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

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I got answers comin' out my eyeballs!

Hello all you Hamsters of Curiosity, perpetually running in the Plastic Wheel of Knowledge, overcoming the Muscle Fatigue of Obfuscation, trying to obtain the elusive Sunflower Seed of Truth!

I have a few more questions from you, my dedicated readers, and rather than let you all get into a huff about waiting months before I answer your very important inquiries, I'll put up a few more answers in yet another edition of the

Baba Doodlius Reader Mailbag

There are a couple that have been sitting there in the "unanswered" queue for quite a while, but I also have an easy one offered up in a comment to the last post, and as I've said before I'm a lazy bastard, so when somebody lobs me a softball I'll very eagerly whack it out of the park. So anyway, here we go with today's questions and answers!

Question #1)
Once again, Azzy's little sister Lil'Sis gets the first question, since she comes up with so many of them. This one's been sitting there getting stale, so sorry about the delay. To paraphrase her question:

"Zero = nothing, right? Why is it, then, that when you add a zero to the end of a number the value goes way up? And so, if I had six bank accounts with a zero balance and one account with 1 pound, and I transferred those six zeros to the account with the one pound, would that make the total in that account 1,000,000? That's a 1 with six zeros added to it, isn't it?"

She's pretty good at this Mystery stuff, ain't she?

In asking this question, Lil'Sis has made an observation of one aspect of a very important Law of Nature. This law has long been known, but was first articulated by Warren Buffett back in 1982. In brief, this is Buffett's Law of Monetary Relativity:

"Under normal observable everyday conditions, people usually have small balances in their bank accounts, like, say, $25.50 USD. Adding zero balances to this initial microscopic balance will result in no change in value whatsoever. However, this result turns out to be relative to the starting balance: When the account starts with a large value, such as $1,000,000 USD, adding a bunch of zero balances will increase the end total by many orders of magnitude, thus effectively turning millionaires into billionaires. As a side effect, changing said millionaire in to a billionaire will simultaneously remove some fraction of the net amount from a great many of those accounts with the aforementioned $25.50 USD."

In other words, it is a scientific fact that when the rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

(An unfortunate corrollary to this law is that when the rich get poorer, the poor, you guessed it, get poorer anyway.)

Question #2)
Cathy, quite a while ago (so I hope she's still interested in the answer), asked the folowing:

"Why is it easier to apply mascara with your mouth open?"

One of the reasons that I have not been quicker with an answer to this one is that I have never personally been one to use mascara. In fact, I had to look it up to make sure I was thinking about the right product:

  • Mascara: a cosmetic used to darken, thicken and define eyelashes

OK, yeah, that's what I thought. (Well, I knew it had something to do with eyes.) Anyway, like I said, I never use the stuff, so I didn't know the answer off the top of my head.

So I tried some on.

Whaddaya think? Is this a good look for me? It's a good thing the question didn't involve lipstick, because I lack lips and nobody sells beakstick.

All artistic, philosophical, and religious significance of this picture aside, my brief dip into the world of cosmetics really didn't help solve this Mystery. So I did what I should have done from the beginning: Consult the Highest Authority!

That, naturally, would be Mrs. Doodlius.

Here's what she told me:

"You open your mouth when you apply mascara for the same reason singers close their eyes when they sing, except in reverse."

Ah, that's pure genius! I hereby name this "Mrs. Doodlius' Law of Eye-Mouth Artistic Inverse Dependency":

The eyes and the mouth are inversely dependent upon each other when dealing with matters of artistic expression. When applying mascara, which is essentially "painting" one's eyes, the mouth must open; conversely, while singing, which is artistic expression by voice, the eyes must close.

Wow! That Mrs. Doodlius is just great! Thanks to her, we now have a whole new Law of the Universe based on a reader question! And don't you fellows get any ideas now, she's already spoken for!

Cathy, thanks for waiting so patiently!

Question #3)
Mr. Moooog of the varying number of "o's" wants to know:

"What does 'transcendental' mean? I'm assuming it has something to do with cross-dressing dentists."

Well Moooog, I'm known more for my encyclopedic knowledge than my dictionariosity, but I'll give this a shot.

The first thing to do when trying to figure out the meaning of a difficult word, according to my old grammar school teachers (and I do mean old - that was a looooong time ago), is to break the word up into its component parts. In this case we have:

tran - scend - ent - al

The next thing we do to find our word's meaning is, naturally, to look up all these component pieces on the internet. I used and (which are wholly owned subsidiaries of The meanings of these word components are:

tran: a brand of Norwegian cod liver oil
scend: to heave in a swell
ent: medical acronym for "Ear, Nose, and Throat"
al: other things (from the Latin alia)

So the meaning of the word "transcendental", therefore, must be: "The heaving of the ear, nose, throat, and other things in a swell of Norwegian cod liver oil"

See there Mooooog? Learning the meaning of new, big words can be easy and fun!

Well, that will have to do it for today's answers. Apologies to Alex the Cat - the research on your question about the bathing habits of humans is incomplete, so I cannot yet offer the answer. Don't worry, I'll get to it!

Until next time, have a nice day!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More answers for you

Hello all you hungry Vultures of Curiosity out there on the Highway of Inquisitiveness, dodging the speeding Automobiles of obfuscation, so that you may gorge upon the succulent innards of the Roadkill of Truth!

Welcome to another episode of the

Baba Doodlius Reader Mailbag

in which I Reveal to you all of the Secrets behind your personal Mysteries of the Universe!

I have been remiss in answering your most excellent questions of late. In fact, I have been remiss about doing much of anything. Basically I am a lazy bastard bird who would generally prefer to sit around doing absolutely nothing most of the time. And the cool thing is, I can do nothing whenever I want, because I'm a bird and we have few responsibilities. Life is good!

But anyway, I'm here to answer a couple of your outstanding questions. And lemme tell you, these questions are truly outstanding! So let's get right down to business!

Question #1)
Azzy's little sister "Lil'Sis", the prolific question-asker, asks:

"How come, when you put on weight it knows exactly where to go? In other words, why do both your arms or legs get fat and not just one? Why doesn't gravity make it all go to your ankles?"

Once again, another excellent question from Lil'Sis! The answer, which of course I know since I know all, may surprise you: While you may think of body fat as just dumb ol' body fat, it is actually by far the most intelligent inhabitant of planet Earth, and is in fact one of the most intelligent entities in the Universe!

Body fat is not really a component of human anatomy, but rather a symbiotic being. It has no inherent mode of locomotion, and thus requires a host organism to get around. It distributes its mass fairly evenly around its host on purpose, so as not to draw undue attention to itself. A single host can support a great many body-fat organisms, but since they are mildly parasitic it's a good idea not to try to carry too many around - that can cause some unhealthy side effects. Having a couple of them is not generally a problem, and due to the body-fat's symbiotic ability to "mind share" with its host, having a couple of them can actually boost the host's intelligence somewhat. That's why geniuses are frequently a little pudgy and folks like Paris Hilton and Keanu Reeves are not often considered to be overly brainy.

Question #2)
Lone Grey Squirrel asks:

"If Freud and Darwin wrestled in Jell-o, who would win?"

This, my dear Mr. Squirrel, is one of the most argued about questions in Philosophy. Since this bout unfortunately never took place, scholars have argued about its possible outcome for decades. The main problem here is that Darwin specialized in Greco-Roman Jell-o wrestling while Freud was more of a Freestyle Jell-o combatant. It is my speculation that Darwin would have the upper hand, though, mainly due to his size and reach advantage and the fact that Freud was blind as a bat.

It is unquestionable, however, that Marie Curie could have kicked both of their butts at the same time. It is a little known historical fact that Mdme. Curie could bench press in excess of 200 kg and was known to employ the devastating "folding-chair-to-the-head" technique. She retired from Jell-o wrestling at the age of 36, with a perfect record of 73-0.

Question #3)
Mrs. Doodlius asks:

"Why, when you sneeze, do you always sneeze more than once? Isn't one sneeze enough?"

Ah, my dearest Mrs. Doodlius, such a lovely question is always expected from one so lovely as yourself! I would link to your blog, but alas you have not yet been bitten by the blogging bug. Were you to start a blog, I'm certain that it would be a marvelous, beautiful blog!

Anyway, I happen to know the answer to your question (lucky for me, otherwise I'd be sleeping in the guest nest tonight). Sneezes happen in bunches because, unlike some other rather disgusting biological processes which shall remain unnamed here, sneezes are social bodily functions. They get lonely! They need company! Usually they occur in even numbers because sneezes generally like to pair up, and in fact are most often monogamous lifetime mates (like many birds, coincidentally). Occasionally, however, you may encounter some adventuresome odd-numbered groups like the risque "menage-a-sneeze". Only rarely will you encounter a solitary sneeze, and this one will invariably be some sort of rebel, vagabond sneeze with a bad attitude that you wouldn't want hanging around other sneezes anyway, because these dudes are a bad influence!

Well, that about wraps up this installment of the Reader Mailbag. There are a couple of other questions I have been asked and have yet to answer, and I promise to get to these shortly. So tune in next time when the Great and Powerful Baba Doodlius Reveals more Secrets of the Universe!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Awww, yer so nice!

Marja over at Dutch Corner has seen fit to bestow upon me an award! I love it when people do that! It means somebody is thinking of this old bird and appreciating some of the bizarre stuff I write in this forum. Just makes the ol' feathers fluff up a bit whenever I think about it!

Anyway, here it is, the "I Heart Your Blog" award!

Thank you very much!

Tune in next time (tomorrow, maybe, or the next day) when I Reveal some of your Mysteries of the Universe in another episode of the Baba Doodlius Reader Mailbag!


Follow-up edit:

It has been pointed out to me that I have in the past been somewhat of an asshole bird - a couple of folks have been so generous as to present to me some awards, and I have not even bothered to give them appropriate words of thanks. Bad Baba! >Slap!< (Ow.)

Well, I apologize for that, folks. I really do appreciate that anybody takes the time to read any of the strange stuff I put up here, and even though I still wonder why you do it you keep coming back for more. The comments you leave on my posts always make me smile, and when anyone sees fit to pass along an award it just gives me that much more incentive to head out and do more research on all those Mysteries of the Universe. The one drawback is that now my head is too big to fit through the door of my house, but I can live with that.

So, to Sandy and Lone Grey Squirrel and Azzy and Poetikat (who also nominated me for "Best Humor Blog"! Hygge!) and Mel and Marja and [un]Censored (whose blog URL has changed and I don't remember what it is now, sorry!) and Moooooog35 (with a constantly varying number of "o's") and Odd Facts and all the folks who read this:

THANKS for the recognition! You are all cool! If anyone ever questions your cooliosity, tell 'em Baba Doodlius said it was so, and Baba Doodlius knows all so it must be true!