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June 29, 2005

Things we don't know we know

There are many things our brains do without us even thinking consciously about it. Obviously this includes bodily things like controlling breathing and blinking and balance and stuff that otherwise would cause us great injury or death. But there are other more interesting things we do without thinking that are worth listing.

The first one, and the one that prompted this list, is the ability to know when our coffee is cool enough to drink. I drink black coffee, and when I buy it or pour it from the kettle it is boiling hot. I don't take a stopwatch or thermometer and calculate when I can start drinking, I just set it down beside me, and get on with other activities. A few minutes later, I suddenly remember my coffee and start drinking. Magic!

The second useful thing we manage to do without trying is to remember where our things are around the house. This entry on 43things tells you what I mean. No matter what possession it is, if you think back to where you last saw it, and go there, that's where it nearly always is (unless you have a partner with a untidiness phobia, in which case it's either in the loft, shed, or cupboard under the stairs). You may have casually dropped your half eaten pizza down the back of the sofa last Saturday night without a care, but when you get the munchies the following week, your brain will go 'ping', and delicious sustenance is within reach.

err, I'm sure there are more things our clever heads are keeping track of for us. This blog has a comments section you know...

Of course, in these hi-tech days, we all have mobile phones, PDAs, MP3 players and laptop computers. With all these devices we get a black box with a plug on the end so that we can charge it up. Each device will last hours/days or even months, and we keep in our heads a small timer keeping us on track for when the next charge may be due so that we don't get caught out on the train home with no music to listen to. How many of your devices do you think you could give a reasonable estimate of when they'll run out of juice, and all without even trying.

phone: about 2 days
mp3 player: about 1 hour
razor: 2-3 more days
laptop: about 2 hours (fully charged)
toothbush: already dead
camera: only one or two photos
camcorder: 74 minutes (it said that last time I turned it off)

Posted by se71 at June 29, 2005 03:16 PM

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