Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Britney Spear's sister is pregnant at age 16

Okay, I don't really know who Britney Spears is. I know she's a singer who apparently does drugs and doesnt know how to care for her own children. (And I believe she's the one whom everyone castigated as being fat on a recent come-back performance in which she wore a halter top, to reveal a fine tummy beneath, just not "ripped" as if she'd been lifting weights. (Yes, I did see a photo of that and could only shake my head. Not that her performance was apparently so bad, but because people were calling this woman - who was not fat, fat.) She wasn't "toned," but she certainly was not fat!

But I suppose if you choose to wear a suggestively sexy outfit, and perform sexily suggestive moves on stage in front of thousands of drooling males, you have to expect being called fat if you don't look anorexic.

Anyway, the sister is 16. Apparently she is an actress, in some show called Zoey, and has been living alone, with her boyfriend, who is all of 19 (this with the blessings of her parents). I wonder what he does for a living? Hopefully he's an actor to and not just some pretty boy she picked up off a street corner.

On one hand, this is not necessarily a bad thing. As the star in a TV series, she makes a lot of money, and so giving birth to a child when she is a child herself, not to mention unwed, will not put her on the welfare rolls, as it does with the vast majority of girls who make this mistake. (Unless she exhibits the same amount of intelligence that she has up to this point, loses all her money in some stupid deals, is abandoned by her fans, and then has to go on welfare because she has no education and no smarts to do anything else.) Perhaps she will be smarter than her sister, and employ some full-time nannies who know something about raising children.

There's an article at in which people are sounding off about what parents will tell their own children about this news. Invariably, they all say that they will teach their child not to have sex until they're married.

Now, this is a good plan...unless the child doesn't intend to get married. There's no reason for a woman who doesn't want to get married to deprive herself of sex. The thing is - she should wait until she is emotionally and more importantly financially ready to have sex and cope with any aftermath!

Women - even unmarried women - have a "right" to have a baby, in my opinion, only if that baby will not be a burden on society. If the mother can't afford to have it and will thus be on welfare for the rest of her life, she should not have that kid. And the baby, being brought up on welfare and thinking it the most natural thing in the world, will be on welfare for the rest of its life! Sure, there are exceptions - don't get me wrong. I know that many women, and men, fight their way out of the poverty trap. But statistics show that most, don't.

I'm always sent into emotions combined of despair and anger whenever I read statistics about teenage pregnancy. Don't these girls have any ambition, any plans for the future? Unfortunately, the media has inculcated them since the day they were born that they are nothing if they are not attractive enough to get a man, and if they can't get a husband, well, at least they can get a baby to prove that some boy has thought them attractive enough to have sex with (never realizing that the boys aren't concerned with attractiveness, they're concerned with availability. As witness, the fact that the boy doesn't marry the girl once he's gotten her pregnant.)

Well...this is a bit of a rant. But on so many levels - from the status of women to the status of my tax dollars - I find the news about unwed mothers very sad and disturbing.

Monday, December 10, 2007

55 women pilots

I just received a set of playing cards from the International Women's Air & Space Museum. In the center of each card is a photo of a specific pilot, and a couple of lines of information about each one.

They're really cool, and you can get them from the shop at their website.

I'll be researching these pilots for articles at Winged Victory, but I'll share their names here as well.

  • 1st 6 women astronauts: A Fisher, S. Lucid, J. Resnik, S. Ride, R. Seddon, K. Sullivan, chosen 1978

  • Patricia Arnold- 1st woman in the world to own a helicopter, air race participant

  • Pancho Barnes - Barnstormer, movie stunt pilot, winning air racer, Lockheed test pilot
  • Berrnice Barris- CFII, commercial multi-engine land/sea safety instructor, air racer
  • Jan Haviland Bartoo - Pennsylvania Central Airline DC-3, Cleveland Municiplal Airport, 1946
  • Marta Bohn-Meyer- Only woman to fly the SR-71, Aerobatic champion, NASA engineer
  • Caro Bayley Bosca - WASP. 1951-1st woman's aerobatic champion. Altitude record: 30,203 ft

  • Myrtle "K" Cagle- One of the Mercury 13
  • Jacquline Cochran- Supervised WASP 1942-1944, 1st woman to break the sound barrier
  • Bessie Coleman- First African-American woman to earn her pilot's license in 1921, barnstormer
  • Eileen Collins - 1st woman to pilot and command the space shuttle

  • Arlene Davis - 1st woman to earn an M-4 rating, devoted to work with youth in aviation ( qualifying her to pilot multi-engine airplanes up to a gross weight of 10,000 pounds over land and sea; first private pilot, man or woman, to receive an instrument rating which qualified her to fly blind; first woman to receive the Veteran’s Pilot Award; first woman to receive the Elder Statesman of Aviation award.)

  • Amelia Earhart- 1st woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, first president of the 99s

  • Viola Gentry- Established a solo endurance flight record for women pilots
  • Betty Huyler Gillies - one of the original 25 WAFs, Chairman of AWTAR 1953-1961
    Pauline Glasson - Founding member of the Air Race Classic, flight instructor
  • Mayte Greco-Regan - "The Angel from Above"

  • Mary Haizlip- Set women's speed record at 1932 Cleveland National Air Races
  • Jean Hixson- WASP, COlonel in the Air Force reserves, one of the Mercury 13
  • Joan Hrubec- Airplane modeler, 99 officer, IWASM trustee, air race pilot
  • Margaret Hurlburt - WASP, Class 43-6, winner of the Halle Trophy Race in 1946

  • Teddy Kenyon - Winner National Sportsman Champion 1933, Grumman Aircraft test pilot

  • Irene Leverton- 63 years of flying - commuter, ferry, air ambulance, air Taxi, CAP, CFT
  • Clara Livingston - Puerto Rico's first female aviator, Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol
  • Nancy Harkness Love - organized and led the Women's Auxiliary Ferry squadron durong WWII
  • Connie Luhta - President of IWASM, owner of Concord Air Park, air racer

  • Kate Macario- "stalwart supporter of general aviation and the 99s for over 50 years"

  • Bernetta Adams Miller- 3rd woman in the US to fly
  • Jerrie Mock- First woman to fly solo around the world: March 19-April 17, 1964

  • Ruth Nichols- Held records for altitude, speed and distance at the same time

  • Harriet Quimby - 1st licensed female pilot in the US, 1st woman to solo the English channel

  • Helen Richey - 1st woman in the US to obtain a commercial pilot's license
  • Margaret Ringenberg WASP, 99, instructor, race pilot (2xs around world,

  • Louise Sacchi- Set world speed record in single-engine plane, NY to London - 1971 (2 cards)
  • Blanche Stuart Scott - 1st US woman pilot, 1st woman test pilot, 1st woman passenger in jet
  • Lauretta Schimmoler - Founder: Aerial nurse Corps of America, USAF #1 Honorary Flight Nurse
  • Evelyn Sharp - Nebraska's Queen of the Air. Original WWII ferry pilot, WAFS/WASP
  • Anne Shields- Ferry pilot, WASP, FSS Weather briefer
  • Betty Skelton - International Feminine Aerobatic Champion 1948-1950
  • Elinor Smith - Voted Best Woman pilot in the US in 1930, teenager demonstration pilot
  • Bernice "B" Steadman- Past president - IWASM and 99s, one of the Mercury 13, avid air racer
  • Katherine Stinson- "The Flying Schoolgirl." 1st woman to own and operate a flight school.

  • Louise Thaden- First women to win the Bendix Transcontinental Air Race, 1936
  • Nancy Hopkins Tier- IWASM President 1985-1996. 1st women colonel in the Civil Air PAtrol
  • Virginia Thomas- Pilot and aviataion historian

  • Mary von Mach - 1st woman to obtain pilot's license in MI, 1929 Air Race Pilot

  • Fay Gillis Wells- Charter 99, White House correspondent, co-founder Forest of Friendship
  • Irene Wirtschafter - "self-made woman loved to fly and gave back all she could"
  • Connie Wolf- Set 3 ballooning records in 1 flight: endurance, distance and altitude
  • Katharine Wright - "Third member of the Wright Team"

Friday, December 7, 2007

Girls need flight plans, not fairy tales

I've been surfing the web, in the course of compiling index pages for musems featuring women in aviation, organizations of women pilots, magazines and webzines devoted to women pilots, etc.

Today, came across Girls with Wings. And I love their motto: Girls need flight plans, not fairy tales

Check out the site at

We use aviation to entertain and educate girls about
their limitless opportunities for personal growth.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Pakistani women pilots

This is a Youtube video showing four female Pakistani pilots getting their wings. Because Pakistan is a Muslim country, it's interesting - sad and depressing at times - to read the "Members comments" to this video at Youtube. This world isn't going to get anywhere with 1/2 the population confined to their homes by the other half - which is what fundamental Muslims want. (And fundamentalist Christians as well, seems like! But at least they don't go around murdering people who dare to teach women how to read...)

These women --Saba Khan, Nadia Gul, Mariam Khalil and Saira Batool -- are heroines - it took great courage for them to become pilots...and it will take great courage for them to continue to be pilots. Let's not forget that even the WASP found some of their planes sabotaged during WWII because the women were putting men out of jobs...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Jill Long performance at Andrews AFB, 5.20.07

Still busy working on the new Winged Victory webzine.

Searching YouTube for videos of women aviatiors. Today found this one of Jill Long, flying a Pitts biplane. Videos are by Steve, who has a webiste at: Thanks Steve for letting me post this video!

2007 Joint Services Open House
Andrews AFB, MD
Sunday May 20, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Review of Patterns: Tales of flying and life

I've just finished reading Patterns: Tales of flying and life, by Bette Bach Fineman. It is an extremely enjoyable read, for pilots and non-pilots alike, for women going through a divorce, for guys who like a good read of aviation anecdotes - everyone.

Read the review here:
Patterns: Tales of flying and life

Or just cut to the chase and visit

It's a self-published book, and people have reason to be leary of they are usually poorly written and edited.

However, Patterns is excellently written...the only thing I didn't care for was the fact that the text wasn't justified...but you soon get used to that. There's also my old bugaboo - it has no index, and non-fiction books without indexes really bug me.

Nevertheless, well written, and every woman should read it. But don't get me wrong, I think guys will enjoy it as well. Fineman talks a bit about her depression after her husband leaves her (with six kids, thanks very much) but she doesn't dwell on it for more than a few paragraphs. Then it's on to creating - successfully - a new life for herself.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

You Fly, Girl is now Winged Victory

I got some feedback from some women pilots that they thought using the name "Girl" in the title was undignified..and I have to say I agreed with them.

I don't like grown women being called girls, but I wanted a title that would be "catchy" as well as being clearly about women pilots, and the domain name I wanted - Women With Wings, has been parked by some people who are just using it as a "link library" - or whatever the technical name for that practice is...annoys me intensely.

And I have to admit it didn't occur to me to use initials in the domain, calling it WWW, for example...although I wonder if that's even allowed.
hm...that probably wouldn't be allowed!

Anyway, I finally decided to go with Winged Victory - which is the title of a famous statue, "Nike of Samothrace" - Nike being the Greek goddess of Victory.

is the new URL.

However, will contintue to work as well.

And since this blog is already established with the name, it will keep the title.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Lots of women in air show in Texas, Nov 11

I've got a WASP news feed on my computer, but nevertheless was a little late seeing this:

Texas Ranger Wing Honors Wasp
November 10, 2007

The Veteran's Day 'TEXAS AIR FIESTA' was held at the air field at the Texas State Technical College, known during World War II as the Waco Army Air Field. It was at this air field that sixteen WASP were stationed during 1944. One of those WASP, Bette Mae Scott, 44-3, was killed July 6, 1944, just off the end of the runway.

The air show, with its ALL-GIRL ground crew, air marshalers and pyro team, was dedicated to the WASP. Marion Hodgson, 43-5; Jo Wheelis, 43-5; and Deanie Parrish, 44-4 were honored guests of the Ranger Wing. Nancy Parrish was their escort. They were given 'above and beyond' VIP treatment, including an impromptu ride down the flight line in a golf cart driven by Lt. Col. Jill Long, an Air Force A10 Thunderbolt pilot, veteran of Afghanistan, with over 3,000 hours. She is amazing! Jill was the FEATURED PERFORMER at the show, and not only dedicated her aerobatic 'show-stopper' in her "RAGGED EDGE" Pitts S2B to the WASP, the announcer kept broadcasting all the wonderful accolades she had written about the WASP. It would have made all of you proud! Jill's online site:

Among those aircraft participating in the air show were Marine ONE and Marine TWO--and six blackhawks--the helicopters which are the official transporation & gunship escort when the President travels to Crawford from the airport. (One of those blackhawk pilots & crew chief were female.) The President was at his ranch just 30 miles West of Waco. Air Force One was parked directly across the tarmac and runways, clearly visible to the thousands of people attending the air show. Some pilots, who had planned to participate in the air show but whose aircraft did not have transponders, were not allowed to land in Waco because of the proximity of the President.

With the popular Wings Across America 'Fly Girls of WWII' WASP exhibit in the prestigious Mayborn Museum Complex and the terrific air show dedicated to the WASP, people all across Texas are beginning to know who the WASP were-and are!

It was a great day for the WASP and for Waco.
For more shots of the airshow, visit the Tribune Herald's slideshow!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Patterns: Tales of flying, and of life

I received Patterns: Tales of flying, and of life, by Bette Bach Fineman for review today.

"This is the story of an average California beach girl who married her high-school sweetheart in 1957 (Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull), becoming a "right stuff" Air Force jet pilot's life. As the family grew, she learned first to inspire and then to edit the pilot's aviation writing.

When the pilot flew off one day into the sunset, Bette Bach lost all hope for the future. With an old airplane her only possession, and her six children trusting her to lead her little band, she pulled herself together, determined to prove she was a person worthy of her husband's love. The family hit the road and theskies and a lotbof mistakes were made, but they found ways to live with the past, deal with the present, and face an uncertain future."

I'll have it reviewed in another couple of days.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Celestial Flight

A poem written by WASP Elizabeth MacKethan Magid, in honor of her friend Marie Robinson (1926 - 1944)

In honor of all women pilots who are now flying higher:

She is not dead -
But only flying higher,
Higher than she's flown before,
And earthly limitations
Will hinder her no more.

There is no service ceiling,
Or any fuel range,
And there is no anoxia,
Or need for engine change.
Thank God that now her flight can be
To heights her eyes had scanned,
Where she can race with comets,
And buzz the rainbow's span.

For she is universal
Like courage, love and hope,
And all free, sweet emotions
Of vast and godly scope.

And understand a pilot's Fate
Is not the thing she fears,
But rather sadness left behind,
Your heartbreak and your tears.

So all you loved ones, dry your eyes,
Yes, it is wrong that you should grieve,
For she would love your courage more,
And she would want you to believe
She is not dead.
You should have known
That she is only flying higher,
Higher than she's ever flown.

Wings Across America Project

A lot of attention is given to the male soldiers and pilots who fought during World War II - and rightly so, of course. But many women would have been in those trenches if they could (indeed, in Russia in particular, many women were).

It has only been within the last 20 years or so that the story of the WASP has come to be told - how a couple thousand women pilots training to fly the big crates, to transport planes to other countries, to fly towing targets for male fighter pilots needing target practice, some women dying in the service of their country...and then, even before the war was over (although when the big brass "knew" it was over, as the still-fighting Axis no longer stood a chance) they were subsequently dismissed from their jobs and sent back home with no ackowledgement of their service and sacrifice, and worse, told to get back into their kitchens where they belonged, and from then on to leave flying to the men.

Their story was untold for a long time. Many women did just that -- carried on with their civilian lives and not seeking the limelight or even an acknowledgement of what they'd achieved. They'd just done what they'd had to do and didn't consider themselves heroines.

But they were.

The Wings Across America project started interviewing surviving WASP a few years ago, and those interviews can be seen at a travelling exhibit:

Traveling WASP Exhibit
is on display through Nov. 28th, 2007at Baylor University's Mayborn Museum Complex, 1300 South University Parks Drive, Waco, Texas.

Click here for a list of the women interviewed

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Various WASP videos at Youtube:

Soundbytes of the WASP WWII

WASP Ruth Florey's ceremony of induction

We Were WASP pt 1

We Were WASP pt 2

We Were WASP pt 3

The Incredible Women of World War II

I like reading children's books, for various reasons.

First, I'm always interested to see what's being "taught" in these books. No, I'm not on the lookout for books in fear that I'll find some that show same-sex families in a positive light...more power to such books! ...I'm into different important lessons, such as - is self-confidence taught? Self-reliance? Being your own woman (or guy) and not bowing to the whims of others? Girls not being passive, not being vicious either...

However, I read more non-fiction than fiction, and I've recently been on a jag reading about the WASP and women does seem that most women astronauts or pilors etc. will get a children's book written about them, but no larger studies written for adults...

The Incredible Women of World War II, by Karen Zeinert, 1994, details women as WASP and other pilots, as nurses and doctors, as war correspondents, and working on the home front.

Of course once the war was over, everything changed, and many women in the home front lost their jobs, because they "had" to be given to the returning soldiers. (Andin one way, of course, you can't blame them - men who spent years laying down their lives for the service of their country deserve to have jobs to come back to... but women also risked their lives during that war (for example the WASP) and deserved better than they got as well.

But it's all part of the story of the march of women toward equality...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Review: Wings and Rockets: The Story of Women in Air and Space

Review: Wings and Rockets: The Story of Women in Air and Space
Heannine Atkins, illustrations by Dusan Petricic

I'm busy writing the review for this, which will be published on the You Fly, Girl website, but here's the TOC. It's for kids and teens, and recommended, though there are a few very minor annoyances with it.

Here’s the table of contents for Wings and Rockets

Dreams and Beginnings (1903-1926)
1. Katharine Wright (the Wright Brothers’ sister)
2. Blanche Stuart Takes Off
3. Brave Bessie Coleman

The First Woman’s Cross-Country Air Race (1929)
4. Amelia Earhart - the race begins
5. Disaster for Amelia Earhart
6. Amelia Earhart and Another Dream

Friendships and War (1932-1944)
7. Jackie Cochran Learns to Fly
8. Jackie Cochran and Amelia Earhart
9. Jackie Cochran and the WASP
10. After the War - Ann Baumgartner and Jackie Cochran

How High Can We Go - Women in Space (1960-1999)
11. Jerrie Cobb and the Mercury 13
12. Shannon Lucid and NASA
13. Eileen Collins and the Air Force
14. Shannon Lucid in Mir
15. Commander Eileen Collins

A note from the author

Important years in women’s aviation history


Web sites


Friday, October 26, 2007

Great Minds think alike

I'm compiling biographies of women pilots, and today - just five minutes ago - I thought to myself... I'll start a wiki called PilotPedia. So I checked out GoDaddy for the domain find it had already been taken.

They're doing what I wanted to do...but they're not getting any help - the site hasn't been updated since March!

Well, I'll see if I can't add some stuff to it...

If you're knowledgeable about the history of aviation, check that site out and start adding info! And spread the news that it exists!

The Ninety-Nines, and the Museum of Women Pilots

is the URL for the Museum of Women Pilots - a verrrrrrrrrry nice site, housed in the Ninety-Nines headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and

is the URL for the Ninety-Nines.

Here's a paragraph of info from their website:

The organization came into being November 2, 1929, at Curtiss Field, Valley Stream, Long Island, New York. All 117 American female pilots had been invited to assemble for mutual support and the advancement of aviation. Louise Thaden was elected secretary and worked tirelessly to keep the group together as we struggled to organize and grow until 1931, when Amelia Earhart was elected as first president and the group was named for the 99 charter members.

Today Ninety-Nines are professional pilots for airlines, industry and government; we are pilots who teach and pilots who fly for pleasure; we are pilots who are technicians and mechanics. But first and foremost, we are women who love to fly!

There is a LOT of information at their website about women pilots past and present, so check it out.

The You Fly, Girl website proceeds apace...I hope to have news soon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Zoe Dell Nutter

My father, a retired pilot (Air Force, then cargo, then passenger, for AIA/MarkAir) still has a subscription to AOPA Pilot, but he has the issues sent to my brother (who learned how to fly 20 years ago, soloed, nad never did anything with it since...).

He had one issue left at his house here in VA, which was the December 2005 issue, and imagine my delight to see the back page of the issue devoted to Zoe Dell Nutter (and written by Julie K. Boatman).

Nutter learned to fly after World War II - and her favorite airplane, of all those she has flown, is a Cessna 120. Among many other activities, she organized the Monterery Bay Chapter of the Ninety-Nines. IN 1968, she participated in the Powder Puff Derby.

She was 90 at the time this article was written. It was more of a promotion piece for hte National Aviation Hall of Fame (of which she ws president from 1988-2005).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Two women in charge of two spacecraft at same time

Women will call the shots during shuttle mission
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) -- A giant leap is about to be made for womankind.

Discovery shuttle commander Pamela Melroy is the only female shuttle pilot left at NASA.

When space shuttle Discovery blasts off Tuesday, a woman will be sitting in the commander's seat. And up at the international space station, a female skipper will be waiting to greet her.

It will be the first time in the 50-year history of spaceflight that two women are in charge of two spacecraft at the same time.

This is no public relations gimmick cooked up by NASA. It's coincidence, which pleases shuttle commander Pamela Melroy and station commander Peggy Whitson.

"To me, that's one of the best parts about it," said Melroy, a retired Air Force colonel who will be only the second woman to command a space shuttle flight. "This is not something that was planned or orchestrated in any way."

Indeed, Melroy's two-week space station construction mission was originally supposed to be done before Whitson's six-month expedition. Find out more about Discovery's latest mission »

"This is a really special event for us," Melroy said. "... There are enough women in the program that coincidentally this can happen, and that is a wonderful thing. It says a lot about the first 50 years of spaceflight that this is where we're at."

NASA refuses to disclose results of air safety survey

NASA refuses to disclose air safety survey
Not only is NASA refusing to disclose the result of a 4 year survey - but they are also DESTROYING the results.

"Official said revealing findings could damage public confidence in airlines"

Well, gee. I'd say revealing that a survey exists with findings that could damage public good enough - so there's no need to muzzle the report.

Moreover, by disclosing the report, the airlines involved could perhaps do something to solve the problems, ya think? Which they can't if they aren't told what they are. (Although, realistically, you'd think they'd know...)

NASA is run through OUR tax dollars. If they're going to conduct a survey, we deserve to know what they found. And the fact that they're going to destroy the results of four years work - that's plain ridiculous.

See link for complete article.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More on Michelle Wie

After reading a couple more articles on Wie, the girl does have more of my sympathy than I was initally prepared to give her.

She's still an immature, childish kid, but if you read her background, you can understand why. If your parents don't teach you manners and class...where are you going to learn them from?

Wie thinks better days are ahead after disastrous '07

And I doubt if her parents are teaching her any manners. Indeed, it looks like her parents won't let her get away from them:

"Wie is rarely seen without her parents. At the Samsung, Bo sat a foot away from a pyramid of golf balls on the range while her daughter practiced. B.J., who caddied, was never far away all week. Even while she attends Stanford her parents aren't far away; they are renting a house nearby. Neither parent would comment for this story. But Gilchrist, who coached Wie for two years when he worked for her current coach, David Leadbetter, says she needs to break away."

She is living in a dorm room...but she probably visits her parents every day to bring her laundry...'s only guys who do that!

Anyway, here's hoping Wie can get her act together, and go back on tour as a more mature individual and win some tournaments and be a credit to the women's game.

Astronaut Shannon Lucid talks about MIR

Not sure where this clip comes from (apart from Youtube, of course), but it's pretty interesting. The audio isn't in synch with the video, but just close your eyes and listen if that bugs you.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Role model - of how NOT to behave: Michelle Wie

Here's the latest article on Michelle Wie

Given a mulligan, Wie would not have played this year

As I mentioned in my first entries in this blog, golf is not really a sport that interests me, but I watched from time to time to see the much-hyped Michelle Wie. Hyped not so much for her golf, as for the huge amount of money she got in endorsements.

And has she earned that money? No. She's looked bad in tournaments, she's come across as childish...she's soured lots of people on her.

And yet she still has fans. How can this be possible. She's won nothing since she turned pro, she's come in last several times, she gets injuries and then whines abou tthem instead of playing through them... and yet she still has fans. Worse, she still has endorsements.

Is she that pretty? I'm a straight woman, but I know beauty when I see it, in both men and women, and she doesn't look that beautiful to me. Attractive, yes, but worth multi-millions in endorsements before she ever did anything to merit it? Based strictly on her looks and her amateur career?

Yes, she's only just now turned 18...perhaps the maturity will come...but I doubt it. Blame her family, I suppose, or her entourage...nevertheless....she's been soooo bad for women's golf.

Wie is not entirely to blame, of course. The LPGA must shoulder its fair share, for creating exemptions designed specifically to allow Wie to play in some events...despite the fact that she continually did poorly in them!

Here's a link to a thread on about the LPGA's culpability.

(Although a link is provided in that thread to the source of the article in question, the San Francisco Chronicle, the link takes you to a dead page. One wonders if the LPGA brought pressure to bear on the Chronicle to have the article removed?

I just visited to see how many books have been written about Wie, and I see five, all written for kids, touting her as a role model. Latest one published April 2007.

This one isn't a biography, but rather a lesson in how other golfers can duplicate her swing.

"Dissecting one ofthe most envied swings in golf today,John Andrisani demonstratesthe five keys to mastering Wie'spower swing: the grip and setup,powering your backswing, creatinga "flat spot," improving tempo,and shifting balance to change thedominant side. With detailed, stepby-step photographs from renowned golf photographer Yasuhiro Tanabe, Andrisani breaks down Wie's swinginto easy-to-follow instructions."

Of course, the swing isn't much good if you've got a sore wrist which you never stop to let heal....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

No "hells" or "damns", please

This is an interesting article from Aero Digest, March, 1930, about teaching women to fly:

Instructors had to modify their language around women...

The article ends with this line:

It is time to adopt the proved policy of the automobile dealer - Cater to the woman.

Found on Youtube: Videos ofwomen pilots

Below are4videos. Click on the white arrow to start.

Gladys Ingle (?) wing-walking, climbing onto another plane, and changing a tire:

A 2 -minute clip of Amelia Earhart. At the end she flies an autogyro.

Russian video, acrobatic pilot Svetlana Kapanina :

7 minute Patty Wagstaff video, another aerobatic pilot:

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Women and Flight

Women and Flight: Portraits of Contemporary Women Pilots was a traveling Smithsonian exhibition, way back in 1993. Interviewer/photographer Carolyn Russo talked to 36 women pilots - student pilots, pilots, astronauts, etc., and tells their story in the book.

In subsequent entries in this blog, I'm going to chronicle my attempts to discover what has happened to these 36 women, 12 years later.

Ellen Paneok - Alaskan bush pilot
Linda V. Hutton - Captain, United States Navy
Fay Gillis Wills - Aviation pioneer
Marsha Ivins - astronaut
Victoria Van Meter - student pilot
Marty Goppert - Flying Circus pilot
Patrice Clarke-Washington - Captain
Krista Bonino - 1st Lt, US Army, Helicopter pilot
Linn Buell - glider pilot
Jean Ross Howard-Phelan - Aviation pioneer
Mary Edna Fraser - Aerial artist
Mayte Greco - Search and rescue pilot
Florence Partlett - Airport operator
Shannon Lucid - Astronaut
Lori Love - crop duster
Madge Rutherford Minton - WASP
Kim Darst - Heilcopter pilot
Patty Wagstaff - Aerobatic pilot
Ida Van Smith-Dunn - Pilot
Susan Pierce - Hang glider pilot
Susan Still - Lt, US Navy, combat pilot and astronaut
Mary Ellen Weber - Astronaut
Gayle Ranney - Alaskan bush pilot
Suzanne Ashbury-Oliver - Skywriter
Yvonne McDermott - Pilot
Betty Skelton-Frankman - Aerobatic pioneer
Michele Summers - First Officer
Troy Devine - Captain, USAF
Evie Washington - pilot
Bonnie Wilkens - Helicopter pilot
Dorothy Aiksnoras-Vallee - First Officer
Marilyn Bridges - Aerial photographer
Doris Lockness - Flying octogenarian
Eileen Collins - Lt Colonel, USAFand Astronaut
Patricia Jenkins - Helicopter pilot
Marsha Neal - Astronaut

Who is Peggy Whitson?

Pop quiz.

Name every female astronaut that's ever been aboard the International Space Station.

Okay...that's probably not a fair question, as in these blase space exploration times, I doubt if anyone could even name all the men who've been aboard the ISS.

Peggy Whitson is the first female commander of the International Space Station, and she's on board now, along with Russian flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko.

It's not Whitson's first time on the ISS - she was there for 184 days, 22 hours and 15 minutes in 2002.

For the complete article, see Astronauts 'Home' Again on Space Station, and I'll be doing an article on the crews of the ISS in one of the forthcoming issues of You Fly, Girl.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Kono: the martial arts magazine for kids

Yesterday when I strolled through Sports Authority, heading toward the rack of baseball gloves, I paused at their magazine rack and saw a magazine called Kono, with Batman kicking "butt" on the cover. (The animated Batman, wit implausibly chunky arms, chest and legs.)

This is issue 4 of a magazine that is presumably aimed at kids age 6 - 12, and I have to confess I was unimpressed with it. There were a lot of anime-style illustrations, and just one or two photos of real people... not the type of thing to make a kid feel that they have a "role model" to follow.

To me, if I were a kid, I'd want to see ids my own age, dressed in karateuniforms, doing karate or whatever martial art in a dojo. To me the stuff in this mag is just pretend, like a comic book, and doesn't apply to the real world of a child.

Being a completionist, I present the contents of this issue:

1. Inner cover: ad for stikfasgames, plastic figurines looking like samuraiu warriors, doing some fighting, one with sai, the other with a sword in one hand anda a naginata in the other. (A naginata is a two-handed weapon, traditionally used by a female samurai.)

2. Table of contents:
The four departments: Your world, Dynamo Bodies, Superheroes, and Yoyodo

3. Full page ad for the Martial Arts channel, geaturing a black adult martial artsist and a white adult female doing Tai-Ci.

4. The Kono team: Brief bios of the contributors to the issue. Illustrated faces, with each a a character from Batman. Of 6 individuals, 2 are women, HK Kim, editor-in-chief, and Laura Franklin, senior designer.

5. Editor's Letter: With a top illustration featuring trick-or-treating kids: 3 kids, 2 girls, one as blond cat, one as a green faced witch, a ghost of indeterminate sex, and behind them all an adult, a woman dressed as a superhero.

6. Kono mailbag: Featuring one letter, and then half a page of contest winners

7. Full page ad: "If pressure's pushing you to get high and get into things you're not really into...maybe it's time to push back. The illustration doesn't really catch the eye, but as an adult I know it's an anti-drug message. I wonder if kids age 6-12 will get the message.

8. Your world: Must see TV. Dates for certain tv programs.

9. Random information: Fun facts and features: 4 info boxes. According to the top box, in 2006 the most popular Halloween costume was a princess costume. Second most popular was a pirate's costume.

10. Check it out: All the things you need to experience in October. Full page of 16 thumbnail photos. An ad for KidNation, a reality TV series feauring kids. Also a review of The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass-DS, and - a site to create your own animation, and, a site for a teacher and six kids to create their own educational website.

11. Get pinned: A full page of photos of pins to collect.,.none of those shown had a martial arts theme, interestingly.

12. Get to Know: An NBA Mascot. I assume this is the mascont of the Phoenix's a guy in a gorilla suit, but wearing a basketball on fire tshirt. The page itself makes no mention of what team he's a mascot for!!! And then of course there's the fact that he's an NBA mascot...what's he doing in a martial arts magazine...

13. What's it like to develop animated characters? : Two page article. Again, all drawings, no photos. 2/3rds of the page spread is an illustration, presumably of and by the guy in question, and then there's a single column of text. His name is Brett Jubinville, he's 25, and apparently he works on the Batman cartoon. He makes between $50,000 - $100,000 a year, which parents of artistic kids might like to know!

14. Look what they did: Brought martial arts to the masses: 2 page article - 1 full page photo of 4 guys in street clothes, with hands in pockets, one column of text of who they are: the Sideswipe Performance Team. [Why are they not in an "action shot", doing their routine??

15. Legends and History: the art of the fighting dance: An article on Capoeira, a martial art from Brazil. Again, no photos, just drawings. 3 page artile, 2 total columns of text.

16. Cool stuff: Mimobot memories: Two page spread on something for parents to buy kids, with absolutely nothing to do with the martial arts.

More to come

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm 45 And I Bought Myself a Baseball Glove Today...

There's a truism regarding books: girls will read books written for boys and girls, but boys will only read books written for boys. And, frankly, I can't blame the boys. Who in their right mind wants to read a book about a girl getting all weepy and moany because she likes a boy who doesn't like her, and all the little tricks and things she tries to do to get him to notice her?

I never read those things when I was a kid. I read mystery stories, like Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and the Three Investigators, science fiction books like Tom Corbett, and the Little League books of Curtis Bishop. My favorite book of his is Little League Double Play, and I still own a copy today. [Indeed, it's a pity his books are out of print, but you can buy themat]

I was born in 1961, and there was no Little League for girls when I was growing up. If there had been I don't know if I would have had the nerve to play, of course, as I probably would have been the only girl on the team. But I wanted to share the fun that was embodied in those books by Bishop. I played catch with my Dad, and brother, (sister was never interested), and with other friends, but that was it.

But I grew older and times changed, especially with the passage of Title IX. I was on a softball team for a summer youth league when I was 16 or 17. When I worked at a company in Minneapolis they had a softball team and I played on that for a year. I was an excellent batter, but couldn't judge a pop-fly to save my live, so I mostly played catcher. I at no point had the elite kind of skills that would have gotten me a scholarship to some college, but it was the type of activity I enjoyed.

About 15 years ago my gloves and other sports equipment were stolen out of my garage, and I never got around to replacing them.

But, every year, around playoff time, while I'm watching the games, I muse aloud to friends with whom I'm watching that I'd like to go into a batting cage and see if I can't hit against balls coming over the plate at 80-90 miles an hour, just to see what it's like.

Well, the batting cage is yet to come, but today I went over to my local Sports Authority and bought a glove. I'm left handed, so of course there were three columns of left handed gloves of various sizes, and 10 or more columns of gloves for righties.

I ended up buying a Unisex Youth glove for $25. They had an adult glove I liked, but it was $60, and while I'm in to nostalgia, $25 of nostalgia will be just fine, thank you.

I don't have anyone to play with - my boyfriend will watch sports but he doesn't play them, my friends prefer tennis or biking - but I've got a brick facing over my garage and when I got home today I rooted out a tennis ball and played a bit of catch with the wall. It certainly felt good to move around and catch the ball - I hadn't lost any of the old skills. (I've never had any problem catching the ball, thrown at any speed, anywhere from foot to eye level. It's just when it's over my head, I can't do it.)

And, who knows. I live in a townhouse and in the court in which I live, there are a few kids, as well as adults of course, and who knows, one of them might decide it looks like fun, get a glove of their own if they don't already have one, and we might get our own mini-team going.

I only spent about 15 minutes at it today, but it is fun. Out in the sunshine, moving around, getting the arm muscles of your throwing arm moving, judging where the ball is headed and gloving it with your ball... yes, I suppose a bit of the feel-good feeling was an onrush of nostalgia for my youth, but ... it's just a fun thing to do.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Golf Explosion

I've been reading and enjoying The Women's Guide to Golf. Very educational. It still doesn't make me want to go out and invest in golf I said in a previous post, give me miniature golf any time.

I don't watch that much golf...when Tiger Woods is plaing in a tense match..Annika Sorenstam... I tried to watch Michelle Wie but I'm afraid her bad-sport behavior has turned me off her forever.

Nevertheless, women are beginning to golf in record numbers, as evidenced by the fact that there are two magazines for women out there.

I'll have to visit mu local B&N later on today and see if it carries these two magds...or for that matter, any women's sports magazines. I'm sure they local Walmart has at least 3 Women's "sports and fitness" type magazines, so I'm sure B& N will have an even greater selection.

However...if you want to do these magazines a great service...get a subscription. Bookstores take such a commission out of their sales that you wouldn't believe...they make pennies on a sale. With a subscription...they make dollars.

The Women's Guide to Golf

The Women's Guide to Golf, A Handbook for Beginners, by Kellie Stenzel Garvin is an excellent intro, not only to the game itself, and the skills needed to play it, but the terminology you'll need to know to converse about the game intelligently with fellow players, spouse or boyfriend, children, etc.

Here's the Table of Contents:
Part 1: Introduction and Purpose

Part II: Lessons (each one prefaced with terminology)
1. The Golf Course
2. The Golf Hole
3. The Goal of the Game
4. The Equipment and Yardage Chart
5. Holding the Club
6. Setup
7. Aim and Alignment
8. The Waggle
9. Pre-shot Routine
10. Putting
11. How Do I Get this Small Ball into the Air?
12. The Short Game - Chipping and Pitching
13. The Full Swing
14. What'd I Do Wrong, Coach?
15. Home on th Range
16. The Hazards of Amateur Advice: The Prince Charming Syndrome
17. Playing a Round of Golf, plus etiquette
18. Bunkers: Green Side, Fairway and Buried Lies
19. Irregular Lies
20. Bad Lies
21. How to Choose an Instructor
22. Taking Lessons - How to Get the Most for your Time and Effort
23. The Rules You Need to Know
24. Club Fitting - How do you know what club's right for you?
25. Golf's Bottom Line - Cutting Costs
26. My Favorite Training Aids
27. How To Play Faster
28. Playing in Ladies' Day
29. Are Women People in the World of Golf
30. Watching Golf on Televisin
31. Playing Pregnant - To Swing or Not To Swing
32. What is a handicap, and how do I get one

Part III. Conclusion
Part IV. Glossary

My own comments
Personally, I'm not a golfer, but I need to brush up on my knowledge for You Fly, Girl. I LOVE miniature golf, however - it takes skill, and it doesn't take as long! However, this book has taught me everything I need to know!

The You Fly, Girl Manifesto

I am shortly going to be launching a new ezine called You Fly, Girl.

The main focus of You Fly, Girl will be on women pilots, but we'll also cover women athletes in all sports, as well as businesswomen, and even stay-at-home moms who have succeeded in one of the most difficult jobs in the world - raising children healthy in body and mind!

The purpose of this blog will be to provide reviews on various books that fit our goals, discuss various issues (for example, what to do when a role model goes bad - i.e. the astronaut Lisa Nowak, or sprinter Marion Jones), and announce various events - such as when an important speaker is coming to town, etc.

We hope you'll enjoy this blog, check back frequently, leave comments, and eventually begin to read You Fly, Girl.