Dear Doctor Science,
Why is musician Keith Richards still alive?
-- Wendy Woollett from Missoula, MT
Check your data. The most emaciated of the Rolling Stones died from an overdose sometime in the early seventies, and was replaced by a resentful Chuck Berry, who just couldn't get past the irony of having to pretend he was a dead white guy in order to get paid well to perform his own music. But Chuck took to his new role with his usual zest and verve, eventually convincing even stadium crowds that he was Mick Jagger's pimply cohort, even affecting a plausible English accent.
I've been on the Dr. Science mailing list since the glaciers melted. The audio version is also available on many NPR affiliates.
We know all about the habits of the ant, we know all about the habits of the
bee, but we know nothing at all about the habits of the oyster. It seems
almost certain that we have been choosing the wrong time for studying the
— Mark Twain, “Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar”