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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ignorance

1) In the Wikipedia entry on "mirror," I found:

"A mirror is used for inspecting parts of one's body which are difficult or impossible to see directly, such as the face, neck or the whole body. This may be to checkphysical appearance (including clothing, make-up, hair, etc.) or to control applying make-up, shaving, cutting hair, fixing one's tie, etc."

Did the author of this article think there would be someone who had just bought a new house, and found a strange, reflective object in his bathroom, who said to himself, "What in the world is this thing? Let me log onto the Internet and go to Wikipedia to discover what I could possibly do with this thing?"

2) I bought a bag of pistachios at a gas station today. On the back of the package, I found: "Allergy warning: This product contains pistachio nuts."

Is there some allergy sufferer out who might buy a bag of pistachios unaware that the bag would contain pistachio nuts?

11 comments:

  1. Woody1:28 AM

    I recall you overheard a man looking at a package of what he believed was "stimulated" crab meat. I'm sure he would have been surprised to read that the package did not actually contain crab meat.

    I suspect a large segment of the population does not realize pistachios are actually nuts. But members of this group, even if alergic to nuts, aren't likey to read the backs of packages.

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  2. Where is Ludwig Wittgenstein when we need him?

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  3. I've got him in the attic with my flying squirrels.

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  4. The important question in re stimulated crabmeat is: do the neurohumors in the stimulated crab carry over their effects to the human brain (I'd additionally like to know if they'd carry over to my brain).

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  5. I can't speak to the Wikipedia entry--oh wait, yes I can. First, it was probably someone who wanted to write an article, and found that "Heisenberg uncertainty principle" was already taken. Second, why were you looking up mirror?

    Anyhow, back to the silly labeling: This is clearly because of BS tort laws. It's like the stupid warning labels on power tools. (E.g. "Do not attempt to use toaster in the bathtub.") If they don't put that stuff on there, they can get sued.

    And you ask, "Oh right, like someone will sue them for that?" Yes they will. Rachael told me about a guy who put on the cruise control in his RV and went into the back to make himself coffee. He thought it was an autopilot. He sued and won. So now that owner's manual (or maybe it's even on the console) says that you should remain behind the wheel at all times when the car is in motion.

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  6. Addendum: I do not own a toaster that I consider a "power tool." I'll check wikipedia to make sure though.

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  7. Andy,

    Thanks for the tip, but if I tried to remove all of the non-truths from my repository of beliefs, I wouldn't get anything done.

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  8. I was looking up "mirror" on Wikipedia because my son asked me how one-way mirrors work.

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  9. OK, Gene, we all? know how differential lighting makes one-ways work; but are there real one-way windows that are one way irrespective of the lighting on the two sides? This is not a quiz, I'd like to know.

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