Thursday, September 17, 2009

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know, Part 3

Oh good, you came back!

Project Senegal asks: Is it strange to assume that pole dancers would make excellent firemen? You know, cause of the whole sliding down the pole thing. On second thought, do modern fire houses even require you to slide down the pole to get to the fire engine, or are most of them one-story buildings?

Andy, I'm not sure which question you actually want me to answer, but here goes. I don't necessarily think it's strange to assume a pole dancer would make a good fireman, or firewoman as the case may be. But I don't think we should assume that based solely on their pole dancing abilities. After all, a fireman is required to quickly put on a lot of protective clothing and gear. I would think that your average pole dancer would be much more adept at taking clothes off. Also they need to be able to handle that big hose. That's what she said.

I'm sorry, that was highly inappropriate.

As for the second part of your question, I did some reading on the subject. While there are a lot of newer, one-story firehouses these days, the older, more traditional firehouses still have the poles. This makes it easier for the firemen who are in the second floor living quarters to get downstairs when the call goes out for an emergency. However, due to newer safety regulations, a lot of poles are being removed from firehouses by the National Fire Protection Association. At one time it made sense to have a quick way to descend, as many multi-level houses contained spiral staircases. If you've ever tried to quickly descend a spiral staircase, you know that it can be particularly difficult. These spiral staircases were installed to keep horses from climbing the stairs. Since horses no longer pull water wagons for firefighters, these staircases have become obsolete. And so, sad as it is, the classic brass pole that would normally be seen in a fire station seems to be disappearing from life as we know it.

April McBeth asks: What is the worst thing you have ever spent $100 on?

April, the answer to this question is a little embarrassing. It's not as if I did anything blatantly wrong, it's just that what I did is incredibly stupid. Several years ago I had the bright idea of arranging for a group of my friends to get together for a Major League Baseball game. We checked out dates and made plans to meet up for a Saturday night Nationals home game. This was after college, so, for the most part, we were all spread out across Virginia. Since I had come up with the idea, I went online and bought the tickets, planning for everyone to just pay me when we got to the game. Six tickets, which actually came to a little over $100. I rode up to DC with Brandon, who was also living in Roanoke at the time, and we were the first to arrive. We found out that one of our friends would be unable to come, so we sold our extra ticket to someone outside the stadium. Then he comes right back and points out that the ticket we sold him was for last night's game. As were all of the tickets I had purchased. That's right, six tickets for the previous night. Brilliant. I really should have checked the tickets as soon as they came in the mail back at home. But you don't think you need to check something like that when you're certain you clicked the correct date online. So that was the worst $100 I've ever spent. I didn't ask the guys to pay me for their tickets since I had made such an obvious mistake. They actually chipped in to get me a ticket for that night's game since I was so obviously broke at this point. I'm never in charge of our friendly get-togethers anymore.

Kevin asks: 1) Who is Nimrod? Who's descendent did he come from? 2) Who started the tradition of the easter egg hunt? 3) Who was or what was the first government in history?

Wow Kevin, you are making me work for this one...

1) Nimrod was a king mentioned in the book of Genesis. He was the son of Cush, who was the son of Ham, who was the son of Noah. Noah, of course, being of Noah's Ark. The Bible describes Nimrod as being a great warrior and hunter. One of the cities he built was Ninevah, which would later be a city of great importance in the book of Jonah. More importantly, he seems to be the first ruler connected to Babylon. Extra-biblical tradition also points to Nimrod as being the leader who inspired the people to build the Tower of Babel.

2) Easter eggs actually come from Pagan traditions, the egg being a symbol of the rebirth of the earth. It was adopted by Christians as a symbol of the rebirth of man at Easter time. I did some searching and I wasn't able to find a real origin for the actual egg hunt. Back in the day, kids would roll eggs down a hill, which became a game that connected to the rolling away of the stone at Christ's tomb.

3) It's difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of human government. It's generally thought that Sumer was the earliest known government. But it's possible that smaller governments popped up before that. As nomads and hunter/gatherers would migrate and come across one another, it became necessary to have leaders and social norms. Eventually laws were introduced. And then people fought the law, but inevitably, the law won.

Tomorrow will be my weekly question of the week that is posed to you, but come back Saturday and I'll post the final three reader submissions.

1 comment:

  1. Just . . . wow. I'm afraid I'm going to have to revoke your PG rating for that first question. Highly inappropriate indeed.
    You may imagine me as Angela Martin tisking and shaking my head.

    Also, thanks for the lessons on fire poles. And for that matter, biblical and early history. You're practically Wikipedia this week. I didn't realize that this "Ask Aaron" forum was also an alternative for Googling. I'll hit you up the next time I feel too lazy to Ask Jeeves.