Originally created 12/02/05

Answers elusive as night sky signs



Judge a man by his questions and not by his logic.

- Voltaire

The first day of the last month dawned cold and dark and December. Overhead the new moon was nowhere to be seen.

My son, waiting for the car to warm up, pointed out the star patterns - Orion and the Big Dipper - which appeared upside down.

"A Big Dumper," he said.

The Greeks and Romans called it a bear, I told him. The British call it a plow.

He looked up some more then asked me, did everybody connect the stars to form the same patterns? Why didn't they, say, connect the constellations we know to parts of other constellations, connecting the dots in different ways?

I started to give him a clever answer involving deep thinker Karl Jung and his theory of collective unconsciousness and how all humans share some mysterious, yet unexplained mental understandings.

But that seems a stretch on a cold morning.

Some cultures probably did, I told him, but their ideas went away and we only remember our own.

I tried to sound knowledgeable, but I quickly got him in the car and headed to school, where I'm sure the professionals are awaiting his questions with more confidence.

l

WORD GAMES: James Hartman shares these observations

- Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

- A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything."

- Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted.

- A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

- Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says "Dam."

TODAY'S JOKE: Here's one from Everett Fernandez.

It seems a college student at a recent football game challenged a senior citizen sitting next to him, saying it was impossible for their generation to understand his.

"You grew up in a different world," the student said, loud enough for everyone around them to hear.

"Today we have television, satellite positioning, jet planes, and space travel; men have walked on the moon; our spaceships have visited Mars; and we even have nuclear energy, electric and hydrogen cars, cell phones and computers with high-speed processing."

Taking advantage of a pause in the student's litany, the geezer said, "You're right. We didn't have these things when we were young, so we invented them, you little twit.

"What are you doing for the next generation?"