Stolf’s Blog 3/12/2012

There are a lot of curious things in the world, right under your nose. Take for example a simple “if/then” sentence.

If pigs had wings, they could fly.
If I were you, I wouldn’t do that, my friend.
If BHO gets reelected, he’ll serve a 2nd term.

This is called a “conditional” statement. When is a conditional statement true? Well, you might be tempted to say when both the “if” part and the “then” part are true…but as the first example with the flying pigs shows, that doesn’t work. Pigs don’t have wings, so that part is false. Yet the statement is true, assuming, quite reasonably, that things that have wings can indeed fly. I daresay a penguin has forearms, but who would call them wings?

Actually, a conditional is true when there is no case where the “if” phrase is true, and the “then” phrase is not. And this leads to a seemingly curious situation…consider the statement:

If George Washington were not the 1st President, then Truman Capote would be.

This is called a counterfactual conditional, and it’s considered a true statement…there is no case where George Washington wasn’t the 1st President, and Truman Capote also wasn’t…simply because there is no case where George Washington wasn’t. Of course, it’s also true that if George Washington wasn’t the 1st President, then Barbara Feldon would be. Now you might think: since pigs don’t have wings, wouldn’t it then also be true, by this reasoning, that if they did, they could not fly?

And oddly enough, the answer is no…because what you’d be saying is: “If pigs had wings, then they couldn’t fly since they don’t actually have wings.” This is equivalent to “If pigs had wings, then they wouldn’t have wings.” And this can’t be true, because there is a case where the “if” is true, and the “then” is not…the case of pigs in fact having wings. I know…who cares? It doesn’t seem to come up very often in real life…but still, it is the way logical thought processes work…it can’t be helped.

But consider this headline I ran across on the web:

Well, if it was, we’d most likely dump it. But the possibility that it could be doesn’t mean or even imply that it is…the exact opposite of what I suspect the headline writer meant to say. Yes, a mind is a terrible thing to waste…as is a cheese-cake dropped on the kitchen floor. This article went on to ask this silly question:

To which I humbly respond: um, me? Not that I’m bragging or anything…but “Spring Ahead, Fall Back” isn’t rocket science, after all. And I doubt the boss would accept your excuse: One of my clocks was wrong!!! If you were the boss, would you? So just try not to be a dummy, is alls I’m sayin’…

B*A*K*E*R*S D*O*Z*E*N

(1)   Ah, the good old days! …ya can’t beat ’em with a stick…

(2)  Men in Black III will be out soon…with Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones,
and Josh Brolin as a younger Tommy Lee Jones…so what about Josh’s
father James Brolin?…funny, you never see him & Tommy Lee together…

(3)  Strange but true…Jevons Paradox: When a resource is used
more efficiently, consumption increases rather than decreases…

(4)  You’re only responsible for what you say…not what other people
understand…true enough, but you are still responsible for what you say…
so be careful that others don’t understand that you’re a blithering idiot…

(5)  I got an email offering me “free lobster”…no thanks…you want mine?

(6)  Woody Allen: My attitude towards death
has never changed…I’m strongly against it…

(7)  …he also said: If you smoke after sex, you’re doing it too fast…

(8)  How do you pronounce the name of Oakland A’s Cuban defector
Yoenis Cespedes? …last name is CESS-peh-desshowever

(9)  …in an interview in Spanish, the reporter, within the span of
30 seconds, said both YO-ennis and JO-ennisso pick ’em

(10)  »  »  »   FYI….a gram is the weight of one paper-clip…  «  «  «

(11)  Perhaps my favorite Groucho Marx quote: I’ve had a
perfectly wonderful evening…unfortunately, this wasn’t it…

(12)  MLB threatened to ban the Astros’ retro jersey because of
the g-u-n…but they reneged…with a what to their head, I wonder…

(13)  Read in the paper that blacks are disciplined in school more than
whites…so schools are anti-black…but whites are disciplined more
than Asians, making schools anti-white too…we hate everybody!!

POUTINE-ON-A-STICK

It’s 1963, and somebody tells you John Deere just put out a snazzy new sports car. Huh? That must have been how Italians felt seeing the above roadster…a 1963 Lamborghini 350 GTV. What happened was, Ferruccio Lamborghini was a successful manufacturer of tractors and other farm equipment. Disappointed with a Ferrari he purchased, he decided to see if he could do better. Yes, those are pop-up headlights…and what looks like a big “hole” in the back is for the license plate, which in Italy back then was quite large.

POUTINE-ON-A-STICK EXTRA

You’ll find this on the net in collections of funny supermarket signs, but it’s actually a real cut of beef…also called “flap steak,” it’s a thinly sliced bottom sirloin, if you know anything about butchery, which I don’t, but I assume Uncle Wiki does…

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