Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Down The Rabbit Hole

Today is Lewis Carrrol's birthday, and is officially Down The Rabbit Hole Day. On this day, bloggers are encouraged to post blogs in a different style than their usual one. So I'm using a serif font and red type - not my usual style at all!

Nor will I write much about knitting (this is a great wrench, but I do love and admire Lewis Carroll). How about primate anatomy? Which is another passion of mine, but not nearly as easy to pursue while sitting on the couch ... for me, a casual layperson, it is mostly a reading activity. The architectural history of the human skeleton is an enduring fascination to me: humans, although built to the same basic specs as most other creatures on Earth, have nonetheless developed some interesting novelty items over the course of the last few millions of years.

No one but the primates, for instance (us and our cousins, the monkeys and apes) has developed the enlongated, multi-jointed digits that let us knit or wear flip-flops or hold bananas in our feet. Our lifelong buddies dogs and cats all walk tidily about on rounded little pads: cows and goats and pigs are down to 2 toes, and horses have gone for total minimalism: one big toe per foot. See, it's not the thumbs that let us knit - it's the several jointed toes ... hmmm, can't get off the knitting, can I? Oh, well, at least I can combine it with anatomy.

Octopuses (octopi? Octopodi?) have tentacles and have recently been shown to enjoy playing with toys - but no one has tried teaching them to knit. I think they'd be good at it, myself ... a knitter with 8 arms could more easily knit both socks of a pair at once. Or every single piece of a sweater simultaneously.

Parrots could knit, too, I think. They only have two hands, but they are composed entirely of thumbs! Four per hand, in fact, and all opposed to one another. If not for parrots being agents of chaos, they could be killer knitters ... instead of knitting killers ...

My, such strange things one thinks of sitting and trying not to knit!

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