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Who, me? [userpic]

Heard on the train

June 12th, 2009 (08:05 am)

"They declared a pandemic."
"Where?"

Comments

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: June 12th, 2009 01:06 pm (UTC)
Bird Brain

"Between your ears."
"At their press conference."
"On Mars."

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: June 12th, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC)
Martian pandemics

"On Mars."

That's an interesting one. Since there are no oceans on Mars, any infection would qualify as a pandemic.

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: June 12th, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Martian pandemics

-1 points for Metageek. Oceans do not define continents, or "regions," which is what the WHO uses for areas.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: June 12th, 2009 01:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Martian pandemics

(a) The WHO may use weasel-wording to get a more useful definition, but the definition I learned was "an epidemic that has spread to every continent...except maybe Antarctica".

(b) Oceans do define continents. (No, sorry, Europe is not a continent.) A geologist might disagree; but, in the context of epidemiology, what's relevant about continents is that diseases can spread more easily within a continent than across continents. By that definition, all of Mars is one continent, because you can walk all over it.

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: June 12th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Martian pandemics

I thought tectonic plates defined continents?

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: June 12th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Martian pandemics

I thought tectonic plates defined continents?

That's why I said a geologist might disagree. But there are continents made of more than one plate (think California, or India), and plates which are not part of any continent (think ocean floor).

The truth is, continents are defined by common usage, and any more rigorous definition is a back-formation.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: June 12th, 2009 01:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Martian pandemics

Well, yeah, and the Martian desert would prevent travel, period. But aside from that.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: June 12th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Martian pandemics

Oh, and (c): on Mars, bacterial infections, at least, can spread across the planet without any intermediate host, because they can live in the confectioner's sugar.

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: June 12th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Martian pandemics

Why couldn't they infect the confectioner herself?

Posted by: metahacker (metahacker)
Posted at: June 12th, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC)
miracle

"Worldwide." It's not like we're quarantining Mars.

Yet.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: June 12th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)
Quarantining Mars

It's not like we're quarantining Mars.

No, we're quarantining Earth—every time we send something to Mars, we take pains to make sure it's sterile.

Posted by: dsrtao (dsrtao)
Posted at: June 12th, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Quarantining Mars

Mars thanks you for your kind consideration.

(Mars speaks in the third person plural when making formal statements, and in the first person plural when speaking informally. Well, massively parallel gestalt intelligences get to make their own rules, eh? See _A Miracle of Science_, http://project-apollo.net/mos/ )

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: June 12th, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Quarantining Mars

Well, massively parallel gestalt intelligences get to make their own rules, eh?

No, I don't.

Posted by: Karen (klwilliams)
Posted at: June 12th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)

A funnier answer would have been

"Who?"

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: June 12th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)

Third base!

(Deleted comment)
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