Something New Every Day: Random & Newly Found Facts

Ermintruder

Delineated by a professional cryptozoologist
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
5,402
Likes
7,242
Points
284
Note that there are possibly more web pages with replicated explanations for the Starbuck 'siren'/mermaid than Avagadro's number.

What amazes me is that I still see the logo as what it hasn't been for 8 years....
2019-03-04 16.37.38.png
 

Verbal Earthworm

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Aug 21, 2018
Messages
466
Likes
625
Points
93
Call me Ishmael but I really must address this anti-Moby Dick-ness.

I found it to be an absolutely enthralling read. It may have helped that I read it as an adult and was never forced to read it at school.

As a reading companion to it, may I recommend Tim Severin's excellent work: In Search of Moby Dick: Quest for the White Whale.

Tim has done several books that follow other (sea) adventures, sterling research (Seeking Robinson Crusoe is one I really enjoyed).

I also recommend that everyone read Defoe (A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain is wonderful) but that may be hoping for too much.
 
Last edited:

Cochise

Antediluvian
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
5,138
Likes
5,005
Points
284
Call me Ishmael but I really must address this anti-Moby Dick-ness.

I found it to be an absolutely enthralling read. It may have helped that I read it as an adult and was never forced to read it at school.

As a reading companion to it, may I recommend Tim Severin's excellent work: In Search of Moby Dick: Quest for the White Whale.

Tim has done several books that follow other (sea) adventures, sterling research (Seeking Robinson Crusoe is one I really enjoyed).

I also recommend that everyone read Defoe (A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain is wonderful) but that may be hoping for too much.
I've read the full unexpurgated Robinson Crusoe which I enjoyed, but maybe this discussion should be moved to a book thread?
 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
26,867
Likes
27,883
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
I've read the full unexpurgated Robinson Crusoe which I enjoyed, but maybe this discussion should be moved to a book thread?
Me, too.

I recall as an undergraduate bumping into a girl on my course in the corridor.

"How much have you read?" I asked.

"Nine chapters," she replied, "And the highlight's that he's made a spade."
 

Ogdred Weary

Fhtagntastic.
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
2,476
Likes
4,074
Points
159
The Southbank Centre did a thing a few years ago where people continuously read from Moby Dick over 3-4 days, swapping volunteers every 15-20 minutes or so, a friend and I sat through about 45mins, went and had a coffee and sat through another 30mins or so. Destroyed any illusions I had about reading the book. The readers were (inevitably) of varying degrees of quality, anyone who was actually good got a brief applause, which was a bit unfair on the poorer performers.
 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
26,867
Likes
27,883
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
No gold has ever been stolen from the Bank in over 320 years of history. However, there is a story that suggests that the Bank had a lucky escape in Victorian times…

In 1836, the Directors of the Bank received anonymous letters in which the writer claimed to have access to their gold, and offered to meet them in the gold vault at an hour of their choosing.

The Directors were finally persuaded to gather one night in the vault. At the agreed hour a noise was heard from beneath the floor and a man popped up through some of the floor boards.

The man was a sewerman who, during repair work, had discovered an old drain which ran immediately under the gold vault.

After the initial shock, a stock take revealed that he hadn’t taken any gold. For his honesty, the Bank rewarded him with a gift of £800 – which would be worth approximately £80,000 in today’s money


Source:
https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/kno...l&utm_campaign=knowledgebank&utm_content=gold
 

oxo66

Junior Acolyte
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
47
Likes
61
Points
19
At position 768 in the calculation of Pi, there is a sequence of 999999999.

At position 17,387,594,880 the sequence 0123456789 occurs.

https://theconversation.com/pi-might-look-random-but-its-full-of-hidden-patterns-55994
Not quite; you are referencing the famous* 'Feynman point' - starting at decimal 762 there is a sequence of six 9s. According to wikipedia, the first sequence of nine 9s isn't until digit 564,665,206 : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_nines_in_pi

oxo
* 'famous' amongst people who care about such things
 

Ermintruder

Delineated by a professional cryptozoologist
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
5,402
Likes
7,242
Points
284
Not quite; you are referencing the famous* 'Feynman point'
This is a curiously-circular set of observations.

Partly on the basis that someone we all know well is credited with the phrase "One measures a circle beginning anywhere", I shall start here.

If I were the well-known literary deviceperson 'a man running for the Clapham omnibus' what practical value does this discovery/observation bring to the world? If as I suspect the answer is less than nil, but isn't it cool, then the new government regulations covering circular research will have to be implemented.
 
Last edited:

oxo66

Junior Acolyte
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
47
Likes
61
Points
19
...what practical value does this discovery/observation bring to the world? If as I suspect the answer is less than nil...
The reason this was in the news yesterday is that 14 March is "PI day" at least in the US where the usual presentation of that date, 3-14, corresponds to the first three decimal digits of pi.

Google therefore chose yesterday to announce their new computation of 31 trillion digits of pi.
More circular floccinaucinihilipilification: Google actually calculated 31,415,926,535,897 decimal places. The last was 0.
 

blessmycottonsocks

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
3,330
Likes
4,901
Points
154
Location
Wessex and Mercia
Not quite; you are referencing the famous* 'Feynman point' - starting at decimal 762 there is a sequence of six 9s. According to wikipedia, the first sequence of nine 9s isn't until digit 564,665,206 : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_nines_in_pi

oxo
* 'famous' amongst people who care about such things
Absolutely right - it's 6 nines. My bad.

As for "all the zeroes" , in an infinitely long calculation, I guess they would appear eventually. Does my head in just thinking about it.
Would an infinite number of monkeys be able to type it out?
The Carl Sagan sci-fi novel "Contact" speculated on profound secrets hidden in the approximation of Pi, when calculated to unprecedented lengths.
 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
26,867
Likes
27,883
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
Again, new to me, but perhaps widely known:

Elton John originally started wearing glasses before he actually had any trouble with his eyesight in emulation/tribute to Buddy Holly.

What started out as a prop later became necessary, however.
 

oxo66

Junior Acolyte
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
47
Likes
61
Points
19
Absolutely right - it's 6 nines. My bad.

As for "all the zeroes" , in an infinitely long calculation, I guess they would appear eventually. Does my head in just thinking about it.
Would an infinite number of monkeys be able to type it out?
assuming "all the zeroes" means any arbitrarily long finite sequence of zeroes, then yes they will appear eventually and the infinite monkeys will type the sequence, given enough ink. Without getting too Douglas Adams about it, that's what 'infinitely long' "means" - any and all given finite sequence will occur...

The Carl Sagan sci-fi novel "Contact" speculated on profound secrets hidden in the approximation of Pi, when calculated to unprecedented lengths.
I haven't read the book so I had to look this up. This is much more profound: the implication being that "someone" is so powerful as to manipulate the structure of The Universe, or is it the structure of Mathematics, or is that the same thing...?

Perhaps we're better off discussing Elton John's Spectacles.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
13,593
Likes
15,860
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
The land mammal with the most teeth is the South American giant armadillo, with 74.

Sharks have the most teeth of any vertebrates during their lifetime, because their teeth are anchored into flesh alone and are continuously replaced. The requiem shark is estimated to grow as many as 30,000 teeth during an average full lifespan. The great white shark is estimated to only generate on the order of 10,000 per lifetime.

If you count their chitinous scraping radula as a 'tooth', the record-holder among all known animals is the umbrella slug (a sea slug), which is estimated to generate as many as 750,000 of these chitinous 'teeth' during a full life.
 
Top