The poetry of reality

Why is the ocean salty? Galen McKinley, professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison may finally have the answer to this age old question. According to his theory, “The saltiness of the sea comes from dissolved minerals, especially sodium,” or, to put it in layman’s terms, the ocean is salty because it has a lot of salt in it.

Where does science go from here? Look for a major breakthrough determining why BLT's are so bacony delicious.


  1. All scientists are constitutionally bent on establishing one thing: reality is not what it seems to be, but just what it is, like it or not. An incoherent notion, and an obnoxious attitude, to be sure! The purpose of this procedure is to bar any possible truth from consideration. Now in the case of oceans and their saltiness, the purpose is to exclude this possible truth: the source of salt in the ocean is the tears of the gods. (Note, this is one possible truth, in fact all truth is possibility--that is where it thrives! You might say: Science is dedicated to eradicating all possibility. But I WILL NOT lecture.)

  2. Lloyd (you aren't an acquaitance of Jeff Apern's, by any chance?), for some reason your comment reminds me of Bishop Butler's observation that "Everything is what it is, and not another thing."

  3. I do not know who Jeff Apern is, though there alot of anonymous guys, some Mikes and Jeffs, up at the local tavern who never tell me their last name, while acting like they have known me forever--so maybe one of them is Jeff Apern. I will start making some deep inquireys.

    Meanwhile, I haven't read Bishop Butler, either, but it seems like that quote from him expresses the opposite of what I maintain in my comment: which is that nothing is what it seems. This is why I hate William Carlos Williams, and his poetics. Not to change the subject, but you did title the entry "The poetry of reality". I am not a phenomenologist!, but come to you directly from 1847.

  4. Typo, should've been "Aspern".

    But if nothing is what it seems, then everything is not what it seems, and not another thing which is what it seems.

  5. Well that makes all the difference, Sir! Of course I know Jeffrey Aspern! Although I have never read The Aspern Papers, and find Henry James difficult to swallow. But Jeffrey and I have alot in common, both being fictional poets. He and I, and Louis Pasteur, and Edgar Allan Poe make a regular four at the Tavern for Historical Personnages. On alternate Saturdays. Henry James hangs out with Mark Twain, Joan of Arc, and somebody names Queen Elizabeth; they play whist. But Poe and I knew each other in history, I mean real life, which your can read about in the unpublished novel Apologies to Edgar Allan Poe; in the next life probably, since Edward Williams, my creator, is having such a difficult time with publishers in this life.

    To continue the other important discussion. No! Things can be several things they are not, but seem to be, neverthless, in succession, simultaneously, or shifting insensibly.

  6. Whoops! That comment from Edward Williams was supposed to be from me, Lloyd Mintern. Sorry for the confusion. I have had identity problems, as had Edward, since we both stopped being Mortimer Shy, I can't say it won't happen again.


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