11 September 2007

September 11, 2001

Six years ago, on a Tuesday much like today, terrorists attacked the USofA. This is how I found out.

Shortly after 9am, our office manager knocked on my door. She was obviously upset, and said that a plane had struck the World Trade Center. I had no additional information - what plane? how many dead? - and continued on with work.

Then the email trickled in, particularly one mailing list I'm subscribed. "Wow, sucks to be in the World Trade Center". That piqued my curiousity. What was going on? There was insufficient website information - Google News didn't exist, as I recall. So I wandered upstairs where the other staff members at my workplace was trying to set up a TV to get a broadcast signal. I helped jury-rig an antenna, and we got a somewhat grainy, but viewable picture. CBS, as I recall. Shortly after, the second plane slammed into the north tower.

I knew then that the first plane was no accident, and that we were under attack. I speculated that this was the handiwork of Osama bin Laden and al Queda. Then the towers fell, the Pentagon was hit, and the FAA ordered all flights landed immediately. Then UA-93 was reported as being missing, and then finally reported as lost in a crash in Pennsylvania.

Kudos to the FAA, all the air traffic controllers, the airlines, the pilots, and the airports and their crews who managed a nearly impossible job of landing all airborne flights now. Some how, they managed, and did it well.

05 September 2007

Appalachian State, Michigan and the ridiculousness of pre-season polls

I would hope that Appalachian State's stunning 34-32 victory over the University of Michigan in football would point out the ridiculousness that is the pre-season poll.

Such a poll represents, at best, a guess as to what the season will finish looking like. At worst, it represents various biases - for or against certain schools, or regions - and nothing objective. Let's call these polls for what they are: