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" Rocket City Rednecks " & Paddlewheels !

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    " Rocket City Rednecks " & Paddlewheels !

    Greetings From New Orleans !
    There is a fairly recent program on the National Geographic Channel known simply as " Rocket City Rednecks " ! It is a great , entertaining , funny and educational program staring some of the actual aero space engineers out of the NASA space program out of Huntsville , Alabama . These gentlemen that star in this program are true southern gentlemen with a strong southern Alabama accent that will dazzel the vewer with their intelect , applied science , common sense and good ol' boy sense of humor !
    Every episode involves a different science project that these Good Ol' Boys of the South come up with and then design , construct and then place into practical application .
    Tonights episode involved a science project that all true steamboaters and paddlewheel people will appreciate and become rivited to the television as I was . Tonight's episode and project involved creating electricity from paddlewheels that were designed and constructed and then mounted to a pontoon boat that was launched into the Tenn. River , not for propulsion sake but to simply generate electricty to power the on board necessities of life for these Red Neck Scientist such as party lights , a refrigerated beer cooler and of course a wide screen TV !
    Now , hydroelectricty is certainly not new on the scene but what caught my eye was the manner in which the pontoon boats paddlewheels were designed !
    What makes this program interesting is that these Good Ol' Boys construct these projects from every day and easily accessible tools and equiptment that can be found in such places as a junk yard or the corner hardware store !
    Now , what got my attention was the design and construction of the two , port and starb'd paddlewheels ! Wheather right or wrong and possibly some one can elaborate on this theory is the notion that a true paddlewheel is simply desingend using this formula . Simply put , the number of wheel arms is determined by the diameter of the inner wheel or flange X 2 . For example , and lets just use round numbers ; if the diameter of the inner base wheel or flange is 6 feet , well then you multiply that number by 2 ; so the number of wheel arms that entend out from that inner flange would be 12 ! Make Sense ??
    Well , regardless it this formula is accurate and was used in the past with the old steamboats or not , in tonight's episode , the pontoon paddlewheel boat worked and created enough electricity to power the finer things of life for these " Rocket City Rednecks " !
    its a great program and one and all should check into it !
    Smooth Sailing !
    Ted Davisson


    And then there's the Red Green episode where he made a paddlewheeler out of a van, lots of plastic bottles, and a revolving door. And you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how the revolving door was used. It actually worked, sort of.