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"Nobody Knows!..."

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952560.  Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:54 pm Reply with quote

What a great site........not to mention a super television programme.

I do think, though, that "nobody knows" is sometimes contrived.

We cannot get the show on TV, so have been catching up on YouTube.

Not sure which series it was, but do remember Stephen telling his guests
that nobody knows exactly why airplanes fly....

Sorry, Stephen, but the principles of airplane flight are well known in
minute detail, and have been well established in theory and practice, lo,
these many decades...I could quote you chapter & verse, but that would
definitely not be Quite Interesting.

Thanks for a great show, even though I'm years out of date.


952563.  Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:31 pm Reply with quote

Thanks Shaun and welcome to the forums :-)

952567.  Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:02 pm Reply with quote

I seem to remember this link was bandied around a few years back as a back up:

The point seems to be that there are various theories to explain flight, but none of them fit all examples, so it falls into the "we don't really know how the whole thing works in one theory".

952568.  Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:06 pm Reply with quote

Personally, I think it is actually magic.

952579.  Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:59 am Reply with quote

I think it's just that there's multiple causes (including magic) - and it's not as tidy as some would like.

But the fact we rely on wind-tunnels, or particle models and perturbation - then there are probably quite a few unknowns out there.

Let alone the lowly bumblebee...

952703.  Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:20 am Reply with quote

Shaun wrote:
why airplanes fly....
Two possibilities:

To enable people to travel from one place to another

To enable people to transport freight from one place to another


952766.  Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:41 pm Reply with quote

O Nash wrote:
God in his wisdom made the fly.
And then forgot to tell us why.

955628.  Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:04 pm Reply with quote

I seem to recall Al Murray putting forward the argument that God once picked up an experimental aircraft to prevent it hitting the ground, and was from that point forward forced to keep doing so, lest anyone notice the anomalous behaviour of the first aircraft. Now apparently He doesn't have time to answer prayers because He's too busy desperately juggling 747s above Heathrow Airport...

955698.  Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:43 pm Reply with quote

Ha - I like that thought!

995219.  Thu May 09, 2013 5:28 pm Reply with quote

It can't be magic, because I have a (admittitedly very foggy) memory of Mr Weasley asking Harry how airplanes stay up. No, I'm not confusing it with the rubber duck question. Althought that is a good question, too...

Mr Red
1215674.  Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:53 am Reply with quote

Like a lot of "nobody knows" - having a theory/algorithm allows (with say flying) a computer simulation to predict success or failure to within centimetres or even mm, is IMNSHO so far from nobody knows.

It is like claiming we don't know how far the moon is from earth because a) quantum b) eccentricity c) Heisenberg e) wizards
We landed on the moon, how "not knowing" is that?

But it ain't as funny, that's fer sure.

1215735.  Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:09 pm Reply with quote

On a point of pedantry. I don't know exactly how far it is from my house to the end of Southend Pier. I can still get there.


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