When we went to the Air & Space Museum last week, my nephew asked me to take lots of pictures. Now, one plane looks pretty much like another to me, but I dutifully snapped away (I'd show you a couple of my pictures, but blogger isn't letting me upload pictures this evening for some reason).
When we got home, my nephew plugged my camera into the television and gave the family a slideshow. When we got to the pictures of the planes, the three eldest boys (the 13-year-old who had been on the trip with me, the 11-year-old and the 9-year-old) all perked up and started having conversations like this:
"Oh wow, neat - it's the F-36-9J, which won the world record for the smallest nut and bolt combinations in its wings in 1952!"
"Yes, and did you know the guy who designed the spanner for those nuts was called Alfred von Nuttenburger, and that's why we call them nuts?!"
OK, that wasn't one of the actual conversations - I don't remember any of the real facts they were batting about. How come they do? And how on earth do they manage to differentiate between all these nearly identical aircraft?