Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Presidential candidates and science - Romney edition

I was going to do a piece on the two presidential candidates and science, but it was too boring - it was more about policy than the traditional sciency questions like "Watt is the unit of power?" and "If a spherical cow of uniform density accelerates at ten meters per second per second for...."

Who cares about policy? Do they know any science?

Well, Romney answered that one for us without being asked any questions.

Speaking on Saturday at a fundraiser reported in the LA Times, Romney told about his wife's recent scary trip on an airplane which was forced to make an emergency landing after an apparent electrical fire.
“I appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound. And I don’t think she knows just how worried some of us were,” Romney said. “When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous. And she was choking and rubbing her eyes. Fortunately, there was enough oxygen for the pilot and copilot to make a safe landing in Denver. But she’s safe and sound.”
I'm glad she's safe and sound too...but...opening plane windows to let in oxygen? Has he really no idea how planes, atmospheres and fires work? None at all? Or was this some kind of weak attempt at joking? (Found via More Words Deeper Hole)

2 comments:

James Davis Nicoll said...

As I mentioned elsewhere, in at least one case a plane did try to manage issues resulting from an on-board fire while in flight by opening hatches. They'd descended first.

Someone else pointed out that in another troubled flight, where the issues included having had the windscreen sandblasted into opacity by volcanic dust, the flight crew did open windows (side windows, in the cockpit).

(There was also a case where the windscreen parted ways with the aircraft and the pilot spent much of the trip half out on the hull but that was not intended and is not recommended)

Peromyscus said...

Apparently, he's since said it was a joke. I have to say I couldn't tell. I guess it's a sort of political Poe's Law.

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