Thursday, March 31, 2016

Outrageous Opinion # 3 - The United States has the Ugliest Money on Earth

ooooh pretty!!!!

This will be a short one. I thought of it while sitting at my desk and staring at a pile of pesos. I'm talking nickel, dime, and quarter sized coins worth approximately one tenth of their face-value in dollars.

What do you mean, you ask, by this intrusive injection of math, Bob Spiller?

For instance: a 500 peso note (paper money, beautiful to look at) is worth around $50. Got it?

Now, this piece isn't about net value, but the artistic appeal of various bits of currency from around the world. Let's begin with Mexico. Those same coins that started this conversation are bi-colored--nice. Brass colored in the center (a little circle of brass) surrounded by more traditional nickel coloring. Very pretty. But that's nothing compared to their bills. Blue, pink, purple, with various translucent sections that make the whole bill pop (I watch a lot of HGTV).

But Mexican currency isn't the only currency kicking our butts. Canadian money is nice to look at. So is French, British, German, Brazilian, Chinese, you name it. All colorful, all artistically designed. Very easy on the eyes.

Are we so hide-bound that we are incapable of considering money other than the green-back (which should actually b called the green and gray back)? I mean, C'mon.

Well, I'm done with my rant. Of course, it won't change anything. There is actually a significant fraction of the our populous who will consider any change (Probably of anything) as un-American. Certainly they will consider me a heretic.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Outrageous Opinion#2 - Toothpaste is Addictive


Before I launch into the whys and wherefores of my opinion, I need to present a fact. The old picture of the 4 taste areas of the tongue is wrong. First of all there are five taste receptors on the tongue: salt, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami (think of tangy although that is an oversimplification). Second, those taste receptors are spread all over the tongue and not so much localized. That's it for the perception lecture.

Now, why do I propose that toothpaste is addictive?

With my last opinion I gave scientific reasons for why ants are happier than we are. For this one it is more personal. Occasionally, I will be brushing my teeth and go into sensory euphoria. My mouth just sings, especially when at the end I brush my tongue. I suspect this symphony of the taste buds is by design.

Why, you ask, are you, Bob Spiller, so suspicious?

Do you remember the subliminal messages at the movies back in the fifties and sixties? These were rapid images designed to get us to buy popcorn and soda pop. They were outlawed. More recently we learned that cigarette manufacturers laced their coffin nails with extra addictive agents to hook us even more. I do believe they are still doing this. Does anyone believe that other product manufacturers, with all the data they mine, and all the scientific advancements that have happened in the last fifty years, haven't had an AHA moment and followed the cigarette guys lead.

No I don't want to alarm anyone (well actually I do; this entire piece is sensationalist propaganda, but what the heck) but if you follow this logic then of course additives have been stuck in mustard, pickle juice, nasal spray, you name it. Why not?

But let's get back to toothpaste. Here's my theory. With all the types of toothpaste out there, certain ones are matched up with particular types of DNA--much like designer viruses. When a match happens, that person is hooked!!!!!!

Having said all this, let me finish with a simple statement. I love my toothpaste. And though I believe I'm being manipulated, I have no intention of switching. I will end my days a contented addict.

Be well, fellow addicts.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Outrageous Opinions--Ants Are Happier Then We Are.

Like so many incredulous Americans I've been watching with fascination (dread?) the antics of that billionaire chimpanzee running for president of these good old United States. And let me say right here and now that beyond the random insult--and these are just for my own amusement--I'm not going to try to tell anyone how to vote. My fancy is drawn to the man's ability to say anything he darn well pleases and his legions won't care; shit they'll line up in droves to monotone, "At least he speaks his mind." The more outrageous opinion the better.

Makes a guy just want to say, "What the Hell?"

But I've evolved beyond wanting to point out his misinformation, his outright lies, and his ludicrous posturing. Now, I just want to get a piece of that action for myself.

Okay, I'll say it. I'm envious.

I want a forum where I can spout unsubstantiated poppycock and with any luck get an army of  fans who will send me money - okay I'll settle for one person who doesn't tell me I'm full of crap.

For this to work, I'd like some help. I'll do my bit and supply a regular supply of off-the-wall opinions. Being an older fella and not very social media savvy, the help I need is to have these opinions passed on through Facebook, Twitter (#Outrageous Opinions), and all the other social media networks I don't even know about. Feel free to disagree. But also make use of this forum to spout your own Outrageous Opinions.

Just don't make me squirm too much.

I mean if you think our tax dollars should be used to shave and butter kittens, I can handle that. Ditto, if you think latex is a food group. I'm definitely interested in most opinions that include nuns or circus midgets.

But I draw the line at hurting folks or voicing hateful opinions about ethnic groups. Also, we are done with the Donald. Please, he has his own Outrageous forum. All that said, lets talk about ants.

 Let me restate my opinion: Ants Are Happier Than People.

Now just because this opinion may be outrageous doesn't mean I can't give reasons why I believe it true. So, to cast a spotlight on ants, let's first consider lab monkeys. In the fifties, an experiment was performed where Rhesus monkeys were taught to depress a bar and for their effort were given a small helping of cocaine. For those of you haven't done cocaine, the stuff releases all manner of feel-good chemicals into what I shall call the Pleasure Centers of the brain. The monkeys loved the stuff. So, much so that they whacked that bar day and night.

Here's comes my take on that experiment. Those monkeys were in ecstasy. These chemicals kept them in a permanent state of bliss, which in my opinion is the basis for all happiness, ergo, a specific set of chemicals released in the brain. Marital bliss - endorphins. Religious ecstasy - again pleasure chemicals shooting through one's gray matter. Even the bliss of enjoying a sunset in Fiji - just more chemical induced feel-good.

Now ants are all about chemicals. They follow chemical trails to food sources. They uses chemical stimuli to tell a friendly ant from an enemy. When they are in their hill homes they are bombarded with chemical messages that say, You Are So Smart, You Are One Of US, You Are Just Where You Need To Be, We Appreciate You. Their every waking hour is infused with feel good chemicals that make their tiny lives a joy on Earth. When we see them walking in unison they are actually in an insect conga line and are dancing their way through their day. I do believe if we could go down to their level we would find that they are raising their miniscule voices in praises to God for making their lives so wonderful. And here's the kicker. We look down on their toils and feel superior. Brothers and sisters, they look up at us and feel sorry for us.

"We're ants," they say, "and by all that's holy, we glad."

So, there you have it, my opinion.

Believe me. You ain't see nothing yet.