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Lesson 69 - On the Airplane

Lesson 69: On The Airplane

There's nothing quite like the anticipatory excitement and jitters right before take-off. And where do hot-air balloons, waxed wings, heavenly chariots and Da Vinci come into all this?


Flying Through Space - Sci-Fi

Flying through space

In Lesson 69, Liat, Dan and Jonathan have been discussing some of the fascinating past of flight in human history. So we thought it might be interesting and fun to look at some of the travel options of the future. Much as Leonardo Da Vinci took a prescient view, so have many of today's scientists, fiction writers and even entertainment maestros. It's never been truer than now that yesterday's science fiction - מַדָּע בִּדְיוֹנִי - mada bidyoni often becomes the next day's "latest" from serious science - מַדָּע – mada and technology - טֶכְנוֹלוֹגְיָה – technologia. Moreover, it's occurring at an ever-quickening pace all around us.

Perhaps surprisingly (or not), a number of today's scientists say that some of their initial interest was sparked by – of all things - watching Star Trek - סְטַארטְרֵק, for example. The often well-researched creations of such inventive authors as Greg Bear (e.g. Darwin's Radio), Arthur C. Clarke (Odyssey series) and Isaac Asimov (Foundation and Robot series) keep getting closer to mixing fictional ideas and conceptual development into eventual actual fact. And we start off younger and younger. Just look at your nearest kids- are they crazy about Toy Story? And especially nuts over that beloved superhero - גִּבּוֹר-עָל – gibor-al, Buzz Lightyear (whose name is a tribute to real astronaut Buzz Aldrin)?

With that in mind, let's take a quick "flight of fancy" into future flight, other travel notions and the cool beyond…

Buzz Lightyear - באז שְׁנוֹת אוֹר‬‎ - Buzz Shnot-Or is super popular in Israel too.



תַּרְמִיל רִיחוּף
tarmil richuf
[literally, "gliding pack"]

Buzz has a jet-pack built into his suit. While in the above video clip (sung in Hebrew) he realizes momentarily that he's a toy and can't actually fly, we can all take heart in the real world - the tech already exists, and keeps getting better and better. So it's not out of the question that within our lifetimes you may book a package tour (say… in Israel) that could include jet-pack rentals!



We humans already started on the way to actual space travel more than half a century ago with that first artificial satellite sensation - Sputnik. Nowadays, Israel not only has a small yet quite noteworthy space program but, in particular, has become one of the leaders in satellite technology.

chalalyt - spaceship

Spaceship design is now opening up to private-funded endeavors. The word spaceship in Hebrew is built off of the word for space - חָלָל - chalal.
Space shuttle, by the way, is מַעְבּוֹרֶת חָלָל - ma-aboret chalal. And were you aware that there's already a working prototype for a flying car - מְכוֹנִית מְעוֹפֶפֶת – mechonit me-ofefet

צַלַּחַת מְעוֹפֶפֶת
zzalachat  me-ofefet
Flying saucer

Flying-saucer-zzalachat meofefet

Of course, some of us may find ourselves preferring the classic style of a flying saucer design…
chayzarim - aliens

Just pop into warp drive - "עַל-חָלָל" - "al-chalal" or down the appropriate wormhole to visit some interstellar friends…

חוֹר תּוֹלַעַת
chor tola-at
wormhole - chor tolaat
Teleporter טֶלֶפּוֹרְטֶר
(aka "transporter" in Star Trek-ese)

Yeah, you thought it was sci-fi. But Caltech had successfully teleported a photon already way back in 1998. Here's the sticking point, though: To do this (within the limitations of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle), you basically have to make an exact replica of the teleportee. That replica materializes in the destination. Unfortunately, in the process, the original is "dematerialized" (aka destroyed). Hmmm…. But let's say they eventually work out this business of teleportation - טֶלֶפּוֹרְטַצְיָיה better, as well as handling anything bigger than a photon. In that case, you might just punch in your destination and poof, you arrive. (And if not, it'd still work at least as a faster option than airmail, right?)

שַׁגֵּר אוֹתִי סְקוֹטִי
shager oti, Scotty
Beam me up, Scotty!


תַּחֲנַת חָלָל
tachanat chalal
Space station

Or maybe you will be taking a space elevator – מַעֲלִית חָלָל - ma-alit chalal
up to join some relatives on a space station for seder night. Arthur C. Clarke and many others in the sci-fi world popularized this travel concept, although it was first proposed by a Russian scientist, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky as far back as 1895. Don't dismiss a real version yet - there's plenty of active scientific and engineering discussion (and even a recent competition in Japan) on how to work through the actual mechanics….

מַסָּע בַּזְּמַן
masa bazman
Time travel

Time Travel

[The "טַארְדִּיס – Tardis": combination spacecraft - חֲלָלִית - chalalit & time machine – מְכוֹנַת זְמַן - mechonat zman of Dr. Who.]