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

That this piece of music has a title; that that title is "Entrance of the Gladiators"; and that the composer intended it to be played for soldiers as they marched off to glory in war.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B0CyOAO8y0

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 23:21 (five days ago) link

I am reminded of William Gibson's quote "The street finds its own uses for things."

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 23:21 (five days ago) link

serious lols at that

visiting, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 23:29 (five days ago) link

I can't be the only person to read the composer's name as 'Julius Fuck', right?

emil.y, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 23:45 (five days ago) link

The words “don” and “doff” are contractions of “do on” and “do off.”

Orson Well Yeah (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 17 September 2020 00:00 (four days ago) link

Ha, I worked that out earlier this year and was amazed that I'd never realised it before. Proper revelation.

emil.y, Thursday, 17 September 2020 00:08 (four days ago) link

!

error prone wolf syndicate (Hadrian VIII), Thursday, 17 September 2020 00:13 (four days ago) link

I do off my cap to that fact

Number None, Thursday, 17 September 2020 09:41 (four days ago) link

Extent of negative effect of grapefruits on the way certain pills work.
As in can pretty much counter teh effect and isn't just a random thing.

Shame grapefruits are nice, eaten peeled like oranges. None of that half a one in a breakfast bowl with sugar shite.

Stevolende, Thursday, 17 September 2020 11:47 (four days ago) link

Holy shit and Julius Fuck, I never thought of that music as anything other than circus/Looney Tunes music.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 17 September 2020 11:49 (four days ago) link

Yeah, this is the craziest shit ever

kinder, Thursday, 17 September 2020 11:57 (four days ago) link

I've been meaning to start a thread forever to showcase the instrumental pieces that everyone knows but that hardly anyone knows the name/composer of. Like 'Sabre Dance':

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqg3l3r_DRI

Don't be such an idot. (Old Lunch), Thursday, 17 September 2020 12:05 (four days ago) link

great thread idea! i was at a relative's organ recital(!) and the best bit was watching the audience reaction when they recognised what was written down in the program as "J.S.Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor". top marks went to the kid in front who said excitedly "it's the Dracula song!!!"

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Thursday, 17 September 2020 12:13 (four days ago) link

Literally just this moment realized that Eeyore is the sound a donkey makes.

Wessonality Crisis (Old Lunch), Friday, 18 September 2020 15:46 (three days ago) link

A "petard" is a bomb. I always thought it was some kind of sword. (Thanks to today's NYT x-word puzzle for this).

Josefa, Friday, 18 September 2020 16:02 (three days ago) link

hoist by your own petard = blown up by your own bomb. I think.

Stevolende, Friday, 18 September 2020 16:10 (three days ago) link

Specifically when you plant your petard next to the fortress wall but don’t run away fast enough and get flung into the air (hoist) by the blast

sound of scampo talk to me (El Tomboto), Friday, 18 September 2020 16:16 (three days ago) link

That’s how we learned it in basic training obv

sound of scampo talk to me (El Tomboto), Friday, 18 September 2020 16:17 (three days ago) link

I never bothered to look into it (obvs) and just always assumed it was like a jock strap or something. Perhaps a portmanteau of 'peter' and 'leotard'. Like casting out a line and catching your own dick with the hook.

Wessonality Crisis (Old Lunch), Friday, 18 September 2020 16:19 (three days ago) link

hoist by your own petard = blown up by your own bomb. I thin

Yeah it's this. I always pictured someone getting run through with a sword and slightly lifted off their feet.

Josefa, Friday, 18 September 2020 16:41 (three days ago) link

i always assumed it was like a pike or spear, and in my mind hoisting yourself on your own mean you were running too fast, got the tip stuck in the ground, and kind of pole-vaulted yourself up into the air

joygoat, Friday, 18 September 2020 16:45 (three days ago) link

My mental image was something along the lines of Old Lunch's post. Like a belt/jockstrap version of "pulling oneself up by one's own bootstraps."

but also fuck you (unperson), Friday, 18 September 2020 16:57 (three days ago) link

Since I learned the actual meaning I’ve completely forgotten what I imagined it to mean before.

sound of scampo talk to me (El Tomboto), Friday, 18 September 2020 16:58 (three days ago) link

I swear there was some story I read as a preteen that even had an illustration of the saying: a character unwittingly tying himself to a pulley attached to a pole when he meant to tie something else to it and then he pulled on the rope and lifted himself skyward and was unable to get down

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:05 (three days ago) link

^^ - I have a very similar memory of such an illustration

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:06 (three days ago) link

There's a scene in the Pink Panther with David Niven and Capucine where she tries to say this while drunk and it is charming

velcro-magnon (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:07 (three days ago) link

https://www.zbook.ir/the-chronicles-of-narnia/the-horse-and-his-boy/chapter-12-15/images/pic05.jpg

the petard of tash hoists from above

mookieproof, Friday, 18 September 2020 17:08 (three days ago) link

thought petard was another word for "gallows" and you were being hung by your own rope

a certain derecho (brownie), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:11 (three days ago) link

Perhaps a portmanteau of 'peter' and 'leotard'.

I'm absolutely dying at this reverse-engineered explanation, and will never be able to think of "hoist by his own petard" in any other way.

Orson Well Yeah (Dan Peterson), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:20 (three days ago) link

it’s French. it means bomb. “peter” the verb means to burst or explode (or fart)

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:48 (three days ago) link

v embarrassing to be killed by your own fart

Josefa, Friday, 18 September 2020 17:55 (three days ago) link

xp
hence petomane
as in the cabaret artist whose art form was the fart and who was later played by leonard Rossiter in 1970 odd.

& i Think unfortunately that became a derogatory name for gays didn't it?

Stevolende, Friday, 18 September 2020 17:55 (three days ago) link

Probably even more embarrassing to survive being hoist by it

sound of scampo talk to me (El Tomboto), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:56 (three days ago) link

Verily, sirrah, it appears that you have petered into your own leotard.

Wessonality Crisis (Old Lunch), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:56 (three days ago) link

Count me in as another one who imagined "hoist by your own petard" to be some kind of wedgie situation.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 18 September 2020 18:15 (three days ago) link

I used to think petard was a kind of sword, and that the phrase meant you had attacked someone who managed to get the sword away from you and attack you with it.

nickn, Friday, 18 September 2020 18:16 (three days ago) link

I figured petard was some kind of sailing thing, like you'd be hoisting the mizzen and end up in the crow's nest from some Wiley Coyote rope incident.

Jaq, Friday, 18 September 2020 20:15 (three days ago) link

so in conclusion hoist by your own petard means being lifted into the air by your own fart right, and being unable to get down when the fart freezes in Minnesota wintertime and your fart is holding you up like an inverted bicycle seat

Neanderthal, Saturday, 19 September 2020 01:15 (two days ago) link

Totally thought it was a halberd

retail rage is for suckers (Hunt3r), Saturday, 19 September 2020 03:14 (two days ago) link

Rob Halberd of Jubas Briest

origami condom (Neanderthal), Saturday, 19 September 2020 03:15 (two days ago) link

Extent of negative effect of grapefruits on the way certain pills work.
As in can pretty much counter teh effect and isn't just a random thing.

In some cases they increase the effect. If you take amlodipine for hypertension grapefruit can somehow increase the concentration and you can pass out with low blood pressure

here we go, ten in a rona (onimo), Saturday, 19 September 2020 11:02 (two days ago) link

I can't eat grapefruits and they wuz my fav citrus fruit, bloomin big pharma.
& whatever chemical processes taht is.

Stevolende, Saturday, 19 September 2020 12:49 (two days ago) link

I asked my doctor if I could replace the pills with the grapefruit and got a perfectly condescending "it doesn't quite work that way" in response

here we go, ten in a rona (onimo), Saturday, 19 September 2020 12:53 (two days ago) link

Hard to swallow... Even with water.

Someone on Star Trek: Enterprise had a grapefruit intolerance. Why do I remember that?

koogs, Saturday, 19 September 2020 13:33 (two days ago) link

It was pineapple

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Silent_Enemy_(episode)

koogs, Saturday, 19 September 2020 13:39 (two days ago) link

I've read that grapefruit is helpful for alleviating the effects of tear gas

So there's that

velcro-magnon (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 19 September 2020 21:24 (two days ago) link

My wife takes quietapine (seroquel) for bipolar and you cant have grapefruit on it because it can cause an increase in the effects or something? It's already a horrendously strong sedative

rascal clobber (jim in vancouver), Saturday, 19 September 2020 22:29 (two days ago) link

I think it clashes with a diabetes 2 thing I take.

Stevolende, Saturday, 19 September 2020 23:15 (two days ago) link

I've got quite a thread volley going on. Look up Sousa for the instrumental music thread, then learn a bunch of stuff about his hobbies as well as his hatred for recorded music. And it is there I saw:

"canned music", a reference to the early wax cylinder records that came in can-like cylindrical cardboard boxes.

I always thought it meant "canned" as if you got it from a can, like canned soup! I had no idea it was a reference to the original can-shaped cylindars!

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 20 September 2020 13:10 (yesterday) link


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