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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Life Explained, Explains Rats, and Other Things.

Last night we, here at Life Explained, were researching rats in American cities.  We were doing this by watching Monster Quest, one of our favorite tools in the pursuit of knowledge.  Turns out the common rat is the Norway Rat (Rattus Norvegicus).  Norway is a unitary Monarchy whose territory comprises the western most portion of the Scandinavian peninsula.  It seems to be either a very productive location, or a completely hostile place, for rats.

Also, according to Monster Quest, rats used to be much larger.  At some point, for some reason, the average rat size became what we consider to be an average sized rat.  Unless you happen to see one, by chance, in public, then it is a "giant, man eating rat."  But, according to Monster Quest, these are insignificant, miniscule rodents, when compared to earlier version of rats, and it seemed that it was not "Jurassic Rat" they were talking about either, these rats may have lived as recently as...

Due to technical difficulties, our wife came home and refused to watch a television show about rats, we did not get to discover when these giant rats lived, or what made rats become smaller. It might have been the fitness craze that swept the nation, or smarter eating habits.  Nor what would drive the increase to a more historically proportioned rat.    It might be a better class of garbage, maybe there are dietary supplements in the waste, or maybe they have been watching too many Under Armour commercials.

Fortunately for everybody, we had the foresight to record the episode and will watch the rest as soon as the television police go grocery shopping.

It is not without parallel, though.  Think back to the arc of the cell phone, at first big, blocky, heavy contraptions, many of which came with a big bag of equipment.  But, the rapid pace of technical innovation compressed, and compacted the phone, until it would fit comfortably on the head of a pin. If you had a phone so small it was difficult to find in your pocket you had "arrived."

After the discovery of YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, people noticed that it was almost impossible to watch a video of somebody doing something humiliating, or painful on a screen the size of a postage stamp.  Soon phones were expanding exponentially.  People were clamoring for bigger screens, more "pixels" more memory, more processing power.  It requires a bag to to carry the phone around and it is almost impossible to hold it to up long enough to have a decent conversation.  But, a phone the size of a television is the ultimate symbol of success.

Absolute Proof, it is a chart, right?
Evolution is funny that way.  Things change, and sometimes it make sense, but most times life seems random, capricious, and occasionally cruel, no matter how big your smart phone.  But, stay tuned, we are making great strides in understanding the vagaries of existence, and the absurdity of life.  When we can use the remote, anyway.

A brief update, we have been making great progress in Life Explained the Movie.  So far we have a star, and a walk on signed to participate.  And we are, kind of, learning how to use the app.  Make sure to keep some popcorn handy, you won't want to miss this, it will answer a lot of questions, or at least the question of "what are you going to do with an app that costs that much?"