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 (eleven years ago) link

How a candle works.

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

Practically everything.

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

&¶¶¶¶¶¶

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

!

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

how to cook an artichoke properly

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

(a julia child recipe steered me right)

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

Fay Fife of the Rezillos.

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

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

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

That's it.

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

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

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

u could still play tag w/it tho

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

aw no-one said 'where babies come from'

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

i like to tag birds. (runs)

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

I thought penguins went "weh weh weh"

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

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

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

otm, i also got a momentary wave of cap gun smell memories earlier. much clearer than any memory of the sound or the appearance of the smoke (was it a faint wisp? a legible trail? a billowing cloud?).

Doctor Casino, Wednesday, 19 February 2020 18:29 (six days ago) link

blue wisp

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Wednesday, 19 February 2020 22:01 (six days ago) link

Just been pointed out to me that all of Portugal coast is Atlantic while a lot of Spain is Mediterranean. & the Portuguese guy who was saying that said the sea temperature difference was pretty significant and reflected in the way people behaved accordingly.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 19 February 2020 22:58 (six days ago) link

Spain's Atlantic coast is longer but then Spain is a lot bigger.

Load up your rubber wallets (Tom D.), Wednesday, 19 February 2020 23:05 (six days ago) link

Actually, wiki says Portugal's is longer but, looking at a map, I don't see how that's possible - damn Mercator crap.

Load up your rubber wallets (Tom D.), Wednesday, 19 February 2020 23:09 (six days ago) link

Maybe if you included Brazil.

pplains, Thursday, 20 February 2020 01:02 (five days ago) link

i think you are only looking at Spain's mediterranean coastline and not all its coastlines?

Yerac, Thursday, 20 February 2020 01:14 (five days ago) link

oh wait you are talking only about the atlantic.

Yerac, Thursday, 20 February 2020 01:15 (five days ago) link

North coast of Spain on Bay of Biscay, plus the coastline west of Gibraltar prior to Portugal border. All on the Atlantic.

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 20 February 2020 01:35 (five days ago) link

But not as long as Portugal's coastline, which is all Atlantic.

frederik b. godt (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 20 February 2020 02:00 (five days ago) link

So Maine has a longer coast than California.

And Chimborazo is the highest mountain in the world, yeah yeah yeah.

pplains, Thursday, 20 February 2020 02:32 (five days ago) link

Coastline measurement is a notoriously difficult definitional problem.

Natalie Wouldn't (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 20 February 2020 03:04 (five days ago) link

^ Was going to say.

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 20 February 2020 03:06 (five days ago) link

Mauna loa is the highest mountain in the world!

If you measure from the sea floor

Οὖτις, Thursday, 20 February 2020 03:06 (five days ago) link

Tallest don't mean highest though!

pplains, Thursday, 20 February 2020 03:22 (five days ago) link

Coastline measurement is a notoriously difficult definitional problem.

― Natalie Wouldn't (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, February 19, 2020 7:04 PM (three hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

Nah man you just walk along the beach with one of those sticks with a wheel on the end

frederik b. godt (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 20 February 2020 06:44 (five days ago) link

One thing I remember from James Gleick's book Chaos is that coastlines are kind of like Mandelbrot sets: the closer you look, the more intricate they become. Measuring them accurately is close to impossible.

Ngolo Cantwell (Chinaski), Thursday, 20 February 2020 11:19 (five days ago) link

My embarrassing geography-related example is that Denmark isn't, and has never been, an island. I can't even really remember why I thought it.

Ngolo Cantwell (Chinaski), Thursday, 20 February 2020 11:21 (five days ago) link

Looking at a map, Spain's Atlantic coastline does seem longer than Portugal's (and not even counting the Canarias).

AlXTC from Paris, Thursday, 20 February 2020 12:49 (five days ago) link

For whatever reason, I have a serious block in my brain when it comes to geography. Like I may have read multiple books about the history of a particular region, all festooned with maps I've pored over extensively, and I will still find myself regularly surprised to (re-)learn, oh, that place is next to that place! Huh!

I mean I have difficulty visualizing the layout of even just the states that circle my own. It's kinda ridiculous.

Hot, Now, and Oh-So-Very Wow! (Old Lunch), Thursday, 20 February 2020 13:03 (five days ago) link

I'd've done all right generalizing the location of Ukraine, though, fwiw.

Hot, Now, and Oh-So-Very Wow! (Old Lunch), Thursday, 20 February 2020 13:04 (five days ago) link

Once I had a friend
Who had the knack of tossing
His mind around geography
Boy, you think, you have problems

Ngolo Cantwell (Chinaski), Thursday, 20 February 2020 13:13 (five days ago) link

Looking at a map, Spain's Atlantic coastline does seem longer than Portugal's (and not even counting the Canarias).

― AlXTC from Paris, Thursday, 20 February 2020 12:49 (twenty-four minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

mandelbrot: LOOK CLOSER LOL

mark s, Thursday, 20 February 2020 13:21 (five days ago) link

Eheh, I4ve just "measured" VERY roughly with a tape measure on a map and Spain's Atlantic coastline IS longer than Portugal's !

AlXTC from Paris, Thursday, 20 February 2020 13:49 (five days ago) link

(my method may make a geographer want to die, though)

AlXTC from Paris, Thursday, 20 February 2020 13:51 (five days ago) link

Joke for science nerds:

In the name Benoit B. Mandelbrot, what does the 'B' stand for?

Benoit B. Mandelbrot

Hideous Lump, Thursday, 20 February 2020 13:52 (five days ago) link

Xp
Is some of it technically in the Bay of Biscay or something like that?

calzino, Thursday, 20 February 2020 13:52 (five days ago) link

Oh it's the old mercantor projecter thingy again.

calzino, Thursday, 20 February 2020 13:56 (five days ago) link

mercantor projecter

Let's call the whole thing off.

Doubling down on out of date information (aldo), Thursday, 20 February 2020 14:01 (five days ago) link

Wait, the Bay of Biscay IS part of the Atlantic !
So after checking some figures : the total coastline of Spain is 4872km with 2058km on the Mediterranean which leaves 2814km on the Atlantic.
Portugal's coastline is 1793km.
So Spain's Atlantic coastline is more than 1000km longer than Portugal's !

AlXTC from Paris, Thursday, 20 February 2020 14:01 (five days ago) link

Xp
I'm on my phone rn!

calzino, Thursday, 20 February 2020 14:03 (five days ago) link

Well glad this Portuguese guy's musings on the differentiation between national characteristics of 2 neighbouring countries thanks to the heat of the water in their relevant seas has kept you going for so long.

Was only one of a number of revelations that I heard last night . Went to a geeky science competition thing so there were another number of things related to that. He was just an audience member at the reception afterwards.

Stevolende, Thursday, 20 February 2020 14:07 (five days ago) link

portugal is fractally wigglier than spain, the clue is in the name

mark s, Thursday, 20 February 2020 14:14 (five days ago) link

vessels abandoned at sea can be left that way, cf the vessel washed up off cork last week

the can theoretically be claimed (scrap value would conservatively be a million on the one in question) but the local registering authority must be informed and (irish jurisdiction at least) will then seek owners and allow a year and a day, which youd presume would almost certainly turn something up.

once abandoned they go 'dark', no signal, no traceability. there's not, to the expert with whom i conversed's knowledge (dmac sr) any real record of what is floating around the atlantic waiting for you to crash into, hence even today two men on overnight eyeball watch is the standard practice on any of his boats (not sure whether there's an official protocol tbh)

BSC Joan Baez (darraghmac), Thursday, 20 February 2020 14:14 (five days ago) link

two pleasing if scary mid-ocean thing that have gone from "old salt's tall tale" to "very scientifically real threat" since my boyhood have been
i: the rogue wave
ii: the giant squid

by contrast sadly diminished: the Sargasso Sea!!

mark s, Thursday, 20 February 2020 14:19 (five days ago) link

lol @ me on that same thread, unchanged since records began:

luckily there are still FREAK WAVES and GIANT SQUIDS!!!!

― mark s, Saturday, 3 September 2011 17:45 (eight years ago) bookmarkflaglink

mark s, Thursday, 20 February 2020 14:23 (five days ago) link

Another thing I don't remember hearing directly before is that Guiness won't supply bars with barrels unless they also take the glasses for the pints. the bar the reception was in apparently has a manger that doesn't like having labels and logos very visible.
I had wondered why a tap simply said Rotating Craft Beer (possibly Ale) instead of having some tage related to which one it was.
Initially thought it was a brand title but doh, no it is a different type each barrel. Had a nice bitter stout yesterday.

& now wondering if that is a way that a certain clientele drinks its craft beer, no loyalty to brand but pot luck on which type it's going to get. & the novelty is the novelty?

Stevolende, Thursday, 20 February 2020 14:39 (five days ago) link

Had previously thought that different glasses which seem to have been proliferating recently were a promotional thing that had its own impetus where people actually wanted to get their pint in whichever glass, possibly for the novelty.
& every brand seems to have its own glasses these days.

Stevolende, Thursday, 20 February 2020 14:41 (five days ago) link

Eheh, yeah I don't know why this question which I had NEVER thought about (although going to Spain and Portugal regularly) was suddenly so exciting...
Well, at least, I know the answer now which is basically the idea of this thread !

AlXTC from Paris, Thursday, 20 February 2020 15:08 (five days ago) link

And to be fair it didn't take me that long... around 10 min (with a lunch break in-between) !

AlXTC from Paris, Thursday, 20 February 2020 15:10 (five days ago) link

massive thread side-eye from mandelbrot's unquiet shade

mark s, Thursday, 20 February 2020 15:23 (five days ago) link

Today's ironic development, just came from a talk on Aquaculture given by somebody from Marine Science dept in GMIT. One of his office mates is the Portuguese guy I was talking about 2 days ago. So this guy who was talking about relative heat of seas works in Marine Science. Thought it was just an observation made by someone in another field.

Stevolende, Friday, 21 February 2020 14:07 (four days ago) link

He's no geographer, that's for sure !

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 21 February 2020 14:15 (four days ago) link

So apparently it's Dan Aykroyd, not Dan Ackroyd

change display name (Jordan), Saturday, 22 February 2020 16:42 (three days ago) link

You oughta know by now.

pplains, Saturday, 22 February 2020 17:27 (three days ago) link

Lolololol

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Saturday, 22 February 2020 17:39 (three days ago) link

Anthony Perkins's wife Berry (who was also Marisa Berenson's sister) died on 9/11 on American Airlines Flight 11.

Bougy! Bougie! Bougé! (Eliza D.), Saturday, 22 February 2020 19:56 (three days ago) link

He led an interesting life.

Perkins reportedly had his first heterosexual experience at age 39 with actress Victoria Principal

whistling (brownie), Saturday, 22 February 2020 20:06 (three days ago) link

aka Victorian Principles

empire of the shunned (Matt #2), Saturday, 22 February 2020 20:43 (three days ago) link


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