Today is the 100th aniversary of the Wright Brother’s historic flight. It is a time that makes us proud to be Americans, and lets us revel in our Yankee ingenuity.
Unfortunately, it is a time that causes strife in my household. This is due to the fact that my wife is Brazilian, and firmly believes that the airplane was invented by a Brazilian–one Santos Dumont.
Santos Dumont flew in 1906. The Wright brothers flew in 1903. You be the judge. Of course, Brazilians have a whole set of arguments to rationalize this discrepancey. Time and space do not allow for a repetition of them here.
My side of the argument was not helped by the fact that an attempt at replicating that first flight today failed miserably. I have not mentioned this to my wife. Perhaps I won’t.
Of course, that the airplane was invented, nobody can have any serious doubts. It remains now for somebody–be they American, Brazilian, or Croation–to come up with palatable airline food. That will be a real step of progress.