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To build up the anticipation, I mentioned to my younger daughter this morning that we were going to see different animals at the safari, including lions and giraffes.

She turned to me and said, “giraffes’ tongues are blue.”

Wait, what?

Her sister chimed in saying that one of their babysitters had taught them this. I didn’t question the veracity of the claim but it puzzled me.

First, my daughter was eating a blue popsicle and seemed to be quite ready to spurt facts involved other blue-tongued animals. Second, it was one of those things that would have been difficult to validate:

  1. If the Internet did not exist; or
  2. We did not have access to a few giraffes in the Greater Toronto Area.

As we arrived at the safari, I used Google Assistant in the car to ask what is the colour of a giraffe’s tongue and it listed several colours, black to blue to dark purple, with pink at the base. Then I pretended that the Internet didn’t exist, but I that I had a camera, maybe an old film camera.

I waited in the long motorcade weaving around the park and finally it was my turn to capture these majestic beauties. I grabbed my phone and through the windshield of my car, snapped a few photos as close as I could get, just as a giraffe was licking a post.

Of course, in 2020, these photos are available to me immediately and I can analyze them. However, 20 years ago, I’d probably be using film and would have to hope that the pictures would be in focus and would develop properly. I’d probably drop them off at Black’s and then wait a week to pic them em, with the blurred shots being developed free of charge. There’d be some magic as I wait to pick up my roll.

It’s easy to take for granted how accessible information is today. If it weren’t, I’d have to log this fact as something nagging to verify at some point in the future, maybe on an actual safari to Africa. Oh — and the giraffe’s tongue looked dark — likely black vs blue. But I was 15 meters away, in a car.

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