Thursday, March 19, 2015

Half and Half

Two halves make a whole – we all know that, but what is meant by the term?

It’s all in the context, you see. Take these four simple examples:

We (in the US at least) have just gone through the ordeal of suffering an interminable number of drunken fools falling about the place in celebration of St Patrick’s Day and claiming that because some great-great—or-maybe-not-so-great-grandfather of theirs left Ireland many moons (more on that later) ago, they are Irish!  I’m not so sure about that. I think one has to have more than 1/32nd part of Native American blood to legitimately call themselves ‘Native American’ and claim whatever benefits that may accrue. [Ask Elizabeth Warren – I’m sure she will know!   lol]    It irks me that ‘people’ (in this case that noun should equate to ‘ignoramuses’ (yes, that is the correct plural) associate Drunkenness with the Irish. I challenge ye all, ye feckers, to name another ethnic group or nationality that has a thriving ‘anti-alcohol’ organization. Ever hear of ‘The Pioneers'?

I’ll wager that those who have previously read my missives know that I have a tendency to digress. ‘Tis a ploy, so it is!

To be sure, we all know that a ‘Half and Half’ refers to that concoction that consists of half a pint of Harp lager topped with a half a pint of Guinness – as here:

Still on a fluid thought – they do ‘flow’, you know, there is a product (vegans and the lactose-intolerant turn your faces) that goes by that ‘Half and Half’ name too – a mixture (one would surmise) of 1 part milk and 1 part cream – frequently used in coffee or cooking:  

Whilst your minds are on eating, do you recall (if you were born before 1950 – and lived in the UK or Ireland, you may well say ‘Yes’ – else, more likely ‘No’) going to an Indo-Pak (some were ‘Indian’, some were ‘Pakistani’-owned, some were ‘bi’ – in the culinary sense, restaurant. If you saw ‘lamb’, but no beef’ on the menu, you were more likely in an ‘Indo’ establishment. The place I went for my very first curry was owned-operated by a nice man named ‘Hoq’ (maybe ‘Hoque’?) who took orders, cleaned tables, cooked, delivered the food to your table and collected the money – from those who hadn’t ‘dine a runner’!  Six years or so after that first curry, and three years after I left the UK for the USA, I returned to that 30’ by 30’ restaurant – on the day that the nation of Bangladesh was created. I never saw such excitement among so many (Eastern) Pakistanis * since they beat England in a Test Match (that’s a BIG cricket match) in England

* It’s now crime in the UK - thanks to PC tw*ts - to say the abbreviation (drop the last 5 letters of that word) that once was as common (and used endearingly and never as demeaning) as ‘Brit’, ‘Paddy’, ‘Jock’ or Taffy’ still is.    

There was that digression thing again – did you notice? 

The point is, that it was (in the ‘50s and ‘60s) commonplace in such ‘Indo-Pak’ restaurants to order ‘Half and half’ – meaning a half order of chips (the sliced, fried potato finger that Yanks call, ‘fries’) and a half order of boiled rice – instead of a full order of one or the other. For some obscure reason, sometime (maybe in the ‘80s?), restaurants stopped serving ‘half and half’. Clearly, even a pair of ‘dumb as a box of rocks’ diners could figure out that if one ordered chips and the other ordered rice, the ‘mystical-minds or nattering nabobs of negativism of the sub-continent’ would be thwarted in their intended prohibition of the dreaded ‘half and half’.  Well, it can rarely be obtained now – except by such chicanery - so take a long look into the past:

Now that you have all been sufficiently (and tangentially) lead astray from the REAL point of this blog, let me help you ‘see the light’ – or at least HALF of it – or maybe ALL of it – for HALF of the day!

Friday, March 20th, 2015 will be the First Day of Spring, also known as the ‘Spring (or Vernal) Equinox’. You are now free to immerse yourselves in the mind-boggling facts associated with this celestial event, which has additional lunar (see, I told you I’d come back to the ‘moon’ thing) facets this year. Delve into each of these links, but bookmark this page to return to the others.

I’ll start with two ‘prominent media’ links; first this, which addresses (not a HALF and HALF – though that DOES make a whole!) but a total eclipse of the sun:

Next, another that addresses three celestial events: Three celestial events

And finally, my ‘Equinox Blog’ from 2014. 


Saturday, March 14, 2015



Whilst my friends in the UK may note that today is March 14th, the significance of that date may be lost on them:

In the USA, we (somewhat illogically) type our dates in the MM/DD/YYYY format - unlike the UK where they do it in a logical ascending-unit format: - DD/MM/YYYY - and in continental Europe where they do it in a descending-unit format: -  YYYY/MM/DD. Christmas Day this year will be 12/25/2015 in the USA, 25/12/2015 in the UK and 2015/12/25 in Continental Europe - whereas in Muslim countries, it will be . . . Friday!     

OK, ignoring the YYYY (one more Y than Tom Jones inquired of Delilah), unless you live in the UK (or Ireland), you will recognize (and you need not even be a Roman to do so) that March 14th is not only one day before the Ides of March, but is also Pi day

Yes - today is the 3rd Month, 14th day - so: 3.14 (you may forget the rest of it!) - so:

Regarding 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510, where will you be, in this 3rd month, on its 14th day of the 15th year of the century, at 9:26:53.5 am?  

But, what is Pi Day?  The answer is just a click away.

In school, I was always taught to use 22 / 7 as a good enough approximation of Pi.  

If you really want to spend eternity doing so, you can calculate the value of Pi here.   

If not, just look here and have some fun with Pi.  

Or else, just enjoy a slice of this: