Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I'm a fountain of knowledge

Or a bottomless pit of useless information.
Last night at work, I stopped over to the firehouse as usual to talk to a few of the guys. One guy in particular I wanted to see because he had a remission in his cancer and had to go to UVA on Monday to undergo more chemotherapy. It was going well he said, he's used to it now. How you could ever get used to that is beyond me, but hey, you've got to do what you have to do. It was then I related a story about a group of researchers at UCLA Berkeley or someplace looking into salamanders for a cure for cancer.
Salamanders?
Apparently salamanders regenerate body parts like starfish when they lose a limb or tail. But the startling thing these researchers found was that if the salamander had cancer in a limb and that limb was severed the cancer would not come back, and even if the cancer had mastized to other areas of the salamander's body, in the regeneration process the cancer cells would be converted into benign sells. What the scientists are trying to do is find out how this process works and through gene manipulation, if the same can be done in humans. Not the regeneration process, just the conversion of cancer cells into good cells again.
My friends looked at me in stunned silence.
"How the fuck do you know this shit?"

I don't know HOW I know it, I can't even remember where I heard it but I know it's true. I'm not some Cliff Clavin. I come out with all kinds of useless facts like did you know that the computer in your car has one hundred times the computing power than the Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket? And that the huge mosquitos you see sometimes are the male of the species and don't bite? Only the small females bite. (Hmmm. Sounds familiar) And that the surface of the moon we see never changes because that's the side that always faces the earth? Geese mate for life? The only native marsupial to North America is the opossum? Alligators can't open their mouths with their eyes open? I also know why the sky is blue and stars twinkle at night, but is all this information really useful?

I sit and watch Jeopardy! and answer almost every question, except when the get into opera or some off the wall subject like quantum mechanics. I've been told I should try out for the show, but I know what will happen if I do and actually get on the program...

Final Jeopardy...

Fifty thousand dollars on the line...

Alex asks the question, category "American History"...

This should be a shoe-in. I'll nail American History.

"George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton"

I'm drawing a blank. I've got that same Dan Quale, deer-in-the-headlights look. The 'Think' music is playing and I'm sweating bullets...

"Tom, you were very strong throughout the game, what did you come up with?" Alex asks me...

My answer?

The screen in front of my little podium is unmasked to she what I've written...

"Who are three people who've never been in my kitchen"

And I'm telling ya' Normy boy! The salamander story is true!

But I just know some of this shit and I don't know why. I know all this useless shit but still can't figure women out and wind up saying something stupid all the time...

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

4 comments:

DivineMsN said...

Try being a geograoher, we know tons of useless shit. :)

cantellya said...

I've heard that about the salamander, too. Somewhere.
I like to watch Jeopardy too, but at the daily double I usually only bet 5 or 10 bucks...

Bev said...

It's amazing all the random crap you know. You should at least try to make some money off of it.

Lisa said...

That's good to know because my hubby chews and he's going to need a new lip and jaw in 10-20 years. :-)