We lost the quizzo thing. The killer question: Other than FDR, who's the only American politician to be nominated by a major party in four consecutive elections for either Vice President or President?
I said Teddy Roosevelt, not being sure if he ran for VP in 1896, or if the Bull Moose party counts as a major party. Apparently the answer to at least one of those questions is no.
e has a wonderful smile, and a DS that's been modded so that it can surf the web via wifi. Pretty cool, if not exactly useful. It'd probably be ok for text-oriented sites. Such as, on this Primary night in PAia, dailykos.
But the use of such devices is forbidden during the trivia contest (of course).
Coming out of the bar, which is dimly lit with incandescents with basically no photons north of 4200 angstroms, we found ourselves under some mercury vapor streetlights, which revealed her hair to be purple.
256 and e threaten to ride their bikes to Boston sometime, with minimal notice. I say, bring it on. We'll rustle up some folks to do something fun. At some point in June-ish toxicfur and I are finally gonna do a vacation, just for the two of us, since we basically haven't done that, ever. Three years of marriage, and finally a honeymoon (or something). Our travels have nearly always involved meeting up with family.
Oh, and the buck. e had a "Where's George?" dollar bill, stamped with the above URL, which they picked up somewhere in NJia, which they wanted to give me. I reminded them of the "Where's George" story that I was party to in the latest WFC, which 256 recalled.
They offered to give me the dollar if I could convince e that irrational numbers "exist". By which, it seems, she means, have something to do with physics. I'm still thinking about that. Yes, I can prove sqrt(2) is not rational, but she huffs and says that only shows that numbers are broken. Which (Gödel proved) is more true than just irrational numbers, but that's apparently not the point.
"What would you do for a dollar?" they asked.
So I started telling the old joke told of Bernard Shaw, sitting next to a Grande Dame at dinner, asking her...
"Would you sleep with me for a million dollars?" asked e.
Exactly. The story goes that the woman agreed to consider it. "How about $4?" asks Shaw.
"What do you think I am?" she asks.
"We've established that," says Shaw. "Now we're negotiating the price."
They allowed as how they wouldn't make me sleep with them for a dollar. "A $2 bill, now..." mused e.
So they agreed to buy a secret of the universe for a dollar.
I paged mentally through my collection of oddments, and came up with the cool idea that's been bandied about at this week's conference, that interstellar neutral gas atoms flowing through the solar system experience two forces: gravity from the sun, and radiation pressure. The one is attractive; the other repulsive. Both vary inversely as the square of the distance from the sun.
Turns out that for hydrogen atoms, radiation pressure is larger, and so the atoms feel a net repulsive force from the sun. So they travel on hyperbolic paths, away from the axis that passes through the sun, parallel to their original velocity vector.
For helium, though, radiation pressure is much smaller, and so gravity wins. So helium atoms bend towards the sun, and form a conical zone downwind from the sun where there's an unusually large density of neutral helium atoms that came from interstellar space. This is the "Helium Focusing Cone".
The earth passes through it in December.
Apparently this was a sufficiently arcane bit of knowledge to qualify for a dollar.
I also retailed the minor arcanum that there are, to good accuracy, π by ten to the seventh seconds in a year.
And I passed along mh's link to truly geeky wedding rings. This produced the expected cries of disgust.
A++++ would do it all again. I'm also really looking forward to riding the train home on Thursday night.
Answer: George HW Bush
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