Saturday, January 17, 2009

Strange Things Happen Here

You've probably heard by now that a commercial airplane landed in the Hudson River pretty close to where I live. Probably less than a few miles away. Anyway, just a tip for all you who fly to and from anywhere. I read the reports of flight attendants who told passengers "head down, brace for impact." In one of the best classes I ever took in college, forensic anthropology, the instructor told us that the diagram they show of people hunched over braced for impact is not the best position to be in. She said the best thing to do is to pull your knees up to your chest and cover your head with your arms with one thumb in your mouth. This is because if you lean all the way over, more likely than not the seat in front of you will jam your skull down onto your spine and kill you instantly. The thumb part is so that you'll protect a fingerprint and it will make you easier to identify your remains afterward. She was just being pragmatic since she puts a lot of time into trying to ID people's bones after plane crashes. So now you know what to do just in case.


  1. And I suppose if North Korea drops Teh Bomb on us we're NOT supposed to hide under our desks? I think if I'm about to die in a plane crash I'm striking a wicked air guitar pose so people can go, "wow, that dude was rockin' out when he died" as opposed to "hmm, that dude was curled up in the fetal position, but at least we know who he was!"

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  3. Except in your charred state air guitar would probably be mistaken for agonizing pain and all the loved ones you left behind would feel horrible. Unless I tell them that you planned that air guitar move. Maybe it's something you should write into a will.

  4. All the people that matter are well aware of the air guitar send off.

  5. I prefer to yell at the flight attendant, "You woke me up to get into brace-for-impact position!? Couldn't you let me die in my sleep?? You heartless whore!" Thankfully, we survived.

    Also on the subject of emergency landings, I have two uncles who pilot, and I'm told that the #1 rule is that your priorities are: 1) aviate, 2) navigate, and 3) communicate. So basically, keep the plane in the air first, then figure out where it's going, then, if you've got time, let the passengers know what the deal is. Fortunately for us, that means if you're being told that you're going to have an emergency landing, no need to panic. However, if you're screaming towards the ground, the luggage compartments have all opened and dumped themselves on you, the flight attendants are strapped to their seats with terror plastered on their face, and you're close enough to the ground that you can see pedestrians...yet you haven't yet even been warned of turbulence, that is the time to wet your pants and pray to Buddha.


Recap Defined

ri•cap 1 (rē-kāp') Pronunciation Key tr.v. ri•capped, ri•cap•ping, ri•caps
1. a summary at the end that repeats the substance of a longer discussion
2. To replace a cap or caplike covering on: recapped the camera lens.
3. Ri - a female given name: derived from Adrienne.