Dear Dr. Boli: Is there anything that you don’t know? Please explain. —Sincerely, Bewildered in Beechview.

Dear Sir or Madam: There are many questions to which Dr. Boli does not have an answer, though he consoles himself with the reflection that no one else seems to know the answers either. On these subjects, like Socrates, Dr. Boli knows only that he knows not:

If “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,” why is New York the Empire State?

Why are the redundant letters C and Q, which express no sounds that cannot be expressed by S or K, admitted into the English alphabet on an equal footing with letters of undisputed utility, such as M?

Why has the man who first imprisoned tea in sad little bags gone unpunished for so long?

If you cut away every bit of a Swiss cheese except the holes, what do you have?

Why are there twenty-four hours in a day, instead of some reasonable number like ten or a hundred?

Why do so many people call themselves “poets” if they cannot construct so much as a simple heroic couplet?

Can nothing be done about prime numbers?

In these matters Dr. Boli professes perfect ignorance. Ignorance, however, is not a fault, but rather an opportunity for exploration. Dr. Boli, who firmly believes that death is largely psychosomatic, attributes his better-than-average longevity to the happy knowledge that there are problems yet unsolved that require his attention.


  1. Martha says:

    “Why are there twenty-four hours in a day, instead of some reasonable number like ten or a hundred?”

    I have been given to understand that in this, as in so much else, we must lay the blame squarely at the feet of the Babylonians.

  2. C. Simon says:

    It has been reported that irrational men, with so named irrational numbers, have discovered divisors and even square and cube roots of primes… it is an option to look into, once one is satisfactorily out of one’s mind.

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