Bizarre facts capture my imagination faster than hockey scores or baseball stats. Could it be that I’m a closet geek? You tell me while I tell you a few arcane tidbits that’ll get you ignored faster than telling someone you’re an undertaker at a normal cocktail party. But this is no ordinary martini marathon. So here’s how I open the conversation.
“Hi, my name’s John. Say did you know that you can walk faster than the planet Venus rotates and that it rotates backwards from all the other planets? That’s right on Venus the Sun rises in the west and sets in the East.”
Hum, the lovely object of my affection is still smiling. It’s time to pop this bit of Venusian trivia on her.
“I bet you didn’t know that Venus’s slow rate of rotation means that a day on Venus takes longer than it takes the planet to complete just one orbit of the Sun. In other words, a Venusian day is longer than a Venusian year.”
Hey, my conversation seems to be captivating my opposite! I think I’ll turn this seldom-mentioned charmer loose on her.
“Even though Venus is the second planet out from the Sun, it is hotter than Mercury, the innermost planet.” Why you ask. “That’s because Venus’ thick cloud cover of carbon dioxide holds the heat in. Imagine basking in the Sun at 467 degrees C. That’s hotter than your oven gets!”
Zowie, I think she actually likes me. I look deep into her baby blues and whisper; “the rain on Venus comes down in the form of battery acid. So we wouldn’t get through one verse of Singing’ in the Rain before my umbrella melted along with my ”.
Suddenly my hot little geekette speaks up and changes the conversation to Jupiter with this heart-melting retort.
“I heard that Jupiter is so large it could hold the entire solar system inside it – all the planets, their moons, even the asteroid belt. Is that true?”
“Why ya-ya-ya yes” I stutter in stupefied response. By now my pulse is pounding and I have visions of us spending romantic nights together watching PBS, NOVA, The Discovery Channel and Curiosity Stream. Perhaps this might even lead to a honeymoon at the Smithsonian or the Johnson Space Center.
That my friend is how I found my life’s companion – well sort of.
By John Crossen
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