How do people aged late 30s and early 40s pull all-nighters with such ease? I see these crew, who party so absolutely hardcore. And they’re usually women to be honest. Do they possess a certain gene? A hormone? Or is it just drugs?
Your writer recalls, what seems only like only yesterday, pulling 3-day parties where he should have been pronounced dead. He would wake up, surprised he was alive. He’d look in the mirror. Disbelief! “Fucking hell, I didn’t die. Jesus, I can’t actually believe I survived that. Now time for the breakfast beer.”
Nowadays, I require 8-hours of sleep and two naps just to pull a smile. To pull a 12-hour night bender? I find them close to impossible. Surely there’s an alternative to the promise of hanky-panky and a snow storm of cocaine to getting me off the couch for an all-nighter.
The question is one of coping. Call me Sybil, I can cope with the voices in my head, but the voices outside are just too intense. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
We’re heading into summer here in Oz, and the anticipated buzz and vibe of partying is well and truly in the air. It’s that time of year where the number one priority is to tone the physique. During the summer, eye candy is just as important as cold beer. Usually, I welcome with a warm heart, this sensational season, however this year is different. It was brought to my attention by a certain loved one, that I was looking, well, a tad “shabby”. Armed with this new-found awareness, I turned to the mirror for clarification and was horrified at what I saw. In fact, any kind of reflection became a frightening reminder of what I had become. Car windows, shop windows, the iPad screen.
I find myself now unable to escape the embarrassment. The embarrassment of letting myself go. I embarrass myself in front of myself. But all is not lost. I now have a month or so of hardcore street running followed by murderous stomach crunches. It won’t help the abnormally-sized nose or the thinning hair, however there is light on the horizon for a sense of summer vitality. Perhaps regaining the ability to look at myself again without cringing. Then again, perhaps in the right company and with enough beer in them, I’ll appear reasonable no matter what. We’ll see. And to the loved one mentioned above, I sincerely apologise for calling you a bitch, but I thought you already knew.
A Letter from a College Professor
Some time ago I received a call from a colleague, who asked if I would be the referee on the grading of an examination question. He was about to give a student a zero for his answer to a physics question, while the student claimed he should receive a perfect score and would if the system were not set up against the student.
The instructor and the student agreed to an impartial arbiter, and I was selected. I went to my colleague’s office and read the examination question: “Show how it is possible to determine the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer.”
The student had answered: “Take the barometer to the top of the building, attach a long rope to it, lower it to the street, and then bring it up, measuring the length of the rope. The length of the rope is the height of the building.”
I pointed out that the student really had a strong case for full credit since he had really answered the question completely and correctly. On the other hand, if full credit were given, it could well contribute to a high grade in his physics course. A high grade is supposed to certify competence in physics, but the answer did not confirm this. I suggested that the student have another try at answering the question. I was not surprised that my colleague agreed, but I was surprised when the student did.
I gave the student six minutes to answer the question with the warning that the answer should show some knowledge of physics. At the end of five minutes, he had not written anything. I asked if he wished to give up, but he said no. He had many answers to this problem; he was just thinking of the best one. I excused myself for interrupting him and asked him to please go on. In the next minute, he dashed off his answer which read:
“Take the barometer to the top of the building and lean over the edge of the roof. Drop the barometer, timing its fall with a stopwatch. Then, using the formula x=3D0.5*a*t^2, calculate the height of the building.”
At this point, I asked my colleague if he would give up. He conceded, and gave the student almost full credit. In leaving my colleague’s office, I recalled that the student had said that he had other answers to the problem, so I asked him what they were.
“Well,” said the student. “there are many ways of getting the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer. For example, you could take the barometer out on a sunny day and measure the height of the barometer, the length of its shadow, and the length of the shadow of the building, and by the use of simple proportion, determine the height of the building.”
“Fine,” I said, “and others?”
“Yes,” said the student.” There is a very basic measurement method you will like. In this method, you take the barometer and begin to walk up the stairs. As you climb the stairs, you mark off the length of the barometer along the wall. You then count the number of marks, and this will give you the height of the building in barometer units.
“A very direct method.”
“Of course. If you want a more sophisticated method, you can tie the barometer to the end of a string, swing it as a pendulum, and determine the value of g at the street level and at the top of the building. From the difference between the two values of g, the height of the building, in principle, can be calculated.”
“On this same tack, you could take the barometer to the top of the building, attach a long rope to it, lower it to just above the street, and then swing it as a pendulum. You could then calculate the height of the building by the period of the precession”.
“Finally,” he concluded, “there are many other ways of solving the problem. Probably the best,” he said, “is to take the barometer to the basement and knock on the superintendent’s door. When the superintendent answers, you speak to him as follows: ‘Mr. Superintendent, here is a fine barometer. If you will tell me the height of the building, I will give you this barometer.'”
At this point, I asked the student if he really did know the conventional answer to this question. He admitted that he did, but said that he was fed up with high school and college instructors trying to “teach him to think”.
Careful how you swipe.
Some useless information.
…You can play music on your phone by pressing the buttons on the top (1,2,3)…and along the side (6,9,#).
Auld Lang Syne
Mary Had a Little Lamb
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