I was watching the sun set last night when a thought came unbidden to mind. It occurred to me that at precisely the same moment, somewhere in the world, a person I never met was looking at the exact same sun; only to him, it was rising. I guess I was always aware of this fact, but for whatever reason it really struck home to me at that particular instant of time. I began wondering who he was and what his day held in store for him. My brain started to ponder over the philosophical ramifications of the idea that we all share this same planet, which is merely a large stone hurtling through space. I could feel how I was on the edge of a deep, life-changing shift in my global perspective, but then I got distracted by a blinking red-light on a radio tower. Sigh.
Here’s a fun game I just discovered that anyone can play using a simple word processing program like Microsoft Word. Next time you’re typing along and a red line appears underneath a word to let you know its been misspelled, don’t just right-click to get suggestions for corrections. Fix it yourself. Just keep changing the spelling until the computer tells you its right. And if you thought Angry Birds got you upset, just wait until you try to correct the spelling of “fortunately” and “embarrass”on your own.
Another question that we may never find out the answer to: how many people would it take to pin down a full-grown polar bear? The humans are completely unarmed; the can only rely on brute strength. And I don’t want to kill the poor animal, no eye-gouging or chokeholds, just subdue it. Obviously, one person would be too few and a thousand is probably too many, so there has to be a practical number in-between. My over/under is going to be forty-three with eight life-threatening injuries.
What do my wife and I argue about? Pizza. She likes her half to be the super-supreme, meat-lovers (trust me, if there’s a license to hunt it – she’ll eat it), with the only exceptions being fish heads and actual shards of metal. Myself? I just like cheese on my half and plenty of it. The problem arises from topping creep. My pizza purist brothers out there will know what I’m talkin’ about. Topping creep refers to the pieces of bacon, ham and pepperoni that cross over the Mason Dixon line and violate the sanctity of the cheese slices. “Just pick it off if you don’t like it,” she says. Sure, you can try and remove the offensive bits, but that operation invariably results in massive losses of cheese tissue leaving behind great swaths of bald dough. Besides, the offending oils have already contaminated the border slices where you can still taste it anyway. Might as well make the drink half-Sprite, half-Pepsi and split it into two cups once you’re ready to eat.
Here’s something I only recently noticed – my tongue. Next time you eat a cheeseburger, see how efficiently your tongue moves the food around in your mouth without any conscious help from you. Even better, once you start paying attention, it still does it stuff with no loss of agility. Normally, any function that you can do without thinking, like walking, once you focus on what you’re doing it no longer feels natural. Not so with the ol’ tongue. It gathers up the half-chewed mess in your mouth and shoves it efficiently up against the teeth without once getting itself ground up by the molars. It’s really pretty amazing.
“First World Problems” seems to be a popular internet meme today. It refers to the concerns people in industrialized nations have that would be totally insignificant to an inhabitant of a third world country. For example, people complaining about how their cell phone chargers don’t reach to the nightstand, or how they spend more time looking for a movie on Netflix than actually watching one. I understand the idea that we who are blessed to live in material wealth should really appreciate it, but it still makes me mad when I fill my glass from the refrigerator door and the stupid water ricochets off the ice and sprays all over me.
Probably everyone reading this is familiar with narcolepsy. It’s a condition where the sufferer will, without warning, fall into a deep sleep. I think it would be interesting if we could take it one step further. Of course, I’m talking about necrolepsy. Afflicted people would simply slump over and die without warning. There would be no vital signs or breath fogging the mirror, just a rapidly cooling body. Then, after say forty-five seconds to a minute, the victim would loudly gasp, take a deep breath, and go along like nothing had happened. It would really test the focus of a roomful of students taking the SAT, I guarantee you that.