CIDU That Jimmy Johnson Explained Before I Could Post It

Cidu Bill on Jan 7th 2013

comet.jpg

The rest… of the story

Filed in Arlo and Janis, Bill Bickel, CIDU, Jimmy Johnson, comic strips, comics, humor | 38 responses so far

38 Responses to “CIDU That Jimmy Johnson Explained Before I Could Post It”

  1. Ron Jan 7th 2013 at 02:44 pm 1

    The original works fine, but requires a geezer alert. Anyone who
    looked at Halley’s Comet when it passed by us in 1986 will probably
    remember the disappointment at what a dud it was.

  2. James Pollock Jan 7th 2013 at 02:57 pm 2

    I had a similar, but even more significant case of astronomical disappointment. The Pacific Northwest experienced a total solar eclipse in 1978. Alas, the day was completely overcast, with the result that what was actually experienced was… it got dark for a few minutes, then it got gray again. Once in a lifetime experience.

  3. Judge Mental Jan 7th 2013 at 03:02 pm 3

    Apparently, Arlo either missed his retribution with Hale-Bopp (1997) or deemed it insufficient.

    As for the comic, even though I remember the anti-climatic nature of Halley’s Comet’s appearance in 1986, I needed the missing text. In part, because the young Arlo in panel 3 doesn’t really look disappointed to me.

  4. mdt48302 Jan 7th 2013 at 03:04 pm 4

    I kind of prefer the incorrect version, being sufficiently a geezer. I’m a little surprised Johnson felt the need to be explicit, as he’s the last one to worry about being obscure.

  5. Kamino Neko Jan 7th 2013 at 03:32 pm 5

    I got it without the text.

    I actually think it’s better without it.

  6. Cidu Bill Jan 7th 2013 at 03:42 pm 6

    I did guess what he was getting at, and my comment would have been along the lines of “Did Jimmy leave out a panel here?” Which would have kinda hit the nail on the head.

  7. Elyrest Jan 7th 2013 at 04:16 pm 7

    I didn’t need the text because I thought the last panel sufficiently expressed his disappointment. The universe owes him. I think Mark Twain set us all up for a mind-blowing experience. I’m not sure if any of my expectations could have been fulfilled by reality. My first disappointment came when I realized that I, and many others, had been mispronouncing Halley’s. I still struggle with that one.

  8. Winter Wallaby Jan 7th 2013 at 04:33 pm 8

    James #2: The disappointment is understandable, but unless you had just moved to the Pacific Northwest a few days earlier, you can’t have been surprised about it being completely overcast. :)

  9. Pete Jan 7th 2013 at 04:36 pm 9

    According to the late Patrick Moore, it is properly pronounced “Hawlee”

  10. Elyrest Jan 7th 2013 at 04:42 pm 10

    “Hawlee” !!!!!!!!!! Oh, my goodness. That’s a new one for me. Maybe I’ll go back back to my first incorrect pronunciation.

  11. James Schend Jan 7th 2013 at 04:42 pm 11

    @James Pollock: I also live in the Northwest, and found you soon learn to ignore astronomy events because it’s invariably overcast. Alas.

    Might be nice to live in Nevada for a few years, just to experience a meteor shower for once.

  12. Cidu Bill Jan 7th 2013 at 05:01 pm 12

    Always loved this song:

  13. Judge Mental Jan 7th 2013 at 05:07 pm 13

    I wonder how much the popularity of Bill Haley and His Comets helped to exacerbate the problem of Halley being mispronounced?

  14. fj Jan 7th 2013 at 06:22 pm 14

    Kohoutek, Austin, and Halley were all huge disappointments for me: I knew exactly what Arlo was talking about. OK, Hale-Bopp helped to even the score a bit (although it came at a dreadful time for me)… but the universe (or at least the Oort bloud and/or Kuiper belt) still owes me.

  15. Bob in Nashville Jan 7th 2013 at 06:32 pm 15

    It still seems better the way JJ intended it than the way he accidentally sent it.

    I agree. Halley’s was a major disappointment but Hale-Bopp out of nowhere was awesome enough to make up for it. I say the Universe paid that debt.

  16. Arthur Jan 7th 2013 at 06:57 pm 16

    I read the verison on this page, and wondered what the CIDU was. I fully
    understood (and kind-of agreed with) Arlo.

    BTW, there HAS been a news report of a possibly fantastically-bright comet
    arriving in about a year. The current estimate (remember Kohoutek, though)
    is that it could be bright enough to see in the daytime.

  17. Jeff S. Jan 7th 2013 at 07:40 pm 17

    As a young college student majoring in Physics and minoring in Astronomy (at the time), Halley was exactly as I expected it to be.

    I was told it was pronounced HAL-ee, like a man’s first name… or the computer in 2001, A Space Odyssey. I don’t know if HAL-ee or HAWL-ee is right, but I do know HAIL-ee isn’t.

  18. J-L Jan 7th 2013 at 08:02 pm 18

    I don’t know how true this is, but this is what I heard:

    I’d heard that in the Middle Ages there was a supernova (or, rather, the light from a supernova reached Earth) that was so bright that it could even be seen in the daytime. The supernova lasted about three years.

    Curiously, there are no European records about this. Some people today blame the Medieval Church for not recording this event, as they must have believed that the sky was static and unchanging, and that any permanent change was considered heresy. (Of course, this is just speculation.)

    I have no idea if any of this is true. Anyone else heard anything like it?

    True or not, it would be awesome to see something similar to it, provided it’s not close enough to fry/hurt us.

  19. James Pollock Jan 7th 2013 at 09:31 pm 19

    J-L, that supernova is the one that formed the crab nebula
    ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_nebula )

  20. J-L Jan 7th 2013 at 10:04 pm 20

    Thanks, James. The Crab Nebula is fascinating.

  21. fj Jan 7th 2013 at 10:15 pm 21

    @Jeff S.

    To qualify my earlier comment about Halley, by the time it came around, I too, realized that it would not be a great apparition, particularly for Northern hemisphere viewers. However, given the anticipation created a decade earlier in the wake of the bust of Kohoutek, it was still disappointing to me.

    @J-L,
    The lack of European records for the supernova of 1054 is curious, but I kind of doubt the Medieval church instituted a cover-up. If they did, they missed the records that Swiss monks made of the supernova of 1006 (which was even brighter than the 1054 supernova), as well as the records of a number of comets mentioned in other church-related records. The church was kind of busy in 1054 with the death of Pope Leo IX and the East-West Schism.

    By the way, there are a couple of 1054 church-related references that tie Leo’s death to the what were later thought to be poetic descriptions to lights in the sky. Some researchers have postulated that perhaps these are actual references to the supernova of 1054.

  22. Winter Wallaby Jan 8th 2013 at 01:06 am 22

    fj #21: The way I always heard and interpreted J-L’s explanation wasn’t “cover-up” but “it didn’t fit in the European worldview, so they didn’t bother recording or explaining it.” I’ve never been sure what to make of that explanation (and it’s pretty hard to imagine good evidence for or against it), but that interpretation seems more reasonable than cover-up.

    I believe that comets were already understood as (potentially) regular at the time, so comets wouldn’t threaten or be inconsistent with an view of the universe as unchanging.

  23. ANDREA Jan 8th 2013 at 05:56 am 23

    I still haven’t found out what the text in Panel 3 is supposed to be; the link on his page leads to COMMENTS . . . could someone enlighten me?

  24. Kilby Jan 8th 2013 at 06:17 am 24

    @ Andrea (23) - The text on the white panel in the lower left corner should have appeared as:
    Finally it came, and it was so dim, I never even saw it!

    P.S. I saw Halley’s comet in 1986, but only because someone had set up a small telescope and invited us all to have a look. Otherwise it would have been utterly invisible.

  25. zookeeper Jan 8th 2013 at 07:00 am 25

    Thanks, Bill, nice song. I remember first learning of Halley’s in about ‘54 or ‘55. I was sure I would be around to see it in its glorious return. Third panel made perfect sense to me.

  26. Powers Jan 8th 2013 at 07:52 am 26

    Winter Wallaby @22: As fj noted, though, the supernova of 1006 /was/ recorded, so the “it didn’t fit their worldview” explanation is hard to swallow.

  27. fj Jan 8th 2013 at 07:54 am 27

    @Winter Wallaby, 22 (and @J-L)

    Thanks for that clarification. Certainly, I can see how church dogma might predispose people NOT to record an event that might be construed as heretical. I had heard a version that involved a more intentional supression of information, and I give it little credibility.

    I would disagree that comets were already considered potentially periodic by the 11th century. Aristotle believed them to be atmospheric disturbances, and it was Tycho Brahe (16th century), who proved that they lay beyond the moon. It seems to me that it would be rather difficult to reconcile them with a Ptolomaic view of the solar system. A big part of the reason that comet Halley became so famous is that Halley was the first person to successfully predict the return of a periodic comet.

  28. heather Jan 8th 2013 at 08:00 am 28

    I think the comic is best with the panel in black (as intended), but without the text (as it was printed). I ‘got it’ without the text, though the bright white panel was kind of incongruous.

  29. AMC Jan 8th 2013 at 12:12 pm 29

    I knew exactly what he meant.

    I am that old.

    And that much of an astronomy geek.

  30. Boise Ed Jan 8th 2013 at 12:25 pm 30

  31. Terry Jan 8th 2013 at 12:43 pm 31

    Don’t forget Hyakutake in ‘96–almost as good as Hale-Bopp where I was living at the time (Germany). Either one was total recompense for my getting up way too early for way too little in ‘86. I thought we were really on a roll there for awhile.

  32. Keera Jan 8th 2013 at 01:03 pm 32

    We didn’t see Halley’s (HAL-lee) comet in 1986, but it was the second time it buzzed Earth in my grandma’s lifetime. I’ll have to be 101 to see it “again”, myself. I did see McNaught’s comet in 2007 and even got a great picture of it setting in the west, tail and all, but sadly, I have lost that photo.

  33. Winter Wallaby Jan 8th 2013 at 01:30 pm 33

    fj #27: Whoops, you are right, and I was wrong, regarding comets. However, if they were generally understood as being atmospheric disturbances, I’m not sure why they’d be a problem for Ptolemaic model - it seems to me that they’d be outside of that model, rather than a threat to it.

  34. Boise Ed Jan 8th 2013 at 01:40 pm 34

  35. Keera Jan 8th 2013 at 01:45 pm 35

    Thanks, Ed @34, but I miss my photo, the one I took with my own camera. (Wish I’d realized sooner that it had gone missing; I might have been able to recover it.)

  36. fj Jan 8th 2013 at 03:28 pm 36

    @Winter Wallaby, #33

    Sorry for the confusion. What I was trying to say is that I believe if one *tried* to describe the highly eccentric orbit of a comet (as we know them now) with a variation of the Ptolemaic model, in addition to the epicycle required to explain retrograde motion, one would need an epicycle that created the eccentricity. The latter would be so large that it would intersect the primary circles (deferents) of various planets (at least that’s the way it intuitively works in my head, I haven’t tried to actually model it). This would be incompatible with Ptolemaic thinking (which had all the planets residing in their own spheres)

    So comets were dismissed as being within the realm of the atmosphere. Supernovas were thought by some astronomers of old to be tail-less comets.

  37. Winter Wallaby Jan 9th 2013 at 01:58 am 37

    Thanks for the clarification fj, that makes sense.

  38. Dave in Boston Jan 9th 2013 at 02:10 am 38

    I’m not convinced of that, but I’m too lazy to sit down and work it out.

    Remember that you only get to track the thing when it’s a naked-eye object, and your observations aren’t going to be all that accurate either, so the observable eccentricity may not be all that high.

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