Friday, October 17, 2008

Farewell to Overhead

I can't believe you're dead

Is there a chance to get

You back again tonight

To shed your light

From Farewell to Overhead by Monochrom

For those of you who watched the last debate, or in fact the earlier debates, I would like to add one scientific clarification. This is an overhead projector. They used to be widely used to project images onto screens. Poorly used they have been the downfall of many a nervous presenter and, in darkened classrooms have probably put many a student to sleep. The advent of cheaper data projectors has resulted in a decline in the use of overhead projectors, although mathematicians still like them because of the ease with which you can write on them. You can get a used one on ebay for $20 or a new one for a couple of hundred. Check out this song that laments the decline of the OHP. Brilliant.

This, on the other hand, is a Carl Zeiss Universarium. Although I don't think there is a song about it, and you can't buy one on ebay I would hazard to suggest that it has introduced millions to the wonders of astronomy and is a feature of leading planetariums worldwide. It will set you back several million dollars which doesn't seem that bad for something that can entertain, educate AND looks like a robot from the future.

Oh and if you are wondering what I'm talking about, here's an article from Discover magazine referring to an earlier mention of this issue and a statement from the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

To be able to vote in the upcoming election you must be registered. In California, voter registration must be postmarked by October 20, 2008 - that's MONDAY. Here is a link to the California Secretary of State's information page.

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