on hot air balloons

During our little photo shoot yesterday, we were all talking about hot air balloons, as they used to be launched from the park we were moseying around.  I decided I wanted to know more about them, because they really are sort of weird…  Were they invented as an actual efficient means of transportation?  How do they work?  Can you steer, or do you just float where the wind blows you?  As I was reading the wikipedia article, I learned first that they are filled with hot air.  This was news to me, and despite having typed the query myself, I had to go check whether I had been calling them “Hot air balloons”, or something else…

Y’all, I almost have a PhD, but I am laughably dumb, sometimes…

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