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Everyone that has questions that don't belong on any of the other forums can post them here. How about it?
I have two urgent questions:
1. What does the buddy list do?
2. What's the story behind the saying 'I heard it through the grapevine'? Now this is something I've been wondering for quite some time (and I'm always reminded about it cause I'm playing a lot of the Creedence Clearwater Revival version of the song) and I'm getting quite desperate. I know what the saying means, I know the meaning of the separate words making up the sentence, but, oh dear lord, where does it come from, why does it mean what it means?
In the early days of telegraphy, US companies rushed to put up telegraph poles, some made none too well and some actually using trees rather than poles. To some, the tangled wires resembled the wild vines found in California, hence a getting a telegraph became assocated with hearing something "by the grapevine"
During the US Civil War the telegraph was used extensively, but the messages were sometime unreliable. If the transmission quality was poor, the receiver of the telegraph had to do his best to make sense of what the message was coming through. Hence the association of a potentially false rumor with the grapevine.
The phrase first appeared in print in 1852.
The idea behind the expression is probably the telegraphic speed with which rumor mongers can spread the word.
"Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).
I probably just could've googled myself but on the bright side now there are loads of people that didn't know they were interested in knowing where 'I heard it through the grapevine' comes from all of sudden realize it was something they always wanted to know. Ha!
Even if you are too lazy to do the experiment yourself you should be able to deduce the obvious result. The laws of butterology demand that the butter must hit the ground, and the equally strict laws of feline aerodynamics demand that the cat can not smash its furry back. If the combined construct were to land, nature would have no way to resolve this paradox. Therefore it simply does not fall.
That's right you clever mortal (well, as clever as a mortal can get), you have discovered the secret of antigravity! A buttered cat will, when released, quickly move to a height where the forces of cat-twisting and butter repulsion are in equilibrium. This equilibrium point can be modified by scraping off some of the butter, providing lift, or removing some of the cat's limbs, allowing descent.
Most of the civilized species of the Universe already use this principle to drive their ships while within a planetary system. The loud humming heard by most sighters of UFOs is, in fact, the purring of several hundred tabbies.
The one obvious danger is, of course, if the cats manage to eat the bread off their backs they will instantly plummet. Of course the cats will land on their feet, but this usually doesn't do them much good, since right after they make their graceful landing several tons of red-hot starship and ticked off aliens crash on top of them.
Excellent reply (grapevine) and theory (cats/butter) pacertom! I always thought hearing it through the grapevine just meant it didn't come from the person directly, like hearing it from someone other than the person that should be telling you (ie. "did you know so-and-so is going to break up with you?"). Thanks for the clarification.
Raskolnikov, thanks for the warm welcome, and I love that 11 minute version of the song by CCR, I listen to it quite often, it kind of puts me in a trance b/c it just keeps going.
The buddy list is used to keep track of the friends you have made on this forum. By going to your "My vB Home", you'll be able to see which of your friends are currently online, and be able to send them a private message. Adding people to your buddy list also allow you to send private messages to multiple forum members at the same time. You may add any member of the forums to your buddy list by clicking this button in a member's posts.