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ESA's Cluster Spacecraft Makes Shocking Discovery

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the celestial-shocker dept.

Space 137

A recent observation by the ESA's Cluster Spacecraft was able to finally prove a 20-year-old theory. "On 24 January 2001, the four Cluster spacecraft were flying at an approximate altitude of 105 000 kilometres, in tetrahedron formation. Each spacecraft was separated from the others by a distance of about 600 kilometres. With such a distance between them, as they approached the bow shock, scientists expected that every spacecraft would record a similar signature of the passage through this region. Instead, the readings they got were highly contradictory. They showed large fluctuations in the magnetic and electric field surrounding each spacecraft. They also revealed marked variations in the number of solar wind protons that were reflected by the shock and streaming back to Sun."

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Who else... (-1)

Wolvie MkM (661535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19120865)

.... Looked up tetrahedron because they didn't remember their Grade 10 geometry? Anyone? Come on!

Re:Who else... (0, Offtopic)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 7 years ago | (#19120935)

I have nothing to say and I'm saying it.

Who else... (5, Funny)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121025)

... didn't have to look up tetrahedron because they roll d4's every weekend?

Re:Who else... (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121095)

Who else didn't know what a tetrahedron was until the above poster noted that it was the shape of a 4 sided die?

Re:Who else... (2, Funny)

ender- (42944) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121893)

[sigh] me... :(

Which in a way is odd, as I never got that into D&D and I haven't used a 4-sided die in many years.
Still sad.

Re:Who else... (4, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19122527)

That's why they were effected with a bow shock.

You're supposed to do your saving throws with a 20-sided die. You'll never save against anything with a tetrahedron.

Re:Who else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19122621)

Who else didn't know what a d4 was until the above poster noted that it was a 4 sided die?

Re:Who else... (5, Funny)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 7 years ago | (#19122679)

and finally: Who knew what a tetrahedron was, but didn't know what a "d4" was until the above poster stated it was a die with 4 sides?

Re:Who else... (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19123129)

One more: Who else despairs about the state of the education system when people don't know the meaning and etymology of tetra- [etymonline.com] without examples? Do the d4 rollers know what a tetrapod without comparing it to various monsters?

Tetrahedral Walker (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19123267)

Check out the movies on this page [nasa.gov] for a tetrahedron you'll remember. Also it's the shape of the ammonium molecule, if you've done some organic chemistry that's burned into your mind.

Re:Who else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19123333)

Who else didn't know what either a tetrahedron or a 4 sided die look like until they looked it up?

Re:Who else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121983)

...didn't have to look up tetrahedron because they roll d4's every weekend?

Who else rolls 4 J's every weekend?

Re:Who else... (1)

stanmann (602645) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121093)

YOu could have at least posted the answer too.

Yeah, but not for 'tetrahedron.' (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121137)

No; however, I did have to look up bow shock [wikipedia.org] , which frankly I think probably should have been linked in the summary.

Basically it's the 'wave' that precedes the sun or a planet as it passes through space, somewhat similar to the standing wave that you'd see in front of a big tanker ship going through the water. (Particularly one without a bulbous bow.) Rather than water, it's the solar wind that's being disrupted by the body's passage.

Neat diagram on Wikipedia, too.

Re:Yeah, but not for 'tetrahedron.' (1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121565)

No; however, I did have to look up bow shock, which frankly I think probably should have been linked in the summary.

The article explained it.

Re:Yeah, but not for 'tetrahedron.' (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121607)

This is /. and we don't need no stinkin' articles.

Actually, I had the urge to know what a bow shock was before reading the article. I read the summary, my brain didn't recognize what a bow shock was, so I went and looked it up right then. Kind of an obsessive habit, I guess.

Re:Yeah, but not for 'tetrahedron.' (1)

buttle2000 (1041826) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121595)

I do have to see the northern or southern lights while I'm here.

Long-delayed echoes and magnetosphere shock waves? (4, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#19120871)

Could a solar near-magnetosphere bow-shock wave be the cause of long-delayed echoes [google.com] ? These are echoes of radio signals that are no multiple of the distances to likely objects. The average ham who is active on HF hears about one a year.

Bruce

Re:Long-delayed echoes and magnetosphere shock wav (2, Interesting)

i_like_spam (874080) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121313)

Why is this discovery so shocking if there is a 20-year-old theory that explains the observations?

Usually the most shocking discoveries are the ones not described by any theories.

Re:Long-delayed echoes and magnetosphere shock wav (4, Informative)

KutuluWare (791333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121541)

A comment made near the end of TFA may help explain why it's so "shocking":

Although the conditions that cause the reformation of a shock wave are rare around the Earth, they are common around these other celestial objects.
I would interpret this, in context with the rest of the article, to mean that the phenomenon measured by the Cluster doesn't normally happen around Earth. After all, we've been sending spacecraft out past the moon since long before 2001, so these can't be the first to get a chance to measure the region. I believe the point of the article was that these fluctuations were predicted in 1985, but until 2001, none of the measurements of Earth's bow shock supported the theory. The ESA was fully expecting similar readings this time around, but "shockingly" got readings that proved the 20-year-old theory. --K

Re:Long-delayed echoes and magnetosphere shock wav (3, Insightful)

crumley (12964) | more than 7 years ago | (#19123671)

I think as much as anything this observation didn't happen before, because Cluster is the first mission to fly spacecraft in relatively tight formation in the correct location. Even with with Cluster, orbital dynamics are such that magnetopause and bow shock crossings do not happen that often, so there is not that much data on them.

As for shocking, I think that is just a bad joke. Though these are nice results, I don't think that anyone is that surprised by them.

Re:Long-delayed echoes and magnetosphere shock wav (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121639)

Umm... I think the headline is supposed to be a joke. The discovery was made at the Earth's "bow shock," therefore it is "shocking." Ha ha ha. Apparently neither the readers of /. nor the person who wrote the article have a sense of humor.

Re:Long-delayed echoes and magnetosphere shock wav (1)

AmiAthena (798358) | more than 7 years ago | (#19122305)

When I clicked on the link to this, I just naturally assumed "shocking" was going to be another terrible electricity pun.

Re:Long-delayed echoes and magnetosphere shock wav (1)

10Neon (932006) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121869)

It is a pun on "bow shock," the phenomenon that was observed by the spacecraft.

ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121425)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, GTFO.
If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, GTFO.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, GTFO.
If the name "Clarus" means nothing to you, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real [imageshack.us] Mac [imageshack.us] users [imageshack.us] . Keep your filthy, beige [imageshack.us] PC fingers to yourself.

Re:ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19122293)

Yeah, listen to this guy! I tried to switch to the Mac, but I got so tired of never being able to get the shit smell off my dick. It was really embarrassing.

Re:ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19122519)

I went through a phase like that when I first used PCs again. You should really pay attention to your wife. She loves it up the ass.

Re:Long-delayed echoes and magnetosphere shock wav (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121717)

There is much about our world we don't yet know or understand. My thoughts first turned to Tesla on reading the summary, primarily the stories regarding him pulling energy from a natural flow of energy. Your comment makes me wonder further if this or similar phenomena could be used for energy storage or data storage. The big question of course being how we tap into it, which I surely can't answer because I don't even have the level of physics background to be asking the question or making the suggestion.

Re:Long-delayed echoes and magnetosphere shock wav (1)

crumley (12964) | more than 7 years ago | (#19123565)

Bruce, Many regions of the magnetosphere [nasa.gov] seem like possibilities for LDEs, including the bow shock or the magnetopause. There are articles looking into these possible sources linked to from one of the pages [df5ai.net] your search pops. The consensus seems to be that magnetospheric causes are unlikely.

Re:Long-delayed echoes and magnetosphere shock wav (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 7 years ago | (#19123673)

Very interesting Bruce! I've not heard of these before but I'll be on the listen from now on. Thanks!

-Joe W7COM

Flight Recorder Captured it (5, Funny)

joeflies (529536) | more than 7 years ago | (#19120881)

Wesley Crusher testified that the squadron was in Diamond Slot formation around Titan.

Re:Flight Recorder Captured it (1)

Zaurus (674150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19122283)

Own up, Wesley, we all know you were really attempting the Kolvoord Starburst maneuver!

Seriously though... (1)

Zaurus (674150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19122331)

We really ought to send a ship out to investigate. Better not include any unnamed ensigns, though, or they might meet with disaster.

So.... (5, Funny)

Audent (35893) | more than 7 years ago | (#19120913)

WTF does that mean?

I am SO not a rocket scientist.

Re:So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121099)

Querying lets larger elbow impacts investigate to implications for the way astronomer around distant articles. Elbow impacts are connected with some the most energetic cases in the universe.

Exploding stars and strong stellar hoist of the young stars cause them. Elbow impacts improving, make you also accelerate particles the extremely high energy and throw them in over area. Although the conditions, which cause the improvement of a shock wave, around which mass are rare, they are general around these other articles.

Re:So.... (1)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19122019)

Did high energy elbow impact head of yours? This perhaps explain talk your way as reason. Apologies from me yet resist could not.

Re:So.... (1)

sanso999 (997008) | more than 7 years ago | (#19123319)

I'm sure Richard Hoagland will explain this on Coast. And will sound much like the above post, while Art Bell sighs impatiently.

Elbow impacts -- head bowling eldest daughter (1)

dunng808 (448849) | more than 7 years ago | (#19122873)

Obviously the result of translating Japanese to English on Google Translate. Consider this direct translation from today's Yomiuri on-line

With the Tokyo Shibuya Ku dentist house the December last year, junior college raw Buto sub- being clear of the eldest daughter (the [a] completed) (at that time 20 years old) in the incident where the corpse who is cut off is found, it was prosecuted with crime of homicide and the corpse damage, your Defendant original preparatory school raw Isamu of the older brother (22) defense side, being the policy of claiming spiritual judgment on the 14th, it was understood with two men.

Bow shock story brain my head cooked it was understood not. Now, sakesuke put away memory.

Re:So.... (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121139)

I think it means we're going to have to send a tachyon pulse into that thing in order to reverse the polarity and stabilize the anomaly.

Parent mod as informative and not funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19122067)

What does the parent have a 5 INFORMATIVE?

Re:So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19122099)

Yeah, but don't forget to recalibrate the quantum generators containment field or a neutron deporarization could interfere with nearby planets muonic gravitometry!

Serously, it appears all the 5 slashdotters without any knowledge about Star Trek technobabble got modpoints to spend today.
The above should be modded funny as it certainly is, not informative.

Re:So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19122189)

Shouldn't that be modded 'funny' or is 'informative' a meta joke?

OTOH, that tachyon impulse will be likely to have created the anomaly in the future in the first place.
Damn, these future-perfect-like tenses are probably the real reason why time travelling is impossible.

Re:So.... (1)

plams (744927) | more than 7 years ago | (#19122217)

Score:4, Informative?! Have I slept for a few years and not noticed that technobabble has made it into mainstream physics? Is positron emission really the key to artificial intelligence? Is alternating between two velocity states while remaining at neither for longer than Planck time, 1.3 x 10^-43 seconds, the secret behind superluminal travel? Do all aliens really look like humans with play-doh on their heads?!!

Re:So.... (1)

intangible (252848) | more than 7 years ago | (#19122755)

The informative mod is the joke :).

It's funny, laugh.

Re:So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19123327)

Nah, all we have to do is modify the phase variance, it will be like letting all the air out of a baloon...

Re:So.... (5, Funny)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121173)

It means that the Starboard Manifold Coupling may overload due to Heisenberg Waves unless we can patch the Quantum Foam Warp Reactor Sealant before the Borg board us!

Re:So.... (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121379)


Quantum Foam.... thats that expanding stuff they sell in cans at the Home Depot right?

Quantum Foam (1)

dunng808 (448849) | more than 7 years ago | (#19122995)

...that expanding stuff they sell in cans at the Home Depot right?


No, silly! It's an old form of contraceptive. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The field collapses when the female achieves orgasm, which is why it is so ineffective.

Re:So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121671)

It means that the Starboard Manifold Coupling may overload due to Heisenberg Waves unless we can patch the Quantum Foam Warp Reactor Sealant before the Borg board us!
I don't get it, what does this discovery have to do with MS?

Re:So.... (2, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121383)

It means that solar radiation hitting the earth's magnetic field acts like waves hitting the walls of your bathtub when you turn the faucet on. You get waves, not a ridge of water at the wall.

In short, these bowshocks will shrivel your sack if you stay in to observe them too long.

I thought... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121957)

...it was the rocket scientists who didn't know, so that means you ARE a rocket scientist!

Re:So.... (1)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 7 years ago | (#19122147)

Don't cross the streams. It would be bad.

Goatse! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19120915)

Click here for free ipod! [goatse.ch]

Yeah, right.

Poor Wesley... (3, Informative)

gzerphey (1006177) | more than 7 years ago | (#19120933)

I'm sorry but did anyone else think of a Kolvoord Starburst?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_First_Duty [wikipedia.org]

Yes (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121079)

I'm sorry but did anyone else think of a Kolvoord Starburst?

At least one other person was as dorky as you. I'm sure many more will follow.

PS: that other person wasn't me ;P

Re:Yes (1)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121253)

Yep, it was my first thought too, and I was going to post something about it, but it looks like I've been beaten to it.

Re:Poor Wesley... (1)

kindbud (90044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19123027)

No, no one but you thought of that.

Feel better?

Feeling stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19120957)

I have no idea what you guys are talking about. Is there a Coles notes version?

Shocking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19120985)

Queue Electric Universe pseudo-science in 3... 2... 1...

Because, of course, electrical engineers and comparative mythologists make great astrophysicists!

Re:Shocking? (2, Funny)

aegisalpha (58712) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121867)

As an electrical engineer I'd like to think I make a wonderful mythologist and astrophysicist.

Mostly mythologist though.

Newt Gingrinch: The Contract ON the United States (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121009)

As poorly qualified as I am to condemn Newt Gincrich's hypocrisy, I hope you will bear with me while I begin this sincere and earnest attempt. And please don't get mad with me if, in doing so, I must make a cause célèbre out of exposing Gincrich's paroxysms for what they really are. But before I continue, allow me to explain that according to Gincrich, all literature which opposes mandarinism was forged by barbaric peddlers of snake-oil remedies. He might as well be reading tea leaves or tossing chicken bones on the floor for divination about what's true and what isn't. Maybe then Gincrich would realize that he wants us to believe that exhibitionism is the key to world peace. How stupid does he think we are? Whatever the answer, I am certain that if I asked the next person I meet if he would want Gincrich to twist the teaching of history to suit his ultra-cocky purposes, he would say no. Yet we all stand idly by while Gincrich claims that taxpayers are a magic purse that never runs out of gold. While Gincrich puts on a good dog and pony show, I once managed to get him to agree that nothing makes my blood boil more than seeing him see to it that all patriotic endeavors are directed down blind alleys, where they end in frustration and discouragement. Unfortunately, a few minutes later, he did a volte-face and denied that he had ever said that. Callow, nettlesome antidisestablishmentarianism is widespread and growing stronger as it permeates school systems, universities, and the media. And I can say that with a clear conscience because he has found a way to avoid compliance with government regulations, circumvent any further litigation, and advocate measures that others criticize for being excessively revolting -- all by trumping up a phony emergency. Isn't it historically demonstrated that Gincrich's disciples don't want to make their own decisions but want Gincrich to do their thinking for them? I ask, because he will do everything in his power to tinker about with a lot of halfway prescriptions. No wonder corruption is endemic to our society; we are observing the change in our society's philosophy and values from freedom and justice to corruption, decay, cynicism, and injustice. All of these "values" are artistically incorporated in one person: Newt Gincrich.

I must admit that I've read only a small fraction of Gincrich's writings. (As a well-known aphorism states, it is not necessary to eat all of an apple to learn that it is rotten.) Nevertheless, I've read enough of Gincrich's writings to know that Gincrich ignores the most basic ground rule of debate. In case you're not familiar with it, that rule is: attack the idea, not the person. His real enmity against us comes through in his bons mots, which Gincrich uses to lionize batty four-flushers of one sort or another. Now that's a rather crude and simplistic statement and, in many cases, it may not even be literally true. But there is a sense in which it is generally true, a sense in which it indubitably expresses how I can easily see him performing the following huffy acts. First, Gincrich will waste our time and money. Then, he will crush people to the earth and then claim the right to trample on them forever because they are prostrate. I do not profess to know how likely is the eventuality I have outlined, but it is a distinct possibility to be kept in mind.

I no longer believe that trends like family breakdown, promiscuity, and violence are random events. Not only are they explicitly glorified and promoted by Gincrich's fickle holier-than-thou attitudes, but when people say that bigotry and hate are alive and well, they're right. And Gincrich is to blame. He dreams of a time when he'll be free to twist the truth. That's the way he's planned it, and that's the way it'll happen -- not may happen, but will happen -- if we don't interfere, if we don't spread the word about his dastardly drug-induced ravings to our friends, our neighbors, our relatives, our co-workers -- even to strangers.

As for me, I have no bombs, no planes, no artillery, and no terrorist plots. But I do have weapons and tactics that are far more deadly: pure light and simple truth. Life is too short to have to put up with Gincrich. But don't take my word for it; ask any pugnacious trickster you happen to meet. From secret-handshake societies meeting at "the usual place" to back-door admissions committees, his serfs have always found a way to take the focus off the real issues. If we take his memoranda to their logical conclusion, we see that sooner or later, he will engage in or goad others into engaging in illegal acts. Statistical details released by a third-party agency indicate that Gincrich's latest sermons have arisen like a phoenix out of the ashes and failures of their careless forebears. In fact, I have said that to Gincrich on many occasions and I will keep on saying it until he stops trying to treat people like the most loud enemies of the people I've ever seen.

Whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to challenge Gincrich's counter-productive assumptions about merit. I cannot compromise with Gincrich; he is without principles. I cannot reason with him; he is without reason. But I can warn him, and with a warning he must decidedly take to heart: Some people maintain that unyielding rigidity is just as much a threat to the continuity of things as stingy, lame-brained racism. Others believe that the reasons that Gincrich gives for his opinions clearly do not correspond with his real motives. In the interest of clearing up the confusion, I'll make the following observation: Gincrich's cohorts are merely ciphers. Gincrich is the one who decides whether or not to stonewall on issues in which taxpayers see a vital public interest. Gincrich is the one who gives out the orders to marginalize me based on my gender, race, or religion. And Gincrich is the one trying to conceal how if he truly believes that science is merely a tool invented by the current elite to maintain power, then maybe he should enroll in Introduction to Reality 101.

While you or I might find it natural to want to turn Gincrich's polyloquent "compromises" to our advantage, he will probably throw another hissy fit if we don't let him tip the scales in his favor. At least putting up with another Newt Gincrich hissy fit is easier than convincing Gincrich's sycophants that if we are powerless to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world, it is because we have allowed Gincrich to pooh-pooh the concerns of others. More to the point, he has vowed that any day now he'll ruin people's lives. This is hardly news; Gincrich has been vowing that for months with the regularity of a metronome. What is news is that if he thinks his stances represent progress, Gincrich should rethink his definition of progress. Please, please, please help me halt the adulation heaped upon stolid freebooters. Without your help, Gincrich will clearly break down traditional values. I correctly predicted that he would open the floodgates of McCarthyism. Alas, I didn't think he'd do that so effectively -- or so soon.

It's a sad world where obtrusive fomenters of revolution have the power to expand, augment, and intensify the size and intrusiveness of Gincrich's junta. That's pretty transparent. What's not so transparent is the answer to the following question: Does Gincrich realize he's more wrongheaded than a sophomoric sciolist? A clue might be that it is almost funny (but is actually rather scary) to see how far Gincrich will go to generate alienation and withdrawal. Well, that's a bit too general of a statement to have much meaning, I'm afraid. So let me instead explain my point as follows: If he would abandon his name-calling and false dichotomies it would be much easier for me to make a genuine contribution to human society. Smarmy, stroppy undertakings have consequences, yet my task -- our task -- is to invite all the people who have been harmed by Gincrich to continue to express and assert their concerns in a constructive and productive fashion. This sort of vertiginous paradox is well known to most lackadaisical grifters. Although he would rather I discuss the personality flaws of unwed, pregnant teenagers, there's no shortage of sin in the world today. It's been around since the Garden of Eden and will honestly persist as long as Gincrich continues to confuse, befuddle, and neutralize public opposition.

It is common knowledge that we can all have daydreams about Happy Fuzzy Purple Bunny Land, where everyone is caring, loving, and nice. Not only will those daydreams not come true, but Gincrich writes a lot of long statements that mean practically nothing. What's sneaky is that he constructs those statements in such a way that it never occurs to his readers to analyze them. Analysis would almost certainly indicate that throughout history, there has been a clash between those who wish to dole out acerbic criticism of Gincrich and his phalanx of obstinate apostles and those who wish to pursue a twofold credo of expansionism and alarmism. Naturally, Gincrich belongs to the latter category. While cowardice, irresponsibility, and boosterism are inextricably wedded in Gincrich's anecdotes, if you looked up "viperine" in the dictionary, you'd probably see his picture. I, speaking as someone who is not a damnable doofus, am convinced that there will be a strong effort on Gincrich's part to defuse or undermine incisive critiques of his coldhearted behavior by turning them into procedural arguments about mechanisms of institutional restraint one day. This effort will be disguised, of course. It will be cloaked in deceit, as such efforts always are. That's why I'm informing you that this is not wild speculation. This is not a conspiracy theory. This is documented fact.

Gincrich is doing everything in his power to make me react, on cue, to the trigger-words that Gincrich has inserted into my mind by dint of endless repetition. The only reason I haven't yet is that I believe in the four P's: patience, prayer, positive thinking, and perseverance. If you were to try to tell his chums that almost every discussion of chauvinism ignores the critical importance of his hostile belief systems, they'd close their eyes and put their hands over their ears. They are, as the psychologists say, in denial. They don't want to hear that I can't possibly be alone in my view that Gincrich is unable to see any issue in a broad perspective or from more than one side. Am I being unduly harsh for writing that? I think not. When the religious leaders in Jesus's time were wrong, Jesus denounced them in extremely harsh terms. So why shouldn't I, too, use extremely harsh terms to indicate that Gincrich has a deficiency of real goals?

I guess I really can't blame Gincrich for wanting to impose a "glass ceiling" that limits our opportunities for promotions in most jobs. After all, some dissolute, intolerant hooligans actually contend that annoying con artists aren't ever feral. This is the kind of muddled thinking that he is encouraging with his smear tactics. Even worse, all those who raise their voice against this brainwashing campaign are denounced as short-sighted, putrid unsympathetic-types. He knows how to lie. It's too bad he doesn't yet understand the ramifications of lying. The take-away message of this letter is that Newt Gincrich's behavior is beneath contempt. Think about it. I don't want to have to write another letter a few years from now, in the wake of a society torn apart by Gincrich's indecent, contemptible pronouncements, reminding you that you were warned.

Sincerely,
Kilgore Trout

Re:Newt Gingrinch: The Contract ON the United Stat (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121219)

I totally agree [isgay.com] .

What would this mean... (1)

geeper (883542) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121029)

...if you were to say it in ENGLISH????

Re:What would this mean... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19122557)

There are eddies in the wash of the space/time continuum.

Re:What would this mean... (1)

frogstar_robot (926792) | more than 7 years ago | (#19123277)

Are you talking about some sort of Vogon laundromat?

oblig (1)

AndreAtlan (529906) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121063)

So What does it all mean, Basil?

Re:oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19122061)

The other oblig...

How is this going to make me money?! It's just pure science, so it's a waste of my money!

Re:oblig (2, Funny)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 7 years ago | (#19122929)

So What does it all mean, Basil?

That Manuel has been drinking the sherry again. And he found the good stuff this time?

Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121073)

Come on guys, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the implications!

geek needing moral support (-1, Offtopic)

firefoxdude (1102099) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121097)

hey, i love slashdot. i read it 24/7. and my gf just broke up with me, i am depressed, and the first thing i thought to do was to come and read slashdot. Thank you slashdot for always being here. Back on topic- from: gzerphey (1006177) "I don't have a microwave. I do, however, have a clock that occasionally cooks shit." lol. I wish we were rocket scientists so that I could understand this better

Re:geek needing moral support (5, Funny)

ObjetDart (700355) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121269)

i love slashdot. i read it 24/7. and my gf just broke up with me

Coincidence? I think not.

Re:geek needing moral support (1, Offtopic)

chelanfarsight (835467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121347)

sometimes people need a slap on the back not in the face.

back on topic re: gf's...man sometimes they do that. if you are at fault im sure you ll figure it out. just remember it cuts both ways and relationships *demand* communication that is at least honesty and hard work.

back on topic re: rocket ships...wth is this article about?? are they gonna find us a FTL drive? cuz if not im not really interested.

Re:geek needing moral support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121417)

That sux dude, but to be honest, i doubt the slashdot community will care. Having been thru a 6 month depression caused by an evil witch i can give the following advice: get a gym membership and start working out. Im serious, every couple days. the testosterone produced from working out makes you feel like 150% better.

my membership cost me about 140 bucks for 4 months + any suppliments I buy. I was a skinny 155 pounds before about a month ago, now I feel great about life and im starting to see the results of my routine.

If you have to start with a larger frame, i would recommend starting off with some aerobic activity, like running. proper diet and exorcise saved my life, Literally.

Also, hang out with your friends more, they will help.

oh, and stay away from the booze and weed, that makes it worse.

Re:geek needing moral support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19123197)

"oh, and stay away from the booze and weed, that makes it worse"

You misspelled 'better'.

Agree on the gym though.

Re:geek needing moral support (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121517)

She was ugly anyway.

Re:geek needing moral support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121665)

you're a geek, you read slashdot and you actually had a gf? you're like way ahead of 99% of the people here. quit bitching

Re:geek needing moral support (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#19123559)

Hint: A typical microwave oven is only used as an oven ~ 0.7% [google.com] of the time.

Science at its best... (2)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121101)

The great thing about science out in space is that it yields BOTH amazing results AND really neat pictures.

Very European... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121133)

... to take more than 6 years to make a discovery from this data.

Too much time in Ibiza I suppose.

Really shocked... (0, Offtopic)

kaarigar (663458) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121167)

I am really truly shocked to hear this! Can you believe this ?!

Re:Really shocked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121265)

It's simply flabbergasting. I'm floored.

what do you call a jewish woman's boobs? (1)

Asshat_Nazi (946431) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121189)

jewbs.

Recent? Really? (1)

grgcombs (524535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121201)

I find it hard to say that this finding is recent ... I mean it was done in 2001 ... Right? Don't care anyway.

Re:Recent? Really? (1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121483)

Unlike Fox News, CNN, and the rest of the mainstream media reporters, researchers in science fields often do investigation into their findings.

The research was published in March. I think most of the time however was spent deciding a title, "Nonstationarity and reformation of high-Mach-number quasiperpendicular shocks: Cluster observations"

Data Analysis and Peer Review Take Time (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19122025)

The data discussed in the article were from 2001, but the final analysis was only just published this year.

Before the data from the spacecraft could be analyzed by the scientists, the data had to be calibrated and checked for anything weird that could have been introduced when they were transmitted from the spacecraft to the ground. The scientists who did this study probably used data from several instruments on board the spacecraft - the magnetic field instrument, electric field instrument, electron detectors, ion detectors, and plasma wave instruments. In order to get access to these data sets, the scientists had to contact the institutions that built the various instruments on board the spacecraft to get permission to use the data in their study.

Once the scientists assembled all the necessary data sets, they had to screen the data for bow shock crossings. Spacecraft like the Cluster satellites can record data 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so there are a lot of data to search for events. You can eliminate some time periods right away using the orbit data, since the bow shock will only be observable over certain parts of the orbit. However, detecting features like the bow shock is not always easy to automate, so some poor graduate student probably had to spend a lot of time making plots of the data and going through them by hand to find candidates for events showing the type of shock structures described in the article. Also, the Cluster mission is actually 4 satellites, so to do a study like this, the scientists actually had to look at the magnetic and electric fields, particles, and plasma waves observed by all four satellites and compare the observations by the four satellites.

Once the data analysis was finished, the scientists may have done some modeling to compare with the theory. I wouldn't know for sure what they did to compare with the theory unless I actually read the article they published in the scientific journal.

When all of the analysis and modeling was complete, the scientists had to write the paper and submit it for publication. The peer review process for scientific publications can take up to a year.

So to make a long story short, results from spacecraft data that require sophisticated data analysis probably won't appear in a scientific journal until a few years after the data were actually recorded by the spacecraft. You might see pretty pictures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope or the Mars rovers posted on the Internet within a few days or weeks of when they were recorded, but it still can take months or even years to do any serious scientific analysis of these images.
   

The boundary is always turbulant. (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121203)

The boundary of pretty much everything we see is turbulent.
I would not expect a static fixed line.
From ferns to coastlines to mandelbrot sets, throughout the solar system and around galaxies and out into the universe at large.

Re:The boundary is always turbulant. (1)

epistemiclife (1101021) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121291)

That's an interesting observation. I suppose that that's why they're boundaries. In pure mathematics, we often have categories which neatly transition into each other with a set of "clean" rooms. The physical world, while represented by mathematics, would seem to be the "dirty" version of it, with turbulence and messiness at these transition points.

Re:The boundary is always turbulant. (2, Funny)

MollyB (162595) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121645)

Would you grant an exception to 0 K (-273.15 C) [wikipedia.org] ?

(btw, my spell checker insists on "turbulent")

Re:The boundary is always turbulent. (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19122941)

Mine would as well if I had bothered to enable it for that field :)

Uh.. yeah (5, Informative)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121241)

Well, I understand more or less what the article is about (although they said it in a very long winded way), but I'm thinking unless you're a astrophysicist, are studying particle physics, or possible electro-magnetic phenomena then this is a rather dry article.

It's my understanding based on the article that what they discovered (or more accurately proved) was that the bow shock produced by the solar wind colliding with earths magnetosphere is not actually a single giant bow shock, but more like a whole bunch of continually reforming bow shocks stacked on top of each other. Of course, I'm not a physicist, so I could be wrong in that interpretation. Also, it doesn't seem as if this discovery has any immediately applicable implications but is more of a hey, that's kind of neat, type thing.

"highly contradictory" indeed (4, Insightful)

justthinkit (954982) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121377)

"PhysOrg" means Physics, right? Well then, show me the numbers. And probably a graph or two. FFS, since when does "highly contradictory" pass for information?

Were the differences well within the error bars? I'm going with the latter until someone pastes a link with meat on its bones.

Here you go ... (2, Funny)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121433)

Were the differences well within the error bars? I'm going with the latter until someone pastes a link with meat on its bones.
Here you go. [beef.org]

Re:"highly contradictory" indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19122339)

The article actually gives the reference to the scientific paper

Nonstationarity and reformation of high-Mach-number quasiperpendicular shocks: Cluster observations, by V.V. Lobzin et al. published on 9 March 2007 in the Geophysical Research Letters.

Unfortunately, you have to pay $9.00 to see the article unless you have a subscription to Geophysical Research Letters [agu.org] . The library at a local college or university might have a print copy of the journal or online access that would let you view the article for free, if you're really interested.

We found it! (2, Funny)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121407)

This must be the homeworld of the Ori, and this must be a sign of the enlightenment! "Those who reject the path to enlightenment must be destroyed."

"Hallowed are the Ori."

They probably just forgot... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121481)

...to realign the deflector dish.

Shocking! Imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19121511)

Imagine a Beowulf clus...oh wait...

Shocking discovery (1)

The Lerneaen Hydra (885793) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121853)

How is proving a 20 year old theorem a "shocking discovery"? Sure, an unexpected realisation/proof of an old theory, but surely not a discovery. ...Oh, wait, this is /. Nevermind

Re:Shocking discovery (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#19121993)

I'm pretty sure its just a really bad pun. Shocking - bow shock, gettit?

Re:Shocking discovery (1)

alienmole (15522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19122037)

If you RTFA, you'd notice that the headline on PhysOrg.com is "Cluster spacecraft makes a shocking discovery", and that they're making a pun on the term "bow shock". But hey, this is /., and you're just being typically dumb. Your best bet is to pretend that you were just trolling.
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