The investigating hippie

I have a lot of questions. At times, I sound like a toddler: why this and why that. It’s a thread of curiosity I’ve always had and which I never grew out of. Now that I’m all grown up, my curiosity finds itself in strange situations. For example, some Saturday nights I can be found at the bar with friends. Pressed up against the bar, being jostled by strangers who are dressed to impress and yelling for the bartender, I am marveling at my lime wedge as I squeeze its juice into my rum and coke. Look at this amazing piece of fruit, I’d yell to everyone who didn’t care. Or, I’d swish my drink around with the 50 straws I stole from the bar and see which ones floated to the top, precariously positioning themselves at an angle, dangerously close to falling out of the glass altogether. Why?!? And so begins an investigation post about three questions I had today:

1. Anatomy of a lime.

20130406-154138.jpg (squeezed/not squeezed)

To consider the next time you order a Corona: A lime is a citrus fruit. It has three main layers but the one we are most concerned with now is the inner most layer: the endocarp. This is divided into segments called “liths” (think orange slices). Inside each lith is a locule filled with juice vesicles, or “pulp”. From the endocarp, string-like “hairs” extend into the locules, which provide nourishment to the fruit as it develops. So when you are squeezing the lime into your next Corona, know that you are popping those vesicles contained within a locule, releasing tangy juices to compliment your imported beverage.

2. Do butterflies sleep?

– Nope. However, they do have a period of inactivity at night only because its too dark for them to see their other butterfly friends or hunt. They usually hang upside down underneath a leaf by using its tiny little hook feet to latch into the flesh of leaves. In this way, butterflies use less energy than if they were standing upright. Butterflies don’t have eyelids so they just hang out, processing the days activities (metabolically speaking), until the next day rises. Awesome.


3. What do flies do when they land and what is their purpose?

Purpose: As I conducted my very basic internet research on the purpose of flies, I mostly came across a bunch of people who have such a strong hatred for flies that they have taken to the Internet to write about. So, I decided to come to terms with a fly existing as a manifestation of my consciousness, brought about to test my patience and ahimsa during asana practice. I don’t like it, but that’s that. What’s really awesome is I came across an article about how new research is finding ways we can benefit from mimicking some of the characteristics of the black fly. The black fly has particular mechanisms that enable it to inhibit clotting and inflammation, ensuring it has a free flowing, open injection site to feed from. Gross. But now scientists are working towards understanding this in order to use it for medical advancement, in patients with diseases that are complicated by inflammation but must remain open to blood flow (the opposite of clotting). Super interesting. I forgot to look up what happens when they land; for another day.


2 thoughts on “The investigating hippie

  1. Being curious is awesome. You remind me of one of my six year old students. He asks so many questions, all the time! Sometimes, we have to look up the answers because he’ll ask about things I don’t know. I told his parents about his love of questions and they said that often, if they don’t know the answer, they tell him to ask his teacher! Apparently, any I answer I give him is the right one, so I try really hard to make sure it’s based on facts!

    • Fantastic! Teachers who show they care by actually teaching is a powerful resource for a child. I was lucky to have many devoted teachers in my life, who were just as curious as I was! Taking the time to help this little student understand the world is really a beautiful thing. Thank you!

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