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I Could Fill Libraries With Things I Do Not Know

Day 274

Some of you may remember I built a bee and butterfly bath with marbles and we suspect a raccoon disturbed it. Recently, all the marbles mysteriously disappeared. Unfortunately, the batteries died in the trail cam so no luck in finding hints of the culprit.

There were no marks on the foil pie pan. No marbles on the ground. We did have a lot of rain which could have flooded the pan, but no marbles anywhere nearby. Raccoons will carry off shiny objects, but 30 clear marbles?

This is just the beginning of things I do not understand.

Let’s take a sextant for example. Celestial navigation has always mystified me. I cannot imagine leaving port in Europe headed for the new world. Not knowing what was there, how long it would take or the best route to get there. Were there hurricanes during the times of these early explorers? Those were some courageous people! Sometimes when I get full of myself and think I am brave, I realize I am truly a coward when it comes to larger than life adventures.

I am also amazed at how fairly accurate early maps were. Cartographers pulled information from old maps, explorers and emerging instrumentation, but how they managed to produce fairly accurate maps still mystifies me. You would not want to see the maps I might draw giving directions to or from my house. It would be obvious I did not know much about cartography.

I never took trigonometry in school. I could do math okay, but it did not interest me. I remember seeing slide rulers my dad used and later on my sister had one when she was in high school. By the time I was in school, pretty advanced calculators were on the horizon. Bottom line is I never had use for a side ruler so I never learned to use one. They will forever remain a mystery in my mind.

When I enter the world of IT, I did become fairly proficient in binary and hexadecimal. But still, I bough a hex calculator for solving those complex problems involving smainframe internal program problems.

en:User:Rolypolyman – Photo taken and uploaded by contributor., SovietTheodolite, CC BY-SA 3.0

We return now to a profession related by mathematics and science. That is surveying land. As I looked for photos, I just discovered the one of the instruments was called a theodolite. I am seeing these mysteries are all related to my lack of understanding of higher mathematics and science.

In reading a lot of old land grants and deeds, property lines were drawn from trees or streams or someone’s barn. I can understand how accuracy was needed. There are lots of old court dockets concerning ownership and division of property. We even had a bit of this in my family history. I have a stack of old papers tracking the ownership of my grandparents’ property. Resolving land ownership quarrels certainly kept someone busy.

As my sister busied herself creating an atom smasher for the science fair, I was I. The corner writing poetry and sketching.

If you are wondering how I got from marbles to the mysteries of science and mathematics, well…welcome to my brain. As I may have mentioned before, I wrote my high school term paper on ‘The Nonexistence of Time’ so I am no stranger to pondering things that spark my curiosity.

Lots going on in my world this week, so maybe this thinking is a bit of escapism. If so, it works.