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The Futurama of Physics

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the good-news-everyone dept.

Math 150

MasaMuneCyrus writes "I was surprised to notice an article about Futurama in my latest American Physical Society news. Titled, 'Profiles in Versatility: The Futurama of Physics with David X. Cohen,' Cohen talks a little bit about his life and his love for physics, and he goes on to describe how he regularly injects graduate-level physics jokes into the script of Futurama. He also talks a little bit about the upcoming season of Futurama: 'In the 10th episode of the upcoming season, tentatively entitled "The Prisoner of Benda," a theorem based on group theory was specifically written (and proven!) by staffer/PhD mathematician Ken Keeler to explain a plot twist.'"

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150 comments

that was impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32212968)

but our real competition is the hypnotoad

Re:that was impressive (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213058)

I love hypnotoad. I always have and always will.

Re:that was impressive (5, Informative)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213160)

that goes without saying. everyone loves hypnotoad.

Re:that was impressive (1)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213226)

that goes without saying. everyone loves hypnotoad.

Then why did you say it. NON-BELIEVER!

Re:that was impressive (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213218)

I wish I could borrow hypnotoad on my next date: "You are feeling horny. You need some and you need some NOW. Hpynotoad has spoken."

Girl - "I...need...some...now. You'll do." (and rips off my clothes)

Yeah.

Okay back to reality. Another exciting Friday evening with Sci-Fi Channel Prime. Hmmmm.

Re:that was impressive (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214276)

This is tantamount to rape, FYI.

Re:that was impressive (1)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214370)

I dont love the........all hail the hypnotoad

Re:that was impressive (1)

senocular (519317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214844)

Meh. It's been going downhill since season 3.

Re:that was impressive (3, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213248)

ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD!

                       

Re:that was impressive (3, Informative)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213380)

http://r33b.net/ [r33b.net]

ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD!

                               

Re:that was impressive (1)

SeNtM (965176) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213402)

Sponsered by Torgos Executive Powder [theinfosphere.org] .

Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32212994)

Does the physicist-turned-comedy icon have any regrets? "What I do is ultimately not similar to physics or computer science," Cohen admits. "I would like to have lived two lives, to be a scientist in one... So of course I have regrets. Science is more important than what we do, although I do get a lot of satisfaction out of my work."

Surely you must take some solace or pride in the fact that the genre of sci-fi entertainment often sparks the scientist in people? And if it doesn't get them to become scientists, it at least drives a curiosity. Were it not for the enjoyment of many sci-fi novels as a kid, I would not be so interested in science and computers. Many older engineers I've worked with have given Star Trek a lot of credit for their early intrigue with physics. Surely Cohen can consider the cult popularity of Futurama and its return as a potential to be an enduring piece of entertainment that serves as a pilot light for young minds. Even though many of the Stanislaw Lem novels I read were humor or political satire, they caused me to wonder ... "what if?" Futurama makes physics entertaining and funny. Some would consider that very valuable as there's very little material out there that does that.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (4, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213094)

>>>the genre of sci-fi entertainment often sparks the scientist in people?

That is what Isaac Asimov said. Of course he continued to be a Physics professor, but he also wrote more entertainment books than any other SF writer. (Over 300 if I recall correctly.) He said science fiction sparked young people's imaginations, as well as problem-solving abilities, and that curiosity was a key component for any successful science student.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (3, Informative)

LoyalOpposition (168041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213346)

That is what Isaac Asimov said. Of course he continued to be a Physics professor...

Biochemistry, actually. Perhaps you're thinking of Richard Feynman.

~Loyal

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (1)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213730)

Interestingly enough, Richard Feynman was also the topic of an article [aps.org] in the latest edition of APS News. The article discusses Richard Feynman's artistic life in addition to his Physics life.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (2, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213798)

Surely you are joking, Mr. Asimov.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (4, Informative)

srothroc (733160) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213374)

He was a chemistry professor and he actually stopped being a full-time one when his writing career began to take off and he got too busy for it. Of course, his career included tons of educational books such as The World of Carbon and lots of quality, lesser-known annotations.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32213850)

He was a biochemistry professor at Boston University Medical School, and yes, he was on very low hours for the last half or so of his career as a biochemist (living 200 miles from the school where he notionally taught).

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213138)

P.S.

>>>Star Trek a lot of credit for their early intrigue with physics.

I wanted to be like Scotty or Geordi, but neither is really an engineer as it turns out. i.e. They don't design. They are more like technicians, trying to keep the existing systems (which some other engineer built) operational. I should have been that, instead of studying engineering. I think it would be more fun.

Oh well.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (2, Insightful)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213174)

So, lemme get this straight: You have to design to be an Engineer?

I better go inform all those Doctorates in my department they're not Engineers...

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32213554)

So, lemme get this straight: You have to design to be an Engineer?

I better go inform all those Doctorates in my department they're not Engineers...

That'd be a dickish thing to do, but you wouldn't be wrong.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214678)

What do they do that would earn them getting referred to as an engineer rather than a doctor? Imagine calling a doctorate in psychology who does research on lab rats a shrink. Same area, different roles.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32213186)

Preaching to the choir, my friend.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (2, Interesting)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213408)

Why would Starfleet put their ship designing engineers out in the middle of nowhere on already built and functioning starships? That'd be like putting the engineering (engine-ering) crew behind a desk with some paper and drafting tools.

 

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (3, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214696)

Because running into a critical design flaw that can only be fixed by a designer while a thousand light years from the nearest designer sucks? It's the same reason a space shuttle designer has flown on every mission.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32213426)

Some words have more than one definition.

engineer (nj-nîr) n.
1. One who is trained or professionally engaged in a branch of engineering.
2. One who operates an engine.
3. One who skillfully or shrewdly manages an enterprise.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (0, Redundant)

clong83 (1468431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213668)

Posting to undo down-modding... I meant to click "interesting", clicked "flamebait" instead.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (1)

clong83 (1468431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214548)

I know it's bad form to respond to yourself... But why am I modded redundant? Seriously? Off-Topic, perhaps, but generally I would expect that post to simply be ignored...

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214178)

Also, they never, ever got to score with hot chicks, alien or otherwise. Scotty was married to his engines, and La Forge, well, running joke. That's hardly going to entice nerds into the field of engineering/mechanics. Still, at least it didn't raise any false expectations either.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (2, Informative)

Movi (1005625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214462)

Ah, but O'Brien got promoted to engineer at DS9, and he scored a pretty hot asian!

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (4, Informative)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214196)

Those guys who drive trains? Yeah.

There have always been "design engineers" and "line engineers". Not all engineers design - many, perhaps most, keep complicated systems working properly (often manufacturing lines), but even line engineers do ad-hoc design from time to time, especially an engineer for something that gets shot at.

Of course, you're not a "real" engineer unless you roll explosives up to the castle gate under a hail of arrows - all those guys calling themselves engineers for the past 400 years are just posers, not to be taken seriously. ;)

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (2, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214254)

I disagree. Quite a few episodes have Scotty or Geordi finding a novel solution to a problem, and Scotty did invent the equations of teleporting onto a ship at warp. Sure, their day to day jobs are about fixing and maintaining, but they do show themselves as creative engineers when the time comes for it.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (3, Insightful)

Protoslo (752870) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214416)

I would agree that you have to design to be an engineer, but if you think that the Star Trek engineers don't design...you obviously haven't watched much Star Trek. Their skills are frequently called upon to design MacGuffins virtually from scratch that violate the laws of physics in innumerable ways. Not only are they engineers, they are cutting-edge theoretical (imaginary?) physicists.

And you want to call LaForge a technician? Ouch.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213252)

I know it's late on a Friday when an eldavojohn post only has a score of 2 on it. :p

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (1)

Cyclloid (948776) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213316)

Agreed

Yesterday's science fiction is today's technology which is obsolete tommorow. - Ok this a qoute or at least a paraphrase of one and I wish I knew who said it.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (1)

RobDude (1123541) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213782)

I don't know how much I would agree with that.

Most of the Sci-Fi from the 20s and 30s are still completely out of reach. Aliens, time travel, space travel, living on other planets, heck - even flying cars and robots that we have don't stand up compared to the sci-fi of the day.

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32213708)

But then it drives them to go to college, where we have already too many college graduates. I say we ban scifi!

Re:Cohen Should Abstain from Any Regret (1)

falzer (224563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213760)

> And if it doesn't get them to become scientists, it at least drives a curiosity.

This is why I still think manned space operations are important. Shallow, crude, unsophisticated sexiness.

Hey, how about you concentrate on the *comedy*? (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213014)

I was a huge fan of the series, but those movies were pretty atrocious. I'm not sure if they went with different writers, or maybe they were just off their game, but I sure hope the new season gets the old groove back. The math and physics jokes are funny, though, but even those seemed to be missing from the movies.

Re:Hey, how about you concentrate on the *comedy*? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213104)

I found the movie to be hilarious.

Re:Hey, how about you concentrate on the *comedy*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32213434)

I will say that just about every episode with a special guest star were the worst by far.

Re:Hey, how about you concentrate on the *comedy*? (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214016)

I will say that just about every episode with a special guest star were the worst by far.

This is practically universal for all T.V. shows. The primary purpose of special guest stars is to advertise the show (and in return the guest commonly gets to plug their pet project/cause), not to increase the entertainment value of the show. This is why you almost never have a "special guest appearance" without numerous commercials in the days/hours leading up to the episode all reminding the viewer of the guest star's appearance. In worst case scenarios [wikipedia.org] the writers shoehorn the guest star into the show at the sacrifice of dialogue, plot structure, and character consistency - sometimes even writing the entire episode to revolve-around/allow-for the guest star.

Re:Hey, how about you concentrate on the *comedy*? (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213606)

The problem with the movies was that they were all "message" movies. And often, the message was delivered with a sledgehammer.

"Bender's Game" probably had the least message of them all... and was probably funniest (but that's because I misspent my college years with polyhedral dice...)

Re:Hey, how about you concentrate on the *comedy*? (1)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214428)

They were great 30 minute episodes stretched into good feature length movies

Re:Hey, how about you concentrate on the *comedy*? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214806)

I was a huge fan of the series, but those movies were pretty atrocious. I'm not sure if they went with different writers, or maybe they were just off their game, but I sure hope the new season gets the old groove back.

They weren't as good because they were feature-length movies. The 20-something minutes of a TV comedy series often doesn't translate well into a movie-length narrative. 20-something minutes is a good amount of time to explore a particular scenario, you end up just stretching it too thin over a couple of hours.

Futurama's still on? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213048)

I thought FOX (bastards!) canceled that show over 5 years ago (along with Family Guy,Dilbert,Firefly,Lonegunmen,Brisco County,Sliders,Space Above and Beyond, .....). I guess there are drawbacks to not having cable tv. Oh well. Maybe Hulu has the new episodes.

Favorite episode - Why Frye saves the planet by playing Space Invaders. Classic.

Re:Futurama's still on? (4, Informative)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213116)

I thought FOX (bastards!) canceled that show over 5 years ago [...]

The bastards at Fox did cancel the show. The new episodes are going to run on Comedy Central.

Re:Futurama's still on? (2, Funny)

firehawk2k (310855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214504)

I thought FOX (bastards!) canceled that show over 5 years ago [...]

The bastards at Fox did cancel the show. The new episodes are going to run on Comedy Central.

I'm sorry, don't you mean the BOX network?

Re:Futurama's still on? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213132)

They did cancel it. The demand has been s high, it's coming back

Re:Futurama's still on? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32213178)

It's Friday night. I have no date, a bottle of Shasta, and an all Rush mix tape.

Re:Futurama's still on? (4, Insightful)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213180)

I thought FOX (bastards!) canceled that show over 5 years ago

They cancelled it. Internet community cried out it never had a chance with its programming and how it was the next evolution of the simpsons (they were getting old, and futurama connected with the upcoming technological revolutions), so after a few years (7 or so) they brought out movies of Futurama on DVD only to test the success and keep it alive resulting in 4 Futurama movies.

The DVD success has given them enough momentum to restart the series; first new episode will be aired the 24th this month if I recall this alright.

So, to me it's not that strange to see Futurama more in the media again and get it more weight at relaunch by showing the intelligence in it in science magazines and other media to draw in attention of people who would enjoy the humor alike.

I for one, am rejoicing! 10 years ago I enjoyed this series and devoured it, but maybe the world wasn't ready for it yet.

Re:Futurama's still on? (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213522)

They had to make room for such quality programming as "The War at Home" and "The Cleveland Show."

Re:Futurama's still on? (1)

orcateers (883419) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214094)

Its hard to say it "never had a chance" when it was on for five full seasons. Five seasons is a lot. Five seasons means the show was a success.

Re:Futurama's still on? (1, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214816)

They cancelled it. Internet community cried out it never had a chance with its programming and how it was the next evolution of the simpsons (they were getting old, and futurama connected with the upcoming technological revolutions)

Eh... I think you're overstating it. Futurama isn't- and I doubt was ever meant to be- "serious" sci-fi. It's basically a parody of mid-to-late twentieth century science fiction and its cliches.

It also relies heavily on the "take an aspect of present-day society and parody it by doing an absurdly high-tech/futuristic version of it" humour.

I don't think it was ever intended to be a remotely serious idea of what the future was like, which is why saying "futurama connected with the upcoming technological revolutions" is a bit OTT. Futurama isn't really about the future, except in a very humorous way. It's about the present and the past shows we grew up with.

Sure, it certainly includes some genuine geek humour that not everyone will get. This likely endears it to the later group, but it still doesn't make it serious sci-fi- and that isn't a criticism, because I don't think it was ever meant to be.

As for The Simpsons, I think you're mistaken in assuming that Futurama is its natural successor. For all its humour, Futurama is still more limited by its premise than The Simpsons' deceptively basic setup- which in fact is what made the latter so successful. It's also a more niche-appeal show, and always will be.

Re:Futurama's still on? (1)

SeNtM (965176) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213350)

Yes they did, but that is why Torgos Executive Powder [wikipedia.org] was created.

Re:Futurama's still on? (1)

unknownroad (988492) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214688)

It's Saturday night; I've got no date, a two liter bottle of Shasta, and my all-Rush mix tape... let's rock

Favorite Simpsons joke (0, Offtopic)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213054)

Nelson says, about something very difficult, "That's like asking what's the square root of a million - we may never know!"

Re:Favorite Simpsons joke (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213922)

I rather liked the "this perpetual motion machine [Lisa] made today is a joke. It just keeps going faster and faster. Lisa, get in here! In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!"

Re:Favorite Simpsons joke (1)

allo (1728082) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214260)

yes, that one is great. but lisa has some good quotes on her own: Brain i do not need you anymore, now i have friends!

No wonder Futurama is so awesome (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213146)

Whether a doomsday scenario is possible in the Universe of Futurama is of great interest to David X. Cohen, the show's Executive Producer and head writer, and a former writer and producer for The Simpsons. Cohen has a bachelor's degree in physics from Harvard and a master's degree in computer science from UC Berkeley, and is not afraid to use them.

The bolded part is the proof!

Re:No wonder Futurama is so awesome (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214862)

The bolded part is the proof!

Yeah, because we all know that Computer Science majors are the funniest guys on earth. Cohen's the exception, not the rule.

Comedy vs. drama (2, Funny)

sbjornda (199447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213254)

From the article:

Because Futurama is a comedy and not a drama like Star Trek

Star Trek not a comedy? Why didn't someone tell me I wasn't supposed to laugh?

--
.nosig

Re:Comedy vs. drama (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213802)

How dare you. The wrath of ./ shall descend upon your blasphemous head. Unless you were talking about the original. That WAS funny except for the OK Corral episode - that one was epic.

Re:Comedy vs. drama (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214380)

Hare dare you mock the original - Kick could totally kick Picard's ass. And he slept with more races of aliens than Worf got beaten by, which is saying something!

Actually, about half of the original series were pretty epic, and still stand up as top-drawer television SF writing today, while the bad ones were pretty amazingly bad. Funny how people don;t quite agree which were which, though.

Re:Comedy vs. drama (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213880)

Star Trek not a comedy? Why didn't someone tell me I wasn't supposed to laugh?

-- .nosig

Because the Captain forgot to say "Make it so"

Your orders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32213282)

Drop down, increase speed, and REVERSE DIRECTION!

So much for studying (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213312)

Haven't watched Futurama, now I guess I have to. Given it's a week before finals, I'll send slashdot an invoice for the credit hours I end up re-taking because I was busy watching cartoons instead of studying.

Degrees (2, Funny)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213340)

"Cohen has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard and a master’s degree in computer science from UC Berkeley" He obviously has too many degrees that he isn't using and is a detriment to the American economy. (snark)

An equation with two unknowns (1)

hkz (1266066) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213360)

“I believe this ‘paradoxicality’ equation to be unsolvable,” he says, pointing to the equation, E=9.87sin(2B)-7.53cos(B)-1.5sin(B), written on a blackboard. “Ergo, time travel is impossible. But I can’t quite prove it.”

So the humor here is that it's paradoxical to want to solve a single equation with two variables? Or am I being too geeky here? After all, the solution is *trivial*...

Re:An equation with two unknowns (2, Interesting)

pclminion (145572) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214230)

So the humor here is that it's paradoxical to want to solve a single equation with two variables? Or am I being too geeky here? After all, the solution is *trivial*...

Is it? It's quite possible that that equation has no solutions in the reals, though I can't be assed to work it out right now. Given Cohen's penchant for deep mathematical jokes, I wouldn't be surprised if the value of B is complex.

An equation with only complex solutions, where the solutions are supposed to be physical quantities, can in some sense be said to be "unsolvable," or rather, it has no true physical meaning because its solutions are not physical.

Re:An equation with two unknowns (1)

hkz (1266066) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214338)

Take B = Pi. Then E = 9.87*sin(2Pi) - 7.73*cos(Pi) - 1.5*sin(Pi) = 9.87*0 - 7.73*-1 - 1.5*0 = 7.73. (Assuming multiplication binds stronger than addition.) Not so complex, right? Am I overanalyzing this?

Re:An equation with two unknowns (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214432)

We don't know all the constraints. What if E must be greater than 100, for instance? It has no solutions.

My favorite line from Futurama... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32213388)

From episode 2-16, The Deep South, as the crew of the Planet Express ship are plunging to the bottom of the ocean...

Leela: "Depth at 45 hundred feet... 48 hundred, 50 hundred. 5,000 feet."
Professor: "Dear lord! That's over 150 atmospheres of pressure!"
Fry: "How many atmospheres can the ship withstand?"

wait for it...

Professor: "Well, it's a spaceship... so I'd say anywhere between zero and one."

Re:My favorite line from Futurama... (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213726)

Damn, no wonder the show got cancelled. Maybe one in ten may get the joke. Maybe.

Re:My favorite line from Futurama... (4, Funny)

RasputinAXP (12807) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213758)

My favorite was from Luck of the Fryrish:

  * Horse race announcer: It's a quantum finish! And the winner is-(Man holds up a board with the winning horse on it)

        Horse race announcer: Harry Trotter!
        Professor Farnsworth: No fair! You changed the outcome by measuring it!

Re: Dark Matter Drive (1)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214624)

" I understand how the engines work now. It came to me in a dream. The engines don't move the ship at all. The ship stays where it is and the engines move the universe around it."
Cubert Farnsworth

Re:My favorite line from Futurama... (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213892)

1 atmosphere? That's it? They better not be doing any deliveries to gas giants like Saturn or Jupiter.

Re:My favorite line from Futurama... (1)

rkanodia (211354) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213910)

I love that line too, but the pedant in me is compelled to ruin it. Certainly a ship that was intended for deliveries to other planets would have been designed with the atmospheres of other planets in mind, which are potentially much more pressurized than that of Earth (consider for instance the high-gravity planet where Zapp broke the hover dolly with a load of pillows). Of course, Farnsworth is old and senile...

Re:My favorite line from Futurama... (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213956)

Who knows what unit of measure the Futurama "atmosphere" is? Maybe it's based on the highest-pressure known planet!

Re:My favorite line from Futurama... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214042)

1 atmosphere = 33.7 ft/salt water
5000/33.7 = 148.4 atmospheres

5000 feet of salt water != 'over 150 atmospheres of pressure'. /yeah I went there.

Re:My favorite line from Futurama... (1)

FroBugg (24957) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214394)

Three errors: First, I've always seen the conversion given as either 33 feet or 10 m (which is actually 32.8), never 33.7. Second, the actual pressure varies slightly based on temperature and salinity. Third, you forgot to add the 1 atmosphere from the surface. So even if your 33.7 is accurate, it'd be 149.4 and fails to account for local variability.

Good news, everyone! (5, Funny)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213538)

I've invented a device that sneaks nerdy physics jokes into primetime programming!

...I've also invented a machine that makes you read this aloud in your head, in my voice!

Physics jokes are fun, but... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32213622)

Physics jokes are fun for physicists, but there seems to be a lack of technology/computers-related jokes in the movies.

Who can forget the easy "10 home, 20 sweet, 30 goto 10" joke from the first (was it the first?) episode, the "two reels of tape look like boobs" painting/poster, the nightmare of Bender "and I think I saw a TWO in there!", etc. It's fine to make obscure jokes that only 5% of the viewers will get (old hardware or stuff like that perhaps), just like not everyone gets all the physics jokes.

One exemple would be "Hey Fry, can I borrow 150 dollars? Sorry Bender, I only have 144. Oh, I can't store 144, that's where my speech processor is at.". The reference (of course) is the 220h default address of the Sound Blaster (220 hexadecimal = 144 decimal).

Not sure if time-travel paradoxes jokes are considered physics jokes, but I like those too.

They could also play with logic, similar to those fake Veridian Dynamics ads in Better Off Ted [wikipedia.org] . Watch "Friendship. It's the same as stealing." to see what I mean. It's logic and you can almost agree with all their points up until the end. Reminds me of the crazy MPAA ads before movies.

P.S.: we want more Amy! Half-naked Amy acting cute, charming and clumsy!

Re:Physics jokes are fun, but... (2, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213682)

Oh, I can't store 144, that's where my speech processor is at.". The reference (of course) is the 220h default address of the Sound Blaster (220 hexadecimal = 144 decimal).

You might want to check your math on that.

Re:Physics jokes are fun, but... (3, Informative)

damnfuct (861910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213870)

What they meant to say is that 220h = 144 in base-6.887363549594899...

Re:Physics jokes are fun, but... (1)

salahx (100975) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214894)

144 in decimal is 220 octal, however.

Re:Physics jokes are fun, but... (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214022)

It's the only time I've ever seen a base 16 number get converted to base 10 and get *smaller* :)

Re:Physics jokes are fun, but... (3, Interesting)

hkz (1266066) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213712)

Slashdot makes up for it by posting an X-Fry, X-Leela, X-bender or other header with every HTTP response. If you know it or not, you've received thousands of these witticisms (unless you're New Here.) X-Fry: Leela, Bender, we're going grave-robbing. X-Fry: Hooray, we don't have to do anything! X-Fry: I haven't had time off since I was twenty-one through twenty-four. X-Fry: How can I live my life if I can't tell good from evil?

Re:Physics jokes are fun, but... (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214002)

I never knew! That is so awesome :D

Re:Physics jokes are fun, but... (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214152)

For those who want to try this at home:

echo -e 'GET / HTTP/1.1\nHost: slashdot.org\n\n' | nc slashdot.org 80 | grep -E 'X\-(Fry|Leena|Bender)'

Re:Physics jokes are fun, but... (1)

eric-x (1348097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214298)

wget -S slashdot.org

Re:Physics jokes are fun, but... (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214334)

netcat is my hammer!

Re:Physics jokes are fun, but... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214006)

>>>220h default address of the Sound Blaster

My "sound blaster" was called Paula. She was a sexy sound chip, located inside my beautiful amiga, and produced near-CD quality sound in 1985 (when Macs and PCs just went beep).

Re:Physics jokes are fun, but... (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214480)

Paula? Fah. You had a burning romance with SID and you know it - not that there's anything wrong with that.

Re:Physics jokes are fun, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214916)

More of a play on words rather than a logic joke, but...

Professor Farnsworth: "There! I finished fine tuning my what-if machine. It can answer any what-if question accurate to within one tenth of a plausibility unit."
Leela: "That's so plausible I can't believe it!"

Oblig. Suppository (1)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213678)

"Good news, everyone -- it's a suppository!"

Sorry, I had to, please forgive me mods!

google generated slashvertisement (0, Troll)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213934)

Is this a new slashvertisement generated by Google and posted to Slashdot as a way to target nerds/geeks? Sure seemed to have all the key buzzwords in the summery: Physics, Graduate-level, Futurama, theorem, mathematician, upcoming and PhD

Physics jokes? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214368)

So y = r cubed over 3. And if you determine the rate of change in this curve correctly, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised...

Oh hey, I didn't see you guys all the way over there.

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