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This Ferrari 612 Scaglietti was only 30 minutes old when its new Russian owner noticed things were getting a little hot around the collar, resulting in her watching this brand-spanking-new Italian stallion burn to the ground.  The Ferrari 612 Scaglietti normally would run you $320k, but in Russian it ran its new owner almost $850k, making this Italian campfire even more gut wrenching.  (click on the photo to read more at Jalopnik)

"This Ferrari 612 Scaglietti was only 30 minutes old when its new Russian owner noticed things were getting a little hot around the collar, resulting in her watching this brand-spanking-new Italian stallion burn to the ground. The Ferrari 612 Scaglietti normally would run you $320k, but in Russian it ran its new owner almost $850k, making this Italian campfire even more gut wrenching." (click on the photo to read more at Jalopnik)

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Group of bicyclists, Detroit, Michigan, July 1941.  Arthur S. Siegel, photographer.

Group of bicyclists, Detroit, Michigan, July 1941. Arthur S. Siegel, photographer.

As I waited, sitting in the full huff of the air conditioner, gulping down the tea, I thought of the little dreamworld called Detroit, fifteen years behind the rest of America as usual.

Janine had nailed it. People hate their cars. Daddy doesn’t come proudly home with the new one any more, and the family doesn’t come racing out, yelling WOW, and the neighbors don’t come over to admire it.

General Motors Building Detroit, Michigan (4 May 1921)

General Motors Building Detroit, Michigan (4 May 1921)

They all look alike, for one thing. So you have to wedge a piece of bright trash atop the aerial to find your own. They may be named after predators, or primitive emotions, or astronomical objects, but in essence they are a big shiny sink down which the money swirls — in insurance, car payments, tags, tolls, tires, repairs.

Heavy traffic on U.S. Highway 62, Charlestown, Indiana (between 1940 and 1948) Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information Collection (Library of Congress)

Heavy traffic on U.S. Highway 62, Charlestown, Indiana (between 1940 and 1948) Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information Collection (Library of Congress)

They give you a chance to sit in helpless rage, beating on the steering wheel in a blare of horns while, a mile away, your flight leaves the airport. They give you a good chance of dying quick, and a better chance of months of agony of torn flesh, smashed guts and splintered bones. Take it to your kindly dealer, and the service people look right through you until you grab one by the arm, and then he says: Come back a week from Tuesday. Make an appointment. Their billions of tons of excreted pollutants wither the leaves on the trees and sicken the livestock. We hate our cars, Detroit. Those of us who can possibly get along without them do so very happily.

Detroit Electric auto on promotional tour through mountains from Seattle to Mt. Rainier: Mt. Ranier in background, c. 1919.

"Detroit Electric" auto on promotional tour through mountains from "Seattle to Mt. Rainier": Mt. Ranier in background, c. 1919.

For those who can’t, if there were an alternate choice, they’d grab it in a minute.

We buy them reluctantly and try to make them last, and they are not friendly machines anymore. They are expensive, murderous junk, and they manage to look glassily contemptuous of the people who own them.

John D. MacDonald, Pale Gray For Guilt (1968)

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A Federal Express MD-11 Cargo Jet Crashing in Tokyo, Japan. A FedEx cargo plane burst into flames after bouncing off a runway in unusually high winds at Tokyo’s main international airport Monday, killing the pilot and copilot and closing a major runway for several hours. The flight from Guangzhou, China, skipped along the main runway at Narita Airport before skidding to a fiery halt, footage from airport security cameras showed. Firefighters and rescuers immediately swarmed the plane.

This follows a January 2009 FedEx plane crash in Lubbock, Texas.

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Airplane.

A rainy evening in New York City looking west toward Hudson River from University Place.  September 1939.  Marion Post Wolcott, photographer.

A rainy evening in New York City looking west toward Hudson River from University Place. September 1939. Marion Post Wolcott, photographer.


I was reading some of the stuff about the plane that landed yesterday on the Hudson River and I was curious about reports that the plane had floated down the river from 42nd Street to Houston Street, a distance of approximately three miles.

I Google mapped the three locations, using the “satellite” view — LaGuardia Airport, where the plane took off, to 42nd Street, where passengers were rescued, to (East) Houston Street.

Wow. Totally wow.

I know the passengers and crew were probably scared out of their minds — I would have been shrieking! But my sympathy goes also to New Yorkers who were alarmed to once again “see a plane somewhere that it isn’t supposed to be.”

Let’s hope that we are all fortunate enough to have someone like Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III piloting when next we take flight.

UPDATE (1/16/09): Here is the actual flight track. Thanks, Josh Marshall!

The airline pilot and crew and rescue folks are all American labor union members.

UPDATE (1/17/09): BBC News has new pictures of the “plane crashing into the Hudson River.” Relax. Remember? It didn’t crash. That’s the point.

Anyway, the exciting part is there is video of the plane landing on the water. Like totally wow. Here the plane lands, here the plane lands and within seconds a ferry is pulling up downstream to rescue those standing on the wing.

And a simulated “pilot’s eye view” of what Captain Sully was dealing with here.

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Exterior facade (1901)

Exterior facade (1901)

Main hallway with marble staircase (1901)

Main hallway with marble staircase (1901)

Library (1901)

Library (1901)

Lounge (1915)

Lounge (1915)

Model room (1901)

Model room (1901)

Chester W. Chapin, New York Yacht Club steamer, Americas Cup races (1901)

Chester W. Chapin, New York Yacht Club steamer, America's Cup races (1901)

Boat house (1906)

Boat house (1906)

Waiting for New York Yacht Club fleet, Marblehead, Mass. (1906)

Waiting for New York Yacht Club fleet, Marblehead, Mass. (1906)

New York Yacht Club fleet, Newport harbor (August 11, 1888)

New York Yacht Club fleet, Newport harbor (August 11, 1888)

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