Other Ten Percent 3/31/14

Mar 31 2014

I have a very distinct memory of being six years old, sitting in my first grade classroom bored out of my mind and adding up numbers on the big wall calendar. I remember adding up sequential strings of numbers and noticing when you added the first and last number of a sequential series together you get the same number as when you add the second number and the next to last number. And I remember right as I started wondering how long that could go on for my teacher yelled at me for not paying attention to roll call and demanded I face front. I remember all of this because I’m fairly sure I was about 10 seconds away from independently thinking of this which I only heard about years and years later.
I tell you all of this not to brag about how brilliant I was at six (well, not exclusively that though I was and am brilliant and all of you should tell me that all of the time so as to help me avoid crippling self-doubt it might not actually be true) but because “DAMMIT I was about 10 seconds from thinking of that” is, I believe, an uncategorized universal human experience everybody has all the time. For instance I just had it again this week as I listened to 99% invisible with Nikki and discussed how uncanny it is that people just apply the NPR/This American Life house style to basically any subject area possible. I was then distracted by horrible LA traffic before I could think of this. In this case though that’s probably for the best as Mallory Ortberg is, as always, brilliant and hilarious and a national treasure so you should all be glad some dick cut me off and you got her execution of the bit.

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