…What I Learnt This Week (20/02/12-26/02/12)

I believe that we learn something new every day. In fact, for someone to claim they’ve learnt nothing new at all over a 24 hour period probably takes a gargantuan effort from them. We live in the information age, for starters, and we talk to other people who live in the information age constantly.

The counter-argument in my head (where most of my arguments take place, although my doctor says it’s fine until I start violently disagreeing with one of the arguments put forth) gets a bit smug when it fires back: “Ok genius, what about if I were to lock myself up in a darkened room for 24 hours?”. I laugh, knowing I’ve got me right where I want me: “Well, I’d imagine you’d learn what it’s like to be locked in a darkened room for 24 hours.”. Match point. Lights off, thankyouverymuchforcoming.

Alas, here are three things I learnt this week. Those of you who are more astute than the average Ikea television stand might notice that three things is significantly less than seven (ie. one per day over the course of a seven-day week). I know, you’re correct, but I like lists of three. My blog, my rules.

  1. Armenian Engagement Rituals. The engagement takes place at the bride’s house before both sets of parents. Upon entering the house, the groom’s father puts a bottle of cognac on the table to signify why they’re in attendance. If the bride and her parents agree they also put a bottle of cognac on the table, to symbolise their agreement. Additionally, the engagement ring is worn on the right hand until marriage, when it’s moved to the left hand and the wedding ring takes pride of place on the right hand. I’m aware of the lack of dull satirical comments during this paragraph but marriage really is no laughing matter.
  2. Ants. Ants are amazing creatures. Granted, they take fascism to levels Mussolini dreamt of but they are magnificent. Most animals get labelled as fascinating or spectular for being good at one thing. Ants do multiple things that we’ve yet to observe outside of humanity in any of nature’s other beasts, little or large. In one sentence I can name three things that will blow minds — Ants create their own herbicides for use when farming. Yes, they create and use herbicides to farm. There isn’t enough bold or italic emphasis in the world to stress that enough. The end of humanity is a race between us doing something monumentally stupid and finishing ourselves off or ants deciding they’ve humoured our paltry existence for long enough.
  3. Lies are difficult to detect. Granted, this one seems obvious but it’s not. People spend hours upon hours mastering the science of lie-detection. The problem is that, when they finally take a step forward, so do the liars. If I tell someone I know they’re lying because they avoided eye contact, guess what they’re going to do next time? They’re going to give me the same sort of eye contact I’d give a particularly large cockroach if it were to crawl out of a corner while I were in the rest room. That is to say, eye contact most certainly wouldn’t be broken. It’s a merry-go-round of advances and counter-measures. A bit like a war but, in the case of married couples, with greater capacity for damage. To be honest, I read an article on it this week that lead, very heavily, with the conclusion that lies are difficult to detect. I have no idea how much of the rest of it I’ve just filled in to make sense of it all.

Here’s to another week of mediocre discovery dressed up as an educational experience. I’m going to lock myself in a darkened room for 24 hours, all in the name of science.