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Archive for April, 2009


 Stephen Colbert won the honor of having a NASA treadmill named after him.  The treadmill will be flown to the International Space Station some time in August.  

 

Not Quite What Will Be Happening

Not Quite What Will Be Happening

Colbert actually won NASA’s poll to name the US space node which is to be attached to the Inernational Space Station this summer.  NASA did not think Colbert was an appropriate name for the node and decided to name it Tranquility instead.  This was done to honor Apollo 11’s landing site on the moon. 

The treadmill is officially entitled The Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT).

Astronaut Sunita Williams declared that, “Every day somebody will have to jump on the COLBERT to work out. So that will be the words that will be passed down from space to ground ‘It’s time for me to jump on Colbert’.”

Having voted for Colbert myself, I am pleased to see NASA did something to appease the “Colbert Nation,” but did not really see anything different happening.  Kudos for Colbert and NASA for handling the whole thing very well.

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I simply won’t have time to be a regular poster, so I decided not to embark on a trip to Africa as it would be way too time consuming. Instead, I will be posting those random tidbits of information I love. Sorry for the disappointment. Hope you enjoy the new series.

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Vacation for Vacation


I am on vacation…so I am taking a vacation from the ol’ website as well.

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You recall that when we traveled down to South America, I decided to take a boat.  That was largely so that I could blabber about the Sargasso Sea.  Now that we are going to Africa, I don’t really have anything like that planned en route.  So, the group will travel by plane.  This also gives me an excuse not to write much, because I have been particularly unenthused about blogging for the first couple days of my spring break.

We board our plane and prepare to take off.  Anybody afraid of flying?  No?  Good.  Statistically speaking, it is the safest form of transportation.  But anyway, we are off the ground and on our way to Cairo.

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I am sure many, if not all, of you have head about the tragedy that occured today in Binghamton.  I ask you to say a prayer for the victim’s families and reflect on what life means to you.

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Our last virtual trip to South America was heralded as a great success.  So, I decided to move onto Africa: another wild and wonderful continent.  I hope you come along.

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I decided to compile  a list of the puns I used in the match as today’s post.  Bad or good, here they are:

  • “Beckenbauer was a bit of a surprise” A tribute to the Monty Python video that got this all started.
  • “Linus Pauling and James Watson began a bit of a squabble on the pitch” Pauling and Watson-Crick were two big players in the race to discover the structure of DNA.
  • “Crying, “Eureka!” Archimedes” He may not have said this, but it is his famous line.
  •  “Heisenberg said that the ball’s position cannot be determined with certainty”  Note Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
  • “Einstein immediately issued a yellow card stating that the foul was relatively” Note Einstein’s Theory of Relativity
  • “existence was questionable, because he must not have been thinking.” Note Descartes’ famous line, “I think therefore I am.”
  • “Goddard calculated the trajectory the projectile would follow perfectly and shot a rocket” Goddard was the first to use liquid filled rockets successfully.
  • “Thomas Edison rushed onto the field and tried to attack Nikola Tesla, claiming that DC was clearly superior” Edison and Tesla were big competitors and took part in the “War of the Currents.”  Tesla’s AC current won out.
  • “Charles Darwin, as apparently, he was not amongst the fittest” Note Darwin’s theory of Evolution by Natural Selection
  • “Nobel seemed dead out there” Well, he has been dead for over 100 years.
  • “E.O. Wilson directed” Wilson was the first to discover that ants used pheromones to direct one another.
  • “Euclid headed the sphere” Euclid’s main works dealt with the geometry of cones and spheres.
  • “Schrodinger looked like a dead cat” Note Schrodinger’s famous Dead Cat Thought experiment
  • “Jonas Salk, quiet during the whole game, made a great advance in the field.”  Salk made great advances in medicine when he discovered the vaccine for polio.
  • “Pasteur who slipped, leaving a gaping wound in the Old School defense” Pasteur’s work proved that germs caused infections and disease beyond a doubt.
  • “Goodall, who moved all around the field looking for an open attacker in the center of the pitch.  She tried to conserve time ”  Goodall is a noted conservationist.
  • “George Washington Carver who switched fields” Carver worked to transform the Southern American cotton monoculture.
  • “Watson tried to do an around the world to Copernicus, who was not fooled” Copernicus discovered that the world was not the center of the solar system and proposed the heliocentric model.
  • “Brahmagupta, who did zero the whole game.” Brahmagupta was the Indian mathematician who is credited with discovering the idea of zero.
  • “Crick who shot a last minute blast towards the net.  The shot curved like a helix” Watson and Crick worked to discover the helical structure of DNA.
  • “Leonardo da Vinci tried to punch it out, but came out of the game without a Mona Lisa smile” One of Da Vinci’s most famous paintings is the Mona Lisa, known for her mysterious smile.
  • “Lavosier decided to conserve the goal and Newton agreed, saying that the rate of change of Crick’s position could not have put him offsides.  The goal counted!”  Note Lavosier’s Conservation of Mass and Newton’s Laws of Motion.
  • “Einstein stated that the game was moving so quickly, time’s rate of change decreased.” Note Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

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