I have just heard the expression “Wikipedia rabbit hole” for the first time, listening to a TED talk on the value of curiosity (more about the talk itself tomorrow). It described perfectly the conversation I had on Christmas Day with a friend’s partner, one of my most faithful readers and a very curious person who often—now I know the technical term—goes down a Wikipedia rabbit hole. He had just read my post about the CD I was given and immediately shared what he had learned about bassoons and their forerunners. He started by looking up what “bassoon” is in German, his native language. It went from there and ended up with some very funny looking, almost bulky forerunners like the rackett.
One benefit? Even if you never need the information it can be incredibly refreshing to go on just such a trip (when you have time to do so). And, with luck, you may be able to amaze your friends and relatives with what you know (and discover a new Scrabble word ;-)).