If I have one talent, it is storing random knowledge and unimportant conversations. If you ever try to repeat a conversation with me, I will get snippy and repeat almost verbatim the conversation we have previously had on the same subject. (I’m working on the snippiness, by the way. Repeating a 60-second discussion isn’t the worst thing in the world. Not like my life’s finite, or anything. … Like I said, working on it.)
As far as superpowers go, this one is pretty lame. Un-super, even. It has, however, left me with the knowledge that Juno is the Roman version of Hera, wife of Zeus (whose Roman counterpart is, of course, Jupiter), and that Mnemosyne represented memory in Greek mythology. Furthermore, Nabokov wanted to name his memoir “Speak, Mnemosyne,” but “Speak, Memory” was thought to be more accessible. (Which is precisely what I mean by “random and sometimes useless.” Ask me about every single prayer I memorized in grade school!)
All that being said, I’m kind of a sucker for the romanticism (lowercase “r,” obviously) of our space program.
I love the appeal to memory, the connection to things that exist deep within the consciousness and the language of our civilization, things we barely think about. When I think of Voyager, Viking, Apollo, Atlantis, Discovery, Challenger, Columbia, Endeavour, Mercury, Juno–to be honest, they all sound like gods. I think what’s best about this childlike wonder in naming conventions is its sharp contrast with the sheer practicality necessary for space travel. Continue reading