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Double stars! Space molecules! Sea dolphins! Moon missions! Dead zones! Pluto-nic findings! And cleanliness of all of the atoms! It’s your Tuesday Science Watch, where we watch science—from a perch of ill repute!

  • We’ve finally found it: a planet that orbits two suns. Wow. *An hour or two of quiet contemplation pass* So what?
  • Now this one’s a little tricky, so follow along. It has to do with molecules—but also with outer space. It concerns chemistry—but also astronomy. It contains elements of science—but also philosophy. It involves terms as various and assorted as “propylene oxide,” “Sagittarius B2,” and “telescope.” What it all adds up to, when you’re able to truly comprehend the majesty of its interlocking and overlapping parts, is breathtaking. I think it’s a new kind of space dust. Honestly it went right over my head.
  • The dolphins that live in the National Aquarium in Baltimore are moving to a “seaside sanctuary.” Soon, they’ll be able swim right up to edge of that seaside sanctuary and gaze out into the sea and say, “What gives?” I bet the dolphins will be like, “Hey, thanks for the sanctuary—mind if we go out into the actual freaking sea, now???” And they’ll look over with a comically exasperated look at their human handler who will give an exaggerated shrug— “Hey, I don’t speak dolphin!” Then they’ll all laugh, until the dolphins figure out how to kill the human. It’s game theory.
  • Some geology professor took the time to write an essay titled, “If We Want to Send Astronauts to Mars, We Must Go Back to the Moon First.” How about this: we don’t want to the moon or Mars. We want to go to KFC.
  • Did you know that almost 6,000 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico is called a “dead zone?” Sounds bad, doesn’t it? But don’t jump to conclusions. “Dead” and “zone” are not even real words in the language of Mexico. And “Gulf” is pronounced “Golfo.” Does that mean we should all be worried that Mexicans will die from playing golf? Not at all. This is just one example of how using science can lessen cross cultural misunderstandings.
  • A new textbook will encompass all of the findings of the NASA mission to Pluto. Can you imagine? “So, what are you working on, Eric?” “Oh, I’m writing a book about [launches into a long discussion of rocks and dirt that aren’t even on our planet].” “Okay Eric... I have to go now!” I walk off and leave this loser to waste someone else’s time. If I want your life story, Eric, I’ll ask you for it explicitly. “Tell me your life story, Eric,” I’ll say. Until then, don’t even “go there.” But when the moment comes that I do demand your life story—be ready to spill it. I don’t tolerate lollygagging.
  • A new study shows that doctors do a better job of washing their hands when they’re being watched. Some also do a better job of masturbating.

And that’s the science!