Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wikipedia might make your face spontaneously combust.

Warning: The following post contains spoilers about the plot of Indiana Jones: The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

For those of you who are mocking the above warning, I just want you all to know that I am a movie purist, I would be very offended if a movie was spoiled for me without my consent. Since the movie is still in theaters I figure there may still be some purists out there who haven't seen it. (Although, let's be honest, they saw it on opening day like I did.)

Anyway, today's thoughts are somewhat related to that movie, but they are thoughts that I had a few days back while I was at work. So here's the scoop: So as most people who know me have come to find out, I'm a fairly curious person and often in conversation something will come up that I don't know enough about and so I'll usually research it and the next day I'll tell the person I was talking to that I found out more and they'll usually act interested but secretly be thinking about how I'm kind of a geek. Well, at work, I often have those conversations, only the difference is, I'm sitting at a computer so I bust out google or wikipedia and find the answer then and there.

Well, I was talking to my friend Mike, there was something we both didn't know about and so he said I should bust out wikipedia (he knows the drill by know.) That's when I stopped and said, "wait, what if my face bursts into flames?" He was confused by that question and rightfully so. But let me help you understand my train of thought: In the climax of Indiana Jones, the bad guys return the crystal skull to the aliens and they decide to give a gift of knowledge to Col. Dr. Irina Spalko (played by Cate Blanchett) They begin downloading all the information they have to offer, and at first she is so excited to gain this knowledge. But then suddenly her brain overheats or something and her face bursts into flames. At this point she was less excited, based on the fact that her face was burning and she was screaming. This is where my concern lies. What if the human brain overheats when the hard drive is full? I consider myself fairly knowledgable, I learn new things everyday. What if I'm reaching my limits?

At this point, Mike and I stopped discussing whatever we were discussing and decided instead to discuss what would cause my face to burst into flames. We decided it is most likely not a problem of filling up the space, that really wouldn't make sense. More likely it was the speed of downloading the information that caused the overheating. If this theory is true then I should be safe reading wikipedia, as long as I don't read it too fast. So, I'm going to try to slow down for safety's sake. But, if you don't see me for a while it's likely my theory was wrong and I gained too much information. If that is the case, look for me near a computer or possibly in a library or bookstore. But be prepared for a mess, my face may have melted.

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