Lesson #256 – something higher than that

So my schedule’s been a little hectic and I have a social life again and I just reformatted my hard drive, which sort of combines into not being diligent about keeping this up, but I’ve learned a whole bunch of really random stuff since the move.

For instance, there are immune system antibodies in tears (learned from an old college friend with a PhD in biology), and that it is, in fact, possible for 200,000 people to be in one place and not get into fights over minor differences and Jefferson Davis had an inauguration and there’s a dead ringer for Eminem living somewhere in a nearby county (a friend and I ended up drinking next to him/randomly meeting him at a microbrewery last weekend) and that to get to my best friend’s house, I have to drive right past the shipping port and it’s awesome, and assorted other random things.

But I’m back. For real this time. So…let’s move on shall we?

Lesson #204: Seattle’s Gum Wall

There’s a wall in Seattle covered, 15 feet high and 50 feet across, in gum. According to lots of people who know such things, it’s the second germiest tourist attraction in the world after the blarney stone at Blarney Castle (in Ireland, you philistines).

Apparently, the tradition of sticking gum to the wall began by accident in 1993 with anxious patrons of a local theatre. And the tradition has, well, stuck.

The CNN article is here, the wiki entry (with pictures) is here.

Lesson #187: Ridiculous Texas State Things

States have a whole bunch of official things. Rock. Birds. Foods. Sports.

They also have a whole bunch of ridiculous “official state” things.

We’ll take Texas as an example — because it’s like a whole different planet, so they’re easy to pick on. Texas has a state cooking implement (the dutch oven)*, a state tartan (God knows why)**, a state molecule (the buckyball), two state peppers because I guess just one isn’t good enough (the chiltepin and the jalepeno) and four state plays***. I promise this is all true. You can look it up (as well as whatever ridiculous things other states have recognized as official) at this website.

*In fairness to Texas, they’ve gone all the way with this theme because their state bread is pan de campo and their state vehicle is the chuck wagon.

**It’s called the Texas Bluebonnet tartan, which should be enough to tell you it’s not really an actual tartan at all.

***I’ve actually seen one of said plays it’s BAD. Like a really bad ripoff of the musical Oklahoma! My dad and I had a field day with it.

Lesson #164: My People Are the Best Fruit Juice Drinkers!

I stumbled on this map* today and it kept me occupied for quite some time. It was fun to see what the countries I’ve lived in have been best at. Beer drinking is on that list, but that one I actually already knew that. The Czechs consume a staggering amount of beer per capita. Like 25 litres per person per year more than the second country on the list — incidentally, also a country I have lived in.

Anyway, Canadians are apparently excellent juice drinkers. Awesome! I’d have said that we’re the best producer of professional hockey players, but maybe that one’s too obvious. That’s all most people know about Canada. Hockey players, maple syrup and yaks.**

I suggested this to my cousin and she replied, “but we are so good at catching da taste!” She gets major points for quoting a juice commercial from 20 years ago that starred a potential Hall of Fame second baseman.

*In general, this site is way fun!

**Well, if you ask my best friend, yaks are on that list.