October 16, 2011
Heroism in the 'Forgotten Fire' Every five years we return to Wisconsin to attend our 1948 high school reunion, and once we decided to explore northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. While visiting the Peshtigo museum mentioned in Jay Jones' story ["The 140-Year-Old Mystery of the 'Forgotten Fire,'" Oct. 9], I told the volunteer that my grandfather was a member of the train crew that rescued the townspeople while the rails under the train were warping from the heat.
October 16, 2011 |
If the Internet boom of the 1990s inspired computer programmers and entrepreneurs bent on changing the world, its bust gave rise to hundreds of writers happy to chronicle it - perhaps, most famously, "And Then We Came to the End" by Joshua Ferris. Much of Paul La Farge's novel "Luminous Airplanes" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 245 pp., $25) takes place in the slow days during which the boom was waning, and our unnamed protagonist is frittering away his days at a dying web company "like the middle of Moby-Dick; no whale in sight, only occasional contact with another passing ship, and nothing to fill the time except digression.
September 29, 2011 |
The FBI arrested a Massachusetts man Wednesday in an alleged plot to blow up the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon in which authorities say he provided "step-by-step" instructions on attacking Washington with drone-like, remote-controlled model airplanes. Rezwan Ferdaus, 26, a U.S. citizen and Northeastern University physics graduate from Ashland, Mass., had been approached in an undercover FBI operation after an informant came forward. Ferdaus allegedly told undercover personnel posing as Al Qaeda members that he had scoped out a site next to the Potomac River to load small aircraft with C-4 plastic explosives and use GPS equipment to remotely fly them over the Capitol.
September 14, 2011 |
Smoking electronic cigarettes would be explicitly banned on all domestic and international commercial flights in the U.S. under a new rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Current federal law prohibits passengers from smoking any tobacco product on a commercial plane but does not single out the use of electronic cigarettes. Most electronic cigarettes do not burn tobacco but use a lithium battery to heat up a liquid nicotine solution, creating a vapor that can be inhaled to deliver the chemical directly into the lungs.
August 1, 2011 |
A few charred $20 bills in the forest, a bunch of unidentified fingerprints and a few witnesses' descriptions are among the tantalizing bits of evidence left by elusive airline hijacker D.B. Cooper, who parachuted out of a Boeing 727 with a $200,000 ransom in 1971 and vanished. The mysterious Cooper became a legend for outsmarting corporate America and evading the FBI for 40 years. But now investigators are pursuing a new lead that might put the case to rest — or not. The FBI's Seattle office is looking into a tip from a witness who contends the hijacker died 10 years ago, FBI Special Agent Frederick Gutt said Monday.
July 31, 2011 |
Prime Minister Nouri Maliki announced Saturday that Iraq plans to buy 36 U.S. fighter jets, signaling his intent to seek a long-term American military training presence in the country. But in an indication of the risks for the American military here, a U.S. watchdog group said that Iraq had become more hazardous. "Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous place to work," Stuart Bowen, chief of the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, said in a report. "It is less safe, in my judgment, than 12 months ago. " The report notes that 44 Iraqi government and security officials have been assassinated since April.
July 24, 2011 |
Question: In February, I booked two tickets to Las Vegas on JetBlue. I selected seats next to each other. Earlier this month, I checked in soon after the "check-in window" opened and found that on both legs of my trip, JetBlue had assigned seats in the same row but on opposite sides of the plane. JetBlue offered to upgrade me to seats with more legroom for $10 each, but they were just seats next to each other for $10 more each. I know it's not a lot of money, but is JetBlue crooked?
June 6, 2011 |
When Greg Stone flies his model airplanes in Irvine at Orange County Great Park — fittingly on the site of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station — he's surrounded by the buzz of the tiny electric motors that power his planes and those of fellow hobbyists. It's a sharp contrast to when fuel-powered model planes — which were much louder, as well as faster than the electric models — dominated the hobby. The radio-controlled electric planes, powered by lightweight, rechargeable batteries, have become increasingly popular with model aviation buffs who want an alternative to traditional fuel-powered models.
April 21, 2011 |
— The private, videotaped performance of six songs from "Paper Airplane," released last Tuesday, has wrapped and the invited audience has left the main room at Oceanway Studios. Alison Krauss & Union Station are in the midst of the still-photo and video-liners phase inherent to launching a new recording. By this point she's used to the routine. It's hard to believe the angelic-voiced fiddler who's not yet 40 is 25 years into a career that has seen her win 26 Grammy Awards — including 2008's all-genre record and album of the year for "Raising Sand," her collaboration with Robert Plant — and bring bluegrass to places it's never been.
April 9, 2011 |
Rebel leaders in Libya said Friday that they must accept accidental deaths caused by NATO airstrikes as a consequence of international efforts to protect civilians. "You have to look at the big pictures. The benefits outweigh the damage," rebel spokesman Mustafa Gheriani said. "We have to accept these kinds of mistakes and hope not too many take place. NATO is important for us and has saved a lot of lives. " A NATO-led alliance is leading a battle to prevent Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi's forces from harming civilians in several parts of the country, especially the rebel-controlled east, where pro-Kadafi forces and those opposed to the longtime ruler have been locked in a battlefield stalemate.