Joel Klebanoff: Stuff & Nonsense

To worry is to be. To be is to worry.

Sole Mates

I have what I think is a brilliant idea for an innovative web-based business. Notwithstanding my extreme angst over the risk of having the concept stolen by one unscrupulous jerk or another—or maybe both of them simultaneously, I want to put the notion out there for a crowd-sourced evaluation. Here it is: an online dating service for socks. Or, rather, an online sock match-up service.

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of single socks in my sock drawer that have been waiting years for a match. Their reprobate spouses—what heels—snuck out by still undetermined means and left them for parts unknown. Those unknown parts are possibly feet, but who knows what parts on which those wastrels might be found? If they return, before giving them pride of place on my feet, I’ll certainly check them for DNA residue.

I don’t have the heart to put my abandoned socks out of their misery by throwing them in the garbage lest their long-lost mates—or, in the case of over-the-calf socks, lost long mates—realize the error of their ways and return to their better halves. (Clearly better as they aren’t the ones who deserted their partners.)

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Incomprehensible Contrasts: Gaza/17

Scientists have searched for years and billions of dollars have been expended, but there is still no cure for AIDS. There are drugs that can turn it into a chronic disease rather than a near-term death sentence. However, that is not a cure. As I understand it, it’s a life sentence of a brutal, rigorous drug regimen. But the search continues and hope persists.

On July 17, 2014, a few AIDS researchers, including a leading researcher, and AIDS activists were flying to an AIDS conference in Australia. As they were over south-eastern Ukraine, someone, or maybe a group of people, about 33,000 feet below them made a decision that ended their lives.

At time of writing, the details were not definitively known, but it appears that pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists fired an anti-aircraft missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines flight 17, killing everyone onboard. There is some speculation that the rebels mistook the plane for a military craft, but even if that’s true they still, with intent, shot down a plane with the known effect that, if they were successful (and they were), they most likely would (and did) kill the people onboard.

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Narrow Mindedness

I contend that most of us are narrow minded.

As I wrote the previous sentence I had a vision of the fingers of the majority of the few people who come here immediately pouncing on their keyboards to pound out an exceptionally fervent agreement or disagreement with that statement. Or maybe they’ll get defensive and pen a personal repudiation.

Prove me wrong. Please wait until you finish reading this post before spouting your response.

First, notice that I said, “narrow minded,” not “narrow-minded.” I left out the hyphen intentionally. The reason for the missing hyphen is that I’m not talking about narrow-mindedness, i.e. the unwillingness to listen to or tolerate other people’s views. What I am talking about here is my belief that our minds are comfortable contemplating only a very narrow band of most physical scales.

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Imponderables

 There are, to say the absolutely very least, a great many phenomena in the universe that I find to be imponderable; at least not ponderable in any more than purely superficial, meaningful way. Other people may find it possible to not just ponder some of them deeply and meaningfully, but also actually understand them. I don’t.

The following is an infinitesimal sampling—just the top three at the top of my mind now; others may make my top-three list at other times—of what I find imponderable:

The Universe: Infinitely Finite?

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A Certain History?

A riddle recently raced across my mind, pausing in its journey through the dust it found there only long enough for me to jot it down. I found the riddle interesting. You, on the other hand, may find it boring, nonsensical and/or irrelevant and curse me for once again wasting your time by babbling childish drivel. (Once again, that is, if you’ve been here before; for the first time if not.)

Solving this riddle will not cure any dread diseases, end poverty or bring peace to the Middle East, or anywhere else for that matter. Nevertheless, for the benefit of simply satisfying my curiosity, I would appreciate an answer if anyone has one.

Here’s the riddle: Can we ever be truly sure that what we think we know for certain about historical events is indeed the truth?

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The Improbability of You

Here’s a notion that lodged in my brain recently: You are astronomically unlikely. To be clear, I don’t mean specifically you. I mean each of us, with us being everyone alive now, everyone who has ever lived, and everyone who will ever be born. In short, I’m referring to everyone ever.

What nonsense am I spouting now? Here’s what:

You are the result of a single sperm from your father (your biological father, of course, which may or may not be the man you think is your biological father; only your mother knows for sure, and maybe not even her if she was particularly promiscuous) fertilizing a single egg from your biological mother.

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Get Rich Quick on the Internet

Do you want to earn an enormous amount of money on the Internet quickly and easily? Of course you do! Who wouldn’t?

I know it sounds too good to be true, but here are seven simple steps to getting fabulously wealthy on the Internet. Follow them and success is guaranteed.

  1. Find a good Internet service provider that offers unlimited bandwidth at a low price.
  2. Build a Web site with lots of pages that lots of people will want to read and tell their friends and family about.
  3. Keep the pages fresh and engaging so everyone will want to come back again and again.
  4. Put paid advertising on most, if not all of the pages.
  5. Sell stuff like t-shirts, books and trinkets on your Web site.
  6. Get millions of people to visit your site every day.
  7. Convince most of those people to buy the stuff you’re selling.

How, you might ask, do you bring millions of people to your site every day, keep them coming back and convince them to buy the stuff you’re selling? Damned if I know.

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Starbucks Rules

I am a frequent Starbucks customer. That’s because I like strong coffee, particularly espresso. I find that, to my taste, the flavor of the coffee at other chains here in Canada approximates dishwater. Not that I’ve ever sampled dishwater, you understand, but I imagine that’s what it tastes like.

The coffee at Peet’s Coffee & Tea in the U.S. is, in my opinion, as good as Starbucks, but we don’t have Peet’s here in Canada. There are some independent coffeehouses that have good coffee, but I haven’t found any in my neighborhood.

Another reason I frequent Starbucks is I’m a low-budget snob who prefers to pretend that flavor is the reason for favoring Starbucks rather than snobbery.

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