Here is a recent conversation I had on MicroMuse, with one of our young people. For a while she had been pondering a particularly challenging brainteaser, called the Fiendishly Difficult Puzzle. But this conversation is not about that puzzle.AnneLions waves.
Moulton: And now back to our regularly scheduled perplexities...
AnneLions: Ugh... I can't find my papers... so I might have to start over. Bah.
Moulton: That's prolly a Good Thing(tm). Lets you avoid repeating any dead-ender mistakes you might have made the first time around the block.
AnneLions: True, but it's so frustrating to have to start over.
Moulton: Yes. I can appreciate the frustration, annoyance, irritation, aggravation, and exasperation of having to start over. Argggghhhhh!!!!!
Moulton: That's called an Exhalation of Exasperation. Arrrrggghhhh!!!!!
Moulton: Later on, you will have a chance to experience the opposite of an Exhalation of Exasperation.
Moulton: Do you know the name of the opposite of an Exhalation of Exasperation?
AnneLions: Uhm... no idea.
Moulton: What is the Opposite of Exhale?
Moulton: OK. So what is the Opposite of an Exhalation?
Moulton: Good. Now let's do the other word...
Moulton: What is the opposite of Exasperation?
Moulton: Take the word apart ... Ex-Asper-Ation
Moulton: What is the opposite of the Ex part?
Moulton: The words Halate and Asperate have similar meaning.
Moulton: Similar etymologies.
AnneLions: Ooh, never heard those words before.
AnneLions: You make me think too hard. But that's good. ;)
Moulton: Try not to burn out any neurons before lunch. :)
Moulton: You'll be needing them again in the afternoon.
AnneLions watches as smoke comes out of her ears. ;)
Moulton: Do you know what a Halon is?
Moulton: Or a Halogen?
AnneLions knows about halogen light bulbs...
AnneLions looks it up in the dictionary, "Ooh. That's what halogen is."
Moulton: What is a Halogen?
AnneLions: Fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine.
Moulton: OK. What is it about those elements that you find of interest?
Moulton: Do you have any Bright Ideas about what they are good for?
Moulton: Why are they used in Halogen Light Bulbs rather than in Halogen Dimbulbs?
AnneLions: Well, it says a halon is a fire-extinguishing agent. So I guess it keeps the filament from burning up?
Moulton: Nope. That's not why they are in Halogen Light Bulbs.
Moulton: What is the difference between a Halogen Light Bulb and an Ordinary Light Bulb?
AnneLions: Uhm... they're brighter?
Moulton: Have you ever seen a painting with a Saint with a Halo around their head?
Moulton: Is a Saint a Bright Guy or a Dimbulb?
Moulton: So the property of the HaloGen is that they make the Bulb Brighter. They Generate the Halo.
Moulton: The Bright Glow.
Moulton: OK. So is the HaloGen in a Bright Glowing Light made of Solid, Liquid, or Gas?
Moulton: Good. It's a Gas.
Moulton: Now go back to Ex-Halation of Ex-Asperation ...
Moulton: What is the Substance that is in motion there?
Moulton: Put your open palm about 3 inches in front of your mouth and go "ARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!" What do you feel in your palm?
AnneLions laughs, "Breath, air."
Moulton: Good. Which direction was it moving?
Moulton: Good. In an Exhalation of Exasperation, your breath moves the air outwards.
Moulton: Now. What is the Opposite of an Exhalation?
AnneLions hmms, "Oh, would it be Inhalation of Inspiration?"
Moulton: Yes! Aha!
Moulton: Let's all say it together: Aha!
AnneLions feels like a dork now, for not realizing it sooner. ;)
Moulton: Now, the Asper and the Spira --- what's that word all about?
Moulton: When you go 'hrrmm' what is the Air of your Breath doing? In? Out? What?
AnneLions: Going out.
Moulton: Is your mouth even Open when you go 'Hrrmmm' ??
Moulton: If your mouth is closed, how does any air move either in or out?
AnneLions: Through my nose.
Moulton: Is the 'hrrmmm' airless or breathless? Put your knuckle up under your nose and go 'hrmmmm' ... How much air is moving? Which direction?
Moulton: Do a loooonnnnnnggggg 'hrmmmmmmm'.
Moulton: How much air do you feel on your knuckle under your nose when you go 'hrrmmmmm....' ??
AnneLions: Not much.
Moulton: Now you do it.. Now you SNORT. Any difference?
Moulton: Compare a SNIFF to a SNORT. Which way does the air move in each of those two cases?
AnneLions: A sniff's in and a snort's out.
Moulton: Good. And a HRRMMM is what direction? In, out, or still?
AnneLions: Out, but not much.
Moulton: Mostly still.
Moulton: Now let's return to our Inhalation of Inspiration ...
Moulton: The Spira is what?
Moulton: What does the word sound like? What other word do you know that sounds similar?
Moulton: Yes. Spire. And what other word do you know that begins with Spir ?
Moulton: Yes. Spiral. What else?
AnneLions: I can't think of anything else.
Moulton: Simpler, more everyday word.
Moulton: Did you ever attend a game of sports in school?
Moulton: Really? Never been to a football game, or a basketball game at school?
Moulton: Ever watch one on TV?
AnneLions: No... I think I went once to help sell something for the PTA, but I didn't pay attention to the game or anything. I don't care much for sports.
Moulton: Can you say what it is about Sports that turns you off?
AnneLions: Eh, I just don't think it's that interesting. I'm not playing, so I don't particularly care. ;)
Moulton: Do you ever do non-competitive sports, like skiing or bicycling?
Moulton: Or sky-diving?
AnneLions tries to picture herself skydiving, "Nope."
Moulton: Do you do any kind of Aerobic Exercise?
Moulton: Running, walking the dog, climbing stairs?
AnneLions: Ah, walking the dog, yes. ;)
Moulton: How fast does the dog want to go?
AnneLions: Faster than me. ;)
Moulton: Do you ever look at the dog's mouth and nose when you're out for walkies?
AnneLions: Eh, not really.
Moulton: Do you suppose the dog is going 'hrmmmmm'? Or do you suppose there is a lot of SNORTING and SNIFFING going on?
AnneLions laughs, "Snorting and sniffing."
Moulton: In the cold weather, can you see the dog's breath?
AnneLions: If it's cold enough, sure.
Moulton: When the dog is breathing heavily, is it LISTLESS? Or SPIRITED?
Moulton: Do you know the origins of the word 'Spirit'?
Moulton: Care to take a wild guess?
AnneLions: Something to do with gas?
Moulton: Yes. In Shakespeare, a Spirit is a Ghost. And what Substance is a Ghost made out of?
AnneLions: Gaseous stuff.
Moulton: Correct. One is Aghast at seeing a Ghost.
Moulton: And what happens to the flow of air in the mouth and lungs when one is Aghast at seeing a Ghost?
Moulton: What direction of flow is a Gasp?
Moulton: Good. So what is the stuff that's going In and Out?
AnneLions: Air. Gas.
Moulton: Correct. And what do we call the process of moving air in and out of the Lungs through the WindPipe?
Moulton: Aha! Breathing. Breath.
Moulton: And what is the Greek word for Breath?
AnneLions: Dang, pop quiz on other languages and I haven't studied. ;)
Moulton: Take a Deep Breath, then take a Wild Guess.
Moulton: Just pretend you are a Silly Goose.
Moulton: And just Spirt Out an answer.
AnneLions laughs, "Uhm... spir-something?"
Moulton: Aha. Spira. Did you enjoy Sparring with me? Was it Good Sport? Did you feel InSpired and Spirited?
Moulton: Breath == Spirit
Moulton: Breath, Spirit, Halo, Gas, Asper
Moulton: Ghost, Wind, Gasp, Aghast, Goose
Moulton: Halate, Asperate
Moulton: Ah, Ooh, Ha, Aha!
Moulton: Fume, Smoke, Thyme, Thymus, Thymia, Emotions.
Moulton: Emotions, Spirit, Inspiration
Moulton: Emotions, Motion, Movement, Air Movement.
Moulton: When you solve the Fiendishly Difficult Puzzle, you will experience an Inhalation of Inspiration.
Moulton: The opposite of an Exhalation of Exasperation.
Moulton: Enthusiasm == En+Theos == Inflated with the Spirit of God.
Moulton: When you Walk the Dog, notice the Breath. What is the Dog Enthused about?
AnneLions: Just getting to walk.
AnneLions has to make some breakfast.
Moulton: Bon Apetit.
AnneLions: Breakfast burritos, yum. Now, hopefully, I can think. ;)
Moonbeam: An english muffin topped with tomato slices and melted pepperjack cheese, here...yum
Moulton: Ooh. Ah. Yum. Ha!
Moulton: He said, breathlessly.