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Jim Chiles
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Voter turnout: Boosting participation the American way
Problem: American voter turnout is abysmal, trailing most Western democracies . (Photo: Nick Cote for NYT). And it's worse in off-year elections. So ... How about a competition between states in two categories, measured by success in voter turnout in the 20...
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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...
Arrival, the Movie: Helicopter notes
Arrival, the Movie: Helicopter notes
disaster-wise.blogspot.com
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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...
WikiLeaks, Casting a Wide Net
WikiLeaks, Casting a Wide Net
disaster-wise.blogspot.com
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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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