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Friedrich Wilhelm BesselBorn 22 Jul 1784; died 17 Mar 1846 at age 61.German astronomer who spent his entire career from age 26 (appointed 1809) as director of Frederick William III of Prussia's new Königsberg Observatory and professor of astronomy. His monumental task was determining the positions and proper motions for about 50,000 stars, which allowed the first accurate determination of interstellar distances. Bessel's work in determining the constants of precession, nutation and aberration won him further honors. Other than the sun, he was the first to measure the distance of a star, by parallax, of 61 Cygni (1838). In mathematical analysis, he is known for his Bessel function.
A missionary suddenly realizes that the one thing he hasn't yet taught the natives he serves is how to speak English, so he takes the chief for a walk in the jungle.
He points to a tree and says to the chief: "This is a tree." The chief looks at the tree and grunts: "Tree."
The missionary is pleased with the response. They walk a little farther and the missionary points to a rock and says: "This is a rock."
Hearing this, the chief looks and grunts: "Rock."
The missionary is really getting enthusiastic about the results when he hears a rustling in the bushes.
As he peeks over the top, he sees a couple of the natives in the midst of heavy sexual activity. Flustered, the missionary quickly says to the chief: "Riding a bike."
The chief looks at the preoccupied couple briefly, pulls out his blowgun and kills them.
The missionary goes ballistic and yells at the chief that he has spent years teaching the tribe how to be civilized and kind to each other.
"How could you kill these people in cold blood that way?" he demands.
"My bike," the chief replies.