} Why do planes have floatation devices? Well, as usual, when something
} makes absolutely no sense, the government's usually to blame.
} You see, when planes were first invented, the goverment decided to
} regulate them, as this is what goverments do. The only problem was that
} nobody in the government knew anything at all about airplanes. Did this
} stop the government from stepping in? Don't be silly. So what the
} government did was to assign a top-level committee to determine how to
} regulate planes. And this committee sent memos to the mid-level
} bureaucrats, who sent memos to low-level bureaucrats, on so on, until a
} memo arrived at the desk of a bureaucrat (named Jim) who had nobody to
} pass it down to. And, of course, by this time, the memos had become
} garbled in bureaucrat-speak and had become over 350 pages long.
} Well, Jim barely knew bureaucrat-speak (that's why he had nobody
} underneath him) and he had no intention of reading a 350 page memo,
} anyway. Plus, he had no idea what an airplane was, in the first place.
} So he flipped open the memo to a random page and read:
} ... the class of transport vehicle in question, to wit, the
} "airplane" (or "aeroplane" or "plane", see page 142), which being
} designed so as to permit lift via Bernoulli's Law of Fluid Dynamics,
} in which the pressure or lack of same on a surface or set of
} surfaces is affected by the rate of velocity (or speed) of the fluid
} in question...
} which Jim didn't understand at all. But he saw the word "fluid", and
} thought "Ah ha! It must be some kind of boat!" Now Jim knew nothing
} about boats, either, but he figured that at least it should have some
} sort of floatation device, at least. So he wrote a memo to his boss,
} who hadn't read the original memo either. He added some
} bureaucrat-speak and a couple more regulations and passed it up to his
} boss... and so on.
} Finally the committee submitted their report to Congress, who passed it
} as an amendment to a bill declaring May National Corn Sweetener Month.
} Now why planes aren't made of the black box material is a much more
} interesting story. The simple fact is, there just isn't enough of it to
} make all the planes out of. You see, all the black box material (called
} Substance X) came from a UFO that crash landed in the Arizona desert in
} the 1930's. Nobody knows what it is, but they know it won't be
} destroyed in a crash. (Because it wasn't.)
} This explains why there is such a concerted search for the black box
} after each crash. It's not that they really want to know what happened
} (you seen one crash, you seen 'em all), but they need to recover
} Substance X to make more black boxes out of. (It's kind of
} self-defeating, when you think about it. Like I said, that's
} You owe the Oracle an offical memo and some corn sweetener for the