Why, when I retire, I would like to open a sign museum.
Today I bought a pot of yoghurt which had on the label a statement to the effect that it was “0% fat free.”
Which presumably means it is all fat.
I found this rather puzzling and so to resolve this issue I typed “Is pure fat bad for you?” However I rather suspect Google thinks the question is so blazingly stupid that it doesn’t actually have any answers for it.
I did find out, however, that olive oil is good for me and bad for me. And that there are ten super-high-mega-fat foods that actually make me slim, although there was below that another article that told me the first article was rubbish.
Pondering such matters and the contradictions therein I thought about the door at the hotel I stayed in once, in Shetland, which had the notice on it that it was not a door. I tried to open it in order to see if it had the phrase “because it is a jar” on the outside, but it wouldn’t open. Which I suppose proved the validity of the first point and was a reminder to me not to be so sceptical.
Turning away from all that rather quickly, I discovered that whereas most of the popular press is most of the time worked up about the notion of weighing things in elephants, in Australia beings of a different nature are considered of importance for weighing matter.
At Tullamarine airport in Melbourne, for example, there is a picture on the luggage trolleys that says that the great white shark (which apparently patrols off the coast of said city) weighs about 115 suitcases.
Which raises the question, are the suitcases empty, and how did anyone ever test the equation to make sure it is true?
This is, I think, something of an interesting question, given the current fixation in Australia – and indeed many other parts of the world – on jellyfish.
The issue is not so much about how to avoid a jellyfish sting, or indeed what to do with a stung part of the body once the event has happened. Such matters are widely reported on the continent. Rather it is to try to understand the question, “what eats jellyfish?”
The notion that something must eat dead jellies comes about because that is something of a fundamental rule of the food chain. Stuff gets eaten by other stuff. But jellyfish are mostly water, so not a particularly interesting meal.
However it turns out that quite a few predators eat jellies – including tunas, sharks, swordfish, some species of salmon, sea turtles and indeed jelly fish.
This knowledge has been used in some parts of the world to try to reduce the rapidly growing jellyfish population by introducing predators – but the jellies seem to fight back by forming superblooms of jellyfish for mutual protection. Anything approaching is normally deceased before it reaches the third level of defence.
Such a situation has led some to decide to kill off the jelly creatures by other means but this has itself caused disruption of local ecologies – again suggesting that jellyfish must be of use somehow to some other creatures.
However, it seems that one part of the world is getting rid of jellyfish by natural means – and that is the coast of Greenland. Not that this does anyone much good, but it is worth noting in case you get asked a question about this issue in a pub quiz.
And it was with such thought that I contemplated a notice in the shop in the harbour where I was on holiday. It was a notice that offered fossil sea urchins, brand new, unused, unopened and undamaged. The notion of brand new fossil sorely tempted me to put in a bid.
But then I was reminded of the old adage to the effect that the problem with Britain today is that fifty percent of the British population is of below average intelligence.
Such is life.
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