“I really wish my mama had sat me down and explained some things to me …”

I really wish my mama had sat me down when I was a little boy and explained some things to me. I doubt if she knew the answers, but it always feels better to blame someone for your own shortcomings, rather than yourself. Anyway, It would have been nice to have learned from her knee or anyone’s knee for that matter that there are some really cushy jobs out here, but you have to know how to look for them.

 

For example, if you watch the news, you’ll often see some biologist who is being interviewed since he or she is the foremost authority on some bizarre species of beetle or butterfly. A few weeks ago, there was a big uproar over the discovery of some previously thought extinct woodpecker. Seems this one guy has been searching for it almost all of his adult life. I wonder what he’ll do now that it has been found. Probably spend the rest of his life observing its habits. And get paid big bucks.

 

I always thought I’d like to have studied astronomy. However, they seem to argue amongst themselves on nearly everything under the sun. That’s a pun for those of you on the East coast. Anyway, they come up with a new time frame for the big bang theory nearly every year. They can’t decide if some rocks are from Mars or not. They can’t decide if we should go to Mars or not. They can’t figure out if Pluto is a planet, a block of ice or a dog. Some think we are alone and others argue that we’ re not.

 

How about the guys who make their living studying and researching microscopic particles that no one can see or prove they exist Yep, saw one yesterday. did you’ Well, that’s too bad, you should have been here. It was really exciting.’ The guys who invented stealth stuff must have some fun. ‘ I invented an invisible airplane’ It’s right over there in the corner of the hanger.you just can’t see it, but trust me it’s there.’

 

Theoretical mathematicians, couldn’t we all do this one’ I mean how tough is it to dream up a math theory on your own Yes, I think that on the Planet Xeres, the sum of 4 to the 14th power squared can be divided by a prime number on any given odd numbered day of the year.’ Who can argue with that’ Who would want to argue about it in the first place’does anyone argue about this kind of stuff’ Gimmy cracked corn cause I don’t care. Or is it Jimmy cracked corn and I don’t care’ If that’s it, who the heck is Jimmy and what’s he doing cracking corn’ What is cracked corn, anyway’

 

Last week I read about a group of scientists who were all a flutter over their discovery of some ancient Incan knots. You read this correct. These were pieces of string tied in knots that had been around since the Incas. These not fully understood knots (another pun) were discussed at length in this month’s issue of Journal Science. It seems that these researchers have discovered that these knots may have been (note, the words’ may have been) an early form of accounting system. There are about 650 of these pieces of knotted stings in various museums around the world. They are called khipu knots. One group thinks they were used to spell out messages and the other group (mostly accountants) thinks they might have been an early form of computer perhaps for keeping tract of inventory or a census of some sort. They are distraught over the fact that they can’t find any instructions to go with them since no one living today really knows what they mean or what they were used for. It seems all of this information was lost to the ages when the Spanish invaded in the 1500’s and they apparently didn’t think that far ahead to ask any questions about these pieces of string with their unusual patterns. They way I remember it they were more interested in where the gold was located and knot some knots, excuse me, not some knots.

 

Anyway, here we are five hundred years later and a group of probably well-paid folks are spending their lives unraveling these knots. Well, not literally, but you know what I mean. The article went on to say that the Spanish had written down some of the stories, but it seems no one knows what happened to their notebooks. Most likely these were lost just after someone shouted the word GOLD.

 

So, what would happen if they were to find out these were just an example of someone fooling around and trying to make a wall decoration for their mothers or perhaps to sell at the local market back in 1501′ I had an ex-wife who did macram’ and her stuff always looked like a bunch of knots to me. Looking back on it, I couldn’t see how any of the things she made even resembled any type of accounting system or make any sense at all. I never could tell what any of it meant or was supposed to represent. Just looked like a bunch of knots to me.  She brought that up in the divorce.  She was knot amused.

 

Have a good week.