# Fish it from the Archives Friday: The Lighter Side of The 2012 Apocalypse

Hello Dear Readers! Here’s a little something I fished from the archives for you that I hope you will enjoy, because sometimes — in order to appreciate the weekend a little more — it’s good to remember, “Yay! We’re not dead yet!”

# The Lighter Side of the 2012 Apocalypse

Getting Through 2012

I’m planning to live at least until age 90, and I better not be disappointed or there’s going to be trouble.  (What kind of trouble and with whom is yet to be determined.) Since I’m going to be 60 soon, I figure I’ve got the last third of my life still to go.  Assuming, of course, we get through 2012 okay.

Were the Mayan’s Just Nervous Nellies?

I’m banking on the fact that the Mayans — who got us all worried about 2012 in the first place — were simply Nervous Nellie types who were an easily embarrassed, socially-awkward group of people.  Perhaps what THEY would consider an apocalyptic nightmare, WE would consider nothing more than an awkward situation.

“Does this hat and scarf combo look like an apocalyptic nightmare? Be honest now”

Crunching My Own Numbers

I suppose this is as good a time as any to confess that when it comes to theories about time, space and things of that ilk; I prefer to crunch all my own numbers. I guess I’m just old-fashioned that way.  And my numbers don’t mind being crunched either.  They can stay flat for days and spring right back into their original shapes the minute I remove the rock.

The Number Zero

Take the number zero, for instance.  Any third-grade mathematician will tell you that if you multiply any number by zero you will get zero.

Just for Argument’s Sake

So let us say, for argument’s sake, that you have seven oranges.  Let’s also say, for argument’s sake, that oranges give you a rash so you won’t be eating any during this demonstration.

Let’s also say, as well, that you live in an alternate universe so as not to complicate things with the pesky laws of physics and other overly fussy things like that.

Let’s also say, for argument’s sake that oranges are dangerous.  (Sorry to be doing all these things for argument’s sake, but argument tends to pitch a fit when things aren’t done for its sake.)

Dangerous Oranges

Why are we making the oranges dangerous?  Because, Dear Reader, we’re going to need some motivation for making them disappear.

That’s right, I said disappear! So let’s lay all our oranges out on the table.  Just in a straight line.  Nothing fancy.  Don’t let any of them roll off.  Now run and get a marking pen and next to the seven oranges write neatly: 7 x 0 = 0.  HA!!   Now, mathematically, you have zero oranges!

So where did all the oranges go?

I’ll bet you my entire life savings that some crazy, socially-awkward Mayan in an alternate universe  ate them.

But before you take that bet, be forewarned! I crunch all my own numbers.

Until next time . . . I love you

# Explaining My Husband, 37

I just did the math.  I’ve been married to my husband now for 84 years.  Ok, I admit, I’ve never pretended to be very good at math, well, in all honesty, I have pretended; but it never did me any good.

Now where was I?  Ah yes, my husband of 84 years.

Actually now that I recalculate I find that we have only been married 37 years. (Which is why I always call him 37. It just saves time.).  Anyway, in all those 37 years,  it occurs to me I’ve never really attempted to describe him (except that time to the police).

Here’s my beloved 37 explaining something.

I suppose the most dominant trait about my husband is that he is an engineer.

This means that if he is asked a simple question about, say, fractions, his eyes will light up like a super nova, and he will begin to answer your question by going back to the days of Pythagoras, and then work his way up the timeline of  history’s great moments in math one by one.

He’ll often get so involved  in his explanation that he will fail to notice that the person who posed the question (me) ducked out to go to the grocery store right after Sir Isaac Newton was elected Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 1669 and popped back in just before Einstein figured out E = MC 2.

The only way you can tell when he’s done talking is when he says, “What was the question again?”

Sir Issac Newton

Engineers are trained to analyze the efficacy of systems as they pertain to the outcome desired.

This means they will give you a million reasons why something won’t work and none why something will.

That’s why, if I want something done around the house in this lifetime, I simply pretend that I am going to attempt the project on my own.

Believe me, if you want to get the attention of an engineer quickly, simply put a big role of duck tape under your arm and ask him if he’s seen the tape measure.  If that doesn’t get him away from his spreadsheet nothing will.

Another thing about engineers is that they are definitely not clothes horses (or even clothes goats).

“And there’s even a place for my pocket protector!”

That’s why, if you were to peek inside an engineer’s closet it would not be unusual to see his 1967-issued, navy uniform (engineers never clean out their closets) right next to his work shirts — all four of them — two of which he considers brand new because he thinks he bought them four years ago when it was really seven.

And the only difference between his good pair of  jeans and his bad pair of jeans is that the bad ones have holes that show and the good ones have holes that don’t.

But I would have to admit that being married to my husband, the engineer, has had its advantages.

First of all, if I need an accurate measurement, I know my husband will come through with flying colors.

Secondly, I’ve learned that pretty much everything that exists in the universe, real or imagined, has a scientific explanation.

And finally, and most importantly, not only can I count on my husband through thick and thin; but also, I can count on him to calculate just exactly how thick and just exactly how thin right down to the nearest millimeter.

Until next time. . . I love  you

# The Gravity Situation

#### When it comes to our feet meeting the ground, there’s more than meets the eye.

That’s because, frankly, I don’t think they’ve got the law of gravity completely right.

When it comes to the natural laws of the universe, there seems to be a lot of perforated lines.

You always hear scientists talking about tears in the ripple of time, somehow making it possible to suddenly travel backwards or forwards in the timeline.

But what, pray tell, if there was a way to put a tear in the ripple of gravity, somehow making it possible for every single thing in the universe to suddenly drop those last ten pounds.

Now that’s what I call a natural law with some legs!

#### Allow me to get a tad theoretical here, if you will be so kind.

Let’s suppose I weigh 500 pounds.  Or better yet let’s suppose YOU weight 500 pounds . . . alright!  Now we’re getting somewhere.

#### Question Number One:

What we want to know is how can a person, such as yourself, who weighs a whopping 500 pounds coerce gravity in such a way that it would allow you to instantaneously go from a 500-pound Tub-of-Lard to a 115-pound Tub-of-Vegetable-Oil in a matter of nano-seconds?

#### The Answer to Question Number One:

The Answer is:  fool around with some equations until you find a frayed edge in the ripple of gravity, give it a good yank and hello skinny jeans.

#### Question Number Two:

Oh, rest assured, I can hear your little voice in my head asking, “How can an ordinary layperson, such as myself –someone who is still shaky on the multiplication tables — go from being a Mathematic Ne’er-do-well to a Mathematic Nerd-do-well with nothing to work with but  a dream, a hand-held calculator and a 500-pound friend-in-need, such as yourself?  Good question!  In fact, I am officially making it Question Number Three!

See above.

#### Let’s Talk Specifics

To figure out how to tear gravity using mathematics, the first order of the day is, of course, a large pepperoni pizza with olives.  Then settle down to some serious ciphering and re-ciphering  by deciphering the numbers and letters previously scribbled on a blackboard during a deep sleep.  This is a challenge if ever there was one.

But keep at it until you are able to find a loose thread either in the ripple of gravity, or failing that, in the cable- knit sweater you’re wearing.  Then pull the thread gingerly at first, then saltly and pepperly after that.

Before you know it, you’ll have a tear in the ripple of gravity as big as the great outdoors!

After that,  it’s just a matter of finding a sale on skinny jeans.  And to that noble end, I heartily wish you the best of luck!

Until next time . . . I love you

# The Lighter Side of the 2012 Apocalyptic Nightmare

#### Getting Through 2012

I’m planning to live at least until age 90, and I better not be disappointed or there’s going to be trouble.  (What kind of trouble and with whom is yet to be determined.) Since I’m going to be 60 soon, I figure I’ve got the last third of my life still to go.  Assuming, of course, we get through 2012 OK.

### Were the Mayan’s Just Nervous Nellies?

I’m banking on the fact that the Mayans — who got us all worried about 2012 in the first place — were simply Nervous Nellie types who were an easily-embarrassed, socially-awkward group of people.  Perhaps what THEY would consider an apocalyptic nightmare, WE would consider nothing more than an awkward situation.

“Does this hat and scarf combo look like an apocalyptic nightmare? Be honest!”

#### Crunching My Own Numbers

I suppose this is as good a time as any to confess that when it comes to theories about time, space and things of that ilk; I prefer to crunch all my own numbers. I guess I’m just old-fashioned that way.  And my numbers don’t mind being crunched either.  They can stay flat for days and spring right back into their original shapes the minute I remove the rock.

#### My Trusty Fingers

I guess you could say that I like to look at numbers from a different perspective.  One in which there are no hard and fast rules.  I prefer my number rules to be easy and slow.  Which is why, no matter how many mathematicians I’m with at any given moment, I still prefer to perform all my own number crunching using nothing more than my brain, a sharpened pencil and my trusty fingers.

#### The Number Zero

Take the number zero, for instance.  Any third-grade mathematician will tell you that if you multiply any number by zero you will get zero.

#### Just for Argument’s Sake

So let us say, for argument’s sake,  that you have seven oranges.  Let’s also say, for argument’s sake, that oranges give you a rash so you won’t be eating any during this demonstration.  Let’s also say, as well, that you live in an alternate universe so as not to complicate things with the pesky laws of physics and other overly-fussy things like that. Let’s also say, for argument’s sake that oranges are dangerous.  (Sorry to be doing all these things for argument’s sake, but argument tends to pitch a fit when things aren’t done for its sake.)

Dangerous Oranges

Why are we making the oranges dangerous?  Because, Dearest Reader, we’re going to need some motivation for making them disappear.

That’s right, I said disappear! So let’s lay all our oranges out on the table.  Just in a straight line.  Nothing fancy.  Don’t let any of them roll off.  Now run and get a marking pen and next to the seven oranges write neatly: 7 x 0 = 0.  HA!!   Now, mathematically, you have zero oranges!

So where did all the oranges go?

I’ll bet you my entire life savings that some crazy, socially-awkward Mayan in an alternate universe  ate them.

But before you take that bet, be forewarned! I crunch all my own numbers.

Until next time . . . I love you