Vesna, a Belgrade native, entered the Guinness World Records book after surviving the highest ever fall without a parachute. She was the sole survivor of the explosion of JAT Flight 367 near Srbska Kamenice, Czechoslovakia on January, 26, 1972. She was found alive amid the wreckage after plummeting some 10,160 meters. “It is estimated that the human body reaches 99 percent of its low level terminal velocity after falling 573 m (1,880 ft) which takes 13 - 14 sec. This is 188-201 km/h (117 - 125 mph) at normal atmospheric pressure in a random posture, but up to 298 km/h (185 mph) in a head down position,” Guinness said of her record, that was nothing short of a miracle.The Guinness discussion of freefall** was wrong since Vesna didn't freefall. She stayed in the back part of the plane as it fell. Still EXTREMELY unusual to survive such a fall. But she really deserves the Guinness for something vastly more important:
“I’m not lucky. Everybody thinks I am lucky, but they are mistaken. If I were lucky I would never have had this accident and my mother and father would be alive. The accident ruined their lives too,” Vulovic said thirty years after the crash.Guinness for REALISM AND LOGIC AND EMPATHY. Unquestionable winner in all three categories. So RIP to Vesna, the sanest person in the world. = = = = = ** Techy quibble: There's no point in looking for the highest freefall. If you're trying to resist the wind, you'll reach max speed of 120 mph after about 1500 feet, skyscraper or radio tower height. Beyond 1500 feet you won't gain more speed. It's really a question of HOW you land and WHAT you land on.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.