Questions, Questions, Never Answers …


This desert landscape is so stoned. Joshua Tree National Park, California.
This desert landscape is so stoned. Joshua Tree National Park, California.

I often have questions that no one answers.

For instance, is the danger of having preservatives in our food greater than the danger of eating unpreserved food? I thought about this while noting that the tomato in my refrigerator that I left before I went on a week-long trip still seemed perfectly edible when I returned. I don’t know whether or not once-fresh tomatoes are laced with chemicals, but holding the tomato in my hand, and noting its lingering firmness, is what made me think of this topic.

Is the danger of environmental harm from “fracking” greater than the benefit of more oil? I imagine a modern-day Marie Antoinette (quite possibly Sarah Palin) scoffing and saying, “Let them drink bottled water.”

Do umpires, whose authority has been undermined by video oversight, become more indecisive as a result? It seems to me that has been the case in other sports, but I’d like to see empirical data, damn it.

If President Obama came out publicly in favor of a government-provided assault weapons for every American over the age of 21, would the Republicans oppose it? Would the NRA oppose it? Would the Tea Party oppose it?

Would Teller talk if Penn wasn’t so obnoxious?

Would entry polls be more accurate than exit polls?

Does the NSA know anything about me that Google doesn’t?

How many lives would be saved if all motorists wore crash helmets? And how much of a boost would it be for hair-care salons?

Why is it necessary, in the Information Age, for voters to register? Just show the lady behind the table your credit rating. If it were too low, of course, she might not let you vote in the GOP primary. That’ll be the next measure.

Why are actuarial tables still used to set insurance rates? Once again, it’s the Information Age. Why are rates determined by my group instead of … me?

Why does it take so much study to be a pharmacist? They don’t actually mix up liniment and cough syrup anymore. From the outside, it seems like a discipline of pill counting, paperwork and oversight. I’m sure it’s more than that, but when I’ve asked, not even pharmacists seem able to explain it to my satisfaction.

I’m not anti-pharmacist. I just don’t understand.


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