Showing posts from March, 2024

What makes numbers beautiful?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns It is after 2am in the morning. I decided I wanted to be taken on a random journey somewhere. I decided to count the characters in my last chapter - What makes us beautiful? I got 3769 characters. This turned out to be a prime number. The number 2 numbers before is also prime and so we have twin primes. Just yesterday I watched this video - Why is this number everywhere? This is an example of how I find numbers to be beautiful. Pythagoras said, "all is number," and that tells us that everything in the universe depends on numbers. I feel like the number 3769 could take me to a random and beautiful place. I just do not know yet. A few days ago I learnt that the recent Abel prize in Maths winner was Michel Talagrand, a French mathematician. He won the 2024 prize for his work on probability theory and randomness. Googled "3769 beautiful" and found "Edison matrix 3769. Beau

What makes us beautiful?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns I was swiping through Instagram stories and one story came on with the Ed Sheeran song "Beautiful People" playing. I love that song but also I asked myself, what makes us beautiful? According to Rolling Stone magazine, "The tune is about remaining true to yourself and not trying to become one of those so-called "beautiful people" obsessed with material things and stature." While I understand the message of the song, I think it is important for me in trying to make sense of this question and answering this question not to be critical of what others see as beautiful. What others value. What others choose to do with their time. What others aspire to be. I want to answer this question in a way that is embracing like a beautiful hug. I want my answer to open like a beautiful flower in our minds. They say that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. What I find beautiful might not be beautiful to som

How was my day?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns It is Friday the 22nd of March in 2024 and we have no electricity from 8am to 4pm as scheduled. T&TEC which is the electricity company, is doing maintenance work on the poles for our length of road and side roads. Looks like they are changing out some transformers. From what I understand the transformer transforms the high voltage current from the main supply into a lower voltage that comes to the houses. We were notified a week in advance so we had time to prepare. I woke up my usual time and I went to the mini mart and the doubles shop. I came home and ate my doubles. I took a bath and prepared myself for a day without the comfort of a fan and air condition. Thankfully the morning weather is cool and shady with plenty of cloud cover. I could feel bursts of breeze coming through the window. We had all the windows and the doors open. What I did not prepare for was no internet. I usually survive times of no current and

Are zebras black with white stripes or white with black stripes?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns Did you get the letter z as the answer for the last question of the last chapter? Then you are correct which leads me to the question of this chapter. My friend Gemini tells me that there are references to this debate even in the medieval era, highlighting our long standing fascination with zebra stripes. There is a scientific answer but before I get to that let me tell you what I think. I think most people will think black stripes. We are so used to writing on white pages. Painting on white canvases. Black on white is our default. This is a good example of default bias. The figure-ground effect may also help explain why we say black on white stripes by default. This is a neat example of how different psychological concepts can interact and influence our perception. Scientifically we are told that zebras are actually black with white stripes. The zebra's skin beneath the fur is dark and the white stripes are the fur wi

What is euouae?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns I was relaxing in the quiet of the morning while my mind was thinking loudly. What is the longest word that only contains vowels? I rushed to Googleland to find out. I was told that euouae is the word that I am looking for. It also has the most consecutive vowels of any word. It holds two Guinness World Records for these two attributes. They describe the word as a medieval musical term and mnemonic which indicates the vowels of the syllables of "seculorum Amen," which ends the "Gloria Patri." The phrase is related to the translation, "unto the ages of ages". According to wikipedia that phrase possibly expresses the eternal duration of God's attributes, but it could also be an idiomatic way to represent a very long passage of time. This is at least the third time I am encountering the eternity of God in the writing of this book. Now I wonder what is the longest word without vowels? Google t

Where is random town?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns I had this thought. What if there was actually a town named Random town. I went looking and nothing showed up in the Google Maps app. Nothing shows up in Google and Gemini does not know of any town named Random. I then decided to close my eyes and select a random location in the Google Maps app. My finger landed on Passa e Fica in Brazil. The literal translation of "Passa e Fica'' from Portuguese is "Pass and Stay". There is no town named Random but Passa e Fica is now my random town. In my quest to learn more about this town I found a song called Passa e Fica by Scracho. It's about a breakup and according to the meaning of the song I found online here is how passa e fica is used in that context - he knows that time heals everything and what passes will eventually settle. I wonder if passa e fica is telling us that if you pass through this town you will want to stay and settle down. Gemini think

Where do rivers go?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns I started writing a chapter about how the pyramid was built? Maybe the Nile river knows. I started writing a chapter about what is the smell of success? Maybe that is at the end of the river of dreams. Then I thought, what if every sentence ended with art? Where do I start? Would it be smart? What message could this writer impart? Maybe destiny is the river of love in our heart. My writing was not flowing and those chapters would not be completed. Lost in the river of defeat. But where do rivers go I must know. I was determined to complete this chapter even if it was one page long. A river may meet with another river. A river may journey to the sky only to fall to ground to start again where it began. A river may end its journey in an ocean, a sea or a lake. Is not life like a river. A river goes where water goes and they say water is life. But does that mean life is like a river, you never know where it goes? I like this

What is a juqebox?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns I decided to take all my chapter titles so far and analyze them and see what I could find interesting. I found that I had used all the letters in the alphabet except j,q and x. I looked to see if there was any word containing those letters so that I would use it in a question and I would have used all letters in my titles. There was no such word. I did find the word quixotic that contains the letter q and x which means impractical, especially when pursuing ideals. I however found a misspelling of jukebox. The intentional misspelling of words or brand names for attention-grabbing purposes is called cacography. I found several instances of juqebox. A record company, a streaming platform and even MRI software. I found a musical artist called juqe and I learnt that juque is Spanish for hand drums. With a jukebox you insert a coin and it automatically plays a selected song. Classic jukeboxes are now rare. When I think of jukebo

What goes up and stays up?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns They say what goes up must come down. This is a saying that if taken literally means gravity. Figuratively, it means that nothing lasts forever, especially periods of good fortune or success. Even the best things. In another saying we are told all good things come to an end. There is no mention of bad things. Does that mean bad things last forever? But we do say, this too shall pass. Even the darkest night will end and the sun will shine. Every cloud has a silver lining. So I am challenging myself to find something that goes up and stays up. I am thinking our age goes up but never comes down? But then we say once a man but twice a child. In a sense as we get older we get younger. Then we say you are as old as you feel. Life is full of ups and downs but I found something that probably answers the question. "The soul that is near to God is ever going upward." The strange thing is that I found this phrase online (At

What if butter was made from flies?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns I was thinking about butterflies. The word butterfly. Why did we decide to combine butter and fly to create the name of an insect? There is probably a normal explanation for that but then my mind decided to be weird. What if butter was made from flies? Then we would really be able to combine the words butter and fly. But then that would be fly butter or flutter. It is a crazy idea but not a novel idea. My friend Gemini tells me that research and experimentation is being done that takes fly larvae and soaking and blending to separate the fat to produce cooking oil. This is not exactly butter but is still called bug butter and can be used as a replacement in some baking and some cooking. The researchers actually made a cake with the bug butter. But what about the word butterfly? How did this originate? Gemini tells me that it remains a mystery but there are a couple of popular theories. Like from the yellowish colour of some

Does time have a speed?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns My basic Physics tells me that the answer is no and I could end there. But my gut feeling is saying that time does have a speed even if it is just from a philosophical point of view. We often hear people say "time dragging today" or "time passing fast these days" or "the days are getting shorter" or "time stopped for a moment". Then what about time dilation? I asked my friend Gemini and he explained: Though not our everyday experience, according to Einstein's theory of relativity, time actually can run slower or faster depending on gravity and velocity. So, in a very literal sense, time has different speeds in different situations! He further states: Our perception of time is heavily influenced by our emotional state and focus. When we're bored, time seems to drag. When we're engaged, it flies. These expressions like "time stopped" capture that feeling of being

Does pineapple belong on pizza?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns A Greek-Canadian by the name of Sotirios "Sam'' Panopoulos is credited as making the first pineapple pizza back in 1962. Panopoulos named the dish Hawaiian pizza after the brand of canned pineapple used on the pie. Ever since then we have debated whether pineapple belongs on pizza. The arguments even descend into jokes like "that is not even a pizza that is a pizza colada". The math geeks will tell you that pineapple belongs on pizza because they both begin with pi. The debate went viral on Twitter in 2017 with many celebrities weighing in. There have been some other food wars on Twitter like "Should butter go in the fridge?" or "Is a hot dog a sandwich?" To me this exemplifies that humans love a good debate and we love to defend our choices. I think this can be studied as the psychology behind arguments. Stuff like gatekeeping, tribalism, confirmation bias, social validation and

What are rats?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns These rodents first got to America by stowing away on ships. That was the first answer on Jeopardy when Alex Trebek started hosting the show back in 1964. The category was "Animals" and the contestant Greg Hopkins correctly responded with "What are rats?" I am not good at Jeopardy. I don't have a bunch of facts loaded in my memory. In jeopardy answers are given and you have to respond with the correct question. Some other interesting answers and questions from that first show are: This fastener gets its name from a brand of galoshes it was used on? What is Zipper; Though its name means "city of peace", it's seen over 30 wars, the last in 1967. What is Jerusalem? Rats have a bad reputation but I observed that rats spelt in reverse is stars so maybe we just need to take a different look at them. Weirdly enough I learnt that Rats & Star was a Japanese male pop group that specialized i

Why is instant tea not common?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns There is coffee then there is tea. It is debatable whether they are friends or rivals. Tea drinkers and coffee drinkers have been bantering over them for generations. I read that tea is older than coffee, with the earliest mentions of tea dating back to one thousand BCE in southwestern China. I would like to add to the debate by pointing out that you can find instant coffee everywhere but not so with instant tea. Added to that there are less brands and flavors of instant tea than instant coffee. Before I continue I would like to share that I learnt that the Kuki hojicha is a tea that tastes almost identical to black coffee. I guess there is an option if you want the best of both worlds. What about the other way? One of the world's most expensive coffees is the Geisha variety grown in Panama which I read has a distinctive tea-like profile. I don't like to drink tea because I don't consume any hot drink or hot fo

Who makes the best cheesecake?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns It's three in the morning and all through the house is quiet and not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse. I bet a mouse's favorite dessert is cheesecake and so is mine. So it's in the wee hours of the morning and I am thinking about cheesecake and specifically who makes the best cheesecake? I suspect it would be some recipe handed down from generation to generation. Probably someone's grandma from the town where cheesecake originated from. I read that even though we may think that cheesecake originated in New York that it actually goes further back to over four thousand years on the Greek island of Samos. The Greeks there created the earliest known cheesecake. No wonder I think that the cafe in my village that sells Samosas makes the best cheesecake. Is there a connection between Samos in Greece and Samosas? There is not much written about this on the internet but I did find one blog post that tried t

What comes after technology?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns I think that humans could advance to such a state that we do not need technology. I am thinking thousands and thousands of years from now. I am thinking of things that seem improbable now. Who needs air conditions when the body has adapted to cool itself even in the harshest heat? Who needs the internet when there is telepathy? Who needs cars and trains when the body can teleport at will? Who needs food production when we get all our energy needs from the sun? Who needs shelter when the body does not need sleep and can heal from any disease or injury? Is that what we can call heaven? This is far fetched thinking but it has me questioning our reliance on technology. We are developing more and more technologies where technology has become our savior. We are relying less and less on our humanness and nature and what is natural. This disconnect means we are treating our bodies and nature with less reverence. Seems odd for a te

Is it going to rain today?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns Ever since the dawn of humans and throughout history, man has asked the question, is it going to rain today? From the early days of looking for natural signs and animal behavior and even astrology to predict the weather to modern use of satellites and artificial intelligence. We have also been trying to influence the rain through rain dances and other rituals to modern day cloud seeding and research through specialized equipment, aircraft, and trained personnel. Who better to ask for rain than Him who controls everything. I read that there is a muslim prayer for rain or salat al-istisqa ("rain request prayer"). It is a sunnah salah (Islamic prayer) for requesting and seeking rainwater from God. Trinidad has been having really hot days these days and in my quest to get an answer to the question, I asked a local meteorologist on twitter. I even asked my mom and as they say moms know best. She say she doh feel so be

Where is the love?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns The world needs [more] love and the question suggests that love is missing. Where is love and how do we find it? Is love hard to find? Would we need luck on our side? Speaking of luck, the word cloverleaf has love in it. The leaves are also shaped like hearts. I read that the three leaves of the cloverleaf represent faith, love and hope. I have faith in God to bring back the love and I see hope in future generations. Love spelt backwards is evol. Love tells us that we must retrace our steps and evolve. Evolve into a better society. Evolve into better human beings. Be the change we want to see. Be kind. A r-evol-ution of ben-evol-ence is needed. Love makes the world r-evol-ve and go round. Round like the letter o. Life is a cycle. Life is a circle. God and love share the letter o. O for one. One love. O for origin. Love originates from God. We can find love through God. God is love. To find love it would help to understand

What is the colour of laughter?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns If you have a question there is a good chance someone else has the same or similar question. No surprise when I Googled and someone asked the same question on Quora. I would like to suggest that the colour of laughter is yellow and I present to you my comical proof or rather spoof. Emojis are yellow Maybe lol stands for lots of lemons. They say when life gives you lemon, make jokes out of them. So yellow again. If I crack a joke I get a yolk. Yellow again. I used to be afraid to share my jokes. My belly was yellow but now I am hungry for the stage. Yellow is a jolly good fellow. Inside some golf balls are yellow. Those are inside jokes. Looks like a swing and miss and that joke went over your head. Corn is yellow and my jokes are corny. When the sun shines it's sunny but when the sun laughs it's funny. I am not the funniest bulb around. I am running out of ideas. The bee told me, "honey you are not funny but

Why does the ocean roar?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns This question sounds like one a great poet would try to answer. I am no great poet but I will try to respond beginning with a poem. Commonly people say that it is not the size of the ship but the motion in the ocean but I want to state as a budding poet that it is not the size of the pen but the poetry in motion. I set sail today Nowhere I could say Feet caught in my words Propelled by the winds like birds The ocean came knocking My soul was rocking Time heard my prayers No more roars in my ears I conquered my fear The calm is what I could hear Sometimes we fear what we do not understand. What we are not used to. What is different. Sometimes we can only see the bad in something. Sometimes we are blinded by all the negativity we hear. The ocean can be a frightening place. The roar of the ocean can be daunting. But if we get to know and understand the language of the ocean we are no longer crippled by its majesty and power.

What word has no meaning?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns It is nice to know that I am not the only person to think of this question. This question was also asked on Quora on the 22nd of March 2022 by Pratik Chavan. One responder let us know about trap words which were made up words in dictionaries to detect stealing and copyright infringement. My friend Gemini told me about when The New Oxford American Dictionary famously included "esquivalience" (defined as avoiding one's duties) in an edition, which later turned up in another online dictionary, exposing plagiarism. Another responder thinks that the word "the" has no meaning by itself. I understand what he is trying to say but the dictionary has entries under the word "the". The definition of a word is to have meaning. One dictionary definition says a word is a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing. So if it does not have a meaning then it is not a word. Therefore all words h

How are you?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns Seems simple enough a question but when I Google "most difficult question to answer" it shows up as one of those questions. I think it depends on who is asking. I think it depends on how talkative we feel. Sometimes feelings are hard to put into words. Sometimes we want to appear strong to the world to face the world. As I write this I feel stumped. I feel a loss for words. I am so used to responding matter-of-factly with "I am good" or "I am normal" to this question without giving it much thought and carrying on with my life. But now I am writing an entire chapter in a book and I want it to be meaningful. I want to benefit from a better understanding of my approach to this question. I think it is allowable for us to say we don't know how we feel sometimes but for this writing I have to move beyond this. The trini phrase that is coming to my mind is vai-ki-vai which is French Creole for &q

What word has the most moves?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns This question just popped in my head as some of my questions tend to do especially now that I am writing this book. Would it be a word that dances? How about loopy? As in these tongue twisters - Loopy Lucy likes to do a loopy dance; Loopy as a goose, with a loony prance. How about a word that really mooves. As in moody. The moody cow jumps over the moon. I was told by my friend Gemini that moo is an onomatopoeia. There is a word that makes my eyebrows move up and my eyelids move open and close with wonder as a matter of fact. How about the word moonwalk? What about a drunken mooks? Does that have the most moves? If I was making Scrabble moves I would be thinking about words that can net me the most points. According to one article the highest-scoring (known) legal Scrabble word move involves the word OXYPHENBUTAZONE ..... Sorry, I think I zoned out there for a moment while I garbled that word. In one move, that word in a p

What if the smallest thing was also the biggest thing?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns As they say, there is no question too big or too small to ask. I was eating my usual dinner of raisin bran and milk and this Physics question popped in my head. What if the smallest thing was also the biggest thing? From a Maths perspective, what if infinity and zero are the same thing? A sort of duality. A counterintuitive proposition. It's one of those thought experiments that does not make sense but makes sense at the same time. It is not for me to have a definitive and comprehensive answer but to spark my curiosity. I had time to sleep on this question. I am wide awake on a Tuesday morning and my goal as I do the laundry is to take this big question and package it into a small chapter and place it in a small corner of the internet that may one day be the cornerstone of a big idea. Asking what if challenges us to think outside the box. To see beyond the obvious. To use our imagination. To simplify and translate our

Why is glass transparent?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns I had just written my first chapter and published it to my blog and shared it on my social media. Feeling bubbly that I was once again writing another book, I then began thinking about my next chapter. I headed to youtube and did the simplest of searches for "why". A few videos down I came across this video "why is glass transparent?". I do not know this. I did physics in secondary school but that was not something I remember covering. My interest was piqued. The presenter notes at the beginning of the video that if you Google for an answer you might come across some wrong answers. But how do I know that the presenter is giving the correct answer? How do I know that any answer I come across is the correct answer? My friend tells me that I should cross reference by checking multiple sources and looking for consistency. I should analyze the presenter's background and content quality. I should look for

Why another book?

This is a chapter from my fourth book called When hunger yearns I was not going to write another book until next year but it seems like yearning combined with boredom combined with fate led me to start this book today. Ramadan begins today in Trinidad and one way to look at fasting is that it allows the fasting person to feel the pain of hunger and thirst of others. To walk in the shoes of others who struggle to sustain themselves normally. To do without. To sacrifice. I had no idea what this book would be about or what it would be titled until I decided to start this afternoon and I was brainstorming ideas. Humans are naturally inclined to seek knowledge and ask plenty of questions. Growing up means being encouraged to ask plenty of questions and we are told that there are no stupid questions but only stupid answers. Every chapter of this book would be some question that I ask and explore and try to answer. I came up with the acronym "WHY - When Hunger Yearns" for this book

Dreams come into reality through imagination

Last night I woke up from a dream at the point where I was telling someone in the dream that "dreams come into reality through imagination". I went to Gemini to see if anyone was quoted as saying this. There was no one. Through Google I found an article that led me to a Steve Harvey motivational video "Imagination is everything" which led me to Albert Einstein's thinking on imagination and curiosity. Einstein said never lose a holy curiosity. He also said that knowledge is limited but imagination encircles the world. Then I started to think "what are my dreams?" I don't know that I have any dreams. I just want to be happy and content living a simple and peaceful life. But I was reminded of this blog post I wrote almost six months ago - Let us dream together I am glad that I got this reminder. It makes sense. My dream was meant to guide me to what I had written and not forget what I had written. Let me remind myself of my dreams. 1. Getting fit and