Ellen tagged me with this meme. As she points out, it's super easy and, uh, "handlable." (That's the new word of the day!) Even better, there's no requirement that I rope anyone else into joining in, though any and all who would like to are certainly invited to come along.
Okay, so here are the rules:
Grab the closest book to you. Resist the urge to get hold of one of the cooler, intellectual ones! You've gotta be honest. Turn to page 123. Go down five sentences, and then post the next three sentences in your blog. Simple.
Truthfully, if I hadn't picked up the book at the side of my bed, the closest book to where I am sitting at the computer would have been Wittgenstein in 90 Minutes by Paul Strathern - but it only has 85 pages.
The book by the side of my bed, which I have let languish unfinished for the last several weeks even though I've thoroughly enjoyed what I've read so far, is Temple Grandin's Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior (yes! I'm still reading it!). In one of those interesting coincidences, I was listening to The Infinite Mind on Public Radio as I drove home from work this evening. The show was the first of two parts about Asberger's Syndrome, which is a form of autism. One of the guests said that Wittgenstein had Asberger's Syndrome....
Ah! But the meme, what about the meme, you say. Okay, here goes, page 123, five sentences down:
Marek Spinka, an animal researcher in the Czech Republic, has generated a general hypothesis of play in animals. His theory is that play teaches a young animal how to handle novelty and surprise, such as the shock of being knocked off balance or a surprise attack.
If Dr. Spinka is right, that would explain why play fighting is so different from real fighting, because a play fight has to be constantly surprising to teach the young fighters to respond to novelty.
Ms. Grandin then proceeds to write about how animals use role reversal to prolong play while developing social and locomotor skills. Her insights into animal emotions and behavior are nothing short of amazing. She deftly interprets that which most of us don't even bother to notice, much less define, about animal interaction.