Science!: Extinction, Roombas and Earth

Science!: Extinction, Roombas and Earth

It's just that (very, very) little bit closer to the weekend now.

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Remember reading the story about extinction on the BBC earlier in the week...I wonder how long it will be before someone actually goes "HOLD IT!" and tries to disprove it...once more.

From what I read through they made a pretty through and well formed arguement

Hehehe... if I owned a Roomba I would give it a dueling harness and record it a battle cry!

image

Hella ? What?!!!?!

Great read as always. I'm glad they finally decided on what killed the dinosaurs. Can I quote that as fact now?

As we explore space, terms describing massive amounts of space and...well...mass will become increasingly necessary. Hella, if a bit indignant, is as good a place to start as any.

Another reason for having names for very big numbers is the ever increasing amount of data in the world. We are alredy using kilo mega giga tera peta and exa, and the amount of data that can be stored will increase by 1000 every 15 years (if current trend continues)

Wow, if hella was made a unit of measurment I would be hella sad.

I myself prefer the more scientific terms of "shit-ton" and "assload".

They've got my vote for hella. Who would drop their major for that? What an un-fun jerk.

I would love to hear scientists talking about the mass of celestial bodies in Hellagrams.

can you hear it?

"we've discovered the first extra-solar moon orbiting a gas giant, the planet weighs 800 Hellagrams and the moon a mere 1.4 Hellagrams"

LOL.

An asteroid didn't kill the dinosaurs, it triggered the extinction of the dinosaurs. Way back when, Earths' atmosphere had a higher Oxygen content than it does today. All that dust and carbon reduced the oxygen content of several years causing the dinosaurs to asphyxiate.

The Roomba, the poor man's version of those $5000 robot sex dolls.

I bet Austin got the term from the Babara Streisand Halloween Southpark special.

With luck and a few more earthquakes, we can get rid of February 29.

Always happy to sniff out science news Lauren. And Dinosaurs weren't killed by a meteor, it was the smoking that did thatimage

I don't think the whole 'what killed the dinosaurs' thing will ever come to rest. You can't really prove what happened millions of years ago, you have to stare at the evidence until it makes sense. I'd say the meteor theory is the strongest because it's been around the longest, but even though I subscribe to it some of the others also make sense.

I'm hoping to have those microseconds counted as overtime.

As cute as it sounds, the Hella thing won't fly. If we really need a word for 10^27, just find out what the Greek or Latin word for 'almost thirty but not quite' or 'a syndicated TV season' is.

If a Rhoomba was to clean up the house on my stead, I'd give it a name. (Of course, I also name my dice. George's the luckiest one.) I'd also give it a lot of unflattering decals, so it'd know who was in charge. (At least most people perceive their vaccumbots to be male - what does it say about you if you assume a small stupid thing that's only good for cleaning up the house is female for no reason whatsoever?)

I totally joined the group.

Hella? Fuck that. As someone who may have to name a charcter after the ninth greek number someday, I say that we oppose this new addition in any way we can.

Roombas...it's a good thing they don't have attachments. Though, I bet someone has tried to...

Pfft, seriously, everybody knows the dinosaurs were killed by future time-travelers who saw Dinosaurs as the ultimate game, and hunted them to extinction, and brought back to the future to get stuffed. This whole business with asteroids slamming into places like the center of the Gulf of Mexico, or at least where the land used to be that all got extremely highly compressed, forming some of the richest petroleum in the world deep beneath the ocean's surface, obliterating and pulverizing all life in that entire area while destroying the land for hundreds of miles, say from the current eastern coast of Mexico to about the border of Louisiana--that stuff is all bollocks. And of course there aren't similar areas, that had less biotic life, in places like Northern Canada, or maybe twice in mid-Asia, around what is Currently the Caspian Sea. Naaaaah...

Lauren Admire:
Before you ask, I wear a Medium.

Does that mean you already have one of those shirts in medium, or that you'd like one in medium were someone to buy you one...

Eleuthera:

Lauren Admire:
Before you ask, I wear a Medium.

Does that mean you already have one of those shirts in medium, or that you'd like one in medium were someone to buy you one...

It doesn't matter. She makes it rather hard to find an address to ship it to.

Not that I was looking or planning to get her one. Just, you know, if you were curious it's a bit of a hassle and you'll most likely give up before finding out. Unless you know her/are a virtual friend of hers.

I would totally but you one Lauren, by the by.

Calobi:

Eleuthera:

Lauren Admire:
Before you ask, I wear a Medium.

Does that mean you already have one of those shirts in medium, or that you'd like one in medium were someone to buy you one...

It doesn't matter. She makes it rather hard to find an address to ship it to.

Not that I was looking or planning to get her one. Just, you know, if you were curious it's a bit of a hassle and you'll most likely give up before finding out. Unless you know her/are a virtual friend of hers.

I would totally but you one Lauren, by the by.

I hadn't quite reached the level of internet stalker-ness to start looking for her adress. Though one could always ship it to the escapist offices adressed to her, hypothetically of course...

I have some friends who name almost every household appliance they have, so I'm not exactly surprised about people naming their Roomba's.

"However, the paper released by the international panel of scientists comes as a rebuttal to these concerns. The University of Texas at Austin states that "[The scientists] find that alternative hypotheses are inadequate to explain the abrupt mass extinction and that the impact hypothesis has grown stronger than ever.""
I hope they elaborate a little further in the actual paper, because this is a really bad rebuttal. I'm actually a little curious how their explanation copes with these criticisms (although not so curious that I'm actually going to read the paper).

I'm fine with using "hella" as a prefix, because it meets the important prerequisite of the first letter not being used already. I'm mildly amused by the student who apparently thinks that anyone in the world will care if he drops his major. I can imagine the discussion at the SI going:
"We have an internet petition saying we should use 'hella' as a prefix for 10^27. Seeing as how we've kind of been pulling these prefixes out of our ass by adding, removing or changing letters of Greek numbers, I say we go ahead and do it."
"Yeah, but then Dicky Dickinson over at UC Davis is going to drop his major."
"Oh noes! We cannot have Dicky Dickinson drop his major! What will the world do when that happens! Never mind then..."

Dicky probably just made his threat in jest though...

As for the last part: I don't really understand. The article says it takes 24 hours for the Earth to rotate, but depending on the mass distribution, some parts may have to move faster or slower. I can understand that points further from the rotation axis move at a higher speed, but that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the mass. Since all parts of the Earth are connected to each other, I don't see how some parts can move at different speeds than others (except in the way I just said). Can someone explain?

Okay, I can't possibly be the only one with Arrested Development quotes running through my head reading that first piece.

Roombas: I really don't find that the least bit strange. Just think about how important their cars and bikes are to men, and then consider the love and care they put into their garages for the best layout of their tools. I personally have named all my computers (more so out of a want to describe them as more than "my desktop" or "my laptop"), but it's perfectly natural in my mind. The roombas are just taking up the niche of pet rather than appliance. I mean, when was the last time you petted your toaster and didn't get bit?

Asteroid: As cool as it is that the scientific community has 'decided' it was an asteroid collision, if it wasn't an asteroid this could prevent furthering the discovery of the true cause by default, example: "What do you mean the dinosaurs were killed by the eruption of a super volcano? Don't you know an asteroid did it?" Poor example, I know, but I'm trying to comment quickly.

Hella: Pardon the phrasing, but it seems appropriate, Hell yeah! It'll be nice to have a unit of measure that will actually reflect the human's reaction to the sheer amount of something, rather than eventually growing use to it. That will be a nice change. Also, I say we petition to change 'yotta' into 'yoda.' I think we could pull that off. (Imagine, yoda-Newtons... a yoda amount of force, come on that's cool)

Earthquake: Just when you don't want to give the 2012 crowd more ammunition, they announce something like this. While it is cool, I guarantee this'll become an arguing point in favor of 'the world ends in 2012.'

And btw, I LOVE this section. It really goes to my need for strange and typically useless information.

Well, this sucks. The earth's axis shifted and the earth is still here. So much for a hellagram of conspiracy theories.

I'm on the fence with hella. Unless it is followed by some more really odd ones. Perhaps we should start the movement for the "Youda" prefix?

To imagine the size of the asteroid in comparison to the earth, 9 miles may not sound very big when viewed top-down on a map, but look at it from the ground up instead. The atmosphere of the earth fades out into space in a gradual manner; 90% of the atmosphere by mass is below 16km (~10 miles). Where the asteroid landed, nearer to the equator means that it wasn't quite taller than the troposphere. Interestingly, Mount Everest is 8,848m (~5.5miles) and the normal commercial airliner flies at 33,000 feet (6.25miles).

If it did have a height of 9 miles (they didn't mention the height, but would it hit the earth flat on if it was flat?), then it was high enough for a commercial airliner to fly into it. :D

Kuliani:
To imagine the size of the asteroid in comparison to the earth, 9 miles may not sound very big when viewed top-down on a map, but look at it from the ground up instead. The atmosphere of the earth fades out into space in a gradual manner; 90% of the atmosphere by mass is below 16km (~10 miles). Where the asteroid landed, nearer to the equator means that it wasn't quite taller than the troposphere. Interestingly, Mount Everest is 8,848m (~5.5miles) and the normal commercial airliner flies at 33,000 feet (6.25miles).

If it did have a height of 9 miles (they didn't mention the height, but would it hit the earth flat on if it was flat?), then it was high enough for a commercial airliner to fly into it. :D

Quit out-sciencing me, Matt.

Jordi:

I'm fine with using "hella" as a prefix, because it meets the important prerequisite of the first letter not being used already.

"Hecto" = 10^2. I would change my major if this gets accepted because it would herold the end of any integrety in the scientific community. We can't start caving to the whims of any dumb students. Who do they think we are; the Oxford English Dictionary.

I find it hard to believe that there is enough conclusive evidence to flat out say "It was an astroid. End of discusion." I sure there was probably a big astroind at some point and it did some nastey things to the dinosaur population but I would imagine a more eclectic theory would be more likely.

The Admiral:

Jordi:

I'm fine with using "hella" as a prefix, because it meets the important prerequisite of the first letter not being used already.

"Hecto" = 10^2.

Yeah, I thought about that, but I've rarely seen it used, especially as an abbreviation. Also, it wouldn't really be a problem, because "hecto" uses a lowercase "h" whereas "hella" would use uppercase.

The Admiral:
I would change my major if this gets accepted because it would herold the end of any integrety in the scientific community. We can't start caving to the whims of any dumb students. Who do they think we are; the Oxford English Dictionary.

I don't think using severely mangled words from a dead language is that much better to be honest. The only slight advantage I can see is that it is consistent, which may help if you know ancient Greek. I'm not necessarily fanatic about using "hella", but it seems like it can't really hurt. Surely changing your major over something so inconsequential is overreacting a bit.

BTW, the Oxford English Dictionary doesn't contain a term for 10^27, which is why people try to creatively come up with a term for it.

All I'm hearing is how I'm now getting 1.26 microseconds less sleep every night (cause I sure as hell won't get to work less). Dammit earthquakes!

Reading about the bigass meteor killing the dinos and an earthquake shortening an Earth day, I can't help but wonder how much longer I'd have been able to sleep if that asteroid wouldn't have hit. Y' know, assuming I wouldn't be running from dinosaurs all night.

That's how it all starts. Today it's roombas, tomorrow it's Skynet!

Hella won't make sense to non-english speakers. Even if they have it as the second language it will just sound as a foreign joke. Why not "praca" derived from portuguese? Pracakilos, pracawatts, pracajoules...

 

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