post-foo The Thoughts and Sayings Of Baba Doodlius: June 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Rocks in my Head

Greetings all you Mosquitoes of Inquisitiveness alighting on the juicy Buttock of Knowledge to feast upon the succulent Blood of Truth! Baba Doodlius here, with a Revelation of another Mystery of the Universe!

Today's Revelation is about a subject ripped right from recent headlines, but it's a Mystery that goes back almost as far as the Pyramids, and is at least as interesting. By now you've figured out that I am speaking of none other than


The Secret of Stonehenge is one of the grandest Mysteries in all of human endeavor. Imagine this: Enormous slabs of solid rock weighing tens of tons, dragged many miles and assembled into a monument of cylindrical design, with the precision of modern engineering implements, and all of this labor performed by a Mysterious stone- and bronze-age people! Standing like sentries on Salisbury Plain in southern England, the towering monoliths of Stonehenge have enchanted visitors dating back to the ancient Romans, who are known to have hacked off pieces of the stones to take home as souvenirs. Seriously! Asshole Romans.

For literally thousands of years (yeah, it's pretty darned old), humans have studied the ruins of Stonehenge. Some interesting points about this enigmatic structure that have been discovered so far include:

1) "Stonehenge" is from the Old English words "stan", meaning "rocks", and "henge", meaning, well, uh, modern science has really yet to determine just what the heck a "henge" is. Research is ongoing.

2) Stonehenge was constructed between 3000 and 1600 BC, but nobody is certain who the builders were. Except me. I have discovered that Stonehenge was built by: ancient Brits. (That's a bonus Secret of the Universe, no extra charge!) I know, my knowledge is astonishing! I just can't imagine why nobody has figured this out before.

3) A monument as monumental as Stonehenge cannot help but be inspirational to artists, as evidenced by the megastar heavy metal band "Spinal Tap".

More recent investigations have theorized that Stonehenge was used as a royal burial ground. But you have to keep in mind that this "discovery" was made by archaeologists, and these folks say that just about everything they dig up was a burial ground, or a battlefield, or something related to violence and death. You can't really blame them, though, because violence sells - just go to any modern movie theater if you want this point proved - and archaeologists need to keep getting funding to go dig up more and more stuff. Hey, you always do what's right for the wallet, eh?

The thing is, I happen to know several modern Brits and they most definitely are not all about violence and death (well, maybe some of the football fans). On the contrary, these folk are quite the fun-loving bunch - they're always singing, dancing, drinking (oh yeah, lots of drinking), telling jokes I don't understand, and laughing hysterically at them. They seem so jolly that I can't believe their ancestors would have built a huge, enduring monument to death.

So what was Stonehenge really? I cranked up my patented reverse K.E.G. process and took my camera back in time to see what Stonehenge looked like a few millenia ago. I took this enlightening picture on my trip:

There you have it: "Stonehenge" on opening day. Click picture to enlarge.

Monument to Death, huh? Hardly! It was the world's first Amusement Park!

I was lucky enough to get the picture before the crowds arrived, because once people started showing up it was one huge party! The "Celt-O-Whirl", as the Stonehenge swing ride was called, was a major attraction of the ancient world. It wasn't exactly an extreme G-force astronaut training centrifuge, more like a carousel really, but c'mon, it was 4,000 years ago so give them a break.

The Celt-O-Whirl wasn't quite like this air force extreme-G training session. Click the pic for video, it's pretty cool.

So where do researchers get off saying that this thrill ride was a burial ground? Well, they note that there is evidence of burned human remains at Stonehenge, and they are absolutely right. However, they're wrong about the site being a burial ground. What they have found is the evidence of a terrible side effect of amusement parks: sometimes people fall off the rides! Nowadays when that happens, the accident makes headlines and the victim's family sues the bajeebers out of the amusement park. But 4,000 years ago, if you fell off the ride and your family want around to see it, then tough noogies! They just "got rid of the evidence" right where they found it:

"Why no, Mrs. Pickleford, we haven't seen your little Ian around the Celt-O-Whirl today. He must have gone fishing or something instead. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go dig a big hole and, uh, rapidly rub these two sticks together..."

So they didn't worry about lawsuits back then - they hadn't invented lawyers yet, nor ambulances for them to chase. We're much more enlightened nowadays.

Anyway, now you know the great Secret of Stonehenge. By the way, don't go visiting the site and try to play on the swings - they really, really don't appreciate it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

You have Questions? I have answers!

Howdy all you speedy skaters slapping the Puck of Knowledge into the Goal of Truth! Baba Doodlius here, with a Revelation of another Mystery of the Universe!

  • Today's intro brought to you by the National Hockey League and their championship trophy the Stanley Cup, which is about to be won by the Detroit Red Wings, who I am pretty sure win it every year so this should not be a surprise to anybody.

Today I'm doing something a little different. I was actually asked a bunch of questions by Azzitizz over at "The Totally Transparent Party" (also known as "Azzy's Blog-a-Roonie" because Azzy can call her blog whatever she darned well wants to call it, thank you very much). Since I get from you readers very few Mysteries of the Universe to Reveal, I figured I'd take this opportunity to add this as a feature to this blog to encourage you shy folks to ask any questions you may have. I now present to you the

Baba Doodlius Reader Mailbag!

All of the questions today are, as I said, from Azzitizz, or more accurately from Azzy's little sister "Lil'Sis" (which is a highly appropriate name for one's little sister in the opinion of the Great and Powerful Baba Doodlius).

Question Number One:

This is actually a bunch of questions linked together, so I'll just quote Lil'Sis directly and get to the answers and commentary afterwards:

"How come almost every animal on the planet can swim by just nature and instinct, yet we humans have to be taught?
New born babies seem to manage just fine without lessons!
Is it because we are told we can't swim as we get a little older and therefore believe we can't until we have lessons?
Does that mean we shouldn't believe what we are told about anything? In which case, take for example, The Law of Gravity. The Law of Gravity must be so, as nobody can tell an apple or a leaf whether or not to fall to the ground. But, if we decide not to believe it, will we be able to float or fly?"

Well that's some serious questioning, Lil'Sis. I'd first like to say that you have a brilliant future in Philosophy, assuming you don't decide to test your "Belief in Gravity" theory and jump off a building first.

This is a cartoon by John Callahan. You should immediately go buy all of his books.

But now on to your questions. As you pointed out, humans can actually swim just fine as infants without being told how to do it. The problem with humans is that they have this innate drive, as powerful as the need for food, shelter, and sex, to be right about everything and to be better than everybody else at everything. Lil'Sis has hit on the basic Truth of Human Existence, which controls every aspect of human society, from religion to politics to the aforementioned Stanley Cup: Humans Have to Fight About Stuff.

It starts early, and with the simple things, like swimming:

"Look here, that swimming you're doing, it's all wrong! You can't just paddle around until you get to shore, you have to move your hands like THIS, and kick your feet THIS WAY, and then you'll go FASTER and you'll be DOING IT RIGHT!"

And things get worse from there:

"Watch this, I can kick this spherical air-filled bladder into that net over there BETTER THAN YOU! In fact, me and my ten friends are the BEST IN THE WHOLE WORLD at this activity!"

"Your economic system is NOT OPTIMIZED at all! You should be running your economy THIS WAY or I shall SCOFF AT YOU and ADVOCATE YOUR TOTAL DESTRUCTION!"

"Those rituals you are performing to please your god(s), they're all wrong! You've got to do things THIS WAY, which is the only CORRECT way to do it, and if you don't do things the CORRECT WAY I'll just have to SUBJUGATE YOU and FORCE YOU TO DO IT RIGHT."

So you see, swimming instruction is just the symptom of this excessive human competitive behavior. It has nothing to do with belief, so please don't go stepping off any high cliffs to test your Gravity theory, please.

Question Number Two:

"When the sunlight is so bright it hurts your eyes, how come it doesn't hurt anymore if you shut just one eye?"

Uh, hmmm, well, to that I'd just have to reply that I have not had this experience. I generally don't make a habit of staring directly at the sun, Lil'Sis, because that sort of activity can be harmful to your health. To answer the question, I will have to defer to the expertise of Sigmund Freud, who postulated the Theory of Eyeball Denial. The theory goes like this:

"Pain coming from both eyes cannot be ignored because it has no source of counter-sensation. However, if input from one of the eyes is eliminated, the Ego has the capability of denying the pain because it is not reinforced by an alternate pathway, and thus can pretend that the pain does not exist. All of this, naturally, is proof of the desire to have sex with one's mother."

So there you go, Lil'Sis. You can't argue with the Father of Modern Psychoanalysis. Well, except maybe about the "sex with your mother" part, which is just creepy and disturbing.

Question Number Three:

"How come men have nipples? Why hasn't evolution eliminated them by now as they are of no use whatsoever?"

This one is also somewhat foreign to me, Lil'Sis, seening as how I am a bird, and birds of both genders lack nipples. But I happen to know the answer to this one offhand, because I have done extensive research on human nipples (don't even ask why, there are some Secrets of the Universe that I won't reveal).

The reason for human male nipplage is based in the very evolutionary theory that you have already referenced. Rather than eliminating man nipples because they are unecessary, evolution has preserved them because it simplifies the manufacturing process. Think about it: Human babies all look pretty much the same. When you're making two things that are nearly identical, you don't waste effort retooling the assembly line just for a cosmetic difference, you save your effort for the pieces that make a difference.

Charles Darwin himself alluded to this evolutionary fact when he said:

"Oh yeah, baby, that feels soooo good! YES! Oh yeah, put the clamps right there and... OOOHHHH!!!"

What a freakazoid.

That about wraps up this edition of Baba Doodlius' Reader Mailbag. I hope you come away from this experience enriched, edfied, and entertained. And have a nice day!