Can you remember what you did last Tuesday? You might, without giving it much thought, just answer, “Nothing much.” If pressed for specifics, you might opt for the slightly more detailed, “I drove to work, went to the supermarket, got home, made dinner, watched TV and fell asleep.” You may even feel somewhat annoyed at being asked to recall what was surely an average day like any other.

“Our lives aren’t just special events, right? Most of our lives are just … mundane things we take for granted — things that need to get done, maybe not things we want to do,” says American artist and molecular biologist Arthur Huang, who adds that this is actually a big part of who we are.

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