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Old 07-10-2009, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Incognito
7,002 posts, read 17,003,771 times
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Now, I am really pushing the envelope.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:06 AM
 
3,219 posts, read 5,275,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Cat View Post
Now, I am really pushing the envelope.
You're too much! - lol!

I can just picture it a year from now "What Do You Look Like? Pt1000"
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Incognito
7,002 posts, read 17,003,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njguy View Post
You're too much! - lol!

I can just picture it a year from now "What Do You Look Like? Pt1000"

I'll be a senior citizen by then and hopefuly each reply to that post WILL have a pic in it.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:28 AM
 
11,095 posts, read 10,967,696 times
Reputation: 11831
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Cat View Post
Now, I am really pushing the envelope.
Enlighten us Mr. Cat. What does that mean, "Pushing the envelope?"

I mean, where are you pushing it....to a mailbox? I mean, I never got that phrase. Please enlighten me.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Incognito
7,002 posts, read 17,003,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funymann View Post
Enlighten us Mr. Cat. What does that mean, "Pushing the envelope?"

I mean, where are you pushing it....to a mailbox? I mean, I never got that phrase. Please enlighten me.

I'll take the 5th on this one dude!
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Tucson
42,837 posts, read 71,779,113 times
Reputation: 22814
Hey, I hadn't even touched your Pt4 for a long time and it still was such a smashing success...
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:52 AM
 
9,912 posts, read 11,377,844 times
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Same as yesterday but different from Tuesday.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:56 AM
 
42,662 posts, read 33,201,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierraAZ View Post
Hey, I hadn't even touched your Pt4 for a long time and it still was such a smashing success...
Please tell me "Pt4" isn't some sort of *code word*.

(Sorry couldn't resist making that comment on a Friday morning. )

Mr. Cat keeps asking me to touch his Pt4 but I held out for his Pt5!
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Tucson
42,837 posts, read 71,779,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
Please tell me "Pt4" isn't some sort of *code word*.

(Sorry couldn't resist making that comment on a Friday morning. )

Mr. Cat keeps asking me to touch his Pt4 but I held out for his Pt5!
I doubt Gato wants YOU (or any other guy) to touch his anything...
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:19 AM
GLS
 
1,985 posts, read 4,443,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funymann View Post
.... What does that mean, "Pushing the envelope?" I mean, where are you pushing it....to a mailbox? I mean, I never got that phrase. Please enlighten me.
Off topic, but you asked. FYI:

This phrase came into general use following the publication Tom Wolfe's book about the space programme - The Right Stuff, 1979:
"One of the phrases that kept running through the conversation was ‘pushing the outside of the envelope’... [That] seemed to be the great challenge and satisfaction of flight test."
Wolfe didn't originate the term, although it's appropriate that he used it in a technical and engineering context, as it was first used in the field of mathematics.
The envelope here isn't the container for letters, but the mathematical envelope, which is defined as 'the locus of the ultimate intersections of consecutive curves'. In a two-dimensional example, the set of lines described by the various positions of a ladder sliding down a wall forms an envelope - in this case an arc, gently curving away from the intersection of the wall and floor. Inside that envelope you will be hit by the ladder; outside you won't.
(Note for the mathematically inclined: it might seem intuitive that the centre point of the ladder would follow that same arc. In fact it describes a circle centred around the origin).
That's enough mathematics. The point is that an envelope is that which envelops. The phrase has something in common with an earlier one - 'beyond the pale'. Inside the pale you were safe; outside, at risk.
In aviation and aeronautics the term 'flight envelope' had been in use since WWII, as here from the Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society, 1944:
"The best known of the envelope cases is the 'flight envelope', which is in general use in this country and in the United States... The ‘flight envelope’ covers all probable conditions of symmetrical maneuvering flight."
That envelope is the description of the upper and lower limits of the various factors that it is safe to fly at, i.e. speed, engine power, manoeuvrability, wind speed, altitude etc. By 'pushing the envelope', i.e. testing those limits, test pilots were able to determine just how far it was safe to go. By 1978 the phrase was in use in print. In July that year, Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine had:
"The aircraft's altitude envelope must be expanded to permit a ferry flight across the nation. NASA pilots were to push the envelope to 10,000 ft."
The following year, Wolfe picked up the phrase and it went from a piece of specialist technical jargon into the general language.
Copyright © Gary Martin, 1996 - 2009
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