That Whole Supernova Thing Was a Big MisunderstandingS

Chambered nautilus! Flying satellite! Supernova mystery! Cycad fossils! Ancient art! Geoengineering recognition! Black scientists! Mastodon extinction! And crazy birds think they can fly around with nail heads? That's crazy! It's your Monday Science Watch, where we watch science—explosively!

  • You say you love the chambered nautilus? Yeah, love the chambered nautilus to death, for its pretty shell. What are you, the guy from that book, with the rabbit?
  • If you were a satellite, would you be the satellite that flies around shooting every other satellite with a laser? I would. That's not what this satellite does though.
  • That ancient supernova mystery you've heard so much about? Yeah, that's been solved. Oh, you didn't hear about it? Ha, where did you go to school, Moron State? Oh, you went to Harvard? Me? Well no, I just went to a crappy little school. I did know about that supernova thing though, because I read the article there before you. I'll just get back to work now.
  • The next person who says that cycads are "living fossils" of the dinosaur era...it's like, ugh. Get your facts straight, my friend.
  • Let me see if I have this straight: one of the earliest images of childbirth in Western art has been discovered by a blind student rubbing a trowel over a pottery shard? And what's your excuse for not having a girlfriend, again? Yes, we've moved on from the pottery topic. This is about you.
  • Time was, nobody in the general public knew what geoengineering science was. Nowadays, slowly, people are starting to learn. Oh, let's not overstate it; you can't just wander into any old redneck bar in Tennessee and walk right up to the first pickled good ol' boy and a barstool and have an intense discussion with him about geoengineering science. But slowly, we're getting there. Here and there, people know. They have an idea about it, at least. Coming along. Bit by bit. Every now and then you run into an aficionado.
  • The percentage of black students getting their degrees in science-related fields has fallen over the past decade. Why? Well, ah, haha, I, uh, certainly wouldn't presume to, you know, speak on behalf of the uh, minority community, or to be so bold as to, you know [tugs collar nervously]... I respect the Reverend Martin Luther King very, very much.
  • Did mastodons really face a "rapid" extinction, or might something else be at play here? Well, let me answer your question with a question of my own: Did mastodons really face a "rapid" extinction? Somebody asked me earlier and I have no idea.
  • A bird and a nail in the head of the nailed bird? Now that's scientific, bitch!
[Photo: AP]