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Thursday, May 22, 2014

10 Things You Don't Need To Know You Know



I didn't know I'd ever need this photo. Norma took it in the dark when she was watering  plants. She liked how water looked flying out the hose so she fetched her camera and took a picture, got all wet too. I thought it might fit an essay about enigmas because it has a nebulous aspect to it, but at the time I had no idea how it would illustrate anything I knew about. So that's one.

#2.  When I turn this computer on, it opens to a typical news site,  typical in that it's full of sensational headlines that read like titles of bad dreams. It also usually has a couple pieces headed 10 Things You Need To Know!... about this and that, which contain useful information my brain retains for whole nanoseconds --after which I continue to demonstrate prodigious and astonishing ignorance. For example:

#3.  You share 55% of genetic information with a banana. You and a potato have about the same number chromosomes. But what happens at family picnics? You EAT them! I don't know about you but I don't need to know that I know that. If you're an omnivore, like me, you may also not want to know you share 90% of your genotype with beef. Happily, in addition to my reliable amnesia regarding this culinary outrage, advertisers of beef know I am half banana and will believe anything.

#4.  If you are a morning person, there are many 10-reason articles telling why you are healthier and saner than I am. Because of work [from Proto-Germanic wurkijan and Old English wircan, meaning exhaustion] I got up before dawn for forty-five years and never got used to it. So I retired and now cannot endure morning sun until late afternoon. Do you need to know that? Certainly not before noon which, in times more enlightened than our own, came much later in the day.

#5.  I can't think of another one--maybe 10 reasons we should be glad poop is heavier than air and we aren't blundering into it as it drifts around. Or maybe there are 10 tips answering questions in important job interviews like these: Can you foretell the past? Remember the future? Make a sound like glass shattering? Possibly I could examine administrative announcements from the Federal Reserve and U.S. government regarding investments in more bridges for people to live under. Ah, Norma just got home!

#6.  I'm ok alone, if you don't count whimpering at the back door and the hole I chewed in the couch. She went out to shop with Christina, who I've only known since 1968, so who knows how reliable she is? No, that is one of the things I do know that I know, which indicates an end to this list. However, in keeping with the theme of Ten Things, let's consider our remainder and how it might address the whole of human knowledge. If there are three or four more things we don't need to know we know, won't stopping at #5 or #6 do? I DON'T KNOW.

#7 through 10.   Mice and humans both have 30,000 genes, of which only 300 are unique to either species, so they are 99% related. Yes, let's stop here and have some cheese --with which we share only distant kinship.




22 comments:

  1. I initially had no clue what that photo was, despite the fact that I have a spectacular imagination. I like it. (the photo - - not my imagination).

    I've always known that I'm a banana head and a couch potato, but I never knew that mice and I have 30,000 genes. I admittedly love cheese, and have more than once been caught in traps.

    My mind is muddled tonight. My comment is worthless. But I always enjoy your informative posts.

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    1. Jon, your comments are of great worth to me and if your mind is muddled we're definitely on the same wavelength.

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  2. Dear Geo.,
    you made (again) my day! As an unvoluntary morning person (I wake up though I haven't to, at least not that early) after tea on the balcony (it's summer in the city!) I looked into the computer. Abstained from the quizzes like: "Which of the 7 dwarfs you would be?" because I choose to be Snowwhite. Was very glad about your comment on the poem-translation. And then I laughed out loud when reading the 55% banana - gene information. It explains so much - "Had I but Known", as dear old Dr. Thorndyke says. In Germany we have a saying: "Why? Why? Why is the banana curved?/ Well if it was straight it wouldn't be a banana" - a (rhyming) saying that people of Olde Days (before EU-regulations) answered their children who asked all of the time (I knew it by heart very very early - "Why?")
    The photo that Norma took is very beautiful!

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    1. Dear kind Brigitta, I am pleased you could use comment on "spirit" as der Geist-- mind, ghost, wit, intellect, psyche, soul--air and breath. Snow White indeed should always be wakened with a kiss, but only at a civilized hour. I will relay your compliment to Norma. She is amazed people like her photos!

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  3. One of the (few) things that I know I know is that most of my body is water. And, going by that superb normaphoto I am MUCH more beautiful on the inside.

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    1. Thank you, E.C., I did not know Norma photoed a human doing cartwheels inside-out in the dark. She told me it was the hose, but yes you are beautiful inside!

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  4. There are more than 10 things I know that I wish I didn't know and many many many more things that I don't know and likely never will. The number of things I THINK I know but really don't is downright frightening. How I get through life knowing so little is unfathomable to me. I derive great comfort in sharing genetic information with bananas and mice and every other thing on this planet. It means I belong here. I think.

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    1. You're right, there is a comfort and security in biodiversity. We chose our planet wisely.

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  5. These tidbits made my day Geo. I never realized I had so much in common with a banana. This does explain a lot though, as I am rather banana-brained. And I KNEW there was a plus side to being a morning person!

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    1. Thanks Keith, Norma's a morning person and I still love her too.

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  6. All I know is that since I've retired I only need to know where the coffee is in the kitchen, where I left the &%$$# keys, and remember to call the kids every week so they don't put me in the home.

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    1. Yes, you've got the important things covered. All other retirement survival skills are secondary.

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  7. Good Morning Geo
    Your post is the first one I have read this morning and I have to tell you you are pure delight, I love your sense of humor.
    Norma's photo is awesome.

    Have a great day
    Smiles

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    1. Kind Margie, good morning! I will relay your compliment to Norma.

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  8. I am hoping to add some cat genes in my next incarnation.

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    1. Durable creatures. Wise choice!

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  9. Geo, you sure get me giggling! You and a slice of Gouda make for an entertaining evening!

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    1. Thank you, Helena! I honestly believe I've never been complimented in quite that way.

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  10. Fascinating facts. I am also a person who can happily do without morning. At the same time we tend to spend those late hours at night by filling our heads with interesting but basically useless information. But we are never at a loss to join in a conversation. The picture of water is wonderful. I felt like going swimming.

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    1. This hot evening, I too feel like swimming! Swimming and filling one's head with interesting, useless information are good things, even if they defy solemn and sober analysis.

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  11. These facts are fascinating, and the photo is very powerful.

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  12. I don't have the right kind of patience for counting genes but I do have the right kind of appreciation for the human-banana bond. Makes the world a happier place, and we are very lucky with the density of poop too :-)

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