Friday, March 22, 2013

Favorite Things: Two

{Part of a Friday series with Alex, Star and Lee that celebrates our power to discern, discriminate, decide and declare. Please join us in the comments or on your own site if you have a few favorites, too.}

Favorite Modern Convenience

:: This one is easy. If the apocalypse were to arrive tomorrow and set us back a few hundred years in human progress and development, I would miss the convenience of hot, running water the most. When away from my normal life I don't really miss electricity or my computer or phone or car, as convenient and indispensable as things these things are. But what I crave, what I really dream about, is hot, running water. I send up a silent prayer to the salmon and the polar bear and others who are threatened by our profligate waste of energy and resources, then I turn on the tap and glory.

(this appropriately cheesy picture is from the web, artist unknown)

Favorite Historical Discovery

:: A category that is harder for me to pin down. There has been so much! Galileo, Copernicus, DaVinci, Bohr, Rutherford, Pasteur, Tesla, Einstein, Vespucci, Cook, Columbus, Newton, Hertz, Edison, and so many more. The dead white grandfathers of Western civilization.

But not my favorites. I have two of them.

My favorites, I realized, are far older and much more universal. Their discoverers are unknown (at least to my limited knowledge, please share if you know better), probably not white, possibly not men, though certainly dead.

My first favorite is the wheel.

Imagine a world without the wheel, then stop trying, it doesn't bear thinking of for long. What a leap, right? To go one day from feet and paws and hooves and then another - Eureka! - to rolling. I'm sure it was not one day, just as I am sure that it involved many people and many eurekas. But still, way to think outside the box! And change the course of history in a very definitive way.

My second is more amorphous because it has evolved with us. I can't imagine that there was one genesis, but here it is: music. 

Nuff said. Thank you!


  1. Oh damn, I didn't even think about hot water. You totally win that one. Also "fire" is a pretty good historical achievement. Warmth is important, all around.

    1. Yes, but warmth occurs naturally. Now, matches, those are something...