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Paragliders vs. Women :
paragliders can kill you quickly; a woman takes her time
paragliders don't get mad if you 'touch and go'
paragliders don't object to a preflight inspection
paragliders come with manuals to explain their operation
paragliders have defined weight limitations
paragliders can be flown any time of the month
paragliders don't come with in-laws
paragliders don't care about how many other paragliders you have flown
paragliders don't mind if you look at other paragliders
paragliders don't mind if you buy magazines about them
paragliders don't comment on your piloting skills, and
paragliders don't make annoying whining noises unless you are spiraling towards the earth at an alarming rate.
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From the Derbyshire Soaring Club website :
You know you're a paraglider pilot when...
On cloudy/windy days you go to your favourite site anyway and bitch about the weather.
The smell of bug spray, horse manure & sheep shit makes you think of paragliding.
Every single one of your whuffo friends is to the point of wanting to kill you every time you mention paragliding.
You analyze every flag you see in terms of it's too windy/not too windy to fly.
You analyze every flag you see in terms of which direction you'd face to land.
It's so windy that trees are bending over and you're thinking "Cross country!".
You can't think of a good reason to pick up your mail for three weeks after your issues of "Skywings" and "Cross Country Magazine" arrive.
You know to the tenth of a mile how far it is from your driveway to the landing zone's driveway.
You can't remember the true meanings of the words "Alpha" "Ozone" "Advance" "Oasis" .....
You walk everywhere watching the sky.
On a full moon night, you look up and think "Night flights!"
Your whuffo friends just don't understand why you would want to have "big ears".
You drive a beaten-up car because you really need that new canopy more.
You have no idea what is happening on the weekends in your town.
You have more pairs of Flying boots than you do casual shoes.
You name your dog "Toggles".
You wonder what whuffos *DO* with themselves on gorgeous summer weekends.
You forget to lower your voice when talking to your pilot friends in a restaurant about the weekend's tight harness, loose legstraps and lack of penetration.
You can't imagine how anyone can go on holiday without a paraglider.
Your rig costs more than your car.
Losing your job is a reason for celebration!
You wear a Paragliding T-shirt and bring a six pack to a job interview.
Your log book is thicker than any book you've ever read.
When you go to divorce court and give your ex everything as long as you can keep all your paragliding gear.
When buying a house seems like a terrible waste of paragliding money.
When you own three rigs, three flight suits, three various...
When you log a flight on December 25 and the fact it is Christmas doesn't enter your mind.
Your six year old son can teach the first day EP course.
You put your arms down and back in a full flare when running down stairs.
When you wake up with a mean hangover in a tent, the first thing you check is your rig. Then the person sleeping next to you.
You find yourself mentally telling the pilot when to flare while landing on a commercial flight.
Every time you get pulled over for speeding you tell the cop you just made your first flight to cloudbase in the hope that he will let you go.
Your favorite TV show in the world is the weather forecast.
Your whuffo friends only call if the weather man says the weekend will be shitty.
Your friends look at the sky and say, "look at all those clouds", and you say, "look at all those holes!".
You wake up in the morning feeling like death warmed over, after having a few too many beers the night before, and your solution to this consists of staggering up a steep mountain path for about twenty minutes, throwing yourself off and NOT! killing yourself.
You can't think of a better way to relax other than riding a 6 Up thermal to 5,000 feet.
You consider sleeping on a slanted hillside in a howling gale as comfortable.
You see an incredibly beautiful woman and you think, "hmm, I wonder if I can talk her into......Paragliding".
Your friends phone & say "let's go to the beach", and you grab your rig.
Your friends think it's funny to, when you are sleeping, blow a fan in your face and set a beeper off near your ear.
When someone asks you where you're from, you reply with the name of your club, not your hometown.
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Explanation of lift: Lift demons.
Mary Shafer (firstname.lastname@example.org) explains lift:
OK, here it is--the real, intuitively-obvious-even-to-the-lay-person explanation of lift.
People, lift is caused by lift demons. These little, invisible demons hold on to the leading and trailing edges of the aircraft and lift it into the air by flapping their wings (so, in a reductionist sense, lift is actually caused by feathers). Some of the demons are a little confused and they hold on backwards, causing drag.
The reason that planes stall at high alpha is that the leading edge demons get scared and let go when they can't see the ground anymore.
Lift demons have good taste and don't like to look at ugly aircraft, so they hold on backwards on ugly planes. That's why gliders have so much lift and so little drag and why F-4s have lots of drag.
John Wolter (email@example.com) asked:
What I would like is a simple *intuitive* explanation of what causes lift on a lift demon's wing. ( Here we go again... ;-) )
Mary Shafer (firstname.lastname@example.org) replied:
Feathers. The multiple filaments on feathers trap the air molecules and they struggle to escape, which causes the action-reaction that we call lift. Bat wings don't have feathers but they're hairy and that works just about as well (air molecules are a little claustrophobic).
And Richard Winterstein (email@example.com) suggested another mechanism:
It was originally believed smaller lift demons, who had their lift produced by even smaller lift demons, etc., as proposed by the great Greek philosopher/scientist Miasma. However, with the revival of scientific knowledge that eventually ended the Dark Ages, it was realized that this situation was unresolvable according to Zeno's paradox.
Of course, the 'infinite demons' theory works in many problems of engineering signifigance, but a real understanding requires that the ether be introduced into the analysis at some point. The ether concept, of course, explains why planes fly more efficiently at higher altitudes, and, of course, is an absolute necessity when studying orbital and interplanetary travel, where (it is believed) many of the lift demons are unable to breathe. Hope that settles the question.