Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ten on Tuesday - Tell Me More About That!

I think it might only take me ten minutes to make my list for this week's Ten on Tuesday topic - Ten Things (Or Subjects) You Wish You Knew More About. I see myself as a very curious person who wonders about all kinds of things, so there is always something I wish I understood better.

1.  Tatting
     My grandmother did shuttle tatting and I really wish I had asked her to teach me. I think I could probably learn from youtube, but that's certainly not the same as having your grandmother patiently show you how it's done.

2.  Sewing
     My grandmother was also a genius at sewing - with a pattern, without a pattern, and with any type of fabric. She sewed my first pair of bell bottoms with a wild flowered fabric that I can still picture, and made my sister and I matching white vinyl jumpers sometime in the 60s. She also recovered our couch and made it look easy. I can sew a seam and mend, but any sewing I do is purely basic.

3.  Foreign languages
     I took four years of French in high school, back in the olden days when learning a language  consisted of listening to a speaker on a record and then the class was expected to repeat what had been said in unison. Not a lot of actual learning went on, but I can count to ten and order "veaux et epinards". I don't think I will want veal and spinach when I am dining in France.
4.  Genetically-Modified (GM) Foods
     Both my husband and I work in agriculture-related fields, and we both have some understanding of GM foods, but I wish I knew more details, pros, and cons. It's such a hot button issue that it's difficult to find unbiased information. 

5.  How sugar is made
     Last week during one of our our walks, my husband was telling me about his visit to a sugar estate (cane fields and processing). I never really thought about how sugar is made, but it's kind of fascinating. Sugar content in cane is only about 10% by weight, so I'm surprised that sugar is relatively inexpensive. I would like to know more about growing the cane plant; it re-grows from the roots after cutting!

6.  How Google decides who to doodle 
     I love learning about unsung heroes and wish that many of them were more recognizable than sports icons and Kardashians. Monday's Google Doodle honored Dorothy Hodgkin, who was completely unknown to me. Now I wonder how Google comes up with their seemingly endless list of subjects.

7.  Kiev, Ukraine, and Russia
     This one is a bit embarassing, but when I hear about Kiev, Ukraine, Russia, and the separatists on NPR, I only have a vague idea of what they're talking about. This probably stems from my lack of Eastern Europe geographical knowledge. I thought Kiev was a city in Russia, but it's been the capital of Ukraine since 1991. I knew about the collapse of the Soviet Union, but not much more than that.

8.  Botany
     Specifically, how and why are my chrysanthemums spreading so far and fast? I have so many baby plants where I don't want them that I've started yanking them out like weeds. I would like to take a botany course (along with a related apiary science course) just for fun, maybe when we're done paying college tuition for Youngest Son!

9.  Shoma Morita
     I'm reading a fascinating book (The Antidote: Happiness for People That Can't Stand Positive Thinking) and the author has just mentioned Shoma Morita, a clinical psychologist in Tokyo. His methods, based on Zen Buddhism, can be expressed simply: accept your feelings, know your purpose, and do what needs doing. I was having/creating great difficulty with an issue on Sunday, and just reading about this helped a lot. I will definitely be finding out more about Dr. Morita.

10. Electron microscopy 
     I took an electron microscopy course in college, and when I was recently looking at a particularly interesting micrograph, I remembered how much fun I had that semester. I invested many, many hours in learning to make glass knives, fixing, embedding, staining, and sectioning specimens, and setting up the microscope, but it was such a pleasure to ooh and ahh over my very own micrographs of mitochondria. Seeing things went a long way towards helping me really understand them. I'm sure EM has changed quite a bit in the past 36 years and I'd like to know more.

I can't wait to read all the other lists as I'm sure they will provide many more things for me to wonder about! What do you wish you knew more about?


  1. Now THAT is an interesting list!!! (And just keep yanking out the "volunteer" plants you don't want. Or replant them somewhere else. Reproduction just . . . happens!)

  2. Great list! Just a quick story about sugar... DH & I had the opportunity to visit St. Kitts last spring and when we did a tour of the island we learned that sugar used to be the top industry there. Now there are NO sugar farms on the island because the market price of sugar is low enough, that with the transportation costs of getting it to market, they can't compete with the bigger farmers. There are lots of windmill looking buildings around the island from their sugaring days that are really cool, and it was interesting to learn about!

  3. You have quiet a list of interesting subjects! I love the Google doodle and learning about people they spotlight. Shoma Morita shares an idea very worth pursuit. I'm going to find out more about him, too.

  4. I am totally with you on tatting - something I know ZERO about! So many things to learn and do in a lifetime. :)

  5. Wonderful list! Dr. Morita sounds intriguing. And yes - I want to know about Google too? How DO they decide?

  6. Another science geek -- sistah!

  7. I love #5 -- now you've piqued my interest!

  8. I like your thirst for knowledge! I think that is what keeps us you and right now I'm a teenager :) My dad is always learning and is very interested in environmental issues.


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