Saturday, February 10, 2007

FedEx delivers bad science on Sundays

Superbowl Sunday, at least. Bad Astronomer Phil Plait posted nicely on this, so I will proceed to my flattery forthwith.

You had to pay $2.4E+6 to have a 30-second spot run during Superbowl XLI. Federal Express shelled out its cash for this catalog of science misconceptions.

But when FedEx delivers a lemon, I say turn it into a lesson!

Read the Bad Astronomy post for Phil's well-articulated objections. Then use this student worksheet and show the clip in class. Students really do enjoy ripping these things to shreds, and many will be inspired to be on the lookout for bad science in other ads, too.

Maybe we should pass a hat to fund more ad/"lessons" like this one!


Jill Mackin said...

Dear Sir:

I was looking at your smugmugz site..after having googled my step-mother's name (whom I've not seen in over 30 years) Is that Jean Mackin you have pictured from Las Vegas, NV by any chance? Any help you can give is very much appreciated!!!!

Anonymous said...

HA! Dean Baird, reuniting lost family members since 2007.

Dean Baird said...

I'm sorry I don't have any more info than what's captioned in the photo. I have a picture of a Jean Mackin presenting at the high school share-a-thon at the Salt Lake City Summer Meeting of the AAPT in 2005.

Good luck.

Stevie Ray said...

I guess my students were correct after all - "There is no gravity on the moon."

I do wonder, however, what mysterious force held the four moon walkers (and the FedEx shuttle) on the lunar surface (until one was given a slap on the shoulder anyway).

Dean Baird said...

...and no air to breathe, but enough to light the meteors.

I like the Bad Astronomer's suggestion to Google "heavy boots." It's a quick way to access the many tales of how the atronauts compensated for the absence of gravity on the moon by wearing heavy boots.