Down the Rabbit Hole

Over lunch today I thought I’d watch John Oliver – he always makes me laugh while he’s giving me something to think about. That video led me to a SciShow piece debunking last week’s news about a study purporting that cell phone use was causing horns in young people.  That led me to a long piece on “How I Found Out” about flat earthers and the next step was to look up the big 2024 solar eclipse to see the closest spot to Minneapolis to see it in totality.  That led me to the calendar to find out what day of the week that will be in 2024.  Then I searched a bit to see if the calendar that I like for my fridge was done for 2020 yet, which led me to Amazon.  There I decided to check on an order that I placed a few days ago and was happy to see that my world map was on the truck for delivery. Then I got a text from a girlfriend about dinner tonight – how about El Jefe?  I googled them, they are closed on Mondays, so then spent time googling a few other restaurants, which  led me to recipes using corn and queso fresco.

Then suddenly my lunch hour was over and I hadn’t even finished eating my lunch!

What distracts you?  What rabbit hole have you been down recently?

46 thoughts on “Down the Rabbit Hole”

  1. My favorite rabbit hole is YouTube. I won’t say much more, for I plan to write a post on this topic soon. Discovering YouTube felt like the very earliest days of “surfing” the internet, when you explored topics without any sense of the limits of what was out there. At first I thought of YouTube as a sort of jukebox that stored an astonishing range of music. These days I’m using it more as an educational tool. Topics I have recently researched include: luthiery, the conservation and restoration of old paintings, medieval castles, politics, trout fishing, obscure moments in history, cooking and editing digital photographs.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. i’ll look into luthier with you
      my brother is connected to james taylors guitar maker in pine city mn who is 70 and already accepted his past guitar order but i would love to learn from him

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      1. Charlie Hoffman of Hoffman Guitars on Franklin Ave. is a fine luthier. He’s also a very good woodturner. I used to work with him at the law firm, he’s a real nice guy. Renee’s cousin TJ (I think) is also a luthier who you may actually have met at Rock Bend.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I’ll never build a guitar, yet I’m fascinated by watching people do it. I’ve studied about 30 videos showing people building guitars. I’m currently watching videos of guitar repair. They are surprisingly interesting, or they are to me. In general I love videos showing any kind of restoration: old junked cars, rusted toy trucks, medieval paintings, non-functioning watches, Japanese swords,boats . . . anything.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. RIse and Shine Baboons,

    We have been in the rabbit hole of NYC. We learned to navigate the Subways pretty competently so have been down under getting to the sites to see. The most interesting day was the World Wide Gay Pride Celebration on Sunday. Everyone else went South to the southern part of Midtown for the BIG parade —attended by 800,000 people—-and we went North to the Guggenheim Museum. Fascinating!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Indeed. Ancestry has a new feature called Through Lines or Thru Lines or something like that. It purports to make connections using DNA-linked trees to show you new ancestors you may not have known about. I investigated it a little and found it to be completely worthless. Most of the individuals it presented to me were ones I had originally entered. At least two of the connections it made, ones that would have represented breakthroughs if true, were unsubstantiated and demonstrably false. If the feature is going to assert false connections, how can you trust it at all?
      LDS, which owns Ancestry, has a bias toward assuming connections even when unproven, with posthumous baptism in mind and I suspect that bias leaks into Ancestry algorhythms.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. They must have separated themselves at some point and started a separate site for purposes of the church. How did you come by that factoid, Linda?

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        2. I have always used familysearch.org because it is free. LDS is non profit and they have never charged anyone anything. Ancestry is a for-profit site and always has been. I’m not sure why so many people are convinced that Ancestry.com is a church-run site. It doesn’t claim that it is.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Apparently Ancestry.com has just been really, really successful in claiming credit for the work that was actually done by the LDS church volunteers.

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  3. The other morning I noticed a very large moth clinging to the back of one of our patio chairs. I conjectured that it might be either a cecropia moth or a polyphemous since it wasn’t green like a luna moth and those were the only two other large moths I knew of offhand. A quick google revealed it was a cecropia.

    But then, while I was sitting with my iPad, I decided to clear away some bookmarks that had become obsolete by opening each in turn to see if there were current postings. That was a rabbit hole in itself. That task was interrupted when I came across this site, one I don’t remember bookmarking but, for me, the rabbit hole of rabbit holes:
    https://publicdomainreview.org/
    In succession, I read about Walt Whitman and his influence on early 20th century Russian literature, the modern relevance of Fourier’s phalansteries, and the Pre-Raphaelites’ fascination with the wombat. There is so much more I want to read there that I left the tab open.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Did you know that the cecropia moth doesn’t have a functional mouth and lacks a digestive system? For this reason they survive only a couple of weeks. The female usually dies within hours of laying her eggs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s amazing. This one was about six inches wingtip to wingtip and its wings were very ragged along the trailing edge. Near the end of its life, apparently.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We found one in our yard many years ago. It was dead, so we could pick it up and study it. That led to us to doing some research on them, and the no mouth and digestive system fascinated me.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. That’s true of other insects, PJ. Mayflies have no mouths. Most mayflies spend about a year as a pupa, then they live one day as an adult insect, just enough time to mate and lay eggs to continue their kind.

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      3. I just realized that the way I wrote the above, it appears that I attribute the death of the cecropia moth to starvation. I suspect the biological explanation is different. The cecropia, the Mayfly and some other insects don’t have mouths and digestive tracts because they don’t need them. They have fulfilled their life purpose once the have reproduced. An AHA! moment for me.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. mankind begins dying the minute of birth

          reproduction is a survival of the fittest competition. eating is merely a distraction to make the process of dying take longer. i heard an interesting discussion the other day about the 200 year lifespan we all share beginning with the birth of the oldest person in your family to touch you starting at birth like a grand father or great grandfather and going in the the life of your children’s children you get to meet and touch on the life circle
          the 200 year process seems like a lot but is a blip similar to the short lives of the moth to us. i laugh when my wife comments on how the guy who is 60 dies and she thinks he’s young. perceptions change

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  4. my wife guilted me into stopping farmville 10 years ago because each night before bed i would tweak my farm by moving barn location and planting harvesting planning out the next phase of expansion and using my entrepreneurial ambitions on an iphone screen for bonus treasure chest trinkets paid to farmer jones and my zynga account.
    she kept her farmville farm because she kept it in the proper perspective…. well i caught her at it 4 or 5 days in a row and thought i’d go back and renew my farm only to discover farmville put my old farm to sleep and the new and improved farmville 2 came into my life.
    it has the obvious advantage of one of the most successful app games in history applying unlimited funds at programmers and coders resources and it sucks you right in. if you work correctly you can do 43 things at once in the proper sequence and grow exponentially as you learn.
    my god i have to set a timer or i’m gone for an hour every time i touch it
    you become a genius at your own farm management and the consequences for not doing it right don’t whack you. really well designed
    i miss lunch completely if i touch it

    Liked by 4 people

  5. oh boy. yeah, I’m right there with the rest of you.
    Youtube has become a favorite. ‘The History Guy’ is my latest interest. There are several farmers I follow; some are BIG farmers with shiny fancy equipment. Some aren’t. I look for videos with good editing, not just all country music, and an energetic narrator or host. There’s a guy from England I watch because it’s interesting to see how they do things plus just listening to him – and especially his dad- talk about stuff. Dad has such a heavy accent you can barely understand him but it’s fun.

    I play online solitaire. Every night after midnight is a new game. When I win I get a star. 🙂
    And I’ll play it until I get that star!

    Summer is prime time for me to get lost on YouTube. I can’t wait for fall and back to work / school so I don’t piddle the day away. Ha!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember my mother saying, one evening maybe in the 1960’s, that she was going to stay up till she won a game of solitaire. The following day she said she had won one. That was with real playing cards.

      I can play solitaire on the computer till all hours, and replay the same game over and over till I win. Makes it much easier for me to fritter away hours trying to win a solitaire game.

      I am so much less productive than my mother was. She only stayed up playing solitaire that one night.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Man, when do I not go down a rabbit hole? It makes me wonder if I have ADD. YouTube is great for that. Reading something might remind me of something else I wanted to read about, which leads to something else. I try to bookmark things to remember to get back to them, but suddenly there are too many bookmarks! I’ve had to train myself to focus: do one thing at a time and do it completely. I find I feel better, less anxious perhaps, when I am able to focus on one thing at a time.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I started to get caught by Spider Solitaire, but saw where that was going so now I limit myself to once a week or so. But I can get lost in sheet music sites, book rec places like Good Reads, need I mention FACEBOOK, which is a time warp…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If you’re interested, I just watched an 8 part mini-series of ‘Das Boot’ on Hulu. They called it a ‘sequel’ which I could quibble about but whatever.

    Not sure it all made perfect sense and sometimes it was hard to figure out who was who and it bordered on becoming a soap opera of drama. But, having said all that, the acting was pretty good and there was enough drama and suspense to keep me guessing that overall I’d say it was pretty good. Hard to say I “like” it as it was WWII and U-boat crews and the Gestapo and Jewish people so there was all that going on. And some of it was a little too relevant to today that it made me uncomfortable. But if you’re into that sort of thing… there’s 8 hours for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sudokus are another rabbit hole I go down – lately I’ve become aware of how much time I spend on one of the “advanced” ones in the paper, and have started to not require myself to complete every one I start. Yikes, it can be two hours of my LIFE.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I look at that differently, BiR. I don’t consider doing Sudokus or crossword puzzles rabbit holes, and I also don’t necessarily consider rabbit holes a waste of time. A rabbit hole, to me, is a pursuit that leads to other discoveries, often completely unrelated to the initial pursuit; that process can go on and on. They can be very satisfying and rewarding.

      When I do Sudokus, I know what I’m in for: the exercise of a certain part of my brain and the satisfaction of being able to do it. But it doesn’t lead me down an unanticipated path. The two hours of your life you lament having spent doing a Sudoku could perhaps have been spent in a more productive manner, say cleaning your refrigerator, weeding your garden, or vacuuming your house. But only you get to decide which is a better use of your time.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. There are many ways to go down a rabbit hole online. In the real world, I guess I consider an IKEA store something of a rabbit hole. They design the store in such a way that you can’t just walk into one department and pick out one thing. You have to meander through the whole store. It’s just the biggest time suck. A rather pleasant time suck, but don’t go there if you don’t have a few hours to spare.

    Liked by 3 people

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