Bad Astronomy


You may have seen links to this nifty thing called Wordle, which makes a “tag cloud” out of words; an image of the words where the size of the word displayed is scaled to how many times it appears in the text. It actually has some small use beyond just being nifty; I can dump in a blog post and see if I overuse words, or I could put in blog comments and see what words my readers focus on.

But really, it’s just cool. I wondered what would happen if I put in a chapter from my book, Death from the Skies!, so I dumped in Chapter 5: “The Bottomless Pit of Black Holes”. This is what I got:

Interesting! The most common words aren’t surprising; it is a chapter about black holes destroying the Earth, after all. I don’t know what I’ve learned from this, except just possibly it’s easy to waste time on the web.

The original Wordle image can be found here.