Saturday, March 14

Random Thought of the Day: Self-Mummification

When I think of mummies (which, admittedly, isn't often), I think of Evie from The Mummy excitedly explaining how mummification involves ripping one's brains out through one's nostrils... and Rick's prompt, disgusted response that he does not want to be signed up for that if they don't make it out of their adventure alive!

So I was both fascinated and appalled to find out that people can actually mummify themselves - as publicized recently by the discovery of an actual mummified monk inside a stature of Buddha.

Apparently, it's a pretty finicky process - and unpopular for all the reasons you might expect. But it's well documented and wasn't particularly uncommon among certain sects throughout history. It was considered a fairly sure path to sainthood (especially welcome if you were having trouble with the whole "performing miracles" option).

As usual, though, my line of thinking when discovering random (slightly gruesome), fascinating factoids like this quickly came around to "why am I only just learning about this?!" I was very privileged growing up. I had parents to loved to read, read widely, and made sure I was a good reader too. I read far more (and more widely) than most kids I knew. And still, there are so many things that never even showed up on my radar!

I know that schools get a lot of grief these days for everything we think they're doing wrong. Public libraries scramble for funding, and focus on technology because that's where the money is. Museums try to line up with common core and STEM - also largely for funding reasons. But I can't help thinking that we'd do so much better at keeping children's attention and spurring them to self-educate and become better readers and thinkers if they had access to these kinds of stories. Not as pre-packaged lesson plans or History Channel episodes, but as stuff to read and write about on their own, just because it's naturally engaging. (As I've mentioned before, anything with guts/gore/death is great for keeping kids' attention!

That's all... there isn't any great point or call to action for this post. Just a public service announcement that if winter and cabin fever have you suffocating under the mundane, there are still gloriously intriguing things available to revive and reinvigorate your brain.... only a click or the flip of a page away.   :)

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