No. CXLIII - The first flight over the South Pole, by Richard Byrd (1888-1957), Bernt Balchen (1899-1973), Harold June (1885-1962), and Ashley McKinley (1896-1970) in the Ford Trimotor Floyd Bennett, 29 November 1929.
The Stars My Destination
I both love and lament how quickly the extraordinary becomes commonplace. For only the second time in the whole of history, there are thirteen persons currently in outer space, orbiting this good Earth: STS-128link. There's no room for triskaidekaphobia in manned spaceflight. Go boldly!
This Week in Motorsport
More about how Formula One works. Every F1 car has a number, with each team's two race cars being issues consecutive numbers based upon the order of that team's entrance into F1. Upon the withdrawal of the Honda Racing F1 Team at the end of 2008, Force India was entitled to move down from Nos. 20 & 21 to Nos. 18 & 19, but, pleading that they had already placed merchandising orders featuring the numbers 20 & 21, Force India were allowed to keep those numbers. So, the two cars of Brawn G.P., a brand new team and yet also the remnants of Honda, were issued the numbers 22 & 23, leaving no 18 & 19 cars on the F1 grid. But, wait, there are only twenty cars on the grid, yet the numbers go all the way up to 23? We know what happened to 18 & 19, but accounting for that still leaves us with twenty cars numbered up to 21. Byeh?
Jaime Alguersuari of Toro Rosso drives No. 11 and his teammate Sebastien Buemi No. 12. Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull drive Nos. 14 & 15. In F1, there is no car No. 13. There's room, alas, for triskaidekaphobia in motorsport.
And now completing a troika in triskaidekaphobia, the apartment shared by K. Steeze and The Professor in Los Angeles, B.T.WesTwo (read "B-T-W-West-Two"), is Apartment 12A. No other apartment in their building has a letter, the sequence is Apt. 12, Apt. 12A, Apt. 14. Confound the intersection of superstition and superintendents! I wonder if they could successfully offer their landlord a premium to allow them use of B.T.WesTwo's rightful number, Apartment 13?
Titus Pullo says, "XIII! XIII! XIII! XIII!"
Vote For Kodos
Polite society considers it bad form to speak ill of the dead; so, regarding the demise of Senator Edward "Ted "Kennedy, I shall confine myself to fact. Whether you extol or rue his long career in the Senate, this is indisputable: the Senator, may he rest in peace, lived for forty years and one month more than Mary Jo Kopechne.
The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Lovin' Spoonful, "Summer In the City" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)
Commentary: And thus we begin the week-long R.B.D.S.O.T.D. farewell salute to the Summer of '09, both the Summer of Crime and, to my supreme delight, the Summer of Speed. I chose "Summer In the City" to kick off this series last week; the lyrics speak of the unspeakable heat of summer in the city, and yet in an amusing twist today was quite chilly. For August, even the last day of August, today was colder than a widow's bed.