Monday, December 5, 2016

Nagging, puzzling questions

Today, we saw Jeremy, star of the Sunday comic Zits, twisting and turning, drumming and daydreaming.  He was in some sort of stew, some kind of agony.  Finally, he turns to his mother and says,"I need you to nag me into action."  You can probably see for yourself here:

But if you are late a day or two, the strip I am referring to is Dec.4, 2016.

Today, Lynn spent a good bit of time talking to relatives and shopping online in an effort to find just the right table for a family that wants a table for Christmas.  They already have a table but they need a puzzle table.  Some years back, Lynn wanted and received a 6 ft by 2.5 ft. sturdy business/conference type table.  Why?  To use as a puzzle table.  What's a puzzle table?  A table that works well, fits where it is desired to fit and allows a fan of jigsaw puzzles to leave pieces of say, a 1500 piece puzzle sitting out on the table, to be fitted together to make the picture shown on the box.  It can take weeks, at a rate of an hour a day, to assemble all those pieces so the table needs to fit somewhere in the house where it will be convenient but not in the way.

I have gotten interested in human evolution.  I realize that wars and harems and pogroms and genocides effect who mates with whom and what sorts of babies are produced and how long they live and how well.  But I have been warned that what can seem irrelevant or miniscule can be important without looking or seeming important at the time.

So, here is what I want to know: how much has human history, human achievement been affected by nagging?  In the long run, has nagging been a more powerful force than, say, warfare or slavery?  Do other animals nag?  When did nagging first arrive?  Who are the most effective naggers: wives, husbands or teens?

I also want to know how much human evolution has been affected by puzzles, especially jigsaw puzzles laid out for the family community to assemble in odds and ends of time.  If you choose a representative set of 100 families and give 50 of them nice puzzle tables, will we find greater cohesion, better team work, more love in the table owners?  I may start a Kickstarter project for funds to back research on these important questions.

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