Dear Dr. Boli: You have clarified the relative merits of scones and biscotti, but I wonder if you might comment on Triscuits and oyster crackers? —Sincerely, A Concerned Reader.
Dear Sir or Madam: Oyster crackers are harvested from beds off Cedar Key, Fla., where they grow naturally in great abundance. The life of an oyster cracker is dull at best, but it suits these simple creatures. They begin life as tiny larvae floating among millions of identical larvae, an experience that leaves a strong psychological impression on the animals for the rest of their lives. Soon the larvae begin the search for a suitable home in a neighborhood with decent schools and off-street parking. Having found a little place of their own, the oyster crackers settle down and attach themselves to rocks, where they will spend the rest of their lives working in middle management. They have the remarkable ability to change from male to female and back again several times over the course of their lives, but this turns out to be much less exciting than one might think it would be. At any rate they seem to put up little fuss when the cracker skipjacks come to harvest them, which suggests that they have little attachment to their humdrum existence.
“Triscuit” is a trade name for an artificial life form created in the laboratories of the National Biscuit Company. Dr. Boli worries sometimes about large manufacturing concerns playing God in the laboratory, but as far as he knows nothing can be done about it.
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From Dr. Boli’s Encyclopedia of Misinformation.
Geometry. Until the early nineteenth century, denial of the parallel postulate was considered a species of witchcraft, and was punished as such. Hence Saccheri’s development of a non-Euclidean geometry was couched in terms of a reductio proof of the parallel postulate.