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Cat in a box

So, I’ve been flying a bunch again lately, and at times I’m struck with the state of suspension that is a plane in the air. Yeah, statistics and all show that we’re safer flying than driving, blah, blah, blah. But I came across footage of a DC-10 crash back in the 80s. The plane had a turbine explode in-flight, severing the rudder controls and bleeding the hydraulic system dry. The pilots did a yeoman’s job, driving the plane with control from the two engines on the wings only, and actually flying an approach that way. Amazing.

Still, though, the couple of hundred folks on that flight were in a superposition from the time the plane left the gate until the time the plane suffered massive structural failure induced by ground impact, just like the rest of us are from the time the door goes closed and cell phone traffic ceases until the time we jostle with the jerk in the seats across the aisle who just stands there and farts.

Certainly, there’s distraction there, ipods and whatnot, but there’s a little something in the pit of my stomach every time I get on a plane. What I wouldn’t give for an honest-to-god Transporter, where it’s a bunch of digitized sound, and you’re either where you’re heading, turned inside-out due to a software glitch, or in a bad ’80s movie with your DNA merged with that of a fly.

Still, the view from the air can be stunning.

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