Saturday, November 19, 2016

I Wonder . . .

"I wonder why . . ."

"I wonder what would happen if . . ."

"I wonder how . . ."

Such are the phrases that precede many a great and marvelous discovery of some principle or idea that will change the course of history forever. However, they also begin more than a few less significant inquiries- the sort often brought on by realizing that something commonplace really doesn't make sense, or noticing some odd detail that you didn't pick up on before, or simply by considering what might've been if a situation had gone differently. Today, I'll be considering six things that "I wonder"- and possibly trying to find answers for a few of them. We'll see how successful I am at the latter.

I Wonder . . .

1. Why the part of the car that contains the steering wheel and other controls is called a dashboard? I mean, I get the "board" part. But why the "dash"? There doesn't seem to be a good reason for that . . . until you Google it. At that point, you discover that it's a leftover from when cars were actually horseless carriages, and that the original dashboard was the barrier that kept mud from being thrown onto the passengers. As carriages became cars, the dashboard became a convenient place to put gauges and such. Funny how words can change so much over time . . .

2. What the time-travel novel J.R.R. Tolkien was supposed to write would've been like? Also, how much would it have tied in with Middle Earth? For those unaware, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien made a deal to try their hand at science fiction- Lewis with space travel; Tolkien with time travel. Lewis kept his end, writing the Space Trilogy (which I need to reread). Tolkien was busy with Middle Earth and died before he could write his time travel story . . . but, according to Google, he did actually write the first four chapters, which are published in The Lost Road and Other Writings. And, yes, they did tie in with Middle-Earth, at least a little bit. I know what's going on my to-be-read list now . . .

3. What happened to all the dead people who were apparently raised at Jesus' death? Matthew 27 says that"The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people." But then these people are never mentioned again- not in the Gospels, not in other period accounts, nowhere. What happened? Did they just disappear? Did they appear and then head straight to heaven (probably not; the Bible doesn't imply that's a thing that could've happened)? Did the people freak out? (I probably would if I saw my ancestors walking around . . .) We know it actually happened, since it's in the Bible, but beyond that, it's a mystery. Unfortunately, Google can't really solve this one- I'll have to wait 'til heaven to find out what actually happened there.

4. Why, in modern dystopians, is it always the teens or young adults who start the revolutions? I mean, I know the obvious reason- a lot of dystopians are aimed towards the young adult audience. But there never seems to be a good in-story reason. You'd think that there'd be a few more adults who take action instead of waiting for some angry teenager to step up and light the spark. (Actually, a similar question could be asked of a lot of fantasy/sci-fi as well, except there you usually have a prophecy to explain it in those.)

5. Why do eyebrows and eyelashes exist? I mean, I'm pretty sure they're supposed to have some functional purpose other than our faces would look mildly weird without them? But they're also kind of annoying, particularly eyelashes. (When an eyelash gets bent and pokes in your eye . . . and then trying to unbend the one bends a bunch more . . . yeah, it's bad.) However, this question brings us back to ones Google can answer! Eyebrows, apparently, are meant to redirect moisture and sweat away from the eyes . . . which, yeah, that makes sense. Eyelashes also help redirect moisture, as well as locking together when you shut your eyes to create a seal and sensing objects that get too close . . . Which, ok, makes sense as well. But that doesn't change the fact that they can be really annoying.

6. What would the world be like if World War II had never happened? If the Allied Powers in World War I had treated Germany with mercy after the war was over, if Germany hadn't had so much anger for Hitler to take advantage of, if Hitler hadn't existed in the first place? Again, there's no way to know, and even a very quick Google search turns up quite a few possible realities. But it is interesting to think about. (Of course, I find the events leading up to both WWI and WWII fascinating- perhaps more so than the wars themselves- so, yeah. If anyone happens to know of a good novel dealing with this idea, let me know; I'd love to read it.)

7. Why can you be "too tired to sleep"? This is a phenomenon I've encountered a few times over the last few months- I'll be so tired that I'm either mildly loopy or the grumpiest person this end of the hall- yet I'll go to bed and be unable to get to sleep for a good ten, twenty, even thirty minutes. It just doesn't make sense. Google's somewhat helpful on this- apparently, tiredness and sleepiness aren't the same, and falling asleep does take a certain amount of energy. Interestingly, if you exercise too close to when you go to bed, that can also make falling asleep more difficult . . . which means I may need to rethink certain elements of my schedule. Botheration.

What are some things that you wonder? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)


  1. I think the whole "teenagers starting a rebellion" makes sense. I mean, teenagers tend (and I'm making a generalization here) to be kind of whiny/complaining which can translate into seeing what's wrong with their world in a way adults/older people can't because they've lived in it for longer and so gotten used to it, you know? In a good world, we (yes, I am a teenager - so at least I'm not bashing a demographic I'm not apart of myself, right?) complain about things that don't matter too much. Not having enough freedom, our parents, our annoying younger siblings, etc. But in a messed up world, teenagers are the ones who look at the world differently and see what others are blind to. What I'm trying to say is - when you enter your teen/young adult years, you eyes ARE opened to a lot of things you may have been very naive about before. So. That's my stab at it!

    Also I'm aaaaalways "too tired to sleep." Very annoying!

    1. Huh. I had never thought about that- very good point! Thanks for suggesting it!

      And sorry; that stinks. :P I hope you can find a way to actually get some rest soon!

  2. These are really good questons, and ones I've often wondered myself. Actually, a good portion of both my time and my novels are filled with "why" and "what if" questions. :)

    I agree with Kayla Marie that the teenagers and rebellion thing makes sense- what doesn't make sense is that they get to lead it all the way through, since their inexperience alone would make that extraordinarily difficult. And actually, when I think of it, 20-25-year-olds seem more likely to start (and stand a chance of winning) rebellions and revolutions. But teenagers seem to be the trend anyway.

    I really liked your question about what happened to the people who were brought back from the dead after Jesus's resurrection. That's something I've always wondered. :)

    1. Thanks! And I don't doubt it.

      Exactly- getting to lead it definitely doesn't make sense. (Unless everyone just looks at them because they started it? Which could be sort of understandable?) But yeah. Thanks for giving your thoughts!

      Thank you!

  3. #3 drives me a little wild sometimes. I'd love to know what happened, but it's like a cliff hanger of history.
    Speaking of cliff hangers, I didn't about Tolkien's time travel story! That's simultaneously awesome and aggravating!

    These are all good questions. I love a good wandering wondering. Sometimes I just end up with more questions, but sometimes I get story ideas out of it!

    1. I know!
      And yeah, I heard about it a while ago . . . still sad he didn't write it. :( Oh well.

      Thanks! And yes, when wonderings end with story ideas is the best.

  4. THE LOST ROAD IS SO GOOD. It has to do with Numenor, and Tolkien (and Faramir's) recurring dream. But spoilers, so I won't say any more. Seriously, though. It's really good. As is the LOTR sequel that he started as well...

    Anyway. Number 3... I wondered that a lot, too. Like... how old were these people, or rather, how long were they dead? Because if they were centuries old it'd be really different than Grandpa walking into the house after you buried him.

    Things I've wondered... why do the words flow sometimes and other times they don't? Why does music make people cry? What if Middle-earth was actually real?

    This was a fun post. :)

    1. Ooh, cool. I shall definitely have to read it sooner rather than later.

      Yeah. But even if they're centuries old, it would still freak people out, to have people wandering around claiming to be someone who's supposed to be dead.

      Good wonderings. I'd particularly like to know the answer to the first one . . . though the last one would be super cool. :D

      Thanks! And thanks for commenting!


I'd love to hear your thoughts! But remember: it pays to be polite to dragons.