Sunday, April 3, 2016

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Average Aspiring College Graduate's (AACG) Guide to Chalk

I noticed there has been a plethora of items in the news about college students being frightened by chalk. Since the best disinfectant for fear is the bright light of knowledge, I thought it was about time that someone perform a public service and provide a guide for these frightened youngsters about chalk. After all, they are the generation that grew up with white boards and expo markers. Erasers cleaning and clouds of white residue that you don't want up your nose is a strange thing to them. As a well known expert on nothing, I thought “Hey! With the help of Google and the power of Gaia, Goddess of the Earth, I can do that!” So here we go.

According to Google and Wikipedia, the chalk that the average aspiring college graduate (AACG) is most likely to encounter is something like this:
From Amazon

Just a little scary no? I can imagine that when encountered in the wild, it can be quite frightening. So let's break it down a little. The average chalk that you get from Amazon or your street corner dealer is mostly Calcium Carbonate. What exactly is calcium carbonate? The dorks over in the chemistry department actually call it Carbonic Acid Calcium Salt (CCaO3). Its molecule (very tiny piece of it) looks like this:
Courtesy of NIH

Now most of the AACGs reading that will think, “cool! Acid and a Bath Salt.. I bet we can get a good buzz off of that”. <Sigh> No, it really will won't do anything for you. In fact here's another image if CCaO3 you might be more familiar with, given your perchance for late night debauchery:
Amazon Again!
Now I realize all this hard science might be scaring the AACGs right now. After all, there is a reason they went for an Ivy League PhD in Interpretive Dance. So let's talk a little about where chalk comes from. Like most natural occurring compounds, it mostly is dug out of the ground in big holes :

UK Geo-Hazards
By burly man like this:
Sugar Bear from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo - yes - he works in a chalk mine - Google It!
That's no reason to be scared of it. Beyond big mining raping mother earth to give color sticks to small children who write horrible things on the sidewalk just outside your dorm! And scary redneck uneducated white men!

Ok, ok. Let's move on the what Chalk isn't.

First of all it is not this:
Yep! Amazon Again!
While you found those tasty in your “AUD4 – Regressive Toddler Experiences” course, they are not crayons. If you do decide to eat chalk, it will not leave you wanting more, nor will it satisfy that empty place inside you because your mommy loved your daddy more than you. No, chalk is definitely not a consumable.

That's not to say that there are not edible things that look like chalk. Take these for instance:
Amazon! Who Knew!
Unlike e-cigs all your friends are smoking, you can be really scary (and ironic) and pretend to smoke those. They look like evil tobacco, yet when examined up close, resemble the terrifying chalk. That's as bad-assed as a nipple pierce.

It also is not sentient. Unlike guns, chalk will not jump out of the box on it's own and maim and kill bystanders who are unwise enough to glance in it's direction in a death dealing spray of of pure evil. Now how do I know this? I conducted an experiment. I took a piece of chalk and laid it out on my porch. Here's a picture:

I left it there until the next day. Here's a picture of it the next day:

Yep! It's still lying there. Unmoved. Like a rock. No – that is not the same picture just reversed. I am a lauded self-certified blog writer. How dare you question my integrity! So what did we learn from this experiment? First off, I should have gotten a government grant before doing this. If the government is willing to pay half a million dollars to study shrimp on a treadmill:

who am I to turn down a few bucks to determine if big rocks, that are ground down, colored, and smushed into sticks turn into intelligent entities.

Secondly, we see that chalk when left alone will lie around and do nothing. That's something that the average ACG can get behind! So see, you have more in common with chalk than you realized. As you learned from that 'ABN3 – Staring at my <nether regions>' course you took to fulfill your Empathy requirement, “togetherness starts with being you”.

On that note, I will wrap this up. After all, I am not getting paid to write this and most of the AACGs stopped reading up there where I mentioned 'bath salts'. For those still reading, I hope this will help you be just a little less frightened of chalk next time you encounter it in the wild. With a little understanding, and a lot love, we all can coexist! Peace On! No.. Peace Out!