Saturday, January 12, 2008

Curiosity and the cat


1. Ancient Egypt. I read about the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb when I was in grade school, and it made me want to be an archaeologist. After learning more about it, and after taking a class in college, I realized that it's not all glamour and excitement--it can be very tedious. That doesn't mean I ever lost my fascination with it, and it was so exciting to travel to Philadelphia last March and see the Tutankhamen exhibit.

2. How planes fly. I've read it over and over again, Ken has explained it to me, but if I had to explain it right now, I couldn't do it. I know it has something to do with difference in pressure and air speed, but I couldn't explain it thoroughly.

3. Life in other eras. I've read quite a bit of history (not of all places and times, but several that I find interesting) and historical fiction, and I'm fascinated by what it was like to live in other times. While it's not far removed from my actual time, I'm a sucker for the 1920's-1960's time frame, specifically Route 66. Other times and places get to me, too, like North America prior to European occupation, medieval England, Victorian England, which brings me to....

4. Who was Jack the Ripper? There have been many theories, but no one really knows for sure. The details of the murders and his crime spree rival any modern serial killers' run.

5. Nature. A broad topic, but there is much to be curious about. The oddest and tiniest things will capture my attention when I'm out in the yard, whether it's a weird-looking bug, a caterpillar, a pretty wildflower, or a spider web. I also love watching our critters (we watched four 8-point bucks walk through the yard last evening), and I wonder what they do all day, and how they keep warm at night. Do the deer huddle up in herds and keep each other warm? That's what I suspect, but I don't really know.

6. What goes through our cat's mind? Probably not much, but I believe there is something going on in Sheeba's little noggin.

7. I would love to see what it looked like a hundred years ago, right where I'm sitting. We're cozy and warm in our house, but I suspect that in 1908, this was a very forested and wild area, with coyotes (they're still here), wolves, and cougars (some believe that cougars are still in the area).

8. Words. I love to read about the origin of words and phrases, I love to read quotes about various subjects, and I strive to learn more about the language and about word usage and grammar. I would fain learn every word in the dictionary, if but I could!

9. The Aztec/Maya/Inca civilizations. There is still much to be learned about these societies. This is related to Number One, but I think it's so neat to think about hiking through the jungle and to come across one of their temples, overgrown and almost completely consumed by vegetation. Who knows what secrets are inside? Hidden treasures? Ancient formulae for curing cancer or other diseases? Charts that explain the climate changes that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs? This is all just my imagination, but isn't it fun to think about?

10. The capacity and potential of the human mind and brain. What are we capable of? Apparently, the brain can relearn its patterns and compensate for grievous injuries. Stroke victims often find that their brain will follow a different pathway in order to reach a familiar destination. The faulty wiring of some people's minds also fascinates me...what causes things to go wrong? Is it hereditary or environmental? Nature or nurture? Is psychosis rooted in genetics, in upbringing, or in life experiences? I suspect a combination of all three, but there are so many possibilities. What makes a serial killer, for example?

So that's 10 things. There are so many more, and I tend to get almost bogged down in all the things that I want to read about and learn more about. I have books waiting in the wings about the Mafia, the Mayans,the Pacific Coast Highway, Monty Python, plus lots of novels...there is just SO much to discover, and so much to read. Every time we go on vacation to a new place, I want to learn about its history...thus the multiple books about New Orleans, Las Vegas, California, etc. And of course, Route 66. I've learned to scale it down a bit, to not buy quite so many books, but it's fun to think about retirement and traveling and exploring and reading!

Happy wanderings, whether it's physical or mental. Be a sponge and learn all you can! I believe that part of our journey in life should be to strive to expand our horizons. You may love cats or you may hate 'em, but a good lesson we can learn from them is to remain curious.


deshelestraci said...

I like your list.  I'm partial to numbers 1, 3,5,7,8,9 and 10.  Ok, pretty much all of it!

xaymacagirl said...

I'm a firm believer in learning as much as I can.  I too am fascinated with words, their origins and usage.  The human mind is also another subject I'm sure we'll never know everything about.

Hmm...I'm guessing the need to know is why I like TLC & Discovery more than all the others.

Great post.

luvrte66 said...

Thanks, Traci! Your comment made me laugh! Sounds like we have similar interests and curiosities...

Hugs, Beth

luvrte66 said...

xaymacagirl, thanks for the comment, and thanks for reading! Isn't it true? There is just SO much out there...sometimes I feel overwhelmed by how much I want to read about and learn about.