It’s time this girl got a name.
Here, finally, is a photo of my new Hyundai. It’s strange, but Gabi still inhabits our street, an empty vessel full of fond memories and great escapes. The item put Pontiac on Craigslist has burned a hole in my to-do list.
My preliminary pick for the new car’s name: Yuliana.
(I know no Yulianas. Gabi got her name from my friend, Stacey. Gabi’s touch-and-go status in the auto shop necessitated a few prayers and vexes. Stacey felt if a car had a name, maybe she’d be more apt to capture the well wishes.)
She was right.
So, do you have something better than Yuliana in mind? I’ll consider it. No promises, though. Yuliana is quite ordinary and run-of-the-mill outwardly, but fits her like a glove. Hence, the exotic name feels right.
1. Are cars cheaper in Florida?
For the second straight week, we lead off with an auto question.
(Probably all that time at the auto fair with dad.) Florida has no state tax. We loved that. We actually had money to save when we lived there! The cost of living seemed low, too, at least in Tallahassee. I don’t know if I could have lived large in South Beach.
Maybe they are – but I can’t really find a source that goes state-by-state.
We’re back to speculating, then. Are prices low because people need to get rid of their cars? Are they low because they are (or might be) flood damaged from any of several hurricanes to hit the state in recent years?
I checked on CarGurus.com for a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am (randomly, of course.)
I found one with 99,000 miles for $2,200. I randomly picked four other ZIP codes to try on the site. I made this table, with the car in Florida:
Michigan had Florida beat on this particular classic car, but the Sunshine State is definitely in the mix.
2. Can homeless people vote?
Yes, they can, and they often do.
A fixed address isn’t a prerequisite. Colorado considers a place you regularly return and have the intent to remain is viable. Parks, vacant lots and homeless shelters also will work. They seem to make it not a big deal, which is kind of cool.
Minnesota, though, leaves the door open for some potential awkwardness.
The state says to list where you sleep. At the polling place, you might get questioned about it. Tennessee, like Colorado, is pretty lax about where the person says they go to rest. Reminds me to vote yes on legislation to increase housing for those in need.
3. When are people supposed to go to Mars?
NASA says it’ll be in the 2030s – by that time, the Rockies will have probably three World Series wins.
NASA’s tossed up a ton of landers, orbiters and rovers to get a lay of the land. Especially with the Curiosity rover and the upcoming 2020 rover, we’ll learn more about Mars, including oxygen levels and whether there should be an NHL team there.
There’s tons to learn about Mars before we colonize, such as:
- Is it safe for humans?
- Is there – or was there – life on Mars?
- Could we send the Carolina Hurricanes there in hopes for better attendance numbers?
We’re in the first stage of three thresholds of space exploration. They are:
Earth reliant | present-2000
The International Space Station will operate until 2024. NASA has worked on deep-space systems, human health and life support.
Proving ground | 2018-2030
We’ll send crews deeper into space, with spacewalks and everything. Maybe even open a Wendy’s. It’s all to test our readiness for living away from home.
Earth independent | 2030s and beyond
Mars or bust. We’ll master the takeoff and the landing, haul back rocks from Mars, and more. We’ll orbit Mars and eventually move right in.
4. What was the biggest Super Bowl blowout?
The Denver Broncos appear on the list for three of the worst four. Unfortunately, it’s always for being on the wrong end of the butt-whoopin’. The worst: Super Bowl XXIV. San Francisco routed Denver 55-10, with a no-name quarterback named Joe Montana.
Denver had lost three previous Super Bowls, none of them close.
This one though … I remember watching it solemnly with my family. It was 35-3 at halftime. Highlights (lowlights?) from this one still give me the bends. We ate dinner silently at halftime, then sat staring at our picked-over vittles.
Guess the second half is starting soon, I said.
We dragged ass back to the couch to take our lumps. I don’t remember who scored Denver’s touchdown. We didn’t harbor much hope, but if we did, John Elway’s interceptions on Denver’s first two second-half series would have cut of their air supply.
That Montana dude, meanwhile, threw five touchdown passes. They decided to make him MVP for some reason.
The rest of the bottom five:
Super Bowl XX: Chicago Bears 46, New England Patriots 10
The Pats were still patsies at this point, not the hated machine you know today. The Bears recorded a song about winning – before the game. And still ran away with a 36-point win.
Super Bowl XLVII: Seattle Seahawks 43, Broncos 8
Seattle shouldn’t score 43 in a month. Denver got hit for a safety on the game’s first play, and I hurled my Broncos cap into a gaggle of Christmas matryoshka dolls.
Super Bowl XXVII: Dallas Cowboys 52, Buffalo Bills 17
Denver lost five Super Bowls, but at least four weren’t consecutive. This was the third in a game Buffalo actually led first. Pigs weren’t flying, but they were on the runway.
Super Bowl XXII: Washington Redskins 42, Denver Broncos 10
These scores are branded into my brain. A 10-0 lead and bullshit fumble call didn’t help. My sister and I wore black with orange arm bands to school the next day. True story.
5. Will your ears pop when you go deep in the ocean?
Heck, they pop when you go in the deep end of the swimming pool.
These sciency questions really kick my ass sometimes. This requires me to describe the construction of the ear, in simple terms. (For me, not for you.) You have a tunnel that goes into your head that you’re not supposed to push a Q-tip into too far.
That’s because you don’t want to puncture your eardrum.
That’s what cartoons from my youth would depict as an actual drum, and who am I to doubt that? I had a drum when I was little. I banged it so much it broke. So I told my mom I just wanted to use it as a trashcan.
I don’t think I got walloped for that.
The middle ear sits behind the ear drum. It’s like the great void. It’s hollow. It’s so that the pressure in the ear canal and inner ear remain equal, so your eardrum doesn’t become an impromptu trashcan.
When you dive into the community pool or into the depths of the Red Sea, the pressure in your ear canal changes, so it has to also switch in your inner ear.
We have this tube called the Eustachian tube (which I was certain was part of female reproduction, but was wrong), and it runs from that inner ear sanctum to your throat. It’s a pressure valve for your noggin.
It keeps the eardrum surface from busting out one way or the other.
Just laying here on the floor writing this blog and watching the World Series, the pressure in my ear is about 14.7 pounds per square inch. Every foot you go underwater adds .43 pounds of pressure to your eardrums.
If your Eustachian tube can’t keep up with the increasing pressure, your eardrum stretches and bows – and that hurts, because it’s full of nerve endings.
You can pop your own ears, by plugging your nose. You might have to do this when you’re in an elevator or an airplane or even in one of those huge dips of a slide, the kind you have to ride down in a guinea sack.
Chewing gum also helps.
So, that’s that. That’s my contribution to science for this week. This post was supposed to go live Friday. This is what happens when I’m forced into science to wrap up the Go Ask Daddy for the week. My head hurts, now.
Not Super Bowl blowout hurts … but watching the cowboys and seahawks win on the same day kind of hurt.