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It’s not rocket science — except when it is.

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I learned a lot from reading Archie comics — and not just how to use my feminine wiles to seduce and emotionally manipulate men (thanks, Ronnie!). Archie could do educational stories quite well, covering subjects from history to economics to science. In Life with Archie #19 (Mar 1963), Riverdale’s resident diminutive genius, Dilton Doiley, enlightens the reading public on aeronautical engineering.

Were you aware that rocket science is “really quite simple?” I was previously under the mistaken impression that it was sort of hard.

Dilton can add necromancy to his resume, as he summons the spirit of Sir Isaac Newton to layman’s-terms his third law of motion. Newton also said that the world would end around 2060,  but Dilt banishes Sir Isaac back to the ghostly ether before the subject of the apocalypse comes up. Instead we’re treated to the world’s most inept hunter, who demonstrates Newton’s third law by shooting into thin air instead of at the duck that’s approximately 10 yards away from him.

Add also to Dilton’s talents the ability to talk while blowing up a balloon.

“Well, that’s how rockets work, stupid peons. Seriously, couldn’t you have figured this shit out for yourselves? It’s so fucking easy that even Hot Dog could understand it. I don’t know why the Government is wasting so much taxpayer money on NASA, anyway…obviously a 16-year-old with access to nothing more than a high school chemistry lab can build a working rocket.”

Enlighten us, Mr. Doiley, as to how rockets differ from jets.

Yes, that’s right: rocket engines carry their own oxygen supply, in the form of lox. Isn’t that the stuff you put on bagels? Come on, Dilt, if you’re going to use a technical acronym, at least have the decency to spell it out for us. We’re not all 16-year-old rocket scientists, you know.

In all honesty, though, this is a good little overview of the mechanics behind how rockets and jets work. I now feel sufficiently qualified to go build a space shuttle. Hopefully the local high school will let me use their chemistry lab.

Written by Sugar

April 27th, 2012 at 4:42 pm