The 747 - synonymous with huge as the world's largest commercial jetliner - is increasingly being pushed out of airline fleets worldwide for being too expensive to operate and too hard to fill at a time when better alternatives are taking wing.
Worldwide, airlines fly 635 of the jumbos in passenger service, down 21% from the peak year of 1997, according to an analysis by Back Aviation Solutions for USA TODAY.
The number of U.S. carriers flying the bulbous-nosed giant has fallen to two: United and Northwest. There were eight as recently as 1990. The number of daily domestic flights on the 747 has dropped to just 10, down from a peak of 102 a quarter of a century ago, Back says.
While the cargo version remains popular, airlines haven't ordered a passenger version of the 747 since November 2002.
The 747's quickening fall from grace underscores how soaring fuel prices, cutthroat competition and changing travel patterns are remaking the airline industry. The decline of the nation's biggest jetliner is not only another blow to the traditional glamour of flying, but also represents the endangerment of a flying legend.
Across the country, "the voices raising questions about the war were lonely ones," Downie said. "We didn't pay enough attention to the minority."
No, they weren't lonely ones. The were not represented in your paper, or anywhere else in the media, but right before the war polls showed that a majority opposed this war. While a case could be made that a majority supported a war, they supported giving the inspectors more time and then going in with the UN if necessary.
Apparently, they listen to the freepi:
Priest noted, however, that skeptical stories usually triggered hate mail "questioning your patriotism and suggesting that you somehow be delivered into the hands of the terrorists."
One advantage of reading the Post online is that it puts an A24 story and an A1 story on a more equal footing. Those of us who read the online paper noticed that this "contrary stuff" was supported by sources and evidences in a way that the front-page (and editorial page) claims were not.
But, according to some of the Post's editors, sources and evidence are not a newspaper's job. Newspapers don't have an obligation to ferret out the actual facts, only to repeat what people in power say. As reporter and former assistant managing editor Karen DeYoung says:
"We are inevitably the mouthpiece for whatever administration is in power. ... If the president stands up and says something, we report what the president said."
Got that? So if an elected official stands up and says the moon is made out of green cheese, a newspaper is not obliged to challenge this assertion.
This morning I gave platelets, and while doing so at last took in my DVD of the 1996 Hong Kong Triad flick Street Angels, which features the lovely Taiwanese actress/model Shu Qi (Hsu Chi) in an early role (along with Chingmy Yau, Simon Yam and Elvis Tsui!). In honor of the occasion, here's a gallery from a Shu Qi fansite. (Mostly SFW; NSFW galleries are clearly indicated.)
Geez, has it really been since Friday that I've posted? I was out of town this weekend, visiting Louisville to celebrate Cecilia's birthday, my own, and my little sister Katie's with my family. It was a very pleasant visit, a little hectic but generally leisurely. The main downside was that I broke the hard drive on my laptop, but a visit to TigerDirect.com, US$90 and two business days later, and I have a brand-new 20GB drive. Installing it proved to be a snap -- ph34r my L33t b0x0r skillz!
Work has been very, very busy, and as a result things are slow here at Planet Swank. I've considered declaring an official hiatus, but I think I'll just maintain my lame sporadic posting schedule.
I'm going to post a few things this evening, and hope I get more of an opportunity later.