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« california! | Main | editorial rant »

the story of delta flight 15

[Updated at 11:41 am EST with a Sept. 11th story about Delta Flight 15 and the town of Gander, Newfoundland. I wanted to end today's Blathering on a more positive note, and this story is the most positive I've heard in a very long time. :-)]

Lawyers: So I went to see an intellectual property lawyer at Torkin Manes yesterday, someone recommended to me by the corporate tax lawyer I hired from Soberman Isenbaum & Colomby LLP. What is it with these long law firm names? And just think of all the business stationery they must have to toss and replace every time a partner leaves or joins, not to mention the company sign, the advertising, the coffee mugs. Maybe this even has an influence on the firm's internal business decisions.

Can't let Zuckerman in as a partner yet, someone might say. We just got all the stationery changed when Rottweilergummerman left the firm last month. Maybe next year.

But I digress. I got the information I needed (mainly that I don't have to worry about my plans for the immediate future breaching a non-compete clause in a previous employer's agreement), and hope not to darken the door of another lawyer's office for a long time. I admire what lawyers can do, and have appreciated what they have done for me thus far, but I'd much rather stick with what I know...writing, editing, and silly online comic strips. :-)

Today's Blathering is part of an On Display project. This month's topic: "Where were you when".

Leaving for California tomorrow: I'm packing for my trip today. Tying up loose ends, making sure everything's set up for being able to do some work away from home. I have two articles due next month, plus there is some other paperwork I need to tie up before leaving tomorrow.

I admit feeling some hesitation about going ahead with the trip, considering everything that's going on in the world these days. I'm not afraid of my plane being hijacked...chances of that happening to my particular plane are extremely low, even if there are more hijackings. Plus airport security is probably tighter than it's ever been, with airport staff and passengers being more vigilant about security breaches and unusual events than any other time.

It's the recent anthrax scare that has me somewhat freaked, because it forces me to think about the real possibility of bioterrorism. If/when it happens, it won't be a sudden and noticeable "where were you when" event, like on Sept. 11th. There will likely be some kind of incubation period before any symptoms, and meanwhile those infected might be travelling elsewhere, possibly infecting others along the way, especially in crowded places like airports and shopping malls.

And then I can't help thinking, What if there's already been a bioterrorist attack and no one knows it yet? What if I get infected while I'm travelling this month? What if I bring it back home with me?

Even if I postpone or cancel my trip to California (and Ohio, which is right after), however, the risk of bioterrorism is not likely to disappear anytime soon. If ever. There's a small child deep inside my brain that quails in terror at this realization, and the realization that my world is not as safe as I once believed it to be. There's a sense of unreality about the whole situation, a subconscious hope that we'll all wake up tomorrow morning and find out that the whole thing has been an elaborately staged hoax. Or a very bad dream.

What's most frightening, however, is that inevitably we'll all acclimatize. Even though the overall risk of terrorist attacks likely won't decrease significantly, we'll all get used to this new mindset, of the greater awareness of risk. You can only stay fearful and horrified for so long. Then, likely out of simple self-preservation, your perception of what's "normal" readjusts to fit reality. Late night talk shows start making jokes about current events again, Hollywood lifts its unofficial ban on anything to do with the World Trade Center, terrorism, plane crashes. Friends and co-workers exchange "where were you when" stories, hoping there won't be more, that the worst is over. Life goes on. And eventually I'll realize how silly I was for being so paranoid, for believing the alarmist stories being propagated through the media.

But I digress.

So I'm still going to California and Ohio, and I'm still looking forward to seeing my friends (even more so now than before).

And I'll update these Blatherings when I can. :-)

The Story of Delta Flight 15 and the town of Gander, Newfoundland

Just heard a wonderful story on CBC radio, so had to share it with you: In summary, on Sept. 11th, when U.S. airlines grounded all flights, 53 flights were rerouted to Gander, Newfoundland. Delta Flight 15 was one of them, and the story read on the CBC was written by one of the flight attendants. After spending 24 hours inside the plane on the ground, crew and passengers were finally permitted to get off the plane.

The town of Gander has 10,400 people. According to the Red Cross, the number of passengers from all the planes re-routed to Gander totalled 10,500 (!). The townspeople of Gander and its surrounding small communities united in helping the stranded passengers, and closed high schools, meeting halls, and lodges so they could be converted into a mass lodging area with cots, sleeping bags, and pillows.

Delta Flight 15 was lodged in the community of Lewisporte. By the time Delta Flight 15 was able to take off again, all the passengers had bonded and knew each other by their first names. Just before leaving, one man asked for permission to make an announcement over the PA. The flight attendant reported:

"The gentleman picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers. He further stated that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of the town of Lewisporte. He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide a scholarship for high school student(s) of Lewisporte to help them go to college. He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers.

When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, it totaled to $14.5K or about $20K Canadian. The gentleman who started all this turned out to be an MD from Virginia. He promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.

Why, all of this? Just because some people in far away places were kind to some strangers, who happened to literally drop in among them?




May the Force Be With You: Thousands of Britons have claimed "Jedi" as their faith, forcing it onto the next census.

The Gander Connection: includes links to other Gander stories from stranded passengers.

Gander Academy Hosts Stranded Passengers

Today's Blatherpic

I took this photo during Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. I'm going to start linking the main photo up to a related (sometimes very vaguely) URL when I can from now on. You can always click on the photo to see if it takes you anywhere.

Today's Poll: (Suggest a question)

Do you remember where you were when man first walked on the moon? (if you hadn't been born yet, please don't answer this poll question, thanks :))

References (2)

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    Response: Cheap Jets Jerseys
    NFL is definitely one particular of the most significant sports in America. It has a key following.
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    the story of delta flight 15 - Blatherings 2001 Archive - Debbie Ridpath Ohi (Twitter: @inkyelbows)

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