Aitch-Bar

Two Almost Physicists With Almost Something To Say


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Weekend Linktopus

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The Linktopus isn’t fucking around

BEHOLD! The multi-tenticled splendor of this blog’s ability to notice other things on the series of tubes— by reaching through them with its many tenticular arms. Or like an octopus learning how to open a jar to get at a crab. The funny link is the crab, trapped within in a sadistic experiment to test cephalopodular intelligence. Or maybe you, the reader are the crab. Hmm. I haven’t really thought this analogy through, but either way, Aitch-bar is the octopus.

\scriptstyle\Box   You know the Olympic Torch? How they always talk about “The Olympic Flame” in a way that implies it is a permanent thing, and how there are multiple stories regarding the many and varied methods they use to keep it lit while relaying it…the backups…the fuel canisters, etc. All of this has caused me to assume that there was some kind of fortified room in Athens where a permanent flame is kept alight. I always assumed that a continuous flame has been kept burning there, as it is at JFK’s tomb or whatever. And based on my non-scientific survey of nearly 3 other people, I wasn’t alone in this. How wrong I was.

At least it's parabolic

Celebrating the tradition of burying women alive if they violate virginity oaths.

The Olympic flame is relit every 2 years in a ceremony imitating Greek antiquity in the much the same way that Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas imitates ancient Rome. A group of eleven women representing the Vestal Virgins¹ have a little ceremony and then light it using a parabolic mirror, and hand it off to somebody, who runs away. (Fun fact: Vestal Virgins are Roman, not Greek. And they were dedicated to keeping a fire that was never to be extinguished, not one that is restarted and put out every 2 years.) It’s not a secret, they televise it and everything…just not in America I guess. The first awareness I usually have that the Olympics are about to happen are little blips on the news about so-and-so doing a portion of the relay, so the lighting with its weird fake toga ladies must not get much coverage.

Oh yeah, and the relay was invented for the 1936 games. By noted sports fan Joseph Goebbels.

\scriptstyle\Box   “Henri 2, Paw de Deux” won the first Internet Cat Video Festival. He and his human companion deserve it, the 2 min film is a masterpiece of feline ennui.

\scriptstyle\Box   Strange Maps points to a “Map of Physics” from 1939. A more current map would take up a tiny fraction, with the rest an inky darkness to represent the dark matter and dark energy that occupy so much of our thoughts and universe. Also, it would just be easier to draw.

What an unlikely landmass

No one is making a “Map of Chemistry.” Just Saying.

\scriptstyle\Box   If movie trailers were more honest with us, they’d look like this:

¹ When you are selected to pretend be a fake vestal virgin for this, but you’re in a relationship, does your role as a fake virgin enter your mind while you’re having sex? Do you think about whether you are less convincingly virginal? Do you try putting it on hold for a couple weeks while the ceremony is coming up and then go crazy once it’s over?