Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Around the World in 80 Days or not

I was reminded that I still have to read this gem of a book, Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Vernes.

Ever since watching the 2004 film version with Jackie Chan I was wanting to read the original.

The even more appealing thing about this book for me is that it is considered to be early steampunk (Victorian sci-fi fantasy genre).

What books have you come across with balloon flight?

OK, so this post was prompted by a news blip about a real balloon boy of the past, Bill Crawford. In 1933, at age 4, Bill's father strapped him in a harness which was attached to a 15 ft. wide helium balloon as part of a way to draw attention to air shows throughout Ohio.

I had a nice flight today. -says 4yr Bill

Check out the footage of one of Bill's adventures that went awry.

I'm In A Box
This balloon hoax parody rocksss!
Sums up the situation quite nicely with a good rapping beat.
Give it a listen and tell me whatcha think --> thunk.

Please do give this a listen. Y'all have been giving me good comments on balloon rides but this video is pretty good wordplay on this issue.

And just in, Fishmuffins of Doom has found:

Edgar Allan Poe's 1844 Balloon Hoax article.

This is unquestionably the most stupendous, the most interesting, and the most important undertaking, ever accomplished or even attempted by man. What magnificent events may ensue, it would be useless now to think of determining.

I've always wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride and am seriously considering going to watch a balloon festival lift-off next year. Have you ever been?


  1. Here's a balloon hoax written by Edgar Allan Poe. I read this for my sci-fi literature class. Here's the wiki article:

    Here's the article/story:

    If you like steampunky Jules Verne books, I would recommend Paris in the Twentieth Century. It was a rejected manuscript that was found and published in 1994. It's a dystopian novel, but freakily predicts gadgets and inventions that we have today.

    I've never been on a hot air balloon or seen the festival, but it looks really fun!

  2. I went on a balloon ride in the Unesco WHS Cappadocia! It was amazing :) The disappointing part was that it went mostly down next to the mountain sides and above the trees because people found that fun. I rather liked the overall view from as high as possible!

    Air balloons are big bussiness over there: balloons going up each morning!

  3. I heard a guy on the radio making fun of the round the clock tv news stations that were in the midst of reporting real news. Then suddenly they were all like "look a shiny object." The joke is really on them now that there wasn't even a kid in the balloon!

  4. We've had a Hot Air Balloon Rally weekend every summer for 25 years in our small town. There's between 30-40 balloons and there are all kinds of events that revolve around it. They're beautiful when they launch and we've had some land in our fields over the years. We kind of take it for granted now but it really is special.

  5. titania86 - super! thanks for the links ;-D

    gnoe - lucky you!

    lisa - funny what media follows.

    wrighty - what a sight it must be with all those balloons. those ain't no teeny tiny ones either.


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