Percy, Percy, me

By Phil Plait | September 14, 2011 1:00 pm

So I went to a Greek festival last weekend, and ate a ton of really good food. It was outside, with lots of tents set up with different cuisine, and one of them made me smile. I took the picture here, and tweeted this: "At a Greek festival, where they’re serving spicy grilled astrophysicist," linking to the picture.

I got a good response, since my readers are geeks like me. One of them happened to be SMBC web comic artist Zach Weiner, who was inspired by my Hellenic humor. He then created the picture below, showing a famous astronomer whose first name is Percival, and whose last name you can probably figure out.

I don’t know how funny he was, but he helped discover Pluto, so there’s that.

And yes, I LOLed. Zach and I are both much dorks.


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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Geekery, Humor

Comments (27)

  1. Anon

    Took me ten minutes to get the joke. Does that say something about me or about it?

  2. apophys

    @anon: Neah, had to read it out loud after 10 minutes to get it too…And yes, Phil, it’s funny :D

  3. Chris L.

    He also had some silly ideas (not as silly as Hoagland’s) about Mars as I recall. As Sagan put it “all in all, he believed too much.”

  4. Mike

    Dork Matter – Substance that causes geeks to gather in clumps at parties.

    Dork Energy – Strange force that causes normal people to be repelled from geeks at parties.

  5. Digital Atheist

    Now that was a Lowell blow Phil. After a dose of humor like that I can say that my Plait is Phil’d. I hope you are not having your sense of humor Savaged by that Adam Mythbuster.

    Yes, I know… bad puns… the lowest form of life… err… humor to be found, and I realize that it is probably a Ceres mistake for a blog like this, but I hope you’ll forgive me the Eros of my ways.

    Now, I think I will flee before Europa me and toss me out the door. ;-)

    Oh, and don’t strand me in the middle of the ocean on an Eisenberg, if you please.

  6. Daffy

    “Puns are the highest form of humor.”—attributed to various people.

  7. If you guys are dorks, that makes me one too. I think I will count you as good company.

  8. Ken

    Wikipedia says a “saganaki” is a “little frying pan”. So they were actually serving spicy fried astrophysicist!

    @Digital Atheist: I can only find a biochemist named Eisenberg. Perhaps you meant Heisenberg; I’m uncertain.

  9. Digital Atheist

    Yes… just a case misspelling. I was too busy nottrying to shoot my ownself for typing it, or in this case typoing it.

  10. BJN

    How is LOL “Hellenic”? Perhaps if Percy discovered Plato…

  11. Autumn

    I thought that saganaki was fried cheese served flambe.
    Still appropriate.

  12. John Sandlin

    So how many Billions is a Saganaki?

    jbs

  13. VinceRN

    Facepalm. Add me to the “it took me 10 minutes” club. Embarrassing as it’s so obvious once you get there.

  14. Phil
  15. Joe

    Hmm, I typically just lurk but I had to comment. I must be a bit geeky, I got it in a couple seconds. *blink*

  16. Georg

    Ell was the son of the martian astronaut All, stranded on earth.
    He lived in Friedenau Germany as a private Astronomer and
    later (after martian invasion) became Governor over German
    States in Europe, until he resigned to protest against the colonial
    attitude of martian politics with respect to earthlings.
    His fate was documented by Kurd Lasswitz in “Auf zwei Planeten”,
    (Kurd Lasswitz, Two Planets, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Planets )

  17. JB of Brisbane

    I prefer the T-shirt I saw advertised somewhere that had an artwork of Mao Tse Tung (or is it Mao Zedong?) captioned underneath, “LMAO”.
    (No copyright infringement intended).

  18. Joel

    @15. JB: Personally, this was always one of my favourites: http://tcritic.com/archives/new-from-tdigger-chairman-meaow/

  19. @5. Digital Atheist : LOL. (I like puns too, they’re punny.) :-)

    @3. Chris L. Says:

    He also had some silly ideas (not as silly as Hoagland’s) about Mars as I recall. As Sagan put it “all in all, he believed too much.”

    Not so silly in the context of the time given the technology and ideas of the time, methinks. No spaceprobes had yet ventured that far and strained eyes at their limits were easy prey to imagination and an optical illusion of “channels” mistranslated and shifting markings they thought might be vegetation rather than shifting russet sands.

    Plus Lowell’s imaginative – if plausible for the time – ideas helped inspire H.G. Well’s original 898 War of the Worlds novel founding a genre of Science Fiction. :-)

    Plus Lowell led the search for Pluto and helped give it its name and symbol. :-)

    Click on my name for Lowell’s wiki-link.

    *****

    “No one would have dreamed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.”
    – Opening sentence of HG. Wells ‘War of the Worlds’, 1898.
    (Yes, sentence – & some folks think I write too long sentences with repetition and excessive adverbs! ;-) )

    “Nor was it generally understood that since Mars is older than our Earth, … it necessarily follows that it is not only more distant from life’s beginning but nearer its end. [Actually, Mars & Earth are the same age we know today – Well’s was using an old idea of Kant’s Nebular hypotheis for explaining our solar systems evolution -Ed.]
    – Page 4, ‘The War of the World’s’, H.G. Wells, 1898, Aerie books 1987 for my edition.

    “The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one he
    said!”
    – Line from Jeff Wayne’s Musical version of ‘War of the Worlds’,
    performed 1978.

    [Actually, we now know the odds against are many orders of magnitude
    higher – try a couple of billion trillion more like! Unless, that is those Martians are derived from us in the distant future when that planet has been terraformed and colonised.. ;-) – MTU.]

  20. QuietDesperation

    @4 As little as I like geek and nerd, I can ignore them as an unfortunate aspect of our culture, but dork is not good, dude. Dork in general use implies stupidity and is similar to twit.

  21. QuietDesperation

    “Puns are the highest form of humor.”—attributed to various people.

    Yeah, various dorks.

    Ha!

  22. Mark Derail

    Saw it yesterday, didn’t get it, moved on within a minute.
    Saw it again today, got it right away – by sounding it out – within a minute.

    24 hours !?! Or just 2 minutes, one per day?

    Came looking for an update on that “slow comet” story I read on BoingBoing and Gizmodo…

  23. katwagner

    Dorks will save the world. And the universe, prolly.

    Pun ishment is fun, by the way.

  24. MadSciKat =^..^=

    I Lowell’d.

    @QuietDesperation: Alfred Hitchcock to Dick Cavett in a TV interview: “Puns are the highest form of literature.”

  25. Nyetwerke

    Flaming saganaki? Whooopah!

  26. icemith

    Well then, what about Dork Vader? (But don’t let him hear you refer to him as that!!!)

    Ivan.

  27. @24: Somewhere on the blogosphere, I ran into a YouTube clip of Hitchcock on Cavett. Don’t remember why. Hilarious. Maybe the same interview, I don’t know.

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