Monday, July 8, 2013

I... did not know that about dragonflies...

There's an ongoing discussion going on in my head (well, actually there are several, but this one is relevant at the moment...) about whether all information is intrinsically good and worth knowing.

I tend to come down on the side of 'Yes, all knowledge is worth knowing just for its own sake', but there's a solid argument to be made on the other side.

Case in point - This morning I had the following exchange in the St. Paul skyways.  A guy I didn't know who looked normal enough and was pushing a stroller that appeared to contain a few coats but no child as far as I could discern stopped me as I was walking past him going the other direction by asking "Do you have a license?"

Now, this seems like a fairly unusual thing to just throw out there to a complete stranger, but for all I knew he had an elderly mother bleeding to death in the next building and needed to get her to the ER or something*, so I just went with it.

*Broadly speaking, unusual or unexpected questions tend to lead to interesting and unexpected conversations.  Which most of the time is a positive thing.

"Yes."  I said "Wait, to drive, you mean - right?"

He looked at me calmly and said "To Destroy."

This was not where I was expecting the conversation to go and so I took a moment to process.  He waited politely for me to respond.

"Uh... No.  I don't have one of those."

"Then what happened to your queue?" (Note for Americans - Pronounced like the letter Q - means an orderly line.  Sort of.  I think the rest of the world knows this.)

"Um... what?

"Your queue."

"Did something happen to my queue?" was the safest answer I could think of.  (For the record, I don't actually possess a queue, nor was I currently participating in one or responsible for one's upkeep as far as I was aware, but this seemed like the best way to get followup information.)

It seemed to suffice because he went on to say "The same thing is going to happen to you.  And it's going to happen forever."

"I'll... make a note of that..."

This answer seemed to satisfy him, because he gave a little half nod and walked away.

The point of the story being - as curious as I am at this moment about what crazy skyway man thought we were talking about, I kind of think I might be happy not knowing the answer to that question.

Which leads me to Dragonflies.

Spent a little time on the lake this weekend (Note for everyone but Americans - This was Independence Day weekend in the US. -It's like Guy Fawkes day with more boating and less inclination to actually know what we're celebrating.) and noticed a truly enormous quantity of Dragonflies on the shore.  (they eat mosquitoes so they were probably just feasting) and being all about knowledge I took a moment to Google them to confirm a vague suspicion I had that they were one of those bug species where the males and females look completely different.  (Turns out they are not, in case you were wondering)

Wikipedia (which I still do not implicitly trust as a source of info, but what the hell...) informed me first that Dragonfly babies were called Nymphs and they lived for the first 5 years of their life underwater clinging to the bottom of things. (which is probably why they're called Nymphs, e.g. it's probably a reference to mythological water nymphs and not an indictment of their sex lives.  You know you were thinking it.)

Wikipedia then went on to inform me that they breath through gills in their rectum and move around by expelling jets of water out of their anus.


You can't unread that.

So.  Buttplay of the Dragonfly*  Good information, or bad information?

*Worst Mozart Opera EVER.

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