WICHITA, Kan. - A general aviation industry group says airplane shipments and billings rose in the first half of 2012 amid signs of stability and growth. The new report from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association shows airplane shipments up 5.9 percent, with 918 planes delivered in the first half the year. The value of those deliveries rose 13.2 percent, to $8.2 billion.
GAMA president Pete Bunce says those figures, combined with positive trends in the used airplane market, may signal the start of the industry's recovery. But he says more work must be done to improve the efficiency of the FAA certification process.
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Playboy Interview: J.J.Abrams
Nobody in Hollywood today is as cool for somany uncool reasons as J.J. Abrams. A film and TV producer, screenwriter,director, designer, editor, composer and all-around geek god, Abrams is thebespectacled creative titan behind projects most likely to have fans sleepingoutside box-office windows in itchy space costumes.Star Trek Into Darkness, his secondbig-screen contribution to the unstoppable sci-fi franchise, arrives this monthwith a cast so young and sexy their parents barely remember the launch of theoriginal 1966 series. A sequel to the 2009 prequel set when Kirk and Spock werestill new [url=http://coachfactoryoutlet2w.webs.com/]Coach factory outlet online[/url] to the Enterprise, this one brings the crew back to Earth to confronta force as devastating as a website full of Trek plot spoilers. A third featurefilm is already planned.In the meantime, Abrams has another to-do item: reboot Star Wars. He will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first in a new series of Star Wars films to come from Lucasfilm, which Disney bought from George Lucas last year for $4.05 billion. At first the Twitterverse cried out that it was too much for one mortal to oversee [url=http://bagsoutletsonlines.com/]coach factory outlet online[/url] both galaxies, but the blowback ended fast. Having helmed Trek, Mission: Impossible III and TV sensations including Lost, Fringe, Revolution and Alias, Abrams is probably better suited than anyone to juggle both phaser and lightsaber.Jeffrey Jacob "J.J." Abrams was born June 27, 1966 in New York City but grew up on the glitzier side of Los Angeles, where both parents produced TV movies. At the age of 13, young J.J.—“Only my father’smother called me Jeffrey,” he says—first operated a Super?8 camera and bythe age of 16 earned the notice of Steven Spielberg, whose office asked Abramsto edit Super 8 movies Spielberg had made when he was a teenager. (Many yearslater they collaborated on an action adventure called Super?8.) Abramssold his first script in college and later earned his cred writing RegardingHenry and Forever Young. Felicity made Abrams a TV giant, and the script forArmageddon made him rich; they also show an unusual range and a talent forcrossing genres.Playboy Contributing Editor David Hochman, who last interviewed Fox News anchor Chris Wallace for the magazine, was the first journalist to sit down with Abrams in the aftermath of the Star Wars announcement. The two chatted all afternoon in a Santa Monica office complex as decidedly geek-forward as Abrams himself. Says Hochman, “J.J. maintains a shrine of vintage knickknacks from entertainment classics like Twilight Zone, Planet of the Apes, Close Encounters and the original Star Trek and Star Wars. I’m starting to think the J.J. Abrams collectibles might be worth even more one day.”PLAYBOY: Let’s begin with Star Trek. Howthe hell can this franchise still go where no man has gone before?ABRAMS: Well, I haven’t seen every episodeof every version of every Star Trek series, but I’m sure there are many moreplaces to go. What’s great about doing another origin story is that it’s allabout anticipating the Star Trek world we know is to come. You can play with whoSpock and Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise were before they were Spock andKirk and the crew of the Enterprise. It’s a kind of tease.PLAYBOY: Considering what a thrill ride thefirst movie was, Into Darkness sounds like a bit of a downer.ABRAMS: The first film was very much aboutthese disparate orphans coming together and starting a family. The next stephas to be about going deeper and, yes, as the title indicates, getting a littlemore intense. We’re testing these characters in ways they deserve to be tested:Kirk being cocky to a fault, Spock being so Vulcan that it raises the questionof how he can possibly be a friend or lover when he’s that unemotional.I learned so much doing the first Star Trek—amovie. I’d never done any kind of space adventure before or anything on thatscale. We knew the second one had to be bigger and not just for bigger’s sake.It was where the story was taking us. We got really cool glimpses of theEnterprise in the first movie. This time we get to see areas of the ship nobody’sseen before. And the villain is more complex now. In our first film Eric Banaplays a wonderfully angry Romulan dude, pissed off and full of vengeance. Inthis one, the bad guy is still brutal and fierce, but he’s got a much moreinteresting and active story. We have to grapple with many layers of hischaracter. He’s essentially a space terrorist, and Benedict Cumberbatch, whompeople know from BBC’s Sherlock, is fucking kickass in the role. Kirk and therest of the crew are figuring out how the hell to get an upper hand with thisguy. The darkness is real in this movie, and it’s incredibly challenging andterrifying, and it can certainly be lethal. You need that edge, partly becauseStar Trek has been so relentlessly parodied over the years.PLAYBOY: It’s hard to be a Trekkie.ABRAMS: It can be. The key in everything wedid was to embrace the spirit with which Star Trek was approached in the 1960s.So the design of the props, the locations and certainly the charactersthemselves couldn’t be mockeries or impersonations but had to be as deeply feltas Leonard Nimoy felt and applied to his interpretation of the character in histime. Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock, had to do his own version of that, justas we never wanted Chris Pine to do a Shatner parody. Audiences pick up on thatstuff. Not only are we post–Star Trek the series and movies, but we’repost–Galaxy Quest, post–Saturday Night Live spoofs. We were coming at thispost–Trek [url=http://bagsoutletsonlines.com/]coach factory outlet online[/url] satire, so we needed to be earnest in the right places and funny inthe right places or people would have made fun of us.PLAYBOY: One of the things people make funof is the sex scenes. Is there any interspecies sex?ABRAMS: Star Trek has to be sexy. That’s inkeeping with the original spirit of the series. In the 1960s they were limitedbecause of the time, but so much was insinuated. Part of the fun of our firstmovie was playing with the idea that Uhura and Spock were a couple. This movietakes that further and asks how that’s possible. Why would she be interested inthat kind of guy, and why would she put up with him? It’s obvious what he wouldlike about her. I mean, it’s fucking Zo? Saldana.And it’s always fun playing the womanizingcard with Kirk and seeing him in bed with girls who might not be completelyhuman—you know, green skin or whatever. Nobody’s going to force Kirk to be aromantic and settle down. That would feel forced and silly. Kirk’s a player. Welike him that way.We also have Alice Eve joining us; she’s anincredibly wonderful, versatile actress and definitely in the sexy category.She’s a great complement to Uhura. Hey, it wouldn’t be Star Trek if thereweren’t some [url=http://coachfactoryoutlet2w.webs.com/]Coach factory outlet[/url] hot young actors, women and men, in various moments of eitherundress or flirtation.PLAYBOY: Did Leonard Nimoy or WilliamShatner drop by the set?ABRAMS: Leonard did. I love him; he’salways a joy. The cast and crew got to applaud him and give a fraction of thethanks he deserves. He’s just an absolute gentleman. Shatner? [sighs] I haven’tspoken with him in a long time, but I did read something [url=http://coachfactoryoutlet2w.webs.com/]Coach factory outlet[/url] where he gave me afantastic underhanded compliment. Something like our movie was a fun actionride and maybe one day it’ll have heart. A great compliment only to pull therug out in a way that only Shatner can do. I adore him.PLAYBOY: It’s hard to explain the enduringlove for this franchise that has been around almost 50 years. Is it true youscreened an early cut of Into Darkness for a terminally ill Trek fan whosedying wish was to see it?ABRAMS: Yes. That was such a tragic momentand so sad. It’s incredibly touching that the stuff we happen to be working onmeans enough to people that in those extreme, ultimate moments a movie likeours would even be a consideration. But it reminds you that theseentertainments, these characters can and do touch [url=http://bagsoutletsonlines.com/]coach factory online[/url] people on the deepest level.Somehow their existence is made to make some sense or given an order they mightnot otherwise feel. You certainly don’t make movies for people who are sick orin real trouble. You just make movies. But people take these stories andcharacters to heart and believe they matter on some larger level.PLAYBOY: Nothing matters more to moviegoersthan the stories and characters from Star Wars. In your wildest, geekiestfantasies, did you ever imagine yourself helming the two biggest sci-fifranchises in the universe?ABRAMS: It is preposterous. Ridiculous.Completely insane. It really is.PLAYBOY: Star Wars and Star Trek are churchand state in Hollywood. Can you really be loyal to both? Star Trek fans criedout on Twitter that you were cheating on them.ABRAMS: I mean, I get it. The worlds arevastly different. Honestly, that was why I passed on Star Wars to begin with. Icouldn’t imagine doing both. But when I said that my loyalty was to Star Trek Iwas literally working on finishing this cut. I couldn’t even entertain anotherthought. It was like being on the most beautiful beach in the world and someonesaying, “There’s this amazing mountain over here. Come take a look.” I couldn’tbalance the two, so I passed on Star Wars. 1234Next
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PLAYBOY INTERVIEW: STEPHEN COLBERT
One of the most controversial political attack ads of the year didn’t originate with an actual candidate or political party. It came from Stephen Colbert. Or more accurately, “Stephen Colbert,” his satirical alter ego. The ad was funded by Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, a super PAC formed by Colbert as part of his “exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for [his] possible candidacy for president of the United States of South Carolina.” The super PAC ad suggested, in no uncertain terms, that presidential hopeful Mitt Romney might be a serial killer. “He’s Mitt the Ripper,” the voice-over declared. When asked about the ads by George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, Colbert (or “Colbert”) claimed ignorance. “I had nothing to do with that ad,” he said. Technically he was following to the letter the rules of super PACs, which are allowed, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling, to raise unlimited funds for attack ads without being directly connected to a campaign or candidate.“I don’t know if Mitt Romney is a serial killer,” he told Stephanopoulos. “That’s a question he’s going to have to answer.… I do not want any untrue ads on the air that could in any way be traced back to me.”It was brilliant political satire—earning Colbert a prestigious Peabody Award, his second—that crossed into the realm of performance art. Colbert mocked the system from within, using himself as a comedic straw man. Although Colbert’s main gig is behind a desk as host of Comedy Central’s faux pundit news show The Colbert Report, it wasn’t the first time he’d blurred the line between satirist and subject. Colbert has mocked President George W. Bush to his face at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration (where he called for Americans “to stop eating fruits and vegetables”) and co-hosted with The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart a political rally on the National Mall that attracted an estimated 215,000 participants.Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Colbert [url=http://cheapcoachfactorybackpacks2i.webs.com/]coach backpacks[/url] was the youngest of 11 kids. He had a happy childhood, at least for the first decade of his life. But in 1974, when he was 10 years old, his father, Dr. James Colbert, and his two brothers closest [url=http://cheapcoachfactorybackpacks2i.webs.com/]cheap coach factory backpacks[/url] to him in age—Peter, 15, and Paul, 18—were killed in an airliner crash. Colbert found solace in science fiction and acting. He ended up in Chicago, studying theater at Northwestern University and joining the Second City comedy theater. He was hired as a correspondent and writer by The Daily Show in 1997, where he stayed for nine years before the network offered him The Colbert Report. Within a year, Colbert was averaging 1.5 million viewers a night. In April he was named one [url=http://www.ccoachfactoryoutlets.com/]coach factory outlet[/url] of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.The 48-year-old comedian has two best-selling books, I Am America (and So Can You!) and the children’s book I Am a Pole (and So Can You!), and a new book, America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t. He enjoys a quiet home life in Montclair, New Jersey with his wife, Evelyn—an actress he met in 1990—and their three children, Madeline, Peter and John.We sent writer Eric Spitznagel, who last interviewed Charlie Sheen for PLAYBOY, to talk with Colbert. He reports: “I met Colbert at his studio office in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. I’d actually met him before, back in 1992, when I was a newly minted box-office employee at Second City in Chicago and he was in his final months performing with the main-stage cast. As we talked, Colbert sat behind his desk, his most recent Peabody in front of him, and outside the open window behind him an American flag fluttered in the breeze, perfectly positioned [url=http://www.ccoachfactoryoutlets.com/]coach factory[/url] over his right shoulder in a way even his fictional doppelg?nger couldn’t hope to choreograph.”PLAYBOY: When people meet you for the first time, which version do they want, Stephen Colbert or “Stephen Colbert”?COLBERT: I think they always want to meet the guy who’s going to show up and tell jokes. But if I’m asked to do something that isn’t specifically a performance, then I have to be very specific that he’s never going to show up.PLAYBOY: “He” being the other Stephen?COLBERT: That’s right. If I’m doing a talk show or an interview like this, or pretty much anything where I can’t control the context, I’m loath to do the character.PLAYBOY: Why?COLBERT: Because outside the context of the show, you have to be okay with the clang of him against reality.PLAYBOY: But isn’t that what makes him funny?COLBERT: Yeah, but that doesn’t always work in a different context. We create our own reality on the show. I’m in a cocoon of the character’s creation. Even within that reality, he’s in a cocoon. Unless I’m doing something like the Correspondents’ Dinner, testifying before Congress, doing the rally or something where I’m purposively injecting myself into a story, there’s no benefit to pushing him up against reality. While I’m an improviser and enjoy discovery, the show follows a script. I have a pretty good idea what’s going to happen. It’s a very crafted, controlled environment.PLAYBOY: You can’t control what happens with the guests, can you? They’re not following a script.COLBERT: No, but they’ve all been warned. I tell everybody the same thing: “I do the show in character, and he’s an idiot.”PLAYBOY: Is that still necessary? Do people come on The Colbert Report and not know what to expect?COLBERT: It’s usually someone from another country or from a rigorous academic discipline who doesn’t have a lot of time for TV. Mostly I tell them because it’s a ritual for me. I have to remind myself what I’m about to do, because I rarely hit it as hard as I used to.PLAYBOY: Why not?COLBERT: It’s hard to remember. Often I’m just very interested in what my guests have to say. You have to be vigilant to stay ignorant.PLAYBOY: Your guests have to be willing to play along too.COLBERT: They do, yes. That’s what I tell them before the show. I tell them, “He’s willfully ignorant of what you know and care about. Honestly disabuse him of his ignorance and we’ll have a good time.” The important thing in that sentence is [speaks slowly] “honestly disabuse him of his ignorance.” Actually tell him why he’s wrong. Hopefully that makes it easier for the guest. All they have to do, as my guest producer Emily Lazar says, is talk to him as though he’s a harmless drunk at the next bar stool.PLAYBOY: That can still be intimidating. You’re essentially asking them to walk into an argument.COLBERT: Yeah, but it’s an argument with an idiot. Some people perceive me as an assassin or at least someone who can slip under your guard with a knife. But if you watch what I do, that’s almost never the case. I’m just trying to keep the balloon in the air. It rarely turns into anything combative. It’s mostly just silly, or it’s my character expressing his ignorance on a difficult or not-at-all difficult subject. It’s an opportunity to knock down common ignorances. And I would pray that guests do that.PLAYBOY: Democratic Virginia congressman Jim Moran compared doing your show to “consensual rape.” Does that seem about right?COLBERT: I wouldn’t put that on my business card, nor would I make it my campaign slogan if I were Jim Moran. I suppose the consensual part was him being unbelievably playful. He was up for anything, even after I called him a poor man’s Ted Kennedy.PLAYBOY: If people think you’re an assassin or that being on the show is like rape, why do they do it? What’s the benefit for them?COLBERT: I don’t know. Maybe they have a book to sell. I hope that perception is starting to change. I think politicians are the only ones who are wary about us. That’s why we get almost no conservatives anymore. Even conservative pundits are hard to come by, which is too bad. 12345Next