Thursday, July 28, 2011

Judging States Scientifically: Texas

To understand this noble venture we here (okay, "I here," there's only one person writing these) are undertaking, you may wish to start here.

Now that you are caught up, let us proceed with the business of Science. Our subject today is Texas, and the hard-hitting analysis is after the jump.

You might think, "Holy poop, Texas has the hugest star ever! Give the blue ribbon to THIS quarter!" But you'd be wrong, for a lot of complicated technical reasons that have to do with Science. I'll try to explain.

1) They only have ONE (lonely) star. Stars are better in groups. That's the whole scientific theory behind constellations.

2) That is actually really small for a star. You might think stars are tiny because that's how we see them in the sky, but in fact they are at least the size of Alaska, a state that is about two Texases. And given that that star isn't even a whole Texas, it just looks really weak.

As for reasons that the quarter is a failure more generally (with the picture again for convenience's sake):

1. The quality of design. Normally this is a faggy liberal arts thing to critique or whatever, but in the Science of Judging States Scientifically By Their Quarters, we don't have such narrow-minded notions. To us, every detail is important, no matter how much it may make us sound like we believe Apple computers are superior.

2. Elaborating on the previous point, noted scholar and general friend of Science wophugus noted that the quarter practically screamed, "Everything is bigger in Texas except our graphic design artists' imaginations." He also further developed a concept that we all know, somewhere in our hearts, to be true:
I think every quarter that shows a picture of the state on it automatically loses several hundred creativity points.  I mean, a decent state should have something to say about itself other than, "You've seen maps, right?  We are the one that looks like this."

3. Further elaborating on point one: the rope border. No other State Quarter has a rope border, so the conclusion is that they, having eyes like many humans do, noticed the self-evidence Scientific truths just listed and engaged in a failed attempt at the very last second to ameliorate the sad truth that they realized too late: the Texas quarter is ultimately less Texan than a Japanese McDonald's.

As for the star claim, it's not really elaborated on. There's two competing theories in the field:

1) Texas is claiming that they own a star and keep it in a facility.

In which case, no matter how small and pathetic it is as a star, one of two things is going to or has happened. Being that close to a star, naturally, would burn the entire population of Texas into cinders. Since I met someone from Texas one time

clearly this is not the case. This sub-conclusion leads us to a sub-sub-conclusion: no one is actually from Texas, they just live in surrounding states

Or in some cases states with no connection to Texas at all

and claim they live there. Sub-sub-sub conclusion: all Texans are liars.

Unless, of course, they figured out some sort of containment field for the star. Then the other of the two things that's going to happen is that that star is going to go supernova and then turn into a black hole, which I'm pretty sure can't be contained by any technology currently possessed by any Texan. You have to go to Washington for that kind of quality engineering.

The other theory, however, is this:

2) Texas is claiming to have a different sun than other people.

This is the one that I personally believe to be the case. The other theory has too many holes in it for Science to be satisfied. Notice that Texas helpfully labels the star (this is a trend that we'll see more and more of as we further explore the State Quarters) as the "Lone Star." Science teaches us that the Sun is a star. Clearly, Texas cannot be the Lone Star State, lay claim to a star that is clearly much smaller than our Sun, and then claim to rely on the same Sun as the rest of us. QED.

Now, of course, since that star is much smaller than our Sun (or much farther away--it isn't exactly clear, actually), it will not be as hot. That's just common sense. Either that or it's closer to collapsing into a black hole. So clearly, we may conclude that today's state is

Texas: the coldest state in the union
Texas: the closest to the most horrific death in the universe

Except of course that neither of those two things is possible. Instead we must conclude all this star stuff is just bluster and that today's state is

Texas: the state full of liars

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