Eiron’s Archives 05

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You can trigger a response from Eiron with a question via his contact page

Twitter feed : @Eiron_Foyer

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

Dear F37s9jj

Emphatically no : ‘ fad ‘ diets – like the [ ███████ ] one which you mention – are rather bad idea for your ( or anyone else’s ) long term health. If you insist on pursuing such poppycock on a regular basis then I must strongly urge you to at least adopt the following strategy – which will help – a little at least – towards maintaining a reasonably healthy diet. You must create a dietary regimen which incorporates a balance of fad diets over, say, one month. I call it Fad Combining.

So, for example, Monday you could follow the [ ███████ ] diet, Tuesday the [ ███████ ], Wednesday you could be a [ ███████ ] etc etc . Provided you follow a sensible blend of fads like these you should be reasonably OK dietary-wise.

Dear YupImin

You asked ‘ Why do human beings have finger and toenails ? ‘. The answer is straightforward. Nails are DNA’s way of reminding us that we are still animals.

Dear wAffleIronHook

Could I surmise that, until now, you were unaware that the Hagahi peoples of New Guinea have ( or should I say ‘ had ‘ ? ) fourteen different words for ‘ tree-kangaroo ’ ?

Now . . . d’you see what I have done ? Although very little is known about the way that memories are stored in the brain, it’s a fairly safe bet to guess that since they are semi-permanent, they are probably based on a physical, chemical, or electrical ‘ hard-wiring ’ mechanism of some sort.

I have no idea who you are, or even where you are, but I can be rather confident that I have just performed, ( without your permission, I should add ) a small, but significant, hard-wring operation upon your brain . . .

Like-it-or-not, you now have a memory regarding the Hagahi’s vocabulary – and try-as-you-might, it will be difficult to erase. I‘ll even wager that by trying to un-remember it you’ll very likely wire-it-in even more firmly !

I do admit to a certain frisson associated with such actions. Thus, in answer to your perceptibly sardonic question – yes, I do enjoy my work.

Dear Keef_hoppper

Well, it’s not a new question I admit, but one that’s worth answering nonetheless. As you point out, many have labeled the mosquito as ‘ the most dangerous animal in the world ‘ – bearing in mind the many millions of people who die from malaria each year.

And you asked “ Why did Noah take mosquitoes on the Ark ? “

Three possible answers spring to mind :

Scenario 1)   He didn’t. I am informed by experts who study such things that he was only required to take aboard animals which breathe via nostrils ( Genesis 7:22 ). As I am sure you are aware, mosquitoes, like other insects, are nostril-less – they breathe instead though through tiny pores in their exterior skeleton called spiracles.

Scenario 2)   He didn’t. They were not officially on the guest list, but hitched a ride anyway.

Scenario 3)   He didn’t. It’s all [ ███████ ]

Dear GocHezech

Well, an unusual query – be-that-as-it-may one which I shall endeavor to answer. You asked “ If I had to eat just one type of fruit or vegetable for the rest of my life – which should I choose ? “

I could perhaps recommend that you to try the fruit of the [ ███████ ] plant. I have heard that they are divinely, supremely, wonderfully, exquisitely delicious. Should you do so though, I couldn’t vouch for the absolute length of ‘ the rest of ’ in your question.

Dear UidgBarr_44

As you may know, I cannot deal with individual medical queries via this column. I can, nonetheless, divulge my own ‘ health tips ’ – with no guarantee of course, other than to say that I have been completely free of Nachtlicht-Königsflammen syndrome for several decades now – from which I urge you to draw your own conclusions.

Firstly, I make sure that I get substantially ‘ out of breath ’ at least once every day. ( The modus operandi is entirely optional. )

Secondly – and I cannot recommend this too highly – I advocate that one should contrive to get ‘ goose pimples ’ on a daily basis too. This is not as easy to arrange as my first recommendation, but I find, for instance, that listening to favourite musical passages on my radiogram usually works rather well.

It may interest you to know that I have been painstakingly researching for some years now in order to come up with a strategy which will reliably combine both results at the same time – but it is considerably more difficult to arrange than you might imagine.

Dear XymalGumm

Yours is one of those questions which reminds me of a Russian Doll – layers within layers of intriguement. The question, and its answer(s) cross refer with physics, biology, and could even serve as a existential-philosophy metaphor. Wonderful. Allow me to extrapolate.

XymalGumm asked : ‘ I live on a street which is paved with old granite cobbles. At what speed should I drive my car for the least-uncomfortable ride ? ‘

The answer is that there are two ideal speed-bands. If you were to drive extremely slowly – perhaps around 1 Km per hour, then you will suffer very little bone-jangling discomfort. Alternatively, you could drive devilishly fast, 80 Kph minimum, in which case the ‘bumps’ caused by the cobbles would tend to ‘smear out’ into to a somewhat noisy, but fairly comfortable, ride.

Now to the metaphor : You should strenuously avoid any mediocre, middle-range, neither-here-nor-there speeds – which, I’ll warrant, will shake you to the very bones.

Now, I expect you are wondering about the physics-based explanation for this rather odd meta-dualistic outcome ?

Firstly, let us consider how your own mass ( i.e the mass of your body ) which I will call [Mb], interacts with the speed of the vehicle [Vv] in the equation . . .

[ regrets Eiron, lack of space prevents. Ed. ]

Dear NullHypofesis

Much obliged for letting me know that your ‘ favourite smell is the smell of ironing ‘. I’m quite fond of it too. Though I think I should specify it slightly more tightly. I like the smell ironing when it’s done by someone else.

Dear BulliHubli

Yes, an interesting quasi-conundrum indeed.

BulliHubli said : ‘ I live near a public park, and recently a large oak tree blew down during a severe storm. ( thankfully, no-one was injured ) Does the GDP of the country go up, or down, as a result ? ‘

The local authority will probably be responsible for removing the tree – a work which could well incur rather substantial costs. However, a contractor will probably undertake the job completely free of charge. Why ? Because the tree itself will be worth many thousands. Oak is a protected wood in much of Europe – it has to be protected because it is so wonderfully durable, attractive, hardwearing and easily workable – so much so that every last tree would very soon be cut down if it were not.

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