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Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:26 am UTC
by Neil_Boekend
Well, if the reason for the ban is genetical degradation I see no reason why women should be expressively forbidden from marrying daughters, granddaughters, aunts, mothers, grandmothers, etc (and the same for men and male members of the close family). And I am no fan of blanket bans without nuance.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:35 pm UTC
by Whizbang
There is also a moral argument to be made that the older of the two unfairly influenced the younger during the formative years or whatever that lead to the incestuous relationship. It gets messy trying to sort out the consenting relationships from the non-consenting ones.

Though whether the above was part of the law creation or was merely tacked on later as a justification, I don't know.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:21 am UTC
by addams
You did find an interesting loop hole.
You have very productive insomnia.

How interesting.
Not the Law, You.

We have already had a father/son wedding.

I have no idea where the link is.
It is here, at xkcd, somewhere.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:20 pm UTC
by addams
Today, I learned a basic Hummingbird Wrangling skill.

It's easy.
Don't frighten the little things until they find themselves up against a window.

I have, in the past, waved my arms and had them fly back out the door they flew in through.
One time that did not work.

When they are already against the window,
they can't gain enough speed to hurt themselves.

It still requires both a gentle and steady hand.
They are so cute when they fly away.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:10 pm UTC
by addams
A different day, a different thing learned.

The Batman Mountain.
https://guidetoiceland.is/nature-info/m ... in-iceland
This mountain has become known as the ‘Batman’ mountain among locals
because the three towers are shaped like a bat.


My first reaction to the name Batman Mountain was ...
....Tourists imposing their subconscious on others, again.

Was/Is the name Batman Mountain an example of US Culture dominating a smaller weaker culture?
I don't know. I did learn Iceland has some beautiful mountains.
https://guidetoiceland.is/nature-info/m ... in-iceland

Just like the US, they say a person can drive out in modern cars to take a look at The View.
The mountain's name is Brunnhorn. Not Batman.

(shrug) Brunnhorn may be so common, like Dick Lake,
The locals may be proud of having a rare Batman Mountain.

This is the photo that started it.
http://www.jellyfields.com/photo/157506 ... ark3-Canon

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:46 pm UTC
by Quizatzhaderac
Tomlidich the second wrote:you are right though, with deductions, I got "most" of it back. but why bother? why take the cash anyways, if they know almost noone under the poverty line is actually going to let you keep that money anyways?

for that matter, even if they somehow manage to hold onto some of the taxes I pay, Why? it probably constitutes a mere fraction of their budgetary income, and all it is doing is hurting the Lowest of low income people who really can't afford to lose that money. It is absolutely barbaric.
I realize I'm responding to something from last year, but you do know that income tax withholding is optional right? The government only deducts payroll taxes from my paycheck and every April I send the government a check for my income tax.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:22 am UTC
by addams
The other answer to that question is paying taxes is being a citizen.
That becomes a complicated and often heated conversation.

The system Can work that way.
The US system doesn't.

Paying taxes can provide a person with a sense of belonging and worthiness.
In the US taxes can and, for the poor, do become punitive.

Another Day.
Today I learned:

The English keep their Top Secret Government Communications Headquarters in a building named The Donut.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Doughnut

The US Government Communications Headquarters or the NSA is housed in a Black Box.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_ ... adquarters

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:21 pm UTC
by Quizatzhaderac
TIL what a Weyl fermion is. Well ,tried to learn; the Wikipedia page lost me when it started talking about belt tricks.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:17 am UTC
by bluebambue
TIL that Google Search's unit conversion widget doesn't have verst as an option.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:48 am UTC
by bachaddict
The verst is obsolete, you see. Smoots are included because they are merely nonstandard.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:18 pm UTC
by addams
Today I learned about verst.
Spoiler:
A verst (Russian versta, ??????) is an obsolete Russian unit of length. It is defined as being 500 sazhen long, which makes a verst equal to 3500 feet (1066.8 metres).

And about Smoot.
Spoiler:
A smoot is a unit of distance (or "length", as physical scientists say) used for measuring the Harvard Bridge. It is named after an MIT fraternity pledge at Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, Oliver R. Smoot (class of 1962). In October of 1958, fellow students helped Mr. Smoot measure the length of the bridge by placing him end to end and marking the increments. Oliver was a top student at MIT and went on to run NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The smoot is equal to his height (five feet and seven inches -- 1.70 m), and the bridge's length was measured to be "364.4 smoots plus one ear".

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:16 pm UTC
by Djehutynakht
I love the Smoot.


Today I learned that Switzerland once considered developing Nuclear weapons.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:13 am UTC
by Thesh
Today I learned Novalogic still exists. And they've barely updated their engine since Comanche 4.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:54 pm UTC
by ObsessoMom
Djehutynakht wrote:Today I learned that Switzerland once considered developing Nuclear weapons.


Neutron bombs?

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:09 am UTC
by strake
Kerrygold cheese is amazing.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:46 am UTC
by Pfhorrest
strake wrote:Kerrygold cheese is amazing.

What kind exactly?

I'm a big fan of their Dubliner.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:00 pm UTC
by mathmannix
Quercus wrote:and no, I'm not talking about the tomato vegetable/fruit "controversy", because a) everyone knows the biological classification and b) people doing that are clearly using the culinary definitions of vegetable and fruit.

or the legal definition, as affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Nix v. Hedden. Sorry for the semi-necro, but I love that case, and my last name is Nix. (No relation as far as I know, though.)

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:13 am UTC
by Djehutynakht
Today I learned that humans aren't very good at diagonals, and it manifests in how we mentally process geography.

Answering off the top of your head:


1. Going north from Ecuador (the one on South America's west coast), what's the first US state you hit?
Spoiler:
Florida


2. Is Los Angeles, California east or west of Reno, Nevada?
Spoiler:
It's actually East.

We tend to think of geography in odd ways. That the west coast of South America aligns closer to North America's east seems... odd, as well as that a city on the California coast would be east of one in Nevada.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:37 am UTC
by Pfhorrest
Hurray, I got both of those right. To be fair, my answer to the first had a question mark at the end and I had already learned the second and been surprised by it a long time ago.

I live in a part of California where this gets particularly weird. The California coast runs generally north-south, everybody knows that. But around where I live, it runs due east-west. But everybody still CALLS the direction up the coast "north", and the direction down the coast "south". Inland from the coast, though actually north by the map, is "east", and the ocean of course is out to the "west" even though it's actually south of you. I honestly never even noticed how weird it was until I noticed a pattern of people not from the area being confused by it; to locals it just seems natural that you'd be driving "north" into the sunset on your way home from work.

[edit so as not to spoil the answer to the first question for others]

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:05 am UTC
by addams
I was camping in your area around Christmas.
I got up and went for a walk with a camera.

I took a photo of the sun rising over the Ocean.
Yes. That photo made me wonder, "wtf?"

I started asking questions.
I got answers like yours.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:17 am UTC
by Pfhorrest
Ah yeah, since the coast still weaves in and out on its generally east-west journey through the area there are places where you can watch the sun rise over the ocean in the "south" (down the coast). And sometimes watch it set over the same ocean in the "north" (up the coast) from the same spot. It's weird.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:25 am UTC
by addams
You live in a beautiful part of the world.
Of course, where I am it is even prettier.

Here, the Ocean behaves its self and stays out West, where it belongs.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:57 am UTC
by eSOANEM
According to one of my conlang books, a similar thing goes on in Québécois where north-south tends to follow the st lawrence river (even though it tends to actually run diagonally). In montreal itself though, the river has a 90° bend from E-W to N-S.

Also in Cambridge (UK), there's a similar thing. In most of the university centre, the river runs north but then takes a sharp turn to run to the east and, until recently (when I started living north-west of the bend), I still always thought of it as running north leading to me giving some very confusing directions sometimes.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:22 am UTC
by Quercus
A related thing happens in London - everything on the north side of the Thames is definitely north of everything on the south side, even when it's actually much further south, due to bends in the river. I live in Southwark, near the river, and I'm certainly south of Chelsea, even though, on a map, I'm well to the north of all of it.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:34 pm UTC
by Adacore
This reminds me of the famous East/West geographic trick question on the Panama canal. If you go through the Panama canal from East to West West to East you're travelling from the Atlantic ocean to the Pacific ocean.

EDIT: Somehow managed to trick myself!

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:46 pm UTC
by slinches
How is that a trick question? The Atlantic is to the east of the Pacific.

ETA: Ah, just looked at a map. The question is so tricky that it fooled you while knowing it was a trick question. :D
If you travel through it from East to West, you're going from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

ETA2: And ETA1 was thoroughly ninja'd by Thesh.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:00 am UTC
by Thesh
On the West of the Panama Canal is the Atlantic Ocean, and to the East is the Pacific Ocean.

Image

It's more accurate to say the Atlantic is to the North and Pacific is to the South.

https://goo.gl/maps/taaOO

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:45 am UTC
by bachaddict
addams wrote:You live in a beautiful part of the world.
Of course, where I am it is even prettier.

Here, the Ocean behaves its self and stays out West, where it belongs.


Here, the Ocean (Pacific) behaves itself and stays out East, where the sun rises!

That is, unless you drive for three hours over a 2,400 m high mountain range.
There you find the Atlantic Ocean Tasman Sea west of you. :oops:

It gets even weirder up north.
You can see both oceans at once from some places!

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:55 am UTC
by addams
Where do you live??
Panama?

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:02 am UTC
by bachaddict
No, a slightly bigger country.
Hint: It's 9pm here :P

Edit: I was very wrong about some basic geography of my country. The ocean to the west is the Tasman Sea, not the Atlantic!

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:05 am UTC
by roband
Well I'm confused. Any country that has the Atlantic visible to the West is nowhere near 9pm...

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:06 am UTC
by bachaddict
Today I learned my memory is not as good as I remembered.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:08 am UTC
by roband
Haha, even beyond the Tasman is the Indian Ocean, before you get to the Atlantic :P

But shit, you're in NZ, why would you care about any geography other than that of your beautiful country - it's not like there's any need to leave.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:16 am UTC
by bachaddict
I'm gonna leave sometime, just to see some things that you can't find here
like LEGO stores
But yeah, I have no idea where most US states are. Florida, California, Texas, Hawaii and Alaska are easy. The rest are just in the middle somewhere. Oh, also top right is NY and top left Washington. I think.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:55 pm UTC
by chridd
bachaddict wrote:I'm gonna leave sometime, just to see some things that you can't find here
like LEGO stores
But yeah, I have no idea where most US states are. Florida, California, Texas, Hawaii and Alaska are easy. The rest are just in the middle somewhere. Oh, also top right is NY and top left Washington. I think.
New York is near the top-right of the map, but the one in the top-right corner is Maine.

(TIL where Connecticut is. Why did I think it was further west? Perhaps I was confusing it with Colorado?)

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:02 pm UTC
by Flumble
Today I learned there are stores exclusively selling LEGO, and that they aren't in Denmark.

Speaking of locations: chridd, you can tell you're on/near Earth (or if you're a brain in a vat: the virtual "place" we call Earth) from the time it takes to load a page.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:28 am UTC
by Djehutynakht
Today I learned that Buzz Aldrin's mother's maiden name was Moon.

Buzz Aldrin is literally a member of the Moon family.

I guess it was meant to be.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:29 am UTC
by Giant Speck
bachaddict wrote:I'm gonna leave sometime, just to see some things that you can't find here
like LEGO stores
But yeah, I have no idea where most US states are. Florida, California, Texas, Hawaii and Alaska are easy. The rest are just in the middle somewhere. Oh, also top right is NY and top left Washington. I think.

I know plenty of people here in the United States that don't know where most U.S. states are. I had a coworker when I was in Mississippi* who couldn't even identify where Mississippi was!

* Not trying to specifically knock on Mississippi's education system with that comment; neither of us are from Mississippi.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:45 pm UTC
by PolakoVoador
Maybe the USA should just embrace that its states are mostly a grid, and start calling them (3,2) or something like that.

Re: Today I Learned

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:33 pm UTC
by Sableagle
TIL from a post on page 1 that I can look at a headline about someone losing a lawsuit about a dead fly in a bottle and misread "Guy" as "God," which made for a more interesting headline that the real one.