Discussion:
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
Add Reply
Lynn McGuire
2018-11-30 23:14:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/

Groan !

Yes, I had to read the explanation:
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri

Lynn
Titus G
2018-12-01 02:11:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
   https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
  https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
Lynn
Can we expect your future reviews to lack the high probability of 4.4
stars out of five?
Carl Fink
2018-12-01 14:07:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or physics major
and NASA worker (Munroe).
--
Carl Fink ***@nitpicking.com

Read John Grant's book, Corrupted Science: http://a.co/9UsUoGu
Dedicated to ... Carl Fink!
Kevrob
2018-12-01 15:51:14 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or physics major
and NASA worker (Munroe).
--
You don't have to be either.

I learned about the triple-sun Centauri system reading "Adam
Strange" in MYSTERY IN SPACE as a kid.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Strange

https://www.comics.org/issue/18269/cover/4/

Hey, it's a mere 25 trillion miles away, give or take.

JLA villain Kanjar Ro even used the fact that it is a
trinary system in one of his evil schemes!

You could learn a lot waiting to get your hair cut in the
early 1960s.

Kevin R
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-12-01 15:56:30 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or physics major
and NASA worker (Munroe).
I am neither one, and I got it.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Mark Jackson
2018-12-01 17:38:23 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri" https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or
physics major and NASA worker (Munroe).
I am neither one, and I got it.
I got it, but although I'm a physicist that had nothing to do with
getting it. (Well, I did take one introductory astrophysics course but
that was about nucleosynthesis, not star identification - no big
surprise since it was taught by Willy Fowler.)
--
Mark Jackson - http://www.alumni.caltech.edu/~mjackson
I’m 70. 70 may be the new 50, but "dead" is not
the new "alive." - Bob Mankoff
Robert Carnegie
2018-12-01 22:08:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or physics major
and NASA worker (Munroe).
I am neither one, and I got it.
I think the slightly tricky part is to make the mental leap
from "Alpha Centauri is a system (probably) of three stars"
to a number of "stars" as a judgement of qualities.
Although Lynn uses stars in his own book reviews.
Even so, for a clever joke, it's so /stupid/.

No one so far has mentioned actually laughing...?
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-12-02 00:10:49 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or physics major
and NASA worker (Munroe).
I am neither one, and I got it.
I think the slightly tricky part is to make the mental leap
from "Alpha Centauri is a system (probably) of three stars"
to a number of "stars" as a judgement of qualities.
Although Lynn uses stars in his own book reviews.
Even so, for a clever joke, it's so /stupid/.
No one so far has mentioned actually laughing...?
Well, if a pun is funny, you laugh. If it's awful, you groan.
In this case I did neither; I sort of went, "Oh, yeah."
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Carl Fink
2018-12-02 03:25:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or physics major
and NASA worker (Munroe).
I am neither one, and I got it.
You are in another applicable category, Dorothy.
--
Carl Fink ***@nitpicking.com

Read John Grant's book, Corrupted Science: http://a.co/9UsUoGu
Dedicated to ... Carl Fink!
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-12-02 15:06:56 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or physics major
and NASA worker (Munroe).
I am neither one, and I got it.
You are in another applicable category, Dorothy.
Why, thank you. What would you call that category? "SF fan"? Or
maybe just "old"? :)
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Dimensional Traveler
2018-12-02 18:20:49 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or physics major
and NASA worker (Munroe).
I am neither one, and I got it.
You are in another applicable category, Dorothy.
Why, thank you. What would you call that category? "SF fan"? Or
maybe just "old"? :)
"Experienced".
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
Carl Fink
2018-12-03 01:50:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or physics major
and NASA worker (Munroe).
I am neither one, and I got it.
You are in another applicable category, Dorothy.
Why, thank you. What would you call that category? "SF fan"? Or
maybe just "old"? :)
"Experienced".
I was thinking "SF Fan" but in retrospect that also includes Lynn, doesn't
it?
--
Carl Fink ***@nitpicking.com

Read John Grant's book, Corrupted Science: http://a.co/9UsUoGu
Dedicated to ... Carl Fink!
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-12-03 02:16:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or physics major
and NASA worker (Munroe).
I am neither one, and I got it.
You are in another applicable category, Dorothy.
Why, thank you. What would you call that category? "SF fan"? Or
maybe just "old"? :)
"Experienced".
Awwww. Thanks again.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
David Johnston
2018-12-02 07:41:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or physics major
and NASA worker (Munroe).
Unless of course the problem is not being unfamiliar with the number of
stars in the Centauri system but not not connecting "stars" with "rating".
D B Davis
2018-12-02 17:26:15 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or physics major
and NASA worker (Munroe).
Unless of course the problem is not being unfamiliar with the number of
stars in the Centauri system but not not connecting "stars" with "rating".
Perhaps an alternative punchline makes the joke more obvious:

"Yeah, but I checked online and it only has three stars and
Castor has six."

Speaking of Castor, the Winter Hexagon's rising in the Northern
Hemisphere. https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110103.html



Thank you,
--
Don
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-12-03 02:18:03 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by D B Davis
Post by David Johnston
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or physics major
and NASA worker (Munroe).
Unless of course the problem is not being unfamiliar with the number of
stars in the Centauri system but not not connecting "stars" with "rating".
"Yeah, but I checked online and it only has three stars and
Castor has six."
Speaking of Castor, the Winter Hexagon's rising in the Northern
Hemisphere. https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110103.html
Alas, the Bay Area is thoroughly socked in. As we drove across
the Napa-Vallejo Salt Marsh Reserve, I could see a faint line of
light in the west where the cloud cover *just barely didn't* meet
the hilltops.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
D B Davis
2018-12-03 03:34:21 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by D B Davis
Post by David Johnston
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or physics major
and NASA worker (Munroe).
Unless of course the problem is not being unfamiliar with the number of
stars in the Centauri system but not not connecting "stars" with "rating".
"Yeah, but I checked online and it only has three stars and
Castor has six."
Speaking of Castor, the Winter Hexagon's rising in the Northern
Hemisphere. https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110103.html
Alas, the Bay Area is thoroughly socked in. As we drove across
the Napa-Vallejo Salt Marsh Reserve, I could see a faint line of
light in the west where the cloud cover *just barely didn't* meet
the hilltops.
On that ?rare? day when the clouds clear on the West Coast, both the
Winter Hexagon and the Summer Triangle easily enable a modicum of star
gazing. Just look for the brightest stars overhead mid-season, follow
the dots, and connect them up.
It's fun to recall sfnal stories during observations. Gazing at the
star Aldebaran, for instance, may remind the observer that the turtle
suit, methane breathers in _The Lathe of Heaven_ (Le Guin) that are
native to the Aldebaran System. (Aldebaran's a very popular sfnal
setting, by the way.)



Thank you,
--
Don
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-12-03 03:53:02 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by D B Davis
Post by David Johnston
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Lynn McGuire
xkcd: "Alpha Centauri"
https://xkcd.com/2079/
Groan !
https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2079:_Alpha_Centauri
It's almost as if you aren't a former science teacher (me) or physics major
and NASA worker (Munroe).
Unless of course the problem is not being unfamiliar with the number of
stars in the Centauri system but not not connecting "stars" with "rating".
"Yeah, but I checked online and it only has three stars and
Castor has six."
Speaking of Castor, the Winter Hexagon's rising in the Northern
Hemisphere. https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110103.html
Alas, the Bay Area is thoroughly socked in. As we drove across
the Napa-Vallejo Salt Marsh Reserve, I could see a faint line of
light in the west where the cloud cover *just barely didn't* meet
the hilltops.
On that ?rare? day when the clouds clear on the West Coast, both the
Winter Hexagon and the Summer Triangle easily enable a modicum of star
gazing. Just look for the brightest stars overhead mid-season, follow
the dots, and connect them up.
Between the overcast and the city lights, it isn't that easy. I
remember a time when some sort of artificial comet-like thing was
going to be sent up from the JPL site in Southern California, and
we went up into the hills in an attempt to see it. Alas, as I
said later in a letter to a friend, the overcast was sufficient
that we could only make out very bright objects such as Rigel,
Sirius, and San Francisco.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Loading...