Monday, March 21, 2011

Musings of a Neophyte: On Honeymooning

My knowledge is both vast and varied. Of the expert advice available in the world, I think you should heed mine most. I'm willing to back up that claim not only with my say-so, but also with the cast iron credentials that I must possess due to my content being on the internet. All that said, I am also willing to admit there are certain topics in which I could be considered a neophyte. The usual course would obviously be to steer clear of writing about those topics. However, it recently occurred to me that a fresh perspective is often helpful when confronting problems of many sorts. This brought me to consider the fact that I could be considered an expert in fresh perspective on the very topics which traditional wisdom would dictate I not write about.

Thus freed to be an expert in all topics, I decided to start the Musings of a Neophyte series. A recent conversation with my fiancĂ©e on the topic of our honeymoon brought up the fact that neither of us was quite sure of the origins of the honeymoon tradition. A visit to the Oracle of Wiki told me more than I ever really cared to know about the origins of the tradition. My reading triggered several thoughts on the topic and only one off the topic, so I decided it would make an appropriate beginning to this series. An aside for my off topic thought: does the Oracle's logo remind anyone else of something sinister they can't quite place? To me it resembles a small incomplete moon. Why that would strike me as sinister I cannot fathom. At any rate, we have got introductions and side thoughts out of the way, why not dive into the topic at hand?

When considering my accomplishments, and the things I am likely to accomplish in the future, I can think of few that might compare to finding the girl to whom I would like to pledge my love and life. Given that, somehow convincing her to put up with me is little short of a miracle, and certainly bears celebrating. I won't bore you with any more of such talk, I promise. I just felt it needed to be clear that I am for the Honeymoon tradition in principle while I point out some of the more peculiar ideas I have found surrounding it.

There seems to be a fairly large emphasis on destinations that are both far away and expensive. Now I'm sure this will sound terrible, but one's honeymoon seems like the ideal time for neither of those to me. Typically a newly married couple doesn't have a whole lot of money to burn, since if you haven't married by the time you have a lot of money, you've also most likely turned into Mr. (or Ms.) Scrooge. Thus taking a trip that stresses the finances seems like a good way to diminish marital bliss, not extend it. Further, the end of a very long and emotional day seems a poor time to start a long drive or flight.

Okay, perhaps I didn't have that many thoughts on the topic, but you can't blame me for not having deep insights, I'm new to this! I think I like this type of expertise already...

What, you're still reading? You aren't satisfied with all that build up to so little material? Fine. I do have one more thought. Wikipedia says:

 "In many parts of Europe it was traditional to supply a newly married couple with enough mead for a month, ensuring happiness and fertility. From this practice we get honeymoon or, as the French say, lune de miel [lit. "moon of honey"]."

I say that perhaps one should reconsider a marriage that requires a month's worth of mead to ensure happiness and fertility. Just a thought.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Series of Unfortunate Shredding (Number the Fourth After the First)

Yes, this is the final Unfortunate Shredding. If that brings you hope that I will soon move on to topics less inconsequential than shredder warning signs, good for you I suppose. Don't count on it, though. If the concept of "Number the Last" is painful to you, put down your mathematics books and go outside right now.

There is only so much even I can do with the warning labels on a shredder as it turns out. This final picture is really the one that started the whole thing, but I had to save it for last. There are so many things going on in the picture and so many ways to interpret them that the possibilities simply boggle the mind.

I'll start by analyzing the picture with science. It worked for Batman. A casual glance will tell you that this is a baby, or a strangely dressed crawling midget I suppose, but Occam's Razor dictates that we should accept the simpler explanation. If you pause to examine the picture in more detail, you may notice a drip of liquid originating from the child's right little finger, and some unknown substance clinging to it's head.

Small children are generally known for getting into things and having a sweet tooth. So this warning might stem from an incident involving a child who managed to overturn a container of molasses on himself, then crawled off to gum up the family shredder. Naturally this would be grounds for suing the company, because there were no explicit warnings about allowing syrup sodden children near their machinery.

The above explanation would be acceptable, except that it is based on a stereotype. As we all know, science cannot accept stereotypes or even such a menial concept as common sense. Therefore, another explanation is required. While it I find it tempting to say that this is caution against children infested with head crabs, the simplest interpretation would be that you shouldn't put babies in the shredder. It appears to make them glum.