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

That Dublin was established as a Viking town.

(Basically the entire history of the Vikings in the UK has eluded me until very recently.)

Marty J. Bilge (Old Lunch), Thursday, 23 September 2021 12:48 (three weeks ago) link

Norse Gaels, for instance

Are You Still in Love With Me, Klas-Göran? (Tom D.), Thursday, 23 September 2021 13:19 (three weeks ago) link

Plan B not legal?

Notably not referred to as “the month or two after pill”

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Thursday, 23 September 2021 14:31 (three weeks ago) link

Plan B doesn’t terminate pregnancy.

Notes on Scampo (tokyo rosemary), Thursday, 23 September 2021 14:44 (three weeks ago) link

oops, i misread

Nhex, Thursday, 23 September 2021 15:02 (three weeks ago) link

okay I just learned today that Ocelots live wild in the United States

https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/02/65/03/17518821/3/2400x0.jpg

Andy the Grasshopper, Thursday, 23 September 2021 19:41 (three weeks ago) link

I just learned that Cadillac and Rolls Royce are makes, not models.

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 26 September 2021 02:22 (three weeks ago) link

I am wearing my favorite t shirt right now. It has a picture of a margay on it, but everyone thinks it's of an ocelot.

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 26 September 2021 02:26 (three weeks ago) link

last night, looking up what the heck is kohlrabi, i learned that it, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale and collard greens are all the same species --- just been cultivated and bred from the original wild cabbage into these extremely different forms.

I Am Fribbulus (Xax) (Doctor Casino), Sunday, 26 September 2021 12:04 (three weeks ago) link

https://kottke.org/plus/misc/images/brassica-oleracea.jpg

koogs, Sunday, 26 September 2021 12:29 (three weeks ago) link

I assume you can eat the respective parts of each of the variations there are just going to be far less of them because of what the breeding process has focused on. & they will be less flavorful?

Stevolende, Sunday, 26 September 2021 12:32 (three weeks ago) link

Ingenious.

Are You Still in Love With Me, Klas-Göran? (Tom D.), Sunday, 26 September 2021 13:14 (three weeks ago) link

Today I learned that the girls on the cover of Roxy Music's Country Life LP were the sister and girlfriend of Michael Karoli out of Can.

joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Friday, 8 October 2021 08:11 (one week ago) link

The name of Missing Persons' first LP, Spring Session M, is an anagram of the band's name.

nickn, Friday, 8 October 2021 23:53 (one week ago) link

The process of making fabric soft enough to wear next to your skin out of bamboo is apparently deeply detrimental to any ecological benefit you get from doing so. Hear it outlined on a webinar last night that it is a heavily chemical viscose like process. So whereas it is a fast growing wood that works well as wood it isn't as universal a product for other ethical usage and fun stuff like that, like.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 13 October 2021 23:09 (one week ago) link

Wait, who is making bamboo clothing?

Nhex, Thursday, 14 October 2021 00:26 (six days ago) link

the adverts on UK tv have mostly been either sports shoes or underwear but a quick Google shows a bigger range, but still mostly sporty

koogs, Thursday, 14 October 2021 05:50 (six days ago) link

Seems to be mostly underwear for fat shouty annoying - possibly Australian - men.

Starmer: "Let the children boogie, let all the children boogie." (Tom D.), Thursday, 14 October 2021 06:40 (six days ago) link

haven't seen adverts but there was a shop called Mabboo in our shopping centre that was selling bamboo clothing. I got a bamboo tshirt from a bamboo clothing store in NYC about 10 years ago, so it was a thing then.
The viscose thing is interesting; there was a brief history of its production on A House Through Time recently.

kinder, Thursday, 14 October 2021 07:19 (six days ago) link

xp yeah, Step One ads seem to be on during every show, but last christmas there were others which had men strutting around wearing nothing but boxers and panda heads (particularly amusing as our work squad had panda as a code name - p & a)

Allbirds are the bamboo running shoe ads that are similarly common.

koogs, Thursday, 14 October 2021 07:46 (six days ago) link

I had some bamboo socks a few years ago but they shrank in the wash.

Alba, Thursday, 14 October 2021 11:18 (six days ago) link

viscose similarly takes a hard substyance and pulps it then breaks things down chemically before creating a synthetic substance from it to make clothing from. Sounds like it was a good step on the route to further development when the process was discovered but it is not a healthy ecological process so that leaves viscose as a not very green fabric too. Shame since it is the one fabric I've found so far taht I can get tartan that I can make trousers from that I can actually wear.
Same speaker was pointing out the negatives in the production of cotton, wool and a few others too . Like seems like there are few fabric production processes that are actually all that positive. Sheep need to be fed and then the resultant wool needs to be heavily treated before it can be used, cotton is not a great positive plant and processes for preproduction of fabric aren't great either. Loads of things are very water consuming and leave a lot of pollution in their wake.
The point of the webinar was to point out that the production processes didn't tend to be very green and I think it was well made. But people need to wear clothing both traditionally and environmentally and so some things are at least semi necessary. Could all be improved though.

Stevolende, Thursday, 14 October 2021 12:00 (six days ago) link

Well people need to stop throwing clothing away after six months, would help. Putting it in a charity bin doesn’t absolve the sin.

assert (MatthewK), Thursday, 14 October 2021 13:09 (six days ago) link

The best solution is nudism.

Extinct Namibian shrub genus: Var. (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 14 October 2021 14:10 (six days ago) link

Couple more years it'll be too hot to wear clothes anyway.

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 14 October 2021 14:29 (six days ago) link

I thought clothes were meant to be worn once

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Thursday, 14 October 2021 17:31 (six days ago) link

Well people need to stop throwing clothing away after six months, would help. Putting it in a charity bin doesn’t absolve the sin.

― assert (MatthewK), Thursday, October 14, 2021 6:09 AM (seven hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

I bought my first pairs of new pants in more than 2 years this past weekend, and realize that I've had some t-shirts for a decade if not more. It actually boggles my mind that people go through clothes so quickly.

I'm a sovereign jizz citizen (the table is the table), Thursday, 14 October 2021 20:22 (six days ago) link

I thought clothes were meant to be worn once

"Alessia Teresko, a 21-year-old student from Nottingham, seldom wears the same outfit online twice."

https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2021/oct/06/out-of-style-will-gen-z-ever-give-up-its-dangerous-love-of-fast-fashion

ledge, Thursday, 14 October 2021 20:36 (six days ago) link

(xp) Only a decade? I've got t-shirts that are over 30 years old. I don't wear them very often mind you!

Starmer: "Let the children boogie, let all the children boogie." (Tom D.), Thursday, 14 October 2021 20:38 (six days ago) link

some of us had to buy new clothes because we got fat during the pandemic, mind

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Thursday, 14 October 2021 20:54 (six days ago) link

prior to that, I got years out of all of my shirts. now pretty much anything bought before like july of last year, I can't wear without Hulk ripping

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Thursday, 14 October 2021 20:54 (six days ago) link

I tend to only keep T-shirts for a few years. The oldest one I own right now, I think, is from SXSW in 2010. I have a few others from 2011-2012. But almost everything else is less than five years old.

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 14 October 2021 21:22 (six days ago) link

I mean, what if I walk into Target in my blue Target t-shirt and there's another dude there wearing the same blue Target t-shirt? Christ, how embarrassing.

Extinct Namibian shrub genus: Var. (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 15 October 2021 02:22 (five days ago) link

Yeah I have 20 year old t shirts still in active service. I get through jeans in about 3 years tho, they wear out in inappropriate places.

assert (matttkkkk), Friday, 15 October 2021 07:47 (five days ago) link

my oldest t-shirt is from atp 2003, though it has a hole in now so is relegated to pyjama duty.

ledge, Friday, 15 October 2021 08:09 (five days ago) link

The idea is that you get a 2nd usage from an item. Like if its clothing you go decently made item that lasts, followed by patching for other items or household rags or upcycling the non worn out bits into something more substantial. THings wind up worn out to the point of collapse through wear and usage instead of being very badly made and wearing out after a couple of wears. I think a lot of fast fashion doesn't have seaming that can be repaired. Most long term usage clothing has a bit of fabric in the seam allowance that one can sew into in order to repair.
NOt sure about 2ary usages for bits of non clothing items but there ought to be some. The idea of planed obsolescence and things being designed to be absolutely unusable after breakage should be moving back into the past. The idea of dsiposability was always undermined by the diffculty of actually permanently disposing of things that wasn't detrimental to the environment. It just lead to a load of landfill and broken things being around in the environment without further usage. O think Metal and wooden things can be used ad hoc by alteration that you couldn't really do with plastic. Like you can weld or cut off bits of other substances and they will take weight/pressure etc whereas a loto f plastics just didn't lend themselves to that.

Stevolende, Friday, 15 October 2021 08:24 (five days ago) link

Just prompted by a comment in the Sinema On Sinema thread to look up the source material for Husker Du's How To Skin A Cat which I had just figured must be an older song. I guess I hear it too infrequently to have thought about that much before. It dates back to a 1920s mock advert intended to warn potential investors about get rich quick schemes etc. & apparently fooling a lot of people into looking into how to invest.more here
http://stuffnobodycaresabout.com/2016/03/25/the-most-unbelievable-ad-you-ever-saw/

Stevolende, Friday, 15 October 2021 09:11 (five days ago) link

I still have a Lollapalooza 1992 tshirt as well as the Phish one I remember wearing in while I was in jail for two days in 1994. Neither is really in regular rotation though.

joygoat, Friday, 15 October 2021 14:13 (five days ago) link

some of us had to buy new clothes because we got fat during the pandemic, mind

― Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Thursday, October 14, 2021 3:54 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

Yes.

The bigger thing though is that although I still have some positively ancient t-shirts still in circulation, many newer articles of clothing have already hit the skids because everything is increasingly (and intentionally) made like shit (see also the thing where I'm currently wearing a sturdy-ass pair of glasses from twenty years ago because every single pair of glasses I've owned since has broken from just like regular wear).

Donald Fhtagen (Old Lunch), Friday, 15 October 2021 14:18 (five days ago) link

i have had numerous pairs of jeans rip after like only 3 months worth of wear. i've learned to uhhh buy more reliable brands, cos boy is that not something fun when it happens in public

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Friday, 15 October 2021 17:41 (five days ago) link

I have an SST "Blasting Concept" t-shirt that came with the cassette comp (which vanished years ago) as a package deal, probably from 1986 or so? I don't wear it often but it gets to guest star once in awhile.

Andy the Grasshopper, Friday, 15 October 2021 17:50 (five days ago) link

Buying more expensive and better made jeans is a real thing. I had a pair of jeans I wore every day for 1.5 years during which they saw riots, stints in jail, hopping freight trains across the country, and living in a squat— I spent $120 bucks on them. When they fell apart, I immediately went out and bought another pair

I'm a sovereign jizz citizen (the table is the table), Sunday, 17 October 2021 19:30 (three days ago) link

I have some shirts from pre-2010 but they are few and far between, mostly because of an incident with a incontinent cat in 2012 where half of my wardrobe was ruined.

I'm a sovereign jizz citizen (the table is the table), Sunday, 17 October 2021 19:31 (three days ago) link

This is why I only buy jeans in thrift stores, so I can can buy the expensive brands.

Lily Dale, Sunday, 17 October 2021 19:39 (three days ago) link

The bigger thing though is that although I still have some positively ancient t-shirts still in circulation, many newer articles of clothing have already hit the skids because everything is increasingly (and intentionally) made like shit

The idea of dsiposability was always undermined by the diffculty of actually permanently disposing of things that wasn't detrimental to the environment. It just lead to a load of landfill and broken things being around in the environment without further usage.

I almost never buy new clothing for those reasons. Maybe once every couple of years I'll buy something expensive and timeless that will last years, maybe decades (I still wear clothes I had in high school, possibly even middle school). I really prefer to buy old clothes, but nothing too hipster. Years ago I thought "when was the last time I had a pair of jeans that wasn't made like shit?" and since then I've only bought jeans made in the 1980s. Thrift stores here mostly sell 'fast fashion' junk- I can't be bothered.

Actually I don't really buy anything brand new in general, I've been buying secondhand products primarily most of my life. There are a few exceptions, and they tend to be minor purchases, like underwear and razor blades.

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 17 October 2021 22:08 (three days ago) link

My favorite sweater that I wear all the time I've had since I think she 9 or 10 (it was too big on me when I got it)

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 17 October 2021 22:09 (three days ago) link

*she = age, obv

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 17 October 2021 22:10 (three days ago) link

Anthony Michael Hall's real name is Michael Anthony Hall

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Monday, 18 October 2021 16:11 (two days ago) link

did he change it so he wouldn't be confused with Michael Anthony of Van Halen fame?

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Monday, 18 October 2021 16:21 (two days ago) link

I thought it was so he wouldn't be confused for the dormitory named after Michael Anthony of Van Halen fame

I'm a sovereign jizz citizen (the table is the table), Monday, 18 October 2021 20:17 (two days ago) link


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