Adler Berriman Seal’s grave marker is adorned with an airplane and a cross. The airplane quite fitting for the pilot and the cross a questionable addition to some.
It’s the description of a rebel adventure. The likes of whom in previous days made America great would likely enrage others. Why are there such strong emotion surroundings??
This man was born in July of 1939 and killed in February of 1986, who only lived to be 46. His life from birth to death was nothing but unique. Though christened Adler Berryman Seal when brought into the world on July 19th of 1939, all who knew him called him Berry.
Growing up, he was described as fun, wild and at times mischievous like many other young boys. But, he wasn’t raised by just any family. Some sources claim that not only was his father Benjamin Curtis Seal, a candy salesman. But, he was also a supporting member of a white supremacist group; the Ku Klux Clan; wild Clan membership peaked to an astonishing 4 million in the 1920s. The movement had lost steam with the Great Depression of the 30s and fell apart completely a few years after Barry’s birth.
It was not rekindled until later on in the civil rights era. However, the senior seals bigotry seemingly endured despite the lack of public support and remained unwavering. One can only guess the things Barry was subjected to, as a consequence while a young man growing up. Fortunately, Barry made a name for himself early on.
Not as a racist, but as a remarkably gifted pilot, he first manned an aircraft in solo flight at the tender age of 15. After just eight hours of practice, by 16 ,he was a fully licensed pilot while others his age might work on a paper route or beg groceries at a store.
Barry spent his time towing advertisements across the sky, to earn some extra cash and he knew just what to spend it on. He allegedly landed a plane on his high school football field in order to impress a girl and take her out on a date. As he grew older, Barry put his many talents to use in much more practical ways. He joined the Louisiana Army National Guard in 1961 and served as a member of the 20th special forces group for several years.
After doing his part for the country, he worked as an engineer for Transworld Airlines. However, his in-flight talents quickly became evident and soon elevated him to the position of command pilot. Once again, he was one of the youngest people to make it this far and operate his own Boeing 7070. However, the promising start in life was soon to take a turn for the worse.
Berry became injured on the job in 1972 and began to engage in some dubious activities. During his time on medical leave, he started to fly explosives to Cuba for a friend affiliated with the mob. Though Berry was led to believe they were for use in the battle against Fidel Castro, this was not the case. Himself and others were arrested. But, when witnesses for the prosecution could not testify, the case was ruled a mistrial. While not enough to derail his life as a jail sentence would, the scandal resulted in him losing his job as a Trans World Airlines pilot facing unemployment.
He sought a paycheck elsewhere in much darker places based on information provided by his wife. It was in 1975 that he turned the corner from making a good honest living to profiting exclusively off crime. It was just four years after Nixon declared drug abuse, America’s public enemy that berry began smuggling the stuff across the country’s borders. He began with stashes of weed, then bridged over to pills and finally to cocaine.
This helped him develop some rather unsavory connections and brought him into close contact with the Medellín cartel. Eventually, he was transporting mass shipments of drugs on behalf of Pablo Escobar; its leader. Escobar and his crew had quite a reputation already at this point. But, they were busy making it worse.
They were behind the Medellín massacre that took place that same year and left 40 dead as retaliation for the seizure of their drugs by Colombian authorities. They also had a habit of referring to Barry as El Gordo which means the fat man. However, Barry began a partnership with the nefarious criminals. Nonetheless, becoming an even greater one himself in the process after hooking up with a cartel, he began to unload his cargo in sparsely populated areas of West Arkansas instead of Louisiana, the place he was most familiar with and called home.
This was a much safer destination especially considering how Barry would fling duffle bags of drugs from his plane to be snatched up by his waiting below. For years, he made mega bucks off this arrangement and accumulated a stash in the millions until one day, when a shipment was intercepted on route to Fort Lauderdale Florida.
Just like that, his days of profiteering off the drug trade were over. Unfortunately, by that point on calculable damage had already been done upon being apprehended. Berry admitted that he had flown drugs into America more than 100 times carrying between 6000 and 1,200 pounds of cocaine a trip. This amounted to billions of dollars worth of illicit substances and most assuredly resulted in the death of countless American citizens. Not to mention, the destruction of their families in a tragic ripple effect throughout society upon being sold off at their final destination.
As a consequence of his actions, Berry was indicted in 1983. Yet, he somehow only handed a meager 10-year sentence. However, to him, a man who liked to live life on the edge and engage in thrill after thrill, even this was too much. He tried on several occasions to offer his services to the FBI and operate as an informant in order to escape.
During the time, the FBI wasn’t interested in making a deal. However, not wanting to give up easily Berry flew to the DC office of the Vice president of the Drug Task Force. He was redirected to the Drug Enforcement Administration which at the time had only been around for about a decade.
It was there that his proposal was accepted. Berry became part of an operation backed by the Reagan administration. However, they had ulterior motives of their own. Beyond simply bringing drug smugglers to justice, Reagan and his associates wanted to have the Contras militia in power in Nicaragua. However, the US was in a bit of a pickle as Contras were renowned for various human rights violations. In other words, they could not be backed without a reason and it had to be a good one.
Berry claimed to be able to give them this. Apparently, the Sandinistas were working together with the Medellín cartel in the drug smuggling business and he could provide proof. Berry held up his side of the bargain landing in Nicaragua. The CIA’s cameras on his plane captured images of the medellín cartel and its leader loading cocaine with the soldiers’ assistance. Perhaps, wanting to give yet further importance to the mission, Berry later claimed that an associate of a Nicaraguan official was present as well.
While this was questioned by some reporters, others believed this as well as everything else. Berry would come to wish they had it. The Washington Times soon published a story in which they described his trip and called him out by name. It was pretty clear from the piece that he had been working for the US government to disclose the underhanded dealings between the sandanista officials and the cartel. The timing could not have been worse as it also brought Berry’s usefulness to an end.He originally intended to stage a celebration with Escobar and other key players after successfully flying the cocaine to the States.
However this would work as a cover as the men would be surprised and arrested. With his cover blown, this was no longer possible. The DEA assignment to no more missions and while Barry was somewhat safer by remaining in the states, he also no longer had the DEA’s protection. The Medellín cartel was not without the funds to go after him in America. Yet, it would turn out that his own government at least initially got to him first. The FBI came after Berry. The DEA cut him loose and he had returned to his home in Louisiana while he was ultimately given only six months of supervised probation. It was in essence a sentence of death.
He was mandated to be on a Salvation Army halfway house each and every day for 12-hour shifts to comply with the circumstances of his parole. In other words, anyone in everyone knew where he would be between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on a daily basis. Unsurprisingly, it was just outside of the Salvation Army building that Berry was murdered, while his friend watched in horror from the nearby Belmont hotel. It was February 19th of 1986.
According to this friend, Jim, killers approached Barry’s car from both sides while each carried machine-guns. Only one shot, his weapon Barry anticipated what was soon to take place and put his head down before the shots were fired. While definitely not without his bolts, many claimed that the way Barry’s life ended was reprehensible. They believed that was a disgrace that a man who put his own safety on the line while working for the country was essentially left out in the open at a time when he was most vulnerable due to betrayal though he had allegedly refused witness protection.
Many claimed that in his own best interests, he should have been forced to accept some sort of a defense. Fortunately, those who killed him answered for their crime. Assassins linked to the Medellín cartel were later found trying to flee to Louisiana and they were convicted of murder and sentenced to live out the rest of their lives behind bars. However, some believed that the way things panned out, was just all too convenient. Some believe it was the CIA, not the cartel who orchestrated the events surrounding Berry’s death.
It was rather nice that Regan could use the photographs from Berry’s secret mission once his cover was blown, to gain public support for conference control. However, he may have just been taking advantage of an opportunity that had in essence fallen into his lap.
It’s been an exciting few years for cameras. A few major shakeups have changed the landscape of professional photography and we, the consumers get to reap the benefits. The biggest shift has been the rise of the high-end mirrorless camera and particularly fantastic new cameras from brands like Sony and Fuji.
During this past year, Sony became the biggest seller of full-frame cameras entirely on the strength of its mirrorless designs. This spurred Canon and Nikon to jump into the mirrorless ring with their Z and e OS r lines launching. This last fall mirrorless cameras have become a big part of the market. But, they haven’t replaced SLRs; the camera style that’s been king for nearly a hundred years.
So what exactly makes a camera mirrorless and why would you pick one style over another?
First off, let’s define some terms. SLR stands for single lens reflex and the reflex here has to do with reflections. In a reflex camera, light from the lens is reflected off a mirror, into the viewfinder; an early design- the twin-lens reflex invented in the 1880s and popularized by Rolleiflex in 1927 had a dedicated lens for the viewfinder and a second lens that was actually used. To take the picture, the challenge with these cameras along with other styles like rangefinder and point-and-shoot film cameras is that because your viewfinder is offset. From the lens, what you see doesn’t exactly line up what the camera sees. The framing of your photos will be a little bit different than how they looked through the viewfinder.
SLRs fixed this by linking the viewfinder directly to the lens. In an SLR, light enters the lens, bounces off a mirror and then into a prism, that redirects the light into your eye. Because of this, what you see will line up exactly with the photo you’re taking. But, this introduces its own challenges, because now there’s a great big mirror in the way behind the lens. To deal with this, in an SLR a spring flips the mirror upwards and out of the way, before the shutter triggers and records the photo. It then snaps the mirror back into place. These mechanisms have to move extremely quickly and be robust enough to survive hundreds of thousands of photos.
DSLRs have a lot of mechanical complexity. But, they work well enough. As cameras switched from film to digital sensors, the mir system survived. Nearly unchanged, still having a mirror does have a few drawbacks because the mirror has to get out of your way. In an SLR, your image through the viewfinder momentarily goes black whenever you press the shutter. It can also be noisy and the mirror assembly itself is fairly bulky, taking up a lot of space and making SLR larger than many other styles of cameras.
By contrast, a mirrorless camera doesn’t have a mirror. Light passes through the lens and falls directly onto the sensor; technically digital .Pointless shoots going back to cameras from Kodak, Rico and Epson. In the 90s, they were mirrorless as our pocket cameras, like the Nikon cool picks or Sony cybershot. These days, however, when someone refers to a mirrorless camera, they usually mean a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera. One result of not having a mirror is that you can’t look directly through the lens.
You have to rely on digital view finders. This is essentially a video preview from the sensor displayed on screen. Now these have gotten a lot better. But, they used to be pretty low resolution or have bad delay between the real world and what’s on your screen because your viewfinder is a so-called live view. Straight from the sensor, you see what the camera sees. So, you don’t need to worry that your view will be different from the final shot. This ends up being pretty similar to how dslr’s work. Autofocus is a different story, though how autofocus works is one of the biggest differences between DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
In the past, good autofocus has actually relied on having a mirror and DSLRs ability to focus on quick moving objects is pretty incredible. It’s the reason that sports photographers have been willing to pay more than $6,000 for a Nikon d-4s or Canon 1dx. These cameras usually had two auto focus systems; contrast & detect, which is available on most cameras and phase detect which enabled that super quick focus on moving subjects. Face detect autofocus actually relies on a second smaller mirror reflecting some of the light down into a dedicated autofocus sensor at the bottom of the camera.
Crucially a phase detector system, tells the camera which direction to focus. Closer are farther away and it’s also pretty good at tracking foreground objects. However, it’s because the autofocus assembly is separate from the sensor a DSLR never sees what it’s focusing on. So, it can’t adapt to different scenes. Also, if the mirrors flipped up while using live view or recording the movie, the camera can’t reflect light onto that focus sensor and instead has to rely on a second system. This is the contrast-detect autofocus which analyzes the image from the sensor itself. The camera then moves folk backwards and forwards and calculates which direction yields higher contrast, which means a sharper image will keep focusing one direction until the image starts to defocus and then, reverse until it settles on the highest.
Contrast image is actually potentially more accurate than phase detect because it’s analyzing the actual image on the sensor itself but it’s much slower and it can lead to a distracting, hunting behavior where the focus wobbles in and out because they rely on contrast-detect focus. When the mirror is flipped up, most DSLRs have poor autofocus. When shooting video, it tends to be slow and the constant hunting in and out of focus can ruin shots. So, what about mirrorless cameras. Without a mirror or dedicated focus sensor, early mirrorless models were stuck with that same slow contrast detect auto focus. Around 2010 though, the first so-called hybrid autofocus systems were appearing. Starting with the Fujifilm F 300 X, are a compact point-and-shoot. These used a form of phase detect autofocus, built into the sensor itself. This quickly spread to Fuji’s higher and X line of mirrorless cameras.
A similar system was adopted by Sony for its alpha cameras in 2013. These on the sensor phase detect autofocus systems are usually slower and less accurate than the dedicated sensors in the DSLR. But, they use a really clever trick in a hybrid system, the bulk of the focusing is still done with contrast. But, it uses the phase detector system to know which direction to focus eliminating that back and forth hunting behavior.
These systems can also be used when shooting video and these days high-end mirrorless cameras can focus as well. If not, better than most DSLRs, the search and people using mirrorless and DSLR cameras for video, has actually led to an autofocus revolution because of their big sensors and inexpensive lenses starting with Canon’s 5d Mark ii. DSLRs were more and more becoming tools for video as well as photography. But, slow contrast detect autofocus meant video producers generally had to rely on manual focus. Is frustrated a lot of people and as DSLR video got popular, companies saw an opening, and developed new focus systems that worked around past limitations.
Canon actually ditched contrast focus entirely and developed a system called dual pixel autofocus, which premiered on the 70d DSLR and essentially turns every pixel into a tiny phase detect sensor. It’s now using that same system on its iOS. Panasonic created a system called depth from the focus for its gh4; a mirrorless camera that quickly became popular with video producers. Depth from D focus is a purely contrast based system and uses stored data of how various lenses distort light to know which direction to focus. This system is blazingly fast, though it only really works with Panasonic’s own lenses.
Still Panasonic claims its g9 mirrorless can use the system to lock focus; quicker than any other camera hybrid autofocus will. It really took off around 2013 though with Sony’s a7 series and it’s had an interesting side benefit. Computation based focused mode, remember DSLR phase detect systems analyze the character of incoming light but not the content. The camera can’t actually see what it’s focusing on. Sensor systems like hyper autofocus can use processing to interpret what’s actually in the scene, enabling things like eye tracking or face detect autofocus. These are potentially game-changing developments, that can greatly improve focus accuracy. After decades of cameras relying on two well-established systems, we are suddenly at a point where brands are experimenting with new and potentially, revolutionary ways to improve autofocus and mirrorless cameras are leading the way. There’s one other area we’re seeing.
Mirrorless cameras differentiate themselves from DSLRs and that’s stabilization. Mirrorless cameras are starting to make in-body stabilization the default for photography and video. Now, this is a system where the sensor actually shifts and moves to compensate for vibration, yielding sharper photos and smoother video lens based stabilization, where the individual glass elements of a lens are shifted. It has been around since Nikon introduced it in 1994. It is quite good but, it has drawbacks. Mostly, it’s expensive. You essentially pay for it with each lens you buy.
Universities are a business like any other: they have revenues, expenses and a product. Like most companies, one of their most valuable assets is reputation: yearly rankings are the first thing parents look at and their interest usually stops there. Naturally, this results in cutthroat competition between universities: to rank higher each year by obtaining better faculty and larger facilities.
This arms race is one of the reasons why universities have become so expensive, but it is far from being the only one. The assembly line of the modern American probably looks familiar: a tedious grind from kindergarten to twelfth grade, likely followed by an undergraduate degree. As this percentage increases, the line between higher education and k-12 becomes thinner and thinner.
It has already ceased to exist in the minds of most middle-class parents, who start saving for their children’s college before they’ve even learned to walk. It’s gotten to the point where teenagers are expected to know which university they’re going to go to and to earn college credits long before they’ve even decided what they’ll be majoring in.
Of course, people’s faith in higher education is well founded: on average, people with a bachelor’s degree earn a million dollars more over the course of their lifetime than their high school diploma counterparts. Averages, however, can be misleading. If you look, instead, at the median wage of graduates based on their major, you’ll see that not every degree was created equal.
If you look at things on a macro scale, the situation looks even worse: tuition doubles every nine years, youth underemployment is close to 50% and student debt in the US is larger than the GDP of Australia. The real winners here are universities, whose revenues have risen by 56% between 2009 and 2014.
But, how did we even get to the point where everyone is supposed to go to college? It wasn’t always like this. In fact, this ‘college is for everyone’ mantra is a very recent development. Universities have been around for millennia, but back then only a select few could join them.
Prior to the 18th century, the vast majority of people were farmers, and they didn’t really need a degree in theology to till the fields. Once the Industrial Revolution came around, agriculture was replaced by manufacturing, but again: no higher education required. When World War 2 ended in 1945 manufacturing and services made up about an equal share of the US economy, but ever since then the industrial base of America has steadily declined. Today, the US is a service economy, with almost 80% of its GDP coming from that sector, and that’s why universities took off.
If you look at the rate of enrollment, you’ll see that it neatly coincides with the rise of services.
That’s where the highest paying jobs were, and Americans were quick to jump onboard. In the span of just a few decades, the number of enrolled students quadrupled, and universities cashed in on that big time. Once they saw just how much money they could make by admitting as many student as possible, universities started one-upping each other to stay on top. For private universities, which make 80% of their revenues from tuition, this meant investing in amenities.
Nice dorms, gyms, stadiums; anything that would keep them ahead, and to get the money to build them, universities had to raise their tuition.
To maintain graduation rates despite admitting more and more below-average students, universities have had to artificially pump their grades up. They couldn’t let actual academics get in the way of their profits now, could they? Back in the 1940s, only 15% of students got As, but today it is the most common grade across the country.
All those extra students mean more administrative work, which has actually become one of the biggest chunks of university spending. To maintain their income, universities have had to increase their tuition, which they’ve done as much as they’ve been able to. But, people can only pay so much tuition, so what do you do after you’ve bled them dry?
You get them to borrow more money, and who better to borrow from than the ultimate lender, the government? Starting with the GI Bill from 1944, Civilian loans got underway shortly after, and since then student loan debt has become second largest form of consumer debt, ahead of auto loans and credit cards.
Today, student loans amount to $1.4 trillion of debt, 92% of which is in the hands of the government.
If you’re thinking “Hmm, doesn’t this sound familiar?” you’d be right. And, if you weren’t thinking that, it’s probably cause you’re a dirty millennial. But really, the student loan bubble is eerily reminiscent of what happened back in 2008 with the housing market crash, and the worst thing is that nobody’s doing anything about it.
No university is going to start firing staff and tearing down stadiums, and that means that the bubble is only going to get larger. As of right now, the average university graduate takes on over 37,000 dollars of debt, which they’re going to be repaying over the course of 20 years. And, all of that just to have a 50/50 shot of getting a job below their qualifications.
It’s pretty clear that higher education reform is sorely needed, and until that happens, things are only going to get worse. The good news is that community colleges have become a lot more attractive lately, and so too have online courses. In fact, the rise of online freelancing has made careers without a degree entirely possible. As long as you can do the work, nobody cares whether you’ve got some expensive piece of toilet paper vouching for you. The Internet is full of places where you can learn a vast array of skills without going into lifelong debt.
Think wisely and decide on your investment in higher education!! Question yourself about its value!!
There are approximately 2,043 billionaires worldwide, with a lot of countries having at least one billionaire.
China is home to the most billionaires in the world at 647 people, and the surprising thing is many of these people have amassed their fortunes in a relatively short amount of time.
The U.S. is second on the list with 550 billionaires, and way behind in the low hundreds is Germanyand India, followed by Russia at 96. There are also many countries that have no billionaires, but they obviously have a richest person.
We’ll start with Belgium, and the accolade goes to Albert Baron Frère, a 92-year-old businessman that started off in the steel business and later invested in a whole host of industries. His worth is currently $6.3 billion.
Over in France, the richest person is Bernard Arnault. The 68-year old’s accumulated wealth at a staggering $73.3 billion. He made his money in luxury goods, which seems like a very frenchy way to get rich.
Next up, South Africa, and the award goes to 72-year old Nicholas F. Oppenheimer. He made most of his money in precious stones, as the former Chairman of De Beers diamond mining company and also the Diamond Trading Company. According to Forbes, he is worth $7.7 billion.
He’s not the richest person on the continent of Africa, though. That title goes to Nigerian Aliko Dangote, a cement and commodities king worth $12.2 billion.
Over to Asia and Pakistan. This isn’t an easy one and many sources give very different answers. This might be because big business in the country is often shared by entire families. Is it Malik Riaz, with a net worth of $2 billion, or is it Shahid Khan, who owns an American football and a British soccer team. He’s actually now an American citizen, though, but said to be the richest person of Pakistani origin and now worth around $8.7 billion.
Hopefully Finland will be less confusing.It seems the accolade goes to Antti Herlin, a 61-year old who made a lot of his $4.6 billion in elevators and escalators, but also maintenance and manufacturing.
Now, the United Arab Emirates and the richest man there is Majid Al Futtaim and is said to be the richest person in the Middle East with a net worth of $10.9 billion. But, that source was probably wrong as it seems Saudi Arabia’s Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud has a worth of $25.5 billion. Mr. Majid made his cash with the Majid Al Futtaim Group, which builds some really impressive malls around the world.
Far away in Denmark, the richest person is 70-year old Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, a person who holds a place in all of our hearts because he is part of the family that created Lego. He’s said to be worth $23.6 billion now, thanks to those little colourful plastic bricks.
Across the world in New Zealand the richest geezer we could find is Graeme Richard Hart, a man who is a whizz at buying companies in trouble and making them very profitable. The 62-year old left school at 16 and became a panel beater.He’s now worth around 9.5 billion dollars.
Growing rich is easy!! Staying rich is difficult!! So, get inspired by the above rich people and try staying rich and making others rich!!