Sunday, January 27

Comets, Chile, chili, solid and steady

Every day the first Internet site I visit is Astronomy Picture of the Day. You should too!
For years I have watched as less-than-able American writers have infiltrated the media: newspapers, magazines, advertising and especially the Internet’s innumerable outlets. It seems they are “learning” their craft in universities where the instructors themselves aren’t very well educated. Recently I read a newspaper article where a horse got tangled in a cattle shoot. My reaction was “Oh chute!” Instructions on my new coffee maker stated that the heating indicator would change from blinking to solid. Steady on, I thought. This morning on the radio a CBS News reporter said the Congress was loathe to take on budget issues. He meant loath.

Ten year anniversary. That one really rankles. Whatever happened to Tenth Anniversary? And if I see another recipe that calls for chiles, I’ll reject it; I can’t imagine the difficulty of incorporating an entire South American country into my meal.

It’s disturbing how these writers/reporters/commentators don’t know the difference between it’s and its. You’re and your make up the subject of a funny piece of Facebook wisdom I recently downloaded and printed to stick on Karla’s desk.

Not to brag, but I learned all this stuff in elementary school.

So what does this have to do with comets? The intrepid news media brainiacs have given an approaching comet the name ISON. It could be one of the brightest comets in history. The name they gave it, though, is the acronym of the organization that announced its discovery, not its real designation which is C/2012 S1. ISON is the International Scientific Optical Network, a Russian astronomy organization. I guess it’s simpler to say ISON than Comet Nevski-Novichonok C/2012 S1, so I'll begrudgingly grant them their point. Their still dummys tho.

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