31. Don’t get the NBN.

“Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.”
Brené Brown

1. Uncle Pete was the first to ascend the Ladder of Knowledge and for an hour answered questions such as, “Could the speed of light have changed over billions of years?” and “Would the Earth have a different gravity if the amount of time and space in the universe were different?” and “Should Fitzroy High School continue to teach all its boys and girls how to cook?” The answer to all three questions was, basically, ‘no’.

He also answered questions about the process of natural selection, biology, chemistry, and even the origin of life. (Though that last one hasn’t hasn’t yet been nutted out.)

Congratulations to Pete’s daughter, Sarah, for having her book, “Callan Park, hospital for the insane“, short-listed in the NSW Premier’s History Awards.

2. Does Mr B have an ego? If not, why is he up there on the Ladder of Knowledge? And what does that have to do with Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby?

3. Don’t get the NBN! advised Uncle Pete. When he visited his Optus store, Pete discovered that many people are avoiding the unnecessary hassle and cost of an NBN installation by adopting mobile broadband instead. Peter converted, and is very pleased with his 60 mps.

4. Have aliens visited Earth?A passer-by explained that twenty years ago, when he was 16 years old, he and his companion witnessed a fiery ball hover in the night sky, and then plummet. Up until then he hadn’t believed in aliens, but that object was weird.

It was suggested that the light may have been ball lightning,but he didn’t seem enamoured with that possibility.

True story: when I was a lad living in the country my mother came home late one night and excitedly explained how she had been driving in the valley when her car had suddenly been illuminated by a strong light. The light had followed her for a long stretch of the road, then blinked out. “I was being followed by a UFO” she gasped. I suggested to her that perhaps there had been hunters in the hills spotlighting, and they had turned their spotlight onto her car to see who it was. “Pooh!” she scoffed. “How likely is that?!”

5. People used to believe wacky things like ‘women shouldn’t vote’, and ‘it’s okay to smash a Chinese girl’s feet into little pieces and stuff them into shoes the size of tea cups’. What wacky beliefs do we have today that in 100 years will have people scratching their heads? Mr B explained three from his list of twenty.

6. Other topics discussed:
– In order to dampen Mirko’s “enthusiasm” we had to promise him a stint on the Ladder of Knowledge if he managed to shut up for five minutes. He sort of managed to shut up for those five minutes, and when he got up, he sort of managed to impart what he wanted to say.

– Steve Maxwell and Ray spoke too, of course, but your scribe fell asleep listening to Mr B and didn’t visit them.

– Helmut talked about quantum mechanics and the composition of an atom.

– Greg asked Uncle Pete if we should be teaching children life skills such as how to change a flat tyre. Uncle Pete was not 100% impressed with the question.

Uncle Pete changing a tyre.

7. Should we even seek happiness? Here is another chapter from Mr B’s book for young people:

8. In our Unusual Creature Series 
we present to you the gharial. This one has objected to our Facebook page.