Points to Ponder — Interesting Facts and a Little Humor and Perspective

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Someone emailed the below thoughts / questions, the author of whom is not named.  This person clearly does not make a living thinking, but at least he is thinking, even if only half way.  My comments appear in [brackets] below each.

Do twins ever realize that one of them was unplanned?

[—or that maybe they both were unplanned?  R.A.B.]

What if my dog only brings back my ball because he thinks I like throwing it?

[Same answer for either: “Good dog!”  R.A.B.]

If the expiration date on poison expires, is it more poisonous or is it no longer poisonous?

[This is a fallacy of logic.  The statement is based on the false assumption that the poison was initially good in order for it to have gone bad.  Something that is poisonous, that was lab created, may over time “degrade”, but will still be toxic / poisonous, though possibly not as powerfully or as usefully in the specific manner in which it was intended.  For example, gasoline: when it goes bad it turns into something like shellac, and cannot be used as gasoline; but it is still volatile and toxic / poisonous.  R.A.B.]

Which letter is silent in the word “scent,” the s or the c?

[Nice try.  Actually, neither are.  The “sc” is pronounced like a double s (ss).  The word scent actually derives from Old French sentir (sahn-teer; so there is no confusion about its pronunciation; the c is not merely silent, it is not even there).  However, in the 1600s (toward the end of late Middle English), a “c” was added to form the English word scent (presumably, so it would not be confused with the past-tense verb, sent); and it seems likely that the c was originally pronounced like a “k”, in the word scent.  In most Germanic languages, the “c” is actually a “k”.  English is a Germanic language; Old English was also known as “Anglo-Saxon” (the Angles and Saxons being the two primary Germanic tribes that invaded England; the Jutes seem to have been less influential and less numerous).  However modern English has many different pronunciations because English, while it is in the majority, German, also absorbed a lot of French (and different pronunciations are often due to the different origin, whether from German, French, Latin, or Greek).  French itself, deriving from Old Frankish, which was a Germanic language, seems to have developed a different pronunciation, I surmise, from close contact with the Celts, as well as the later Romans.  This French influence (especially after the time of William “The Conqueror”, because the Normans had dwelled in Normandie, France before their invasion, and had adopted French, albeit, with their own Normanisms) eventually influenced English starting in earnest in 1066.  While those who study history and language know this, most people do not.  Thus, those who do not pronounce the c or pronounce the c like an “s” do so in ignorance; and eventually ignorance becomes “colloquially accepted” and then “the norm”.  Celt / Celtic is Kelt / Keltic not "Selt / Seltic" (selt is past tense of sell to someone who cannot spell).  Cimmerian is Kimmerian.  Scythian is Skythian—just like school is sckool.  Abscond is abskond.  Likewise: escape, scope, scandal, etc.   However, due to pronunciation preferences, when a “sc” appears before an “e” or an “i” (abscess, reminisce, oscillate, scene, scenario, etc.) the c is often soft (not necessarily silent).  But there are exceptions, such as scintillate, scheme, etc.  R.A.B.]

 Why is the letter W, in English, called double U?  Shouldn't it be called double V?

[Centuries ago the “w” was actually a “double u”, that is, “uu” (which then were merged closer together into one letter).   Before that, the letter “u” and “v” were originally the same letter.  In old inscriptions the “u” was written “v” because a v was easier to chisel than a “u” (though that does not explain why the letter “o” was not chiseled as a “square”; nor does it explain why the rounded parts of other letters were not squared off; I guess we can chalk it up to “artistic license”).  The “w” and “v” are interchangeable in various languages; in German, wein  is pronounced vine; and clearly grapes and vines and wines are all related, and thus, we are given a glimpse into the ancientness of the German language.  The “u” and “w” are also interchangeable in pronunciation of many words: Suabian / Swabian.  For this reason the “w” is considered to sometimes be a vowel (“a, e, i, o, u—and sometimes w and y”); in Welsh, the “w” is a vowel (u).  Even in ancient Hebrew, the Tetragramaton, the Holy Name, YHWH (Yahweh) could be represented with 4 vowels rather than 4 consonants, and retain the same pronunciation IAUE (ee-ow-ey).  R.A.B.]

Maybe oxygen is slowly killing you and it just takes 75-100 years to fully work.

[Actually, birth is the primary and inevitable, unavoidable cause of death.  But we do have a love-hate relationship with oxygen.  Too little and we would die.  Too much (except for short periods of time) and we would die.  It is amazing that planet earth has just the right amout of oyxgen—the perfect amount—for life here.  It’s amazing that we are the perfect distance from our sun; a little farther we would freeze; a little closer we’d be incinerated.  It’s equally amazing that no other planet has life, not even different forms of life with just the right amount of oxygen or other gases that those other types of life need, at just the right distance from their suns for the ideal temperature that they need.  Random chance and billions and billions of years is really amazing, isn’t it...?  Yet despite all other planets having random chance and billions and billions of years (or so some deluded or dishonest people claim)... —no life.  What are the odds of that? especially considering that our planet is quite small compared to other planets and just one of hundreds of billions (so scientists guess).  Big Bangism / Evolution takes more "blind faith" than believing the Biblical account of Creation.  R.A.B.]

Every time you clean something, you just make something else dirty.

[Except when you clean your conscience before God.  R.A.B.]

The word “swims” upside-down is still “swims”.

[Cool.  However, if you swim upside down water goes up (or actually down) your nose, so I don’t advise it. A palindrome is “Madam I’m Adam” which is the same backwards (capitals and apostrophe notwithstanding).  R.A.B.]

Intentionally losing a game of rock, paper, scissors is just as hard as trying to win.

[True, but not profound; that can be said of most any game of chance, such as dice, drawing straws, flipping a quarter, etc.  R.A.B.]

100 years ago everyone owned a horse and only the rich had cars.  Today everyone has cars and only the rich own horses.

[Well, this is only partially true.  Even as not everyone owns a car today (the majority of people in the inner cities don’t, they rely on public transportation, taxis, or limo service), so also not everyone 100 years ago owned a horse (or even an ox).  Some could only afford a goat and they even had the goat pull a cart.  Some only had a large dog and the dog pulled a cart (see the great movie, The Dog of Flanders).  Furthermore, even in the civilized world, some people who are not wealthy have horses, just not very expensive ones.  It is equally amazing that originally only wealthy people ate canned food (and the can opener was not invented for like 50 years after canned food—amazing) and only wealthy people ate the new sophisticated pasta called “macaroni” (originally from a Greek word, makaria, meaning, “food made from barley).  However, now wealthy people would probably not be caught dead eating macaroni or anything from a can (other than caviar or oysters or such).  To solve the riddle of an old patriotic, Colonial song,  “Yankee Doodle”, in the late 18th century “macaroni” was a slang term that referred to anything that was highly stylish or fashionable.  So, he was not calling the feather in his cap a piece of macaroni, but was more like our saying, "How chic!"  Either way, it is a little lame; but at least it is a bit more understandable when you understand the "backstory".  I always wondered about that one growing up.  I wondered equally about the people here of Appalachia, at least, in northeast Tennessee who call a ski cap type hat a “tobaggan” or “bogin” for short.  I grew up in Florida.  One time I was up here during the winter and someone said, “You’d better put a tobaggan on your head or you’ll catch cold.”  I replied, “I assure you, even if my head was cold I certainly would not put a tobaggan on  it!”  R.A.B.]

Your future self is watching you right now through memories.

[Wrong.  This is as poorly conceptualized as many of the other statements that are made.  The future self does not exist until the future arrives.  Even if it did "pre-exist" in the future before the present became the past, reminiscing is not “watching” but daydreaming.]

The doctors who in 1953 told Stephen Hawking he had two years to live are probably now dead.

[There is a good lesson here concerning trusting doctors.  However, hopefully these two doctors were not as godless as Hawking, otherwise, he recently met up with them in a very unpleasant place in which there is no “second opinion” and no chance of the prognosis being a mistake.  See my other Rumination exposing Hawkings extremely illogical and unscientific anti-God nonsense.  —Stephen Hawking — Cosmic Tragedy [UPDATED — Hawking Fake Science...]  R.A.B.]

If you replace “W” with “T” in “What, Where and When”, you get the answer to each of them.

[Cool!  R.A.B.]

Many animals probably need glasses, but nobody knows it.

[The numbers are probably not very great (unless they are watching t.v. or using a computer screen and no one knows it).  Those that may have poor vision are probably only those in a very small minority: 1. Those who are very old (like elephants, parrots, tortoise); 2. those fed a man-made diet (which accounts for most all household pets, but which is still a very small number by percentage of all animals in the world); 3. those with genetic mutations, injuries, or which have experienced chemicals dumped by man.  R.A.B.]

If you rip a hole in a net, there are actually fewer holes in it than there were before.

[So, if Christ healed the hole, would He declare, “Fear not: believe only... and be made hole”...?  R.A.B.]

If 2/2/22 falls on a Tuesday, we’ll just call it “2’s Day”.  (It does fall on a Tuesday.)

[Okay, I’ll mark my calendar.  Of course, it is called Tuesday because it was named after the Germanic god Tiw;  the god of single combat, and law and justice in Norse mythology.  He was also called Týr; but it was not called Týrsday because that would have been too close to Thorsday and I guess nobody wanted continual war between the days of the week.  Or as the saying goes, "Seven days without reading the Bible makes one weak".  R.A.B.]

100 years ago a Twenty Dollar bill and a Twenty Dollar gold piece were interchangeable.  Either one would buy a new suit, new shoes and a night on the town.  The Twenty Dollar gold piece will still do that.

[Now a $20 bill will buy none of those things, unless they are made in China.

However, gold and silver do not change in value.  Paper money (and fake modern coin currency, denuded of nearly all precious or semi-precious metals) depreciate in value in proportion to the degree that the corrupt government “counterfeits” (that is, they print or coin worthless money with no intrinsic value and no gold or silver in the bank to back it).  By doing so, corrupt politicians and international bankers steal the entire wealth of a nation.  Inflation is a totally manipulated scheme to devalue the money that people still have.  It’s like the government picking your pocket, taking away the $100 bills and replacing them with $90 bills; then $80 bills, $70 bills, etc.  The dollar of today is worth only .03 cents that the dollar of 1910 was worth.  U.S. politicians are guilty of Grand Theft—to the tune of HUNDREDS OF TRILLIONS.  That’s why prices "seem to have been" so much cheaper back then—because they had real money and the politicians were kept on a short leash.  Prices rise when the money becomes worth less / worthless.  Prices rise when a corrupt government overtaxes everyone, and manufacturing and trade pass on the whole cost to the consumer who pays it all.

However, a $20 gold piece today (2019) is worth about 60x the face value.  A $20 gold piece from a century ago had just a little less (.9675 or so) than a full Troy ounce of gold; the rest was copper, I believe.  There are only 12 Troy ounces in a pound; 1 Troy ounce weighs about .25 more than an ounce avoirdupois [a-vwar-doo-pwa].  A pound of each is the same; it is only the ounce method that is different.

I have not priced a suit in a quarter century, but I would think you can still get a fairly good (possibly even one made in America) for under $500 (off the rack and a little fine-tune tailoring; quite a bit less if you plan to wear your "birthday-suit").  I guess that all depends on “in which neighborhood” you shop and how expensive your tastes are.  I have not priced a good pair of shoes for a quarter century— nor is the term “good” actually defined—but I imagine you can get a fairly good pair for $200.  What one defines as “a night on the town” again, is anyone’s guess (and it all depends which town), but with gold around $1,200 / ounce (Fall of 2017), if one cannot have a good night on the town for $500 he really should stay home.  If one cannot have two or three good nights on the town for $500 total he should stay home.  I would think that a "good" pair of shoes would be a pair that look new, match your clothes, and keep your socks clean and dry.  Anyone who goes out for a night on the town and is worried about what total strangers think about his shoes, should probably spend that $500 on a psychotherapist and medication.  R.A.B.]

Here are a few more “stop and think” phrases that I have heard over the years.  R.A.B.

“Just remember, wherever you go you will always be there.”

“But also remember, you can never come back from somewhere you’ve never been.”

“Did it ever occur to you that nothing has ever occurred to God?”

“On the other hand... fingers!”

“Even though there are so many rotten people in a cemetery, people are still dying to get in there; but the man who mows the lawn likes his job because he gets to walk all over people.”  

“Can a person who mows the infield at a baseball park call himself a ‘diamond cutter’...?”