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There are two kinds of websites in this world


There are sites that will describe this as “Aurora Caught by Hubble Space Telescope” and there are sites that will say “Something Weird is Spotted Coming Out of Uranus.”

This blog, for example, would never be caught making cheap double entendres about Uranus. This blog is alllllll about the dick jokes.

It is an aurora, like the ones we get (Jupiter and Saturn, too) and the brightest we’ve ever seen on Uranus, apparently. Uranus is hard to study because it’s a completely featureless frozen blue gas ball.

They used an ultraviolet doohickey built into Hubble to find this aurora — and interestingly proved that it moves with the rotation of the planet. They also managed to rediscovered the magnetic poles which have been missing pretty much ever since Voyager found them because, again, featureless blue gas ball.

Also, note rings.

Oh, hey, did you see the moon last night? Holy cow, was it huge! The news said it was going to be pink, but it was gold here. On the horizon, anyhow.


Comment from durnedyankee
Time: April 12, 2017, 9:04 pm

Rings around…

Speaking of dick jokes – Chelsea’s dad, Webster Hubble?

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: April 12, 2017, 10:12 pm

Q: Why is the starship Enterprise like toilet paper?
A: They both circle Uranus wiping out Klingons.


Comment from MikeW
Time: April 12, 2017, 10:20 pm

I guess it’s official… this is the second kind of website.

PS. Speaking of space thing-ies, I think I recall reading something not long ago that Pluto is once again a planet (‘Course, I’m far too lazy to Google that and check). After all the ‘toons I watched as a kid, I was always kinda fond of Pluto. 🙂 So, yay!

Comment from Veeshir
Time: April 12, 2017, 11:56 pm

I’m so disappointed.
You claim to be all about dick jokes but you leave a blue balls joke just sitting there.
Frozen blue balls.
Unless the double pic is intended as a double entendre. Then I take it all back.

And no, I don’t have one. At least not one I’ll put here.

Comment from Niña
Time: April 13, 2017, 2:08 am

I’m up here in eastern Washington state, which has been mostly cloudy the past few days. We only got glimpses of the moon, so its spectaculars were lost on us, sadly.

Sorry to hear about losing your chooks, Stoaty and Uncle B. Losing them is bad enough, not knowing why is way worse. I hope you’ve enough chikken loses for a good long time now.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: April 13, 2017, 2:37 am

After all the recent chicken blogging, I thought it was a picture of a double-yolked egg. But maybe it was because today I had eggs to cook after a four-day hiatus.

(Refrigerator drama. About two weeks ago, it starting beeping for no apparent reason – five times, every 10 minutes or so. It kept working, but I stopped buying any new refrigerated food (such as eggs) – just in case. The repairman couldn’t come out till yesterday. And on Monday, it stopped beeping. He couldn’t see anything wrong. $65 for nothing.)

Comment from Niña
Time: April 13, 2017, 4:16 am

When mine does that it means a door is ajar (why it’s a jar instead of a proper door I don’t know 😜)

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: April 13, 2017, 4:27 am

I was up at 2 am, thanks to a muscle cramp that was like a heart attack in my right thigh. I stumbled out to the kitchen for water (and Tramadol), and the light was so bright on the patio, I thought we’d left something turned on. But I didn’t go outside to see the moon since I was having trouble sleeping already. It’s one thing I hate about living in the city—I can’t see sunrises and sunsets, or the North Star—too much ground light. My local night sky is downright orange-tinged. As for Uranus, those images are beautiful. Would make a nice pair of earrings for some intrepid jeweler.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 13, 2017, 1:27 pm

Rich, they don’t refrigerate eggs here. It’s very weird.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: April 13, 2017, 2:34 pm

Same here, Deb. We often have night fog or clouds and the reflect the city lights. So, the night sky is a dirty white. I hate that.

Comment from Mr. Dave
Time: April 13, 2017, 3:31 pm

If you don’t wash the eggs they don’t need refrigeration because chicken heinies put on a waterproof layer of chicken slime that dries and keeps bacteria out. Eggs are washed by commercial egg farms.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: April 13, 2017, 3:41 pm

Where I grew up (a Czech ghetto) around Easter they would sell lamb cakes: A cake in the shape of a lamb with coconut frosting, raisin eyes, and a cherry nose. Also, they sold butter in the shape of a lamb.

It really was quite nice. 🙂

Comment from AliceH
Time: April 13, 2017, 3:56 pm

Mr. Dave is right.

The US mandates that eggs be washed before sale, thereby requiring they be stored refrigerated.

The EU (I think) mandates that eggs NOT be washed, thereby allowing them to be stored without refrigeration.

Both are positive they are enforcing the best food safety policies for their citizens. I suppose both could be right, given relative capacity of refrigerated shipping and home refrigerator space per capita and other variables.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: April 13, 2017, 4:26 pm

Hey! Refrigerant chemicals is bad, and generating electricucal power is bad for the planet and we should use what nature gave us (man ain’t natural ya know….)

Clearly what we need to do is get rid of refrigeration and coat all bio-degradable products with chicken butt anti-bacterial slime!

No? Whut! I’m just trying to save Gaia here! DENIERS!

Seriously though, that is an interesting fact about washing or not washing eggs.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: April 13, 2017, 4:37 pm

A bright bright moon . . . do not read Larry Niven’s short story “Inconstant Moon.” I’m warning you. On the other hand, since we’re still here, I guess you’ll be okay.

Linda and I were walking one evening in Colorado, and the moon was on the horizon, looking 30 x its usual size as it sometimes does. She said, “What is that?” “The moon.” “It can’t be!”

We looked it up. Then (1998 or so), nobody knew the reason for that optical illusion. Have people ever discovered the reason for it?

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: April 13, 2017, 5:07 pm

Something to do with perspective and being able to gauge the size of an object based on other available objects is the one I think most likely, but there seems to be considerable debate that it’s gremlins or something in our brains messing with our mind (the same ones that turn Marilyn Monroe into your Aunt Edna right in the middle of an otherwise outstanding dream).

Here’s a link from National Geographic

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: April 13, 2017, 5:20 pm

I remember a giant moon in Sept or Oct 1998, Wolfus. I thought, gee, I have to get out and look at the moon more. 🙂

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: April 13, 2017, 6:51 pm

Ric Fan,

I first saw the giant moon during a night football game I was attending in high school, and that was longer ago than I care to recall. An enormous tan globe rose up over the stadium wall — big enough that it seemed like an alien planet. There, I had reference points around me, close by, i.e., the wall. When Linda and I spied the supermoon in ’98, it was rising over a horizon that was an open field, so no reference points.

So apparently there is still no definitive answer after 2500 years.

I’mma go with the psychological mechanism, myself.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 13, 2017, 10:37 pm

” … an ultraviolet doohickey … ”

I always wanted to design an Ultraviolet Doohickey.

I’m retired now, but – looking back – some of my finest professional memories are those from when I spent time designing a Polymorphous Doodad for some spooky military project.

Did a Whatchamacallit (sea-borne tactical, of course) for the Navy in the late 80’s, and any number of Thingamabobs – both short- and long-range versions. One even had a Landing Prammis.

But I never got to design an Ultraviolet Doohickey. Pity …

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