Beyond Good and Evil

Dr. Ronnie J. Hastings

Archive for the month “February, 2009”

Questions I ponder from time to time (with apologies to George Carlin)

1. When the tomb of Tamerlane (or Timor the Lame), great Muslim conqueror of Mongol descent in central Asia (circa 15th century), was opened, it was done so despite the curse written upon it to the tune of “He who disturbs the great Tamerlane brings disaster upon himself and his kinsmen!” (or something like that). It was opened by Soviet archaeologists on June 22, 1941. Know what happened to the Soviet Union on that day? WWII buffs know! Coincidence, or real curse?

2. Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?

3. Why do women go to the bathroom in groups?

4. (By the way, back on #1, Tamerlane was so BA, he kicked the s*** out of the army of the Ottoman Empire, captured the Turkish sultan, and paraded the sultan around in a wheeled cage on a “look what I’ve done” tour. Timor is known for piling the severed skulls of the people of places who resisted him in pyramids taller than riders on horses. Lesson: Never make fun of a little kid with a limp — he might grow up to run things!)
Know how coffee was introduced into Europe? Back when things were going better for the Turkish empire, they almost broke through to conquer Europe twice, but were stopped both times at the gates of Vienna. The second time, the counterattack of the Christian armies was so successful, the Turks left their camp with all the glorious luxuries of armies who really know how to travel behind, including coffee. The stuff was taken back to the city and Vienna has been famous for its coffee ever since.

5. Did the character of Persian king Xerxes in the movie 300 bother anybody but me? Now, I never knew Xerxes, I never talked to the man, but I’m pretty sure he had more facial hair than that and far fewer body piercings than that!

6. Before the coffee discovery of #4, the advance on Vienna did not have the young Turkish sultan of the time with it, as he was repulsed by the sight of so many of his advanced guard impaled upon pointed wooden pole-like spikes when going through what is today Romania. Who was the impaler? Vlad, count Dracula, the real Dracula. The young sultan made a quick retreat back to his harem in Istanbul (a.k.a. Constantinople)!

7. This one is for everyone except Ronnie Applewhite, who knows this one better than… than… well… just about anything else. Why did the package at the grocery store last weekend make me laugh to the point of making shoppers stare when I read on it that the slices of meat therein were “wafer thin?” (Hint: think Monty Python)

8. Why is the San Jacinto monument taller than the Washington monument, despite laws prohibiting such? Because the spire is prohibited from being taller, not the measurement from the ground up. So, being the enterprising, not to be outdone Texans we are, built the just-shorter spire at San Jacinto upon a huge thick building of a pedestal, so that if you measure from the base of the pedestal, ours is taller than George’s.

9. In public schools, gatherings of Christian students are rightly allowed before school starts for prayer and singing. Here in particular they “Gather at the Pole” in the front parking lot. My question is: Doesn’t that poor Polish person feel self conscious when all those Christians encircle? Why don’t they gather at the Czech? Or the German? Or the Swede?

10. Lastly, why do I scoff at people who claim there is no prayer in public schools? Because they obviously have not been in my classrooms at the beginning of test days! There is lots of prayer in public schools!


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