Archive for the ‘Science’ Category
Folks need help naming Pluto’s moons.
Actually, they don’t any help at all. Scientists and astronomers and such have had no problem naming planets, moons, or other celestial objects before, and they really don’t have any trouble now. They want to pacify people who got all ticked off over the demotion of Pluto from planet to dwarf planet.
Or, maybe, they just want to get attention or something. Well, they got mine.
There’s a Website that is set up for the purpose of naming two of Pluto’s moons. Now, in case you didn’t know, Pluto has five moons. Maybe it has more, but they only know about five. They discovered Charon in 1978. I remember that. At the time, they had no real idea just how big Pluto was. They figured it was probably about the size of Earth, though I was never really quite sure why. But, the discovery of Charon, and all the math that led to, came up with the idea that Pluto was a lot smaller than people thought.
Then, they discovered more moons in 2005. They named them Nix and Hydra. Then, they discovered two more, in 2011 and 2012, respectively. They haven’t named them yet. And, according to the Laws of Science, Pluto can’t bring the moons home from the hospital until they have a name. Or something.
So, the Website Pluto Rocks (get it?) has been set up to name the two moons. Currently, the frontrunners are Styx and Cerberus. Why a late ’70s rock band would get a moon named after them is something I don’t understand. Maybe Come Sail Away is a lot better song than I realized.
As for Cerebus, that’s a dog. Which is kinda weird, since Pluto is Mickey Mouse’s dog. Can a dog have a dog? I suppose if it’s a three-headed dog, no one would complain. For long.
Anyway, most of the names on the ballot are names you’d expect, like Persephone, Hercules, Orpheus, and Barack.
Wait. Barack isn’t on the list. But they do have a write-in ballot available. Maybe I’ll write in a name. It damn sure won’t be Barack. But, what should I write in? Or, what would you write in?
What should be the names of Pluto’s moons?
|Photo: Canadian Space Agency|
An orbiting robot gas station ran a successful test refueling of a mock satellite. That’s the word from a report this past week:
Dextre, a twin-armed robot from Canada, topped off the fuel tank in the mockup, showing how satellites’ life can be extended, according to the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
Operating on the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) module, Dextre removed safety caps and cut through retaining wires before transferring liquid ethanol to the mockup, which is about the size of a washing machine.
That’s right. The Canadian Space Agency. Not NASA.
Now, I have nothing against our friends to the north. I’ve not spent a lot of time in Canada, but have visited. The places I went were nice. The only problem I found is they don’t know how to make breakfast sausage. Every breakfast I ate there has sausage that tasted like sawdust.
I’m thinking we wouldn’t be in this situation if we had an American president. Or Democrats who actually loved America.
|Photo: NASA / ESA / Andrew C. Fabian / Remco C. E. van den Bosch (MPIA)|
Scientists have found a really large thing in a distant galaxy. They took a year to study and recheck the data, and they’re pretty convinced that this really big things exists.
The galaxy known as NGC 1277 — though I don’t think the people that live there call it that — is about 250 million light years from Earth. In the middle of it, is a really large black hole.
The giant black hole is about 11 times as wide as the orbit of Neptune around our sun, researchers said. The mass is so far above normal that the scientists took a year to double-check and submit their research paper for publication, according to the study’s lead author, Remco van den Bosch.
Now, unless you just happen to know the size of the orbit of Neptune, all you can know is that it’s pretty big. My math is that Neptune’s orbit is around 5.6 zillion miles. Maybe billion — I’m not that good at math. And 11 times that is … well, it’s a lot.
And that’s a black hole. The thing is huge.
But, is it the largest thing there is?
I think not. I can think of a few things that might be larger, either in size or mass.
Like what? I’m glad you asked.
- The debt
- Obama’s ego
- Liberal stupidity
- The handbasket the country is going to hell in
- Your tax bill
- Next year’s debt
What did I miss? Ideas?
NASA says we needn’t worry about that asteroid hitting Earth in 2036. That’s the good news.
If you remember, in 2004, scientists discovered an asteroid they named Apophis, and were concerned that it might hit Earth during one of its flybys. Now, they say that while it’ll be a close encounter, it won’t be a deadly one:
“With the new data provided by the Magdalena Ridge [New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology] and the Pan-STARRS [Univ. of Hawaii] optical observatories, along with very recent data provided by the Goldstone Solar System Radar, we have effectively ruled out the possibility of an Earth impact by Apophis in 2036,” said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at JPL. “The impact odds as they stand now are less than one in a million, which makes us comfortable saying we can effectively rule out an Earth impact in 2036. Our interest in asteroid Apophis will essentially be for its scientific interest for the foreseeable future.”
The April 13, 2029, flyby of asteroid Apophis will be one for the record books. On that date, Apophis will become the closest flyby of an asteroid of its size when it comes no closer than 19, 400 miles (31,300 kilometers) above Earth’s surface.
Personally, I was never worried. After Obama’s reelection, I’m thinking won’t be a civilization left for Apophis to destroy.
Now scientists think that there may be 17-billion Earth-size planets in our galaxy. That’s a U.S. billion, which is 17 followed by 9 zeroes.
Now, just because a planet is Earth-size doesn’t mean it will support life. Look at Venus, the nearest planet to Earth. It’s just about the same size as Earth, but its average temperature is 872° F (467° C for you scientist types and Europeans), which is hot, even for someone from the south.
Still, 17-billion? That’s a lot of planets. Maybe we’ll find one that’s habitable.
And, if we do, we need to figure out how to send a B-Ark with all the liberals on it.
In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the Golgafrincham sent their useless people off into space. For those that don’t know the story — and shame on you if you don’t! — the Golgafrincham told of impending doom, and the population would be sent off into space in three giant space arks, with the A-Ark containing the leaders and achievers, the C-Ark containing people who did the actual work, and the B-Ark containing, well, the rest. Of course, the B-Ark was sent off first, and the rest of the population remained behind, rid of the nuisances.
Which means this information about there being 17-billion Earth-size planets? We can use this.
We need to come up with some story that the liberals will believe — I don’t think being eaten by a mutant Star Goat will do — and send them off.
Maybe tell them we found a planet populated with baby seals. Or a planet with free Obamaphones and food stamps. We need to come up with something.
Keep in mind, we don’t need to wait until we find another habitable planet. We just need ideas to get them to agree to all pile into a big ship we can send off into deep space.
[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #497,013)
Bacon! There’s nothing it can’t do!
Except maybe get eaten by terrorists.
REMINDER: Alpha Proxima Day starts at midnight. Remember to turn on all your lights so we can make up for all the darkness-worshiping hippies who will kneel in supplication to Earth Hour tomorrow at 8:30pm.
Electric power plants create good-paying American jobs. Especially the filthy coal-fired ones. Keep the economy stimulated.
Sand Flea is an 11-lb robot with one trick up its sleeve: Normally it drives like an RC car, but when it needs to it can jump 30 feet into the air. An onboard stabilization system keeps it oriented during flight to improve the view from the video uplink and to control landings. Current development of Sand Flea is funded by the The US Army’s Rapid Equipping Force. For more information visit www.BostonDynamics.com.
[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #688,568)
Who’s got the high ground NOW, Obi-Wan?
[High Praise! to MikeS]
Kill 8 zombies without reloading, while still technically adhering to the double-tap rule.
[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #1,205,921)
If that’s too bulky for you, there’s another .45 with 2 barrels that weighs in at 14 ounces, but it only shoots one bullet at a time. However, it also has a 2-shot reload clip in the handle, so you can still double-dip on fun with the walking dead.
[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #3,064)
Did you hear? We got new elements! Numbers 114 and 116.
If you have a collection of elements — and who doesn’t — you need to update it.
In contrast to more familiar elements like carbon, gold and tin, the new ones are short-lived. Atoms of 114 disintegrate within a few seconds, while 116 disappears in just a fraction of a second, Moody said.
Both elements were discovered by a collaboration of scientists from Livermore and Russia. They made them by smashing calcium ions into atoms of plutonium or another element, curium. The official recognition, announced last week, cites experiments done in 2004 and 2006.
That might seem odd, that experiments were conducted 5-7 years ago and they’ve just now made them official. And they still don’t have names.
But, think about it: Barack Obama was born in 1961 and it took 50 years for anyone to find a birth certificate. So those new elements are actually ahead of the game.
So, what should we call these elements?
Number 114 is in the carbon group, which includes carbon (of course), silicon, germanium, tin, and lead. It’s been called “ununquadium,” which is a silly name. It sounds like something they made up for Star Trek — the Voyager Star Trek, not the real Star Trek.
Number 116 is a chalcogen, along with oxygen, sulfur, selenium, tellurium, and polonium. It’s been called ununhexium, which is like 7-Up, the Uncola, only with hexium instead of cola and twice the un.
They are some proposed names for these elements:
The discoverers at Dubna, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, in Russia have proposed the name flerovium for 114, after Soviet element-finder Georgy Flyorov, and moscovium for 116, after Russia’s Moscow region.
If Ronald Reagan was president, we wouldn’t put up with naming elements for a bunch of Ruskies. There were 3 elements discovered during Reagan’s time in office — Bohrium, Meitnerium, and Hassium — none named for Russians. Dubnium (105), discovered in 1970, was named for a Russian town, but that wasn’t made official when Clinton was in the White House.
We need to come up with some good names for these new elements. Like what? Like these:
- Illudium Phosdex
While these might be cool names, you may have some better ideas. Let’s here them.
Last week, Dr. Richard B. Hoover, an astrobiologist with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, announced that there was evidence of alien life in meteorites.
According to his report at the Journal of Cosmology, life is common in the universe:
…these fossilized bacteria are not Earthly contaminants but are the fossilized remains of living organisms which lived in the parent bodies of these meteors, e.g. comets, moons, and other astral bodies. Coupled with a wealth of date published elsewhere and in previous editions of the Journal of Cosmology, and as presented in the edited text, “The Biological Big Bang”, the implications are that life is everywhere, and that life on Earth may have come from other planets.
As evidence, he offered photos of what looked like life.
|© Journal of Cosmology|
But the surprising news doesn’t stop there, according to Dr. Hoover. “Building on this conclusion — that is, if it looks like life, then it’s probably life — we now have proof that poodles live in the earth’s sky.”
While some scientists are skeptical of Dr. Hoover’s latest claim, he offered additional photos to support his hypothesis.
“You see this? There’s no doubt that it’s a poodle. But closer examination shows that it’s floating in the sky with clouds,” Dr. Hoover said. “It’s obvious that giant floating poodles live on the earth. In fact, there may be additional giant floating dogs, not just poodles, that live in the sky.”
While there is no photographic evidence of other airborne canines, Dr. Hoover suggests that other evidence points to their existence.
“The meteorites that contain microscopic slugs? How did they get to earth? I think that other sky-dogs may have seen the asteroids zipping by in space and, well, essentially played ‘fetch’ with them, bringing them to earth and dropping them on us,” Dr. Hoover concluded.
The scientist stated that more research needed to be done. He said that once NASA learns more about the giant floating dogs, it is possible they could be trained to not only fetch, but to also deliver satellites into space.
“The possibilities are endless,” Dr. Hoover said.
The sun has launched an attack on the earth.
A solar flare was emitted Tuesday, and it’s heading this way.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) said the possible effects from the geomagnetic storm include power grid fluctuations, impact on satellite operations, effects on migratory animals and the visibility of auroras in places like New York, Idaho, Michigan and Maine.
Yes, it’s hitting any moment now.
It may have already hit. But, I don’t think it has, since life on earth hasn’t burned up and the continents haven’t turned into pools of molten rock.
And, did you notice that one of the places impacted would be Idaho? Frank J. lives near there, I think. And the CME could affect his blogging. I don’t know if it’ll make it better or worse, but I don’t like change, so whatever happens, I won’t like it.
But, let’s look at the bigger picture. This solar attack is like the plot out of a bad direct-to-video movie that airs on the SyFy Channel or something. Which means that we need to be on the lookout for other SyFy-based threats. Like Meteors, Mega Piranha, Mega Pythons, Gatoroids, Tiffany, and Debbie Gibson.
We also need to ask why. Why is the sun attacking us?
I think it’s pissed that humans are trying to take credit for global warming, when it’s the sun that causes the earth to warm up and cool down. The sun has sat there, 93-million miles away, watching us. And it’s tired of Al Gore giving credit to humans for its work.
I think we need to take all the “global warming/climate change/whatever it’s called next” crowd and put them in a rocket and shoot them off into space. Not like some B Ark plot, but to distract the CMEs. It’ll see the rocket ship full of screaming environmentalists and direct its attention that way.
Al Gore could end up saving the earth after all.
Even then, we won’t be completely safe. There’s still the threat of Tiffany vs Debbie Gibson.
There are a number of events that Science! says we need to be worried about in the future. For one, in five billion years the sun is supposed to enter a red giant phase and engulf the earth. Pretty bad, but that’s a long way off, so we can safely leave it as someone else’s problem.
Except we have an earlier problem. The Andromeda galaxy is on a collision course with the Milky Way. And when it collides, who knows what will happen to our solar system? And that’s in only 4.5 billion years by current estimates.
But we have other problems besides that to worry about, as before the sun enters its red giant phase, it is constantly burning off fuel and getting hotter. It’s getting so hot, in fact, that in around 500 million years the earth should be unlivable. Yeah, that’s right: Only 500 million years. That’s something we have to think about dealing with.
If we live that long.
Because now scientists say they’ve noticed a periodic extinction pattern. Every 27 million years, something just starts killing things right and left. And the next one occurs in only 16 million years. That’s cutting it close, but that gives us time to prepare, right? But here’s the problem: Scientists have no idea what causes it.
That’s right; no idea. Usually scientists would at least act like they figured it out and make a wild guess. But this one is too mysterious to even attempt an explanation. But if something is mysterious and murderous, that points to only one culprit:
In this ABC News story, it talks about “scientists” opposing Governor Jindal’s plan to deal with the oil spill. It never mentions who these scientists are or where they come from, because I guess it doesn’t matter because all you need to know is they’re scientists and thus right because they use Science!
Which gets me thinking: I’m a scientist. Well, I have a bachelors in science. And I like to study stuff like the science of humor. So I’m a scientist. That means that when you quote me, you shouldn’t say that, “Frank J. says…” You should say, “Scientists say…” So here are some new scientifical statements:
Scientists say that more funding and research needs to be devoted to dinosaurs with rocket launchers on them and space lasers.
Scientists say that lab tests on monkeys aren’t quite cruel enough yet.
Scientists say the best strategy for the president during a crisis is to accidentally lock himself in a trunk so he’ll stay out of the way of anyone who actually knows how to do something useful.
Scientists say we’re almost out of Doritos and should get more.
Scientists say that Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a really fun game.
Scientists say that SarahK should get up and get her own water instead of having her husband do it after he’s already sat down for dinner.
Scientists say that the cat should stop clawing people while they write or it’s going to get popped in the face.
Scientists say, “Buy my t-shirts.”
Remember, you can’t question any of this, because I… wield… Science!
I think the one complaint scientists get the most is that the anti-matter they make just isn’t cold enough. Well guess what? They’ve made it colder! 9.26 Kelvin. That’s just 17 degrees Fahrenheit above absolute zero. That should be plenty cold for anything you need it for!
Wait, what did you say you needed it for?
Oh yeah, I guess for that, you’d need it even colder. Still, I think this will be plenty cold for a lot of people.
Ever since scientists first discovered anti-matter, they were like, “But how do we make this cold?” They tried to put it on ice, but it would just explode since the ice was made out of normal matter. Similarly, blowing on it didn’t work. So then they made a magnetic trap. That worked awesomely. So now they have cold anti-matter and that is pretty… well… cool.
So what do you with cold anti-matter? Well, you get a news story written up about it for one thing. And then you work to make it even colder. Because Science! marches on. And there is no such thing as anti-matter being “too cold.”
|Young Einstein was right: e=mc2 is the formula for splitting beer atoms|
I’m a big fan of space exploration. Whether it’s because I truly believe that it’s to the benefit of all mankind that we push the boundaries of exploration, or if it’s just because it reminds me of Star Trek, I don’t know. Probably the latter. Anyway, I’m a big fan of space exploration.
A lot of Americans used to be that way, too.
However, ever since the summer of 1969, space exploration hasn’t seemed to have the country’s attention like it used to. What happened in the summer of ’69? The Apollo 11 landing. And the last first-run episode of Star Trek. Not sure which caused the drop in interest in space.
|Science! has another way to blind us|
We need something to get people’s attention. And our good friend, Science!, has supplied it.
Okay, it’s not exactly beer. But it’s alcohol, similar in structure to the alcohol in beer.
Geoff Macdonald, who has a keen interest in such matters, calculated that there is enough for 300,000 pints of beer for every person on Earth every day for the next billion years
Space has beer for the taking. That ought to get people’s attention. And it ought to increase the interest in space exploration.
Now, me? I don’t drink beer. I don’t drink any alcoholic beverages at all. I’m that much of a Baptist.
But you know what that means? When we all go to space after the space beer, I’m the designated driver.
Where do babies come from?
All this time, you thought it had something to do with “when a man loves a woman…” Or, maybe a Barry White song instead of a Percy Sledge (or Michael Bolton) song.
That is so early 21st century. We’ve moved beyond that.
Scientists have created eggs and sperm from stem cells.
Scientists at Stanford University in California found the right cocktail of chemicals and vitamins to coax the cells into becoming eggs and sperm.
The sperm had heads and short tails and are thought to have been mature enough to fertilise an egg.
The eggs were at a much earlier stage but were still much more developed than any created so far by other scientists.
While this is certainly interesting, what if babies realize that they don’t need men or women in order to be born?
Sure, the average baby isn’t all that smart. A typical infant is only slightly smarter than the average Democrat. But what about those Baby Einsteins that the Disney company made smart?
Don’t be fooled. Those Baby Einsteins are smart. They figured out how to get smart, then get their money back from Disney. Scary smart, those Baby Einsteins.
So, if smart babies learn how to make other babies, they’d probably make more smart babies. Then we’d be overrun with smart babies.
Not worried about that? Read that whole article again. Especially this part:
The science also raises the possibility of ‘male eggs’ made from men’s skin and ‘female sperm’ from women’s skin.
This would allow gay couples to have children genetically their own
Think about this. What if genius gay babies try to take over the world?
You know what? They’ll succeed?
Who would fight them? If it was Godzilla, we’d send the Army out to fight them. But it’s not Godzilla. It’s smart gay babies. We can’t send the Army to fight smart gay babies. They’re babies, for crying out loud.
On the other hand, maybe Obama would make his mind up to take a stand against smart gay babies. But I doubt it.
Smart babies, yes, he’d send the troops to fight against. But smart gay babies? That’s part of his constituency. The gay part, not the baby part. Or the smart part.
So, if babies tried to take over the world, Obama would fight against them. But if smart gay babies try, we’re screwed.
And not in the way that we used to make babies.
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.).
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.
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.