15 May 2008

NASA Overhypes Discovery Such That Actual Announcement Is, Um, Less Than *Stellar*

(Alternate title: NASA Sets Us Up For Disappointment By Setting Expectations, Um, Astronomically High.)

Pop quiz, multiple choice:

NASA's much anticipated "discovery of an object in our Galaxy [that] astronomers have been hunting for more than 50 years" turned out to be:

a. The Flying Spaghetti Monster!
b. Keith and Esmerelda!*
c. some other Atheist object lesson that lives in outer space!**
d. an actual exciting thing that isn't a made-up Atheist object lesson!!
e. nah, just a supernova

Booooooooooooo.

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*"The journalist Andrew Mueller is of the opinion that pledging yourself to any particular religion 'is no more or less weird than choosing to believe that the world is rhombus-shaped, and borne through the cosmos in the pincers of two enormous green lobsters called Esmerelda and Keith.'" - The God Delusion, in case anyone needed a refresher
**Like this.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ahh...those clever guys at NASA. Smarter than tacks. This was pretty good - http://nationalsquib.com/index.php/nasa-water/

Adam said...

Because I'm fascinated by process, the bit about how they compared the readings from the radio telescope with the readings from the x-ray telescope and then used the failings of each type of instrument to infer things about how supernovas work was pretty cool.

Then again, because I'm fascinated by process, they could have come on and told me about a really spacerific way to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I would have thought it was pretty cool.

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