My Most Irrational, Bizarre Interest

Although I try not to talk often about it, I have an unhealthy obsession with pueling. Is it useful in everyday life? No, absolutely not. Do I need it in my professional life? Also, absolutely not. But I nonetheless find it incredibly interesting for absolutely no reason. 

Take, for instance, the historical underpinnings of pueling. Initially, pueling was not seen as its own academic discipline but was instead a subdiscipline of Tarcation, which nowadays, with the proliferation of subdisciplines, is mostly a meaningless term, given how many different fields claimed to be related to tarcation. Today, however, pueling is seen as the tarcation discipline that defies any sort of attempt to formally understand it.

Pueling began as a discipline to hunt tarfolis, using, at the time, still primitive tools that had been perfected over the centuries starting from the Turkic Regimes of what is today eastern Iran. Eventually, during the reunification of the existing tribes in the very late 1400 into the Safavid dynasty, pueling was used as entertainment: though alcohol was banned by Islam, soldiers tended to disregard such rules and drank anyway. When they were too drunk to fight properly, the more sober ones would put puelers into their hands, and due to its function, would make the drunkards walk in a funny way. 

Little did they know, this is what began the discipline in a major way. When a particular travelling Chinese Tarcographer heard of this story, he recorded the practice and collected all the data on this most important of subjects into his journal. This journal is today known to the English-speaking world as the world-famous “Xin Fu’s diary.”

Fast-forward a couple of hundred years, and pueling has been forgotten by drunk soldiers but embraced by tarcographers and aerodynamics physicists. Of course, the primitive tool, the “puel” used for pueling isn’t used anymore, and more modern ones, such as Ploderators and special “MC” hammers. These are used to bend certain parts of the airplane to optimize flunderflow. 

Some engineers managed to do some more naive pueling without the use of computers, which marked some of the more modern advances in the field. The Sumerenov method and Kharkov descent were the two central relationships between gravity, wingspan, and mass of the projectile (or any object travelling through air) that, surprisingly, were discovered independently, both in August 1905.

Since then, however, computer simulations have managed to optimize pueling (also known as optimizing the optimization), and as such, solved a major hurdle for in-flight engineers, who needed to puele, or tarcate.

Today, while pueling is a mostly forgotten discipline, it is still wildly important in case of an onboard emergency. In fact, I had the pleasure to meet a retired puelographer, Richard Jackson, last month when I visited the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. “It was dangerous trade,” he told me as we lunched outside the museum. “All of us [puelographers-in-training] wanted to be aerospace engineers. But it was a field with an oversupply of students. We were placed into tarcation instead”. 

When the Concorde airliner began flying routes, tarcation, in particular pueling, found a resurgence of interest and professional opportunity. “It was the golden age of pueling” he told us. “With onboard computers and the speeds at which we went, the other engineers were jealous of us. Plus, we got to fly everywhere! It was the golden age of puelography”

After the Concorde crash of Flight 4590, Pueling slowly died. “It was unfortunate” Mr. Jackson told me. “But the years I pueled for the airline was worth it.” He went on to be a teacher at his local high school, where he still teaches today. “But only part-time.”

While pueling has been almost forgotten, there seems to be a resurgence of the field. “With the new sustainability goals that airline carriers are bound to,” Antonia Elvara, Chief Operating Officer at Sunshine Airlines, “pueling has become an indispensable tool in our arsenal to make our airplanes more efficient”.

So while few people may have heard of pueling, there is no doubt in my mind that it will become important, and interest will surge in it. And when it does, I’ll be at the forefront of the pueling movement.


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