Celestial Nomenclature


Why I Stopped Watching Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, Reason 227

I wanted to open this blog with the actual clip from Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, episode 107 (S01E08), but I could not find a copy anywhere on the Internets. This was way back when that show was brand spanking new and I thought I'd watch a few episodes to see how it was. This was the last one

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23andMe Sale!

23andMe offers ridiculously low cost, private genotyping to just about anyone. They take your spit and use it to test your DNA for hundreds of thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Many of these SNPs are reliable predictors of gene sequence, and 23andMe can tell you tons of interesting stuff about tote traits, disease risk, heredity, and more! I've found out all sorts of really interesting stuff, like the fact that my father's father's mother,

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Electricity is a Mystery

A few months ago, Gus posted a link to an image purporting to be a scan from a children's science textbook:Gus was skeptical of the image's authenticity. Obviously the image had been altered to show a gun in the girl's hand rather than what the hairdryer that was probably in the original. But the text was partly believable as genuine fanaticism. To see if Poe's Law was really at work here, I did a

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LHC Advisory Note

Dear The Internets,

Please be advised that, although the Large Hadron Collider will be powered up on Wednesday, no high-energy collisions are scheduled until November.

It really upsets me to see people, including the news media reporting tomorrow's initial power-up as "the most complex scientific experiment ever undertaken" (from the first link) when in fact it is not.

The claims that the LHC will destroy the world are pure lunacy. But please, all you crazies

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Daylight Saving Time

I did some mathematical jiggery-pokery and came up with this pretty little graph.

Daylight Saving Time

You will need to click on that to get it big enough to read.

The graph shows sunrise, sunset, waking hours, and business hours through the course of the year. Solar noon is at the center, sunrise is above, and sunset below. It makes some pretty wild assumptions, too. It is based on an average observer at 40°N latitude. It assumes

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The Secret

I have discovered the secret of high blog traffic!

Since I posted about this week's episode of House, M.D., my hits have quadrupled. Apparently, many people want to know about the phrase written on the chalkboard behind House in the classroom where he grilled his 40 or so candidates:

Tesla was Robbed!
The phrase appears alone on the board early in the episode. But later in the episode, House writes the following above it:

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