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Archive for April 16th, 2011

Cruel Wife said to my daughter as they were getting ready for her bedtime “Don’t forget to turn off the game controller.”

Sighing loudly, “Oh, okayyyyy…”

“Yes,” I said, “You should always remember to turn off the controller or there’s the possibility that three kittens could die if you don’t.”

“Daaaaa-aaaad, kittens won’t die if I don’t turn off the controller.”

“They might!  Is that really a risk you’re willing to take?” I hollered after her.

Cruel Wife said reproachfully “A girl should always be able to look to her father as being a source of truth and trust…”

I glanced up “Yes, she should.  Sad that she doesn’t, isn’t it?”

Later, as we were reading Harry Potter for her bedtime story she saw a picture of a popping soap bubble on my computer.   “OH!  Print that!  Print that!”

“Girl, if we printed every picture you liked your mom would run out of ink and the printer would die.  Best you just print it on your brain and let your friends at school look in your ear to see ’em.”

“Daaaaa-aaad!  You can’t put pictures on your brain and people can’t look at them!”

In my best dissenting voice I stated, “Oh yes, you can.  Look in my ear.  Get right up close and see.”

She moved within inches of my ear.  “Dad, I can’t see anything.  I can’t see your brain.  No one can see it without an x-ray.”

“Maybe you just can’t see it because I loaned it out or something.”

“Dad, you can’t loan people your brain,” she said in an exasperated tone.

“Well, The Butcher of Lansing asked me just the other day, ‘Can I borrow your brain for a minute?’, so I think it perfectly possible.”

And from the background, with her trademark Betty Rubble laugh, was the sound of Cruel Wife enjoying the conversation…  I live for conversations like that with my daughter.

****

And now I shall draw your attention to something culinary.

Cool, right?

Known by many names, including hundred-year/thousand-year/millennium egg, a century egg is a preserved chicken, duck or quail egg. A paste made from tea water, clay, lime, ash and salt is packed around the eggs, then they are rolled in rice hulls to keep them from sticking together and left to sit for 3 years.

The result is a greening-brownish egg that smells like flatulence and urine, which is hopefully the only reason why it is called “horse urine eggs” in some Southeast Asian countries.

I found that on a blog entry “18 Stinky Foods from Around the World“.  Sounds scrumptious.

What was peculiar is how many of them I either like and use, or am interested in trying.  A few would make me gag if they were within ten feet of me.  Guess which ones.

This also reminds me… tonight my daughter tried and likes fish sauce by the spoonful (I use Squid brand fish sauce, but to each his own), even straight… she makes me so proud.  She put it on the sesame-ginger noodles I made tonight.  I told her it probably wasn’t the best combination but then again, it’s not a revolting combination either, and gave her the caveat that fish sauce doesn’t taste anything like what most Americans expect food to taste like.  Didn’t faze her a bit.

I will start her on vietnamese food soon then bounce over to korean for bi-bim-bap and chap-chae then back to thai and get her interested in son-in-law eggs (one of my favorites although it takes relatively more time and less people to eat it all).

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Update:  See the movie at the very end…

****on to the original posting****

I’m telling you, the world cried out for a hand-held coilgun.  Really it did.

And in a huge sigh of relief, the world was satiated.

****

A day or so ago Curtal Friar and I, on this very blog’s comments section, were discussing the idea of teleporters.

Now, I have to say I don’t think they’ll be realized but I’d be tickled if they were someday.

I also have to say I am fed up to death with Schrodinger and his damn feline.  I secretly began to wish that no matter how the wavefunction collapsed that the darn thing was dead, and so did Schrodinger he framed the question.  Just goes to show you that reductio ad absurdum isn’t so reductio or absurdum merely because you present it as such.

in any event I am overwrought over my tendency to digress!  Staying on-track is much like balancing a bowling ball on the tip of a pin.  Entanglement and teleportation seem to be holding hands on a first date, and they got to second base for sure, but we all kind of knew the two would end up that way, right?

Want to see the scientist’s method for teleporting information packets via quantum entanglement?  Here you go.  It’s like quantum socks on a Heisenberg chicken.

Far easier to just use a *$&%^(@# radio and take the time lag like a man.

****

And so we are back to the Curtal Friar thing.

As we went back and forth discussing the notion of teleporters I thought it might be time to bring up a notion I’ve had about them.  A fear, actually, that would keep me from ever using one.

What if the very quality that makes my consciousness seem to me to be unbroken and whole were to be destroyed even though I rematerialized somewhere else?

How about this as a more straightforward illustration.  Say that rather than teleport I step into a phone-booth thing and the machine makes an identical copy of me about six feet away.

We’re two separate people, right?  From that point on we could even conceivably live nearly the same life, going from point A to point B, waking and sleeping in the same room at the same time, sharing meals… but at some point out experiences and thoughts would become as unique to each “copy” as your experiences are to mine.

So why should we assume that the teleporter that takes me apart and reconstructs me somewhere else has recreated “me”?  That copy is another entity!  The “me” that was just standing here before being rudely scanned and recreated is no longer in existence, merely a copy.

But let’s supposed that I am actually teleported and the “me” is the same one.  What is our soul, exactly?  Is it really spiritual/supernatural/eternal in the Christian sense?  Is it bound up in the matter and pattern (the warp and the woof) of my brain?  Is my soul different if I take a bipolar medication?  Would two souls exist?  Would the new “me” be a copy bereft of a soul?  Would the faux-me be a soul-less monster without any innate moral sense of right and wrong regardless of which I choose to act upon?

Now you know what keeps me up at night.  Besides how they seal up a tennis ball without holes and make it pressurized and perfectly smooth/round under the fuzz, that is.

****

I love watching stuff like this.  He gets into it around 1:30 into the clip.  Keep in mind, yes I do eat shrimp paste but a teaspoon at a time cooked into my Thai dishes.  Would I eat it by itself?  I’d sooner lick a cat’s butt.

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