TIL

Discussion, in general

Re: TIL

Postby Pedgerow » Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:51 pm

I bought an electric toothbrush in England, where they have three-pin plugs but bathrooms sometimes have two-pin plugs for shavers and electric toothbrushes and things (it looks like a Type C plug here). I am currently in Belgium, where they use two-pin plugs everywhere. So my two-pin electric toothbrush plug should work, right? Surprise! It does not! It is very slightly too narrow. After some research online, it appears that it's not just my socket; this is an actual thing that people know about, to do with voltages. Even though the plugs look identical to the naked eye. Bah.
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Re: TIL

Postby IamNotCreepy » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:53 pm

TIL about a badass historical figure name Francisco Menéndez.

We watched this super interesting PBS documentary about the history of St. Augustine, and it had a good chunk devoted to the story of an escaped slave and black military leader.

Francisco Menéndez captured and enslaved in Africa and brought to the US as a child. He quickly distinguished himself as being smart and capable before escaping his British captors in South Carolina. He joined up with Native Americans, who taught him woodcraft and warfare. He participated in raids on the British before eventually making his way to St. Augustine.

Florida had become the default place for runaway slaves during the 1700s. The Spanish treated their slaves a lot better than the British, and runaway slaves who set foot on Spanish soil were granted freedom if they converted to Catholicism, which Menéndez did.

He became the captain of the black militia and eventually the elected leader of Fort Mose, the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in what is now the US. He helped defend St. Augustine against the British during the War of Jenkin's Ear, but Fort Mose was destroyed.

He decided to hop on a ship to raid against British, but he was captured by corsairs, who tortured him when they found out who he was. He either escaped again or was ransomed by the Spanish, and eventually became the leader of the newly-rebuilt Fort Mose.

After all that, the Spanish eventually ceded East Florida to the British after the Seven Year's War, and the entire population of St. Augustine and Fort Mose (except for 3 families) left and went to Cuba. There, he founded a new settlement called St. Augustine of the New Florida.

I have lived in Florida all my life, and I have never heard of him. I think his story would be great for a movie.
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Re: TIL

Postby JamishT » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:17 am

Definitely not as cool as Creepy's new knowledge, but I learned that the guy who says "OW!" at the end of the O'Reilly's Auto Parts jingle is this guy:



He's also a furry.



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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:29 am

George W. Bush, during his presidency, averaged more than a book a week (archive). I was going to say he might read more than I do (and I read more than anyone I know) but I don't actually keep track. Some weeks I read basically a book a day and some I don't read any; I have no idea what I average.
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Re: TIL

Postby Pedgerow » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:02 am

It's a well-known trope in modern society that people always say that modern pop music isn't as good as it used to be. The claim that you were born in the wrong generation, that your music tastes mean you should have been born 20-30 years earlier, has spawned its own Internet meme that even humourless and self-serious people are willing to accept, so it must be at least a little bit of a cliche. Anyway, I believed it until my early or mid-20s, when I noticed that music was getting better again. To this day, I insist that the worst ever decade for music was not the current one, but the 2000s, which absolutely dropped off a cliff in quality around 2003-2004 and became the absolute nadir of tunes. What an unmitigated musical disaster the following six or seven years were.

I used to be a huge fan of trance music back in those days, growing up in Belgium. Not the weird stuff, necessarily, but mainstream commercial trance, with vocals, did kick ass. This was the case from about 1997 to about 2003. Here are countless recommendations just off the top of my head.

And there was me, thinking I felt this way because it was obvious, because I was just naturally picking the best music I heard around me. But no! As it happens, my entire musical taste, since my formative teens, is all the result of a giant conspiracy. The shitty godawful R&B that plagued the 2000s like an unthinking poisonous mush, a vapid pestilence of unequivocal nothingness, was inserted on purpose into the playlists of the music channels I grew up with, convincing me that music had somehow just gone shit. And it did go shit: vocal trance artists lost interest when their music stopped being played. They stopped making the euphoric electronic hits that I worshipped, and the way was then clear for the unending assembly line of artless shouty indie bands to jump up and down all over the second half of the decade. And lo, I have hated the 2000s ever since. Not because it became fashionable to suck. Not because the music-buying public suddenly became wrong about everything overnight. Not even because there was no good music at all: arguably my favourite album of all time is by a mid-2000s indie band. But Viacom UK bought TMF, and that's all that happened, and music was ruined until I was long out of university, and the so-called best years of my life were reduced to historic ghosts, whispers in the rearview mirror, fading behind me to nothing. You absolute assholes, Viacom UK.

Interesting side note: While still reeling from this discovery, I wondered about my favourite songs of the 2010s, since the decade is almost over. Three songs immediately sprang to mind, one of which is Crying For No Reason by Katy B, the unlikely masterpiece that comes when someone writes a drum 'n' bass ballad:



Anyway, it turns out that Katy B's dad was a member of the Les Humphries Singers, who I discovered a few months ago had been responsible for a song it took me almost 25 years to identify, and is therefore pretty important to me now I've identified it. What a small world!
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:20 pm

Today is Independence Day in Finland, and it's just called "Independence Day." If ever I needed proof that the Finns are a humorless people, it's that they passed up the chance to name the holiday "Finndependence Day."
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Re: TIL

Postby Australia » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:25 pm

Don't sharks already own that name from back when the ocean became findependent of the land? At the very least, it should be the title of a Sharknado sequel.
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YamI JamesT Eyebrows Edgar Logan Eric Michael Tess Sunny Notch Kate Jamish Lao Carp Moo FaceCitizen Aquila Nisi Qinglong Chaise Nullbert NotCIAagent JackRoad Delta MURDA Bert Czar Ambi JulyJack Adric Marcuse SilverMaple Nudge 52xMax Damiana Doma Pumpkin Toy Fry Andro Carrie Snarky Royal RLG Pikajew Windy skooma Kleiner Java Sellers Piter Gisarmbards Grimstone Recluse Esteban Syrup Krashlia Twistappel MacReady Funkotron mcfooty Pseudoman Creepy Kivutar nerd Ladki Jim Youghurt satan GL Angler
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:33 pm

Bob Denard lived a fascinating life. A mercenary who sought to fight communism and maintain French influence, he converted to Judaism, then to Islam, then back to Catholicism. He overthrew or tried to overthrow the government of the Comoros several times, including ousting the first president of the Comoros and then restoring him to power.
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Re: TIL

Postby NathanLoiselle » Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:10 pm

Today I learned about Bob Denard. The man who couldn't make up his mind.
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Re: TIL

Postby jbobsully11 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:51 pm

TIL the lyrics (and the name) of “The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond, i.e. “that one that goes, ‘you take the high road, and I’ll take the low road (etc.).’ ” It’s actually quite depressing.
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:28 am

It's probably my third-favorite Scottish ballad, but most Scottish ballads are actually kind of depressing if you think too much about the lyrics.
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:44 pm

There's a town in northern France which is known in Dutch as "Monsterhole." I'm sure it's not pronounced the way it looks, but damn do I want to visit Monsterhole!
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Re: TIL

Postby NathanLoiselle » Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:21 pm

No you don't Sellars. It's a hole.
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Re: TIL

Postby Pedgerow » Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:52 am

The Brussels suburb of Etterbeek, translated literally from Dutch/Flemish, means "stream of pus". And if you're really into your place names in Flanders, the delightful Erps-Kwerps is notorious among Belgian-born foreigners like me as well.

I would guess that Monsterhole would be pronounced "Monster hauler", much like the Dutch pronunciation of Brussels metro station Merode is "Marauder", which I always chuckled at but nobody else did.
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:01 am

Some species of ant do not have a queen, but rather all workers are potentially fertile and the dominant worker (or workers) becomes the new egg-layer. This egg-layer is called, I kid you not, a "gamergate," though it's pronounced as if it rhymed with "hammer-gate."
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