See, learning isn't always about your "Eureka!" moments - those brief glimpses of genius or inspiration that hit you when you are all alone - it is usually about some mundane activity in which someone else nudges your neurons into action. The smallest word, or sentence, the briefest look at another person's intellect, which triggers your own to say, "Wow! Cool!"
That was today, when I read a Twitter post from Phil Plait (the Bad Astronomer, himself), which led me to a link on the web, which led me to a blog by a very enrapturing persona, named Barbara. I don't know Barbara. I don't know Phil, although I corresponded with him once on email, years ago. But I have to thank both of them for making my neurons crank up today. Why? Shit, if you don't know the answer to that, then you need to click on the link to Barbara's blog and read it. If, after reading it, you still don't know, then don't ask me for help!
But I'll briefly say why anyway. Because first of all, those moments when you know you've learned something valuable feel sooo good! It's one of the best feelings you can have with your clothes on. Or off. Second, it's important to be mentally stimulated every day. For some of us, it's important to be mentally stimulated most of the time. If my brain isn't going like an Olympic Luge Racer, I get depressed. Not clinically - well at least, not always not clinically.
So, before my train of thought derails too much further, here is the topic that jogged the noggin and sent me into spasms of mental orgasms (yeah, I wrote it like that on purpose).
Appropriately, the blog is called Spasms of Accommodation, and I hope its author, Barbara, does not object to my singling her out for thanks. Or that I am now following her blog, very un-stalker like, of course. Because she just made my day. So thanks, Barbara!
On a long side note, I think it's important to say thank you to people. Notice how rare "thank you" has become? No? Pay attention and you will. I thank people all the time. Smile at them too. I also say peoples' names back to them when they speak with me. Why? Because it makes people happy to hear, "thank you, or thanks". And it makes people happy to see a genuine smile. And it makes people happy to hear their name being spoken aloud by another human being. Try them sometime, it's true.
So, thank you, Barbara, and please keep up the wonderful blog! Oh, and Phil, thank you too, even though I realize that neither you nor Barbara will probably ever read this. Come to think of it, I may be the only one who ever reads this. But hey, I gotta write the words!