Now you too can enjoy my inbox without the annoying spam. Every
week I get some amazing e-mail. Some amazing because of the sheer
of the sender, some because of the time and energy that went into crafting
them and some are just simply amazing. Since I've gotten such a
from posting these messages in the BBlog, I've decided make it a regular
Irony knows no bounds in this comment about one of our older
From: steve [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, February 21, 2003 3:39 PM
Subject: stupid story
i just wanted to comment on the retards teachers who thought
php was a drug i guess it goes to show how stupid some people
Yeah, those teachers are idiots.
Next we see that even Jar-Jaromir can
make them question their sanity...
From: Jennifer [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2003 3:14 PM
Subject: Re: Fans Outraged at New Character in The Return of the King
please tell me you're kidding...
More recently the new ATI
ASCII-enhanced video card had them scratching their heads...
From: xxxxxxxxx [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 12:20 PM
Subject: RE:New ATI Card Pushes Limits of ASCII Gaming
Was this a parody? Not that I haven't heard of everything
about but...most of the information looks made up.
We've changed the names to protect the innocent. It was really
Nvidia that released the card.
One reader responds with joy to our recent story about ATI's
new video card enhanced for ASCII gaming...
From: Michael [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2003 7:59 AM
Subject: New ATI Card...
I will certainly like playing MUDs at the frame rates these
nethackers are getting!
My current card gets choppy while rendering complex words,
like "Bugbear" or "Granxthar the armourer".
Once you enable the 4-bit colors PLUS underlined text, it's
barely even playable.
One reader expounds on the problem with the recent paid link for
Breaking Benjamin on BBspot...
From: Brian [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 12:09 PM
To: Brian Briggs
Subject: Paid Link
It was quite frustrating to follow the link in Linux/Mozilla
and have it do nothing. So I tried Konqueror, still no go.
Then Opera and nothing. So over to my Winbox, and still nothing
in Mozilla. Then I was thinking "Is it really broken?
Could he have gotten a paid link for something that doesn't
even work?". So I decided that maybe, just maybe, the
designers of this lovely piece would have been so narrow minded
to think that a tech related site would only have IE users.
Then I did the unthinkable... I dusted off the screen over
the link to IE (hasn't been used for so long) and clicked.
As my blood ran cold thinking of all the horrible things that
will happen to the machine now that I've awoken the beast,
I entered in the BBSpot URL and waited. Up came the familiar,
friendly, yellow and red dot and the link laid before me. Now
the new paid link looked ominously out at me, so I took a deep
breath and said to myself "Trust Brian. He has never led
you astray before. It will not crash your system or infect
you will germs. It will simply entertain as it has every other
day.", and then I clicked. Lo and behold it worked! But
after all this, I did not feel entertained as usual. It wasn't
that the music was bad, it was the unbearable stress from awaking
the creature that lurks on the C: drive. "I will never
do that again.", I muttered.
The Core Explained
And this reader explains in more detail why The Core is confusing....
From: Damien [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, February 21, 2003 5:39 PM
Subject: The Core
Just read your trailer review
on "The Core," and I thought I'd help you
along with some of the parts you're confused about.
> I just couldn't get my brain around how a 1000 megaton
> explosion would get the earth's core spinning again?
Don't worry, I'll bet geologists and physicists can't get
their brains around it, either. Furthermore, even if a 1 gigaton
uncontrolled explosion could set the core spinning again (it
can't), it wouldn't set the core spinning at the exact same
rate it was before, anyway. The inner core comprises about
2% of the Earth's overall mass, which pegs it at around 1.2E23
kg (E being a power of ten, so 5.97E24 = 5.97 x 10^24). The
Earth's core rotates somewhere between 0.02 and 3 degrees per
year. Just for estimation's sake, we'll call it 1 degree per
year. That equates to 3.17E-8 degrees per second, or about
The moment of inertia of a uniform sphere rotating about
its center is
I = (2/5)mr^2,
where m is the mass and r is the radius. The radius of the inner core is
about 2.6E6 m. So, its moment of inertia is 3.2E35 kgm^2. Angular momentum
is given by
p = Iw,
where w is the angular velocity. Thus, the total angular momentum of the
Earth's core is 1.76E26 kgm^2/s. This is the total amount of momentum
that would have to be imparted in order to both stop the Earth's core from
spinning (which is the problem in the first place, but no one mentioned where
this huge amount of angular momentum traveling in the vector opposite the
core's momentum vector comes from ... oh yeah, earthquakes <snicker>).
1 gigaton is about 4.2E18 J of energy. This is a large amount
of energy, to be sure, but it's nowhere near enough to get
the Earth's core spinning again at the same rate it was before.
The linear momentum of an explosion is given by
p = U/c,
where U is the total energy and c is the speed of light. Even if all the
linear momentum of the explosion was applied toward getting the Earth's core
spinning again (which is can't be; 50% of it will inevitably be radiated
away from the core entirely because explosions are omni-directional) and
transformed into angular momentum, it would be about 16 orders of magnitude
The actual explanation is a lot more complex and has to do
with torques, but I don't feel like writing all that up, and
I'm sure you don't feel like reading it. :) The above numbers
should give you a good feeling of what 1 gigaton is and what
is required, though.
However, the characters state that they are going to use
a "nukular" blast to get the core going. While the
exact properties of "nukular" weapons are unknown,
it is certain that nuclear weapons will not get the job done,
and that 1 gigaton of anything won't be enough.
That's all for this week. Next week you should be seeing some
e-mail about the redesign and other fun stuff.
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