Multipliciday, Marchipelago 6, 41 A.B.

     As I've said before, I'm an info junkie.
     And once again, my desk is littered with the odd facts I've collected over the course of the last week as I've gone about the process of living... of being a sentient creature passing through time....

     Seems I have this deep-seated belief (or at least heart-felt suspicion) that if I just collect enough information and arrange it in the proper order, every- thing will make sense.
     I've had this belief ever since I was a very young child.
     And though things really don't make any more sense now than they did the day I was born, I've continued holding on to this belief/suspicion for some reason I can't quite fathom.
     Maybe if I just collect a bit more info, that reason, at least, will be revealed....

     Or maybe I'm merely the equivalent of an over-educated dung beetle, serving a purpose I'm much better off not knowing....

     No matter.
     I am compelled now to pick up and ponder a few of the stranger looking puzzle pieces that have come into my mind recently.
     And who knows?  Maybe I'll also be compelled to hit them with a hammer until they fit together, secure in the knowledge that however ugly the resulting picture might be, at least it'll have the nice, sharp, square edges an HTML box can provide....

Four Seasons hotels have custom-made $999 Sealy mattresses in their rooms.  You can buy them in the gift shop.  New York City's Four Seasons hotel sells an average of 8 of these a week.  It gives me great pleasure to imagine these transactions being carried out on a strict cash-and-carry basis....

The human genome consists of the equivalent of three billion characters divided among 23 chromosomes.  At least 95% of those characters is useless baggage - parasitic info trash which serves no purpose.  Does this explain my frequent urge to scratch my genome in public?  

Erich von Stroheim was a great director, actor, and writer of the Silent Screen....  He bestowed that aristocratic "von" on himself....  His wife once went to a Hollywood salon and had the "dry shampoo" solution then in vogue  burst into flames atop her head.  When an employee grabbed a fur coat and tried to smother the flames, the star who owned the coat protested and snatched it back....  In his 1929 movie, "Queen Kelly," a prince and his men laugh at innocent convent girl, Gloria Swanson, when her bloomers fall down around her ankles.  Swanson picks her bloomers up and throws them in the very face of the prince.  He delicately sniffs them and tucks them inside his jacket....  Which just goes to prove once again that  if your bloomers ever fall down and a prince laughs at you, you're much better  off throwing a $999 mattress in his face instead.

Famed French authoress Colette was a child bride whose first husband kept her locked up every day until she had produced her assigned quota of bawdy pages, which he then had published under his own name.  Scientists still wonder which segment(s) of the human genome may be responsible for this behavior....

In 1883, the Krakatoa volcano in Indonesia erupted in a massive explosion which was heard 3,000 miles away and caused tidal waves that killed approximately 36,000 people.  In 1815, the Tambora volcano (also in Indonesia) erupted, casting a pall of dust over the world which chilled the atmosphere, destroyed crops, caused global famine, and prompted people as far away as New England to call 1816 "the year without a summer."  Now the claim is being made that in 535, a far more powerful volcanic eruption in the same general area split the island of Java in two and possibly led to the collapse of the Roman and Mayan Empires, among other horrid things.  Question for the presidential candidates:  If such a volcano were to threaten  to erupt again, would you bomb it, impose sanctions, or drop the entire matter into the lap of the U.N.?  And a follow-up question, if I may: Do you know that there's a seething sea of magma under Yellowstone National Park that has been described as "a vast liquid time bomb"?   Do you have a plan for dealing with that?  Or does the Constitution guarantee our national parks the right to seethe and then spew death and destruction?  

In American college towns, twice as many people watch "Another World" as do people in the rest of the country.  People who live on or near military bases, in contrast, are four times as likely to watch "Hard Copy" and more than twice as likely to watch Ricki Lake.  They also eat more than their share of chili.  Black Americans, on average, spend more than an hour and a half a day on the phone - three times the norm.  Personally, I do not watch any of these shows, eat chili, or talk on the phone much.  Does this explain why I feel like a person of indeterminate race stuck in the middle of nowhere? 

As a boy, the future King George V of England had such awful table manners that his mother demanded that he eat on the floor with the dogs.  He happily obliged her - and stripped off his clothes as well.  If the dogs didn't have to dress for dinner, he announced, then neither would he.  Is this what happens when the same few sets of genomes intermix one too many times?  Or was George merely inspired to become one of the world's first great performance artists after getting a good night's rest on a $999 Sealy mattress?

Henry III of France had to sit bolt upright while greeting ambassadors "so as not to disturb the three or more tiny dogs which he kept in a basket around his neck."  When a priest remarked on Peter the Great's habit of kissing his greyhound on the mouth, Peter ordered the priest hauled away and tortured.  When the favorite greyhound of France's Charles IX died, the king couldn't bear to let his beloved animal go - so he had it made into a pair of gloves instead.  Which of these monarchs would you prefer to have as your sovereign when the next volcano blows?  Which do you think most likely would enjoy watching "As The World Turns" while on the phone eating chili straight from the can?  


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(All Material Not Shamelessly Stolen From Unidentified Sources
©Now, Now, and NOW by Daniel von Birtcher)