Random Acts 0.5

A semi-regular feature of uncategorizable writings that like to be in each others’ company.

Random Acts of Consciousness 0.5

By NHC

Data Plan: Have we evolved as people on account of Solid State technology? We are easily impressed when someone we know can recite a complete passage from Shakespeare or recall several fascinating statistics. However, the need to remember anything that cannot be stored on a hard drive is becoming less important every day. Prior to the arrival of the unexplainable marvel known as the computer chip, people actually used to (gasp!) remember things. Take for example Hanawa Hokichi, perhaps the most learned man in the history of civilization. Though blind at the age of seven, Hanawa continued to memorize and dictate until the age of 102. His memory contained more than 400,000 manuscripts, though he never heard them recited more than once.  With that base of information, he published the 2,820-volume Gunshu Ruiju, the largest reference book ever compiled. And so, tomorrow, as you listen to your co-workers struggle to retrieve their own thoughts, remember what this man achieved without the use of a smart phone.

Keeping your head above water: wild and domestic rice has been known to achieve a growth spurt in anticipation of a flood, just high enough to allow for harvesting. In a great display of survivalist skill, the plants can sometimes shoot up as high as fifteen feet while being deluged. Though their fate may be to end up on a plate of Chicken Biryani, you still have to admire the effort. Is our fate so vastly different?

Raymond Ditmars, curator of the Bronx Zoo, in reference to Buster, a Galapagos tortoise who weighed 120 lbs. when she arrived at the zoo but eventually tipped the scale at 310:  “Why wouldn’t she lose her sylph-like figure? Anybody would who ate 18,000 bananas and eleven acres of wisteria.”  This is what happens to animals exported to a zoo environment (and to humans who adopt slovenly habits).

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