I'm reading You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers, (written in first person by Dave) and the friend in the book reminds me of Rob so much. (I've told him this. This won't be a surprise to him.) For those of you who know him, let me know if this doesn't capture Rob's personality!
Hand knew things like this, and knew how many guerrilla-killed gorillas there were each year in the Congo, and how many tons of cocaine were imported weekly from Colombia, how they did it and how pure it was, and how powerful, and who ran which cartel with the help of which U.S. agencies and for how long. And how Spinoza was actually autistic -- he'd read this recently but couldn't remember where -- but it was true! They'd studied DNA! -- and that Herbert Hoover liked little boys (this he was sure about, though it might have been McKinley, or J. Edgar), and that you could grow the bones of dwarfs by attaching external bone-growing devices that looked like Medieval torture instruments -- it worked! he would yell, he'd seen a documentary and one guy had grown almost a foot, though some dwarves objected, calling him some sort of Uncle Tom. . . . On and on, for twenty years I'd heard this shit, from first grade, when he claimed you'd get worms if you touched your penis (I used plastic baggies, to pee, till I was eight)--and always this mixture of the true, the almost-true and the apocryphal--he'd veer within this emporium of anecdote like an angry drunk, but all of his stories he stood steadfastly behind, never with a twinge of doubt or even allowances for your own. If you didn't kow these things, you were willfully ignorant but not without hope. He prefaced his fact spewals with "Well, you probably already know this, but the thing about zinc mining is..."
Whereas Dave in this circumstance seems annoyed by his friend's vast random knowledge, my feelings are usually closer to amazement than annoyance of Rob's random factoids, and his brain's iPod-like storage and retrieval abilities!
Just thought I'd share. Peace!