1020: "Orion Nebula"

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belliott4488
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Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

Postby belliott4488 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:12 pm UTC

I think it's pretty crappy of Randall to post this comic in February, as Orion is getting ready to disappear from the Northern hemisphere for the Summer. All these xkcd fans are going to be running out at sunset trying to catch the setting of the dong ...

SHISHKABOB
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Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

Postby SHISHKABOB » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:38 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Since when is it a sword? It's his belt. Everybody knows the phrase "Orion's belt". It's not just those three stars across his waist.

Old ring belts tie in the front of the waist with a length hanging down from the tie, like this:

(pictures)


yes except Orion is a mythological Greek hero, not a corsair from the 18th century. It's clearly a sword.

pbnjstowell wrote:Never looking at Orion the same again.

Also, isn't the small hips with wide shoulders thing supposed to be sexy on a guy? It'd probably be better if he had a head on his shoulders though.


his torso is twisted

RogueCynic
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Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

Postby RogueCynic » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:14 pm UTC

Good comic. I know what I'll be doing while waiting for the bus tonight, assuming it doesn't rain. As to the controversy for what to call it, I remember the organ in question being referred to as a "sword". Maybe from Shakespeare. Please don't call it a "Johnson". I have an acoustic/electric bass made by a company of that name and the logo is clearly printed on the head. Of course, I play guitar left handed, and can play bass left or right handed. Now, if I can learn to finger tap...

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"You can't call a planet 'Bob'. "

"So now you're the boss. You're the King of Bob. "

"Can't we just call it 'Earth'? "

"No one said you have to live on Bob. " Titan A.E?

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Gazow
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Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

Postby Gazow » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:00 pm UTC

did anyone else read the second panel in the voice of rick astley?

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Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

Postby Sasquach » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:58 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:I think it's a little irresponsible to go mucking about with Orion when they still haven't done anything about the name of the planet Uranus.


Professor Hubert Farnsworth: I'm sorry, Fry, but astronomers renamed Uranus in 2620 to end that stupid joke once and for all.
Fry: Oh. What's it called now?
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: Urrectum. Here, let me locate it for you.

Joffaboy
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Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

Postby Joffaboy » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:50 pm UTC

I like a good dong joke like the rest, but was a little concerned that our revered artist - known for his interest in sciencey stuff - wrongly refers to Orion as a nebula... it's a constellation. The nebula's a bit fuzzy & located near the dong - perhaps it's "Orion's pubes"?

By the way, I nipped outside last night to scold the bichon (not a euphemism, he was barking) and looked up to see the giant dong hanging in the sky above me. In Melbourne this is all right way up, you know... you northerners don't realise Orion was a breakdancer.

As another aside, Australian Aboriginal people (specifically the Yolgnu) call the constellation Djulpan the canoe* .. puts me in mind of trying to make a 'man in a boat' joke, but I'm supposed to be working & can't be bothered really ...

*see http://www.emudreaming.com/Examples/djulpan.htm

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Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:14 am UTC

My brain saw "We're no strangers to..." and went on Rickroll alert.
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da Doctah
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Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:03 am UTC

Joffaboy wrote:By the way, I nipped outside last night to scold the bichon (not a euphemism, he was barking)


I like to watch my Shi'ite neighbor feed shiitake mushrooms to his Shih Tzu puppy.

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Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

Postby dtilque » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:41 am UTC

Kisama wrote:That is clearly neither a penis, nor a belt, nor a sporren - it's a tail. Orion was a furry!


Since we're discussing Latin terms, take a wild guess what the Latin word for "tail" is...
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Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

Postby bigjeff5 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:06 am UTC

Joffaboy wrote:I like a good dong joke like the rest, but was a little concerned that our revered artist - known for his interest in sciencey stuff - wrongly refers to Orion as a nebula... it's a constellation. The nebula's a bit fuzzy & located near the dong - perhaps it's "Orion's pubes"?



Really? This was dealt with on the first page when the first person who didn't know much about the Orion constellation and the stellar objects associated with it mentioned this. The first. Freaking. Page.

Google "Orion Nebula" to discover your error, or refer back to the first freaking page.

Hint: there is a reason the comic is titled "Orion Nebula" and not "Orion Constellation".

Hint2: the arrow in the comic is literally pointing at that which you think does not exist.

Hint3: it's also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976.

Hint4: It's a Nebula named Orion due to its position within the constellation Orion.

(Note: I realize I'm being an ass, but this almost willful ignorance really gets on my nerves. So I apologize, but I'm still posting it. :P )

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Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

Postby Philip_the_Foole » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:57 am UTC

A Google search for Orion's lower shoulder, Bellatrix, shows Harry Potter villainess Bellatrix Lestrange eclipsing the star she is named after.

Sic transit gloria stella. ("So passes the glory of a star.")

I confess to some small pride in discovering that the phrase "Sic transit gloria stella" ("So passes the glory of a star") -- a play on "Sic transit gloria mundi ("So passes the glory of the world") -- appears here for the first time in web-searchable history.)

I predict that this will explode like a supernova across every "astronomy joke" website, and will spoken again when Betelgeuse goes supernova, if any astronomy geeks are alive.

Your Humble Jester,

Philip the Foole.

Sic transit gloria stella. ("So passes the glory of a star.")
- Ancient Kung Foole Proverb.

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Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

Postby The Moomin » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:10 am UTC

savanik wrote:
The Moomin wrote:Looking at Orion's pose, it does look like he should be shouting 'redefine ALL the constellation anatomies'.


By request...

All-the-Constellations.png


:D
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cream wobbly
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Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

Postby cream wobbly » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:56 pm UTC

The BBC had an "amusing" news piece way back (in the 80s, I think), about Orion being a pregnant woman. The basis of the joke was the fact that the Orion nebulæ (plural) are star "nurseries".

But hey, if you can't go high-brow, go low-brow.

Philip_the_Foole
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Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

Postby Philip_the_Foole » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:03 pm UTC

My friend "O_3" shows off his impressive Latin-and-Google-Fu by discovering a preceding variation of my "So passes the glory of a star" quote.

DOH! So much for my "aster-ations."

He writes --
    The "of" is your clue you want the genitive of "star" (as "mundi" is of "mundus"), so "gloria stellae". "Sic transit gloria stellae" gets one hit on Google -- having been previously used by someone on a Straight Dope forum. If it makes your small pride feel any better, it occurs there as part of "Sic transit gloria stellae errantes", which is also slightly incorrect -- should have been "stellae errantis". (Genitive of "stella errans", or "wandering star", that is a planet -- the post was about the perishing glory of a certain lunar conjunction).
      However, the more poetic "sic transit gloria astri" is still unknown to Google! Quick, delete this comment and it is still yours to discover :)


      Nah, the credit for the phrase clearly belongs to "3acresandatruck" and the poetic "new & improved" version is yours.

      Very nicely done!

      Your Humble Jester,

      Philip the Foole

      "Sic transit gloria astri." (So passes the glory of a star.)

      - Ancient Kung Foole Proverb by O_3

      ===============

      From The Straight Dope , 3acresandatruck, 12-31-2008, 10:11 PM

      Oh yeah, I'm just sitting out here at the shanty...fried to a crispy crunch. Wheee! Anyway, the meteorologist mentioned earlier that we could see the crescent moon with Venus below, along with Mercury and Jupiter on the horizon, so I went outside as the sun set and managed to see it. Came back in to warm up for a couple minutes, but when I went back out, Mercury and Jupiter were no longer visible. Sic transit gloria stellae errantes (or something like that).

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      Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

      Postby userxp » Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:21 pm UTC

      Ahh, constellations. I have literally stared at some for minutes trying to see that warrior, lion, dog, or whatever that I was supposed to see there. I guess I am not imaginative enough or something.

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      Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

      Postby bigjeff5 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:15 pm UTC

      userxp wrote:Ahh, constellations. I have literally stared at some for minutes trying to see that warrior, lion, dog, or whatever that I was supposed to see there. I guess I am not imaginative enough or something.


      I find that usually someone has to point it out and connect the dots for you the first time for it to click. They always still take extra imagination on top of finding the constellation in order to come up with the lion or whatever. Really, that lion could have just as easily have been a boat or a shoe if someone else had thought of it first.

      The few constellations I know I never would have come up with anything remotely similar to what the Greeks did had they not been shown to me by someone else first.

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      Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

      Postby The Moomin » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:14 pm UTC

      userxp wrote:Ahh, constellations. I have literally stared at some for minutes trying to see that warrior, lion, dog, or whatever that I was supposed to see there. I guess I am not imaginative enough or something.


      I like Sean Lock's explanation best:

      "Can I just ask one question? Is . . . maybe in the Greek times, they did actually look like that, and over the years, pollution and everything, all right, they disappeared. And it did actually used to look like a big crab in the sky, but now it's just a couple of little dots."
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      Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

      Postby SHISHKABOB » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:22 pm UTC

      The Moomin wrote:
      userxp wrote:Ahh, constellations. I have literally stared at some for minutes trying to see that warrior, lion, dog, or whatever that I was supposed to see there. I guess I am not imaginative enough or something.


      I like Sean Lock's explanation best:

      "Can I just ask one question? Is . . . maybe in the Greek times, they did actually look like that, and over the years, pollution and everything, all right, they disappeared. And it did actually used to look like a big crab in the sky, but now it's just a couple of little dots."


      that doesn't really make sense, why would the Greeks make constellations out of stars with magnitudes so dim that they would be removed from vision after a relatively miniscule amount of pollution has been added to the atmosphere? Relative to the amount of air that's in the atmosphere, I mean.

      Anyways, the system of magnitudes that we use today is nearly exactly the same as the one used by the Greek astronomer Hipparchus. He divided the visible stars, which would have been a great deal of them considering the likely level of light pollution in that period of history, into 6 magnitudes. We use this same system today, with 6 being the dimmest stars that the naked eye can see from Earth on a nice night.

      No, I'm sorry but Sean Lock's explanation is not based on reality. The constellations, for the most part, ignoring small changes due to the relatively small motions of the stars with respect to the solar system, look exactly the same as they did about 2000 years ago.

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      da Doctah
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      Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

      Postby da Doctah » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:20 pm UTC

      userxp wrote:Ahh, constellations. I have literally stared at some for minutes trying to see that warrior, lion, dog, or whatever that I was supposed to see there. I guess I am not imaginative enough or something.


      There's a book called The Stars: A New Way to See Them by H. A. Rey (yes, the guy who did the Curious George books). He starts with the idea that the ancients weren't completely stoned when they named the constellations and offers alternative ways of connecting the dots that actually do make most of them look more like what they're supposed to be. Leo in particular actually does look like a lion to me after exposure to that book, and not just in the illustrations; it jumps out at me in the night sky the same way the Big Dipper or Orion does.

      For the ones that still seem a little contrived, it might help to be grounded in the mythology; once you've decided that one group is the warrior Perseus, anything nearby it is potentially his rescuee Andromeda, the whale (Cetus) to which she was supposed to be sacrificed is in the same general neighborhood, and you may even be able to spot Andi's parents Cepheus and Cassiopeia looking on.

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      Re: 1020: "Orion Nebula"

      Postby addams » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:05 pm UTC

      xtifr wrote:The IAU? Those are the idiots who keep trying to convince us that Mercury is more like Jupiter than it is like Ceres, right? :)

      As for "the galaxy on Orion's Belt": I'm pretty sure that if you look deeply enough in the region of space delineated by the three-star asterism called Orion's Belt, you'll find any number of galaxies. The error in the movie is not that there is no galaxy—it's in saying the galaxy!


      I don't think that it was an error.
      There are many galaxies. One, just happened to be on the collar of a cat.

      I Loved the last scene in MIB. It is a moment that puts us in our place.

      For the ones that still seem a little contrived, it might help to be grounded in the mythology; once you've decided that one group is the warrior Perseus, anything nearby it is potentially his rescuee Andromeda, the whale (Cetus) to which she was supposed to be sacrificed is in the same general neighborhood, and you may even be able to spot Andi's parents Cepheus and Cassiopeia looking on.

      That is a really good post. Thank you. da Doctah
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