So now the space probe Juno's gone and swung past the Earth, building up a little extra speed on its way to Jupiter and becoming the fastest man-made object that isn't just trying to escape something embarrassing it said in an online forum, so I hope nobody's left on it anything they wanted back anytime soon. These planetary flybys are really neat ways of getting a space probe to travel faster even though you can explain why it works to a bunch of freshman physics majors and they'll still stare at you the way a Labrador retriever stares at the glass coffee table hoping that maybe this time the potato chip you tossed on it will fall through.
The remainder of this pondering about the Juno spacecraft and space probe anomalies is over on my humor blog. Also up there, this past week (which looking back was kind of an odd one):
- Pop Quiz: Philosophers --- how many of these can you get right?
- Once Again, Our Fish Protest, because I'm just being the meanest possible pond-tender ever, I suppose.
- Flying Turnabouts, about my own Knoebels-inspired doubts about what to do.
- Robert Benchley: ``YOU!'', one of the master's essays.
- Higgs Boson Wins Nobel Prize, a pointer to someone else's wit about the Nobel Prize (Physics division).
- Some Mathematics Jokes Explained, a pointer to my article about mathematics comic strips.
Trivia: The Polish monarchy, in the mid-16th century, earned a third of its annual revenues from the salt mines near Cracow, Wieliczka, and Bochnia. Source: Salt: A World History, Mark Kurlansky.
Currently Reading: Sodom By The Sea: An Affectionate History of Coney Island, Oliver Pilat. ``Despite periodic backwashes of reform, New York was always essentially a boom town, jealous of its right to free and easy living.'' ... I never thought of that before but it's ... yeah.