Adventures in ACE XXVI: God Piles on the Pressure

We’ve survived a lot of atmospheric nonsense and learned that you should never allow anyone associated with ACE to water your lawn. Now things are about to heat up. Yes, they are on about temperature. And in looking it over, I don’t think this section has been updated since the Cold War.

Seriously. All their talk of thermometers and thermographs and such like make no mention of digital thermometers or computers. None of the equipment mentioned for monitoring temperature over time records observations electronically. The photographs look like they’re straight out of the 70s.

Image shows a double set of maximum and minimum mercury thermometers nailed to a wooden plank inside of a white slatted enclosure. There's a hand reaching toward the first set of thermometers. It all looks tres last century.
Photo from page 22 of ACE Science PACE 1088

It’s pretty sad.

There’s some mildly-interesting history of the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales, but delivered in that pompous and pedantic ACE tone that sucks any joy out of it. Continue reading “Adventures in ACE XXVI: God Piles on the Pressure”

Adventures in ACE XXVI: God Piles on the Pressure

(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, "·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. Continue reading “(Tier 1) Adventures in ACE XXV: The Grass Ain’t Greener”

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

(Tier 1) Adventures in ACE XXIV: Cloudy With a 100% Chance of Fail

Welcome back to ACE Science PACE 1088! Last time, we saw the lengths God would go to in order to ruin a hot air balloon ride. Now we’re on to Section Two, where getting even the simplest facts right is completely beyond the ACE writers’ ability.

We start with vocabulary and cartoons! Oh, joy! Science words for this section include frisbee, hedge, and mare. You know, even if you grant some leeway and say that vocab in a science course can include other unfamiliar words, this is still ridiculous. These are the equivalent of eighth graders. They already know what a fucking frisbee is. And if ACE-educated students aren’t allowed to know what frisbees are until puberty, I think it’s time for the adults to sit down and think about where they went completely off the rails.

Now comes the cartoon, which, in the tradition of the other PACEs in this series so far, has bugger-all to do with anything. It’s just a way for the ACE people to showcase their remarkable lack of a sense of humor.

Image shows a boy and a girl, both African-American, standing and talking against an orange background. The girl is giving the boy some serious side-eye in the first panel. The boy is holding a blue-covered book, and is saying, "Miriam, this book says the former rulers of Russia were called Tsars and their wives were called Tsarinas. I wonder what the Tsar's children were called?" The next panel shows Miriam and the boy have switched places. Miriam is saying, "I don't know, J. Michael, maybe Tsardines?"
Cartoon from the beginning of Section Two of ACE PACE 1088.

Whelp. At least they’re people of color. Don’t get too excited, though, cuz we’re spending the rest of the section with the white people.

A bunch of the fine upstanding white Christian families are having a Founder’s Day* picnic. Racer is, like, so good at Frisbee that he can make it “float through the air like the clouds in the sky.” This strained simile leads the boys to talk about clouds. ACE dialogue is uniformly terrible, but this is even worse than usual. The boys sound like pompous robots reciting pre-programmed prose. And they use the word “distinguish” three times in three sentences. Gah.

They also get the simplest fucking facts wrong. Continue reading “(Tier 1) Adventures in ACE XXIV: Cloudy With a 100% Chance of Fail”

(Tier 1) Adventures in ACE XXIV: Cloudy With a 100% Chance of Fail

(Tier 1) Adventures in ACE XXIII: An Atmosphere of Fail

The ballooning McMercys have just had their hot air balloon adventure cut short by God, who loves to ruin people’s fun. As if forcing them out of the sky isn’t bad enough, he waits for them to land, them BA-BAM! hits a tree right beside them with a lightning bolt. Dad McMercy doesn’t see that as God’s “And stay down!” message, though.

“However, the lightning that made [Becky] jump is actually a benefit God designed to help plants grow.”

Image shows a man wearing a maroon jacket and blue jeans standing with one hand holding his tan Aussie-style hat in consternation. He's standing in the wreckage of an enormous eucalyptus tree that is now a splintered stump and scattered limbs. The stump is taller than he is and too big around for him to be able to hug.
Eucalyptus tree that was blown apart by a lightning strike, Walcha, NSW. Public domain image and caption courtesy Cgoodwin.

Yes. Very helpful.

“Although air is mostly nitrogen, plants cannot use nitrogen directly from the air.”

And whose fault is that, from your point of view? Dude, your God is the shittiest designer. What a Rube Goldberg way to fix nitrogen! Continue reading “(Tier 1) Adventures in ACE XXIII: An Atmosphere of Fail”

(Tier 1) Adventures in ACE XXIII: An Atmosphere of Fail