MONKEY MAIL

Chris Kubler: ‘I found that by changing the number in the url of a monk-e-mail I could browse random messages. I stumbled across this one . . .hilarious beyond belief.’

☞ Oh, boy. I feel like the NSA. (If you try this, I found that altering the third and fourth digits of the first long number-string in the url most reliably pulls up a monk-e-mail.)

19 POUNDS OF CO2

Stephen Gilbert: ‘A gallon of gasoline, which weighs eight pounds, converts to 19 pounds of CO2? This sounds like alchemy. Do you have a cite for this?’

Bobby Corcoran: ‘Apparently, yes. Per the EPA.’

To calculate the CO2 emissions from a gallon of fuel, carbon emissions are multiplied by the ratio of the molecular weight of CO2 (m.w. 44) to the molecular weight of carbon (m.w.12):44/12.

CO2 emissions from a gallon of gasoline = 2,421 grams x0.99 x (44/12) = 8,788 grams = 8.8 kg/gallon = 19.4 pounds/gallon

CO2 emissions from a gallon of diesel = 2,778 grams x0.99 x (44/12) = 10,084 grams = 10.1 kg/gallon = 22.2 pounds/gallon

☞ So the carbon atom grabs a couple of oxygen atoms on the way out of your tail pipe and, thus laden, swims skyward.

DUSTUP

Kathryn Lance: ‘You wrote, ‘What was that dust storm that enveloped Phoenix Wednesday? Did you see that? Is this regular occurrence and I just missed the memo?’ Don’t worry, Andy! We get those storms from time to time. They are caused by dry soil and wind, and there may be a few more these days because of the seven-year drought we are in. Which may or may not be connected with global warming, but my guess is probably not. This is a desert, after all. If you’re ever out here on the Interstate and a dust storm blows up, pull OFF the road, turn out your lights, and wait it out.’

☞ You turn out your lights so it won’t see you? And come and choke you to death?

VALUES

Christina OSullivan: ‘Why aren’t you pushing ‘Maxed Out‘? I saw it at a film festival and it gave me the willies. I’m seriously thinking of moving back to Canada – I’m too fiscally conservative and socially progressive to be happy in the U.S., and the President had made some comment that ‘new arrivals need to adopt American values.’ I’m not seeing any good reason to keep my kid here to pay for a war no one in my family wanted, or for values we disagree with (profligacy, homophobia). My friends cannot tell me what American values are – finding consensus among 300 million people is pretty tough to do! But if I don’t know what the values are, I can’t adopt them, and if I can’t adopt them [the President thinks I shouldn’t] be here.’

☞ The movie looks good, from its web site. I hope it becomes available to be plugged. In the meantime, everyone should read this past Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, DEBT: America’s Scariest Addiction Is Getting Even Scarier. It is a whole issue of articles, like this overview: ‘Reasons to Worry.

As to America’s values, I do think we 300 million have some shared values: freedom, fairness, opportunity for all, community, responsibility, honesty, common sense. Even separation of church and state. It’s just that the Republican leadership seems to have lost sight of a few of them.

LION KING

Harry Mark: ‘Jeremy Siegel will soon have a book out that revisits the potential ‘Boomer Sell-off’ of stocks that will have millions of retiree sellers and no buyers. Any thoughts on that?’

☞ With luck, there will be several hundred million middle class Chinese and Indian thirty- and forty-somethings buying stocks (from us) to invest in their retirement. Disney said it best: It’s the circle of life. Or so we must hope.

CHICKENS AND EGGS

Bob Fyfe: ‘I agree with your thoughts on the chicken and the egg – that the chicken-egg is a mutated egg that came from a near-chicken, and therefore, the egg came first. However, I believe that the intent of the question ‘Which came first, the chicken or the egg?’ is not specifically the chicken, but rather ‘Which came first, the egg or the animal that laid an egg?’ Your conclusion, based on the fact that it was a near-chicken and not a chicken that laid the chicken-egg, just leads to the question, ‘Which came first, the near-chicken or the egg?’ That, I believe, is the real question.’

☞ Aha! For the answer to that, I imagine one would have to go all the way back through the evolutionary chain to the miraculous lightning strike that produced the first organism capable of reproduction and decide: Does it appear more chickenlike or ovoid?

TREES AND FORESTS

Andy Long: ‘A tree failing in the forest will disturb a butterfly that, in turn, will cause a typhoon 10,000 miles away. Faced with a typhoon, does anybody really care whether a tree made a noise?’

☞ But it did, I tell you – it did! As one of you wisely noted: what if you went into the forest and placed a tape recorder beside a soon-too-fall tree . . . then left, but came back after it had fallen and played the tape to see whether it had made a sound. You’d hear nothing on the tape, but that’s only because the batteries would have run out.

 

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