Although I understand the basic elements of math, and appreciate the practical arts of budgeting and economics (not to mention engineering), I’ve always been more of a language guy. I cherish a well-turned phrase, a compelling argument, and a poignant story more than an elegant equation. I would rather read a book, newspaper, or magazine article than delve into anything so practical as a spreadsheet. So it is with no small amount of regret that I offer the following, out of character, observation: “Eight pies? I always thought Octopi stood for 8 (3.14).”
Archive for the ‘Sherman’s Lagoon’ Category
That’s one expensive fin the shark in this strip is sporting; expensive because it’s made out of solid gold, because gold now trades at more than $1,500 an ounce, and because gold has no real, inherent value. I suspect the reason gold is so expensive is that investors fear the dollar will collapse, leaving them with boatloads of worthless currency. I’m no economist, but isn’t gold simply another currency that can lose its value as rapidly as the dollar (or the Euro, or the Yen)? If the economy collapses, nobody is going to assign value to gold. We’ll assign value to water, food, shelter, and electricity. If I wanted to prepare for an economic apocalypse, I’d invest in the things people can’t afford to live without.
This strip would have been a lot less funny if the ceiling fan in question had been tied to a dead goldfish instead of a manatee. Other things that would have been less funny: a piece of non-biodegradable garbage, a barrel of oil that rolled off the side of a tanker, and a shipwrecked person clinging to a piece of driftwood. Of course, manatees are funny-looking creatures, and even the most amusing of makeshift ceilings would have a hard time topping them. It also helps that the fan-weighted creature in this strip appears to be high, or at the very least, drunk.
As an American city dweller, it’s almost impossible for me to avoid people from other countries. This is a good thing, but it also subjects me to an inordinate number of conversations comparing the United States to a person’s country of origin. In some cases, this can be interesting – I might learn something new about Chinese culture, Italian cuisine, or Mexican music – but in too many cases it can be tedious. And forgive me for stereotyping, but Europeans are the worst when it comes to romanticizing the standard of living in their home countries. Sure, Europe can point to myriad accomplishments in the post-war era, but it’s also had its share of problems, and if you look at the continent’s history prior to, say, 1946…well, it’s not a pretty picture.
There are two kinds of lemonade in the world: the kind that’s made from freshly squeezed lemons and refreshes a person on a hot summer day, and the kind that kills mice. I’ve always been a fan of the former, although I have been known to drink chemically enhanced “lemon-flavored drinks” from time to time. I’m not above ordering a yellow fountain drink at a hot dog stand or chugging from a pitcher at a backyard barbecue. But I try to steer clear of store-bought lemonade mix. Sure, the packets are cheap and the “lemonade” is easy to make, but it also tastes terrible; like a moist towelette wrung out into super-metallic tap water and mixed with artificial sweetener. Would it kill a mouse? Probably not, but do I really want to find out?
Horse droppings: there’s a subject I haven’t thought about much. Actually, it’s a subject I haven’t thought about at all. And it’s not only because I’m a city kid whose never ridden a horse; it’s because horse droppings are gross. But even though I’m blissfully ignorant of dung-reading techniques, I can understand how a cowboy could determine how long ago a horse did its business. But determining what direction it was heading? By looking at its droppings? That’s more art than science, if you ask me.
When my wife and I visited Florence for the second leg of our honeymoon, we found that we were staying quite close to the Museum of Medieval Torture. The place was marked by a placard warning people not to descend a set of narrow stairs, lest they recoil in horror. We didn’t visit the museum because it didn’t seem like the kind of place that catered to recently married couples, but we did walk by it dozens of times. Thankfully, medieval torture has been relegated to museums and is not part of daily life in Florence. Cheese, on the other hand, continues to thrive.