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 (twelve years ago) link

How a candle works.

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

Practically everything.

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

&¶¶¶¶¶¶

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

!

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

how to cook an artichoke properly

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

(a julia child recipe steered me right)

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

Fay Fife of the Rezillos.

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

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

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

That's it.

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

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

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

u could still play tag w/it tho

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

aw no-one said 'where babies come from'

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

i like to tag birds. (runs)

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

I thought penguins went "weh weh weh"

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

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

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

East coast has poison ivy and fireflies

West coast has poison oak and wildfires

coupvfefe (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 17 November 2020 16:23 (one week ago) link

I was surprised by how many fireflies I saw this summer. Usually there are a handful of nights each summer where I see 8-10 fireflies buzzing around our yard, but this summer it was essentially every night for weeks on end.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 17 November 2020 16:28 (one week ago) link

Yeah, as a little kid I lived in California and don't remember the fireflies there. Just looking it up now, apparently there are in fact fireflies west of the Mississippi, and specifically on the west coast, they just have a very very dim glow and are hard to see.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 17 November 2020 16:30 (one week ago) link

When I was a child in Missouri there were fireflies. Not sure the range. I do know that my Oregonian friends were amazed and delighted upon visiting and seeing them for the first time.

coupvfefe (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 17 November 2020 16:55 (one week ago) link

TIL that europe has decided to stick to daylight savings time, so next year the clocks will spring forward in march but won't fall back in the autumn

however, whether the uk does this is another matter, given that we've left the eu. but the gov website, modified yesterday, suggests that we'll continue for the next 3 years at least.

https://www.gov.uk/when-do-the-clocks-change

(without DSL it'll start getting light at 3:30am in london. but sticking on DSL will mean that greenwich isn't on greenwich mean time...)

koogs, Wednesday, 18 November 2020 16:45 (one week ago) link

wait what

kinder, Wednesday, 18 November 2020 17:51 (one week ago) link

ah, ok, there is some element of choice:

https://www.lbc.co.uk/politics/the-news-explained/daylight-saving-time-greenwich-mean-clocks-back-hour-forward/

"Is this the last time the clocks go back?

On March 26, 2019, the European Parliament voted to stop changing the clocks in the EU.

As a result, the clock change in March 2021 will be the last one for EU countries that decide to permanently keep their summer time.

Member states that prefer to keep their standard time will change the clocks for the last time in October 2021."

so some will stick on summer time and some will stick on non-summertime but it sounds like they'll all stick with one or the other and ditch the clock changing from then on.

koogs, Wednesday, 18 November 2020 18:54 (one week ago) link

lol whut

so you might have spain on one, and france on the other? no way

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 19:55 (one week ago) link

Spain shouldn't really be on the same time zone as France but that's another matter

Politically homely (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 20:04 (one week ago) link

yeah i guess it's no more arbitrary than the UK being an hour different from spain

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 20:05 (one week ago) link

Franco changed Spain from GMT to Central European Time in 1940 and it was never changed back. I suppose France is in the same boat there - in terms of difference between clock time and solar time - and should maybe also be using GMT also.

Politically homely (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 20:07 (one week ago) link

so you might have spain on one, and france on the other? no way

you might have forgotten the US and Canada's melange of timezones, but let me introduce you to Australia, which in summer has six different time zones, one of which is half an hour off from its neighbours, one state which never goes onto DST, one territory that also never does, and a weird pocket within one state that is forty-five minutes off the hour

@oneposter (💹) (sic), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 20:12 (one week ago) link

Let us not speak of Indiana

coupvfefe (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 20:18 (one week ago) link

My terrible idea: set the whole world to a single time zone and it's either dark at 2pm or it isn't dealwithit.gif

Clean-up on ILX (onimo), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 21:19 (one week ago) link

I've had this idea before. universal time. it's the same time everywhere all the time and you just get used to what time it is where you are. so you're like 'damn I'm up late, it's 4pm" and you're just used to it

Politically homely (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 21:21 (one week ago) link

Swatch tried that in 1998, without overwhelming success. It may not have helped that they made it decimal and called it "Internet Time".

anatol_merklich, Wednesday, 18 November 2020 21:52 (one week ago) link

That scene in the TZ episode "To Serve Man" when the reporter (I think) is on the ship and he demands "What time is it on earth?" will finally make sense.

nickn, Thursday, 19 November 2020 00:39 (one week ago) link

GMT still works!

pplains, Thursday, 19 November 2020 00:58 (one week ago) link

"In an oral history, Fred Silverman said he landed on the name Scooby-Doo after hearing Frank Sinatra singing the familiar riff from his 1966 hit “Strangers in the Night.”: do-be-do-be-do."

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 19 November 2020 18:27 (one week ago) link

Strangers in the night, where are you?
We've got some glances to exchange now

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Thursday, 19 November 2020 21:24 (one week ago) link

That Nick Gilder and Bryan Adams were in a band together?!?

You will notice a small sink where your sofa once was. (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 24 November 2020 06:27 (two days ago) link

Oh weird, I just noticed the Scooby-Doo trivia a few posts up, which harkens back to my recent discovery that this song pre-dates the show:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdbI7fuE_x0

You will notice a small sink where your sofa once was. (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 24 November 2020 06:34 (two days ago) link

W.E.B du Bois had a more unsung brother called Schubert so Webby doo bwa hada brother who close friends called Shooby doo bwa.
LIttle known fact like

Stevolende, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 09:40 (two days ago) link

Melanie Griffith was married to Antonio Banderas, and *twice* to Don Johnson, and Dakota Johnson is their kid! Anyone following basic tabloid news would know this but these four celebrities have never been filed anywhere near each other in my brain. I did at least know Griffith was Tippi Hedren's daughter, thanks to Roar.

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 13:21 (two days ago) link

Are you inside my brain? I went looking up Melanie Griffith's family the day before yesterday (couldn't remember which out of her and Goldie Hawn had which parents/children)

kinder, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 16:12 (two days ago) link

melanie griffith, mauled by a lion because her mom was crazy.

the serious avant-garde universalist right now (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 24 November 2020 16:50 (two days ago) link

Now I’m terrified of poison ivy. Nettle rash is quite tame by comparison, passing very quickly.

This is true, but don't go groping random plants on a walk in the UK either, because giant hogweed can fuck you up. https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2019/06/giant-hogweed-facts/

(It grows along the riverbanks here and gets pretty tall and close to the path in summer, as do the nettles - though looking at the above page I'm wondering if the stuff I've seen might be common hogweed and not giant after all, but I'm still going to try not to touch it)

scampus unrest (a passing spacecadet), Tuesday, 24 November 2020 21:16 (two days ago) link

Turn and run
Nothing can stop them
Around every river and canal their power is growing
Stamp them out
We must destroy them
They infiltrate each city with their thick dark warning odor
They are invincible
They seem immune to all our herbicidal battering

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 24 November 2020 21:22 (two days ago) link

wow, kinder! freaky. my partner and i just watched Something Wild and i looked up her Wiki.

Doctor Casino, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 04:01 (yesterday) link

That confidant and confidante are masculine and feminine forms (I think I just thought they were alternative spellings)

Alba, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 04:09 (yesterday) link

Some common surnames in other languages that are (more or less) exact translations of the word 'smith':

Hungarian = Kovács
Polish = Kowal(ski)
Russian = Kuznets(ov)
Portuguese = Ferreiro/Ferreira
Spanish = Herrero/Herrera

Naughty Boys Hoo! (Tom D.), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 14:41 (yesterday) link

it took me years of posting here to finally figure out what xpost meant. esp since I didn't use Usenet much and they used it slightly differently anyway

Lover of Nixon (or LON for short) (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 14:53 (yesterday) link

(obv I have known what it means for the last few years, but my first few years i thought it was someone saying "excellent post", which wouldn't make sense when it followed text like "you fucking idiot, go play in traffic")

Lover of Nixon (or LON for short) (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 14:53 (yesterday) link

similarly for ages I thought smh stood for so much hate
don't know where I got that idea from but it fit, even if it made posts seem more aggressive

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 15:27 (yesterday) link

i thought rmde was "rub my damn ears"

Lover of Nixon (or LON for short) (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 15:29 (yesterday) link

I've heard a lot of adults say "mischievious," it must be a very common mistake.

I say "buoyed" like "booyd" and "buoyant" like "boyant".

― Maria, Thursday, 13 November 2008 16:34 (twelve years ago) link

I've just heard Captain Kirk AND Spock say 'mischievious' in a Star Trek episode.

ILXceptionalism (Tom D.), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 19:05 (yesterday) link

ffs

kinder, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 19:07 (yesterday) link

It obviously became Standard English in the future.

ILXceptionalism (Tom D.), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 19:09 (yesterday) link

the long influence of "Ebeneezer Goode"

Doctor Casino, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 19:25 (yesterday) link

mischievious is the aluminium of mischievous

superdeep borehole (harbl), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 19:41 (yesterday) link

Grievious misuse imo

You will notice a small sink where your sofa once was. (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 19:47 (yesterday) link

Mischievious seems to be popular with people I know from the Indianapolis area.

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 20:12 (yesterday) link

Maybe that's where Spock's ancestors were from.

ILXceptionalism (Tom D.), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 20:13 (yesterday) link

The Indianapolis 500-years-from-now

release the turkraken (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 21:13 (yesterday) link

Indianapioulis

You will notice a small sink where your sofa once was. (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 21:27 (yesterday) link

I just learned today that a president can pardon himself (I think I knew that) and do so without announcing it (definitely didn't know that).

clemenza, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 23:20 (yesterday) link

Can he pardon himself in anticipation though? I mean, he isn't (yet) under investigation for any federal crimes is he?

Zelda Zonk, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 23:24 (yesterday) link

According to John Dean--I know--he can pardon himself in advance, as an insurance policy, and not in any way make it public.

clemenza, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 23:26 (yesterday) link

I thought it was supposed to be debatable grey area and fun things like that. An admission of guilt as well.
If it is true then it needs to be looked at. Needs the turtle blockage of the Senate to be removed too surely.

Stevolende, Thursday, 26 November 2020 09:19 (fifty-two minutes ago) link


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