Ask John

This blog, as well as others, know John well. Full of whit with answers tied to physics, science fiction, and military history, John uses his experience as an interpreter of goat-speak to share unlimited bits of information flowing from his neurological network. With that in mind, I present the inaugural edition of Ask John.

If you had dinner with Albert Einstein, what would you ask him first?
Hmm. Does he know what’s gone on following his death? If so, does he really think the Higgs boson, if found, is really the ultimate and completing particle of the sub-atomic family? If he only knew what he did at the time of his death, how the heck did he come up with the fact that the speed of light is insurmountable?

What if you could change places with General (MacArthur or Patton), which decision would you make differently?
This one’s the toughie. I could be flip and say, as Patton, I’d decide not to slap those soldiers. But I assume you mean military. As Patton, I’d say drive north in France to help US First Army close off the Falaise gap, thus encircling and destroying or capturing most or all of up to 14 German divisions. For direct action, while I hate to criticize Patton, being one of my favorites, it would be to put major effort up Monty’s left on Sicily. While Patton’s run to the west of the island certainly put the Italians and Germans in a nasty spot, if all Allied forces could have reached Messina sooner, they could have cut off some of the German forces that made the Italian campaign such a bloody, grinding effort.

For MacArthur, lower the priority of the Philippines because they were not as militarily important as other island groups like the Marshalls. I understand wanting to get an American colony back, but a lot of time and effort was wasted that could have been applied in the “island hopping” campaign.

What if you were a vegetable, what would you be?
Bizarre! I’d say corn, but I’m allergic to the pollen corn plants put out, so I’d make myself sneeze! Strange as it sounds, probably a potato. Part of you gets the warm summer sun, but most of you is in the cool, moist earth. I’ve always loved the feel of rich, black dirt!

Thanks John. To submit future questions for Ask John, submit them on the comments … and then we’ll see if John can overcome the urge to immediately provide answers. Then again, I can receive suggestions on Facebook or by email.

39 thoughts on “Ask John

  1. My only comment is you didn’t identify who in that picture is me and who is Blackjack the Goat. A hint – only one of us can still grow hair on the top of his head. :D

      • Hey Frank, I agree with John – you really should label that photo. Wouldn’t want people to mistake

        • Blackjack,
          What a treat … and a special welcome to you. I’m overwhelmed. Is this your first time blogging? Just letting you know that I took care of your request. Thanks for taking time to visit and comment here.

        • Sorry, Frank, Blackjack had to go off to beddy-bye. It is, however, his blogging debut – and if I have anything to say about it, his last! Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to get goat slobber off of a laptop screen? EW! ;)

      • I’ll try again! I agree with John, don’t want anybody confusing me and him. (Darn hooves, I hit the Enter key by mistake!)

  2. 1. What do you think of Golding’s “Thinking as a Hobby?”
    2, I wouldn’t have changed anything, but I’d tell Patton to cheer up and quit being a sour puss. Don’t you know you’re fodder for the press?
    3. MacArthur: I wouldn’t say anything to him, but I’d stick a needle to deflate his ego with the hopes that he’d become a better people person.
    4, If I were a vegetable, I’d be a spinach. Popeye would like me.

    I do like your post. Question: Do you believe in remote viewing?

    • Lafemme- I have to admit, I’m not familiar with “Thinking as a Hobby”, though in my case, it would be “Thinking as a Rare Treat”. And I absolutely agree on questions 2&3 – Patton was a little over-driven, and “Big Mac” was too busy trying to be God. As to the vegetable, I was just fishing for an answer to Frank’s … um … interesting question! :D
      Thanks for joining in on my inaugural performance! I hope I can live up to future expectations. :)

  3. we finally get to see blackjack!!! yayyy!!! :D oh yeah, and john, too. :wink:

    here’s my question:

    if the social media that is available today had been available in europe in the 1930s and 40s, how would history have been different?

    • Nonnie,
      Yep … even though that may have been your first glimpse of Blackjack, did you correctly identify him? WOW … what a great question! Many thanks for joining in.

      • i knew blackjack right away. what tipped me off was his regal aloofness. :wink:

        glad you liked the question. as someone whose family was decimated by the holocaust, i wonder about things like that from time to time. we take the communication opportunities that we have for granted, but we don’t stop and think what they mean to our way of life and our system of government.

    • I think I’m going to have to work on Frank to make yours a multi-part question! I could see a whole chain of these – the US Civil War, World War 1, heck, even back into Roman times, if not before! And like I said above, you can always tell which one is Blackjack – he still has HIS hair! ;)

  4. GOOD Morning, Frank!

    Vintage, you! and an excellent idea! First, I caught a glimpse of Nonnie’, so here’s a shout out/G’Day to her.

    Now, GOOD Morning, John, as well. My question is:
    Do you think/believe the outcome of the Civil War may have been different if President Lincoln wasn’t at the helm during this critical/sensitive period in our nation’s history?

    Have a great weekend you guys, and safe travels should you venture out over the holiday period.

    • Al,
      Now you can see why I kept this debut so secret! Great history question for the future!!!! Have a safe weekend yourself. Hope you spent some time over the border. :) Thanks for stopping by.

    • Hey Al! Thanks for dropping in on my little debut here. Your question is intriguing – I’m gonna have to do some research on who else could’ve been President at the time. But I’ll make sure we get to you in a future installment.
      You have a great weekend, too. And watch out for the weekend nuts out driving! If I get out at all, it’ll just be up the hill to the little cemetery where my friend Lee rests, so we can put flags on his grave. Spare a thought for all the brave soldiers, from the US, Canada, and all around the world who have sacrificed so much for the rest of us. And say hello to the other have of Team Mooshy for me, okay? ;)

  5. Does Blackjack wrestle? I had a pet goat, Thumper, when I was in high school. I’d tease the hell out of her. Once she butted me unexpectedly from behind. She could have really nailed me, but she only did it hard enough to make me stumble forward. :-)

    Another important question. How come goats have horizontal irises?

      • I’m pretty much a “anything smaller than me (and sometimes bigger than me)” tormentor.

        Where’s John? I need to know the answer about goat eyes before dinner. :shock:

        • Just for you, Melissa, I will take time out of my overflowing inbox. I honestly didn’t know, so I asked (Blackjack had no idea – he just works as a goat, he doesn’t know HOW they work), and this answer comes from (shudder!) Wiki:
          “Goats have horizontal slit-shaped pupils, an adaptation which increases peripheral depth perception.”
          Also: “Goats have an intensely inquisitive and intelligent nature: they will explore anything new or unfamiliar in their surroundings.”
          So now you know the technology behind Blackjack! :D

    • Blackjack is rather laid back, M. He leaves all the youthful shenanigans to the others in the herd!
      You’re lucky Thumper was just playing! The friends we moved in with down here, had sheep up in Lansing. The ram of the flock (aptly titled) got pissed at the male half, a guy who was 6’7″ and over 300 pounds, and butted him over a 4′ fence, bruised the heck out of him and cracked 3 ribs! If a wussy little sheep could do that, I can only imagine what Blackjack or Thumper could do!
      Somehow, though, Blackjack doesn’t strike me as ever getting that mad. He’s way too mellow. Maybe I need to check among the weeds he eats, see if there’s any plants that have five leaves….. ;)
      And thanks for the great question! See, we BOTH learned something today! :D

    • Izzie- Sorry, I’m not a goat whisperer. The other guys make a lot of noise, so I have to speak up so Blackjack can hear me. As to military history, that’s not Blackjack’s strong suit, though I am teaching him about it in return for all his goaty wisdom (as opposed to goatee wisdom, which he also has in abundance). And believe me, a potato matches my physical description far closer than anything else – except maybe mashed potatoes. :D
      Sorry I just got back to you, had to go take care of house things. Thanks for the input – one simple mind to another! ;)

  6. Frank, just go ahead and admit you are really the alter-ego of John Erickson. We all know it’s true. The game is up. Time to come clean….. :)

    • Idiot,
      A special welcome to another first-timer who speaketh. Wow … I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but never the alter-ego of John Erickson. Hmmm … kinda of a Bruce Wayne/Batman thing. So here’s the bigger question: would that be a positive or a negative? ;) Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • Thanks for dropping in, Keith! As you can see, between Frank and I, we can cover a pretty wide field of “weird”. Come back in the future, and I’ll see if I can live up to your expectations! And feel free to drop a question, any question. You may even get a real answer! :D

  7. To Everybody Who Responded- I usually avoid mass notes, but I’m a bit buried after a late start today, so I’ll just toss this out quick. Many thanks to all for the new questions, the fun comments, and just being willing to share a little of my life. I’m kinda cut off from the world in my little SE Ohio town, so I came to the Net looking for a few friends. That has blossomed, yes, even exploded into a large group of funny, interesting, and caring souls. I really appreciate the attention, and will do my utmost to keep providing all of you with the wit, wisdom, and world-class lunacy that has become my trademark. Once again, thanks to all, old friends and new, who have taken the time to comment. You have no idea how much you all do for me, just being out there for me.
    Okay, enough soppy stuff! :D Let me finish cleaning out my inbox, and I’ll drop back in and give y’all the personal attention you so richly deserved.
    And for crying out loud, Mr. Idiot, I am NOT Frank! ;)

    • John,
      I’ve put the questions on my “to-be-asked” file for future references/future posts. Nonetheless, as the host for this site, I appreciate your contributions, and thanks to Blackjack for giving you the sense and ideas.

  8. Too much fun! And another glimpse of John and Blackjack, Yay! :D

    OK, question for John … Do you think the general physics community will ever give string theory the attention it deserves, and if they do will it be 10 or 26 dimensions that finally allow us to come up with a Unified Field Theory?

    Thank you Frank, for the fun … now I’m off to look around your blog. ;)

    • Dragonfae- Ooo, a physics question! Cool! Although I’m gonna have to check out the “number of dimensions” question – I’ve also heard 14 and 16 batted around. Lacking depth perception, I have trouble with 3, so I have to take the rest on faith! :D
      Thanks for dropping in. You’ll enjoy Frank’s site – provided you have a strong stomach for (yuck!) baseball!

    • Dragonfae,
      Welcome first-time visitor. Thanks for coming over to interact with John today … I’m sure he appreciates it. Thanks for trolling around the site & for commenting.

      • Thanks guys! Can’t pass up a chance to poke at John! I’ll be interested to see what BlackJack thinks about string theory, being dimensionally challenged. :P

        And while I’m not a huge baseball fan, my daddy raised me right … I understand the game, have been to plenty of games, and have played it myself. No problem there. ;)

  9. Ahem. Seems old Blackjack hijacked my laptop there for a few minutes. Izzie, Dragonfae, that was ME, despite what that little cloven-hoofed so-and-so says. ;) Though I share his appreciation and thanks to the both of you. :D
    (We now return this blog to it’s proper owner. Thank you for your time and patience.) ;)

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