dangerousmeta!, the original new mexican miscellany, offering eclectic linkage since 1999.


Mayor Daley bulldozes Chicago’s Meigs Field.  You know Meigs.  No, you do.  Really.  It’s the airport countless thousands have taken off from in Microsoft Flight Simulator.  Damned if I’ll let them tear it up without a fight.  Rise up, let the Mayor know he’s way, way over the line ...

Later: OK, laugh.  I thought this rang a bell.  This news article is so old ... years old.  It came up in an online aggregator, and I linked immediately out of outrage, rather than sense.

Marked ‘Corrections.’  As Bugs Bunny says, “What a maroon ...”

06/16/07 • 09:00 AM • ComputingCorrectionsHistory • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

My most bandwidth-stolen image ...

and to my chagrin, it’s not one that I’ve spent time crafting.  More iconic in nature.  The horse’s ass.  Dave Barry’s used it on his weblog without permission or attribution, and at least a dozen others.

Later: A correction amongst the comments.

03/13/07 • 07:41 PM • CorrectionsPhotography • (4) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Political weblogs

seem mighty quiet over the Bob Woodruff special.  Talk radio has touched on it, but I haven’t found much else.  There’s much positive, but I was looking for the negative, to see how those opposed to painting rosy scenarios over Iraq would mount an attack.  If you see any, drop a link.

Correction: Instead of ‘rosy’ above, I mean to say ‘dire.’  A clumsy bit of writing, either way. Sorry.  Confuses even me.

02/28/07 • 10:05 AM • CorrectionsPoliticsWeblogs • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Abq Trib:

7 million Americans are in prison.  1 out of 32 people.

Later: Correction, 7 million in prison, on probation, or on parole, to be exact.  Thx, NewMexiKen.

12/01/06 • 09:43 AM • CorrectionsHuman RightsLaw • (1) Comments

You can see,

my initial take from morning reports on John Kerry’s comment was wrong.  Apologies for any misdirection I may have caused in analyzing what seemed a bizarre exhortation.  A recommendation to Mr Kerry ... if you can’t deliver the punch line, don’t tell the joke.

Later: This pales in comparison to the “dunk in the water” discussion with our VP last week.  But who remembers that far back?

11/01/06 • 08:32 AM • CorrectionsPolitics • (0) Comments

Comment on the Lidle crash.

Hard to get the information you need on this crash.  Finally I found that Mr Lidle was flying VFR, with an instructor.  He was a low-time pilot (95 hours solo), no indication of how many hours in type (how many hours behind the controls of a Cirrus, an important piece of info).  What the instructor was doing with him is a curiousity; could mean one of two things ... a friend, or working on his high performance aircraft endorsement (which is required by law to fly the over 200hp Cirrus, via a flight-instructor’s sign-off, FAR 61.31).

It’s been a while since I’ve been piloting an airplane, so take my opinion with a grain of salt ... but I’ll place my bet on high-performance aircraft endorsement, given his number of hours.  I can’t even imagine trying IFR training in that corridor (with a hood obscuring your view), so I won’t go there.  We’ll have to wait to find out more info. But if it was ‘training’, I’d eliminate any training flights from those corridors.  There are just too many variables ... too many planes, helicopters and visual distractions.

[Addendum to this; see below “Later” note] You need to understand that Manhattan sits under three overlapping “upside down layer cakes” of controlled airspace [Newark, LaGuardia, Kennedy], with strict flight procedures.  The corridors up the Hudson and East River are narrow, the ceilings are low, and very busy with traffic because they give the only straight-shot access from NJ to CT without having to file IFR (you’d have to fly far west of Newark or way out in the ocean to get East of Kennedy otherwise).  Flying is about getting to a destination faster than a car, so you can imagine how popular the ‘straight shot’ routes are ... and how fast folks want to fly through them (if not sightseeing).  After all, those rich Jerseyans have to get to Martha’s Vineyard for the weekend ...

Another concern about the VFR corridors is helicopters.  They make sudden, unpredictable movements ... movements a small plane cannot match.  It is hard to predict the bearing of a flying helicopter, because the way it faces is not a guarantee of flight direction.  And the helicopters love to ‘scud run’ ... flying at high speed below the clouds to avoid having to file for instrument flight (lots of paperwork and procedure to follow).  We’ve heard in one of these articles that the clouds were somewhat low that day, which brought this detail to mind.  The larger pharmaceutical companies in NJ used to fly their corporate choppers down the Delaware-Raritan canal, just below the clouds, at very high speeds ... often at treetop level.  I’ve seen helicopters have very close calls more than once.  The NTSB should be looking closely at the traffic on that particular day.

The 100 or so hours after private pilot certification are, I believe, well known as a ‘danger’ period, where one should not idly contemplate high performance airplanes. Better to build up some ‘normal’ hours first, in your training craft, getting used to this flying stuff.  The Cirrus flies at something like 165 knots, significantly higher than your standard ‘training’ single, which rarely breaks 120 knots.  Speed gets you into a great deal of trouble, very fast.  Even so, the presence of the instructor should have precluded such an accident.  I would have to say, the VFR corridor is a rotten place to do training, of any kind. If high performance training was going on, the instructor was pilot-in-command; this accident is no fault of Mr Lidle’s, and should not be phrased as such until proven otherwise.

The observation that the airplane was in a sharp bank shortly before the incident would serve to verify that too high a speed was being used to perform whatever maneuver was intended (whether avoidance of an obstacle, or keeping to a bearing).

USA Today posts an anti-general-aviation opinion, which brims with ignorance.  For instance, “In most areas, flight plans are not required from pilots flying small aircraft in clear weather, so air traffic controllers have a limited ability to monitor them or determine in a timely way whether they’re headed somewhere potentially dangerous.”  The is the old stereotype that keeps being spouted from newspersons.  A VFR flight plan is a roughly 6” x 9” slip of paper to inform search-and-rescue of your intended route, and to indicate a time to begin inquiries if you don’t arrive at your destination within a reasonable amount of time, it is not for tracing a plane in-flight.  Read about Flight Service Stations (FSS’s) and what the function of a flight plan really is.  [Here’s a PDF of a sample; normally only the top half is used, down to “Military Stopover.”] 

Your transponder shows you on ATC’s radar, whether you’re VFR or IFR, and I believe a Mode C transponder is required for the VFR corridors of Manhattan (which give ATC altitude information in addition to plane identification).  ATC is watching you closely, IFR, VFR, or UFO.  Likewise, the payload capacity of small single-engine planes is negligible.  The Beech Sport I used to fly, would go ‘overweight’ if tanks were full and my instructor brought her overloaded purse with her (apologies, Sherry).  Most weigh less than a VW Beetle.  These airplanes are not ‘terrorist threats’, and it is misleading to paint them as such.

Later: As usual, my memory is not infallible.  Or rather, things have changed since I was flying 10 years go.  I always knew about the Hudson corridor, but just assumed the East River corridor was the same.  Wrong.  I surfed a bit to make sure I was being ‘fair and accurate.’  Read this account of flying around Manhattan; apparently the East River ‘steep 180’ is a regular requirement for avoiding LaGuardia controlled airspace.  60 degree banks seem ‘normal.’  Once again, this points up lack of positive control of a high performance aircraft ... at high bank angles, stall speed increases 50% or more.  Many new pilots have mixed inexperience with sharply banked turns, only to stall out and crash.  The instructor should have prevented this, but we’ll have to wait and hear more info.  I’m done talking when I should be listening ... Filed under “Corrections.”

10/12/06 • 11:23 AM • CorrectionsGeneralNews • (0) Comments

CNN Money:

America’s smartest cities.  Wrong by a long chalk.  Los Alamos is the smartest city I’ve ever heard tell of.

Later: See the comments, for a correction.

09/01/06 • 09:12 AM • CorrectionsSanta Fe LocalScholarly • (2) Comments


Questions hang over why crashed jet used short runway.  People, even professionals, make mistakes.  The pilot is backed up by her/his first officer, and then ATC (tower) is supposed to also keep an eye on pilots ... so there’s a triple failure manifest here.  In this case, if you look at the overview of the airport, you can see that the pilot taxied to the first runway, not the second (taxiway is parallel to ‘Terminal Drive’).  The runway numbers are plainly painted on the runways themselves in the Google Map photo, but the article mentions ‘reconstruction work’ ... perhaps the identification of the runways is no longer clear.  Usually you have small signs along the taxiway to identify runways, as well as the painted numbers on the runway itself.  The repair patches are at the far end of the runway, so I’d imagine they weren’t visible to the pilot(s).  It is very difficult to judge ‘length of runway’ from a cockpit under differing light conditions.

My immediate thought is, this sounds like a ‘habit’ of turning off at the first runway available. The article mentions coming off an extended ‘legal rest’ period.  No excuse for not going through the checklist, and the airport specs, however.  Perhaps both pilots and ATC should be required to verify runway # before official takeoff clearance.

The CRJ 100 has lately been updated with more powerful engines as the CRJ200.  The manufacturer’s site gives the shortest runway distance for takeoff as 4,850 feet (better 5,800) for the CRJ200 with more powerful engines.  This could never have gotten off the ground completely from a 3500 foot runway.  The minute they spooled up to speed, they were doomed.

Later: Sounds like my ‘habit’ guess is wrong, and the reconstruction issues are a major factor.

08/28/06 • 07:05 AM • CorrectionsGeneralTravel • (0) Comments

[Amended] I had to remove OpenDNS

from my router.  Why?  I just switched a DNS for a client site, and the damned thing wouldn’t resolve the new location.  I tried emptying the browser caches, screwing with some other router bits, nothing.  Remove OpenDNS, reboot the computer ... whammo.  There’s my site.  Good thing, too.  My new contact form wasn’t working properly.  I’ll probably revisit OpenDNS, because I admire the idea, but I can’t be wasting my production time right now.

Amendment: As you can see from the comments, John Roberts of OpenDNS got in touch with me.  He is most interested in making the service better.  We didn’t conclusively solve the issue, but I like the OpenDNS service enough that I will return to it after my current spate of domain transfers.  As everyone knows, DNS percolates through different services at different rates; I was in a foul mood, under pressure, and couldn’t wait.  For the average websurfer, I think you’ll see the same great increase in speed that I did with OpenDNS (most pronounced on emails and large files, here).  If anyone has a problem with the service, don’t snark on your weblog as I did ... go directly to their contact page and give them as much information about your configuration as possible.  I’m a bit shamefaced that I didn’t have the time to do so, and I don’t wish to do a fine service a disservice.  Mr Roberts was as helpful as I was snarky.  My apologies to OpenDNS, and I’ve filed this in my ‘corrections’ category.

08/01/06 • 10:27 AM • CorrectionsInternetPersonalSoftware • (1) Comments

Interesting stat

I ran across: “For every $30 billion in new spending, the average American needs to work an additional day out of the year to pay the cost of government.”  That means, with the current costs of the Iraq war, we have to work another 9.6 days a year ...

Important caveat: Read the comments on this post.  Too simplistic for reality.  Consider my last comment a ‘correction.’

06/21/06 • 08:51 AM • CorrectionsEconomicsPolitics • (3) Comments

NY Times:

Iran Claims Nuclear Steps in New Worry.  Add this: Iran Has Raised Efforts to Obtain U.S. Arms Illegally, Officials Say.  And, of course, the threats of terrorism over the weekend.  I retract some of my earlier statements.  I do not now know how to parse the nuclear ramp-up in Iran.  Their actions do not match any of my logic.  I will recede to listening and observing, rather than armchair theorizing.

04/17/06 • 08:18 AM • CorrectionsHuman RightsPolitics • (0) Comments

NY Times:

Prosecution of Midwife Casts Light on Home Births.  I admire the sentiment of simplicity, but out of a handful of midwife-births I’ve been acquainted with, two have gone bad.  One involved the death of a pair of twins at birth.  No, I don’t accept the personal opinion of a midwife; history shows us that before modern medicine, women’s lives were rather short, too often shortened by the complications of childbirth.

Later: Be very sure you read the entire list of comments.  Because of my horror at the incidents I knew of, I was blinded to the overall benefits (via scholarly studies) of midwifery.

04/03/06 • 07:23 AM • CorrectionsHealthHuman RightsLaw • (14) Comments

NY Times:

Studies Rebut Earlier Report on Pledges of Virginity. As best I can make out from this not-very-precise article, the Heritage Foundation researchers changed the level of significance, thereby changing the results.  I get the idea that .10 is better than 0.05 ... but it depends.  Any statistics minors or majors out there care to clear this up?

Later: My assumptions were wrong, my link misleading.  See the comments.  This post is now filed under ‘Corrections.’

06/15/05 • 07:14 AM • ChildhoodCorrectionsHealthHuman Rights • (2) Comments


“A group of 27 scientists, nuclear experts and former officials urged Japan Thursday to rethink a nearly completed plutonium reprocessing plant that could produce fuel for 1,000 warheads each year.”  Like the world needs more processed plutonium.  And where does the detritus get dumped?

Later: I had linked that last “get dumped” with W. Eugene Smith’s famous Minamata photograph.  I’ve removed the link, and I’ll direct you to please read this article instead, “Tomoko Uemura, R.I.P.”  I will not link the image again, and my apologies to the Uemuras.  My intention was to link Japan, chemical dumping, and human rights via a uniquely impactful photograph.

05/06/05 • 12:34 PM • CorrectionsEnvironmentalHistoryHuman RightsPhotographyPolitics • (0) Comments

NY Times Editorial:

“The Judges Made Them Do It.”  My italics.  “It was sickening that an elected official would publicly offer these sociopaths as examples of any democratic value, let alone as holders of legitimate concerns about the judiciary.”  Indeed.  Beyond sickening.

Later: What Cornyn actually said, and today’s clarification.  I retract my “beyond sickening” comment from the above, upon reading the entire original piece, with my apologies.  He’s an off-the-cuff rambler, I think, and must be taken with that grain of salt; I could wish we had better public speakers, more careful ones in Congress.  I agree with Mr Cornyn’s clarification, the rhetoric needs to be toned down.  In my view, this irresponsible ‘activist judge’ hate-speech is one of the major causes of the current violence, and comes from his own party.  Certainly Mr Delay fanned the flames in the Schiavo debacle.  But in reading the original piece, I feel Mr Cornyn needs to read up on his Constitutional history; ‘policymaking’ is not just for the Legislative Branch.  I refer him to Federalist Paper #78, in which Alexander Hamilton felt that judicial review of policy was necessary to protect the minority part of the community from serious oppression by the majority.  Some quotes from the piece that you’ll find interesting:

“... the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power1; that it can never attack with success either of the other two; and that all possible care is requisite to enable it to defend itself against their attacks.

And most importantly:

“It is far more rational to suppose, that the courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority.

That last italicized statement makes clear why Congressional Republicans are attacking the judiciary.  Congress is jealous of their own policymaking; never more so than now.  Do note how many have law degrees (>200 ‘trial lawyers’ in Congress?).

04/06/05 • 04:33 AM • CorrectionsHistoryHuman RightsPolitics • (0) Comments

NY Times:

What the world needs now is DDT.  I’ve posted on this subject for a long time, diving into international health links ... and I’ve always been against.  Over that time I’ve come to see, time and again, that topical spraying of DDT in homes goes a long way towards malaria prevention, saving many lives, with very minimal exposure to the occupants and the environment. My opinion has shifted, and I can accept this, when strictly controlled and alternative methods researched (when moral and practical).  Longterm studies have not yet been extensively done, but I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt, in order to save lives.

I offer rationalizations:  Coumadin, ‘rat poison’, has health benefits when used for certain conditions.  Controlled use.  We use hydrochloric acid in our homes as a powerful acid cleaner, but we don’t spread it over fields because of its propensity to destroy and/or kill.  Ethical use. 

Surely we can find an ethical, controlled middle ground for DDT?  I’m not totally sold, but I’m open.

04/12/04 • 09:26 AM • CorrectionsEnvironmentalHealth • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks


My link to the “Complete Review” yesterday caused some personal angst, and a bit of sleeplessness.  Some of you may find this needlessly melodramatic, but my nature requires I do this.

I’ve been very busy this week.  When that happens, I don’t have the same time to spend double-checking my linkage.  I may not do the deep read required, because I’m multitasking.  So when I’m busy, often an uncontemplated link will slip through.  I can be quite blinkered and clinical during busy moments.

The “Complete Review’, at the bottom of the page, made some really hideous insinuations about First Lady Laura Bush.  I was focused on the AP news report ... this was an aspect of our First Lady that I was unaware of.  I linked it and then went off in pursuit of other information about the First Lady.  After all, I realized, I don’t know much about her.  What else do I not know?  Link it, and move on.  Link forgotten.  There was no malicious intent in my link, nor was there an intent to promote this view.  If you’ve read here long, you’ll recognize how anomalous the link was.

Our weblog posts are not benign; we may have 1000 readers that day, but possibly a million over time through our archives.  This is not a small matter.  We sometimes say things in our weblogs that we would not contemplate saying to a group of friends, much less a crowd equalling our daily readership. 

Once upon a time, this same behavior ... unreflective linking, uninformed theorizing, hopping on the bandwagon, accepting other interpretations without checking sources ... nearly destroyed my livelihood shortly after I started weblogging.  Theorizing and interpretation, in a vacuum of real fact, can do significant harm ... indeed, it took stripes out of my own flesh at a time when I was on the ropes.  I lost faith in humankind for a time.  I would never wish to do that to another.

And for that reason, I offer this apology ... and this link, which will further explain my need to perform reparations [esp. info on page three].  I will leave my previous post up, as a case-in-point, a lesson for myself and for those who care to experience the same lesson.

I apologize for raising yesterday’s article further, Mrs. Bush, and I abhor the craven insinuations within.  Mere idealogical differences should never stand in the way of simple human lovingkindness and faith in the good nature of fellow human beings.

And I apologize to my readership.  I will practice ‘eloquent silence’ more often, when I’m busy.  We’ll both be the better for it.

Off to more meetings.  More links later as I have appropriate time.

04/09/04 • 09:37 AM • CorrectionsWeblogs • (10) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Santa Fe New Mexican:

I need to print a retraction.  I implied that the weekend helicopter gunship frequency was associated with Vice President Dick Cheney’s visit to Albuquerque. I was wrong. My apologies, Mr. Vice President.  Read the comments, for more information on how local SF people felt about the helos.  Here where I live, it was *loud.*

02/17/04 • 02:32 PM • CorrectionsSanta Fe Local • (0) Comments • (0) Trackbacks
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