Thursday, January 31, 2008

Of Mercury's Sphincter and Cardiod Microphone Porn

There are some great pictures that already coming back from the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, and this is just the first flyby - MESSENGER will not go into Mercurian orbit until March, 2011. In the meantime, we get great pictures like this one, of an apparent impact crater in the Caloris Basin region with trough-like ridges extending from it.

Now the mission folks are calling this one the Spider, but I am afraid a better name would be the Anus. But hey, maybe it's just me. The really big trough on the bottom could even be a hemorrhoid.

Which reminds me of something that happened in my acoustics class yesterday. I had started lecturing on microphones, and I was going through the various sensitivity, or pickup, patterns. Probably the most common pickup pattern is called "cardioid, and depending on if your mind resides in the clouds or the gutter it looks sort of like a heart or a butt. (Actually, Desmond Morris wrote about how the classic "heart" shape really is a sexual image in The Naked Ape.)

So anyway, I draw a cardioid pattern looks like this:

Then, I drew a microphone at the center of the pattern, which looks like this, of course:

Inadvertent hilarity ensued, much to my embarrassment - it's bad enough when I do these things on purpose.

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