How Good Were We At Guessing What Pluto Would Look Like?

Before Tuesday, nobody really knew what Pluto looked like. But since 1933, its (now former) status as “the ninth planet” merited its inclusion in countless depictions of the Solar System. Which means up until Tuesday, every time a TV show showed a picture of Pluto they were largely guessing.

So . . . how well did they guess? In the game of “pin the proper coloration and topology on the barely-visible dwarf planet”, who came closest to winning?

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How Much Money Would It Take To Fill Scrooge’s Money Bin?

Scrooge McDuck has a lot of money. He’s the richest duck in the world, consistently number one (or two) in rankings of all wealthy fictional characters. And the most conspicuous and iconic symbol of his wealth is his aptly-named “money bin”.

Unchanged in appearance since artist Carl Banks settled on its modern form in 1956, it’s one of those ridiculous symbols of childish excess that could never exist in real life. But . . . what if it did? How much real-life money would it take to fill Scrooge McDuck’s money bin?

(It’s more than all the gold in the world . . . but less than all the pennies.)

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Melanie’s Marvelous Measles Is A Book For Children That You Can Buy

Melanie’s Marvelous Measles is a book about how awesome it is to catch the measles. Children ages 4-10 are invited to learn that the measles is actually pretty fun, has no serious possible side-effects, and is something kids should look forward to getting.

The book includes helpful medical advice, like that measles is easily avoided by drinking melon juice, and that vaccines weaken the human immune system, but getting measles strengthens it (as does melon juice).

You can buy the book—for your own unvaccinated children, or for a friend’s—on Amazon. (If you’re lucky enough to be unvaccinated and expecting, just click the “add to Baby Registry” button.)

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Who Has Come Closest To Winning Civilization In Real Life?

Games in Sid Meier’s Civilization series are loosely patterned off the rise and fall of real-life civilizations. And some of these real-life civilizations had exactly the kinds of ambitions that would win a game of Civilization. Which raises the obvious question: did any of them get close? Has anybody won? Are we all just living in the “just a few more turns” postgame of a real-life Civilization match?

(“Yes,” “maybe,” and “maybe.”)

This is about who got closest, although in a couple cases, there may already be a winner. And I’ll be using the victory conditions from Civilization III. Because I like Civilization III and it’s the best one.

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Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

In Poland, there’s an idiom that I’ve recently fallen in love with. Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy . . . literally, “not my circus, not my monkey;” figuratively, “not my problem.”

I guess monkeys are “problems” in Poland, and circuses are where “problems” come from. If it’s not your monkey, and it’s not even from your circus, then it’s not your problem.

(Not that I’d ever use this in a truly serious situation . . . but I’m betting there’ll be a few opportunities to call upon this idiom around the office.)

2014 edit: image appears to have originated here, but isn’t there now.
This post originally appeared on the Observation Deck.