Saturday, January 9, 2010

Five Questions

If you're like me, and my wife assures me that there aren't many of you out there that fit that description, you have a lot of stuff rattling around in your brain. Questions you want answered. Everything I learn makes me ask another question, and to tell you the truth it's not always questions like:

"Why is there so much suffering in the world?"


"Why am I here? Where am I going? What is the purpose of life?"

It's not that I don't think about those things, it's just that you can't just pick up a book and read the answer.

On New Year's Day, I sat down to write out a list of questions that I want to find answers to, this year. And it grew, and grew, and really got out of hand, to tell you the truth. I was overloaded and overwhelmed, and just sat there in a stupor -- which never accomplishes anything. So I came up with a plan:

Bite size pieces.

I'm going to break the, ever expanding, list down into manageable increments of five questions each. Once I've satisfactorily answered those questions, I'll move on to the next five. Here are the first five questions:

1. What does this mean?

I mean, I know the equation stands for energy equals mass times the speed of light, squared -- but, what does it mean? Why is it revolutionary?

I suspect this question may carry over...

2. People call this a spatula:

But I was raised calling this a spatula (we called the other thing a pancake turneroverer):

Which one is a spatula?

3. Why does Saturn have rings? (And on a side note, why is it more acceptable to pronounce Uranus "urine-us" than it is to call it "yer-aynus"?)

My inlaws gave us a membership to the local planetarium for Christmas, and I'm planning on exploring these and other astronomy related questions with gusto this year!

4. What does the "K" in Kmart stand for?

5. What is the name of this muppet?

I love the muppets, and I've seen this guy all my life -- he's the bass player for the Electric Mayhem, but I have no idea what his name is.

There you have it. I told you they weren't earth shattering. My mind is a sponge for useless trivia.

By the way, if you have any of the answers, I'd love to hear them -- not only am I trivial, I'm also lazy.


Liz {Learning To Juggle} said...

well I am not even remotely sure of any of the other questions...but isn't that Floyd?

Pam Emmons said...

You have a few too many "gee-whiz" files in your brain.

Liz {Learning To Juggle} said...

oh wait...found it...Sgt Floyd pepper (according to wikipedia ;)

koreen (aka: winn) said...

I've always pronounced it "yer-aynus" myself, but who knows...

You're correct on a spatula. The first one I call a "pancake turner" even though I don't make or like pancakes, and usually use these things to flip grilled cheese sandwiches or scrape eggs off a pan. Go figure.

I think that muppet is called "Animal"? But maybe that's just me.... ;)

Love your deep thoughts and soul-piercing questions this week.

Chunk said...

The SS Kresge Corportation became the Kmart Corportation in 1977.

Mom24 said...

My hubby knew right away it was Sgt. Floyd Pepper. I see I'm not the first to get it though, bummer.

I've always called the first one a pancake turner and the second one a spatula. I think what's correct though is the first one's a spatula and the second one's a rubber scraper.

Good luck with the others...including the suffering and whys. WAY above my pay scale. :)

Pete said...

Energy=mass x the square of the speed of light. This basically states that matter and energy are the same things in different forms. 2 protons, for example, weigh more separate than fused together. When 2 protons (Hydrogen atoms) fuse (making Helium), the weight of this new molicule is not the same as its components. Matter is lost as energy in the reaction. Likewise, energy is gained in the fission (separation) of a He atom into a H atom.

There are many types of spatulas, just as there are many types of vehicles.

Annie says "hi"...her words exactly.

{krista} said...

Isn't that AN-I-MALLLLLLLLLLL.... I don't know, I haven't watched the muppets in fur-evah!

imbeingheldhostage said...

Rubber scraper-- at least that's what my Pampered Chef consultant insists on calling it.
Wow, Pete is really smart. I went for the only one I felt confident with.

Anonymous said...

Things that make you go hmmmmm. Yeah for question #2 - first is a flipper and the second is a scraper. ;)

Maria Berg said...

It is good to ask questions.
I have been asking my husband that it should be a site on internet that you asked those question and someone found the answer for you.

If you found that page, let me know to.

Maria Berg said...

We call the fist one, stekspade and the second one slickepott - but I guess that would not help you. MB

Heidi said...

Um, how old are you? Do you giggle like a ten year old boy when someone says Uranus? BTW we down here in the sticks have always pronounced it "yer-aynus" but I'm sure that's not a surprise.
I think that is Sgt Floyd Pepper, but I see that several people already knew that.
Spatulas- I'd say one was a rubber spatula and the other was a metal spatula.
As for the rings of saturn I think it has to do with the size of the planet, it's so big that it just draws things to it. Kind of like my Uranus. :) I mean the size not the drawing things to it.

Emily said...

Ok, I think you know the answer to the Uranus question. *ahem*. And the founder of Kmart is Sebastian S. Kresge...that's probably where it came from.
And I actually call them both a spatula. The one you call a pancake turnerover I call a spatula. The other one I call a rubber spatula.
I think you should think of some more questions!

Aaron said...


Didn’t you pay attention in school? I knew the answers for the first three….no joke, but I had to look up 4 and 5 on Google.

#1 – Among other things, our GPS systems, defense systems and communications networks would not work properly if we did not know how to adjust for relativistic effects as predicted by Einstein's equations. Relativity has been verified in a number of ways and has not yet been refuted, so relativity has helped shape and direct a great deal of subsequent research. Relativity is also helping us, little by little, come to better cosmological concepts

#2 – Spatula has many meanings….like ‘car’ or ‘truck’. People call a little 1980 Datsun 4 cylindar two seater a truck, but that isn’t anything like a Ford (or Chevy) full size One-Ton. Just the same name for products with different functions and looks. They are both spatulas but if you want to call it a pancake turner….knock yourself out.

#3 – Saturn isn’t the only planet with Rings. Jupiter, Uranus (Urin-us) and Neptune all have dust rings. The reason it has more prominent rings than the others is because of it’s mass. Saturn is the second largest planet and has an incredible amount of mass which holds objects into its orbit better than others. It has a much slower rotation and therefore isn’t as likely to ‘throw off’ or ‘suck in’ like the other planets do. Jupiter is a sucker where Uranis and Neptune don’t have the proper mass to keep such an expanse of rings as Saturn. How they got there? Nobody knows.

On the Uranis question, they have started to use the Urine-us pronouciation more-so ofer the last 20 years because they were tired of all the jokes…..sitting around all day playing with Uranis (Yer-aynus)…..hahaha

#4 - The K stands for Kresge, as in Sebastian S. Kresge, founder of the S.S. Kresge dime store chain. Sebastian--a man so cheap he gave up golf because he couldn't stand to lose the balls--retired as president of the company in 1929, long before there was any such thing as a K mart. But his name continued to grace the firm's stores. Then, in 1959, one Harry B. Cunningham took over. Harry was a former newspaper reporter and, like many of that breed, a man of subtle (if unappreciated) genius. Sensing that the dime store concept was a bit dated and apparently having cornered the market on blue light bulbs, he decided the time had come for a bold new concept. K mart, with the Kresge name sensibly boiled down to the bare essentials, was it. The first K mart opened in a Detroit suburb in 1962, and shortly thereafter they were sprouting like dandelions nationwide.

#5 – Sgt. Floyd Pepper: Floyd Pepper is the bass player for the Electric Mayhem band on The Muppet Show. He first appeared in the 1975 pilot The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence. One of the more vocal band members, Floyd's hip sarcasm is often directed at other Muppet Show regulars, particularly Miss Piggy. Frequently paired with Janice, Floyd also has a certain influence on Animal, or at least as much as anyone can. In picture books such as The Case of the Missing Mother, or certain installments of the Muppet comic strip, Floyd is practically Animal's keeper, pulling his chain and looking after him.

Cajoh said...

The whole Uranus pronunciation reminds me of the Po-tay-toe Po-tah-toh song:
You say yer-aynus and I say urine-us…
Yer-aynus, urine-us
Po-tay-toe, Po-tah-toh
Let's call the whole thing off!