Surprising things you have learned today

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

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Surprising things you have learned today

Postby McLurker » Tue May 22, 2007 3:01 pm UTC

Male flamingos can produce milk!

And they make it in their throats.

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Postby robcro » Tue May 22, 2007 3:34 pm UTC

Yes I learnt that too.

And that male flamingos often pair with other male flamingos.

Oh, and I remember where I learnt that now, on the bbc website. It was very interesting.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/gloucestershire/6679315.stm
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Postby Chrono285 » Thu May 24, 2007 11:46 am UTC

Tomatoes, potatoes, and hot spices were all found in the Americas.

What was Italian food like without red sauce?
What did Ukrainians put in their perogies? Not cabbage I hope... I hate cabbage perogies.
Indian food without spicy spices?

All those 'traditional' foods aren't very old.
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Postby no-genius » Thu May 24, 2007 11:56 am UTC

Smashing Pumpkins have a new song

I haven't heard it yet cos i only have ipod earphones with me :(
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Postby shadebug » Thu May 24, 2007 1:09 pm UTC

If you're born in Northern Ireland and would otherwise be stateless, you can claim Republic of Irish citizenship
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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu May 24, 2007 4:21 pm UTC

My Engineering schooling, degree and status are applicable in any Commonwealth nation.... so I could totally move to New Zealand, or Barbados, or Mozambique, and get a well-paying job. :) Sweet!

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Postby SecondTalon » Thu May 24, 2007 4:27 pm UTC

...hot spices were all found in the Americas


South Asia uses mustard seeds to get the spicy kick, for one. Wasabi's a kind of cabbage. Then there's Horseradish.

But yeah, the Chili is from the Americas.

Today, I learned the question of "If I have an axe and the handle breaks and I replace it, and later the head breaks and I replace it, is it the same axe?" is properly called The Ship of Theseus paradox.


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Postby Owijad » Thu May 24, 2007 4:32 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
"If I have an axe and the handle breaks and I replace it, and later the head breaks and I replace it, is it the same axe?"


I would say so, for the same reasons I'm inclined to think a river is the same river a minute later, despite having entirely new water.


Today I learned that the actors in the Wizard of Oz scene where Dorothy's house lands on the witch were all normal size. They just used mirrors to make them look small :(
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Postby ZeroSum » Thu May 24, 2007 4:34 pm UTC

shadebug wrote:If you're born in Northern Ireland and would otherwise be stateless, you can claim Republic of Irish citizenship

Why is that surprising? If you're born in the US you're a US citizen. (No need to be otherwise stateless.)

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Postby 2.0 » Thu May 24, 2007 4:36 pm UTC

I learned that a 20 year old spectronic 20
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Pwns the new Vernier Colorimeter any day.
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Can't beat that kind of precision.
Last edited by 2.0 on Thu May 24, 2007 4:37 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu May 24, 2007 4:36 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Today, I learned the question of "If I have an axe and the handle breaks and I replace it, and later the head breaks and I replace it, is it the same axe?" is properly called The Ship of Theseus paradox.

I thought that was from The Fifth Elephant....

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Postby ZeroSum » Thu May 24, 2007 4:37 pm UTC

Owijad wrote:Today I learned that the actors in the Wizard of Oz scene where Dorothy's house lands on the witch were all normal size. They just used mirrors to make them look small :(

You mean the Munchkins? No, they were little people (is biological dwarfs PC enough?). It was, in fact, the first large meeting of little people worldwide. Most of them, excepting some that were in groups of vaudevillian midgets, had never seen another little person before in their life. There also existed some children since they needed more Munchkins then they had little people.

There's also rumor that there was much drunken debauchery among the little people since being the first time they'd seen someone their size they were rather excited and happy.

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Postby SecondTalon » Thu May 24, 2007 4:39 pm UTC

It is. That's where he got it, though the first time I heard it was a supernatural story along the lines of
Your grandfather kills a man with an axe. He doesn't tell anyone about this, merely passes the axe down to his son, who passes it on to you. In your father's time, the head became worn and he replaced it, and you yourself replaced the broken handle a few months back. On a dare, you enter a haunted house and happen to have the axe with you. A ghost forms before you, moaning, and you, on reflex, use the axe to shield yourself. The ghost screams "That's the axe that took my life!"... assuming this is the ghost of the man your grandfather killed, is the ghost correct?


Though sometimes the ghost says "I'd recognize the axe that took my life anywhere!" and the question is - how did the ghost know?

But yeah, properly, it's the Ship of Theseus paradox.
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Postby Owijad » Thu May 24, 2007 4:46 pm UTC

ZeroSum wrote:You mean the Munchkins? No, they were little people (is biological dwarfs PC enough?). It was, in fact, the first large meeting of little people worldwide. Most of them, excepting some that were in groups of vaudevillian midgets, had never seen another little person before in their life. There also existed some children since they needed more Munchkins then they had little people.


Really?

[post-wiki]

Oh, neat. I was lied to...
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Postby miles01110 » Thu May 24, 2007 5:07 pm UTC

The mean free path of a neutrino is a couple light years of lead!

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Postby LE4dGOLEM » Thu May 24, 2007 5:30 pm UTC

miles01110 wrote:The mean free path of a neutrino is a couple light years of lead!


Been reading Ringworld, by any chance?
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Postby McLurker » Thu May 24, 2007 5:31 pm UTC

no-genius wrote:Smashing Pumpkins have a new song

I haven't heard it yet cos i only have ipod earphones with me :(


Hey, that is bloody good!

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Postby shadebug » Thu May 24, 2007 8:36 pm UTC

ZeroSum wrote:
shadebug wrote:If you're born in Northern Ireland and would otherwise be stateless, you can claim Republic of Irish citizenship

Why is that surprising? If you're born in the US you're a US citizen. (No need to be otherwise stateless.)


yes, but if you're a canadian citizen you're not a us citizen. More to the point you're making an assumption that all countries operate on a ius solis basis (you were born in country, ergo you are a countryan) as opposed to ius sanguinis (you are descended from countryans so you are a countryan.

In case you're still confused, northern ireland and the republic of ireland are NOT the same country
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Postby Spaz Funbag » Thu May 24, 2007 8:48 pm UTC

miles01110 wrote:The mean free path of a neutrino is a couple light years of lead!


Mean free path? As in "that's how far a neutrino flies before it interacts with a lead nucleus? Please help me out here.

All I know the "one-half-left" coeffitient for neutrinos in lead is around 100 ltyrs.
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Postby Eschatokyrios » Thu May 24, 2007 9:23 pm UTC

I learned that the linux command df -h will give you a human-readable listing of the amount of free and total space on all mounted volumes, including 'udev'. I don't know what that is, though. Maybe it's the swap partition - it says it's 506 MB and I'm pretty sure I set the swap partition to be that big when I installed the system.
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Postby ZeroSum » Thu May 24, 2007 9:38 pm UTC

shadebug wrote:
ZeroSum wrote:
shadebug wrote:If you're born in Northern Ireland and would otherwise be stateless, you can claim Republic of Irish citizenship

Why is that surprising? If you're born in the US you're a US citizen. (No need to be otherwise stateless.)


yes, but if you're a canadian citizen you're not a us citizen. More to the point you're making an assumption that all countries operate on a ius solis basis (you were born in country, ergo you are a countryan) as opposed to ius sanguinis (you are descended from countryans so you are a countryan.

In case you're still confused, northern ireland and the republic of ireland are NOT the same country

/me has been thoroughly schooled. Let me add on that if you had said, "If my dad's a citizen of the UK and was born there and I'm born in Japan then I'm a UK citizen" because I know (or at least am under the impression) that (a form of) British citizenship is bestowed upon children of those with (a form of transferable) citizenship because that's how one of my friends can claim UK citizenship. I guess what I was trying to say was that something along the lines of "If I were born in Zimbabwe I could claim Canadian citizenship" would be surprising because it seems very counter-intuitive, whereas "If I were born in (somewhere to do with X) I can claim (something else to do with X) citizenship" isn't very surprising, even if the claim were "If I were born on a Russian submarine to Israeli parents in the Gulf of Mexico I could claim Russian citizenship" since Russia may very well extend its citizenship to those born on naval platforms they own.

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Postby niko7865 » Thu May 24, 2007 11:30 pm UTC

Spaz Funbag wrote:
miles01110 wrote:The mean free path of a neutrino is a couple light years of lead!


Mean free path? As in "that's how far a neutrino flies before it interacts with a lead nucleus? Please help me out here.

All I know the "one-half-left" coeffitient for neutrinos in lead is around 100 ltyrs.


100 ltyrs? Heres what I've heard "You'd need to have about 22 light years of lead before you finally guaranteed that there'd be a collision."
quoted from Dr. Pamela L. Gay who is a visiting assistant professor of Physics at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
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Postby TheTankengine » Thu May 24, 2007 11:31 pm UTC

I think tmpfs is swap. My udev is only 60k of 10 mb.
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Postby warriorness » Thu May 24, 2007 11:40 pm UTC

Eschatokyrios wrote:I learned that the linux command df -h will give you a human-readable listing of the amount of free and total space on all mounted volumes, including 'udev'. I don't know what that is, though. Maybe it's the swap partition - it says it's 506 MB and I'm pretty sure I set the swap partition to be that big when I installed the system.


udev is the program, daemon - call it what you will - that automatically manages device blocks in /dev. I dunno what swap is, but I believe Thomas's assertion.
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Postby SpitValve » Fri May 25, 2007 12:05 am UTC

Chrono285 wrote:Tomatoes, potatoes, and hot spices were all found in the Americas.

What was Italian food like without red sauce?
What did Ukrainians put in their perogies? Not cabbage I hope... I hate cabbage perogies.
Indian food without spicy spices?

All those 'traditional' foods aren't very old.


America was discovered over 500 years ago - that seems like plenty of time for something to become "traditional"...

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Postby apricity » Fri May 25, 2007 12:15 am UTC

SpitValve wrote:America was discovered over 500 years ago - that seems like plenty of time for something to become "traditional"...


Yeah but nobody really settled here until Jamestown in 1607. And that's totally not enough time for something to become traditional.
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Postby SpitValve » Fri May 25, 2007 12:29 am UTC

lanicita wrote:Yeah but nobody really settled here until Jamestown in 1607. And that's totally not enough time for something to become traditional.


I could imagine potatoes and things being introduced and becoming popular by before 1800. I could have something 200 years old being "traditional".

Note that Westerners didn't really settle this country until the 19th century, so my perspective on things may be different :)

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Postby Chrono285 » Fri May 25, 2007 4:29 am UTC

Yeah, America was discovered at the end of the 15th century. However, you'd think it would take a while for a new food to be introduced to Europeans, even longer for Europeans to start growing it on their own land, and even longer for it to become part of their core culture.

It didn't though, in only a few hundred years Ireland, for example, had become so dependent on the potato that when the crop failed, the country was decimated.

I guess it's not that surprising, but I kinda figured that those foods would've dated back to antiquity.

Another surprising thing, decimated originally meant to kill 1/10. It was a punishment used on rebellious ranks in the Roman Legion.
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Postby no-genius » Fri May 25, 2007 9:59 am UTC

Today I heard this really great song by some band called Zed Leppellin or something. something about a stairway to steven
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Postby __Kit » Fri May 25, 2007 10:45 am UTC

Oh me yarm, i thought you were serious for a second i was like what?!!? BTW if you are that stupid and didn't now its called stairways of sapphires
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Postby no-genius » Fri May 25, 2007 10:57 am UTC

I dunno, its what my friend said it was.
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Postby McLurker » Fri May 25, 2007 11:21 am UTC

lanicita wrote:
SpitValve wrote:America was discovered over 500 years ago - that seems like plenty of time for something to become "traditional"...


Yeah but nobody really settled here until Jamestown in 1607. And that's totally not enough time for something to become traditional.


That's North America, potatoes are South American. The Spanish were settling there well before the English settled in North America.

Here's a surprising potato-related fact. Potatoes may have been introduced into Britain from the wreck of the Spanish Armada (1588).

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Postby bigglesworth » Fri May 25, 2007 2:51 pm UTC

SpitValve wrote:Note that Westerners didn't really settle this country until the 19th century, so my perspective on things may be different :)


Even more surprising (at least to me) was that the Maori came to New Zealand around 1300 (or so, don't quote me on that).

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Postby airtank » Fri May 25, 2007 3:10 pm UTC

Today around midnight, I learned that the Atlantic isn't quite as cold as I thought it would be. I also learned that the waves can sneak up on you, even if you're on the flats before it drops off into deeper water, and make you look like you lost control of your bladder.

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Postby gmalivuk » Fri May 25, 2007 4:03 pm UTC

lanicita wrote:
SpitValve wrote:America was discovered over 500 years ago - that seems like plenty of time for something to become "traditional"...


Yeah but nobody really settled here until Jamestown in 1607. And that's totally not enough time for something to become traditional.


I think you're forgetting about 12000 years there...

Many traditional American foods are based on things that were cultivated or eaten here for centuries before any of those European upstarts started illegally immigrating. (Think Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie. All these things are native to the western hemisphere.)

Then there are the things that have since become popular worldwide but which were originally from here. Potatoes, tomatoes, chocolate (despite this persistant myth that the Swiss have any idea what they're doing with the stuff), corn, the Caesar salad, etc. (Okay, so the last one isn't exactly "native", but I like the fact that it was invented in a Tijuana hotel by an Italian-American who lived in San Diego.)
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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri May 25, 2007 4:26 pm UTC

I just learned I'm going to be on country-wide CBC radio today. One of the producers for Almanac just called me and asked if I could talk for five minutes today.

...

*spastic explosion*

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Postby anotherangel » Fri May 25, 2007 4:35 pm UTC

no-genius wrote:Smashing Pumpkins have a new song

I haven't heard it yet cos i only have ipod earphones with me :(


That's awesome. I love the Pumpkins.

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Postby apricity » Fri May 25, 2007 4:53 pm UTC

Haha, I like how my completely facetious comment spawned debate over how old the Americas are. I love these fora.
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Postby shadebug » Fri May 25, 2007 7:09 pm UTC

ZeroSum wrote:
shadebug wrote:
ZeroSum wrote:
shadebug wrote:If you're born in Northern Ireland and would otherwise be stateless, you can claim Republic of Irish citizenship

Why is that surprising? If you're born in the US you're a US citizen. (No need to be otherwise stateless.)


yes, but if you're a canadian citizen you're not a us citizen. More to the point you're making an assumption that all countries operate on a ius solis basis (you were born in country, ergo you are a countryan) as opposed to ius sanguinis (you are descended from countryans so you are a countryan.

In case you're still confused, northern ireland and the republic of ireland are NOT the same country

/me has been thoroughly schooled. Let me add on that if you had said, "If my dad's a citizen of the UK and was born there and I'm born in Japan then I'm a UK citizen" because I know (or at least am under the impression) that (a form of) British citizenship is bestowed upon children of those with (a form of transferable) citizenship because that's how one of my friends can claim UK citizenship. I guess what I was trying to say was that something along the lines of "If I were born in Zimbabwe I could claim Canadian citizenship" would be surprising because it seems very counter-intuitive, whereas "If I were born in (somewhere to do with X) I can claim (something else to do with X) citizenship" isn't very surprising, even if the claim were "If I were born on a Russian submarine to Israeli parents in the Gulf of Mexico I could claim Russian citizenship" since Russia may very well extend its citizenship to those born on naval platforms they own.


That's because britain is, for the most part, ius sanguinis, if it weren't then the Eire rule would be completely pointless since the Northern Irish born would automatically be British, since they're not, Eire comes to the rescue
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Postby robcro » Fri May 25, 2007 7:25 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:I just learned I'm going to be on country-wide CBC radio today. One of the producers for Almanac just called me and asked if I could talk for five minutes today.

...

*spastic explosion*


I have no idea what radio that is.

But wow
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