Again, I hope you get my attempt at humor in the titles to these articles. They refer, in my version of phonetic spelling, to Tonto’s frequent answer to The Lone Ranger’s questions. And as the titles suggest, the articles will consist of random collections of questions. They range from pure silliness to more serious issues of philosophy and science. Some I’ve thought about for years, some are more recent, and I won’t be surprised if I think of new ones as I write. The creative process is like that. It’s also possible that I’ll answer my own question while trying to verbalize it. The creative process is like that too. I really hope that it happens. If it does, I’ll write about my answer as well.
So, “Drum Roll Please …”
1. I was a Weather Observer Technician in the Air Force. I learned a lot about the subject, but still have some questions:
a. Why does the Earth’s atmosphere rotate towards the east even faster than the Earth itself? Common sense would have the atmosphere moving because of friction with the rotating Earth, with the Earth ’pulling’ the atmosphere along. But the facts would seem to indicate the opposite.
b. The Coriolis effect is what causes weather systems to rotate clockwise in the southern hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere. I believe it causes the atmosphere to ’dip’ towards the equator. Again, however, common sense would have me expect that atmosphere moving faster than the Earth would rotate in directions opposite to what the facts show. Why is this?
c. I’m not sure about the southern hemisphere, but considering the two previous points, why do actual storms, including tornados, tend to move to the north and east in the northern hemisphere?
2. Why should ’the person who has everything’ even be on my Christmas list, let alone anywhere near the top?
3. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could read everyone else’s mind? No more lying and cheating. No reason to even believe that lying and cheating would gain you anything. No more overpopulation problems. Plenty of resources… for those who survive. Sounds great to me!
4. Warning: multi-part question! I have only the kernel of a theory that has been bouncing around in the back of my mind for years. I call it consensual reality. It’s so nebulous that I have a hard time even putting it into words. But it starts with a question like: When you and I see an object and we both say that the object is red, how do we know that we’re both actually seeing the same color? If we’re all taught to think ’red’ when we see a certain color, we will seem to be seeing the same color when we all agree that a thing is red. But are we? How do we know? Are there other aspects of reality that are affected by this? While color confusion seems to be inconsequential, could there be other, more profound, effects?
5. Let’s face it, humans are dominated by fear of the things we can’t explain or control. Historically, we’ve dealt with these things by ignoring them, by destroying them, or by fabricating comfortable scenarios that allow us to live with them while maintaining the belief in our indomitability. But what do we do when we encounter that which is so irrefutably alien and beyond our ability to destroy that we are forced to acknowledge our true place in the grand scheme of things?
6. Does the feeling that I walk around with a bright sign over my head derive from my belief that I’m a very poor liar?
7. You might have noticed that I tend to be a bit long-winded. Was the short-hand speech everyone else seems to have mastered taught during all that time I was cutting school in the library?
8. Why do people say it was a ’simple misunderstanding’ when it was actually more of a “failure to communicate?”
9. Why do we insist on trying to make sense out of nonsense?
10. If we have learned nothing else from all the ’scientific exploration’ we’ve done, it should be that we live in a very dangerous universe. Just ask the dinosaurs. Why is it then, that no one uses that argument when seeking to justify the space program?
Okay, my brain is cramping up again. But fear not – or should I say ’cheer’ not? – for I will strike again!
I want ice water.