wiss adventurer Yves Rossy has become the first person to fly solo across the English Channel using a single jet-propelled wing. In May, Rossy had used his custom-built invention to soar briefly above the Alps; this time, strapped into the wing, he jumped out of a plane over Calais in France, ignited his four kerosene-fueled turbines, and zoomed off, using his body as a fuselage and steering by leaning and tilting his head. Less than 10 minutes later, traveling at speeds up to 100 mph, the former military pilot arrived in Dover in England. Rossy said he felt like a bird, not a pilot. “The feeling, it’s great. You don’t steer it, you fly and you only fly with your body. It is something almost overwhelming.”
Since 1911, customers at what was once Wanamaker’s department store in Philadelphia have enjoyed the booming sound of its famous 28,482-pipe organ, said to be the world’s biggest playable instrument. Over the decades, the organ became increasingly neglected; in the mid-1990s, only about 20 percent of its pipes were working. But following massive repairs, it is fully functional again. At a concert last week to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Macy’s, which now owns Wanamaker’s, Peter Richard Conte played the newly restored organ, backed by the Philadelphia Orchestra. To master its six keyboards, he said, “You have to have many arms, many hands, and many brains.”
Last week, Jay Getman noticed a mangy, lonely looking golden retriever shivering outside the travel agency where he works in St. Petersburg, Fla. He cleaned up the dog, fed him, and took him to a local vet. Scanning the dog for an embedded microchip, the doctor found that he belonged to Elizabeth Carter of Atlanta. “Pepper” had run away nine months ago, while Carter and her family were on vacation, and somehow traveled hundreds of miles. Carter immediately drove from Atlanta to reclaim her pet. “She was blown away,” Getman said. “She couldn’t believe it.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
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