Ask Mr. Science


Q. Mr. Science, why does the moon look so much bigger when it is close to the horizon?
– Anonymous (Actual name  Anna Jean Lumpkin, E. Garfield Ave, Decater, IL)

A. I’m glad you asked that. So glad, in fact, that I’ve decided to answer you.When you look at ing-butternut-squash_sqlthe moon when it’s high in the sky, it appears to be roughly the size of a dime. When it is closer to the horizon, it appears to be closer to the size of a quarter. Ha, ha, ha. You’re ignorant! In reality it’s neither. The moon is actually the size of a regulation NBA basketball. It is also the color of a basketball, complete with the little lines and Adam Silver’s signature and stuff. (Forgive me for dropping that last word on you. I know it’s pretty technical.) But, here’s the kicker. It is not really shaped like a basketball, or a dime or a quarter. It is roughly the shape of a butternut squash. Fascinating, yes? Well you ain’t heard nothing yet because listen to this: it doesn’t taste like butternut squash! It actually tastes like a Jell-o Pudding Pop. Which unfortunately brings this butthole into the picture.pud-pops

But wait. Wasn’t there a question asked at some point? Oh yes. Why does the moon look bigger when it’s low in the sky.To find the answer, we need to do some simple mathematics.

brick-genericThe moon is approximately fifteen feet from the Earth. [citation needed]. When it is close to the horizon, it is actually a full foot and a half closer, because of the gravitational pull of Donald Trump’s hair. Try this experiment. Hold a brick a foot and a half from your face. Now, as fast as you can, smash the brick into your face. You will see stars, not the moon. This really doesn’t come into play with regard to the question. I just thought it would be funny if you did that.

Actually, if you had your eyes open as the brick approached your face, it may have appeared to be getting bigger right before things started hurting real bad. So there’s that. I guess it’s not totally unrelated after all. God, I’m a great scientist!

By the way, if you ask the Google this question, you may get a vastly different answer. That’s because “mainstream” science has an “agenda.” They want you to “learn” about things like the effect of the “atmosphere” on viewing “celestial” “bodies.” Don’t buy into this nonsense. Knowledge is rigged.

As it turns out, I have an agenda also. And according to my agenda it’s time for me to eat a Jell-o Pudding Pop. I hope it doesn’t lead me down a slippery slope.

Things We Do For Love

I love my wife. I truly do. I like to do things that make her happy. I like to do a little more than she expects, so that when she comes across the little thing I’ve done she’ll think, “He must really love me.”

And so today, I decided to iron the dust ruffle she has owned for a few years and never used, so that I could then put it on the bed and, you guessed it, surprise her pleasantly.

photo (13)

Evil, wrong, and ooooh so wrinkled. Curse you dust ruffle nation!

There’s the problem with that: ironing a dust ruffle is a hellish, evil task which takes a very long time to do. What’s more this particular dust ruffle has little pleats in it which I suppose was some black-hearted designer’s idea of a “nice touch.” I am hereby offering a hit contract on that designer. (I do not know his/her identity, so just go ahead and start taking them all out. You know, to be safe.)

I don’t know if my decision to iron this demon’s hanky was my first mistake. I think my first mistake may have been to allow myself to get sucked into the dust ruffle subculture in the first place. I mean, so what! Some dust get’s under the bed. Better there than, say, in my tuna sandwich. Let the dust have a party under there! Let it host the 2016 Dust Party National Convention. Anything is preferable to spending an hour fighting with each ungodly inch of this foul creation.

Alright, I’ll concede that there are only three sides to iron. The top is mercifully devoid of any visible protuberance. But three are like…three too many, in my opinion. If it weren’t for my corn chip and Coke breaks every fifteen seconds or so, I would have surely lost what little remains of my mind by now.

But I love my wife. (Did I mention that?) So I guess I’ll get off the computer and go tackle the remaining two sides. (Yes, I did all this whining after only de-wrinkling one panel). Because I love my wife.

Oh, and I love my wife.


This Is Not Funny

So I’ve been thinking.

The Universe is big. Mind-bogglingly big. So big that it is really not possible to fully comprehend it. Unless maybe you’re Steven Hawking, and I’d be willing to bet even he realizes that the Universe is just ridiculously, obscenely big.

OK. So in all of that immensity there are lots of stars. Channeling Carl Sagan, I would go so far as to say there are billions and billions of them. And that’s oversimplifying it to an embarrassing degree. I’m not friends with any astronomers, so I don’t suppose anyone will hold me to task for that. But I digress.

Around those stars orbit planets. So many planets that I would be hard pressed to even make up a number to represent them. Maybe a trazazingajillion. Maybe more.  Maybe two trazazingajillion. And every day we’re learning more and more about many of them.

Every human being, alive or dead in July of 1969 is in this picture, save one - the photographer Michael Collins.

Every human being, alive or dead in July of 1969 is in this picture, save one – the photographer Michael Collins.

But for all that, there is only one (on which we can can say with certainty), that there is a precious, fragile gem. That gem is called life, and that planet is called Earth.

We live on paradise. Only Earth, as far as the best and brightest minds can say without doubt, harbors life. Cauliflower, amoebas, dogs, porcupines, stinkweed, naked mole-rats…and people. These things grow on the surface of this rare and tender place.

And of all these things, I can’t help but believe, it is the people that this vast Universe is most disappointed with. So much potential. So much actually achieved. So much more to do.

But forever, as far back as we can know, and as recently is this moment, we have invested unfathomable amounts of our existence … in butchering one another. We are simply incapable of living with one another without reaching out and killing each other.

And why? Because your skin looks different than mine. Because we believe in a different God. Or because I believe in God and you do not. Or because there is oil beneath your dirt and I want it. Or because today I decided that someone needed to die.

I know that there are many good people on our little blue ball. And these good people come from everywhere, look different from one another, and believe different things. But they see one another and think, “That person is just as worthy of his place here as I am, and I should accept him for what he is. My brother. My planetary cohabitant. Another version of me.”

We are all made of the same stuff: the remnants of long dead stars forged into living things. Think about that for a moment. The next person you see was once a brilliant, shining star, just as you were. Just as you both still are.

So how about we stop destroying our greatest resource – one another. Wake up. Be worthy of the gift the Universe has given you. Just stop.

All The Important, Real-Honest-to-Pete, Internet News

Breaking: NASA halloweensays that once again next year for the SECOND time in 666 years, Halloween will be on Friday the 13th. The last time this happened, (537 years ago…I think, or was it 666? Seems I heard something somewhere abturkeyout 666…anyway…) lots of bad stuff went down and my neighbor’s house was egged ridiculously and…werewolves, maybe??

In related news: A joint NASA/Costco study has shown that this year, for the first time in Six hundred sixty SEVEN years (HA! You thought I was going to say 666 again, didn’t you? HEY! This is science, bud. And great savings on your everyday needs by purchasing in bulk…anyway…) Thanksgiving will also fall on Friday the 13th.

And today we mourn the passing of Yvonne De Carlo, TV’s beloved Lilly Munster. Yvonne’s actually been dead since 2007, but people all suddenly feel bad because maybe she just…I don’t know…died or something?? Anyway here’s a picture of her in a sexy outfit.

Admit it, you'd totally do her while Herman watched.

Admit it, you’d totally do her while Herman watched.


In related news: Rest In Peace, Willie Nelson. Willie’s actually still alive but again, maybe something happened…like he’s, I don’t know…dead?? Like Lilly Munster?? Anyway, leave lots of condolences in the comment’s section, so people can see how incredibly stupid you are.

minionAlso: A picture of some Minions.


Finally: Kim Davis, Black Lives Matter…No All Lives Matter…That’s Racist…YOU’RE Racist!!, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, No, Hillary!!, and…I don’t know…they gays? Maybe?

[Dedicated to Stupid People Everywhere]

Man stands on top of his car on interstate, holding sign with apology on it

Daniel and his signs atop his car.

Daniel and his signs atop his car.

On Thursday night, a man named Daniel in Nashville, Tennessee came up with an idea. He headed over to his local Walmart and purchased a Sharpie and poster board. He then wrote on that poster board, “Lindsey Im [sic] sorry I LIED Please FORGIVE ME” As WKRN-TV Nashville reports, it was part of the young man’s plans to atone for his mistakes. The rest of his plan consisted of giving Lindsey $50, and taking her to a revival of “Psycho.”

He also had another sign which read, “Im [sic] also sorry for not using an apostrophe.” Daniel explained the apostrophe cost an extra 40 cents and he was trying to show financial responsibility to Lindsey.

Lindsey, for her part, said the gesture was “too little, too late. He should have thought of that before he told me he was prince of Persia.”

Daniel then pulled another sign out which read, “Im sorry that I borrowed your lady’s razor to shave my armpits.”

“I didn’t even know about that,” said Lindsey.

Yet another sign read, “Im sorry for all these signs. Its just that I didnt have any other way of expressing my sorrow for my actions and deeds. These deeds were done without the proper amount of thought and should never have occurred. I can only express my extreme sorrow and hope that I can be forgiven. And again Im sorry for the lack of apostrophes but 40 cents is 40 cents and lets be real, those little things add up.”

Daniel was eventually pulled down off his car by police and brought in for questioning. They later released him after taking away his posterboard and sharpies.

White House mistakenly reveals CIA official’s name

An attempt to clean up the CIA in the wake of the name disclosure.

An attempt to clean up the CIA in the wake of the name disclosure.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration accidentally revealed the name of the CIA’s top official in Afghanistan in an email to thousands of journalists during the president’s surprise weekend trip to Bagram Air Field.

 The officer’s name, Myron Fibbleschmit Doosendoifer Calloway — identified as “chief of station” in Kabul — was included by U.S. embassy staff on a list of 15 senior American officials who met with President Obama during the Saturday visit. The list was sent to a Washington Post reporter who was representing the news media, who then sent it out to the White House “press pool” list, which contains as many as 6,000 recipients.
Work ground to s a standstill as 6,000 writers rolled on the floor with laughter at hearing the CIA man’s name. When asked his reaction to his name being released, Fibbleschmit Doosendoifer Calloway said, “It’s a serious inconvenience. Since my name was revealed the Afghans have been ordering pizzas in my name and have put burning bags of dog crap on my front stoop. Which I stamped out. And got dog crap all over my shoe.”
Fibbleschmit Doosendoifer Calloway will likely be replaced in his post as his cover was the only thing protecting him from abject humiliation and bullying.

The Associated Press is withholding the officer’s name at the request of the Obama administration, who said its publication could put his life and those of his family members in danger. A Google search appears to reveal the name of the officer’s wife and other personal details.

White House officials realized the error after the Post reporter notified them, and sent out a new list without the station chief’s name. Other major news organizations, including the Post, also agreed not to publish the officer’s name. We at TTLA had no such reservations. “How can you not release a name like that?” asked several reporters who also had no qualms about passing on the mistake.

New Mexico: 500 barrels of questionable nuke waste packed with kitty litter


Unfortunate kitty is trapped with tons of nuclear waste and litter.

Unfortunate kitty is trapped with tons of nuclear waste and litter.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — More than 500 barrels of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory were packed with the kitty litter linked to a radiation release at the government’s underground nuclear waste dump, prompting the state Tuesday to order federal officials to move quickly to seal off the potentially dangerous containers. “It wasn’t even good kitty litter, it was that light kind that people throw around to each other. How’s that going to stop contamination?” asked Bart Dunlippy of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn Tuesday gave the U.S. Department of Energy and the contractor that runs the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico until Friday to detail plans for permanently sealing the rooms where more than 300 barrels of the potentially dangerous containers of waste are stored in ancient salt beds a half-mile underground. This provides a real hardship for the ancient salt people who sleep in those ancient salt beds.

In addition to 368 containers at the dump, environment officials say 57 more are still at Los Alamos and more than 100 are in storage in West Texas. “The ones in West Texas are bigger,” said Tulula Bonafacio a resident of West Texas. “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” she said.

On Monday, the department ordered Los Alamos to detail by Wednesday its plans for securing the waste that is still above ground on its campus and at Waste Control Specialists in Andrews, Texas. Los Alamos immediately replied that they would switch to clumping litter in the future. “We want it to be both safe and easy to keep cleaned out,” said spokesperson Lyle Lugudie.