Discover more from The Matt Jankowski Club
A commemorative stamp to commemorate the first time a commemorative stamp was issued
The canonical order for a parade is to put the parade leader first in line
When I first heard the term “fly by wire” in reference to flying airplanes, my initial reaction was that it seemed like connecting a wire to your plane and using it to fly the plane would severely limit the range of your airplane. I was picturing something sort of like the toy remote controlled cars which are not radio-controlled, but which have a wire between the controller and the car, thus limiting the range of the car to roughly one wire length away from the controller.
As it turns out, what fly-by-wire actually means is that the various components of the plane — flaps, wings, ailerons, spoilers, slats, stabilizers, rudders, the food cart, the overhead bins, fuselage, landing gear, cockpit, in-flight entertainment, etc — are all controlled by electrical signal by the aviators instead of by direct mechanical control. I think an analogy hear is power steering in cars … instead of having a 1:1 mechanical force mapping of the driving turning the steering wheel and the tires on the car turning, there is some sort of hydraulic force multiplier piece in the middle there such that you can get more turning radius per muscle energy.
I think one other benefit of fly by wire is that you can also give the plane “goals” instead of instructions. Like you can say “go over that mountain” and then have the plane translate that into actual movements of the flaps and beverage cart or whatever is needed.
Anyway I think a cool experiment for someone would be to try out even more variations of flying by wire! In one scenario maybe instead of electrical signals you could keep the same general mapping of the wires, but use the sort of ropes and strings that a marionette controller might use to guide their puppet in a performance. Another cool one could be like a “sky hook” sort of technology where the plane would be suspended by a wire from an even-higher up plane. And what is keeping that higher plane up in the air … you guessed it, another wire attached to a higher plane. In a third example you could have a guy make a suit out of wires and shape them into wings or something and try to actually fly around with the wires.
Lots of options on this one. Ripe for disruption.
Bubbling up versus simmering down?!
Whenever a guy says something like “oh hey, I heard you were in my old stomping grounds the other day?!” and then tries to talk to you about the neighborhood part of me is like “ok yeah this guy just wants to talk about the place he lived in his mid 20s and reminisce about the time he lived there”, but another part of me wants to sit him down in a “hot seat” and grill him as to how many places in that neighborhood he literally STOMPED ON while he was living there, and wether that’s sufficient stomping to refer to the area as his old stomping grounds.
Here’s a future-proofing piece of advice for anyone still in their early or mid 20s … wherever you are living right now, if it’s a place where you go out to bars and restaurants and coffee places and meet other single people and get up to all sorts of antics — you should make a point of going out one day and literally stomping all around the neighborhoods in question. This way, decades from now when you in turn are telling some youngsters about the place you used to live and one of them has the gall to question whether you literally stomped there, you can be like “Ha! I prepared for just this moment!” and you can confirm that you did in fact stomp on the grounds.