I’m so tired that I’m nauseous. I haven’t slept anywhere that wasn’t in a plane or an airport in days.
I’m lazy, so I’ll just paste an old column in after the jump. It’s about farting on airplanes. You know you do it. Go read it.
The Air Up There
By Kelsey Timmerman
The average homo sapien sapien flatulates a half-liter of gas per day, dispersed over 14 individual periods of relief.
A flight to Hawaii takes approximately half a day.
A 747 seats around 400 passengers.
As pressure decreases, say, as when a plane ascends, gas expands.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
And people wonder why there are no more smoking flights.
Smoking flights were available until a flight from Germany full of gaseous Krauts exploded somewhere over Eastern China. The wreckage of the flight was never found, but eye witnesses claimed to have seen a giant green flash accompanied by a horrifying stench.
If only there is someway that we could harness this untouched, mid-air resource. It could be some kind of reserve for low fuel situations. They could call it the Fully-functional Air Reserve Tank. Air would be circulated and filtered to separate the high-octane human methane from the normal, dreadful air naturally occurring in planes.
So with a rough sketch of stick figures sitting on a plane with clothes pins on their noses, and dreams of millions gained from the worldwide popularity of “Kelsey’s F.A.R.T device,” I decided to do some actual research on the state of the air up there.
After further investigation into the flight from Germany that exploded over Eastern China, I have concluded that I made up the whole thing. There was no flight, no smelly Krauts, and no giant green flash. As it turns out there are no longer any smoking flights because smoking causes sore eyes and throats, excessive hacking of phlegm, fire, cancer, and death.
In most airplanes, the cabin air is changed 15 to 20 times an hour and circulated through High Efficiency Particulate Air filters known by the, far less exciting, acronym HEPA. This system filters out any excess human exhaust, which I theorize is released into the surrounding atmosphere and freezes to form the white trail traced by planes across the sky. I’d like to challenge any scientists to prove me wrong on my white trail theory: Does a plane with no people on it still leave a white trail? Ponder this today during your daily Zen meditation.
To the best of my knowledge no one has discovered, invented, or even thought about a mechanism similar to the F.A.R.T device. I’ll leave the rest of the research to you scientists; I’m much more of an idea man.
It sounds as if we can all breathe a fresh sigh of relief thanks to the HEPA filters on planes. There are much more serious things to worry about in the in-flight air than rotten smells – most importantly, your health. In order to maintain a cabin pressure equivalent to what you would experience atop an 8,000-foot peak, air is circulated through the engines. The air is heated and then cooled, a process which sucks nearly all of the moisture from it. This leads to extreme dehydration and a general state of “ickiness.”
Drink! Drink! Drink! No liquor, no matter if it’s free. No coffee or soda, who cares if you are tired? And, for the love of in-flight movies, don’t even think about drinking water from the taps in the lavatory or offered to you from the taps in the galley (In the interest of public health, I am withholding a stat regarding fecal matter and plane taps that surely would make you sick). Drink bottled water, liters of it, to combat headaches, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.
Along with becoming dehydrated from the desert dry air, your mucous membranes begin to dry up leaving you more susceptible to infection. The CDC claims that you only risk infection on a flight if you are sitting within two rows of an infected person for more than eight hours. Try telling this to any of the 20 passengers infected with SARS during Air China’s flight 112 which lasted only three hours.
Chances of contracting an infection increase anytime you are around a large group of people in a small area. Not only can the air be a Petri dish of viruses and bacteria, but so can any surface. On average, nearly 30-40% of people do not wash their hands after visiting the restroom. You people are gross, you know who you are. Wash your hands!
Let’s recap what we know: planes don’t ignite like stupid party tricks, plane air is Mojave dry, the SARS virus is circulated throughout the cabin 15 to 20 times an hour, and people apparently poop in lavatory and galley sinks.
Have a great flight.