‘The daft and dangerous questions that come when I let my mind wander’

Sep 04, 2019
There are some dangers in letting one's mind wander. Source: Pixabay

There are so many questions to be answered aren’t there, more questions than answers I’m sure. That’s just the way the world is, ever-changing and continually presenting new problems for the enquiring mind. Talking of questions, I often sit in the living room these days, a nice hot cup of tea by my side, bored by the rubbish on the television, gazing into the distance (especially during the past six weeks or so, since my unfortunate appendix experience!), when sometimes my mind starts to wander as a precursor to that afternoon’s siesta. That is when the, sometimes silly, questions tend to pop out of the mush that comprises my brain!

Recently I was sitting, in the method described above, and got to thinking about dinosaurs. Why, in ancient pre-history millions of years ago, were dinosaurs such a colossal size? Was it something to do with the air, or was it simply that they were around for much longer than we have been here, and had time to get bigger and bigger? (Perhaps, if we can last that long, which I think doubtful, we will become enormous too — just imagine a Donald Trump, 20 feet tall!) The only animals we have of any size able to compete with dinosaurs today are the whales, and they need the support of water all round them in order not to be crushed by their own weight. Even the next best candidates, the elephants are very cumbersome, mainly docile creatures.

Thinking about those dinosaurs, and their apparent destruction due to a large meteor striking the earth, we are told that there were small mammals running about the place at that time, which survived the holocaust caused by the meteor, and it was these little creatures that eventually became us! (After all those millions of years of evolution, apparently.) If all the dinosaurs were wiped out, how come these small mammals weren’t wiped out as well? Interesting point, I thought.

Question three then arrived, this time about that meteor that hit us. (See how the mind wanders and follows pathways when your guard is down and you’re trying to get a little sleep.) We’re told the object was about a kilometre across, which seems colossal when you say it, but take a 12-inch globe of Earth and a kilometre is barely the size of a pin-head, so how does an object so small do so much damage and wipe out most of the living creatures on Earth? Is it purely the speed at which it is travelling, like a small caliber bullet hitting a pumpkin? I just have no knowledge of such things, though I’m sure there are many mathematicians out there who could explain it to me — please tell me if you know, I’d like to know too!

The remains of the anaesthetics and morphine I had pumped into me should be just about worn off in the next few days, then perhaps my thoughts and writing will make sense again. I’ve enjoyed writing down these silly thoughts though, and perhaps there are logical answers to them; after all there must be an answer to all questions somewhere — it’s just a case of knowing where to look for them!

Meanwhile, I’ll try not to bore you with any more silliness that pops up in the future, look on it as the meanderings of an old man!

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