Here are the various rabbit holes that have lured me lately, in lieu of actually writing:
- Watching aircraft disaster videos. I found a POV video of an F-16 that had a bird strike at takeoff, and the pilot had to immediately turn around and make a no-power landing. That led to a whole series of dead-stick landings of military planes, half of which involved ejecting while on the ground. Those videos are always weird, because the video continues, and you either see it cut out, or the plane overshoots the runway and ends up in the field, and you get a view of the grass at like a 37-degree angle while the air traffic controllers are yelling at the emergency crews on the radios.
- That somehow led to reading way too much about the B-1 and F/B-111 (ejectable crew capsule instead of seats) which led to reading about the future replacement bombers that will supplant the B-1/B-2/B-52 someday (or not.) And that led to sitting on google maps, looking at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, which has something like 4400 old bombers and fighters stored in the desert, waiting to die.
- Genie the feral child is a good one. She was raised in isolation until she was 14, because her dad was nuts. When the authorities got involved, she was developmentally a one-year-old, and never acquired a language. She became quite the object of study, which raised a furor ethics-wise, and she ended up in foster care and abused, before basically vanishing from view. Heartbreaking and bizarre.
- And then once you get on Bizarrepedia, you’ll wake up seven days later, deep into a hole reading about serial killers or UFO abductions. I ended up getting way stuck in a trail of reading about conspiracies that the Adam kid who got abducted in Florida in the 80s either never got taken, and that was some other kid’s severed head, or Jeff Dahmer did the kidnapping.
- The viral news of a series of K-Mart in-store muzak tapes appearing on archive.org sent me on a long dig looking for any more Montgomery Ward stuff from when I worked there in 1987-1993. The Muzak tapes there were actual capitol-M Muzak, and I think used some weird cart system where the tapes were rented and returned as part of the service, so good luck ever finding them. But that got me into an extended labelscar/deadmall search, which is never good.
- The Breitspurbahn. I don’t know how the hell I drifted there – I think I wrote some throwaway line about Nazi narrow-gauge rail. That led to researching Deutsche Reichsbahn and the WW2-era aspirations of a large rail network. The Big H had a crazed idea about having a rail system with a 3-meter gauge, like double the width of conventional trains. So they’d have these gigantic high-speed trains that would be big enough to have swimming pools and theaters, like a modern cruise ship going 300km/h from Berlin to Moscow. They never got past models and drawings. And of course, I went to the DR museum in Nuremberg last year, and probably walked right past all these original models, because everything was in German and I wasn’t paying attention, and now I need to go back and take pictures of this shit, because I’m mentally ill.
Anyway. I really should be writing, but can’t get started on the next thing.