December 25th, 1642, Julian calendar, Sir Isaac Newton is born. Jesus, on the other hand, was actually born in the summer. His birthday was moved to coincide with the traditional Pagan holiday that celebrated the Winter Solstice with lit fires and slaughtered goats. Which, frankly, sounds like more fun than 12 hours of church with my mother followed by a fruitcake. –Merry Newtonmas, everyone!
It's OK, you don't have to give me anything in return. –Of course I do. The essence of custom is that I now have to go out and purchase for you a gift of commensurate value and representing the same perceived level of friendship as that represented by the gift you've given me. It's no wonder suicide rates skyrocket this time of year.
I got you and Leonard a few silly neighbor-gifts, so I'll just put them under my tree. –Wait! You bought me a present? –Uh-huh. –But why would you do such a thing? –I don't know, 'cause it's Christmas? –Oh, Penny! I know you think you're being generous, but the foundation of gift-giving is reciprocity. You haven't given me a gift. You've given me an obligation.
Come on, Howard, the odds of us picking up girls in a bar are practically zero. –OK, really? Are you familiar with the Drake Equation? –The one that estimates the odds of making contact with extraterrestrials by calculating the product of an increasingly restrictive series of fractional values such as those stars and planets, and those planets likely to develop life: N = R* × ƒp × ne × ƒl × ƒi × ƒc × L? –Yeah. That one.