Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Can you see the teapot in this Magic Eye picture?

My Father was an information junkie out of necessity. He was the music librarian for G. Schirmer Inc., the music publishers, and he had to keep up with what was going on in the many worlds of music – opera, Broadway, big bands, recording, concerts, and the like.  The daily newspapers were essential to him. Not only could he read about the performances he wasn’t able to hear and see for himself, he could also keep up with the latest books and sports, news headlines, and, of course, the comics. Along with CD’s, DVD’s, HDTV, and all the latest electronics with all their alphabetic abbreviations, he would have absolutely loved the internet. 

Following in his footsteps, I am an information junkie too – just for fun. When I come upon something new I usually say “When in doubt, check it out.”  I was the owner of an Encyclopaedia Britannica, several dictionaries, a good Atlas, and many other reference books. If I couldn’t cover it at home there was always the local library. Now when I see a good documentary on the telly I often go to the internet to learn more. When I read a good novel and come upon something new to me, I go to the internet.  As a result, I’ve become a font of almost useless information, but then I did say I was an information junkie. I learn a little bit about a lot of things for my own amusement and amazement. I am chronically curious.

You never know where a little extra learning will take you – you too can be amused and amazed.  You football junkies out there – what do you know about the early history of your favorite sport?  You cooks, have you ever read up on the science of why we do what we do in the kitchen?  After the January issue of Living @ Sun City Carolina Lakes did you look up more about the Leader Dog Program?  Did you go on-line to look at any plant or seed catalogs? In February, did you look up more about Ferris Wheels? Do you know how to see what's in the Magic Eye picture above? Next week is National Library Week - take yourself to the library.  Interesting topics are all around us. Pertinent information is out there. All you need is a bit of curiosity. 

You might say that such learning it trivial – yes it is! Just think what a champ you’d be playing Trivial Pursuit. You’d know that horseshoe crabs have blue blood, that the constructed language Esperanto is spoken by up to two million people, that Ozzie and Harriet ran for 320 episodes in the 50’s and 60’s, or that Joe DiMaggio still holds the record for the longest hitting streak. You’d know that the word trivial comes from the Latin for three (tri) ways (via) – a place where roads met and people might have congregated to exchange the news and gossip of the day.

Many retirees use their computers just for emails, and maybe a bit of news and weather and on-line or comparison shopping. There’s so much more on the internet. Let your personal learning curve take a turn for the better. Acquire the habit to “check it out” on the internet.  It is official: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, google is now a verb. Liberal use of googling on Google (even Bing) will usually bring up thousands of references – you can click it and take it from there.

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