I don’t remember asking thousands of questions as a child, but I know that I have an extremely curious mind paired with an insatiable desire to understand things. This served me well in high school and college where I wasn’t content with learning the facts but instead pushed further into the hows and whys of things so that concepts stuck in my head for more than the few days needed for an exam. I also spent a ton of time reading encyclopedias, books, and maps, hoping to learn how things worked. This has made me an excellent trivia player, by the way.
Thanks to the modern world, I now have Google at my fingertips, always ready to give me answers to my thousands of questions. My husband used to be the sole answer-er of my probing questions. I am pretty sure he spent the first few years of my marriage just answering, “I don’t know, honey. We’ll have to look that up.” And he is a really smart guy (who thankfully stuck it out with me into the age of Google!).
But for all that Google, encyclopedias, books and experts have given me, there are some things that my brain just doesn’t understand. I haven’t given up on these concepts; on the contrary, these topics float around in my head all the time trying to gain some resolution.
This is a not-at-all conclusive list of things that confuse me, even after Googling how they work.
This outdated TV technology still confuses me. Photo by FlickrCommons/AdamKent
Television. I know this is nearly a 100-year-old technology, but I honestly just don’t understand it. As well as digital cameras. And non-digital cameras. Basically anything having to do with images like text messages or web pages that apparently get zapped into teeny, tiny pieces and fly Willie Wonky style through the air, landing on my phone or laptop or TV.
People who don’t wait patiently in lines. This is self-explanatory.
Kombucha. I had NO idea what Kombucha was (and I was too afraid to ask the cool kids at Whole Foods for an explanation– this would of course prove my naivety). Finally, a close friend of mine asked me what type of Kombucha I liked. I briefly reflected on our years of friendship, realizing that she might not judge me solely on this idiotic moment, and told her I had no clue what Kombucha was, although I still knew it was popular, so don’t make fun of me please.
My friend told me that Kombucha is a kick-butt health drink that actually tasted amazing, sort of like a soda, she said. It is made of active cultures, yeasty stuff, and tea.
About a week later, while at this friend’s house, another friend brought over her “starter” to make her own Kombucha (Google tells me this is called a “scoby”). In case you haven’t ever seen a Kombucha scoby, it looks like an alien baby in a glass jar from a 1950s science class. A dead alien baby at that. My scoby-toting friend tried to convince the other that it was all good and normal and healthy and you just kept feeding it sugar to keep it alive and then poured tea in and it became a yummy drink. I might have missed part of the instructions because I was imagining the dead alien baby coming alive inside my friend’s refrigerator, attacking her children the next morning while they opened the door to get a glass of orange juice. It was frightening.
So, I have never tried Kombucha. And I don’t think I ever will. I have never eaten a dead alien baby (or drank its… juices?) and I don’t think I will start now.
Matcha. I am not a tea drinker, but I have seen this advertised at Starbucks and Whole Foods and the internets. I am afraid it is related to Kombucha, so I am avoiding it.
Photo by FlickrCommons/Steenbergs
The Blue Sky. I know that the age old question is “Why is the sky blue?” That question is widely regarded as silly and obvious. I asked it out loud in 9th grade earth science and my teacher tried to explain it to me, but it never sunk in. I have Googled it, researched it, and investigated it to no avail. I still don’t get it. Here is what confuses me:
When I look through the atmosphere across the street, I don’t see any hints of blue- the sky is clear. When I am flying in an airplane and look down through the sky, I can see the cities and cars and oceans- the sky is clear. But when I look through sky to sky, it is blue. Is there a point where the blueness sits on some small particle in the background of everything and we don’t see the blue until that thing (a bird, a plane, superman, whatever) moves?
What about outer space- why is it black but you can still see through it? When my room is black and dark I can’t see a single thing, but the black of outer space still showcases the earth in all its round glory. (and yes, that last part was a slam against the Flat Earth Society. I may not be a scientist, but I get that part.)
Eternity. This is a common one for a lot of people, I think. I am a Christian and believe in heaven but whenever the concept of eternity pops in my mind, I have a little panic attack because no matter what I do, I can’t seem to wrap my brain around it. There was a period of a few years where I doubted my faith in God because I couldn’t grasp an eternity in heaven, but it one day occured to me that I equally cannot grasp an eternity of absolute nothingness if there is nothing after this earth. It sounds silly, but that became the reason I stopped doubting my faith all the time.
I still TOTALLY don’t get time. I know that Einstein and Stephen Hawking and The Rolling Stones all talked and wrote and theorized about time, but it freaks the crap out of me. Some movies surprise me with a weird time-altering, time-suspending plot (I am looking at you, Interstellar) and I can’t sleep for days (which is maybe its own form of time altering as well, to be honest). I believe God exists outside of time. I just don’t get it. And probably never will.
Canine or feline? It’s hard to say. Photo by FlickrCommons/Steve Slocomb
Foxes. Technically they are in the dog family, but they have a bunch of cat traits. I really like things to be either/or not and/both.
Barbie movies. This might have more to do with the fact that my kids are currently watching Barbie movies that seem to be mostly without plot. Thankfully, this doesn’t keep me up at night. But if you are ever looking for a terrible children’s book, I heartily recommend the Barbie-books-based-on-Barbie-movies series. The extremely complicated plots with dozens of characters are reduced to 5-6 pages of absurdity that doesn’t make sense unless you have seen the films. I think this is a definite ploy.
My mixed-breed poodle, likely contemplating my imminent doom
Dogs laying at human’s feet. I have an adorable poodle-bichon-possibly-shi-tzu mix of a dog that sleeps at my feet. I Googled this phenomenon and the experts say that if a dog sleeps at your feet, it means they love you and want to protect you from attack. Do dogs not understand where my vital organs are? Unless dogs have a Little-Mermaid Scuttle Syndrome (ie. thinking the heartbeat is found in the feet), then my dog actually wants me to die if I was attacked. This doesn’t seem like real love.
What about you? What probing questions do you have that never seem to be answered?