1) THE EVEN SADDER END OF THE LIBERTY BELLE
The Liberty Belle, the B-17 that burned in a field outside of Chicago this week, did not crash, new evidence shows. A picture from the ground as the engine burned shows the B-17, which had visited St. Paul a week earlier, had landed successfully. But its chief pilot says firefighters couldn't do anything to save the historical airplane because they didn't want to get stuck in a wet field (note that the field supported the weight of a landing B-17. A B-17 weighs about 36,000 pounds. A fully-loaded fire truck can weigh 50,000 pounds, but didn't the fire department have a fire extinguisher or two?).
It's chief pilot has released a statement about what really happened on Monday:
Directly below the B-17 was a farmer's field and the decision was made to land immediately. Approximately 1 minute and 40 seconds from the radio report of the fire, the B-17 was down safely on the field. Within that 1:40 time frame, the crew shutdown and feathered the number 2 engine, activated the engine's fire suppression system, lowered the landing gear and performed an on-speed landing. Bringing the B-17 to a quick stop, the crew and passengers quickly and safely exited the aircraft. Overhead in the T-6, Cullen professionally coordinated and directed the firefighting equipment which was dispatched by Aurora Tower to the landing location.
Unlike the sensational photos that you have all seen of the completely burned B-17 on the news, you will see from photos taken by our crew that our Liberty Belle was undamaged by the forced landing and at the time of landing, the wing fire damage was relatively small. The crew actually unloaded bags, then had the horrible task of watching the aircraft slowly burn while waiting for the fire trucks to arrive. There were high hopes that the fire would be extinguished quickly and the damage would be repairable. Those hopes were diminished as the fire trucks deemed the field too soft to cross due to the area's recent rainfall. So while standing by our burning B-17 and watching the fire trucks parked at the field's edge, they sadly watched the wing fire spread to the aircraft's fuel cells and of course, you all have seen the end result. There is no doubt that had the fire equipment been able to reach our aircraft, the fire would have been quickly extinguished and our Liberty Belle would have been repaired to continue her worthwhile mission.
The full statement can be found here.
The pilot who made the emergency landing in the B-17 was John Hess of Georgia. He flies for Delta Airlines.
City Pages reports that the Minnesota Twins have given a good talking-to to a security guard who scolded a lesbian couple for a brief kiss before one headed off to the bathroom.
Taylor Campione and Kelsi Culpepper say they may file a complaint against the Twins with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. "I want a zero-tolerance harassment policy instituted at Target Field," Culpepper tells the alt-weekly. "I think it's pretty pathetic that there isn't one everywhere already."
I don't understand what's wrong with kissing my girlfriend," Culpepper told the man.
After some argument, the guard repeated his comment about not "playing grab ass."
"Then he said, 'Well here in the stadium, we adhere to the 10 Commandments,'" recalls Culpepper. "After that, I decided I was no longer going to speak with him, and I asked for his manager."
A Twins official says the guard's behavior was inappropriate. He still works for the team.
Baseball, which has tried to court the gay community, has often simultaneously turned it away. In Seattle a few years ago, a kissing couple was thrown out of the stadium.
Baseball teams often have "Kiss Cams," but there's no indication a kissing gay couple has ever been shown.
Coincidentally, City Pages also reports the Twins are considering making an "It Gets Better" video along the lines of the one released a couple of weeks ago by the San Francisco Giants.(17 Comments)
I'm just going to go ahead and assume these are Boston Bruins fans in the midst of the carnage in Vancouver last night.
(photo: Getty Images)(5 Comments)
Pew Research is out with a survey about fathers, which includes this finding:
Among all adults, 57% say it is more difficult to be a father today than it was 20 or 30 years ago. Only 9% say being a father is easier today, and 32% say it's about the same. Among dads themselves, 63% say the job is harder now.
How do people know this? They weren't fathers 20 or 30 years ago, or if they were, they're not raising kids now. This question, which bloggers like to write about, doesn't make a lot of sense in the big scheme of things because we can't properly swap positions with our parents (or with our children) with any degree of reliability.
I think being a father is way harder than anything else in the world, but all I take away from that is a new appreciation for my father, who passed away some years ago, shortly after I wrote him a letter telling him so (I'm still waiting for my letter, kids).
The survey presented some interesting data, but shied away from the deeper questions about the role of fathers. If 1 in 10 fathers lived apart from the family in 1960, and now it's 1 in 4, is that a failure of fatherhood? Is that why fathers think it was easier to be a father way back when?
There's clearly a racial component to this, the survey says:
Black fathers are more than twice as likely as white fathers to live apart from their children (44% vs. 21%), while Hispanic fathers fall in the middle (35%). Among fathers who never completed high school, 40% live apart from their children. This compares with only 7% of fathers who graduated from college.
Among fathers who live with their children at least part of the time, nearly nine-in-ten say they are doing a very good (44%) or good (44%) job as fathers to those children. Fathers who do not live with their children rate themselves much more negatively. Only 19% say they are doing a very good job as fathers to the children they live apart from, and 30% say they are doing a good job. One-in-four say their parenting as not very good (13%) or bad (9%).(8 Comments)