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I hate those supernovae

384566main_ero_ngc6302_4x3_428-321.jpg

[Not a supernova but still something to run from, if you ask me.]

I'm at the American Astronomical Society meeting at Woodley Park, making sure that space is behaving properly. Most people look at space with awe and wonder; I look with fear and horror. The universe seems awfully disorderly -- violent, unpredictable, variably scorching and freezing, and, most of all, way too big and getting bigger. The expanding universe was bad enough; now we hear that it also INFLATES. Enough, I say. Stop this madness. There are billions of stars and billions of galaxies, even though we really don't need more than a few dozen of each.

Anyway, so I'm leafing through the press releases this morning, just making sure that nothing really bad is about to happen out there, spacewise, and what do I see:

"The Long Overdue Recurrent Nova T Pyxidis: Soon To Be a Type la Supernova?"

These cats at Villanova have discovered that there's a star out there, like about a bajillion miles away, but not so many bajillion miles as we thought, that might be getting in the mood to go supernova in a big way, conceivably, maybe:

If the mass of the white dwarf in such a binary star system increases with time, then it will eventually reach the so-called Chandrasekhar Limit, and will undergo instantaneous gravitational collapse resulting in a [sic] unimaginably powerful thermonuclear detonation which .... releases ten million times more energy than a nova explosion or is equivalent to twenty billion, billion, billion megatons of TNT.

I HATE it when things hit the Chandrasekhar Limit (actually it happened to me on New Year's Eve, but that's another story...). Also, I'm not sure what "twenty billion, billion, billion" means, so I'm going to translate it as "60 billion." That okay with everyone?

The scientists go on:

An interesting, if a bit scary [can you please be more quantitative on how scary, exactly?], speculative [so we can ignore this part, correct?] sidelight is that if a Type Ia supernova explosion occurs within 1000 parsecs [roughly 18 kajillion bajillion miles]....then the gamma radiation emitted by the supernova would fry the Earth [is that the "a bit scary" part? Because I don't want to read the "very scary" part if that's the case].... The production of nitrous oxides in Earth's atmosphere by the supernova's gamma rays would completely destroy the ozone layer if the supernova went off within 1000 parsecs.

Run right now to buy your SPF-1,000,000,000.

--

Or wear a really, really big sombrero, like this one:

sombrero.jpg

--

[Here's my Web story on 5 new planets announced today.]

--

In the boodle, here's ScienceTim, and actual astronomer, putting the Supernova Of Doom into perspective (the good news being that it would not completely sterilize our planet -- phew!!!):

Twenty billion, billion, billion megatons, by the way, is two times ten to the 28th megatons. As a standard for comparison, figure there are of order ten thousand operable nuclear "devices" on Earth right now, of order 10 megatons each. So, the Earth sports about ten-to-the-5th megatons of explosive power right now. The purported future detonation of T Pyx would be about 2 times ten-to-the-23rd times that. For the chemists, that would be about a third of a mole of Earth's-worth of destructive power.

I may be incorrect by a couple orders of magnitude here and there, but the Executive Summary is about the same in any case: bad for us. Not great for human civilization in general.

But there's a bright side! The ionizing radiation portion of the Big Kaboom probably would be over pretty fast (no, I don't know what would constitute "pretty fast" -- ask those Villanova dudes. I'm thinking a time scale of around an hour or two), so only about half the Earth gets a direct zorching. Oceans have such high heat capacity and great shielding properties that the ocean would be largely untouched directly. Macroscopic life on *half* the Earth probably would be reduced to just the burrowing critters, but the other half would be mostly all right -- except for the mighty hurricane-force winds and hyper-tornadoes temporarily redistributing the energy from the Big Zorch over the global atmosphere. Plus the expanding clouds of live steam, but that probably won't kill more than a few hundred million people. All in all, a bad day for most individuals, but probably not too awful for many species, a major reset for genetic diversity (what with all the radiation-induced genetic alterations and newly-vacated ecological niches), a huge decrease in the production of anthropogenic atmospheric pollution (although a lot of freshly-composted organic molecules are likely to flow into the world's waters -- more nutrition!), and a profound sense of perspective on the significance of global warming and the fragility of life in the universe. All in all, I would ultimately mark it up as a squeaker of a WIN on Life's big scoreboard. Not good for "life", but a benefit to "Life", if you see the distinction.

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 4, 2010; 11:20 AM ET
 
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Next: More weird worlds

Comments

Mudged myself. Reposting:

Anybody local looking for a job? There are some openings on the Hill if you're interested:

WASHINGTON, D. C. - Nearly every staff member of Representative Parker Griffith's office tendered their resignation this morning in response to his recent decision to change party membership. This included the Chief of Staff, along with the entire legislative and communications team. In departing Griffith's office, the staff characterized his party-switch as a "mistake" and emphasized that this district has "benefited" from conservative Democratic leadership. Many of the staff members had worked for Griffith since before he arrived in Washington including several who worked on his campaign for Congress in 2008.

"Alabama's Fifth District has deserved and has benefited from great Democratic conservative leadership since Reconstruction. And until now they had it," Chief of Staff Sharon Wheeler said. "But Parker Griffith has abandoned the legacy of conservative leadership provided by Bud Cramer, Ronnie Flippo, Bob Jones, Howell Heflin, Jim Allen, Lister Hill, John Sparkman, Big Jim Folsom, and so many more."

Joining Wheeler in departing from Griffith's staff were: Megan Swearingen (Legislative Director), Brian Greer (Senior Legislative Assistant), Will Crain (Legislative Assistant), Sean Magers (Press Secretary), Arinze Ifekauche (Legislative Correspondent), Chase Chesser (Legislative Correspondent), Mary Lou Hughston (Staff Assistant), Dr. Anjali Shah Kastorf (Congressional Fellow), Leslee Oden (Congressional Fellow), and Andrew Menefee (Intern). The staff members waited until they could return to Washington to resign. Last month, Griffith's campaign consulting team announced they had terminated their relationship with Griffith.

Wheeler continued, "I appreciate Congressman Griffith's being a very dedicated congressman. But we believe he made a mistake - a well-intentioned but misguided mistake that is not in the interest of the great people of North Alabama who elected him a year ago as a Democrat. As his staff, we wish him only the best, and we all remain committed to the citizens of the Tennessee Valley. But we cannot, in good conscience, continue working for him. It is with deep sadness that we leave our work for the Fifth District. But because we are unwavering in our own principles, we have no choice but to move on. We do not know what the future holds, but we are taking a leap of faith with the belief we will soon find ourselves in the employment of principled public officials."


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 4, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

And here we were talking shoes and Zorn! Turns out it's the Parsec clan of 1,000 we should have been concerned about!

I wonder if the Salahi's are part of the Parsec clan...

Posted by: MsJS | January 4, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I have a feeling Griffith already has a buncha replacements helpfully provided by the RNC... *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 4, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

That's always been on the list of how the world ends. Fried by extraterrestrial gamma rays ranks just beneath, I guess, some horrible tropical zombie disease on things probably best not thought about too much. Because in both cases there is really not much we an do about it.

Since 1000 parsecs is about 3261 light years, this means that, conceivably, the death of this planet was pre-ordained back in the iron age.

Like I said. Best not thought about too much.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Nearly every staff member of Representative Parker Griffith's office tendered their resignation this morning..."

The grammatical gremlins are at it again.

*sigh*

Posted by: MsJS | January 4, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

So, why George Will was writing about the Chicxulub and Shiva craters on Dec. 31? I was surprised that Will was going beyond his typical subjects for this year-end commentary. Ya think that Will has thumbed information about Luis Alavarez and "T. rex and the Crater of Doom" and then decided to update it with the new information about the Shiva crater, from Chatterjee at Texas Tech?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/30/AR2009123002188.html

But an SPF factor of 1,000,000,000? Surely you jest. The eventual end of the age of mammals?

Posted by: laloomis | January 4, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"Nearly every staff member of Representative Parker Griffith's office tendered their resignation this morning..."

The grammatical gremlins are at it again.

*sigh*

Posted by: MsJS | January 4, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh, crap. And I burn so easily.

But wait, Joel -- you also have to post your "Five Easy Exoplanets" piece in the kit, too. I'm especially interested in that exoplanet they found that is hotter than its star, Planet Jalapeño XJ-973 in the Williams-Sonoma Catalogue.

They also discovered an exoplanet with the density of styrofoam, although I'm expecting them to issue a correction any moment, saying they went back, looked at the data, and decided they only found three exoplanets plus a hot cinnamon candy and a packing peanut that somehow got inside the Kepler tube during shipping.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 4, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I once came close to the Chandrasekhar Limit, so I cut back on the donuts.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Re: Party switching Rep from Alabama loses all of his staff.
Today's quiz- test your political IQ.

This is

A. A principled response by staffers.
B. Rats abandoning a sinking ship because they know he can't get re-elected- Repubs won't trust him (too much liberal voting) and Dems will revile him.
C. A comfortable 60/40 blend of A&B which will suit the seasoned political operative in his or her job search on the Hill.

Posted by: kguy1 | January 4, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

well, that's rather glum Joel, but if a super nova doesn't get us, something will... like taxes!

Posted by: MissToronto | January 4, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Zorn will sign on as Parker Griffith's new chief of staff. And since PG has switched parties, he's going to go last in the draft.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 4, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

The stellar cartography department put me on hold. Is this star within this magic 1000 parsec limit? I'm wondering if I can not worry because it's not a problem or not worry because it's utterly out of my hands.

Posted by: qgaliana | January 4, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Good for you, attending the AAS, Joel. I'm not doing so, myself, but intend to go to a dinner of the Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy this evening. Twenty billion, billion, billion megatons, by the way, is two times ten to the 28th megatons. As a standard for comparison, figure there are of order ten thousand operable nuclear "devices" on Earth right now, of order 10 megatons each. So, the Earth sports about ten-to-the-5th megatons of explosive power right now. The purported future detonation of T Pyx would be about 2 times ten-to-the-23rd times that. For the chemists, that would be about a third of a mole of Earth's-worth of destructive power.

I may be incorrect by a couple orders of magnitude here and there, but the Executive Summary is about the same in any case: bad for us. Not great for human civilization in general.

But there's a bright side! The ionizing radiation portion of the Big Kaboom probably would be over pretty fast (no, I don't know what would constitute "pretty fast" -- ask those Villanova dudes. I'm thinking a time scale of around an hour or two), so only about half the Earth gets a direct zorching. Oceans have such high heat capacity and great shielding properties that the ocean would be largely untouched directly. Macroscopic life on *half* the Earth probably would be reduced to just the burrowing critters, but the other half would be mostly all right -- except for the mighty hurricane-force winds and hyper-tornadoes temporarily redistributing the energy from the Big Zorch over the global atmosphere. Plus the expanding clouds of live steam, but that probably won't kill more than a few hundred million people. All in all, a bad day for most individuals, but probably not too awful for many species, a major reset for genetic diversity (what with all the radiation-induced genetic alterations and newly-vacated ecological niches), a huge decrease in the production of anthropogenic atmospheric pollution (although a lot of freshly-composted organic molecules are likely to flow into the world's waters -- more nutrition!), and a profound sense of perspective on the significance of global warming and the fragility of life in the universe. All in all, I would ultimately mark it up as a squeaker of a WIN on Life's big scoreboard. Not good for "life", but a benefit to "Life", if you see the distinction.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 4, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Kguy: I like "D", all of the above.

Posted by: ebtnut | January 4, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Just as a hundred hundred is not 200 (it's 10,000), "twenty billion billion billion" is not 60 billion. It's much larger than that! 2x10^28, I think, if I haven't messed up my math?

Posted by: UberJason | January 4, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

RD said donuts. Can we build a mobius strip donut? Let's do that and start a chain of sciencey foods.

(See, I can post about non-textile topics.)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 4, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Supernova. Champagne Supernova. Oasis. The Gallagher brothers. Violence.

It all fits.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I am shocked. That last picture clearly represents the destruction of Alderaan from the "improved" version of Star Wars and not the original classic version. As such it is an affront to purists everywhere.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Tim. For a minute there I was worried.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 4, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the suggestions, CqP. I got mudged, so see end of last kit.

The problem for me in being really petite but not flat-chested is that even petite clothing can have buttons sewn too far apart for good fit to flatter curves.

Many women's clothes have buttons placed over 2 inches apart, and for best fit I must have 2 inches or much less; 1 1/2 inches would be ideal.

I've seen some horrible "oversweaters" and such with buttons 3 inches apart. This will only cause huge gaps and plucking of the fabric, destroying the fit in no time for anybody with a short torso and curves.

Therefore I now avoid buttoned clothing altogether unless the fit is exceptionally good and the buttons as close together as I can expect.

Otherwise the only buttoned clothing I can wear will be those that are overly large or loose on my body and will wrinkle in no time.

Buttonless fashion is best for so many-- People with arthritic fingers or limited hand function also must begin to rely on velcro and zippers instead of buttons.

Just some thoughts that may not get covered in most fashion talks.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Space, space, space...

Rep. Parker Griffith's district includes Huntsville and Obama's lean toward privatizing space travel doesn't look promising for the constituents of Griffith's district...

http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/local.ssf?/base/news/1261563352107800.xml&coll=1

President Barack Obama has been given independent advice from a panel of aerospace experts who suggest canceling the $3.5 billion Ares I rocket program. Along with that, missile defense spending has been slashed by $2 billion and the future of planned interceptor rockets is up in the air.

The Griffith change comes just two weeks after powerful U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., said he will not run in 2010. Gordon is chairman of the House Science and Technology committee, which influences NASA work and Pentagon research dollars.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126135372896199409.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLETopStories

Worried about crew safety ad losing thousands of contractor jobs across several states if large portions of the current human exploration program are shelved, Congress earlier this month adopted language explicitly barring NASA from abandoning or substantially revising Constellation without prior approval from lawmakers. Florida, Alabama, Texas and Utah are some of the states that would be hardest hit by major changes.
***

Then again, Griffith's swap could just be a move for self-preservtion, as the Huntsville Times points out.

Posted by: laloomis | January 4, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Google assures me that:
20 billion * 1 billion * 1 billion = 2.0 × 10^28 (20 octillion)

So if that's what they meant, why didn't they just say it?

Posted by: bobsewell | January 4, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Question: how many buttons must the white dwarf burst before it becomes a supernovae?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

My candidate for fabric of the universe:

http://www.spoonflower.com/explore/128387

WB -- can you find a dressmaker? You could have a pattern made of pants that work and perhaps a jacket. Investment, surely, but some clothes that fit are such a joy. You can also purchase petites and plan to hem. Not perfect but one option. Sorry that I don't live closer. I am fast losing my dressmaking/draping skills. This craft is dying because of (relatively) cheap clothing. The theater world is missing the tailoring/dressmaking skills too. I did some piece work in the fall for a theater and was shocked at my eye-focus troubles and tight fingers. Hard on the body in a way one would not expect.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 4, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, try zippers, a lot sexier than buttons!

Posted by: MissToronto | January 4, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Nice pictures, but after bajillion I am lost.

Also will there be a nice pretty bright light before the earth is fried?

Posted by: dmd3 | January 4, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

WB -- I seldom button the buttons. You are right about placement. THe placements are done for "average" figures. Almost no woman has an average figure....in the olden days, button placement was custom to the torso and bust. Oh, for the olden days!!!!!! For button placement....I like many mod things.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 4, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Obviously small town elective politics are much less appearance driven in the UK. I mean, come on, would you vote for this guy?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/lancashire/8439446.stm

I can't decide whether he looks more like Elmer Fudd on Quaaludes or Droopy the Dog. Then there's the whole fetish thing.

Posted by: kguy1 | January 4, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I bought a short, fitted black cardigan sweater last Fall which has a semi-scooped neckline and it gapped between the buttons, too. I solved it by buttoning the buttons and then basting the whole front closed, invisibly, from behind. I put it on by pulling it over my head. Problem solved.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 4, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

*L* Fudd on 'ludes.

I want to know if things like novae make the guuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhnnnnnngggggggg sound like in the movies.

Posted by: -jack- | January 4, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I wound up basting a buttoned dress I have, too, Wheezy. What CqP says about how they used to tailor-fit buttons makes sense. A lot more sense than selling buttoned clothing in this day and age.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

On the bright side, with all the nitrous oxide created in the atmosphere, we'd be laughing and feeling no pain while we fried.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | January 4, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Dag, I'd been pondering taking in some of the AAS meeting this week, but things are just too busy for me now.

CQP, I'm not sure we need a mobius strip donut. A donut is technically a torus, much like the sombrero shockwave in JA's pic above.

Should we get T Pyx or that Supernova Gamma blast, I'm not going to bother with the SPF 10(some degree of scientific notation). I may consider putting on my bathing suit and get a surfboard -- get a great tan and be the Golden Surfer... for about a millisecond before I became the Charcoal Surfer, and crisped up nicely like an over-barbecued fowl (foul?) and blown away into the Cosmic Winds.

Things to worry about the 'verse in general (and things I've Boodled anout for years):

Some cosmological thories hold that at the far reaches of the universe as we understand it, the inflation rate of spacetime relative to ours may exceed the speed of light. One could consider this a type of event horizon -- light, raditaion, etc. originating there now would never ever get here, that region of spactime is receding faster than light can traverse the spacetime bewteen. So, what's going on out there? We may never know.

Keep an eye on potential sources of gamma ray bursts and any other stellar-type astronomical objects (including black holes and neutron stars) nearby whose axis of rotation/poles may point toward the sun (and *us*). Energetic events can be channeled out of the polar regions of such objects through the natural weak spots in that object's magnetic fields, as jets of concentrated hard radiation and whatever else is being emitted. A double-ended hard radiation rifle, really. Any civilization with the misfortune to be on the business end of one of those things within several light years would have a very bad day when the pulse arrived. Probably it's last one long the lines of *Tim's scenario, only since the pulse is concentrated into a beam, the effective distance is greater.

Presumably, things like this could be harnessed as weapons by civilizations with sufficient technology. And don't think that folks right here on Earth haven't considered smaller versions of the very same thing -- imagine the release of a single-shot atomic weapon aimed as a beam rather than as spherical blast... (Please feel free to discard that image of a weapon that could slice the Earth like an over-ripe tomato).

And don't even get me started about the Big Rip or the Heat Death of the 'verse...

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 4, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

IIRC the Big Rip came in as #4 in the late great George Carlin's list of the seven kinds of farts.

Posted by: kguy1 | January 4, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

BC -- why sir (e?) *stamping my bunny-slippered feet and snorting a Yoki-lady achuuuu* but I WANT A MOBIUS DONUT. NOW! Pretty please? With rickrack on top?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 4, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I added ScienceTim's upbeat comment to the kit.

FYI, the good news is that they're finding that most stars appear to be pretty quiescent...I think that's Latin or sumpin for "not as cranky as we thought."

Posted by: joelache | January 4, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Hooray! I made the kit!

Joel, ask those Villanova guys how long the heavy neutron and gamma output from the Supernova would last. If it's more than 12 hours, then things get difficult for life on Earth.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 4, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, ScienceTim, and also bc. I feel much better now. I think.

I also enjoyed Joel's exoplanet story. I do have difficulty with the term "exoplanet". "Exo" makes me think of insect exoskeletons. Thus, when I see "exoplanet" I think Space Bugs.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 4, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I thought there were several stages before the Chandrasekhar limit was reached. Neutron star, and maybe some levels of postulated quark matter before the big crunch.

Shout out to greenwithenvy.

Hope Joel doesn't regret the "60 billion" faux math remark. Legions of humorless pedants lurk just for such moments.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 4, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

If it's of any comfort to the rest of you, T Pyxidis is (according to NASA) approximately 6,000 light years away, somewhat outside the 1,000 parsec (3,261,560 light years) interstellar kill zone.

There's an old Hubble photo of T Pyxidis here: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap970925.html.

There is a more detailed description of its behavior here: http://www.aavso.org/vstar/vsots/0402.shtml.

So, less worry about being wiped out by a supernova and more about killing ourselves off, please?

Posted by: Gallenod | January 4, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

dr, hope you're having a great day. Happy Birthday!

Posted by: seasea1 | January 4, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Oops, sorry. That should be 3,261.56 light years to 1,000 parsecs. Gotta remember the decimal points.

Posted by: Gallenod | January 4, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

My first job was in exobiology, at NASA AMES. That lab evolved into this work:

http://exobiology.nasa.gov/ssx/microecobiogeo/html_documents/greenhouse_one.htm

Oh, how far I have fallen. To teach English, to perchance to dream about (the) fabric (of the universe) and button placement revolutions.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 4, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

A knitted mobius donut for you, dear DR. Many happy returns of the day. Of to errands. I feel better but still sporting a fever and the two red fever spots on my cheeks. Stay away. I won't breath on you.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 4, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

We tried "extrasolar planet", but it has an excess of syllables and leads to its own special categories of misunderstanding what the term is meant to mean, so exoplanet finally won the nomenclatural day.

I'm still wondering what names will be given to exoplanets once we get to the stage of actually imaging them. We could use up the supply of named mythological characters just by naming rocks and craters in our own solar system. I favor switching to the category of science fiction authors and their pets.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 4, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we'd name them after the stars. Denebian planets, Centuari planets.

But for now perhaps we should just talk about the search for the "Milky Way with Rocks in."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to study exobiology some day, but I'm worried about memorizing the names of all those phylums and species and genuses and echinodermata and whatnot. The other thing that disturbs me is the lab sessions where you have to dissect stuff. Those big gray ugly nightcrawlers we had to dissect in 9th grade were gross, and stinky, too. All that formaldehyde. Yuck. I mean, I can spatchcock a turkey, but I draw the line right about there.

I think I caught a case of T Pyxidis after going away to camp one summer, but the doctor gave me some ointment and it went away. Like impetigo, but not as much fun to scratch.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 4, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday was Epiphany Sunday, so the pastor was semonizing about the Three Kings probably being Zoroastrians and believing that the stars represented souls, greater ones being brighter, so a bright new star would be a Big Deal, worth checking out.

Whatever beliefs were at the time, Europeans and Americans certainly thought the galaxy, the universe, and everything were nice and orderly until recently. My pastor certainly seems to live in an orderly, carefully-planned cosmos.

It's jarring to think that the stability of our solar system emerged after lots of collisions and gravitational interactions, and that we're quite lucky to have been at decent distances from exploding stars. It's maybe even more jarring to realize that relatively minor disturbances to our planet's stability can be calamatous. The big boom that did in the dinosaurs wasn't all that big.

Given the turbulent history of the Middle East and Europe, I suppose the orderly universe (pre-Copernicus and even more so, post-Newton) and orderly geology (in the style of James Hutton) represented a refuge from barbarians, plagues, and snow storms.

Our predecessors certainly chose a world placidly created and sustained by a single God over alternatives involving murderous fights among the deities and family feuds afterward. I wonder what Richard Wagner would have thought of a violent universe.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 4, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I got five bucks that says if that supernova blows, Glenn Beck is gonna blame it on Obama.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 4, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Reliable Source reports a third uninvited guest at the State Dinner. Oh, my.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 4, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

All this talk of global frying reminds me of this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frAEmhqdLFs

OK, he sang about nuclear annihilation, but the concept is the same.

Posted by: MsJS | January 4, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, plant anatomy and morphology is relatively tidy, but you do get exposed to xylene and methyl salicylate, and there's those big, incredibly sharp microtome knives.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 4, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

If you feel like you just can't get enough nuclear-powered devastation from the skies, you could go to this DOE website, which has brief online excerpts of various nuclear weapon test films to help you decide which ones you want to buy copies of for your personal library.

http://www.nv.doe.gov/library/films/testfilms.aspx

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 4, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Exoplanets? Hmmm... growing up in a Greek-American household, when we got too loud we were told to take it "Exo! exo!"

I don't think my parents meant for us to go quite that far.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 4, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Re: *Tim's scenario -- If I think there's a gamma-wavefront on the way, I'd think about building an airplane that will fly at a speed that would constantly keep the Earth between it and the Big Zorch/Gamma Wave at the equator (about 1000 mph, right?). Yah, it'd need instruments for night flying, and probably for landing in rough terrain or perhaps even water.

And actually, it'd need to be somewhat radiation hardened (though I'd be relying on the planet as the majority of the shielding) and mostly mechanical or hydraulic rather than electrically controlled. I 'spect such an event would be very tough on electronics, even if one were not directly in the line of sight of the event at the time of the wavefront's arrival at Planet Earth. It'd be pretty hairy (as in, standing on end) inside the magnetosphere, particuarly at the northern and southern latitiudes where there'd be leakage though the poles. I bet the Northern and Southern lights would be *spectacular*.

No need to update your Facebook status, that's for sure.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 4, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

No need to update your Facebook status, that's for sure.

bc

*****

Especially not when everybody's would say the same thing, anyway:

[Your Name Here] puts his/her head between his/her legs and kisses his/her a** goodbye.

Posted by: byoolin1 | January 4, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Cookie bake-a-thon postponed due to excessive partying last night by one member of the bake squad. (It was not I.)

I'll make it up to y'all before the gamma wave hits.

Posted by: MsJS | January 4, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Here's something for ScienceTim...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IQCzMAgRRw

Posted by: -TBG- | January 4, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

*Faxing CqP a Mobius donut fresh out of the oil*

Posted by: Yoki | January 4, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, will you please post a link to that Johnny Apple article? Thanks.

TBG, that was hilarious. How do you find these things?

Posted by: rickoshea1 | January 4, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

There is something different about stellar catastrophic events. You just don't die in a red mist, pulverized by a 75mm shell à la WWI, or crushed to a pulp under a building after a eartquake. No, the object formerly known as your body become a cloud of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atom, with the odd Ca or Fe, fed into the primeval furnace to be Shirley Mac Lained into a new thing, given time.
In the mean time the Zorks wonder why there is that puff of carbon-rich vapour in this wrecked region of the Milky way.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 4, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

And byoolin, all of those duplicate Facebook statii probably wouldn't say much for long, as the EMP (granted, I'm assuming there *would* be one accompanying our Zed Wave) could reduce the majority of integrated circuit boards here to smoking slag (with the possible exception of Dick Cheney's milspec-hardened pacemaker. Granted, this assumes that he still has a heart.).

My fillings hurt just thinking about it.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 4, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, never mind. I found it.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | January 4, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

this building looks spaacey enough to qualify as marginally on kit. I give you the world's tallest building:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/05/business/global/05tower.html?hp?hp

Posted by: -jack- | January 4, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Too close to a new black hole and those EMP waves will fry you with eddy currents alone. Or so I read somewhere.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 4, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Reading Joel's article:

"One of the five planets announced by William J. Borucki, the top scientist for the telescope, is so fluffy that 'it has the density of Styrofoam,' he said."

Y'know, for a nice consulting fee, I would have directed Dr. Borucki to his nearest Michael's for many more discoveries along those lines. I bought an entire Styrofoam Planetary System there for my youngest a few months back. Cost about $9, IIRC.

This is why I never get the grants.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 4, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Google's home page today pays a charming, if inaccurate, tribute to the birthday of Sir Isaac Newton.

Posted by: -pj- | January 4, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Back in the day when it was the world's tallest, I worked in what is now known as the Willis Tower. It was both fun and frustrating.

Fun to watch tourists get off the buses out front and look straight up. Frustrating to need a 3D map to find one's way to meetings and back.

Interesting that the same architecture firm designed both it and the new Burj Khalifa. There's no mosque in the Willis Tower though.

Posted by: MsJS | January 4, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Has a mobius strip ever been found in nature?

Given that the "edges" and "sides" of a donut are identical, how do you know that your donut is not already a mobius strip?

Posted by: j2hess | January 4, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"There's no mosque in the Willis Tower though.", only people invoking the name of god while searching for their meeting room.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 4, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

shriek: frequently.

Posted by: MsJS | January 4, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I may have to upgrade to one of those vests, TBG.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 4, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Joel,

Typo in the kit. It should be ". . .ScienceTim, an actual astronomer, . . .".

Posted by: -pj- | January 4, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The (now Willis) Tower seemed very unfriendly from the street. It was my understanding that it occasionally shed windows. The John Hancock Tower with its big X-shaped external trusses seemed much friendlier, even though at least one prominent architect though it was terribly ugly.

The new Burj seems to belong to a new category. I wonder whether anything similar will be built. It's too much like building a very long cul-de-sac. Whoever's at the top has to get everything from down at the bottom. Maybe a bit like Key West, done vertically.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 4, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Love the Scottevest video, TBG.

Posted by: -pj- | January 4, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what the penalty is for doing "Surrender Dorothy" graffiti in Dubai. Probably not good.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I love j2hess's provocative question. According to Clifford Pickover there are some mobius plant proteins, mobius crystals (in Science News archives). I'd have to buy the book or subscribe to Science News to see which ones.

There's this:
http://www.geekologie.com/2009/12/scientific_how_to_cut_a_mobius.php

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 4, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

All of the really tall bldgs in TWC have shed glass. Not fun, especially if it's your office losing the window.

I remember the plywood palace in Boston from the 1970s, too. The John Hancock bldg seemed to have 2-4 boarded windows at any given time.

Posted by: MsJS | January 4, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

http://d.yimg.com/a/p/umedia/20100104/largeimage.039cc65ee7f837c0b0a5c10e41f4b830.gif'

This be a public thervice announcement, arrghthhp.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Not quite comforted to know that this will happen just outside the 1000 parsec limit. Not even comforted to know there IS a 1000 parsec limit.

On the upside, the Big Zorch ought to take care of the the yard work for a while.

Extremely comforted by wishes for a god day and donut mobii (?) mobiuses (?)

Posted by: --dr-- | January 4, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

happy birthday, dr.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPAwvTe1Baw&feature=related

Posted by: -jack- | January 4, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Good news.

1000 parsecs = 3260 light years.

Recurrent Nova T Pyxidis is ~6000 light years away.

If the radiation from a type 1A supernova is lethal to about 1000 parsecs, we're not quite 2000 parsecs away from this lethal dynamo. I checked around for an abstract of the article you're talking about, and if I'm right, the shell of radiation is extending about 3500 parsecs, so we're in the edge of it... but this far out it will have lost some energy. So we're far enough away to avoid Total Zorch Armageddon, but would we get a quarter that much radiation at this distance? A tenth?

I donno. My grandma was an astronomer, my dad's a rocket scientist, and I just read stuff.

However, since this Recurring Supernova has been going through these eruptive cycles after hibernation periods of about 2.6 million years, and life on earth has been around for billions of years (unless you don't believe in ANY of the science in this article), we have been buffetted by this star for a long time without getting zorched.

EXCEPT.
This is why we don't want to be eroding our ozone layer with manmade emissions. This is the kind of radiation the atmosphere is shielding us from!

Posted by: Hypatia3 | January 4, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The outcome of SciTim's Big Zorch seems to assume the blast coming on more-or-less on the plane of the ecliptic, affecting the eastern or western hemisphere. However, if the Zorch (I love that word) affects the "land" vs. "water" hemisphere, I think there would be two very different results. Bad news for Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Chile and Argentina in the event of a water-hemisphere zorching, very bad news for the rest of the world if it's the land-hemisphere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_hemisphere

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_hemisphere

Posted by: rashomon | January 4, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Hypatia: SciTim could provide a better answer I'm sure, but at first blush I would guess the the intensity of the radiation falls off with the square of the distance.

Posted by: ebtnut | January 4, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, I don't know much about the subject matter of the kit, and SciTim, you are obviously the expert here. Nevertheless, I think I can state in all honesty -- this being a Monday and all -- that all day long I have been feeling inexorably Zorched. I may have to sleep it off. Really.

*whew*

I also bit the bullet and downloaded CrashPlan as my backup system. Much less expensive than Mozy and better (I hope).

Time to start making that money I'm spending.

Posted by: -ftb- | January 4, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Yep, 1/r^2 law for dilution of the Zorch.

Rashomon, you raise a good point with that direction issue. The nice thing is that even if the Zorch goes on for some time (say, days), if it were well out of the ecliptic then a lot of Earth would be fully shielded. What luck!

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 4, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The "Recurrent Nova T. Pyxidis"? What does the "T." stand for - "Tinkerbelle"? If we're going to perish because the ozone layer gets fried, we definitely have to give the culprit a better name. How about the Villanova Supernova?

Posted by: seismic-2 | January 4, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

SciTim - is it a given that the radiation would be isotropic?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

JA, really funny kit. I know they're scientists, not writers, but shouldn't they have someone help them out with those press releases?

*Tim, thanks for painting the big pic so pretty.

No MNF...I'm going to have to be productive. Have a happy night all.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 4, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Just T. As in Mister T:

"I pity the fool!"

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

On second thought, maybe we should re-name the pixie star the "Villainova".

Maybe, though, if we're really lucky it will turn out to be as big a dud as the Chevy Nova.

Posted by: seismic-2 | January 4, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

bossanova

Posted by: -jack- | January 4, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Of course, the leviathan nature of this event leads me to say," Call it Mobius Dick."

And, I do not think that donuts are de facto mobius strips. I think that you would need to twist the rope and mark with a stripe of cinnamon?

One of the better cooks here can contemplate and explain. Dr will tell you that at one point in circular knitting you achieve a mobius conformation but this is A. VERY. BAD. THINGIE. I gave my daughters head bands of this type, when I slunk away in shame at ruining a perfectly good circular cap....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 4, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Aren't donuts cut out with a bisquity cutter? So, not mobius. Here is a mobius play structure that DMD will appreciate.

http://greenlineblog.com/2008/06/mobius-climber-playground-equipment-of-the-future/

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 4, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Tim, I just looked up some info on Pyxis. It has a declination of -30. I'm going to miss kangaroos and penguins.

Posted by: rashomon | January 4, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

In college I spent entirely too many sleepless nights living above a low dive with continuous entertainment called "The Mobius Dick." They'd wail all night.

Alas, even with only one edge and one side, I'm afraid a Mobius donut still has the same number of calories.

Posted by: -pj- | January 4, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know where I can get 2 ply tinfoil?

Posted by: Boko999 | January 4, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

There's no MNF, LiT, but if you watch semipro ball, the bowl game tonight between Boise State and TCU should be a good one.

Posted by: -pj- | January 4, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I'd like to know - (I sure don't) the axis of T Pyx's rotation relative to Sol.

Not sure what's worse, the equitorial blast wave, or a Gamma Ray Burst-type shot out of the star's polar regions... (that star may need to see a doctor, or at least have a little bismuth or something...)

Seismic-2, I used to get to drive a friend's '69 Nova Super Sport with the factory 396 big-block and a Muncie rock-crusher 4-speed. *That* Nova *was* super. As was another friend's '66 Nova SS with a sweet little 327.

And both quite unilke those NUMMI-sourced Toyota knockoffs produced during the '80s... (I didn't think the Nova Twin-cams of that vintage were all that bad, all things considered).

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 4, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday dr!

I think this Kit is punishment for the 'girl talk' about shoes and clothes and button spacing.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 4, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I had to look up the definition of a Mobius strip, this place is so broadening and enlightning. And now I know what a parsec is!

I'm gonna worry about the things I have control over, and not the spector of death from space. Carpe diem, and all that.

Happy birthday, dr!

Posted by: slyness | January 4, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

happy birthday dr

since we are in,I can post this link about the playoffs.I really love his Rant.I liked Dennis Green's rant too,but there were just too many beeps

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oSFYxDGKy8

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 4, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

What's next then, talk about whiskers on kittens and raindrops?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, dr!

Posted by: nellie4 | January 4, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks all, for the laughs.

Also, am astonished that there was hardly any of the usual neo-fascist blog-mongering going on.

Posted by: wdrudman | January 4, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I give you

the mobius dress
http://www.stylelist.com/2007/06/23/the-mobius-dress-is-weird/

and a mobius ring
http://www.thisnext.com/item/2DF1FC58/Handcrafted-Mobius-Ring

I am faxing these to dr. HippoBirdie with Science on top.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 4, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Arrgh, typo in kit? Sorry, been hangin with the astropeople today and am ducking gamma rays and dodging meteors and whatnot. Will fix.

Posted by: joelache | January 4, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Hi, wdrud, stay and help us hold back the darkness. Tis a Peter in the Dike task but we have fun together.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 4, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Jhess and jumper. I believe that God is arranged in a mobius conformation.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 4, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Love that climber CP.

Eldest is currently working on a science project, calculating the power consumption we use in our house for two days, it is amazing when you start adding up all the items that draw power in a household - we use way too much. That said eldest is, like me, not the best at science - anyone know a simple way I can help her understand how to calculate/guesstimate the power consumption of each item over 48 hours. Keeping in mind my ability to understand this is just a little above hers, kicking myself for removing all those energuide labels from the applicances.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 4, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I remember the first time I encountered a Mobius strip. I was in 4th grade and Sister Gabriel (OSB) showed it to me.

I thought it was a joke.

A one sided shape you made by twisting a loop of paper? Truly this was too silly to be true. But when I drew that uninterrupted line with a crayon I discovered it wasn't.

I became a little obsessed with the things. I made a mobile of them for a class project. (Get it? A Mobius mobile.) It was one of those special moments when you discover that things aren't quite what they seem to be.

Those are neat moments when you are a kid. When you learn something so new that your world changes. That's what I miss, really, about being a grown-up. Such moments come around less and less.

And rarely involve anything as elegantly simple as a strip of paper and a crayon.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't form donuts with cookie cutters, I make a rope and then make the circle. Thus, it was easy to make a Mobius donut for CqP.

Posted by: Yoki | January 4, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

dr, Happy Birthday! Hope you are enjoying your day.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 4, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

May I just say today's class of drive-bys/first-timers is perhaps the best ever?

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 4, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Happy Birthday dr!!!

I think we'll have to plan a Holi-Birthday BPH one of these days... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 4, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday dr!

By Jove, Yoki. I think you may have perfected the Mobius donut!

Which, I've heard, are delicious with a Klein Bottle full of milk.


Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

As yellojkt and others can attest, I have a weakness for Boise St., particularly where the BCS is concerned. Gotta love folks who overachieve when given the opportunity.

Even watched some of a Bowl Game from Boise St's home field at last week's BPH, and we told funny stories about the 'do not adjust your television blue' turf.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 4, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

4th grade, RD? Man, I don't think I heard about Mobius strips until college. Probably through a piece of fiction. Pynchon maybe. I'm not sure.

Posted by: -pj- | January 4, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Well, what fun it would be to spend one's life contemplating and figuring out what the actual Universe was all about!
Every few years a new discovery! How fun to be involved with people who didn't already know the answers to everything just because they read a few newspaper headlines and believed they knew the answers to "everything" because they went to church and actually read a few passages from the Bible. And, or, completed high school.
Oh, but Americans are NOT to be denied their legacy of knowing everything all the time without benefit of information, are they. .

Posted by: cms1 | January 4, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

dmd - if you look on any electrical appliance there should be a label with the voltage in Volts and current in Amps. If you have the voltage and current you can get the instantaneous power in Watts by multiplying them.

(Power = Current X Voltage)

Then estimate the number of hours each day that the device is on. Multiply this number by the instantaneous power in Watts and you get Watt-hours, or if divided by 1000, the more common kilowatt hours. This is the energy used each day.

(Energy = Power X Time)

Now, you can translate kilowatt hours into Joules, the metric unit if you wish. 1 kilowatt Hour = 3600000 Joules.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Having nothing otherwise worthwhile to contribute to the discussion, might I pedantically note that when dealing with numbers of four and more places to windward of the decimal, it is usual and customary in these United States to place a comma a gauche the third number position; thus, 2000 parsecs would become 2,000 parsecs, 6000 light years would become 6,000 light years, and my right hand would stop twitching uncontrollably.

I cannot vouch for what those krazy kids up in Kanada might do with such numbers.

I don't know that anyone has noticed, but we have a front page alert in effect.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 4, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Note that this assumes constant load. Of course many things, like an electric heater, aren't operating at full capacity all the time they are on. And lots of electrical devices have "stealth load" what uses energy even when they appear to be turned off. But what I described will give you a first cut guesstimate.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Hiya, Yoki. Howya doin'?

Ahem. 3600000 = 3,600,000

Makes it easier to figure it out without having to do math in one's head.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 4, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Hippo Birdie, dr!

Been off tending to various 3D matters today and just got back.

I'm torn about tonight's game. Should I root for the Smurf Turf gang or the Horned Frogs? There's something surreal about both teams. I have to keep reminding myself it's just football.


Posted by: MsJS | January 4, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

You are right, Mudge. Those commas do make numbers easier to read.

What's you position on "K" Like, if I said 2,000 becomes 2K? Or had I best not inquire...

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Bless you RD, don't think they have to use joules but good to know if they do. Now for the embarrassing part Current = Voltage? Sort of remember this from Grade Nine science but I sat next to a really cute boy and got distract by him easily.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 4, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Is a donut still a donut if it's not cooked in oil?

The mobius dress might be kind of fun, depending on where one choses to unwind. It's certainly not your usual A-line.

Posted by: VintageLady | January 4, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

i'd root for the horny frogs,but just because they wear purple.....and now i want some donuts.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 4, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, dr, may you enjoy yours thoroughly, favorite cake and all.

Posted by: VintageLady | January 4, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

dmd - Current is the amount of charge running through a wire and is measured in Amps.

Voltage (or, more correctly, electrical potential) is how forcefully the charge is being pushed through the wire and is measured in Volts.

(The difficulty the voltage has pushing the current through the wire is called the resistance and id measured in Ohms. But don't worry about that.)

The thing is, you should see a separate number for voltage and current on the label for your devices. Then just do what I described above.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

The front page Achenbach article teaser reads:
“Data from new telescope show five planets far beyond our solar system and other space oddities.”

Just to the left of that is a photo of Sarah Palin.

Amazing, the linkages our brains make without conscious effort.

Posted by: MsJS | January 4, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I would say context was import, Padouk. When talking about money and some computer thingamajiggies, the "k" is fairly common and well known. But in context where it isn't normally used, I'd say no. We don't normally talk about 2k parsecs,

My own self, I'd have written 3.6 million. Counting and sorting zeroes is a tedious business at best.

(I was perfectly happy with Joel's notion that 200 billion billion billion equals 600 billion, but persons even more @n@l than I insisted upon invoking higher powers, 10 to the 28th, whatever the heck that is. Near as I can tell it just means Jan. 18th, since the 28th is 10 days later. But I admit I could be wrong about that hypoteneuse.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 4, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

dmd - some labels might have done the math for you and calculated the instantaneous power in watts or kilowatts already.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Ignore my 8:29 question, had a brain cramp.

Eldest is most grateful.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 4, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't suppose it would help to point out that "“Data from new telescope show five planets far beyond our solar system and other space oddities" is incorrect. It ought to be “Data from new telescope show five planets and other space oddities far beyond our solar system.” Because, you see, the solar system and the space oddities, David Bowie excluded, are not adjacent.

Oh, the hell with it.

The Palin placement was a nice sighting, MsJS.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 4, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Happy happy, dr.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 4, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Without commas, twenty billion billion billion would be 20000000000000000000000000000, a number which I propose we call T.(wenty) Pixidillion.

Posted by: seismic-2 | January 4, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the kind wishes. On the subject of mobius, I am an expert at accidental mobius. Many socks have started with the dread twist.

As such things will be, I am now trying to make a mobius from the center out. If I do it right, you won't see where it begins and it will only have one side.

I knit for quite some time before I realized my ease at starting a mobius had deserted me. The supposed mobius has sides. So it goes.

I thought the dress was kind of cool. Of course I would never wear it, but would drape it artfully on a mannequin.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 4, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

seismic: I propose we call it the U.S. national debt 25 years from now.

Posted by: MsJS | January 4, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Makes sense Mudge. I copied the 3600000 from a little program I have on my desktop that does conversions.

Scientific notation is when you express 3,600,000 as 3.6 X 100,000 or 3.6 X 10^6

10^x means 1 followed by "x" zeros. This form makes big numbers easier to manipulate assuming that you are really only interested in a relatively few "significant figures." (Which is a reflection of how precisely a measured number can be realistically known.)

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Ah heck. William and Mary basketball lost. There goes their streak.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 4, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, dr! Put a candle in the Mobius donut of your choice and have a party.

Posted by: -pj- | January 4, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

RD and DMD -- I like the term VAMPIRE voltage better. Denotes BLOODSUCKING, rather than than the loss of some electrons and a consequent jump in the bill and a loss of irrecoverable entropy as lost energy....and vampires are in, aren't they? SO, the science fair poster can include photos of Anne RIce, etc.

Mudge -- those commas are really important. Can help us not lose a decimal place. For want of a decimal place, well, kingdoms can be lost.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 4, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Well, zackerly, cQp.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 4, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

RD, the Energuide label I mentioned, that were removed from the appliances tell you the annual Kwh usage per year, a few appliances had them and it helped. But learning the calculation is also good - in this case for both of us :-).

CP, vampire electrical use just about made her head explode, we have many of those, laptops, modem, router etc.

Really need to rethink our energy use, we have most lights on fluorescents - but there are 41 in the house, many energy efficient appliances, heating sources but when you add it all up it is quite crazy. Feeling very guilty right now.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 4, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

MrJS is one of those people who can walk out of a room and leave the lights on. I'm one of those people who follows after him turning the lights off. It's a dance we've been doing since our courtship days.

One of the most immediate consequences of his fractured pelvis is that I'm not having to turn so many lights off because he's not moving from room to room.

Posted by: MsJS | January 4, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

You got that right about neat moments, RD.

That's why I try and dabble in new fields, never know what cool stuff could be out there.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 4, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I do the same MsJS, after both dmdspouse and the kids. I do turn on a significant number of lights though as I need bright light. We have a couple of lights that use two or three bulbs, we recently replaced the bulbs with the fluorescent equivalent of 100w bulbs (23w) the light was so bright we had to switch the bulbs for the lower watt the next day.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 4, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

good evening, and happy birthday to dr.

I have been LOL-ing and scrolling my way down the Boodle tonight.

I needed it. Had a commute 3x longer than usual. A zorched house closed the road into my neighborhood.

I'm sure the people in the burned-down house need the laughs more than I do. Too bad I can't put a few laughs in an envelope with a donation.

Posted by: abeac1 | January 4, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

dmd, that reminds me of updating my bathroom light from a 1963 fluorescent tube to a fixture with four bulbs. I put 60 watt bulbs in; the next morning when I turned it on it blinded me. Back to 40's!

Mr. T pays the utility bills so I have no idea about our usage. We have some compact fluorescents but not universally at all. I haven't found any that really pleased me. They are getting better, aren't they?

I REALLY need to replace the halogen fixtures above the kitchen sink. They make great light but the bulbs are almost $12 apiece and there's only one place I can find them...fortunately, it's on the way to Costco.

Posted by: slyness | January 4, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

The Ombudsman’s view of The Post’s profitability:

“Financially, The Post’s 2009 losses were less than had been projected. Still, it ended the year solidly in the red by tens of millions of dollars. The Post expects to lose money again in 2010 and become profitable in 2011. But how?

“The trend line is positive. But much of the improved financial picture is due to reducing costs, and much of that has been from buyouts. The start of 2010 will be key. If revenues sharply miss projections, staff reductions through “other means” may be inevitable.”

Full kit is at: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ombudsman-blog/2010/01/can_the_post_avoid_further_sta.html#more

I gotta say that ‘but how’ bit does not sound encouraging.

Posted by: MsJS | January 4, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

$12 a piece is really high for halogen lights Slyness, are they the large ones or the small ones?

Re fluorescents, they are way better but be careful as there are now many varieties, I have one fixture with two bulbs, same wattage but one is a blue/white light and one is a browner light. Where I bought the bulbs has a great display where you can compare the light of the various bulbs. Having spent six years in a design office I learned to differentiate between the small difference in lighting colour - now it drives me nuts to have different light colours.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 4, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

The first time I read a reference to a Mobius strip I couldn't wait to make one. It's both fascinating and weird, sorta like science-y things in general.

Just got back from tennis lessons. I managed to stay upright and moving for the entire hour and my old racket didn't fall apart. I hope I don't get too caught up in this sport again, I can't afford it!

Posted by: badsneakers | January 4, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I want to one day get a clamp ammeter and see how much difference adjusting the brightness control - and the volume while I'm at it - on the TV changes the amperage and so the power usage.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 4, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Dark Star. The middle part, where it gets kind of spaced out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFwusP1W1G0&feature=related

Posted by: -jack- | January 4, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I have been laboring under a delusion. I had thought that a supernova would have to be closer than about 300 light years in order to burn off the ozone layer much less zorch the earth. The Crab Nebula explosion was only about 1,000 light years away and we're still here, kind of.

I know that the Crab Nebula was a Type II supernova and this one would be a Type 1a. Are they that much different in explosive power?

Posted by: markwamt | January 4, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

23W CFLs emitt around 1600 lumens while 4' 40W tubes give off 1900ish.

When considering colour I consult this handy chart.
http://www.cssnorthamerica.com/pdf/lamp_comparison_chart.pdf

Posted by: Boko999 | January 4, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

We don't say 2K pc, but 2 kpc or 2 Mpc (megaparsecs) are certainly legitimate units. A kpc is downright handy for measuring galaxies. A typical biggish galaxy is a few tens of kpc across depending on where you hold your measuring tape (because there's, like, not an actual boundary). And the Andromeda galaxy is 0.7 Mpc away from us if I recall.

Posted by: woofin | January 4, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

So all those bijillions are still less than a googolplex? The mind boggles, reely it does.

Posted by: Yoki | January 4, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Just one boodle post today before I pass out from Coyote Ugly overload:

If you wear a Mobius dress, are you mostly clothed or mostly naked?

For real fun cut a Mobius strip in half lengthwise. Then again.

Dark Star? Dang, just the Grateful Dead. I was hoping for aliens that looked like orange beach balls and existential planet killing bombs.

Shhh. Don't tell any middle schoolers they can just go out to the electric meter and watch it spin. That would be unfair.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 4, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

We also went out to the electric meter to record the amount and watch it spin. Part of the assignment was to estimate per kWh usage of individual items for a 2 day period (items in the house) and then calculate two day cost of electricity used in our house. Since the 48 hours tested was during Christmas - usage was high.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 4, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

ooo good question by -bc- there.

Depending on where it is, our own sun, and possibly the Earth's moon might provide a bit of a bumper to all that nasty stuff.

Of course I'm not sure how bad a storm of neutrinos that all might generate, so we could all end up kind of fried no matter what...

Posted by: Nymous | January 5, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

I like that really, really big sombrero. I think I’ll get one of those.

Joel, while we are waiting for the whatever to reach the Chandrasekhar Limit, could we hear about your hitting the Chandrasekhar Limit on New Year’s Eve?

Belated Happy Birthday, dr.

Posted by: rainforest1 | January 5, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

I just found this in the Wikipedia article on the Chandrasekhar limit: "The limit is the maximum nonrotating mass which can be supported against gravitational collapse by electron degeneracy pressure."

Joel must have had some New Year's Eve. Personally, electron degeneracy is where I draw the line.

Posted by: rashomon | January 5, 2010 2:50 AM | Report abuse

Good morning you all, especially to all of our pointy-headed boodlers who continue to enlighten and to our fashionistas for their beautification efforts and to all the folks in between. I just don't know what would be best to offer this crowd for breakfast, but based on yesterday's topics, donuts are a safe bet, along with coffee, tea and coke. I'm partial to cream filled donuts, which squirt whichever way you first bite down. Aim suspected squirty side away from newspaper or computer screen, 50/50 chance for success, I'd say.

Posted by: VintageLady | January 5, 2010 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't the Chandrasekhar Limit a side project with George Harrison and the guy with the sitar?

Anybody remember where I was last night? Well, that wasn't me. Pictures lie.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 5, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Good morning, friends. It is still terribly cold here, and it looks as if this maybe the case for the rest of the week.

Yesterday, not such a good day, but hopefully today will be better. Have doctor's appointment, so we will see.

This kit is beyond scary, at least the parts I understand. And Science Tim's addition doesn't downplay the scari-ness. I'm wondering if people will have to move to one side of the planet or is this an all encompassing event? Stupid question probably, but I'm thinking about how the rays of the sun don't hit the planet all at one time, there's a shadow, right?


Mudge, Slyness, Yoki, Scotty, Martooni, Lindaloo, and everyone here, love much, and keep warm. The loving part tends to add to the warmth. Good thoughts and a good day to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 5, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra,
Take care of yourself. We are all hoping for the best.

And a little champagne supernova:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3C7DECI0jU

Posted by: yellojkt | January 5, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Good morning!

My boss shared this on Twitter last night. Boodlers who like Shorpy may like it, too.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/edrabbit/galleries/72157623103181304

Enjoy today. It is not Monday.

Bea

Posted by: abeac1 | January 5, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Amazing pictures, bea. It must be a lot of work getting the angle and perspective perfect.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 5, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Those are cool pictures, abeac.

Morning, all. Hey Cassandra, I hope you feel better today.

This is the eighth day of the cold and it's still with me, in a biggg way. I wonder if it's a secondary infection now. So tiresome!

Anyhoo, looks like VL has cream doughnuts on the ready room table. That's not on the diet, but I think I'll have one anyway. Who will join me?

Posted by: slyness | January 5, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

The Boodle obviously need more supernova Kits.

I obviously need more coffee.

And a donut.

A donut boiled in water is a bagel, no?

The beginning of the TCU-Boise St. game really looked as if nobody wanted to win, but I'm glad they worked it out in the end.

*Thank-FSM-indeed-for-it-no-longer-being-Monday-but-where's-Friday-when-you-need-it Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 5, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and just when you thought the whole Tiger kerfuffle couldn't get any stupider, along comes Brit Hume, suggesting ON THE AIR that Tiger could fix everything by changing to Hume's religion.

*SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 5, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't need so much coffee now if we hadn't stayed up to watch Boise St./TCU last night. Great game.

abeac-thanks for that link.

S'nuke-saw that bit about Brit Hume's suggestion to Tiger via Salon yesterday. Trying to come up with another American Buddhist involved in an infidelity scandal, can't think of one. Christians on the other hand...

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 5, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Heard it was minus 38 in Int'l Falls, Minn., overnight. I simply do not understand why/how people live up thataway. Or why they stay.

Also saw that some kid somewhere got really bad frostbite because he went outside in bare feet. I'm always glad to see Darwin culling out the herd.

Scotty, Tom Shales really ripped Brit Hume a new one, and rightly so: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/04/AR2010010403101.html?hpid=artslot

Joel, would you do me a favor and pass on to the WaPo online desk that the Anne Applebaum link connects to the Graham/Talent H1N1 op-ed from the other day? Thanks.

I'm wondering if there's any truth to the rumor (which I just made up) that Mike Shanahan has been kidnapped and is being held hostage at Dan Snyder's house, where he is being waterboarded until he agrees to become the new Redskins coach. Word is that he will crack wide open any day now, and will agree to terms. Film at 11.

Cream donuts?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 5, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Only famous. Buddhists I know are Richard Here and Tina Turner's.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 5, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Only famous. Buddhists I know are Richard Here and Tina Turner's.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 5, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I saw Brit Hume's piece on Tiger in Salon as well - and then watched the clip on Jon Stewart. Offensive is the only thing I can think of to say politely.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 5, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

CQP said, "Tis a Peter in the Dike task..."

Must. Not. Respond. To straight line. Must. Keep. Control.

Oh, heck, I surrender: I don't think those things go together in the way you envision, CQP.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 5, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Loved the link, abeac.

There's a lot of stupid going on w/ the Tiger Woods thing. Like attracts like, so I'm told.

Have had coffee, so am about as wide awake as I'm gonna get.

Posted by: MsJS | January 5, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Nymous, I'm glad you liked the question. Good point about the moon as an additonal buffer against the Zorch Wave - it'd be interesting to consider if the Moon would be a better place to ride it out. With Luna's slower rotation, you could use some sort of crawler or surface vehicle (a Lunar RV? Or would that be an Survival Vehicle?) to keep the bulk of the mass between you and the ZW. You wouldn't have a magnetosphere to protect you, but then again, you wouldn't have the Earth surface/atmospheric effects (as described by *Tim) to deal with. In addition, I wonder how much radiation & etc. would end up bouncing around inside Earth's magnetic bottle should it penetrate or come in through the polar regions? If we took an oblique shot (relative to the ecliptic) with a more or less direct hit on one of the poles, would it be better to be on the Moon where there would be less of that sitiuation in the long term (aside from the issues of air and water, etc.). Hmm.

So pleased to have those wonderful Boise St. Broncos wreak further havoc on the BCS, though I do feel a bit for TCU. They had an exceptional season. Except for last night.

A good day, all.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 5, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Snuke, WOW, I have to do A LOT of catching up!

Hume wasn't talking about the Christianity of Tammy Faye and Jim Bakkker, was he?

Somehow, the meaning of religion has left the tracks, I think.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 5, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. Mobius cream donuts? Anyone from TX way remember Shipley's chocolate filled donuts? I swear it was chocolate icing in there. Good times.

I also became fascinated by Mobius strips and Klein bottles as a kid, in about sixth grade. That stuff was so cool. Alas, it was much cooler than the math I was learning at the time, and I never quite made up the difference. I think I'll have to try to make Mobius donuts.

I'm sorry I missed dr's birthday; we were celebrating for Ivansdad. I made the traditional chocolate cake, right off the back of the Hershey's Cocoa box. It's a good, reliable cake with good icing and easy (though not, perhaps, as easy as pie). Thanks to my new oven I made a layer cake, as I can now bake both layers at once.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 5, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Re: Brit Hume - Check out Howie's column today. Tells it like it is, and should be.

Posted by: ebtnut | January 5, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

New Kit, folks. More good science.

Posted by: Yoki | January 5, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Rashomon, thanks for pointing out the high southern declination of Pyxidis. In general, all the constellations that have classical-style names that you've never heard in classical mythology are in the southern hemisphere. They were named in the last half-millennium by Europeans (not sure when they got official designations), so you have southern-hemisphere constellations with names like Microscopium (the Microscope!), Telescopium (the Telescope!), and Centaurus (100 Ford Tauruses!).

According to Wikipedia, many of the southern-hemisphere constellation names were conferred in 1763 in a barely-posthumous star catalog by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille. Centaurus was ancient Greek -- actually, it's Ptolemaic, so I suppose it was Hellenized Egypt.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 5, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I am enjoying this Kit and the comments tremendously, though I have nothing intelligent to contribute (I know, when has that stopped me before). I'm also liking all these new sciencey posters. Howdy y'all, and nice to see lostinthemiddle.

RD, thanks for the explanation of how to calculate energy use. I'm going to give it to the Boy and suggest he try it. We have tons of vampire stuff which drives me crazy, and I also go around turning off lights. Perhaps a nice solid math calculation will help.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 5, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Of course not, Weed. Hume was referring to the Christianity as practiced by Newt Ginrich, Sen. Ensign, Gov. Sanford, Cong. Mark Foley, Larry Craig, Houston talk show host Jon Matthews, Rev. Ted Haggard, Jeffrey Ray Nielsen, Neal Horsley, Cong. Don Sherwood, Mike Hintze, unsuccessful Sen. candidate Jack Ryan, Cong. Ed Shrock, strategist Robin Vanderwall, Cong. Buzz Lukens, Cong. Dan Burton, Cong. Dan Crane, Cong. Helen Chenoweth, Se. Henry Hyde, Cong. Ken Calvert, Cong. Sue Myrick, Cong. Bob Bauman, Mayor/Pres. Candidate Rudy Giuliani, Cong. Bob Livingston, Sen. Bob Packwood, televangelist Jimmy Swaggert, Cong. J.SC. Watts, and activist Randall Terry.

Those Christians.

I may have left out a few.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 5, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Umm, a new kit was posted about 15 minutes ago....

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 5, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Re: Moibus Donuts/Doughnuts/Torus-es(?)
What IS the Spelling of the plural of Torus? Tori?

If a "moibus strip" is the result of looping a two dimensional object (rectangle) through the third spacial dimension, and adding a half twist before rejoining ends...

and a Donut /Torus is the result of looping a cylinder through the THIRD spacial dimension before reconnecting the ends...

Then wouldn't a "moibus donut/torus" be the result of looping a cylinder through the FOURTH spacial dimension (eg NOT time) and adding half a twist before reconnecting ends?

I will leave it to the mathmeticians to descrie the features of the moibus donut.
I think it had no inside or outside... IF I remember correctly, (and I may not - it has been a while), it may be called a klein bottle.

And if that were the case... don't make my moibus donut a Jelly doughnut. The powdered sugar ones are quite messy enough, thank you.

+++++
Re: Expanding Universe / Event Horizon... (@ -bc-)
We ?may? never know what is going on out there? ?may?
Forget warp speed... we need Woof too... all the way to Plaid.

I doubt there is any hope of FTL travel
(Whether ala Battlestar, or ala Star Trek, or ala Star Wars, or any other syfy)
within OUR lifetimes.

BTW, I do not consider Mel Brook's movie to be syfy, but a spoof of same).

+++++
Re: Kill Zone (@ Gallenod)
So we should not be worried, because we will only get ~25% of a "totally lethal" dose?
(Inverse square with a little rounding).

+++++
Re: Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event (@ DaveoftheCoonties)
And now many paleontologists are questioning whether it was even an impact event that caused the extinctions...

+++++
Re: the Blame Game (@ curmudgeon6)
(LOL) You mean "it" (whether or not "it" happens) is not Obama's fault?

+++++
Re: Seize the Day (@ slyness )
Dead Poet Society is good in this regard... also, The Peaceful Warrior.

+++++
Re: Appliances and Energy consumption...
Flourescents use less power to stay operative than do incandescents (per Candle power)...
BUT, to get them started requires a starting power "surge"...
Long story short... there are times it is best just to leave them on, (rather than turn them on & off and on & off and on & ....)

+++++
Re: Donuts and Bagel (@ Scottynuke)
I know my bagels. I like my bagels.
Bagels are my friends.
And your donut, sir, is no bagel!

On which side of my Klein/Moibus Bagel do I spread my cream cheese?
What happens when you slice/split the Moibus bagel?

_____
Barf: I'm a mog: half man, half dog. I'm my own best friend!

Posted by: Fr14r_Tuck | January 5, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for your 9:09, Tim. You still showed admirable restraint.

Posted by: -pj- | January 5, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Correction:
"descrie" should have been "describe"
My "b" key inexplicably misses sometimes.

Addendum:
Here is a page with explanations and graphical representations of Moibus Donuts / Klein Bottles

http://www.braungardt.com/Mathematica/klein_bottle.htm

Posted by: Fr14r_Tuck | January 5, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

In English speaking Canada they do it our way

In French speaking Canada the weird ways:

1.234.567,98 or 1.234.567'98

or weirder:

1 234 567,98 or 1 234 567'98

It's a crazy world we live in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_separator#Examples_of_use


Posted by: omnigood | January 5, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Is there anything to really worry about??
Would this massively humungous Gamma Radiation blast really be the end for mankind?
I for one don't think so..... being a fan of the 1980s series 'The Incredible Hulk' am a firm believer that gamma radiation is a good thing.... Surely a ginormous gamma radiation blast would have the effect of turning the human race into giant green superstrong muscular beasts - a la Lou Ferrigno with a bit of war paint on....??
.........am I wrong here? Bring on the Gamma I say..!!!

Posted by: Don1969 | January 7, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

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