Stuff I Thunk – July 2009

July 31, 2009 By: erik Category: Musings 164 views

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If monkeys ever developed a system of crime fighting, or if we hadn’t lost our opposable big toe, their fingerprint database would need toeprints as well. Otherwise the killers would just use their feet to hold the murder weapon.

The above was conceived while watching my daughter grasp her own feet together like Mr. Burns does with his hands. I always think, “Exxxxcellent…” when she does it.

And now, some underappreciated tweets…

“Parking garages are like prostitutes. Why pay for it when, if I apply myself, maybe I can get it for free?” -George Costanza, Seinfeld

You might be a redneck if… …you suffer from nuchal erythema.

Back in my hometown, I used to know a guy named Dwayne. We played on the tennis team together. Anyway, it occurred to me that, if he were to come visit me, and, heaven forbid, lose his footing while disembarking, it could be said that:

Dwayne, in Spain, falls mainly in the plane.

  • um.. yes… thanks for getting “dwayne in Spain falls mainly in the plane” stuck in my head…

  • Not trying to start anything, but if Dwayne suffered a recurrent timequake that resulted in his not being very far from the plane before being returned to the moment that he began disembarkation, you might go so far as to say, with some poetic license, “Dwayne, in Spain, stays mainly in deplane.”

    I say “poetic license” not only because of the use of “deplane” as a noun referring to the act of deplaning, but also because it is not at all clear to me what “to stay” might mean in the event of a timequake loop.

    • I admit trying for a bit to squeeze in that horrible verb “deplane” in the sentence, but I wasn’t willing to alter spacetime, nor invent a new gerund, to totally eliminate the definite articles.

      • Pft. If you want to make an omelet, you have to be willing to alter spacetime.

  • Assignment desk: I never realized before today that Europe is largely in a single time zone. Which means it’s the same time in Colindres as in BiaÅ‚ystok. Google says that BiaÅ‚ystok would be almost 2 hours ahead of Colindres if time were adjusted continuously by longitude (rather than by zone).

    So my question: how does it make you feel that Polish mums will be able to tell their children “it is dark out, and you must go to bed” while you will (eventually) be listening to “but papa, why must I be put to bed when the sun is still so high in the sky?”

    Portugal is pretty low on the list of countries I’ve spent any time thinking about, but I think they made a good call on bailing on CET. Though I wonder if they call their time zone “British Standard/Daylight Time”, and how that makes them feel. (“But papa, why must we live in the shadow of a broken-down empire?”)

  • As long as Nora knows no other timezone/dusk relationship, what’s the difference. You go to bed when there’s about this much light in the sky. Period.

    Personally, I very much enjoy living on the far western side of my timezone, as I prefer more light in the evenings and less in the mornings (I dig DST for that reason, too).

    What’s weird is that we are in the western hemisphere. When we moved here from England, we moved west, but our timezone changed eastwards. Wacky, eh?

    The Canary Islands are over there in British/Portuguese time, which sucks because it forces television programs to say the both times they will be on, ruining what could be the wonderful convenience of a single-timezoned country.

    • Probably your kid is going to go to bed a certain amount of time before you need her to be functional the next morning. Which makes me wonder whether Things (events and school days and such) start later in Spain than in Poland. Like if you took a poll of pancake breakfasts and daycare start times in NW Spain, would the median start time be later than the median start time for like events in Poland?

      Come to think of it, I guess you could do the work easier in Pensacola, FL and Pecos, TX (what with Spain, Poland or both not having pancake breakfasts, on account of everyone but America (and in particular the South, and not the cities) being communists). I wonder if anyone has done it. I’m off to ask the great Gazoogle.

    • Here’s an article that is somewhat on point. It doesn’t get directly at my pancake breakfast point, but it pointedly propounds that Pecos pancake parties perchance proceed pursuant to Pensacola pancake powwows. Or should, anyway. It also suggests that city dwellers are more entrained (they totally made that word up, I’ll bet, though I note that the first definition of “entrain” is “to go aboard a train”!)…um are more entrained by social cues (as opposed to daylight) than country folks.

      Country folks still being known to occasionally stare at the sun to see if they can see the demons that make it float. No, I’m kidding. Country folk are all right.

      • Josh

        Dammit, Lance, where am I supposed to get a decent pancake breakfast (actually, pancakes I can make, albeit without the buttermilk, but grits, forget about it) around here, now that you’ve put the thought in my head.

        To tell the truth, Spain, at least, and probably the rest of those godless, Obama supporting, hammer and sickle worshiping places o adjust life schedules and rhythms to what we, out here in the hinterlands, refer to as the Great Round Fire God in the Sky (GRFGS for short). This is even apparent within the country, as one moves from the western edge of the time zone (e.g. Seville) to the eastern edge of the country (Barcelona). While a commute in Seville is easy at 8am, since most businesses don’t bother to open until 10am, rush hour in Barcelona starts at about 6.30 am. Part of this is clearly due to different population densities, but part is also a practical adaptation to lifestyle. People here tend to still be strolling around with their kids at 10.30 pm. Don’t see that much in the States, do you? Now, about those pancakes…