I saw this headline FART SMELLS HAVE HEALTH BENEFITS and thought, “Great. More money spent on ‘scientific’ research — research that helps no one.” And then I read the article. I was wrong about this research, in that it may actually serve a purpose — a purpose that could benefit humankind.
The article didn’t indicate how these scientists had arrived at the idea to study fart smells. (The ingestion of too much bean salad in the break room, perhaps?) To be fair, they didn’t call them fart smells, either. Instead, they referred to these smells as the byproducts of the hydrogen sulfide our bodies produce which are released during flatulence — but, we all know what that means. If a rose by any other name is still a rose it follows that a fart by any other name is still a fart.
HYDROGEN SULFIDE HAS HEALTH BENEFITS doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, though, as the headline they ultimately went with, does it? I’m assuming the “FART SMELLS” spin was the work of a team of very bright marketing professionals — or one average 9-year-old boy.
I was relieved to discover that their findings may indeed lead to breakthroughs in the way that we treat conditions that adversely affect millions of people — conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and senility, to name but a few. This news came as a relief to me — nothing irritates me more than seeing money being spent and talent being wasted on scientific studies that, ultimately, won’t do anyone a damn bit of good.
Yes. I’m talking about dinosaurs.
While it’s certainly fun to visit The Museum of Natural History and be met, upon your arrival, with the ginormous skeleton of a massive dinosaur and, further, to know that this creature actually walked the Earth some millions of years ago, but that’s about all it is — fun. It’s slightly more interesting to learn of the theories that abound regarding the extinction of the dinosaurs.
These theories are myriad and range from the outrageous (Aliens!) to the more plausible (Asteroids!). My money’s on the asteroid theory.
The Alien Theory, while certainly entertaining, makes little to no sense. It’s more than slightly problematic from a logistical perspective. First, one has to believe that aliens got here in the first place. Then, one has to assume that they came equipped with several very large spaceships in which, after rounding up untold numbers of these giant beasts and their smaller contemporaries, skedaddled back to their home planet. Even if you were to buy into this demented line of thinking, the ultimate question would be “Why?”
Frankly, I just don’t think that extraterrestrials, even IF millions of years ago they had the technology to travel here (and back!), would have wasted their time transporting the entire dinosaur population of Earth back to Planet MX-1283 or wherever it was they hailed from. I’m fairly certain that they would have just taken the few they needed for research and reproductive purposes. One would imagine that this is the method any self-respecting MX-1283ers would have employed.
That a massive asteroid plummeted to Earth and set off an ice age — an ice age that most dinosaurs could not survive — is a far more believable hypothesis, in that we know that there was an ice age and we also know, through the fossil record, that dinosaurs didn’t come out of it alive. I think this is all the research the world needs concerning dinosaurs.
Instead of wasting our time digging up their bones and putting their skeletons together for schoolchildren to gawk at in museums, how about we concentrate our scientific energies on how to avoid being victims ourselves of the asteroid that killed them in the first place? How about that?
To this end, I move that we gather the world’s second greatest science minds together and fund a little project I like to call “The Asteroid Blaster”. The best geeks should, of course, be hard at work developing a broom that doesn’t become separated from its handle while one is sweeping up the coffee grounds which, inevitably, wind up on the floor while being banged loose from the reusable K-cup filter. If, during the course of this important research they should discover why regular K-cups come with such an enormous price tag, well, goody for them!
The less renowned men and women of the scientific community can carry on with things like disease prevention, ecological sustainability, and how to build a bridge to Europe. Those of us who fear flying would be much obliged. After all, we, too, would like the opportunity to see Paris.
None of these science-y types should be allowed to even so much as think about digging up and putting back together anything that was once a dinosaur or is in any way dinosaur or fossil-related until all of this other very important work has been completed. So say I.
Let’s stop wasting valuable time — time that could be better spent in saving this planet and its inhabitants from being obliterated by a giant asteroid — on hypotheses that involve what color a triceratops might have been. Seriously, there’s a guy who has spent his life doing just that. He has dedicated himself AND, let me just add, made a living while doing so, essentially coloring in the lines for a living! And, there is every possibility that he’s gotten it all wrong. That’s fine. Really, it is. Why? Because it does NOT matter what color dinosaurs were.
Can you even imagine if, years ago, we’d put HIM on the broom thing? He seems to be just the kind of imaginative thinker the broom team needs. If we had, it is very possible that we — all of us — may very well be, instead of sitting around reading about it or, in my case, writing about it, doing something far more productive right now — something like sweeping the kitchen. I should add that there is no doubt in my mind that we would be doing so with a chartreuse-colored broom.
At the very least, if this guy doesn’t make it on to the broom team, I’m hoping for an Asteroid Blaster in a lovely shade of puce. These, my friends, are projects that demand our scientific attention. Can I get a second?
Thanks to Mindy Klapper Trotta at Better After 50 for sharing the original story that sparked this post.