Friday, April 20, 2012

More Fun From Dave LeSueur!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


In the world of science, there is some good news and some bad news. Let's start with the bad news.

According to a study in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, giant, advanced and dangerous dinosaurs may be the dominant life form that has evolved on other planets. The study said that man dominates earth only because dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid hitting the earth 60 million years ago. "We would be better off not meeting these dinosaurs." reads the conclusion of the report.

Yikes!! Dinosaurs from Outer Space?

As if we didn't have enough to worry about - like a nuclear Iran, our national debt and whether the Cubs will ever win the World Series again - scientists warn of a possible invasion of dinosaurs from Outer Space! I have only been able to sleep at night by reassuring myself that the dinosaurs may not be dangerous. We would just have to look for signs that would indicate whether they had come in peace or meant to destroy us. For example, if their spaceships had the "peace sign" painted on them, or the dinosaurs wore hippie beads around their necks and flowers behind their ears, we probably would have nothing to fear. But if they seemed upset seeing dinosaur bones in our museums, were wearing green berets or carried a book titled "How to Serve Man" (like the Twilight Zone episode where the aliens had such a book that turned out to be a cookbook), that would be a bad sign.

Let's get to the good news.

A few months ago, scientists announced that some tiny particles called neutrinos had traveled faster than the speed of light, a result that contradicts Einstein's Theory of Relativity. According to Einstein's theory, if an object travels faster than the speed of light, it travels backward in time. When I read this report I lost sleep for several weeks. Everything I had always believed about the Universe was a lie!

The good news is that the result turned out to be false. Order has been restored.

What went wrong? Physicists built a research facility in Switzerland in order to shoot neutrinos in one direction of a 17-mile circular tube and protons in the other direction. They hope the ensuing collisions will create a never-before-seen particle which scientists have dubbed "The God Particle." The ACLU objected to this name, citing the separation of Church and State. As a result, in the United States this particle is nicknamed "The Holiday Particle."

But I digress.

The search for the God Particle is not scheduled to start until 2014, so scientists there were looking for something to do. One of them said, "Hey! Why don't we send some neutrinos 450 miles through the earth to another facility in Italy and see how long it takes!" In performing this test, scientists discovered that some neutrinos arrived before they left (admittedly by only 60 nanoseconds, but still . . . )!!! This could only happen if the neutrinos travelled faster than the speed of light - a startling result.

It turns out that the experimental results were wrong. Spokesman Antonio Ereditato explained that they have "identified two issues that could significantly affect the reported result." The first problem was a faulty connection in one of the cables. The second problem was an error in providing the correct synchronized timestamps. These explanations are kind of mysterious, so I found an anonymous source who told me what really happened.

The cable problem occurred in Switzerland. When they built the 17-mile track, they bought cables that were 6 feet too short. They sent an intern to the Swiss equivalent of Best Buy. He knew the project was over-budget so he saved money by buying some cheap cables. "Needless to say," said my source, "he should have bought Monster Cables.

The timing problem occurred in Italy. The time elapsed from when the neutrinos left Switzerland and when they arrived in Italy was measured by two guys with stopwatches. The Swiss scientist pushed his watch when the particles were sent, and the Italian scientist pushed his stopwatch when the particles arrived. Apparently the Italian guy had been drinking before he came to work so his reflexes were a little off.

I have slept better since finding out it is still true that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. And I was just beginning to not worry about alien dinosaurs. But as I write this, I am having a more frightening thought. What if super-intelligent dinosaurs find a way to travel faster than the speed of light? Then we have to worry about being invaded by giant dinosaurs from Outer Space FROM THE FUTURE!

Double yikes!!

David LeSueur lives in Littleton, Colorado with his wife Mary. In case anyone from another planet is reading this, they LOVE dinosaurs.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

More Fun by Alumni Humorist, Dave LeSueur

Monday, April 09, 2012


Recently an online British newspaper headline caught my eye. It read "Women Gossip For Five Hours Per Day, Claims Study!" The study seemed legitimate but I am very careful to fact check these things before I write about them. My process is two-fold. First I check with Wikipedia. If that doesn't satisfy me, then I ask this guy, Ted, who lives down the street because he seems to know a lot of stuff. Wikipedia said nothing about how much women gossip each day, so I asked Ted and he said five hours sounded about right.

So I am running with this story.

The article doesn't say how the data was gathered. I doubt that researchers followed 1200 women around for a week, recording how much each woman talked each day, how much could be classified as "gossip", and what subjects she gossiped about. It is more likely the study asked women to guess what their personal experience was.
What is gossiping exactly and is it really such a bad thing? Fortunately we can find the answer in one of the books of the Apocrypha (these are holy writings which are not included in the Bible because we are not sure of their authenticity).The Book of Sins states clearly that gossiping is a sin and describes in detail what it is. Here is the relevant scripture verse in The Book of Sins 146:23:

Thou shalt not gossip. He who gossipeth doth commit a sin. Thou shalt not criticize a man or woman, neither their manservant nor theirmaidservant nor their cow nor their gerbil. Speak not ill of another's character nor his hair or lack thereof; neither criticize another's national origin or double chin. Nevertheless, if thou endeth thy rant with the phrase "Bless his heart" it shall not be counteth against thee as a sin.

In other words, we can gossip all we want about someone and it is not a sin if we end with "Bless his (or her) heart." A few verses later it says that if we are gossiping about a deceased person we have to say "may he (or she) rest in peace."

The survey also asked women what they gossiped about the most and the article listed the top 20 subjects. To men, the fact that women could find 20 subjects to talk about is as surprising as gossiping five hours per day. Men could never talk about 20 topics in a day unless you count each NFL team as a separate subject.
Not surprisingly, shopping was the #1 topic, and diet and exercise were 2nd. "Holidays" were 3rd (I asked Ted and he said he thought that meant "Vacations" in Great Britain). The 4th most common topic was "What they would do with a lottery win." I was surprised this was so high on the list, but as I write this, a woman in Maryland claims to have had a lottery ticket worth $200 million. She says she hid it in a McDonald's where she works and can't find it. I am sure many Americans are now gossiping about what an airhead she is (bless her heart) and what they would do with the money if they found the winning ticket in a Big Mac.

In general, women are more interested in talking while men prefer doing things, so a similar study would probably find that men gossip a lot fewer than 5 hours a day. However, there is a saying that "All generalizations are false," so there are surely some men who gossip more than some women. Actually, that saying has always bothered me because, if it is true, then isn't it also false? I asked Ted about this and he said he would think about it and get back to me.

David LeSueur lives in Littleton, Colorado. If you have any questions for Ted email me and I will pass them on. Allow a few months for the answer because Ted has not been very dependable lately. Bless his heart.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mark Littleton '67 and Sons @ Angels/Dodgers Game

Snagged this great Facebook pic of Mark with his sons, Micah and Mark Jr.

Mark went to Muir with us and then moved, graduating from Estancia High in Costa Mesa in 1967.

Mark wrote:
"We had a great time. Laughing at Juniors antics and cheering on the Dodgers. This was one of the annual pre-season exhibition games the Dodgers play with the Anaheim (L.A.) Angels (The Freeway Series). Dodgers won tonight but lost the 3 game series winning only one of the three games. As you know Dodgers are National League and Angels American League. They won't meet each other again this year unless it’s in the World Series. My first Dodger game was back in 1958/59 just after the then Brooklyn Dodgers came to L.A. It was at the Coliseum pre Chaves Ravine ( ) They had to chain link fence off the outfield. Good clean wholesome fun."

Dignity Memorial

Linda Mustion, BHS '67 (from Facebook)

Replica of Vietnam Wall arrives at Rose Hills

A motorcycle escort comprised of 70 riders (including veterans groups, the Patriot Guard, and members of the community), cars and a secondary semi-trailer, lead a semi-trailer transporting the Dignity Memorial® Vietnam Wall at Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary in Whittier on Thursday March 22, 2012. The Dignity Memorial® Vietnam Wall, a three-quarter-scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Keith Durflinger/Staff Photographer)

WHITTIER - The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall, a three-quarter-scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., arrived at 2:05 p.m. today at Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary, 3888 Workman Mill Road, for a weeklong public event.

It was escorted by a motorcade of 70 veterans and other riders from motorcycle clubs.

It was followed by a Purple Heart Ceremony.

The wall will be open for viewing beginning Friday and continuing through March 30. The opening ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, beginning with a prelude concert at 6:30 p.m.

The replica - 8 feet tall and 240 feet long - will be open to the public 24 hours a day. The replica is inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 servicemen and women who died or went missing in Vietnam.

Paper and pencils will be provided so visitors can make rubbings of names etched on the wall.

A display of Vietnam-era vehicles will be on hand, and "Taps" will be performed daily around sunset following a blessing at the Wall.

A veteran's resource fair will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The fair will feature nearly 50 organizations and businesses that provide services to veterans.

American War Mothers, Whittier Chapter 6, will be hosting a booth from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

A candlelight vigil for prisoners of war and personnel missing in action will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, call 562-699-0921.

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