Sonic Wind: The Story of John Paul Stapp and How a Renegade Doctor Became the Fastest Man on Earth by Craig Ryan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Craig Ryan has woven the true story of an American hero through the rollicking history of the late Twentieth Century. Dr. John Paul Stapp proved that human beings were capable of enduring massive G-forces by strapping himself into a rocket sled and undergoing incredible acceleration and deceleration. He and his team used the data collected during these runs to improve the safety of pilots everywhere. He designed the escape system that modern jet pilots still employ.
Arguably, Dr. Stapp saved more lives than any man who ever lived. Without him, seat belts would not be standard equipment in automobiles. Ryan chronicles Stapp’s campaign to make that happen, fighting the American auto industry at every turn.
Ryan tells the story in an easy matter-of-fact voice and a flair that keeps pages turning effortlessly. His research is impeccable and thoroughly documented. “Sonic Wind: The Story of John Paul Stapp and How a Renegade Doctor Became the Fastest Man on Earth,” is a must-read for aviation history buffs and anyone who is interested in how we arrived in 2015 with safer air and ground travel. It is a quintessential American story. With this book, Craig Ryan has cemented his stature as the preeminent Aviation History writer of his generation.
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Shrouded umbrellas, like
crucified monks, stoic, regarding
warm surf breaking against steep sand.
Beyond the waves,
pulsing party boats
sell revelry and forgetfulness
to young people focused on pelvic beats
and right now.
The monks do not shrug.
They await morning to open
and offer shade
for humans slow with brightness and regret.
(top: shutterstock.com; left: patioumbrellanstands.biz; right: dreamstime.com)
Posted in Absolutes, Alcohol, Beach, Consciousness, Hangover, Poem, Vacation
Tagged beach, drunken, Mexico, monks, party, regret, surf
I don’t care what time
it is. I don’t care what day
it is. I am here.
you are what precious means,
your brand new feet
are your favorite toys.
Your gurgle girl smile
melts my heart.
I want to watch you grow
into a lovely young woman,
to feel the grace of it as
I, too, continue growing into myself.
Oh, your heart will be broken,
but that is our rite of passage.
When you need a heart to hide in,
welcome to mine.
the dog tries telepathy.
I’m learning to speak.
(left: Toulouse hiding; right: hat boy)
Dog butt precedes me,
dappled sunlight up the path
into this morning.
Guess I should mention that I’ve started writing again on my Life O’Wryly blog. Not sure if it’s writing or rambling. I’m hoping some of it is entertaining. You decide. If you’re following the Narbles, give a thought to following O’Wryly. It won’t bring any more emails to your inbox. Except for today, I would hazard a guess that I will never again post two in one 24-hour period. Heck, two in a week would be an improvement.
Just a thought. And thanks for reading.