Saturday, May 6, 2017

Fact Checking "The Snoopy Space Puzzle Book" 🚀

I was doing some Spring cleaning and ran across an old Snoopy puzzle book I bought through Scholastic Book Services:  The Snoopy Space Puzzle Book. USA: Determined Productions, 1979. Print.

In retrospect, I noticed there were numerous inaccuracies. I give the editors a pass for stating there were nine planets, which was the accepted position at the time of publication.

as illustrated by "Interplanet Janet";

As an aerospace engineer, I appreciate that the "Tour Puzzle" emphasizes the importance of space technology. However, there are other branches of science besides astronomy - paleontologists are people, too!

Peppermint Patty and Marcie are going on a tour of the Science Museum. A Science Museum is a place containing many displays that deal with outer space. Circle the tings they probably will see on their tour.
dinosaur, spaceship, log cabin, meteor, ocean, spacesuit, telephone, crater, sun

The only accepted answers are:

spaceship, meteor, spacesuit, crater, sun

The social justice warriors who disagree with Blair White that there are only two genders:

lefty collective heads will explode to see question number 5 in Charlie Brown's puzzle

son opposite of daughter

This next complaint might seem persnickety, but poor Woodstock, assuming he could find a vehicle that could travel to Saturn, would probably not be able to land on its surface because, according to our current understanding, Saturn is a giant gaseous planet:

Carl Sagan speculated that on an analogous planet, Jupiter, potential types of living organisms would probably only exist in the atmosphere vs the surface:

Poor Woodstock might end up as fricassee if he landed on the surface of Saturn: 

Sagan speculated that if organisms live on gaseous planets, they'd either resemble hot air balloons:

or else giant flying sharks  hunting said floating balloons:

As a former USAF space launch operator, I disagree with both the premise and the answer of "Locate the Location". 

Sally knows that the United States launches all rockets from the same place. To find out the name of this place cross out each letter that appears 5 times. The remaining letters spell out the name.
the answer is supposed to be Cape Canaveral, Florida:

However, the USA only launches satellites into geosynchronous orbit from Florida. We also launch on the West Coast from Vandenberg AFB, California:

USAF just doesn't test fire ICBMs from VAFB, but also launches satellites into polar orbit, as well as an occasional interplanetary probe, such as Clementine mission to the moon:

The Milky Way is described as a constellation in "Star Picture Puzzle"  when it's really a galaxy:

I've focused on the dodgy science in this puzzle book, but now I'll critique the puzzle itself - it has the outward form of a crossword but functionality of a simple word find, since the puzzle doesn't give specific clues for each separate answer:

As a staunch supporter of the Bill of Rights including the 1st and 2nd Amendments, I give kudos to the editors including answers in the "Rhyming Quiz" that would be considered politically incorrect by modern day sensitive snowflake standards:

Both "Hun" and "gun" are included as possible rhyming words to "sun":

I suppose the answers could be an homage to the fact that Snoopy creator, Charles Schulz, served in the US Army during World War II

The "Fact Puzzle" includes an assertion that is only currently true, but hasn't always been true, and won't be true in the future:

Eventually, our sun will explode and the earth will no longer be in orbit around the sun but become included in the circumference of the sun, unless we somehow lasso asteroids to gravity assist earth out of the sun's exploding trajectory:

but,  even if we move the earth, once the sun dies, we'll all die, too.

To end on a happier note, here's "The Smallest Astronaut" by the Royal Guardsmen with a video montage of the Apollo program by Kenneth Netzel

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