Today's Delightful Flight Video

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An owl swoops in on its prey, at 1000 frames per second. Here is the 15-second close-up version.
 

More dramatic full minute-long version of the owl's approach here:



Via Vurtrunner on YouTube, and Dogwork.com, and thanks to my friend EF in Tokyo. This is reminiscent of how it feels when you "flare" before landing a plane, but Oh so much more elegant. These videos also remind you that owls are cats that happen to have wings*. And that it's a good thing they are not much bigger than their real size.

On to policy soon.

*Update: And thanks to various Chinese friends for the reminder that the Chinese word for owl, maotouying, is written 猫头鹰. Which character-by-character is "cat head eagle," or more vividly "cat-faced eagle." Long before slo-mo they got the point.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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