Monday, September 18, 2006

If I Were A Hyena I'd Eat Your Head

Snoring is definitely not an evolutionary advantage.
A few hundred thousand years ago emitting a sound like a lawn mower every few seconds would draw every predator within ear shot.
And the snorer is as his most vulnerable. He'd wake up with sabre tooth tiger fangs sticking out of the back of his head.
Snoring is apparently another one of those unexpected results of civilization. We can now safely snore, in the sense that we need not worry about hyenas with sharp ears.
However, loud snoring is associated with obstructive sleep apnea. This is a condition in which your floppy soft palate seals off your windpipe, almost waking you up, over and over and over.
It increases the risk of heart problems, high blood pressure, and falling asleep at any opportunity, sort of like the actors in the mattress ads.
There are non-surgical ways to effectively treat sleep apnea. Basically, you strap a mask over your face connected to a pump that blows air down your throat all night.
What does not work are devices designed to pull your nostrils open. Of course open nostrils are good, but snoring has zippo to do with the nose, and everything to do with the floppy tissue at the back of your throat.
For cripe's sake, get a mask.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mad Dog or Thunderbird, Sir?

Either a wonderfully dry group of satirists has been born - or a bunch of crackpots with a harmful agenda is at work.
They call themselves the Reason Foundation, which is already kind of funny.
The foundation's latest e-mail report purports to demonstrate that people who drink heavily earn more money than social drinkers and those who abstain.
This contradicts common sense, but common sense isn't always correct. The foundation clowns instead use a nonsensical equation and impossible to interpret data sets to "prove" its hypothesis.
This is a real-life example of what you should learn math. Someone, somwhere will read and believe the report and start bringing a bottle to work and keeping a short dog in his jacket.
That's what all of the successful people do. You can see them lounging outside on the curb at night or sleeping in cardboard boxes.
There's nothing wrong with sensible drinking and it may even be OK to overindulge occasionally if someone sober can drive you home and dump you on your front lawn.
Reason Foundation, meet "the aristocrats."

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Adding Insult to Injury

What better way to insult the memory of the dead and hurt the living than to perpetuate the idea that 9/11 was somehow a "hoax?"
What could be more cruel to the firefighters, police officers, steel workers, and everyone else who endangered themselves by working in the wreckage?
And finally, how gullible are we ultimately?
Many people still wonder who was behind the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King Jr. Conspiracies seem possible because only a few people, if any, witnessed the events.
However, tens of thousands of New Yorkers and thousands of people in the Beltway watched 9/11 as it happened, in real time. Millions more saw endless videotapes of the tragedy from dozens of different angles.
Could a passenger jet have fired a missile at the World Trade Center tower without anyone noticing? Only now do we see images of "bulges" or "pods" under the wings. But no one saw the alleged weapon.
Workers in the towers did not see crews planting explosives on girders before the fact. No one claims to have seen a cruise missile or a fighter jet crash into the Pentagon.
All we are given is misinformation after the fact. Fuzzy images. Blurry thinking.
Circumstantial nonsense.
After five years they only seem to be getting started.
It's pathetic.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

That Morning

My wife often calls me from work in the morning to make sure I'm at least half awake and gurgling with coffee.
Usually she tells me an interesting odd fact or asks an esoteric question from her officemates.
On this morning I recognized the ring and dutifully answered the phone. She sounded agitated. All I could make out was "The World Trade Center," and "Someone crashed into the World Trade Center."
"What?" I said. This was going too far. And strange.
"Turn on the TV," she said, and hung up.
The Sony buzzed to life and I saw what everyone else was watching that morning. The network was showing replays and replays of replays of what happened minutes before. Huge jets. Twenty-story fireballs. Debris filling the sky. Miles and miles of smoke.
I sat on the floor in a patch of sunlight and watched, bewildered.