Addressing deep philosophical issues

By Jack Sparacino
I (kind of) remember studying philosophy in college and not doing too badly for a teenager who wasn’t ready to be philosophizing (as opposed to just shooting the breeze).  Here are a few important issues we overlooked in my classes.
1.  There are lots of woodpeckers in the U.S., including some of the beautiful red headed variety in my neighborhood now.  Watching them work can give you a headache.  How can they POSSIBLY bang their head against a tree that hard and fast and not knock their brains out?   (Reminds me of some people in Washington lately.)
2. Peanuts are great.  Lots of uses, wonderful taste, and nutritious (if you’re not allergic).  But they’re not nuts, they’re legumes, so why do we keep calling them “nuts”?  Is it so we don’t have to use the icky phrase, “legume butter and jelly sandwich”?
3. The simple pleasures are not only often the best ones, they frequently provide best value for all.  Donating something others need.  Watching the sun come up on a perfect day.  Sharing a healthy snack with your dog (one of our dogs especially loves apples).  It just goes on and on.
4. If you can’t please your customers, you can’t run a successful business.  Simple truth, never changes.  So how come I often get gobbledygook from customer service representatives, usually working in another country, when I ask a question or make a request?
5. If flowers had a drag race, the winner would be sunflowers.  They can grow a couple of inches a day, it looks like.
6. Ever wonder how many flavors of ice cream have ever been tried?  Now I’m wondering how many more they have to go.
7. Who in the heck invented glue?
7a. Has anyone ever figured out exactly what would happen if we didn’t have a patent office?
8. How is it that I don’t get seasick easily on boats but roller coasters make me nauseous?
9. Exactly how many people can the Earth accommodate successfully?  Should the last person put up a sign that says “no vacancy”?
10.  It would be good to know precisely how many different critters (from herons to micro-organisms) can be found in the marsh.  Then the top five rules they need to follow to live harmoniously.
11.  Virtually every organism, animal and plant, is eaten somewhere by somebody.  Should the top 10 favorites be posted on-line or would that upset the balance of nature somehow?
OK, it’s lunch time.  Anybody have any peanut butter?


Jack Sparacino has a Ph.D. in psychology from The University of Chicago. He has published over 20 articles in refereed journals in psychology and medicine.  He is retired and now lives with his wife, Jane and their three dogs on St. Helena Island. His hobbies include fishing, clamming, crabbing, shrimping and writing.

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