A couple of days ago I wrote about Jessica Fridrich and the ability of speedcubers to solve Rubik cubes within 10 seconds. I thought that amazing.
Today, I read a little of an older book called 40,000 Against the Arctic, about the Soviet development of the northern parts of Siberia. One quote: “‘Premature winter imprisons Arctic Exhibition six hours before final victory,’ came the announcement a day later. The Chelyuskinites had been caught helplessly in the embrace of heavy pack ice. The wind had turned. The temperature fell. Ice floes came dangerously near. Arctic night came on. Ship and passengers were enveloped in frost and darkness. Their ship drifted back north and west – back towards the place where they had come. The rapidly freezing East Siberian Sea was not to release its victims. In February, we were reading, ‘Chelyuskin sunk. Passangers marooned on drift ice.’ For sixty days they camped on the ice. It broke here and there; it almost split the kitchen hut in two. Once they had completed a landing field on the ice for an aeroplane and that of rescue parties, the treacherous ice gave way, and a narrow lane of water cut across the field. That happened twenty times.” Eventually, all were rescued. I find that amazing.
Today in the New York Times, there is an article about an unbelievable house built by a retired surgeon (pretty much by himself) which includes an entry hall that is 100 feet long and 25 feet wide with a 22 foot high ceiling. It is unbelievable, from the pictures, and this by a man who had become seriously ill with hepatitis in 1995 and decided he did not want to practice medicine anymore, a man who could not draw a straight line when he was young. You need to see the article. It is amazing.
And then, reading through another unknown book, this one called Taking Off, by Margaret Thomas Warren, an early woman aviatrix, I read of another woman named Victorine Lederer, another flyer, whose “second husband was the son of one of the country’s well known automobile manufacturers. The family objected to the marriage but Vicky had been happy with her husband until one day he disappeared. She never found out what happened to him, although she had traveled the world, following every clue that appeared as to his whereabouts.” I imagined this search. Amazing.
And then there is Bernard Madoff………