One of the books Dr. Zal gave me last Chanukah/Christmas was The Body: A Guide For Occupants by Bill Bryson. His book, A Short History of Nearly Everything, is one of my all-time favorites.
Chapter 4 of The Body is titled, “The Brain.” I am going to skirt the fringes of copyright law and share some passages from that chapter that astounded me.
“The general paradox of the brain is that everything you know about the world is provided to you by an organ that has itself never seen the world.”
“Just sitting quietly, doing nothing at all, your brain churns through more information in thirty seconds than the Hubble Space Telescope has processed in thirty years.”
“Each neuron connects with thousands of other neurons, giving trillions and trillions of connections–as many connections ‘in a single cubic centimeter of brain tissue as there are stars in the Milky Way,’ to quote neuroscientist David Eagleman.”
“What is surely most curious and extraordinary about our brain is how largely unnecessary it is. [my note: too many people seem to act that way] To survive on Earth, you don’t need to be able write music or engage in philosophy–you really only need to be able to outthink a quadruped–so why have we evolved so much energy and risk in producing mental capacity that we don’t really need? That is just one of the many things about your brain that your brain won’t tell you.”
One of Bryson’s main themes about the brain is how little we actually know about it. For example, we don’t know why the two hemispheres of the cerebrum are “cross-wired.” That is, the right side of the cerebrum controls the left side of the body and vice versa. I am always put off, to be polite, by people who think they know everything about a given topic, that they have it all figured out and can predict the future. To be far less than polite, BULLSH*T!
“Trust those who seek the truth but doubt those who say they have found it.”
– André Gide
I think this car that my wonderful wife and I test-drove in December is still available:
We visited this luxury make palace on Saturday and a car looking very much like the one pictured above was sitting on the lot. Of course, now that we have three cars in our three-car garage and don’t have a lot anywhere near large enough to accommodate another car, a Maserati Gran Turismo coupe–or any other car, for that matter–is out of the question.
In a text exchange with David Banner (not his real name) I wrote that our current three-car garage is at least one space too small, but that I would probably feel that way no matter how large our garage. What can I say? I REALLY understand how people wind up owning dozens of cars.
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