Last one out of the Kinjaverse, turn out the lights.
Last one out of the Kinjaverse, turn out the lights.

Otters Oddities

Illustration for article titled Otters Oddities

I’m trying to think of something funny. But all I can think of is the pilot making that ‘Brrrmmmrmmrmmrnnrmmmmrrrnnrm’ sound with his lips the whole time he’s flying this plane.


Now admit just made that sound too. And it fits this plane, doesn’t it? Nod, because yes it does.

Raise your hand if you had a good weekend. I did something I don’t normally do. I did yard work. Well, I keep my trees trimmed so I can mow under them. And I, of course, mow the lawn. But other than that, I don’t really do anything. Well, Saturday was a nice day. I was up and out, I had to pick up 5 boxes pf hard wood flooring. The real kind, not the laminate. I’m doing my dining room next weekend. (I hope). And when I got done, I walked down to the mail box and got my mail. On the way back to the door, I bent down and grabbed a handful of weeds in the planters surrounding the house. They came out easy.


So, I spent the next couple of hours weeding. I’m lucky that there are perennials planted, (mostly Hostas), so I don’t have to plant anything. The last couple of springs, I didn’t do anything to the planters. After a few weeks the hostas grew over the weeds, so why bother, right? (I do not have green thumbs. I do not like to garden.) But, there were a bunch of volunteer maple trees taking root, and some thistles, and, really did look kind of crappy. So I cleaned it out.

When I was done, I thought about burning my brush pile, but it was getting a little late to start that. I should have started it before weeding, but....well.....I hadn’t really planned on doing anything except get my flooring and napping.


Ah well...I guess the combination of home ownership and no DirecTV is enough of a motivator to get up off my butt. Also it’s spring. And that always puts me in a good mood. Even though the 70’s are gone for a week. Sunday was only upper 50’s with rain. Monday and Tuesday the high will be 45-ish, and they are talking snow. It won’t hit the 60’s until next weekend at the earliest. But, I refuse to let that get me down. In fact, I’m feeling so positive, it’s time to break into song!

Six 0’clock already, I was just in the middle of a dream;

I was kissing Valentino by a crystal blue Italian stream.

But I can’t be late, ‘cause then I guess I just won’t get paid;

These are the days when you wish your bed was already made.

It’s just another Made Up Monday! (ohh-oh-oohhhh)

HAH! Even the Bangles like Made Up Mondays. I mean, they wrote a song about it and everything. They must love the fact that today is the day I tell you something and you decide if I’m making it up or if I’m telling the truth. So, let’s get started.


Airplanes. Or as our friends who can’t spell, the Europeans, call it, Aeroplanes. (do they pay big bucks for Aero Jordans, too?) Most of you know that the Wright brothers are given credit for the first powered flight, even though they weren’t the first. Why, Icarus flew using person power way back in the ancient Greek times. He was just an idiot and flew too close to the sun and melted his wings.

The first powered flight actually goes to a German man who in 1852 flew a powered dirigible. But we have to give the Wright brothers credit for flying the first airplane. Except we don’t. They weren’t the first. Just like Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile. The Wrights just get the credit.


So, who was the first, and when was it?

Remember the German who flew the dirigible in 1852? He’s just like the Wright’s. He get’s credit for something someone else did first. In his case, the person that beat him to the first powered flight is also the same person who beat the Wrights to the first airplane.


The 19th century was a magical time to live. Things were being invented left and right. Technological progress was unprecedented. Factories and machinery allowed for the mass production of cheap goods that anyone could afford. It allowed for machines that would allow one man to do the work of several. It also made farming much easier. Now a farmer could farm 10 times the amount of land alone that would have taken a dozen men to handle before.

And it was all thanks to the steam engine. Steam engines had been around for a long time. Longer than most people thing, actually. The first known example of a steam engine is from the first century CE and was built by Hero in Alexandria.


Most associate James Watt with the steam engine, but he only made improvements to engines that had been around for several years. In fact, one hundred and fifty years before James Watt, Taqi ad-Din built the first steam turbine engine in Istanbul. But let’s move on to the relevant part of the post.

In 1842 William Henson and John Stringfellow patented the design for a steam powered flying machine they called ‘The Aerial Steam Carriage’. They didn’t actually build one, though. That had to wait until 1848 when someone built one and flew it.


Now, pay attention while I repeat that;

In 1848. An airplane flew. A steam powered airplane. You know, a plane. Powered by steam?


So my friends, I realize this is a shorter than normal post. But I’ll make up for it tomorrow with a longer post. Take a moment to join in the fun and tell me what you think in the comments.

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