I sometimes wonder what happens to scientists who almost discover something. I mean that often several people are doing the same research and occasionally one of them hits the jackpot. But I wonder about that other guy who almost made the great discovery. I think I may be that guy.

Yesterday we were eating corn on the cob. Now I don’t recall ever being taught there was a correct way to do this so I assume nibbling the kernels off the cob is an intuitive thing. But I paused and happened to notice I was making my way along the corn by starting at the left and moving towards the right. A light went off as I thought that I also read that way. That is, I start at the left side and read across the page until I get to the right side and then I go back and repeat this.

I thought it might be a worthy project to look into this further and see how Jewish people eat corn inasmuch as I understand reading Hebrew requires you start at the right side and read towards the left. Surely this could stand investigating. Visions of a Nobel Prize, or at least a nomination, flashed through my mind.

But alas my hopes were quickly dashed when I looked across the table and noticed my domestic partner, who happens to be Chinese, was eating her corn the same way I was and everyone knows Chinese reading goes from top to bottom instead of side to side. I was forced to conclude my theory of the relationship between reading and eating corn on the cob needed more study.

I think there’s a song that goes “Maybe next time …”

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
July 12, 2007



I received a jolt the other day. I went to see our family doctor on a relatively minor matter and he saw my lower legs. My legs have a vein condition that makes my legs look much like a contour map of Colorado. The doc said, "I see you have Venus Disease."
Venus Disease?
I had never heard of that. So of course I went to the internet.
I brought up Google and typed in "venus". This is what came up

Egads! I had a disease that was going to grow breasts. To make things even worse, my arms would fall off and I wouldn't even be able to touch them. What a predicament. The guy in the picture obviously suffered from the same disease and he couldn't even pull his shirt up. I assumed that was because of the arms thing.

As I did more research I think the doctor meant veinous, that is pertaining to the vein. In other words I think the doctor should have said, "vay-nus" instead of "vee-nus" and scaring the hell outa me. Oh well, everyone can't be perfect. Only a few of us.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
July 3, 2007

PS After I wrote this I double checked and the word pertaining to veins is really "venous" and it is pronounced "vee-nus". So I guess what they say is true -- "nobody's perfect."
Not only that, but reading back I thought, "Who says "Egads" anymore?