Turtles, Snakes, OCD

1. Out of curiosity earlier, I asked Google, “Why do turtles live so long?”

Turtles and tortoises, if not made into scrumptious meals by sharks or whatever sea-dwelling predator, have a life expectancy of up to 150 years. ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS. And to think turtles and tortoises hardly move. Cats, nimble as they are, live up to 15 years, 14 on average. Rabbits, for all their hopping and libido-related metaphors, live up to 12 according to Google. Dogs, man’s best friend in hunting and checking out bitches, live up to 11. Turtles and tortoises, THEY HARDLY EVEN MOVE — and they live up to ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS (I might use this scientific fact for excuses…err, factual…purposes).

I mean look at this guy:

Credits to dizzyshell42 of redbubble.com

Credits to dizzyshell42 of redbubble.com

This is Jonathan. He is a Seychelles giant tortoise. He lives in the island of Saint Helena. This mean motherfucker was born circa 1832, according to Wikipedia. Now if you do the math, this means this guy is 182 years old. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY TWO YEARS OLD. I MEAN COME ON. How many of his friends must have been born and died while he continues to age? He must have so much wisdom. If only he could talk. Master Oogway was wise. He may have talked in words beyond Po and Master Shifu’s understanding, but he made a lot of sense when you took the time to sit down and process what he said. Maybe Jonathan is.

The official record holder for oldest tortoise is a radiated tortoise named Tu’i Malila from the island of Madagascar. He was hatched in 1777, died on May 19, 1965. He lived for a good 188 years.

HOW DO THEY DO IT? Does it have to do with their mostly sedentary lifestyle which involves chilling under the sun in their shell, only moving when they feel like it? (Sloths live for 20-40 years on average, but can live as long as humans) Not having to deal with a nasty loud mouthed mother-in-law or a backstabbing superior? Do they have video games in that shell? No drugs, no smokes, no alcohol, no weed? No traffic in Tortoise Avenue?

Madkins007 on Yahoo! Answers provided this explanation:

1. There is not a lot of real understanding about how long they really live. Some seem to live for over 100 years, but since we were not really tracking it intelligently 100 years ago, and there is no way to guess a turtle’s age accurately, this is mostly guesswork.

2. Young sea turtles suffer terrible predation- an esitmated 1 out fo 1,000 lives for very long. Adult sea turtles suffer predation (shark scars are often found, as well as other injury), they choke on plastic bags, get several nasty diseases, etc. Many do not really live all that long.

3. Ectothermia, or cold-bloodedness, is a major benefit to big animals. They need only a fraction of the food other animals need, their hearts beat more slowly, their cells burn and die more slowly, many diseases cannot affect them, they can tolerate a lot of environmental and dietary change, and they can go dormant when things are too bad and just wait for better times.

As a rule of thumb, a reptile will live about twice as long as a similarly sized mammal because of this! Another rule of thumb is the bigger the animal, the longer it lives.

Wait, let me look at that again.

3. Ectothermia, or cold-bloodedness, is a major benefit to big animals. They need only a fraction of the food other animals need, their hearts beat more slowly, their cells burn and die more slowly, many diseases cannot affect them, they can tolerate a lot of environmental and dietary change, and they can go dormant when things are too bad and just wait for better times.

Okay, so reptiles — which are cold-blooded — will always have extended life spans compared to warm-blooded animals (i.e. mammals, dogs, cats, us). That got me thinking. We humans have idioms and mean spirited names for the vilest of our kind. We call them snakes — originally because Satan is depicted in the book of Genesis as a snake. We Filipinos have a saying that goes:

“Ang masamang damo, matagal mamatay.” (Weeds die harder) (I suck at translating)

These vile people are snakes.

No wonder they live longer.

 

2. My job has recently been given back to me. What I mean is that I’m back to working with the Closure Track as their data manager. The transition has been cancelled because of some personnel capacities within our unit. I prefer to do this, another guy wants what I don’t want to do (Systems Development), so we reshuffled. And I’m back.

Now my job as one who manages data requires me to be very Obsessive-Compulsive. Which I am, I don’t deny that. I might leave my room and bed in shambles, even my desk. But with the digital contents of my computer, I like to be very organized. This is my Desktop:

5 FOLDERS ONLY

5 FOLDERS ONLY

The contents are put into further subfolders. For example, my work with the Cordillera peace table has folders broken down into year, program, and component. I have another folder for backtracking older files. Those also have subfolders.

My current job involves a lot of Microsoft Excel. And ever since I learned how to VLOOKUP and manipulate the combination of INDEX/MATCH, I have used them to create sheets that directly reference content from a mother sheet. Of course, that isn’t exactly easy to maintain when new data comes in. In the essence of maintaining normalized sets of data, I have had to learn how to LEFT, RIGHT, SEARCH, ISNUMBER, ISERROR, OR, AND, arrays and etc etc etc — which are only a small portion of what Excel is capable of. And I am being eaten by Excel on a daily basis. With extra rice. Garlic on top.

I have to do those formulas because I am Obsessive-Compulsive. And sometimes, my OCD gets in the way of finishing a job on time.

The end

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