May 11, 2021

Column: “That Got Me to Thinkin’…?” Two Wise Women

5/3/2021

“That Got Me To Thinkin’…?” “Two Wise Women” Chapter 46
By Bruce Williams

Bruce Williams

Out of the blue recently my friend Alan Ruud asked my opinion on several existential questions regarding the creation and meaning of existence.  My concise answer was as follows: “I think the universe is littered with life, in many forms that we can’t even imagine.  I see intelligent design in the simplicity of the equations that rule the cosmos.  I wonder about what existed before the Big Bang, and where all the materials therein came from.  Ultimately, I’m at peace within the not-knowing, and fascinated by the ever unfolding science.”  After that bit of baloney, I decided to ask the two resident experts located conveniently on my phone—the lovely ladies Alexa and Siri.  Here’s what they came up with—if the answers sometimes seem a little bit off, trust that I posited the questions repeatedly, ever-further carefully enunciating each syllable until I made a complete ass of myself.  The answers given must stand, as-is.

Does God exist?

Alexa—People all have their own views on religion.

Siri—It’s all a mystery to me.

Is there life in the universe?

Alexa—So far there has been no proof that alien life exists, but the universe is a very big place.

Siri—From mit.edu: Whether life exists elsewhere in the universe is a long-standing mystery.

Why are we here?

Alexa—Everyone has their own views on that question.

Siri—I’m not sure I understand.

Why are dogs so awesome?

Alexa—According to wilwheaton.net: Dogs are so dear to us because we can have deep relationships with them.

Siri—Okay, I found this on the web for “Why are dogs so awesome?”—check it out:

25 Reasons Dogs Are The Best Pets on Earth care.com

Why Dogs and Humans Love Each Other So Much time.com

What makes dogs so special and successful washingtonpost.com

Why do farts stink?

Alexa—Flatulence, also called fart or flautus, is caused by intestinal gas, which is either swallowed with food, or created during digestion.  This gas is composed of gases like methane, which are normally odorless, but the presence of gases like sulfur can contribute to the odor.

Siri—During digestion, gut bacteria produce sulfur-containing compounds like hydrogen sulfide that create a stench in your gas, Dr. Raymond notes.  The foods you eat can influence the population of bacteria that live in your colon, which then affects your farts, explains Frederick Gandolfo, MD, a gastroenterologist at Precision Digestive Care in Huntington, New York.  “Certain people have a certain type of flora inside of them that causes them to produce more gas or smellier gas,” he says.

How long will I live?

Alexa—Here’s something I found on Reference.com: The average lifespan for a hippo in the wild is approximately 40 years.  Hippos are herbivores that weigh from 3,000-9,920 pounds as adults.  Wild adult hippos consume approximately 80 pounds of grass each night.

Siri—I’m not sure I understand.

Why won’t kids eat vegetables?

Alexa—According to Daycare.org: Kids won’t eat vegetables just because they’re good for them.

Siri—Why you shouldn’t panic if your kid won’t eat vegetables todaysparent.com

Why Your Kids Won’t Eat Vegetables, and What You Can Do About It… psychologytoday.com

How to Get Your Child to Eat Vegetables without a… yourkidstable.com

Describe happiness.

Alexa—According to Wikipedia: The term happiness is used in the context of mental or emotional states, including positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.  It is also used in the context of life satisfaction, subjective well-being, eudaimonia, flourishing and well-being.

Siri—The term happiness is used in the context of mental or emotional states, including positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

What’s at the bottom of the Mariana Trench?

Alexa—According to an Alexa Answers contributor: Sand and some very rare sea creatures.

Siri—The lowest part of the Mariana Trench is called the Challenger Deep and it makes up the southernmost part of the trench.

What is reality?

Alexa—According to Wikipedia: Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary.  The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence.  In physical terms, reality is the totality of a system, known and unknown.

Siri—(Exact same answer)

Do we have free will?

Alexa—I don’t see a calendar set up—want me to send a link to your phone to set up your calendar?

Siri—I didn’t get that.  Could you try again?

What’s the perfect meal?

Alexa—The Perfect Meal is a 2011 drama starring Sabrina Bolin, Matt Pittenger, and Sam Sagheb.  It’s runtime is 0 hours and 11 minutes.

Siri—Create the perfect meal with this simple 5-step guide precisionnutrition.com

One-Week Healthy and Balanced Meal Plan Example verywellfit.com

Here’s What a Perfect Day of Eating Looks Like for Weight Loss prevention.com

Who’s the smartest person that ever lived?

Alexa—According to quora.com: Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe: He is probably the smartest person to have ever lived.

Siri—Meet William James Sidis: The Smartest Guy Ever? npr.org

The Story of the Smartest Man Who Ever Lived and Why You Haven’t… brightside.me

The Sad Tale of William James Sidis—The Smartest Man Who Ever… youtube.com

Describe humor.

Alexa—According to Wikipedia: Humor is the tendency of experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement.  The term derives from the humoral medicine of the ancient Greeks, which taught that the balance of fluids in the human body known as humours, controlled human health and emotion.  People of all ages and cultures respond to humor.

Siri—The tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement.

Why is yawning contagious?

Alexa—According to scientists, contagious yawning is a type of “echophenomenon”. This is a type of an automatic imitation that can happen in humans, chimpanzees, and dogs.

Siri—It is one of the most contagious, uncontrollable actions a body does.  There are many theories as to why people yawn.  One popular theory is that yawning helps your body bring in more oxygen.

When will the Mariners win the World Series?

Alexa—Last Thursday, April 22, the Seattle Mariners beat the Boston Red Sox 7-3.  First pitch was at 4:10 p.m.

Siri—2021 Seattle Mariners Schedule MLB cbssports.com

MLB Teams Yet to Win World Series Title mlb.com

2021 Seattle Mariners World Series, win total, pennant & division odds sportsbookwire.usatoday.com

I hope that clears everything up—apologies to all of your clergymen.

 

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