© Norman Sperling, December 22, 2011
I finally finished finals, that mad dash to pay careful attention to 60 handwritten exams in a little over 5 days. As usual, most of my students learned their material well. But the ~350 pages also harbored a few bloopers:
* Quasi-Stellar Radio Sources ... were discovered after World War II by radiologists.
* Cepheids are an example of a galaxy cluster that experiences meteor showers.
* Mars' atmosphere is too thin for gravity to hold Hydrogen to the surface. That is why we are on Earth.
* Now the Earth has a carbon atmosphere. Since there was life, it changed carbon into oxygen and nitrogen.
* A cluster of galaxies form gobular clusters. A a cluster of gobular clusters form the Universe.
For the last 2 years, I've asked my classes to regard the extremes of astronomy in current-culture terms, by turning them into "Yo Mama" and "Chuck Norris" jokes. Their offerings:
in orbital mechanics:
* Yo Mama's so fat that when we played baseball, the ball got stuck orbiting her.
* Yo Mama's so fat that she has other fat mamas orbiting around her.
* Yo Mama's so fat that she has a Roche Limit.
* Yo Mama's so fat that she has rings of her own.
* Ancients thought the Earth was the center of the Universe. They were close: Yo Mama's so fat that the whole Universe orbits her.
* The real reason for impact craters is that Chuck Norris uses the solar system as his punching bag.
on the H-R Diagram:
* Yo Mama's so fat that she's spectral type W.
in black holes:
* Yo Mama's so fat that she caused a singularity and created a black hole.
* Yo Mama's so fat that she would consume a singularity.
* Yo Mama's so fat that when she throws up, she makes a white hole.
* A black hole is the region of a singularity from which nothing can escape, not even light ... except for Chuck Norris.
* Chuck Norris uses worm holes to get to work.
in the Milky Way:
* That's not actually a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, that's just where Chuck Norris sets his barbells: right next to Yo Mama.
* although it is known how hydrogen, the stars and planets, and even how *we* were formed, it is still unknown how Chuck Norris was formed.
* Creation occurred when Chuck Norris round-house kicked in a vacuum, creating the Big Bang.
* The Universe exists so that Chuck Norris can exist.
* As long as Chuck Norris allows the Universe to function, we will continue to make new discoveries every day.