Why do we have Celsius and Fahrenheit? Is it because Mr. Celsius and Mr. Fahrenheit didn’t like each other and who is this Kelvin fellow I’ve been hearing about in science class?
———- from Sergai Mokonowa ofSan Francisco
It’s Ms. Celsius, actually, Linda Celsius and Bob Fahrenheit. They were originally a New Age couple in Massachusetts seeking a divorce because they felt their numerology didn’t match up. As you know, scientists have named everything from cars to rockets to planets after ancient and obsolete deities. By the time accurate temperature recording became a reality in the 1980s, all these names had been used up. That’s when meteorologists turned to Bob and Linda, who set aside their bitter differences long enough to put their names on your thermometers. Kelvin, ironically, was the correspondent in the divorce case. His real name was Raoul, but weatherpeople felt that -30 or +15 Raoul just didn’t cut the temperature mustard.
———- from Big Lou Rosenbaum ofLas Vegas, NV
It depends on your personal taste. Some enjoy plain cricket juice, some like beetle juice. Purists tend to prefer fresh-squeezed juice, obtained by making grasshoppers nervous so they’ll drool in a glass or by strangling caterpillars. Others use a concentrate (usually frozen wasps or ants) or the more traditional powdered spiders. Now the FDA requires that true bug juice, in order to be labeled organic, must contain at least 10% real bugs, whether they’re whipped, pureed or chopped up whole. If you haven’t tried bug juice, by the way, I urge you to fill a tall chilled glass filled to the brim with liquified June bugs. On a hot summer day, mmm, good! (By the way, Lou, if you give Rodney the Broncos plus 12 1/2, he’ll take ‘em.)
———- from Virginia Slim ofNewport News, Va.
It would seem to be a case of natural selection. In truth, many ancient cultures decided to eat, drink and even wear tobacco but somehow only the few surviving smokers have made it to the near-Millenium. Archaeologists, ironically, have found evidence of a large tobacco-eating culture in ancient North Carolina. This culture ? known as the Helmsmen — possessed a religion based on suicide and a government that demanded universal abstinence from sex. The culture flourished for a generation and then mysteriously disappeared (though sightings of human dinosaurs from the era are reported from time to time in the Washington, D.C. area). For us, it simply leaves us another mystery to ponder as we scientists sit back and munch on an after-dinner cigarette.
———- from Hopalong Norby ofDenver, Colorado
Avogadro’s Number. Yes, moles have a voracious and indiscriminate appetite. They can eat Avogadro’s number of anything ? whether it’s worms, chicken McNuggets or even avocados. The mass of Avogadro’s number of avocados is called a mole of avocados. And the mole is full of avocados, that is, until he throws up. This process of bingeing and purging is called the Scientific Method, and it’s what makes science so much different than, say, religion. In many religions, I’m told, you eat a lot of hot air and hold it in. Hope I’ve answered your question and tell the avocado disparagement lawyers to quit calling.
———- from Allison Allen ofMadison County, Iowa