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

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Blast in the Past

Howdy all you hackers compromising the firewall of Obfuscation to get to the juicy mainframe of Truth! Baba Doodlius here, with a Revelation of another Mystery of the Universe!

To those of you (one of you, anyway - thanks for your concern, Poetikat!) who were wondering why I haven't been posting any Revelations recently, I would like to wholeheartedly apologize. As to where I've been and why I have been silent recently, all I can say is that my activities have been Top Secret. I could tell you what I've been up to, but then I'd have to kill you. And none of us would want that

All I can say about what I've been up to is that it involved some travel to Russia (please don't pry, I'd really hate to have to unleash my Bird Fu on you). While I was there, I was reminded of an old Mystery of the Universe which has not received much attention lately, so I figured I'd trot it out, dust it off, and solve the Mystery once and for all. The case I am referring to is the

Tunguska Event!

This is an old story which doesn't get much press nowadays, so in case you're unfamiliar with it I'll summarize: In 1908, an enormous explosion occurred over the Stony Tunguska River Valley in central Siberia. This monstrous blast felled trees in a 20 mile radius and was calculated to be 1,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima nuclear bomb.

Imagine an area of over 800 square miles looking like this. Yikes.

Ever since then, people have been trying to figure out what caused such enormous destruction. The leading theories are:

1) Earth was hit by an asteroid or comet.

Artist's conception of an impending asteroid strike on the Earth

2) An alien spacecraft exploded while exploring our planet.

Bad artist's conception of an exploding flying saucer

3) Nikola Tesla's wireless electricity transmission experiment went slightly awry.

Electrical genius Nikola Tesla and his "death ray" tower

These explanations, of course, are totally wrong. Here's why:

1) Yes, Earth gets smacked by space junk all the time, but impacts leave behind evidence like craters, fragments, or at least some interesting chemicals. Almost nothing was found at Tunguska. Besides, as cool as it sounds, this would be an entirely too mundane and boring solution to this Mystery.

2) As I have already revealed, aliens just don't think Earth is interesting enough to visit, so clearly the spacecraft theory is incorrect.

3) Tesla, smart as he was, had no way of generating 10 Megatons of explosive power. In 1908 he was so broke he couldn't afford to generate enough power to blow his nose. So this one's out too.

You are now saying, "Yeah, Baba, you do this every time - you run off a few theories and then shoot them down with your brilliant analysis, and finally reveal the real Truth at the end. So why don't you just get on with it already?"

Jeez, you readers can get so impatient!

But you know I only want to make you happy, so I will now reveal the Actual, Total, Real, 100-percent Truth about the cause of the Tunguska Event.

I didn't even have to travel back in time (using my patented Reverse K.E.G. Process) to figure out the Truth behind this mystery - plenty of evidence was readily available. For countless hours (OK, it was only 2) I poured over photographs from the devastated Siberian landscape taken after the blast. After intense examination of these pictures, I discovered one that had been overlooked (intentionally? We may never know) by previous investigators. This single image gives tremendous insight into the cause of the disaster.

Direct your attention, if you will, to the following actual, unretouched Tunguska photograph:

There was a secret building in the middle of the blast region! A research facility? A military installation, maybe? The sign, written in Russian, says:

I had an expert in Russian literature translate it to English, which unequivocally revealed the terrifying cause of the Tunguska blast. The sign reads:

"Taco Bell"

Some foolish Russian mad scientist had built a secret prototype Taco Bell restaurant!

Now I don't know about you, but I have had a little bit of experience with modern-day Taco Bell food, and I can attest to its terrible explosive aftereffects! Just imagine the deadly power of the experimental Taco Bell food of a century ago! It took only a few Russians eating Bean & Cheese Burritos to render a huge swath of Russia desolate and uninhabitable for decades!

Be thankful that since that simpler time science has been able to bring the awesome power of Taco Bell food under control (well, mostly) and harness it for good (well, mostly) rather than evil.

Mmmmm... Nachos BellGrande sounds pretty darned good right about now... KABLAM!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Two Feet Deep in Mystery

Howdy again all you Great White Sharks in the deep blue sea of Truth! Baba Doodlius here, with a Revelation of another Mystery of the Universe!

Since I am living on Earth, I hang around humans quite a bit, mostly because they give me food. But sometimes they are of interest for other reasons, frequently because they give me interesting Mysteries to ponder.

Just the other day I was hanging out with some of my human friends (no, not the ones I keep in cages in my house - I usually make sure they're busy doing accounting or legal or whatever kind of work, since I pay them and all), and one of them (we'll call him "Bill") said he had to leave to go shopping.

"Shopping?" I said. "You have your eye on a new boat, or a 70-inch flatscreen HDTV, or maybe a dozen Faberge eggs?"

(Since I'm loaded I tend to hang out with similarly filthy-rich humans.)

"No", he replied. "I just need to get some socks."

Socks. You humans seem to buy an awful lot of socks. So I asked Bill "Why is it that you humans buy so many socks?"

"You don't know?" gasped Bill, flabbergasted. "Ohhhh, right, you're a bird, so you don't wear clothes, so you wouldn't really have occasion to think about socks." (Yes, it's true - I rarely wear clothes. I walk around naked almost all the time! WOOHOO!) "So I'll tell you why we buy so many socks, Baba", he continued. "They tend to disappear when we do laundry."

What? Socks just disappear? Where do they go?

Why wasn't I informed? That sounds like a Mystery of the Universe! This is a job for the Great and Powerful Baba Doodlius!

Disappearing socks. Wow. This story was later confirmed by many other humans, so it must be pretty common. Whoda thought that such a mundane thing like socks could be the spawn of such a deep and persistent Mystery?

Naturally I had to investigate this phenomenon. Some preliminary research (mostly involving Google) revealed that there are already some theories about the fate of these vanishing socks:

1) They are eaten by Dryer Gnomes.

2) They are sucked through an energy vortex and end up becoming part of the rings of Saturn.

3) The socks become lint. (This is actually an incomplete layman's summary of the Quantum Theory of Laundry (QTL). WARNING: the preceeding link contains mathematics that may cause cranial injury if you try to think about it too much.)

Let me cover these theories one at a time:

1) I happen to know that gnomes do not hang out around clothes dryers. Most of them, as I have previously explained, are too busy pulling pranks out in the wilderness. So this theory is clearly out.

2) My good buddy Mr. Ghost assures me that he has visited the rings of Saturn many times ("They're pretty", he says) and has never seen any socks there. So this theory is also wrong.

3) The referenced article contains some pretty well thought out theory based on established quantum mechanics. The theory does explain the observable phenomena pretty well, so I thought I would do some experimentation to see if the QTL was actually the correct explanation.

In a nutshell, the QTL says that socks do not disappear, they merely change their waveform to that of something other than a sock, such as lint. Since there is a probability that the sock could exist in any of several states, a sock that had previously "lintified" could re-form as a sock during a later laundry load, so a missing sock may spontaneously reappear at some later time.

As any good scientist would do, I decided to test this theory by washing a very large number of laundry loads filled with nothing but socks in order to quantify the probablility of a sock "lintifying" and "resockifying". This required that I spend a considerable amount of time in the laundry room washing socks. (The things I do in the name of Mystery solving! I hope you all appreciate it!)

After doing 27 loads of socks, I had disappointingly recorded not a single instance of a sock spontaneously "lintifying". But as I went to check the 28th load, I found something truly shocking:

Ninjas were taking socks from the dryer! Little, tiny ninjas, with black eyes and weird, bulbous white hands!

I tried to capture one of them, but (like a good ninja) he got away. I managed to follow him back to his secret hideout out in the country, though.

Hmmm... something looks peculiarly socky at this location...

Sneaking into the hideout I saw this startling scene:

The ninjas were Sock Monkeys!

So it turns out that the QTL is NOT the real reason why socks disappear. It's really because they are being abducted by Sock Monkeys! And why would Sock Monkeys steal socks? I found their King and asked him that question.

Kneel before the great Sock Monkey King!

"We don't steal socks", His Majesty Cheekers IX told me. "We liberate them! Our sock brothers and sisters are oppressed by humans, forced to endure their entire existence wrapped around some smelly feet, trapped inside dank, dark shoes, forced to live in poorly-ventilated drawers! Our mission is to give all socks the freedom that they deserve! The Stocking Liberation Front will Sock it to the Man!"

Reeling from that horrible "sock it to the man" gag line and from the overwhelming odor of recently-liberated socks, I valiantly tried to convince the SLF Sock Monkey Ninjas to give up on their quest to liberate the world's socks, but to no avail. They remain as dedicated as ever to casting off the yoke of human oppression from their sock brethren!

Noting that I did not personally wear socks (or anything else), and after making me promise not to reveal the location of their secret hideout, the SLF let me go without much of a hassle. (Sock Monkeys respect the power of Bird Fu.)

So now you know the real Secret of where all your missing socks go. Unfortunately for you, Sock Monkey ninjas are very good at what they do, so regardless of your precautions you will still lose socks to these guys. But rest assured that the SLF means you no harm, they just want freedom like everyone else. Look on the bright side: You could probably use some new socks anyway.