is an edition of the newsletter. To sign up just enter your email in
the box the bottom of the left hand column.
. . . today's edition contains an interactive demonstration of the fact
that the truths of this world can seem unbelievable, disturbing, surreal,
exhausting, darned interesting, or just plain wrong, depending on your
of these 7 blurbs fits the generally accepted definition of fiction.
Can you figure out which one it is?
1) In Uganda during the 1990's gorillas began to get a lot of unwanted
attention. Gorillas there are nothing new, but gorillas dressed up as
clowns was totally unexpected. Somebody with a blow-gun was going around
tranquilizing these enormous critters and dressing them in full clown
suits! Sadly, the victims, unable to remove all the clothing themselves
(despite an intense desire to do so), and had to rely on a game warden
to tranquilize them "again!?!" to remove the outifit. We can
only speculate how many tragic gorillas wander the jungle in clown suits
this very day. "We're dealing with a very sick mind."
2) Mental concentration and effort changes the physical structure of
the brain. Researchers have also found that active participation increases
the likelihood of information being learned, new connections made and
old ones reinforced. There are about 10 billion neurons in the brain,
with about 1,000,000,000,000,000 (10^15) connections. The possible combinations
of connections is on the order of ten to the one millionth power (10^1,000,000
or a 1 with 1 million zeros after it). That's more than there are atoms
in our galaxy!
3) The Milky Way is not just visible at night, we are part of the Milky
Way. The Milky Way is spiral-shaped (we live IN a spiral), like a really
big freaking pinwheel. There are an estimated 200 billion stars in the
Milky Way--that's 200,000,000,000 (10^11.3 power)! The Milky Way is
just one of many galaxies in the universe--one of some hundred thousand
4) "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves
me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country . . . Corporations
have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow,
and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign
by working upon the prejudices of people until all wealth is aggregated
in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed." Abraham Lincoln,
5) Seattle, Washington - A man was found not-guilty on charges of fraud
after the jury determined that "he didn't tell the whole truth,
but he didn't lie either." Christopher Hanson, 32, for years had
made a decent living selling pigeons, the famous homing pigeon. Of course,
Mr. Hanson didn't advertise them as such. Instead, he claimed they were
a special breed honored through time for their loyalty, endurance, and
extraordinary navigational skils. Mr. Hanson's legend had it that in
times of old these holy birds were used by Kings to transmit messages
between their lands. "It's a good business," Mr. Hanson said
grinning, "I get to travel around and meet people. And, when I've
sold all my birds I return home to find that my inventory has been replenished."
Swindled customers have vowed to make his face, and this case, famous.
6) A housewife, distraught over her husband's unfaithfulness, decided
to throw herself out of the window of their third floor apartment. She
didn't realize her husband was walking beneath. Amazingly, she survived
while he did not.
7) Claude Shannon's information content formula, published in Mathematical
Theory measures how much information a communication contains. Natural
languages have a huge, ridiculously enormous and totally unnecessary,
degree of redundancy and repetition. Shannon's theory says, by, that
the more unexpected a unit of communication is, the more information
it contains. The greater degree to which you can predict the next sentence
the less information it contains for you. [That's why I recommend visiting
the "random" Thought Dispenser every couple days. You never
know what will happen next.]
One of the 7 is not true.
here to find out which one.