Monday, January 10, 2011

Science, it was a Good 30 Years

This is John Larroquette. It'll make sense later.

I don't know how most things in the world work, and I don't care. I don’t get why helium is accessible in its natural state (why doesn’t it float away?), how human consciousness exists, or how a motherboard works. I’m certain that I could come up with reasonable (though incomplete and possibly incorrect) answers to these questions, and I’m sure many of you who are smarter could tell me for sure. Well, I don’t want you to tell me anything.

When I took science classes in high school and college, I must have spent most of the time daydreaming or drawing pictures of eyeballs (hey, I don't know why either) because I only have vague memories of what I learned. To be honest, I earned good enough grades, so I must have memorized the material, regurgitated it for the test, and quickly cleaned my memory’s slate; I felt like the lyrics to Sure Shot by the Beastie Boys were slightly more important.

I have a couple of friends who work as engineers, and they often get into discussions that involve scientific knowledge. Now, I'm not saying I'm stupid and can't figure the obvious things out, but needing to know is not a priority for me. I liken it to people who don't pay attention to politics. Some people just aren't interested or care about all the minutiae of our government. Some people aren’t interested in comic books. Some people aren’t interested in Haruki Murakami, Ernest Hemingway, or David Cross. Some people aren’t interested in physical fitness. Well, science is like that to me. Why do I care that plants use photosynthesis to make food? How would that ever have any importance in my life? Frankly, it's trivial knowledge to me, and I'd rather use the RAM in my brain to remember other trivial knowledge. For example, did you know the comedian Louie Anderson was relieved from his Family Feud hosting duties for soliciting a male prostitute who happened to be an undercover cop? Do you know why that information is better than knowing about photosynthesis? The latter is funny to me. I can't tell any funny stories or jokes about photosynthesis. Watch: Do plants ever absorb sunlight and think, Sun again? I had that yesterday. I'm in hell here: I can’t move or have variety in my diet and bees are rubbing their wieners all over me (as is my understanding of pollination). See, not funny.

I want to emphasize that the pursuit of knowledge is a fantastic thing, and I’ll promise not to forget the science basics I’ll need to survive (i.e. turning the steering wheel hard in a random direction will usually have grave results). Also, people should try to learn as much about science as they can – preferably to make pants with an ass that even that damned Hulk couldn’t shred. We also need new, fancier cell phones. My iPhone doesn’t do enough and I’ll be damned if I’m going to wait more than 2 seconds for a page to load up.   Seriously, I read as much as I can but I'm just saying I've gotten to a point where I'm done with trivial science knowledge. I will accept that planes fly even though I don't really get it. Why does it matter? I never wanted to be a plane maker any way. On the other hand, I will spend my time working on my writing skills, teaching English to high school kids, being a good husband (and dad one day), keeping the cast’s names from Night Court memorized, and working on my Paul Lynde impression. Really, I think we can all agree that the scientific community would much rather have me making a John Larroquette reference as Uncle Arthur from Bewitched than working on a longer lasting boner pill.

Note: Thanks to my dad for writing the blog for me while I was in Las Vegas. He did a fantastic job, and I think he had some fun. Maybe a Daddy Johnny Ute blog will be in the works? Is mom next?

You're always welcome to write a guest post, dad!


  1. So this kinda goes against the point of your whole post, but the question you raised about helium is something I've always thought was really interesting. In fact, helium is super abundant in the universe, but you are exactly correct that it floats away in the atmosphere. Almost all of the atmospheric helium has left the air. What I think is interesting is that most of the helium we use in kiddie balloons and whatnot comes from alpha decay of radioactive atomic nuclei. A radioactive nucleus can try to become more stable by emitting an alpha particle, which is really just a helium nucleus. It collects underground over millenia, and we harvest it from natural gas deposits. And we just put it in balloons. RESPECT THE HELIUM!

  2. To Josh-

    Interesting stuff. I still don't really get how they trap any sort of gas and put it in tanks. I always figured trapping helium had something to do with using heat or pressure and turning it into a liquid form.

    BTW, this was supposed to be a tongue and cheek type of post. I'm obviously not going to stop learning about science.

  3. I don't know, you being stuck in one location with bees rubbing their wieners all over you is pretty damn funny to me.

  4. I agree with Lifeshighway. I think thoughts of a random house plant would be funny...even if you get the anatomy of pollination totally wrong.

  5. Your attempt to make photosynthesis not funny was freakin' hilarious XD


  6. To Life's Highway-

    Yeah, when I wrote that I sadly thought, hmmm... this is actually probably the funniest part of the post.

  7. To Charlie-

    I know pollination doesn't work like that. I promise I'm not that stupid. :)

  8. - TKChan

    Thanks. Not what I wanted to do... I should have written: photosynthesis is process of making synthetic photos. I've seen them on the internet.

  9. That picture of Dan Fielding is one of the funniest things I have seen in a while. JV

  10. hahah i loled few times. great writting

  11. TO JV-

    I thought you'd like it. I had to pick the sleaziest picture. I had you in mind.

  12. To Laughing Vault-

    Thanks! On your website, are you the girl in the purple pictures? If so, you look exactly like my sister-in-law!