Thursday, March 25, 2010

Too Much Time or Procrastination?

Deadlines come, and deadlines go, but I keep finding ways to procrastinate that fascinate me.

You would think I have time on my hands by the way I get distracted with historic research. I found out that on this date in 1857, Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville
patented the phonautograph, which is just what its name implies. It is a device to transcribe a sound into a visible wave on smoked glass, giving its autograph, so to speak. It was used to determine the frequency of musical pitch, and the inventor didn't even know that there could possibly be a way to play back the sounds. That was finally done with computers in 2008, making these the first recordings of a human voice. He recorded himself singing Au Clair de la Lune, among other recordings.

In fact, so many of the things I note of historic significance on this date I chose because they fascinated me to the point where I read up on them a great deal, using up time that should have been spent doing something else.

The closer the deadline, the more deeply I distract myself with research, or sweeping the kitchen, or cleaning out the cabinet over the stove, or getting my kitchen calendar updated, or almost anything but what I need to do.

There is a name for this, creative procrastination. You put something off until an even more urgent deadline comes up, at which point you finally get to what you should have gotten to sooner, thereby using the old, undone jobs to procrastinate the newer jobs. They will get done, but only when something more urgent comes up.

Or maybe I just do have too much time on my hands.

Either way, I will now go procrastinate sorting paperwork by snuggling kittens.

Kiseki is still with us, receiving fluids, eating a little bit, and we are bending over every which way to keep her body temp up. Forrest has started sneezing, and the other 3 have the runs. If I have to, I will put all of them on IV fluids, but they are all big enough that they should recover with just a bit of saline nose drops for stuffiness and Imodium for "digestive trouble."

Today is:

Annunciation of the Virgin Mary -- Roman Catholic Christian

Birthday of Kuan Yin, China (goddess of healing)

Celebrate Rivers, Lakes, and Ponds Day

Day of Tourists

Independence Day, Greece

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Letting Go of Stuff Day

Medal of Honor Day

National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy

National Lobster Newburg Day

Numbskulls and Clodhoppers' Dance -- Fairy Calendar (I know a couple of people who qualify on both counts; I need to find out how to buy tickets!)

Old New Year's Day

Palace Theatre Day

Pecan Day

Quarter Day (a/k/a Lady Day), Ireland

St. Dismas' Day (patron of prisoners, funeral directors, criminals, thieves)

The Tichborne Dole - in Alresford, Hampshire, UK; since 1150, a gallon of flour is given to every resident by the Tichborne family head on this day, to avoid a curse

Waffle Day

Birthdays Today:

Danica Patrick, 1982
Sheryl Swoopes, 1971
Sarah Jessica Parker, 1965
Paul Miles, 1952
Elton John, 1947
Bonnie Bedelia, 1946
Paul Michael Glaser, 1943
Aretha Franklin, 1942
Anita Bryant, 1940
Gloria Steinem, 1934
Simone Signoret, 1921
Howard Cosell, 1920
David Lean, 1908
Bela Bartok, 1881
Arturo Toscanini, 1867

Today in History:

The first Easter, according to calendar-maker Dionysius Exiguus, 31
Richard I is wounded by a crossbow bolt while fighting France, leading to his death on April 6, 1199
Robert the Bruce becomes King of Scotland, 1306
Sir Walter Raleigh renews Humphrey Gilbert's patent to explore North America, 1584
Henry Hudson embarks on an exploration for Dutch East India Co., 1609
Lord Baltimore founds Catholic colony of Maryland, 1634
Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is discovered by Christian Huygens, 1655
Mount Etna in Sicily erupts, destroying Nicolosi, killing 20,000, 1669
The Slave Trade Act becomes law, abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire, 1807
The Swansea and Mumbles Railway in England, then known as the Oystermouth Railway, becomes the first passenger carrying railway in the world, 1807
Greeks revolt against the Ottoman Empire, beginning the Greek War of Independence, 1821
In New York City, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire kills 146 garment workers, leading to factory reform laws, 1911
The first fully functional space shuttle orbiter, Columbia, is delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for its first launch, 1979
The world's first wiki, a part of the Portland Pattern Repository, is made public by Ward Cunningham, 1995

1 comment:

  1. I'm the queen of procrastination but I sure wouldn't mind handing over the crown. I'll consider that another day. First I need to..


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