Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Fabulous Beasts #8: Loch Ness Enigma SOLVED!
I am happy to announce some progress in the case of the Loch Ness Monster. This journal has dealt with many mysteries. We are no strangers to enigma. It is often stubborn and will not permit examination. Like love, it proves too intense for analysis, or like the DMV, resists rational penetration to any useful depth. But there are some few puzzles that respond well to doodling. Over a recent poem posting, I doodled this:
One does not stop there. For good or ill, the inquiry must be pursued at least to "figure B":
Consider, the average number of children per family today is two. One needs a small tea kettle. Fifty years ago, couples had four children and needed something larger. One hundred years ago, families of eight children were not unusual --and one needed to heat bathwater in the kettle too. So we have household offspring backwardly quadrupling in numbers every hundred years, with each generation requiring a larger kettle than the ones that followed it.
The first written mention of the Loch Ness Monster is in The Life Of Saint Columbia, in the year 565. By the aforementioned calculus, 100^8 (100 years to the eighth power) the average family of 1500 years ago included a nearly infinite number of children and needed a kettle somewhat larger than the universe.
Little wonder that some more enlightened backyard mechanics --who often choose to live near ravines, lakes and other discreet geological receptacles-- departed tradition and, as they inherited huge family kettles from their exhausted parents, promptly launched and scuttled them. Sometimes, however, as can be seen in Dr. Kenneth Wilson's 1934 photograph, they resurface.