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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Another one of Life's important questions... Answered.


Ever ask yourself some of those important questions in life? 

Like: Why does your nose run, and your feet smell?


Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?


Why are there Braille signs on drive-up ATM's?


Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds?


I don’t know. 


Really. I don’t. But if any of you know the answer to any of these, please feel free to share.


I like asking questions. I used to do it for a living, and I’ve been told I still do it a lot. What can I say – chalk it up to habit, and being inquisitive by nature. According to my mother, one of my first words was, "why". That  probably explains a lot. 


Someone asked me a question the other day that got me thinking. I know. That can be dangerous, but I like questions that make me think. So what was the question, you ask? 


Is it ever okay to put your feet against, on, or over the seat in front of me in a movie theater. 


(Bonus points for the specificity of the question. I like that too). 


Chances are, whenever you walk into a half-filled theater you’ll see at least 10-20% of the people there with their feet either resting against the seats, or fully draped over the seats in front of them. Am I right? In the spirit of full disclosure, I LOVE movies! They are my passion, and the movie theater auditorium is my cathedral. I should probably say I think it would be outright selfish, self-centered, and disrespectful to rest my feet against, or on, or drape them over the seat in front of me in my cathedral.  


But that wouldn’t be honest. 


In most cases, I’m all for it. 


What. I've got long legs. 


I don’t care what the teenage usher tells you, if there aren’t people in your immediate vicinity and you feel like throwing your leg over the seat in front of you – I say GO for it! In fact, I say get settled in, push back on your seat until you’re able to assume the position that feels the closest to the one you normally assume when you’re using your couch and coffee table at home while you're at it. 


Don’t act surprised. 


You paid $18 (or more) to watch whatever it is you're watching on the big screen with the sound system booming. I think you deserve to feel good while you’re doing it.  That is, as long as it doesn’t affect the good time of others.


And this is where this question gets a little complicated. Because unfortunately, there ARE some leg-drapers/resters out there without any common sense or manners who give the rest of us an assholian reputation (if that’s not a word it should be). 


So, lets go over some situations in which it is absolutely not okay under ANY circumstances for you to rest your feet against, or on or drap over the seat in front of you.


1. There is someone sitting directly in front of you.


DUH! 


2. The theater is filling up and it’s clear new arrivals are interested in sitting where your feet are. 


DUH!


3. There is someone trying to make their way out of the aisle and they need you to move your freaking leg.


Say it with me... 

DUH!

Those are all no-brainers. Right? But what if it’s more complicated than that? Is it okay to rest your feet on the seat in front of you if there is someone sitting diagonal from where you are now in the same half-filled theater?  


First of all, I'm going to say what the rest of you are thinking right now. Whoever is sitting down on a diagonal like that is a weirdo considering how many quality open seats there are still left - but that's beside the point. I'm going to say yes - The weirdo IS allowed to put one foot on the chair in front of him/her. Why? (Told you I like that question). Because the other movie patron is sitting on a diagonal, the weirdo is well within his/her rights to place a foot on the outside of the seat in front, allowing for half a seat buffer and maintaining an appropriate personal space buffer zone. 


So there you go... 


Another one of Life's important questions... Answered. I know you feel so much better now.


You're welcome. ;-)







Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Things that make you go, Hmmmmm....


I’ve been getting reacquainted with my old friend, Insomnia, the past few weeks. Some might take advantage of all that extra time to reorganize closets, create some apps that will make millions of dollars, write a novel, or catch up on important historical television programs like “North and South” Books 1 & 2 which have been airing on Encore.
What. 
Someone told me they were on. I didn’t say I actually watched it. Ok. So maybe I caught a few snippets here and there. Don’t judge.
What have I been doing with those extra hours when I’m not getting my bad tv mini-series ON? Well… I’ll tell you.
(By the way, Insomnia and I have lots of conversations like this...and they’re fabulous.)
I think.
I think about lots of things.
Important things.
Like spontaneous combustion.
Do you know dozens of people spontaneously combust each year? It’s just not really widely reported. Just ask Peter James Bond – a drummer for Spinal Tap. Oh, Riiiiight. You can’t ask him. Because he went up like a flash of green light during a Blues /Jazz Festival on the Isle of Lucy.

Poor Peter James Bond. Thinking about that green globule he left behind on his drum seat got me thinking about what else might spontaneously combust besides humans and laptops.
What else spontaneously combusts, you ask? (see… told you insomnia and I have the BEST conversations)
Pistachios.
Yes. You read that right. 
Pistachios: Delicious snack, or ticking time bomb?
In fact, pistachios are so likely to burst into flames that there are strict shipping codes to keep them from doing so. I looked into it. I'll attach some links in a bit if you're interested in reading more about it yourself. You're welcome.
Think about THAT next time you’re scarfing down that pistachio-flavored ice cream. Although why would you be eating pistachio ice cream when there are other flavors out there anyway?  Like mint chocolate chip, cookie dough, or vanilla. Maybe you should think about the terrible price of your sweet treat. Sure… it’s cool and sweet – and green – what’s that all about anyway?
But unprocessed pistachios can be dangerous. Under the right conditions, they've been known to heat enough that they spontaneously combust. Yes, you read that right. In fact, ships have a host of conditions they have to meet when they transport pistachios to keep them from going kaboom!
I started doing a little research with all that extra time I have on my hands right now hanging out with Insomnia while the rest of you are sleeping. In fact, there seem to be no end to the ways pistachios can kill. Just having them in an enclosed space can suffocate someone. I know. Right?!? They take in oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide, even after they've been harvested. Ships have to keep them in a well-ventilated place so they don't suck all the air out of a place and suffocate cabin boys.
They also have to be kept under the right temperature and pressure conditions. Pistachios have a low water content and a high fat content. Water doesn't burn, but fat does. There may seem like a logical solution to this. Ships go over oceans, lakes, and rivers, so the humidity should bring up the water content and everything should be okay, right? WRONG!
When the water content in pistachios gets too large, fat-cleaving enzymes kick in. The fat-cleaving enzymes produce free fatty acids, and those fatty acids are broken down when the nut takes in oxygen and spits out carbon dioxide. During that process it also spits out water, which makes more fat-cleaving enzymes kick in. What's more, that process of breaking down the fatty acid, taking in oxygen and putting out carbon dioxide has a more common name - burning. The process gives off a lot of heat, and that heat builds and builds until the entire bunch of nuts catches fire and sometimes explodes!
I’ll close with this… because this is something I know you’re all wondered before too. Because of this danger pistachios, and other nuts, need to be kept at just the right temperature, pressure and humidity on ocean voyages. Otherwise, it's to Davy Jones' locker with all of ye. And there be no pistachio ice cream there.
Ok… Maybe it’s time to cut back on the caffeine a little.