Kashua’s Law

July 5, 2009 at 15:32 1 comment

As I have an interested in (some might call it an obsession with) air crash investigations, I was very pleased to see that the always entertaining Sayed Kashua had dedicated his latest column in Haaretz to flying. I was especially enthused by the following postulation:

It’s a statistical fact that the odds of a plane crash increase in direct proportion to the number of the people who applaud upon a plane’s landing.

Now, you might think that this is weird superstition or pure nonsense. Not so. Kashua points out that the habit of clapping when landing is especially widespread in third world countries, and so are incidents of planes crashing and burning. In other words we’re talking about a statistical rather than causal connection.

Nonetheless, it is a connection worthy to be enshrined in a law — Kashua’s Law.

Kashua’s whole column can be enjoyed here.


Entry filed under: Life.

Reductio ad Hitlerum Irony of Ages

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Yehoshua  |  July 6, 2009 at 08:10

    Here’s my chance to admit – I have always been deeply embarassed by people clapping when airplanes land (I’ve never understood why people feel compelled to clap just because someone has done exactly what they were expected to do… does anyone clap when a taxi driver safely delivers them to their destination or when a subway stops at the platform?). I have, however, looked upon it with understanding, as a spontaneous outburst of relief experienced by people that have just risked their lives and traverssed great distances in an apparatus weighing hundreds of tons and semmingly (though not factually) defying the laws of gravity.

    That having been said, I had a funny “plane clapping” story upon my last return from the US. The El Al plane calmly touched down in Ben Gurion Airport, and… shockingly… no one clapped. I was already thinking to myself – “Ah, we have matured, and become a nation like all nations”, when a young man sitting two rows away cried out “מה קרה לכם, מה אתם כבדים?” (whats the matter with you, why are you so ‘heavy’?) and began clapping enthusiastically. Within seconds, the entire cabin was cheering. I guess we’re just not there yet…



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