The Big Bang Theory

By Larry Teren

A literary and social critic not long ago wrote about Americans that we would rather read a book on how to write a book than try to write one. In other words, we tend to be more talk and less action. I have to admit that recently I took a handful of home study step-by-step courses on various programming languages. The learning curve was not that much because I was already very familiar with all the techniques being taught. It was just a matter of learning the specific syntax that those languages used to accomplish similar goals. But I was not doing much to make an effort to figure out how to profit by this extra knowledge.

Talk, no action is the mantra. We talk about losing weight but few of us actually do it. We get tired of the effort once we see that it requires commitment.

And how about that old Mark Twain (I think) observation that everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about. I keep the windows closed shut and adjust the thermostat control for either heat or cool depending on the season. But, I’m no climatologist.

Which brings up the point about the Big Bang Theory. bigbangtheoryNo, this is not about that popular television sitcom show. Instead, lets talk real science here. The short explanation is that some people- I haven’t taken a poll so I don’t know the percentages- believe that the world was accidentally created millions, if not billions, of years ago by some rocks, meteors and what-have-you colliding in space. The collision created the planet earth. Over time it evolved in its current form of animal, mineral and vegetable.

People- it’s called a theory. The last time I checked the dictionary, a theory usually means that a postulated idea is not written in stone or meteor. It is a possibility and someone has to prove it. Someone actually has to do something to show that what they want the rest of us to believe actually is true. Sir Issac Newton came up with three- count ’em, three- laws of motion. These are not theories but laws. We no longer say the theory of gravity, but the law of gravity.

alberteinsteinmarilynmonroeAlbert Einstein was a nice guy and possibly did meet Marilyn Monroe late in life but we still call it the Theory of Relativity and not the Law of Relativity. If you cannot prove it, it doesn’t count. If you can’t do it, then maybe you are better off reading about it and pretending that you are just as smart as the guy who can.

And if you cannot defend the brilliant thoughts that race through your mind, don’t go banging your head or whatever else against the wall. You’ll end up with some physical and mental damage. At least, that’s my theory.

Changing Times

Kids growing up nowadays marvel at the thought that there was a time when a person had to use a rotary dial to make a phone call. It sounds so quaint yet archaic. This is not that much different when we baby boomers looked in amazement during the early 1960’s watching The Andy Griffith Show. Sheriff Taylor would click a receiver to get Sarah’s (the operator) attention in order to put a call through

Today’s kids cannot believe that we could only choose among five or six channels to watch on television and that the tv set needed an aerial or sometimes a wire hanger to get half decent picture reception. Or that cars didn’t come with air-conditioning and a rear defogger or an on-board computer screen that helps you navigate where you were going. Part of the fun of going on a vacation trip used to be waiting for the motor club to send a map with the route laid out highlighted by a colored magic marker. In our family, one of us- usually me- would have the responsibility to hold onto the map and tell Dad ever so often how we were doing on course. (It was usually a ruse. He knew where he was going- it was just to keep me preoccupied)
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