Astronomy

US Businesses Fund Lunar Mission

Preliminary unofficial estimates place the short term economic effects of the August 2017 eclipse at approximately $19,207,392.99, including indirect effects.1 To say that business owners in the path of the eclipse are elated is, of course, obvious. Tourists from all over the world parted with their hard earned cash2 in exchange for accommodations, food, boat […]

IPPA Proposes Largest Ever LCD Screen

Are you concerned about alien invasion? Probably not, but the International Planetary Protection Association (IPPA) is. Very concerned. So concerned, in fact, that they have proposed the construction of the largest ever LCD screen. Large enough, in fact, to cover the entire planet. When we first heard about this, we wondered what this project had […]

Scientists Detect the End of the World

You may, possibly, have heard rumors that, according to the Mayan—or perhaps the Egyptian or Babylonian—calendar, the world was to have ended a couple of years ago. You may also have concluded that these claims, predictions, or whatever-you-want-to-call-them were probably false. After all, the supply of beer hasn’t given out, interests rates have stayed low, […]

Metric Units of Time

While the metric system has simplified calculations of distance, weight, and volume, units of time have, so far, remained outside of its sphere of influence. Instead of nice and tidy powers of ten, we have 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, and 12 months in a […]

Sprinkle, Sprinkle Little Tar

– a travesty – [read in monotone, avoiding melody, while eating fried chicken] sprinkle sprinkle little tar / how i blunder in the char / feathered for the world to fry / like a poultry in disguise / sprinkle sprinkle little tar / how i blunder in the char. “Le Poète inspiré,” by Jean-Bernard Restout. Public […]

New Institutes Discover New Dots

At some time during 2014, the Institute for Pale Blue Dots was founded at Cornell University.1 The troubling vagueness of this statement, the impossibility of locating the founding of the Institute to any time more precise than the year 2014, immediately suggests that something odd is going on. More unusual still, we have a definite […]

Some Notes on the Physics of Large Appliance Repair

Given the enthusiastic response of our readers to our recent article on the psychology of large appliance repair, we decided to see if physics has anything interesting to say about the matter. As you no doubt recall, the issue discussed in the earlier story was the statistical correlation between the hours separating midnight and 2:00 […]

Scientists Discover that Humans Have Toes

One of the highlights of this week’s International Conference of the International Union of International Human Phalangology, Midwest Division was a paper called “Confirmation of the Prevalence of Podiatric Phalanges in Homo sapiens: Humans Usually Have Toes.” Scientists at the State University of Northern South Dakota reported the findings of an extensive, multi-year study of […]

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