29 June 2007

What the hell is going on up there?

So, this has been bugging me for a while. Did you know that the earth has another moon? Yeah, it’s a shocker. That’s like your parents suddenly revealing that they have another child. You know, one they just never really got around to ever mentioning to you…

So this moon, or rather “moon” since there's some debate over the terminology—and I’ll get to that in an moment—is called Cruithne (also known as asteroid 3753). I don’t remember where I actually heard about this second moon, although it was probably on NPR since that is where the majority of my information seems to filter in from. Anyway, I thought I would look into it...

Here are the findings: First off, it seems that Cruithne is not really a moon, because Earth and Cruithne are not gravitationally bound. A moon would actually orbit the planet, while Cruithne just shares the Earth's orbit around the Sun. It was discovered in 1986, although it took until the late nineties to figure out its orbit. Apparently, it’s up there careening around in some sort of crazy horseshoe pattern. Cruithne’s orbit will not cause it to crash into the earth. I find this reassuring.

So while I’m looking this up, I discover that there’s a bunch of other crap floating around up there. There are at least four Earth Coorbital Asteroids or "coorbitals" that share Earth's orbit. They are certainly catchily named: 2003 YN107, 2002 AA29, 2004 GU9, and 2001 GO2. Poetic.

So the best part of the story is that that they thought they found another one called J002E3. Only then they discovered this:

J002E3's small size and unusual orbit suggest the object is no asteroid or other natural object, but a piece of man-made "space junk," possibly a piece of one of the Saturn V rockets that launched American astronauts to the moon during the Apollo program.

Nice. Yeah, we thought that might be a planet or something, but it turns out that’s its just some trash we didn’t dispose of properly...

So my real problem doesn’t actually have any thing to do with any of that. What I want to know is why do we call the moon the moon? Other planets have moons (and coorbitlas for that matter) and most of them have names. Pretty ones: Triton, Nereid, Phoebe, Titan, Calypso, Ganymede…Jupiter has 39 moons for goodness sake. In fact, as you may note above, even the other stuff orbiting the earth has a name (or at least a number).

So why do we call the big white one up there the moon. That’s like saying, “I have this cat, and we are going to call him ‘the cat’. Now, all these other cats—who you may note are also cats—will have names like Midnight and Socks and Nutmeg and Steve.” What's that about? Makes no sense.

27 June 2007

What do you mean by that?

How much do I love the Urban Dictionary? Quite a bit actually. Granted many, many of the entries seem to have been submitted by people who really only appear to have at best a passing familiarity with the English Language and may in fact be as dumb as a bag of hammers. But really, doesn't that apply to the internet, and come to think of it the world, as a whole?

My enjoyment of the Urban Dictionary is twofold. First, the word of the day feature is by far the best source for amusing new made-up words to lob randomly into conversations. Here's a smattering of my recent favorites:

Floordrobe—A form of storage for clothing which requires no hangers, drawers, doors or effort. Simply drop on the floor and you have a floordrobe.

We have a very stylish colonial-style home featuring his and hers walk-on floordrobes.

AccountabilabuddyA friend, maybe a best friend, who you get into trouble with and who is somewhat responsible for your actions.

Dude, Kyle is totally my accountabilabuddy. Good lookin out Kyle.

Dap and Dip—Making a brief appearance at a party or social function for political purposes. Involves giving "dap" (fist-pound greeting) to the host and other notables, then "dipping" (leaving) shortly thereafter. Sometimes used to describe an event that is not enjoyable and would not be worth attending were it not for the political motive.

Matt: Are we going to Jon's party?
Darryl: Yeah, but I don't want to stay long, so let's make it a dap and dip.

Myspy—when you use myspace to spy on ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, ex-friends or even your ex-boyfriend's ex-girlfriend's ex-boyfriend's baby momma.

my boyfriend caught me myspying on my ex-boyfriend's ex-girlfriend. busted.

couching distance—The distance one can reach without leaving the couch or sofa.

That job is too far; it's not within couching distance.
I can't reach the remote control because it's not in couching distance.

Stripsy—the post-drunken, post-tipsy state at which the removal of clothing begins.

Brian: Jen, where's your shirt?
Jen: I don't know; last night I got a little stripsy...

Hip Replacement—The process of introducing a formerly cool person to a product or idea that attempts to make them cool again. Reinventing an individuals public persona through association or action.

Joe just had a hip replacement - he ditched his 20 year old CD Walkman for a new IPod.
Quentin Tarrantino gave John Travolta a 'hip replacement' with Pulp Fiction.

I have to stop myself because there are just so very many more. I seriously recommend that you subscribe to their little service that emails one to you everyday. Quite a treat for your inbox.

The other useful aspect of the Urban Dictionary is that if there is any sort of filthy, sexual, or extremely disturbing sounding term that you may have heard in passing but weren't quite sure what it actually meant...yeah, it's in there. My my friend the Psych To Be told me that she's been known to use it to look up prisoner lingo she hears while attending to incarcerated wayward youth. Fun and educational.

26 June 2007

Buffalo x 8 = headache

Something from my friend Rakes to jostle your brain. Conveniently, we share a love of bison and the English language.

Check it out

For some reason, this reminds me of my favorite episode of Sanford and Son. Actually, it's one of the few where I remember the plot clearly. Although I watched this show a lot in my youth, I haven't really seen it much since, so the whole thing has kind of blurred into an amalgam of Fred and Aunt Ester and Grady and Rollo and the two Lamonts and "Elizabeth, honey, I'm coming to join you" and "Good Goobily Goop"-an expression I intend to bring back into favor-and "I've got 5 good reasons right here!"-which I also need to start using more. Maybe around the office...

But I digress. In the aforementioned episode Grady thought the wild parsley he planted out in the junkyard was actually marijuana. The cops show up, I don't really remember why, and start asking Fred and Lamont about the plants. I can't remember the exchange exactly (and the internet is failing me at the moment-damn you people who don't find the same things funny that I do and therefore don't post the quoted lines I'm trying to find) but the exchange went something like this:

Cop: What's that?
Lamont: Parsley
Fred: Probably
Lamont: Possibly
Fred: Partially
Cop: It's probably, possibly, partially, parsley?

Then they made a salad and the cops ate the evidence, only it actually
was parsley so I guess it wasn't really evidence. Oh, and Grady thought it gave him the "munchkins" which was also hilarious but not really so reminiscent of the Buffalo thing above.

Also, the Sanford and Son theme song? Rocks. And was written by Quincy Jones. And has a name: "The Streetbeater". And Sanford and Son is based on a British show called Steptoe and Son. And damn, I seem to know way too much about Sanford and Son. So, I will just leave you with the fact that Quincy Jones' daughter is that chick on The Office that Jim met in Stanford and that everyone hated because she was keeping him from being with Pam. Oh, and her mother is Peggy Lipton.

Hmmm...what's this thing

So, I totally forgot that I had set up this blog. Like a year ago. I am lame...a fact that will not come as a galloping shock to those who know me. Alas. Although in my defense, back when I set-up this blog, there was some sort of horrible technical glitch where every time I would try to log in I was told that I had the wrong password. So I would reset the password, but then the next time the same thing would happen--even though I had dutifully written down the new password so I knew it was correct. Anyway, that whole thing pissed me off and greatly contributed to the aforementioned lameness re: the blog.

So we fast-forward to the present, where my friend K has recently started a blog and is diligently updating it, putting me to shame. She does that in lots of areas, most notably with her amazing and limitless postcard mailing prowess and her superhuman ability to shop for lovely gifts and mail them in a timely fashion so that they arrive well ahead of the gift-giving holiday/event, despite the fact that said gifts often must traverse an ocean and brave the postal services of two nations to reach their destination. I must know her secrets...

Anyway, when I went to check out her blog, also on blogger, I discovered that I could now log in with my gmail details. I tried it, and it worked like a charm. Is there anything Google can't do? And there was the old blog, hanging out, minding its own. So, I decided to give it a little rescue breathing, prop it up in a chair and see what happens. I think it will be good for me to write a bit for myself and for fun on a regular basis. Let's see how it goes...