Monday, April 26, 2021


You find yourself zippered into a snug rubber suit. There’s a rubber head over your own actual head and you can hardly see a thing. Everything sounds muffled and strange. And you’re so uncomfortable – the suit is so tight the sweat can’t even get out of your pores and there are all these hot lights pointed directly at you and a man is yelling at you to pick up the young woman in the nightgown but you can barely move or breath and why would you want to carry her around anyway? Do you feel a swell of murderous rage?

Monday, April 19, 2021

mph X 4.7

Our initiative to get the world’s speedometers converted to angstroms per nanosecond is moving along at a snail’s pace. Actually, expressing a snail’s pace in Å/ns yields a number smaller than one, which is inelegant. So, what’s shorter that an angstrom? Well, the Planck length. It would take 6.25E+24 of those little buggers to add up to one angstrom. Wikipedia says that if a 0.1 mm dot was magnified to the size of the observable universe, one Planck length would be about 0.1 mm. So, quite small. Does thinking about that make you slightly queasy? I know it does me.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Europe Between The Oceans

According to this one book I’m reading, when the first humans got to Crete about 10,000 years ago, their first order of business was to kill and eat the indigenous dwarf hippopotamuses, which they did with such persistence and enthusiasm that to this very day the complete absence of dwarf hippopotamuses is one of the notable features of the island. An inquisitive visitor might ask, “Have you any dwarf hippopotamuses?” to which a local guide might reply, “No, we killed and ate them long ago.” “What?” (Eyebrows shoot up in disbelief) “All of them?” Then, shamefaced: “Yes. Every last one.”