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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

How hot air balloons work

By Marshall Brain

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Between October 6th and 14th, Albuquerque, N.M., will be hosting the International Balloon Fiesta, one of the largest hot air ballooning events in the world. Hundreds of balloons will be there, taking off and landing on a daily basis. It is an incredible sight, and begs the question: How do hot air balloons work? Why do they need to be so big? And how do their pilots steer them?

The basic idea behind a hot air balloon is simple enough. Hot air rises, so a balloon full of hot air can fly. The problem is that hot air doesn't lift very much. If you take a cubic foot of air and weigh it, it weighs about 28 grams. If you heat it up by a hundred degrees, it weighs 21 grams or so. Therefore, a cubic foot of hot air can lift only 7 grams. It means that if you want to lift 1,000 pounds, you need a balloon that holds 65,000 cubic feet.

65,000 cubic feet is hard to imagine, so let's put it into perspective. A typical 2,000 square foot house holds about 16,000 cubic feet of air. So a hot air balloon needs to be as big as four houses if it is going to lift 1,000 pounds. That is why hot air balloons are so huge.

To hold all that hot air, a balloon needs to be made of something that is strong and light. Nylon fabric is the best thing we have right now. Nylon is also nice because it will hold its strength even when it is hot. A balloon is made of hundreds of pieces of nylon fabric sewn together into the shape of the balloon envelope. The bottom part of the balloon is called the skirt. It is made of heavier fabric, usually fire-resistant, to protect it from the heat of the burner.

The burners use propane to heat the air. This is the same propane that you would use for a backyard grill, but the tanks are much larger and a hot air balloon uses liquid propane. In a backyard grill, the burner uses propane gas taken from the top of the propane tank. In a hot air balloon, the burner uses liquid propane taken from the bottom of the tank. The reason for this difference is the fact that a hot air balloon needs a LOT of heat to rise. The burner turns the liquid propane into a huge amount of propane gas, and when this gas burns it sounds like a jet engine. The flame is huge. All that heat gives the pilot a way to get the balloon to rise relatively quickly.

Besides the burner, the pilot has two other options at his disposal to control the balloon. At the top of the balloon is a big fabric valve. The pilot can open the valve to quickly deflate the balloon. Or the pilot can do nothing, using neither the burner nor the valve. In that case, the balloon cools and descends slowly.

Unlike just about every other form of conveyance on the planet, the pilot of a hot air balloon does not have a direct way to steer the vehicle. A hot air balloon goes where the wind blows. When you are riding in a balloon, the lack of steering makes the journey quite serene. Since the balloon is going at exactly the same speed as the wind, it is completely still in a balloon.

The pilot sometimes has an indirect way to steer. It is possible for the wind to blow in different directions at different altitudes. When this happens, the pilot can raise or lower the balloon's altitude to go a different direction.

Landing a balloon is one of the most interesting challenges of the trip. The pilot first needs to find a huge open area that is free of power lines, trees, angry dogs, charging bulls, gun-toting owners, etc. This open area also needs to be in line with the wind's direction. Then the pilot lets the balloon descend and settle into that area, opening the valve at the top of the balloon to deflate the envelope at just the right time. At that point the ground crew arrives and helps pack the balloon up.

All of these elements - the huge size of the balloon, the lack of steering, the challenges of taking off and landing, etc. - make ballooning a sport like no other.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Previously:


How paparazzi work
How counterfeiting works
How CDs work
How the Edsel worked
How Stinger missiles work
How hybrid cars work
How sharks work
How mosquitoes work
How diesel engines work
How water towers work
How the Dawn mission works
How Kassam rockets work
How the North American Eagle works
Why aren't we flying to work?
How tofu and soy milk work
How Colony Collapse Disorder works
How airbags work
How the U.S. income tax works
How gum works
How caffeine works
How Daylight Saving Time works
How a cruise missile works
How snow making works

© 2007, How Stuff Works Inc. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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