Gongol.com Archives: August 2010
Brian Gongol

August 17, 2010

Aviation News Boeing 737 crashes, breaks into three pieces -- but only one person was killed
It happened in Colombia, and naturally a lot of people are talking about how grateful they are that God "protected" them in the incident. But what they should really do is thank the massive strides forward in airplane safety that have been achieved over the last couple of decades. Better airplanes and better pilot training mean we're seeing far fewer airline fatalities than in the past.

Iowa It sure isn't the Gateway Arch
Four sculptures have been installed on a bridge over Interstate 80 as it passes through Council Bluffs, Iowa, just to the east of Omaha. Considering its location on the most important east-west highway in the United States, the site is pretty prominent -- being traveled by about 80,000 vehicles a day. While it's great that western Iowans are getting behind public art, the sculptures aren't all that attractive. It's a subjective judgment, to be sure, but the sculptures just don't really have the same enduring aesthetic appeal as the St. Louis Gateway Arch or the Great Platte River Road Archway. There's a lot of modern sculpture that seems to celebrate a sense of incompleteness or hasty fabrication, with jagged edges and unsmoothed connections. Something suggests to the modern viewer that sculptures in this style are going to look hideously dated in about twenty years. It's not like we haven't long known how to approximate perfection in our physical objects. Why can't anyone work on a revival of Art Deco monuments or the Streamline movement in their sculpture?

Business and Finance Ghost signs
The remnants of old wall-painted signs that have faded with age but haven't been replaced. Proving that advertising and commerce don't have to be unpleasant to the eye.

Humor and Good News Vanilla Ice and Tone Loc: Back in action
Billed as the "Legends of hip-hop", they attracted thousands to a free stage at the Iowa State Fair. No word on any poisonings by Funky Cold Medina. But who can resist a good novelty show, anyway?

Iowa Tailgating rules to get tougher at the University of Iowa
It'll probably just lead to more concentrated drinking before people drive, which is even worse than the current binge drinking that takes place around Hawkeye football games

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