Wednesday, August 15, 2018

VS Naipaul, RIP -- August 15, 2018
I was sorry to hear of the death of Trinidadian author VS Naipaul.  I haven't read any of his novels, but I enjoyed his short stories.  Many people complain that he was a bigot.  I would not have known it from his stories.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Bags Three Airplanes in Less Than a Minute -- August 14, 2018

Hickory, NC Daily Record, 21-August-1918
French ace René Fonck was the highest-scoring Allied ace, with 75 confirmed victories. 100 years ago today, on 14-August-1918, he shot down three German airplanes in seconds.


Paris, Aug. 21. -- Lieut. Rene Fonck, the French aviator, who shot down three German airplanes on August 14, as announced officially Sunday, accounted for all three of them in the record-breaking time of 20 seconds.

Fonck went out escorted by two patrolling machines. After cruising for 10 minutes he spied four enemy two-seater battle planes flying in Indian file with only a few hundred yards between each. The French flyer fell upon the first enemy machine with his machine gun. It fell in flames in 10 seconds. Later he got his sights on the second machine with the same result. The third dodged sideways before Fonck could take aim and escaped, but by a swift turn of the rudder he dashed at the fourth airplane and sent it down to join the first two.

Lieut. Rene Fonck, recognized as the greatest French air fighter since Captain Guynemer, is credited with bringing down 60 enemy airplanes. Of these he downed six in one day in the course of two patrols.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Let's Stay Awhile -- August 13, 2018

New York Tribune, 25-July-1915
Southern Pacific advertised that people could take their luxurious Sunset Limited from New Orleans to San Francisco or San Diego by way of Los Angeles, or take a Southern Pacific steamship.  San Francisco was hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition and San Diego offered the Panama-California Exposition.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Comic Book -- Did Spy Smasher Kill Hitler? -- August 11, 2018
I like Spy Smasher. He didn't have fancy powers. He just smashed spies. He had a cool uniform, too. Here we also see one of my favorite cover subjects, Axis leaders getting their comeuppance.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Dr Hugo Eckener 150 -- August 10, 2018

Washington Star, 21-October-1928
Dr Hugo Eckener, pioneer lighter-than-air pilot and promoter, was born 150 years ago today, on 10-August-1868.  He became a publicist for Ferdinand von Zeppelin's company and earned his pilot's license in 1911.  During World War One, he trained most of Germany's Zeppelin pilots.  After the war, Dr Eckener managed the Zeppelin company.  He toured Germany to raise money to build LZ 127, the Graf Zeppelin.

Eckener commanded the Graf Zeppelin on the first transatlantic passenger flight in 1928 and the first round-the-world airship flight

When the Nazis came to power, they nationalized the Zeppelin company and pushed out Dr Eckener.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Ken Norton 75 -- August 9, 2018
Heavyweight champ Ken Norton was born 75 years ago today, on 09-August-2018.  I remember the wide-spread shock when he beat Muhammad Ali and broke his jaw.  When Norton was given the title in 1978 because of a complicated series of events with Ali and Leon Spinks, I thought he would hold it for a long time.  I was surprised when Norton lost the title in his first defense, against Larry Holmes.

I should have written something here when Ken Norton died in 2013.

"When I talk to youngsters today, especially those involved in athletics, I tell them to get their education first." -- Ken Norton

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Pulp -- Operator #5 -- August 7, 2018

Operator #5 was Jimmy Christopher, a secret agent of the United States.  The magazine is famous for series of 13 stories known as "The Purple Invasion,"  about a Nazi Germany-like country, the Purple Empire, that invades and conquers the US.