The Sciences


Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitFeb 15, 2008 5:30 PM


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Shaquille O'Neal is becoming an astrophysicist? I guess Colbert was on to something.

Money quote:

"I have been involved in many hotly contested battles in my playing career and have come out an even stronger warrior, but 100 billion Kelvins is a lot even for the Diesel," O'Neal said, showing the various media present a slide of the Crab Nebula, which he called a "frightening" example of what could be left of him after a supernova occurs. "If I were still in my 20s, maybe I could sustain a burst of energy more powerful than the sun could emit over a 10-billion-year time period. But Steve Nash has to understand that I have a bad hip."

Though I must take exception to this line (emphasis added):

"Not even electron degeneracy pressure is enough to stop a supernova when that happens to a Sun," O'Neal added. "I don't even know what that means, and I am the Big Astronomer. But it scares me."

He's skirting dangerously close to stepping on my trademark, and I may have to throw an elbow. But now it looks like I have a new candidate to blurb my book.

Tip o' the sweatband to Professor Astronomy.

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