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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Power of Potatoes

Given my love of the state of Idaho, I am always keeping my eye out, so to speak, for potato-related stories. So, I yam pleased to share this story with you, which details how tubers are contributing to airline safety.

To briefly summarize, Boeing says it has been testing ways to "make it possible for passengers to enjoy more reliable connectivity using networked personal electronic devices in the air." (Boeing's press release writers must learn to pen prose in understandable English.)

At any rate, the new procedures Boeing has developed come, in part, via the humble potato. Just like Mr. Potato Head here, spuds mimic the human body in the manner they respond to electronic signals. So, the company's crack team of scientists bought 10 tons of potatoes, stuffed them into airline seats (no leg room required), and, in essence, microwaved them. When the potatoes didn't bubble and squeak after being pelted with electronic signals, all was deemed a success. Seems half-baked, but somehow this testing, according to a Boeing spokesman, allowed engineers to make sure that cabin-based signals are safe for the cockpit's communication and navigation systems. At the same time, the results are expected to ensure passengers using wireless devices on planes get (s)mashing reception.

As for the brave potatoes that chipped in for the experiment--they were donated to a food bank.

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