Wednesday, October 19, 2016

SearchResearch Challenge (10/19/16): How healthy is the Mediterranean?

A few weeks ago... 

... my travels took me on a tour of the Greek islands.  I don't know why they weren't on my bucket list before now, but they were such a beautiful place that I'll definitely return in the future.  It was that nice.  

On Santorini, the cliffside town of Oia overlooks the sea.

It's better than I ever imagined it to be.  The water is clear, the air is pure and sweet, the food is superb, and everywhere you go there's a sense of deep history.  

And, as you might expect, I spent one morning going on a dive.  The water wasn't just clear, it was crystalline clear.  When I asked the divemaster about it, he commented that the visibility was "only 30 meters"  (90 feet), on a good day "you can see at least 60 meters"  (180 feet).  That's astoundingly good, and I was optimistic that my dive off the shores of Crete would be just amazing.  

The crystal clear Aegean... 

As you can see, the water really is transparent (and a beautiful blue).  

So I was surprised when I saw relatively little sea life.  A few fish here and there, a fleeting sighting of an octopus, a bit of algae, and that's about it.  

Although I only dove the one time, everywhere I went in Greece I would stare into the water, looking for something with more life in it than the waters I saw.  Sadly, I didn't see much.  (Unfortunately, I didn't have my underwater camera with me...)  

My dive was about 2 km from here, just off the coast of Crete in an uninhabited area.

But it made me think:  Is this really the "normal" condition of submarine life around Greece?  What about the Mediterranean more generally? 

This leads me to this week's SearchResearch Challenge:  

1.  How healthy IS the Mediterranean?  Are there still places where one could go diving and see a rich, healthy, submarine Mediterranean ecosystem that's full of fish, invertebrates, corals, and other marine organisms?  Where should I go to have this experience?   (Note: Anything outside the Straits of Gibraltar, or the Bosporus Strait, or doesn't count.)   

More generally, I'm interested in how much the Mediterranean has changed over the past 100 years.  Has it always been like this?  Or has something changed recently?  

In my quick initial check to answer this question, I found that it wasn't exactly simple to answer this Challenge.  It's a large, difficult-to-frame question--but this kind of question is typical of the big research questions we want to answer.  This is smaller than "is global warming a real phenomenon," but larger than "what's the best pizza in New York City?"  There are also a fair number of authors who have a particular outcome that they're trying to get you to believe.  

I'm curious how you'd approach this kind of large-concept research question, so be sure to let us know HOW to approached the question, and how you assessed the information you found.  What resources look good to you?  Do you believe what they say?  

Obviously, you could write a book about this--but you don't need to--I'm interested in what resources you find and whether or not you believe what they say.  

I'll be working on this Challenge over the weekend and will post my results on Monday.  

Curiously, I say  "Search On!"  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Answer: Who backs the site?

An important skill to have..

... is that of knowing how to figure out who's posting this article.  

In other words, a really important skill is that of being able to figure out who's behind an article.  

Although this is something we should have learned in elementary school, it's a continuous surprise to me how often searchers DO NOT do this!  

This observation is what motivated the SearchResearch Challenge this week.   Think of this week's Challenge as practice to learn the skill of finding out Who Backs the Site?   

P/C Google. The inside of a Google data center
(showing cooling lines to chill the data flowing through the internet)

1.  I keep hearing that the Internet is about to run out of addresses.  Is this true?  Here's one article that claims this it's about to happen  Will the Internet really come to a screaming halt sometime soon because it ran out of addresses?  (Important: How do you assess the quality of this article?  Believable, or not?)

When I saw this article my first questions were (a) WHO wrote it?  (b) WHY did he write it?  (c) WHAT is the reputation of the website where it was published?  

It's easy to figure out the author:  Clicking on his author's byline in the article takes you to his personal page for his writings on Gizmodo (the website).   This is list of the articles he's written, and by a quick scan, you can see that he writes many product reviews ("Best Travel Gadgets"), tech product updates ("Samsung Is Limiting Note 7 Batteries to 60 Percent to Avoid More Explosions") and random light pieces ("Diego the Loverboy Sires Over 800 Baby Tortoises, Saves His Species").  So it's clear that he's got some technology background, but how much? 

I did a quick search for his name  [ Darren Orf ]  which is, handily, a low-frequency name (i.e., fairly rare), and found his LinkedIn profile which tells me that he's now a Senior Editor for Hearst Digital Media, but was a senior writer for Gizmodo (until a couple of weeks ago).  

He's really a tech-journalist with a Master's degree in Journalism from University of Missouri-Columbia (a well-respected Journalism program), and that 5 people have vetted him for his fact-checking skills.  That's a good sign.  

If you read the article carefully, you'll see that it relies heavily on (and cites properly) a Wall Street Journal article on the same topic. To wit,  Coming This Summer: U.S. Will Run Out of Internet Addresses  

THAT article is written by Robert McMillan whose author profile shows him to be very focused computer technology writer.  (All of his writings over the past couple of years have been technology news.)  Looking at McMillan's LinkedIn profile shows that he has spent many years editing LinuxWorld and Linux magazines, both very techy journals that are dedicated to the Linux universe.  A quick look at the articles he's written there show him to be deeply engaged in the security and computer-tech world, so there's a high probability that he got this one right as well.  

What about the site? 

Searching for [ Gizmodo ] quickly shows us that it's a  ", technology and science fiction website. It was originally launched as part of the Gawker Media network... [and] ...  includes the subsite io9, which focuses on science fiction and futurism." 

With leading article (for this week) on topics ranging from Star Wars Halloween costumes, to an analysis of Juno's engine troubles  (the NASA Jupiter space-craft), it's a kind of technology-light webzine.  So it's not a hard-core tech magazine.  What this tells me is that it's worth checking out the facts behind the article, just in case something got lost in translation.  

When I read the WSJ article about "running out of internet addresses" that all checked out, and the author of that article really does have a strong reputation as an accurate technology writer.  (To be clear, so does Orf; but McMillan has a deeper background on issues like this one.) 

Bottom Line:  The website isn't well-known for the depth of their tech writing, but the author (and original material on which he based his article) both check out as being accurate.  And the article is correct:  The original internet would have run out of addresses, except that a major new technology (known at IP-6) was implanted into all of the internet, and the address problem was avoided.  

Who backs the site?  Gizmodo, the tech publishing company back the site, but the author did a good job of reflecting the internet address situation and its solution.  

2. Here's an article from the EPA claiming that the federal government is suing a farmer for simply plowing his field.  Is this for real?  How would you assess the truthiness (and credibility) of this article?  

This article caught my eye with extraordinary fishiness when I first opened it up.  I was expecting an article about farming regulations put in place by the EPA.  

I know that the acronym "EPA" stands for "Environmental Protection Agency."   It's an agency of the federal government responsible for protecting human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress.  

To be honest, the first thing I noticed was how nice the site looked.  In my experience, US government sites are a bit more... ah... clunky than this one.  This article on this site looks pretty good!  

The next thing I noticed were some of the titles of the articles.  Titles like "EPA’s Fancy Office Furniture Costs Taxpayers Nearly $100 Million" and "EPA Offers Paid Leave to Employee Caught with Pot at Work"  didn't seem quite like the articles I'd expect to see on an official government web site!  

When I looked at the URL, I noticed it was -- that is, a .COM site, and not a .GOV site, which is what I expected.  

So I looked at the top-level page of the site (that is, I looked at to see what the entire site is all about, and saw immediately that it's an EPA critic site, which they talk about very openly.  As they write on their top-level page (emphasis mine):  
"EPA Facts is a project of the Environmental Policy Alliance dedicated to highlighting the high cost of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory actions and peeling back the layers of secrecy surrounding the agency’s actions."
Got it.  But it's a bit sneaky about the whole thing.  Note that his site ranks highly for obvious queries like: 

    [ facts about the EPA

Notice that the "Environmental Protection Agency" and the "Environmental Policy Alliance" the same acronym, and they have fairly similar logos:  

This is a bit of a subterfuge--almost as though they're hoping you won't notice.  So it's not a surprise that they're very critical of the real EPA.  

To get a bit more background on EPAFacts, I did a search for:  

     [ Environmental Policy Alliance ] 

and found several articles (Huffington Post, Food and Water Watch, The Journal of American Architects, Source Watch) that describe as a "...A front group for Washington, D.C.-based public relations firm Berman & Company..."  

Reading a bit more, I found that multiple articles describing as an "astroturf operation" run by Rick Berman's lobbying organization.  (The word "astroturf" here means to create the impression of grassroots support for an issue by masking the real sponsors of a website or article.)  

Is there really a connection between the Environmental Policy Alliance and Berman & Co?  

Well, where are they located?  

A click on the Berman & Company website ("About us") tells us that their address is: 

      Berman & Co. 
     1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 800
     Washington, DC 20005

while the address of the (found at the bottom of their web page) is: 

     Environmental Policy Alliance 
     1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 800
     Washington, DC 20005

Notice the similarity?  That's pretty convincing evidence that EPAFacts is a "project" of Berman & Co.  It's not exactly an independent organization.  

Who backs the site?  In this case, it's the DC lobbying firm Berman & Co, which has made quite a reputation for itself as an anti-environment, anti-union, and pro-energy  firm.  Should you believe the articles published by  Based on this analysis, I'd take a long, hard look at the claims made  there.  It's clear they have an anti-Environmental Protection Agency agenda.  

3. A favorite topic in certain circles is the question of whether the USA has actually landed a person on the lunar surface.  Here's one YouTube video that makes a series of arguments to claim that it was all a fake.  How would you assess the credibility of this video?  

I know, I know... this is pretty silly, but lets take it seriously as an example of what you would do to check this out.  

Deb & Anne mentioned using the "5 W's"  (who, when, where, why, what) and the CRAP mnemonic (CRAP stands for Currency, Reliability, Accuracy, Purpose (or Point-of-view)).  

Let's check out this video using this guideline.  

Who?  The video author is Shane Dawson.  The obvious search on his name tells us that he's an entertainer (video blogger, author, actor, sketch comedian, singer, songwriter and film director).  All of his work is comedic in style.  And there's no evidence in any of his online information that he's ever worked in science (let alone rocket science).  

When?  (Currency?)   Publication date is May 31, 2016.  

Why? (Purpose?)  When watching the video, it's pretty clear that Dawson made the video to push his "conspiracy theory" (his term) about the moon landing.  If you ignore the literal hand-waving and arch tone of voice, all he's doing is repeating questions that have been raised before by other faked-lunar-landing conspiracy writers.  

What? (Reliability?)  In the video, he repeats the claims that others have raised -- (1) the flag waves in the absence of air, (2) there seem to be no stars in the background, (3) the letter C is apparently inscribed on a moon rock, (4) there is an apparent reflection of a stage light on the astronaut's helmet. (And so on.)  

Let's check what NASA has to say with this query: 

     [ lunar landing hoax ] 

And, as you'd expect (and as the hoaxers would also expect), there's a good deal of evidence to support the lunar landing.  You can see a large collection of evidence at NASA such as images of the landing sites as seen from other satellites.  

For example -- this image is from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Sept 5, 2011.  This is an image taken from space, looking down at where the astronauts walked and drove around during their lunar mission in December, 1972.  

Image of Apollo 17 landing site.  Taurus-Littrow highlands.P/C: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/ASU
Purpose?  I'll let you look at all of the evidence in these sites, but really it boils down to credibility of the source.  Can a comedy actor in a slightly bawdy YouTube video convince you that the moon landing was faked?  Probably not--certainly without compelling evidence, and in watching the "evidence" presented, it's all either very marginal, or easily explained with simpler stories than the one he's pushing.  

The purpose of Dawson's video was to promote his personal brand, and to be another video is his "Conspiracy Theories" chain.  (He has lots of other conspiracy theory videos as well, which also damages his credibility.)  

If this whole topic interests you, the Wikipedia article about the "Moon Landing Conspiracy Theories" has a pretty decent writeup of the positions, the people, and what really happened.  Or you could read the debunking of the lunar landing hoax.  

But I'll close this topic with another YouTube video from probably the most visible fact-checkers of our generation: Mythbusters.    

This video shows the Mythbusters team going to an observatory in Arizona to shine a laser at the moon and see the pulse bounce back from the retroreflector that the Apollo astronauts left on the lunar surface.    

Who backs the site?  To put it another way, how credible is this YouTube video about the lunar landing hoax?  I'd say it's pretty non-credible.  The author has no experience in assessing evidence, is simply repeating other hoax claims, and his analysis of the evidence is very weak.  There are multiple far more credible sites that counter each of the points presented as evidence.  (And, overall, the video just doesn't present very good arguments--each of the points presented is argued as "isn't it obvious?"  Which isn't a strong strategy for making a credible case.)  

And it's really hard to fake that laser pulse returning from the moon after the right amount of time.

Search Lessons

We live in a time when a huge amount of information is available via a quick Google search. And we also live in a time when it's really easy to publish almost any crazy notion and have it seem authoritative.  

That's why the skill of assessing credibility is such an important skill to have.  It's really not optional.  As we saw, the simplest queries can lead to content that you should definitely checkout before accepting as fact. 

     [ EPA facts ] leads to (see above) 

     [ dihydrogen monoxide ] leads to a spoof site that many have read as correct 

     [ Holocaust historical review ] leads to a Holocaust denial site

I could go on. 

You might ask why Google (or Bing, or other search engines) don't just filter out the "obviously wrong" content.  The reason is a bit complicated. 

At this point in time, it's very hard for search engines to know exactly what is true or not. As an example, the dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO) site is really a brilliant spoof site because most of what's claimed on the site is actually correct.  For instance, DHMO is dangerous because "Death [can be] due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities."  That's actually true--water inhalation can kill you. Or, DHMO is "Often associated with killer cyclones in the U.S. Midwest and elsewhere..."  Again, that's true, but we don't normally think about water in that way.  

The problem here is that the tone of writing on the site is explicitly exaggerated for effect.  And that exaggeration is currently a difficult thing for search engines to parse.  

What's more, it's really difficult to say with certainty what's true with respect to many topics.  Are fighters in Syria "freedom fighters" or "terrorists"?  It depends on which side you're on. Is acupuncture an effective medical treatment, or is it purely a placebo?  Again, it depends on what you accept as evidence (and, to a certain extent, where you're doing the search from).  

So for the time being, the responsibility for determining whether or not to believe an article, a book, or a web page result is still really up to you.  

This has always been true.  But now that it's so cheap for anyone to publish (by putting up a web site), there's a lot more questionable content.  

You, as a responsible SearchResearcher, need to know this.  

We'll talk more about how to assess online content in your online research--but don't ever skip this important step!!  

Search on, credibly. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

SearchResearch Challenge (10/11/16): Who backs the site?

When I teach students..

... about doing online research, one of things I tell them is to figure out who's posting this article.  

In other words, find out who wrote it, and what their possible motivations for writing this particular article really are.  People rarely just write--they're usually trying to convince you, the reader, of something they believe.  

In a sense, this is just good old-fashioned research as it was done in days of yore.  But back then, life was simpler--it took a lot of work to publish an article or a book, and usually, there was a lot of fact-checking that went into the process. If it's hard or expensive to publish, then publishers tend to put a lot of time and energy into making sure that what got published was worth publishing.  

But since websites, blogs, online videos (etc etc) are now SO easy to publish, anyone who wants to can easily put out a video, article, or book.  When it's easy to publish, the publication world tends to fill up with content of questionable value.  

So, a really important skill is that of being able to figure out how likely it is for something you find to be accurate.  That leads to this week's Challenge--we'll look at a few questions and try to figure out whether the pages should be believed.  

P/C Google. The inside of a Google data center
(showing cooling lines to chill the data flowing through the internet)

1.  I keep hearing that the Internet is about to run out of addresses.  Is this true?  Here's one article that claims this it's about to happen  Will the Internet really come to a screaming halt sometime soon because it ran out of addresses?  (Important: How do you assess the quality of this article?  Believable, or not?)

2. Here's an article from the EPA claiming that the federal government is suing a farmer for simply plowing his field.  Is this for real?  How would you assess the truthiness (and credibility) of this article?  

3. A favorite topic in certain circles is the question of whether the USA has actually landed a person on the lunar surface.  Here's one YouTube video that makes a series of arguments to claim that it was all a fake.  How would you assess the credibility of this video?  

The important part of the Challenge this week is to develop the skills needed to answer questions of this type.  It's fairly common that people will look to a search engine to answer questions like this, and being able to dig a little more deeply is crucial. 

And that's what I'd like us to focus on this week. Not just whether or not you believe in the claim, but WHAT did you do to dig a little more deeply into the claims of the stories.  

Be sure to tell us what you did.  I'll come back next week with the tale of what I did.  

Show your work! 

Search on. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Answer: Who made the mosaics?

Once upon a time...

...banks and lending institutions really wanted to make a pro-social mark in the landscape.  To that end, they commissioned lots of public art, sometimes placing it in civic spaces (parks, city centers, etc.), but most often they enhanced the banking spaces with architectural statements, sculptures, murals... and mosaics. 

I've collected a few images of mosaics I'd seen in California and asked my SearchResearch Challenge for this week: Who dunnit?  

(Remember you can click on any of these to see the full-size image.)  

Today's Challenge is a simple one: 

1.  Who made the mosaics, and what's the story behind them?  

Somewhat to my surprise, the very basic query: 

     [los angeles banks mosaics]

gives a surprisingly good set of results.  The first five results all give parts of the story.
1.  "How LA banks got their midcentury mosaics" (a hyper-local news site from Curbed),
2.  "Home Savings Bank Art Project" (by Adam Arenson, a professor of Urban Studies at Manhattan College in New York, who is also writing a book on the art and architecture of Millard Sheets),
3.  "The art of Home Savings in San Fernando Valley mosaics, sculptures," by the LA Daily News, 
4. "Artist made mosaics for Home Savings" by the LA Times newspaper, and 
5. "The Cultural Civil War," another blog that's mostly about these works, again by Adam Arenson. 

When read together, these articles make a nearly book-length compendium of how & why the mosaics were built.  

As you read these articles, you'll find that the mosaics are mostly the the work of the Millard Sheets Studio, which made more than 100 pieces of artwork for the Home Savings and Loan company.  An LA banker, Howard Ahmanson Sr., bought Home Savings and Loan in 1947 and was successful in growing the business during the 1950s and 1960s.

Millard Sheets was an artist who became well-known in the thirties for his paintings. In 1952, according to the Daily News, Ahmanson wrote to Sheets: "Have traveled Wilshire Boulevard for twenty-five years. Know name of architect and year every building was built. Bored ... Need buildings designed?I want buildings that will be exciting seventy-five years from now."

And so began a long relationship between Ahmanson and Millard Sheets, who designed Home Savings & Loan buildings along with their mosaics, murals, and statues.  Ahmanson wanted long-life from his buildings, and Millard Sheets wanted art and architecture to be designed and built together, each reinforcing the other.  

Sheets was one of the artists whose work became known at the California Style of watercolor painting, primarily because of it's bold new look and innovative approaches.  Starting as a watercolorist, he quickly expanding the range of works he was doing--watercolor was just the start, and he ended up designing buildings, murals, large mosaics, and stained glass as well.  

In essence, he was part of a movement to bring an integrated approach to design, melding architecture with fine art as a way to make the city a more livable place, and uplift the lives of the citizens.  As he wrote in 1962:  

...“Beauty in the downtown part of a city is a necessity, not a luxury. People will always respond to beauty if we make it intimate and personal and related to the charter and integrity of the city.” 

You can see a collection of his work in a pamphlet that was assembled for the Los Angeles Conservancy.  Including many wonderful mosaics that I'd never seen before, such as this one, commonly known as "Touchdown Jesus" at the University of Notre Dame.  (Actually known as The "Word of Life," it's a large mural on the side of the Theodore Hesburgh Library at Notre Dame.)  

P/C Wikimedia

And now for something completely different.... 

This isn't the approach I took at all!  

Instead, while looking carefully at the mosaics, I saw two makers' marks.  A clear "MS" in some of them, and a clear "CD" inside of a circle on others.  

What's up with that?  The style was clearly the same--where there TWO mosaicists at work here?

So my first query was to search for: 

     [ CD mosaic california ] 

which led me to the  story we saw above: "Artist made mosaics for Home Savings and Loan." That article told me what was going on.  

The CD mark is that of Denis O'Connor (this the way he put 3 letters together, CDO, with the O on the outside as a perimeter circle.  He was the guy who actually BUILT mosaics using designs from Millard Sheets.  As the LATimes article tells us, "Many of the buildings and artwork were designed by Millard Sheets, an artist and architect who often signed the murals, although assistants [including Denis O'Connor] did most of the actual work."

Search Lessons 

I learned something from this:  A general query, like  [los angeles banks mosaics]can often be enough to find really useful documents on Google.  Even a VERY open-ended query like   [ banks mosaics] can work, although not all of the time (because sometimes the results you want will be buried deeply in the results list). 

On the other hand, my query also worked, although it took a bit more reading to get to the key idea.

So the lesson for me is: 

1.  Always try the simplest query first.  You never know--it might just work!  (And if it doesn't, then you haven't lost much time.)  

Yours in pragmatism!  

Search on! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

SearchResearch Challenge (10/5/16): Who made the mosaics?

Growing up in Southern California tends to put everything in a particular light. 

It's true--the light in SoCal really is different than the light in other parts of the world. Sure, sometimes it's a bit foggy (or even smoggy), but often there's a kind of translucency that's only found in that place.  Everything is different there; even the winds of December can be peculiar.  

Raymond Chandler's most famous passage about LA:  
"There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen."
-- the opening of Raymond Chandler's 1938 short story, "Red Wind," originally published in Dime Detective.

But here's a memory of my LA childhood that's a bit more prosaic, but beautiful in a way.  It's the memory of driving around the LA basin and seeing beautiful and distinctive mosaics in front of banks. What's that?  Yeah.  In those days, banks would put up beautiful artwork on their edifices or in the space between their entrance and the street.  I'm not sure how many of these there were, but it was significant.  It was public art, true public art meant to elevate the public, before the term "public art" became something housing developers gave up grudgingly in order to get special variances from the city council to build something truly ugly and rake in the dough.  But I digress.  

Here are a few images of those mosaics, taken from all over California. (Remember you can click on any of these to see the full-size image.)  

Today's Challenge is a simple one: 

1.  Who made the mosaics, and what's the story behind them?  

I haven't tried, but you might be able to Image Search some of these.  But before you do that, take a moment to see if you can't figure out another way to answer the challenge.  Is there something else you could do?  (Trust me; there is.) 

When you figure out the answer, please tell us all in the comments below.  Be sure to say WHAT you did to figure it out. 

And I'll tell you that I had no idea who made these mosaics when I lived in Los Angeles.  When I took these pictures, I still didn't know.  But two queries cleared it up for me.  Can you figure out what I did, decades after I was curious about these minor masterpieces? 

Search on!  

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Update / Erratum on "What IS that below?" (height above the horizon; photos of an arrow)


I forgot about something in my answer yesterday. When you look for the Farallons, you have to think about WHERE you're standing.  

In the original Challenge I asked:  And where should I stand?

That's an important part of the question.  If you're standing on the beach at the westernmost edge of San Francisco, your eyes might be only 5 feet above sea level.  A quick search for information about the horizon leads us to this equation to compute the visual distance to the horizon.  Here, d is the distance of the horizon (in miles) if your eyes are h feet above the ground.  (The squiggly line symbol means "nearly equal to.") 

So, if your eyes are 5 feet above the ground, the horizon seems to be 2.72 miles away.  That is, your 5-foot-high eyes can see an island on the sea that's 2.72 miles away.  

As I noted, this picture of the islands was shot from Twin Peaks, a local mountain in the western part of San Francisco.  

If you're standing on Twin Peaks (at a height of 922 feet), the apparent horizon is 37 miles.   So how far are the Farallons from Twin Peaks?  I used Google Maps to measure the distance and found this: 

Since the islands are 30 miles from Twin Peaks, it's easy to see them on the horizon (with a decent telephoto lens and clear air).  

To see the Farallons from the closest beach (which is 27 miles from the Farallons), you'd have to have your eyes at (27/1.22)2  =  489 feet in the air.  That's a mighty tall ladder.  

Okay.  I admit my blunder, and have set the record straight.  (Tip of the hat to Don Norman for pointing this out!)  

In other news...  

I just coincidentally (really) happen to be St. George, Utah to give a talk today at Dixie State University.  

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, one of the Transcontinental Airmail arrows happens to be here.  So I popped out there today to take a few pics.  

Note the steel L-beam still sticking up out of the concrete.
It was one of the legs of the light tower over the concrete arrow.
St. George is off in the distance.

A selfie while sitting on the point of the arrow.
A nice monument marker placed by the arrow by the Sons of Utah Pioneers.