TechCrunch: CNN gets a first-of-its-kind waiver to fly drones over crowds.

It's a good choice of hardware - functioning bladeguards. You won't see people injured from these. Unless they stick a finger in the blades.

I still find it creepy to be stalked by flying machines at events. The camera bends towards you, the engines whine louder, and over it comes, tracking you like a predator. The glassy emotionless eyeball. The hackles of my neck stood up as long as I could hear that thing over my shoulder.

I suspect its deep in my gene pool, this reaction.

You've heard me say this before; I suppose I'm just rewarning you for when you first encounter a crowdstalking eyeball.

Catapult: Islamophobia - A self-inflicted terror on a plane.

This is what ignorance does to people.

I once had a passel of born-in-Manhattan, never-been-anywhere-but-urban-areas coworkers in my car, when we drove out of the range of streetlights, and my high beams hit cows in the dark. The heads turned, the eyes glowed ... and every single one of my passengers began freaking the hell out. Screaming, writhing. I had to get them back to streetlit streets, stop at a 7/11, so they could calm down.

Thinking back to that time in the '90's, I realize I'd taken a wrong turn and was heading towards the Rust Belt. Telling.

To 'ignorance', I will add 'irrational fear' and 'deficit of experience'. Add your own.

BBC: French aviators credited with transatlantic flight.

But our correspondent says that until an actual part of The White Bird is discovered, no-one will ever know for sure.

Oh I hope it's true, that they crossed first. The White Bird's engine was massive. If it's around, it'll show up one of these days. Even if it sat at the bottom of the ocean. More likely it's in the heavy woods north of Maine, near the coast. [Nungesser was my favorite WWI fighter pilot.]

ABC.AU: North Korea - Where can its missiles reach?

Well-programmed, very clear. Could be misleading, though (see subnote below). One particular caveat ... we were theorizing about their Taepodong-2 multistage missiles in the Bush years. Those never came to fruition. LA was under that theorized 'umbrella' at the time, also. So if your pants weren't already in a twist, no reason to twist now. Unless you're reading this from Japan.

Subnote: After the fall of the Soviet Union, a few very detailed books came out about ICBMs. Seems shooting missiles over the polar regions plays hell with navigational systems. Any given Soviet ICBM - or American ICBM - had a very large margin for error. Someone aims for New York, they could hit St. Louis. The magnetic fields, weather, etc. all mitigate against accuracy. It is highly doubtful NK has solved any of this, so many of the conjectures in the above animation are way, way off the mark (and shouldn't even really be theorized at all). That being said, if you see the GPS system go down, you know there's something big afoot.

SciAm: Forget Pills and Surgery for Back Pain.

Agreed. I have found doing gentle twisting motions - esp. unweighted (on the floor), help restore disk 'springiness'. Entirely unscientific, of course. Legovers have been a miracle cure. But start slowly, gently. Don't go to full Vitruvian Man pose until a couple of weeks down the road. And minimize your sitting for long periods - frequent breaks. Sitting is poison.