Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Big Questions

We here at Very Little Known Facts literally receive hundreds of emails a day in addition to our regular surface mail, overnight mail, and courier-delivered correspondence. Unfortunately we can't answer every communique personally. There are only so many hours in a day! (Twenty-four.) But sometimes we come across a query that touches upon a crucial issue that affects all of us, something that human beings yearn to know at their very core. These are the Big Questions.

Q: What is the sound of one hand clapping?
A: The percussive sound of a handclap is caused by rapid compression of air trapped between the palms at the moment of contact between opposing hands. By definition, a handclap involves two hands; you cannot clap with one hand any more than you can play billiards with only one ball. Because the very premise of the question is based on a falsity, the question is moot.

Q: Does God exist?
A: Maybe.

Q: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
A: Since the basic genetic makeup of an organism does not change during its lifetime, genetic mutations contributing to the evolution of a new species must be passed on during reproduction to manifest itself in the offspring. Therefore the egg came first.

Q: Why are we here?
Everybody has to be somewhere.

Q: If the "black box" recording device is the only thing that can survive a plane crash intact, why don't they make the entire plane out of the same material as the black box?
Elementary aerodynamics tells us that an airplane must generate enough lift, or net positive vertical pressure generated by a negative pressure differential on the upper (topmost) surface of the wings, to counteract the gravitational force in decagrams exerted on the plane. This should be obvious from the formula for lift L = (1/2) d v2 s CL. An entire aircraft made of heavy gauge reinforced steel would require an inordinate amount of lift to get off the ground; hence the selection of aluminum and plastic as the basic structural components of the Spruce Goose.

Q: If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it still make a sound?
A: Of course it does.

Q: What if your whole life, your whole existence, was just a dream?
It's not.

Q: Yeah, but what if it was?
A: It's not.


Alice said...

Yeah, but what if, just mmmaybe, it was?

Jon Black and Britt Bergman said...

Dear Alice,

It's not.

Thanks for your comment!