The scientific name of the moon is “the moon.”
Abbreviations used in prescriptions:
- a.c. (ante cibum) – before meals
- ad lib. (ad libitum) – use as much as one desires; freely
- alt. h. (alternis horis) – every other hour
- c (cibos) – food
- D.A.W. – dispense as written
- dc, D/C, disc – discontinue
- e.m.p. (ex modo prescripto) – as directed
- ex aq – in water
- h.s. (hora somni) – at bedtime
- L.A.S. – label as such
- N.K.A. – no known allergies
- noct. (nocte) – at night
- NPO, n.p.o. (non per os) – nothing by mouth
- p.c. (post cibum) – after meals
- p.o. (per os) – by mouth or orally
- s.a. (secundum artum) – use your judgement
- sig – write on label
- s.o.s., si op. sit (si opus sit) – if there is a need
Napoleon Bonaparte described medicine as “a collection of uncertain prescriptions the results of which, taken collectively, are more fatal than useful to mankind.”
A dust storm approaches Stratford, Texas, April 18, 1935. On Earth these storms are actually relatively minor; on Mars they can last for hundreds of days and cover the entire planet.
This is the world’s first successful permanent photograph, “View From the Window at Le Gras,” created by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826.
The exposure required eight hours, so the buildings are illuminated from both right and left.
One “smoot” is five feet seven inches, or about 1.7 meters.
It’s named for Oliver R. Smoot, an ill-starred MIT pledge whose fraternity brothers rolled him head over heels to measure the length of the Harvard Bridge in October 1958.
The bridge measured “364.4 smoots plus one ear.” The markings are repainted each year by the incoming pledge class of Lambda Chi Alpha.
Ironically, Smoot later became chairman of the American National Standards Institute.
To stop hiccups, swallow 1 teaspoon of ordinary table sugar dry.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, this works immediately in 19 out of 20 people.
“Space isn’t remote at all. It’s only an hour’s drive away if your car could go straight upwards.” — Astronomer Fred Hoyle
The Great Wall of China, as seen from the space shuttle. Contrary to popular belief, an unaided viewer cannot see it from the moon. One shuttle astronaut said, “We can see things as small as airport runways, [but] the Great Wall is almost invisible from only 180 miles up.” An Apollo astronaut said no human structures were visible at a distance of a few thousand miles. And — most tellingly — Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei couldn’t see it at all.
Incomprehensible math jokes:
Q: What is lavender and commutes?
A: An Abelian semigrape.
Q: What’s yellow, linear, normed, and complete?
A: A Bananach space.
Q: What’s the value of a contour integral around Western Europe?
A: Zero, because all the Poles are in Eastern Europe.
Q: What do you get when you cross a mountain climber with a mosquito?
A. Nothing: you can’t cross a scaler with a vector.
Q: What’s hot, chunky, and acts on a polygon?
A: Dihedral soup.
Q: What sound does a drowning analytic number theorist make?
A: “Log log log log …”
Q: What’s sour, yellow, and equivalent to the axiom of choice?
A: Zorn’s lemon.
“Mathematicians are like Frenchmen,” wrote Goethe. “Whatever you say to them they translate into their own language, and forthwith it is something entirely different.”
Werner Heisenberg gets pulled over for speeding.
The cop says, “Do you know how fast you were going?”
Heisenberg says, “No, but I know where I am.”