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No Black Hole Or Magnetic Monopole: Tunguska Really Was a Meteor

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the what-about-aliens dept.

Space 128

davide-nature writes "The mysterious blast that flattened 2,000 square km of a remote Siberian forest in 1908 has been blamed on the most bizarre causes, such as an exotic elementary particle left over from the Big Bang, a black hole or, of course, aliens, including in the double-episode 'Tunguska' of The X-Files. But a new analysis of tiny rock samples suggests that a more mundane explanation — a meteor exploding in the atmosphere — may be the right one. The blast is estimated to have packed between 3 and 5 megatons, 10 times the energy of the meteor that exploded over Russia earlier this year."

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Niggers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978537)

I'm a nigger. Deal with it, honky.

Re:Niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978567)

No, you are a black hole...

Re:Niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978783)

But "muh dik" is like a meteor.

Re:Niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978885)

shooting really fast into the atmosphere?

Re:Niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978923)

No, into your mom's tight cunt.

Re:Niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43979625)

Just like I do to your sister's black holes...

Re:Niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43979863)

She is a ho.

Re:Niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978701)

It's like a nigga, who's in the hole,
It's like a nigga, he's on the dole!

It's like a nigga, he's fantastic,
It's like a nigga, he's niggatastic!

Re:Niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978789)

heh. this made chuckle a bit.

Re:Niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43979221)

What happens when the nigger faith comes together? Is it like a Monco in the park or a Joey in the breeze?

Re:Niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43980011)

It's like Monco bottoming Joey in the park while riding a breeze.

Space Plane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978547)

This was weapons test. Space Plane's top secret mission was to fly to the nearby asteroid and slice a chunk of it off. Then bring it over on a gravity tether and launch it into Russian air space. The mass and launch velocity was carefully calculated to cause only injury.

Re:Space Plane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978781)

Never mind; wrong meteor event.

Well I'm Glad That's Solved (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978559)

Now I can go back to being terrified about terrorists. The black hole thing really had me pissing myself.

Re:Well I'm Glad That's Solved (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978791)

Unless the terrorists have a black hole they haven't been telling us about...

Re:Well I'm Glad That's Solved (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about a year ago | (#43979523)

they do. It's called syria.

Re:Antimatter (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#43982423)

Old encyclopedias circa 1960 listed Tunguska as a possibly caused by anti-matter.

Which would have been more interesting than the ho-hum "just a meteor" explanation.

Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (5, Insightful)

saturnianjourneyman (2913341) | about a year ago | (#43978613)

Wasn't aware there was any controversy about this. I always thought it was believed to be a meteor or comet. Of course, I underestimated the power of human imagination. I shouldn't be surprised that some people out there thought it was OMG ALIENS or maybe a strange dark matter bomb placed by the Romulans. After all, if there's a needlessly complicated, idiotic rationale for how the Pyramids have straight walls, there must be one for a giant explosion in Siberia.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (4, Informative)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about a year ago | (#43978691)

I agree because clearly the ancient egyptians couldn't possibly have though to tie two sticks together at a 90 degree angle and dangle a string weighted to make a plum line. I mean really.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978771)

How would they know the sticks were at a 90 degree angle? Aliens remain the simplest explanation without resorting to geometric constructions(which are hard); therefore, Ocams Razor requires the Alien theory to be used.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#43978917)

How would they know the sticks were at a 90 degree angle?

How did the Romans figure out how to build the aqueducts, and great feats of engineering? Mathematics+trial and error. The belief that only 'advanced people' could build things like that is an unbelievable amount of hubris. Being realistic, we really don't know how many dark ages we've passed through, except those that really stand out.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43980873)

Well, it couldn't have been too many, because fossils.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#43981693)

Well, it couldn't have been too many, because fossils.

Let's take oh the last 10k years, then burn 50-70% of the advancements every 500 years give or take a bit. Tell me how many times you'd be crawling back up and over the same path again.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

Zorpheus (857617) | about a year ago | (#43983527)

You believe that there has been an epoch with an advanced culture with lots of large buildings, and archaeologists completely missed that? Seems unlikely that they find bones from all times, but can't find remains of houses or technology anymore.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (4, Informative)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | about a year ago | (#43978943)

How would they know the sticks were at a 90 degree angle? Aliens remain the simplest explanation without resorting to geometric constructions(which are hard)...

A right angle is one of the simplest geometric constructions there is. You can construct the perpendicular to a line at any point with three applications of a compass (which can be as simple as a marking device on the end of a string) and one use of a straightedge.

http://www.mathopenref.com/constperplinepoint.html [mathopenref.com]

There is also the 3-4-5 right triangle, which only requires the ability to produce edges which are integer multiples of a reference length.

Completely unrelated to the topic at hand... (-1, Troll)

denzacar (181829) | about a year ago | (#43980359)

I only write this to announce that I accept your animosity and give you in turn my own.

To the death, then! Knave.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a year ago | (#43978971)

All you need to make a 90 degree angle is something that you can fold. Take a piece of paper (or papyrus) and fold it, then fold it again so that the two straight edges are together and bingo, you have a right angle.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (2)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year ago | (#43978993)

You and the posters above you need to fix your sarcasm detectors. They were joking...

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43979131)

Probably, but when did you last check the batteries in your "batshit crazy" detector?

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

Darby (84953) | about a year ago | (#43979583)

when did you last check the batteries in your "batshit crazy" detector?

I believe you'll find that those run on a mixture of zero point energy and unicorn farts.
Trust me on this one. Mine's on the fritz and I'm working up a new fuel cell charger using /dev/zero for that part.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#43979945)

Of course you can run devices from your /dev/zero. But can you power the host using less power than it outputs to /dev/zero? I happens to know a guy who have a friend whose cousin's stepfathers's uncle knows a scientist who claim to to it! It is real man, big oil conspiracy and all!!!!

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (2)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year ago | (#43979985)

If you want real power you need to pipe dev/zero and dev/random simultaneously to dev/null. Only then can you create more power than you use.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43980869)

aren't the unicorn farts contributing to global warming?

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

Skrapion (955066) | about a year ago | (#43979237)

Roy Underhill: You're making a square, I've got to ask, how did you make that first square?
Chris Schwarz: I shot it on a shooting board.
Roy Underhill: How did you get the shooting board square?
Chris Schwarz: I used somebody else's shooting board.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43980619)

Wow, a Woodwright's shop quote on Slashdot. Mr. "My trademark is bloody fingerprints on my work" is awesome.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (3, Interesting)

Comrade Ogilvy (1719488) | about a year ago | (#43979261)

The serious answer to the joking rhetorical question is that tile layers who like to play geometric patterns stumbled upon the properties of the 3-4-5 triangle. That 3*3 + 4*4 = 5*5 is completely obvious when the tile pattern is laying down right in front of you. It is trivial to demonstrate a triangle is right (or at least that is so extremely close to be a right triangle that no one cares about its variance) by physical inspection, applying a folding/flipping operation. The nature of such triangle became common enough knowledge, even if the proof did not come into existence for a long time later. The hard part is figuring out what to try and prove.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43980085)

Sure, drag Pythagoras into this argument.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43979557)

Bisecting a line with a compass (something that existed back then) gives a "perfect" 90 degree angle with a margin of error of the width of the pencil/string used. It's simple geometry that I covered in the 3rd grade. Such concepts pre-date the pyramids.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (2)

snakeplissken (559127) | about a year ago | (#43981065)

How would they know the sticks were at a 90 degree angle? Aliens remain the simplest explanation without resorting to geometric constructions(which are hard)

but how would the aliens know how to make a 90 degree angle? OMG! even the aliens have aliens, it's worse than i thought!

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43983663)

Use two other sticks to complete the square and a piece of string to check the diagonals are the same?

Obviously it needs to be ALIEN string.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

sysrammer (446839) | about a year ago | (#43980309)

Kudos. You went fishing and filled your stringer.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43981509)

...and dangle a string weighted to make a plum line.

In Egypt, wouldn't that be a date line? Or am I just plumb wrong?

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43983793)

Your theory is no good.. They had no plums in Egypt then.....

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#43978811)

Clearly the Tunguska explosion was the result of a Sasquatch convincing the Loch Ness Monster to try chewing tobacco.

Either that or Mikey traveled time when he tried the pop rocks and cola.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (2)

The Grassy Knoll (112931) | about a year ago | (#43982799)

Well, according to 2000AD Prog 81 (yes, I'm old), some researchers were sent back in time to find out what happened. They appeared over Tunguska moments before the explosion, were converted to anti-matter and Bob's your uncle. Florix Grabundae .

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

gtall (79522) | about a year ago | (#43983027)

You are way off. This was clearly a trial run for the World Trade Center attack. If the Kennedy Assassination hadn't happened, we'd have had Mafia hitmen doing the deed on 9/11.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978925)

Of course there is controversy. Every single fact/opinion/theory in the world has some amount of controversy, because there are plenty of people who simply refuse to believe anything they are told and would rather believe that everything is due to aliens or conspiracies or whatever.

(edit, Captcha: quacks)

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43979801)

"What time is it?"

"Uhmm... 12:30"

"That's just what the government wants you to think maan! They're using mind control drugs on you! Time is just an illusion perpetuated by the illuminati to force us into buying sleeping pills from the drug companies, which are actually more mind control drugs maaaan!"

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978939)

No, I thought everyone knew that this was a terrible side effect of Tesla's experiments with broadcast power.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43979041)

Wasn't aware there was any controversy about this. I always thought it was believed to be a meteor or comet.

Well, that's clearly because they already brainwashed you. Only those of us who are FREE and can think for ourselves understood the TRUTH behind it. Now it turns out we were wrong, of course, but THE POINT STILL STANDS!

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43982693)

Let me tell you a secret. The Bush administration performed time travel experiments. Karl Rove him self was head of the project. The goal was to go to Mexico in the beginning of August 1940, contact Leon Trotsky, leave a clone for the Soviets, take the real Trotsky back to our time and make him the Republican president candidate of 2008. It failed. Badly.

When the machine was activated quantum effects started turning the agent to uranium. This change in the mass messed up their calculations of time and place. There was no time for running new calculations. The risk of reaching critical mass was to high. They had to get rid of him. So they pushed the "send" button.

When they checked the parameters they had used they found out that the body of the dead agent had ended up in Russia, 1908. Do you know what happens to uranium when it explodes? It turns to iron. What did the scientist find? Iron. Was Trotsky the Republican candidate in '08? No. They had to use the clone in stead. QED

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (2)

Capt.Albatross (1301561) | about a year ago | (#43979507)

Wasn't aware there was any controversy about this. I always thought it was believed to be a meteor or comet. Of course, I underestimated the power of human imagination.

I think there was a tiny window of doubt because no large remnant could be found, but 'icy comet fragment' and 'explosion at altitude' were always plausible explanations for that, even before the Chelyabinsk meteor convincingly demonstrated the latter.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

AchilleTalon (540925) | about a year ago | (#43981933)

The one-Alien-fits-all explanation of everything must be scaled down since we know a journey to Mars will expose prospective candidates to deadly doses of radiations from cosmic rays. It must be understood alien supposedly to travel from another stellar system or even another galaxy have to be exposed to a much more higher dose of radiations at a point even the radiation resistant bacteria http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deinococcus_radiodurans [wikipedia.org] wouldn't survive itself.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

gtall (79522) | about a year ago | (#43983041)

Aliens come here by skipping dimensions. They get up, have their coffee, jump into Mr. Dimension, and bingo, they're here to annoy us Earthlings with anal probes. The only interesting part is that no one knows what they get out it except a few yucks: Hey Zaphod, you'll never guess what I found.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43981973)

In fact a remember a few years ago hearing a radio interview with a meteorite expert where he uttered the line "like the meteor in Tunguska". It came up again with the more recent meteor seen in the sky in Russia where the difference in the strength of the shock waves was mentioned.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | about a year ago | (#43981987)

Some had thought it was a comet, but here's the thing: people would have distinctly seen the "tail" of even a small comet as it approached the Earth, entered the atmosphere, and then detonated over Tunguska. The detonating meteor theory makes more sense, since you normally can't see the meteor with the naked eye before it enters the atmosphere and if the small meteor enters the atmosphere at a shallow angle at 35,000 to 40,000 mph, the atmospheric friction would be strong enough to cause the small meteor to literally detonate maybe a mile or so above the surface of the Earth.

Re:Hm, wasn't aware there was any controversy (1)

Capt.Albatross (1301561) | about a year ago | (#43983509)

Some had thought it was a comet, but here's the thing: people would have distinctly seen the "tail" of even a small comet as it approached the Earth,

Comet's tails tend to fade away as the surface volatiles get used up.

Best explanation for Tunguska (2)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#43978675)

Re:Best explanation for Tunguska (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43979141)

Blocked in the US and I'm too lazy to route around it. Somebody be a lamb and post a US-capable link.

Re:Best explanation for Tunguska (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year ago | (#43979189)

It's not blocked.

Re:Best explanation for Tunguska (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | about a year ago | (#43979733)

Maybe the AC just thinks he's in the US (and is wrong)? I'm pretty sure I am and the link worked fine for me. Wait, maybe I'm the one who is wrong?!?

Re:Best explanation for Tunguska (1)

CrashandDie (1114135) | about a year ago | (#43982583)

It is blocked in France, however.

Re:Even better explanation for Tunguska? (1)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about a year ago | (#43982559)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spsnQWtsUFM

Great documentary and sound theory but the music did not inspire me.
So I made a version of my own.
Here is my version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHA9BkCAvMM [youtube.com]

It's amazing (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978817)

It's amazing that so many people preferred/prefer to believe that black holes or UFO's were the cause of the Tunguska event. Why is it so hard, for some people, to believe the most probable cause, a meteor, was the cause? Just looking at the moon shows that meteor impacts are not uncommon.

Re:It's amazing (4, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43979157)

Because, like most conspiracy theories, believing in them makes you feel cleverer than the sheeple around you.

Re:It's amazing (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#43982951)

The lack of an impact crater has obviously confused innumerable people over the last 100yrs or so, many of them lack the skill to determine the most probable cause and distrust "experts", others see that as an opportunity for fun and/or profit.

As an example, I saw a doco once called "The sidewalk astronomer", basically the guy would set up a decent telescope on a city street (LA, IIRC) and invite people to have a free look at either the moon or the sun. The vast majority of people were appreciative of the gesture and more than a few were clearly awestruck by what they had just seen for the first time. However at one point a middle class, middle aged, woman walked up and started to lecture him for "lying to people", she claimed (paraphrased) "God did not put blemishes on the Sun", when he calmly invited her to look for herself she refused, got even more agitated and stormed off.

Go to any slashdot thread on AGW and you will find education just doesn't work with a small minority of people, I fell into the same trap as a young man in the 70's, for a couple of years I firmly believed people could bend spoons with their mind. Fortunately education did work for me and I was able to see that I had simply been conned by a clever magician and taken for a ride by publishers, as a result I'm never sure whether to laugh or cry at such monumental hubris when I see it in others.

BTW: My personal story above is a damming incitement of HS science in the 60's and 70's. I dropped out of HS (missed the final year) with excellent grades in what are now called "STEM" subjects but I had absolutely no idea that Science was a philosophy or that "The Enlightenment" was the implementation of that philosophy.

Re:It's amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43983439)

Spoon Benders are employed for the express purpose of A) wasting people's energy and attention on trivial bullshit so that they don't notice the real stuff or form any rational networks to deal with it. And failing this, B) embarrassing young thinkers so that they fear looking at anything outside the box ever again.

Alex Jones, for instance, is a modern day Spoon Bender.

It's an effective tactic, if you're managing a few billion chickens. That's the sad part. It's hard to love and respect the human race when it's so easily managed.

As Sagan explained in the 80s or so.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978945)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irVof7adq4s

We all know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43978975)

It was Nikola Tesla's deathray experiment gone wrong, or right depending on how you look at it.

Too much space junk (2)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#43978989)

Only in recent years has it become clear how much loose rock is floating around this solar system. Big hits are rare, but near misses of objects in the multi-ton range are not.

Dash cam video (2)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about a year ago | (#43978991)

So where is the dash cam video to prove it?

Re:Dash cam video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43979241)

I've got one, but it's a bit small and grainy as they didn't have HD back then.

tesla tower (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43979017)

ofcourse:)

megatons != megatonnes of TNT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43979175)

"The blast is estimated to have packed between 3 and 5 megatons."

I'm assuming they mean megatonnes of TNT, a common unit of explosive energy for things like this.

Unfortunately, megatons as used in the summery is a unit of weight. If that was the wight of the meteor, things would have been very different.

Thankfully, its only the summery thats crap here, TFA says "an estimated 3 to 5 megatonnes of TNT equivalent". So, it says what the actual unit is "megatonnes of TNT equivalent" not "megatons". Different type on ton/tonne (~10% error from that), as well as missing half the definition of the unit.

Re:megatons != megatonnes of TNT (3, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year ago | (#43979285)

*facepalm* "Megaton" and "megatonne" are the same thing they are just variant spellings. They both mean 1 million ton(nes). The term is also used to refer to 1 million ton(ne)s of TNT as in the measure of TNT equivalence, but the distinction you claim does not exist.

Re:megatons != megatonnes of TNT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43979525)

...but are you sure that the Aliens who launched the meteor at us didn't calculate its power in base 2? Perhaps it was between 3 and 5 Mibiton(ne)s...

Re:megatons != megatonnes of TNT (1)

steamraven (2428480) | about a year ago | (#43979887)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonne [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_ton [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ton [wikipedia.org]

Interesting read. I did not know that a ton (in the US) does not weigh the same as a tonne or a ton (in UK), though they are all measures of weight. Both can also be used for measure of energy through equivalence with a mass of TNT.

    Fascinating language English is.

Re:megatons != megatonnes of TNT (1)

brisk0 (2644101) | about a year ago | (#43981507)

Tonnes are a measure of mass, not weight. Tons appear to be interchangeable (on the surface of Earth).

Re:megatons != megatonnes of TNT (1)

gtall (79522) | about a year ago | (#43983053)

The difference is that you pronounce megatonne with a British accent, otherwise no one can understand you.

Re:megatons != megatonnes of TNT (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43979909)

No, you are mistaken. A bomb is 5 megatons. But it weighs much less than that. Just like cooling can be given as "tons" or "tonnes" interchangeably, without regard to the weight of the cooling system or objects being cooled (referring to a BTU conversion of ice cooling). A short hand, sufficiently shortened, becomes detached entirely from the initial meaning. "of TNT" is implied and not required for unambiguous meaning.

Re:megatons != megatonnes of TNT (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year ago | (#43981631)

Unfortunately, megatons as used in the summery is a unit of weight.

Actually, no, as used in the summary, it's a unit measuring explosive force. The author assumes the reader is a competent speaker of the English language, where many words have multiple meanings that are distinguished from one another by the context in which they are used. Alas, on the internets, you find a great many people do not speak or understand English competently... including many for whom it's their native language. Go figure...

Larry Niven's going to be disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43979225)

That's 2 down.

Re:Larry Niven's going to be disappointed (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about a year ago | (#43979725)

I don't think we are in the Known Space universe. More like the State.

We're not in Known Space, Toto! (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about a year ago | (#43979841)

We've known for a long time that we're not in Known Space. In our universe, Mercury's day isn't the same length as its year as it is in Known Space.

Bull hockey (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43979431)

It was an interdimensional cross rip

Monopoles were common before 1890s (2, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#43979511)

It is not a well known, but the fact was magnetic monopoles were quite common before 1890s. Most people would just buy one pole, two was considered a needless luxury or waste. But the Big Magnet did not like it and wanted to double their sales. Their magnets with both the north and the south pole languished on the shelves, unable to, ahem, attract customers. So the lobbied congress, and as usual they added a completely irrelevant rider to Sherman anti-trust legislation [wikipedia.org] and banned monopoles as well as cartels, trusts and collusion. Pretty soon they stopped making them.

Re:Monopoles were common before 1890s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43980077)

Cliff, is that you?

Re:Monopoles were common before 1890s (1)

jbburks (853501) | about a year ago | (#43980417)

Banned monopoles?

Does that mean we're going to have more of those fake-tree cellular towers? I like the monopoles better.

Re:Monopoles were common before 1890s (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43980891)

No mention of the east or west magnetic poles.... It's A ConsPiracy!

Meteor? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#43979609)

Meteoroid!

Re:Meteor? (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#43979759)

Meteoroids are in space; meteors burn up (or explode?) in the atmosphere, meteorites strike earth.

Re:Meteor? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#43979781)

A meteor is the visible phenomenon, a 'shooting star'.

Re:Meteor? (1)

Xtifr (1323) | about a year ago | (#43981323)

Man I love people who offer opinions about language without even checking the most basic references. (Which, in my experience, is about 95% of all self-appointed "grammar nazis").

Collins English Dictionary:

meteor n
1. (Astronomy) a very small meteoroid that has entered the earth's atmosphere. Such objects have speeds approaching 70 kilometres per second
2. (Astronomy) Also called shooting star or falling star; the bright streak of light appearing in the sky due to the incandescence of such a body heated by friction at its surface

(Bolding mine.)

So, you were both right, but insofar as you were trying to suggest that OP was wrong, you were wrong. Heck, his definition was listed first!

I now fully expect you to fall back on the "professional lexicograpers don't know as much about language as my high-school teacher, who is the ultimate arbiter of all matters linguistic!", which is the usual defense of most misguided grammar nazis (a phrase which is very nearly redundant). :)

Discussion is over (1)

geantvert (996616) | about a year ago | (#43982417)

Godwin! I saw it first! What did I win?

Dyatlov Pass Incident - that's some strange stuff (1)

Smerta (1855348) | about a year ago | (#43981321)

Anyone here ever hear about the Dyatlov Pass Incident [wikipedia.org] in Russia?

Now that is a truly interesting, bizarre, and difficult to understand/explain happening...

Re:Dyatlov Pass Incident - that's some strange stu (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | about a year ago | (#43982867)

Skeptoid covered this: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4108 [skeptoid.com]

He usually does a good job at covering the evidence and aht it means for the different theories.

The wackjobs on Vortex-L (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43981459)

are claiming this is evidence of LENR (aka cold fusion). Jebus!

Who knew? Everyone! (1)

Barryke (772876) | about a year ago | (#43982605)

In other news, the explosion was said not to be caused by a teapot bearing the label "made on earth".

subject (1)

Legion303 (97901) | about a year ago | (#43983559)

Other things that probably didn't cause the Tunguska event: demons, kangaroos, cell phone radiation, the moon hitting your eye like a big pizza pie.

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