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Thursday, April 21, 2022

balloons on air .. .. some interesting news on them !!

The balloon vendor was a folk hero – a  few decades ago, in every festival, be it Theppam or village festivals – balloons were great attraction.  A small cart with a cylinder – the man would fill the balloon with helium gas – we would be thrilled to see the balloon hit the ceiling.  In the movie Vedi – Vivek would hide a few balloons inside his clothes, inflate them to show himself as muscular man !!

When the battle for TRPs goes to crazy levels, the ideas to win it get mad with each passing minute. Beyond the craze for US elections, Bihar is gearing up for the electoral fight of the year and India Today is not planning to be left behind in its bid to attract viewers. So much so that one Aaj Tak anchor actually stimulated landing in a hot gas balloon.

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat will inaugurate the day-long hot air balloon festival that will be organised by the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Development Board (UTDB) in collaboration with The Times Of India in Mussoorie on this Sunday (November 8). This free-for-all hot air balloon festival is a part of the celebration of the State Foundation Day (November 9). Tourism department officials have confirmed that the hot air balloon festival will be organised at George Everest Estate, Hathi Paon, in Mussoorie from 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday. People can win two free hot air balloon rides by participating in the contests that will be held on the occasion.

Michael Faraday FRS [1791 – 1867]  was an English scientist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and electrolysis.  Although Faraday received little formal education, he was one of the most influential scientists in history.  It was by his research on the magnetic field around a conductor carrying a direct current that Faraday established the basis for the concept of the electromagnetic field in physics. He  discovered the principles of electromagnetic induction and diamagnetism, and the laws of electrolysis.  As a chemist, Faraday discovered benzene, investigated the clathrate hydrate of chlorine, invented an early form of the Bunsen burner and the system of oxidation numbers, and popularised terminology such as "anode", "cathode", "electrode" and "ion". Faraday ultimately became the first and foremost Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution, a lifetime position. Faraday was an excellent experimentalist who conveyed his ideas in clear and simple language; his mathematical abilities, however, did not extend as far as trigonometry and were limited to the simplest algebra.  

Albert Einstein kept a picture of Faraday on his study wall, alongside pictures of Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell. Physicist Ernest Rutherford stated, "When we consider the magnitude and extent of his discoveries and their influence on the progress of science and of industry, there is no honour too great to pay to the memory of Faraday, one of the greatest scientific discoverers of all time."

A balloon is a flexible bag that can be inflated with a gas, such as helium, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, oxygen, and air. For special tasks, balloons can be filled with smoke, liquid water, granular media (e.g. sand, flour or rice), or light sources. Modern day balloons are made from materials such as rubber, latex, polychloroprene, or a nylon fabric, and can come in many different colors. Some early balloons were made of dried animal bladders, such as the pig bladder. Some balloons are used for decorative purposes or entertaining purposes, while others are used for practical purposes such as meteorology, medical treatment, military defense, or transportation. A balloon's properties, including its low density and low cost, have led to a wide range of applications.

The rubber balloon was invented by Michael Faraday in 1824, during experiments with various gases. He invented them for use in the lab.

In India, we see gigantic balloons for advertisements and at times used by Political parties.  Aviation professionals flying over Los Angeles International Airport have in the past few weeks reported at least two sightings of jetpack-strapped fliers. Planes probably aren't enough for these people.   In 1982, Larry Walters, a 33-year-old military veteran decided to use 45 helium-filled balloons to float his way from Los Angeles to the Mojave Desert in a lawn chair. As he drifted over LAX at 16,000 ft or so on June 2, pilots flying into the airport reported the unusual sight. His 45-minute flight ended safely.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

9th Nov. 2020. 

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