Things you were shockingly old when you learned

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I think I was like 16 or 17 when I learned that cows and bulls were the male and female versions of the same animal and not two distinct animals.

What sort of seemingly basic facts did it take you a surprisingly long time for you to learn?

filthy dylan, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 05:30 (thirteen years ago) link

How a candle works.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 05:31 (thirteen years ago) link

Practically everything.

Abbott of the Trapezoid Monks (Abbott), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 06:20 (thirteen years ago) link

that SHIFT + 6 = ^. I think I figured it out a month or so ago. I always wondered how people got that character.

ILX MOD (musically), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 06:32 (thirteen years ago) link

DO you have a Mac?

The best things about macs is that making any character is stupid easy.

¢™
øºÖØ°

Abbott of the Trapezoid Monks (Abbott), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 06:34 (thirteen years ago) link

&¶¶¶¶¶¶

Abbott of the Trapezoid Monks (Abbott), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 06:34 (thirteen years ago) link

!

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 07:11 (thirteen years ago) link

That (most) BMWs are named according to engine size (I was a car freak as a child but never knew this until being informed by a German flatmate while I was a PhD student).

i.e. 318 = 3 series 1.8 litre engine etc.

krakow, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 07:54 (thirteen years ago) link

Didn't know that black and green olives are identical, just different stage of maturity, until a few months ago.

Didn't realise that Adam Ant was a pun, until a year or so ago. Likewise Lipps Inc.

Zelda Zonk, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 07:59 (thirteen years ago) link

I've got a mac and I still don't know how to do any of, um, ^ those ^

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:01 (thirteen years ago) link

I end up going to wikipedia and copy-and-pasting when I want unusual characters

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:02 (thirteen years ago) link

The cows-and-bulls thing, plus Adam Ant, are the only things on this thread that I do know

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:03 (thirteen years ago) link

how to cook an artichoke properly

nelson algreen (get bent), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:09 (thirteen years ago) link

(a julia child recipe steered me right)

nelson algreen (get bent), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:09 (thirteen years ago) link

How to tie my shoes (velcro, you see..)

Sugar hiccup, Makes a pig soar and swoon (Pillbox), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:12 (thirteen years ago) link

Didn't realise that Adam Ant was a pun, until a year or so ago.

^^^ this. Same with Sandy Shaw.

NotEnough, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:34 (thirteen years ago) link

Fay Fife of the Rezillos.

Mark G, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:35 (thirteen years ago) link

(i.e. it's a pun on "I am from the town of Fife, my good fellow" in broad scots)

Mark G, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:36 (thirteen years ago) link

What's the Adam Ant pun? Adam Ant = adamant? If so... pretty lame pun.

Mordy, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:37 (thirteen years ago) link

That's it.

Mark G, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:43 (thirteen years ago) link

xpost Tell that to Lai Mpun, the lead singer of Bangkok's Phleng Chat.

I CRIED (G00blar), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:45 (thirteen years ago) link

I am 33 and didn't know any of these things. Wait - how the hell DOES a candle work?!

Savannah Smiles, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:53 (thirteen years ago) link

Same with Sandy Shaw.
OK I was 32 when I found out this was a pun.

I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE UP TO (Colonel Poo), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:54 (thirteen years ago) link

i don't know how to explain it but i used to think chickens had a really weird way of "mating", something to do with the rooster's legs. (!!?!?) :)

Ludo, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:55 (thirteen years ago) link

I thought penguins were as tall as humans until that march of the penguins movie

I CRIED (G00blar), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:56 (thirteen years ago) link

"that SHIFT + 6 = ^. I think I figured it out a month or so ago. I always wondered how people got that character."

^^^Dude, you beat me by a month. Thanks!

I once spent a half hour trying to eject a cd from a Mac before someone finally told me there's an eject button on the keyboard. I was going through all these crazy menus and preferences...

Nate Carson, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:10 (thirteen years ago) link

I think I was like 16 or 17 when I learned that cows and bulls were the male and female versions of the same animal and not two distinct animals.

What sort of seemingly basic facts did it take you a surprisingly long time for you to learn?

― filthy dylan, Wednesday, November 12, 2008 5:30 AM (6 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink


I did not know that oxen were cattle until about a week ago.

With a little bit of gold and a Peja (bernard snowy), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:23 (thirteen years ago) link

I thought penguins were as tall as humans until that march of the penguins movie

loooool one of my friends thought this and it was since passed into running joke territory.

I think I've done that Mac eject button thing too :(

Pronounced lapels like 'labels' for years until corrected but happily don't dress well enough to use it often

The Slash My Father Wrote (DJ Mencap), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:34 (thirteen years ago) link

My girlfriend was shocked to learn, at the age of 33, that a 'Flea Circus' is actually a rather charming mechanical toy, and is in no way operated by any parasitic insects.

Huey in Bristol (Huey in Melbourne), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:56 (thirteen years ago) link

Ismael, at the age of 32, is shocked to learn the same thing. This thread is getting embarrassing

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:57 (thirteen years ago) link

WAT! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flea_circus

Øystein, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:59 (thirteen years ago) link

I thought penguins were as tall as humans until that march of the penguins movie

one of my friends thought this and it was since passed into running joke territory

no but seriously, what is this about?

negotiable, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:01 (thirteen years ago) link

i mean i can see that there's rarely anything to size them against in the big white antarctic, but why would anyone then automatically think okay here's a bird i could play tag with

negotiable, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:03 (thirteen years ago) link

u could still play tag w/it tho

SNAKES! (ice crӕm), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:04 (thirteen years ago) link

But you could make the same assumption with ostriches in the big yellow desert (or wherever they live), and in that case you'd be right!

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:07 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm still in touch with several grown adults who genuinely believe there's 'something' to supernatural claims about ouija boards, despite its fairly obvious origins in parlour games / illusions which utilised the (admittedly fucking spooky) ideomotor effect.

Huey in Bristol (Huey in Melbourne), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:08 (thirteen years ago) link

aw no-one said 'where babies come from'

Cittaslow Mazza (blueski), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:14 (thirteen years ago) link

I've had a lot of experiences in my adult life with mispronouncing words I understood as part of written text, but hadn't heard aurally in the context of conversation etc. For example, I was well into my twenties before I knew the word "vehement" wasn't pronounced veh-hee-ment. I wish others would politely correct you when you do that instead of letting you blindly sound like an idiot.

Sugar hiccup, Makes a pig soar and swoon (Pillbox), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:16 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm a bit like that, but now I'm in the habit of saying works incorrectly, I can't get out of it. Canal is not pronounced can-el, but there's fuck all I can do about it now.

NotEnough, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:39 (thirteen years ago) link

^ This happens to me all the time too - so much so that I actually now find it quite amusing when I realise, midway through a sentence, that a word I've never heard before is looming at the end. I suppose that people who talk a lot, rather than reading, must find the same with spelling. It only annoys me when some moron uses it as an opportunity to score cheap points (sadly fairly often)

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:40 (thirteen years ago) link

I was going to start a thread like this, but it was going to be more about 'life lessons' that took you forever to learn, rather than trivia.

Anyway it's taken me this long to fully realize how unreliable first impressions can be when it comes to people.

invisible jet (wanko ergo sum), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:42 (thirteen years ago) link

but why would anyone then automatically think okay here's a bird i could play tag with

haha

Ant Attack.. (Ste), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:57 (thirteen years ago) link

TAL have an episode on this in the "best of" section on their wesite. people who thought unicorns were real, etc., lots of awkward silences at cocktail parties: good stuff.

rent, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:00 (thirteen years ago) link

i like to tag birds. (runs)

Sugar hiccup, Makes a pig soar and swoon (Pillbox), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:01 (thirteen years ago) link

There's a penguin here and he wants to say "you didn't touch me ner ner ner"

Mark G, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:12 (thirteen years ago) link

I thought penguins went "weh weh weh"

╓abies, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:14 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm still in touch with several grown adults who genuinely believe there's 'something' to supernatural claims about ouija boards, despite its fairly obvious origins in parlour games / illusions which utilised the (admittedly fucking spooky) ideomotor effect.

― Huey in Bristol (Huey in Melbourne), Wednesday, November 12, 2008 7:08 AM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

you couldnt get me in the same room as a ouija board

a country packed with ponies (sunny successor), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:42 (thirteen years ago) link

I was about 35 when I figured out Open Sesame = Open Says Me.

Rotgutt, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:44 (thirteen years ago) link

i used to think HAZCHEM was a foreign word for danger like Achtung

Cittaslow Mazza (blueski), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:45 (thirteen years ago) link

I just figured out, like 2 days ago, that the lyrics are "highway to the danger zone"

(until then, thought they were "I went to to the danger zone")

homosexual II, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 15:03 (thirteen years ago) link

Oh and "nickname" comes from "an eke name."

Fifty Centaur (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 1 May 2022 14:04 (two weeks ago) link

and "mine anne" -> "my nan" -> "my nancy"

Portrait Of A Dissolvi Ng Drea M (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Sunday, 1 May 2022 14:12 (two weeks ago) link

Mein Ewt seems so much smaller,. Do they get bigger if they're shared or sumfin?

Stevolende, Sunday, 1 May 2022 14:21 (two weeks ago) link

I threw away my children's piggy banks a decade ago and no one noticed

I think I get what you're saying, but to me it reads like "... and they still haven't noticed!"

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 3 May 2022 10:11 (two weeks ago) link

Anne Actor

Mark G, Tuesday, 3 May 2022 10:48 (two weeks ago) link

India Standard Time is a half-hour time zone.

Wile E. Is President (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 3 May 2022 23:58 (two weeks ago) link

James, that one is absolutely on point once you research australia time zones

I could figure out india time in my head the last year and it seemed slightly off, once I found out the reasons why and how weird other places did it…. india otm

(happened before modi, india less otm since)

mh, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 02:49 (two weeks ago) link

Nepal (and a tiny sliver of Western Australia) use a quarter hour offset - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTC%2B05:45

assert (matttkkkk), Wednesday, 4 May 2022 02:58 (two weeks ago) link

Wow. Did wonder if anybody did that. Always thought it was just the hour designated that did. So like the first digit.
So somebody had to have the basic time everyone else was based around and was plus or minus to. Like GMT cos of British Empire etc.
Does seem weird to be a fraction of an hour out though.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 04:40 (two weeks ago) link

Looking at the Wikipedia pages there were time zones that were e.g. 39m 12s off the hour - presumably referenced to local noon - but that most of them were regularised in the early 20th century,

assert (matttkkkk), Wednesday, 4 May 2022 05:51 (two weeks ago) link

pre-gmt Bristol was 10 minutes behind London, the clock at the railway station had two minute hands

koogs, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 06:34 (two weeks ago) link

I thought it was the railways that standardised time, and before that every town had its own time based on local noon.

Zelda Zonk, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 06:51 (two weeks ago) link

Because of the half hour thing, if you fly from England to India, you don't have to reset your watch--just turn it upside down. Like, if it's noon in the UK, it's 6:30 in India.

Hideous Lump, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 06:55 (two weeks ago) link

Japan dropped (incredibly ineffective) bombs on continental North America via balloon during WWII.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fu-Go_balloon_bomb

Hans Holbein (Chinchilla Volapük), Wednesday, 4 May 2022 07:50 (two weeks ago) link

"The deaths occurred when the victims decided to touch the balloon, thus causing it to explode."

such crap weapons of terror that it took some fools deciding to play with a bomb to get any results!

calzino, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 08:11 (two weeks ago) link

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railway_time

clock was on the corn exchange, not the railway station. seems like an effort to resist london's imposed time, at least for 5 years or so.

(that said, there are other pictures showing up with a GWR-branded version)

koogs, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 08:14 (two weeks ago) link

All calico cats are female.

Wile E. Is President (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 4 May 2022 12:14 (two weeks ago) link

Wow at Australian Time Zones.

Wile E. Is President (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 4 May 2022 12:15 (two weeks ago) link

All calico cats are female.


So are tortoiseshells. Technically a tiny % of both are male, but they’re all sterile.

gyac, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 12:21 (two weeks ago) link

Similarly, 80% of orange cats are male.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 4 May 2022 12:41 (two weeks ago) link

i was looking for a cat earlier in the year and did run across a male calico, was wondering if they come with other genetic issues but forgot to look into it. i ended up adopting an orange female. she is very special indeed.

towards fungal computer (harbl), Wednesday, 4 May 2022 12:44 (two weeks ago) link

seems like this is what causes male calico/tortoiseshell https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klinefelter_syndrome

towards fungal computer (harbl), Wednesday, 4 May 2022 12:49 (two weeks ago) link

[Spock voice]: Human females have the same underlying invisible pattern on their skin:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD6h-wDj7bw

buffalo tomozzarella (ledge), Wednesday, 4 May 2022 13:32 (two weeks ago) link

Today I learned that "emoji" is from the Japanese words for picture and letter, "e" and "moji". Not a shortening of "emotion" as I had thought.

adam t. (abanana), Thursday, 5 May 2022 14:21 (one week ago) link

I've been a bit sceptical that that's the entire story: given that "ji" (字) means "character", it seems that "emo-" + "ji" might have played at least a supporting role in the etymology, or at least in making it stick? I'm not by any stretch a scholar of Japanese, though, and could be entirely wrong.

anatol_merklich, Thursday, 5 May 2022 23:25 (one week ago) link

I remember them being called emoticons long before they became emoji.

Kim Kimberly, Friday, 6 May 2022 00:54 (one week ago) link

Ah, my bad

Emoticons were the precursors to modern emojis

Kim Kimberly, Friday, 6 May 2022 00:56 (one week ago) link

the resemblance to the English words emotion and emoticon is purely coincidental.[4]

Kim Kimberly, Friday, 6 May 2022 00:57 (one week ago) link

emoticons: :) ;) XD

emoji: 🙂 😉 😆

Yul Brynner film festival on Channel 48... (sic), Friday, 6 May 2022 01:28 (one week ago) link

Emoticons 4evah ;-)

The Hon. Christian Sharia (R - MO) (Hunt3r), Friday, 6 May 2022 18:29 (one week ago) link

THere's a Latin translation of Antoin De Sainte Exupery's The Little Prince called Regulus.
I found it in a charity shop earlier. But didn't buy it cos i was too broke this week

Stevolende, Friday, 6 May 2022 19:02 (one week ago) link

Antoin and Warren Gé had to regulusssss

Deez NFTs (Neanderthal), Friday, 6 May 2022 19:08 (one week ago) link

…but Didier Jazzy Geoffroy & the Fresh Little Prince said Mama Said Knock You Out

middot • is • my • middle • name (breastcrawl), Friday, 6 May 2022 19:22 (one week ago) link

mater indicavit mihi reddere nescis

Yul Brynner film festival on Channel 48... (sic), Friday, 6 May 2022 19:26 (one week ago) link

The guy who wrote Poldark also wrote Marnie.

Johnny Thunderwords (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 7 May 2022 12:08 (one week ago) link

a search after Jeopardy yesterday? Poldark got a mention -- I hadn't heard of it before.

adam t. (abanana), Saturday, 7 May 2022 12:58 (one week ago) link

Ha, no. Because of the opera Marnie.

Johnny Thunderwords (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 7 May 2022 13:12 (one week ago) link

popular bodice ripper about a rogue Cornish hero coming back to reestablish himself in his old home after years away soldiering i think.
Has been made a few times for British tv, most recently with Aidan Turner as the titular hunk.
I remember it from the late 70s in a previous make. Used to be on Sunday nights i think.
Hero sets up a mine in his inherited holding.

Diversity of subject matter covered by Author reminded me of Walter Tevis who wrote man Who fell To Earth, The Hustler and Queen's Gambit among others

Stevolende, Saturday, 7 May 2022 13:16 (one week ago) link

Patrick Dennis was not merely a pseudonym, it was one of several pseudonyms used by a decidedly mercurial gay man who used to be Ray Kroc's butler

may the florist be with you (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 7 May 2022 23:01 (one week ago) link

The robotic spider that crawls over Julien Temple's face in the Vienna video is the same one from You Only Live Twice

bullshit

adam t. (abanana), Sunday, 8 May 2022 00:15 (one week ago) link

...see also racehorses

something from about 6 months ago which i was reminded of watching TV earlier: pole dancing poles rotate

koogs, Monday, 9 May 2022 19:47 (one week ago) link

I guess Korean babies are shockingly old at birth

Josefa, Monday, 9 May 2022 20:01 (one week ago) link

There was a thing not long ago about Koreans' drinking age. Every 20-year-old becomes of age at midnight on December 31, but a COVID curfew meant they had to wait.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/12/31/korean-new-year-covid-pandemic/

may the florist be with you (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 10 May 2022 03:05 (one week ago) link

After misreading a timeline in my 4th or 5th grade history textbook as "King John sings the Magna Carta" (dyslexics untie!), it was quite a few years before I found out the Magna Carta was a document and not an opera or something.

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Friday, 13 May 2022 19:23 (five days ago) link

Lol, good one.

Don't Renege On (Our Dub) (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 13 May 2022 19:41 (five days ago) link

Speaking of which, this exists: http://magnacartatrails.com/events/the-great-charter-magna-carta-community-opera/

greyfriars boaby (Matt #2), Friday, 13 May 2022 19:50 (five days ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ4mxOluXY4

Doodles Diamond (Tom D.), Friday, 13 May 2022 19:51 (five days ago) link

I remember reading that in the Russian Revolution era some of the poor agrarian classes didn't know that The Internationale was some popular verse that people sung as a political anthem and thought it might be some kind of supernatural creature.

calzino, Friday, 13 May 2022 20:09 (five days ago) link


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