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October 29, 2012

No, Obama Wasn't Affected By the Altitude in the Mile High Massacre

I was listening to a BloggingHeads debate between Ann Althouse and the man who I think may be, pound per pound, the most annoying man alive, Robert Wright.

Wright renewed the "altitude" theory of Obama's Denver Debacle. Althouse makes a point I hadn't previously heard: near the end of the segment, she notes that Obama's in planes all the time. Planes have thin air, too. So why is he so sensitive to thin air?

Wright countered that planes were pressurized (of course) but Althouse rejoined that she didn't think that planes were pressurized to sea-level pressure.

Althouse is right: high-flying planes are typically pressurized to the pressure you'd find at 7,000 feet. So Denver's 5,000 foot elevation isn't anything that the average person doesn't experience on a semi-regular basis. The President, of course, experiences it two or four times a week. (Or, often: six or eight or ten times a week.)

Thinking about it, this should have been obvious: If the plane maintained sea-level pressure throughout its flight, your ears should never pop. But of course they do.

Or Even Lower: Spongebob says they often keep the pressure at even lower levels, simulating 8,000 feet or higher.


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posted by Ace at 04:26 PM

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