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ToSeek
2002-Apr-05, 01:21 PM
Well, I finally found the book at Barnes & Noble (but not Borders, for some reason) and am having to resist the temptation to skip ahead to the most intriguing chapters. (It helps that there are so many of them: "the moon-landing hoax - no, creationism - no, Hubble misconceptions....") So I am reading it straight through despite temptation.

Anyhow, I am a world-champion nitpicker and already have two:

Page 6 - "Cardinal Woosley"

Actually, it's "Wolsey."

Page 11 - "This goo is what's destined to become a chicken, if we let it."

Sounds like Bad Biology to me: the main reason the goo doesn't become a chicken in most cases is because the egg hasn't been fertilized, not because it becomes an omelet first.

And that's as far as I've gotten. Look forward to many more! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

ToSeek
Who was fired from a volunteer position as a proofreader because "...at the rate you keep finding mistakes, we'll never get this newsletter out!"

_________________
"... to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." - Tennyson, Ulysses

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ToSeek on 2002-04-05 08:22 ]</font>

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Apr-05, 03:21 PM
Doing a web search, I have found three spellings for the Cardinal: Wolsey, Woosley, and Woolsey. It looks like there were some name-spelling shenanigans back then. Unless I can find a definitive source, I'll leave it the way it is.

Note also about the egg that I wasn't specific about how we prevent them from turning into a chicken. One way is to not let them be fertilized! I realized this when I wrote it, but used a literary shorthand to make the sentence more fun.

So there.

ToSeek
2002-Apr-05, 03:42 PM
On 2002-04-05 10:21, The Bad Astronomer wrote:
Doing a web search, I have found three spellings for the Cardinal: Wolsey, Woosley, and Woolsey. It looks like there were some name-spelling shenanigans back then. Unless I can find a definitive source, I'll leave it the way it is.

Note also about the egg that I wasn't specific about how we prevent them from turning into a chicken. One way is to not let them be fertilized! I realized this when I wrote it, but used a literary shorthand to make the sentence more fun.

So there.


Even though I can only remember seeing "Wolsey," I can believe it about Wolsey/Woosley, since we're talking about the same basic era as <strike>Shaksper</strike> <strike>Shaxpeare</strike> <strike>Shake-Spear</strike> that playwright that everyone quotes all the time.

I have to say I like the way the paragraph about the eggs is written, but it still gives me the impression that the goo itself is going to become a chicken unless something is actively done to stop it.

Latest nitpick:

Page 12 - "the root of the word 'vernal' means 'green'"

I haven't found any support for this yet, at least not online. So far as I've been able to tell, "vernal" and "verdant" (which definitely means "green") have unrelated etymologies. But I could be wrong.

I did like the chapter, particularly the moral of doing "negative" testing as well as "positive" ones. This is something True Believers seldom seem to bother with.

One of Hoaxland's favorite bugaboos is NASA's supposed perpetual coordination of events with certain stellar alignments, something he suggests has sinister, Masonic implications. However, someone tried to see if events at the Toledo Museum of Art (I think) also followed the same pattern, and he found out that they did! Further investigation revealed that the alignments were defined so broadly that it was almost impossible for there not to be one coinciding with any time at all.

Interestingly, no one at Hoagland's Enterprise Mission ever seems to have tried this approach.

ToSeek
2002-Apr-05, 03:49 PM
Page 26 - "it was once even reported in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue"

Which you were reading just for the articles, of course. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

_________________
"... to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." - Tennyson, Ulysses

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ToSeek on 2002-04-05 10:53 ]</font>

SpacedOut
2002-Apr-05, 03:58 PM
Just to weigh in on vernal – I looked it up at the Merriam Webster site

http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary

for vernal:

“Etymology: Latin vernalis, alteration of vernus, from ver spring; akin to Greek ear spring, Sanskrit vasanta”

for verdant:

“Etymology: modification of Middle French verdoyant, from present participle of verdoyer to be green, from Old French verdoier, from verd, vert green, from Latin viridis, from virEre to be green”


I’m afraid ToSeek found one BA!
[fixed typo]

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SpacedOut on 2002-04-05 10:59 ]</font>

Wiley
2002-Apr-05, 04:04 PM
On 2002-04-05 10:42, ToSeek wrote:
Page 12 - "the root of the word 'vernal' means 'green'"

I haven't found any support for this yet, at least not online. So far as I've been able to tell, "vernal" and "verdant" (which definitely means "green") have unrelated etymologies. But I could be wrong.


I'm at work, and my OED is at home. So I can't get the authoritative answer. However the American Heritage gives the following etymologies:


vernal -Latin vernalis, from vernus, from ver, spring.

verdant - French verdoyant, from Old French, present participle of verdoyer, to become green, from Vulgar Latin viridiare, from Latin viridis.

Nothing conclusive, but the roots appear to be diverging.

Doh! Spaced Out, you snuck in before me.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Wiley on 2002-04-05 11:05 ]</font>

ToSeek
2002-Apr-09, 12:15 PM
The book's still at home, so this is from memory, but you should be able to get the gist of it even if my quotes are a little off:

Page 160 - "Explorer One launched in 1957."

Explorer One launched in 1958.

c. Page 162 ff. - "LEM"

The lunar lander was originally called the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) early on when it was thought that it might take off and land elsewhere. This notion was dropped very early on, and the "Excursion" was eventually dropped as well. By the time of the Moon landings, the lander was just the Lunar Module, or LM.

Index - "LEM module"

This is what New Scientist calls Recursive Acronym Syndrome, like PIN number, ID document, or ATM machine.

Hey, I got all the way to page 160 without finding anything that hadn't been spotted before!


_________________
"... to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." - Tennyson, Ulysses

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ToSeek on 2002-04-09 08:15 ]</font>

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Apr-09, 02:21 PM
Explorer: D'oh! I have noted that. My mistake, and a silly one; I knew it was a few months after Sputnik. I must have just made a typo there.

LEM: I toyed with calling it the LM, but I just like LEM better. Since it had both names, I figure I have my choice.

LEM Module: That's in the index, over which I had no control. I hate it when people say "and etc." or "ATM machine" or "PIN number". Makes me nuts.

ToSeek
2002-Apr-09, 03:11 PM
On 2002-04-09 10:21, The Bad Astronomer wrote:
Explorer: D'oh! I have noted that. My mistake, and a silly one; I knew it was a few months after Sputnik. I must have just made a typo there.


Well, it was just barely 1958 (January 31).