February 27th, 2008

Scorpio

William F. Buckley, Jr., 1925-2008

William F. Buckley, Jr. has passed away. (CNN obit here.) (His entry on Wikipedia here.)

He was thoughtful and articulate, including when he was maddening -- a reaction I had often to him. He was a huge intellect, far beyond my ability to convey. He died while doing what he loved to do, working and pondering.

May your soul reach a good place, Mr. Buckley.

(First link via metafilter, found here)

Edit:
LiveJournal's zarq expresses things well.
Blow My Mind

If you are flying-phobic, DON'T CLICK ON THIS.

But, to me, this is amazing:

In 1955, Boeing test pilot Tex Johnson, flying above Seattle's Lake Washington, rolled the Dash-80 (the precursor to the 707) and briefly flew the plane upside-down.

A 1:45-minute film of Williams recounting that flight is here, including a photo taken inside the plane when upside-down. (Don't fret, people who dislike flying: I won't embed it. It's your choice whether or not you want to see it!)

A slightly clearer 18-second clip is here.

A further description of people's reaction to seeing an upside-down plane is here.