Sunday Scribbling #64: Eccentricity

The theme for Sunday Scribbling #64: Eccentricity is fun & tempting -- for this Sunday Scribbling I'd like you to:

a) admit any eccentricities you may have, or wish you had, or any you might choose to cultivate;
b) write about eccentric people you know or have heard or read about;
(In popular usage, eccentricity refers to unusual or odd behavior on the part of an individual. This behavior would typically be perceived as unusual or unnecessary, without being demonstrably maladaptive. Eccentricity is contrasted with "normal" behavior, the nearly universal means by which individuals in society solve given problems and pursue certain priorities in everyday life. For people who consistently display benignly eccentric behaviour, there is a label: "eccentrics". Eccentrics will often find unconventional solutions to problems. ~ Wikipedia.)

Honey lamb, most of my friends are gay; they all have idiosyncrasies.

I am not stating that “straights” do not have their quirks, which are merely more sublime in nature. Consider the vast population of Americans that can not leave their homes without having cell phone, iPod, or a laptop on their person. There is another entire group which swears that a day can not officially commence without a cup of Starbucks in hand. Yet another group insists that one’s shoes must at all times match one’s outfit (hence they have more shoes in their closets than most of us have in our lifetime.)

Other (now common) eccentric behaviour would include the amount of money we spend on our pets. Fluffy or spot is oft attired in (what we think are) comfortable sweaters, vests or shirts. Some go as far as buying booties for their little pawpaws so that nasty brrrrzy snow does not bother their sweet little pads.

Eccentric is buying a car because it has a built-in flower vase, by the way.

Eccentrics may comprehend the standards for normal behavior in their culture, or they may not. They are simply unconcerned by society's disapproval of their habits or beliefs. Many of history's most brilliant minds have displayed many unusual behaviors and habits.

I personally do have many eccentricities, which I shall not bore you with here. Things must be “just so” and they are what identifies me. I embrace my idiosyncrasies as they define me. I collect things (manthoms) that other people would find absurd or pointless. My hearty lust for fossils, books, certain animals (such as my newfound “sheeps” wanderlust) and books knows no bounds. I am quite anal retentive in what I procure, as any first-rate eccentric collector will attest to when conversing in regard to his own collections.

Other people may have eccentric taste in clothes, or have eccentric hobbies or collections which they pursue with great vigour. They may have a pedantic and precise manner of speaking, intermingled with inventive wordplay (I am very guilty of that!)

Wikipedia ponders the behaviours of eccentrics by stating, "Behavioral eccentricities have often been classically associated with psychological profiles indicating overcompensation, insecurities, unresolved childhood issues, involuntary celibacy and other sexual issues, repressed feelings, social ineptness, monomania, or a variety of other influences, even if the person would not necessarily be classified as insane. Some accepted psychological profiles that are commonly attributed to eccentrics are the Oedipus complex (a primal desire on the part of a young male to compete with his father for his mother's love and affection), Napoleon complex (colloquial term used to describe a type of inferiority complex suffered by people who are short), Peter Pan Syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and various forms of autism, most notably Asperger syndrome. Eccentric behavior has also been attributed to drug use.”

Yes, dear Readers, some eccentrics are mad. It is the fuel that pilots them in life, the addiction that grounds them (or so they assume), and the shackles that oppress them in their daily lives. Howard Hughes collected his own urine and never clipped his toenails.

The word “eccentric” it not as bad as one might think (although I strongly urge you, dear Readers, to not label yourselves as eccentric until you are prepared to deal with how the real world perceives you going about in your created one.)

In mathematics, eccentricity is a parameter associated with every conic section. It can be thought of as a measure of how much the conic section deviates from being circular. In particular,
· The eccentricity of a circle is zero.
· The eccentricity of an (non-circle) ellipse is greater than zero and less than 1.
· The eccentricity of a parabola is 1.
· The eccentricity of a hyperbola is greater than 1 and less than infinity.
· The eccentricity of a straight line is 1 or ∞, depending on the definition used.

In astrodynamics, under standard assumptions, any orbit must be of conic section shape. The eccentricity of this conic section, the orbit's eccentricity, is an important parameter of the orbit that defines its absolute shape. Eccentricity may be interpreted as a measure of how much this shape deviates from a circle.
Under standard assumptions eccentricity (“e” as the actual symbol will not transfer into the blog format) is strictly defined for all circular, elliptic, parabolic and hyperbolic orbits and may take following values:
· for circular orbits: e = 0,
· for elliptic orbits: 0 <>
· for parabolic trajectories: e = 1,
· for hyperbolic trajectories: e > 1.

But I digress (it is one of my idiosyncrasies!)

8 responded with...:

Anonymous said...

I studied in college about the Mathematical and physics definition. Great that you recalled that! Tghanks!

spacedlaw said...

Why be normal ?
Actually can anyone be normal ?
What is normal ?
Sorry, I am digressing too.

JHS said...

"Eccentric is buying a car because it has a built-in flower vase, by the way." Fabulous post . . .but that was my favorite line. I too have many eccentricities . . . the question is whether I am going to write about them or not . . .

Betty Carlson said...

I enjoyed how you pointed out the eccentricity of relatively frequent behavior patterns, such as carrying an Ipod or a cell phone around. Great post.

Anonymous said...

LOL! Well stated.

Gill said...

A very interesting take on todays topic - great post.

Unknown said...

Very well put!

lisrobbe said...

True to it's every word. Great post!