It's no wonder I'm confused
Our world is plagued by confusion and contradiction, the vast majority being a consequence of irrational or competing viewpoints. Take, for instance, the concept of the weekend. As much of the traditional business world focuses on a five-day work week, that being Monday through Friday inclusive, the weekend, our time for rest, relaxation or family is Saturday and Sunday. Yet, when we look at the vast majority of calendars, Sunday is the first column and Saturday the last, suggesting Sunday is the first day of the week. If we were to rely on the numerous dictionary or encyclopaedic references, we would quickly discover that Saturday is the seventh day of the week and Sunday is the first. We would also discover that the seventh day is the Sabbath. Yet, for most Christian observations, Sunday is considered the day of worship. Ironically, "Sunday observance is nowhere authorized in the Bible". So what the hell's going on here? Did a Pope of early time lose a day after imbibing in too much sacraficial wine? Fortunately for those of us who require a modicum of rationality in our lives, there's the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an international standard-setting body which "promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards on a variety of things. (Yes I know. In a truly rational world ISO would be IOS. But I'd guess the folks at Apple might get a knot in their knickers over that.) Mercifully, I'll rely on the 8601 standard from the Organization that Transposes Letters in its Acronym and sleep better at night knowing that Monday is the first day of the week despite what my kitchen calendar says.
In case anyone's interested, the Hundred Years War lasted 116 years, beginning in 1337 and ending in 1453. When writing about the We Can't Count Years of War, historians generally refer to three seperate conflicts (the Edwardian Era War; the Caroline War; and the Lancastrian War. The term Hundred Years War was a term invented by historians "as a periodization to encompass all of these events" presumably, on a Sunday morning, after embibing in too much sacraficial wine on the Saturday evening Sabbath.
The October Revolution, officially known as the Great October Socialist Revolution, though sometimes referred to as Red October, the October Uprising, or the equally confounding Bolshevik Revolution, is best understood as an instrumental armed seizure of state power that took place in Russia during the First World War. As it occurred on 25 October 1917 of the Julian calendar, sometimes called the new-style calendar, it is celebrated on 7 November of the Gregorian calendar, sometimes called the old-style calendar. If you're following the bouncing ball, you'll recognize that the WTF Should We Call It Socialist Revolutionary Uprising started on two different days of the week, neither of them the sabbath, and that much vodka was consumed.
The Purple Finch, known to the scientific and ornithological community as Haemorhous purpureus, is a very easy bird to identify. About 15cm in length and weighing about 34g, the I'm Colour-blind Finch has a short forked brown tail and brown wings. Adult males have raspberry red colouring on their head, breast, back and rump and the females have light brown upper parts and white underparts. If the Purple Finches at your feeder are actually purple, you might want to get your eyes checked or lay off the red wine.
Colloquially known as the black box, an aircraft's flight recorder is an electronic device which records details of the aircraft's orientation and performance. It maintains critical information about the aircraft which becomes particularly important for investigative purposes in the event of an accident. For the record, flight recorders are orange, on every day of the week. If the only thing you see is black then you haven't survived the plane crash.
I have a modest suggestion. Given our propensity to introduce confusion into our lives with no apparent reliance on rationality, why don't we through caution to the wind and go hogwild? Microsoft seems to have already embraced this philosophy with their soon to be released Windows 10, which follows predecessors Windows 7 and Windows 8. When someone asks for your phone number, write down 11 digits, not 10. If they're puzzled just tell them the last number is silent... sort of like the letter "k" in knight.
I was speaking to a friend of mine yesterday who, having already gone through chemotherapy, must now undergo a regiment of radiation sessions. She indicated to me that the oncologist has expressed the view that she may experience degrees of memory loss as a consequence of the radiation treatments. Now THAT'S what I call introducing man-made confusion. (I can't help but wonder if, two hundred years from now, the treatments we consider modern are then viewed as barbaric. As I'm a firm believer that humour is a mechanism we use to make difficult conversations more palatable, I offered to go over to her house while she's undergoing her next radiation session and hang a Wonder Woman costume in her bedroom closet. "It's the very least I can do" I told her, and I'd hope that in the event I ever have to endure such an invasive procedure and experience memory loss that one of my friends would extend the same courtesy to me.
Oh no wait... on second thought... make mine a Spiderman costume.
Submitted by Jeff Dubois, 31 January 2015