We have just returned from a trip to Minneapolis to visit family and friends. It was actually somewhat convenient that Typepad had problems during this trip as it allowed me to spend more time on other activities.
Anyway, the Mall of America has a ride called Fly Over America (here) that straps you into a seat and then seems to fly you through various parts of America. The seat moves as though you actually were flying, and not flying in a plane, but more like strapped to the wing of a plane (with your feet dangling). It was about $18.00, but worth it.
The Mall also has an outfit with flight simulators that I insisted on trying (here). They have it set up as fighter planes attacking each other, whereas I was just trying to practice landings. I paid for twenty minutes and it took about that long to figure out how to do what I wanted. First, if you want to do what I wanted to do, have them put up a map showing you where all the planes are, and then go to where they aren’t. Second, I kept crashing when landing until they told me I was going way too fast. That’s when I took a closer look at the airspeed indicator and realized that, blurry though it was, its needle actually did change position and wasn’t just painted on the screen. That allowed me to keep the speed manageable. So, next time I’ll have more fun, though that probably won’t be till we get up there again next year.
As for the rest of our trip, I already talked about wandering around at the University of Minnesota. At a certain park in Edina, we noticed scads of people focused intently on their phones, no doubt playing Pokemon Go. With our visits to friends and family, a lot of people wanted to talk politics, generally from a liberal perspective, but my wife is good at deflecting these conversations to more neutral topics, and anyway, I could always talk about flying and get people interested in that instead.
It was quite hot while we were there, but that was nothing compared with our experience in the summer of 1995, when nearly every day it got up to the mid-90s while back in Ohio the temps were lower. And the summer of 1995 is nothing compared with what happened in the 1930s. See here for a good column on that. Like it or not, global warmers, I’m just not impressed by what I am experiencing. If summers were now much hotter, if I were now to look back wistfully at the summer of 1995 as a comparatively cool summer, then I’d be a believer, but that summer was an anomaly and not the beginning of a horrible trend.