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Norman Sperling
2625 Alcatraz Avenue #235
Berkeley, CA 94705-2702

cellphone 650 - 200 - 9211
eMail normsperling [at] gmail.com

Norm Sperling’s Great Science Trek: 2014

San Luis Obispo
Santa Barbara
Palm Springs
Death Valley
Tucson
El Paso
Corpus Christi
Baton Rouge
Tampa
Everglades
Key West
Winter Star Party, Scout Key
Miami

MARCH 2014:
up the Eastern seaboard
mid-South

APRIL 2014:
near I-40, I-30, and I-20 westbound

MAY 2014:
near US-101 northbound
May 17-18: Maker Faire, San Mateo
May 23-26: BayCon, Santa Clara

California till midJune

JUNE 2014:
Pacific Northwest

JULY 2014:
Western Canada, eastbound

AUGUST 2014:
near the US/Can border, westbound
August 22-on: UC Berkeley

Speaking engagements welcome!
2014 and 2015 itineraries will probably cross several times.

My Students, Yo Mama, and Chuck Norris

© 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.

in Cratering:
* 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.

in Cosmology:
* 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.

The Journal of Irreproducible Results
This Book Warps Space and Time
What Your Astronomy Textbook Won't Tell You

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