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Boat Names

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Ok so, all this talk of baby name consultants makes me wonder about the boat-naming industry. Since boat names are generally longer, and often complete phrases, maybe people actually invest as much time naming boats as naming children...?

My father, a sailor, always talked about this boat named Rebecca Lynn and then one day he finally sent me a picture of it: well wouldn't you know. And then when I was in college my dad let me name his fishing boat: Get me away from here I'm dying, after a Belle and Sebastian song and, yes, also referencing the side effects of spending a summer at home after nine months at college under the aegis of free beer. As far as consulting goes, a found a site called namethatboat.com to be helpful if staggering. My top votes there were: My Quota!, Knot Now Kato (??), and uh, Spider Farm.

View the list in exhaustive totality here. And this just in from the Boat Owners Association of the United States:

The top 10 names in America, in order, in 2006 (the latest data available): Aquaholic, Second Wind, Reel Time, Hakuna Matata, Happy Hours, Knot Working, Life Is Good, Plan B, Second Chance and Pura Vida (Spanish for "pure life''). Knot Working, Life Is Good, Plan B and Second Chance made the list for the first time. While witty boat names tend to attract all the attention, said Scott Croft, a BoatUS spokesman, most boats are named for family members or favorite pastimes. After the Sept. 11 tragedy, patriotic names such as Freedom and Liberty were in vogue. BoatUS has tracked boat names for 20 years.

Indeed they have, and you can follow the trends through time here. Check out 2003, where "Mental Floss" made the list! Boats you've named...Anybody? The hypothetical also welcome.

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Live Smarter
Why the Best Time to Book Your Thanksgiving Travel Is Right Now
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You're never going to get a true steal on holiday plane tickets, but if you want to avoid spending your whole salary flying to visit your relatives over Thanksgiving, the time is nigh to start picking seats. That's according to the experts at Condé Nast Traveler, who cite data from Expedia and Skyscanner.

The latter found that it was cheapest to secure Thanksgiving tickets 11 weeks before the holiday. That means that you should have bought your ticket around September 4, but it's not too late; you can still save if you book now. Expedia's data shows that the cheapest time to buy is 61 to 90 days before you leave, so you still have until September 23 to snag a seat on a major airline without paying an obscene premium. (Relatively speaking, of course.)

When major travel holidays aren't involved, data shows that the best time to book a plane ticket is on a Sunday, at least 21 days ahead of your travel. But given that millions of other Americans also want to fly on the exact same days during Thanksgiving and Christmas, the calculus of booking is a bit more high stakes. If you sleep on tickets this month, you could be missing out on hundreds of dollars in savings. In the recent study cited by Condé Nast Traveler, Expedia found that people booking during the 61- to 90-day window saved up to 10 percent off the average ticket price, while last-minute bookers who bought tickets six days or less from their travel day paid up to 20 percent more.

Once you secure those Turkey Day tickets, you've got a new project: Your Christmas flights. By Hopper's estimates, those flights rise in price by $1.50 every day between the end of October and December 15 (after which they get even more expensive). However, playing the waiting game can be beneficial, too. Expedia found that the cheapest time to book Christmas flights was just 14 to 20 days out.

Before you buy, we also recommend checking CheapAir.com, which tracks 11,000 different airfares for flights around the holidays to analyze price trends. Because as miserable as holiday travel can be, you don't want to pay any more than you have to.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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History
How the Wright Brothers' Plane Compares to the World's Largest Aircraft
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The Wright brothers famously built the world’s first powered, heavier-than-air, controllable aircraft. But while the siblings revolutionized the field of aviation, their early plane looks tiny—and dare we say quaint-looking—when compared to the aerial giants that came after it.

In Tech Insider’s video below, you can see how the Wright brothers’ flyer stacks up against the scale of other aircrafts. You'll notice that size doesn't always guarantee a successful journey. The Hughes H-4 Hercules—the largest flying boat ever made—never made it past the prototype stage, performing only one brief flight in 1947. And the Hindenburg, which was 804 feet long and could fit 80 Olympic swimming pools, famously exploded on May 6, 1937.

Today’s longest commercial airliner is the Boeing 747-8, which measures 251 feet from nose to tail. While slightly shorter (238 feet), the Airbus A380 is certified to hold more people than any other plane in the air—a total of 850 passengers. That record won't last long, though: In a few years, the Stratolaunch carrier—the widest aircraft ever built—will dwarf its contemporaries when it takes to the skies in 2019. Built to launch rockets into orbit, its wingspan is about the size of a football field, even bigger than that of the Hughes H-4 Hercules.

Still, what the Wright brothers’ plane lacked in size, it made up for in ingenuity. Without it, these other giants may never have existed.

[h/t: Tech Insider]

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