A new blimp is a big deal in these parts, and my e-mail has been blowing up with comments about Goodyear’s quest for an appropriate name for the first edition of its next-generation airships.

One of the best observations was made by Bob Crawford of Akron, who wrote:

“Have you seen the rules for the ‘Name the Blimp’ contest? The IRS must have laid off some tax-code writers.”

The rules do seem a wee bit complex for a naming contest. Goodyear’s website delineates four criteria that must be satisfied and indicates the various weightings for each:

•?“Name acknowledges Goodyear’s ongoing track record of delivering superior performance and innovation (40 percent).”

•?“Name reflects storied history and tradition of the Goodyear Airship (20 percent).

•?“Name resonates with the Goodyear airships’ long history of public service and community engagement (20 percent).

•?Name reflects the grace and majesty of lighter-than-air flight (20 percent).”

A team of CPAs apparently will be called in to crunch those numbers and spit out the winner.

Please note that zero points will be awarded for “cute” or “whimsical.” But I suppose that when you’re running a $19.5 billion-per-year company, not much of anything strikes you as “whimsical.”

Other readers voiced a more basic complaint: The website doesn’t work. When you fill everything out and hit “submit,” they said, nothing happens.

I tried it on Monday and those reports seemed to be accurate: hitting “submit” drew no response whatsoever.

Goodyear initially said it hasn’t had any problems with the website, other than a couple of days when connecting with a mobile device through Facebook wasn’t possible. But after further investigation, Goodyear discovered that “older” versions of Internet Explorer — including Version 9, which was state-of-the-art until early 2013 — are incompatible with the site. So, you can either update your browser or phone in your entry (330-796-3855).

Deadline: Friday.

The technical problems must not be too severe, because the company has received more than 12,000 unique entries.

If you try to submit a name that has already been nominated, you are notified as soon as you hit “submit.” Imagine my surprise when I discovered (after switching browsers) that my own entry was already in the hopper:

“Bob the Blimp.”

That name seems a lot more fun than, say, “the Spirit of Goodyear.” Blimps are the quirkiest of aircraft and should sport quirky names, if you ask me.

Nobody asks me of course. So I guess I’ll just have to set up my own blimp contest.

Even more intriguing than what this blimp’s name might be is the grand prize being offered to the person with the best entry:

“Win the Goodyear blimp for a day.”


Let’s think about that concept for a moment. If you had access to the Goodyear blimp for an entire day, what would you do with it?

Please send me your thoughts via email (preferably) or voicemail. In this contest, unlike Goodyear’s, humor is not only acceptable but encouraged. In fact, humor will account for 59.75 percent of your score.

The winner of my contest will get the indefinite use of a great new book called Blimp Pilot Terrorizes Akron, autographed by its distinguished author.

OK, that’s not quite as intriguing as having the Goodyear blimp at your beck and call for a day. But your odds of winning are considerably better.

You’re welcome.

Juuuust a little late

Bob: What’s the statute of limitations on an overdue library book?

While cleaning out my mother-in-law’s home, I found a book from the Akron Public Library that is overdue by more than 70 years (25,670 days, to be exact). It was a ‘28-Day Not Renewable’ book that was due Nov. 30, 1943!

Should I return it? I wonder what the fine would be?

Thomas Geiger


Thomas: So that’s where it went! I have been trying to check out that book — The American Revolution Considered As A Social Movement, by J. Franklin Jameson — since 1963. My seventh-grade history paper is now 51 years late.

But at least I finally have a legitimate excuse: Thomas Geiger’s mother-in-law ate my homework.

I suspected Mr. Geiger and his family would be in a heap o’ trouble. Still, I advised him to come clean and face the consequences.

“We’d love to have the book back since it technically belongs to the public,” said Library Director David Jennings. “Fines forgiven — our borrowing records do not go back to the 1940s.”

Jennings says the book is still in print and is regarded as a classic in its field. But he figures a person who may have placed a hold on the book in 1943 has gotten really tired of waiting.

“This book has been overdue for exactly half the time — 70 years — the Akron system has been providing public library service, which is 140 years, or 51,100 days.

“Must be a really good book.”

Punctuating the pain

Jim McIntyre of Cuyahoga Falls weighed in on a recent column item about an educational display at Summa’s City Hospital that consisted of a large, walk-through model of a colon.

“You do realize that this thing sits on the floor, don’t you? That means it’s actually a semi-colon.

“Could be worse. If your colon’s inflated for a long period, you might lapse into a comma.”

Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or bdyer@thebeaconjournal.com.