Silly Science Questions

Here at RealClearScience, a lazy blogging day can prompt a torrent of laughter! That’s because we occasionally return to the well of humor available at a crudely-named subreddit of the popular website Reddit to bring you “hilariously stupid science questions”. Be prepared to drown in terrible puns, painful fallacies, and poor logic. Should you survive (and somehow enjoy the experience), you can check out some of the other installments in this recurring series. H/Y Ross Pomeroy

Attempts to “Connect the Dots” With Few or No Clues

If we lose net neutrality, will the net become acidic or basic?
If global warming was real, wouldn’t the ice wall melt and let the oceans drain away? So then why is the sea level rising?
Why do meteorites always land in craters?
My pizza says to bake for 18-21 minutes, how do I bake something for -3 minutes?
Are children actually small or are they just far away?
The first dog in space died of stress. Was that because of all the vacuums up there?
If Mercury is so close to the sun how come we can get it inside thermometers???
Why are so many products harmful only to Californians?
How much higher would the sea level be if there were no sponges?
If setting off nukes creates “nuclear winters”, why don’t we set off a few nukes to offset global warming?
If electricity always follows the path of least resistance, why doesn’t lightning only strike in France?
What happens if a very stoppable force meets a very movable object?
If Pi is never ending, why is there still world hunger?
Is HIV considered a “retro virus” because it started to be a problem in the 80s?
Why does alcohol need proofs? Shouldn’t we just take their word for it?
Do strippers in the southern hemisphere spin around their poles in the opposite direction as strippers in the northern hemisphere?
If sound can’t travel through vacuums, why are they so loud?
How can we trust atoms if they make up everything?
If the human body is ~90% water, why can’t we put out fires with our bodies?
If there’s a new moon every month. Where does the old one go?
Why did ancient people bury so many buildings?
How can fish hold their breath for so long underwater?
If Corn Oil is made from corn, and Olive Oil is made from olives, where does Baby Oil come from?
Before light bulbs were invented, how did people get ideas?
Does it take 18 months for twins to be born?
I just found out I am bipolar. Should I avoid magnets?
From which sheep do we get steel wool?
When will the gorilla at the zoo turn into a person?
Is the water bug the natural predator of the firefly?
Did Schrödinger ever consider the fact that his cat had nine lives?
If oxygen was discovered in 1783 by Antoine Lavoisier, how did people breathe before then?

Jimbob Does Coronavirus

Humor is important as a means of poking holes in narratives that assert beliefs contrary to reality. Jimbob has become a force skewering notions of climate change, as well as other distorted ideas comprising the “woke” PC canon. Those inside the believer bubble will not be affected, but the important audience are those ignorant or agnostic about the so called “progressive, post-modern agenda.”

A previous post Best Cartoons Madebyjimbob provided an introduction to this artist, along with his point of view.  This post presents his more recent images related to present pandemic foibles.

Storm Ciara, Caused by Meghan?

Trains, flights and ferries have been cancelled and weather warnings issued across the United Kingdom as a storm with hurricane-force winds up to 129 km/h (80 mph) battered the region.

A strange new twist in climate science attribution of blame for extreme weather.  From the NewsThump Storm Ciara causing chaos across the nation: is it Meghan’s fault?  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Storm Ciara is causing travel and infrastructure chaos across the country and experts are suggesting that this first American sounding storm of the year could be the fault of Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex.

“It is certainly conceivable that Meghan has some sort of weather control device that she has used to bring Storm Ciara to Great Britain,” explained Simon Williams, a man in the pub who regularly watches Britain’s Wildest Weather.

“Either that or she’s got strange witchy powers that allow her to control the weather like she controls poor Harry.

“Whichever it is, it’s definitely her fault. I mean, look at the evidence – the storm hits just a few days after they moved to Canada.

“Mark my words, this storm wreaking havoc to the country that was fine till she came along? All Meghan’s fault.”

Popular trumpet of idiocy Piers Morgan was so apoplectic with rage that he simultaneously soiled himself, vomited and bleed from various orifices at the mere mention of the Duchess.

“Meghan. Royals. Arrogant,” he spluttered incoherently before calming down enough to make the following statement.

“Now look, I’m not racist,” said the man who is only angry at the black one.

“But this is what happens when you let people from different cultures into the Royal Family, they don’t really understand the ancient sophisticated British royal way of life, so they go around causing big storms.”

It is expected that the storm could bring further disruption to those communities recovering from last year’s floods.

Which were also definitely Meghan’s fault.

 

 

Two of Four Seasons Gone, Because Climate Change

From the NewsThump, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons reduced to Two in light of climate change.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons concerti will now consist of just two seasons, because that’s all there are these days.

The conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra Simon Williams commented, “The current generation doesn’t really understand the idea of four different seasons of weather, so in a bid to appeal to a modern audience we’ve updated the concerti to be more representative of 300 years of environmental damage.

“Overall, the suite will be much more discordant and unpredictable. The part representing winter will be doubled in length and feature woodwind solos to signify the yearly rising of floodwaters. A choir of scientists will sing the aria ‘Te Lo Abbiamo Detto’ (We Told You So).

Spring and autumn will be done away with altogether.

“Summer has also been greatly extended, as has the ‘languor caused by the heat’ bit, occasionally broken up strings phrases to represent next door’s kids on the trampoline.”

 

Who’s the Real Joker: Joaquin or Greta?

Sputnik has the story Russian Pranksters Posing as Greta Thunberg and Her Dad Clown Around With Joker’s Joaquin Phoenix.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Greta Thunberg is the protagonist of ‘Stars Save the Earth’, a series of phone call pranks by Russian radio hosts Vladimir ‘Vovan’ Kuznetsov and Alexei ‘Lexus’ Stolyarov. This time, they attempted to prove to Joaquin Phoenix who is the real Joker out there.

Vovan and Lexus, a Russian duo notorious for their pranks of politicians and celebrities, have punked Joaquin Phoenix – posing as Greta Thunberg and her father.

Vovan said that Greta’s role was played by a woman they are familiar with, but won’t reveal her name. In an audio of the call published on Wednesday, Lexus can be heard impersonating Svante Thunberg.

Seconds into the call, Joaquin Phoenix brought in his longtime partner and fiancé Rooney Mara.

“I’m a big fan of your work and your last movie,” the fake Greta says.

Lexus chimes in: “Greta has no rights [sic] to go to the movie, but we broke the rules and watched it”, to chuckles from Joaquin and Rooney.

An unsuspecting Joaquin goes on to recall how they heard a speech by Greta: “[We] were moved by what you said and just your commitment to this work.”

‘Greta’ then unveils her special offer to the actor: an awareness-raising campaign called Stars Save the Earth.

Both Joaquin and his fiancé say they’d be happy to help. As Rooney expands on how important animal rights protection is to them, Greta interjects by asking if she could get a “small part” in a prospective Joker sequel.

Joaquin breaks into laughter, before admitting that they haven’t written one yet and no decision has been made on a sequel, and that he would like to have Rooney play there too. He promises though to “keep [Greta] in mind” if another Joker movie comes up.

‘Greta’ then suggests she could star as the violent supervillain Harley Queen because she bears some similarities to the character: “Sometimes I want to take a basketball [sic] bat and smash all the politicians that think they are very smart.”

Joaquin and Rooney both laugh as he promises to talk to the writer and the director about it.

Lexus/Svante recounts a fictitious story about how he met with Jared Leto, who played the Joker in the 2016 film Suicide Squad, and how Leto went out of his way trying to prove that he was a better Joker than Phoenix and was eventually rushed to hospital by ambulance.

The Hollywood couple appears confused, and Joaquin says he feels sorry for the ‘Thunbergs’.

‘Greta’ then begs Joaquin (“just a few more seconds please”) to laugh as the Joker. He says he has devoted a lot of time working into it and cannot just do it on the spot, but eventually concedes.

‘Svante’, who is also an actor in real life, also does the Joker laughter (it isn’t even close though).

‘Greta’ calls her ‘father’ a bad actor and they start an argument. “I don’t have to do it again”, Lexus shouts. “The neighbours will call the police again.”

Greta appears in DC comics

It culminates in shots being fired, and after a few seconds’ pause Joaquin realises: “Oh my God we were being punked. We are totally getting punked. It’s brilliant. What you guys did was brilliant.”

Vovan and Lexus, who have recently tricked a US governor into thinking that Russia is about to annex Alaska, seem to have embraced Greta Thunberg’s planet-saving legacy.

Earlier this month, they published an audio of their conversation with Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, who promised the Swedish activist to do everything to save Chunga-Changa (a fictitious island from a popular Soviet cartoon).

Footnote:  l’ve been thinking that the climate scare will be past its peak when comedians ernestly poke fun at CO2 obsession.  I didn’t see this one coming.

Antarctic Treaty 60 Years Old

The Council on Foreign Relations reminds us: The United Nations’ annual climate conference opened in Madrid last week following an important if quiet milestone: the 60th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty, one of the most successful yet least known multilateral agreements ever signed. At the height of the Cold War, the treaty froze several countries’ sovereignty claims to the polar South, while designating Antarctica a part of the global commons. Nations would not compete geopolitically over the continent but instead cooperate peacefully there in the name of science and environmental stewardship. Although fraying at the edges, the treaty remains a triumph by any measure.

Unfortunately, for all its success, it cannot protect Antarctica from the accumulating ravages of global warming. Nor is the Madrid conference, known as COP25, likely to alter the dismal trajectory of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The juxtaposition of these two events—the Antarctic Treaty’s birthday and the desultory UN climate conference—underscores the urgency of embracing truly international politics that place as much weight on environmental sustainability as on interstate rivalry.

Previous Post History of Antartica According to Onion

Antarctica, Earth’s southernmost continent, faces numerous threats from climate change, but many people don’t know very much about the isolated area. The Onion looks back at a history of exploration, scientific study, and human activity in Antarctica.

1490:
Lost European explorers perplexed by how cold India is.

1820:
Discovery of Antarctica sends world ice prices plummeting.

1911:
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen beats British explorer Robert Falcon Scott in the race to the South Pole after Scott falters during the critical Ross Ice Shelf sprint stage.

1917:
Ernest Shackleton completes the first successful mission to get a boat stuck in Antarctic pack ice and be forced to live miserably on a floe for months.

1935:
Caroline Mikkelsen becomes the first person to experience sexism on Antarctica.

1959:
The Antarctic Treaty is signed in Washington, placing a moratorium on natural resource exploitation and preventing penguins from industrializing the continent and entering the 20th-century global economy.

1991:
The ratification of the Madrid Protocol declares Antarctica to be a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science” for the remaining 50 years of its existence.

2005:
The film March Of The Penguins documents Antarctica’s disturbing descent into fascism.

2018:
OK, earthquakes under the Antarctic peninsula have caused it to droop a bit, but erectile dysfunction is common and treatable.

Story comes from the Onion (here) with my improving their final observation.

Powerful Computer Model

COMPUTER DIAGNOSIS

One day Bill complained to his friend that his elbow really hurt. His friend suggested that he go to a computer at the drug store that can diagnose anything quicker and cheaper than a doctor.

”Simply put in a sample of your urine and the computer will diagnose your problem and tell you what you can do about it. It only costs $10.” Bill figured he had nothing to lose, so he filled a jar with a urine sample and went to the drug store. Finding the computer, he poured in the sample and deposited the $10. The computer started making some noise and various lights started flashing. After a brief pause out popped a small slip of paper on which was printed: “You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water. Avoid heavy lifting. It will be better in two weeks.”

Later that evening while thinking how amazing this new technology was and how it would change medical science forever, he began to wonder if this machine could be fooled. He mixed together some tap water, a stool sample from his dog and urine samples from his wife and daughter. To top it off, he masturbated into the concoction. He went back to the drug store, located the machine, poured in the sample and deposited the $10. The computer again made the usual noise and printed out the following message:

“Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener. Your dog has worms. Get him vitamins. Your daughter is using cocaine. Put her in a rehabilitation clinic. Your wife is pregnant with twin girls. They aren’t yours. Get a lawyer. And if you don’t stop jerking off, your tennis elbow will never get better.”

Going Where No Man-made Object Has Gone Before

This artist’s illustration obtained from NASA on December 21, 2018 shows the New Horizons spacecraft encountering 2014 MU69 nicknamed Ultima Thule a Kuiper Belt object that orbits over a billion kilometres beyond Pluto. (HO / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

A potential New Year’s gift for all of us is in the works, and a Quebecer will be the key player.

The story comes from the Star Quebec’s Pelletier leads ‘farthest exploration of any planetary body in history’ Excerpts from article in italics with my bolds.

MONTREAL—Frederic Pelletier is boldly predicting he and his team will get the New Horizons spacecraft exactly where it should be on New Year’s Day — 1.6 billion kilometres beyond Pluto to rendezvous with a space rock known as Ultima Thule.

The goal of the NASA mission is to pass by the region known as the “Kuiper Belt” and send data back to Earth that can help explain the origins of the solar system. The flyby of Ultima Thule is being described by the space agency as the “farthest exploration of any planetary body in history.”

NASA says by exploring the region beyond Pluto, scientists can learn more about comets, small planets and other material dating back to the era when planets were formed — 4.5 billion years in the past.

By the time the New Horizons spacecraft makes its closest approach to Ultima Thule — scheduled for 12:33 a.m. eastern standard time on Jan. 1, 2019 — the vehicle will be 6.6 billion kilometres from Earth.

“It’s very difficult, we don’t have much information about (Ultima Thule),” Pelletier said in a recent interview with The Canadian Press. “I’m a bit nervous, but I feel confident … all the stars are aligned.”

NASA contracted Pelletier to be the chief navigator of the spacecraft for the New Horizons mission, whose original plan was to fly past Pluto. The team reached its goal when the vehicle successfully flew by the dwarf planet on July 14, 2015, and sent back data “that resulted in profound new insights about Pluto and its moons,” according to the space agency’s website.

The voyage beyond Pluto to the Kuiper Belt is part of the extended mission.

Pelletier and his eight-member team are responsible for delivering the spacecraft, which is the size of a baby grand piano, to the target.

It will fly by Ultima Thule at a distance of about 3,500 kilometres, going 14 kilometres a second — or 50,000 kilometres an hour. Pelletier compared it to a motorist inside a car who is trying to look at a lamppost.

“It’s going by real fast,” he said.

Pelletier said scientists estimate Ultima Thule to be about the same size as Washington D.C.

“It’s estimated to have a diameter of 30 kilometres right now,” Pelletier said. “We suspect that it’s not going to be spherical, that it’s going to have some weird shape to it. There’s also the possibility that it will be a binary asteroid — two objects touching each other or in close formation.”

What has made the task even more challenging for the Quebec City native is the fact that it takes six hours for the signal from Earth to reach the spacecraft and another six hours to return.

“So when we plan manoeuvres to do uplinks and updates, we need to take that into account,” Pelletier noted.

The New Horizons spacecraft blasted off Jan. 19, 2006, for its trip to Pluto, and since 2015, has been moving deeper into space. The mission is being hosted by Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physical Laboratory in Laurel, Md., where Pelletier and his team are working.

Ultima Thule was first detected in 2014 using the Hubble Space Telescope, meaning the rock was only discovered after the New Horizons launch.

NASA says scientists estimate there are several hundred objects with a diameter longer than 30 kilometres waiting to be discovered in what’s known as “the third zone” of our solar system.

“I’m an explorer,” Pelletier said. “I love going to places (that are) unexplored — we’re on the edge of the solar system. The Kuiper Belt was only discovered in the 1990s.”

Until the Jan. 1 flyby, Pelletier will keep busy monitoring Ultima Thule, barely giving him time to celebrate his 44th birthday on Friday, Dec. 28.

But his wife and two boys, aged 9 and 12, will be flying up to Maryland to join him in the coming days.

Pelletier has worked on a number of other space missions, including the voyage the Cassini spacecraft took to Saturn, and he also participated in the Mars Curiosity landing.

Footnote:

I really like this story.  My only disappointment is the name of the rock could have been so much better.
uma world

Happy New Year Everyone,  May your 2019 Exceed Expectations!.

 

 

Timeline Of Human Activity In Antarctica

Antarctica, Earth’s southernmost continent, faces numerous threats from climate change, but many people don’t know very much about the isolated area. The Onion looks back at a history of exploration, scientific study, and human activity in Antarctica.

1490:
Lost European explorers perplexed by how cold India is.

1820:
Discovery of Antarctica sends world ice prices plummeting.

1911:
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen beats British explorer Robert Falcon Scott in the race to the South Pole after Scott falters during the critical Ross Ice Shelf sprint stage.

1917:
Ernest Shackleton completes the first successful mission to get a boat stuck in Antarctic pack ice and be forced to live miserably on a floe for months.

1935:
Caroline Mikkelsen becomes the first person to experience sexism on Antarctica.

1959:
The Antarctic Treaty is signed in Washington, placing a moratorium on natural resource exploitation and preventing penguins from industrializing the continent and entering the 20th-century global economy.

1991:
The ratification of the Madrid Protocol declares Antarctica to be a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science” for the remaining 50 years of its existence.

2005:
The film March Of The Penguins documents Antarctica’s disturbing descent into fascism.

2018:
OK, earthquakes under the Antarctic peninsula have caused it to droop a bit, but erectile dysfunction is common and treatable.

Story comes from the Onion (here) with my improving their final observation.

Outbreak of Fake Hurricane Reports

Inspired by the Weather Channel’s reporter faking the strength of winds, social media is going viral with numerous videos expanding on the theme.  A compilation can be viewed above.

The watershed video from Weather Channel (pun intended) inadvertently showing people walking around normally in the background.