May 1st, 2009

krazy koati

Keeps a ten-bob note up his nose

And how often do think of what you owe your nostrils? It's probably even longer since you thought what your nostrils owe. In the last fiscal quarter that's over $12.75 million owed Your Face, and nearly $6.6 million owed Your Face Consolidated, the entity covering when you scrunch your face up. That's offset by $4.1 million due your face from Your Face Limited, which covers when your face is partly concealed behind a door, a costume mask, or by at least fifty percent of your desk while you hide at work. More thought is called for.

Nostrils are, according to most surveys, the second and fourth most popular ways to get air into or out of the body. The mouth ranks in between, as in the works of Picasso. They're far ahead of breathing through eyes, ears, dorsal fins, and the broom closet, which is too whisk-broomy. The popularity of nostrils is understandable, since compared to the mouth they offer a noticeably smaller air flow almost always partially blocked and risking comical sounds. All they need is to add agonizing pain and they could leap above the current most-popular breathing technique, soaking in an oxygen-osmotic fluid so air can seep directly into every cell in the body until they expand to bursting.

Nostrils are routinely described as being on both sides of the head. This is true: on the right side one nostril is located on the outside, and there's another nostril tucked deep inside. On the left side are backups meant in case when the right nostrils are busy visiting friends, doing paperwork, or reading tiny little books held up by its cilia.

The nostrils at they are presently known were discovered by René Descartes in 1644. (An earlier nostrils were organized under the Holy Roman Empire but were disbanded in Marienburg in 1466 as the result of something involving the Teutonic Knights that always reads like it was written down wrong.) He was pleased with the discovery, which explained what to make of those odd nose holes otherwise just sort of hanging around making the elder neighbors suspect they were up to something. Descartes hoped they would provide a way to connect the material world with the pineal gland, since he thought they would get along well. Soon nostrils were appearing among much of western Europe's intelligentsia.

Nostrils reached their peak as an object of controversy during the United States Presidential Election of 1920 when candidate Warren G Harding insisted on offering the nation ``not nostrils but normalcy'', and it took people hanging out on his front porch months to sort out that he was talking about nostrums. It was two months before it was understood he meant nostrums in place of nostrils.

Nobody seriously disputes the connection between the nostrils and the sense of smell. What remains is petty squabbling and nitpicking. But the connection between the smell and the sense of taste is the interesting thing because it implies if you did not have nostrils you would be unable to taste things. As a result of the body's symmetric construction it follows that without a tongue there would be no smelling things, which explains the strong connection between licking things and smelling what they are.

Since the sense of smell and of taste are so linked then we may conclude that without nostrils there would be no tongues. The implications for how this would change meals are staggering, as the people who think absolutely everybody should spend up to nine hours a day cooking each meal starting from raw unprocessed elements would no longer be able to claim that the smell or taste of the meals made the work worth it.

Today after breathing and being stuffed up the leading application of nostrils is to serve as the rocket engines for people playing spaceship with their heads. Unfortunately since either the main or the backup exterior nostril is typically closed at any one time these spaceships are dynamically unbalanced and unsafe for operational rocketry. Discontinue play shortly before the moment when the imbalanced exhalation causes the head to fall off.

Descartes died in 1650 of pineal glands stuck up his nose.

Trivia: The Roman Emperor Commodius tried to rename the fifth month of the year `Lucius', after one of his many names. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: 1945: The War That Never Ended, Gregor Dallas.