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Chicago Air and Water Show 2011 (Or, “Why I Love Bernoulli’s Principle”)

August 23, 2011
Air and Water Show 2011

Chicago Air and Water Show 2011

I’m in love with Bernoulli’s Principle.  The man may not have invented flying, but thanks to him, whenever anyone says “I wonder what makes an airplane fly” I can answer, with confidence: “Bernoulli’s Principle.” I don’t know anything about it other than there’s something to do with force and pressure and air going over the plane’s wings. And updrafts, maybe.

Whatever it is, I’m thankful for it.

I’m also thankful for Chicago’s Air and Water show. I’ve only been going for the last few years–the first few years I lived in Chicago I never knew when it was, and only really found out because I’d be sitting on the couch some lazy summer afternoon, reading a book, when suddenly a stealth bomber would be dive-bombing Wrigley Field (and by proximity, my house). Ok, they didn’t really dive-bomb the field, but they have to go somewhere to turn around and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they fly over the field when there’s a game. I think it’s quite purposeful.

But for years I didn’t actually venture outside to watch the planes. Then slowly, gradually, I’d spend an hour or two, and finally last year the entire day down at North Avenue beach, watching the planes, the helicopters, and the people.

Oh, those crazy, sunburned people.

But for all those years I watched alone (say it with me now: “awwwwwww”). Until this year, when my sister and her friend came along. I was so excited to be able to share this even with someone. Plus it was the most glorious day, and I enjoyed spending it with people instead of just surrounded by people.

I also enjoyed it because I got to explain what keeps the planes up. (See first paragraph). And somehow I wonder why I always get labeled as the smart one. More likely it’s just that I love spewing out random factoids of knowledge in an attempt to sound uber-cool and knowledgeable.

On the other hand, neither of them knew that it was Bernoulli’s Principle. So maybe I am uber-cool and knowledgeable. Maybe.

But either way, there is nothing, I repeat Nothing, better than the feeling in your chest when a couple of Thunderbirds roar over you at Mach-whatever. It’s enough to make me realize I would date just about any man in a pilot’s uniform, just on principle.

Especially if his call sign was Maverick.

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