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Comment: Re:We almost lost two! (Score 1) 117

by Fortran IV (#49198629) Attached to: Harrison Ford's Plane Crashes On Golf Course
I think nerd vs. geek is more useful for judging someone's age than anything else these days. I'm old enough to consider geek an out-and-out insult, because I remember when even among circus freaks the geek was unpopular. (Hearing Fred Blassie's "Pencil Neck Geek" on Dr. Demento two or three times a month all through college certainly didn't help.)

Comment: Re:Sentimental claptrap (Score 1) 91

by Fortran IV (#48524703) Attached to: Why Pluto Still Matters
There's some justification for considering the Earth-Moon system just that: a binary planet. The Moon wouldn't have to be a great deal larger for the barycenter of the Earth-Moon system to be above the Earth's surface. Mercury's only about four times more massive than the Moon, and nobody disputes that it's a planet.

Comment: Re:The Oracle (Score 5, Informative) 226

by Fortran IV (#44409667) Attached to: Signs Point To XKCD's Time Ending
Actually, "Time" appears to have been set in the remote future, about 11 millenia from today, after Gibraltar Strait has already been closed up again for a thousand years or more (no back story for that was ever given). At one point the comic presented nearly a hundred frames of night sky, with recognizable planets and constellations. Readers versed in astronomy were able to find a date 11,000 years ahead, with consistent displacements for nearby stars (within the limits of a 553x395 image resolution). Also, the castle of the "oracle" (nicknamed Rosetta in the forum thread, after her role as a translator) appeared to be the Chateau d'If of Count of Monte Cristo fame, in Marseilles harbor.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll