Since college, the only learning my brain has absorbed has been sadly fact-less. I’ve learned a lot about my work style and about people and about computer programs, but that rote knowledge that I used to cherish hasn’t been flooding my brain… until I came home and started hanging out with my dad, who is not necessarily a Trivia King, but the stuff he knows, he knows well. Like stuff about big boats and airships.

Come Take a Trip In My Airship
The other night, while babysitting my niece and nephew, Dad and I watched a History Channel special on Zeppelins, which are the older version of the Good Year Blimp but about four times larger. Zeppelins are the largest aircraft ever built. In fact, they are so big that it rained inside the hangers (buildings) where the Zeppelins were kept. And we’re not just talking leaky roofs here. Rain clouds would actually form inside. The Hindenburg was a Zeppelin, and the builders originally wanted to use helium inside it instead of hydrogen, but the U.S. holds most of the world’s helium stores and didn’t want to allow Germany to have it because of their unflattering war records. So they used hydrogen, and the whole thing blew up. Incidentally, the Nazi party funded part of the construction when the Zeppelin Company went bankrupt. This is why the tail fins have swastikas on them. Recent research has suggested that the Hindenburg could’ve burned up so quickly from the use of flammable substances (mainly iron oxide) painted on the fabric.

Bigfoot Is Alive and Well In Canada, Eating Canadian Snuff.
After the special on airships, a program called MonsterQuest came on, which interested me greatly because it touched on one of my favorite topics: Bigfoot. Or Sasquatch. Incidentally, I had a crush on this guy in high school who was very attractive, but also very tall and big, and my best friend Amber hated him because it annoyed her that all kinds of girls liked him, and she didn’t want me wasting my time on such an icon. So, she called him Sasquatch. Perhaps that is why I am so fascinated with the topic today. Anyway, the other night I learned that there is a man in Canada who believes that he was abducted by a family of Sasquatch (Sasquatches?) in the middle of the night when he was a teenager. In the morning, he decided to make some coffee, so he did, and he snuffed some snuff (I am not sure what type of verb goes with snuff). The Sasquatch Daddy took the whole can of snuff and ate it. Then he was so upset that he gulped down the coffee. When he left to find some water, the young man escaped. Now, I’m not going to say whether or whether not Sasquatch exist, but I think this man had earlier discovered something that does exist: Hallucinogens. You should, however, really check out the Bigfoot Field Researches Organization website. Find your state, click on your county, and find all the eye-witness accounts from real people on Bigfoot sightings in the area. Pay special attention to the newest Bigfoot photographs, taken on Sept. 16, 2007:

bigfoot.jpg

Is the image in the photograph a primate, or a “skinny mangy” bear? Here is a quote from the website regarding these newest photographs: “BFRO members are directed to ask around to find one or more skinny mangy bears in captivity, such those that are occasionally brought into wildlife rescue centers. We will direct the caregivers of those skinny mangy bear(s) to coax their bear into smelling the ground so it can be photographed at this same unflattering angle. We also ask BFRO members to go to their local zoo in order to photograph various ape species when they bend over to smell the ground.”

Is “Gypped” a Racial Slur?
The other day D asked me if I knew the origins of the word gypped. I didn’t, but I figured it probably came from the word Gypsy because of the idea that gypsies stole things.
“So is it a racial slur?” D asked.
“Probably,” I said.
He asked why it is more accepted than other racial slurs. “Are Gypsies an actual ethnic group, or is gypsy just an adjective?” he asked.
“I think it’s an ethnicity,” I said, “but I don’t know.”
D asked, “Well, where are they from?”
“Aren’t they nomadic?”
“Yeah, but they had to come from somewhere. Maybe Eastern Europe?”
“I want to say like Turkey or Romania or something.”

So, today, I Wikipedia-ed and found this article.

Perhaps I will stop using the word gypped. I’m not sure that I really used it before, but you know.

And Lastly, a Tribute

Yesterday D posted a link to a Carrie Underwood music video on his MySpace. I told him that his roommates must’ve been hacking into his MySpace posting joke stuff again, so he ought to change his password. He is not a Carrie Underwood fan. I am not a Carrie Underwood fan. We are snobs: Snobs with impeccable taste, although I would not say that D is entirely impeccable because of the Boyz 2 Men, and he would not say that I am entirely impeccable because of Blessid Union of Souls. I am sorry if you are a Carrie Underwood fan, not because I have just insulted you, but because you probably have not had exposure to good music. But we can still be friends. I will respect you as long as we never go on a road trip together.

D, however, was serious, which I later realized when looking at his twin brother’s blog. You must watch. Serious. Pay special attention to the man banging on the five-gallon buckets. Go ahead. Look.

Who was that man? I’d like to shake his hand. That man, my friends, looks almost exactly like my boyfriend. Because it is his twin brother G! And that hat? Yep. Here it is on D:

dhat.jpg

I watched the video and laughed so hard when I saw G that my mom came in to find out what was going on. Congratulations, G.

Ladies, I have his digits.