Gasoline Alley by Jim Scancarelli

Gasoline Alley

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Comments (13) (Please sign in to comment)

  1. hsawlrae

    hsawlrae said, 10 months ago

    To nothing of his screws.

  2. Nabuquduriuzhur

    Nabuquduriuzhur said, 10 months ago

    A flower’s talking to the botanist:

    “Professor, give us more fertilizer, please.” “Professor, we are a little dry” “Could you move the light a little?” “PROFESSOR!!! What are you doing with those scis—”

  3. Ken

    Ken said, 10 months ago

    For the first time ever Slim is the smart one. Great story. Keep it up.

  4. battle of plattsburgh

    battle of plattsburgh said, 10 months ago

    The role of the Professor is being played by Dom DeLouise.

  5. JPuzzleWhiz

    JPuzzleWhiz said, 10 months ago

    @battle of plattsburgh

    The role of the Professor is being played by Dom DeLouise.

    First, it’s DeLuise; and second, how is that even possible, since Dom’s been dead for several years?

  6. JPuzzleWhiz

    JPuzzleWhiz said, 10 months ago

    I’d be more inclined to believe he’s being played by Rob Reiner. The professor kind of resembles him.

  7. Night-Gaunt49

    Night-Gaunt49 said, 10 months ago

    Yes it appears our Prof. has been among the plants for too long. The steaming heat has boiled his brains.
    -
    THE RISE AND FALL OF N RAYS
    -
    Figure 1. René Blondlot

    René Blondlot was a distinguished professor of physics at the University of Nancy, France, a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences, and the recipient of a number of scientific awards. Professor Blondlot, while trying to polarize X-rays which had been recently discovered by Roentgen, claimed in 1903 to have discovered a new invisible radiation which he called N-rays (in honor of his home town of Nancy). He used prisms and lenses made of aluminum to focus and disperse the N-Rays, and he detected the spectrum by passing a fine thread, coated with fluorescent material, across the focal plane. His results were replicated by a number of laboratories. Numerous claims were made for N-rays, such as they could be conducted along wires, like electricity.Blondlot was visited by American spectroscopist Robert Wood (author of the classic book “Physical Optics”, and discoverer of the phenomenon of atomic fluorescence), who had tried to duplicate the N-ray experiments, but failed. A number of experiments were performed in Wood’s presence. First, N-rays were focused on an electric spark and the brightness of the spark was supposed to increase when the N-rays were present. Wood saw no effect and was told that his eyes weren’t properly sensitized.Next, Wood was shown several photographs which supposedly showed a brightening of the spark image, but they were made under conditions that were subject to a number of errors.Finally, Wood was shown how the N-rays were refracted by an aluminum prism in a spectrometer whose entrance slit was a piece of wet cardboard with a slit cut into it. Wood was suspicious, because the slit of Blondlot’s N-ray spectrometer was 3 mm wide, yet Blondlot could detect changes in spectral intensity on the order of 0.1 mm at his focal plane. Wood asked Blondlot to demonstrate the apparatus, and secretly removed the aluminum prism from the N-ray spectrometer in the darkened room when Blondlot could not see him. Yet Blondlot continued to see the N-ray spectrum. Wood published his results in Nature (Vol 70, p.530, September 29, 1904), and N-rays disappeared from the scientific literature within several years.This story has been told many times, and was discussed by Irving Langmuir as an instance of pathological science in his 1953 lecture that was reprinted in PHYSICS TODAY, Oct 1989, p. 36. But there’s more to the story. There are inconsistencies between Robert Wood’s original article and another published in 1940, and some have claimed that Wood never removed the prism and this was another one of his pranks.Sour grapes? Probably, but Wood once used his redoubtable talents in optics to fabricate what must have been one of the first photographs of an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO). He has been described as a showman who long after adolescence was “an inveterate perpetrator of pranks and hoaxes.” But it was likely Wood’s ability to understand the mechanisms of pranks and hoaxes that led to his unraveling of the N-ray affair. He went into such a situation with the intent to disprove the effect if possible, rather than an intent to reproduce the effect. Scientific research carried out with the latter objective can have disastrous consequences. Have we seen this recently? How about polywater and cold fusion. The axiom that we learn most from our mistakes holds as true in science as it does in any other form of human endeavor.

  8. Dypak

    Dypak GoComics PRO Member said, 10 months ago

    @Ken

    Laugh, I was going to say that even without all his feathers the professor still had more on the ball than Slim.

  9. alleyoops

    alleyoops GoComics PRO Member said, 10 months ago

    @SUSAN NEWMAN

    HAPPY BITHDAY, SUSAN.

  10. firebrand1

    firebrand1 said, 10 months ago

    Ah to fix a tube run piece of equipment, whether it be a
    sound generator or receiver, you must A) Get a hammer
    and B) rap on the casing to seat the tubes. Note hitting
    the case too hard will break some tubes and you will have
    to replace the broken ones then repeat A) and B).

  11. JPuzzleWhiz

    JPuzzleWhiz said, 10 months ago

    @alleyoops

    alleyoops said, about 3 hours ago
    @SUSAN NEWMAN
    HAPPY BITHDAY, SUSAN.


    “Bithday”?

    Methinks you’ve made an “oops,” Alley! LOL!

  12. Keeper 98

    Keeper 98 said, 10 months ago

    Happy Birthday Susan Newman, best wishes for many, many more.

  13. Night-Gaunt49

    Night-Gaunt49 said, 10 months ago

    @SUSAN NEWMAN

    I hope you are having a Happy Birth Day.

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