Age is not just a number

It’s not uncommon for people to say “age is just a number.” But there are at least two different meanings for the phrase.

It is quite conceivable that a middle-aged person could say the phrase “age is just a number” and either be a hero because they just ran a marathon, or be a sex offender because they’re hitting on a teenager after school.

And in both cases, the phrase is right. And wrong. Age is just a number, in the sense that any measured quantity is just that — a measurement. The classic grade school math scenario, “John has 4 apples…,” is just about applying an arbitrary number system to a random, human situation.

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Like totally the 10 Most Influential People Ever

Flipping through TV stations tonight, I happened upon a show that displayed a list of the top 10 most influential people in the world, according to the website Ranker.com. Having been exposed to Ranker.com by my favorite morning radio show, I knew that they specialized in unscientific surveys of self-selecting morons, so I didn’t initially give it much thought. But then the #10 name came up as Charles Darwin. And the #7 name was Muhammed.

Prior to that moment, it never would have occurred to me that the general public would ever put the names Darwin and Muhammed on the same list of anything.

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What Matters

I understand that when you hear the words “black lives matter,” you might think to yourself, hey, wait a second, my life matters, too. And you’d be right. But here’s the catch:

In all likelihood, you were never in a situation where it was suggested that your life didn’t matter. Nobody, through their words or actions, has ever given you the impression that it would be easier to kill you than it would be to grant you basic human rights.

And just because somebody else finds themselves in that situation, compelled to make the simple declaration, I don’t deserve to die, it doesn’t mean that your life has less value.

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Strange Procession

Walking down a downtown sidewalk, I encounter a suited photographer walking backwards, followed by a newly married couple. 

Who are followed, a few steps later, by a groomsman and bridesmaid, each walking with their faces tilted towards their smartphones.

And just a few feet later, another couple from the wedding party, each sucking on a vapor pipe.

I want to tell them they are being too on-the-nose.

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Top 10 World Leaders’ Names

10. Hery Rajaonarimampianina, President of Madagascar
I count 8 syllables in the last name.  Not that I could ever pronounce it.

9. Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of Poland
Can’t think of an other Polish guys named Donald.

8. Letsie III, King of Lesotho
A king who sounds like he was named after the family dog.

7. Tony Tan, President of Singapore
Also the proprietor of a string of casual dining establishments.

6. Toke Talagi, Premier of Niue
Toke.

5. Abdul Halim, Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia
What a wonderfully complicated title.  Apparently it translates into something like “he who is made Supreme Lord.”  The position is an elected monarch, so it’s a fairly accurate job title.

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