Thursday, December 16, 2010

STILL Learning

Bed rollers, mustache cups, and volunteer firefighters are just three of the things I've learned about recently.

Here are some of the others:

----- The Goodyear blimp doesn't have a bathroom. That is to say, it doesn't have restroom facilities. That's according to the service manager I talked to at the Goodyear shop my Significant Other recently got new tires at. The service manager claims to have taken a ride in one of Goodyear's blimps, so he should know. This means that Goodyear pilots apparently have to fly the blimp down here from Akron, circle around Ohio State University's horseshoe stadium for the duration of a football game, then fly all the way back to Akron while somehow managing not to piss themselves. That's more amazing to me than a tire that can go 50,000 miles without a blow-out. (The service manager also said that a crew of guys on the ground have to grab bars along the sides of the blimp's passenger compartment and physically lift it up into the air to get it started on its journey. In order to land, the blimps have to head to earth at a rather steep angle so that the ground crew can grab the wires dangling from the nose and pull it in. I guess this means that if everyone on earth disappeared during a flight, the people on the blimps would have no way to land and get off. Well, no easy way, anyway. But I guess they'd have more pressing worries than that if everyone else on earth had disappeared. Like how to piss out a window.)

----- I recently tried Norwegian Jarlsberg cheese for the first time ever. It reminded me of faraway beaches - especially faraway beaches that taste just like Swiss cheese.

----- 56% of American dogs can expect to find a gift under the family Christmas tree compared to only 48% of American cats. (Some 56% of female pet owners give their pet(s) holiday gifts; only 49% of male pet owners do.)

----- A Social Security check is the only income coming in for 27% of Ohioans over the age of 65. The average monthly check for them is less than $1200.

----- Every month another 15,000 Ohioans turn 60. All of them seem to enjoy standing right in front of whatever I want at the grocery store.

----- Only about 0.1% of the world's human population lives in Israel.

----- The English language has about 250,000 words (not counting technical terms, regionalisms, and neologisms). About 20% are no longer used. (Which ones do *you* wish fell into that category?)

----- Foreigners now make up more than 20% of Switzerland's population. (No, I don't know how many are Norwegians smuggling in Jarlsberg cheese.)

----- Leslie Nielsen's brother, Erik, was once the deputy prime minister of Canada.

----- The da Vinci surgical robot now performs about half of all US prostate operations. (I can only wonder how much lower the percentage might be had the inventors decided to call it HAL.)

----- About 60% of American 12-year-olds now have their own cell phone. More and more kids are getting their first cell phone every day. This means that as you read this, there's a good chance that more booger jokes are being bounced off a satellite than ever before in human history.

----- Tinsel seems to have first been offered for sale to the American consumer in 1932. Philadelphia's Brite Star Manufacturing Company now controls about 80% of the market. You can get about 1000 strands of tinsel for a buck. If you intend on cornering the American tinsel market, you're gonna need a lot of bucks! (Personally, I just hope I survive another year without getting caught in the crossfire between those who think tossing tinsel on the tree is fine and dandy and those who insist that each strand must be carefully placed, just so.)

----- Larry King's real name is Larry Zeiger. His brother was never the deputy prime minister of Canada. If I ever learn that anyone in Norway, Switzerland, Israel, or anywhere else has ever called him Larry da Vinci, I'll be as shocked as a 60-year-old cat that finds a blimp under the tree with its name on it Christmas morning.


  1. Open the pod bay door, HAL, I have to take a leak.
    I'm sorry, Dave. You'll have to hold it till we land in Akron.
    That's all right, HAL. I can't get a good stream going until you fix my prostate.

  2. I remember a story presented to me as true that a make-shift potty module in Air Force bomber or tanker cockpits (do they still call them cock pits when there's women on the crew?) caused corrosion when the urine leaked out of them and there was a danger of the nose falling off the plane from it because of the way the piss box was attached behind the seats at the junction of the flight deck and the back of the plane.

    I'm too sleepy to check Smopes about it.