Two things that get me out of bed every day and keep me going through a world I often find brutish, mean, and stupid, are my sense of curiosity and my sense of wonder. It’s another Yin-Yang thing: the Yin of the world’s crap balanced by the Yang of so many neat things to discover and explore.
Those neat things exist on all scales, from the vast to the tiny. (The crap, on the other hand, tends to come in human-sized, in fact in human-shaped, packages.) From quarks to galaxies, the universe is an interesting place.
For today’s Wednesday Wow, I bring you some smaller wonders…
Life is filled with small things we barely notice, but which fill the lives of others. The little plastic thing at the end of shoelaces, or the eye grommets in shoes that shoelaces thread through, are designed by someone and manufactured in factories.
We may not give it much thought, but somehow, due to people, trees get turned into toothpicks, and that journey is long, fascinating, and involves many branches converging.
Society exists in a web of interconnected skills that has, in modern times, become a complex, rich, thick tapestry of products we use without realizing how much thought and effort goes into some of the smallest things.
For example, the lowly plastic lid on that cup of coffee…
What I especially liked here isn’t just the exploration of the lid, but also of the history of its development and the connection with the rise of mobile coffee.
Even though I lived through it, I never realized 7-11 started it all.
I may have missed it because I don’t drink coffee. Ever.
Seriously, in my entire life, based on several attempts to try it, I’ve consumed maybe a whole cup (and hated every sip). I’ve tried everything from instant to the best Hawaii has to offer, and I’ve tried “coffee drinks” (lattes and whatnot).
It’s just not for me.
Part of it is that I’m not into hot liquid beverages. I love chocolate, but won’t touch hot chocolate. I’ll drink hot tea, but I can’t say I crave it. The one exception is hot spiced (non-alcoholic) apple cider, which I do love on a cold winter day.
But coffee just seems like hot bitter black water to me.
The irony is that I love the smell, I love coffee candy, and Hagen Daz Coffee Ice Cream is my favorite ice cream by a mile. Go figure.
(It’s another small “wonder” — as in, “I wonder WTF!”)
I may not care for coffee, but I’ll pound down some pasta anytime…
As told by an Italian! 😀
Something I used to do, a learned thing, is add oil to the water when cooking the pasta. A while back I learned that’s a bad idea: sauce sticks to the pasta better if you don’t add the oil.
And you don’t need it, the sauce usually has plenty.
FWIW, I often enjoy an easy-to-make (because I’m lazy) dinner involving Angel Hair pasta (cooks in four minutes), butter, Parmesan cheese, garlic and herbs, and maybe some (pre-cooked, packaged) roast chicken pieces (heated in the microwave).
So now, when cooking the pasta, I just use salt, pepper, and some red pepper. The pasta will absorb those even though most get tossed with the water.
Simple tastes, that’s me!
Lastly, a new piece from The Piano Guys…
It combines two of my favorite things in life: Music (which alone is worth getting out of bed for) and lights (my second word, I’m told, was “light”).
I’m also a sucker for Christmas music. It’s my favorite part of the Christmas season. My YouTube Christmas Music playlist has 66 videos on it, and I have a lot of Christmas music on my iMusic.
I’m amazed at what’s now available for consumer-level Christmas lighting. This is another place a combination of LEDs and computers has revolutionized.
(There are also laser systems that project lots of dots, but I don’t think those look as cool.)
As a bonus, here’s a companion piece to the one above:
So as you go through the world (listening to music), it’s more than stopping to notice the flowers. It’s stopping to notice all the small wonders that abound everywhere.
For better or ill, we live in a very designed and manufactured world. Nearly every aspect of that world, large or small, has lines of people behind it who made it happen.
The pen you use, or the disposable lighter, or socks, or the box your new headphones came in. They all started with an idea followed by a design followed by a plan followed by factory followed by a warehouse followed by a retail outlet, a long chain with many people.
And if there was any season in which we might be particularly disposed to remember the small wonders (the “tiny Tims”?) then surely it must be this one.
Stay wondering, my friends!