SEVERAL TIMES WHILE WORKING more than 150 feet underground in Germany with the 322nd Airlift Division, I arranged the special airlift of interesting cargo.
I used to co-ordinate with logisticians like the Sergeant leaning over his telephone console. Near the end of every summer I remember a note from August 31, 1945 that was dropped by Captain Edward Gumphrey of the 322nd Air Division while flying over Japan at the end of WWII. It's worth repeating what the Captain wrote "To any American who can read this letter." Gumphrey and the crew of V-23 advised that his crew was "writing this en route to Japan where we'll attempt to find you fellows and drop these supplies. Before going into a long letter here are a few instructions:
Continue reading "Remembering the Drop" »
IT IS A BIG RELIEF knowing that I can open my phone in the States, Ireland or England and use maps that navigate me with no requirement to be connected to the local mobile phone operator.
I routinely use Nokia Maps on my Nokia E7 because I like noticing what the maps don't comprehend about the Irish motorway system. A few months ago, Nokia Maps did not recognise the new motorway connecting Kilkenny to Dublin. Until last year, the confusing mess of the Red Cow interchange threw the electronic navigator into an endless loop of "recalculating" as we maneuvered around road works. Today, the calm voice guidance simply says, "Follow the course of the road". To which I might add, "Stay alert for motorists making lane changes."
Continue reading "The Brilliance of On-Board Maps" »
I STOOD ON SMOKING EARTH near Ground Zero of Flugtag 88 and will never forget the stunned horror on the faces of 300,000 spectators as they calmly picked their way around smoking soil to leave the crash site.
I was part of a team of airlift controllers, trying to figure out a way to evacuate the injured from the crash scene to extreme burn centres located in Europe and in the States. We had a comprehensive Major Incident Plan and I remember some of the authentications and steps decades later. We hit some snags along the way, snags that might still be in the Major Incident Plan. I wonder how the technology and training offered through Decisions For Heroes would have played out during Flugtag 88. The software looks for patterns and trends. If used as a primary data map for the airshow disaster in Ramstein, it might have helped sift through the injury list, identify the nationalities of victims and applied hotspot cluster mapping to the treatment facilities. That alone would have prevented ambulances from sitting in queues outside of hospitals that did not have the blood or the room in special burn facilities.
Continue reading "If Flugtag 88 Had Decisions for Heroes" »
MARK LITTLE AND STORYFUL get a well-deserved two-page spread inside Culture magazine today. They know how to curate the news and provide me with first-rate coverage of emerging events.
I'm currently following Storyful into both Libya and New York City as events unfold there. Storyful gives me the video, the context and often the primary contact behind the scenes of breaking news. I know several of the people on Storyful's team and believe the organisation has leveraged social media more efficiently than any other journalistic channel. In the seven minutes of my YouTube video and during an Audioboo, I make an attempt to match the incisiveness of a Storyful segment as I distill items from two Irish broadsheets.
Irish Sunday News 28 August 2011
Continue reading "Storyful in the Sunday Times" »
IF ONLY I COULD drop most of the people sitting at this table onto Google Plus. I'd have an exceptionally eclectic collection.
Continue reading "If I Could Plus This Table" »
THANKS TO SEAN O'GRADY, I stumbled into Google Plus during its early days of public beta. After nearly eight weeks of watching how Google Plus works, I've learned it is more than a chat zone. I now believe I should set up plans to teach new third level students how to write for social layers that sit inside Google Plus.
Like many people I follow on Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook, I think G+ has the potential to change the way people, brands and groups interact. I'm interested in discovering whether my new students, men and women who are just starting their third level education, can detect any of the facets that I believe deserve a close look.
Continue reading "Writing for Social Layers" »
I used to have one simple way to see my information stream--my laptop. Things have become much more overwhelming in the past two years because I carry a generous amount of a touchable life stream in my pocket. I can't get away from the babble.
Continue reading "My Personal Battle with Attention Crash" »