Monday, January 3, 2011

Why don't the tiny, hollow bones of birds freeze in the winter time?

Or - Do dogs get headaches?
I have been driving myself crazy with these questions all day.

What the hell did we ever do before Google?
Well, I often asked my grandma and she didn't have too many answers - or any that actually made sense.
I remember the giant 12-inch thick DICTIONARY at my house, which was mostly used when babies came to visit to allow them to be tall enough to sit at the dinner table with us. If they were really little, we could always grab a couple of Collier's Encyclopedias.

Google has made it possible for every tidbit of information that we would ever want - not need, mind you - to be reached in a nano-second.

A friend told me when I asked someone about this Saturday that before Google "We walked around stupid."

I like to think it was uneducated but I really think she was a bit right. How often did we not check, research, look into something because it would have been a cumbersome process? And so that question would go unanswered. And 35 years later, when someone asks you how to blanche almonds... see? You don't know! What else did we fail to know? Could there have been information out there that would have changed each of our lives, set us on a different path, given us options (am I projecting too much here?)

And look beyond Google's educational value.
We can watch penguins dance, grown men make fools of themselves by trying out their sons' skateboards, our grandchildren proposing to their prospective brides, document and keep the sounds of our children's first words, find out how much shipping would be on a full-size leather ottoman, and reunite with lost loves. Wait - scratch that last one. As some of my friends remember, that didn't work out too well...

So I think it would be stupid to not get rid of a little stupid. I've thought about this all day and I can't really see a downside to this landslide of available information. I'm going to turn into a Googling Fool, a G-Maniac. I'm gonna Google this willy-nilly and Google that madcap. I'm going to look up cherry vanilla cake recipes and classmates from 1966. I'm going to check the words to Stairway to Heaven. I'm watching marching bands take the field, cats sing dance tunes, and listing which plants will grow best in my shady yard.
And I'm finding out why birds don't freeze and if dogs get headaches.

Hold on there - it only takes .00034 seconds.
And, voila!

Birds actually use several tricks to keep their legs from freezing. First they can stand on one leg and pull the other up under their feathers when one leg starts getting too cold. And if it gets really cold, they can squat to cover both legs with breast feathers. If you see a bird doing this, they may be getting uncomfortably cold legs.

And yes, scientists believe that dogs get headaches. But apparently not enough - have you heard about the exploding pet population???


Becky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky said...

I use it for medical info, recipes, shopping, phone numbers, etc. I find it very helpful! It has almost everything you could ever think of.

Elenka said...

I use it almost daily for something....I don't know what I did without it. I love it.