Monday, July 30, 2012
I believe that it is simply wrong for anyone to put mayonnaise on a corned beef sandwich at any time, and also that you might want to give tapioca another chance. I believe no person should make sweeping statements like “Violence is not the answer” without waiting to hear the question. I believe in electrical potential, and in the power of batteries. I believe in the healing properties of Pepto-Bismol, calamine lotion, and by extension all that is pink and viscous. And finally, I truly believe that Zorro and Tarzan would get along really well if they ever met.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Do you ever seriously think about the future? I don't mean pie in the sky conjecture about what you'll do when you win the PowerBall. And also I don't mean apocalyptic visions of a blasted post-holocaust Road Warrior landscape. I mean real, practical planning about what we'll all be doing as we approach the middle of the 21st century. I know I do. I think about whether to bother trying to influence events; am I fated to believe in free will, or should I choose to accept predetermination? And also, I worry that our rocket belts may bind and chafe.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Some things are difficult to quantify. That's frustrating to marketers, who like metrics because that's how they get paid. So I've invented a new one, the measure of Absolute Coolness. One Brando Unit is defined as how cool Marlon Brando was at his coolest moment. That's way too cool for everyday use, so we break it down into tenths- the deciBrando (dB) to precisely state the coolness of ordinary stuff. 1965 Mustang? 6.84 dB. Eartha Kitt? 8.67. And, just as a hypothetical, the only 9.99 I can imagine would be Miles Davis and James Dean strapped together with a rattlesnake.
Monday, July 9, 2012
What I am about to tell you isn't exactly breaking news, but it's new to me. I've learned that about 2.4 billion years ago, free oxygen created by a group of tiny photosynthetic organisms called cyanobacteria caused the extinction of untold numbers of species that had evolved to live in the hitherto oxygen-free atmosphere of the planet Earth. Every air-breathing species that exists or has ever existed since then does so thanks to this catastrophic die-off, which has come to be called the Great Oxygen Event, although it seems unlikely the organisms involved actually referred to it as such.
Monday, July 2, 2012
There was a guy named Clifton Webb, right? And he wasn’t the same guy as Jack Webb, or Montgomery Clift, or Lucy Maude Montgomery? Or what about that tall woman who played Maude, Bea Arthur? And that Douglas MacArthur, gee, good thing Ike throttled him back when he did. Throttle because carburetors have throats, see. You can throttle ‘em, and you can choke ‘em. You don’t actually throttle an injected engine. You don’t dial a phone either. See, this happens whenever I think about Independence Day, and then about the Constitution. Because it guarantees the right to associate freely.