Cutting Earth to the core

Cutting Earth to the core

In geogossip news, a pair of Stanford mean girls has been spreading rumors about the Earth’s core strength.

Stanford mineral physicists Arianna Gleason and Wendy Mao trashed the core, calling it “not quite as rock-solid as we thought”, and “startlingly weak”. A paper documenting their claims was passed around the lunch table at Nature Geoscience, known as “the Facebook of Mineral Physics”.

A People Europe poll earlier this year described the Earth’s core as “hotter than previously thought”. Gleason and Mao claimed to be working on that in the future, and simply extrapolated Earth’s hotness based on paparazzi photos posted on Google Earth.

When asked about the rumors, a visibly shaken Earth, fighting back tears, responded, “That’s not fair! Sure, I’m not as geologically active as I used to be, but who is? I spend all day circulating my outer core to protect people like Wendy and Arianna from solar radiation! I’m under a lot of pressure, at least two or three hundred giga-things! Try that for a few million years, and see if your iron grains don’t elongate and deform too!”

The two physicists made their catty remarks after consulting a diamond anvil cell, a device which takes rocks, squeezes them, and then spreads rumors about the center of the earth without even trying to get Earth’s side of the story.

When questioned, the popular scientists denied any malicious intent, and claimed they were helping other researchers set more realistic variables for their experiments. “I mean c’mon,” said Gleason, “what kind of a variable is ‘theta (θ)’? It’s just an O with a line through it. And what’s the deal with mu (μ)? ‘Oooh, get me! I look like a backwards Y, but I’m pronounced ‘mmm’.’ Give me a break!”

Mao agreed. “People modeling the inner core haven’t had many experimental constraints, because it’s soooo difficult to make measurements under these conditions. There really weren’t constraints on how strong the core was, so this is really a fundamental new constraint. Stop using crazy foreign variables like ‘lambda (λ)’! If you need more variables than x, y, and z, you’re doing it wrong!”


The controversy drew sharp criticism from Tina Fey and Lindsay Lohan of the Consortium of Hot and/or Bright Stars (pictured above discussing how math can be used in non-judgmental mineral physics). Lohan told one reporter, “Ms. Gleason and Ms. Mao are certainly bright, and kinda hot, but they are definitely NOT stars, and as such their research is suspect.”

(Click on the earth’s hot core above to read the original story.)

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