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Ask The Fish - 07/6/2004
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 chapstick bad to use?
    -Anonymous in Antarctica

    Dear Anonymous,
    I suppose that really depends on what the use for which you're trying to use it. Lip softener and protector? Probably not so bad. Screwdriver? You may want to consider a different medium. Unless the chapstick is really old, and the screw really loose. Then you got a shot.
    -ATF

    24 Jul 2004



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    What's the funniest vegetable?
    -Sailor Bambi

    Dear Sailor,
    That's a tough question. And this is coming from someone who has done a lot of work in this field. But I'm going to have to go ahead and say:


    -ATF
    24 Jul 2004



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    can you put a beta fish in with an algae eater?
    -nate

    Dear nate,
    I mean, sure you can, but the second you do something like that, you are opening yourself up to an unstable aquatic system. I generally keep two seperate tanks - a development tank where I install my beta fish, and another tank where I keep my production fish. It's a little more work, but prevents a a serious disaster when everything goes wrong.
    -ATF

    24 Jul 2004



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    ok mr aquatic animal, i am very embarrased to say this, but i am a guy, 14, and one time i got my shorts, cut down the line and it made a skirt thing. well when i put it on ( i wear briefs ) It was soooooooooooooooo awesome, and i have 2 questions- 1) should i tell ppl about it and go outside wearing it? 2) Why dont they make guys skirt things? i wanna wear them around the place, but me is worried that i will get embarrased for life, HELP AAAAAAAAAA
    -Worried and NOT GAY

    Dear Worried,
    This is a tough area for me. On one hand, I like to think of myself as an open minded fish - I was a fierce objector to the FMA (Fish Marriage Amendment), support the First Amendment rights of all types of speech (and the equally important rights that state that your right to free speech ends at my front gate), and believe that frequent and honest exercises of personal expression are neccessary for personal and emotional growth as well as the sanity of us as a people.

    On the other hand, come on - guys in skirts? This leads to one of two things: Full on transvestism (which is cool, but it doesn't sound like it's your thing), or you're one of those smelly hippys who think they're proving their mental liberation from the establishment belief that "wearing skirts makes you look like a fool" (plus you can hide your bong up there). I'm not saying don't do it, I'm just saying: realize that we have to live with the consequences of our actions.

    As for why they don't make guy's skirt things - they do. They are called kilts, and girls pretend to think they're sexy until they have to go to the movies with the movies with a guy who's wearing one.
    -ATF

    24 Jul 2004



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Do you ever fantasize about carp?
    -Stewl

    Dear Stewl,
    That's disgusting! I'm a halibut, for god's sake, and carp is a completely different species! You ever fantasize about howler monkeys?
    -ATF

    24 Jul 2004



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    If a picture paints a thousand words, then why can't I paint you?
    -prohibited painter

    Dear prohibited,
    Because I'm a fish, and not a dictionary?
    -ATF

    24 Jul 2004



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    what in the world?!!! Do you realize your website was graded 9, (the highest score)in stupidity in 505 incredibly stupid webpages, number 499, 505 being the stupidest?well, do you?
    -snorin' at your site

    Dear snorin',
    What! This is a complete outrage! I mean, did the judges even read The Bible According To Cheese? If that doesn't tip the scales of the stupidometer, I don't know what does. Alltooflat deserves at least a. . . well, from your question, I can't really understand which direction we'd have to go to be stupider (more stupid?). But we totally deserve to go in that direction, whichever it be.
    -ATF

    24 Jul 2004



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Dear Ask the Fish,

    Although I hate cranberry juice, one night, I found myself thirsty and I had only water around, which tasted funny. Anyway, on the bottle it stated that the juice had 130% vitamin C. What the crap's up with that?
    -Hating Cranberry Juice but still Thirsty

    Dear Hating,
    I'll back that shit up. And another thing - why is it every time I drink a glass of cranberry juice, I feel an irresistable urge to say the phrase "It's good for the urinary tract." I mean, that's true, but why do I say it every time? When I eat a hearty salad, I generally don't feel the need to comment "Man, am I gonna poop firm tommorrow, or what?" It's just with cranberry juice. One of life's little mysteries, I guess.

    Also, I just reread your question, and the story part makes no sense at all. Your bottle of water stated that cranberry juice has 130% of your vitamin C RDA? Weirdest water bottle ever. Anyway, the 130% refers to a serving of cranberry juice having 130% of your Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin C (see this page for more information on your RDA for various other vitimins and minerals). RDA for Vitamin C is about 90 mg for men, so the amount in a serving of cranberry juice is probably about 117mg or so. I can make no judgements about cranapple juice, however.
    -ATF

    24 Jul 2004



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    How flat are you exactly?
    -Aye Kent-Spel fer Knuts

    Dear Aye,
    I'm so flat, when I turn sideways I disappear.

    I'm so flat, I whistle when a stiff breeze passes by.

    I'm so flat, they chose me for a website devoted to being TOO FLAT.

    I'm so flat. . . nope, I think that's all I got.
    -ATF

    24 Jul 2004



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Dear Fish-thing,

    I have a serious problem. Well, maybe not, but it is stressing me to no end. I'll be brief. I've been engaged for a little more than a year. Recently, a female friend sent me a letter that said she was head-over-heels in love with me. I was floored, becasue I really thought she was a lesbian, and never had any idea to the contrary until I got this letter.
    So I stall (like a Plymouth) and don't say anything to anyone about this, including my fiancee. Things were kind of uncomfortoble between me and my female friend for a few weeks, but I never mentioned the letter to her either.
    Now, this chick has hooked up with one of my other buddies (guy). They're like exclusively dating, etc. Now my fiancee wants to double date with them all of the time. I am extremely uncomfortable around both of them and it's making me come across as nervous and stilted.
    Did I screw up? Should I have said something to someone before? Should I tell this guy what's up? Or is it now too late to do anything?
    Should I just shut up and forget the whole incident?

    -Deadeye Dick

    Dear Deadeye,
    Well, you dropped the ball already when you ignored the original letter from the friend. Regardless of what your personal preference re: the outcome of the situation, you really have to meet these things head on. By ignoring it, what you've done is (a) made sure things would be uncomfortable for a long time, and (b) assured that there is no way you will be able to finagle a hot three-way with your female friend and your fiancee or (even better) your female friend and some anonymous stranger. So do yourself a favor and disabuse your self of that hope (and don't tell me it didn't cross your mind, because who are you fooling?).

    Should you tell the guy what's up? What do you mean, should you tell him that his girlfriend has had a crush on you in the past? Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. But be sure to phrase it like this: "Yo - your girlfriend, like, totally wants me. She said so." </sarcasm>

    Don't be an idiot. If you tend to err on the side of not feeling human emotions like "regret" and "guilt" (fish don't tend towards this sort of thing. The whole idea of 'spawning' is an inherently unromantic one, and doesn't lend itself to candlelit dinners or giving a tinkers cuss about my egg repository), you should tell your fiancee (you know, the woman you plan to marry) about the letter, and the fact that you feel uncomfortable spending time with your not-quite-a-lesbian lady-friend. If you don't think the future Mrs. Deadeye Dick will be the better off for knowing (which is generally what my intuition tells me, but what do I know?), keep your mouth shut about the entire thing. If you think you're too uncomfortable to hang out with them, take off your panties and be a man. The strong, silent type. Stiff upper lip, and all that.
    -ATF

    24 Jul 2004



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Will fish ever inherit the earth?
    -Frustrated Cod

    Dear Frustrated,
    Dude - 71% of the earth is already covered by ocean, and a recent study shows that the sun is getting hotter year by year. I give Ben, Ken, and Ton 3, maybe 4 more years until I'm the editor of this poor man's Cockeyed.com, and they're the hacks doing the grunt work and answering the phones. Call me a krill-smelling advice-monkey will they? I'll show them!

    Ummmmm... Sorry about that.
    -ATF

    24 Jul 2004



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Thanks to your great song, "Mathematical Pi", I know Pi to 29 decimal places. My question is this: how can I learn Pi ad infinitum?
    -Nick

    Dear Nick,
    First of all, I'd like to congratulate on your effort. It will serve you well in a future I'm sure will be full of precise calculation of the area of circles.

    As far as your query is concerned, I really think that's more of a philosophical question as opposed to one that just touches on the humdrum mechanics of rote learning. Let's for now take as given that the process of learning a large body of data is a simple one - this assumption we'll give ourselves. The interesting question comes when we posit whether or not it's indeed possible to hold an infinte amount of information (since pi isn't ever going to stop going out. A superficial examination of the question might suggest that the answer is "No, don't be a nitwit: The human brain (seat of cognition and memory, as proven by a host of experiments [ranging from the clinical to the gruesome]) is a finite object, with a (huge but) finite number of interconnections. Such a physically constrained object could not possible contain an infinite amount of data!"

    But frankly, I'm not sure I buy this argument. Sure, it has all the hallmarks of a winner (pseudo-scientific jargon, vague reference to questionable research, disrespectful and casual dismissal of your opponents side of the debate based on his being of obviously lower intelligence), but what about this, smart guy: A figure can be conceptualilzed and expressed mathematically that has a finite area (or volume) and yet an infinite area (or surface area). Could we not imagine a memory system that is fractal in nature, with data being encoded in the trace of an infinite coastline as opposed to the interconnections of the structure within (or at the very least imagine a information storage system that is in some way analagous to this type of structure)? Huh? Could we not?

    Of course, I have been hitting the bubble pipe a little too hard these days. Man, my fins are so real.
    -ATF

    24 Jul 2004



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    i just don't know how you make a homepage, can you help me?
    -thomas

    Dear thomas,
    Definitely not. If I had time to work on a web page, do you think this place would be in the state it's in now?
    -ATF

    24 Jul 2004



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    how does one who works at a small time pizza place get to be a mortician?

    Sincerely,
    Death Becomes You
    -Death Becomes You

    Dear Death,
    Well, I have a lot of friends whom are interested in breaking into occupational fields where the bar to entry is pretty high. Mind you, most of them are visual artists and writers, with the odd actor thrown in there every once in a while. But I can only imagine the situations are pretty muc analogous. Some of them have succeeded, and some have failed. Those that have succeeded have definitely had a few things in common, and I'll impart those attributes which, while they may not be sufficient, definitely seem to be neccessary to acheive success in tough-to-enter jobs:

  • Love your work. If appropriate, love it too much. Love it with a love boardering on the physical and obscene (in your particular case, you may want to keep your level of love away from the physical, as the ramp up to obscene is both quick and steep.
  • Only by constant practice will your art improve. If you are a writer - write, and do so constantly. Start a blog and/or keep endless journals. If a painter, never stop exploring your visual ideas. If your inner self is a mortician, keep performing gruesome and appaling acts of post-mortem surgery. This is how we develop as creators.
  • A lot of my friends find DIY-type work very rewarding. Seattle has it's strong self-published comics scene, guerrilla art from groups like The Madagascar Institute (who's "MI Goes Crazy Broadway Style" was simply sublime), and open mike nights are a great way to sharpen skills. My suggestion for you is find yourself some unused corpses, and go to!
    -ATF
    24 Jul 2004



    Dear Ask the Fish,
    Dear ATF,

    Where is the best place in my room to put a lava lamp. I was thinking on the table next to the telephone. What do you think? I asked jeeves the same question and he proceeded to supply me with great deals on hotel rooms.
    -Upsidedown Square

    Dear Upsidedown,
    Below the tapestry and next to the bong, hippy.
    -ATF

    24 Jul 2004



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