Some Questions I Still Have

  1. But why is the universe shaped like a doughnut?
  2. Which is better: a slice of still-warm-from-the-oven apple pie with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, or that Parks & Rec episode when Chris brings ethics charges against Leslie and Ben, at the end of which the crotchety court stenographer Ethel Beavers reads from her transcript that Ben loves Leslie and that Leslie loves Ben.
  3. Why do some people sneeze in multiples? Every time?
  4. Can the current Alex Trebek on Jeopardy really be the original one?
  5. What are we to make of a man who is committed in the most radical sense to the proposition that truth is attainable by science and that emotional gratification is attainable by interacting with one’s environment and at the highest level by the enjoyment of art … [and who nonetheless does not know how] to get through an ordinary Wednesday afternoon? (Courtesy novelist and essayist Walker Percy.)
  6. How can it be that the word “nonplussed” means the exact opposite of what I assume it should mean? (Yes, I know I’m a Latin professor, but still.)
  7. When my college classmate’s dad turned around in the driver’s seat and ripped me a new one for being a few minutes late to the rendezvous (okay, yes, I was somewhat hungover), why didn’t I flip him off, bail out of the car, and hitchhike back to New Jersey?
  8. So, some 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries, as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories, collaborated to build at a cost of about $6.5 billion a humongous machine 17 miles in circumference, buried under two European countries and kept colder than temperatures in deep space, with which it’s possible moreover to recreate conditions that existed immediately after the cosmic Big Bang of about 13.8 billion years ago — and yet I can’t get a good tomato for more than about one month out of every year?
  9. Homophobes: why do we tolerate them?
  10. Why are answers often easier to find than good questions are to devise?

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