Eiron’s Archives 04

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Yes, it is true that small glass window panes found in many ancient properties are thicker at the bottom than at the top – but this is emphatically not because ‘ gravity has caused the glass to flow downwards over the years ‘ .

Allow me to extrapolate. Hundreds of years ago, making a nice flat sheet of glass with the equipment available at the time was a next-to-impossible technological challenge – we can certainly take it for granted that they nearly always ‘turned out’ very unevenly. ( quite literally ).

The explanation of the enigma lies instead in the satisfyingly simple fact that the person who put the panes of glass into the window in the first place found it easier to put the thick bit at the bottom. As would you no doubt.

But the glaziers were not 100% accurate all of the time. And why should they have been ? Every now and again they would put one in ‘upside down’ – and, if you inspect an ancient building with enough glazed windows you will often find one or two.

If you still require further proof, I suggest that you take a trip to Glass Buttes , Oregon , where you will find substantial quantities of Obsidian – a natural glass ( i.e. non crystalline ) formed by volcanic activity in the distant past. You will find plenty of examples of broken fragments and shards which are just as sharp now as they were millions of years ago. They most certainly have not ‘melted’.

Dear bluploffurther

Yes, as far as I am aware, there a body of evidence suggesting that a good intake of antioxidants can help in some degree towards clearing acne. And yes, you are correct, cocoa does indeed provide an excellent source. [ Containing the monomers (–)-epicatechin and (+)-catechin or oligomers of epicatechin and/or catechin (procyanidins), as you are no doubt aware ].

I must say, however, that I am not entirely convinced regarding your theory that a diet of chocolate bars may be able to cure acne. I would predict though, that should you embark on a scientific study, you will not find a shortage of volunteer subjects.

Dear knoppler_Mk

You can, I am sure, imagine the image of, say, a full moon, without undue effort ? And if you were asked to imagine the sound of, perhaps, a church bell, could you not also easily do so ? Why then, would you assert that “ It is impossible to imagine a taste “ ?

Clearly it is not.

May I say that current psychological research is increasingly pointing towards the idea that all sensory activities, are in a way, imaginary. In other words, when you look at a full moon, your brain is matching the incoming visual data to a memory – which you already have – of what a full moon is like. The ‘matching’ effect is what you experience – rather than the impingement of the photons upon your retina.

So it seems that there is not all that much difference between the experience of really looking a moon, or just imagining the sight. In both cases your brain is calling up the very same ‘file’ so to speak.

Going back to your question then, there is no reason whatever why you should not be able to imagine a taste. I do it all the time. I can, for example, conjure up the ‘imaginative’ version of the flavour of smoked haddock with a light butter sauce. Or the taste of a particularly fine dark bitter Swiss chocolate.

I must say though, that, by way of experiment, I tried for some time to imagine the two mixed together – and I admit that the mental effort involved was quite dizzying – and I had to desist.

I concede then that imaginative gustation may have its limits.

Dear Impinjar

It has been said that each person dies twice. Once when they physically pass away, and the second time when the last person alive forgets about them. I am reluctant to offer any advice on chemically extending your life span – I can, however, suggest a way of postponing the second event. It does, though, involve significantly substantial expenditure.

You should establish a trust fund in a stable tax-haven, say [ ███████ ] . The trustees will be instructed to use the accruing interest to reinforce the account and cover any expenses, but also to regularly place advertisements in the local – or even better national – press , along the lines of :

“ To whom it may concern : Impinjar is not fully dead yet.” You could, perhaps, attach a photo as well if you wish.

I should point out though that the length of time that such a scheme would remain viable depends upon several factors, including :

• The size of the initial investment.
• The interest rates.
• The stability of the particular bank ( and tax haven ).
• The honesty of the trustees.

I would be happy to help arrange it for you if you like ? My bank details are as follows [ ███████ ] [ ███████ ] [ ███████ ] [ ███████ ] [ ███████ ] , Bermuda.

[ I thought you were supposed to have given up this kind of thing ? Ed. ]

Dear bsduy44ts8

Many apologies, but I have no idea whatsoever what you mean by ‘substance alpha’ , or ‘substance beta’ , or for that matter, ‘theta’.

If you could give me a little more detail – that is to say chemical names, then I could perhaps assist.

Update : Aaaaaaaah yes. It’s all coming back to me now. Do not – as the saying goes – go there. I fear that you may just end up running around in circles.

Dear Skein0f4th

I would like to point out that the bodily part – the colloquial name of which you employed to address your correspondence to me – is actually a fairly essential piece of the anatomy.

May I say too that, if you were not in possession of one, you would find it, to say the least, a very considerable inconvenience. I therefore take it as a compliment that you should address me in such a fashion.

And since your correspondence was concerned with a statement of your opinion rather than a question, I have no duty to reply. Though I do wish you the very best of luck with your minnow raising activities.


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