Eiron’s Archives 02

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[ With kind regards to The Right Honourable Joseph Addison, c. 1709 ]

Dear Ypsalis

You asked if I “ could shed any light on the scientific aspects of candle-making as a hobby “.

Yes, I could, but I shall refrain from doing so. Please do not consider involving yourself with such a dangerous activity. Candles are one of the main causes of domestic conflagrations – and their use should not, under any circumstances, be encouraged or condoned.

I may point out that, if ‘ the candle ’ had just been invented, and was marketed as a light-source by its inventors, the company concerned would most certainly be prosecuted. The candle would fall foul of many of the very sensible regulations which protect society against seemingly innocent items which can, in fact, be highly dangerous in domestic situations.

Do not, as the saying runs, go there.

Dear Pripvat_less

Yes, eating small amounts of honeycomb ( often found in many ‘up-market’ jars of comestible honey ) is perfectly harmless. You will not suffer any ill effects. Though I would strongly urge you to make sure that no bees are in the vicinity whilst doing so. They are ( quite rightly in my view ) very protective of their combs, which took a great deal of time, trouble, and ingenuity to construct.

Dear zingLoda_23_albert

There are two methods which I can highly recommend for removing excess earwax.

1) Move to the tropics.


2) Lay face upwards in a bath of water as hot as you can bear. Then [ ████████ ] [ ████████ ] [ ████████ ] [ ████████ ] [ ████████ ] [ ████████ ] [ ████████ ] [ ████████ ] [ ████████ ] [ ████████ ] [ ████████ ] until it is all removed.

[ Could we drop the ‘wax’ theme now please ? thanks, Ed. ]

Dear Smaba_dronez

Yes, I would definitely recommend to you that you switch back to an ‘analogue’ mobile ‘phone provider rather than stick with the new digital services.

The analogue cellphones sound far superior. The audio quality is noticeably ‘warmer’ and does not have the harsh overtones which one finds in the digital varieties.

Furthermore, the signals are not subjected to the harsh encryption / decryption algorithms which are used on digital systems. Thus you can rely on the fact that your conversations will not be chopped up and later re-constituted. You wouldn’t want that to happen with your food would you ? So much less your trans-geographical lexical intercourse.

Dear Jiffy777_underscored

You asked if I have any ideas for uses for old PET bottles. I have absolutely no idea why anyone would want to keep a bottle as a pet. I am aware, however that there was, at the last Fin de Siècle, a widespread ‘craze’ for ‘pet rocks’ – so perhaps you do not require psychiatric help after all.

Dear ZzZImasleep

I do admit that it took me some time to come up with the answer to “ What is the largest single cell in the animal kingdom “.

You may have seen references to ovarian egg cells, and amoebas etc etc. Such pronouncements are entirely incorrect.

The largest animal cell of which I am aware is the neurone which provides touch / pain sensation to the tail of Balaenoptera musculus (the Blue Whale ) These neurones are indeed single nucleated cells, and stretch the entire length of the whale’s body, and, of course, they ultimately connect into the brain. Thus they often reach a length of 30Mtrs or so.

Perhaps, in the past, there were larger cells in various species of dinosaur – that we can only surmise.

Dear HasTT200

Very many thanks for sending me the photo of you and your French poodle ‘Sultan’. I greatly empathise with your predicament, but, as far as I am aware, face-lifts for dogs would not generally considered ethically acceptable.

Given the – and I hope I may be frank here – the appallingly gruesome visage only too evident in your photograph, it may be that you will be lucky enough to find a suitably qualified veterinary cosmeticist who will make an exception for you.

Dear TweenPicks

I am very happy that you enquired about the ‘ escape velocity ‘ we hear so much about with regard to space shots.

It is often assumed that the escape velocity is the speed which a rocket must attain in order to achieve Earth orbit. This is entirely incorrect. A rocket can go as slow as it likes – providing that it has enough fuel on board. You could spend weeks in a rocket travelling at leisurely walking pace upwards, and it would, eventually, get into orbit.

If, however, you were to fire an unpowered projectile upwards – say from a cannon – then it would indeed need to be travelling at around 11 Kilometres per second to escape the Earth’s gravity. To my knowledge though, no space vehicle or astronaut has ever be launched using this method.

Dear InTents_12

You asked : “ Can you relate the analytic thinking required in focused conference sessions to the synthetic thinking required for analogies generation which calls for multi-focus domain and divergent thinking ? “

No. Not really.

Dear Uunext_404

Your question was “ Is rare duck OK to eat ? “ .

The answer is quite obviously “No”. You should never eat endangered species of any kind. Stick to chicken from your local supermarket.

Dear Underscored_55

I have absolutely no idea why “ soil in the seabed smells like sulphur “ . And I am most intrigued as to where you might have come across the idea . . . How anyone would manage to smell anything whilst on the seabed is quite beyond me.

I do concede though, that, a sensitive water-dwelling creature of some sort, say, a pacific prawn, could well find that the sea bed had an aroma with some sulphurous components. Not only are there numerous micro-organisms which extract and excrete sulphur-based compounds into the surrounding water, but SO2 itself is released in prodigious quantities by the so called ‘ Black Smokers ’ of the abysmal trenches.

Dear tintangel

I am always delighted to give advice on culinary matters, and so can answer your query “ how to prevent my lettuce from freezing in my fridge ? “ in the following way.

Do not, under any circumstances store your lettuces in your refrigerator. Although I admit to using my own trusty Frigidaire for the purpose of chilling beverages, I would never subject a fresh vegetable to such an alarming and uncomfortable experience. If at all possible, no food should be consumed in what I would term an “unhappy” state.

As you may be aware, most living creatures produce unwelcome chemical compounds when subjected to torment of any kind – and lettuces would not, of course, be an exception.

Ideally, you should always try to subject your food to the least possible stress – and for the shortest possible time. My advice is to grow your own, and leave them happily in the ground until the very last possible moment.

Dear zite_guyst

I am very pleased to say that I never cease to be amazed at the queries which I receive though this column. I think that they are ( in a small way admittedly ) fitting foundations for a virtual monument to the creativity and imagination of the public at large.

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