Pythagoras, GI*Joe, Coca-Cola, and the Flu

I’ve been sick since Saturday evening, and I’m only just now feeling a tiny bit better. My voice has come close to vanishing due to the soreness of my throat, and I think I’ve a year’s worth of congestion fighting to get out of me.

Despite all of that, though, I’ve not had to miss work, and I’ve managed to get most of my Christmas shopping completed yesterday after clocking out for the day. Yes, I both work at Wal-mart and I do most of my shopping there. That’s just how I roll.

My amount of disposable income doesn’t really give me much choice anyway.

During my down time these past few days, I’ve been reading an interesting little book called Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife. So far, Genesis 1-2 has been referred to as the “Hebrew creation myth,” and John 1:1 has been translated, “In the beginning, there was the ratio, and the ratio was with God, and the ratio was God”; in a footnote, that translation is said to be “even more rational than the traditional one.”

More rational, perhaps, because it contains the word “ratio” once; however, for it to make sense, the God referenced would be nothing more than a, well, mathematical or logical construct, yet in the context God is far from that — He is an active, living person who is the Beginning and the Ending, the Alpha and the Omega.

Okay, that was a bit of a rabbit’s trail, but it bugged me so I had to say it. Regardless, Zero is proving to be an enjoyable read. Did you know that Pythagoras, despite being brilliant, was also a bit, hmm, strange? In fact, he died because he would sooner be murdered by those who would oppose him rather than flee from them by running through a bean field. Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart, but across them you shall never dart. Or something like that. Beans were taboo, and Pythagoras was very prideful.

Pythagoras Doin’ His Thang
Pythagoras Doin’ His Thang
(Sanzio, Rafaello. The School of Athens (detail). 1509. Stanza della Segnatura, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican.)

Yet what we know him best for — the Pythagorean Theorem — has actually been known for centuries if not millennia before Pythagoras came along. I’m very disappointed I’m finding about this now rather than in 8th grade geometry.

I guess what I’ve sometimes heard is true: you learn that which is truly interesting not through organized curriculum but through independent study.

Okay, I’ve not actually heard that; it’s an axiom I’ve come up with to justify my independent learning of the Scriptures over against going off to seminary. Call that a cleverly disguised lack of ambition if you want, but if the Word of God was meant to be arranged into a curriculum, you would think somewhere in its 66 books there would be some evidence of such an intention. The concept of mentoring seems far more biblical (see the relationship between Christ and the disciples or between Paul and Timothy, for examples).

Speaking of Paul, who instructed Timothy to add some wine to his diet to aid his ailing stomach, Alicia brought home a bottle of red wine today. Apparently it is for some spaghetti sauce she was preparing. A sip of it marks the second drink of an alcoholic beverage I’ve ever had.

I think that makes me an addict.

Actually, that makes me a double-addict; caffeine will always be my first and most beloved chemical dependency. Granted, I’ve not fallen into that miry cesspool as far as, say, espresso drinkers have, but I took a small tumble further in when, the other day, I purchased a tin of Ice Breakers® Energy™ Peppermint Mints with Caffeine. Ten milligrams of caffeine per mint, actually. By comparison, the twelve ounce can of Coca-Cola® to my right contains 34 milligrams.

What I find interesting is that the mints contain a warning that they are “Not recommended for children, pregnant women or people sensitive to caffeine.” I wonder why soda, which is consumed far more often than these mints are and in higher quantities, does not bear the warning?

The Hershey Company, maker of the mints, must care more than the Coca-Cola Company. Yep, that’s the only possible explanation.

And if you’ve ever wondered what the word “REXAM” refers to on a Coke can — it’s located near the bar code — they are a consumer packaging company.

And now you know.

Knowing Is Half the Battle
And Knowing Is Half the Battle

2 thoughts on “Pythagoras, GI*Joe, Coca-Cola, and the Flu”

  1. Just remember that you are closely related to someone who IS sensitive to caffeine. I found out in my late thirties, but in retrospect, symptoms were there around 30 years of age or so.

    How long has the link to Ron Paul’s web site been on your page??

  2. Yes, I know, Senior Buzzkill. :P In reality, I’m really not popping the mints every few minutes. I have maybe two a day, when I know my breath is offending.

    The Ron Paul image has been up for a day or two.

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