(Tier 1) Adventures in ACE XXV: The Grass Ain’t Greener

After getting almost every single detail of a spy plane wrong, plus screwing up science facts at almost every turn, the ACE writers continue our atmospheric miseducation. As per usual, the fail is in the details. They get the temperature of the thermosphere wrong by almost 1000°F. They also fail to mention that, due to the gas molecules being so sparse, you’d actually feel cold even in the 3,600+°F temperatures: there simply isn’t a great enough density of air to transfer that heat to our skin.

Leave it to ACE to miss the really fascinating facts.

They have a surprisingly good explanation of what ions are and how they’re formed. But any pleasure we may take in that is quickly ruined by the horribly unfunny comic strip on the following page:

Image is a comic strip. The first panel shows a boy in a green long-sleeve shirt, adjusting his round-rimmed glasses, as he says to a boy in a yellow shirt, "Pudge, do you know what an aurora is?" The next panel shows Pudge saying, "...au·rō'ra... an Italian lion?" as he imagines a lion saying "a·roar·a". The final panel shows the boy in green rolling his eyes, and saying to Pudge, who is standing in the background, "Oh, Pudge! An aurora is a colorfully lighted night sky."
Cartoon from ACE PACE 1088, page 18.

Racer says the weatherman he was listening to on the radio “said that the aurora borealis, the northern lights, were particularly brilliant at night this week.” Either the ACE people have never heard children talking, or Racer has been programmed to be a particularly tedious know-it-all. Kids don’t generally talk like that. It’s annoying, but not half so annoying as Reginald cutting in just as Bill finishes explaining to a clueless Sandy why they can’t see the aurora from where they’re at. He’s just dying for them to know what a pious prick he is.

“I’m glad you mentioned the radio,” replied Reginald. “Every night I can pick up the preaching broadcast all the way from the local station in Corpus Christi (kôr´pĕs krĭs´tĭ), Texas, because of the ionosphere.”

Oh my fuck, Reginald. One, you’re not replying: Bill just got done talking – to someone else – and he said not a single word about the radio. Two, you’re obnoxious. Three, you’re not even pronouncing Corpus Christi right. The second i is pronounced like the e in bee, not the i in pit. Jerk.

They miss a perfect opportunity to condemn icky gay people when they’re talking about the homosphere and define “homo” as “same.” Je suis disappoint.

It gets worse: they confuse the magnetosphere with Van Allen belts. I mean, look at this:

Image shows a drawing of Earth on a blue background. There are two toruses around it that look like two pieces of hollow macaroni, cut away in front.
Illustration from ACE PACE 1088, page 19. Newsflash: this ain’t the magnetosphere.

It looks nothing like this:

Image shows a diagram of Earth surrounded by the various portion of its magnetosphere, which is far more complicated than just the Van Allen belts.
Earth’s magnetosphere. Image courtesy NASA.

Yeesh.

There endeth Section II. Now it’s time for Section III vocabulary, where we learn such new and important science terms as cardboard, mayor, puddle, and tub. I mean, honestly, people. The kids these booklets are aimed at are supposed to be at the 8th grade level. What jackass thinks 8th graders need to learn the word tub? Is ACE so spectacularly inadequate as a curriculum that they can’t teach kids that word at the elementary level?

After bashing us over the head with one of the most inane cartoons yet

Cartoon shows a boy with reddish-brown hair talking to a boy with black hair (I think it's Pudge, but they all look alike). Ace, the red-brown haired boy, is saying, "Do you know what happened to the nuclear scientist who swallowed uranium?" Pudge answers, "No - what?" The next panel shows the back of Ace's head as he says, "He got atomic ache." Pudge looks distressed as he answers, "Oh, Ace."
Cartoon from ACE PACE 1088, page 21

they go on to make my inner lawn care expert rage. Mr. Virtueson drags Ace out to the little makeshift weather station, where he looks at the .15 of an inch of rain that has fallen, and decides, “maybe that will keep the lawn green until next Saturday.”

Dude. No. NO. If you want to keep your grass green and healthy, you need a minimum of 1-1½ inches of water per week. You need to be delivering that huge amount of water in two or three deep waterings, not little sprinkles. You can’t rely on that itty-bitty bit of rain to keep your grass healthy, especially not in summer. You’re supposed to be smart enough to know this shit.

These people can’t get much of anything right, can they?

Let’s leave those two on their dying lawn for now. We’ll join them again once I’ve recovered somewhat from the fact they can’t even care for grass properly, much less teach fucking science. Gah.

Image shows a black and white kitten hanging out on a riding lawnmower steering wheel, its mouth open wide as if laughing. Caption says, "HA HA HA!!! Take that, grass!!!"

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(Tier 1) Adventures in ACE XXV: The Grass Ain’t Greener
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