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Thread: The Helpful Troll

  1. #1
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    The Helpful Troll

    The Boss calls me most nights and talks about either how doomed the world is, or he'll ask about astronomy, mainly because I'll answer him if he asks a question about it. This is the guy who repeatedly asks why we can't just put 10 more Hubbles up there.

    Tonight, I was having hard time staying awake, so I took a caffeine pill. He called about 20 minutes later and asked about black holes and what we really know about them. Then he asked about the "edge" of our solar system and where it was, exactly.

    Caffeine makes me talky.
    I think I broke him.
    Last edited by Tog; 2012-Mar-23 at 10:42 AM.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  2. #2
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    :>

  3. #3
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    We on this Forum could help answer his questions if you have other things you'd rather be doing. Though it's too bad talk about doom of the world, other than PPlaitian doom, would be political.

    Why not invite him to join? After this topic is off the front page, of course.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog View Post
    I think I broke him.
    "Mrs. Cooper? Hey, it's Penny. Yeah, I think I broke your son."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAPNUT View Post
    We on this Forum could help answer his questions if you have other things you'd rather be doing. Though it's too bad talk about doom of the world, other than PPlaitian doom, would be political.

    Why not invite him to join? After this topic is off the front page, of course.
    He doesn't want a discussion, he just wants someone to talk at when he wakes up. He sleeps 8 hours a night, but it takes him 12 to do it. He'll sleep for a bit, then wake up and call to let us know that <insert group> is stupid for doing something in a way he disagrees with. Then he goes back to sleep for a few hours.

    He also can't avoid politics. He wouldn't last past the third post, if he could be bothered to interact with anyone here in the first place. When the housing market crashed, his solution to fix it overnight was to reset everything to the way it was in 2004. He set up an auto-dialer and spammed every fax line he could find for each member of Congress and the U.S. Senate twice a day for a week, from a Canadian phone number. Since they didn't implement his fix, it was proof that they either wanted everything to fail, or that they are too paralyzed by fear to act, or that they are just too unaware of the facts to see the wisdom in his thoughts. It depends on the night. Sometimes I'd hear all three int he same call.

    One call was nearly an hour on why HAM radio was better than social networking, and it basically came down to the fact that radio is too expensive and complex for the riff-raff to use, so he won't have to interact with them.

    Finally, after a bout 6 months, I talked him listening to Astronomy Cast. Most of the answers I give him I learned from there, and the time he spends talking to me on the phone each night could cover 1 or 2 episodes. He declined because "If I do that, I want to retain the information. When I call you it really doesn't matter whether I remember anything we talk about or not."

    Then he listened to one, got a minute in, and gave up because "it sounded too much like they were just ad-libbing" and he wants something like Cosmos. Basically, Pamela and Fraser are not professional enough by his standards. The only reason he asks me about astronomy is so I'll answer. His political stuff just gets him dead air.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog View Post
    He doesn't want a discussion, he just wants someone to talk at when he wakes up. He sleeps 8 hours a night, but it takes him 12 to do it. He'll sleep for a bit, then wake up and call to let us know that <insert group> is stupid for doing something in a way he disagrees with. Then he goes back to sleep for a few hours.
    I've recently read an article suggesting that this pattern, two ~4 hour sleeps with a wake active phase in the middle, is closer to the natural sleeping pattern for humans than the ~8 hours in one stretch that we've apparently only used for the last couple of hundred years.
    __________________________________________________
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  7. #7
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    One should think that you should " Charge him " for his 'thought therapy' . And how do these people become the boss
    if they can't think Well, maybe he should consider de-caf coffee . Hmmm......
    Tell him how large the Oort Cloud is.
    "In 1950, Dutch astronomer Jan Oort proposed that certain comets come from a vast, extremely distant, spherical shell of icy bodies surrounding the solar system. This giant swarm of objects is now named the Oort Cloud, occupying space at a distance between 5,000 and 100,000 astronomical units. (One astronomical unit, or AU, is the mean distance of Earth from the sun: about 150 million km or 93 million miles.) The outer extent of the Oort Cloud is believed to be in the region of space where the sun's gravitational influence is weaker than the influence of nearby stars." .
    Let him sleep on that.


    Best regards,
    Dan

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    I've recently read an article suggesting that this pattern, two ~4 hour sleeps with a wake active phase in the middle, is closer to the natural sleeping pattern for humans than the ~8 hours in one stretch that we've apparently only used for the last couple of hundred years.
    I saw that too, but his is sleep 2 up for 1, sleep 3, up for 0.5, sleep for 1, up for 1.5, sleep 2 then awake for 12. That article just proved to him he's been doing it right all along.

    I sort of do the two fours thing, except I need to be on a 30 hour day to make it work. If I sleep for 4-5 hours, then get up, I'm up for ten. I can't get back to sleep in time to get up for work.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    Tell him how large the Oort Cloud is.
    I went deeper than that. He's a little freaked out by bugs, and swears that he's never had a spider in his house in the last 30 years. When he asked about the edge fo the solar system, I said it depends on who you ask.
    Kids might say it ends with Neptune or Pluto.
    A little older and they include the Kuiper Belt and maybe the Oort Cloud.
    Other might consider the heliopause as the limit, though we don't really know for sure where the boundaries are for that and they seem to be shifting.
    Then you need to consider that anything that orbits out sun is part of the solar system, so a grain of sand three light years away might be the edge as long as it doesn't interact with another star. The questions, would that count as the edge any more than all the dust mites in your mattress count as residents in your home?
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  10. #10
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    Aewsome, Tog. Just awesome !!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog View Post

    Caffeine makes me talky.
    I think I broke him.
    This.
    And This.
    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    One should think that you should " Charge him " for his 'thought therapy' .
    Made very much LOL.

    He sounds fairly harmless to me.... indulge him, heck he is probably helping you keep your knowledge up to date.

  12. #12
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    Really? You actually have a boss that asks "about black holes and what we really know about them. Then he asked about the "edge" of our solar system and where it was, exactly."

    You're one in several hundred million, Tog. Why are you spending time here?

  13. #13
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    Where Else should I spent it? It's not like I can get any real writing done when I'm the Phone with him for an hour.

    And the same calls where he asks about the scale of the universe, he'll ask me the exact date next winter when we will have enough snow for the ski resorts to open, or he'll toss out gems like, "As I get older, I find most of my recollections come from the past", and he'll want to discuss the idea.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog View Post
    ...or he'll toss out gems like, "As I get older, I find most of my recollections come from the past"
    Where else would our recollections com from?


  15. #15
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    That's like " More and more of our imports come from overseas . " Hard to believe where that came from.

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