Very few people ever have the honor of flying along with the Thunderbirds. However, Blair Bunting, a fairly new Nikon Ambassador, managed to do just that at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona after shooting one of the Thunderbirds’ newly-painted F-16 beauties.
As you can see in the video above, the fly-along ‘thank you’ he got is every synonym of awesome that I can think of. Just as much as it was fun though, it took a bit of training and focus to stay conscious while reaching up to 9 G’s at one point. If you’ve ever wondered what 9 G’s feels like, Bunting shares the following in his blog post about the experience:
Firstly, in no way is it comfortable, not even close. I began to feel my face melting away as the skin in my cheeks pulled down to my mouth. The color from my vision was the next thing to fade away, first the reds, then the greens. Squeezing like hell, I did everything I could to get air into my lungs as the G-suit wrenched it out. With all the color of a 1950′s television set, the next thing I noticed was that waves were starting to develop in my vision and a vignette appeared. All the while I am listening to the pilot’s breathing and trying my hardest to match it.
At any point I could relax and immediately be unconscious, only to wake up and wonder where I am, but I had trained too hard to let this happen. Then, just as G’s set had set in, they began to leave and normalcy appeared. However, if I were to relax at that point, the blood would leave my brain too fast and knock me out as well, so I continually squeeze as the G’s lift and my body slowly returns to what sanity it had left.
In this audio series, Vice President Biden will tell the story behind a photo — of where he was, why it matters to him, and how the experience fits into the broader narrative of this Administration. From meetings at the White House to travels around the country, the Vice President will share his perspective in candid, behind-the-scenes snapshots. In other words, he’ll explain what it’s like “Being Biden.”
I am really enjoying this series of audio updates and reminiscences, and I just wanted all of you to also enjoy.
More: Being Biden
My dad and step-mom came down here a couple years ago, and we treated them to good Chinese food. Their complaint? “It didn’t look like fried rice.”)
That was at the Peking Inn Gourmet at Culmore, VA, as authentic as you would hope. PIG people don’t dump soy sauce into their fried rice. (They do use a lot of onions and garlic, because they own a farm that supplies them!)
Dad and step-mom wouldn’t dip their eggrolls into the sauce; they didn’t “trust it”.
They also bitched about scallion pancakes, which I have never yet seen in NoVA. Oh, but they wanted them, in defiance of logic and experience. “I think that’s from a different part of China,” I said, but they ignored me. “I can find an authentic restaurant from several regions of Chi—”: and I was cut off. They knew that GWB liked this restaurant, and would eat there… even if they had no idea of the expectations or options to eat.
Full disclosure: it was fucking bad.
Then they directly insulted the waiter, the cook, and the owner (“I didn’t ask for this; you gave me something different; I’ll make a scene”), when they obviously got what they asked for.
President Obama appointed Vice President Biden on Wednesday to lead an effort to develop new policies to combat gun violence.
“We have a deep obligation — all of us — to try” and end gun violence, Obama said at the White House. “This time, the words need to lead to action.”
He added: “It won’t be easy, but that can’t be an excuse not to try.”
This is not “your typical Washington commission,” the president said. He said Biden will complete his work in a month, and that the horror of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting should remain vivid in so short a time.
Obama picked Biden, he said, because of his experience in the Senate, including a major role in the 1994 crime bill that included an assault weapons ban that lapsed in 2004.
I don’t tend to budget a lot of time for trolling YouTube. But the other day, I cashed in four minutes and twenty-three seconds to watch a video my husband sent me: a short film in which the Scottish cycling wunderkind Danny MacAskill pedals around San Francisco, performing acrobatic feats that make you consider the urban landscape in a whole new way.
I’m your typical time-crunched working mother, my day jammed with day-care pickups and drop-offs, writing, meal prep, chasing an energetic 2-year-old boy. Squeezing in the bare necessities of my personal happiness—a daily swim, a real conversation with my husband, and a bedtime book (or three) with my son—is an ongoing struggle. Yet somehow, marveling at MacAskill didn’t feel like a waste. Instead, it made me feel light, sort of suspended. Why?
Psychologists at Stanford and the University of Minnesota may have an explanation: awe. Time may fly when you’re having fun. But it crawls—in the best way possible—when you glimpse the Grand Canyon, watch someone perform an incredible athletic feat, or listen to a masterful piece of music. That, in turn, may help us make better choices.
Who hasn’t at least once had the feeling of being remade through music? Who is there who doesn’t date a new phase in life to hearing this or that symphony or song? I heard it—we say—and everything changed. I heard it, and a gate flew open and I walked through. But does music constantly provide revelation—or does it have some other effects, maybe less desirable?
For those of us who teach, the question is especially pressing. Our students tend to spend hours a day plugged into their tunes. Yet, at least in my experience, they are reluctant to talk about music. They’ll talk about sex, they’ll talk about drugs—but rock ‘n’ roll, or whatever else they may be listening to, is off-limits. What’s going on there?
When I first heard Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” in 1965, not long after it came out, I was amazed. At the time, I liked to listen to pop on the radio—the Beatles were fine, the Stones were better. But nothing I’d heard until then prepared me for Dylan’s song. It had all the fluent joy of a pop number, but something else was going on too. This song was about lyrics: language. Dylan wasn’t chanting some truism about being in love or wanting to get free or wasted for the weekend. He had something to say. He was exasperated. He was pissed off. He’d clearly been betrayed by somebody, or a whole nest of somebodies, and he was letting them have it. His words were exuberantly weird and sometimes almost embarrassingly inventive—and I didn’t know what they all meant. “You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat / Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat.” Chrome horse? Diplomat? What?
I sensed Dylan’s disdain and his fury, but the song suggested way more than it declared. This was a sidewinder of a song—intense and angry, but indirect and riddling too. I tried to hear every line—Dylan’s voice seemed garbled, and our phonograph wasn’t new. I can still see myself with my head cocked to the spindle, eyes clenched, trying to shut out the room around me as I strained to grab the words from the harsh melodious wind of the song. “Ain’t it hard when you discovered that / He really wasn’t where it’s at / After he took from you everything he could steal.”
Does abstract art fail to evoke a profound emotional response? Try viewing it while you’re terrified.t
Are you puzzled by Picasso? Perplexed by Pollock? Do you feel you’re missing out on something profound when friends discuss their intense reaction to abstract art?
You could do some research to better understand what you’re looking at. Or you could turn off the lights and watch a DVD of Psycho.
A newly published study finds people are more likely to be moved and intrigued by abstract paintings if they have just experienced a good scare. This suggests the allure of art may be “a byproduct of one’s tendency to be alarmed by such environmental features as novelty, ambiguity, and the fantastic,” argues lead author Kendall Eskine, a research psychologist at Loyola University New Orleans.
“Artists may be tapping into this natural sense when their work takes people’s breath away,” he and his colleagues write in the journal Emotion.
Their study was inspired by 18th-century philosopher Edmund Burke, who argued there is a strong link between fear and our experience of the sublime. To test this thesis, the researchers conducted an experiment featuring 85 Brooklyn College students.
Participants were randomly assigned to one of five conditions: fear (which was evoked by viewing a brief frightening video); happiness (evoked by a watching a brief pleasing video); high physical arousal (they performed 30 jumping jacks); low physical arousal (15 jumping jacks); or a control group.
Justin de Reuck takes us with him on his job of taking photographs of fighter pilots in flight. Though there is no dialogue, the visual element speaks for itself. Photography is difficult enough as it is, but try doing it under excessive g-force and being upside down! This video makes me want to experience this once in my life. You can also check out the final shots from this video here.