Thursday, September 11, 2014

Aviation humor...

Aviation humor...  A nice collection from reader Simi L.:
British Airways flight asks for push back clearance from terminal.
Control Tower replies: 'And where is the world's most experienced airline going today without filing a flight plan?'
ATC: "Al Italia 345 continue taxi to 26L South via Tango - check for workers along taxiway."
Al Italia 345: "Roger, Taxi 26 Left via Tango. Workers checked - all are working"
Nova 851: "Halifax Terminal, Nova 851 with you out of 13,000 for 10,000, requesting runway 15."
Halifax Terminal (female): "Nova 851, Halifax, the last time I gave a pilot what he wanted I was on penicillin for three weeks. Expect runway 06."
Lost student pilot: "Unknown airport with Cessna 150 circling overhead, please identify yourself."
Tower: Have you got enough fuel or not?
Pilot: Yes.
Tower: Yes what?
Pilot: Yes, SIR!
Frankfurt Control: 'AF1733, You are on an eight mile final for 27R. Youhave a UH-1 three miles ahead of you on final; reduce speed to 130 knots.'
Pilot: 'Roger, Frankfurt. We're bringing this big bird back to 130 fer ya.'
Control: (a few moments later): 'AF33, helicopter traffic at 90 knots now 11/2 miles ahead of you; reduce speed further to 110 knots.'
Pilot: 'AF 33 reining this here bird back further to 110 knots.'
Control: 'AF33, you are three miles to touchdown, helicopter traffic nowone mile ahead of you; reduce speed to 90 knots'
Pilot (a little miffed): 'Sir, do you know what the stall speed of this here C-130 is?'
Control: 'No, but if you ask your co-pilot, he can probably tell you.'
ATC: 'Cessna 123, what are your intentions?
Cessna: 'To get my Commercial Pilot's License and Instrument Rating.'
ATC: 'I meant in the next five minutes, not years.'
Controller: AF123, say call sign of your wingman.
Pilot: Uh... approach, we're a single ship.
Controller: Oh, Oh, Shit! You have traffic!
O'Hare Approach: USA212, cleared ILS runway 32L approach, maintain 250 knots.
USA212: Roger approach, how long do you need me to maintain that speed?
O'Hare Approach: All the way to the gate if you can.
USA212: Ah, OK, but you better warn ground control.
ATC: Pan Am 1, descend to 3,000 ft on QNH, altimeter 1019.
Pan AM 1: Could you give that to me in inches?
ATC: Pan Am 1, descend to 36,000 inches on QNH, altimeter 1019
Cessna 152: 'Flight Level Three Thousand, Seven Hundred'
Controller: 'Roger, contact Houston Space Center.'
Beech Baron: Uh, ATC, verify you want me to taxi in front of the 747.
ATC: Yeah, it's OK. He's not hungry.
Student Pilot: 'I'm lost; I'm over a big lake and heading toward the big "E".
Controller: 'Make several 90 degree turns so I can identify you on radar.' (short pause)...
Controller: 'Okay then. That big lake is the Atlantic Ocean. Suggest you turn to the big "W" immediately...'
Pilot: 'Approach, Acme Flt 202, with you at 12,000' and 40 DME.'
Approach: 'Acme 202, cross 30 DME at and maintain 8000'.'
Pilot: 'Approach, 202's unable that descent rate.'
Approach: 'What's the matter 202? Don't you have speed brakes?'
Pilot: 'Yup. But they're for my mistakes. Not yours.'
Tower: 'American...and for your information, you were slightly to the left of the centerline on that approach.'
American: 'That's correct; and, my First Officer was slightly to the right'
Controller: 'USA353 contact Cleveland Center 135.60. (pause)
Controller: 'USA353 contact Cleveland Center 135.60!' (pause)
Controller: 'USA353 you're just like my wife you never listen!'
Pilot: 'Center, this is USA553, maybe if you called her by the right name you'd get a better response!'
BB: 'Barnburner 123, Request 8300 feet.'
Bay Approach: 'Barnburner 123, say reason for requested altitude.'
BB: 'Because the last two times I've been at 8500, I've nearly been run over by some bozo at 8500 feet going the wrong way!'
Bay Approach: 'That's a good reason. 8300 approved.'
Controller: 'FAR1234 confirm your type of aircraft. Are you an Airbus 330 or 340?'
Pilot: 'A340 of course!'
Controller: 'Then would you mind switching on the two other engines and give me 1000 feet per minute, please?'
Tower: 'Cessna 123, turn right now and report your heading.'
Pilot: 'Wilco. 341, 342, 343, 344, 345...'
Foreign Pilot Trainee: 'Tower, please speak slowly, I am a baby in English and lonely in the cockpit.'
Controller: 'CRX600, are you on course to SUL?'
Pilot: 'More or less.'
Controller: 'So proceed a little bit more to SUL.'
Pilot: 'Good morning, Frankfurt ground, KLM 242 request start up and push back, please.'
Tower: 'KLM 242 expect start up in two hours.'
Pilot: 'Please confirm: two hours delay?'
Tower: 'Affirmative.'
Pilot: 'In that case, cancel the good morning!'

The mathematics of medieval bell ringing...

The mathematics of medieval bell ringing...  Otherwise known as campanology.  Anytime someone contends that the British are a sane lot, the only refutation required is change ringing.  That will end the debate immediately...

Racial preferences in romance...

Racial preferences in romance...  More fascinating data from OKCupid.  I'm unsurprised to find that people show a preference for members of their own race, but some of the other findings do surprise me.

For instance, white men are attracted to Asian women slightly more than to white women – and Asian women are almost as attracted to white men as to Asian men.  Why on earth would that be true?  Then there's this: black men are slightly more attracted to Asian women than to black women – but Asian women are much less attracted to black men than to Asian men. 

Then there's this more general observation: men of any race are less attracted to only one other race, but women of any race are less attracted to either two or three other races.  Women are also more polarized in their attractions than men: 17%/13% vs. 5%/15% (more attracted/less attracted averages)...

“And here we are...”

“And here we are...”  Daniel Henninger on the humbling of Barack Hussein Obama...

What programmers really mean...

What programmers really mean...  If you're a programmer, this is quite funny:

Another Porky from Mann, Williams and Fontaine...

Another Porky from Mann, Williams and Fontaine...  For my American readers, a “porky” is British slang for a very big lie.  Steve McIntyre (with some help) finds another one from The Mann: in his legal pleadings, he denies having anything to do with a WHO temperature diagram from 1999 – but in his CV, he claims co-authorship.  Nice one, Steve and Jean!

“Whenever we can, we follow the law.”

“Whenever we can, we follow the law.”  That's Mr. Smugmug, aka IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, in testimony before a House subcommittee yesterday.

The casual arrogance of that oh-so-carelessly dropped comment is simply breathtaking...

“Something must be done! This is something! Let's do this!”

“Something must be done! This is something! Let's do this!”  That's David Frum on Obama's response to ISIS, via Reason

Well of course he did...

Well of course he did...  Tim Arango, the New York Times Baghdad bureau chief, dropped a comment on Twitter that has generated lots of buzz.  In it, he says that the Obama administration basically ignored Iraq, and misled or lied to the American people about its rosy condition – all as a context for the withdrawal of the last American troops.

The only Americans who could possibly be surprised by this are the most credulous, least informed Americans.  That might be a majority, though.  Anybody who has been paying attention for the last six years will find this completely and utterly unsurprising; indeed, the absence of this would have been the surprising finding...

Sad news...

Sad news...  I received word this morning that a friend and former colleague, Mark R., died yesterday after a long and hard-fought battle with colon cancer.  He was just 42 years old, and leaves a wife and two young daughters behind, along with a wide circle of friends.  I last saw Mark this past March, when I gave him a ride from UCSD hospital (where he was being treated) to the airport so he could go home to his family.  We had a chance for a long conversation while we waited for his plane to board.  He was determined to do everything he possibly could to be there for his family, to watch his daughters grow up – but he was acutely aware that his chances weren't good.  Despite the grimness and looming tragedy of his situation, he still kept his good humor and trademark grin.  My last sight of him was as he ambled through the jetway entrance, carefully (as he was in some pain), waving with a cheerful smile as he boarded...

Thirteen years ago today...

Thirteen years ago today ... al Qaeda attacked the U.S., and we've been at war with them (and their related and descendant groups) ever since.  Each year, this date brings back so many memories – many painful, but some proud and hopeful and beautiful, too. 

The longer this war grinds on, though, the harder it is to feel anything hopeful about it.  Just last night, Obama committed us to another military action – in my view, most likely one that's too tentative and too limited to be conclusive in any way.  I fear that the world won't take decisive, conclusive action until terror attacks succeed well enough to frighten western democracies so badly they'll accept the cost of such an action, both in blood and treasure...