Monday, May 30, 2022

Lives of the Philosophers, Pt. 9

Bertrand Russell looked exactly like you might imagine an English philosopher looking. No. Wait. I’ll go so far as to say that he looked exactly like a casting director might want a character actor to look as he cast about for someone to portray an English philosopher. I’ll even specify  a lazy and unimaginative casting director, unless that’s redundant. We are told that Bertrand Russell was extremely intelligent, yet he was married four times to four different people. On the other hand, he wrote “Anaxagoras maintained that snow is black, but no one believed him,” which is pretty dang brilliant.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Caste mark

When I read a crossword clue that said “Napa excursion” for eight letters, I immediately thought “parts run.” The correct answer was “wine tour.” I should have known; this was in the New York Times, which is not generally considered the news source of record for America’s grease monkeys and shade-tree mechanics, especially since the demise of the Saab, which company I believe made it a policy to exclusively employ philosophy PhDs or published poets in their service departments. Plus, their three-cylinder engine would actually run backwards if you hooked up the wires wrong. And adjusting the valves was challenging.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Well, duh

Here’s a science headline I just read: “Prehistoric people created art by firelight, new research reveals.” On reflection (teehee) I do not find this particularly illuminating (harhar). Our prehistoric Paleolithic ancestors created their cave art in caves, places which are notoriously dark. And although your average Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon had a lot of the same stuff as us (opposable thumbs, big brain case), they didn’t have light bulbs. In fact, when people needed light, something (wood, tallow, oil, paraffin, gas) had to be on fire right up until around the time my great-grandparents were born. (Unless they used their cellphones.)

Monday, May 2, 2022

With age comes wisdom.

You know how sometimes you and some running buddies would get into maybe a little too much Everclear and non-prescription pharmaceuticals and get it into your heads that it would be a lot of fun to go joy riding in a vehicle that didn’t belong to you? And if you were ever young you’ll recall the exhilaration of evading the pursuing law enforcement officers before bailing out and heading home to sleep it off. It doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes, the authorities seem to anticipate your every move, always one step ahead. It’s hard to steal a streetcar.