A French Aviation Pioneer Establishes a New Record — Transportation History

October 12, 1799 An aviation milestone took place when Jeanne Geneviéve Labrosse Garnerin, who was flying in a hot-air balloon in the skies over France, became the first woman to make a parachute descent back to earth. The balloon was approximately 2,953 feet (900 meters) above the ground when she made this descent, with her […]

via A French Aviation Pioneer Establishes a New Record — Transportation History

Monday Musings: United Nations Report

The world is rapidly running out of time to scale back greenhouse gas emissions, dimming hopes of keeping global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, beyond which catastrophic planetary changes are forecast.

That assessment comes from a sobering new report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCCthe leading United Nations consortium of researchers studying the speed and scope of human-caused temperature rise.

“This is one of the most important reports ever produced by the IPCC, and certainly one of the most needed,” Hoesung Lee, the chair of the body, said at a press conference in South Korea on Monday. “Climate change is already affecting people, livelihood and ecosystems all around the world.”

He continued: “Every bit of warming matters.”

Points to ponder: To seek expert medical guidance would you select the best medical expert in the field or the cheap con job on the scene? What you pick might ultimately decide the future of this planet.

Read the complete article here.

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UN Annual Report

Words on Wednesdays: The Struggle to be Heard by Lane Wallace

“’I’ve spent the past 3 years researching and writing a book on the importance of a woman’s voice (Speaking Up: The Hard-Won Power of a Woman’s Authentic Voice). And a fascinating phenomenon has emerged, as I’ve begun talking about and showing the manuscript to other writers, editors, and professionals. I didn’t expect men to fully “get” how a women’s struggle for voice feels, any more than I can fully “feel” or “get” the pressure men feel to be a provider or suppress vulnerable emotions. But I thought they’d at least be aware that the struggle existed.

I was wrong.


In my 30 years as a writer, I’ve never encountered such a dramatic and total gap in understanding. There are no shades of gray here. It’s night and day. So what gives? I found a clue in one of the few exceptions I’ve encountered so far. The man who’s most intuitively “gotten” what the book is about; well enough that he could even elaborate on some of its points, also happens to be African-American. And I think that point is telling.

If you happen to be born into a group on top of the power structure in a society—which would still be white men, in America—you have fewer constraints on your ability to be yourself. Your group, after all, is the one that set the rules. And since you were born with the privileges that come with that power and freedom, you’ve never known any other experience. So you often aren’t aware that those perks and advantages aren’t enjoyed by everyone else.

It’s like a story a friend of mine tells about a beautiful young woman who goes into a pizza parlor. The man behind the counter, dazzled by her looks and trying to curry favor, gives her a free piece of pizza. After she leaves, she says to a friend, waiting for her across the street, “I don’t know how that place stays in business, giving customers free pizza.” Indignant, the friend exclaims, “They gave you free pizza???” The beautiful woman looks genuinely perplexed and says, “Well, yeah. Doesn’t everyone get free pizza?””

Continue to read the full article here.

The World’s Largest War Memorial is a Beautiful Road — Transportation History

September 19, 1919 Construction officially began on a major road along Australia’s southeastern coast. At the time, this region of the Australian state of Victoria was mostly accessible to the outside world only by sea. The building of the Great Ocean Road was seen as an opportunity to better connect isolated settlements in the area […]

via The World’s Largest War Memorial is a Beautiful Road — Transportation History