Book Heaven

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Location: South Amboy, New Jersey

I am deeply involved in trying to solve the discrepancy between being interested in zen and trying to acquire all the things I've been accumulating

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Snot

I apologize in advance for the messy and rather disturbing nature of today's thought. The other day I spent a pleasant hour with David Feldman's latest Imponderables book, Do Elephants Jump? (Harper Collins, 2004), a book that like all books of this nature is best savored in small very satisfying bites. Anyone who can find fault with a book like this is obviously jealous because this is the kind of idea we all wish we could come up with. Feldman, a pillar of the popular culture world, is now on his tenth book and for latercomers, there is an index to all ten books in the latest volume. After I finished the entry on one of my favorite foods, Why Is Peanut Butter Sticky?, I turned to the index to see if my latest burning question was there, but alas, it is not.

Having made it to mid-February without a cold, I was mistakenly gloating about it to some people at a funeral I attended. As luck would have it, I immediately got a beauty of a head cold for my efforts and an imponderable (albeit a very squeamish one) popped into my head. Where does all that snot come from? And how can your body seemingly manufacture its own body weight in snot on a daily basis? And why can you only manage to eject about 1% of it through your nose, with the other 99% sliding uncomfortably down your throat? I have a feeling I'll be waiting for quite a while before this topic is addressed. In the meantime, you might want to check out David's interesting website which is much more than just a promotion of his books: imponderables.com

P.S. I then made the fatal mistake of looking up "snot" on my favorite search engine http://dogpile.com. I learned that there is a snot.com (don't bother), and even found an excerpt from Snot by Verlie Hutchins (can there actually be a novel about snot?). The best new information came from the website haggis-on-whey.com where the evidently esteemed Dr. Doris Haggis-on-Whey's book is featured. The book is entitled Your Disgusting Head: The Darkest, Most Offensive, and Moist Secrets of Your Ears, Nose, and Mouth (Simon and Schuster, 2004). Seeing as this book, part of the Haggis-on-Whey World of Unbelievable Brillance, is aimed at ages 9-12, I don't think they would be pulling our leg about the origin of snot and rest assured that their explanation makes a lot of sense in a cosmic sort of way. Last but not least, is the very valuable information dispensed at kidshealth.org. Snot, or mucus if you'd prefer, helps keep all those undesirable airborne contaminants out of our lungs, and also helps prevent our stomach acid from eating our stomach. Long live snot!!!

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