BILL BRYSON PDF
PDF Drive is your search engine for PDF files. As of today we have 78,, eBooks for you to download for free. No annoying ads, no download limits, enjoy . David Bryson, Felicity Bryson, Dan McLean, Nick Southern, Patrick Gallagher, Larry. Power up your mind: learn faster, work smarter / Bill Lucas. p. cm. ways in. In his introduction, Bill Bryson states “This is a book about how we went from there BILL BRYSON is a bestselling author of several humorous travel books.
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Read One Summer PDF - America, by Bill Bryson Doubleday | A Chicago Tribune Noteworthy BookA GoodReads Reader's ChoiceIn One. Read A Walk in the Woods PDF - Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson Broadway Books | A CLASSIC FROM THE. PDF | In reading Bryson's book, A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING , it has often been ignored how he took time to lift of environmental heroes, like.
Albert Einstein realized that time, weight, and pretty much all other concepts are nothing but relative.
For some people, this theory is a tough bite to digest but look at this way — To get from one city to another, you may see it would take me about an hour. What if you are traveling with an airplane? That same fact was discovered by scientists who tried to penetrate deep into atomic-mysteries by utilizing the conventional laws of physics.
This theory gives rise to various ideas and facts. This branch delivers two subcategories linked to laws of nature: First, it includes the subatomic world and the other is reserved for the noble universe.
According to one study, nearly This kingdom belongs to the bacteria 2. Take this fact under consideration: An average human has at least one trillion bacteria only on its skin. Such inaccurate statement produces little value.
Like this summary? First, people deny that it is true, then they deny that it is important; finally they credit the wrong person. Click To Tweet It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you.
Click To Tweet Protons give an atom its identity, electrons its personality. Click To Tweet When the poet Paul Valery once asked Albert Einstein if he kept a notebook to record his ideas, Einstein looked at him with mild but genuine surprise - Oh, that's not necessary, he replied. It's so seldom I have one. Learn more and more, in the speed that the world demands. Take this summary with you and read anywhere! As Alcock and Brown had painfully proved, just ying half that distance was at the very bounds of technology and good fortune.
No one took up Orteigs offer, but in he renewed it, and now it was beginning to seem actually possible. The development of air-cooled enginesAmericas one outstanding contribution to aviation technology in the periodgave planes greater range and reliability.
The world also had an abundance of talented, often brilliant, nearly always severely underemployed aeronautic engineers and designers who were eager to show what they could do.
For many, the Orteig Prize wasnt merely the best challenge around, it was the only one. A monument to Alcock and Brown, at Heathrow Airport, wasnt erected until thirty-ve years after their ight. He had been a leading airplane designer in Europe, but in he had lost everything in the Russian Revolution and ed to America. Now, in , at the age of thirty-seven, he supported himself by teaching chemistry and physics to fellow immigrants and by building planes when he could. Sikorsky loved a well-appointed airplaneone of his prewar models included a washroom and a promenade deck a somewhat generous description, it must be said and the plane he now built for the Atlantic ight was the plushest of all.
It had leather ttings, a sofa and chairs, cooking facilities, even a bedeverything that a crew of four could possibly want in the way of comfort and elegance.
The idea was to show that the Atlantic could not simply be crossed but crossed in style. Sikorsky was supported by a syndicate of investors who called themselves the Argonauts. For a pilot they chose Fonck, who had shot down 75 German planeshe claimed it was over an achievement all the more remarkable for the fact that he had own only for the last two years of the war, having spent the rst two digging ditches before persuading the French air service to give him a chance at ight school.
Fonck was adroit at knocking down enemy planes but even more skilled at eluding damage himself. In all his battles, Foncks own plane was struck by an enemy bullet just once. Unfortunately, the skills and temperament needed for combat are not necessarily the ones required to y an airplane successfully across a large and empty sea.
Fonck now showed no common sense in regard to preparations. First, to Sikorskys despair, he insisted on going before the plane was adequately tested.
Bill Bryson One Summer
Next, and even worse, he grossly overloaded it. He packed extra fuel, an abundance of emergency equipment, two kinds of radios, spare clothes, presents for friends and supporters, and lots to eat and drink, including wine and champagne. He even packed a dinner of terrapin, turkey, and duck to be prepared and eaten after reaching Paris, as if France could not be counted on to feed them. Altogether the plane when loaded weighed twenty-eight thousand pounds, far more than it was designed, or probably able, to lift.
Elated at this demonstration of the innate superiority of French aviators, Fonck insisted on immediate preparation for departure.
About Bill Bryson
The following morning, before a large crowd, the Sikorsky airplane which, such was the rush, hadnt even been given a namewas rolled into position and its three mighty silver engines started. Almost from the moment it began lumbering down the runway things didnt look right.
Airelds in the s were essentially just thateldsand Roosevelt Field was no better than most. Because the plane needed an especially long run, it had to cross two dirt service roads, neither of which had been rolled smootha painful reminder of how imprudently overhasty the entire operation was. As the Sikorsky jounced at speed over the second of the tracks, a section of landing gear fell off, damaging the left rudder, and a detached wheel went bouncing off into oblivion. Fonck pressed on nonetheless, opening the throttle and continually gaining speed until he was almost going fast enough to get airborne.
Alas, almost was not good enough. Thousands of hands went to mouths as the plane reached the runways end, never having left the ground even fractionally, and tumbled clumsily over a twenty-foot embankment, vanishing from view.
For some moments, the watching crowds stood in a stunned and eerie silencebirdsong could be heard, giving an air of peacefulness obviously at odds with the catastrophe just witnessedand then awful normality reasserted itself with an enormous gaseous explosion as 2, gallons of aviation fuel combusted, throwing a reball fty feet into the air. Fonck and his navigator, Lawrence Curtin, somehow managed to scramble free, but the other two crew members were incinerated in their seats.
The incident horried the ying fraternity. The rest of the world was horried, toobut at the same time morbidly eager for more. For Sikorsky, the blow was economic as well as emotional.
Sikorsky would eventually nd a new career building helicopters, but for now he and Fonck, their plane, and their dreams were nished. With regard to the Orteig Prize, it was too late for other ocean iers as well. Weather patterns meant that ights over the North Atlantic were safely possible for only a few months each year.
Everyone would have to wait until the following spring. Spring came. America had three teams in the running, all with excellent planes and experienced crews. The names of the planes aloneColumbia, America, American Legionshowed how much this had become a matter of national pride.
The initial front-runner was the Columbia, the monoplane in which Chamberlin and Acosta had set their endurance record just before Easter. But two days after that milestone ight, an even more impressive and vastly more expensive plane was wheeled out of its factory at Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. This was the America, which carried three powerful, roaring engines and had space for a crew of four.
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The leader of the America team was thirty-seven-year-old naval commander Richard Evelyn Byrd, a man seemingly born to be a hero. Suave and handsome, he came from one of Americas oldest and most distinguished families. The Byrds had been dominant in Virginia since the time of George Washington. Byrds brother Harry was governor of the state. In , Richard Byrd himself was already a celebrated adventurer. The previous spring, with the pilot Floyd Bennett, he had made the rst ight in an airplane over the North Pole though in fact, as we will see, there have long been doubts that he actually did so.
Through Wanamaker, Byrd now controlled the leasehold on Roosevelt Field, the only aireld in New York with a runway long enough to accommodate any plane built to y the 12 prologue Atlantic. Without Byrds permission, no one else could even consider going for the Orteig Prize. Wanamaker insisted that the operation be all-American.
This was a little ironic because the planes designer, a strong-willed and difcult fellow named Anthony Fokker, was Dutch and the plane itself had been partly built in Holland. Even worse, though rarely mentioned, was that Fokker had spent the war years in Germany building planes for the Germans.
He had even taken out German citizenship. As part of his commitment to German air superiority, he had invented the synchronized machine gun, which enabled bullets to pass between the spinning blades of a propeller. Before this, amazingly, all that aircraft manufacturers could do was wrap armor plating around the propellers and hope that any bullets that struck the blades werent deected backward.
The only alternative was to mount the guns away from the propeller, but that meant pilots couldnt reload them or clear jams, which were frequent. Fokkers gun gave German pilots a deadly advantage for some time, making him probably responsible for more Allied deaths than any other individual.
Now, however, he insisted that he had never actually been on Germanys side. My own country remained neutral throughout the entire course of the great conict, and in a denite sense, so did I, he wrote in his postwar autobiography, Flying Dutchman. He never explained in what sense he thought himself neutral, no doubt because there wasnt any sense in which he was.
Byrd never liked Fokker, and on April 16, , their enmity became complete. Just before six in the evening, Fokker and three members of the Byrd teamthe copilot Floyd Bennett, the navigator George Noville, and Byrd himselfeagerly crowded into the cockpit.
Fokker took the controls for this maiden ight. The plane took off smoothly and performed faultlessly in the air, but as the America came in to land it became evident that it was impelled by the inescapable burden of gravity to tip forward and come down nose-rst. The problem was that all the weight was up front and there was no way for any of the four men onboard to move to the back to redistribute the load because a large fuel tank entirely lled the middle part of the fuselage.
What exactly happened next became at once a matter of heated dispute. Byrd maintained that Fokker abandoned the controls and made every effort to save himself, leaving the others to their fates. Fokker vehemently denied this. Jumping out of a crashing plane was not possible, he said. Maybe Byrd was excited and imagined this, Fokker wrote with pained sarcasm in his autobiography. Surviving lm footage of the crash, which is both brief and grainy, shows the plane landing roughly, tipping onto its nose, and opping onto its back, all in a continuous motion, like a child doing a somersault.
Fokker, like the other occupants, could have done nothing but brace and hold on. In the footage the damage looks slight, but inside all was violent chaos. A piece of propeller ripped through the cockpit and pierced Bennetts chest. He was bleeding profusely and critically injured. Noville, painfully mindful of the re that had killed two of Foncks men, punched his way out through the planes fabric covering. Byrd followed and was so furious with Fokker that he reportedly failed to notice that his left arm had snapped like a twig and was dangling in a queasily unnatural way.
Fokker, uninjured, stood and shouted back at Byrd, blaming him for overloading the plane on its rst ight.
The episode introduced serious rancor into the Byrd camp and set back the teams plans by weeks. Bennett was rushed to a hospital at Hackensack, where he lay close to death for the next ten days. He was lost to the team for good. The plane had to be almost completely rebuiltand indeed extensively redesigned to allow the weight to be distributed more sensibly.
For the time being, the Byrd team was out of the running. That left two other American planes, but fate, alas, was not on their sides either.
On April 24, eight days after the Byrd crash, Clarence Chamberlin was prevailed upon to take the nine-year-old daughter of the planes owner, Charles A. Levine, and the daughter of an ofcial from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce up for a short ight above Long 14 prologue Island. Chamberlins young passengers got a more exciting ight than they expected because the landing gear fell apart during takeoff, leaving one wheel behind, which meant he had only one wheel to land on.
Chamberlin made a nearly perfect landing without injury to himself or his passengers, but the wing hit the ground and the damage to the plane was sufcient to set back the Columbias plans considerably.
Davis and Wooster were smart, able aviators, and their plane, a Keystone Pathnder built in Bristol, Pennsylvania, was gleamingly new and powered by three Wright Whirlwind engines. What the outside world didnt know was that upon delivery the plane turned out to weigh 1, pounds more than it was supposed to.
Davis and Wooster took it up in a series of test ights, each time cautiously increasing the fuel load, and so far had experienced no problems. On April 26, two days after Chamberlins emergency landing, they scheduled their nal test ight. This time they would take off with a full load of seventeen thousand pounds, nearly a quarter more than the plane had attempted to lift before.
Among those who came to cheer them on were Daviss young wife, their infant son in her arms, and Woosters ance.
This time the plane struggled to get airborne. At length it rose into the air, but not enough to clear a line of trees at the far side of a neighboring eld. Wooster banked sharply. The plane stalled and fell to earth with a sickening crash. Davis and Wooster died instantly. America, for the time being at least, was out of contenders.
To make matters worse, things were going rather well for foreigners. While the American iers were investing all their energies in land planes, the Italians saw seaplanes as the way of the future.
Seaplanes had much to commend them. They eliminated the need for landing elds since they could put down on any convenient body of water. Seaplanes could island-hop their way across oceans, follow rivers deep into jungly continents, stop at coastal communities with no clearings for airstrips, and otherwise go where conventional airplanes could not.
The son of a lawyer from Naples, Pinedo was well educated and headed for a career in the professions when he discovered ying. It became his life. They did it in comparatively short hops, always sticking close to land, and the trip took seven months to complete, but it was still a voyage of thirty-four thousand miles, epic by any standards. Pinedo became a national hero. Benito Mussolini, who had come to power in , showered him with honors. Mussolini was enthralled by ightby its speed and daring and promise of technological superiority.
All of those qualities were magically personied, in his view, by the stout little Neapolitan, who became his emissary of the air. Time magazine, four years old and enchanted with stereotype, described Pinedo in the spring of as a swart Fascist ace. Almost anyone from south of the Alps was swart in Time. Pinedo was in fact not especially swart and not at all an acehe had spent the war ying reconnaissance missionsbut he was indeed a loyal Fascist.
With his black shirt, brilliantined hair, thrusting jaw, and habit of standing with his sts pinned to his hips, Pinedo was, to an almost comical degree, the very model of a strutting, self-satised Fascist. This was not a problem to anyone so long as he stayed in Europe, but in the spring of he came to America. Worse, he did it in the most heroic possible way. It was the rst westward crossing by airplane of the Atlantic Ocean, a feat in itself, even if it was not done in a single bound.
Pinedo reached the United States in late March at New Orleans and began a lavish, if not always wholly welcome, progress around the country. It was hard to decide what to make of him. On the one hand, he was unquestionably a gifted ier and entitled to a parade or two. On the other, he was a representative of an obnoxious form of government that was admired by many Italian immigrants, who were thus deemed to represent a threat to the American way of life.
At a time when Americas air 16 prologue efforts were suffering one setback after another, Pinedos prolonged victory lap around the country began to seem just a little insensitive.
After New Orleans, Pinedo proceeded west to California, stopping at Galveston, San Antonio, Hot Springs, and other communities along the way to refuel and receive ovations from small bands of supporters and a rather larger number of the merely curious.
On April 6, en route to a civic reception in San Diego, he landed at a reservoir called Roosevelt Lake in the desert west of Phoenix. Even in this lonely spot a crowd gathered. As the observers respectfully watched the plane being serviced, a youth named John Thomason lit a cigarette and unthinkingly tossed the match on the water.
The water, coated with oil and aviation fuel, ignited with a mighty whoompf that made everyone scatter. Within seconds, Pinedos beloved plane was engulfed in ames and workmen were swimming for their lives. Pinedo, having lunch at a lakeside hotel, looked up from his meal to see smoke where his plane should be. The plane was entirely destroyed but for the engine, which sank to the lake bottom sixty feet below. The Italian press, already hypersensitive to anti-Fascist sentiment in America, concluded that this was an act of treacherous sabotage.
Vile Crime Against Fascism, one paper cried in a headline. Odious Act of Anti-Fascists, echoed another. Americas ambassador to Italy, Henry P. Fletcher, made matters even worse by dashing off a letter of apology to Mussolini in which he described the re as an act of criminal folly and promised that the guilty will be discovered and severely punished.
For days afterward, a Times correspondent reported from Rome, the citizens of Italy talked of little else but this catastrophic setback to their hero, their superman, their demigod, de Pinedo. Eventually, all sides calmed down and accepted that the act was an accident, but suspicions simmered and henceforth Pinedo, his crew, and his possessions were guarded by menacing Fascisti armed with stilettos and blackjacks. Pinedo left his lieutenants to haul the dripping engine from the lake and get it dried out while he headed east to New York to await delivery of a substitute plane from Italy that Mussolini promised to dispatch at once.
The worlds attention moved to Paris, where at dawn on May 8 two slightly aging men in bulky ying suits emerged from an administration building at Le Bourget aireld to the respectful applause of well-wishers. Their heavy gear, which was necessary because they were about to y 3, miles in an open cockpit, made them look almost uncannily like little boys in snowsuits. Many of their well-wishers had been out all night and were still in evening dress.
The New York Times likened the scene to a garden party. Among those who had come to see them off were Nungessers pal the boxer Georges Carpentier and the singer Maurice Chevalier, with his mistress, a celebrated chanteuse and actress who went by the single sultry name Mistinguett. Nungesser and Coli were war heroes who normally sauntered about with the smooth and cocky air of men at ease with danger, but today was a little different.
Coli, at forty-six, was a venerable gure: not many airmen were still alive and ying at that age. He wore a rakish black monocle over a missing right eye, one of ve wounds he had sustained in combat. This was nothing compared with Nungessers extravagant afnity for injury, however. No one in the war was injured moreor at least got up again afterward.
Nungesser had so many injuries that after the war he listed them all on his business card. They included: six jaw fractures four upper, two lower ; fractured skull and palate; bullet wounds to mouth and ear; dislocations of wrist, clavicle, ankle, and knees; loss of teeth; shrapnel wound to upper body; multiple concussions; multiple leg fractures; multiple internal injuries; and contusions too numerous to list.
He was also gravely injured in a car crash in which a companion died. Often he was so banged up that he had to be carried to his plane by crew members and gently inserted into the cockpit. Even so, Nungesser shot down forty-four planes he claimed many more , a number 18 prologue exceeded among French aviators only by Ren Fonck, and received so many medals that he all but clanked when he walked. He listed those on his business card, too.
As happened with many airmen, the Armistice left Nungesser at something of a loss.
He worked for a time as a gaucho in Argentina, gave ying demonstrations in America with his friend the Marquis de Charette, and starred in a movie called The Sky-Raider, lmed at Roosevelt Field in New York, where the Orteig Prize competitors were gathering now.
With his Gallic charm and chestful of medals, Nungesser proved irresistible to women, and in the spring of after a whirlwind romance he became engaged to a young New York socialite with the unimprovably glorious name of Consuelo Hatmaker. Miss Hatmaker, who was just nineteen, came from a long line of lively women. Her mother, the former Nellie Sands, was a celebrated beauty who proved too great a handful for three husbands, including Mr.
Hatmaker, whom she discarded in a divorce in This bewildered but well-meaning gentleman opposed his daughters marriage to Captain Nungesser on the groundsnot unreasonable on the face of itthat Nungesser was destitute, broken-bodied, something of a bounder, unemployable except in time of war, and French. In this, however, Mr. Hatmaker was unsupported by his former wife, who not only endorsed the marriage but announced that she would at the same time marry her own latest paramour, Captain William Waters, an American of amiable anonymity who seems to have aroused the passing interest of the world just twice in his life: once when he married Mrs.
Hatmaker and once when they divorced a few years later. So mother and daughter were wed in a joint ceremony in Dinard, in Brittany, not far from where Charles Nungesser would get his last glimpse of his native soil in the spring of Consuelo and Charless marriage was not a success. She declared at the outset that she would not live in France, while he disdained to live anywhere else. They parted swiftly and were divorced in But Nungesser clearly had second thoughts because he mused aloud to friends that a heroic gesture might help reunite him with the luscious Consuelo prologue 19 and her no less luscious fortune.
Nungesser was aided in his ambitions by the misfortunes of Fonck, whose crash the previous fall had helped Nungesser persuade Pierre Levasseur, an aircraft manufacturer, to provide him with a plane, as a restorative to French pride.
A Short History of Nearly Everything: Special Illustrated Edition Teacher’s Guide
A prize endowed by a Frenchman and won by French iers in a French machine would obviously be a boost to French prestige.
Nungesser and Coli gladly joined the enterprise as navigators. They called their plane LOiseau Blanc The White Bird and painted it white so that it would be easier to nd if it came down in the sea. Starting in Paris was a piece of patriotic vanity that many were certain would prove their undoing. It would mean ying into prevailing winds that would slow their speed and cut their fuel efciency dramatically.
The engine was a water-cooled Lorraine-Dietrich, the same make Pinedo had used to y to Australia, so it had a pedigree, but it was not an engine built with long ocean crossings in mind.
In any case, they could carry no more than about forty hours worth of fuel, which left them almost no margin for error. Nungesser seemed to know that what they were doing was probably not possible.A lot better! The mans name was Raymond Orteig. The problem was that all the weight was up front and there was no way for any of the four men onboard to move to the back to redistribute the load because a large fuel tank entirely lled the middle part of the fuselage.
He is known for his wide range of expertise such as science, travel, linguistics, etc. We have already grown accustomed to reading short histories of the world told through different prisms, ranging from glasses to globalization.
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