I took one of those online science quizzes recently, the kind which make you feel about as smart as peat moss. I missed the question on whether water boils at a lower temperature in Denver compared to L.A. I thought it boils faster. No, it boils lower, which means, in effect, it cooks slower. I will remember that next time I am whipping out my spaghetti while camping in the Rockies. I will bring a good book, I guess. Thanks, science.
So you won't miss out on the fun, here is a short science quiz I wrote just for you.
1. Peat moss is:
a) moss which got trapped in a bog, decomposed, and now all you can see is its tusks sticking out b) not as prolific as repeat moss c) about as smart as you d) a linebacker for the Colts
2. Photosynthesis is:
a) sold in a bundle with Microsoft Office b) not as "green" as its proponents would have you believe c) a way for plants to convert sunlight into a viable Ebay business d) not what it was back before deregulation
3. Vulcanism is:
a) quips which Mr. spock lets fly after a few too many Romulan ales b) a curable form of circus fandom c) just to the right of the Tea Party d) when you've totally had it and you lose your Vulcan temper
4. Electricity is created by:
a) God, while walking briskly in corduroy pants b) harnessing the power of robo-squirrels c) any two Judd Apatow characters d) magnets, a plate of cronuts, and a dream
5. Californium is:
a) an element of the periodic table famous for saying "No waaaaay" b) the place you wanta be, so they loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly c) Hills, that is d) the only ion stable in aqueous solutions, which, while impressive, doesn't exactly pay the rent
6. A vaquita is:
a) a small endangered porpoise b) Esperanto for "undeclared voter" c) not the kind of word I would translate in a family paper d) like a chalupa, but more classy
6. It is important to know science in today's world because:
a) it is an easy word b) without science, science-deniers would have a whole lot of time on their hands c) two words: Dippin' Dots d) otherwise, scientists would just be tists, and hard to employ
The important thing is not whether you can pass a random quiz. It is that you remember science is all around you, so you must be vigilant, and try not to get any on you.
While relief from our current political unpleasantries is still 14
months away, Canada is having its big election in about three weeks.
(Fun fact: "Canada" is a French word meaning "dirty fries.")
Canada's 2015 campaign cycle was the lengthiest in its history: 11
weeks! This is in stark contrast to the U.S. election model, whose
length is determined by capitalist television criteria, and can be
summed up by the phrase, "As long as it sells frozen pizza rolls."
The Conservative Party is currently in power in Canada, followed by the
New Democratic Party (actual slogan: "Ready for change." They have
evidently been ready for change for a long time. The NDP was established
The third major party, and the one which was in power for fully
two-thirds of the 20th Century, is called the Liberal Party (actual
slogan: "Real change." I am fairly sure that, by law, a political
party's slogan must contain at least one of the words "ready," "real" or
And sure, you've got your Independent Party ("Real independent") and
your Green Party ("Real green"), but every country's got those. Canada,
however, has the only Rhinoceros Party ("Real horny," I'm guessing.) It
was established in 2006, and in only nine years has managed to not win
any seats anywhere. It has promised not to keep any of its promises if
elected, which nobody has to worry about them not keeping. If only we
could get those kinds of assurances from American politicians.
If elected, the Rhino Party promises to:
Give lottery winners a Senate seat
Promote "higher education" by building taller schools
Nationalize Tim Hortons (a kind of Canadian Dunkin' Donuts)
Repeal the law of gravity
Canada has an Animal Alliance Party (hopefully they are allied with some
meat eaters, which would certainly spice up the door-to-door
campaigning), a Marijuana Party, and a Pirate Party. Yarr, dude, these
do not appear to have slogans. Or voters.
Canadians have the reputation
for getting along, and yet Canada not only has a Communist Party but a
Marxist-Leninist Party as well. They could not agree on enough to merge
the two! This is the political equivalent of building a combo
Denny's/Coco's. Oh, Canada.
Best of all, in Canada, political parties get reimbursed by the
government for 50% of their election expenses! I had always suspected
Canadians had a sense of humor because of their flag, but that cements