Friday, March 30, 2007

"The Main Form of Animal Locomotion on Land"

Now that I am able to walk to and from work again, I have gained 40 minutes of valuable thinking time twice a day. And, when you think about it, it's amazing (or terrifying) the utter rubbish the human brain is capable of processing.

Which is how I found myself walking along the Embankment, and suddenly wondering how on earth I was doing it. I looked down, and my legs were busily marching on their way - one in front of the other, in the traditional fashion. But I wasn't consciously doing anything about this. I wasn't thinking "move left leg, stop, move right leg, stop, repeat to fade" etc. Nor was I actively picking one leg up, moving it, picking the other leg up, etc. So how was this happening?

When I arrived at work, I went to Wikipedia and looked up 'human leg'. This is what Wikipedia had to say on the matter: "Legs are often used for standing, walking, jumping, running, kicking and similar activities." Since "walking" was highlighted, I clicked on it and was directed to a link that told me: "Walking is the main form of animal locomotion on land, distinguished from running and crawling. When executed in shallow water, it is usually described as wading and when executed vertically it becomes scrambling or climbing."

Fascinating as this was, it hadn't answered my original question. But by this point, I was now so horrified at all the other things my body does without me consciously doing anything about it (the biggest worry for me - as someone who has seen "ET: The Extra Terrestrial" - is quite how the body repairs itself after you cut yourself, now that's just freaky), that I had to admit defeat and go back to living in blissful ignorance.

I am terrified about what I'm going to end up thinking about this evening. Last night, I spent 40 minutes mentally recalling the various men I have 'known' in my life... and that was rather frightening, too.

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