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Ask the Dogfish - 07/1/2002
In an attempt to increase the frequency of updates to the site, we are adding yet another freaking blog. I don't know why we think this will increase the frequency of updates to site - we have at least three of the things anyway, and they are updated just about as often as Boston wins the World Series. But we try. Ask The Fish will now be done blog style, with new entries getting posted as soon as they are answered. Expect the same quality of advice that you have come to expect (from what is either a 800 lb halibut with a highly defined sense of irony, or one of four uber-geeks with nothing better to do on a Saturday night).

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    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Is there any way I can sell my body? I mean, for use after my demise, not while I'm still using it. They would ideally pay me now and then collect after I cash in my chips.
    -Need The Money Now

    Dear Need,
    Sorry. That kind of thing is strictly prohibited.
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    What is Yahoo's website?
    -Matt

    Dear Matt,
    I'm not even going to dignify that with a response.
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    If dogs have such an acute sense of smell, how can they go around sniffing each other's butts?
    -Skeeter

    Dear Skeeter,
    Because a dogs ass smells like cinnamon and fresh baked bread. Don't take my word for it - take a whiff yourself.
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    What can we know?
    -Andy

    Dear Andy,
    Well Andy - I think in order to answer the question, we first need to contemplate the concept of knowledge. As any student of the philisophy of knowledge can tell you, there are three requirements for knowledge. The requirements to "know" some thing A are:

  • You must believe A.
  • A must be true.
  • You must have sufficient reasoning for your belief that A is true.
    The first two requirements are fairly straightforward. One certainly can't logically say I know A and yet believe not A (I do take some issue with this: I know that the movie Slugs was a complete piece of dreck, but I believe that it's a horror classic. We'll save this for a footnote). The fact that A must be true is also easily acceptable; we can not know A if not A. So far, the class of things that we can know is restricted to those things that are true (cutting out uncountable infinities of things at one stroke!) and those things that we believe.
    (Note that requirement for belief also puts down a restriction: To know A is to be able to make a conception of it in ones head solid enough to ground belief. We must comprend something, at least somewhat, in order to know it. This explains why I will never know if Finnegans Wake is a good book or not, since I cannot comprehend it even enough to believe it's existance.
    Finally, we must have sufficient reasoning for our belief that A. It's this last step that is the most important, really; it makes the grand leap from belief to knowledge. It's also the step which is the most malleable to discussion: Who decides where the bar for reasoning is? How comprehensibly must I be able to argue my belief in order for it to be classified as knowledge? This question (as yet unanswered) is the crux of the solution to your question. In my opinion, we can only truly know those things which are *provably* true (like Modus Ponens, or the fact that Natalie Portman is a hotty). Of course, we also know that it has been proven that you can only prove something in a particular framework and rule set, which I'm sure has some effect on the class definition we are looking for right now, but I'm too hungry to puzzle it out.
    -ATF
    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    How come they call them apartments when they are stuck together.
    -hsiF eht ksA

    Dear hsiF,
    Did you get that question from one of those chain letters full of remarks about driving on parkways and parking on driveways? That's exactly the kind of rubbish we aim to dismiss with Myths Exposed. An egg yolk is separate from the albumen but they are both in the same shell, right? They are in one building, yet apart from one another.
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Why do I wear a sane sticker on my shirt?
    -Nut house escapee

    Dear Nut,
    To spite the guy next to you wearing that "I'm with stupid" t-shirt.
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Just how many licks DOES it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?! Darn that stupid owl on the commercials! It doesn't take three freaking licks!!!
    -Tongue tired

    Dear Tongue,
    Hmmm... That exactly the dumb kind of thing you'd expect to appear on an All Too Flat pages. But fortunately for our tongues, the work has been extensively studied. Read about the experiements at the Tootsie Roll Website. The estimate it takes between 144 and 411 licks. More of an order of magnitude estimate, really.
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    my boyfriend and i are very in love but we're not the right age to get married. We both want to get married.Should we get married when we come fo age? or is it too soon?
    -Cam's girl

    Dear Cam's,
    Yes, you should get married when you come of age. It is too soon right now. Even though you provided me with no useful information. According to Heinz, the best things come to those who wait. Patience is a virtue. Huge?
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Where does mayonaise come from?
    -Condiment Lover

    Dear Condiment,
    I hate to be a prick, but could you please refrain from ending your questions in prepositions? Thanks. As for your question, mayonnaise comes from Englewood Cliffs, NY, the home of Bestfoods, which owns Hellman's corporation. Feel free to give them a call at 1-800-338-8831.
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Have you ever stuck yourself into a paper shredder?
    -Scared of office supplies

    Dear Scared,
    Arrrrgh! Once:

    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Do you like to eat seafood?
    -Hungry for fish

    Dear Hungry,
    All I know is that I don't like to see my girlfriend come out of me as poop.
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    If coffee is an acid and milk is a base, how come when I put creamer in my coffee I don't get water plus salt?
    -Ben at Bloomberg

    Dear Ben,
    With that logic, you shouldn't have made coffee in this first place- dripping water onto an acid is a chem class taboo! BOOOOOM!!!!!
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    If an astronaut farts, does he/she start floating away from his/her posterior?
    -efferverscent ken

    Dear efferverscent,
    To be presice, the posterior is going to move along with the entire astronaut, but yes (No pun intended)
    Actually, now that I think a little bit about it, it's a little worse than thay: The location of projection isn't going to be at the astromauts center of mass, which means that it isn't going to just project him forward, it's going to spin him in circles as well. And you thought bubbles in the pool was embarrassing!
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    How do the people in the desert avoid starving to death?
    -Bouncin' Bobby B.

    Dear Bouncin',
    Add an "s."
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    How come you post answers to stupid questions like "I would like a Club sandwich" and you never answer any of my questions, most of which involve Freddy Garcia?
    -Big Ben

    Dear Big,
    I think you answered your own question there, smart guy.
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Is it possible to have different versions of Windows on a hard drive (partitioned) and have a choice of which one you want to use when you boot up? By different versions of Windows, I mean Win 98 in English, Japanese and Spanish.
    -Spoon

    Dear Spoon,
    Yes it is. The easiest way to go about doing it is by creating a number of logical partitions on your hard drive (using the format and fdisk commands from a command prompt. Not for the faint of heart, but detailed instructions are available on the net), and then using a system manager (such as System Commander to choose between these partitions and the operating systems you will install thereon. Good system mangers will walk you through the entire process, and make it relatively painless. If you don't want to format, check out a useful program called Partition Magic, that does on the fly partitioning. Finally, why would you want to run Win98? I shouldn't talk, I just installed it for my mom, but really? That was (arguably) 3 versions of windows ago. Have you considered Linux?
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Is it time to buy or sell stocks?
    -Pensacola Pete

    Dear Pensacola,
    Are those your only options? My advice is to wait. Markets haven't finished dropping yet, so don't rush to buy, but be ready because things will turn around soon. Speaking of stocks, did you guys know that Warren Buffet is different than Jimmy Buffet? I just learned that. Finally, during this tumultous time, you might want to consider investing in commodities. Gold has performed wonderfully over that past few months, and look for some explosive growth in the pork bellies market coming soon!
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Every time it gets hot and you're in a place with no air conditioning, you'll see someone fanning him or herself with a piece of paper, and inevitably someone will say that you're better off not fanning yourself because whatever decrease in temperature you gain from the miniscule breeze is offset by the increase in your own temperature from expending the energy necessary to move the fan. Is that really true, or is this just two buckets of bullshit?
    -Hat on a Cot Rin Toof

    Dear Hat,
    Sweat cools by evaporation. The heat energy required to turn the sweat into water vapor is released from the air and the skin, leaving them cooler. Then, as air circulates around you, the moist air next to the skin is replaced, and the new air can absorb more moisture from the sweat.
    "If you're not moving air over your body, sweating doesn't do much good," Pressley says. That's why fanning yourself works -- and why sweating doesn't do as much good in humid weather, because the surrounding air is already full of moisture.
    Source: http://www.usatoday.com/weather/health/wsweat.htm

    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Was soll ich heute abend machen
    -Kai

    Dear Kai,
    Ich stelle, daß dieses ein wenig spätes ist, gefalle so verzeihe mir fest. Ich schlage Huhn Caruso vor. Es ist ein einfaches, dennoch füllendes cassarole. Kochen Sie herauf ein lbs Winkelstückmakkaroni mit irgendeinem Rindfleischboullion. Dann mischen Sie die gekochten Teigwaren mit dem Rauminhalt berechneten Huhn (gekocht), den grünen Erbsen, zerrissenem amerikanischem Käse und zwei Scheiben Speck. Setzen Sie sich in den Ofen auf niedrige 350 unter eine Stunde lang. Yummy (zwar decidely nicht rein).
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Don't you get tired of answering everyone's questions?
    -Very bored

    Dear Very,
    Not when they are as witty as yours!
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Is it okay for guys to wear capri pants?
    -Mr. Migglesduck

    Dear Mr.,
    It's absolutely okay, in the whole "behind closed door" kind of way. Is it fashionably acceptable? That's a tougher question. I think it's fine. Probably looks fairly chic. But then again, if everyone took fashion advice from the fish, we'd have a bunch of women having sex in gold toed socks. (Note: if you thought that was funny on more than one level, you've been reading WAY too much Ask the Fish!)
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Hey Fish!
    I have a big task, one that will make the ;-( question seem more challenging…
    It goes a little like this. I found a nice alcohol called Chartreuse. It’s 55% alcohol made by the monks in 1800’s. They made the liquor out of 130 herbs and plants. Now here is the question. Where can I get the full list of the 130 herbs and plants used in the green chartreuse?
    Take into account, all the websites of this fantastic stuff do not say what the 130 herbs are! I would like to know. Can you help?
    -Joe

    Dear Joe,
    The liquor is made (no kidding around here) by three monks who live in a monastery in France, which has been declared a national monument by the French government. Each of the monks holds two-thirds of the recipe for the nectar, and leave their cells for short periods of time only to brew it (and the occasional game of bocce, I understand).
    Good little bit of information, no? All true (except the bocce bit).
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    A fish by any other name would smell as sweet. Where I come from a flat fish is called a flounder. The picture on your site looks an aweful lot like a flounder. However, it is clearly a(n) halibut. Flounder are salt water fish that swim along the bottom and have two eyes on the same side of their faces, in case you didn't know. Are these two different types of fish, like the blue footed boobie is different from the masked boobie? Or is it possible that they are the same thing and are just given different names depending upon who you ask? On a side note, I remember fishing for flounder with my father when I was little and we got to talking about the reason flounder swim sideways along the bottom instead of swimming upright like other fish. He said that flounder minnow, like mullet minnow or mudfish minnow, swim upright and have eyes on each side of their heads, but when they grow up they start swimming sideways and the eye moves from one side of their head to the other. Is this true?
    -2Drunk2Fish

    Dear 2Drunk2Fish,
    You're half right. A flounder, also known as a fluke, is definitely a flat fish. Here's the problem: All flounders are flat fish, but not all flat fish are flounders. (for more information on partially converting universal affirmatives, please see last week's Ask the Fish). Halibut are certainly another type of flat fish.
    An no, they look nothing alike, as seen in figures 1a and 1b:
    Flounder
    Halibut

    And yes, the eye does move from one side fo the head to the other. Weird!
    -ATF

    06 Oct 2002



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