When the Earth

A couple of links to keep you busy for now:

I’m not sure where I got this one from, but to me ‘Social Wallpaper’ is the only compelling social network. If you can call it a social network: basically, it allows everyone to upload their wallpaper, with mixed results, of course. Some of the pictures are truly amazing, some of them plainly suck. Some pictures come from the NASA archives and some, well, don’t. I have to admit that I haven’t been convinced to change my desktop wallpaper yet (that wallpaper comes from Alfons).

Earlier this week, I stumbled upon this 2004 discussion on the Physics Forum where someone asked for ‘Prove that the Earth revolves around the Sun’Geocentric vs heliocentric:

I find it obvious, as did many previous people, that the sun goes aroudn the earth. I of course know htis to be untrue as it has been drummed into me again and again for the past 16 years.
Can someone please prove to me (so that i can prove to others as well) that the earth goes around the sun. Do not be afraid to explain using mathematics, as i see that as the only way of undeniable proof.

The discussion is eye-opening: the most compelling (easy to verify) proof seems to be planetary retrograde motion, which is too complex to explain if our solar system was a geocentric system. Additionally, with the knowledge we have of gravity, it would have been scientifically impossible to explain why the sun would move around an object with less mass (more on heliocentric vs. geocentric, right here).

And last but not least: I was surprised to find out that OpenOffice comes with CLI/.Net assemblies (if you have OpenOffice installed, it’s right in your “Program Files\OpenOffice.org 2.0\program\assembly” folder). Sample code can be found at OpenDocument4All: the projects seem to be geared towards .Net 1.1 (Sourceforge project page).

Update: Slightly unrelated: Fulll moon eclipse for next Thursday.

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