Goldilocks & the 3 Shrinks

You remember Goldilocks.  Not the pubescent blonde who hopped from bed to bed because she wanted it “just right.”  That would be too hot.  And not the tiresome towhead who tediously touted tepidness.  Sorry, that was cold.  I’m talking about a small-town girl whose story psychologist Bruno Bettelheim described as, “a struggle to move past Oedipal issues and confront adolescent identity problems,” whereupon fellow psychologist Alan Elms chimed in that Bettelheim, “may have missed the anal aspect of the tale that would make it helpful to the child’s personality development.”  Harvard professor Maria Tatar chided Bettelheim as well:  “While the story may not solve oedipal issues or sibling rivalry as Bettelheim believes ‘Cinderella’ does, it suggests the importance of respecting property and the consequences of just ‘trying out’ things that do not belong to you.”  Are these people kidding?  No wonder Goldilocks fled into the woods.  (I’m surprised Cinderella didn’t join her.)

Neutron Stars

Neutron stars are the densest objects known (because politicians aren’t technically “objects”).  Every star’s lifespan is mediated by an astral tug-of-war between its outwardly propulsive fusion furnace and the compressive force of gravity, and how each star dies depends on its size.  If a star is massive enough, when it runs out of nuclear fuel gravity does its victory dance.  The star collapses on itself at up to one-fourth the speed of light, to a size as small as 30 kilometers (19 miles).  All that’s left is an ultra-condensed core, 100 million million million times as hard as a diamond.  At that point, the star’s atomic nuclei are so crushed together that quantum mechanics shouts “no mas,” and like a cosmic Superball the star’s stellar matter rebounds, producing the most violent explosion we know of, a supernova.  The resulting shock wave produces the highest temperatures in the universe, at over 100 billion degrees Kelvin.  Even though neutron stars can be as small as 30 kilometers in diameter, they’re more massive than the Sun.  According to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, one teaspoonful of neutron star, on Earth, would weigh a billion tons.

Social Media: Good or Bad?

We’ve heard the pros and cons.  Social media has been called everything from de facto democracy to ceaseless selfie.  What if three great minds could get together and debate the issue?  That’s the idea I pitched to Hollywood.  Every word of dialogue in the following screenplay is authentic, except for those of your humble host, which are made up.  All panelists and phone-in guests speak in their own words, quoted verbatim (though out of context, of course).

You Say You Want a Revolution?

♫  You say you want a revolution.  Well you know, we all want to change the world.
♫  You say you’ve got a real solution.  Well you know, we’d all love to see the plan.

I’m not sure how I feel about revolutions, but I do have a plan.  It’s disheartening to peer out over a sociopolitical landscape of selfishness, inequity, corruption, and violence; I’m just not convinced that the key to those recalcitrant puzzle boxes is conventional rebellion.  Maybe I’m too old for that sh*t.  Nevertheless, I looked into the matter.