With Usain Bolt breaking his own world record in the 100m with a time of 9.58 sec this past weekend in Berlin, could we see the 9.00 second barrier being broken within our lifetime? How cool of a name is Usain Bolt? Pete S. (Twin Cities)
Thanks, Pete. This is the only question I am taking this week. I am not sure you could find a name more apropos for a sprinter. Wow. I watched the replay of Bolt’s record. He is fast. I am not going to say that we won’t see a sub-9.0 100 meters, but that is really fast. Will we see this in my lifetime? Probably not. However, I don’t think sprinters are going to slow down any time soon.
Did you know the first sub-10.0 happened at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City? (Better known for the “Black Power” fists of Tommy Smith (Gold) and John Carlos (Bronze) 200 meter medal ceremony) Yep, it was American Jim Hines (9.95).
Usain Bolt broke the 200 m record by running a 19.19. He is the first to ever run sub- 19.30 and -19.20. Wow! What a performance in Berlin.
Okay. My brain has been working overtime this Summer. So, I decided to implore, trick, payoff one of the readers to take some questions. Without further adieu, straight out of Morgantown, West Virginia - Here is their new slogan to try and entice new families to this fine state.
Take it away … Chauncy.
Why don’t you ever see the headline Psychic Wins Lottery? Caleb J. (Houston)
Because there is no such thing as a psychic. Remember Miss Cleo? However, for the benefit of those who believe in paranormal occurrences, I will try to shed some light on this one. Webster’s defines psychic as, “sensitive to nonphysical or supernatural forces and influences: marked by extraordinary or mysterious sensitivity, perception, or understanding.” It seems to me that a psychic uses their abilities to connect with the spirit world like John Edwards, or can give you vague generalities of what your future could be like fortune tellers. In the end, people using a psychic hear what they want to hear. However, if you still want to win a big Powerball Jackpot and live the rest of your life in luxury, I would recommend talking to a clairvoyant person. Webster’s defines clairvoyance as, “the supernatural power of seeing objects or actions removed in space or time from natural viewing.” Therefore clairvoyants are able to “look” into the future to see a specific event. Now you just gotta find one who can see those tumbling balls being taken out of that hopper. But if a clairvoyant could sneak a peak into the future, why would they tell you and not just do it themselves?
(I think that was well done. I am going to ease him in with a few more easy questions. So far, impressed, is the word.) -dd84
Why is a boxing ring square? Beth (Hackensack NJ)
Way back in the 17th century across the pond in England, where modern boxing began, things were a bit chaotic. There were basically no rules; just two guys, bare knuckled mind you, trying to beat the crap out of each other. Preventing the loser from running away the spectators created a circle or “ring” around the fighters. It wasn’t until 1838 when things got a little more organized. The London Prize Ring rules were created, mostly to protect fighters from killing each other. The rules also defined that fights would take place in a 24 feet (7.3 m)-square stage surrounded by ropes. The term “boxing ring” just stuck around. It’s a little more catchy than boxing square.
Why is it considered necessary to nail down the lid of a coffin? Charles R. (Marion, IL)
Zombies … duh.
(I would like to add that, if you don’t have one of these kits in your home, your family is not really safe. Please, people, buy this kit, send me the money TODAY!.) -dd84
Why is it that rain drops but snow falls? Sven (St.LouisPark, MN)
Rain does fall. It falls from clouds to the ground (sometimes rain falls but gets blown back up into the cloud then freezes and falls back to the ground as hail). The National Weather Service records rainfall totals not raindrop totals. I think you are confused between the verb and noun forms of the word “drop.”
What do you think Victoria’s “secret” is? Captain Slacks (Rush City, MN)
I’ll tell you what she’s not keeping secret…hey-o! Have you seen the cleavage in those catalogs? Seriously, I think her secret is empowerment. Victoria’s Secret turned “unmentionables” mentionable. It created high quality and fashionable products females could be proud of buying and wearing. Plus, it’s great for males too, am I right?
(Okay, let’s take the training wheels off; and give Chauncy the big bike. Here are a couple questions from me.)
Is ‘happy’ more interesting than ‘sad’? This question has been bopping around my head for awhile now. I guess, in general, I equate struggle & strife as interesting and compelling, and content & pleasant as boring. I know this is a part of the form/style that dramatic storytelling has taken in the last few years, but is it also true in real life? DailyDouble84 (The Interwebs)
‘Sad’ is more interesting than ‘happy’ when we are observing it and not experiencing it personally. It is a defense mechanism, which we selfish humans follow consciously of, or not. Sad, tragic, depressing events will always be more interesting because we can say, “I may be _____, but at least I [am] not______,” and we look for every detail of someone else’s sadness. If we ourselves are suffering, we can find an example that is worse than what we are experiencing. Also, I believe being ‘sad’ has a far greater spectrum of emotions that can be interpreted than being ‘happy.’ The exception to all this may be sports. In sporting events, ‘happy’ is more interesting than ‘sad.’ This might be because the goal of most sporting events is victory over an opponent. In sports everyone loves a winner … and underdogs.
If you could bring one character to life from your favorite book, who would it be? This does not mean that you get to become this character; it just means they get to be inserted into modern day life. What is the book? Why the character? DD84
Gimli, son of Gloin, the dwarf from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, hands down. Not a dwarf in the sense of a human with a genetic defect causing their small stature, but a real dwarf that lives in caves, is skilled in the metallurgical arts, and has a propensity for mining. Gimli’s cocksure demeanor and loyalty would be great addition to any crew, entourage, or posse. Who would mess with a stout four foot man with a beard down to his belt brandishing a broad axe or war hammer? Not I. Plus imagine all us West Virginians could learn about mining. I’ll tell you in one word…Moria.
(Here are a couple questions that I thought were flat out strange.)
What’s the easiest way to identify an atheist? lack of imagination? lack of intelligence? or, the over-sized forehead? Unnamed [Coward, I say. -dd84]
Darwin fish on cars
… mostly found in universities or communes. Seriously, I think it is insulting to say atheists lack intelligence. It seems to me that many atheists are very intelligent and well read. I am not an atheist; I am an agnostic. If you don’t know the difference, maybe you can ask Joel [I will think it over and give it a try. -dd84] next week. Anywho. To me, most religions have some great ideas, but are lacking in the practice of those ideas. Conflicts between religious ideologies have caused many of the tragedies in recorded history even though the general ideals of those religions are similar. The book Myths to Live By, by Joseph Campbell, is [a] wonderful comparison of Eastern and Western religions and their effects throughout history. I highly recommend it.
Would you enjoy spending a month of solitude in a beautiful natural setting? Food and shelter would be provided; but, you would not see another person.
Yes, yes, yes. A coworker of mine is doing exactly that right now exploring the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. I am jealous. It definitely takes a certain type of person though. Not everyone can go the Henry David Thoreau route, but I could. I love the idea and challenge of being completely self reliant. I don’t find anything lonely about the natural wilderness; let’s get out there and find it.
Job. Well. Done., Chauncy. Thank you for the week off. I am looking for other readers interested in taking questions. Let me know if you are interested. I will be back again next week. I promise. Get those questions in. I am guessing that football might be on your minds. Have a good week. Check back Saturday for the links, and Monday for a music inspired short story.