Written by walter
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Saturday, 2 July 2011

Researchers have discovered that baby rats are equipped with a good spatial framework; they can use this innate capability as soon as they leave their nest for the first time.

On the other hand, man cannot find a new destination unless he has a sense of location, sense of direction, and sense of distance.

However, not all of us have adequate sense of direction. This has got nothing to with human being's faculties. There are some people, with PhD, who frequently take a wrong turn and consequently get lost even inside buildings.

If you have ever watched birds, such as a pair of morning doves, you may see when one of them takes off, the other one remains stationary for a couple of minutes then it takes off, too, in the same direction to join its mate. In many cases, tall trees and buildings obscure the sight line of the stationary bird. In other words, the stationary bird fails to see the mate's flight path, but it can find its mate as the first bird lands. We may presume the second bird is somehow taking a mental picture of the flight. We are deprived of such capabilities.

Armies teach their new recruits map reading: contour lines, true north, magnetic north, grid north, azimuth, etc. In other words, an up-to-date map can give us a bird's view of the lay of the landmarks. A compass, which gives us the azimuth on an oriented map, can easily take us to the desired location. That is the disadvantage of not being a rat.

Those who ridicule people who get lost, either are local or have frequently driven in and around a location. If they insist they can find anyplace anywhere anytime, then they are more a rat than a man! Long and detailed direction won't help a stranger. He needs step-by-step directions.

Advise to those who are prone to get lost are numerous and varied. Those of us who are unable to find our way around are normally ridiculed. This shortcoming may even become the topic of sensational conversation between two female neighbors, sitting on a porch and chatting about their husbands:

Jane: 'Why you didn't go to the party last night?'

Mary: 'As usual he got lost again and kept driving round and round till it was too late.

Jane: 'Does he get lost in the house, too? Sorry, I'm just kidding.'

Mary: 'As a matter of fact, yes. He gets lost not only in the house, but also in bed.'

Jane: 'You are not serious!'

Mary: 'I am. Actually, he constantly keeps taking the wrong direction. You know what I mean. At such instances, I need to grab the neck and lay it toward the right direction. In no time, it turns around and takes the wrong direction. This hide and seek continues until it finally finds or rather forced to find the right route. Well, this give both of us, I presume, kind of effective stimulation. Anyway, when on the right track, he keeps cruising till we both reach the top of the hill and then we both resolutely slide down. Hey, Jane, where are you? Wake up.'

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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