Tag Archives: science

Autumnal Equinox

Looking for a brief explanation of the autumnal equinox on Saturday, September 22nd?

Autumnal equinox

For an instant, the plane of the equinoctial colure will be perpendicular to the earth’s orbital radius vector.

Simple as that!

 

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More Per Capita

While I am off thinking of more items to grouse and complain about, I realized that you should have something other than The Donald’s statue to contemplate.

Those of you in Canada or Mexico can choose a state comparable to your province.

MorePer Capita

Scientific Puns

One more round of puns.

You may thank (or curse) HighIQHumor for these:

Scientific

Ratio of an igloo’s circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi

2000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won Ton

1 millionth of a mouthwash = 1 microScope

Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement = 1 bananosecond

Weight an evangelist carries with God = 1 Billigram

Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour = Knotfurlong

365.25 days of drinking low-calorie beer = 1 Lite year

16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling

Half a large intestine = 1 semicolon

1,000,000 aches = 1 megahurtz

Basic unit of laryngitis = 1 hoarsepower

Shortest distance between two jokes = a straight line

2,000 mockingbirds = two kilomockingbird

1 kilogram of falling figs = 1 Fig Newton

1,000 cc’s of wet socks = 1 Literhosen

8 nickels = 2 Paradigms

 

And, for your added pleasure:

The past, the present and the future walk into a bar. It was tense.

Did you hear about the two guys who stole a calendar? They each got six months.

Do you think that humans will ever walk on the sun? (It would have to occur at night.)

Pluto Redux

 

Plutoredux1b

I had written an earlier post – The Demise of Pluto – lamenting its reduction in status to that of dwarf planet or plutoid.  In 2006, the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto to its new status and we were left with eight rather than nine planets.  In my (humble) opinion, this is a clear travesty of justice.  The recent NASA New Horizons flyby mission and subsequent gathering of data have reinforced my efforts to return Pluto to its rightful place in our solar system.

With a nod to David Letterman and List of X, I have ten reasons to elevate Pluto back to planethood:

1.  Pluto has 5 moons – Charon, Kerberos, Styx, Nix and Hydra. Hey, that’s five times the number that Earth has. Mars only has two and Venus and Mercury have none. Plus the fact is that several of the moons can be mistaken for cosmological forms of Netsuke. Shown below, the one on the left is Nix or penis without testicles and the one on the right is Hydra or squatting doggie.

Plutoredux2

2.  There have been no Donald Trump sightings on Pluto. [As an aside, The Donald is opposed to reinstating Pluto to planet status because he feels that many other undocumented dwarf planets would ask for planet status thus depriving the existing planets of their livelihoods. “I like my planets big and full of gas” said The Donald. “Those other things out there aren’t real planets.”]

3.  It is completely virgin territory, unscathed by war, pestilence, plague, terrorism and other acts of inhumanity. In other words, it is an ideal spot for humans to start war, pestilence, plague, terrorism and other acts of inhumanity.

4.  Even though it took the New Horizons space probe ten years to get from Earth to Pluto, when any of the above acts occur, news media will still report upon it live in seconds.

5.  It will provide innumerable job opportunities for land developers, exotic travel specialists, food franchisers (anyone for a Pluto dog?), doomsayers, soothsayers, creationists, revisionists, recidivists, spelunkers, debunkers, bikers, hikers, criers, liars, hair dyers, pied pipers, psychics, people of Area 51, people of Walmart, people in the witness protection program, planet-to-planet salesmen and – least of all – mimes.

6.  You won’t have to revise those sayings which you memorized to remember the order of the planets: Man Very Early Makes Jars Stand Up Nearly Perpendicular or My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets.

7.  It’s a good place to park your in-laws. By the time they come back for a return visit, you’ll be dead.

8.  The use of dwarf planet is demeaning and degrading. The preferred term is volumetrically challenged.

9.  Restoration of Pluto to full planet status will increase the likelihood of the removal of the anal probing station placed there by aliens shortly after Pluto’s demotion to dwarf planet.  The station will return where it rightfully belongs – Uranus.

10.  Hundreds of organizations – from the U.S. Congress and the United Nations to the Triskaidekaphobia Illuminatus Society and the Astrology Club – can take credit for the rightful restoration of Pluto without costing any of them a dime.  It’s a win-win.

Once again, I ask you to join me in the effort to restore Pluto to planethood!

Plutoredux3

 

Amazing Maps

 

Once again, FOAF (that’s Friend of a Friend to the uninitiated) has come to the rescue with some incredible world maps.  These maps remind me of Edward Tufte’s book on The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/index .

I’m sure that these maps are available somewhere on the Internet and, if you find out where, please give me the originator so I can credit that source.  In the meantime, enjoy the graphical descriptions.

This map shows the world divided into 7 sections (each with a distinct color) with each section containing 1 billion people.

Amap1

More people live inside the circle than outside of it.

Amap2

This map shows (in white) where 98 percent of Australia’s population lives.

Amap3

This map shows what is on the other side of the world from where you are standing.  For the most part it will probably be water.

This map shows the countries (in blue) where people drive on the left side of the road.

Amap5

This map shows countries (in white) that England has never invaded.  There are only 22 of them.

Amap6

The line in this map shows all of the world’s Internet connections in 1969.

Amap7

This map shows the countries that heavily restricted Internet access in 2013.

Amap8

This map shows (in red) countries that were all Communist at one point in time.

Amap9

This map shows (in red) the countries that don’t use the metric system.

Amap10

This map shows (in green) all the landlocked countries of the world.

Amap11

And this is what the world would look like if all the countries with coast lines sank.

Amap12

This map shows the longest straight line you can sail.  It goes from Pakistan all the way to Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia for a total of 20,000 miles.

Amap13

This is a map of 19th century shipping lanes that outlines the continents.

Amap14

This map shows the most photographed places in the world.

Amap15

And this map shows all the places where you can get eaten by a Great White shark!

Amap16