Posts tagged Science

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Did you see this today on i09?? Gooooooo Science!   ~Prof. Jenn

Neil deGrasse Tyson On My Television

Neil deGrasse Tyson, noted astrophysicist and always deemed my favorite, has once again invaded our television screens as an actor on a beloved television series. Fans may know Tyson from his work on Nova ScienceNow or his numerous books that bring astrophysics to the masses. Casual viewers or readers may know him better as ‘The Man Who Demoted Pluto.’ Yes, third graders everywhere are cursing his name because they have to relearn the planetary jingle.

Despite the fact that it’s been four years since the IAU agreed with Tyson and demoted Pluto to dwarf planet status, the entertainment industry is still using it to their advantage. Tyson first took a turn as an actor on the Stargate: Atlantis episode “Brain Storm” where he played…Neil deGrasse Tyson. He became the subject of taunting by Dr. Rodney McKay over his role in the planet’s demotion, but managed to get a few good jibes in himself.

Rodney McKay: Hey, at least I didn’t declassify Pluto from planet status. Way to make all the little kids cry, Neil. That make you feel like a big man? (SGA, Episode 5.16, “Brain Storm”)

And now, two years later, he’s back again. This time, he’s on the hit comedy Big Bang Theory, favorite of nerds everywhere, and he’s playing…Neil deGrasse Tyson. Hey, when you’re iconic, you can be your own character! He is still defending himself as not being the sole person responsible for Pluto’s demotion, but Dr. Sheldon Cooper will have none of that.

Sheldon Cooper: I’m quite familiar with Dr. Tyson. He’s responsible for the demotion of Pluto from planetary status. I liked Pluto. Ergo, I do not like you. (BBT, Episode 4.7, “The Apology Insufficiency”)

Poor Dr. Tyson, he just can’t win. But if the television writers want to ride this joke out for however long they deem it funny, I’m happy to see Tyson return time and again. Until then, I’ll be over here geeking out over my favorite astrophysicist.

Photo Credit: Chris Cassidy, NOVA science NOW

Why I Dig Paul and Storm

During a completely tedious and infuriating day at work, my entertainment comes from checking on my Twitter account during breaks.

How stoked was I to see that Storm of the comedy music duo Paul and Storm was engaging their Twitter followers in a short interactive that was reminiscent of Zork. It kept me laughing the entire day and I figured I would share the game with you before it’s lost in the annals of Twitter.

[S] You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door and a sign that says “Retweet”.

.@just_mike >take sign / The sign is affixed to the house by very large bolts, and can not be moved.
.@zxo >inv / You have: one portable computer device, a sequined glove, and a parrot.
.@jawboneradio >use portable computer device / You take the device in hand. Its display reads:
.@tanuki_green > Put on glove / You are now wearing the sequined glove. You hear music.
.@Spam286 >Moonwalk west. / You moonwalk west. You are standing in a field. There is a sequined computer terminal and a cannon
.@smokehalo >say “hello parrot” / The parrot says “hello parrot”

To read the rest of the post (and it’s a long one), visit my site

The Apollo Awards: Neat Idea or Cashing In On Nerd Culture

Let’s have a discussion. I have to thank one of my Twitter followers (@dr_lindyke) for inspiring this blog post.

Earlier this morning on Geeky Pleasures, I posted the following press release. Click the clip below or you will be a wee bit lost on this topic.

Not receiving any feedback, I asked the following question on Twitter:

Which spawned this discussion (if you are viewing this in an RSS reader, you may need to visit the site to read the discussion):
<a href=””>Am I the only 1 excited RE announcement of The Apollo – Twitter conversation</a>
So let me ask you the same questions. Do you think it is neat that geeks and nerds get to nominate and vote for their favourite SciFi and Fantasy films and television or do you think it is just another popularity contest?

Do you see it as geeks/nerds choosing what they actually like without mainstream telling them what is or is not cool or do you think it is profit grab?

Do you like this idea or does it bother you?

Do you think these are awards are filled with irony due to popularity factor and as geeks and nerds we shouldn’t care about that?

What other issues do you see with this, if any?

What do you think?

Astrology’s Dirty Little Secret

I do not believe in astrology, but that is irrelevant to this conversation. This isn’t about the accuracy of astrology itself but about the inaccuracy of the zodiac being used for horoscopes and astrological signs, the forms most people think of when referring to astrology.

There are twelve astrological signs, each corresponding to a constellation from the zodiac. The word zodiac is roughly translated to mean ‘circle of animals’ which is a very accurate description. Each constellation of the zodiac falls into a ring around the earth known as the ecliptic; the paths of the Sun, Moon and planets around the earth also roughly fall in the ecliptic. People’s astrological signs are assigned by the position of the constellations when that person was born. Whatever zodiac is in the sky is that person’s sign.

The zodiac has been around, unchanging, since the Romans; and this is the heart of the problem. That is a long time; so long in fact the earth’s axis itself has shifted. Earth’s axis wobbles slightly, this means that in the 2,000 plus years since the zodiac was first created the earth has shifted its position in space ever so slightly. The stars are around 30 degrees westward in our night’s sky than they were for ancient astronomers.

This means that the constellations no longer correspond to the signs. A chart provided by Wikipedia helpfully shows when each zodiac constellations is present in the sky and when the zodiac sign is considered present. In every instance the constellation rises as the sign sets. A person who is an Aries was actually born under the constellation of Pisces and is therefore actually a Pisces.

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