Eiron’s Archives 06

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My reasoning runs thusly. Do you think that any alien civilization, sufficiently advanced to construct and hide fleets of über-tech killer-craft inside a mountain might not have thought about the possibility of what to do about pesky little people who try to hide away in home-made bunkers ?

I am not trying to cause you alarm, or induce feelings of futility, I am simply endeavouring to save you a great deal of time, trouble and expense in ineffective bunker-constructing.

Bearing in mind that, if you are correct, ‘ they ‘ must have been hiding there for several hundred years ( at a minimum ) – you could perhaps take refuge in the laws of chance rather than in the thickness of concrete ? and ask yourself – why now ? then go back to your sofa, open a nice bottle of bubbly, and forget about it.

Alternatively, you may as well [ ███████ ] – please don’t feel offended if I don’t join you.

Dear NUYoika_33

Yes, you are absolutely correct in your observation that ( apart from some rather attractive local anomalies ) the universe is becoming more disordered as time goes by.

Cups of tea cool down, mixed paint cannot be un-stirred etc etc. But you should not make the silly mistake – as so many prominent cosmologists do – of thinking that this necessarily implies that, at some time in the distant past, the universe must have been perfectly ordered. ( viz. Big Bang, Singularities and other such dribble drabble )

Let me explain with an example.

Imagine that one day you happen to come across a large sandpile whilst walking on a beach. On a subsequent visit you note that it has flattened-out considerably ( due to wind, rain, footprints etc etc ). And, when you return a month later, there is almost no trace of it left. Would you then deduce that, projecting backwards in time, there must have been a moment when the sand grains were all stacked up one upon the other in a gigantically high thread one grain thick ?

I rest my case.

Dear Raaaathu

Your question “ How much water should I drink ? “ opens up a veritable cask of controversies. Depending on the source, ( ha ha ! ) recommendations vary from one, to two or even three litres per day.

The excessively large differences – up to 300% or so – in the so-called experts’ opinions richly underlines the misunderstandings surrounding the question – the answer to which is actually disarmingly simple.

On a daily basis you should drink exactly the same amount of water as your body loses.

I am sure that I do not need to go into details to describe for you the various ways in which your body can lose fluid – and of course the amount will vary from person to person and according to local atmospheric conditions etc. I can tell you though, that accurately gauging-it entails a good deal of equipment, high expenses and some not inconsiderable unpleasantness ( as I discovered during the course of my personal experiments ).

As a fallback then, could I suggest that ( given the opportunity ) you should drink when you feel thirsty ?

I will go further still, and say that you must necessarily have been carrying-out this exceptionally fine-tuned balancing act for many years – perhaps without even realising it. If not, you would long-since have either shriveled-up or burst. Since you just recently contacted me, I am fairly confident that neither has occurred, and will confidently predict that if you follow my advice, neither will.

Dear limPette

No, offhand I cannot think of any group of living organisms which humans do not willfully eat. We feast on mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, insects, crustaceans, plants, fungi, algae, lichens and even bacteria – though in the latter case it’s only in the last few hundred years that we’ve known about it ! . . .

Nowadays, I’m told that it is in vogue to consume special tablets laden with millions of carefully cultured bacteria to regulate gut ‘ flora’.

Indeed, it seems to me that the only DNA-based construct that we do not currently deliberately eat is viruses. ( Though some may say they are not really alive, and so do not fit your question. )

In any case, I daresay that time will soon come when people will eat pills full of billions of them too – in the form of macrophages [ i.e. viruses which destroy specific bacteria. Ed ] to eradicate harmful microbes.

Take my advice and start up something along the lines of Macrophage Biotic Stabilizers Inc. straight away. Hurry, because I may well do the same.

Dear MillBanksy

Many thanks indeed for sending me a copy of your latest poem ‘ If Then Else ‘ ( written to emulate the look and feel of the 1970’s Fortran computer programming language )

I have forwarded it to my editor, who, I can tell you, is as keen an appreciator of modern poetry as I am of 16th century Sicilian marble bird-baths.

By coincidence, I once tried my hand at ‘ computer poetry ‘ myself – but unlike you, I chose to write it in a lower-level language, binary in fact : perhaps you would like to see it ?

It concerns a gambler, Juan, who is unwell, but who nontheless undertakes another casino session – and wins – or does he ?

Oh ! Wan Juan won one !

“ One won, Juan ! “

Owe ?

[ ummm . . . that’s enough poetry for the moment, thanks, Ed. ]

Dear MarryVieloso

No, you are mistaken. There can only be one universe. If there were more than one they could not be called a uni verse could they ?

Dear MimRoth

You asked “ What is the stickiest material known to humanity ? “

One of the stickiest is the substance exuded by shellfish – especially clams and mussels etc – enabling them to adhere to rocks. It is phenomenally strong, and very water-resistant of course. It is proving of great interest to those involved in developing adhesives. There is however an even more tenacious material, one which is nigh-on impossible to prise apart under any circumstances – it is traditionally used to glue together the pages of lawyers’ chequebooks.

[ Could you try to keep personal issues out of the column Eiron ? Many thanks, Ed. ]

Dear Versio733

Why in the name of [ ███████] would you want to ‘ sanitize crocodiles ‘ ? What an absurd notion. Like trying to wing-clip birds or de-bark dogs. Have you no thoughts at all for the poor crocs’ feelings ? There can be little more horrifying a concept to a crocodile than the idea of becoming sanitary.

I can only say that if you insist in getting involved with such tomfoolery then for goodness sake keep it at arm’s ( or better still two arms’ ) length.

Dear FellowPages_AC

Yes. Of course I have heard of ‘ gravity waves ‘. I have also come across rogue waves, hair waves, and casual waves ( and on one occasion, all three simultaneously ). What do you want me to do about it ?

Dear St1ckyS3ct

You raise a very engaging ( and topical ) philosophical puzzle with your query regarding :

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