My Thoughts

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Insider does not wish to be Happy New Year’d. That has to be the silliest greeting in the history of man. Insider was on his daily walk the other day and a neighbor stopped what he was doing to scream, “Happy New Year.” It was all Insider could do not to just keep his head down and keep walking oblivious to the idiot. Instead, he waved his hand and tried to force a smirk, the kind you give the stranger you are standing behind at the grocery store line or the kind men give to each other as they wait in line to use the urinal. The old guy has never Happy New Year’d anyone and never will. There’s no reason to do it. It’s like saying Happy Presidents Day to someone. The worst part of all is those people who do insist on the Happy New Year greeting will continue to do so through the entire month of January. All the while the old guy grinds what teeth he has left trying to force a smirk.

While scientists in China, North Korea, Iran and elsewhere are busily going about their search to find better ways to kill people, their American counterparts are working just as eagerly delving into the unknown. The only difference is the American Engineer is devoting much of his energy toward putting more bubbles in a bar of soap, or inventing a smudge proof lipstick, or designing a brassiere that stays up by itself and does not itch. Soap and cosmetic manufacturers are constantly bragging about the exciting and thrilling things that are taking place in their laboratories.

Occasionally, a soap company will give us a glimpse inside one of its laboratories where we see scores of white-coated scientists working around the clock to give us a bubbly detergent, or a fast acting cleanser or a bar of soap that will make us smell nice for 24 hours. It is true that many major manufacturers pounce eagerly on the top young talents just emerging from our country’s colleges. Their lucrative salaries and other perks are bait that few normal college graduates can resist. It is only the sincerely dedicated student, one looked upon as some kind of nut by her fellow students, that goes on to the truly important work in research. Whenever a pharmaceutical company comes out with a new “fast acting” aspirin, or a “really thrilling” new cough syrup, it makes Insider wonder, perhaps the researcher who perfected the new product would have been the one who opened the way toward finding a cure for cancer, if he had been guided in the right direction.

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