Flights Of Fancy

Written by Maya Talisman Frost

Feeling cranky about air travel? Get a grip.

Not onrepparttar arm of your passenger seat--on reality, history, andrepparttar 132468 incredible accomplishment of human flight.

We've just celebratedrepparttar 132469 100th anniversary ofrepparttar 132470 Wright brothers' historic flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Although there werecertainly others who were experimenting with flying machines--most notably, Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian who is widely celebrated in his native country as beingrepparttar 132471 father of aviation--the Wright Brothers are generally regarded asrepparttar 132472 first to get humans offrepparttar 132473 ground.

The fascinating thing aboutrepparttar 132474 Wright brothers is that they were notrepparttar 132475 idealistic dreamers you might expect them to be. They were serious, studious, and determined to figure things out. It wasn't that they were obsessed withrepparttar 132476 dream of soaring high aboverepparttar 132477 ground. They were mechanically-inclined brothers who owned a bicycle shop, and they couldn't forgetrepparttar 132478 brief but exciting flight of a cheap toy airplane they'd received as children. They were intrigued byrepparttar 132479 engineering challenge.

Let's just say it--they were geeks. Good thing. Like geeks everywhere, they dug in, immersing themselves in their research. By following their hunch and testingrepparttar 132480 heck out of it, they foundrepparttar 132481 key component that enabled them to create that first flying hunk of wood, fabric and wire capable of carrying a man and--key point here--landing without crashing.

The Wright brothers hadrepparttar 132482 same access to records of tried and failed attempts at flight as all other would-be aviators ofrepparttar 132483 time. They studied birds, they analyzed physics properties, and they built wind tunnels--just like everyone else. Sure, it was their dogged persistence that led them to success, but there was something else that really helped them nail it. They took one piece ofrepparttar 132484 puzzle and worked relentlessly to decipher it.

Instead of focusing onrepparttar 132485 force needed to liftrepparttar 132486 contraption, orrepparttar 132487 engine required to power it, they zeroed in onrepparttar 132488 concept of control. No sense having a great flight only to crash intorepparttar 132489 trees after a few moments of jubilation. It wasrepparttar 132490 issue of control that captured their imagination and led to a design featuring both maneuverability and safety.

But as focused as they were on directingrepparttar 132491 movement ofrepparttar 132492 flying machines, they failed to pay attention torepparttar 132493 continued testing and refinement of their ideas. They got distracted by their efforts to control sales, andrepparttar 132494 research and development division was left flapping inrepparttar 132495 breeze. Whilerepparttar 132496 Wrights got caught up in patent struggles and contracts, adventurers aroundrepparttar 132497 world were improving on their original design and savvy businessmen were building airplanes, airports and flight schools. By 1912, Wilbur had died and Orville was losing interest in flying.

Meanwhile, Santos-Dumont continued his passion for being airborne. He is credited with launchingrepparttar 132498 first public flight as well as designingrepparttar 132499 first hydroplane. He zipped around Europe, flying to fashionable restaurants and parking his plane out front, right next torepparttar 132500 tethered horses. Whererepparttar 132501 Wrights were methodical and diligent, Santos-Dumont was a flashy man about town known for his daring and his sense of style. He cut a dashing figure and inspired everyone from fashion designers to engineers. His friend, Louis Cartier, createdrepparttar 132502 first wristwatch for him after Santos-Dumont expressed a need to keep track of time while busily flying his plane.

Homelessness in the US

Written by Susan Dunn, MA, Emotional Intelligence Coach

In 2000, 11.3% ofrepparttar US population, 31.3 million people, lived in poverty. Here'srepparttar 132465 most current information on homelessinrepparttar 132466 US. For ways to help, scroll down.

1. Since 2000,repparttar 132467 number of people living in extreme poverty has increased.

2.According torepparttar 132468 2003 report fromrepparttar 132469 National Coalition forrepparttar 132470 Homeless (NCH), Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles and Atlanta arerepparttar 132471 top five “meanest” cities inrepparttar 132472 US for poor and homeless people to live in; California isrepparttar 132473 “meanest” state, followed by Florida.


”In Milwaukee, a church has been declared a public nuisance for feeding homeless people and allowing them to sleep there.

In Gainesville, police threatened U. of Florida students with arrest if they did not stop serving meals to homeless people in a public park.

In Santa Barbara, it is illegal to lean againstrepparttar 132474 front of a building or a store, and no one can park a motor home onrepparttar 132475 street in one place for more than two hours.”

4.Families with children are by farrepparttar 132476 fastest-growing sector ofrepparttar 132477 homeless population.

Children alone compose about 39% ofrepparttar 132478 homeless.

5.Inrepparttar 132479 median state, a minimum-wage worker would have to work 89 hours a week to afford a 2-bedroom apartment at 30% of his or her income, which isrepparttar 132480 federal definition of affordable housing (National Low Income Housing Coalition, 2001).

6.Forrepparttar 132481 disabled, in 1998, on a national average, someone receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) had to spend 69% of their monthly income to rent a 1-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent.

7.Loss of single room occupancy housing (SRO) exacerbatesrepparttar 132482 problem. From 1970-mid 80s, an estimated one million SRO units were demolish (Dolbeare, 1996).

New York City lost 87% of its $200 a month or less SRO. Chicago experienced total elimination of cubicle hotels. By 1985, Los Angeles lock more than half its downtown SRO. San Francisco lost 43%, Portland lost 59% and Denver lost 64%. [Data is here:]

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