Friday, December 21, 2018

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil Degrasse Tyson

What the hell is the deal with kombucha? Give me a minute here, and let me see if I've got this right. You start with some kind of disgusting mushroom thing called a scoby (which as far as I understand is not even a word), only guess what, it's not a mushroom (phew!), it's a bunch of bacteria and yeast living in a mega-colony preparing to take over the world (oh shit). Then you drop this thing that looks like it came out of the nose of a hippopotamus into an actually edible beverage like tea? While you're at it, it just so happens I have some old milk you can piss in and then take to that party Friday night if you want. Sure to blow the socks off of all those hippies. But here's what really gets me. I can get behind the general idea of fermenting things because then you can get drunk on them. But after choking down a glass of what is essentially homemade vinegar made by my grandson's friend (who I might point out could use a shower) out of pure charity, I was then clobbered with the revelation that there's hardly even any alcohol in this shit! The whole thing makes even less sense than this book. Now I have seen this guy on TV, and he is a funny dude, but this book had no jokes! How can I understand astrophysics with no jokes? I saw Tyson on Jon Stewart's show a couple of times. A short man, that Stewart, but pretty smart. I, on the other hand, must not be so smart, because even this dumbed down version of space science was beyond my vodka-addled brain. Or maybe I was not the intended audience, because I am certainly not in a hurry. Nothing to do today but sit around and puke up kombucha. I was with him for the big bang stuff, but it got away from me quickly. In the end, I was left with more questions than answers. Big questions, like where the hell do the scobies come from anyway? Is there some kind of scoby farm in a cave somewhere, tended to by mountain people who have never seen sunlight? Or goblins perhaps? And how were they discovered? And who the hell thought, when they discovered it, "I think that thing is probably edible." I think that a good rule of thumb is that if people have not been eating something regularly since before you were born, it's probably some made up pseudo-food at least partially responsible for the increase in cancer rates and autism. You want something with vinegar - eat a damn pickle!


  1. I like miso. It's a fermented ... something. Mom eats sauerkraut. It's fermented cabbage. I like pickles.
    I am pretty sure mountain gnomes know where scoby comes from. But they don't eat it. That should tell you something.

    And how hungry did that first guy have to be to eat an artichoke?

  2. Tell me about it! The artichoke thought it was so smart because all the good stuff hidden. No tastier than a thistle, or so it seemed. But desperation is the mother of invention...