Everyone Needs a Hobby

And mine of late has been salting slugs. These little, slimy %$@^%#$%$^%@ have just been destroying a dozen or so plants in my garden, so I've taken to going out at night with a flashlight and salt shaker, and gleefully watching them dissolve. I'm reminded of reading about the British philosopher F.H. Bradley, of whom, the piece in question said, while he never taught at Oxford, he did like to go about the campus at night and shoot cats.


  1. If you have runty slugs, you must not live in the Pacific Northwest!

    We used to do the same thing growing up (also used slug bait and laid out pie tins with beer that they would drown themselves in). Here in Tokyo we've got some good sized garden snails instead that much on my few garden plants.

    But if you will permit a small quibble, far from dissolving the little suckers you've simply been creating a situation where they can't maintain osmotic pressure - all their fluid migrates out to the salt, and they essentially dry up. Same thing with ham and bacon, but as far as I know, no one's yet taken to making slug bits for salads.

  2. See definitions 3 & 4:

    "dis·solve (di zälv′, -zôlv′)

    transitive verb, intransitive verb -·solved′, -·solv′·ing

    1. to make or become liquid; liquefy; melt
    2. to merge with a liquid; pass or make pass into solution
    3. to break up; disunite; decompose; disintegrate
    4. to end by or as by breaking up; terminate"

  3. Now there we have something qualified to teach that course: those slugs.

  4. Tom,

    I'm surprised you didn't chastise Gene's statism. Clearly there is a property rights problem between him and the slugs.

  5. Gene, of course when you salt a slug you do dissolve something; but isn't it the other way around? Seems to me you are using a slug's water to dissolve the salt, but your mileage may vary.

  6. Bob, you're not going Silas on me, are you?

    ... chastise Gene's statism. Clearly there is a property rights problem between him and the slugs.

    Wow! I certain did try to think up some other clever commentary, but couldn't come up with a statist/property rights angle, so I decided not to add any more salt. But can you walk me through your angle?

    There certainly are interspecies property rights struggles (humans didn't create property, it's a behaviroal inheritance we share with other creatures), but unlike on Gene's Leiningen vs. the ants, I think Gene has this one nailed down - should he decide it worth the trouble/pleasure.

  7. Tom,

    My "joke" was based on the fact that you and another unnamed yet dear friend always criticize me for not understanding that the market has ill-defined property rights. E.g. global warming stuff, and my commentary on the Komodo dragon.

  8. "Gene, of course when you salt a slug you do dissolve something; but isn't it the other way around?"

    Tom, did you actually look at definitions 3 & 4 of dissolve, or did you simply ignore my post and re-post your original complaint?

  9. Gene, as I said, it`s just a quibble. But as a technical matter, isn`t it pretty clear that it was the salt that was dissolved (1 and 2) and that 3 and 4 are just laymen`s descriptions for 1 and 2?

    As I said, YMMV.

  10. Bob, actually I criticize you for understanding that there are problems with statism and ill-defined property rights, but not letting that understanding get in the way of your penchant for bashing enviros.

  11. So, Tom, when someone says, "We dissolved our partnership," you think that's just a layman's description of the partnership "merging with a liquid"?

    Did I, or did I not, "break up," "terminate," and "disunite" the slugs? (You'll notice that these aren't really "lay versions" of the chemical definition -- salt does not "terminate" when dumped in water. And, certainly, the lay versions came first -- the chemical definition is "just" a specialized, technical narrowing of the lay version, and not the reverse!)

    Yes, Tom, if I had been writing a chemistry text, what I wrote would be incorrect. But, given it was not a chemistry text, it was a perfectly correct, standard use of English.

  12. Gene, the word literally means to use a solution to break something down. While 3 and 4 are perfectly good lay uses (which I still consider as metaphorical derivatives of 1 and 2 - like "dissolving the bonds of matrimony" - but I supposee you could be right as to what came first), they still seem like a stretch to me in this case; your slugs were terminated, but not broken up.

    My own preference, when describing a physical process, is to avoid using a lay term whose scientific meaning is the opposite.

  13. "Gene, the word literally means to use a solution to break something down. While 3 and 4 are perfectly good lay uses (which I still consider as metaphorical derivatives of 1 and 2..."

    OK, you've finally forced me to my OED, where I find you are wrong on both counts.

    1) The "literal" meaning is from the Latin 'solvere', to loosen. The word 'solution, in fact, post-dates the word dissolve. (First use 1390.)

    The first instanced uses of 'dissolve' are from Chaucer (1374), who used it to mean 'to release from life... to cause to vanish or disappear..."

    So, in fact, the chemical use is derivative of defs. 3 & 4.

    I know this is a big fuss about a little matter, but I find it annoying when someone goes out of their way to "correct" something that's already perfectly fine.

  14. Oh, and just a quibble -- you meant "use a solvent" -- not a "solution" -- to break something down, I believe. But that only makes matters worse for your etymology -- the word 'solvent' does not appear on the scene until 1653, over 300 years too late to have formed the basis of the "literal" meaning of dissolve.

  15. I bow before your OED skills and sit corrected.

    Still, it`s clear that the technical and lay meanings are at odds in this case. Sorry, but my old chem and bio classes are coming through, coupled with the fact that I did my slug salting much younger, when I was fascinated to watch and ponder what happened.

    Anyway, happy hunting!

  16. Mighty gentlemanly of you Tom, no offense taken and all, you know.

  17. Anonymous11:26 PM

    warhammer gold warhammer money warhammer accounts tibia money tibia gold tibia item runescape accounts buy runescape accounts runescape money runescape gold runescape gp runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling cheap rs2 powerleveling runescape equipment buy rs equipment runescape runes cheap rs2 runes runescape logs cheap rs2 logs runescape items buy runescape items runescape quest point rs2 quest point cheap runescape questpoint runescape gold runescape items runescape power leveling runescape money runescape gold buy runescape gold buy runescape money runescape items runescape accounts runescape gp runescape accounts runescape money runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling tibia gold dofus kamas buy dofus kamas wow power leveling wow powerleveling runescape questpoint rs2 questpoint Warcraft PowerLeveling Warcraft Power Leveling World of Warcraft PowerLeveling World of Warcraft Power Leveling Hellgate money Hellgate gold buy runescape logs buy rs2 items cheap runescape items Hellgate London gold Guild Wars Gold buy Guild Wars Gold runescape items rs2 accounts cheap rs2 equipments lotro gold buy lotro gold buy runescape money buy runescape gold buy runescape runes lotro gold buy lotro gold runescape money runescape gold cheap rs2 powerleveling eve isk eve online isk buy runescape power leveling rs2 power leveling tibia gold tibia item runescape accounts Fiesta Silver Fiesta Gold Scions of Fate Gold Hellgate Palladium Hellgate London Palladium SOF Gold Age Of Conan Gold AOC Gold ArchLord gold tibia money tibia gold runescape accounts runescape gold cheap rs2 powerleveling buy ArchLord gold DDO Plat Dungeons and Dragons Online Plat

  18. Anonymous2:32 AM

    Welcome to wow gold our wow Gold and wow power leveling store. We wow gold are specilized, wow power leveling professional and reliable wow power leveling website for wow power leveling selling and wow gold service. By the World of Warcraft gold same token,we offer wow power leveling the best WoW service wow power leveling for our long-term and wow powerleveling loyal customers. wow powerleveling You will find wow powerleveling the benefits and value powerleveling we created powerleveling different from other sites. As to most people, power leveling they are unwilling to power leveling spend most of wow power leveling the time wow gold grinding money Rolex for mounts or rolex replica repair when replica rolex they can purchase Watches Rolex what they Rolex Watches are badly need. The Watch Rolex only way is to look Rolex Watch for the best place rs gold to buy cheap WOW gold. Yes! You find it here! Our WoW Gold supplying service has already accumulated a high reputation and credibility. We have plenty of Gold suppliers, which will guarantee our delivery instant. Actually, we have been getting Runescape Gold tons of postive feedbacks from our loyal RuneScape Money customers who really appreciate our service.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Fiat Currency

Panda Bob vs. Komodo Dragon