Geek Girls Rule! #491 – Weird Knowledge your Hobbies Give You

This is not actually what I set out to write last night, but this will do until I can figure out how to separate the two subjects.

So, the other day, I’m working on the second book in the series I’m writing, and I stop, do some googling, frown, do some more googling, and finally turn to the Geek Husband What Rules and ask, “How big is an elk’s heart?”

His initial response was, “Excuse me, what?”

Proving that there are limits to the weird shit he expects to fall out of my mouth at a moment’s notice.

Me: “How big is an elk’s heart? Like, compared to a cow or a pig?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t helped dress out an elk since I was a teenager.  Why?” He frowned at me.

Me: “How many bites would it take a full grown jaguar to eat one, do you think?”

“First, call my Dad. He probably knows. And 5 or 6, maybe…  They eat like Irish Wolfhounds, you know, like sharks.”

So I called my in-laws.  My FiL was out and my MiL wasn’t sure.  So we settled on bigger than a cow’s heart, and that a full grown jaguar could probably eat one in 6 to 7 bites.

Every time I google shit for writing, be it fiction, fic, a game or real life, I always say, “You’re welcome, NSA guys.”

Things I have googled in the last month:

1. The weight of an elk’s heart, barring actual weight pictures with objects like beer bottles for scale.
2. Laws regarding the emancipation of teenagers and their legal standing when signing contracts in the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
3. How much dog Advantage do you use to dose cats?
4. Concussion treatment
5. When does Field Hockey season start?
6. MK-Ultra
7. When does the NHL season start?
8. When do they typically finish the Stanley Cup playoffs?
9. Air quality in Seattle.  Seriously, we’ve got smoke and ash from wildfires up north.  It’s bad guys.
10. When did Cooper (hockey equipment) go out of business.
11. Pounds per inch pressure from a (grown) jaguar’s bite.
12. Price per pound of plastic explosives.
13. Biggest calibre of handgun a 140 lb woman could realistically wield.
14. K-pop band contract “morality” clauses.

I have learned entire languages as research.  In college my Latin professor asked why I was taking the class, and my response was, “I read a lot of 19th century horror, and they don’t always translate the writing on the spooky crypt from Latin to English and I would like to know what the curse actually is.”  Ditto for learning Ancient Greek.

In researching the size of an elk’s heart (which no one actually ever answered, we’re eyeballing it), I learned that the University of Wyoming did a study of how much a dressed out elk carcass weighs, drawing information from almost 20,000 kills.  Also the best way to dress one out.

My coworkers in Tech used to come in the day after The Weakest Link, and ask me the “hard” questions.  The best was when my supervisor came in.

“Ok, you’ll never get this one.  What is a syndrome where the beauty of a piece of art makes someone exhibit physical symptoms and can reputedly drive someone to violence?”

Me: “Stendahl Syndrome.”

“How do you even know that?”

Me: “It’s the premise of an Italian Giallo horror movie.”

I have spent hours pouring over the skeletal structure of pinnipeds, and know that Sea Lions have claws on their flippers, while seals typically do not.

I don’t google a lot of sex stuff, because I know all that.  I did teach classes.

I have spent hours reading articles on male horror fans’ identification with Final Girls in horror movies.

So what weird knowledge have you picked up from your hobbies or fandoms?

If you like what you read here, or want to fund my continuing existence while the new job falls into place, please consider donating using the link at the top right of the page:  Keep Us Geeking, or checking out my Patreon.  Thank you!

Also, if you’d like to see what sort of fiction I write when left to my own devices, please feel free to check out my fiction Patreon, Nothing Nice Comes Out of My Head.


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