Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Diamond rain and other phenomena - Ran Levi

How I love the typical Israeli jokes on the podcast Making History with Ran Levi (עושים היסטוריה! עם רן לוי). In the last issue he kicked off with one and closed with it again, but let's first look at the subject.

In this series of history of science, we were taken through the solar system to look at the weather conditions on other planets and their moons. Obviously, the most violent of atmosphere is Jupiter with its profound red spot, the storm that is visible from down here. But what about Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, that has such a high pressure and low temperatures that the methane rains are pressed to drops of diamonds. A fascinating journey that makes you appreciate our own climate.

So where is the joke? You could easily do without, but just for the heck of it, Ran Levi takes us in his tale on a spaceship through the system. And the spaceship, of course, is a leasing vehicle, so that we can take it on the long bumpy trip without bother. And when we return we shrug at the קצין הרכב who points out the numerous scratches on the damn thing. This is another version of the Israeli joke: "You knew they have invented a low budget, medium size off the road car? It's called leasing." But maybe this is universal after all.

More Making History:
Blood,
Myths and pseudo-knowledge,
What goes up, must come down,
Douglas Adams,
Sophie Germain.

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