Friday, January 11, 2008

bad timing

I was watching one of the cable science channels tonight and when the program went to commercial break, it prefaced it with one of those "did you know?" kind of science soundbites. This one said something like "lightning bolts are 6 times hotter than the surface of the Sun, or about 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit!"

Immediately afterwards, a new commercial from Acura came on, and the next words that came from the television speaker were along the lines of "the temperature on the surface of the Sun is 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit!"

Science is so much fun.


Blogger Ronni said...

So, which is correct?

After reading Carl Sagan, for just a nanosecond, I Understood how the world wagged. Then something shiny flew by, and it was gone.

Such, my friend, is the influence of mylar on understanding.

1:30 AM  
Blogger Milo Johnson said...

Actually, it's a range of temperatures depending on what part of the Sun you measure and neither is a horrible number, but is instead pretty much the outside extremes. I simply say "around 10,000 Fahrenheit" in class, it's a nice round number. I think the thing that made me comment on it is that when people without a lot of science in their background hear that kind of juxtaposition, it makes them more open to the idea that science really doesn't know at all rather than that there aren't always precise answers to some things.

1:40 AM  
Blogger Ronni said...

What? No precise answers? What kind of world is that?

That bunch of stoopidpeople who beat us to the best parking places likes things nailed down in black and white. Like, the world was created in 4004 BC. Period.

I like imprecise. Then, even if I'm wrong, I might really be right.

9:07 AM  

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