Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Old Man and the Sea

I want a special word. I want a word that everyone knows but only I am allowed to use. I want a word that if I find it written in books I can have that book rewritten having my special word substituted with a less meaningful word. I want a word that I can use openly without hesitation in any songs or books that I write, but if someone else uses it, I can become indignant and have that person scorned publicly. I want a word that if someone uses it on me, that I can have that person imprisoned for an ungodly length of time. I want a word that turns the "sticks and stones" aphorism on its ear.


I just watched a documentary about octopi. I was amazed. I never gave these critters much credit before now. It seems that the octopus is one of the smartest creatures on this planet. Don't worry, they are not as intelligent as homo sapiens. Apparently, the octopus uses deductive reasoning and are advanced problem solvers. They are capable of figuring out how to unscrew a jar. (That reminds me of an old joke about light bulbs and pregnant women, but this is not the time or place.) The octopi can also learn from watching each other. If one octopus watches another figure out how to unscrew a jar, when presented with that jar, the observer goes directly to the solution. The reason the jar experiment is used is to illustrate deductive reasoning is because a monkey can only unscrew a jar if it is shown how, but an octopus can figure out the workings of the lid without any assistance. Yes, this documentary boldly boasted how the octopus is smarter than apes! Who'd a thunk it? Although octopi cannot communicate directly with each other, they learn from each other by observation. Another fact about the octopus that I found amazing was that they have nine brains; one in their head and one in each arm. These creatures are so smart that I wouldn't be surprised to find, a few short years from now, octopi wearing lab coats testing human intelligence. So it goes.


Does North Korea scare the bejesus out of anybody else? Has the countdown begun for World War III? I got to quit reading world news. With all the unrest, natural disasters, insane leaders and daily suicide bombers, it feels like Armageddon is right around the corner. Just in time for 2012.

So many people believe that 12-21-2012 will be the end-of-days, it will be shame to disappoint them. We better whip them up a batch of good old Jonestown Kool-Aid just in case.


I named this post "The Old Man and the Sea." The "Sea" part refers to octopi. For three points and an extra portion of tonights main course, who do I refer to as the "Old Man?" Hint: His name does not appear in this post.

I will leave you with this parting thought. I want to live a long time, but I don't want to be old. Is that a conundrum?

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