Sunday, 9 March 2008

Part of the system

OK. I'll admit it. I do have nerdish tendencies from time to time. (I was going to start this by saying I'd hold my hand up to being a nerd, but us nerds find that whole physical activity thing rather tiresome.)

As a child, my parents encouraged me to read instead of plonking me down in front of the telly. I exhausted the small local lending library within a few years, giving me a head-start in my junior education but leaving me hopelessly ill-equipped in later years when pub quiz questions would turn to TV shows of the 70s.

I could so easily have qualified for the Golden Anorak and fully embraced nerd-dom in my early teens; there was indeed a wargaming society at school, in which I dabbled. I indulged, but did not fully inhale. Eventually, girls (or at least the largely fruitless pursuit thereof), loud music and beer intervened.

But occasionally my inner nerd will come close to the surface. For instance, is it really wrong to want to collect this, for instance? Come on - you get your own solar system at the end of it - who's not going to want one of those? Perfect for those of us with delusions of adequacy.

It's a bit of a shame they didn't use the real world for an astronomical model - an orrery. But I suppose it's one of those words that is very much of its time. They couldn't really have advertised it as "Build Your Own Orrery", which is a shame. They could have your orrery delivered by pantechnicon, perhaps, or by autogyro. And then one could admire its intricacies whilst sat in one's dovecote, a laudanum at one's elbow.

I'm convinced that the first advert for this missed out the word "model", which opened up all sorts of possibilities to me. If you're going to be able to build your own real solar system, then a lot of the editions are just going to be hydrogen atoms and the series is going to stretch on for quite a while. At six quid a pop that might be quite a commitment.

Mind you, perhaps they'd stick to the original 52 edition schedule. The solar system weighs 2.6x10(27) kilogrammes, though, so each edition would come in at something like 5,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 tonnes.

We're definitely going to need a bigger letterbox.

4 comments:

Le laquet said...

So at £5.99 per copy that is, oh hang on a sec *breaks out calculator* ... you're very own solar system for the bargain price of £311.48 - HOW MUCH?? So that'd be a golden anorak with a big wallet pocket then.

City Girl said...

Le Laquet - Worse yet, that's $100,000.00 American.

Fab - Comparative Astronomy was my favorite college course (would LOVE to own this). Greek Mythology and Chaucer were my fave high school topics. You want some geeky company? You have it, my friend.

And the Geeks shall inherit the Earth...but not the really expensive model of the solar system....

fatboyfat said...

£311 is a little on the rich side, to be honest, and as I don't have the commitment it would be a waste. But if I could do the real one....

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the slight exaggeration - I understand the first copy comes for the bargain price of £1.99 - which makes it reasonable I'd say. I wonder which part you get for that ... Uranus?

Le laquet

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