration of the 'lost cause' fit into your Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering analysis?

    The Heroes of Suffering theme might have started with the failed post WWII Korean and Vietnam wars and the need to celebrate veterans of lost causes.

    “I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. Stories of Indian attacks also seem to be exaggerated. The theme of victimhood in early America might be an interesting topic. Maybe a stretch but, Melville’s characters from Moby Dick and Billy Bud are Heroes of Suffering?”

    Poor old Bartleby the Scrivener: always on the outside, looking in…

    “Ah, Bartleby! Ah, humanity!”

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  98. Well, it is worth mentioning in history texts that indiscriminantly destroying civilian cities, whether with A-bombs or regular bombs, was maybe not our proudest moment. Seen from outside the United States the difference between firebombing Tokyo and 9/11 seems rather nuanced.

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    • Replies: @AndrewR
    Yes, the non-atomic bombing of Tokyo killed more people than the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and possibly Hiroshima too, but it's been memory holed in the US.
    , @George
    'the difference between firebombing Tokyo and 9/11 seems rather nuanced.'

    Why would the Japanese fake firebombing Tokyo, the war was already on? I think the USAF did it.
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  99. 2122455

    Whites are Udder for the Other or UFTO.

    Whites are teats for others to suck on. Breast for the Rest.

    http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2017/12/quantifying-reality-of-white-genocide.html

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  100. @Curle
    “Jamestown was bound to lose to Plymouth”

    Virginia was nearly twice the population of Massachusetts at the Revolution and of considerably greater importance and interest to the British government. There is no point in time under British rule where Massachusetts could be characterized as more significant than Virginia. It was, and remained for some time, primarily a dumping ground for undesirables. An early version of Australia.

    “Jamestown was bound to lose to Plymouth”

    Virginia was nearly twice the population of Massachusetts at the Revolution

    Let’s see, total populations for both MA and VA in 1780, both White and Black:

    Virginia: White, 317,422 Black, 220,582

    Massachusetts: White, 263,805 Black, 4,822

    Virginia: White percentage, 59.0 Black, 41.0

    Massachusetts: White percentage, 98.2 Black percentage, 1.8

    https://userpages.umbc.edu/~bouton/History407/SlaveStats.htm

    So, yes, dear fellow, it’s roughly double, but only if you count the Blacks….

    Frankly, I would much rather live in a state that was only 1.8 % Black, as opposed to Virginia’s 41% Black….

    and of considerably greater importance and interest to the British government. There is no point in time under British rule where Massachusetts could be characterized as more significant than Virginia

    Very short-sighted of them…..

    It was, and remained for some time, primarily a dumping ground for undesirables. An early version of Australia.

    Dunno. The Puritan Great Migration was self-organized….so not much dumping there.And the population was largely middle-class and literate…. Virginia, in contrast, had large numbers of debtors and the illiterate rural poor…not to mention all those slaves…

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  101. @Anonymous
    Lindbergh was a fine aviator and an intelligent and decent, responsible man but he was not the first to cross the Atlantic, and he did not invent anything to do with his flight. He was the first to meet the conditions of the Orteig Prize:

    The Orteig Prize was a $25,000 reward ($342,000 as of 2015)[2] offered on May 22, 1919, by New York hotel owner Raymond Orteig to the first allied aviator(s) to fly non-stop from New York City to Paris or vice versa.[1] The offer was in the spirit of several similar aviation prize offers, and was made in a letter to Alan Ramsay Hawley, president of the Aero Club of America at the behest of Aero Club secretary Augustus Post.

    Gentlemen: As a stimulus to the courageous aviators, I desire to offer, through the auspices and regulations of the Aero Club of America, a prize of $25,000 to the first aviator of any Allied Country crossing the Atlantic in one flight, from Paris to New York or New York to Paris, all other details in your care.

    Yours very sincerely,

    Raymond Orteig[3]

    The Aero Club replied on May 26 with Orteig confirming his offer three days later. His offer was accepted by the Aero Club and Augustus Post set up a formal structure to administer the competition.

    Coincidentally, just a few weeks later Alcock and Brown successfully completed the first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic from Newfoundland to Ireland, winning an earlier prize offer, and in late June the British airship R34 made an east-west crossing from East Fortune, Scotland, to Long Island, New York, returning by the same route in early July.

    On offer for five years, the goal of the prize seemed beyond the capacity of aircraft of the time and the prize attracted no competitors. After its original term had expired Orteig reissued the prize on June 1, 1925 by depositing $25,000 in negotiable securities at the Bryant Bank with the awarding put under the control of a seven-member board of trustees.[4] By then the state of aviation technology had advanced to the point that numerous competitors vied for the prize.
     
    That he was able to secure funding to have the Ryan NYP custom built and that he was able to fly the 30+ hour mission solo were huge achievements. But he was not an engineer or a discoverer of any new principles.

    His mission was much more impressive than anything Earhart actually did: although from all accounts she was a competent flier.

    Lindbergh was a fine aviator and an intelligent and decent, responsible man but he was not the first to cross the Atlantic, and he did not invent anything to do with his flight.

    Good point, but to be fair, remember that the Wright brothers weren’t really the first to fly. Gustave Whitehead may have flown earlier, and Otto Lilienthal flew almost as far without an engine as the Wrights did with one (and before they did.) What Lindbergh and the Wrights did was meet some criteria that had somehow become the standard for all attempting to achieve a particular goal in aviation.

    The point of all of this is the historical significance and social impact that the Wrights and Lindbergh had on the world back when they succeeded in their efforts, and that modern historians are trying to ignore that significance. Columbus wasn’t the first to discover the New World, but his achievement nevertheless had a profound impact. Schoolbook historians try to give children the impression that Chinese explorers who may have landed on the continent earlier were just as significant as Columbus, which is a lie.

    Amelia Earhart was a brave soul, but she’s lifted up as the preeminent flyer of her time by some historians who write schoolbooks because she was a courageous woman, not because she’s the best symbol of progress in aviation.

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    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
    But you won't hear much about 1930s aviatrix Hanna Reitsch, because she was a Nazi.
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  102. @Curle
    The Pilgrims were Puritans and historian Edmond Morgan describes the period of the English Civil War as one where there was extensive back and forth traffic by the Puritan residents of Mass/Plymouth and England as they volunteered in Cromwell’s New Model Army and were later supporters of his regime. Virginia stayed loyal to the crown.

    Read or watch a performance of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night sometime to get a sense of how these people were regarded. Malvolio, the goat of the play, is a Puritan.

    The Pilgrims were Puritans

    Not quite. The Pilgrims were more interested in getting away from the Church of England. The Puritans, in contrast, wanted to purify it. Different states of mind, dear fellow.

    historian Edmond Morgan describes the period of the English Civil War as one where there was extensive back and forth traffic by the Puritan residents of Mass/Plymouth and England as they volunteered in Cromwell’s New Model Army and were later supporters of his regime.

    Again, most of the back-and-forth stuff was done by Puritans from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, people like Sir Henry Vane ( a supporter of Anne Hutchinson), Increase Mather, etc

    Virginia stayed loyal to the crown.

    Well, they did bend the knee to Cromwell in 1652….

    Read or watch a performance of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night sometime to get a sense of how these people were regarded. Malvolio, the goat of the play, is a Puritan.

    Yes, I’ve read it several times.

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    • Replies: @Curle
    Fair enough.

    “By the 1640s, Plymouth was reduced to a backwater, and its Separatist quality was fairly diluted”

    In other words, before the English Civil War the Massachussettes colonies generally came to be dominated by the tens of thousands of arriving Puritans.

    “Tens of thousands of Puritans would emigrate to Massachusetts in the 1630s.”

    “And as the Puritan colony centered there—the Massachusetts Bay Colony—grew, it quickly outstripped Plymouth. Bay colonists ruthlessly confiscated land, including lands owned by Plymouth.”

    Seems the pricks were at it from the get-go. This general characteristic explaining the Crown’s enthusiasm with their voluntary removal from the homeland.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/thehistoricpresent.com/2008/05/12/pilgrims-v-puritans-who-landed-in-plymouth/amp/
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  103. @Anonymous
    Curtiss used a catapult, as I recall, to launch a reworked Langley design built before the turn of the century to invalidate Wright patent claims. He also had a very different control system than the standard aircraft. But he was flying off wheels by 1907 or 1908 as I recall.
    He was also a bicycle maker and a motorcycle maker and his engines were an outgrowth of that. Curtiss and Wright later merged to form Curtiss-Wright, the engine manufacturer that played second fiddle to P&W throughout the radial years and early gas turbines. Now they make ruggedized embeddable computer systems.

    Curtiss used a catapult, as I recall, to launch a reworked Langley design built before the turn of the century to invalidate Wright patent claims.

    Pretty extensively reworked:

    But the government makes an interesting bedfellow. Charles Walcott, a long-time friend of Langley’s who’d been influential in funding his work, was made director of the Smithsonian Institution in 1906 — the same year Langley died. He immediately set up a Langley medal, a Langley Aero Lab, a Langley memorial. And then, in 1914, he funded Glenn Curtiss, who’d been involved in a bitter patent dispute with the Wrights, to reconstruct the Langley machine and show that it really could fly.

    Curtiss went to work, strengthening the structure, adding controls, reshaping it aerodynamically, relocating the center of gravity — in short, making it airworthy. In 1914 he flew it for 150 feet, and then he went back and replaced the old motor as well. On the basis of Curtiss’s reconstruction, the Smithsonian honored Langley for having built the first successful flying machine.

    https://www.uh.edu/engines/epi32.htm

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  104. I always think it’s cool that it was “flyover country” that invented the airplane.

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  105. The 2016 Meme War was very much a rebellion of youth against the old, and the old’s teachers-pet fellow travellers. The Sixties People control the Insitutions with an iron fist, but they are no longer trusted the way they were in 2010 or 2012*. The iron curtain of Narrative Control is showing a lot of rust.

    *The SJW insanity of 2012+ prompted by the need to re-elect Obama, surely had some impact in provoking a counter reaction, first seen in GamerGate, then Trump & the Meme Wars.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    You don't look for dissent where you expect to find it. The Sixties People are watching the streets like hawks, as they expect dissent to take the form of 1960s-style street protests. They don't understand that it's the internet that matters now.
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  106. Wright Brothers, America! rah rah rah.
    First flight was by a Kiwi.
    Suck on this, Seppo’s.

    http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/pearse1.html

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    New Zealander Richard Pearse made short semisuccessful flights in a gasoline-powered plane, probably in mid-1903 (the year is disputed). If so, they were the first powered flights with theoretically reasonable controls. Most of his attempts were interrupted by hedges in the testing area, and Pearse later admitted the plane was “uncontrollable.” Practical airplane, no; first powered hedge clippers, maybe.
     
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  107. @Diversity Heretic
    For years, the Smitsonian Institution claimed that Samuel P. Langley built the first "aircraft capable of flight," even though his catapult-launched effort fell into the Potomac River. It was salvaged, extensively modified and did actually fly much later, hence the Smithsonian's claim. The rivalry between the Smithsonian and the Wrights was so intense that the Wright Flyer was on display in London until about 1948. IIRC, there is a model of the Langley Flyer way up in the corner of the main hall of the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, although the principal exhibit is the Wright Flyer.

    When the Wrights first demonstrated their machine in Europe, the Europeans realized how far behind they were. They caught up quickly however.

    But the government makes an interesting bedfellow. Charles Walcott, a long-time friend of Langley’s who’d been influential in funding his work, was made director of the Smithsonian Institution in 1906 — the same year Langley died. He immediately set up a Langley medal, a Langley Aero Lab, a Langley memorial. And then, in 1914, he funded Glenn Curtiss, who’d been involved in a bitter patent dispute with the Wrights, to reconstruct the Langley machine and show that it really could fly.

    Curtiss went to work, strengthening the structure, adding controls, reshaping it aerodynamically, relocating the center of gravity — in short, making it airworthy. In 1914 he flew it for 150 feet, and then he went back and replaced the old motor as well. On the basis of Curtiss’s reconstruction, the Smithsonian honored Langley for having built the first successful flying machine.

    https://www.uh.edu/engines/epi32.htm

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  108. @Anon
    Wright Brothers, America! rah rah rah.
    First flight was by a Kiwi.
    Suck on this, Seppo's.
    http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/pearse1.html

    New Zealander Richard Pearse made short semisuccessful flights in a gasoline-powered plane, probably in mid-1903 (the year is disputed). If so, they were the first powered flights with theoretically reasonable controls. Most of his attempts were interrupted by hedges in the testing area, and Pearse later admitted the plane was “uncontrollable.” Practical airplane, no; first powered hedge clippers, maybe.

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  109. @Dan Hayes
    Anonymous:

    Because of his politics the Roosevelt administration denied Lindbergh a commission to serve in WWII.

    I believe he circumvented this by serving as a consultant and discovered a serious flaw in the performance of the Japanese Zero plane which proved of great value to the war effort.

    My recollection is that Lindbergh’s greatest contribution was to encourage pilots to “lean” their mixtures at high altitude, so as to conserve fuel and extend range, which was very important in the Pacific Theater. An A6M type Zero fighter was captured largely intact in the Aleutians sometime in 1942 and was studied extensively. The Zero’s strengths and weaknesses were actually pretty well understood by Claire Chenault, who commanded the American Volunteer Group in China.

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    • Agree: Dan Hayes, David In TN
    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
    Author Daniel Ford, in Leftie-Historical-Revisionist-Smartalec fashion, attempts to bring Chenault and the American Volunteer Group (AVG, popularly known as the Flying Tigers) "down to Earth."

    To the consternation and outrage of the AVG veterans and families, he attempts to chronicle their claims of lopsided shoot-down ratios as grossly overinflated, although he explains the difficulties presented to a pilot of documenting that he actually downed an enemy rather than damaged them, especially under the adrenalin-filled experience of the enemy trying to do the same to him. He also acknowledges that even their more even shoot-down ratio with the enemy was quite the accomplishment given the circumstances under which the AVG pilots flew and fought.

    Ford also asserts that Chenault and his flyers never encountered the true A6M "Type Zero" as this craft was a Navy plane and they faced off against the land-based aviation element of Japan. Some of the planes they fought against were even earlier-design fixed-landing gear, but still in Chennault's words "climbed like a rocket and agile like a squirrel." I guess they were all "generically" of the Zero design in that they had high-horsepower air-cooled radial engines, of very lightweight construction and very little pilot protection, in contrast with the not-as-high-powered inline radial engine on the Curtiss P-40 flown by the Tigers, with a more rugged construction and substantial armor to protect the pilot.

    Speaking of "aviation firsts", Chennault was the first among the Allies to understand the different strengths and weakness of these different design philosophies and how to train his pilots to build on the strengths of the P-40 (much higher speed and control in a dive and subsequent zoom climb back to fighting altitude) and exploit the "Zero's" weaknesses (minimal pilot protection, uncontrollable in a steep dive). Part of this was his intellectual gift, part of this was his experience as a lone America fighting the Japanese and training Chinese pilots to do the same much earlier than the AVG. Kind of like the "handful of American volunteers fighting against German aircraft in the Spanish Civil War."

    My knowledge of the AVG was initially confined to John Toland's "Flying Tigers" written for younger readers, which while impressive may have gotten many details wrong as well as accepted the shoot-down claims without Ford's scrutiny. What especially piqued my interest was a showing of the John Wayne movie "Flying Tigers" on Public television followed by an interview with the aging David Lee "Tex" Hill, the real-life AVG squadron leader.

    Hill of course explained that their air combat was "nothing like the movie" in that "you would never dogfight 'the Zero' as shown in the film", or at least that was the case with the surviving AVG pilots who actually heeded Chenault's warnings about a tight-turning engagement against the much more agile Japanese planes. If a "Zero" was "on your tail", you would dive, and in Hill's words, "I mean straight down" (the heavy P-40 was rugged enough to do that without coming apart or losing aerodynamic control from aero-elastic flutter).

    The other thing that Hill spoke of was how the AVG gun camera films of attack runs against Japanese bombers always showed those bombers upside down. He explained that the Tigers attacked bombers by diving, rolling over, than zooming back up to attack from underneath where the Japanese tail gunners couldn't reach them. British scientist Freeman Dyson who spent WW-II as a statistician trying to figure out why the British bombers were being shot down seemed to think the tactic of attacking from below, which the Germans did with an angled gun as he and his fellow statistics people had conjectured by analyzing British losses, that attacking from below was a unique German tactic. Finally, American bombers had this thing called a "ball turret", into which they would stuff their shortest gunners and winch them down to defend against fighter attacks from below, leaving these guys vulnerable to being the first crew member shot dead in such attacks.

    Toland remembers the young Henry Gilbert as the first AVG pilot to perish in combat, who Ford better explains the circumstances that he was vulnerable to the concentrated fire of the tail gunners in the bomber formation in attacking from above. But apart from Hill's interview, I can find no other source about Chennault training his pilots to attack the enemy bombers from below. Maybe this is something Hill figured out and taught to the squadron under his command?

    Chennault and his AVG pilots were certainly aviation pioneers in "combat between dissimilar aircraft", lessons that were unfortunately slow to be disseminated among other American flyers in WW-II and even had to be relearned in the heavy-fast Phantom against slower-agile MiG in Vietnam.
    , @dfordoom

    The Zero’s strengths and weaknesses were actually pretty well understood by Claire Chenault, who commanded the American Volunteer Group in China.
     
    Were they encountering Zeros? I thought China was pretty much the Japanese Army's show. Were Japanese naval air units involved there? Maybe they were. I don't know so it's a genuine question.
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  110. I read a short biography of the Wrights that I picked up at the bookstore at the Smithsonian years back. It was different from the average biography in that it was written by an engineer and concentrated on the technical stuff.

    I was surprised to learn, although I shouldn’t have been, that they were disciplined engineers. They had an annual cycle of testing, development, manufacturing, and back to testing. They made a miniature wind tunnel to test airfoil shapes (I’ve seen a replica of this in an aviation museum). Nothing was done by the seat of their pants, which is why they didn’t die jumping off a cliff.

    They quantified everything: they needed more engine horsepower, but that would make it heavier, etc., all worked out in math on paper before making anything. Also, they corresponded, very gingerly, with their competitors, trying to learn their progress without giving away anything important.

    However, watching the Brazilian Olympics opening ceremony I was surprised to learn that much of the rest of the world credits Alberto Santos-Dumont with the first airplane flight. I thought that this was the typical nationalistic chauavinism to be expected from some backwater like Brazil ;-) but the guy’s claim is pretty strong: no catapult, started from a full stop, and documented in movie form, in front of a huge group of spectators, including technical observers. And to top it off, the guy apparently commissioned the first wristwatch.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    First wristwatch, like first airplane, is a difficult claim to pin down. You don't have to exactly be a genius to strap a pocket watch to your wrist. Wrist watches had been around in the 19th century as ladies jewelry (no vest pockets to carry a pocket watch - or else they wore them as pendants around their neck) so this gave them an effeminate image. WWI put the wristwatch (along with the trench coat) "over the top" as fashion items. When you are running around on a battlefield you don't have time to be reaching into your pocket to check the time. And no one could accuse combat troops of being effeminate.

    Ironically, we have gone full circle. Most kids no longer wear wristwatches and when they want to know the time they reach into their pocket and look at their phone.
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  111. Worth remarking is that poet and novelist Paul Laurence Dunbar was a classmate of Orville Wright, and Dunbar’s books are still worth a look-see by interested readers.

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  112. @Ganderson
    One of the reasons I got out of the APUSH racket is that in order to prepare kids to take the exam you have to spend a lot of time on the multiculture-gender fair aspects of US History, so that Jackson can only be a villain, and WWII is the Holocaust, Japanese Internment, the gratuitous use of the A-bomb, and if you have time, the race riots in Detroit in 1943. Oh, and you have to spend a lot of time on the insufferable reformers of the 1840s. Most History teachers have no problem with this. I kinda do.
    And I might add, there are heroes in the new history, but they are MLK, Jane Addams, Helen Hunt Jackson et al. The Wright Brothers need not apply.

    So basically you are a racist

    Good riddance

    Oh by the way Wright stole his “invention” from an African Black Arab

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    • Troll: ScarletNumber
    • Replies: @Ganderson
    Ouch. Shut me up! Sad to report, I'm still teaching, just not APUSH
    , @Oswald Spengler
    "We wuz flyin' kangz."
    , @Jack D
    TD doesn't seem to know that there was more than one Wright brother. I guess that's because they no longer teach about them.

    Actually the Wright Brothers seem to be unusual in that two brothers shared equal credit for a famous invention. What other well known brother pairs invented something important? The Smith Brothers invented the cough drop ;-) but I can't think of any others offhand.
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  113. @Stephen Marle II
    Well, it is worth mentioning in history texts that indiscriminantly destroying civilian cities, whether with A-bombs or regular bombs, was maybe not our proudest moment. Seen from outside the United States the difference between firebombing Tokyo and 9/11 seems rather nuanced.

    Yes, the non-atomic bombing of Tokyo killed more people than the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and possibly Hiroshima too, but it’s been memory holed in the US.

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    • Replies: @Moses
    Dresden firebombing killed a comparable number as the a-bombs in Japan.

    But that’s been memory-holed too. The only suffering allowed a memory in WW2 Euro theater is muh holocaust.

    , @Ganderson
    I always wondered why it was more morally unacceptable to be killed in an atom bomb blast than to be burned to a crisp or have the air sucked out of your lungs.
    , @Stan Adams
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtis_LeMay

    As far as casualties were concerned, I think there were more casualties in the first attack on Tokyo with incendiaries than there were with the first use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The fact that it's done instantaneously, maybe that's more humane than incendiary attacks, if you can call any war act humane. I don't, particularly, so to me there wasn't much difference. A weapon is a weapon and it really doesn't make much difference how you kill a man. If you have to kill him, well, that's the evil to start with and how you do it becomes pretty secondary. I think your choice should be which weapon is the most efficient and most likely to get the whole mess over with as early as possible.
     

    Killing Japanese didn't bother me very much at that time... I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal.... Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you're not a good soldier.
     

    There are no innocent civilians. It is their government and you are fighting a people, you are not trying to fight an armed force anymore. So it doesn't bother me so much to be killing the so-called innocent bystanders.
     
    , @David In TN
    The Japanese would have done the same (or worse) to us had they been able to.
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  114. @AndrewR
    Is it really that bad??

    I exaggerate slightly for effect, but, our school uses Eric Foner, the old commie’s book, for our one level down from AP book.

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  115. @Tiny Duck
    So basically you are a racist


    Good riddance

    Oh by the way Wright stole his "invention" from an African Black Arab

    Ouch. Shut me up! Sad to report, I’m still teaching, just not APUSH

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  116. @anonymous
    "The Wright Brothers need not apply."

    Ditto for Philo Farnsworth.

    Who?

    Look him up on Wiki. A bleepin' GENIUS!!! Who died tragically.

    Yup.

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  117. @advancedatheist
    Frankly I think we should agree-and-amplify on Andrew Jackson:

    Andrew Jackson owned slaves and killed Indians?

    How cool is that? Wow, what a badass! He puts modern white men to shame.

    My sarc meter is not well calibrated this am…

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  118. @Anonymous
    The Wrights understood the need for three axis controls, they just didn't do them particularly well, at least until others had shown the way. Actually, you really need only pitch and roll in a perfectly, or even appropriately designed airplane. Yaw (rudder) is really only to compensate for torque and P-factor in propeller aircraft, asymmetric thrust in multiengine airplanes with an engine out, and for aerobatics and crosswind landings.

    The Wrights had horizontal stabilizers in front of, rather than behind the wings, called canards.
    (The idea was revived by Burt and Dick Rutan in the early seventies : I have the same mixed respect for the Rutans as I have for someone who can memorize the phone book, and I told that to Dick to his face once. ) They did not understand what was involved in making such an arrangement stable:

    Flyer stability

    The Flyer was conceived as a control-canard, as the Wrights were more concerned with control than stability. However, it was found to be so highly unstable that it was barely controllable. Following the first flight, ballast was added to the nose to move the center of gravity forward and reduce pitch instability. However the basics of pitch stability of the canard configuration were not understood by the Wright Brothers. F.E.C. Culick stated, "The backward state of the general theory and understanding of flight mechanics hindered them... Indeed, the most serious gap in their knowledge was probably the basic reason for their unwitting mistake in selecting their canard configuration".
     
    (Wikipedia)

    At least six or seven people built fully controllable and dynamically stable airplanes before the Wrights finally did.

    I am not trying to minimize the Wrights' contributions, but to put them in perspective. Like a lot of things, powered heavier than air flight became inevitable once the existing glider was combined with the just-about-existing internal combustion engine light enough to power one along. The Wrights did a lot of valuable work, but Curtiss in the US, Santos-Dumont (a jet setter before jets, or indeed even dirigibles, in Brazil and Europe), Bleriot in France, all were going there at the same time and in some ways better.

    Indeed, in the 1930s, the Baslers built a working steam airplane and a man named Bernie Pietenpol built an airplane that could fly on a junkyard Ford Model A engine, which showed that the idea was inevitable.

    Yaw (rudder) is really only to compensate for torque and P-factor in propeller aircraft, asymmetric thrust in multiengine airplanes with an engine out, and for aerobatics and crosswind landings.

    You are thinking of the fact that rudder (right in US-built a/c with rh-turning engines for P-factor) is required on takeoff. Rudder is required in every turn for coordinated flight, meaning no slipping (side movement towards inside of the turn) or skidding (side movement toward outside of a turn). Granted, swept-wing jets don’t need much rudder input by the pilots assumimg engines all engines running smoothly – they have a yaw damper anyway, require for control of Dutch-roll tendencies.

    Yes, indeed the Wright’s flyers were canard designs. That alone does not make them unstable. Pitch instability results when the center of lift is forward of the center of mass. That was probably what the Wrights did not understand (very simple to understand AFTER realizing the simple physics).The canard design is more efficient, and with the low airspeed from an 18 Hp engine, or whatever the first ones were, you need an efficient design. The canard uses positive (up) lift to keep the wing from pitching the plane nose-down, while a normal aft hor. stabilizer provides negative (dowm) lift for the same reason, which subtracts from total lift.

    As far as the history, read McCollough’s book. I don’t think what he wrote is in dispute.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    You are thinking of the fact that rudder (right in US-built a/c with rh-turning engines for P-factor) is required on takeoff. Rudder is required in every turn for coordinated flight, meaning no slipping (side movement towards inside of the turn) or skidding (side movement toward outside of a turn). Granted, swept-wing jets don’t need much rudder input by the pilots assumimg engines all engines running smoothly – they have a yaw damper anyway, require for control of Dutch-roll tendencies.
     
    You might need a vertical stabilizer, (although the B-2 does without, as did several of the Horten's gliders) but the rudder per se could be dispensed with in a properly designed aircraft, at least one with a single engine not expected to do aerobatics. (The Ercoupe had rudders, just not rudder pedals. Most have been retrofitted with them.) Wolfgang Langewiesche talks about this in Stick and Rudder, which if you have not read it, you should. It is both a technical and a literary masterpiece.

    Nonpilots and a fair number of people licensed by the FAA to fly are under the idea that the rudder is there to turn the aircraft. Believe it or not, this was accepted doctrine throughout the WWII era in flight training. Langewiesche, who explains things pretty well, was able to go from J-3 size light aircraft to a position in production flight test flying the famous, indeed infamous, F4U Corsair, a 2000 horsepower behemoth and had a superior safety record in WWII doing so.

    One interesting thing about the rudder on some supersonic fighters-particularly the T-38 Talon-is that it is actually possible to execute a roll with use of the rudder alone. Not a snap roll, a smooth roll just as if aileron were used. If I remember right the rudder deflection is limited to a few degrees when the gear is retracted, as well, to prevent overyawing the aircraft at speed. (I got a ride in one as a CAP cadet in the late 70s. It completely ruined my appetite for Cessnas and Cherokees.)
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  119. @Diversity Heretic
    For years, the Smitsonian Institution claimed that Samuel P. Langley built the first "aircraft capable of flight," even though his catapult-launched effort fell into the Potomac River. It was salvaged, extensively modified and did actually fly much later, hence the Smithsonian's claim. The rivalry between the Smithsonian and the Wrights was so intense that the Wright Flyer was on display in London until about 1948. IIRC, there is a model of the Langley Flyer way up in the corner of the main hall of the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, although the principal exhibit is the Wright Flyer.

    When the Wrights first demonstrated their machine in Europe, the Europeans realized how far behind they were. They caught up quickly however.

    Yes, the world was ecstatic, especially the Frenchmen and others that watched the Wrights fly their machine around/above the big arena in Paris, and later on longer loops all around the region. In the US, besides their short flights at Kitty Hawk, later flights were at Huffman Prairie back in Ohio and then flights at some kind of Army proving grounds. None of these were in front of the general public.

    The French who observed the demonstrations were not disdainful in any way, as one might have speculated. It sounds, from the McCollough book, that the people were so impressed and excited. This excitement spread in France more than it did in the US in the next decade anyway.

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  120. @advancedatheist
    Frankly I think we should agree-and-amplify on Andrew Jackson:

    Andrew Jackson owned slaves and killed Indians?

    How cool is that? Wow, what a badass! He puts modern white men to shame.

    “Andrew Jackson owned slaves and killed Indians?”

    You forgot the Brits, he killed Brits, while they were firing bottle rockets at him and playing bag pipes.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_New_Orleans

    But actually these days most white people are serfs and we are killing mostly Muslims, so I think we are making more progress than you do.

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  121. @Stephen Marle II
    Well, it is worth mentioning in history texts that indiscriminantly destroying civilian cities, whether with A-bombs or regular bombs, was maybe not our proudest moment. Seen from outside the United States the difference between firebombing Tokyo and 9/11 seems rather nuanced.

    ‘the difference between firebombing Tokyo and 9/11 seems rather nuanced.’

    Why would the Japanese fake firebombing Tokyo, the war was already on? I think the USAF did it.

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  122. @Curle
    “Jamestown was bound to lose to Plymouth”

    Virginia was nearly twice the population of Massachusetts at the Revolution and of considerably greater importance and interest to the British government. There is no point in time under British rule where Massachusetts could be characterized as more significant than Virginia. It was, and remained for some time, primarily a dumping ground for undesirables. An early version of Australia.

    Not part of the same argument here, but the colony Georgia was America’s Australia.

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  123. Wright Brothers: Wrong Race, Wrong Gender, Wrong Sexual Orientation, Wrong Religion, Wrong Abilities.

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  124. Yes, the left is locked in a permanent state of adolescence. See:

    http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2016/11/the-left-celebrating-one-hundred-and.html

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  125. @nebulafox
    Nothing bodes more ill for the future of this nation than our decision to embrace victimhood as a virtue to aspire to as opposed to strength, along with a host of other counter-virtues. Think of this in the most naive way possible: why on earth would you *want* to be a genuine victim, as opposed to an inventor, a conqueror, or hell, just a decent upstanding citizen? Then release the naivete, and let the repelling, passive-aggressive nature, on a gut level, of what modern American culture cherishes sink in.

    I think that is the reason that progressives hate Trump on such a visceral level. He loves and celebrates winning and winners, and hates losing and losers. That goes against the spirit of the Current Year.

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  126. @PiltdownMan
    Brother Cornel hates, hates, hates being dethroned as the leading black public intellectual theoretician of his time.

    Maybe he can channel his angst into another spoken world album.

    Also, he hasn’t commented on his partner Tavis Smiley’s alleged misbehavior yet…

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  127. @George
    "Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering"

    Heroes of suffering sounds a bit like Roman Catholic Saints. Is there an end of the dominance of Protestantism and rise of Catholics and Jews aspect to this?

    I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. Stories of Indian attacks also seem to be exaggerated. The theme of victimhood in early America might be an interesting topic. Maybe a stretch but, Melville's characters from Moby Dick and Billy Bud are Heroes of Suffering?

    How does veneration of the 'lost cause' fit into your Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering analysis?

    The Heroes of Suffering theme might have started with the failed post WWII Korean and Vietnam wars and the need to celebrate veterans of lost causes.

    “Heroes of suffering sounds a bit like Roman Catholic Saints. Is there an end of the dominance of Protestantism …”

    Protestants do suffering – or did before the 1960s.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxe’s_Book_of_Martyrs

    Acts and Monuments is credited as among the most influential of English texts. Gordon Rupp called it “an event”. He counted it as a “normative document”, and as one of the Six Makers of English Religion.

    And guilt too

    “Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men;

    We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against thy divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable.

    Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant, that we may ever hereafter Serve and please thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

    Book Of Common Prayer (old style)

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  128. @Peterike
    The mess in Atlanta airport, while the result of a fire, is an excellent example of what a Day Without White Men would be like. Except it would be every airport. And that’s just for starters.

    These massive systemic failures are a good example of what’s to come. Fires burning up half a state, dams collapsing, enormous finance hacks (Equifax), planes disappearing into the Indian ocean without a trace, the re-introduction of 3rd world disease, etc.

    Steve says there aren’t enough white people in schools any more. Eventually, there’s not going to be enough white people in our entire economic infrastructure to keep up the facade of a functioning society.

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    • Replies: @advancedatheist
    Make America Competent Again.

    Read "White" for "Competent."
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  129. @AndrewR
    Yes, the non-atomic bombing of Tokyo killed more people than the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and possibly Hiroshima too, but it's been memory holed in the US.

    Dresden firebombing killed a comparable number as the a-bombs in Japan.

    But that’s been memory-holed too. The only suffering allowed a memory in WW2 Euro theater is muh holocaust.

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  130. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    There’s a continuous technological line from today’s aircraft back to the Wright Flyer. Lilienthal and even Chanute and Langley made some contributions, but the Wrights put it all together for the first time. Aeronautics is a system discipline.

    Don’t talk to me about Whitehead. Guy invents and flies airplane, then throws it out and forgets about it until years later? Please.

    The guy I’ve always thought got shortchanged was Charlie Taylor, the Wrights’ “mechanic”, who designed and built their engines. Katherine Wright didn’t like him, so he got short shrift.

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  131. @Achmed E. Newman

    Where were the Wright sisters, suppressed again?
     
    The Wrights had a sister named Katherine, as I recall from the book about them I read less than a year ago. Here it is, by David McCullough. Katherine was very helpful at home, as Orville and Wilbur really got going in the mid-19-oughts, to demo their flyers in France. They had a mechanic friend too, who was especially helpful with the powerplant, and it was more like a 3-man team for a good while.

    I guess Katherine was too oppressed to go to France, knowing what the girls in France don't wear and all....

    Actually, Katharine (with two a’s) did go to France, and the French loved her. They had the idea that since she was a college graduate and high school Latin teacher, then her education most have included math too, and she must be the secret genius guiding her brothers’ work. Miss Wright was very supportive of her brothers (and father), but she did not contribute in any technical or scientific way. A delightful short book on her was The Wright Sister: Katharine Wright and Her Famous Brothers by Richard Mauer. It felt a little like Willa Cather’s O Pioneers. I loved this view of the Wright Brothers’ project, and of a single woman in Dayton, Ohio 1903.

    Another nice book by Mauer is The Wild Colorado: The True Adventures of Fred Dellenbaugh, Age 17, on the Second Powell Expedition into the Grand Canyon. To balance my children’s voluminous fantasy reading with other, good writing based on the world that actually exists, and to fortify their connection with their heritage, I was looking for a suitable book on John Wesley Powell, explorer of the Colorado River. Richard Maurer wrote one that was just what I was after. This short book, 120 pages, tells a wonderful tale of a young man who gained a place in a glorious, sometimes boring, highly challenging undertaking, and returned home two years later with a course for his life initiated.

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    • Replies: @John Mansfield
    And just to tie the Wrights into an iSteveism: Katharine graduated from Oberlin, Class of '98.
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  132. @syonredux

    The Pilgrims were Puritans
     
    Not quite. The Pilgrims were more interested in getting away from the Church of England. The Puritans, in contrast, wanted to purify it. Different states of mind, dear fellow.

    historian Edmond Morgan describes the period of the English Civil War as one where there was extensive back and forth traffic by the Puritan residents of Mass/Plymouth and England as they volunteered in Cromwell’s New Model Army and were later supporters of his regime.
     
    Again, most of the back-and-forth stuff was done by Puritans from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, people like Sir Henry Vane ( a supporter of Anne Hutchinson), Increase Mather, etc

    Virginia stayed loyal to the crown.

     

    Well, they did bend the knee to Cromwell in 1652....

    Read or watch a performance of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night sometime to get a sense of how these people were regarded. Malvolio, the goat of the play, is a Puritan.
     
    Yes, I've read it several times.

    Fair enough.

    “By the 1640s, Plymouth was reduced to a backwater, and its Separatist quality was fairly diluted”

    In other words, before the English Civil War the Massachussettes colonies generally came to be dominated by the tens of thousands of arriving Puritans.

    “Tens of thousands of Puritans would emigrate to Massachusetts in the 1630s.”

    “And as the Puritan colony centered there—the Massachusetts Bay Colony—grew, it quickly outstripped Plymouth. Bay colonists ruthlessly confiscated land, including lands owned by Plymouth.”

    Seems the pricks were at it from the get-go. This general characteristic explaining the Crown’s enthusiasm with their voluntary removal from the homeland.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/thehistoricpresent.com/2008/05/12/pilgrims-v-puritans-who-landed-in-plymouth/amp/

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  133. The Sixties mindset—aggrieved, resentful, and unrealistic—is perfectly attuned to appeal permanently to the worst instincts of adolescents.

    That’s pretty much it.

    What sustained this mass-phenomenon? Here’s a little llist – 1) an oedipal dynamic going on, 2) the abilty, that arose, all of a sudden, as a result of the sheer quantity of goods and – on the other hand, the amount of physical work in steep decline ‘n’ all that – no more draft – : This all for sure sustained the growth of a mentality, which was far more off reality and at the same time much more powerful than most past forms of idealism – DaDA, say.

    Three other major factors: Drugs. The decline of religion. The ubiquity of entertainment / (=the lack of boredom for all those, who do not work).

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    • Replies: @JackOH
    Dieter, you may add the post-1945 political blindness of America's WWII generation, which actually believed the defeat of Hitler immunized them from the scalp-hunters of America's Left.
    , @istevefan
    Don't forget that the Vietnam War, and the necessity of drafting young men into it, played a central role in all of this. Wars, and more specifically those that aren't over fast and require a lot of draftees, have a tendency to be the catalyst for social changes that might not otherwise have taken root.

    Whether one thinks of the social change as a good or ill, we have a history of getting social changes when we are in a war that is unpopular or a has high body count. Our 18 month turn at bat in WW1 probably led to women getting the right to vote. It also led to giving Puerto Ricans citizenship since it opened up their males to conscription. Was drafting some 18K Puerto Ricans into an army of millions worth it since today millions of their descendants are about to tip Florida in 2020?

    Vietnam was even worse. A great deal of the draft protests were politically hijacked for other causes. I recall being surprised that perpetual student leader Abbie Hoffman was in fact NOT a baby boomer, and was born in 1936, making him too old to be drafted for Vietnam. Yet he rode the momentum that arose from the Vietnam War, a war he never would have fought.
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  134. @Cato

    If a kid is assigned five textbooks this massive, that’s a backpack that weighs 27 pounds.
     
    Five textbooks is a low estimate: one of my children is taking seven courses. And when you consider that many high schools no longer assign lockers, due to concerns about drugs and guns, it's clear that kids would have to cart all those books to school and home again each day.

    In Japan, it has long been the practice to have short, cheap, paperback textbooks, and no lockers. Students must take these books home, where their parents can keep track of what they are learning and help them, if necessary.

    And, of course, ethnically homogeneous Japan does not cheer on victimized minorities in its textbooks. One more subtle way in which the lack of diversity leads to a better functioning society.

    of course, ethnically homogeneous Japan does not cheer on victimized minorities in its textbooks

    Judging by the contents of the Hiroshima Nuclear Shrine (or whatever they call it), Japan can do victimization worship as well as anyone else.

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  135. @Dieter Kief

    The Sixties mindset—aggrieved, resentful, and unrealistic—is perfectly attuned to appeal permanently to the worst instincts of adolescents.
     
    That's pretty much it.

    What sustained this mass-phenomenon? Here's a little llist - 1) an oedipal dynamic going on, 2) the abilty, that arose, all of a sudden, as a result of the sheer quantity of goods and - on the other hand, the amount of physical work in steep decline 'n' all that - no more draft - : This all for sure sustained the growth of a mentality, which was far more off reality and at the same time much more powerful than most past forms of idealism - DaDA, say.

    Three other major factors: Drugs. The decline of religion. The ubiquity of entertainment / (=the lack of boredom for all those, who do not work).

    Dieter, you may add the post-1945 political blindness of America’s WWII generation, which actually believed the defeat of Hitler immunized them from the scalp-hunters of America’s Left.

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    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    I've read the autobiography of Dylan's girlfriend Suse Rotolo, a red-diaper kid from New York - and I have listened to Bob Dylan for a time in my life quite intensely. What impressed me a lot was the immunity, as it seemed from a German perspective, of those people on the American left against the totalitarian left and their promises. No Cuban nights with glowing (=believing) eyes, no Weathermen-adoration, no Mao-marching.

    (I grew up near Heidelberg and these people - together with the Beatles - "and if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao - you ain't gonna make it with anyone - anyhow" - together with Little Feat - so outspoken against this wrong kind of of juvenile strength - how could you be any stronger than your elders than by siding with - superpowerful chairman Mao?! - But if you did- you had Little Feat standing up clearly against you - and I liked that very much!

    For lots of my German peers - this (= Mao, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Che Guevarra) was the option, they chose. But not for me - thanks not least to - - those American hipsters. - And Kacey Kasem from AFN - and Frank Zappa. And - - The Allmen Brothers Band - and Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac, Erich Fromm - and Tom Wolfe - etc. (Ansel Adams (!), Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe, Walt Whithman, Walker Percy, Henry (!) Roth, Salinger's The Catcher in The Rye, P. J. O'Rourke...).
    (Ah JackOH - this'd be my anti-totalitarian five cent anyway!)

    , @dfordoom

    Dieter, you may add the post-1945 political blindness of America’s WWII generation, which actually believed the defeat of Hitler immunized them from the scalp-hunters of America’s Left.
     
    That was the generation that was so dumb they believed all the crusade against fascism propaganda. They believed all the Cold War propaganda as well. They embraced lots of liberal lunacy, like second wave feminism. They began the process of destroying the family by enthusiastically embracing divorce.

    They produced the Beat culture, celebrating sexual depravity and mindless hedonism.

    They were the generation that decided that feelings mattered more than reason. Feelings, and money. They were the first consumerist generation. They abandoned religion.

    They were as dumb as rocks.
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  136. Even math books for adolescents are oversized. My math books from junior high school in the 1960′s were typically slim volumes, 225 pages, few if any diagrams, all math, less than a pound. My son’s books at that time averaged 1400 pages and 8-10 pounds. They contained hundreds of useless pictures (for example, a blurry race car to illustrate acceleration) and my favorite, every one of the fifty or so chapters inexplicably began with a 4-page section of Spanish math vocabulary. Useless in the midwest, or any other American school for that matter. 200 pages of useless crap.

    On one occasion I tried to help him with a homework problem; these books were unreadable. All the diversity crap interspersed made them impossible to read. I tried blocking out some of the useless pictures by using my hands like Mr. Monk. Impossible.

    I was excited when he brought home one of his college math books, on PDEs I think, that was entirely in black and white, with no illustrations. 225 pages. At last! back to learning math.

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  137. @Anon
    There's a long-term fad in publishing known as the 'I'm been abused memoirs.' Publishers aren't as keen on, 'I accomplished something memoirs.' There's a type of person who feels catharsis when they read an abuse memoir, starting with feeling bad for the author, flying into utter outrage at the injustice of it, and then getting an emotional payoff in the end when you read about the narrator finally taking charge of their life and overcoming abuse. There's a zillion books out there like that. It's called the hurt/comfort trope. It's an entire genre at Fanfiction.net, where it's part of the drop-down menu.

    Once you have a trained seal audience who keeps quivering like a bowl of neurotic jelly and wanting more of that trope, they spent like crazy to feed it. People hooked on anxiety, outrage, and a feeling of injustice are easy to extract money from. Injustice makes it feel like you're donating to charity when you buy a book about how badly someone has been mistreated, so it's not like you're going out and selfishly buying yourself a milkshake or something like that. It's good-spent money, not bad-spent money, so doing a lot more of this type of spending is 'good.' Publishers have figured out they make megabucks out of these readers, so they keep feeding their tastes.

    Bookbub, which sends out emails for temporarily discounted titles for a lot of major publishers, promotes in their history section what I like to call the 'Daily Holocaust.' Yes, they send out emails about a new, discounted Holocaust book or some other type of 'Jews have been mistreated' history book practically every single day. It's usually paired with a non-Holocaust history book, and I have noticed something rather amusing about these two types of books. Quite often the non-Holocaust book will stay discounted for a month or so at a price of around $1.99 to 99 cents, but the Holocaust book always shoots back up to $9.99 exactly 24 hours later, because publishers have figured out that frightened, weeping, high-strung and neurotic Jews will pay full freight once you get their attention and lure them in. Not surprisingly, Bookbub's biography and memoir section is filled with 'I've been abused books.'
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  138. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar



    pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.
     
    We had the best music of the last 100 years, but screwed the pooch on just about everything else. It would interesting to observe the next 50 years and see how they deal with what we inflicted on the country….I’ll be lucky to see the next 20.

     

    If you remember the "best music of the last 100 years" when it was played new, I congratulate you on your reaching centenarian status. The main attraction of 1960s music was its diversity; on most other benchmarks the standards slipped, and slipped, and slipped, and slip to this day.

    How you can blame nuclear warfare, AFDC, urban renewal, network television, legal abortion, no-fault divorce, upside-down immigration policy, questionable space exploration, and God knows what else on people who did not come of age until after the 1964 election just goes to show how far educational standards have slipped. Can't these people count?

    Not to mention that some of us weren’t even born until 1964, and have surprisingly little in common with people born in 1946.

    The Generation This / Generation That thing we have going on is remarkably arbitrary, if you bother to think about it. I could just as well decide to start a generation after Sputnik, or after the Korean War, or after the first man on the moon.

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    • Replies: @Hibernian
    The end of WWII is a pretty good marker, thus the Boomers, of whom I am one. (B. 1954) Gen X and the Millenials are at succeeding 25 year intervals, which makes sense.
    , @Intelligent Dasein

    The Generation This / Generation That thing we have going on is remarkably arbitrary, if you bother to think about it. I could just as well decide to start a generation after Sputnik, or after the Korean War, or after the first man on the moon.
     
    Generational designations are not arbitrary. They have to do with Kondratiev-like oscillations in general economic and social conditions which resonate around major geopolitical upheavals and then are maintained by the fact of different age cohorts entering different phases of their life cycle at critical times. Due to the nature of the material in question, only a very rough degree of precision is possible here, and there are significant dampeners and disruptions to the rhythm, but it is rooted in human nature and forms an identifiable pattern.

    It's like the alternation of the seasons. We can exactly fix the day and even the very moment of the Autumnal Equinox, but nobody can predict ahead of time what will be the first day that "feels Fallish," or whether the Autumn will be warm or cold, long or short. But this does not mean that Autumn is a useless concept. We will get some variation of it in between Summer and Winter, and it will begin sometime around Sept. 21st, give or take a few weeks. We know we can expect falling leaves, rapidly diminishing daylight, and lower temperatures, however much variation there is from year to year. Societies follow a similar pattern where things like civic spirit, investment in the future, birthrates, military adventurism, economic expansion, and openness to outsiders all wax and wane according to what age cohort is in what phase of its life at what time. A generation which fights a major war in its youth will obviously have a formative experience that will cause it to act differently at 40 and at 60 than the generation born after it which inherited the outcome. A generation born into a great K-wave advance will feel and act differently throughout its life than a generation born into a great depression, and so on.
    , @dfordoom

    The Generation This / Generation That thing we have going on is remarkably arbitrary, if you bother to think about it.
     
    But it's very useful for keeping people distracted from real issues. The fact that the alt-right embraces it with so much enthusiasm is further proof of the long-term uselessness of the alt-right.
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  139. @Anonymous
    Demographic trends explain why music was better in the 60s and 70s. Music is most popular with young people. A society with a lot of young people will produce a lot of music. A society that produces a lot of music will produce better music.

    I heard this factoid watching a documentary on PBS. They stated that in 1967 the US hit 200 million in population of which 50% where 25 years or less. Unstated was the demographics which would probably have been at least 85% white.

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  140. @Diversity Heretic
    My recollection is that Lindbergh's greatest contribution was to encourage pilots to "lean" their mixtures at high altitude, so as to conserve fuel and extend range, which was very important in the Pacific Theater. An A6M type Zero fighter was captured largely intact in the Aleutians sometime in 1942 and was studied extensively. The Zero's strengths and weaknesses were actually pretty well understood by Claire Chenault, who commanded the American Volunteer Group in China.

    Author Daniel Ford, in Leftie-Historical-Revisionist-Smartalec fashion, attempts to bring Chenault and the American Volunteer Group (AVG, popularly known as the Flying Tigers) “down to Earth.”

    To the consternation and outrage of the AVG veterans and families, he attempts to chronicle their claims of lopsided shoot-down ratios as grossly overinflated, although he explains the difficulties presented to a pilot of documenting that he actually downed an enemy rather than damaged them, especially under the adrenalin-filled experience of the enemy trying to do the same to him. He also acknowledges that even their more even shoot-down ratio with the enemy was quite the accomplishment given the circumstances under which the AVG pilots flew and fought.

    Ford also asserts that Chenault and his flyers never encountered the true A6M “Type Zero” as this craft was a Navy plane and they faced off against the land-based aviation element of Japan. Some of the planes they fought against were even earlier-design fixed-landing gear, but still in Chennault’s words “climbed like a rocket and agile like a squirrel.” I guess they were all “generically” of the Zero design in that they had high-horsepower air-cooled radial engines, of very lightweight construction and very little pilot protection, in contrast with the not-as-high-powered inline radial engine on the Curtiss P-40 flown by the Tigers, with a more rugged construction and substantial armor to protect the pilot.

    Speaking of “aviation firsts”, Chennault was the first among the Allies to understand the different strengths and weakness of these different design philosophies and how to train his pilots to build on the strengths of the P-40 (much higher speed and control in a dive and subsequent zoom climb back to fighting altitude) and exploit the “Zero’s” weaknesses (minimal pilot protection, uncontrollable in a steep dive). Part of this was his intellectual gift, part of this was his experience as a lone America fighting the Japanese and training Chinese pilots to do the same much earlier than the AVG. Kind of like the “handful of American volunteers fighting against German aircraft in the Spanish Civil War.”

    My knowledge of the AVG was initially confined to John Toland’s “Flying Tigers” written for younger readers, which while impressive may have gotten many details wrong as well as accepted the shoot-down claims without Ford’s scrutiny. What especially piqued my interest was a showing of the John Wayne movie “Flying Tigers” on Public television followed by an interview with the aging David Lee “Tex” Hill, the real-life AVG squadron leader.

    Hill of course explained that their air combat was “nothing like the movie” in that “you would never dogfight ‘the Zero’ as shown in the film”, or at least that was the case with the surviving AVG pilots who actually heeded Chenault’s warnings about a tight-turning engagement against the much more agile Japanese planes. If a “Zero” was “on your tail”, you would dive, and in Hill’s words, “I mean straight down” (the heavy P-40 was rugged enough to do that without coming apart or losing aerodynamic control from aero-elastic flutter).

    The other thing that Hill spoke of was how the AVG gun camera films of attack runs against Japanese bombers always showed those bombers upside down. He explained that the Tigers attacked bombers by diving, rolling over, than zooming back up to attack from underneath where the Japanese tail gunners couldn’t reach them. British scientist Freeman Dyson who spent WW-II as a statistician trying to figure out why the British bombers were being shot down seemed to think the tactic of attacking from below, which the Germans did with an angled gun as he and his fellow statistics people had conjectured by analyzing British losses, that attacking from below was a unique German tactic. Finally, American bombers had this thing called a “ball turret”, into which they would stuff their shortest gunners and winch them down to defend against fighter attacks from below, leaving these guys vulnerable to being the first crew member shot dead in such attacks.

    Toland remembers the young Henry Gilbert as the first AVG pilot to perish in combat, who Ford better explains the circumstances that he was vulnerable to the concentrated fire of the tail gunners in the bomber formation in attacking from above. But apart from Hill’s interview, I can find no other source about Chennault training his pilots to attack the enemy bombers from below. Maybe this is something Hill figured out and taught to the squadron under his command?

    Chennault and his AVG pilots were certainly aviation pioneers in “combat between dissimilar aircraft”, lessons that were unfortunately slow to be disseminated among other American flyers in WW-II and even had to be relearned in the heavy-fast Phantom against slower-agile MiG in Vietnam.

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    • Replies: @istevefan

    in contrast with the not-as-high-powered inline radial engine on the Curtiss P-40 flown by the Tigers,
     
    Can you explain? I thought the P-40 had an Allison V-12 liquid cooled engine, not a radial type.
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  141. One of the more incredible things (in this day of instant communications) is how little attention the Wright Brothers got at first. They were successfully flying their airplanes around the countryside at Huffman Prairie (conveniently located at the end of a trolley line from Dayton) in 1904/5 and they got no attention from the national press. The NY Times kept printing articles about how someday man would learn to fly while all the farmers in the Dayton countryside could see the Wrights flying overhead every day. All the “smart people” assumed that advances in flying would be made by “experts” like Langley at some big institution and it didn’t seem possible that a couple of bicycle mechanics in the middle of nowhere would be the one to crack the problem of flight. There was also a long tradition of cranks building flying machines that didn’t really fly so everyone assumed that these Wright guys were the same and they couldn’t even be bothered to send someone all the way out to Dayton to see for themselves.

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    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @flyingtiger
    I was always surprised that the local newspapers never tried to cover this. It should be noted that the Wrights very very quiet about their activities at this time. As everyone knows, nothing good comes out of the flyover states.
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  142. @Curle
    I remember a period in the 90s when it seemed every third female lit major was writing a memoir about her depression. So much so it briefly became a thing. I think Elizabeth Wurtzel kick started it with Prozac Nation.

    Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar?

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  143. @Anonymous
    The Wrights understood the need for three axis controls, they just didn't do them particularly well, at least until others had shown the way. Actually, you really need only pitch and roll in a perfectly, or even appropriately designed airplane. Yaw (rudder) is really only to compensate for torque and P-factor in propeller aircraft, asymmetric thrust in multiengine airplanes with an engine out, and for aerobatics and crosswind landings.

    The Wrights had horizontal stabilizers in front of, rather than behind the wings, called canards.
    (The idea was revived by Burt and Dick Rutan in the early seventies : I have the same mixed respect for the Rutans as I have for someone who can memorize the phone book, and I told that to Dick to his face once. ) They did not understand what was involved in making such an arrangement stable:

    Flyer stability

    The Flyer was conceived as a control-canard, as the Wrights were more concerned with control than stability. However, it was found to be so highly unstable that it was barely controllable. Following the first flight, ballast was added to the nose to move the center of gravity forward and reduce pitch instability. However the basics of pitch stability of the canard configuration were not understood by the Wright Brothers. F.E.C. Culick stated, "The backward state of the general theory and understanding of flight mechanics hindered them... Indeed, the most serious gap in their knowledge was probably the basic reason for their unwitting mistake in selecting their canard configuration".
     
    (Wikipedia)

    At least six or seven people built fully controllable and dynamically stable airplanes before the Wrights finally did.

    I am not trying to minimize the Wrights' contributions, but to put them in perspective. Like a lot of things, powered heavier than air flight became inevitable once the existing glider was combined with the just-about-existing internal combustion engine light enough to power one along. The Wrights did a lot of valuable work, but Curtiss in the US, Santos-Dumont (a jet setter before jets, or indeed even dirigibles, in Brazil and Europe), Bleriot in France, all were going there at the same time and in some ways better.

    Indeed, in the 1930s, the Baslers built a working steam airplane and a man named Bernie Pietenpol built an airplane that could fly on a junkyard Ford Model A engine, which showed that the idea was inevitable.

    It is notable how close in time, even overlapping, were the developments of the airplane and of the automobile. It suggests that the key enabling technology that both were waiting for was the gasoline IC engine.

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    • Agree: Hibernian
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Engine power is all-important. A fridge will fly if you strap a strong enough engine to it.
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  144. @George
    "Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering"

    Heroes of suffering sounds a bit like Roman Catholic Saints. Is there an end of the dominance of Protestantism and rise of Catholics and Jews aspect to this?

    I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. Stories of Indian attacks also seem to be exaggerated. The theme of victimhood in early America might be an interesting topic. Maybe a stretch but, Melville's characters from Moby Dick and Billy Bud are Heroes of Suffering?

    How does veneration of the 'lost cause' fit into your Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering analysis?

    The Heroes of Suffering theme might have started with the failed post WWII Korean and Vietnam wars and the need to celebrate veterans of lost causes.

    There’s a difference between Martyrs and Victims. Martyrs willingly allow themselves to be sacrificed for a good cause.

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  145. Today’s youth are looking for heroes. That is why they are so fascinated with the “Star Wars” movies.I could give you a long essay on how that movie is a failure in that regards. However it is the only place where that is even tried.

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  146. @AndrewR
    Yes, the non-atomic bombing of Tokyo killed more people than the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and possibly Hiroshima too, but it's been memory holed in the US.

    I always wondered why it was more morally unacceptable to be killed in an atom bomb blast than to be burned to a crisp or have the air sucked out of your lungs.

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  147. @Jack D
    One of the more incredible things (in this day of instant communications) is how little attention the Wright Brothers got at first. They were successfully flying their airplanes around the countryside at Huffman Prairie (conveniently located at the end of a trolley line from Dayton) in 1904/5 and they got no attention from the national press. The NY Times kept printing articles about how someday man would learn to fly while all the farmers in the Dayton countryside could see the Wrights flying overhead every day. All the "smart people" assumed that advances in flying would be made by "experts" like Langley at some big institution and it didn't seem possible that a couple of bicycle mechanics in the middle of nowhere would be the one to crack the problem of flight. There was also a long tradition of cranks building flying machines that didn't really fly so everyone assumed that these Wright guys were the same and they couldn't even be bothered to send someone all the way out to Dayton to see for themselves.

    I was always surprised that the local newspapers never tried to cover this. It should be noted that the Wrights very very quiet about their activities at this time. As everyone knows, nothing good comes out of the flyover states.

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  148. @J1234

    Lindbergh was a fine aviator and an intelligent and decent, responsible man but he was not the first to cross the Atlantic, and he did not invent anything to do with his flight.
     
    Good point, but to be fair, remember that the Wright brothers weren't really the first to fly. Gustave Whitehead may have flown earlier, and Otto Lilienthal flew almost as far without an engine as the Wrights did with one (and before they did.) What Lindbergh and the Wrights did was meet some criteria that had somehow become the standard for all attempting to achieve a particular goal in aviation.

    The point of all of this is the historical significance and social impact that the Wrights and Lindbergh had on the world back when they succeeded in their efforts, and that modern historians are trying to ignore that significance. Columbus wasn't the first to discover the New World, but his achievement nevertheless had a profound impact. Schoolbook historians try to give children the impression that Chinese explorers who may have landed on the continent earlier were just as significant as Columbus, which is a lie.

    Amelia Earhart was a brave soul, but she's lifted up as the preeminent flyer of her time by some historians who write schoolbooks because she was a courageous woman, not because she's the best symbol of progress in aviation.

    But you won’t hear much about 1930s aviatrix Hanna Reitsch, because she was a Nazi.

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    • Replies: @David In TN
    "But you won't hear much about 1930's aviatrix Hanna Reitsch, because she was a Nazi."

    The other day in a Barnes and Noble store, I saw a book on Hanna Reitsch in the WW II section titled "The Women Who Flew For Hitler." And there are several other books on her.
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  149. @Achmed E. Newman

    Where were the Wright sisters, suppressed again?
     
    The Wrights had a sister named Katherine, as I recall from the book about them I read less than a year ago. Here it is, by David McCullough. Katherine was very helpful at home, as Orville and Wilbur really got going in the mid-19-oughts, to demo their flyers in France. They had a mechanic friend too, who was especially helpful with the powerplant, and it was more like a 3-man team for a good while.

    I guess Katherine was too oppressed to go to France, knowing what the girls in France don't wear and all....

    Katherine did go to France. From the wiki:

    “Wilbur asked Katharine to go to France with Orville, and in 1909 they joined him in Pau. She quickly dominated the social scene, being far more outgoing and charming than the notoriously shy brothers. French newspapers were fascinated by what they saw as the human side of the Wrights. She was awarded, along with Wilbur and Orville, the Legion d’honneur, making her one of a very few women from the U.S. who have received it.”

    The Wright Brothers were spregy, nerdy kind of guys. They were fantastic mechanics and inventors but socially awkward. They never married and Katherine filled the role of the woman of the household. McCollough writes that their entire non-business social circle consisted of maybe 8 people – they were just very private and uncomfortable in social settings.

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Thanks Jack, I get CRS episodes sometimes, though I read that book about only 8 months back or so.

    I have 3 comment in moderation (since last night or something) about technical stuff.
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  150. @Curle
    The Pilgrims were Puritans and historian Edmond Morgan describes the period of the English Civil War as one where there was extensive back and forth traffic by the Puritan residents of Mass/Plymouth and England as they volunteered in Cromwell’s New Model Army and were later supporters of his regime. Virginia stayed loyal to the crown.

    Read or watch a performance of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night sometime to get a sense of how these people were regarded. Malvolio, the goat of the play, is a Puritan.

    “Measure for Measure” also goes after Puritan hypocrisy.

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  151. @John Mansfield
    Actually, Katharine (with two a's) did go to France, and the French loved her. They had the idea that since she was a college graduate and high school Latin teacher, then her education most have included math too, and she must be the secret genius guiding her brothers' work. Miss Wright was very supportive of her brothers (and father), but she did not contribute in any technical or scientific way. A delightful short book on her was The Wright Sister: Katharine Wright and Her Famous Brothers by Richard Mauer. It felt a little like Willa Cather’s O Pioneers. I loved this view of the Wright Brothers’ project, and of a single woman in Dayton, Ohio 1903.

    Another nice book by Mauer is The Wild Colorado: The True Adventures of Fred Dellenbaugh, Age 17, on the Second Powell Expedition into the Grand Canyon. To balance my children’s voluminous fantasy reading with other, good writing based on the world that actually exists, and to fortify their connection with their heritage, I was looking for a suitable book on John Wesley Powell, explorer of the Colorado River. Richard Maurer wrote one that was just what I was after. This short book, 120 pages, tells a wonderful tale of a young man who gained a place in a glorious, sometimes boring, highly challenging undertaking, and returned home two years later with a course for his life initiated.

    And just to tie the Wrights into an iSteveism: Katharine graduated from Oberlin, Class of ’98.

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  152. @Inquiring Mind
    The Wright brothers were much, much more than their First Flight at Kill Devil Hills and "first!"

    This is not about the Moon landing where Neil Armstrong got their first! and space exploration has not amounted to much since then.

    Any of a number of people at the time could have built craft with enough lift and enough power to fly for a short time. What the Wright brothers figured out was how to steer the thing, how to control their Flyer along multiple axis directions.

    Their secret to success was figuring out that it was not enough to fly, you had to seriously control which way you are going. While a lot of other people were still figuring out how to fly, many of them did, the Wright brothers were doing these demonstrations where they flew in the way we understand it today, they dipped and zoomed and turned and put on quite the show that they could control their flights.

    Now the Wright flyer has an odd flight control setup compared to the current general aviation aircraft that you can take flying lessons in. It is probably dangerous for a modern pilot to attempt to operate a Wright flyer, and maybe you had to develop more of a "body position" sense to operate it, maybe much more like a modern helicopter, which they tell me is more of a "knack" that you need to train into your muscles rather than the listen-to-what-your-instructor-tells-you to operate a modern fixed-wing craft.

    But there was much more to their accomplishment than simply getting airborne for a short time. Their accomplishment with maneuverability put aviation on the fast-track to where it is today.

    At the time of the centennial of flight, a number of people built replicas of the 1903 Wright Flyer and no one could really get them to fly very well – it was more of a proof of concept than an actual flyable aircraft. However they continued working on it and their Flyer III of 1905 was flyable in a useful way – it could stay in the air for 1/2 hour or more and fly many miles. Superficially it looks much like the 1903 Flyer but they almost doubled the size of the elevator and rudder and moved them about twice the distance from the wings. They also separated control of the rudder from the wing warping control – before they had been linked together. This made all the difference from something that tended to pitch over and crash all the time (it’s a miracle that neither of the brothers was killed in the early experiments though Orville was severely injured) to something that was much more stable and controllable.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    There is a guy named Mark Dusenberry who built an exact copy of the 1905 Flyer III and he, like the brothers, was actually able to fly it in a controlled way (sometimes). Video here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-_DQj9iQeQ

    Ignore the talking head guy blowing hot air and watch the video in the background of Dusenberry flying. It takes a goodly amount of cojones (or maybe stupidity) to do this. The Flyer III design is very unforgiving of mistakes - a lot of early Wright pilots lost their lives. They tend to go into pitch oscillations where they start to roller coaster and the oscillations get bigger and bigger until they nose into the ground. Dusenberry did crash in 2009 and was seriously injured - it was really only a matter of time, unfortunately. As I said before, the Wrights were incredibly lucky to have survived their early experiments
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  153. @Tiny Duck
    So basically you are a racist


    Good riddance

    Oh by the way Wright stole his "invention" from an African Black Arab

    “We wuz flyin’ kangz.”

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  154. So today was the first day Amtrak was using a new route for its Seattle-Portland run.

    One hundred and fourteen years ago, we put a man in the sky … forty-eight years ago, we put a man on the moon* … today, we can’t even get a train over I-5, or keep the lights on at the busiest airport in the world.

    *Conspiracy theories notwithstanding.

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  155. @AndrewR
    Yes, the non-atomic bombing of Tokyo killed more people than the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and possibly Hiroshima too, but it's been memory holed in the US.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtis_LeMay

    As far as casualties were concerned, I think there were more casualties in the first attack on Tokyo with incendiaries than there were with the first use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The fact that it’s done instantaneously, maybe that’s more humane than incendiary attacks, if you can call any war act humane. I don’t, particularly, so to me there wasn’t much difference. A weapon is a weapon and it really doesn’t make much difference how you kill a man. If you have to kill him, well, that’s the evil to start with and how you do it becomes pretty secondary. I think your choice should be which weapon is the most efficient and most likely to get the whole mess over with as early as possible.

    Killing Japanese didn’t bother me very much at that time… I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal…. Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you’re not a good soldier.

    There are no innocent civilians. It is their government and you are fighting a people, you are not trying to fight an armed force anymore. So it doesn’t bother me so much to be killing the so-called innocent bystanders.

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  156. @Tiny Duck
    So basically you are a racist


    Good riddance

    Oh by the way Wright stole his "invention" from an African Black Arab

    TD doesn’t seem to know that there was more than one Wright brother. I guess that’s because they no longer teach about them.

    Actually the Wright Brothers seem to be unusual in that two brothers shared equal credit for a famous invention. What other well known brother pairs invented something important? The Smith Brothers invented the cough drop ;-) but I can’t think of any others offhand.

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  157. The Wright brothers did not realise their project was on the brink of success. It is quite common for innovators to not realise they are close to a breakthrough.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    How can anyone know in advance with certainty whether their brand new idea is going to work?

    The Wright Brothers did wind tunnel tests but they didn't really know whether their little models would scale up to human size until they built one or actually several. After their last 1903 flight they knew they were on the right track but they still hadn't cracked it - the 1903 Flyer I and the 1904 Flyer II were both dangerously unstable and prone to pitching over and crashing. An airplane that flies 1,000 feet is an interesting proof of concept but useless as product. When they built the Flyer I, they knew that they needed horizontal and vertical stabilizers but they seriously underestimated how big the control surfaces needed to be and how far away they had to be from the wings to achieve the necessary stability. Once they doubled the size of the surfaces and the length of the attachment booms they had their real breakthrough - something that they were confident that they could actually demonstrate to customers.

    There is a fine line between "almost works" and "actually works" and you don't really know whether you will be able to cross that line except in retrospect. A lot of things get to the "almost works" phase (fusion reactors, turbine powered cars, etc.) but have never been able to cross over and become real working commercial products.

    , @lavoisier

    The Wright brothers did not realise their project was on the brink of success. It is quite common for innovators to not realise they are close to a breakthrough.
     
    Same was true for those who built the atomic bomb. A great deal of uncertainty whether it would blow or the amount of energy it would release.

    It is too bad their experiment worked. I suspect their success will ultimately doom us.
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  158. @Stephen Marle II
    I read a short biography of the Wrights that I picked up at the bookstore at the Smithsonian years back. It was different from the average biography in that it was written by an engineer and concentrated on the technical stuff.

    I was surprised to learn, although I shouldn't have been, that they were disciplined engineers. They had an annual cycle of testing, development, manufacturing, and back to testing. They made a miniature wind tunnel to test airfoil shapes (I've seen a replica of this in an aviation museum). Nothing was done by the seat of their pants, which is why they didn't die jumping off a cliff.

    They quantified everything: they needed more engine horsepower, but that would make it heavier, etc., all worked out in math on paper before making anything. Also, they corresponded, very gingerly, with their competitors, trying to learn their progress without giving away anything important.

    However, watching the Brazilian Olympics opening ceremony I was surprised to learn that much of the rest of the world credits Alberto Santos-Dumont with the first airplane flight. I thought that this was the typical nationalistic chauavinism to be expected from some backwater like Brazil ;-) but the guy's claim is pretty strong: no catapult, started from a full stop, and documented in movie form, in front of a huge group of spectators, including technical observers. And to top it off, the guy apparently commissioned the first wristwatch.

    First wristwatch, like first airplane, is a difficult claim to pin down. You don’t have to exactly be a genius to strap a pocket watch to your wrist. Wrist watches had been around in the 19th century as ladies jewelry (no vest pockets to carry a pocket watch – or else they wore them as pendants around their neck) so this gave them an effeminate image. WWI put the wristwatch (along with the trench coat) “over the top” as fashion items. When you are running around on a battlefield you don’t have time to be reaching into your pocket to check the time. And no one could accuse combat troops of being effeminate.

    Ironically, we have gone full circle. Most kids no longer wear wristwatches and when they want to know the time they reach into their pocket and look at their phone.

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    • Replies: @Lurker

    Ironically, we have gone full circle. Most kids no longer wear wristwatches and when they want to know the time they reach into their pocket and look at their phone.
     
    Good point, hadn't seen it put like that before.
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  159. @Diversity Heretic
    For years, the Smitsonian Institution claimed that Samuel P. Langley built the first "aircraft capable of flight," even though his catapult-launched effort fell into the Potomac River. It was salvaged, extensively modified and did actually fly much later, hence the Smithsonian's claim. The rivalry between the Smithsonian and the Wrights was so intense that the Wright Flyer was on display in London until about 1948. IIRC, there is a model of the Langley Flyer way up in the corner of the main hall of the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, although the principal exhibit is the Wright Flyer.

    When the Wrights first demonstrated their machine in Europe, the Europeans realized how far behind they were. They caught up quickly however.

    One of the conditions in the contract for bringing back the Wright Flyer from London and donating it to the Smithsonian is that the museum had to agree never to claim anymore that Langley’s plane (or anyone else’s) was first.

    “Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor its successors, nor any museum or other agency … or its successors shall publish or permit to be displayed a statement or label in connection with or in respect of any aircraft model or design of earlier date than the Wright Aeroplane of 1903, claiming in effect that such aircraft was capable of carrying a man under its own power in controlled flight.”

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  160. @Jack D
    Katherine did go to France. From the wiki:

    "Wilbur asked Katharine to go to France with Orville, and in 1909 they joined him in Pau. She quickly dominated the social scene, being far more outgoing and charming than the notoriously shy brothers. French newspapers were fascinated by what they saw as the human side of the Wrights. She was awarded, along with Wilbur and Orville, the Legion d'honneur, making her one of a very few women from the U.S. who have received it."

    The Wright Brothers were spregy, nerdy kind of guys. They were fantastic mechanics and inventors but socially awkward. They never married and Katherine filled the role of the woman of the household. McCollough writes that their entire non-business social circle consisted of maybe 8 people - they were just very private and uncomfortable in social settings.

    Thanks Jack, I get CRS episodes sometimes, though I read that book about only 8 months back or so.

    I have 3 comment in moderation (since last night or something) about technical stuff.

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  161. @Neil Templeton
    Best music of the last 100 years? I don't think so. Lots of competition there. Maybe start with the blues/jazz product in 20's and 30's. Also country music in 40s and 50's. Anyway, not a whole lot of parameters on which to objectively compare differing eras of music. Best thing baby boomers' music had going for it was huge advances in electronics and marketing, increases to disposable income for the middle class, and the pill which dissolved traditional barriers to sex and allowed millions of sub-males to taste the conqueror's share of gratuitous copulation.

    “the pill which dissolved traditional barriers to sex and allowed millions of sub-males to taste the conqueror’s share of gratuitous copulation”

    Something which seems to be reversing or reverting. I was never long without a woman in my youth despite in no way being an alpha male (and five foot seven to boot). My six-foot-plus sons are better looking than I ever was, yet don’t seem to be reaping the rewards in the quantity I’d expect (they may just be keeping quiet though, I certainly didn’t tell my folks everything).

    I think there was probably a lot of “I can do it, so I will do it” around in those first post-Pill years.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    I assume the fear of possible rape charges has cut down on a lot of college sex, which was the hidden agenda of the cat ladies all along. If they're not having fun then no one should. Probably beta-ish, high future time preference guys have become even more cautious than impulsive types - do I really want to ruin my life for a tumble in the sheets (or based on the current hysteria, even for patting someone on the butt)? The cat ladies don't mind this either. And having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way probably slows things down to the point where the parties lose interest many times or the guy is too shy to actually ask those questions so he doesn't even try.
    , @Neil Templeton
    There's plenty of "I can do it, so I will do it", but there aren't many men who're willin' the outcome. Women have wised up.
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  162. @Ivy
    Kitty Hawk?
    Seems appropriative and culturally insensitive.
    There is more than a hint of patriarchy due to that warlike bird image, softened only by a soft, purring pussy. Where were the Wright sisters, suppressed again?
    No wonder history had to be reviewed. Who is next, Henrietta Ford?

    There is more than a hint of patriarchy due to that warlike bird image, softened only by a soft, purring pussy.

    Softened? You’re reading “Kitty Hawk” the wrong way. It’s flat out pussy grabbing! Might as well be a paean to the PGIC.

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  163. @Achmed E. Newman
    J, Amelia Earhart didn't even navigate, which is a major part of this type of accomplishment. She didn't trust her navigator upon landfall over Africa (after the long leg from NE Brazil), so she turned down the coast opposite from what he reckoned, and luckily they had enough fuel to do a 180 and get to the field they intended to fly to. I'm not saying they would have died, but they'd have landed somewhere, possibly broke the plane, and ruined the mission.

    Granted, the navigator was a drunkard, so, I dunno whose fault it was that they missed the Pacific Island they needed to find on that fateful leg out of the Orient.

    Now, Lindbergh, in contrast, had been up 24 hours before he even started his solo flight (his own fault, but he was doing last-minute promotion of the feat) He fought sleep like a demon more than any other obstacle on the trip. Have you ever been driving when you know you should have pulled over hours back? You end up sticking your head out the window, shouting at yourself, whatever to stay awake, even after a Coke. Lindbergh couldn't pull over, and he had to stay out of the icing conditions in the clouds (well, those planes couldn't be flown on instruments anyway) sometimes by getting down to 100 ft or so. That meant he had to be extra vigilant not to hit the water.

    There's no comparison between the skills of Lindbergh's and Earhart's feats- her's was just a typical affirmative action stunt, albeit a few decades ahead of its time.

    I thought I was the only person who shouted at himself to stay awake on car journeys.

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  164. @Curle
    “I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. ”

    The Pilgrims were like the Boston Marathon bombing immigrants, total twats in their home country of whom the authorities were glad to be rid of.

    The Virginians brought them here and came to regret the decision. The Thanksgiving story was mostly a post civil war contrivance conceived to invent a new hero story for the replacement overlords to supplant the Virginia story.

    Many of the Pilgrim spawn returned just long enough to cause trouble in the English Civil War and then returned. We would undoubtably be a better country if the Virginian leaders of the colony had denied them passage here from the outset.

    While we’re on the subject, Wilbur and Orville Wright were full-blooded Yankees, i.e., descendants of the Puritans.

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  165. @Danindc
    Agreed. That pisses me off. Every kid should know the 12 men who walked on the moon as well. I bet only 20% know Armstrong. And why don't they teach about Congressional Medal of Honor winners etc. .

    “Every kid should know the 12 men who walked on the moon as well. I bet only 20% know Armstrong.”

    Be careful what you wish for. We know the Wright brothers flew. That 12 men walked on the moon, not so much.

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  166. @advancedatheist
    Frankly I think we should agree-and-amplify on Andrew Jackson:

    Andrew Jackson owned slaves and killed Indians?

    How cool is that? Wow, what a badass! He puts modern white men to shame.

    One of my ancestors was a Major in the Cherokee battalion that fought under Andrew Jackson in the Creek War. Tecumseh and his brother The Prophet were half Creek, and a large contingent of Creeks allied themselves with Tecumseh. The other Creeks, Cherokees and US soldiers fought against them. Sadly, The Prophet had convinced his relatives that believers would be immune to the White Man’s bullets. They weren’t.

    After the Creek War, many of the Cherokee who fought under Jackson greatly admired the man. One prominent Cherokee named his son after Jackson. In fact, my ancestors were assassinated for agreeing that the Cherokee should be removed to Indian Territory, and some of my ancestors signed the treaty. My ancestors wanted the Cherokee time to establish their own nation without white interference.

    During the War my Cherokee ancestors sided with the Confederacy.

    Even the Cherokee who hated Jackson admired him as a general.

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    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
    I think people who have had to fight to stay a people tend to admire warriors. I wonder what the old Cherokee and Creek fathers would have to say about the current year.
    , @cthulhu


    In fact, my ancestors were assassinated for agreeing that the Cherokee should be removed to Indian Territory, and some of my ancestors signed the treaty.

     

    Ah, we're mortal enemies! (I'm mostly joking of course.) You must be related to the Stand Watie faction; the Cherokee members of my family are all descendants of John Ross.

    Regardless of faction, given your heritage, you should visit the museum at Tahlequah if you've never been there; it's highly moving.
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  167. @Simon in London
    The 2016 Meme War was very much a rebellion of youth against the old, and the old's teachers-pet fellow travellers. The Sixties People control the Insitutions with an iron fist, but they are no longer trusted the way they were in 2010 or 2012*. The iron curtain of Narrative Control is showing a lot of rust.

    *The SJW insanity of 2012+ prompted by the need to re-elect Obama, surely had some impact in provoking a counter reaction, first seen in GamerGate, then Trump & the Meme Wars.

    You don’t look for dissent where you expect to find it. The Sixties People are watching the streets like hawks, as they expect dissent to take the form of 1960s-style street protests. They don’t understand that it’s the internet that matters now.

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  168. @Sean
    The Wright brothers did not realise their project was on the brink of success. It is quite common for innovators to not realise they are close to a breakthrough.

    How can anyone know in advance with certainty whether their brand new idea is going to work?

    The Wright Brothers did wind tunnel tests but they didn’t really know whether their little models would scale up to human size until they built one or actually several. After their last 1903 flight they knew they were on the right track but they still hadn’t cracked it – the 1903 Flyer I and the 1904 Flyer II were both dangerously unstable and prone to pitching over and crashing. An airplane that flies 1,000 feet is an interesting proof of concept but useless as product. When they built the Flyer I, they knew that they needed horizontal and vertical stabilizers but they seriously underestimated how big the control surfaces needed to be and how far away they had to be from the wings to achieve the necessary stability. Once they doubled the size of the surfaces and the length of the attachment booms they had their real breakthrough – something that they were confident that they could actually demonstrate to customers.

    There is a fine line between “almost works” and “actually works” and you don’t really know whether you will be able to cross that line except in retrospect. A lot of things get to the “almost works” phase (fusion reactors, turbine powered cars, etc.) but have never been able to cross over and become real working commercial products.

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    • Agree: Johann Ricke
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  169. @YetAnotherAnon
    "the pill which dissolved traditional barriers to sex and allowed millions of sub-males to taste the conqueror’s share of gratuitous copulation"

    Something which seems to be reversing or reverting. I was never long without a woman in my youth despite in no way being an alpha male (and five foot seven to boot). My six-foot-plus sons are better looking than I ever was, yet don't seem to be reaping the rewards in the quantity I'd expect (they may just be keeping quiet though, I certainly didn't tell my folks everything).

    I think there was probably a lot of "I can do it, so I will do it" around in those first post-Pill years.

    I assume the fear of possible rape charges has cut down on a lot of college sex, which was the hidden agenda of the cat ladies all along. If they’re not having fun then no one should. Probably beta-ish, high future time preference guys have become even more cautious than impulsive types – do I really want to ruin my life for a tumble in the sheets (or based on the current hysteria, even for patting someone on the butt)? The cat ladies don’t mind this either. And having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way probably slows things down to the point where the parties lose interest many times or the guy is too shy to actually ask those questions so he doesn’t even try.

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    • Replies: @Karl
    161 Jack D > the fear of possible rape charges has cut down on a lot of college sex


    so perhaps the newer generation of white young college men will spend more time becoming fluent in calculus and physics.... so: blessing in disguise?
    , @anonguy

    I assume the fear of possible rape charges has cut down on a lot of college sex, which was the hidden agenda of the cat ladies all along. If they’re not having fun then no one should. Probably beta-ish, high future time preference guys have become even more cautious than impulsive types – do I really want to ruin my life for a tumble in the sheets (or based on the current hysteria, even for patting someone on the butt)? The cat ladies don’t mind this either. And having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way probably slows things down to the point where the parties lose interest many times or the guy is too shy to actually ask those questions so he doesn’t even try.
     
    The young guys are far less bawdy than a generation ago. You seem to think that this is unnatural, I just see it as a natural oscillations of a cycle, it wasn't like the sexual revolution generation set a new normal for all time.

    The younger folks these days simply slice the pie differently than did their parents. Some of the gay marriage, transexual stuff would have been horrifying to a Madman generation ok with chasing the secretary around the desk and just can't get why a hand on the knee 10 years ago was harrowing.

    The "cat ladies" as you unkindly term them, are simply expressing their preferences, to which their millenial guys generally accept and adhere. It is called revealed preferences.

    This isn't some arbitrary campaign being imposed by an ideological minority and hence can be negated. Rather, it is the broad sensibilities of a generation being expressed via various means, some of which are, incidentally and are less of driving factor than a lagging validating one, the "cat ladies" which you disparage.

    , @YetAnotherAnon
    "having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way"

    Back in the 70s the most upfront invite was "you can sleep on the floor or you can sleep with me", we'd not even touched, just been for a beer.

    It was a more innocent time ;-)

    , @Jim Don Bob
    Yep, some babe who was screwing Matt Lauer in his bathroom consensualy 17 years ago when she was 24 now publicly regrets it because of the "imbalance of power in the relationship" or some such twaddle.
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  170. @John Mansfield
    It is notable how close in time, even overlapping, were the developments of the airplane and of the automobile. It suggests that the key enabling technology that both were waiting for was the gasoline IC engine.

    Engine power is all-important. A fridge will fly if you strap a strong enough engine to it.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Engine power is all-important. A fridge will fly if you strap a strong enough engine to it.
     
    Not very maneuverable, though.....
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  171. @AndrewR
    Yes, the non-atomic bombing of Tokyo killed more people than the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and possibly Hiroshima too, but it's been memory holed in the US.

    The Japanese would have done the same (or worse) to us had they been able to.

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  172. @Paul Jolliffe
    The Wright brothers were extremely clever and industrious men who set a goal and did it. They were probably the first in flight, too. But Connecticut's state legislature says otherwise . . .

    http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/wright-brothers-first-flight-fight/index.html

    4 Paul Joliffe > The Wright brothers were extremely clever and industrious men

    the patent records indicate that they were NOT the first to conceive of using left-handed threading on that one pedal of a bicycle pedal which “wants” to un-screw-itself-in when the bicycle is pedaled forward…. but they DID make it the industry standard

    The bicycle version of Thomas Edison, should we say?

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  173. @Jack D
    At the time of the centennial of flight, a number of people built replicas of the 1903 Wright Flyer and no one could really get them to fly very well - it was more of a proof of concept than an actual flyable aircraft. However they continued working on it and their Flyer III of 1905 was flyable in a useful way - it could stay in the air for 1/2 hour or more and fly many miles. Superficially it looks much like the 1903 Flyer but they almost doubled the size of the elevator and rudder and moved them about twice the distance from the wings. They also separated control of the rudder from the wing warping control - before they had been linked together. This made all the difference from something that tended to pitch over and crash all the time (it's a miracle that neither of the brothers was killed in the early experiments though Orville was severely injured) to something that was much more stable and controllable.

    There is a guy named Mark Dusenberry who built an exact copy of the 1905 Flyer III and he, like the brothers, was actually able to fly it in a controlled way (sometimes). Video here:

    Ignore the talking head guy blowing hot air and watch the video in the background of Dusenberry flying. It takes a goodly amount of cojones (or maybe stupidity) to do this. The Flyer III design is very unforgiving of mistakes – a lot of early Wright pilots lost their lives. They tend to go into pitch oscillations where they start to roller coaster and the oscillations get bigger and bigger until they nose into the ground. Dusenberry did crash in 2009 and was seriously injured – it was really only a matter of time, unfortunately. As I said before, the Wrights were incredibly lucky to have survived their early experiments

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  174. @Rosamond Vincy
    But you won't hear much about 1930s aviatrix Hanna Reitsch, because she was a Nazi.

    “But you won’t hear much about 1930′s aviatrix Hanna Reitsch, because she was a Nazi.”

    The other day in a Barnes and Noble store, I saw a book on Hanna Reitsch in the WW II section titled “The Women Who Flew For Hitler.” And there are several other books on her.

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    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
    In terms of being a hero?
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  175. @Jack D
    I assume the fear of possible rape charges has cut down on a lot of college sex, which was the hidden agenda of the cat ladies all along. If they're not having fun then no one should. Probably beta-ish, high future time preference guys have become even more cautious than impulsive types - do I really want to ruin my life for a tumble in the sheets (or based on the current hysteria, even for patting someone on the butt)? The cat ladies don't mind this either. And having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way probably slows things down to the point where the parties lose interest many times or the guy is too shy to actually ask those questions so he doesn't even try.

    161 Jack D > the fear of possible rape charges has cut down on a lot of college sex

    so perhaps the newer generation of white young college men will spend more time becoming fluent in calculus and physics…. so: blessing in disguise?

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  176. @George
    "Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering"

    Heroes of suffering sounds a bit like Roman Catholic Saints. Is there an end of the dominance of Protestantism and rise of Catholics and Jews aspect to this?

    I always thought the pilgrims colonizing Massachusetts story stressing their religious persecution was a bit exaggerated. Stories of Indian attacks also seem to be exaggerated. The theme of victimhood in early America might be an interesting topic. Maybe a stretch but, Melville's characters from Moby Dick and Billy Bud are Heroes of Suffering?

    How does veneration of the 'lost cause' fit into your Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering analysis?

    The Heroes of Suffering theme might have started with the failed post WWII Korean and Vietnam wars and the need to celebrate veterans of lost causes.

    You start by saying it’s a Catholic and Jewish thing and then you immediately give a Protestant example.

    The Puritans were persecuted in England until they took over under the leadership of Cromwell. The Puritans did a good job of persecuting each other in Massachusetts, resulting in the founding of Rhode Island. They also hung a persistent woman Quaker missionary.

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  177. @Anonymous
    Not to mention that some of us weren't even born until 1964, and have surprisingly little in common with people born in 1946.

    The Generation This / Generation That thing we have going on is remarkably arbitrary, if you bother to think about it. I could just as well decide to start a generation after Sputnik, or after the Korean War, or after the first man on the moon.

    The end of WWII is a pretty good marker, thus the Boomers, of whom I am one. (B. 1954) Gen X and the Millenials are at succeeding 25 year intervals, which makes sense.

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  178. The airplane is perhaps the foremost instrument of peace. It makes us see different peoples as humans just like ourselves. It breaks down our defensive identity problems.

    Someday there will be no bombs – only hellos.

    Think Peace — Art

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    • Replies: @Peterike
    “The airplane is perhaps the foremost instrument of peace. It makes us see different peoples as humans just like ourselves. It breaks down our defensive identity problems.”

    What a lot of stupid nonsense.
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  179. @Jack D
    I assume the fear of possible rape charges has cut down on a lot of college sex, which was the hidden agenda of the cat ladies all along. If they're not having fun then no one should. Probably beta-ish, high future time preference guys have become even more cautious than impulsive types - do I really want to ruin my life for a tumble in the sheets (or based on the current hysteria, even for patting someone on the butt)? The cat ladies don't mind this either. And having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way probably slows things down to the point where the parties lose interest many times or the guy is too shy to actually ask those questions so he doesn't even try.

    I assume the fear of possible rape charges has cut down on a lot of college sex, which was the hidden agenda of the cat ladies all along. If they’re not having fun then no one should. Probably beta-ish, high future time preference guys have become even more cautious than impulsive types – do I really want to ruin my life for a tumble in the sheets (or based on the current hysteria, even for patting someone on the butt)? The cat ladies don’t mind this either. And having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way probably slows things down to the point where the parties lose interest many times or the guy is too shy to actually ask those questions so he doesn’t even try.

    The young guys are far less bawdy than a generation ago. You seem to think that this is unnatural, I just see it as a natural oscillations of a cycle, it wasn’t like the sexual revolution generation set a new normal for all time.

    The younger folks these days simply slice the pie differently than did their parents. Some of the gay marriage, transexual stuff would have been horrifying to a Madman generation ok with chasing the secretary around the desk and just can’t get why a hand on the knee 10 years ago was harrowing.

    The “cat ladies” as you unkindly term them, are simply expressing their preferences, to which their millenial guys generally accept and adhere. It is called revealed preferences.

    This isn’t some arbitrary campaign being imposed by an ideological minority and hence can be negated. Rather, it is the broad sensibilities of a generation being expressed via various means, some of which are, incidentally and are less of driving factor than a lagging validating one, the “cat ladies” which you disparage.

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    • Replies: @anonguy

    And having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way probably slows things down to the point where the parties lose interest
     
    Assuming that the young people do actually do this, I'm going to guess that, being people, they make it into something erotic and interesting. I don't hear any of the young guys complaining about this, just older guys because it isn't how they (and I mean men and women together) did things back in the
    , @Anonymous
    Yes it's probably cyclical. Prudish parents produce licentious children; licentious parents produce prudish children, and so on down the generations.
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  180. @anonguy

    I assume the fear of possible rape charges has cut down on a lot of college sex, which was the hidden agenda of the cat ladies all along. If they’re not having fun then no one should. Probably beta-ish, high future time preference guys have become even more cautious than impulsive types – do I really want to ruin my life for a tumble in the sheets (or based on the current hysteria, even for patting someone on the butt)? The cat ladies don’t mind this either. And having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way probably slows things down to the point where the parties lose interest many times or the guy is too shy to actually ask those questions so he doesn’t even try.
     
    The young guys are far less bawdy than a generation ago. You seem to think that this is unnatural, I just see it as a natural oscillations of a cycle, it wasn't like the sexual revolution generation set a new normal for all time.

    The younger folks these days simply slice the pie differently than did their parents. Some of the gay marriage, transexual stuff would have been horrifying to a Madman generation ok with chasing the secretary around the desk and just can't get why a hand on the knee 10 years ago was harrowing.

    The "cat ladies" as you unkindly term them, are simply expressing their preferences, to which their millenial guys generally accept and adhere. It is called revealed preferences.

    This isn't some arbitrary campaign being imposed by an ideological minority and hence can be negated. Rather, it is the broad sensibilities of a generation being expressed via various means, some of which are, incidentally and are less of driving factor than a lagging validating one, the "cat ladies" which you disparage.

    And having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way probably slows things down to the point where the parties lose interest

    Assuming that the young people do actually do this, I’m going to guess that, being people, they make it into something erotic and interesting. I don’t hear any of the young guys complaining about this, just older guys because it isn’t how they (and I mean men and women together) did things back in the

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  181. @Barnard
    I would highly recommend the Wright Brothers National Monument in Kitty Hawk. Even if their accomplishments are not adequately taught in public schools, the National Parks Service operates an excellent memorial of their work.

    Also Boeing’s “Museum of Flight” at Boeing Field just south of Seattle.

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  182. @Jack D
    I assume the fear of possible rape charges has cut down on a lot of college sex, which was the hidden agenda of the cat ladies all along. If they're not having fun then no one should. Probably beta-ish, high future time preference guys have become even more cautious than impulsive types - do I really want to ruin my life for a tumble in the sheets (or based on the current hysteria, even for patting someone on the butt)? The cat ladies don't mind this either. And having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way probably slows things down to the point where the parties lose interest many times or the guy is too shy to actually ask those questions so he doesn't even try.

    “having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way”

    Back in the 70s the most upfront invite was “you can sleep on the floor or you can sleep with me“, we’d not even touched, just been for a beer.

    It was a more innocent time ;-)

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    • Replies: @anonguy

    It was a more innocent time ;-)
     
    Actually, the exact opposite is true. Crime and promiscuity were far more common than now, this is very well documented. This isn't even getting into things like everyone worrying about nuclear war rather than microagressions or the kinds of things going on at stadium rock concerts, etc

    Our recent past is very dark and pathological compared to the new tenor of the times. The only reason it seems innocent to you is that you were young and innocent then.

    , @John Derbyshire
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  183. @Prof. Woland
    I encourage everyone to go to the Smithsonian of Air and Space in Washington DC. I was there in February this year and took my 6 year old. The original Wright bros. plane is just sitting right there. Amazing. I have been to Kitty Hawk and seen the replica but it just ain't the same. The V2 rocket is pretty cool too.

    I encourage everyone to go to the Smithsonian of Air and Space in Washington DC.

    And after that, go to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center out by Dulles. Parking is $12 IIRC but admission is free. You are confronted by an SR-71 Blackbird when you walk in. It’s awesome.

    https://airandspace.si.edu/udvar-hazy-center

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    Not to mention the Enola Gay, a Concord, a Space Shuttle, etc. I would say that after the Wright Flyer, the Enola Gay is perhaps the most important plane in history. The Spirit of St. Louis is up there too and they have that downtown.
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  184. @Anonymous
    Not to mention that some of us weren't even born until 1964, and have surprisingly little in common with people born in 1946.

    The Generation This / Generation That thing we have going on is remarkably arbitrary, if you bother to think about it. I could just as well decide to start a generation after Sputnik, or after the Korean War, or after the first man on the moon.

    The Generation This / Generation That thing we have going on is remarkably arbitrary, if you bother to think about it. I could just as well decide to start a generation after Sputnik, or after the Korean War, or after the first man on the moon.

    Generational designations are not arbitrary. They have to do with Kondratiev-like oscillations in general economic and social conditions which resonate around major geopolitical upheavals and then are maintained by the fact of different age cohorts entering different phases of their life cycle at critical times. Due to the nature of the material in question, only a very rough degree of precision is possible here, and there are significant dampeners and disruptions to the rhythm, but it is rooted in human nature and forms an identifiable pattern.

    It’s like the alternation of the seasons. We can exactly fix the day and even the very moment of the Autumnal Equinox, but nobody can predict ahead of time what will be the first day that “feels Fallish,” or whether the Autumn will be warm or cold, long or short. But this does not mean that Autumn is a useless concept. We will get some variation of it in between Summer and Winter, and it will begin sometime around Sept. 21st, give or take a few weeks. We know we can expect falling leaves, rapidly diminishing daylight, and lower temperatures, however much variation there is from year to year. Societies follow a similar pattern where things like civic spirit, investment in the future, birthrates, military adventurism, economic expansion, and openness to outsiders all wax and wane according to what age cohort is in what phase of its life at what time. A generation which fights a major war in its youth will obviously have a formative experience that will cause it to act differently at 40 and at 60 than the generation born after it which inherited the outcome. A generation born into a great K-wave advance will feel and act differently throughout its life than a generation born into a great depression, and so on.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    You are genuinely loopy.
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  185. @YetAnotherAnon
    "having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way"

    Back in the 70s the most upfront invite was "you can sleep on the floor or you can sleep with me", we'd not even touched, just been for a beer.

    It was a more innocent time ;-)

    It was a more innocent time ;-)

    Actually, the exact opposite is true. Crime and promiscuity were far more common than now, this is very well documented. This isn’t even getting into things like everyone worrying about nuclear war rather than microagressions or the kinds of things going on at stadium rock concerts, etc

    Our recent past is very dark and pathological compared to the new tenor of the times. The only reason it seems innocent to you is that you were young and innocent then.

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    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    "Actually, the exact opposite is true"

    I know, I was being ironic or trying to be.

    One of the revealed evils of growing up in those years is the sheer number of my female peers who have grown old childless - and that in an age where family formation WAS affordable. And there have been a fair few casualties - at a recent reunion of our 70s crowd we were discussing a couple of girls who are now pretty mentally fragile (and childless).
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  186. @JackOH
    Dieter, you may add the post-1945 political blindness of America's WWII generation, which actually believed the defeat of Hitler immunized them from the scalp-hunters of America's Left.

    I’ve read the autobiography of Dylan’s girlfriend Suse Rotolo, a red-diaper kid from New York – and I have listened to Bob Dylan for a time in my life quite intensely. What impressed me a lot was the immunity, as it seemed from a German perspective, of those people on the American left against the totalitarian left and their promises. No Cuban nights with glowing (=believing) eyes, no Weathermen-adoration, no Mao-marching.

    (I grew up near Heidelberg and these people – together with the Beatles – “and if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao – you ain’t gonna make it with anyone – anyhow” – together with Little Feat – so outspoken against this wrong kind of of juvenile strength – how could you be any stronger than your elders than by siding with – superpowerful chairman Mao?! – But if you did- you had Little Feat standing up clearly against you – and I liked that very much!

    For lots of my German peers – this (= Mao, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Che Guevarra) was the option, they chose. But not for me – thanks not least to – – those American hipsters. – And Kacey Kasem from AFN – and Frank Zappa. And – – The Allmen Brothers Band – and Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac, Erich Fromm – and Tom Wolfe – etc. (Ansel Adams (!), Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe, Walt Whithman, Walker Percy, Henry (!) Roth, Salinger’s The Catcher in The Rye, P. J. O’Rourke…).
    (Ah JackOH – this’d be my anti-totalitarian five cent anyway!)

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  187. @Diversity Heretic
    My recollection is that Lindbergh's greatest contribution was to encourage pilots to "lean" their mixtures at high altitude, so as to conserve fuel and extend range, which was very important in the Pacific Theater. An A6M type Zero fighter was captured largely intact in the Aleutians sometime in 1942 and was studied extensively. The Zero's strengths and weaknesses were actually pretty well understood by Claire Chenault, who commanded the American Volunteer Group in China.

    The Zero’s strengths and weaknesses were actually pretty well understood by Claire Chenault, who commanded the American Volunteer Group in China.

    Were they encountering Zeros? I thought China was pretty much the Japanese Army’s show. Were Japanese naval air units involved there? Maybe they were. I don’t know so it’s a genuine question.

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  188. @JackOH
    Dieter, you may add the post-1945 political blindness of America's WWII generation, which actually believed the defeat of Hitler immunized them from the scalp-hunters of America's Left.

    Dieter, you may add the post-1945 political blindness of America’s WWII generation, which actually believed the defeat of Hitler immunized them from the scalp-hunters of America’s Left.

    That was the generation that was so dumb they believed all the crusade against fascism propaganda. They believed all the Cold War propaganda as well. They embraced lots of liberal lunacy, like second wave feminism. They began the process of destroying the family by enthusiastically embracing divorce.

    They produced the Beat culture, celebrating sexual depravity and mindless hedonism.

    They were the generation that decided that feelings mattered more than reason. Feelings, and money. They were the first consumerist generation. They abandoned religion.

    They were as dumb as rocks.

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    • Replies: @JackOH
    " . . . [A]nd money. They were the first consumerist generation."

    Yep, agree, dfordoom. Sounds too facile, but WWII nudged millions of Americans from uncertain work into steady and increasingly well-paid working-stiff jobs. Houses, cars, all that. Plus, perhaps even more important, millions of American servicemen got their first and perhaps only glimpse of foreign peoples and foreign countries as conquerors, or, in the case of, say, England and France, as very much "senior allies" in countries that had been materially impoverished by war.

    If I were a 25-year old American sergeant in post-War Europe or Japan, I think I'd be very vulnerable to becoming besotted with myself and America's place in the world. Plus, of course, I'd be blind to the kaleidoscope of America's Left, at that time pacifists, Blacks, and Communists who were kept busy looking for the "Hitler next door". By the 1960s, they had that "Hitler next door" in their sights. He is us.
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  189. @Anonymous
    Not to mention that some of us weren't even born until 1964, and have surprisingly little in common with people born in 1946.

    The Generation This / Generation That thing we have going on is remarkably arbitrary, if you bother to think about it. I could just as well decide to start a generation after Sputnik, or after the Korean War, or after the first man on the moon.

    The Generation This / Generation That thing we have going on is remarkably arbitrary, if you bother to think about it.

    But it’s very useful for keeping people distracted from real issues. The fact that the alt-right embraces it with so much enthusiasm is further proof of the long-term uselessness of the alt-right.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Indeed. Because then this manufactured generational warfare thing can be used as yet another cudgel for Divide and Conquer.
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  190. @Inquiring Mind
    Author Daniel Ford, in Leftie-Historical-Revisionist-Smartalec fashion, attempts to bring Chenault and the American Volunteer Group (AVG, popularly known as the Flying Tigers) "down to Earth."

    To the consternation and outrage of the AVG veterans and families, he attempts to chronicle their claims of lopsided shoot-down ratios as grossly overinflated, although he explains the difficulties presented to a pilot of documenting that he actually downed an enemy rather than damaged them, especially under the adrenalin-filled experience of the enemy trying to do the same to him. He also acknowledges that even their more even shoot-down ratio with the enemy was quite the accomplishment given the circumstances under which the AVG pilots flew and fought.

    Ford also asserts that Chenault and his flyers never encountered the true A6M "Type Zero" as this craft was a Navy plane and they faced off against the land-based aviation element of Japan. Some of the planes they fought against were even earlier-design fixed-landing gear, but still in Chennault's words "climbed like a rocket and agile like a squirrel." I guess they were all "generically" of the Zero design in that they had high-horsepower air-cooled radial engines, of very lightweight construction and very little pilot protection, in contrast with the not-as-high-powered inline radial engine on the Curtiss P-40 flown by the Tigers, with a more rugged construction and substantial armor to protect the pilot.

    Speaking of "aviation firsts", Chennault was the first among the Allies to understand the different strengths and weakness of these different design philosophies and how to train his pilots to build on the strengths of the P-40 (much higher speed and control in a dive and subsequent zoom climb back to fighting altitude) and exploit the "Zero's" weaknesses (minimal pilot protection, uncontrollable in a steep dive). Part of this was his intellectual gift, part of this was his experience as a lone America fighting the Japanese and training Chinese pilots to do the same much earlier than the AVG. Kind of like the "handful of American volunteers fighting against German aircraft in the Spanish Civil War."

    My knowledge of the AVG was initially confined to John Toland's "Flying Tigers" written for younger readers, which while impressive may have gotten many details wrong as well as accepted the shoot-down claims without Ford's scrutiny. What especially piqued my interest was a showing of the John Wayne movie "Flying Tigers" on Public television followed by an interview with the aging David Lee "Tex" Hill, the real-life AVG squadron leader.

    Hill of course explained that their air combat was "nothing like the movie" in that "you would never dogfight 'the Zero' as shown in the film", or at least that was the case with the surviving AVG pilots who actually heeded Chenault's warnings about a tight-turning engagement against the much more agile Japanese planes. If a "Zero" was "on your tail", you would dive, and in Hill's words, "I mean straight down" (the heavy P-40 was rugged enough to do that without coming apart or losing aerodynamic control from aero-elastic flutter).

    The other thing that Hill spoke of was how the AVG gun camera films of attack runs against Japanese bombers always showed those bombers upside down. He explained that the Tigers attacked bombers by diving, rolling over, than zooming back up to attack from underneath where the Japanese tail gunners couldn't reach them. British scientist Freeman Dyson who spent WW-II as a statistician trying to figure out why the British bombers were being shot down seemed to think the tactic of attacking from below, which the Germans did with an angled gun as he and his fellow statistics people had conjectured by analyzing British losses, that attacking from below was a unique German tactic. Finally, American bombers had this thing called a "ball turret", into which they would stuff their shortest gunners and winch them down to defend against fighter attacks from below, leaving these guys vulnerable to being the first crew member shot dead in such attacks.

    Toland remembers the young Henry Gilbert as the first AVG pilot to perish in combat, who Ford better explains the circumstances that he was vulnerable to the concentrated fire of the tail gunners in the bomber formation in attacking from above. But apart from Hill's interview, I can find no other source about Chennault training his pilots to attack the enemy bombers from below. Maybe this is something Hill figured out and taught to the squadron under his command?

    Chennault and his AVG pilots were certainly aviation pioneers in "combat between dissimilar aircraft", lessons that were unfortunately slow to be disseminated among other American flyers in WW-II and even had to be relearned in the heavy-fast Phantom against slower-agile MiG in Vietnam.

    in contrast with the not-as-high-powered inline radial engine on the Curtiss P-40 flown by the Tigers,

    Can you explain? I thought the P-40 had an Allison V-12 liquid cooled engine, not a radial type.

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    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
    My explanation. Aging onset of neurological impairment. Or bad proofreading.

    Thinking about it, the radial-engined Zero (or comparable Japanese land-based planes) maybe didn't have as much horsepower as the P-40, which was a larger, heavier airplane to begin with. Maybe I was thinking of US aircraft comparisons of the inline-engined (OK, OK, V's) in the P-40 and P-51 against the radial engined P-47 having more HP?
    , @Anonymous
    The P-40 had a V-1710 Allison V-12 engine.

    A radial is the opposite of an inline or V-type engine. All the cylinders are connected to one throw of the crank and are arranged around a cylindrical crankcase.

    Most inline engines were liquid cooled. Almost all radials are air cooled.
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  191. @anonguy

    I assume the fear of possible rape charges has cut down on a lot of college sex, which was the hidden agenda of the cat ladies all along. If they’re not having fun then no one should. Probably beta-ish, high future time preference guys have become even more cautious than impulsive types – do I really want to ruin my life for a tumble in the sheets (or based on the current hysteria, even for patting someone on the butt)? The cat ladies don’t mind this either. And having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way probably slows things down to the point where the parties lose interest many times or the guy is too shy to actually ask those questions so he doesn’t even try.
     
    The young guys are far less bawdy than a generation ago. You seem to think that this is unnatural, I just see it as a natural oscillations of a cycle, it wasn't like the sexual revolution generation set a new normal for all time.

    The younger folks these days simply slice the pie differently than did their parents. Some of the gay marriage, transexual stuff would have been horrifying to a Madman generation ok with chasing the secretary around the desk and just can't get why a hand on the knee 10 years ago was harrowing.

    The "cat ladies" as you unkindly term them, are simply expressing their preferences, to which their millenial guys generally accept and adhere. It is called revealed preferences.

    This isn't some arbitrary campaign being imposed by an ideological minority and hence can be negated. Rather, it is the broad sensibilities of a generation being expressed via various means, some of which are, incidentally and are less of driving factor than a lagging validating one, the "cat ladies" which you disparage.

    Yes it’s probably cyclical. Prudish parents produce licentious children; licentious parents produce prudish children, and so on down the generations.

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  192. @the Supreme Gentleman
    Great article, but I think this was premature:

    What is striking to somebody like me, who grew up during the 1960s and 1970s, is the subsequent lack of generational rebellion. Kids these days tend toward intellectual conformism. They trust anyone over 30 who tells them what everybody else is telling them.
     
    Obviously it would have been hard for Steve to realize this in 2010, but there was in fact such a counter-culture emerging on 4chan's imageboards, which is basically where the alt-right came from. I'm surprised that the alt-right is routinely hysterically described by mainstream figures as every kind of -ist and committing every kind of -ism in the book except for "ageism", because pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.

    Don’t look at me, anyone: I’m pre-Boomer, born 1945.

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  193. @YetAnotherAnon
    "having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way"

    Back in the 70s the most upfront invite was "you can sleep on the floor or you can sleep with me", we'd not even touched, just been for a beer.

    It was a more innocent time ;-)

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  194. This is just for fun, but I can’t let this thread go without posting this.

    Epic Rap Battles of History: Wright Brothers vs. Mario Brothers

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  195. @David In TN
    "But you won't hear much about 1930's aviatrix Hanna Reitsch, because she was a Nazi."

    The other day in a Barnes and Noble store, I saw a book on Hanna Reitsch in the WW II section titled "The Women Who Flew For Hitler." And there are several other books on her.

    In terms of being a hero?

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    • Replies: @David In TN
    "In terms of being a hero?"

    Well, if you want to hear about Hanna Reitsch, there are plenty of books on Hanna Reitsch. And you can think of her as a hero(ine) if you want to.
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  196. @Jack D
    I assume the fear of possible rape charges has cut down on a lot of college sex, which was the hidden agenda of the cat ladies all along. If they're not having fun then no one should. Probably beta-ish, high future time preference guys have become even more cautious than impulsive types - do I really want to ruin my life for a tumble in the sheets (or based on the current hysteria, even for patting someone on the butt)? The cat ladies don't mind this either. And having to go thru the verbal consent checklist at every step along the way probably slows things down to the point where the parties lose interest many times or the guy is too shy to actually ask those questions so he doesn't even try.

    Yep, some babe who was screwing Matt Lauer in his bathroom consensualy 17 years ago when she was 24 now publicly regrets it because of the “imbalance of power in the relationship” or some such twaddle.

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  197. @advancedatheist
    You know, if Anne Frank had survived the war, and if she had a normal life afterwards, she probably would have aged into a familiar sort of Jewish scold. Would anyone have wanted to read her teenage diaries then?

    42 advancedaatheist > You know, if Anne Frank had survived the war, and if she had a normal life afterwards

    the American Jews adore her, because she never did anything but hide.

    You might like to read the story of :

    Hannah Senesh was one of 37 Jews from Palestine who parachuted into Yugoslavia to save the Hungarian Jews who were about to be deported to Auschwitz. Hannah was arrested at the Hungarian border, imprisoned, tortured, and eventually executed by a firing squad. She never revealed the details of her mission.

    Jane Eisner doesn’t want to talk about Hannah Senesh

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    Hannah Senesh is a much bigger deal in Israel.

    Anne Frank's accomplishment was that she was a gifted writer and observer, not just for a girl her age. The diary could easily have been banal as diaries tend to be, but it is not. Of course that she did not survive the war made her work much more poignant.

    The diary also (ironically) benefits from stopping at the point where the Franks are arrested. We don't have to read the gory details but we know what happens next.
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  198. @Jack D
    First wristwatch, like first airplane, is a difficult claim to pin down. You don't have to exactly be a genius to strap a pocket watch to your wrist. Wrist watches had been around in the 19th century as ladies jewelry (no vest pockets to carry a pocket watch - or else they wore them as pendants around their neck) so this gave them an effeminate image. WWI put the wristwatch (along with the trench coat) "over the top" as fashion items. When you are running around on a battlefield you don't have time to be reaching into your pocket to check the time. And no one could accuse combat troops of being effeminate.

    Ironically, we have gone full circle. Most kids no longer wear wristwatches and when they want to know the time they reach into their pocket and look at their phone.

    Ironically, we have gone full circle. Most kids no longer wear wristwatches and when they want to know the time they reach into their pocket and look at their phone.

    Good point, hadn’t seen it put like that before.

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  199. @Dieter Kief

    The Sixties mindset—aggrieved, resentful, and unrealistic—is perfectly attuned to appeal permanently to the worst instincts of adolescents.
     
    That's pretty much it.

    What sustained this mass-phenomenon? Here's a little llist - 1) an oedipal dynamic going on, 2) the abilty, that arose, all of a sudden, as a result of the sheer quantity of goods and - on the other hand, the amount of physical work in steep decline 'n' all that - no more draft - : This all for sure sustained the growth of a mentality, which was far more off reality and at the same time much more powerful than most past forms of idealism - DaDA, say.

    Three other major factors: Drugs. The decline of religion. The ubiquity of entertainment / (=the lack of boredom for all those, who do not work).

    Don’t forget that the Vietnam War, and the necessity of drafting young men into it, played a central role in all of this. Wars, and more specifically those that aren’t over fast and require a lot of draftees, have a tendency to be the catalyst for social changes that might not otherwise have taken root.

    Whether one thinks of the social change as a good or ill, we have a history of getting social changes when we are in a war that is unpopular or a has high body count. Our 18 month turn at bat in WW1 probably led to women getting the right to vote. It also led to giving Puerto Ricans citizenship since it opened up their males to conscription. Was drafting some 18K Puerto Ricans into an army of millions worth it since today millions of their descendants are about to tip Florida in 2020?

    Vietnam was even worse. A great deal of the draft protests were politically hijacked for other causes. I recall being surprised that perpetual student leader Abbie Hoffman was in fact NOT a baby boomer, and was born in 1936, making him too old to be drafted for Vietnam. Yet he rode the momentum that arose from the Vietnam War, a war he never would have fought.

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    • Agree: Dieter Kief
    • Replies: @Lurker
    Yet he rode the momentum that arose from the Vietnam War, a war he never would have fought.

    I'm sure he could have volunteered. (That was sarcasm btw)

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  200. @the Supreme Gentleman
    Great article, but I think this was premature:

    What is striking to somebody like me, who grew up during the 1960s and 1970s, is the subsequent lack of generational rebellion. Kids these days tend toward intellectual conformism. They trust anyone over 30 who tells them what everybody else is telling them.
     
    Obviously it would have been hard for Steve to realize this in 2010, but there was in fact such a counter-culture emerging on 4chan's imageboards, which is basically where the alt-right came from. I'm surprised that the alt-right is routinely hysterically described by mainstream figures as every kind of -ist and committing every kind of -ism in the book except for "ageism", because pure hatred for the Baby Boomers is one of the most unifying and passionate alt-right views.

    This, but: there is a community of dissidents, but, being dissidents, it’s pretty diverse. The best flag has a Gadsden rattlesnake coiling a fasces. The term “alt-right” is getting passively accepted out of laziness and because there is no better term. The terms “alt-right” and “/ourguy/” both stink of the desperate need of the Cathedral to have a convenient handle with which to make us all go away (“4chan is one person and calls Richard Spencer /ourguy/, but Spencer is dumb and bad, so that makes 4chan dumb and bad”). Our strength and our most enemy-maddening advantage is that we have no such salient.

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  201. I recall being surprised that perpetual student leader Abbie Hoffman was in fact NOT a baby boomer, and was born in 1936, making him too old to be drafted for Vietnam.

    And too young for Korea.

    Can you imagine the #MeToo-ing Hoffman might get if he were still alive and the effective statute of limitations on sexual harassment went back to 70s/60s (right now, seems like 80s are about as far back as anyone is going).

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  202. @Karl
    42 advancedaatheist > You know, if Anne Frank had survived the war, and if she had a normal life afterwards


    the American Jews adore her, because she never did anything but hide.

    You might like to read the story of :

    Hannah Senesh was one of 37 Jews from Palestine who parachuted into Yugoslavia to save the Hungarian Jews who were about to be deported to Auschwitz. Hannah was arrested at the Hungarian border, imprisoned, tortured, and eventually executed by a firing squad. She never revealed the details of her mission.


    Jane Eisner doesn't want to talk about Hannah Senesh

    Hannah Senesh is a much bigger deal in Israel.

    Anne Frank’s accomplishment was that she was a gifted writer and observer, not just for a girl her age. The diary could easily have been banal as diaries tend to be, but it is not. Of course that she did not survive the war made her work much more poignant.

    The diary also (ironically) benefits from stopping at the point where the Franks are arrested. We don’t have to read the gory details but we know what happens next.

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  203. @Anonymous
    The Wrights understood the need for three axis controls, they just didn't do them particularly well, at least until others had shown the way. Actually, you really need only pitch and roll in a perfectly, or even appropriately designed airplane. Yaw (rudder) is really only to compensate for torque and P-factor in propeller aircraft, asymmetric thrust in multiengine airplanes with an engine out, and for aerobatics and crosswind landings.

    The Wrights had horizontal stabilizers in front of, rather than behind the wings, called canards.
    (The idea was revived by Burt and Dick Rutan in the early seventies : I have the same mixed respect for the Rutans as I have for someone who can memorize the phone book, and I told that to Dick to his face once. ) They did not understand what was involved in making such an arrangement stable:

    Flyer stability

    The Flyer was conceived as a control-canard, as the Wrights were more concerned with control than stability. However, it was found to be so highly unstable that it was barely controllable. Following the first flight, ballast was added to the nose to move the center of gravity forward and reduce pitch instability. However the basics of pitch stability of the canard configuration were not understood by the Wright Brothers. F.E.C. Culick stated, "The backward state of the general theory and understanding of flight mechanics hindered them... Indeed, the most serious gap in their knowledge was probably the basic reason for their unwitting mistake in selecting their canard configuration".
     
    (Wikipedia)

    At least six or seven people built fully controllable and dynamically stable airplanes before the Wrights finally did.

    I am not trying to minimize the Wrights' contributions, but to put them in perspective. Like a lot of things, powered heavier than air flight became inevitable once the existing glider was combined with the just-about-existing internal combustion engine light enough to power one along. The Wrights did a lot of valuable work, but Curtiss in the US, Santos-Dumont (a jet setter before jets, or indeed even dirigibles, in Brazil and Europe), Bleriot in France, all were going there at the same time and in some ways better.

    Indeed, in the 1930s, the Baslers built a working steam airplane and a man named Bernie Pietenpol built an airplane that could fly on a junkyard Ford Model A engine, which showed that the idea was inevitable.

    Flight is all about power to weight ratio. Someone else in this thread said that you could get a refrigerator to fly if you had enough power. This is an exaggeration for emphasis and not literally true, but you get the idea. 40 HP, the amount of power that a Ford Model A engine has, doesn’t seem like much, until you hear that the Wright Bros. only had 12 HP to work with. Having 3x the power available to you solves a lot of problems.

    Also, later builders benefited from having the basic dynamics of flight well worked out for them. By the 1930s, Pietnelpol could go to a library and learn enough about aircraft design to build a working aircraft. But when the Wrights went to a library, that shelf was empty – THEY had to write the book before they could even begin.

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    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Simply Simon
    To a professional pilot there is no such thing as an "overpowered airplane."
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  204. @Paleo Liberal
    One of my ancestors was a Major in the Cherokee battalion that fought under Andrew Jackson in the Creek War. Tecumseh and his brother The Prophet were half Creek, and a large contingent of Creeks allied themselves with Tecumseh. The other Creeks, Cherokees and US soldiers fought against them. Sadly, The Prophet had convinced his relatives that believers would be immune to the White Man's bullets. They weren't.

    After the Creek War, many of the Cherokee who fought under Jackson greatly admired the man. One prominent Cherokee named his son after Jackson. In fact, my ancestors were assassinated for agreeing that the Cherokee should be removed to Indian Territory, and some of my ancestors signed the treaty. My ancestors wanted the Cherokee time to establish their own nation without white interference.

    During the War my Cherokee ancestors sided with the Confederacy.

    Even the Cherokee who hated Jackson admired him as a general.

    I think people who have had to fight to stay a people tend to admire warriors. I wonder what the old Cherokee and Creek fathers would have to say about the current year.

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  205. @Jim Don Bob

    I encourage everyone to go to the Smithsonian of Air and Space in Washington DC.
     
    And after that, go to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center out by Dulles. Parking is $12 IIRC but admission is free. You are confronted by an SR-71 Blackbird when you walk in. It's awesome.

    https://airandspace.si.edu/udvar-hazy-center

    Not to mention the Enola Gay, a Concord, a Space Shuttle, etc. I would say that after the Wright Flyer, the Enola Gay is perhaps the most important plane in history. The Spirit of St. Louis is up there too and they have that downtown.

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  206. @Art
    The airplane is perhaps the foremost instrument of peace. It makes us see different peoples as humans just like ourselves. It breaks down our defensive identity problems.

    Someday there will be no bombs – only hellos.

    Think Peace --- Art

    “The airplane is perhaps the foremost instrument of peace. It makes us see different peoples as humans just like ourselves. It breaks down our defensive identity problems.”

    What a lot of stupid nonsense.

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  207. @istevefan

    in contrast with the not-as-high-powered inline radial engine on the Curtiss P-40 flown by the Tigers,
     
    Can you explain? I thought the P-40 had an Allison V-12 liquid cooled engine, not a radial type.

    My explanation. Aging onset of neurological impairment. Or bad proofreading.

    Thinking about it, the radial-engined Zero (or comparable Japanese land-based planes) maybe didn’t have as much horsepower as the P-40, which was a larger, heavier airplane to begin with. Maybe I was thinking of US aircraft comparisons of the inline-engined (OK, OK, V’s) in the P-40 and P-51 against the radial engined P-47 having more HP?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Japanese aircraft were unarmored. This was their greatest strength and greatest weakness.
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  208. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Yaw (rudder) is really only to compensate for torque and P-factor in propeller aircraft, asymmetric thrust in multiengine airplanes with an engine out, and for aerobatics and crosswind landings.
     
    You are thinking of the fact that rudder (right in US-built a/c with rh-turning engines for P-factor) is required on takeoff. Rudder is required in every turn for coordinated flight, meaning no slipping (side movement towards inside of the turn) or skidding (side movement toward outside of a turn). Granted, swept-wing jets don't need much rudder input by the pilots assumimg engines all engines running smoothly - they have a yaw damper anyway, require for control of Dutch-roll tendencies.

    Yes, indeed the Wright's flyers were canard designs. That alone does not make them unstable. Pitch instability results when the center of lift is forward of the center of mass. That was probably what the Wrights did not understand (very simple to understand AFTER realizing the simple physics).The canard design is more efficient, and with the low airspeed from an 18 Hp engine, or whatever the first ones were, you need an efficient design. The canard uses positive (up) lift to keep the wing from pitching the plane nose-down, while a normal aft hor. stabilizer provides negative (dowm) lift for the same reason, which subtracts from total lift.

    As far as the history, read McCollough's book. I don't think what he wrote is in dispute.

    You are thinking of the fact that rudder (right in US-built a/c with rh-turning engines for P-factor) is required on takeoff. Rudder is required in every turn for coordinated flight, meaning no slipping (side movement towards inside of the turn) or skidding (side movement toward outside of a turn). Granted, swept-wing jets don’t need much rudder input by the pilots assumimg engines all engines running smoothly – they have a yaw damper anyway, require for control of Dutch-roll tendencies.

    You might need a vertical stabilizer, (although the B-2 does without, as did several of the Horten’s gliders) but the rudder per se could be dispensed with in a properly designed aircraft, at least one with a single engine not expected to do aerobatics. (The Ercoupe had rudders, just not rudder pedals. Most have been retrofitted with them.) Wolfgang Langewiesche talks about this in Stick and Rudder, which if you have not read it, you should. It is both a technical and a literary masterpiece.

    Nonpilots and a fair number of people licensed by the FAA to fly are under the idea that the rudder is there to turn the aircraft. Believe it or not, this was accepted doctrine throughout the WWII era in flight training. Langewiesche, who explains things pretty well, was able to go from J-3 size light aircraft to a position in production flight test flying the famous, indeed infamous, F4U Corsair, a 2000 horsepower behemoth and had a superior safety record in WWII doing so.

    One interesting thing about the rudder on some supersonic fighters-particularly the T-38 Talon-is that it is actually possible to execute a roll with use of the rudder alone. Not a snap roll, a smooth roll just as if aileron were used. If I remember right the rudder deflection is limited to a few degrees when the gear is retracted, as well, to prevent overyawing the aircraft at speed. (I got a ride in one as a CAP cadet in the late 70s. It completely ruined my appetite for Cessnas and Cherokees.)

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    • Replies: @cthulhu
    You need some kind of yaw control on any airplane; for example, landing in a crosswind requires the ability to decrab the airplane just prior to touchdown (unless you have crosswind gear like a B-52). Whether you need a rudder to coordinate a turn depends on multiple considerations of the configuration, including the size of the vertical stabilizer and the dihedral of the wing. Some airplanes can coordinate turns acceptably with little to no rudder input. Others can't. The B-2, for example, uses the clamshell-like surfaces at the ends of the wings to produce drag and effectively act as a rudder. The B-2 also uses feedback from its air data system and its gyros to command the drag rudders so as to provide acceptable flying qualities without a vertical stabilizer, including providing "feet on the floor" automatic turn coordination.
    , @Jack D
    You can do without ANY flight controls and fly a multi engine aircraft with just the throttles, but it's not really a good idea:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Airlines_Flight_232

    Aircraft without rudders or vertical stabilizers are sort of the exceptions that prove the rule. Now that aircraft design and behavior is well understood and designers have a lot of power at their disposal, they can do tricks that were unimaginable to the Wrights, but the notion that you need to have 3 axis control was a fundamental necessity for practical aircraft and first understood by them. BTW, in the Flyer I they linked together the roll (wing twisting) and rudder controls and only later delinked them when they realized that there were circumstances where it was better not to coordinate their motion.
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  209. @istevefan

    in contrast with the not-as-high-powered inline radial engine on the Curtiss P-40 flown by the Tigers,
     
    Can you explain? I thought the P-40 had an Allison V-12 liquid cooled engine, not a radial type.

    The P-40 had a V-1710 Allison V-12 engine.

    A radial is the opposite of an inline or V-type engine. All the cylinders are connected to one throw of the crank and are arranged around a cylindrical crankcase.

    Most inline engines were liquid cooled. Almost all radials are air cooled.

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Almost all aircraft* piston engines that are not radials (not made since about 6-7 decades ago) are air-cooled, and they are 4 or 6 cylinder horizontally opposed, as opposed to in-line or V configurations. ( pun unintended and unwanted even).

    * airplanes and helicopters - anything non-turbine
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  210. @YetAnotherAnon
    "the pill which dissolved traditional barriers to sex and allowed millions of sub-males to taste the conqueror’s share of gratuitous copulation"

    Something which seems to be reversing or reverting. I was never long without a woman in my youth despite in no way being an alpha male (and five foot seven to boot). My six-foot-plus sons are better looking than I ever was, yet don't seem to be reaping the rewards in the quantity I'd expect (they may just be keeping quiet though, I certainly didn't tell my folks everything).

    I think there was probably a lot of "I can do it, so I will do it" around in those first post-Pill years.

    There’s plenty of “I can do it, so I will do it”, but there aren’t many men who’re willin’ the outcome. Women have wised up.

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    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    "The can, because they think they can" - Virgil
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  211. @Paleo Liberal
    One of my ancestors was a Major in the Cherokee battalion that fought under Andrew Jackson in the Creek War. Tecumseh and his brother The Prophet were half Creek, and a large contingent of Creeks allied themselves with Tecumseh. The other Creeks, Cherokees and US soldiers fought against them. Sadly, The Prophet had convinced his relatives that believers would be immune to the White Man's bullets. They weren't.

    After the Creek War, many of the Cherokee who fought under Jackson greatly admired the man. One prominent Cherokee named his son after Jackson. In fact, my ancestors were assassinated for agreeing that the Cherokee should be removed to Indian Territory, and some of my ancestors signed the treaty. My ancestors wanted the Cherokee time to establish their own nation without white interference.

    During the War my Cherokee ancestors sided with the Confederacy.

    Even the Cherokee who hated Jackson admired him as a general.

    In fact, my ancestors were assassinated for agreeing that the Cherokee should be removed to Indian Territory, and some of my ancestors signed the treaty.

    Ah, we’re mortal enemies! (I’m mostly joking of course.) You must be related to the Stand Watie faction; the Cherokee members of my family are all descendants of John Ross.

    Regardless of faction, given your heritage, you should visit the museum at Tahlequah if you’ve never been there; it’s highly moving.

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  212. @Rosamond Vincy
    In terms of being a hero?

    “In terms of being a hero?”

    Well, if you want to hear about Hanna Reitsch, there are plenty of books on Hanna Reitsch. And you can think of her as a hero(ine) if you want to.

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  213. @Anonymous

    You are thinking of the fact that rudder (right in US-built a/c with rh-turning engines for P-factor) is required on takeoff. Rudder is required in every turn for coordinated flight, meaning no slipping (side movement towards inside of the turn) or skidding (side movement toward outside of a turn). Granted, swept-wing jets don’t need much rudder input by the pilots assumimg engines all engines running smoothly – they have a yaw damper anyway, require for control of Dutch-roll tendencies.
     
    You might need a vertical stabilizer, (although the B-2 does without, as did several of the Horten's gliders) but the rudder per se could be dispensed with in a properly designed aircraft, at least one with a single engine not expected to do aerobatics. (The Ercoupe had rudders, just not rudder pedals. Most have been retrofitted with them.) Wolfgang Langewiesche talks about this in Stick and Rudder, which if you have not read it, you should. It is both a technical and a literary masterpiece.

    Nonpilots and a fair number of people licensed by the FAA to fly are under the idea that the rudder is there to turn the aircraft. Believe it or not, this was accepted doctrine throughout the WWII era in flight training. Langewiesche, who explains things pretty well, was able to go from J-3 size light aircraft to a position in production flight test flying the famous, indeed infamous, F4U Corsair, a 2000 horsepower behemoth and had a superior safety record in WWII doing so.

    One interesting thing about the rudder on some supersonic fighters-particularly the T-38 Talon-is that it is actually possible to execute a roll with use of the rudder alone. Not a snap roll, a smooth roll just as if aileron were used. If I remember right the rudder deflection is limited to a few degrees when the gear is retracted, as well, to prevent overyawing the aircraft at speed. (I got a ride in one as a CAP cadet in the late 70s. It completely ruined my appetite for Cessnas and Cherokees.)

    You need some kind of yaw control on any airplane; for example, landing in a crosswind requires the ability to decrab the airplane just prior to touchdown (unless you have crosswind gear like a B-52). Whether you need a rudder to coordinate a turn depends on multiple considerations of the configuration, including the size of the vertical stabilizer and the dihedral of the wing. Some airplanes can coordinate turns acceptably with little to no rudder input. Others can’t. The B-2, for example, uses the clamshell-like surfaces at the ends of the wings to produce drag and effectively act as a rudder. The B-2 also uses feedback from its air data system and its gyros to command the drag rudders so as to provide acceptable flying qualities without a vertical stabilizer, including providing “feet on the floor” automatic turn coordination.

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  214. @Inquiring Mind
    My explanation. Aging onset of neurological impairment. Or bad proofreading.

    Thinking about it, the radial-engined Zero (or comparable Japanese land-based planes) maybe didn't have as much horsepower as the P-40, which was a larger, heavier airplane to begin with. Maybe I was thinking of US aircraft comparisons of the inline-engined (OK, OK, V's) in the P-40 and P-51 against the radial engined P-47 having more HP?

    Japanese aircraft were unarmored. This was their greatest strength and greatest weakness.

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  215. @Intelligent Dasein

    The Generation This / Generation That thing we have going on is remarkably arbitrary, if you bother to think about it. I could just as well decide to start a generation after Sputnik, or after the Korean War, or after the first man on the moon.
     
    Generational designations are not arbitrary. They have to do with Kondratiev-like oscillations in general economic and social conditions which resonate around major geopolitical upheavals and then are maintained by the fact of different age cohorts entering different phases of their life cycle at critical times. Due to the nature of the material in question, only a very rough degree of precision is possible here, and there are significant dampeners and disruptions to the rhythm, but it is rooted in human nature and forms an identifiable pattern.

    It's like the alternation of the seasons. We can exactly fix the day and even the very moment of the Autumnal Equinox, but nobody can predict ahead of time what will be the first day that "feels Fallish," or whether the Autumn will be warm or cold, long or short. But this does not mean that Autumn is a useless concept. We will get some variation of it in between Summer and Winter, and it will begin sometime around Sept. 21st, give or take a few weeks. We know we can expect falling leaves, rapidly diminishing daylight, and lower temperatures, however much variation there is from year to year. Societies follow a similar pattern where things like civic spirit, investment in the future, birthrates, military adventurism, economic expansion, and openness to outsiders all wax and wane according to what age cohort is in what phase of its life at what time. A generation which fights a major war in its youth will obviously have a formative experience that will cause it to act differently at 40 and at 60 than the generation born after it which inherited the outcome. A generation born into a great K-wave advance will feel and act differently throughout its life than a generation born into a great depression, and so on.

    You are genuinely loopy.

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  216. @dfordoom

    The Generation This / Generation That thing we have going on is remarkably arbitrary, if you bother to think about it.
     
    But it's very useful for keeping people distracted from real issues. The fact that the alt-right embraces it with so much enthusiasm is further proof of the long-term uselessness of the alt-right.

    Indeed. Because then this manufactured generational warfare thing can be used as yet another cudgel for Divide and Conquer.

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  217. @dfordoom

    Dieter, you may add the post-1945 political blindness of America’s WWII generation, which actually believed the defeat of Hitler immunized them from the scalp-hunters of America’s Left.
     
    That was the generation that was so dumb they believed all the crusade against fascism propaganda. They believed all the Cold War propaganda as well. They embraced lots of liberal lunacy, like second wave feminism. They began the process of destroying the family by enthusiastically embracing divorce.

    They produced the Beat culture, celebrating sexual depravity and mindless hedonism.

    They were the generation that decided that feelings mattered more than reason. Feelings, and money. They were the first consumerist generation. They abandoned religion.

    They were as dumb as rocks.

    ” . . . [A]nd money. They were the first consumerist generation.”

    Yep, agree, dfordoom. Sounds too facile, but WWII nudged millions of Americans from uncertain work into steady and increasingly well-paid working-stiff jobs. Houses, cars, all that. Plus, perhaps even more important, millions of American servicemen got their first and perhaps only glimpse of foreign peoples and foreign countries as conquerors, or, in the case of, say, England and France, as very much “senior allies” in countries that had been materially impoverished by war.

    If I were a 25-year old American sergeant in post-War Europe or Japan, I think I’d be very vulnerable to becoming besotted with myself and America’s place in the world. Plus, of course, I’d be blind to the kaleidoscope of America’s Left, at that time pacifists, Blacks, and Communists who were kept busy looking for the “Hitler next door”. By the 1960s, they had that “Hitler next door” in their sights. He is us.

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  218. @syonredux

    I am not trying to minimize the Wrights’ contributions, but to put them in perspective. Like a lot of things, powered heavier than air flight became inevitable once the existing glider was combined with the just-about-existing internal combustion engine light enough to power one along. The Wrights did a lot of valuable work, but Curtiss in the US, Santos-Dumont (a jet setter before jets, or indeed even dirigibles, in Brazil and Europe), Bleriot in France, all were going there at the same time and in some ways better.
     
    True of a lot of things in technology. For example, the steamboat was independently developed in the 1780s in three separate countries: France (Jouffroy d'Abbans), USA (John Fitch), and Scotland (William Symington). And then there's the telegraph, independently developed in England (Wheatstone) and the USA (Morse and Vail)in the 1830s.

    And then there’s the telegraph, independently developed in England (Wheatstone) and the USA (Morse and Vail)in the 1830s.

    … and French Claude Chappe, who invented the semaphore telegraph in 1792.

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