Tag Archives: SDTF

Stuff that Weighs More than Me: Mirrors on the Hubble Telescope

Well, all the selfies on the Fat and Proud project has got me thinking about how cell phones are modern mirrors, so naturally I thought more about mirrors and which ones might weigh more than me.  I’m also working on a space-themed project for a client and so naturally, the Hubble Telescope popped into my mind.  (Yup, my scary brain process, let me show you it…) Anywho, besides being one incredibly bad @ssed piece of scientific equipment, the Hubble Telescope is one big mama jamma.  Named the first space-based telescope, the Hubble helped confirm that the universe is expanding–a key tenet of the Big Bang Theory.  (FYI Megan and Sarah, this is not just an awesome television show!)

The Hubble Telescope was launched into space from the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990.  It circles the earth once every 97 minutes at a low-earth orbit of 307 nautical miles.  And it has taken some gorgeous pictures like these:

saturn jupiter

Besides being incredibly huge and powerful, the giant mirrors in the Hubble are incredibly accurate. In fact, Hubble’s two mirrors were ground so that they do not deviate from a perfect curve by more than 1/800,000th of an inch. To give you as sense of what that means, If Hubble’s primary mirror were scaled up to the diameter of the Earth, the biggest bump would be only six inches tall. Here’s some additional stats:

Mirrors:

Primary Mirror Diameter: 94.5 in (2.4 m)
Primary Mirror Weight: 1,825 lb (828 kg)
Secondary Mirror Diameter: 12 in (0.3 m)
Secondary Mirror Weight: 27.4 lb (12.3 kg)

Telescope:

Length: 43.5 ft (13.2 m)
Weight: 24,500 lb (11,110 kg)
Maximum Diameter: 14 ft (4.2 m)

Conclusion: The Hubble Telescope mirrors weigh more than me!

Love,

The Fat Chick

Like my posts?  You’ll love my stuff!

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Why We Can’t Forget Dr. Geoffrey Miller AKA Professor Terrible

It seems a lot of the uproar surrounding Dr. Geoffrey Miller has died down.  But a new study out of Bowling Green University helps to confirm that this issue of discrimination against fat college applicants is real and maybe it’s really, really important that we don’t stop talking about it.

For those of  you who might not remember, Dr. Geoffrey Miller got himself in just a little hot water for tweeting:

“Dear obese PhD applicants: if you don’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth”

As I predicted, the PR poo storm did indeed hit “Biblical proportions”–at least for a while.  Dr. Geoffrey tried a multitude of evasion tactics, including a half-hearted, insincere apology and claiming that he was doing some sort of research experiment.

Many of us, including me called shenanigans on his post tweet wiggling.  And the University of New Mexico pledged to look into the whole “research experiment” claim.  They did.  And not surprisingly, they decided that the claim was baseless, that the tweet doesn’t qualify as research and they are continuing a disciplinary investigation. UNM suggests that the investigation would take several more weeks.   NYU, has not indicated they have any intent of pursuing disciplinary action against the tweeting professor.

Since then, the world has not paid much attention to Dr. Geoffrey Miller  or the issue of fat discrimination in college.  And that’s not good.

Because the study out of Bowling Green indicates that this business of fat discrimination for college applicants is a really big problem.  And as the amazing Lesley Kinzel of Two Whole Cakes points out in her brilliant article in xoJane, this is hardly the first study to indicate that fat bias in college admissions.

But the Bowling Green study looks very specifically at the issue of when college students experience the discrimination and the disproportionate effect the discrimination may have on women.  The study found that when fat and thin students did an in-person interview, the fat applicants were less likely to be admitted to college.  However, the study found, when applicants were interviewed over the phone, fat students were admitted at about the same rate as thin ones.

So my dear readers, I suggest that this is no time to be quiet on the subject of Dr. Geoffrey Miller, his ill-considered tweets or the subject of discrimination in college admissions.  Maybe now would be a good time to write some letters to NYU and UNM to let them know that Dr. Geoffrey Miller should not be let off the hook and that we are deeply concerned about college admissions discrimination.

Love,

The Fat Chick

Like my posts?  You’ll love my stuff!

Buy my book: The Fat Chick Works Out! (Fitness that is Fun and Feasible for Folks of All Ages, Shapes Sizes and Abilities)–available in softcover and e-book versions

Buy my DVD: The Fat Chick Works Out! (A Safe, Easy and Fun Workout for Klutzes, Wimps and Absolute Beginners!)

Buy a book or a DVD for a friend and save $5!  Just enter FRIENDBLFT in the discount code box!

Check out my Training Programs–both in person and via Skype (Starting at just $25!)

or

Book me to speak at your special event!