Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two Pics Worth The Price Of A Chuckle Today

Upon checking out Gizmodo this afternoon, I came across this article mentioning some important NASA press conference scheduled for this Thursday concerning a possible "astrobiology finding" on one of Saturn's moons. In this case, Titan, which we already know has liquid on its surface in the form of the hydrocarbon ethane. Could there actually be life on this moon?

Anyway, in the comments at the end of the article, I came across two embedded pics which had me ROTFLMAO -- and which adequately displays my frustration at NASA's previous "important" announcements:




That's so wrong . . . and yet, so RIGHT! LOL! On a tangent note, but also offering up equal hilarity is another pic I found in the comments, which so perfectly sums up my annoyance sometimes when I read my science magazines:




That right there is so on the money! I subscribe to three scientific mags -- Discover, Scientific American, and Archaeology -- as well as pick up the occasional Astronomy and National Geographic when the mood strikes my fancy. I can't tell you how many articles I'm starting to skip now because this is how they almost always turn out. The headline presents a provocative supposition of some potentially ground-breaking paradigm shift . . . only to end up being a "wouldn't it be cool if?" spec piece, or containing a flat out "yeah, keep dreaming" conclusion. ARGH!!! So aggravating! But such is the nature of the game of science journalism. Ground breaking discoveries are not made every day, and yet they still need to sell subscriptions.

Anyway, I guess I'll be keeping my ears peeled for Thursday's announcement. I agree with this Jason Kottke person that it will mostly likely be about the discovery of arsenic, which has already been theorized before as a likely candidate to be found on Titan. Don't get me wrong, this will be great news. Even better if they actually do have evidence of some kind of bacteria living off the arsenic. But then, NASA has gotten my hopes up before. So for now I'll just remain cautiously optimistic and wait to see what comes of it.

Are you excited by the possibilities?

2 comments:

Botanist said...

OK, I almost pissed myself over that bar chart, David.

The other one was funny, but didn't strike the same chord. I subscribe to New Scientist and keep finding thought-provoking news and articles. Real ground-breaking discoveries are rare, but NS keeps plugging away at the small incremental advances and discussions across such a breadth of disciplines that it keeps this reader engaged, at least.

David Batista said...

I was inserting tongue in cheek with the sci mags comment. But you have to admit that some of the more flashier mags do try to bait the reader in with sensational headlines that don't actually pan out the way the layout editors are trying to imply.

Still, I love my magazines and will continue to support them. I might have to look into this New Scientist you speak of, Ian.

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