quasigeostrophy: (Bender Fart)
My new office mate is TA-ing the 100-level class, Geosciences in Cinema. It's a class taken by a lot of non-science majors (to fill a general science requirement) in which the students watch films such as The Day after Tomorrow, Dante's Peak, and Twister, and analyze the so-called science therein. Yesterday she showed me the movie the class had to watch last night: The Core. Looks like a cheesy disaster movie, something about setting off nuclear explosions at the center of the earth to restart the core's rotation. Oy.

Talking about it and other films, we got on the subject of 2012, and all the apocalyptic theories tied up in that date. Off the top of my head:

- The Mayan Long Count Calendar ends.
- The earth's magnetic field reversal may peak.
- The solar system crosses the plane of the Milky Way.
- The next 11-year solar (sunspot) cycle begins.

Personally, I think the Maya needed to stop their calendar somewhere. Sure, there are interpretations of Mayan prophecy of bad times after the end of the calendar, but some of it IMHO is as if I flipped my 2008 calendar to December and freaked out because ZOMG The Calendar ENDS HERE! AAAAH!

Some are also freaking out about the earth's magnetic field reversal. ZOMG The Planet will CRACK or Stop Spinning or something. AAAAH! One of the two profs for the class we were discussing said what is likely to happen is that a lot of devices that use the magnetic field for orientation will be lost for a while and then will be backward, but it won't be the End of the WorldTM.

As for the sunspot cycle and crossing the galactic plane, well, if a big enough solar flare happens or gravity from the convergence is strong enough to wipe us out... What would we be able to do about it? Not a hell of a lot. So why fret?

Slightly off-topic: I'm attending a seminar today by one of the senior atmospheric science faculty on "Wildcards in Climate Change". He's going to look at cosmic rays, sunspots, magnetic fields, etc., which I suspect have a role in climate change we still can't quantify. Sure, I believe humans are contributing to global warming, but I'm still skeptical as to how much, since there is still so much we don't know about long term climate signals. It's too convenient to make money off the latest green crazes. It's also become more than a bit of religion.

It has its deity: earth.
It has sin: pollution, CO2 emission, etc.
It has redemption: conservation, getting off the grid, etc.
It even sells indulgences: carbon offsets.

I'm not against doing positive environmental things, but I am against group-think and bad popular science (is it ironic I'm entertained by movies like Twister? I don't take them at face value), e.g., let's take one of the most versatile foodstuffs we have and turn it into a fuel source. Did anyone think about how switching to ethanol would affect the price of food? Or how it's not all that much cleaner to make (yes, it's cleaner to use) than gasoline? Or that making a car that exhausts water vapor puts more of the most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere?
quasigeostrophy: (bucky xmas)
Bringing videos! :-)

Yesterday, we got the new Futurama: Bender's Big Score, courtesy [livejournal.com profile] geekchick. Been waiting for new Futurama content for years, and it seems the crew hasn't missed a step since it was last in production, IMHO.

Today, in an order placed for ourselves, we got:

- Deadwood: Season 3
- The Simpsons Movie
- Stardust

- And, completely drool-worthy, the Blade Runner 5-Disc Ultimate Collectors Edition. ZOMG - they really geeked this out. It's awesome.
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
Five Books and Five Films that [livejournal.com profile] quasigeostrophy Insists On Sharing:

(As she put it, these are not items I consider best or important literary works, just things I'm often willing to share with someone who is unfamiliar with them.)

Books
The Eight
A Canticle for Leibowitz
Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber (the 1st 5 Corwin novels, at least)
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
Good Omens

Movies
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Real Genius
Groundhog Day
Siesta
Gotcha!

Bonus Section: And 3 TV Shows, While I'm At It
Coupling
Red Dwarf
House, M.D.

Randomness

Feb. 17th, 2007 08:17 am
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
  • I should have known none of the seniors in my radar meteorology class would get my Torchwood t-shirt yesterday morning, when before lab most of them were talking about The O.C..
  • Looking back at Thursday's headline in The Indianapolis Star of "Promise: Roads clear by Saturday" makes me laugh that they didn't consider that we're currently getting 2 - 4 inches of more snow.
  • I don't feel so bad for being achy after all the shoveling Wednesday, when my radar & dynamics prof/advisor's husband, who is fairly fit, was still achy yesterday as well. :-)
  • I need to start studying for my atmospheric physics test that is next Friday, although it's open book/open notes/according to the prof, "open anything" (I joked about bringing my laptop). Also next Friday I have dynamics homework and a radar lab due. The former looks easy, the latter, I'm in the middle of, and it's a pain.
  • I'm bummed Trader Joe's seems to have stopped carrying the ginger slices I love. I got a bulk order of chunks from a place called The Ginger People, and it's pretty good, but has had waaaaay too much sugar added.
  • I need to order a t-shirt from Pandemonium Books in Cambridge, MA. They're one of the places I love to hit regularly when in the area (in fact, it's probably one of the few places we'll venture away from Ipswich for over spring break). I want to get one of these to help them stay in business, as they've got an awesome selection, particularly of UK-published imports.
  • More later as events warrant. :-)
quasigeostrophy: (stupid show)
Apparently, someone on The Indianapolis Star's Features editorial staff found offense at today's Get Fuzzy, because in today's paper we have a substitute rerun strip.

Good grief.
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
On the way to school this morning, I was listening to the big AM station in Indy, WIBC (usually the best, most frequent traffic reports), and the local morning show crew were all talking like pirates. Even when they threw it to the traffic reporter, Big John Gillis, who responded in kind and could easily look the part if necessary. I was amused. :-)
quasigeostrophy: (snoopy share)
Toni was telling me about some nitwit poster in [livejournal.com profile] polyamory, and I just spontaneously popped up with this:

"Boo, creepy poly poster! Hooooo-raaaay, Beer!" :-)
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
Pulled into the parking lot at the local Staples a little while ago. Waited in the Baja for OMD's If You Leave on XM's Fred channel to finish playing. As I did so, a woman in an SUV pulled into a space a row in front of me, and I could see by reading lips a bit and the rhythm to which she was moving, she had the same song on, and it was at the same point.
quasigeostrophy: (mouth sauron)
Buy me Banestorm or go to Hell!

Actually, don't. It just had to be said. If you haven't seen The Simpsons episode "Marge Be Not Proud", you have no idea what I'm talking about. You don't need to see my information. This isn't the LJ you're looking for. Move along.

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