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i dropped the ice pick

maura @ 11:57 am

Last Monday both Gus + I were off school/work for MLK Day, so we headed up to the Met to meet a friend of mine + her kids. Arms & Armor, mummies and chicken nuggets in a taxi-shaped box: what could be better for a snowy Monday? We spent a long time hanging out at the Temple of Dendur. It was late in the day so everyone was kind of tired, and the snow was falling in that slow magical way (in which it almost seems to be snowing up), so we sat down and gawked for a while.

There’s a small sphinx sculpture right next to the reconstructed temple, and it didn’t take long for Gus + my friend’s son to start asking questions about it. What is it? Why is it half-person half-lion? And so on. I made the mistake of mentioning something about the Riddle of the Sphinx* and suddenly that was all they could think of. What was the riddle? What happened to people who couldn’t answer? Why did the Sphinx ask a riddle? What was the answer?

After a few minutes of trying to pull the half-remembered shreds of my 9th-grade Bible, Myth and Epic class out of my head it became clear that the kids weren’t going to give it up. Usually when I don’t know the answer to something I tell Gus that we will look it up on the interwebs later, but then I remembered that I have the whole internets in my pocket. Iphone to the rescue! I fired up the Wikipedia entry for the Sphinx and suddenly all of their questions were answered (especially the gory ones).

(EDITED TO ADD [can’t believe I forgot to mention this!]:) So apparently this incident convinced Gus that the answer to every question is always available via the iphone. The next morning he asked me how many gallons of water a swimming pool holds, and when I answered that I didn’t know he came back with, “look it up in your phone, Mommy!”

I feel like I’ve done a lot of incidental evangelizing for the iphone lately, esp. the ubiquitous interwebs and the ability to carry lots of books around features. All of which is making me think that I need to read Rainbows End again. If only the iphone could extend time, I’d be all set.

* Q: What goes on 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs at noon, and 3 legs in the evening?
A: (Hu)man(s) — we crawl as babies, walk as adults, and need canes when we’re elderly.

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