Down is possibly the most common substance in the universe. It can be obtained from an infinite number of sources. You can get down from a horse, you can get down from a ladder, you can get down from a mountain and you can get down from a tree, to name just a few of the more common sources of this substance. You can also get down from a duck, but that is completely different.
The Extent of Down
Scientists have only recently begun to recognize the full extent of down's availability when they confirmed that astronauts were able to get down from space shuttles, they were able to get down from the moon and it appears that they will be able to get down from outer space.
In the animal world, in addition to horses, we can get down from elephants, from giraffes, from grizzly bears and from large dogs. It is not common, however, to get down from snakes, from rabbits, from cats, nor from insects of any type.
Children, in many different cultures have found their own sources of down. Over the ages children have been observed getting down from tree houses, from rock ledges, from telephone poles and from construction machinery. Perhaps the most universal source of down for children is there: it is estimated that world-wide at least two or three parents per second are instructing children to "get down from there". (Editor's note: It is also possible to get down from here.)
Down is more widespread than is commonly recognized, and is often encountered under other guises. On occasion we hear economists and government authorities admitting that unemployment is down, the economy is down, immigration is down and industrial production is down.
There is evidence, however, that government authorities and the medical establishment are conspiring to confuse public perceptions about down. There are many instances recorded where public officials have proclaimed that inflation is up, that gasoline prices are up, and that terrorism and crime rates are up. Doctors, too, advise their patients that red cell blood counts are up, that cholesterol is up and that body fat is up.
The confusion conspiracy lies in the fact that "up" is simply another way of saying "down." This simple fact can be verified by asking anyone in a suburban city for directions to get downtown, and later, asking other people, or even asking the same people at different times how to get uptown and you will discover that the answers are identical. It is logically obvious, therefore, that if uptown and downtown are the same place then "up" and "down" are also the same.
Characteristics Of Down
“Feeling down makes me depressed.”
Although it is classified as being invisible, it is possible to see down. To observe down, it is only necessary to position oneself in a comfortable place and look up. Immediately look in the opposite direction without blinking and what you see is down.
Contact with down is not recommended for persons who are subject to mental instability. Sigmund Freud, noted that, without exception, all of his patients who reported feeling down, immediately displayed signs of depression. Football players are often physically abused when they attempt to touch down.
Dentists have also reported that down in the mouth can have an undesirable effect on the appearance of a person's smile.
The Study of Down
People who study down are called downers, and the first degree in downology was granted in 1883 at the University of Downe,in Kent county, England to Charles Darwin, who later distinguished himself by forming the theory of evolution which was based on his attempts to break down using a large mallet which he swung either down or up. The process was called down beating but was finally abandoned when other scientists took issue with his theory of evolution and proposed to shoot down. Today the scientific community is still at odds over the two theories. Those who have opted for Darwin's theory are commonly referred to as down-and-outers, while the other camp are considered to be down-to-earth supporters.
In spite of its abundance and its infinite varieties, scientists have had considerable difficult in getting a handle on down because of a phenomenon which Stephen Hawking has called down wind. Basically, what happens is that whenever a sufficient quantity of down is collected in one place to study it, the collection spontaneously and suddenly disperses and scatters widely in the same way a pile of feathers would if they were subjected to an unexpected blast of wind. This means that the period which is available to study it, the downtime, is virtually non-existent.
The scattering down has lead to the observation that all down seems to have at least three distinct layers, which have been named upper down, middle down, and lower down. Lower down seems to be the heaviest because it always reaches the ground first and is considered by some down watchers to be the same down that ancient Romans used to call fall down which they collected at the end of the summer and celebrated with huge, elaborate orgies which we now refer to as their down fall parties.
Over the years, scientists have failed in more experiments involving down that perhaps in any other field of science. A few of the more important failures with down are listed below:
- boil down - various efforts have been made to cook down, with limited success.
- bring down - numerous experiments have attempted to transport down, but never with any certainty.
- call down - Alexander Graham Bell's greatest frustration was his inability to communicate with down using his telephone. He always got a busy signal.
- cut down - Slicing, mincing, chopping and severing tools seem to be ineffective on down.
- die (dye) down - Neither organic nor synthetic colorants have been able to have more than a fleeting effect on the color which down has.
- keep down - Storage of down for more than a few seconds had never been accomplished until J. Edgar Hoover applied a vacuum to a showdown, but this was later revoked by the FBI.
- let down - Real estate agents and other landlords have been attempting for ages to rent down, as they do flats, but the idea just doesn't find favor with the renting public.
- mow down - Massey Ferguson and John Deere were almost forced into bankruptcy in their obsession with finding a way to harvest down profitably when it was ripe.
- pull down - Orthodontists have long been preoccupied with efforts to remove down in the mouth from their patients.
- slap down - Before sexual harassment became an issue, feminists became increasingly frustrated in their attempts to slap down in a work environment. With the advent of anti harassment legislation, this concern seems to have evaporated.
- spell down - Alfred E. Neuman was the first celebrity to ever attempt to spell down, and look what it did for him.
- stop down - Law enforcement authorities and prison officials have long been concerned over how they would recapture an escaped down. They maintain that it is not a matter of if, but when.
- wash down - Almost everyone who has ever had any contact with down agrees that it is inherently dirty, smelly and undesirable in its natural state, however, no one has yet devised an effective method to clean up down.
- beat down - see beat up.