Twenty Sick Fibbing Fridays

Pensitivity101 was having a yard sale, to get rid of some of the old cheap crap cherished items from the narrow-boat.  I spotted this list, and paid her tuppence, thruppence, ha’penney for all residual creative rights.

  1. What makes a hyena laugh?

He has read a bunch of these Fibbing Friday posts, and gets quite a chuckle out of all the lion that’s going on.
2. What is Mrs. Claus’ Christian name?

She has no ‘Christian’ name, because she is not a Christian.  She is a Norse Wiccan, who received her true name, which should never be revealed because it gives others power over you, from her head priestess.  Santa is in charge of distribution.  His Missus is in charge of production.  He calls her Elvis, because she keeps all the elves in line, and they bow or salute, and call her SIR.
3. What did little Jack Horner pull out of his pie?

Pieces of pepperoni and hot Italian sausage, a small container of jalapeno-cheddar dipping sauce, and a coupon for $1.00 off his next Domino’s pizza.
4. Where will you find the brightest star?

I’m not sure, but it won’t be anyone over at the Oh, Kardashian Corral.  If you add all their IQs together, you still wouldn’t get a bra or butt size.
5. Which is the odd one out: feather, light, middle, heavy, dead?

Let’s see….  Letter count is 4, 5, 6, 6, and 7.  Four of them are adjectives, while ‘feather’ is a noun – or a verb.  I know!  These are the names of the most recent types of neutrinos, found at the CERN atom-smasher.  They go along with the up, charm, top, down, strange, bottom types already catalogued.  Either that, or the odd one out is the person who composed this list.
6. What makes gas?

Kwicherbichin!  I told you that I would cut back on the burritos.  Honestly!  This is the Internet, not smellovision.
7. Why do ants march?

To get to April, May and June.
8. What is a gaffer?

This little gaffer is my Great-Grandson, the fastest land animal on Earth – a toddler who has been asked what’s in his mouth – now that he has learned to walk.  He’s wearing a gansey sweater that his Gigi (G. G. = Great-Grandmother) knit for him.  Gansey began as Guernsey, because the style was supposed to have originated on that Channel Island.
9. What is a polygon?

That’s a lost parrot.
10. Why have all my questions begun with the letter ‘W’?

Because it sounds a little more erudite and intellectual than starting with, “How come….”

Now that the odor of mothballs has dissipated, I’ll dismiss the charge of attempted assault on frivolity, and return soon with something truthier.

Book Review #21

Once upon a time, a man purchased a book. It was

A Brief History of Time

The book: A Brief History Of Time

The Author: Stephen Hawking

The Review:
Through luck, and association with a particular social group, the man who purchased the book, later got to actually meet the great man, Stephen Hawking himself. He informed him that he had bought and read the book. Largely through Hawking’s handler, the man who guided his wheelchair and who had learned to interpret his minuscule movements, he was asked what he thought of the book.

He replied that he had not understood a word of it. Well…. He got words like a, to, at, the, and, but the rest were over his head like an umbrella. Hawking was surprisingly pleased by this, because it proved that the man had actually read it, even if he didn’t get it.

I tried to get a copy of this book from the library thirty years ago, when it was first published, but it was too popular, and I finally gave up. Recently I thought I’d have another go at it. Hawking’s writing style is pleasantly clear and easy. He claimed that he wanted to provide this information for the ordinary person. Your ‘Ordinary Person’ may vary. MAGA-hat-wearing Trump supporters won’t be forming book clubs to discuss it, nor will it be a hot topic at truck stops.

Even though I’m retired, I’ve kept up my dues to the United Nerds International Union. I was a good halfway through this small (214 page) book before I had to start checking terms and concepts. After the body of the book, Hawking included 2-3 page bios on the likes of Einstein, Galileo, and Newton, to show how their works and discoveries have provided the foundation for modern understanding of the universe.

For a book on time, Hawking spent the first several chapters discussing/explaining matter. Matter and Time are interwoven. You can’t have time without matter. When I was born, scientists had only recently discovered that molecules were made up of atoms. The Second World War brought us the A-Bomb – the atom bomb. A few years later, the thermonuclear hydrogen H-Bomb was produced. These showed that the atoms could be torn apart, and jammed together, made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons.

More powerful and delicate devices, like the CERN Collider, have shown that even these tiny building blocks are made of even tinier bits. Like strange little trouble-making Gremlins, they have names like quarks, muons, pions, mesons, leptons, tachyons, baryons, gravitons, and bosons. While they are too small to reflect light, fun-loving physicists label them as red, blue and green, and insist that they have ‘spin,’ based on how they react with each other, and reality.

Hawking eventually got around to explaining time – how it (so far) only flows in one direction, from past to future. He showed how it is subjective, and is influenced by mass, and speed of travel. I’ve run into most of these terms and concepts before, but it was nice to see them laid out so completely and clearly.

Ordinarily, with a book so nicely written and presented, I’d be recommending it, but not this one. For most of you, your only concern with time is that you arrive at work before the boss gets grumpy about your ETA. If Hawking’s successors are successful at using black holes to reverse the flow of time, you’ll never have to worry about that again.

There was a young lady from Bright
Who could travel faster than light
She set off one day
In a relative way,
And returned the previous night

This book is different – a niche market. Unless the checkout clerk down at Geeks R Us knows you by name, I suggest giving it a pass. Don’t pass up the chance to read my next post. It will be available in no time at all.