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Updated: 02/27/03

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Thursday, 27 February, 2003

When I turned on the news this morning and saw Mr. Rogers' face on the screen, I knew it was not good news. Fred Rogers, host of the public television show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" for more than 30 years, died of cancer early Thursday. He was 74.

[One of the good guys.]

Mom sent a note this morning. She picked up my Aunt Eunice and my cousin Carol at the airport yesterday and they are now at my Aunt Bernie's house in Claremont. They'll leave soon to join the other sisters (there are six) in Yuma, AZ. Given the impeding snow in our forecast, that sounds really good!

[No fighting, no biting, you girls!]

I've felt pretty content depleted lately - and not just from the flu. The Iraq situation has been mostly annoying and not funny, and I haven't found much worthwhile to read. But today was a mother-lode.

Humor about the war can be found again here at Scrappleface:

Rather to Interview Bush on Same Terms as Saddam

(2003-02-27) -- U.S. President George Bush has agreed to be interviewed by CBS News reporter Dan Rather under the same terms Saddam Hussein granted to CBS.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the White House will provide the tape, and the videographers, will screen the video when the interview is over and upload it to CBS within 24 hours.

Scrappleface also comments on the decision by MSNBC to cancel the Donahue show:

Donahue Cancellation Could Hurt Show's Ratings

(2003-02-25) -- Media experts predict that MSNBC's cancellation of "Donahue" could mean lower ratings for the show once it goes off the air.

"The good news is there weren't enough episodes made for it to go into re-run syndication," said an unnamed media commentator. "So, once it goes off the air, that's probably rock-bottom for the ratings. The worst is behind him."

As for Phil Donahue himself, associates speculate that since he's the only well-known liberal who's not yet running for president, a White House bid may be in the offing.

[Scrappleface is on a roll this week.]

Nine years ago I had the opportunity to fly on an Air France Concorde. While not very comfortable - the fuselage is narrow and fairly cramped - the food was great, and the fact that it only took three hours to get from New York to Paris was just amazing. There is a display at the front of the cabin that shows the mach speed of the plane. As it approached Mach 1, my eyes kept watching it: .97, .98, .99, and then . . .

Nothing happened. Well, it did - we went supersonic - but the evidence of that was behind us. But it was pretty cool, nonetheless.

Air France and British Airways have been flying Concordes for 27 years. There are a couple of interesting events from the early days of their flights:

17th June 1975: In Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Air France eager to promote the Concorde made a dramatic demonstration. At 08:22 (Eastern Standard Time) an Air France Concorde departed from Boston's Logan airport and set course for Paris. The departure was timed to coincide with the departure of an Air France 747 from Paris Orly airport that was bound for Boston. At the point when both aircraft passed, with the Concorde flying at twice the altitude of the 747, the 747 had travelled 620 miles whilst the Concorde had travelled 2,400 miles. The Concorde landed at Paris Orly airport and spent 68 minutes on the ground and then departed for Boston. Concorde arrived at Boston 11 minutes ahead of the 747.

24th May[1976]: Transatlantic Services to Washington DC from London and Paris began with two Concorde's, one in British Airways livery and the other in Air France livery landing at Dulles Airport, Washington. Before landing both aircraft simultaneously flew over the US capital and then made parallel approaches to Dulles Airport. Both aircraft touched down together, the British Concorde landed on runway 01L and the French Concorde on runway 01R. Special permission had been given by US Secretary of Transportation, William Coleman for these flights to take place.

5th April 1986: Concorde made its first charter flight to New Zealand and viewed Halley's Comet over the Indian Ocean.<