I never understood why they say curiosity killed the cat. It seems that curiosity may have killed one cat but taught many others what not to do. I hope this is true for humans.
I am an incredibly curious person. Along with that, for some reason, I seem to retain the oddest bits of information. When cable tv first landed in people’s homes back in the 1970s and Discovery Channel was more of a nature channel, I was enthralled. I watched it non-stop. The programs were more educational back then, versus today’s more sensationalized entertainment. I could not get enough.
And it paid off for me too. Imagine being on a boat floating down a river in Costa Rica and a bird flew by and landed along the shoreline. I recognized that bird from one of my Wild Kingdom-style shows, and I would spout off its name and some fact about it. Gary and my sisters would all look at me like I was crazy and indignantly ask me how I knew that. I would say…”The Discovery Channel”. They would predictably laugh and then the guide would look at them and say, “You know…, he is correct!” And so it has gone for vacations ever since, but now they no longer laugh but accept my information. This example may seem silly, but my curiosity gave me knowledge and knowledge is power.
How Do I Feed This Curiosity?
To me, curiosity is the cornerstone of a thriving civilization. It is how we have gone from horse and buggy to sending rovers to Mars. It is always about the what if. I think about what ifs all the time. I rarely have the answers, but that does not mean that I stop asking questions.
What if people did not fear difference? What if dogs could talk; what would they tell us? What if all people are created equal, really equal? What if, this? What if, that?
Like I said, I do not know the answers to so many questions, but I hope in my lifetime I can learn as much as I can. One of the ways I learn is by listening to others. I found TED many years ago through friends.
I am a huge fan of TED. I went to the TEDx Charleston event a couple of years ago and loved it. If you are unfamiliar with TED, you may be missing out on an opportunity to learn from experts and thinkers about many subjects that are plaguing our world today. The talks are usually no longer than 18 minutes and are a great way to take a break from the TV and learn something you always wanted to know. Or better yet, something you thought you never needed to know.
These are videos with sound so watching while at work may be frowned upon.
Sleep Deprivation in Teens
A talk I just watched was about sleep deprivation in teenagers and why middle and high schools should start no earlier than 8:30 am but maybe even later. And it’s not about social media; it is about biology It explains a whole lot about why teenagers want to stay up late and can’t get up in the morning. I wish my mom knew about this.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
I have actually have thought a lot about this next talk. It really bothers me that some plastics are recyclable and some are not, so this talk gave me such hope. And from a kid no less. A bunch of kids figured out what adults said was not possible. I look forward to the day I can include styrofoam in my recycling bin.
Hate for Hate’s sake
This next talk is very, very important to me as a gay person who has stood in front of these Westboro Baptist Church protesters who were screaming obscenities and hate speech at my friends and me. I am so happy to see that someone finally got through to her. There is hope.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of TED talks online. I hope that when you have 20 minutes, you will watch one that will challenge your norms and make you second guess what you believe.
Betcha did not know this:
White chocolate is not chocolate. As a matter of fact, it is the remaining cocoa butter (aka fat/oil) after the chocolate is extracted from the cocoa bean. Nestle was not happy with such a waste of good fat, so they added milk solids, sugar, milk fat and lecithin and called it white chocolate. Don’t get me started. This is wrong! There is no chocolate in white chocolate.
Enough for now.