No Affinity For Xfinity


For the benefit of anyone who may be wondering, Xfinity is a trade name of Comcast Cable Communications, LLC; AKA an ISP with a MO that doggedly barks at / hunts down / chases after new customers.

So, just how doggedly is their pursuit?

Well, I’ve been rejecting their snail mailed come-ons 52 times a year for (at least) the past 5 years (likely longer); which begs the question:

How long before the Xfinity Team geniuses connect the dots to conclude that I do not respond well to hard sell tactics; that I’m hardly unique in this regard.

Look, I have no problem when businesses promote their products and services in a reasonable, responsible manner. How would I define that?

  • Reasonable: No more than one advert campaign per Earthly season.
  • Responsible: Business practices, which do not destroy planet Earth.

Alas, it’d appear Xfinity’s bite is even worse than its bark. Yep, it’s bye-bye bark, branches, leaves and trunks when their hatchet men chop down entire forests just to restock that LLCs supply cabinets with untold, metric tons of paper stock.

BTW, I did take a few moments to pour over Xfinity’s latest one pager and nowhere within the voluminous fine print is there any mention of that text getting printed out on recycled paper.

Worse yet, their bad for the environment SOP doth not end with deforestation; seeing how they frequently, pointlessly, manufacture utterly nonredeemable PLASTIC “gift cards” to glue to their mailers. As if what? Simply stating their offered discounts would not suffice?

And, lest anyone forget, low demand for recycled plastic means that it oft ends up getting dumped into our oceans.

So, what’s a beleaguered junk mail recipient to do? Well, were it not against United States Postal Service regulations (and City Ordinance), I’d park my recycling cart next to my front porch and ask my letter carrier(s) to deliver all Xfinity correspondence (and other junk mail) therein.

Yet, such an extreme could never even begin to reclaim the energy needlessly wasted during the manufacturing stage of such adverts AND the subsequent, secondary energy waste when the recycling trucks make their never-ending, weekly rounds to collect this pitched paper and plastic.

After all, it’s impossible to defy the laws of Physics.

At issue, too, is how everyone doesn’t recycle conscientiously. One needn’t look any further than the Post Office lobby trash receptacles; typically over flowing with the junk mail discarded by the renters of on-premises P.O. boxes.

After all, it ain’t easy to defy the laws of Human Nature.

Going beyond even these concerns, one has to question the reliability of Xfinity’s Internet connection and speed. Look, advertising doesn’t come cheap, which means wasted bucks means less funds allocated for the upkeep and upgrades of their Internet infrastructure. In other words inadequate funding equals inadequate service OR Rubbish In equals Rubbish Out.

After all, it’s unwise to defy the GIGA* law of Computer Science.


* Garbage In / Garbage Out




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Guest Blogger: My Late Father, George


On this day, 29 years ago, my father died at dawn. For 37 years, he had been the consummate educator… delivering his Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Mathematics lectures to two generations of teenage students residing in Minnesota and Michigan.

As a sophomore and junior I had answered, “Here” during each of Dad’s Monday – Friday morning role calls… as a senior I had been his lab assistant. Of course, I had also benefited from his home schooling, which encompassed life’s lessons.

As most of us know, historically, public school teachers have been underpaid and under-appreciated. So, to supplement his meager income, Dad expanded his lecture circuit… his byline appearing beneath our weekly, local newspaper’s front page column: “The Science Corner”.

Had Dad been born a bit later and lived longer than his 75 years, I’m positive he’d now be an enthusiastic blogger… perhaps even setting up his “lectern” right here @WordPress. I know he’d be thrilled by the prospects of his wisdom and wit spreading outward… at the speed of light… to all four corners of the Earth.

Keeping all the above in mind and with my saved and cherished, time-yellowed, brittle, actual hard copy newspaper propped up before me, I’ve decided to transcribe one of Dad’s lectures. And since 23 of my 46 chromosomes are my father’s… in a sense… 5 of my 10 fingers are his as I… no strike that… as we both… type it out.

I cannot think of a more fitting way to honor my father this day… than to afford him a bit of Internet immortality… resurrect his thoughts… restore his “voice”…  allow him to mind-meld with countless other minds, anew.


The Science Corner

DATELINE Thursday, July 2, 1953


The age old question – which was first, the chicken or the egg – has been used as a debate-ender, a counter dilemma, and even as a joke. If one discounts the dissertations of the debaters and philosophers and the quips of the comedians and truly strives for a scientific answer, then both the meaning and answer become crystal clear.

All living things, both plants and animals, are made up of tiny bits of protoplasm (living matter which looks very much like raw eggwhite). These bits of protoplasm are called cells. In animals, including the chicken, there are skin cells, muscle cells, bone cells, sperm cells and egg cells – to name just a few. All of the types of cells mentioned above except sperm and egg cells are ordinary body cells and are called somatic cells. The sperm and egg cells (collectively called germ cells) differ from the somatic cells in that the former are used to perpetuate life.

When a sperm cell unites with an egg cell, fertilization takes place. All cells, including new somatic cells and new sperm or egg cells, originate from the fertilized egg cell through processes of division and differentiation. In keeping with these principles, both the new chicken (somatic cells) and all of the eggs (germ cells) that the new chicken will ever lay come from the same egg. To put it still another way, the fertilized egg produces both the body cells which will make up the new chicken and all of the new eggs which the new chicken will lay during its lifetime.

The answer, then, to the original question is: the egg must have been first, because it came necessarily from the previous egg and not from the new chicken.

This concept, first enunciated by the German biologist – August Weismann, is known as the continuity of germplasm theory. According to this concept, the germ cells are immortal if reproduction takes place.

Next Week: Why Does Smoke Rise in a Chimney?