Brady, why are people fascinated by flying balloons? Followup question: what did people do before 24-hour cable news outlets?

-Ben in Oregon

Ben – people are fascinated by flying balloons because they’re the most exciting kind. Flying balloons are colorful and friendly; they’re all about fun. Contrast them with underwater balloons, which are scary and keep attacking Patrick McGoohan on “The Prisoner”.

To your second question: before there was 24 hour news, people stood for long stretches in front of the news-paper buildings. A man twirled his mustache, tipped his top hat and told the people “there’s a lot we just don’t know yet” for hours at a time, and occasionally took breaks to extol the virtues of a new kind of washing powder that resulted in 4 percent fewer lye-based blindings than the competitors. He did this while sitting on a flagpole, by the way.

– Brady