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NASA Fan
2003-Sep-19, 03:08 AM
There are at least 2 treads about ideas for the title of what a potential new book should be called. I think that it would be nice to see what people would like to see covered.

Here is my rant/idea.

I hate the phrase
"If they can send a man to the moon, then why can't they..."


I work at the visitors center to the Johnson Space Center. We take our guest around NASA on a tram. The windshield wiper sometimes stick to the windshield and we have to push it to make it work, not a big deal, however, occationally someone will ask
"They can send a man to the moon, but they cannot make a wiper work..."

Like any other place, ocationally the elevators do not work and we hear the same
"They could send a man to the moon, but they cannot make an elevator work"


Do these people who ask these questions think that the same people who buildt the Saturn V, or the LM builldt the elevators at NASA, or the trams we use?

Phil, if you do write a second book, and you choose to have a section on language, or phrases. Can you please explain why there is no coralation between landing a man on the moon, and almost anything else. Compare Apollo 11 and Apollo 13. The former landed on the moon, the latter did not, yet they were buildt by the same people.


Thanks for listening to me rant.

Eroica
2003-Sep-26, 08:04 AM
Here are some examples of bad astronomy that you might want to include in your next book:

1: General Custer's mistaking Venus for a rocket on the morning of 27 November 1868.

2: Frances Rolleston's brilliant deduction that the unusual names of the stars Rotanev and Sualocin in Delphinus were derived from the Chaldean rotaneb and the Arabic al scalodin, both meaning "swift running water." Imagine her embarrassment when she found out (if she ever did) that they were actually named in the nineteenth century by Giuseppe Piazzi, Director of the Palermo Observatory in Sicily, in honour of his assistant Niccolo Cacciatore, whose name in Latin was Nicolaus Venator (that's Sualocin Rotanev backwards)!

3: Sidus Ludovicianum, or Ludwig's Star, the planet that wasn't. On 2 December 1722, Johann Georg Liebknecht, professor of theology and mathematics at the University of Giesen, observed the star Tycho 3850-257-1, between Alcor and Mizar in Ursa Major, and came to the amazing conclusion that it was a planet, even though it was in the exact same position as it had been when Benedetto Castelli observed it in 1617! Liebknecht named his new "planet" in honour of the Landgrave Ludwig V of Hesse-Darmstadt. The name survived: the professor's reputation didn't.