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So many questions, so few answers

click to enlarge Science is crazy fun, kids!

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Science is crazy fun, kids!

Questions that nag at me like jock itch on a hot summer day:

Have you ever been driving around town, listening to a local radio station, when the traffic guy/woman reports that there is an automobile crash in the intersection that you happen to be driving through ... only the intersection is completely open and free of any obstructions?

It has happened to me three or four times in the past month and I'm puzzled. I'll be driving along, listening to right-wing, crackpot talk radio in the morning or (oddly right-wing but much-less-crackpot) sports talk radio in the afternoon and I'll hear, "There's a crash at Oracle and Magee—that's Magee and Oracle" (that affectation of reversing the street names is only a lot annoying). You'll have to stay right to get through the intersection." But then, within a matter of seconds, I find myself approaching that intersection and there's nothing there. I do a panoramic scan to see if there are any disabled vehicles off to the side, but nothing.

So then, two questions come to mind. Is there such an extended lag time between the initial reporting of the collision to the authorities and the time that it reaches the airwaves that it allows the site of the crash to be completely cleared away? Or, are the people who clear away the crash sites just super-good at what they do and are able to get traffic flowing again at a record pace? Or both?

I need answers. I'm going to have to ask Allen Kath. He knows everything.

When did it become socially acceptable to publicly revel in one's stupidity?

There's a character named Zach on Big Bang Theory. He's a lovable doofus, dumb as a box of rags. They poke lighthearted fun at his dumb-ness and viewers like his character, but in real life, it's not cool to be that clueless. (Oh yeah, dragons aren't real, either.)

On one episode, Zach was talking to the main characters in the Nerd Herd and said, "That's what I like about science. There's not one right answer."

Well yeah, in science, there really is just one right answer.

For as long as I can remember, it has been OK in some circles to be deficient in math. As in: "Oh, I'm terrible in math."

Silly laugh. "Oh yeah, me, too!"

You'd never hear anybody said that they stank in any other subject. ("Me not good with English.") It was always just math.

But now it's science, too. There are now tens of millions of Americans who openly reject science. Tell these people that over a 16-month period in 2015-16, the Earth experienced the highest average temperatures ever recorded, and they'll respond with, "Liberal statistic China manipulation hoax Al Gore."

How would you like to belong to a political party where one of the membership requirements is that you have to be aggressively stupid? And I'm not talking stoopid, which is OK if you're Humpty Hump from Digital Underground. I'm talking backwoods, inbred, Fox News stupid.

I was listening to this radio guy the other morning and he was getting all orgasmic over the fact that Stupid-in-Chief was going to take the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord. He kept prattling on about jobs. I'm sorry, but if you think that leaving the Paris Accord will bring back coal-industry jobs, then you're ... you know, stupid.

The talker later got all tingly when recounting how Trump-id was somehow able to correctly read the words "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."

Which brings me to my next question:

When did the White House start hiring charter-school dropouts to write their speeches?

Pittsburgh and Paris? Really? Alliteration? That's all you've got?

I guess they thought that they were playing to the base, but Hillary Clinton actually won Pittsburgh in 2016 (by a wide margin). Plus, Pittsburgh is no longer the soot-soaked place it was in the 1950s. It has literally been cleaning up its act for decades, exceeding the standards set down in the Paris Accord in the process.

Did they ever find the guy who carjacked the Mayor?

That's kind of embarrassing.

And finally, I was communicating with the editor of a national publication and was asked if I had any story ideas. I suggested asking hardcore supporters of the President, "What would it take for you to regret having voted for Donald Trump?"

Well, that's one article that I'm never going to get to write. Remember when Candidate Trump boasted that he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and his ratings would go up? Apparently, that's true.

I asked a variety of people—professionals in the party and in media—plus man-on-the-street types. Nothing. The (paraphrased) responses were actually rather chilling.

"I wouldn't believe it. (The allegations) would just be the media making up fake news."

What if he publicly cheated on his wife? "I knew he cheated on his wives when I voted for him in the first place."

What if he robbed a bank? "He's rich already. Rich people don't need to steal." (Somebody actually told me that.)

What if you personally witnessed him committing a heinous crime (or even treason)? "Well, I'm sure that he'd have a good reason for having done so."

When (and how) is this long national nightmare going to end?

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