Tourists Cross a Cartoon Divide at Kyoto Manga Museum



With the Academy Award nominations for the films of 2014 about to be revealed, now is the time to go back to the 2013 near-win of The Wind Rises, the latest and probably last project of Japanese film director, artist and animator, Hayao Miyazaki. The animated story of aircraft designer Jiro Horikoshi was first released to Japanese audiences in […]


The Story of the Friend I Did Not Know


Takeo-san lights incense for luck.

Over rice and barbequed eel, Takeo Aizawa remembered the day the bomb fell on his hometown of Nagasaki. He was only six and sitting in his 1st grade classroom when the air raid signal went off. All students were told to go home at once. “Some of the older boys grabbed me by the collar,” […]


A First and Brief Taste of Ethiopia


Sorry, but how cute are these airplane-shaped crackers?

Like the opening scene in the Mel Brooks comedy, High Anxiety, where all the passengers on the airplane have their faces plastered to the windows so they can look at the scene below, I too, kept my eyes outward on my flight on Thursday on Ethiopian Airlines. I was flying from the capital, Addis Ababa to […]


When Aviation Was on Top of the World


Pan Am 747 crew in 1970 1

There’s no shortage of long lingering camera views in ABC’s new television show Pan Am, which airs for the first time Sunday September 25th and which I was allowed to preview recently. Views of what you ask? You know, the schtick that evokes the glory days of aviation, sleek and shiny airframes, smooth and super […]


Where Hot Air is a Very Good Thing


Plano banner evening 2011

A very long time ago, in the Montgolfier home in rural France, the family laundry was drying by the fire when air trapped inside a silk nightgown caused the garment to float upwards. The surprise event got the attention of brothers Joseph and Jacques, who quickly figured out that not only does hot air rise, […]


The Importance of Flight Attendants


The last story I reported for The New York Times and the one running tomorrow, talk about the amenities offered to fancy pants fliers, the folks who get to sit on the front end of the airplane and I’m not talking about the pilots. Premium class travelers get lots of jazzy extras including the services […]