However, tomorrow marks the beginning of #NaNoWriMo! I’m taking a long week for T-Giving so we can visit the families; not the easiest environment for NaNoWriMo, but I’ll announce tomorrow (1 Nov 2017) my goal for the month!
And if you send me spam-/chain-email, I might do this:
* If you attempt to rob a bank you won't have any trouble with rent/food bills for the next 10 years, whether or not you are successful.
…Which is hardly the point. Join the military; you still have to avoid being raped and killed, but there it’s called “patriotism”.
* Do twins ever realize that one of them is unplanned?
…Not in the 21st Century. My spouse and I are planning for twins. It’s a not-so-twisted path from planning twins to a remodernization of eugenics, but that’s a discussion for a near-future announcement.
* What if my dog only brings back my ball because he thinks I like throwing it?
…The result is the same: you both want a joyful experience with your loved one. And you need the exercise.
* If poison expires, is it more poisonous or is it no longer poisonous?
…This degradation is a chemical reaction; the new substance is not “more or less” poisonous, because the new substance isn’t the original substance.
* Which letter is silent in the word "Scent," the S or the C?
…I knew this was Latin—we get the same “sc” in “science” and “conscious”—but I looked up the origin of the term: “…from Old French sentir…from Latin sentire…perhaps [changed similarly to] ascent, descent, etc., or by influence of science. This [morpheme shift] was a tendency in early Modern English, cf. scythe….” The “c” is silent; in Latin circa 0000 ACE, the “s” is pronounced “ssss” and the “c” gets the hard-k sound, cf. “calendar”, “carry”, or “coffin”. The Greek and Scandinavian influence on English gave us the letter “k” and the soft-c sound.
* Why is the letter W, in English, called double U? Shouldn't it be called double V?
…Again, the result of Latin’s influence on Indoeuropean languages. Originally, the Latin alphabet had no “u”; the “v” was pronounced as consonant “va” or vowel “oo” as appropriate for the word; in a manner similar to how English pronounces “ough” four different ways. (“uff” in “rough”; “aww” in “bought”; “ooo” in “through; and “ohhh” in “although”)
* Maybe oxygen is slowly killing you and it just takes 75-100 years to fully work.
…Ironically, the oxygenation of Terra’s atmosphere did herald a world-wide extinction-level event, possibly killing off all but one bacterial species, the cyanobacteria. While remnants of those lost species persist in archeobacteria, nearly every other lifeform on modern Terra evolved from those oxygenating, “poisonous” cyanobacteria. When they had sufficiently oxygenated the world, oxygen-consuming species—“animals”—began to evolve, able to take advantage of the Electron Transport Chain, a biochemical process 16-17 times more effective in producing energy than the anaerobic (lit. ‘absence of oxygen’) glycolysis or Citric Acid cycles.
* Every time you clean something, you just make something else dirty
…Again, this is a matter of perspective. Presumably, the things that become dirty are being used for that purpose; without dirty things, there would be no need for things that clean other things. “Clean” is also context-dependent; a “clean room” requires a different standard than “go clean your room”.
* The word "swims" upside-down is still "swims".
…Only if you play fast and loose with those “v”s and “u”s, from above.
* Intentionally losing a game of rock, paper, scissors is just as hard as trying to win.
…Yes it is, and it’s fascinating! Chinese texts date a version of RoShamBo (aka Rochambeau, alternately named after some French admiral, possibly given that “roche” is French for “rock”) back to 0000 ACE +/- 200 years. Rochambeau is also a fundamental system in Game Theory—a natural extension of any “flip a coin” system. One could (and should’ve), therefore, have posed this as: “Intentionally losing a game of flip a coin is just as hard as trying to win.”
* 100 years ago everyone owned a horse and only the rich had cars. Today everyone has cars and only the rich own horses.
…No shit. 200 years ago most people couldn’t write; 20 years ago, all schoolchildren were taught handwriting from preschool through middle school; and today, many high school students have difficulty printing, neveryoumind writing cursive. “Hey: have you noticed that technological changes to our society also affect skill adaptation and estate composition?”
Incidentally, not everyone owned horses. Car ownership (among Americans) is more common than horse-ownership was in 1917.
* Your future self is watching you right now through memories.
…False; your memory of this “right now” won’t be made until the immediate time interval following. It won’t be recorded in your memory until your next rest. Your future self will never see your present self if said memory isn’t hard-coded into your hippocampus and temporal lobes; memory encoding failure can result from any number of circumstances, including substance-altered states of consciousness.
I’m actually writing a book that uses this concept loosely. I have always maintained that time is not the fourth dimension, because one can travel only forward in it, but can measure only backward. (Feynman-iacs: please don’t comment; I’m aware of Feynman’s time-reversal.)
* The doctors that told Stephen Hawking he had two years to live in 1953 are probably dead.
…I can’t tell you for how many years I afforded physicians more respect than auto mechanics or computer engineers. It should be noted, however, that Hawking’s condition was a “slow-progressing”, if early-onset version of ALS; he was already in his last year of his undergraduate degree (1962) before anyone noticed his decaying physical acumen; only needed a wheelchair when he became a Ph.D. (1966); could actually “wildly” pilot his wheelchair until ~1980; and the costs of his round-the-clock care were paid by others from 1985 on. Hawking is an exceptional academic who found himself in exceptional circumstances, and benefitted from cutting-edge technology because of his fame.
P.S. …Aaagh, I want to write this P.S., but I’ll save it for later, perhaps when I’m famous.
* If you replace "W" with "T" in "What, Where and When", you get the answer to each of them.
…What a fun coincidence unique to English that only works on half of the question words—no “tow, tho, or thy”?
* Many animals probably need glasses, but nobody knows it.
…Possibly, especially among domesticated animal species. But even just three centuries ago, near-sightedness would have decreased a human’s survival potential, and therefore, the passage of near-sightedness genes. Additionally, the rate of near-sightedness has increased with the amount of time we spend, on average, inside, or focusing on things in the near field (one to ten feet). Near-/Far-sightedness is part genetic, part muscular definition; today’s youths are more near-sighted because they spend less time surveying mountain ranges or receiving lobbed projectiles. Said youths are also less muscularly-defined, more or less for the same reasons, unaided by the prevalence of unhealthy foods in our pantries.
* If you rip a hole in a net, there are actually fewer holes in it than there were before.
…Either a terrible comment on the nature of operational definitions (cf. “hole”), or an interesting conclusion of tessellation.
* If 2/2/22 falls on a Tuesday, we'll just call it "2's Day". (It does fall on a Tuesday.)
…Yet another ‘brilliant’ linguistic coincidence. In Japan, are Sundays for philosophical enlightenment and Saturdays for mocking fools? (Nichi “Nietzsche” yoobi and Do “D’oh!” yoobi, respectively)
I appreciate that people love to find little coincidences in history or language, but I encourage you to stop consuming random facts. “Trivia” is exactly that: trivial, unimportant, useless; surface structure stuff. Engage the world's deep structure with a rigorous, academic fervor. Study fundamental theorems that drive technical development within your chosen discipline, and use them to enlighten your study of others. Logical thinking is hard, but truth derives from logical processes, not from grazing one or two ‘facts’ from the surface-level of a subject.