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.
Yeah, that’s right. I’ve got more questions. So sue me. Just kidding. You wouldn’t really sue me would you? Would you? Where’s the ACLU when I need them?
1. I read once that the sign of the dollar was created by placing the ’U’ for United over the ’S’ for States. I can even remember when there were two vertical lines over the ’S’ instead of the single one so commonly found today. But my question is this: when did that symbol change from representing the esteem that the one who carried it had earned from those he traded fairly and well with, to representing the shameful way in which the one who carries it turns a profit? Maybe that’s why, unconsciously, we changed the ’U’ to a slash.
2. I saw an Ohio Lottery TV ad where a guy jumps through one of those holes you throw down like in the old cartoons. Am I the only one who sees the irony in the relationship between the fact that the hole was black and what typically happens to people who chase riches through gambling?
3. While channel surfing, I happened across Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Can someone please tell how someone can ask for help when the question involves the number of vowels in states whose names are displayed right in front of him?
4. Have you ever been so angry that you literally gave thanks that you were not in possession of ’the button’ that could destroy the world?
5. I have an idea for what could become a highly sought after ’gag’ gift for Nerds: men’s underwear with handles in the back! While I’m not sure if anyone would be crazy enough to wear them, the fact that being a Nerd has become so chic these days would give a product like this great value as a symbol of the ’torment’ Nerds have had to endure! Ah hah! Who’s crazy now? Oh shut up!
6. What do you think better reflects the true personality of Americans today, the face they present on shows like Maury and Jerry Springer, the face they present on all of those ’judge’ shows, or the face they show on all of those ’reality’ shows?
7. In the heat of summer, it’s not hard for me to accept the idea of global warming. In the cold of the winter I’m now struggling through, I can also accept the notion that humanity’s screw up is actually holding off the next Ice Age. But I wonder if the eggheads arguing on either side have considered the possibility that they’re all right? Could the fact that we’ve done such a great job – blindly as usual – staving off the coming ice through global warming – again quite blindly – that we’re actually bringing on an uncomfortable warm period followed by an Ice Age worse than what we were originally headed for? Perhaps we should not so easily dismiss the science behind the movie The Day After Tomorrow. Sadly however, history proves that while we can be very good at picking through the small stuff, we’re really bad when it comes to seeing the big picture.
8. Have you ever noticed how the products that claim to be more healthy are also more expensive? I guess this is just another example of how only the wealthy can afford good health care these days.
9. While watching tonight’s episode of 60 Minutes, a disturbing question occurred to me. One of the pieces was about the never ending fight between the peoples of the middle east over the Israeli / Palestinian lands. This reminded of children fighting over a toy and of the typical results of such disputes – destruction of the toy either by the kids or by an intervening parent. Considering the growing destructive power of the local players, and the enormous destructive capacities already in the hands of the powers seeking to settle the dispute, how long will it be before that area gets reduced to a gleaming radioactive wasteland that no one will live on for many, many years? Note that my reference to ’gleaming’ comes from my having heard that sand melted in a nuclear explosion would harden into green glass. Not that I’d advocate finding out in such a manner, but I would like to know if this is true.
10. Another piece from tonight’s episode of 60 Minutes was about the attempt by scientists to fight the effects of aging by producing pills made from a highly concentrated form of the chemical resperitol (?) found in red wine. They say that this chemical activates a gene in our bodies that cause it to go into a kind of ’survival’ mode, which increases the bodies ability to fight off the things that make aging so dangerous. As evidence, they showed the results from animal an microbial studies that seem to back up their claims. But 60 Minutes also presented people who claim that this same gene is activated through radical reductions in calorie intake. These people also had animal and human studies to back up their claim. They also claim that it is our high fat, high calorie diet that turn off the gene in the first place. So my question is this: Even if the new drug works as expected and is proven to be safe, doesn’t it simply represent another attempt by humans to escape the moral responsibility to take care of our bodies that freedom of lifestyle comes with?
I want ice water.