BAN #63: Flat Earthing, Trek cruising, Tromboning

November 19, 2018 Issue #63

Subscribers know that it’s not turtles all the way down.


Blast from the Past

A quick link to an old post or article because it’s relevant, or came up in conversation, or just because it deserves a second look

I wind up searching through my old blog posts a lot, because after writing some 5,000 of them I’ve covered a lot topics, and it can help to refer back to some piece I wrote rather than explain a topic all over again.

I was looking for something I had written about flat Earthers, and came across this oldie but goodie called An Open Letter to the Los Angeles Times. I wrote it in response to an announcement their editors made, saying they would no longer publish OpEds claiming climate change wasn’t real. This of course was decried by the climate science deniers — oh boo hoo — and I felt I should throw in my opinion as well. So read that second link first, to see what it’s about, and then my letter.

I had fun writing it. I’ve done some satire before, with mixed results — the hardest problem, besides being funny without sounding like an ass, is judging the environment in which you’re writing. I’ve poked fun at things like sexism before, for example, and wound up sounding sexist. That’s a fun lesson to learn, and believe me, lots of people will be more than happy to teach it to you (whether, ironically, they’re right or wrong themselves about it).

Anyway, reading that made me think I should do more humor, especially if it’s biting. It’s way more fun than letting my head explode over politics and anti-science.

[Credit: Teach the Controversy, and yes, they do sell t-shirts of their fantastic drawings]


Upcoming Appearances/Shameless Self-Promotion

Where I’ll be doing things you can watch and listen to or read about

Just a reminder that I’m on the Star Trek Cruise in January with folks like Wil Wheaton, Chase Masterson, Jonathan Frakes, astronomer Erin Macdonald, and lots of other Trekkers. I have it on good authority that there aren’t many cabins left, so grab ‘em while you can!


Link o’ the ‘letter

Just a fun link I found or someone told me about

Back in Issue #21 I showed you a truly wondrous video compilation of Marvel movie clips set to an amazing version of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” that was a collaboration between Queen and Helmut VonLichten.

And now I have another version of a Queen song for you. This time it’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and it’s a little different… it’s done by a collection of incredibly talented trombonists from around the world.

Yes, seriously. And before you mock — and you’d better not — listen. It’s wonderfully mellow and just simply fun.

I loved that. Maybe I’m biased; I played bass trombone for 20 years or so, including in a band, a marching band, another marching band, and a symphony orchestra (all in high school and college and grad school). I miss it sometimes, and when I see my old horn in the attic it’s always tempting to drag it down, clean it up, and maybe tootle around again. I’m sure my family would love that.

Tip o’ the bell mute to my brother in law, David Treece.


Blog Jam

What I’ve recently written on the blog, ICYMI

Monday Nov. 17, 2018: What do you get when a white dwarf eats a brown dwarf? A very, very energetic cosmic belch.

Tuesday Nov. 18, 2018: Blowing square smoke rings

 Wednesday Nov. 19, 2018: Deep freeze impact: Scientists find a *huge* asteroid impact crater under Greenland’s ice

Thursday Nov. 20, 2018: Big news: A planet for Barnard’s Star… the fourth closest star to our own!

Friday Nov. 21, 2018: Muons, relatively speaking


Et alia

You can email me at thebadastronomer@gmail.com (though replies can take a while), and all my social media outlets are gathered together at about.me. Also, if you don’t already, please subscribe to this newsletter! And feel free to tell a friend or nine, too. Thanks!