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Jim Chiles
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Crisis on the K13: World's first technical-innovation rescue (1917)
For a recent speaking engagement, wanting to feature a high-performance team in action, I devoted the second half of my talk to the emergency aboard the British steam-powered submarine K13 . This year is the hundredth anniversary. Here's a  PDF of that sect...

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I-85 Collapse and the Pipe Question: Using Google's Street View
In addition to the helpful locational data from Wiki , Google's street view might shed some light on early reports that "PVC pipe" caught fire under I-85 in Atlanta . While the images I located are no more recent than 2016, if the same material was stored t...

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Tension on the North Korean Border: August 1976
Adding a bit to the discussions about North Korea. You may have seen a recent long-form piece in the Atlantic about the the DPRK's checkered past, “A History of North Korean Misadventures” : The piece is worth reading, but I was surprised that in the articl...

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Sully, the Movie, and the National Transportation Safety Board
The National Transportation Safety Board is never far from the news,  given its broad jurisdiction over moving-vehicle mishaps in the civilian sector. Here's a link to its update on the uncontained engine failure at O'Hare last October, an event of some con...

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Life in the Early Congress, Part Two: "The most contemptible and degraded of beings"
In honor of the new political season, I'm reprinting an article I wrote for  Smithsonian  in 1995:      http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/congress-couldnt-have-been-this-bad-or-could-it-1-36911219/ The first part is here:      http://disaster-wise.blogs...

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Life in the Early Congress, Part One: "Every Bad Inclination"
In honor of the new political season, I'm reprinting an article I wrote for Smithsonian in 1995:      http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/congress-couldnt-have-been-this-bad-or-could-it-1-36911219/ When Charles Dickens visited the U.S. Congress in 1842, h...

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Arrival, the Movie: Helicopter notes
Enjoyed Arrival a great deal. Without giving anything away, here's my review of the helicopter in its supporting role in the first act.  One of the trailers is here:        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Wiy0iY-Kmo  As in the first act of numerous other a...

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WikiLeaks, Casting a Wide Net
My name's in WikiLeaks too ... My article on the Hughes 500P "Quiet One" stealth helicopter, built for a 1972 CIA wiretapping mission into North Vietnam, was copied into an email by a Stratfor guy. This was part of chatter about the stealth MH-60 used in th...

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Fellowship of the Ring Finger: Safety tips from an oil-rig medic
I'm not a big follower of celebrity news, but Lindsay Lohan did a service by letting people know about a severe  finger injury during a boating expedition . Apparently one of her rings snagged as the anchor line ran out, injuring a digit. It might make help...

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Hold the High Ground: Helicopter war at the top of the world
Watching this week's fighting across the Line of Control that separates the forces of Pakistan and India in Kashmir reminded me to post another excerpt from my book on the social history of helicopters, The God Machine . The section is about how helicopters...
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