Saturday, August 26, 2006

Floatation Devices

One of my students asked me, "Mrs. Evans, when the airplanes hit the buildings on 9-11, why didn't the people in the airplane put on those things that let them float to the ground?"
      "Oh, parachutes? They don't have parachutes on passenger airplanes."
      "No, not parachutes. You know those things that are under the seat? You put them on like a vest and blow into a tube..."
      "Yes? What about them?"
      "Why didn't the people on the plane put those on and float down to the ground?"
      "Because floatation device means that you will float in the water, sweetie, not in the air."
Hmmm... time for a little physics lesson, I think.