Hypertextherohttps://hypertexthero.com/Writing and links on videogames, flight, art, music, nature and the rest of the cosmos by Simon Griffeeen-usSat, 14 Mar 2020 19:01:17 +0100The Uncensored Libraryhttp://hypertexthero.com/uncensored-library/<blockquote> <p>In many countries, websites, social media and blogs are controlled by oppressive leaders. Young people, in particular, are forced to grow up in systems where their opinion is heavily manipulated by governmental disinformation&nbsp;campaigns.</p> <p>But even where almost all media is blocked or controlled, the world’s most successful computer game is still accessible. Reporters Without Borders (<span class="caps">RSF</span>) uses this loophole to bypass internet censorship to bring back the truth – within&nbsp;Minecraft.</p> </blockquote> <p>Via <a href="https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2020/03/13/the-writing-of-censored-journalists-has-been-republished-inside-minecraft/">Rock Paper Shotgun</a>.</p>Sat, 14 Mar 2020 19:01:17 +0100http://hypertexthero.com/uncensored-library/Peaceful Walking Tour of The Division’s New York Cityhttp://hypertexthero.com/peaceful-walking-tour-division-new-york-city/<p>A short film discussing some of the city’s history, architecture and&nbsp;politics.</p> <blockquote> <p>Our first stop on our tour: The Projects, a residential settlement built between 1943 and 1945. An important figure in 20th century urban planning, Le Corbusier was a revolutionary architect. His vision: Old structures need to be replaced. His plan: Greatly destroy New York, and rebuilt it, according to his, “Great&nbsp;Vision.”</p> </blockquote> <p>…</p> <blockquote> <p>Oh. Just ignore the bullets, and, keep going. Listen to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Django_Reinhardt">Django Reinhardt</a>’s version of <em>You’re Driving Me Crazy</em>.</p> </blockquote> <p>…</p> <blockquote> <p>One point of criticism of the <span class="caps">UN</span> building is that the defining shape is the Secretariat — the big monolith — and not the assembly hall, seeming to indicate that administration dominates, rather than international&nbsp;understanding.</p> </blockquote>Mon, 03 Feb 2020 16:45:29 +0100http://hypertexthero.com/peaceful-walking-tour-division-new-york-city/The Final Frontierhttp://hypertexthero.com/final-frontier/<p>Michael Chabon, <a href="https://www.cbs.com/shows/star-trek-picard/">Picard</a> Star Trek series writer, in a <em>New Yorker</em> personal history piece about his&nbsp;father:</p> <blockquote> <p>The episode rises above the banality of a premise as old as Grendel, and some creature effects that are truly risible—even to a ten-year-old in 1973, the homicidal Horta looked like an ambulatory slice of Stouffer’s French-bread pizza—by making an honest effort to imagine nonorganic life and then, in the characteristic turn that gives the “Star Trek” franchise its enduring beauty and power, by insisting that fear and prejudice were no match for curiosity and an open mind, that where there was consciousness there could be communication, and that even a rock, if sentient, had the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of&nbsp;happiness.</p> </blockquote>Fri, 24 Jan 2020 16:19:28 +0100http://hypertexthero.com/final-frontier/Lego International Space Stationhttp://hypertexthero.com/lego-international-space-station/<blockquote> <p>The orbiting laboratory, which for almost 20 years has hosted a continuous human presence in Earth orbit, is being released by <span class="caps">LEGO</span> as a toy model. The 864-piece set shrinks the football-field-long space station to the size of desktop display, while still preserving details such as its rotating solar arrays and robotic&nbsp;arm.</p> </blockquote>Wed, 22 Jan 2020 17:56:10 +0100http://hypertexthero.com/lego-international-space-station/Manually Cleaning Boeing 737 Windshield in Flighthttp://hypertexthero.com/manually-cleaning-boeing-737-windshield-flight/<blockquote> <p>The crew went around, climbed to 8500 feet, depressurized the aircraft, opened the cockpit side window and cleaned the windscreen by hand. The same happened on second approach to Dire Dawa. The crew again climbed to 8500 feet, cleaned the windscreen by hand again and diverted to Addis&nbsp;Ababa.</p> </blockquote>Wed, 22 Jan 2020 17:54:23 +0100http://hypertexthero.com/manually-cleaning-boeing-737-windshield-flight/Quindar Toneshttp://hypertexthero.com/quindar-tones/<p>The beeps you hear in <span class="caps">NASA</span> communications such as <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/missions/apollo11.html">Apollo 11</a>.</p>Wed, 22 Jan 2020 17:51:50 +0100http://hypertexthero.com/quindar-tones/Greta Thunberg: Time’s 2019 Person of the Yearhttp://hypertexthero.com/greta-thunberg-times-2019-person-year/<p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greta_Thunberg">Greta</a> won’t care, but dictators and wannabe dictators around the world will be&nbsp;upset.</p>Wed, 11 Dec 2019 22:55:20 +0100http://hypertexthero.com/greta-thunberg-times-2019-person-year/Ad Astrahttp://hypertexthero.com/ad-astra/<p>David Ehrlich writing about James Gray’s new film, <em>Ad Astra</em>:</p> <blockquote> <p>In “Ad Astra,” strength isn’t the opposite of weakness — strength is the acceptance of weakness. It’s easier to build a wall than it is to construct a bridge, but only the latter will ever get you anywhere. Gray took that idea and expanded it into a vaguely Oedipal space-age myth about the fait accompli of a man becoming his own father, and the heroism required to set coordinates for a new&nbsp;destination.</p> </blockquote> <p>It is a moving film, with understated music and wonderful cinematography, starring Brad Pitt in top form as a cool-headed&nbsp;astronaut. </p> <p>I liked it better than Tarantino’s <em>Once Upon a Time In Hollywood</em>.</p>Fri, 06 Dec 2019 16:41:22 +0100http://hypertexthero.com/ad-astra/Dawn Ridehttp://hypertexthero.com/dawn-ride/<div class="fluidmedia"><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/374056423" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <p>Riding at the break of dawn with my <a href="https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2019/11/07/red-dead-redemption-2-pc-review/" title="Read Matthew Castle’s review of the single player version of the game on Rock Paper Shotgun.">Red Dead Redemption</a> avatar, Joan Rambo. ¶ She has a revolver and a rifle, but thanks to the graphics, animations and sound quality, spends most of her time slowly riding her horse, listening to the&nbsp;wild.</p>Tue, 19 Nov 2019 03:30:10 +0100http://hypertexthero.com/dawn-ride/Death Stranding Communicationhttp://hypertexthero.com/hideo-kojima-death-stranding/<p>Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid&#8217;s creator, speaking to the Washington Post about his new game, Death&nbsp;Stranding:</p> <blockquote> <p>20 years ago when I wrote Metal Gear Solid, the Internet wasn&#8217;t in full bloom. Back then, I was just predicting what the negative consequences of the Internet could&nbsp;be. </p> <p>Today, we&#8217;re so close together on social media. It&#8217;s 24 hours a day, in real time. It may be too close. We&#8217;re so close on social media nowadays that people are wearing a mask, saying whatever they want. Because we&#8217;ve become so close, people are saying negative things easily. We communicate without considering others, and a lot of that has to do with new&nbsp;technology.</p> <p>The original meaning of communication is to care and feel for others. Technology and the Internet has sort of carried us in the wrong direction. So in &#8220;Death Stranding,&#8221; with the indirect connections that the player has, I want people to rethink what communication — and to think about others —&nbsp;is.</p> <p>…</p> <p>But I don’t want the players to just feel like, &#8220;Oh, that was fun.&#8221; I want them to feel something more, because I feel obliged to do so since I&#8217;m taking up so much of their time. So what they learn and feel in the game world, I want them to use in the real world as&nbsp;well.</p> </blockquote>Sun, 10 Nov 2019 15:49:05 +0100http://hypertexthero.com/hideo-kojima-death-stranding/The First All-Woman Spacewalkhttp://hypertexthero.com/first-all-female-spacewalk/<p>Congratulations to astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir and to <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/"><span class="caps">NASA</span></a> for this milestone in our journey to a better world for our species, where each person can fulfill their&nbsp;potential.</p> <blockquote> <p><span class="dquo">&#8220;</span>As much as it&#8217;s worth celebrating the first spacewalk with an all-female team, I think many of us are looking forward to it just being normal,&#8221; veteran astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson said on <span class="caps">NASA</span>&#8217;s live coverage of the&nbsp;spacewalk.</p> <p><span class="dquo">&#8220;</span>I think if it signifies anything,&#8221; she added, &#8220;it is to honor the women who came before us, who were skilled and qualified — and didn&#8217;t get the same opportunities we get today because it is so&nbsp;normal.&#8221;</p> </blockquote>Sun, 20 Oct 2019 21:52:58 +0200http://hypertexthero.com/first-all-female-spacewalk/Earth and Sunhttp://hypertexthero.com/earth-and-sun/<p>Wonderful interactive visualizations of our home in the <a href="https://hypertexthero.com/cosmos/">cosmos</a>.</p>Fri, 18 Oct 2019 22:18:11 +0200http://hypertexthero.com/earth-and-sun/Experimental Aircraft Association Looks at New Microsoft Flight Simulatorhttp://hypertexthero.com/eaa-ms-flightsim/<blockquote> <p>Longtime Microsoft employee Jorg Neumann was working with developers from Asobo on a project for Microsoft HoloLens, a wearable display that offers immersive “mixed reality” experiences. The project was a virtual tour of Machu Picchu in Peru using imagery from Bing to completely re-create the famous site. This gave Jorg an idea: If they could create convincing real-world scenery of one area, could they do that for the whole planet? If they could, then they’d have the basis for a remarkable and long-awaited return of Flight&nbsp;Simulator. </p> </blockquote> <p>If we could use a <a href="https://www.flightsimulator.com/">flight simulator</a> to fly over the entire Earth with near real-time scenery taken from recent satellite images, would we be moved to make decisions in our lives that help preserve the natural&nbsp;environment?</p>Mon, 07 Oct 2019 14:50:15 +0200http://hypertexthero.com/eaa-ms-flightsim/See a Satellite Tonight, No Telescope Requiredhttp://hypertexthero.com/see-satellite-tonight-no-telescope-required/<p>Wonderful&nbsp;website.</p>Sun, 22 Sep 2019 04:05:18 +0200http://hypertexthero.com/see-satellite-tonight-no-telescope-required/Norwegian Airlines Newark to Rome Flight DY7194 Emergency Landing in Ganderhttp://hypertexthero.com/norwegian-dy7194-gander-emergency-landing/<p><strong>Update 2020-01-06:</strong> I received a refund of 600 <span class="caps">EUR</span> (standard <span class="caps">EU</span> compensation) plus 270 <span class="caps">EUR</span> (the unused portion of the Norwegian ticket), from Norwegian Airlines on 27 December,&nbsp;2019.</p> <p><strong>Update 2019-10-18:</strong> Earlier this week I managed to speak with a Norwegian Airlines representative by calling +1 (800) 357-4159 during European office hours (9–5pm <span class="caps">CET</span>) and was informed there is a long backlog of claims they are working through, and that it would be three more weeks before a response to mine (I gave the incident number and they confirmed the claim was in the system). I will update this post again later in November&nbsp;2019.</p> <p><strong>Update 2019-09-11:</strong> I found <a href="https://www.norwegian.com/uk/ipr/refund#/expenseclaim?rcategory=DELAY">this page</a> on Norwegian Airlines’ website that lets you upload receipts and make claims for the affected flights. I just submitted a claim for a refund for the Air Canada flight ticket I needed to buy to get from Gander to Rome and received a confirmation email and incident number. I will update this post if I receive the&nbsp;refund.</p> <hr /> <p><span class="caps">Last Thursday, September 5th, 2019,</span> I boarded a Norwegian Airlines flight <a href="https://simpleflying.com/what-is-aircraft-wet-leasing/">operated by</a> <a href="https://www.euroatlantic.pt/">euroAtlantic Airways</a> from Newark Liberty (<span class="caps">EWR</span>) headed to Rome Fiumicino (<span class="caps">FCO</span>). The flight was diverted to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gander_International_Airport">Gander International Airport</a> (<span class="caps">YQX</span>) in Newfoundland for an emergency landing before beginning its crossing of the North Atlantic ocean. It was a frightening experience, and I am happy that the pilot got us down in one piece, and upset about the lack of information given by <a href="https://www.norwegian.com/">Norwegian Airlines</a> about the&nbsp;ordeal.</p> <p><img src="/static/img/dy7194/dy7194-20190905-track.png" alt="DY7194’s flight track."></p> <p><em><a href="https://www.flightradar24.com/data/flights/dy7194#21f9db63">The <span class="caps">DY7194</span> flight track</a> as seen on&nbsp;FlightRadar24.</em></p> <p>The aircraft was one hour late taking off from <span class="caps">EWR</span>. As I approached the plane, while on the ramp before boarding, there was a faint urine smell, and when I entered the plane, I found the smell was coming from&nbsp;inside.</p> <p>Despite this, I was happy to see that my seat, 25D, has plenty of space in front of it, as 4 seats in the the center row #24 were missing. The people who seemed to have been assigned the missing seats were not delighted, but the young cabin attendant crew (not one seemed older than 19 or 20 years old), sorted things out and found other seats for&nbsp;them. </p> <p><img src="/static/img/dy7194/GRS-20190909-105844.jpg" alt="My boarding pass."></p> <p><em>My boarding&nbsp;pass.</em></p> <p>Around 3 hours into the flight, during dinner, a garbled message from the cockpit was announced over the&nbsp;intercom: </p> <blockquote> <p>Prepare for landing in G… (unintelligible), <span class="caps">ETA</span> 20&nbsp;minutes. </p> </blockquote> <p>Some of the flight attendants began speaking on the wall phones, while others began moving quickly around the cabin, telling people to put their food trays under the seats, close the tray tables, and put on&nbsp;seatbelts.</p> <p>Looking around the cabin I saw many people naturally becoming quite concerned. A passenger asked one of the attendants if there was a problem, and the attendant answered, &#8220;We are still flying, so I think we are&nbsp;okay!&#8221;</p> <p>I then heard a sudden quietening of the engine sound, and experienced a feeling of weightlessness for a few moments, which I later realized was probably the plane making a sharp turn. I seemed to feel we descending quite rapidly, and my ears began to pop&nbsp;periodically.</p> <p>People around me started to look at each other, and I saw fear in many passengers’ eyes. I tried to calm a few by speaking with them and telling some jokes, but my thoughts were &#8220;I better do what I can to prepare for a water landing&#8221;, and tried remembering the location of life vests and emergency&nbsp;exits.</p> <p><img src="/static/img/dy7194/GRS-20190905-033051.jpg" alt="My hand."></p> <p><em>A phone photo of my hand I took during the&nbsp;flight.</em></p> <p>The intercom was activated and more garbled static sounds were transmitted into the cabin a few times, but no words. Then, suddenly, a curt message over static, from the&nbsp;pilot: </p> <blockquote> <p>Landing in 2&nbsp;minutes!</p> </blockquote> <p>I kept trying to look out across the other seats to see out the windows, and was happy to see spots of light in the darkness outside. We were very low, and all at once I could see flashing lights from fire engines and ambulances lining the&nbsp;runway.</p> <p>The landing was quite hard but everything stayed in one piece and loud clapping and cheering erupted from the cabin. The passengers were looking out the windows at the various emergency vehicles with their flashing lights around the&nbsp;airport.</p> <p><img src="/static/img/dy7194/GRS-20190905-033207.jpg" alt="Shortly after landing."></p> <p><em>Photo taken with mobile phone shortly after&nbsp;landing.</em></p> <p>The intercom crackled to life and the pilots voice came through, but the only thing I remember him saying&nbsp;is:</p> <blockquote> <p>I apologize for this&nbsp;landing.</p> </blockquote> <p>As the plane slowed and turned onto a taxiway, I could hear a loud, grating noise, either from the landing gear, as if it were scraping the tarmac, and/or from the left&nbsp;engine.</p> <p>I felt great relief when walking down the steps that were brought to the airplane, and felt happiness at being alive when we entered Gander Airport’s arrivals&nbsp;lounge.</p> <p>The pilot and crew put on yellow vests, and made an announcement that they were organizing a hotel for us, and that we needed to be patient. The pilot walked around asking if there were questions, and answering as he could, but he would not give a reason for the emergency landing other than &#8220;technical&nbsp;problems&#8221;. </p> <p>When pressed, he said there was a problem before the Atlantic crossing point, and was given the go-ahead to cross, but the problem persisted as he passed over the Newfoundland coast, so he decided to call Mayday and turn back to land at&nbsp;Gander.</p> <p><img src="/static/img/dy7194/GRS-20190905-051445.jpg" alt="The author with the pilot."></p> <p><em>I asked a passenger to take a picture of me with the pilot, who I thanked for the landing he apologized&nbsp;for.</em></p> <p>We spent around 5 hours in the arrivals lounge before we could go through&nbsp;immigration.</p> <p>After clearing immigration, we were given 3 vouchers, by people in the main airport lounge, for breakfast at the airport, for dinner in Gander, and for a stay and next-day breakfast at a hotel. Buses to various hotels in Gander were organized, though it took some time and a few passengers chose to take&nbsp;taxis.</p> <p>The only information we received from Norwegian Airlines were a few text messages like the&nbsp;following:</p> <blockquote> <p>We’re sorry for the disruption to your Norwegian flight <span class="caps">DY7194</span> from Newark (<span class="caps">EWR</span>) to Rome (<span class="caps">FCO</span>)04.09.2019 23:30. We have technicians working on the aircraft and we will send new information about departure time as soon as we know. To read about your rights, visit <a href="http://www.norwegian.com/rights">www.norwegian.com/rights</a>. For support, please call us on 1-800-357-4159.Other conditions may apply to tickets booked as part of a package or booked through a travel&nbsp;agency.</p> </blockquote> <p>I slept for a couple of hours, but no more. The hotel, dinner and next-day breakfast vouchers made me think we would stay in Gander overnight, but at around 7:30pm, as I was about to eat dinner with some other passengers at <a href="https://legendsgander.com/">Legends</a>, the bar near the hotels we were staying at, someone who worked at the bar came to our table and said she received a message from one of the hotels that Norwegian Airlines informed them that passengers were to head back to the hotel, pack, and prepare to board buses back to the airport for a midnight flight&nbsp;out. </p> <p>We did so, and when we arrived at the airport a large crowed formed around the check in line to get tickets. I was tired, and concerned about getting into same airplane since there were no information or assurances from the airline other than cryptic text messages such as the&nbsp;following:</p> <blockquote> <p>We are sorry for the diversion of your flight <span class="caps">DY7194</span> from Newark (<span class="caps">EWR</span>) to Rome (<span class="caps">FCO</span>) 04.09.2019 23:30 to Gander (<span class="caps">YQX</span>) due to a technical issue. We have arranged a new flight and transferred you to <span class="caps">DY7994</span> departing on 06.09.2019 at 00:00. To read about your rights, visit <a href="http://www.norwegian.com/rights">www.norwegian.com/rights</a>. For support, please call us on&nbsp;1-800-357-4159</p> </blockquote> <p>After asking around, it seemed we were getting back in the same aircraft we landed in, but I could not get a clear answer whether the flight crew would be the same. I could not see a flight crew or the pilot in the airport lounge, and after getting my new hand-written boarding pass, I did not feel comfortable with the&nbsp;situation. </p> <p><img src="/static/img/dy7194/GRS-20190905-052157.jpg" alt="The airplane."></p> <p><em>The Boeing 767-36N(<span class="caps">ER</span>), registration <span class="caps">CS</span>-<span class="caps">TKT</span>’s, that we landed&nbsp;in.</em></p> <p>I was happy with the pilot’s landing and trusted his judgment. I did not trust Norwegian Airlines since they gave so little information, and felt they pushed us to go back to the airport quickly. Throughout the day Gander’s airport and hotel staff said that Norwegian Airlines gave them no information,&nbsp;either.</p> <p>Very tired, and seeing the amount of upset people in the airport, I decided not to board the flight. I told the attendants I was not going to be boarding, and returned to the hotel in a&nbsp;taxi. </p> <p>When I arrived back at the Comfort Inn, the staff told me I would have to pay for an extra day but I refused, and told them the airline had already paid and that I was exhausted and wanted to go back to my room to sleep. They&nbsp;agreed. </p> <p>A few hours later I was woken by a text message saying the flight was delayed until 3am, and thought about the people shuttled back to airport, waiting, still. I hoped their flight, if it took off, would be uneventful, and that they would reach Rome&nbsp;safely.</p> <p><img src="/static/img/dy7194/GRS-20190905-052516.jpg" alt="Many hours were spent like this, with no information."></p> <p><em>Passengers sleeping in the Departures Lounge at Gander International&nbsp;Airport.</em></p> <p>The next day I bought a $1300 <span class="caps">USD</span> Air Canada flight from Gander to Toronto, then Montreal, then to Rome, where I arrived the following day, on Saturday&nbsp;morning.</p> <p>I have written to Norwegian Airlines asking for, at the very least, a full refund for the entire trip as compensation. I tried calling throughout my stay in Gander, but always remained on hold and could not get through to speak to&nbsp;someone.</p> <p>I realize that things go wrong, and am thankful for the pilot’s safe landing, but I am disappointed at the lack of information provided by Norwegian Airlines. What happened to the airplane? What was the &#8220;technical issue&#8221;? They should have told us more so that we could make an informed decision instead of pushing passengers around blind throughout the experience of the diversion and emergency landing, especially given <a href="https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/departing-787-appears-to-shed-engine-parts-over-rome-460223/">the</a> <a href="https://roma.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/08/10/news/frammenti_aereo_cadono_su_fiumicino_nessun_ferito-233364587/">issues</a> the unlucky airline has been having recently, including another <a href="https://simpleflying.com/norwegian-787-dublin-diversion/">diverted flight to Dublin</a> the same&nbsp;evening.</p> <p>The people of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gander,_Newfoundland_and_Labrador">Gander</a>, including hotel and airport staff, were all very nice and polite, and I thank them for their&nbsp;hospitality.</p> <p>If you would like to add your thoughts about the experience, Simple Flying <a href="https://simpleflying.com/norwegian-boeing-767-gander/">has a post about the event</a>, where you can leave a&nbsp;comment.</p> <p>I will continue to attempt contacting Norwegian Airlines and will update this post with new information if there is a reply. I can be contacted at <a href="mailto:simon@hypertexthero.com">simon@hypertexthero.com</a>.</p>Mon, 09 Sep 2019 11:18:21 +0200http://hypertexthero.com/norwegian-dy7194-gander-emergency-landing/