really wish my mama had sat me down when I was a little boy and explained some
things to me. I doubt if she knew the answers, but it always feels better to blame
someone for your own shortcomings, rather than yourself. Anyway, It would have
been nice to have learned from her knee or anyone’s knee for that matter that
there are some really cushy jobs out here, but you have to know how to look for
For example, if you watch the news, you’ll often see some biologist
who is being interviewed since he or she is the foremost authority on some bizarre
species of beetle or butterfly. A few weeks ago, there was a big uproar over the
discovery of some previously thought extinct woodpecker. Seems this one guy has
been searching for it almost all of his adult life. I wonder what he’ll do now
that it has been found. Probably spend the rest of his life observing its habits.
And get paid big bucks.
I always thought I’d like to have studied astronomy.
However, they seem to argue amongst themselves on nearly everything under the
sun. That’s a pun for those of you on the East coast. Anyway, they come up with
a new time frame for the big bang theory nearly every year. They can’t decide
if some rocks are from Mars or not. They can’t decide if we should go to Mars
or not. They can’t figure out if Pluto is a planet, a block of ice or a dog. Some
think we are alone and others argue that we’re not.
How about the guys
who make their living studying and researching microscopic particles that no one
can see or prove they exist? “Yep, saw one yesterday…. did you? Well, that’s too
bad, you should have been here. It was really exciting.” The guys who invented
stealth stuff must have some fun. “I invented an invisible airplane…It’s right
over there in the corner of the hanger….you just can’t see it, but trust me it’s
Theoretical mathematicians, couldn’t we all do this one? I mean
how tough is it to dream up a math theory on your own? “Yes, I think that on the
Planet Xeres, the sum of 4 to the 14th power squared can be divided by a prime
number on any given odd numbered day of the year.” Who can argue with that? Who
would want to argue about it in the first place? Does anyone argue about this
kind of stuff? Gimmy cracked corn cause I don’t care. Or is it Jimmy cracked corn
and I don’t care? If that’s it, who the heck is Jimmy and what’s he doing cracking
corn? What is cracked corn, anyway?
Last week I read about a group of
scientists who were all a flutter over their discovery of some ancient Incan knots.
You read this correct. These were pieces of string tied in knots that had been
around since the Incas. These not fully understood knots (another pun) were discussed
at length in this month’s issue of Journal Science. It seems that these researchers
have discovered that these knots may have been (note, the words… may have been)
an early form of accounting system. There are about 650 of these pieces of knotted
stings in various museums around the world. They are called khipu knots. One group
thinks they were used to spell out messages and the other group (mostly accountants)
thinks they might have been an early form of computer perhaps for keeping tract
of inventory or a census of some sort. They are distraught over the fact that
they can’t find any instructions to go with them since no one living today really
knows what they mean or what they were used for. It seems all of this information
was lost to the ages when the Spanish invaded in the 1500’s and they apparently
didn’t think that far ahead to ask any questions about these pieces of string
with their unusual patterns. They way I remember it they were more interested
in where the gold was located and knot some knots, excuse me, not some knots.
Anyway, here we are five hundred years later and a group of probably well-paid
folks are spending their lives unraveling these knots. Well, not literally, but
you know what I mean. The article went on to say that the Spanish had written
down some of the stories, but it seems no one knows what happened to their notebooks.
Most likely these were lost just after someone shouted the word …”GOLD”.
what would happen if they were to find out these were just an example of someone
fooling around and trying to make a wall decoration for their mothers or perhaps
to sell at the local market back in 1501? I had an ex-wife who did macramé and
her stuff always looked like a bunch of knots to me. Looking back on it, I couldn’t
see how any of the things she made even resembled any type of accounting system
or make any sense at all. I never could tell what any of it meant or was supposed
to represent. Just looked like a bunch of knots to me. She brought that up in
the divorce. She was knot amused.
Have a good week….