Eiron’s Archives 05

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Thus, the tree’s wood will undoubtedly be sold-on and utilised by manufacturers of various products – who, along with the tree-removal-contractor, will certainly make a tidy profit from their undertakings. D’you see where I’m headed ?

At length, the local council will no doubt stage a photo-op and replace the tree with a new sapling ( a.k.a. ‘ an acorn ‘ ) that will in due course attain all the might and grandeur of its predecessor – and in the meantime will assist with carbon-dioxide sequestration running into hundreds of tonnes.

All-in-all a great boon for the economy and the planet as a whole don’t you think ?

Dear BlueG4ll

You asked whether I tend to regard “ – a glass as being half-full or half-empty “

Before I could make such a judgment I would be asking myself how sure I was about the size of the two halves. In other words, was either the full part or the empty part unmistakably identifiable as a ‘ large ’ half – or a ‘ small ’ half ?

If one or the other was obviously the greater, I would clearly have no difficulty in deciding. But, if the two looked indistinguishably similar, then how could I possibly know which was the most significant ? Would you like me to do a scientific measurement ? But to what level of accuracy ? Would the nearest cubic millimeter satisfy you ? It certainly wouldn’t be good enough for me. So, where then would you like me to stop ? Perhaps I should count the number of molecules in each half ? And what of evaporation ? Might not some of the liquid molecules evaporate during the measurement process – and flee to the ‘empty ‘ portion ? And, at the quantum level, wouldn’t my very act of counting affect the number of subatomic particles involved ?

I do not want to seem pessimistic, but, in short, your proposition is a nonsensical one, and I have absolutely no intention of carrying it out – let alone making a habit of it.

Looking on the bright side though, I may perhaps consider conducting some less non-unequivocal experiments – with glasses which at least start-out emphatically full.

Dear Vdlpurwhay

With regard to a definition of ‘ hallucinations ‘ . May I direct you instead towards the surrealist art-movement of the early part of the last century ? And ask, which would you find most disturbing – the fact that you may see a telephone with a lobster attached to it – or the likelihood of discovering a telephone floating in your bisque ? I am told that great exponent Dali himself asked this very question ( or something quite like it ).

Dog tiles strawberry sofa.

Ant sandpit.

[ That’s enough reader-goading for the time being. Thanks, Ed. ]

Dear 0pr4_Sidn3y

Many thanks for alerting me, via your question, to the ‘ vagueness ‘ regarding where one’s body begins and ends. I confess that I had never considered it in detail before – and find the idea(s) quite intriguing. So, in answer to your question(s) – yes, if part of my thumb was sliced off and presented to me on a platter, then I would certainly consider it mine – very definitely part of me – and I should want it returned at the very earliest opportunity.

But, as regards dandruff flakes – then, if I had dandruff ( which I don’t ) I must say that I would truly feel quite challenged about conjuring-up feelings of me-ness about the flakes – which is quite an unsettling and illogical prospect, considering that, given the budget, an entire clone of me could be reconstructed from them by amplifying the DNA which they would contain.

And yes, I see your point too that there are other body parts which are decidedly indeterminate with regard to their degree of me-ness – and which I am still pondering with considerable effort.

Toenails, teeth, and of course [ ███████ ].

Dear V1L0Kha

Let me assure you that it is by no means a necessity to be a member of a learn’ed institution to perform your own quite valid scientific experiments.

By way of encouragement, perhaps I can describe some research which I am currently undertaking in the field of psychology.

A while ago, I purchased a job-lot of surplus umbrellas from an auction of manufacturers’ overruns. Each day, when there is even a hint of a cloud in the sky, I saunter down to my local café to have my morning espresso. I contrive on each occasion to ‘ accidentally ’ leave my umbrella behind. But, on my next visit I never mention the loss. And neither do the café staff. So far, I have left 27.

We shall see who cracks first.

I admit that, as yet, I have not worked out exactly how I should frame my scientific conjecture – but it is most enjoyable and entertaining, and I am quietly that confident my study will receive all the attention which it deserves from the scientific establishment when I finally submit it for publication.

Dear ES_goto

The ‘ information ’ which your neighbour has volunteered for you is a myth. Cheese which has gone moudly does not ‘ simply turn into another type of cheese ’ .

I can assure you that if you were to purchase a thoroughly downmarket cheese from your most abysmal local supermarket, e.g. [ ███████ ] , and leave it wrapped in plastic film on a hot windowledge somewhere, then you would wait a very long time indeed for it to turn into the finest Roquefort.

Are you sure he/she isn’t trying to poison you ?

Dear DubyaDubyaDubya

With the greatest of respect, your question ‘ Why do roses smell so lovely ? ‘ has a definite whiff of anthropocentric arrogance about it.

Allow me to put you in the picture. The scent which roses emit is not for the benefit of humanity. Through the process of evolution, it has emerged over countless millennia to become a perfect match not for our noses, but for those of insects – bees in particular.

We can be sure that the perfume of a rose is more-or-less perfectly tuned to a bee’s idea of a wonderful smell. The fact that we find it pleasant is merely a coincidence. ( Admittedly an extraordinary one bearing in mind the very different way in which our olfactory organs function. )

I do concede though that it is a wonderful stroke of luck on our part. If the dice had fallen another way, and our smell-preferences were more in line with, say, houseflies, then I daresay the cover images on our valentine’s cards would be very substantially less wholesome.

Dear TrenAmend asks :

‘ What did people use insted (sic.) of TV when we did not have power ? ‘

In the old days – books. And in the very old days – each other, and [ ███████ ].

Dear GranplusterFax

You asked :

‘ I recently heard someone mention Dendrochronolgy – what is it ?

May I point you in the direction of the internet, currently an effulgent expediency for lexical deixis. Find a good online dictionary and, over time, I’m sure you’ll be able to trace the word’s roots and branches.

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