Tomorrow is the shortest day of the year, followed by the longest night, as we mark the beginning of winter at 2:04 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday morning. Hope there's a bright spot in your day. Happy Solstice!
Brighter days ahead
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @6:27 PM
Last night was clear and cold, the best time to capture the glittering lights of New York (and vicinity) at night, so we not only took some photos with the Towercam, we stitched them together. These photos are a bit wider than our usual format; we hope you don't mind the temporary change. All previous days' posts are available in the archives.
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @5:38 PM
When Howard Dean said he didn't believe the capture of Saddam Hussein made America any safer, both his fellow Democratic presidential candidates and the media pounced on him from all sides.
Do you feel safer? A poll
But when American hero John Glenn said the exact same thing yesterday, they took no notice. That's Col. John Glenn, distinguised veteran of World War II and the Korean War, and Astronaut John Glenn, as well as U.S. Senator John Glenn, and subsequently Astronaut John Glenn once again. And John Glenn, former presidential candidate, though he gave that up quite some time ago. He was on TV yesterday because he's also John Glenn, Secretary General of the Inventing Flight celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight. When they ran out of questions about that, the reporters asked him if he believed America is safer now that Saddam is in U.S. custody.
"I don't think I could say that," Glenn said. And he pointed out that so far no connection has been found between Saddam and the 9/11 attacks.
So what do you think? Please click here to take our poll via Zoomerang.com.
Here's the survey:
Do you feel safer now that Saddam Hussein has been captured?
Yes, much safer
I'd feel safer if they found the WMD
I'd feel safer if they found Osama bin Laden
I'd feel safer if they lock up Michael Jackson
I say anyone who doesn't feel safer is a traitor
Other, Please Specify
Thanks for answering; it shouldn't take long.
...and speaking of Howard Dean, here's a message from him on how you can help support our troops. I received it today, and I hope Gov. Dean doesn't mind my copying it here:
"Our troops are in harm's way this holiday season. Hundreds of thousands of American soldiers won't be home for the holidays -- but we can still let them know how proud we are of the finest military in the world. There are two ways you can show American troops how grateful their fellow citizens are for their sacrifice.
Many Americans want to send care packages to the troops, but have no idea how to do it. By visiting Anysoldier.us you can get information about sending a care package to one of our troops in the field:
The site provides information about what our troops need us to send and where we can send it. Many of our men and women in uniform endure the harshest conditions -- even the most basic food items or personal hygiene products can make a huge difference. They also need help with supplies like gloves and flashlights to help them complete their missions. Click here to send a soldier the supplies she or he needs on the ground:
Some soldiers will almost make it home for the holidays. Each day more than 470 soldiers arrive home on short notice for two-week R&R stints -- but the military only takes them part of the way. Servicemen and -women are flown to Germany or one of three airports in the United States -- from there they are on their own to get home.
You can donate your airline frequent flyer miles to Operation Hero Miles to bring them all the way home. Twelve major airlines will accept donations as part of this program, started by Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, Democrat of Maryland.
Because the last-minute notice the troops receive, they are forced to pay very expensive fares to finish their journey. Your miles can bring an American soldier home to his or her family for the holidays:
Many of you, like me, did not support a unilateral war in Iraq. But the brave women and men of the U.S. military deserve our support and gratitude even as we seek to change the policies that put them in danger. Please join me in supporting our troops this holiday season -- and in wishing them a safe return home.
Governor Howard Dean, M.D."
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @6:03 PM
1. Believe in yourself.
100 years, 100 lessons: What we can learn from the Wright Brothers
2. Yes, it is possible for siblings to accomplish something together.
3. Most skills are transferable.
4. Dare to dream.
5. Dare to pursue your dreams.
6. It helps to have a day job while you’re doing that.
7. Use your imagination.
8. There will be failures along the way.
9. You have to keep trying.
10. People may tell you that you’re attempting the impossible.
11. Keep trying anyway.
12. It helps to have a head start.
13. You’re never a hit in your home town: not until you’ve been a hit somewhere else.
14. Sometimes you have to travel quite a ways to achieve your dream.
15. Pay attention to the surrounding terrain.
16. Use that terrain to your advantage.
17. Start small.
18. Keep on believing in yourself, even when nobody believes in you.
19. If you want it done Wright, you’ve got to do it yourself.
20. You don’t need a lot of room to change the world: the first flight was only 120 feet (36 meters).
21. You don’t need a lot of time to change the world: the first flight lasted 12 seconds.
22. If you fail, keep trying.
23. If you succeed, keep trying.
24. Sometimes you have to build it in one place and ship it to another.
25. You can’t always, or even usually, wait for optimal conditions.
26. If you run into a problem that seems insoluble, keep at it, even if it takes years.
27. Take a break now and then.
28. Sometimes you just have to look at it from another angle.
29. It helps to have a witness to your achievement.
30. When you call the local newspaper to announce what you’ve done, and they respond, “That’s impossible!” call the Associated Press and let them pick up the story from there.
31. If the Associated Press gets it wrong, bug them until they publish a correction.
32. When everything you’ve worked so hard to build falls apart in an instant, pick up the pieces and build it better next time.
33. When a storm blows away your hangar, rebuild it.
34. When attempting an unprecedented, dangerous feat, it helps to have the Life Saving Squad standing by.
35. Once you get your act together, take it on the road.
36. Sometimes a child’s toy can be the inspiration for an entire industry.
37. If someone tells you to go fly a kite, do it.
38. It always helps to have additional job skills.
39. You pretty much have to handle your own publicity and promotion, because nobody cares about it as much as you do.
40. Make friends; form alliances. Some of those friends and allies may grow up to be famous, too.
41. Sometimes it helps to attend trade shows and exhibitions.
42. It’s OK to excel in more than one thing.
43. It’s OK to invent more than one thing.
44. If you sell bicycles, promote bicycle riding.
45. If you want to fly, study how the birds do it.
46. Looking for a perfect place for your experiment? Check with the National Weather Service.
47. Sometimes the wind – even a headwind – can be more of a help than a hindrance.
48. Read what’s already been written about whatever you’re trying to figure out.
49. Contact the author directly if necessary.
50. Everything works better if you put together a good team.
51. Everybody needs room to make some mistakes.
52. If you’re not sure how, or if, it will work, try it out in a wind tunnel.
53. If you don’t have a wind tunnel, build one.
54. Some surfaces should be straight.
55. Some surfaces should be curved.
56. Some parts should be fixed.
57. Some parts should be movable.
58. Getting it to fly is one thing, but getting it to fly under its own power is the real trick.
59. When you invent something, patent it.
60. When you patent it, get a patent attorney.
61. Don’t forget the foreign patents.
62. Break records.
63. Set new records.
64. Break your own records.
65. Once you get the thing flying, you’ve got to work on controlling it.
66. Give interviews whenever you get the chance.
67. Publish your own articles.
68. Accept awards graciously.
69. Enter contests.
70. Be a mentor.
71. Practice. Even when you already know how, keep practicing.
72. One wrong move and everything can come crashing down, with you in it.
73. Alliances with your French counterparts can be especially advantageous.
74. Diplomas can help, but they’re not absolutely necessary.
75. Even people without high school diplomas can receive honorary doctorates for their achievements.
76. Fight against infringements of your patents.
77. As soon as there’s a license for what you do (in their case, flying), get one.
78. When the dictionary people are trying to establish new words to describe the new things you invented, offer to serve as their technical advisor.
79. When someone like Alexander Graham Bell invites you to his place for lunch, take him up on it.
80. Share your success with your parents.
81. Even if you only live to be 45, as Wilbur did, you can accomplish more than most people do with twice the time.
82. No matter how much we miss those who are no longer with us, we have to keep moving forward, just as Orville did.
83. No matter how well your invention works, keep tinkering. Add stabilizers, rudders, wheels.
84. Once you’ve improved your invention with all that tinkering, show off by flying seven successive turns with no hands.
85. Joining the Rotary Club can be a good idea, even if you’re a celebrity and don’t need to network.
86. Donate your old junk to museums.
87. When you’re really old, if you’re lucky enough to live that long, do what Orville Wright and Richard Nixon reportedly did, and give out Halloween treats to the kids who are brave enough to ring your doorbell.
88. It’s possible to be a genius and just a regular person at the same time.
89. Contribute to your community.
90. Inspire others, especially the next generation.
91. Encourage others, especially the next generation.
92. Empower others, especially the next generation.
93. Honor your colleagues' achievements as they honor yours.
94. Save your papers, and donate them to a university or museum.
95. When someone uses the word “impossible,” suggest substituting a more correct term, such as “improbable” or “unlikely.”
96. Celebrate the anniversaries of your achievements.
97. What goes up must come down: your job is to keep it up as long as necessary, and bring it down safely.
98. Once you do become a hit in your home town, they’ll name a gazillion things and places and days after you.
99. Nobody remembers which brother was in the air, and which was on the ground, for that first flight.
100. A century after your historic accomplishment, a lot of people with a lot more money and information than you had may try to duplicate it, and fail, thus proving in a whole other way just what an amazing feat it was.
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @5:13 PM
The battle to save overtime pay has already gone into more post-game play than this year's marathon five-overtime Tennessee-Alabama football game. But it's not quite over yet. When the Senate reconvenes on Jan. 20, 2004, there'll be one more chance to restore the provision of the omnibus appropriations bill that protects overtime pay. Both the House and Senate passed the amendment earlier this year, but it was omitted from the final House version under intense pressure from the White House. Contact your Senator today: yes, even if you've already done so in previous rounds of this battle. Meanwhile, read what Ross Eisenbrey of the Economic Policy Institute told a Senate hearing on the overtime pay issue Dec. 9: more than 8 million workers would lose the right to overtime pay under the proposed changes to Labor Department regulations that have been in place since 1938.
Yet another overtime for overtime pay
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @6:01 PM
We've shown you lots of sunrises, but fewer sunsets, since the waterfront and Manhattan skyline are the other direction. Here, for a change, is a westward view:
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @6:12 PM
Melty snow, man
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @3:52 PM