Monday, December 24, 2007

Sigh, it's that time of year again...

Specifically, it's that time of the year when you start hearing the silly "news" reports about Christmas-related things that either are not important:

  • How much would those 12 days of Christmas gifts cost? ($78,100, or a little over £100*)
or astronomically impossible to figure out:
  • Was the Star of Bethlehem a supernova? (possibly) And when did it appear exactly? (most think 6 BC - yes, Christ was born 6 years before Christ) -
or surprisingly have not been tackled yet
  • Exactly how much oil would you need to keep a lamp burning for eight nights? (Beats me)
Well here's a new one:
  • Exactly what disease did Tiny Tim (the Dickens character, not the singer) have that could've been cured by an infusion of money?
Doctors in-the-know suggest it was either kidney disease, which could have been treated with mid-nineteenth century medicines even though they didn't know exactly what the disease was, or rickets, which could've been alleviated with a stark increase in Vitamin D-rich foods into Tiny Tim's diet. This would've been made possible with a nice infusion of cash from Mr. Scrooge. Granted, they didn't know what Vitamin D actually was back then, but the English had access to foods containing it if there was money to buy it.

Well, I think I' off to have a glass of milk.

*Yes, I'm kidding - it's actually £39, 481.78 (by today's exchange rate of $1.97813 to the pound) - but the way the dollar is faring it sure seems like it, doesn't it?


Malnurtured Snay said...

Actually, the calendar is inacurate: the monk who calculated it made some math mistakes, and so was off by a few years ... if it was accurate, this would be 2012 or something.

John said...

I figured as much. All the while growing up, I heard everywhere from 4 BC to 6 BC, but those numbers were never solid anyway. Still, it's funny!