Random Asides

I Want an Omegatron

I am reading my new favorite book: “Geochronology and Thermochronology by the 40Ar/39Ar Method,” a book about how to use mass spectrometers to study argon isotopes in order to learn more about rocks. I am learning how argon isotopes can be used to infer the age and thermal history of rocks.

In this book I was just reading about “The Omegatron,” a mass spectrometer tube that was produced in the 1960s by Edwards High Vacuum Ltd. in England.

WHAT A COOL NAME FOR A MASS SPECTROMETER! Or for anything, really. I want an Omegatron. Just becuase it’s a cool word.

Apparently, the Omegatron mass spectrometer is having a comeback.


Evelyn is a geologist, writer, traveler, and skeptic residing in Cape Town, South Africa with frequent trips back to the US for work. She has two adorable cats; enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking; and has a very large rock collection. You can follow her on twitter @GeoEvelyn. She also writes a geology blog called Georneys.

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  1. This sounds like a doomsday device built by a James Bond villain. Bond would save the day, or course. And the girl. With 2 seconds left on the clock.

    Evelyn, I must say your taste for books is quite unique.

  2. I like how Blake put the Omegatron's name in BOLD LETTERS. I think that bold text is the only reasonable means by which to refer to the Omegatron.

    I also think that, were I at all a confident man, I could find a very funny usage for that name that would ALWAYS get a laugh in public.

    /Don't mind me, just trying to help Bug_girl's effort to turn Skepchick into pornwoo :)

  3. I'm pretty sure that Omegatron was a Decepticon who could transform into a, umn, "body massager"…

  4. GreenNeck2, I agree with you totally. Your comment reminded me of a quotation, which (now that I have my books all unpacked and making our entire household look, you know, edumacated) I was able to look up.

    Dammit, when you've saved the Galaxy, you're supposed to get a girl. You've earned one. It's — it's traditional. It's the way things are.

    — from Joseph Patrouch's The Science Fiction of Isaac Asimov (Doubleday, 1974).

    Clearly, in 1974, nobody had considered straight women or gay men saving the Galaxy!

  5. The 'woo' came (I think) from a post where you were encouraging us all to wear tinfoil, at the same time as a discussion broke out on how much people should shave their netherregions…

    Wait a minute, maybe the tinfoil was just a fetish and not woo after all!

  6. That would make it woo-fetish porn.

    I think I'm gonne take out some time to read all the blog entries I missed while in Vegas …

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