Tuesday, October 14

The Debunker: Do Black Holes Suck?

by Ken Jennings

Human ignorance, sadly, isn't limited to planet Earth. Even today, over 400 years after the Age of Enlightenment began, plenty of people are still getting plenty of stuff wrong--not just about our home planet, but about the whole universe. Luckily, Jeopardy!s Ken Jennings is the author of a new book about the mysteries of the cosmos, the Junior Genius Guide to Outer Space. In this month's Debunker columns, he'll set us straight on a whole sky full of starry slip-ups. These are some misconceptions of truly astronomical proportion.

The Debunker: Star Myth #2: Do Black Holes Suck?

Let's get this out of the way up front: falling into a black hole is no picnic. Get too close to one of these collapsed stars, and you'll never get out. Weird time effects will start to boggle your brain: thousands of years will pass by in, from your point of view, minutes. You'll see images from the past lined up in front of you, and images from the future behind you. Light will bend so much that might be able to see the back of your own head. And that's before you even start to undergo "spaghettification"--the gravitational stretching of your body into a new, pasta-shaped you.

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Monday, October 13

Music Monday: Me &…

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! The character of “me” is one of the most popular in all of music. It’s easy to understand why, right? A singer up there can speak for themselves better than for someone else. Today Scott’s gathered five songs that start with “Me &” and thrown down the gauntlet. Can you do better? HE DOESN’T THINK YOU CAN!!!! But we’ll see.

Billy Paul - Me & Mrs Jones

 

It might be grounds for divorce, but it’s so smooth. In this one the “Me” is leading a secret double life with Mrs. Jones each and every day. It sounds filthy… but is it? Because if you listen to the lyrics, they seem to be just be sitting and talking. Is this a relationship or just implications and daydreams? Who can say? Only the unreliable me. And, maybe, the Mrs. Jones. Too bad she never recorded a song.

Be the me you want us to see. And we’ll see that me after the jump!

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Tuesday, October 07

The Debunker: Is the Big Dipper a Constellation?

by Ken Jennings

Human ignorance, sadly, isn't limited to planet Earth. Even today, over 400 years after the Age of Enlightenment began, plenty of people are still getting plenty of stuff wrong--not just about our home planet, but about the whole universe. Luckily, Jeopardy!s Ken Jennings is the author of a new book about the mysteries of the cosmos, the Junior Genius Guide to Outer Space. In this month's Debunker columns, he'll set us straight on a whole sky full of starry slip-ups. These are some misconceptions of truly astronomical proportion.

The Debunker: Star Myth #1: Is the Big Dipper a Constellation?

Ask someone to name a constellation in the night sky, and odds are most of them will first think of the Big Dipper, the seven bright stars that gleam overhead on summer nights in an unmistakable sickle-shaped pattern. The Big Dipper has helped humans navigate for millennia by pointing the way to Polaris, the North Star. Virtually every culture had its own name for the Dipper, from the "Drinking Gourd" of West Africa to the "Seven Gods" of Mongolia to the "Charles' Wagon" of the Vikings. It's iconic enough to have been borrowed for the corporate logo of Iridium Communications and on the state flag of Alaska. But the world's most famous constellation isn't actually a constellation at all. It's an asterism.

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Monday, October 06

Music Monday: Sports Songs

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Some people love sports. Some people love sports so much, they write songs about sports! Scott’s gathered those songs here today for your amusement. Also we need 50 million dollars in public money to build a Music Monday stadium or we’re taking this post to Oklahoma.

Operator Please - Just A Song About Ping Pong

 

This is so catchy and simple that it’s hard to believe Malcolm McLaren wasn’t involved somehow. And don’t start looking for metaphor here. This is JUST a song about ping pong.

See you after the jump!

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Monday, September 29

Music Monday: Guess The Theme!

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Hey, wanna play guess the theme? Well… tough, you’ve got no choice. Scott’s kept today’s theme secret from everyone. See how many videos it takes you to guess it. No cheating!

THE HINT: Poe - Hey Pretty

 

This song doesn’t quite fit the theme, but it’s close. So consider this a hint. If you guess it correctly right now, award yourself ten imaginary points! Everyone else? Head on inside!

Remember: play fair. Imaginary points you don’t earn honestly turn into poison in your hand. See you after the jump!

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Tuesday, September 23

The Debunker: Should You Crack Your Windows During a Hurricane or Tornado?

by Ken Jennings

Did you know that September is National Preparedness Month? The catchy government slogan is "Be disaster aware! Take action to prepare!" But how disaster-aware are we really? Lots of the things we know about life's worst calamities are actually wrong--and in some cases, dangerously so. Luckily, Ken Jennings, Jeopardy! survivor and professional know-it-all, is here to set us straight. Because what could be more disastrous than ignorance? Well, maybe a big volcano. Ignorance, and also a big volcano.

The Debunker: Should You Crack Your Windows During a Hurricane or Tornado?

You probably haven't heard of the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech University, but the lab has saved countless lives over the last fifty years with research into the effectiveness of tornado shelters and other types of storm preparedness. The heart of the lab: a pneumatic cannon that can simulate wind and flying debris at speeds up over 250 miles per hour. If your ground shelter doesn't withstand TTU's wind lab, it's back to the drawing board for you.

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Monday, September 22

Music Monday: Blue-Eyed Soul

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Most of you probably know how much Scott loves some serious soul music. But Scott also has a soft spot for blue-eyed soul as well! Today’s mix is full of all those white guys who wanna prove they’ve got heart too.

ABC - Be Near Me

 

ABC was one of the first bands I can remember liking. They’re no Larry Saunders or anything, but c’mon. C’MON. That icy cold sound is like the soul music robots listen to. It’s just plain lovely! IT IS!

More happening inside. See you after the jump!

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Wednesday, September 17

 

Tuesday, September 16

The Debunker: Did the Band Play "Nearer, My God, to Thee" as the Titanic Sank?

by Ken Jennings

Did you know that September is National Preparedness Month? The catchy government slogan is "Be disaster aware! Take action to prepare!" But how disaster-aware are we really? Lots of the things we know about life's worst calamities are actually wrong--and in some cases, dangerously so. Luckily, Ken Jennings, Jeopardy! survivor and professional know-it-all, is here to set us straight. Because what could be more disastrous than ignorance? Well, maybe a big volcano. Ignorance, and also a big volcano.

The Debunker: Did the Band Play "Nearer, My God, to Thee" as the Titanic Sank?

More than 1,500 people lost their lives on April 15, 1912 when the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic. Among them were all eight of the ship's on-board musicians, who normally played in a quintet and trio, respectively. Many, many survivor accounts attests that some or all of these musicians kept playing at the top of the Titanic's grand staircase as the ship gradually lowered into the sea, in an attempt to keep passengers calm during the evacuation.

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Monday, September 15

Music Monday: Scottish Independence

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Thursday, September 18th is the day that Scotland could begin the processing of being an independent nation. Which way will they go? Which way will the people lean? Scott’s gathered some exciting Scotland-connected bands to celebrate the eventful week to come.

God Help The Girl - Come Monday Night

 

God Help The Girl was born out of Belle & Sebastian, the Scottish band much loved by the hip and the cool. I don’t know their feelings on the vote, but I am so very happy they didn’t redo this song as “Come Thursday Night” with lyrics all about the referendum.

Democracy will prevail! See you after the jump?

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