Having your own Ah-hah! moment


Not to be confused with an Oh-oh! moment, a Ha!Ha! moment, a Hee-Haw moment, or even that rare Hoo-Hoo moment, the Ah-hah! is a moment of discovery. Here are a few that just might qualify.

Physicist Ahmed Zewail of Caltech has developed a technique to take motion pictures of tiny, atomic-scale changes, using short laser pulses, followed by an ultrafast pulse of electrons. These pictures may never win an Oscar, but they're amazing, nonetheless. So what's next, electrons text-messaging one another, and their snapshots getting posted on YouTube?

The Capgras Delusion is the sensation that an impostor is sitting in for a close relative. It is said that this delusion can be a scary thing. Just don't use it as an excuse when your spouse calls you on the carpet for spilling your coffee.

An old, crumpled newspaper works as well as a paper towel in cleaning a mirror or window. An old copy of the Defensor Chieftain, though, would not be advisable to use. There must be better uses for it than that.

The U.S. military consumes as much oil every day as the entire nation of Sweden. Well, it takes a lot to keep our crumbling empire alive and rolling — and our economy depleted.

The city of Albany, Ga., has an ordinance that bans clothes sagging below the waistline or exposing undergarments. In one year they collected $4,000 in fines for violations. So far they haven't outlawed beer bellies or puffy cheeks, but some think that that's coming.

Scientist E.O. Wilson says that ants have been observed living in humanlike civilizations, engaged in farming, warfare and air conditioning. Yes, but can they drive in heavy traffic while talking to a friend on their cellphone?

The average Facebook user spends 410 minutes on the site in a given month. Many young people, though, are getting bored with it, which shouldn't surprise anyone. If you want to get a quick snooze, go to Facebook and see for yourself.

Trying to relate to a loved one with Alzheimer's can be a huge struggle, especially in the later stages of the disease, when you can walk into the room and have the person hide under the covers. But people with Alzheimer's often respond to music. If someone is singing, everything must be OK. Try singing a familiar song, to calm them. That's unless you have a horrible singing voice. In that case, try whistling or maybe just playing your harpsichord.

The whiskers of newborn rats twitch as they sleep, in a whisker equivalent of rapid-eye-movement, and that could open the door to new understandings about the intimate connections between brain and body. So don't kill that rat you saw down the street by the trash bin. It's just trying to twitch its whiskers, to update its brain and maybe get into college.

For the past century, antibiotics have been used by doctors to fight bacteria. Recently, though, scientists have discovered that about 100 trillion microbes call our body their home — 5,000 species of bacteria live in the human mouth alone. By nurturing that invisible ecosystem, we may soon be able to fight infectious diseases without harmful side effects. Wouldn't you rather have a mouth full of bugs, anyway, than having to take a pill?

It has been found that the more progressive and secular one is, the less likely is he or she to have a big family. Conversely, the more conservative and religious, the larger will be the person's family. This has already begun to change the country's demographics, as conservative and religious family growth has begun to outpace the progressive and secular, and to outnumber them in terms of future trends. That's political gain through the fast lane.

Some of all this might come as welcome news, and — Ah-hah! — it's an exciting world coming to be. Then, too, it could be Oh-oh! and Hee-haw all over again. So, what's new?

Kozeny has worked as a teacher, as a counselor and in pastoral ministry. He can be reached by email to tko-z@sdc.org.