Monday, September 16, 2019

Online Survey: Extremely Satisfied

It is hard to express the extreme satisfaction that floods my every cell whenever I enter this particular Walgreens location. An overwhelming and all-pervasive sense of calm and well-being brings tears to my rheumy eyes; my bent and pain-wracked limbs seem to regain the suppleness of youth; my weary heart beats anew with the vigorous pulse of life and hope and wonder! Can this condition of extreme satisfaction be healthy? Normal? Even natural? I do not care. Heedless, I persist in these visits, for there is no comparing the level of extreme satisfaction thus engendered with any other earthly experience.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Somebody should check my work

This is our lucky day and here’s why. They figure the universe to be about 13.8 billion years old, which is 5.037 x 1012 days, give or take. Given those odds, the fact that today should happen be September 9, 2019, is incredibly unlikely if you think about it a certain way. Maybe it’s kind of a silly way to think about it but there we are. So anyway, if you’d have bet a buck on this happening you’d be pocketing like five trillion dollars, my point being that sometimes a long shot will come in and pay off big.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Ocelli are not noodles

Chalky Percher sounds like the name of some Dickensian cockney pickpocket, doesn’t it? But it’s a species of dragonfly that lives in Asia. They have five eyes – two big compound ones with tens of thousands of ommatidia to create a highly-resolved hemispherical image and then three little high speed lo-res ocelli on top of their heads to orient them in flight. These carnivores have tiny tiny brains but somehow they process all this input and select one specific bug in a cloud of identical bugs and catch it and eat it. So you don’t need to be smart, just focused.

Monday, August 26, 2019

I first thought of this next year

We’re totally dependent on a really limited frame of reference when it comes to observing the way stuff goes. Like, scattered shards of glass are never seen to emerge from your bare foot causing it to instantly unbleed as you hold out your hand while a tumbler full of some delicious beverage assembles itself on the floor and leaps up into your grasp so you can regurgitate some fluid into it. We never perceive anything unhappening. Because entropy, but our sample size is limited to one. What I mean is, maybe time runs both ways but we just don’t remember.

Monday, August 19, 2019

First person singular

Accept the Big Bang Theory. For argument’s sake. Okay, so everything is rushing away from everything else. No matter where you are, everything is receding from that point. In that sense, you are the center of the universe. Happy now? No? Supposing you had all the money in the world. Literally, all the money in the world. What would you buy? Well, nothing, because obviously nobody else is currently using money, and why would they give you anything for it? Okay okay, how about if you had all the time in the world? Well, you do. For now at least.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Did you bring bagels?

Just back of the envelope here –  nearly 20 million people share your birthday. And let’s say there are around a quarter million of them who have the exact same birthday. Not just same date; I mean they were born in your same year; they are the same age as you. If you’re young, there’s more. Next, about 10,000 of them were born within the same hour, maybe 150 at the same exact minute. This is sort of weird to think about. Just like everybody else, the last thing I want to be told is that I’m just like everybody else.

Monday, August 5, 2019

That's great. Just great.

American English idioms can be a source of confusion for the visitor. Native speakers often express themselves with a word or phrase whose literal translation is at odds with its widely accepted meaning. Here is a handy guide for the novice. When an American says “I’ll think about it,” she means no. The sentence “I’ll try to be there” means no. “We’ll see” means no. “Let’s agree to disagree” means “You are feeble-minded.” The terms nightstand, bookshelf, and stepstool  are all synonyms for milk crate. And “this needs to soak” means “I am not going to wash this. Not ever.”