…What I Learnt This Week (02/04/2012-08/04/2012)

Last week was one of those precious few weeks where every stone I turned over seemed to offer a rich educational experience. I learnt so many interesting little pieces of information last week that I simply can’t narrow it down to a list of three. Instead, I’ll bulk out the three main points and then offer some bonus points at the end. Hip-hip-huzzah for knowledge!

  1. The USA has found at least seven counterfeit computer parts in their missile defence system. Conspiracy theorists, grab a glass of warm milk and take a seat before reading on — I won’t be held responsible for you jumping through the ceiling. Obvious jokes aside, there’s every chance that the fake parts were made in China. Surely that makes this one of the most monumental failures of any government, ever? I’m against the use of weapons in general, a feeling which scales incredibly when you get to the point where we’re talking about weapons that can kill scores of people from thousands of miles away. The cherry on top of this terribly formed cake is that those same missiles might not even be under the control of those launching them. Darkly, I can’t help but entertain the notion of the USA firing on China, only to see the missile disobey orders and turn around. That’s what you (hypothetically) get for outsourcing your weapon construction to the point where you can’t even (hypothetically) vouch for the parts’ (hypothetical) authenticity.
  2. The Titanic wasn’t labelled “The Unsinkable” until after it sunk. Take that, nasal-voiced people who like to hit me with the world’s most tedious “fact” so frequently that my ears still bleed occasionally — The Titanic wasn’t called “The Unsinkable” at the time after all. By all accounts (meaning one account on the BBC website which I hastily scanned while half-asleep), it was her sister ship that stole the headlines at the time. I’m not sharing this information because it has any value. I’m sharing it because now you, too, can treasure the feeling of smug satisfaction when you tell nasal-voice they’re wrong. That’s a feeling that really is unsinkable.
  3. There are pole-dancing classes for kids. Oh humanity, how I hate you. I’ve retyped this bit four times and deleted it. I’m actually wordless (that’s the literary equivalent of being speechless, I’ve just decided). The sad thing is that I can picture a mother slouching in front of me, drool escaping the corner of her mouth, explaining that “it’s just a fun way of exercising, there’s nothing wrong with it”. Oh how I wish breathing, let alone reproduction, was an ability enabled by IQ.

Bonus Time! Ever, like me, wondered what the verb is for the job that midwives do? No? I don’t care, I’m going to tell you anyway. It’s “catching”. Midwives “catch” babies. Ever, like me, wondered what happens to a caterpillar when it goes into the chrysalis? Don’t lie, everyone’s done that. It doesn’t just grow wings, it undergoes a process that’s similar to digestion in that it gets turned into a basic life-slosh via enzymes. The life-slosh (official term, by the way, when I become head of Science for humanity) then rebuilds itself into organs, puts itself together and births a butterfly. Mother nature you’re so freaking cool. Finally, have you ever, unlike me, sat and thought about Pac-Man in any real detail? If you just said “yes”, have a word with yourself. Never fear, for I have the answers nearly nobody has ever sought. Pac-Man is only programmed until level 20, it then repeats until level 256. I’ve never gone past level 5, in any case. Additionally, the different ghosts have different jobs. I’ve been reliably (read: unreliably) informed that if all four were programmed to come after you then it’d be impossible. I’m sure there’s a neckbeard out there who can disprove that. Any of you who want to go and get your retro on, the red ghost is the one that’s out to get you. The other two work zonally and one of them just moves randomly. Getting caught by that one is like getting caught by the school fatty when playing ‘tag’ in the playground, I presume.

The saddest thing about all of this isn’t the kids pole-dancing, although that is mind-blowingly offensive on so many levels, but the fact that I couldn’t split some of last week’s lessons and pretend they belonged to this week. I couldn’t allow myself to be that deceitful. What is wrong with me? Feel free to let me know.