TIL

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Re: TIL

Postby Pedgerow » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:30 pm

Nominative determinism is...well, I bet we're all exactly the sort of people who know what nominative determinism is. It's the thing where a job matches your name. We all knew that already. BUT, I discovered a guy on the news earlier: noted Friends of the Earth campaigner Guy Shrubsole.
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:11 am

The kind of sandals I wear are called "Biblical sandals." I didn't know that there was any other kind, unless you count flip-flops and heeled sandals as real sandals, but apparently there's quite a lot.
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Sun Mar 15, 2020 3:38 am

Polyester allergies are a thing and I probably have one. And all this time I thought the itching I get from contact with damp polyester was just my punishment for daring to sweat in cotton-poly blends.
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:12 am

Etsy sells porn. Not vintage porn (though they may sell that too and probably do; I didn't check), modern digital photosets.
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:45 am

1. There is a brand of stuffed animal with a name very similar to the name of a pornographic magazine.
2. The pornographic magazine comes up before the stuffed animal on eBay's autofill search suggestion.
3. eBay does not allow you to individually remove recent searches the way Google does.
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Sat May 09, 2020 4:19 am

TIL that mortgage prepayment penalties are a thing, which is ridiculous. However it looks like, under US law, there are a lot of restrictions since 2014, so that's good, at least.
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Wed May 13, 2020 6:22 pm

Shortly after pterosaurs were discovered, an entomologist proposed that pterosaurs were marsupial bats, based on the fact that fossils seemed to have hair, something the paleontologists of the time ignored because they were clearly reptiles based on their skeletons and reptiles are cold-blooded.

His reconstruction was, admittedly, ridiculous to behold:
Image

And yet, not only was it much closer to the reality of pterosaurs than the leading paleontologists of the time came up with, it's arguably more accurate than most reconstructions in toys and media today, which largely continue to depict pterosaurs as bald, scaly things and often make other mistakes such as misrepresenting wing attachment.
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Re: TIL

Postby 52xMax » Sun May 24, 2020 5:49 am

TIL that Kim Jong Nam, Kim Jong Un's half brother and Kim Jong Il's eldest son, missed on the opportunity to be the leader of North Korea after he was caught at the Narita airport with his family trying to enter Japan to visit Tokyo Disneyland in 2001. He was using a fake Dominican Republic passport under a Chinese name (Pang Xiong) which roughly translates to "Fat Bear".

In addition to three elder sisters from separate marriages, Kim Jong Un and his now infamous sister Kim Yo Jong have a natural older brother, who was not considered to replace Kim Jong Il, depending on which version you hear, either because his father thought he was too effeminate for leadership, or because he's more of a careless hippie type not interested in politics. Instead we ended up with crazy fat rocketman.

The eldest son was exiled to Macau, where he was famously assassinated at the Kuala Lumpur airport in 2017, and despite the immediate attention it got in the media, the details are still a mystery. The working hypothesis is that his brother ordered the hit on suspicions he was a CIA informer. After all, we're talking about the guy who executed his own uncle and second in command, so it's not entirely out of the question.

Poor Kim Jong Nam had bad luck with airports, I guess. And he never got to visit Tokyo Disneyland, but I hope he had better luck at the Disney parks in Shanghai or Hong Kong, because I've been looking at Youtube footage from those places and they look like a lot of fun.

Source:
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:18 pm

The island of New Guinea is so large that both halves (Indonesian West Papua and mainland Papua New Guinea) are individually larger than Japan, the Philippines, or the British Isles.
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:12 am

Don't judge me, but I bought a super-high quality grade of black pepper, and was just eating the peppercorns plain.

As a result, today I learned that in sufficiently high doses, black pepper can give me hiccups.
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:50 pm

The Wikipedia featured article today, on George Tucker, is actually pretty interesting, mostly because of how his position of slavery evolved. He opposed slavery as economically inefficient, came to support it when he realized he could make money off it, and then came to oppose it again and freed his slaves sixteen years before his death.

I remember some history professor talking about asking his students if they'd have supported abolition if they'd lived in the Antebellum South, with his students pretty much unanimously saying "of course I would." My reaction to that question was "of course I wouldn't, literally no white person in the South was an abolitionist and most of them opposed even gradual and compensated emancipation."

But George Tucker taking a strong position on a pressing moral issue, compromising when he realizes there's money involved, before realizing his position is untenable and resorting to the earlier one? That totally sounds like something I might have done, had I lived as a white person in the Antebellum South.
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Re: TIL

Postby NathanLoiselle » Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:12 pm

Today I Learned that Simon Cowell is the money behind Mystery Inc. Or did he?
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:25 am

The Irish ballad "Nancy Spain" is not a traditional ballad, but was written in the sixties by a publican and popularized by Christy Moore. While it was inspired by an anonymous woman, the author didn't want to name her, and instead used the recently deceased journalist Nancy Brooker Spain.

Nancy Spain had lived in a pretty much open lesbian relationship with Joan Werner Lauri the founder of an early feminist magazine, herself the daughter of Thomas Werner Laurie, an avant-garde publisher who published The Encyclopaedia of Sex, The History of Torture through the Ages, and the first British edition of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle.

Spain died at the age of 46 in a plane crash, and Noel Coward wrote on her death that "It is cruel that all that gaiety, intelligence and vitality should be snuffed out when so many bores and horrors are left living," which is a sentiment I feel often when the good die young.
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:19 am

My quaker parrot loves to sing along to certain music and sometimes bob her head in time with it. She seems particularly fond of of Irish rebel songs, but then she is bright green.

Anyways, I learned this the other day in reading A Thing With Feathers, but this is apparently a very rare behavior. Moving in time with music has only been observed in humans, Asian elephants, and several species of parrots. In the latter two cases, it's only been observed in captive-raised animals, suggesting it's a behavior elephants and parrots can pick up, but only do so as a way to relate to humans they grew up with.

It seems like my quaker sings and bobs along to Irish rebel songs because I like it and she is making an effort to relate to me. And that is truly remarkable.
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Re: TIL

Postby cmsellers » Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:35 pm

So, people often talk about ADHD drugs as being meth.

For over a decade, I assumed that this was hyperbole and/or ignorance. Ritalin and Foucalin, the two ADHD drugs I've tried myself (don't have ADHD but treating anxiety in autism is an off-label use), are both dopamine reuptake inhibitors.

Amphetamines, including meth, both inhibit reuptake of dopamine and force the release of additional dopamine, meaning that it's very easy to build up both a dependence and a tolerance very quickly. Given that even DRIs can lead to dependence and tolerance, I'd assumed that "no, of course there's no such thing as prescription amphetamines."

How wrong I was. Turns out Adderall is literally a cocktail of four amphetamines.
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