Friday, 14 March 2008

The Mystical Book Meme

Thanks to Greg for tagging me with this dinky little meme. The rules are:

1. Look up page 123 in the book nearest to you right now.

2. Find the fifth sentence and write it down. Then write down the next three sentences.

3. Tag some other folk.

As chance would have it, I just got a lovely parcel of books from Amazon today, so I chose one of them - Boomsday by Christopher Buckley

"The idea of aging, self-indulgent Boomers killing themselves rather than becoming an oppressive financial burden to their children and the nation was not anathema to these young viewers. In fact, to them it sounded like a darn good idea. They especially liked the part where the government would eliminate all death taxes so Mom and Dad's money could flow straight to them."

Ouch! Far too close to home, that one!

I couldn't stop at just one book so, inspired by Greg's crack about me (not) choosing a bible as my book "de meme", I had to go to the atheist's bible - Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker...

"But what we can say is that there is a length of 306 characters in cows, which is virtually identical to a length of 306 characters in peas. Cows and peas differ from each other in only two characters out of these 306. We don't know exactly how long ago the common ancestor of cows and peas lived, but fossil evidence suggests that it was somewhere between 1000 and 2000 million years ago. Call it 1.5 billion years ago."

He's talking here about DNA as an archival medium and it all gets a bit technical for me, but I love that image of a cow/pea ancestor long, long ago.

And finally, and talking about humour and science, I wanted to include a Terry Pratchett book as a tribute to that very witty writer. He was recently diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's and he did a round of interviews today talking about the condition. Brave man and I wish him many years of vigour. Here is p.123, line 5 of Witches Abroad -

"Could have been a big tornado or something somewhere." said Nanny Ogg. "Picked it up, see, then the wind drops and down it comes. You get funny things happening in high winds. Remember that big gale we had last year? One of my hens laid the same egg four times."


And I hereby tag

Reasonable Robinson
and Jenny B


Anonymous said...

God told me that you would be getting a package of books, which is why I tagged you. Or was it the Easter Bunny? I get my delusions confused sometimes. I do recall that whoever it was that told me was riding on the back of Jerry Garcia, as Jerry continuously dug holes and hid dinosaur bones.

Silly, girl. Everyone knows that cows came to Earth as stowaways on alien spacecraft, just like how rats get on many islands in the middle of our oceans. That is why aliens kill cows every time they holiday here. Any similarity in genetic sequencing is a statistical anomaly. Seems unlikely if you only consider this planet, but remember that the alien tourist market covers most of our galaxy, so this freak chance is more understandable from this perspective.

Peas actually evolved from human sapien sapien, the middle relative being human sapien peabrainus, or "the peabrain" as is colloquial in scientific circles. It is believed that as people push their extremist beliefs to overshadow empirical evidence they eventually evolve into peas. This theory has yet to be confirmed as every scientist who has attempted a peer review so far has spontaneously turned into a pea.

Thanks for playing.

Puddock said...

Fabulous Greg! Your creativity is in full flow at the moment!


Reasonable Robinson said...

Nice one!! meme continued after a sort...