Wordplay

I love wordplay — you know, things like puns and witty punchlines and classic comebacks that wrench wry smiles and spontaneous laughter out of you.

Being hopelessly inept at it only highlights the fact that I am inordinately impressed whenever I hear somebody press home a point with a succinct, hit-the-nail-on-its-head idiomatic phrase. In gatherings or social affairs, you won’t be hard-pressed to find the life of the party or the social wit — more often than not, it’s the individual who rolls off clever remarks at a drop of a hat, and who leaves the audience chuckling, nodding in agreement, and inwardly wondering if they’ve somehow missed the point.

I am forever waiting for that opportune moment when I, too, could be blessed with such smooth, rapier-like timing and say something slick like, “The eleventh pun always gets a laugh, even if no pun in ten (10) did.” Or at least a just tiny fraction of Piers Anthony’s fertile punny concoctions for his Xanth novels (e.g., Centaur AisleAir Apparent, the perennially late character Justin Thyme).

Although it pains me to say it, I have to admit I just don’t have it. More often than not I’d be hampered by slow mental processes (umm, slow on the uptake?), sloppy timing, inarticulateness, and occasionally, consideration for certain people. Usually, by the time some sleek repartee comes to mind, the moment to make my point has already passed and everybody else has jumped on to a new topic. If ever I blurt out anything remotely clever and funny at the same time, it’s more of an accident than by design.

Sometimes it makes me wish I had Adam Sandler’s remote control (remember the movie Click?) to make time stop while I reach for my dictionary or scroll down a handy “List of Witty Things to Say for Every Occasion”. That sure would make things simpler, except that it could spoil the momentum of things (spontaneity?).

I guess that’s one reason why I take refuge in writing. Collecting witticisms and devising ways in which they can be delivered with perfect timing and the right amount of careless panache isn’t all that hard when you have full control of the situation and the characters. Moreover, when it’s your story, you can always rewrite or dispatch certain characters if you think they’re getting too big for their britches. Or too incoherent… or something.

While I’m floundering around for a nice clincher to round off this brief note (*thinking hard*) umm… uh, okay, I give up. I haven’t thought of anything yet, but I’ll get back to you on that as soon as I’ve come up with something subtle or sublimely witty.

 

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Fascinating Patterns Found in Nature

Sometimes, in our search for the next extraordinary thing to astound us, we tend to tune out what Mother Nature has to offer. I think it’s only fitting to remind ourselves from time to time that, regardless of the human tendency and compulsion to create something beautiful (and sometimes some of them can reach sublime heights), there are truly beautiful and fascinating things in nature that any human creation would be hard put to match.

These include colorful plants, fruits, flowers, fungi, and invertebrates that look commonplace at first glance but as you look closer, you will see fascinating shapes, whorls and patterns that will make you appreciate just how complex and inscrutably beautiful nature can be. Consider these few examples.

1. Romanesco broccoli (Brassica oloracea; also known as Roman cauliflower)

2. Sunflower (Helianthus from Gr. “helios” = sun). There are about 70 species in this genus.

3. Kiwifruit, or just plain kiwi (genus Actinidia; also known as Chinese gooseberry) comprising about 60 species)

4. Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus; also known as toadstool); around 14,000 mushroom species have been described

5. Cucurbitaceae flower (also called cucurbits) — a plant family comprising 95 genera (including squash, cucumber, etc.)

6. Starfish (Class Asteroida) — star-shaped echinoderms; there are roughly 1,500 starfish species around the world

7. Zebra Stripes Hosta (genus Hosta; also known as plantain lilies) — hostas are shade-tolerant foliage plants

8. Skeleton flowers (Diphylleia grayi) are actually white flowers that become transparent when they come in contact with water

9. Aloe plant (genus Aloe, of which Aloe vera is the most popular), showing fractal patterns when seen from above

A Quick Note

Wow. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to come back here and actually take more then a peek, but here I am.

This is going to be a quick note, as I have things to care of (don’t I always?). Long story short, I intend to make a concerted effort to keep this blog going — now that I am more or less forced to leave my comfort zone. Now, that sounds as though I am being awfully constrained to do this, but it’s not that really.

I did a lot of thinking lately and came up with a couple of uncomfortable conclusions about the direction in which my life is going. So, I finally decided that — regardless of where life takes me — I am going to take the time to do something that I actually enjoy. This, of course, includes writing about subjects that keep me stoked: anime shows, movies, absurd topics, occasional rants, books, food (shhh…), famous and not-so-famous folks, a few tangential posts about my work, etc.

So keep your hats on, folks, and let’s keep things moving along. TTFN!

The Hare vs. Tortoise Race

That much-talked-about race about a tortoise and a rabbit (hare)? This is how it looks, in modern-day terms:

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LOL!

So don’t worry about your glacial and plodding pace. You’ll get to where you’re going… eventually (assuming you don’t get distracted along the way).