Flying without pilots

I’ve read a bunch of articles like this one covering pilot-less air travel. There always seems to be a majority in favor of this and no shortage of quotes from people claiming they would be ok with or even prefer flying without pilots. I used to work on aircraft avionics and have a good feel for how often there are problems. There is no way I will fly on an pilot-less aircraft. I suspect the media is skewing things and most of the flying public wouldn’t either.

Life in the GDR

I was able to spend 2 awesome weeks in Berlin this summer. We learned about “East Germany” when I was in school, but never really gave it much thought. It was just another Soviet puppet country to us. Being a little older, the history is much more interesting.


The Wall, DDR and Stassi museums in Berlin provide great insight into what life was like in the GDR.

I found an interview with a British teacher that took a position teaching in the GDR. It’s a good read.

As I was going through the GDR museum I kept telling myself it was like Bizarro World.

The Stassi museum was a little creepy, but provided an incredible amount of information about the history of the organization, the leadership and activities. The museum is actually housed in the former headquarters main office.


This is a picture of the desk of the former head of the Stassi, Erich Mielke. His office, on-site quarters and official meeting rooms have been immaculately preserved.

The biggest disappointment is at the end of the museum. They show that the leadership knew the end was near and started shredding incriminating evidence. They were able to shred large amounts of records before the citizens discovered what was happening and blocked access to many of the buildings.

If you are in Berlin be sure to build in time to tour the museums.

Impressive Meeting Venues

Found this place while jogging in Berlin. If you are looking for an impressive place to hold a meeting, this might work. I’ve stayed in the area before and the neighborhood is excellent. Plenty to see and do within a 10 minute walk, most of which is free.

I was thinking that there has to be companies that specialize in finding and organizing events in cool venues like this, but after searching around there doesn’t seem to be. Maybe they exist but are so boutique and work with long term clients and so don’t advertise much?

Lack of Listening Skills

Me: my flight is delayed, I’m going to miss my connection, I’m going to get off in Chicago and just want to check my bag to O’Hare

American: why do you want to do that?

Me: because I’m going to miss my connection and I want my bag

American: why don’t you just continue on to your final destination?

Me: I’m going to miss my connection, it’s the last flight.

American: why don’t you just wait and take the next flight?



I swear this went on for 5 minutes. I know they have done this before, but now claim they can’t. Someday I won’t have to fly on US airlines anymore.

American Exports

What free trade has allowed the USA to export to Poland: unhealthy food and anti-depressant medication.