Perfessor Friar’s Random Bits of Science Trivia

In 2005, we landed a probe on the surface of Titan, which is one of Saturn’s Moons.

Just think of what this involves, for a moment.

Saturn is almost a billion miles away. When you look at it in the sky, it’s an orange dot of light.

And somewhere around that dot of light, is a SMALLER dot of light orbiting around it, that we can’t even see with the naked eye.

Now, imagine firing a gun at 10 times the speed of a bullet, almost 7 years in advance, to try to hit that moving dot around the dot.   Because that’s basically what they did when they launched the Huygens space probe.

Only imagine firing the gun from the surface of a rotating sphere (Earth), which itself moves around the sun. So does Saturn, at a different speed. And Titan moves around Saturn.

Yet NASA managed to compute the right trajectories, and apply the right braking with retro-rockets, so that the probe not only achieved a soft landing on Titan, but managed to send back pictures.

When our grandparents were born, computers didn’t’ even exist, and rockets couldn’t even travel more than a few miles, let alone go into space.

That’s pretty amazing, when you think about it.

***********************************************

The coldest temperature in the deepest nether-regions of intergalactic space is about 3 degrees Kelvin (-270C).

That’s three degrees above absolute zero (which is as cold as anything can ever get).

But why 3 deg K? Why doesn’t it get colder than that?

Because the 3 degrees is the fossil remnant of the Big Bang:   the huge explosion that was believed to have created the Universe at the Beginning of Time.

The fireball from the Big Bang was intensely hot at first.  But over billions of years, the Universe expanded, and everything cooled off, to the point of where we are today.

But there’s still that remaining 3K of heat left over, that’s present throughout the entire fabric of the Universe.  This is what’s know as “background radiation“.

Though in the laboratory, we’ve managed to get temperatures colder than this, approaching Absolute Zero to within 0.0000000001 of a degree.

So basically, here on earth, we puny humans, with our tiny, insignificant experiments, have created what is the coldest known temperature in the entire Universe.

Not bad, eh? …for hairless apes who only learned to write 6000 years ago!

***********************************************

By the way, it’s impossible to reach Absolute Zero, exactly.  You can come close to it, but you’ll never quite get there.

It’s not like we eventually can, if we develop technology and design a better way to freeze things.

Nope.  It’s just impossible.

The Laws of Thermodynamics imply that at Absolute Zero, all atoms stop vibrating.   There is zero motion, all particles are in fixed positions.

This violates the Heisenberg Uncertainty Princicple.  The laws of Quantum Mechanics do not allow us to simultaneously know where a particle is and how fast it’s moving (or not moving).

If it sounds complicated, it IS.  I wont’ bore you with all the details.

But just remember, that Absolute Zero is impossible.

Because that’s just the way the Laws of the Universe work.

************************************************

It’s fasciniating the way things are quantized at the sub-atomic level, where events take place in discrete steps.

Take electrons orbiting around an atomic nucleus, for example.

Say an electron absorbs some energy. This might kick it up to the next higher orbit around the atom. If this electron loses energy, it would drop back down to the lower orbit from where it came.

But the thing is… the electron can only jump from one orbit to the other. It’s Either-Or. There is no going in-between the orbits.

That would be like the equivalent of someone trying to push you up hill in a wagon.

Imagine if the wagon could only be in two places: at the top, or at the bottom. There would be no such thing as half-way up the hill, or 7/8th up the hill, etc…

Fortunately, things dont’ work this way in our everyday life.

On the human scale, any quantum effects are so incredibly tiny that everything appears to take place smoothly and continuously.

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119 Comments on “Perfessor Friar’s Random Bits of Science Trivia”

  1. Vicki Says:

    Along the lines of the last one…my favorite geek joke:

    A quantum physicist walks into a bar. Maybe.

  2. Friar Says:

    @Vicki

    Does he bring Schrodinger’s Cat? 🙂

  3. Brett Legree Says:

    This is good – and I always love the “hairless apes” thing.

    I always think our harnessing of the atom is take for granted by many people. Remember our chat last night about the Tsar Bomba (for people who don’t know, the largest bomb ever detonated – 57 megaton thermonuclear device, and that was only HALF strength). It would have caused third degree burns 60 miles away and shattered windows hundreds of miles away just from the shock wave.

    And then in a peaceful application of fission, tying in with your space travel story, NASA is right now discussing a trip to Mars. Using conventional chemical rockets – what we use today of course – the round trip will be almost three years because we’ll have to coordinate with the orbits.

    But using an atomic rocket designed in the early 60’s, we could do a round trip in 6 months (not counting the stay on the planet, of course).

    Manned trips to Titan would even be possible (though a bit boring, as it would still take a long time).

  4. Friar Says:

    @Brett

    There’s tons of fantastic footage about the Tsar Bomba and nuclear tests on YouTube (which were unheard of when we were kids).

    Just think how fast atomic energy progresed. The neutron didn’t even get discovered until 1932.

  5. Vicki Says:

    @Friar He tried, but the little bugger got away and hid in Pandora’s box.

  6. Friar Says:

    @Vicki

    Oh, no. That’s where Maxwell’s Demon is hiding!

  7. Steph Says:

    That Saturn bit is so cool. I love this stuff. I’m still watching that 14-DVD set called The Universe put out by the History Channel. I think you’d love it. I can’t shut up while I’m watching it because I’m so in awe!

  8. Kelly Says:

    Friar,

    Yowee. Looking at the picture from Saturn’s moon gave me chills. Sometimes, you remember what the word “awe” is for, and it’s that.

    When I was six months old, I was propped in front of out black and white console t.v. to (ignore) watch man land on the moon. Now I look at a photo from Titan (Titan! Whoa!) on a computer screen that’s sitting on my lap, that a friend and author in Canada linked to, that was put there by some guy in Portugal.

    Wow.

    Regards,

    Kelly

  9. Friar Says:

    @Steph
    The Saturn bit is awesome! But I think it barely made page 5 in the paper, when it happened. The general public just isn’t that interested in these things anymore, which is sad.

    PS. You should look at Saturn in your Telescope! (It’s out right now, actually, in the Eastern sky around 10:00 PM)

    @Kelly
    Since I’m a “wee bit” older, I just turned five when they landed on the moon. I remember seeing pictures about it in Time Magazine, predicting what would happen. And I remember vaguely seeing something on TV.

    I do remember the later Apollo missions very (from Kindergarten till Grad 2). The principal wheeled in a black and white TV into the auditorium, and we watched the “Splash down” and cheered.

  10. Kelly Says:

    Friar,

    And I still get in trouble from Mom for not having any interest in it.

    Mo-om! I couldn’t sit up without help yet! 🙂

    Believe me, I’ve watched every replay of it since, trying to make up for my early failings. (But I’m still the same babe, I guess… I love space stuff, but don’t really retain any info—why I love Perfessor Friar’s reviews so much!)

    Until later,

    Kelly

  11. Eyeteaguy Says:

    When speaking about absolute zero, never miss the opportunity to say Bose-Einstein condesate.

    Its just sounds cool. (pun intended)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bose%E2%80%93Einstein_condensate

    Eyeteaguy


  12. I’m no physicist, so forgive my ignorance. As I read your explanation of why we can’t achieve Absolute Zero, though, I was confused.

    I get the definition of Absolute Zero, and I get what you say about the Uncertainty Principle, but doesn’t that just mean that if/when we cool matter to 0 Kelvin, we won’t be able to measure that temperature to prove that we’ve done it?

    Thanks for satisfying my curiosity!

  13. Allison Day Says:

    Friar, you’re awesome. I love it, I love it, I love it. And I seem to recall having a love-hate relationship with the Uncertainty Principle in my physics classes – fascinated the heck out of me, but then the problems they made us solve always kicked my butt.

    Aylad – At Absolute Zero, all particles stop moving completely (relative to their environment, of course). Therefore, we would know exactly what their momentum is (zero) and exactly what their position in space is. Problem is… according to the Uncertainty Principle, you can never, ever know both the momentum and position of a particle at the same time. Ever. Therefore, we can never, ever reach Absolute Zero.

    (Did I explain that right, Perfessor? 🙂 )

  14. Friar Says:

    @Kelly

    You can always look up space stuff on Wikipedia (Or even You-tube). It’s amazing, all the vintage footage they have.

    @Eyeteaguy
    A funny name, AND it’s on-topic. I’m impressed. Well done.

    PS. One of my favorite insults is calling someone a “boson”. Just because I think “boson” sounds like a good definition for “idiot”.

    @Aylad
    You’re right. Part of the reason we can’t ever measures absolute zero is that we’d end up disturbing whatever we were trying to measure, and it would end up heating it up.

    But it goes beyond that. It’s also theoretically impossible. The laws of Thermodynamics are such, that the colder an object gets, the more work it takes to remove the remaining bit of heat. As you approach absolute zero, the amount of work required to get there becomes infinite.

    http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/features/online/2176/verging-absolute-zero

    And also, see Alison’s explanation. The Uncertainty Principle requires there to be some quantum motion, you can never have a precise location and momentum of any atoms or particles. And motion implies some temperature.

    @Alison
    Yes…that’s a great explanation. Gold star for you. You get to sit at the head of the class! 🙂

  15. Patricia Says:

    Neat Stuff! thanks for getting me all learned today –
    I went to the medical intuitive this morning – first visit ever…I found out a large part of this physical pain is from being ignored and unappreciated all of my life.
    Part of it comes from being born to Canadian parents who had no public display of emotions aloud…so it is probably ok I was born in the USA and am the only non-Canadian in the family, because I was so emotional and my mother said to just “ignore it and I would stop”

    How does these ancient Chinese people know these things? How do we know the translator was correct?
    Is there are science in this stuff? It is very old?

    It is like Nasa making the right calculations and plans or like almost reaching a Kelvin? or maybe a Kelvinator?

    Science meets mystic today? I am not making a connection or integration.

  16. Patricia Says:

    allowed or aloud both work in that last comment!

    change does to do? My spelling aura must be unaligned now? or grammar
    skip are
    Maybe I am writing from Saturn?

  17. Friar Says:

    @Patricia

    To be honest, I’m not sure where you’re going with this comment (???) Maybe you are writing from Saturn today! 🙂


  18. Re Trivia Point #1 – pretty amazing, yes, yet we can’t eliminate child poverty in Canada. Okay, yes, I know, shameless carrying over of a conversation from my post to yours. *grin*


  19. Crap, was I on-topic? My mistake, I probaly should have said something about the smell from Uranus, woops, just did.

    I must admit I am a science junky. I wanted to work in the field but my math sucked!

    I love PBS, Nova, Nature and all that.

    The best part of science is people get to name the stuff. Take Quarks, there are six different types, known as flavors: up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom.

    Yup, gotta love it.

  20. Patricia Says:

    I am attempting to comment after this reading..and I can’t spell or be coherent…think I should go just drink water and enjoy Saturn!


  21. I am often that way after reading the crap that Friar inflicts upon us.

    Marf gurb jabble farb nixt.

    Yetaugyee

  22. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Patricia,

    I’m sincerely concerned about you. From your comments I sense something is definitely not right at your end. Your writing frightens me.

    If your comments are just a joke, or if you’re a bit inebriated, then ignore the following.

    Can you chat with a friend? Can you call someone over to be with you? Are you having a bad reaction to something you have taken?

    Patricia, take control and do something to get out of the funk you’re in. If need be drop in at Emerg.

  23. Friar Says:

    @Urban Panther
    Well, there’s no shortage of socially-responsible bloggers trying to save the planet. I thought I’d do something different and just write about science.

    But feek free to borrow my idea hear, for your next post:

    “Sure, we can land a probe on Saturn, but we can’t solve ________ here on earth.” (Fill in the blank.)

    @Eyeteaguy
    If I ever discover a new element, I promise to call it Eyeteaguynium.

    @Patricia
    My Moms’ right. Seriously. (And this is one case where I’m not joking).

    If you’re drunk or joking, fine. But if you’re not feeling well, maybe you should call someone.

  24. Brett Legree Says:

    There’s a balance point too. Of course, we can be “socially-responsible” and try to save the planet, and also reach for the stars.

    Arthur C. Clarke first popularized geosynchronous satellites in 1945 – if people were not dreaming of space way back when, we wouldn’t have all of these groovy weather satellites and so forth helping us map ocean currents and temperatures and so on.

    It really goes hand in hand.

    I think the human race is capable of much greater things. We could end child poverty *and* put people on Mars – or maybe Titan 🙂

  25. Brett Legree Says:

    @Eyeteaguy,

    (with apologies to Alien)

    “In space, no one can smell Uranus.”


  26. Cheque please….waiter!

  27. Steph Says:

    Friar: Unfortunately, I can’t see a bloody thing here. It’s been cloudy for days. Nothing but rain and snow… Is it nice and dark where you are, too? I think there’s a bit too much light here. I need to go out of the city a little. When we go camping this year, I’m bringing my telescope. Algonquin is more than incredible.

  28. Steph Says:

    Hey, have you heard of this guy in Bancroft (I think, or close to there) who made his own observatories? He opens them to the public almost all year ’round. I forget his name. I’ll have to look him up for you. We plan on visiting sometime. You might love it!

  29. Friar Says:

    @Brett and Eyeteaguy

    “Nuke it from orbit from the Mother Ship, that’s the only way to make sure.”

    @Steph
    I live right in town, and on moonless nights, I can see the Milky Way in my backyard!

    Haven’t heard about the Bancroft Observatory, though.

    I love Algonquin…I go on day-trips all the time. Sometimes even just after work in the evenings.

  30. Steph Says:

    I’m pretty sure this is the one: http://www.nutwood-observatory.com/pages/bluerings_index.html

    The Milky Way! I haven’t seen that here but elsewhere I have!

    Are you that close you can go after work?! That’s awesome!! I would love that. I think we’ve done one or two day-trips but mostly we’ve gone for a week or more.


  31. There’s movement all over the place! They’re coming out of the walls!

    I’m going to be up the Bruce Pennisula (without a paddle) this weekend and it is dark and they are calling for clear skies. We saw Mars when we were there last month.

    I’m bringing my camera and my tripod this time. Long exposure anyone?

  32. Friar Says:

    @Steph
    In the summer, I leave work at 4:30. My canoe is on the water by 6:00 PM. I paddle and fish till dusk, and get home by 11:00 PM.

    Longest trip I ever did was 4 days. But now, I live so close, I just do day-trips all summer (instead of one big long trip).

    @Eyeteaguy
    I’d like to see you get an exposure of the Orion Nebula (though it will be lower in the sky by dusk).

    I read that you can get get an exposure up to 60 seconds before you start to see star trails.

  33. Steph Says:

    You know, I’d prefer day trips. Camping used to be everything to me, but most often now there’s too many people and going where there aren’t too many people seems like too much work. I think I’m getting too old. 😦

  34. Eyeteaguy Says:

    60 seconds? Wow, that’s a long time. I’ll try it and send you some results.

  35. Steph Says:

    Amendment: more than too much work it’s too much inconvenience.

    Yup, getting old.

  36. Friar Says:

    @Steph
    Well, you’re a wee bit younger than me. So you might not remember.

    But 20 years ago, you were able to get a camp site in the Interior, anywhere you wanted. You just paid for the number of days camping you wanted, and they told you “so long, have a good trip”.

    But now..Algonquin has become so popular, that you have to tell them WHAT LAKE you’ll be on, and on WHAT DAY. Because the Interiour campsites fill up!

    To me, that sort of wrecks the wilderness experience.

    What’s funny, though, is just beside the park, (and pretty much most of Northern Ontario) its Crown Land. Where you CAN go anywhere your want. And it’s much less crowded.

    Only people don’t like to go there, because it isn’t a “Provincial Park”, it’s not a green spot on the map. Even though it’s the same wilderness (actually, it’s MORE wild!)

  37. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy
    Well, 60 is the max, apparently (any longer, the stars will smudge out due to earth’s rotation). 30 seconds might work. (I’m not really an expert).

    I took some pretty decent photos once, of the Aurora Borealis with a digital camera and a tripod, by just screwing around. So it should work.

  38. Friar Says:

    @Steph

    The only reason I’m willing to paddle and portage and do all that work is to get away from the crowds and enjoy special places in Nature.

    But where I live, I can do that with just day trips…so I’ve put camping on the back-burner. (I’m getting old and/or lazy too).

    As for Car-Camping. I HATE IT! It’s almost as much work as canoe-camping, but with zero privacy and you have to share toilets and sinks with idiots and deal with screaming kids at 7:00 AM.

    (In that case, I prefer a motel, and I’ll visit the park during the day!)

  39. Steph Says:

    Yeah, and I think it’s partly for safety now, too, that they have to know where you are.

    Camping on Crown land is awesome. We did that north of Peterborough somewhere, around Anstruther Lake and a whole series of lakes around there. Portage trip for a week with a university PE class. I got lost on one of the portages for over 3 hours. I was scared shitless, probably the most I’ve ever been.

    Surrounded by huge moose tracks and my voice dying right in front of me when I finally got the courage to yell for help, I was prepared to empty out and sleep in the 100lb barrel of food and rain gear I happened to have strapped to me (I had no clue I had the food)! I had two paddles, too. This was a case of being up shit’s creek with both paddles!

    A logger on an ATV finally found me, said I was on my way to Bobcageon!!

    My prof met me and hugged the shit out of me, ready with a huge insulin needle. LOL! I’d been gone for long enough that not a single classmate laughed at me. They were all scared. Even the boys.

  40. Steph Says:

    Car camping, no way! Never. I like to be away from everyone, too.

  41. Friar Says:

    @Steph
    Oh, THAT was a fun story!

    I never got lost like that, but I tipped a canoe in ice water once with my buddy. (Which could be another blog post).

    A few times, I’ve gone to the “End of the World” with my old camping buddy.

    We’d drive up North, past Superiour. The pavement would end…we’d follow logging roads..and THEY would end. North of Nakina. And that’s where we’d set up camp.

    The End of the World. No more roads…we knew anything north of us was strictly bush-plane country. That’s a cool feeling…Toronto feels like a million miles away.

  42. Steph Says:

    WOW. That would be awesome. Not the tipping of a canoe in ice water, but journeying to the end of the world.

    Speaking of another blog post, you were one day going to post Grad Skule stories, I think, too. 🙂

  43. Friar's Seestör Says:

    Was your longest canoe trip of 4 days the one we did together a million years ago. I remember your backpack frame breaking on day 2 half way into a 3km portage, cooking over fires after pouring rain,
    running out of food, paddling into a headwind for 6 hours on the last day (unfed), and not talking to each other the last day because we were both cranky from being unfed (low blood sugar perhaps?)

    That was a great trip, wasn’t it!

  44. Friar Says:

    @Seestör

    Yeah…we didnt’ even have a camping stove. We made fire from scratch every night. (Kinda stupid when you look back at it…)

    The canoe weighed at ton and we almost died on that 3500 meter portage.

    I got mad when my knapsack frame collapsed and disintagrated into broken tubes of aluminun. Then you got made a ME for getting mad. 😉

    We were down to our last few crusts of bread on the last day, and had to paddle in whitecaps across Lake Opeongo on zero food. The wind was against us…right up to the last 100 meters.

    I really liked the huge trees we saw, in the virgin White Pine grove. And we got as deep into the Park as we could (without starting to come out the other end).

    I look at the map even now, and I still cant’ believe what we did in four days.

    It WAS a great trip.

  45. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Bunch of pussies. I did that trip in two days with only a granola bar. I didn’t have a canoe so I swam the whole way.

    And it was November. The wolves were hungry too so they chased me most of the way until I killed them all with my bare hands.

    Now that was a great trip!

  46. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy

    You win, congratulations.

  47. Patricia Says:

    Friar and Friar’s Mum
    I am ok – I just think I had so much energy flowing after the treatment I could not contain it…I had hospital visitations to do last night…so I went for a jog – showered and was able to pull myself together for the ill and dying…
    I was awake at nearly 4:30am this morning raring to go and almost pain free….after 4 months of severe chronic pain…I will take a night of not being able to focus and energy surging! Sorry I let loose here…and thank you both for your concern.

  48. Friar Says:

    @Patricia

    Whatever that “treatment” is…wow.

    Your comments yesterday did not make sense, and frankly, some of us were a bit worried…(Should someone try to call 911 or something?)

    But then I saw your comment a few hours later on Panther’s blog. Things seemed back to normal. So I breathed a bit easier.

    Just glad you’re okay.

  49. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Patricia,

    Glad you’re OK. You had me scared yesterday. You sounded like you were on a trip.

    Hope your remain pain free.

  50. Eyeteaguy Says:

    @ Friar – Relax. It’s not a fight of champions.

    Anyways, agreed. Enough said, and moving on.


  51. This is way late, but thanks for the explanations! I think I’ve got it now.

  52. Patricia Says:

    Friar and Friar’s Mom,
    Thank you again for all your concern…I had never had such a treatment before – although I have done acupuncture before – But I could not really think, until I ran off some of that energy.
    I definitely feel 10 years younger today, and the pain relief is amazing – which is a relief in itself.
    I think I should have someone drive me home after the treatment next time in hindsight – I think it was dangerous to drive, but I did not know until I started to comment on your blog post and could not pull my writing together.
    Yes, I was more focused after the run and hospital visitations…so I guess I did end up in the ER (That was intended as a funny :))

  53. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy
    You know…if you disagree with me, just email me and we can discuss this man-to-kman. If you think I’m being a dick…I wish you’d just come out and tell me. 😉

    @Aylad
    I like questions like yours. They keep me sharp…I had to go back and read a bit more on the subject, to make sure I had things right!

    @Patricia
    Yeahhhh….Good idea.

    If you do treatments like that again, it’d probably be a good idea not to drive or use heavy machinery immediately afterwards! 🙂

  54. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy

    Let me already guess your next comment:

    “I think you’re being a dick, Friar.”

  55. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Actually I think you are a kind, intelligent man who masks his caring interior with a gruff exterior that belies the hidden… who the fsck and I kidding, you are a dick.

    We certainly are getting a lot of mileage out of those old comments eh? I’d say his name but you’d moderate me or give me a public lashing for not “dancing” around the feelings of others.

  56. Kelly Says:

    Yah, yah.

    Good thing guys don’t hold grudges. Yeesh!

    Raise your hand if you did attempt said manly emailing to discuss things man-to-man.

    *taps foot impatiently*

  57. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Grudges? I don’t need no stinking grudges.

    Actually, I am sucker punching Friar because he moderated me.

    And I don’t take things offline. I’ll say anything in a comment. What’s the worst that can happen. Delete me? Go ahead. I’d rather be honest and upfront and hated than tie myself into knots concealing the truth and my feelings.

    I’m a dick that way.

  58. Kelly Says:

    Friar,

    I knew I loved you for something.

    Eyeteaguy,

    😉

  59. Eyeteaguy Says:

    We’re like the Odd Couple. ‘cept I’m way funnier and Friar likes to draw.

  60. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy

    Oh, I’ve decided that I won’t’ moderate you.

    Though if you get nasty and start getting abusive (to someone else besides me or Brett), then I might call you on it.

    @Kelly
    Well, that’s the FIRST NICE THING someone’s said to me all day! 🙂

    (It’s a nice change, after listening to Eyeteaguy’s Jiggery-Pokery).

  61. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Hey Friar, Kelly said she like you, because of me!

    Man o man o Manitoba. Without me, you’d be nothing! I made you, and I can break you.

    Jiggery-Pokery – (def.) Underhand scheming or behavior.

    Nope, I am not underhanded. I am pretty much in your face screaming.

    At least you will always know where you stand with me. (And that would be kneeling in my presence, kissing my smelly feet!)

  62. Eyeteaguy Says:

    of course now that you’ve said

    “Oh, I’ve decided that I won’t’ moderate you.

    Though if you get nasty and start getting abusive (to someone else besides me or Brett), then I might call you on it.”

    I am taking that as a challenge, and you know how much I love a challenge.

    Hey Kelly, how thick is your skin?

  63. Friar Says:

    Sigh.

    I just don’t have the energy to deal with this sh*t so late in the day….

  64. Eyeteaguy Says:

    I do, shall I argue both sides? When does Brett get off of work? Maybe he can step into your shoes this evening.

    Zoink, narf!

  65. Brett Legree Says:

    You’re both dicks.

  66. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Yes, but I’m proud of it!

    Thanks Brett!

  67. Kelly Says:

    Francis, me darlin’, you have no idea. Far, far more nasty beings than you have tried and failed.

    Perfessor, did I mention The Kid just did a project on Neptune? She tells me there’s a hurricane on the planet big enough to swallow the Earth.

    A little science for your science post…

    Later,

    Kelly

  68. Friar Says:

    @Brett and Eyeteaguy

    You’re both dicks.

    Dick Squared (Dick^^2)

    Or even (DickE+06)

    @Kelly

    No…I did not know that. (Neptune’s always been an under-rated planet…it’s been neglected a lot).

  69. Friar Says:

    You know, 31 more comments, and we’ll reach the Century mark again.

  70. Kelly Says:

    That’s a taunt if ever I heard one.

    Fine, and I’ll stay semi on topic too:

    Neptune’s got eight moons. The largest is called Triton.

    Thank goodness I have a ten-year-old to make me look smart.

  71. Kelly Says:

    You owe me 30 or 40 on-topic comments. Maybe Wednesday will get wordy…

  72. Friar Says:

    @Kelly

    Well, I can give you 30-40 comments. But I’m not promising they’ll be on-topic.

    I think one of Neptune’s other moons is called Nereid.

  73. Brett Legree Says:

    That’s right, Nereid is one of the moons. A nereid was a kind of water nymph 🙂

  74. Friar Says:

    Nepture has rings, too.

    Not big ones. But rings nevertheless.

  75. Kelly Says:

    Four rings, shouts The Kid, when consulted.

    And you can fit 58 Earths inside the planet itself.

  76. Kelly Says:

    Neptune, Triton, Nereid…

    There’s something going on here. More mythology stuff I barely remember from school.

    Brett, you’re The Man With the Links… how about the mythological connections of Neptune?

  77. Eyeteaguy Says:

    I have rings too, big deal. They mostly manifest themselves around my bathtub and sink.

    I haven’t gotten around to naming them.

    But if I do, I’ll call one Friar.

    Eyeteaguy

    On-topic(kinda) and snarky. I’m getting good at this!

  78. Kelly Says:

    If I ever reach a hundred on-topic comments, I will die and go to…

    Oh, darn. What’s Heaven in Roman mythology?

    Oh, darn. Is Neptune Roman or Greek?

  79. Brett Legree Says:

    Neptune was the Roman god of the sea, Poseidon was Greek (they filled the same role but were not identical).

    Triton was Poseidon’s son, and was the messenger of the sea.

    The bad Romans went to Tartarus – were there any good Romans?

    I think I’ve read that Elysium was the equivalent of Heaven, but there’s some crossover with the Greek and I’m no expert of course.

  80. Kelly Says:

    Tartarus.

    That’s where they eat FishStickus, on Fridayus in Lentus.

    *ahem*

    Was that too off-topic?

  81. Eyeteaguy Says:

    I think Friar’s Mom needs to say something witty and insightful so we can all agree with her and heap praise upon her. That should take us to 100.

    I could be a prat again of course but I see I have met my quota for this post, so you’re on your own!

  82. Friar Says:

    All this talk about mythology and Nepture and Posseidon.

    But how does AQUA-MAN fit into all this?

  83. Friar Says:

    @Kelly
    Another bit of Neptune Trivia for your wee one.

    At times, Neptune is further from the sun than Pluto (but I bet you Polly already knows that).

  84. Kelly Says:

    Polly does indeed.

    And since you mentioned Pluto, Polly says to tell you that Triton (Neptune’s largest moon) is the same size as, and looks like Pluto.

    Only 84 comments? I feel like I’m slacking.

  85. Kelly Says:

    Looked up Aqua-Man on Wikipedia, BTW.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaman

    He can shovel his driveway in just his crocs any ol’ time.

  86. Eyeteaguy Says:

    I get my wife to shovel our driveway. I tell her it saves a trip to the gym. Of course she does a crappy job so I have to go out there and yell a lot and tell her how its done.

    Not sure why the neighbours think I’m an ass. I force my wife to shovel theirs too, they should be gratefull.

    People are weird sometimes.

  87. Brett Legree Says:

    @Eyeteaguy,

    No no no, wrong wrong wrong, you’re a *dick*, not an *ass*

    (I’m sure there’s a quote from Team America about that…)

  88. Brett Legree Says:

    BTW “no no no, wrong wrong wrong” is from here.

    http://www.doodie.com/anger_management.php

    This resembles where we work so much (other than me killing the boss) that it is scary.

  89. Eyeteaguy Says:

    I said they think I’m an ass. They don’t know me that well. If they did, they know I was a dick.

    All this dick and ass talk has me running for my chastity belt.

  90. Brett Legree Says:

    Sadly I don’t think the chastity belt would cover you where you think it will, so you’d still be fscked…

  91. Kelly Says:

    I was hoping for some high-minded science from all you brainy-types.

    *sigh*

    91…

  92. Brett Legree Says:

    Did you click the anger management link?

  93. Kelly Says:

    That anger management link was quite eeeew. It did not manage my anger terribly well. I need briw and a nice glass of wine for that.

    But I’m a sucker for links. Glad The Kid’s not in the room.

  94. Eyeteaguy Says:

    High minded?…..umm wrong blog.

    Try the blog next door. They eat brie and watch Masterpiece Theatre.

  95. Kelly Says:

    I suppose Masterpiece Theatre’s outlawed here, too.

    I really am hopeless. Why do you put up with me, Friar?

    Going to pour a glass of champagne now…

    😉

  96. Friar Says:

    Wow…I go and watch the Simpsons and Family guy, and the party’s continuing.

    Brett and Eyeteaguy, I’m PROUD that you have maintained the conversation to the current level of dickery.

    Kelly, just bear with us. It’s almost the Century mark.

    PS. I always thought Aquaman was one of the weakest links in Superfriends. (Oooh, I have telepathy with FISH).

    Big Deal…Superman FLIES into space!

  97. Kelly Says:

    I think you need Karen here. She knows how to stretch comments out properly.

    98…

  98. Friar Says:

    @Kelly
    Remind me of why we’re here again.

    Wasn’t this blog post originally about SCIENCE or somethin’ ?

  99. Kelly Says:

    I tried, but the kid didn’t do her project on Saturn, so I fizzled.

    100!

  100. Friar Says:

    @Kelly

    …and THERE WE GO!!!!

    ONE HUNDRED! 😀 😀 😀

    Thanks…now I can go work on other projects!

  101. Karen JL Says:

    This is getting truly pathetic.

    Kelly, I thought you were above all this f*ckery. 😉

  102. Kelly Says:

    Karen,

    You’re jealous, I know. ‘Sokay.

    And apparently I’m only above about half of this f*ckery.

    Later…

  103. Friar Says:

    @Karen

    Yeah..but you had to come by and check it out, didn’t you?

  104. Karen JL Says:

    @ Friar – Only because you keep tweeting me about it!

    You’re like a little boy being potty trained. “Look what I did!” 😉

  105. Friar Says:

    @Karen

    Well, I’m proud of the good job I did, I must admit!

    Do I get a Smartie now?

    (that’s how Friar’s Mom potty trained all of us!) 😉

  106. Eyeteaguy Says:

    That’s how I trained my kids too, Smarties work.

    What are you people going to do while Brett and I are gone?

  107. Karen JL Says:

    *hands Friar a red Smartie*

  108. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy
    Oh, when you’re away, my blog will probably go to hell in a Handbasket. The Twitter Fail Whale will gobble me up, and I’ll be replaced with ads giving away free lap-tops.

    @Karen

    That’s better than the peanut you tried to give me last week!

  109. Kelly Says:

    Gone?

    What’d I miss?

  110. Friar Says:

    @Kelly
    I dunno….I think Brett’s going away on vacation soon…but who the heck knows what Eyeteaguy is rambling about?

  111. Kelly Says:

    *points up ^^ there*

    I swear that’s not the comment in my email. I came for the chocolate ice cream.

    Darn, I do miss everything. LOL, Friar.

  112. Friar Says:

    @Kelly
    Oh, I edited my comment.

    But yes..there WAS chocolate ice cream and circus elephants and stuff.

    It just ended, when you arrived!

  113. Kelly Says:

    Mm. I suspected the room was getting quiet just when I opened the door.

    You know that saying, yeah, you might be paranoid, but they’re still out to get ya?

    Better watch out or this will wind up a Deep Friar record. 114? Whoa. Maybe it is already.

  114. Friar Says:

    @Kelly

    Yeah…I think this is the first time I’ve got in the 110’s.

    Even though it’s basically 3-4 commenters! 🙂

  115. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Since you asked.
    Commenter Comments
    Friar 35
    Kelly 23
    Eyeteaguy 22
    Brett 10
    Steph 9
    Patricia 5
    Others 12

    Total 116

    Friar, you ego maniac! If you stopped commenting on your own blog you’d be down by 1/3rd!

  116. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy

    Well, I’m not one of those snobby bloggers who only answer selected readers, or leaves “comments closed”. I try to comment back on EVERYONE who writes in.

    So, if you subtract my 35 Friar Comments from the ~115, that leaves 70 comments I had to answer.

    So the fact that I managed to do it in 35, means that I’m doing not too bad. (It means I got a lot of Two-fers).

  117. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Man, you should go into marketing or politics. You squirmed and wriggled that into a positive spin.

    Why do you feel the need to comment back? Just let us rip into each other and enjoy the show!

  118. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy

    Oh, if people want to rip into each other, fine. But if they address me, well, I want to join in the fun too!


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