Saturday, January 15, 2005

European Space Agency Explores Rich Desserts

It was my understanding that the European Space Agency (with an assist from NASA) dispatched the Huygens probe to explore deserts on Titan, one of Saturn's moons. Apparently, I had misread the article; Huygens' is exploring intergalactic desserts, not deserts: Titan Probe Drops Into 'Creme Brulee'-Like Surface .

Scientists are especially excited about exploring Titan because it appears to have various methane clouds, oceans and glaciers. This obsession with methane is only exciting to misanthropic scientists who specialize in methane and people who fart alot. By the way, did you know people fart about 14 times a day and produce about half a liter of fart gases a day? See the important research that goes into these posts?

One embarrasingly giddy scientist, University of Arizona professor Martin Tomasko, is quoted in the article after reviewing some of the images of a coastal area on Titan sent back by Huygens: "It's almost impossible to resist the speculation that this is a drainage channel, that we're seeing a shoreline ... you have the feeling that maybe this was wet not too far ago." Who could have thought that liquified methane could sound so sexy?

Further, the article's author notes: "The Cassini-Huygens mission to study Saturn's rings and moons was launched in 1997 and is named after two 17th-century European astronomers: Christiaan Huygens, who discovered Saturn's rings and Titan, and Jean-Dominique Cassini, who discovered the planet's other four major moons." Yes, these scientists "discovered" these things. Because, as everyone now knows (especially Native Americans much to their metaphysical chagrin), nothing exists until a European man lays his eyes on it.


Blogger tequilita said...

what is this curious preoccupation with flatulence? -speculating about the acidity in ann coulter's farts, and now 14 farts a day and half a liter of methane? i'm noticing a theme.

isn't there a theory about dinosaur extinction having to do with methane poisoning? it's the only thing i remember from high school biology -that somehow the dinosaurs farted themselves to death. flatulence is fascinating. i wonder how much methane it takes to poison a human to death, apparently more than half a liter.

11:51 PM  
Blogger Joseph K said...

Yeah, I have had an bizarre, perhaps unhealthy, fascination with farts recently. I think it reflects either (i) a boy's fascination with his gases and others (but blame ESA/NASA for the issue coming up in the last post; they are the ones obsessed with methane)or (ii) a Dr. John Harvey Kelloggian (if you've seen Road to Wellville, you'll know who I am talking about; it was the Hopkins character) obsession with the "impurities." I am trying to figure out what it is, because it is somewhere buried deep within my subconscious.

If dinosaurs really did fart themselves to death, that would be the coolest thing ever. A Tyranasaurs (sp?) Rex could thrash almost anything on the planet, but was probably felled by the gases from a bunch of roughage eating herbivores. Who knew that a Brontosaurs could be deadly, aside from perhaps stepping on you.

I only thing I remember from high school biology with one of my buddy's troubling, fascinating with dissecting stuff. He later grew up to get the manliest job in hte military: a nurses aide in the Air Force, where he delivers babies.

10:23 AM  

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