And how looking for the answer might save your mind

So, I took a whiz today and the question popped into my mind again, “Why do I shiver when I pee?”  Now, I have a friend named Dick (I’m not kidding, this isn’t just some put-on for the story, his name really is Dick) who recently was half marveling, half chiding me for asking odd, eclectic questions.  He seemed to think I had some sort of skewed vision of the world or something, I don’t know. I never really got clear on what he was getting at but the bottom line was, how or why do I ask these questions?  Well, it could be to save my own mind.

The medical people who know about these things tell us that keeping an active mind is one way to fend off dementia.  Now, my friend might think my mind leans more toward the “beautiful” type portrayed by Russell Crowe in the movie “A Beautiful Mind” and he might be right.  I’ve been accused of being scatter-brained, manic and downright weird in my thought patterns.  Guilty as charged; no pushback from this side.  However, an inquisitive mind, one that is constantly learning, one that is active is a healthy mind even if the information you’re searching for is odd or seemingly not useful.  Sometimes it’s the odd stuff that makes life interesting.  Today, more than ever, opportunities abound to do just that.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it but there’s this thing called the “internet.”  If you have a computer you can get on this internet and you can “Google” stuff.  Any kind of stuff, including why we shiver when we pee.  I actually did just that and it turns out it’s still sort of a mystery even though the technical term is post-micturition convulsion syndrome.  If you want to dig into it, I’ve put the link to the article below.  As far as I can tell it’s mainly a guy thing which I totally believe.  I mean, I’m a guy and it happens to me sometimes and there’s no research so…there ya go!  The bottom line is it’s always cool to keep wonder in your life whether you wonder about nuclear proliferation or post-micturition convulsion syndrome.

Whether you internet or not or just ask your friends (well, maybe with some discretion, unless you’re really close friends like my buddy and me) it’s good to keep searching and it doesn’t have to be big, important things.  In fact, since you have all sorts of big, important things to deal with every day why not make your quest during your own time specifically for those trivial things.  Like, why is the sky blue, why do cows face the same way when they graze and what are those spots in the lake that are calm when everywhere else there are ripples?  These are just some of the things that rattle around in my head that hopefully (for my spouse’s sake) I don’t always verbalize.  Their fulfillment is the little secret that Google and I share and I’m cool with that.

See, I’d rather spend an hour banging around on the internet, looking for random facts than solving a Soduku.  Frankly, I’m not good at them, I don’t quite understand them and they make my head hurt.  Interesting tidbits on the other hand, like the average weight of a human head (about 10 pounds, also see “Jerry Maguire”) or the amount we shrink as we grow older (an inch if you’re a man, two if you’re a woman by the time you’re 70) light me up and keep me going.  Sure, they might make me the weird, creepy guy at a party but whatever, maybe I won’t be drooling in my oatmeal later in life either (this is not to make light of dementia.  Fact is, that stuff scares the crap out of me).  So I’m really going to keep asking those questions.  I know Google will never turn me away.

Here’s the article on why we shiver.  Here’s one on dementia.

I really do think we devalue curiosity in our society today.  I hope this goofy little post spurs you to keep learning, ask questions and keep your mind active.

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