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

The Viennese accent is quite something, so I believe.

I'm Going to Bring a Watermelon to Mark Grout Tonight (Tom D.), Friday, 19 February 2021 14:08 (one week ago) link

I guess the Vietnamese version of that would be "ngu-ena"?

pplains, Friday, 19 February 2021 14:16 (one week ago) link

I just saw austrians as australians, gorlumme.

Stevolende, Friday, 19 February 2021 14:17 (one week ago) link

Now I want to hear the Vienna Choir sing "Khe Sanh".

pplains, Friday, 19 February 2021 14:35 (one week ago) link

I will never miss a chance to bring up that there are photos of the surface of Venus, taken by the Russians in the two hours before the lander freaking melted pic.twitter.com/s50svZfbgc

— Barry Petchesky (@barry) February 18, 2021

koogs, Friday, 19 February 2021 17:21 (one week ago) link

Whoa.

The Mandolinrainian (Old Lunch), Friday, 19 February 2021 17:34 (one week ago) link

wait what

Canon in Deez (silby), Friday, 19 February 2021 17:35 (one week ago) link

that owns

Canon in Deez (silby), Friday, 19 February 2021 17:35 (one week ago) link

the lander freaking melted

Burning like a silver flame

spot fuckify (Matt #2), Friday, 19 February 2021 17:41 (one week ago) link

similarly

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn%27s_hexagon

koogs, Friday, 19 February 2021 17:43 (one week ago) link

that's wild, i didn't know about the venera missions

That's not really my scene (I'm 41) (forksclovetofu), Friday, 19 February 2021 19:48 (one week ago) link

holy wow. that's beautiful

if you meh them, shut up (Neanderthal), Saturday, 20 February 2021 00:04 (six days ago) link

wtaf saturn

would a nit be nice? (NickB), Saturday, 20 February 2021 00:07 (six days ago) link

Oh wow.

pomenitul, Saturday, 20 February 2021 00:13 (six days ago) link

that's some protomolecule shit

mookieproof, Saturday, 20 February 2021 00:45 (six days ago) link

venus looks like a jersey parking lot btw

That's not really my scene (I'm 41) (forksclovetofu), Saturday, 20 February 2021 00:58 (six days ago) link

Courtesy of some guy I know on Twitter:

When you walk in on a conversation without knowing what it's about. ( @quartzcity and @highway_62 will appreciate it on various levels.) pic.twitter.com/VSmClfwJLD

— Ned Raggett (@NedRaggett) February 19, 2021

pplains, Saturday, 20 February 2021 04:25 (six days ago) link

My brother @JoaquinCastrotx and I volunteered the San Antonio food bank today, one of many getting food and clean water to Texans in need.

In the past two days, we’ve raised $326,000 for @FeedingTexas! You can pitch in for more supplies here: https://t.co/vPDXxMArhj pic.twitter.com/W5imf7KFNW

— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) February 20, 2021



TIL that asking "isn't that an expensive car?" (because you're from a continent where that SUV would be a status symbol) is gaslighting, apparently.

StanM, Sunday, 21 February 2021 05:49 (five days ago) link

Not sure what the story was with this, but there's a real chance that people would show up there regardless of their financial situation because there are widespread water outages and grocery stores may be either closed or stripped bare.

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Sunday, 21 February 2021 05:58 (five days ago) link

yeah, it was a shitty thing to ask, I know.

StanM, Sunday, 21 February 2021 06:09 (five days ago) link

That water boils at lower temperatures at higher altitudes. Was just looking at a green egg salad recipe and it recommended that you set your egg timer for 5 and a 1/2 mins and adjust it higher if you live at higher altitude. That instruction is probably a bit of overkill but interesting nevertheless!

calzino, Sunday, 21 February 2021 18:41 (five days ago) link

I live on the top floor, so this info could come in useful.

I'm Going to Bring a Watermelon to Mark Grout Tonight (Tom D.), Sunday, 21 February 2021 18:53 (five days ago) link

I live 130m about sea level so it's quite safe to take a bath in boiling oil at this altitude.

calzino, Sunday, 21 February 2021 18:57 (five days ago) link

Having lived in Colorado this is common knowledge there. Pretty common in baking recipes to have high altitude adjustments listed.

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Sunday, 21 February 2021 22:31 (five days ago) link

Because you're all high all the time

illumi-naughty (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 21 February 2021 22:46 (five days ago) link

basically

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Sunday, 21 February 2021 23:25 (five days ago) link

Like i remember this because i am coloradan and i am not high all the time, but mainly some movie with livingstone , the zambezi, and i presume stanley, too. someone was always boiling water to determine the altitude. I was a kid and i was just “huh, boiling point’s a thing.”

also I just visited wiki on livingstone and— holy shit that guy

pence's eye juice (Hunt3r), Sunday, 21 February 2021 23:57 (five days ago) link

I know this is going around the internet a lot already, but I didn't know Elizabeth Olsen of Avengers/WandaVision fame was the sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Monday, 22 February 2021 00:53 (four days ago) link

At what temperature does water boil in space then?

pplains, Monday, 22 February 2021 01:00 (four days ago) link

Well, it's rather difficult to define. Perhaps I'm just projecting my own concern about it. I know I've never completely freed myself of the suspicion that there are some extremely odd things about this question

if you meh them, shut up (Neanderthal), Monday, 22 February 2021 01:04 (four days ago) link

It's an odd topic!

pplains, Monday, 22 February 2021 01:07 (four days ago) link

Indeed!

When we talk about putting liquid water in the vacuum of space, we’re talking about doing both things simultaneously: taking water from a temperature/pressure combination where it’s stably a liquid and moving it to a lower pressure, something that makes it want to boil, and moving it to a lower temperature, something that makes it want to freeze.
You can bring liquid water to space (aboard, say, the international space station) where it can be kept in Earth-like conditions: at a stable temperature and pressure.

But when you put liquid water in space — where it can no longer remain as a liquid — which one of these two things happens? Does it freeze or boil?
The surprising answer is it does both: first it boils and then it freezes! We know this because this is what used to happen when astronauts felt the call of nature while in space. According to the astronauts who’ve seen it for themselves:

When the astronauts take a leak while on a mission and expel the result into space, it boils violently. The vapor then passes immediately into the solid state (a process known as desublimation), and you end up with a cloud of very fine crystals of frozen urine.

There’s a compelling physical reason for this: the high specific heat of water.

It’s incredibly difficult to change the temperature of water rapidly, because even though the temperature gradient is huge between the water and interstellar space, water holds heat incredibly well. Furthermore, because of surface tension, water tends to remain in spherical shapes in space (as you saw above), which actually minimize the amount of surface area it has to exchange heat with its subzero environment. So the freezing process would be incredibly slow, unless there were some way to expose every water molecule individually to the vacuum of space itself.
But there’s no such constraint on the pressure; it’s effectively zero outside of the water, and so the boiling can take place immediately, plunging the water into its gaseous (water vapor) phase!

But when that water boils, remember how much more volume gas takes up than liquid, and how much farther apart the molecules get. This means that immediately after the water boils, this water vapor — now at effectively zero pressure — can cool very rapidly!


https://medium.com/starts-with-a-bang/does-water-freeze-or-boil-in-space-7889856d7f36

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Monday, 22 February 2021 02:15 (four days ago) link

Just got the "glass half full/half empty" pessimist/optimist litmus test thing a few weeks ago. I'm a pessimist. I recently celebrated my 37th birthday.

Adoration of the Mogwai (Deflatormouse), Monday, 22 February 2021 03:14 (four days ago) link

Today I learned some states allow school board members to draw a salary

Hello Nice FBI Lady (DJP), Monday, 22 February 2021 15:23 (four days ago) link

on a similar theme you should watch the movie Bad Education, it's petty good!

calzino, Monday, 22 February 2021 15:31 (four days ago) link

why yes it is

Hello Nice FBI Lady (DJP), Monday, 22 February 2021 16:06 (four days ago) link

wow those fuckers were getting paid? lord....

if you meh them, shut up (Neanderthal), Monday, 22 February 2021 16:11 (four days ago) link

I saw some Gizmodo commenters saying "how dare they do this, they should forfeit their salaries" and my reaction as someone who grew up in a state where the school board is a volunteer elected position was "are you high, why do you think they get paid... oh no, wait a second" and I've been flipping back and forth between a state of horror and bemused puzzlement at why I feel so vehemently that school board members shouldn't be paid because I don't have a strong argument beyond "they just shouldn't"

Hello Nice FBI Lady (DJP), Monday, 22 February 2021 16:25 (four days ago) link

i could see an argument for being paid if it was like "otherwise only rich people will do this" kind of thing? idk.

honkin' on bobo, honkin' with my feet ten feet off of beale (Doctor Casino), Monday, 22 February 2021 16:48 (four days ago) link

all work should be paid imo

That's not really my scene (I'm 41) (forksclovetofu), Monday, 22 February 2021 17:43 (four days ago) link

i could see an argument for being paid if it was like "otherwise only rich people will do this" kind of thing? idk.

Let me talk to you about journalism internships some time...

illumi-naughty (Ye Mad Puffin), Monday, 22 February 2021 18:05 (four days ago) link

That Pamelyn Ferdin did the voice of Lucy Van Pelt in some Peanuts specials and a movie.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 19:17 (three days ago) link

Who?

She is an actress, known for The Beguiled (1971), Charlotte's Web (1973) and A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)

well, today I learned who Pamelyn Ferdin is.

stilt in the wings (sic), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 20:57 (three days ago) link

She was a pretty busy child actress back in the day.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 21:09 (three days ago) link

I remember her from a made-for-TV movie where the catch line in the promos was "Daddy, I hate being dead." After that I noticed her popping up in various things.

nickn, Tuesday, 23 February 2021 21:36 (three days ago) link

Who?

How about this one? Jerry Paris, who played the neighor Jerry married to Millie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, directed a few episodes of that show and went on to direct for many other sitcoms, in particular directing the vast majority of Happy Days episodes, as well as appearing uncredited onscreen Hitchcock-style at regular intervals.

Okay, this kind of stuff is probably for another thread but couldn't quite figure out which.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 22:28 (three days ago) link

Like for one thing I know there is nothing shocking about me coming across some hitherto unconsumed crumb of television trivia at this late date.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 22:33 (three days ago) link

xp Lolololol i love you so much, James Redd and the Blecchs!!

Adoration of the Mogwai (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 22:38 (three days ago) link


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