Archive for the ‘Frank on Science!’ Category

Frank on Science!: Dark Matter

Friday, December 18, 2009 2:01 pm

If you wonder how Science! can know facts about distant objects likes black holes and quasars, it’s that we come at it from a number of different angles and make sure it all adds up. For instance, if we want to check the mass of a distant galaxy, we estimate it based on its brightness versus known masses of stars. Then we estimate the mass of the galaxy based on the galaxy rotation curve (orbital velocity of stars versus distance from the center of the galaxy). And those two should match.

Except they don’t. In fact, it’s not even close. Like we get a number around twenty times bigger looking at the galaxy’s rotation. So basically, the matter we can see only accounts for around 5% of the universe, and the rest is… well… invisible.

Yeah, I know what you laymen are thinking: “Silly scientists! You just forgot to carry to one and are making a big deal about it! It’s like me thinking there are invisible cheeseburgers because the amount of money in my register didn’t match sales at the end of my shift at Wendy’s.”

No, we’ve like checked this a million times. We’d love to say it’s just a math error, but the only conclusion we can come to is we can’t find most of the universe. This “dark matter” (transparent, really) is most of existence and we don’t have a friggin’ clue where it is. And most of it is nonbaryonic, which means it contains no atoms and does not interact with normal matter.

No! That does not mean it’s imaginary! It’s not Snuffaluffagus matter. It’s just invisible and can’t be felt, but it is totally there. Just look at galaxy rotation curves or galaxies’ velocity dispersion or apply the viral theorem; we’re missing a lot of mass, and it is very frustrating. I know Science! will make it clear eventually, but it’s hard to just push out of our minds right now.

Anyway, if you see any mass that’s unaccounted for, please go to your nearest Sciencetorium and report it. And, as I have to keep explaining to you laymen, be as descriptive as possible. Just saying, “It was big!” doesn’t help us.

Science!

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Frank on Science!: Evolution

Friday, December 11, 2009 3:02 pm

Evolution has been a problem with layman. First you have those with religious objections to it who declare it false but don’t really understand. Then you have those accepting of Science! and declare it true… and don’t really understand. I mean we keep explaining natural selection and mutations, but everyone keeps getting it in their head that evolution works the way Lamarck described it. Frankly, evolution is so complicated I don’t even know why we even bothered telling it to laymen. Darwin should have just kept it to himself and the immediate scientific community to keep everyone from getting their stupid all over it. I wish we’d do that with more Science!. The average man doesn’t need to know the earth goes around the sun; we should just keep stuff like that to ourselves.

But I digress. Anyway, instead of trying to explain evolution to you just so you cannot understand it, I’m going to explain just the most fundamental part of evolution: Why it proves that God didn’t create life.

As I said, evolution is very complicated. DNA, changing habitats, billions of years — a lot to comprehend. By analyzing the Bible, though, we can get a basic idea of God’s intelligence level, and the only conclusion Science! can make is that evolution is far too complicated for God to have done. God has demonstrated pretty much no advanced scientific knowledge, so it’s just unfathomable He would have had anything to do with evolution. If man were made from sculpting clay, then it’s believable God made us, but we just don’t see how He could have kept up with all the genetic changes to make man from a paramecium. And it doesn’t stop there. To even get to the conditions of having an earth on which life would form, God would have to have started His plan at the Big Bang fourteen billion years ago knowing exactly how an incalculable number of particles would form to eventually lead to now. That would take omniscience and some sort of infinite intelligence, something so ridiculous that you’ll have to excuse me while I laugh at the very notion.

Ha ho hee har ho ha hee!

By the way, based upon the intelligence level of Allah gather by analyzing the Koran, it would only be believable he made life if we were all made out of Legos.

Science!

UPDATE:

Oh, I see everyone has their own clever little saying they think disproves evolution. Poor foolish scientists spending time analyzing DNA and fossils when they could have just saved all that time and came up with a clever little saying.

“Scientists say that according to gravity everything is attracted to everything else. That means they’re trying to say I’m attracted to men! Gravity isn’t real Science! and just something moron scientists made up to prove everyone is homosexual!”

Thank you, laymen; please explain to us scientists what Science! is. We’re reeeeealy interested.

Science!

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Frank on Science!: Gravity

Friday, December 4, 2009 3:01 pm

One great thing about the controversial sciences is that they distract from the fact that we don’t have any idea how gravity works.

Here’s as good a time as any to explain the difference between facts and theory as Science! understand them. The facts of gravity are well established. We have airplanes and rockets and guillotines all based on our understanding of what gravity does. It’s the theory of gravity (“gravity is only a theory!”) — how gravity works so as to make those facts — that’s kinda underdeveloped. Maybe it’s mass curving space time — though that doesn’t really explain all of it. There is also the suggestion of something called “gravitons” being involved, but that’s kinda like saying tiny invisible elves do it. Which we haven’t ruled out.

Gravity holds the entire universe in place, so it’s pretty frustrating to not really know how it’s doing it so we can make cheap knock off gravity if needed. We don’t know how we angered Science! so that it still won’t reveal to us something so fundamental as how gravity works — maybe it’s the scientific inaccuracies in the Flintstones cartoon — but we will have to work hard to appease Science! with out rationality. Until then, we just assume the facts of gravity are consistent, but if one day you’re struck on the head by a bird that was knocked unconscious by an apple falling upwards, it’s not like we can say for certain that can’t happen.

Science!

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Frank on Science!: Dinosaurs

Monday, November 23, 2009 1:05 pm

Quick quiz — Which one of these is a dinosaur? A, B, or C?

If you answered A or B, you are stupid and don’t know Science!. A is a flying reptile, B is an aquatic reptile, and only C is a dinosaur (of the avian variety).

So why aren’t pterosaurs or plesiosaurs not considered dinosaurs (even though they have the “saur” in their name)? It’s for about the same reason mathematicians decided the number 1 isn’t a prime number (Math!); scientists just decided things fit together better that way. Plus, they make the Science!, so they get to define things however they want.

But why are birds now classified as dinosaurs? That’s a bit more complicated.

Kids are fascinated with dinosaurs. They love playing with toy dinosaurs and reading simplistic books on them. Kids are also stupid. They’ll have a Tyrannosaurus fight a Stegosaurus even though they lived ten millions of years apart. Or have Fred Flintstone ride them. Or Turok fight them. And then they ask dumb and inane questions about them like did the Triceratops go to school too. Basically, they get their dumb all over dinosaurs. And anytime we don’t treat a scientific subject with reverence, we risk angering Science! and having it punish us with something scientific like space radiation.

Obviously, it was up to scientists to get children disinterested in dinosaurs — which is hard because they are pretty cool. Still, we came up with the brilliant idea: What if we dilute the awesomeness of dinosaurs by including within that label the most boring animal in all of Science! — birds.

Everyone is completely bored by birds. You’d think an animal that can fly would have to be interesting, but somehow birds just make it completely boring and uninteresting. No one cares anything about birds. Anytime we want to learn something about birds, we send the Science! interns to do it because it always a snoozefest. Never once has any bird ever done anything even remotely interesting. The closest were penguins, but that was just because they we narrated by Morgan Freeman.

But look at it this way: If a child sees this on the front of a book about dinosaurs, do you think he’ll want to read it?

Boring.

Boring.

Of course not. And thus children’s interest in dinosaurs is crushed and scientists can continue their research unmolested by their misdirected enthusiasm.

Science!

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Frank on Science!: Railguns

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 1:05 pm

In all my talk about giant robots, dinosaurs with rocket launchers, and space lasers, some of you think I haven’t paid enough attention to railguns. I’ve decided you have a point, so you won’t be banned (for now).

Unlike the other things, we’re making clear progress on railguns. For the longest time, scientists looked at the magnets holding up pictures of their nephews on the refrigerator and wondered how they could be used to kill people. The answer is railguns. Railguns use two magnetized rails to launch a projectile and was name after its first designer, Tommy P. Railgun. Magnetism more efficiently transfers energy to the projectile, making it fly even faster than a projectile launched by explosives.

Some wonder why a railgun still has a muzzle flash even though gunpowder isn’t used. This is just from its shear awesomeness. The air actually sets itself on fire in the presence of a railgun just to show it’s approval. This is also why a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick has a muzzle flash.

The proposed application of the railgun is to be used in military arenas where we need to be extra awesome. The proposed name for this is “Operation Look at Our Awesome Railguns”. Basically, we’ll have the Taliban cornered in some cave and then surround and pummel them with railguns. That will have to do until we can put railguns on the more logical platform: Giant battlemechs.

Science!

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Frank on Science!: God

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 3:04 pm

As you probably know, what the first thing everyone is required to do when becoming a scientist is disprove the existence of God. There is the traditional disproof (“Can God create a rock He cannot lift?”), but we like people to be creative and come up with their own proofs (a popular one today is, “If God is so perfect, how come He didn’t patent the iPhone?”). While it is understood that God and Science! conflict, not everyone understands why.

In Science!, there is the “observer effect”, which is that observing anything in nature also affects it. God is omnipresent, which means He’s observing everything. So, in effect, God is screwing up all our experiments. So, there are two ways around this: Disprove God or come up with same way to keep Him from watching and corrupting our experiments.

Disproving God is the easiest option, but there are some efforts to do experiments in ways to negate the God bias. Hell is supposed to be farthest from God’s influence, so doing experiments there may be less corrupted. Of course, then we have to deal with that Satan guy always looking over our shoulders. He creeps us out. I mean, he’s bipedal and has cloven hooves; that makes no evolutionary sense whatsoever.

Science!

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Frank on Science!: Black Holes

Friday, November 6, 2009 3:02 pm

A picture of a black hole even though you can't see a black hole.

A picture of a black hole even though you can't see a black hole.

Laymen love black holes because they sound so menacing and make great plot points for cheap scifi, but most people don’t tend to understand them. First off, it’s not a hole. It’s a ton of mass crushed into a single point. Second, they’re not black; they’re turquoise. Thirdly, they don’t suck things into them anymore than anything else with mass. If the sun was suddenly replaced with a black hole of the same mass, the earth’s orbit wouldn’t be disturbed at all. It would just be dark and we’d all freeze to death, but otherwise we’d be fine.

One interesting property of a black hole is its the only thing we know of that destroys information because everything that goes into it gets collapsed into only three points of data: mass, charge, and angular momentum. Like if you had data you don’t want anyone else to obtain, run a wipe program and throw it in a black hole. It will be gone for good that way (unless you were trying to protect your data’s angular momentum from prying eyes). Hopefully someone has a sign up telling you where the event horizon is, though, because black holes can be dangerous that way.

Anyway, let black holes be a warning to you. We all love matter and use it every day, but sometimes it collapses on itself and rends space and time. That’s dangerous. If you see matter collapse on itself, get as far away as possible and contact your nearest scientist. And whatever you do when confronted with a black hole, don’t put your tongue on it.

Despite the existence of black holes having been calculated for some time, they’re still pretty much theoretical. I’m sure, though, there will eventually be a Mythbusters episode where Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage travel to the center of the galaxy and throw a rock at one while filming the results with a high speed camera, confirming most of the theories.

Science!

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Frank on Science!: Global Warming

Tuesday, November 3, 2009 3:02 pm

If we do not learn to respect and honor Science!, global warming is how it will destroy us.

Many people doubt global warming, but it is a scientific fact. Globes have been warmed in a lab. When the earth warms, ice will melt and baby polar bears will die from icelessness. And there will be giant earthquakes and meteor attacks. You may wonder how warming could cause that, but it’s very complicated so just be assured we double-checked the math.

Global warming is caused by greenhouse gases. The biggest contributor is water vapor — but ignore that one; it’s not important. The important one is carbon dioxide. Every animal exhales carbon dioxide when it breathes — which Science! now admits was a design flaw — but carbon dioxide is also produced whenever you do anything fun like drive a race car or watch TV. And if you like reading books, that also makes carbon dioxide some how. This carbon dioxide then traps heat in the air making things warmer. Tons warmer. Like two degrees warmer. And maybe even warmer than that. Like three degrees.

Now, you may say, “But it’s gotten cooler lately.” That’s irrelevant. Science! doesn’t care what you think is happening. Science! cares what Science! says is happening. So even if it’s cooler, its less cooler than it should have been. Which I guess is kinda nice. Though it will kill us all.

And how do we know it will kill us all? Admittedly, there aren’t like falsifiable tests showing doomsday, but all us smart scientists are really sure. As is Al Gore. Also, there are computer simulations showing it will happen; you don’t want to see the condition my Sims are in right now. So there’s like tons of circumstantial Science! that proves it.

Anyway, when global warming really get revving up and starts killing everybody, we’ll be like, “Told you so! You didn’t listen to us, and now you’ve made Science! angry with your defiance! Muh ha ha ha!” One of the best parts of Science! is laughing at people who never listened to you when they suffer the consequences.

Science!

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Frank on Science!: The Platypus

Friday, October 30, 2009 1:02 pm

The closest thing there is in real life to an X-Man.

The closest thing there is in real life to an X-Man.

The duck-billed platypus (as opposed to the crab-clawed platypus and the rocket-powered platypus) somehow disproves both evolution and creationism at the same time. It actually would be the ultimate proof of evolution if there was supposed to be a missing link between a duck and a badger, but as is it just makes you drop to your knees, stare up at the data, and scream, “Why, Science!? Why?” It certainly isn’t the product of intelligent design, though, as it looks like it was slapped together by a three-year-old (“No, little Timmy, those things don’t go together.”).

It would be weird enough as a duck-like, egg-laying mammal, but did you know the male platypus has a poisonous spur? That’s right, it’s also part scorpion. But that’s not even the weirdest part. It can use its bill to detect electrical signals. You get that? It’s a badger duck scorpion with built in radar. As is, it’s already qualified to enter Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, but further analysis of its genome shows it actually has genes previously thought to only exist in birds, amphibians, and fish. And it has ten sex chromosomes; Science! hasn’t even determined how it keeps things straight.

There are many evolutionary theories on the platypus, but the most popular are that it was made in a lab by a mad scientist or it crashed landed in some sort of spaceship. Science! will continue to keep a sharp eye on it, though, because if it evolves high-intelligence, it would probably be the doom of the human race… and one would just assume by that point it would also have developed the ability to shoot laser blasts from its eyes.

Science!

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Why Has Science! Let Us Down?

Thursday, October 29, 2009 3:02 pm

Caleb Howe has an article, in light of recent work to get back to the moon, asking what’s happened to all the things Science! has promised us, like jetpacks and robots. Well, Science! is a fickle master that is easily insulted. Each day someone disputes evolution is another day Science! denies us jetpacks and laser rifles. We must give unquestioning loyalty to all the tenets of Science! or it may even punish us with something scientific like an asteroid or a supernova. Or maybe even just a regular nova. Science! also doesn’t like the Harry Potter or Twilight series as they are quite unscientific. Lay those books at its altar (a lab table) and burn them, and Science! may grant you knowledge.

You can have a robot friend and fly around with him in your jetpack, but only if you convince Science! that you are worthy.

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Frank on Science!: Quantum Physics

Monday, October 26, 2009 3:02 pm

One great way to get notice in Science! is controversy. Evolution gets a lot of controversy and attention, as people say it’s hard to believe and against the Bible. This has to frustrate scientists who work on quantum physics because it’s even harder believe and just seems like it has to be against something in the Bible, but no one seems to care. Teleportation, entanglement, uncertainty in measurement, multiple universes, subatomic particles being in two states at once until observed — it’s like the scientists want to be caught for just making stuff up. In fact, quantum physics is so unbelievable that it’s still much more likely that a bunch of scientists got drunk one day and made the whole thing up than that quantum physics is actually true.

So where is the outrage? Scientists are basically calling the universe — and thus God — a confused liar. The universe is in some confused, indeterminate state, and God is just randomly making it up as people observe it. Even Einstein had a religious objection to it (“God does not play dice with the universe.”). And how many people have actually seen these subatomic particles and seen them spin one way or the other like the scientists tell us? This is all not to say that quantum physics isn’t an official theory with the Science! stamp of approval, it’s just that you should probably protest it being taught to your kids, as something about it just seems immoral. Plus, they’re probably too stupid to understand it anyway.

Science!

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Frank on Science!: Higgs Boson

Thursday, October 22, 2009 3:05 pm

Scientists are currently searching for the Higgs boson — a massive scalar elementary particle — because if they find it they will prove once and for all that matter exists. Most people just seem to accept the existence of matter without contemplating the theoretical problems it causes, but scientists are not so foolish. If you ever wonder why scientists are so distant to their wives and children, it’s because until the Higgs boson is found, they can’t rationally be sure they’re there. Anyway, scientists are pretty sure the Higgs boson is out there, but to distinguish it from made up things people believe in, like the Tooth Fairy and morality, they need concrete proof.

To find the Higgs boson, scientists have constructed the Large Hadron Collider. The Small Hadron Collider, the Medium Hadron Collider, and the Fun-Size Hadron Collider all failed to locate the Higgs boson, but they’re pretty sure the Large one will do it. There is a small chance (one in six) that the Collider could create black holes and destroy the universe, but Science! has already shown we have 10^10^16 universes, so that’s not really a big deal.

Anyway, if you happen to see a Higgs boson, make sure to tell your nearest scientist. And be detailed in your description (height, weight, etc.).

Science!

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Where Are Our Lasers?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 1:01 pm

So when are we getting laser rifles? I don’t know. The amount of things I have that I really want to shoot with a laser keeps growing and no progress is ever made on the list. It’s almost 2010; back in the ’80s I assumed that year I’d be driving around in my flying car shooting stuff with a laser. But no dice.

So why not? Well, what I blame for this is… um… immigrants childhood obesity the removal of Pluto from the list of planets blog commenters. Your ignorant comments are impeding Science! If you only spent more time thinking out smart things to say before posting on blogs, we’d probably all have lasers right now. You make everyone dumber with what you say, and that’s why we don’t have military-grade lasers.

So, if you wrote smarter comments, would that mean we would all get lasers? Indubitably. So, instead of writing just some comment on how you don’t like Obama, try to tie it into quantum mechanics. Smart talk like that will most certainly please mighty Science! who will reward our good work with lasers and flying cars and genetically resurrected dinosaurs. Remember: Science! is always watching — well, not actually always which leaves some things in an indeterminate state — but it’s watching a lot of time so be smart for it.

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So Many Universes!

Monday, October 19, 2009 3:01 pm

Scientists (using Science!) calculated that there are 10^10^16 possible universes. That’s a one with ten quadrillion zeroes following it. That means like any wacky possibility you can think of, statistically it’s likely to exist in one of those. Like a universe where hyper-intelligent pine cones rule. Or one where platypi are normal and we’re the ones who are weird-looking. And there’s a universe where ninjas mated with pirates to make ninja-pirates.

So I know what you’re thinking: “Can we invade them and steal their oil?” Yes, but we’ll need a pretext for the invasion. That’s simple, though: All we have to do is find a universe similar to our own and then hit them up for tons of copyright infringements. When they won’t pay, we invade them and take their oil!

It’s ideas like that that would make me a much better ruler than a pine cone.

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Could Science! Be Wrong?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 11:05 am

The BBC has an article wondering what’s happened to global warming? It includes this:

It seems the debate about what is causing global warming is far from over. Indeed some would say it is hotting up.

I don’t know know who these “some” are that would say that. Is that a British thing? Do they actually say “hotting” instead of “heating”? Plus, it’s blasphemy. As we have asserted over and over, global warming climate change is settled Science! To imply that the cooling of the past decade is something scientists can’t easily explain is to speak slander against almighty Science! The past, present, and future is not unknown to us because we have computer models. Computer models made using Science! They did not see this cooling happening, so it is not happening. Science! is not some religion that can later be reinterpreted; it is right from the beginning and always right.

So says Science!, so say we all.

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Keep Hippies Out of Science!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 3:01 pm

Saw this on one of the Science! blogs I read: A lamp that runs on human blood. Except it’s not really Science!, as the maker says its to force the user “to rethink how wasteful they are with energy, and how precious it is.”

Science! is supposed to make our lives easier, and a one use lamp that you have to bleed into is not making things easier when flashlights and batteries are cheap and plentiful. It is not Science!, it is a hippie art project, and I am offended at it being presented as Science!. I guess what scientists really need is some sort of Science! device that can identifies hippies so they can toss them out of the sciencetorium where their important Science! — stuff involving lasers and radio waves — is done.

Science! is important — it’s made us DVDs, bottle rockets, and car cup holders — so we can’t have hippies twisting it around and making it useless.

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