The Golden Age of Alcohol

The evils of alcohol were delineated all across North America which eventually led to prohibition, or the dark ages for alcohol. Of course many people were addicts of alcohol so they maintained their supply no matter how severe the penalties. This of course led to the repeal of prohibition and to less overt crimes and criminals.

Then came a long period of time which were the normal days of alcohol. This lasted for a good fifty years. But eventually the other extreme began to be reached.

The mystery of the French began to be “solved”. How could a people eat such a high fat diet and not have the resultant shortening of lifespan that was expected from this? Scientists began to focus on red wine and especially resveratrol. The claim began in earnest that red wine in small daily doses was good for life expectancy.

The rest of the alcohol industry saw this and began to get a bit jealous. It started simply. White wine has resveratrol, only in smaller quantities than red wine.

Then more odd studies began to be done and the surprising conclusion was that all alcohol could be good for your health.

This was the golden age of alcohol. The earliest shots across the bow were that binge drinking alcohol is bad. Binge drinking was defined as consuming more than one or two servings in a day. This small amount is not how most North Americans consume alcohol. Most people would rather binge on the weekend and spend the rest of the week alcohol free.

Maybe North Americans could change their habits away from binge drinking and thus live longer lives. With alcohol of course.

But now, some studies have come out documenting the one or two glasses a day thing and are saying that alcohol is bad for you no matter how it is metered out. It looks like we have hit the end of the road for alcohol being good for us.

There are even rumblings that resveratrol is not that good for you. Maybe there’s another reason for the imperviousness of the French to their indulgent diets.

Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if one or a few of the alcohol giants had bankrolled the earlier studies that showed alcohol was a plus. Indeed their business might have reached a peak after all those pro alcohol studies.

Those of us who were more likely to binge than meter out alcohol can now laugh at the allegedly responsible alcohol metering types. Now we can laugh and say “At least I get a buzz.”

Regardless, I expect the future alcohol studies to say that alcohol, if anything, is a minus to your health. Especially when you drink at alcoholic levels. I think the golden age of alcohol is over.

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The Star Wars Crapfest

Star Wars is half decent entertainment for your buck. There are interesting visuals, a fast moving story and even some growth in the characters at times.

But it isn’t very good science fiction.

Why is this a problem for me? It is what it is. But I don’t see it that way. You see, Star Wars takes up about a quarter of the science fiction section at bookstores now. Another quarter is taken up by Star Trek and whatever happens to have been turned into a movie. Only half of the science fiction section is stuff I would actually call science fiction. The book section could be a good deal richer than it is. But it has been taken over by the toy behemoth that Star Wars really is.

I call it a crapfest not only because of the toys but because of the little thought (beyond cuteness) that has been given to the creatures and things that populate the Star Wars Universe.

If a science fiction writer had come up with the furred huge alien that is Chewbacca, I bet pages would be devoted to this creature suiting up in a giant hairnet. Because if hair is bad for food, it is much worse to the electronics that keep the characters of Star Wars alive. The Millennium Falcon should be one giant clean room. Instead it is an unreliable ship with electronics that don’t always work perfectly. My cat is much smaller than Chewbacca and would have the Millennium Falcon disabled within a month by how much she sheds.

R2D2 needs a translator for English or Lingua Franca or whatever language is spoken on worlds a few galaxies over. Really, wouldn’t a translator feature cost about 50 cents judging by the level of technology in the empire? And a vocalization chip and speaker ought to cost about two dollars. We essentially do this now with the Siris and Alexas of the world.

R2D2 and BB8 both can’t manage stairs or rough terrain well. I suppose this is good for the empire. Because the engineers of the empire didn’t want to make things too difficult for their robots, they managed to make almost every building and important setting easily accessed by wheels. This is good thinking for the warlike inhabitants – some of whom will have to survive with wheelchairs after the battle. Better planning through engineering laziness.

So this is my demand. Give me back the science fiction section of the bookstore and I won’t harp on the flaws of Star Wars. Otherwise…

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The Moon is Not an All Night Nightlight

Poets, songwriters and prose makers beware that if you don’t observe carefully enough, you might be taken to task for sloppy writing. In this case I’d like to call out songwriter Jason Mraz for his song “Shine”. There was a team of writers on this, so it might be Becky Gebhardt, Chaska Potter, Mona Tavakoli or Mai Bloomfield that could be responsible for the offending lyric. I will continue to mention only Jason Mraz when I mean the team.

Most of the song is fine enough but the overstretch is made in the line: “together they [the Sun and the Moon] would blanket the world with light”. This is simply not true.

Has Jason Mraz spent so little time outside at night that he thinks the Moon is always up at night? I on the other hand have spent time outside at night as an amateur astronomer and for deep sky viewing near the zodiac. I am glad when the moon isn’t out and blinding me to parts of the sky.

Just as the Sun is bad for viewing dim objects like the stars, the Moon is bad for viewing dimmer objects at night.

The only time the Moon is up all night is during the full Moon. Here it rises roughly when the sun sets and sets when the sun rises. This is why the Harvest Moon (a full Moon at the right time) in the early fall is such a blessing – farmers can spend all night harvesting their crops and they will still have the light of the Moon.

At the first quarter or 3rd quarter, the Moon is only up for about half the night. And at the new Moon it is only present on the day side of the sky. You might like those crescent shaped Moons. They are more likely to be up in the daylight sky.

Now had Jason Mraz said “together they [the Sun and stars] would blanket the world with light” he would be entirely correct. Unfortunately he could not rescue the rest of the song where the Sun does the shining and the Moon only reflects. That is because the stars also shine on their own as they are far away suns of their own. Sorry, Jason Mraz. You’re on your own. I can’t save this song.

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A Couple Thoughts

Sonnet insurance stormed onto the airwaves in the last couple years, trying to appeal to optimists. A couple of their slogans were: “Protect your optimism, not just your things”, and “Don’t let anything get in the way of your optimism. Switch to Sonnet.”

I think they thought they had struck advertising gold. Insurance is something that has many, many providers. Sure they might be missing the people that were pessimists but that still left roughly half of the population that this insurance company could appeal to.

Unfortunately for this company they forgot what insurance actually means. Real optimists don’t want insurance. True optimists don’t need insurance. They simply don’t think that anything bad will actually happen to them.

Did you ever notice that employ is a direct synonym for use? That of course means that employers are users, employees are usees, and to employ someone it means to use someone.

This is one aspect of the almost holy jobs that governments announce with much fanfare. Perhaps there should be less fanfare for users. Then every city, of more than a million in North America, might not be slobbering after Amazon’s second hub. This is where Amazon will use 50 000 usees in what I have heard are actually quite crummy jobs.

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The Secret Origin of Tail Continued

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The Insidious Malevolence of Krypton

Many years ago, the planet Krypton almost stamped out its Kryptonians. I used to think that Kryptonians like Superman and Supergirl and Kandorians were just unlucky that Krypton exploded taking with it many loved ones. But I no longer think that way. Instead I now see the insidious malevolence that is Krypton.

There seems to be no explanation about why Krypton exploded. Maybe it was Kharma. Maybe Krypton was tired of feeling underground nuclear tests, fracking and the mining of its depths.

So Krypton itself might have decided to take the ultimate step – taking its own life in order to wipe out the hated Kryptonians. Hearsay says that it exploded but not before some Kryptonians made it into the safety of space. Well, what they imagined was the safety of space.

But Krypton wasn’t done in its plot against Kryptonians. Those pieces of the exploded Krypton, followed Superman, Supergirl and Kandorians into space. And those pieces of Krypton were detrimental to the surviving Kryptonians health.

Green Kryptonite weakens Kryptonians so much so that too much exposure will kill the Kryptonians. This is the Achilles’ heel of the almost unbeatable Kryptonians that make it to a yellow sun.

Red Kryptonite is also detrimental to Kryptonians. It changes Kryptonians in weird and unexpected ways. These ways can lead to the death of the Krytonians, too.

There are many more types of Kryptonite all of which are detrimental to Kryptonians.

I bet Kandorians are hard at work examining their soil for ways that it might kill the bottle city inhabitants. That soil may seem properly subjugated by the Kandorians but it is looking for a chance – no matter how slim – to kill the Kandorians.

Not only did Krypton manage to stamp out most Kryptonians, it also managed to follow them out into space and threaten the survivors again. Clearly Krypton has it out for its former inhabitants. Maybe one day, Krypton will get the job done of stamping out all Kryptonians.

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Tail: The First Patrol


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The Secret Origin of Tail

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Little Geney

This website has talked about Barry Manilow’s Mandy and how obvious a trick the now out-of-the-closet Manilow was making with the apparent heterosexual love song. We also speculated that perhaps someone in Boston is gay with their song Amanda (a man duh!)

Another closeted gay person in 1980 was Elton John. I guess teaming up with Kiki Dee in 1976 for a love song wasn’t a good enough cover for Elton. He wrote a song and professional lyricist Gary Osborne wrote the lyrics. But I bet that Elton had input to the lyrics since he would be the one to sing this song for the rest of his career. So the song became a love song for “Little Jeannie”. How shockingly heterosexual a refrain.

Spelt like this, Jeannie is obviously a woman’s name. But Elton never spells it out. He just sings the sounds which could just as easily be little Geney or a derivative of the male name, Gene.

Why was Elton (or Gary Osborne for Elton) so specific in this love song? It is more than possible that at the time Elton had a crush on one of the famous Genes from around this time. I can name 3 famous Genes from the time. Gene Siskel (the film critic), Gene Hackman (the actor) and Gene Simmons (the bassist for Kiss).

Really, though, Siskel seems a bit stodgy and Hackman was more of a character actor than a good looking leading man, so it seems that Simmons might be more likely to bring out the attraction in Elton. As well, Elton might want to select from his own kind (fellow musicians). So I am betting that Little Jeannie was written about Simmons.

To cement this idea, drag queens are one segment of the population that seems to attract gays. And not even drag queens wear as much makeup or dress more gaudily than Gene Simmons in his full regalia. And it’s not too hard to see with the over use and over extension of his tongue and the rumours perpetrated by Kiss about how many women they had bedded, it was very possible that Gene Simmons was over compensating for something. Perhaps he might even be gay.

But the most pertinent evidence is in the fact that Kiss was more like a circus act than any other artist(s) I know. And Little Jeannie contains the strange lyric “I want you to be my acrobat, I want you to be my lover”. If that doesn’t make you think of the circus then nothing will.

But Simmons is likely heterosexual and not interested in Elton’s overtures as history shows. Still, knowing Gene Simmons, I think the main reason he didn’t accept such obvious attention from Elton was because he asked, “Little? What exactly about me seems little?!” Simmons seems to be overcompensating still, which shows in his recent attempt to trademark the Texas Longhorn’s hand gesture.

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The Trillion Dollar Family

Let’s start out with the definition of a million dollar family. This is said to be composed of a family with a mother and father that has a mini-me for each sex. I.e. there is a mother, father, daughter and son. I am going to use this strict definition of the million dollar family although I have heard a million dollar family might also be the family that wasn’t as efficient in producing mini-mes but still got there. For example there might be three daughters before a son is born to round out the family.

Because I am using the more strict definition of the million dollar family there is a 50% chance of it occurring for each heterosexual couple that only has two children. In a lesbian or gay family, in order for it to have two mini-mes there is only a 25 % occurrence of this family or half the chance. Thus I would like to call this family a 2 million dollar family.

Sticking with the idea that a million dollar family is just an efficient way to have mini-mes for the parents, I call it a billion dollar family when a son and daughter are produced by a single birth. In other words if heterosexuals got a son and daughter from a single birth of twins, that is the more efficient way to produce mini-mes and they thus get the tag of the billion dollar family.

Again, a lesbian couple having two girls as twins, has only a 25% chance of that happening whereas the billion dollar family has a 50 % chance of their family having a son and a daughter. So the lesbian couple with mini-mes as twins is a 2 billion dollar family. Gays can also have a 2 billion dollar family.

Now a trillion dollar family needs to be more efficient, still. Let’s say a single fertilized egg splits in two. Isn’t that more efficient? The problem here is that both offspring are going to be the same sex so the trillion dollar family is impossible unless lesbian or gay.

I think a trillion dollar family must also be rarer – the closer to a one in a thousand chance (compared to the billion dollar family), the more grounded in reality I think it is. So that might throw out the lesbian or gay family from being a trillion dollar baby. Identical twins are at most a factor of 10 less likely than fraternal twins. So let’s call the identical twins with the same sex parents a 20 billion dollar family.

That might seem to get rid of all the choices but I will just state that the trillion dollar family has a mother and father with transgender identical twin babies. If, as the twins age, they go through with sexual reassignment surgery then the parents would have had mini-mes — just not at the same time.

Plus, despite appearances, identical twins are different. So it would be likely that one would have the sexual reassignment surgery even years ahead of the other. The second one might wait to see how their sibling deals with being the opposite sex. If the first one has many regrets, the second one might never change their sex. So the family might even, at a glance, remind one of the original million dollar family. And that is another possible trillion dollar family.

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