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Thread: List of errors and typos

  1. #61
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    On 2002-09-28 21:58, David Hall wrote:
    Yes, it is a bit confusing. I think the second one should be changed to "they experience gravity almost as strongly as we do" just to be a bit clearer.
    Did you mean the first one? The first one in KarenS's post? That's the one that uses "they" instead of "her" (I just checked, and their order in the book is the same as in KarenS's post.)

    And I think "feel" should be reserved for the case where the person has a physical sensation associated with the experience, as opposed to a lack of sensation--so it'd make sense to use "feel" in the second one, not the first.

  2. #62
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    I meant the second one in my post. Of course I agree with you. I just wanted to confirm what Karen was saying and got it a bit turned around.

  3. #63
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    The beauty of English is that it's so flexible, but that's what also gets us into trouble.

    I guess I'd like to see something like "the force of graity is acting on..." the folks in orbit. That also takes out any human element--the gravity is acting on inanimate objects that don't have sensations as well.

  4. #64
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    Considering all of the posts here about grammar, I'm very surprised that nobody has noticed a very fundamental technical error.

    On pg 65:"The Earth has a lot more mass than I do... so it pulls on me a lot harder than I do on it."

    Not only does this statement violate Newton's third law (action-reaction) which is taught in high schools, but it shows a misunderstanding of (Newtonian) gravity.

    Newton's law of universal gravitation:
    F=(G*m1*m2)/r^2
    Gravitational force is proportional to the product of the masses of TWO objects, so you can't talk about gravitational force without
    talking about a pair.

    You exert exactly the same force on the earth as it exerts on you.

  5. #65
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    This has been corrected in later printings. I was trying to simplify the situation, and wound up oversimplifying it. The forces are equal, of course, but the accelerations are different. I was talking about accelerations in that statement, but (over)simplified it to just "pulling". Since it's confusing to people who know better, I changed it in the later printings.

  6. #66
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    On 2002-04-16 12:44, The Bad Astronomer wrote:
    Folks:

    The list below contains the errors and typos that I know about in the book. A lot of those have already been talked about on this board, and some I found on my own.

    If you know of any more, please add them to this thread.
    You would do well to consider linguistic history in your discussion of the "DARK SIDE OF THE MOON" ON PP. 31 - 33. Long ago, the word "dark" referred to anything unseen. Astronomers of the time called the unseen side of the moon the "dark side of the moon." They did not imagine that the dark side was never in sunlight.

    This usage of the word "dark" survived into the 19th century when people in England spoke of "darkest Africa." They did not imagine that any part of Africa never received sunlight. The reference was to the part of Africa about which Europeans knew almost nothing. It was hidden, unseen, "dark."

    The usage lives today in the jargon of live theater. If a play is presented every night of the week except Monday, then the theater is said to be "dark on Monday."

    To be sure, the change in the meaning of the word "dark" has led to a pervasive piece of bad astronomy in modern times. However, your discussion of this piece of bad astronomy would benefit greatly from an acknowledgement of its source.

    Kip Fisher

  7. #67
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    On 2002-11-30 16:30, kipfisher wrote:

    The usage lives today in the jargon of live theater. If a play is presented every night of the week except Monday, then the theater is said to be "dark on Monday."
    That's because they don't turn the lights on. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  8. #68
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    I knew you'd say that.

  9. #69
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    I knew you'd say that.


  10. #70
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    i just got the book from amazon. great job! i love it! (geek girl talking [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img] )

    on page 100, last paragraph: "Which stars looks white?"
    should be "look white" (plural).

    I also didn't quite get the BA's "Twinkle twinkle" rhyme, but then I'm no native speaker, so maybe it's just me. still, I would be happy if anyone cared to explain?

    [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  11. #71
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    On 2002-12-15 13:58, jokergirl wrote:
    I also didn't quite get the BA's "Twinkle twinkle" rhyme, but then I'm no native speaker, so maybe it's just me. still, I would be happy if anyone cared to explain?
    I missed this a while back. The BA sorta explains the situation on that page 89, and the top of page 90. "Seeing", to an astronomer, is a condition of the atmosphere. Even though the sky may be clear of clouds, it can be so turbulent that even the planets twinkle--and such conditions make for poor astronomy viewing.

  12. #72
    A couple of items to consider for future editions.

    EGGS
    A double hit of Bad Biology right on the first page of Chapter 1 (p. 11)!

    First, you say that eggs have a "calcium shell". It isn't calcium, it's calcium carbonate (American Egg Board). You get it right on p.15 "has calcium carbonate deposited", but wrong again on p.15 "calcium comes out" and p.16 "calcium bumps".
    This was briefly discussed in another thread in this forum. (10 page excerpt at the Wiley website) The BA said:
    We say you need calcium for your bones, but really we mean calcium carbonate. So it's not so much sloppy as it is a shortcut, almost an expression. I don't think using it in this context is incorrect.
    Bones and eggs contain calcium but aren't made of calcium. And bones are primarily calcium phosphate, not calcium carbonate. The calcium content of calcium carbonate is about 40%. I know most people don't recognize the difference between calcium mineral and calcium metal. I still think you should say it right at the first occurrence, if not every time.
    By the way, the American Egg Board website mentions equinox standing in their egg trivia.

    Second, genus names should be capitalized, as in Gallus domesticus. (See the Columbia Encyclopedia under "classification"). You have gallus (lowercase) on p.11.

    FLOUR
    In discussing moon dust in Chapter 17 (p.165), you state "Flour is incredibly dry." This isn't true - flour is about 12% water, almost as much as raisins! USDA National Nutrient Database). This has significance since you make such a big deal about the absolute dryness of lunar soil.
    The activity of water in foods can be surprising. We see food all the time, so we think we understand it, but we're often wrong (not unlike the sky). A better example may be powdered sugar, at 0.3% water. Granulated sugar and salt have less even water, but they are crystalline rather than powdered, so don't exhibit moon-dust-like behavior.



    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: maryellenandtom on 2003-01-22 09:43 ]</font>

  13. #73
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    On 2003-01-22 09:41, maryellenandtom wrote:
    A couple of items to consider for future editions.

    First, you say that eggs have a "calcium shell". It isn't calcium, it's calcium carbonate
    Yes, and I should have been more careful. I'll add this to the list of corrections for the fifth edition, if we ever get to it.

    Second, genus names should be capitalized, as in Gallus domesticus.
    I looked into that (by looking up some genus names!) and copied what they did. I'll have to look up the proper way to do this, just as a back up.

    FLOUR
    In discussing moon dust in Chapter 17 (p.165), you state "Flour is incredibly dry." This isn't true - flour is about 12% water, almost as much as raisins!
    That's amazing! I'll look into this as well. Thanks for your comments!

  14. #74
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    On 2003-01-22 09:41, maryellenandtom wrote:
    flour is about 12% water, almost as much as raisins! USDA National Nutrient Database).
    Type flour into their search engine, click on Wheat flour, white, all-purpose, enriched, bleached, then click report.

  15. #75
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    So Mr. Plait, do all of us who offered suggestions get a free autographed copy of the latest edition?

  16. #76
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    The BA addressed the autograph situation in this thread.

  17. #77
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    p 16, last paragraph, (3 lines from the bottom)

    ...it's all about the equinox, they telwl me.

    should be ...they tell me.

    This was in the 5th. edition, so yes you made it that far--congratulations.

  18. #78
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    Yegads. That typo is not in the second printing!

    They added a typo to my book!

  19. #79
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    I think I smell a conspiracy...

  20. #80
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    p 89, line 3: "music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart"

    Actually the music is from an anonymous French folksong, Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman. Mozart did write a set of piano variations on the tune, though.

    Apologies if this has already been dealt with, but with a username like Eroica I just couldn't let this one go uncorrected.

  21. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by NASA Fan
    p 16, last paragraph, (3 lines from the bottom)

    ...it's all about the equinox, they telwl me.

    should be ...they tell me.

    This was in the 5th. edition, so yes you made it that far--congratulations.
    Hate to bump a thread, but I just found this! It's a good thing I did a search of the BABB. I almost started a new thread.

  22. #82
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    In the index entry for Jupiter Effect, the it list the page as 151 and it should instead be 131.

  23. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF
    On 2002-07-18 07:17, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
    You know, if I didn't know any better, I might call that "pushes the air down" a "pressure". &lt;IMG SRC="/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif">
    Yeah, but you call that centrifugal effect a "force", too, so what do you know? &lt;IMG SRC="/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif">
    speaking of which

    On padge
    249
    Thats called centifical force, and it would on a spaceship, too.

    edition 5? or six is the number part of IBSN(6) or below it(5)
    I um hmm....

  24. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickal555
    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF
    On 2002-07-18 07:17, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
    You know, if I didn't know any better, I might call that "pushes the air down" a "pressure". &lt;IMG SRC="/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif">
    Yeah, but you call that centrifugal effect a "force", too, so what do you know? &lt;IMG SRC="/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif">
    speaking of which

    On padge
    249
    Thats called centifical force, and it would on a spaceship, too.

    edition 5? or six is the number part of IBSN(6) or below it(5)
    I um hmm....
    Whoa ...

    Have you, Been Studying Hubbish?

  25. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZaphodBeeblebrox
    Quote Originally Posted by mickal555
    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF
    On 2002-07-18 07:17, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
    You know, if I didn't know any better, I might call that "pushes the air down" a "pressure". &lt;IMG SRC="/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif">
    Yeah, but you call that centrifugal effect a "force", too, so what do you know? &lt;IMG SRC="/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif">
    Speaking of which On padge 249 of Bad astronmy (edition 5 I think? or six, is the number part of IBSN(6)? or the one below it(5)? anyway on to the mistake:
    Quote "Thats called centifical force, and it would on a spaceship, too."

    force
    I um hmm....
    Whoa ...

    Have you, Been Studying Hubbish?
    As a matter of fact Yes I have and I can now mostly understand him.
    And no I havn't attemted it and the above post isn't an attempt.
    I'll redo it in my above quote

    Gezz in my first fair dinkum redo it did look HUb' ish uh oh.....

    Speaking of which On padge 249 of Bad astronmy
    {edition 5? or six is the number part of IBSN(6) or below it(5)}
    Quote "Thats called centifical force, and it would on a spaceship, too."

    force
    I um hmm....

  26. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickal555
    Quote Originally Posted by ZaphodBeeblebrox
    Quote Originally Posted by mickal555
    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF
    On 2002-07-18 07:17, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
    You know, if I didn't know any better, I might call that "pushes the air down" a "pressure". &lt;IMG SRC="/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif">
    Yeah, but you call that centrifugal effect a "force", too, so what do you know? &lt;IMG SRC="/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif">
    Speaking of which On padge 249 of Bad astronmy (edition 5 I think? or six, is the number part of IBSN(6)? or the one below it(5)? anyway on to the mistake:
    Quote "Thats called centifical force, and it would on a spaceship, too."

    force
    I um hmm....
    Whoa ...

    Have you, Been Studying Hubbish?
    As a matter of fact Yes I have and I can now mostly understand him.
    And no I havn't attemted it and the above post isn't an attempt.
    I'll redo it in my above quote

    Gezz in my first fair dinkum redo it did look HUb' ish uh oh.....

    Speaking of which On padge 249 of Bad astronmy
    {edition 5? or six is the number part of IBSN(6) or below it(5)}
    Quote "Thats called centifical force, and it would on a spaceship, too."

    force
    I um hmm....
    Whoa ....

    Stream of Conciousness ...

  27. #87
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    This may have been mentioned already, but Cardinal Wolsey is quoted very much out of context. What he said was a bit less emphatic, something like: "be careful what you put in his head, because you will never get it out". And 'his' is 'Henry VIII's. Wolsey was talking about a particular individual, not humanity in general.

  28. #88
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    Hi all. Long time no see :P

    I read the book very recently, and I have a few things to point out, which are not typos.

    First, the mother of all nitpickers: page 37, it should of course read "...give or take a square kilometre or two..."

    I know, I know :P

    Second, the second or so paragraph on page 98. Would it really complicate the explanation to use the right term here (plasma)? You keep calling it "gas", implying it's made of atoms. I think you oversimplified this bit for no good reason.

    OK, this wasn't technically a mistake.

    Third comes a real actual error. Page 177, second paragraph. *long breathy sigh* Where do I begin? You got it all mixed up. Minerva was a Roman goddess, not a Greek one. Her Greek equivalent was Athena, the goddess of knowledge. Athena/Minerva were never associated with the planet Venus. Venus is the Roman equivalent of Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty. Venus was named after her because it's so beautiful. Athena was indeed born out of Zeus's head, fully grown and fully armed, but that has nothing to do with Aphrodite; Aphrodite was created when Zeus's sperm fell in the ocean.

    But maybe it was Velikovsky who got it wrong in the first place.

  29. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck
    Page 213, end of last full paragraph:

    For astrology to sell, buyers must not seek out the fundamental principles behind it, because if they do they see that there is none.

    Probably should be:

    ...there are none.
    Well...
    I'm bored and the phrase still appears in my edition.
    I think the problem is that "... is none" is grammatically correct (since the verb to be is applied to the singular none), but it's a sudden change to singular from the previous plural "... fundamental principles ...".
    So it's what the Fowler brothers would call an "infelicitous construction".
    Replace it with the logically and grammatically equivalent: "For astrology to sell, buyers must not seek out the fundamental principles behind it, because if they do they see that there isn't one" and you get the same lurching sensation at the end, even though the sentence is entirely logical.
    Since it evidently makes several folks here feel as uneasy as I do, I'd suggest "... that there aren't any" is the way to go, since any agrees in number with principles, whereas none doesn't.

    Grant Hutchison

  30. #90
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    Marlayna-- stars are plasma, of course, but it's still gas. They're made of atoms, just ionized ones. And not all the atoms are fully ionized!

    As far as Minerva goes, that part caused me some grief. When I read Velikovsky's book, I laughed, thinking that Minerva wasn't associated with Venus, Aphrodite was, as you point out. Turns out, the planet Venus was associated with Minerva, I think early in mythological history. That surprised me. I have this in my notes somewhere, but I'm not sure where.

    I'm scratching my head over the Greek/Roman thing. I remember clearly correcting that error. Now I don't know why it's there.

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