Archives for January, 2010

Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider! -George Carlin Over at The Onion, I found this article about science on television, and I laughed too hard to not reproduce it here. (Link to original.) Science Channel Refuses To Dumb Down Science Any Further SILVER…

We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started… and know the place for the first time. -T.S. Eliot Yesterday, President Obama delivered his first State of the Union Address, and talked about a number of things that ranged from inspiring to disappointing. But…

Resolving the Red Controversy?

Blue flower, red thorns! Blue flower, red thorns! Blue flower, red thorns! Oh, this would be so much easier if I wasn’t color-blind! -Donkey, from Shrek Earlier this week, I introduced you to the Red Controversy, the observations recorded around 2000 years ago in Europe asserting that the star, Sirius, appeared red. Now, taking a…

Seeing Red in the Sky

Artists can color the sky red because they know it’s blue. Those of us who aren’t artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we’re stupid. -Jules Feiffer Last semester, I was teaching my introduction to astronomy class, and part of the coursework was that each student had to choose…

Weekend Diversion: Spin it ‘Round!

There are plenty of examples in the music world where a cover of a song is strikingly different from the original and still interesting. Take the song You Spin Me Round, which cracked the top 5 all over Europe and North America when Dead or Alive released it. (Click for video.) 15 years later, Dope…

To most outsiders, modern mathematics is unknown territory. Its borders are protected by dense thickets of technical terms; its landscapes are a mass of indecipherable equations and incomprehensible concepts. Few realize that the world of modern mathematics is rich with vivid images and provocative ideas. -Ivars Peterson Those of you who know me well know…

Q & A: Inside a Gas Giant

I’m always happy to receive questions from those of you interested enough to ask them, and every once in a while one of them feels just right to write up an article about it. Today’s comes from Brad Walker, who asks about the inside of gas giants. Specifically, The question pertains to the insides of…

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened. -Douglas Adams We started off our series on…

Yes, these three ingredients mixed together amused me more than anything else that happened this week. Don’t know what I’m talking about? American Idol — kicking off Season 9 — gave us Pants on the Ground, a song written and performed by a 62 year old man who’s sick and tired of seeing these young…

This is what science is all about; getting thrown a curveball by Nature and plunging in to find out what’s going on. -Andy Albrecht Imagine waking up in the morning and heading out into the sand dunes. They never look exactly the same from day to day. But each day that you go out, they’ll…