Eiron’s Archives 02

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All I would say is this. If the ‘business guru’, whose book you plainly covet, is so wonderful at doing business, why would he divulge extremely valuable ( and potentially competition-inducing ) information to a gaggle of ne’er’do’wells ?

We might remember that a former Prime Minister of the UK was, at one time, running a garden-gnome moulding firm. He is now a key member of one of the most influential business groups on the planet.

I would venture to suggest that he did not achieve his present status because of his gnome-moulding skills.

Dear MimTillinzale

Do not even think about it. That much could kill an elephant. In fact a whole family of elephants.

Dear Qintuplex_duplex

Your query, which I regurgitate verbatim , viz.What type of food did Beethoven eat during 1770-1827 ” was intriguing to say the least. I must tell you that I have no accurate idea, and surmise that no-one else does either.

I can, however, make a shrewd guess as to what he probably drank.

He started on milk. He then moved on to water, and perhaps some fruit juices. Later he became keen on beer. And finally ended up knocking back the schnapps.

He was, I have very little doubt, frequently ‘Brahms and Liszt’. ( Google it )

Dear vvinkuj&df%__88wcvnc_wd_ornot

Let me guess from your e-mail ‘handle’, and the subject matter of your question, that you may, perhaps, be a youngster ?

Yes, the sad fact is that many very large ocean-going ships are ‘lost’ every year in mysterious circumstances. They simply disappear from the Radar screens – and are never seen again. The explanation which you indicate though, viz. ‘they are beamed-up by aliens’ seems to me to be somewhat unlikely.

I would suggest that the phenomenon can be put down to three possible ( more Earthly ) causes :

Meteorological anomalies ( big waves )
Piracy ( big guns )
Scuttling for insurance purposes ( big money )

Dear TV_exponAnt

I have to disagree with you about the time which is ‘wasted’ whilst waiting for cumbersome .pdf files to download.

The time is not ‘wasted’ – providing that you make other good use of it. Do you suppose that your time is ‘wasted’ when using your pop-up toaster ? Or ‘wasted’ while your washing machine goes through its cycle ?

Many other mindnumbingly tedious enterprises such as standing in a Post Office queue can be put to good use. I haven’t visited a Post Office since 1973, but, when I did, I always used to conduct a survey on some subject which I thought might entertain my fellow queuers.

Such as whether [ ████████ ████████ ████████ ████████ ] should be left at large or not.

Dear Nogoboso

You e-mailed to enquire whether the microwave radiation from mobile phones could be harmful to goldfish.

I do not feel qualified to answer with 100% certitude. I would, however, suggest that it may be possible for you to conduct your own research into the matter.

Contrary to the public perception, goldfish do, in fact, have a long memory ( several months at least ) as is evidenced by the fact that they can be very reliable trained to react to a call-sign for feeding. They also have a reasonably long attention span ( significantly longer, I think you will find, than some members of our own species ).

Let’s first examine the conjecture that goldfish may be able to ‘perceive’ the microwaves.

Instead of tapping on their bowl, or whistling when it comes to feeding time – simply switch-on your mobile just before you give them their daily feed. Then, after a few weeks of training, test the conjecture by switching-on the phone and waiting to see if they become agitated and expectant ( as they do when they know a real feed is in the offing ).

Now we can move on to the more detailed examination as to whether they are harmed or not.

Firstly . . .

[ the article goes on for some 30 pages describing possible experimental strategies. If any reader would like to see them, please e-mail. Ed. ]

Dear Hynthiophore112_Bondstreet.

Given the ubiquity, availability, and facility of Search-Engine based queries, I normally choose to ignore questions of the ‘Why is the sky blue ?’ variety. The expression ‘Just Google It’ springs to mind.

I do try to reserve this column for more erudite matters, and confess that at first I was inclined to swiftly despatch your query to the container marked ‘Jetsam‘ ( as I have renamed my ‘Recycle–Bin’ ).

Luckily though, I realised at the last minute that your question has ( or at least could have ) many hidden layers, which, when peeled away one by one, reveal yet more, though not necessarily less important, layers within – and I am therefore willing – on this occasion – to give it the benefit of the doubt ( as they say in my favourite radio programme ! )

The answer is Allium haematochiton

Dear LinkBeta

An interesting question, and one which deserves further consideration. You asked whether there are any other types of honey, which, like the one derived from the Manuka ( a.k.a. Tea Tree ) of New Zealand, contains useful chemicals of which the bees are presumably unaware.

I think we can say that there must be. If, for instance, we were to obtain honey from bees which were in the habit of frequenting the flowers of the Willow trees of the Norfolk flatlands, we may well find that it contained traces of Aspirin.

There may well, indeed, be a huge and largely untapped market for phytochemically enhanced honeys provided, by nature, for us via the humble Apis melifera.

I will be undertaking a trip to Afghanistan shortly, and look forward to trying some honey obtained in the environs of the huge poppy plantations there.

I will report back to you ( if I remember ).

Dear Troncocell

I cannot answer your query with any degree of certitude. If I had been present at the time, I would certainly not be writing this column now. The fact is that very little is known about the effects of lightning strikes at sea and its effects upon fish.

I think we can say though that, bearing in mind the electrical power dissipated by a fairly run’o’the mill strike ( 10,000 times that of a domestic electrical circuit ), that any fish in the vicinity will be well and truly stunned by the power of nature – as am I.

Dear Neumann_U_87

I was somewhat disinclined to undertake the task of explaining ‘quantum entanglement’ to you – as you requested. As you will be aware, Einstein struggled with the concept for several decades, famously calling it “ Spooky Action at a Distance ” – so you can, perhaps, imagine my reluctance.

On reflection however, I think I can put it rather simply thus :

Imagine that you are in possession of two identical clocks. You set the clocks at exactly the same moment so that they are absolutely synchronised. You then transport one of the clocks to a remote location of your choice – the other side of the universe if you so wish.

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