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I second the earlier comment on drag. This is a great article, but the treatment of drag is a bit simplistic. Laminar vs turbulent flows and where they are tripped make a big difference. Also a decent amount of drag can be attributed to the difference in pressure behind and in front of an object. And the cross-sectional area of an airplane is indeed a good indicator of how much drag it will have, it is more of a happy correlation than a direct result. The actual calculation of drag doesn't use it.
Toggle Commented Mar 8, 2011 on smooth is green at Cocktail Party Physics
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Mar 8, 2011