Something New Every Day: Random & Newly Found Facts

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
26,626
Likes
27,408
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
I consume a lot of U.S. media via YouTube and while my U.S. geography is reasonable, I'm lost as soon as they start referencing areas that cross-state boundaries or don't refer to decent-sized cities. This find is great:

KCKRIdZ.jpg

Sure our U.S. Forteans can turn up an error, mind you.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
13,289
Likes
15,438
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
I consume a lot of U.S. media via YouTube and while my U.S. geography is reasonable, I'm lost as soon as they start referencing areas that cross-state boundaries or don't refer to decent-sized cities. This find is great: ...

Sure our U.S. Forteans can turn up an error, mind you.
There have been many such "cultural area maps" of the USA, and they vary in number of areas and those areas' boundaries. As such, I'd say there's no firm basis for claiming outright "errors" in any of them. I'd quibble with some of the boundaries and categories in this particular map, but then I'd probably quibble just as much with any such map you put in front of me.

For example ... I agree that metro NYC is reasonably considered a (sub-?) cultural region in and of itself. IMHO it's not the only mega-metropolitan area deserving such treatment. At the very least, I'd have added La-La-Land (LA) as being culturally distinguishable from the rest of SoCal. Fifty years ago I'd have argued for giving Chicago a similarly separate status, but it's fading as a separable entity.

Perhaps more importantly, these regional differences aren't as evident and important as they once were. During my lifetime there's been a progressive homogenization nationwide, largely resulting from mass communications and Americans' unusually high degree of geographic mobility.

The geographic locales most representative of the distinguishing factors in this and other such regional categorization schemes tend to be the backwaters. By this I mean typically disadvantaged places with little active participation in the homogenized national economy (etc.). This in turn means there's a certain degree of discernible differentiation even within particular regions (down to the level of particular metro areas) having more to do with economic class and relative mobility than geography per se.

I'd also claim there's a historical aspect in play. The most consistently evident regional hallmarks are found in the regions with the longest history of colonial and subsequent settlement (i.e., where the roots run deeper). As such, I'd claim the applicability of such maps is highest in the east and lowest in the west.
 

Austin Popper

Emperor of Antarctica
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
621
Likes
1,066
Points
134
Location
Colorado, where the gold is still elusive
What Enola said. I can see where those kinds of maps would be handy for sorting out references in the media. I agree that Los Angeles is a region unto itself. The first work I encountered that dealt with these concepts was The Nine Nations of North America, a very interesting book from the 70s I believe. The author listed NYC and LA (among some other places) as "anomalies" if memory serves. My subsequent experiences in those two cities seemed to support that idea.

When I was growing up in the "Lower Midwest" (does anyone really call it that?) I learned a lot of different dialects, or at least how to distinguish them. Today, it's often hard to tell from someone's speech what part of the country they are from. I met a young woman from New Orleans a few weeks ago, and she might just as believably have said she was from California or Utah. I've been to Nawlins, and met a number of people from the general area. I was a bit surprised, but had no reason to doubt her.

The strongest dialects I was familiar with as a kid are vanishing rapidly. Those would be from Arkansas and Oklahoma. Even Texans sound more and more like everyone else. There are exceptions of course, like the fellow I was working with last year. He was from the middle of Arkansas, and he sure sounded like it. His particular speech kept reminding me of someone but I couldn't place just who. Then one day he said something that made it click: He sounded just like the tow truck character "Mater" from the movie Cars. He sounded so much like him that I couldn't hear him talk without thinking of Mater. I didn't dare tell anyone, for he surely would have instantly gained a nickname he might not like.
 

Lord Lucan

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Feb 17, 2017
Messages
1,384
Likes
3,210
Points
154
Sir James Matthew Barrie assigned the copyright of Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, London. Peter Pan is the only copyright in the UK that has been extended in perpetuity, meaning the Hospital can receive royalties forever. It is the copyright which never grows old. (Copied from Reddit). Apparently The King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer are limited to publication by the Crown and therefore get extended copyright status, though this is a little different to that of Peter Pan's.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
27,920
Likes
12,767
Points
284
Sir James Matthew Barrie assigned the copyright of Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, London. Peter Pan is the only copyright in the UK that has been extended in perpetuity, meaning the Hospital can receive royalties forever. It is the copyright which never grows old. (Copied from Reddit). Apparently The King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer are limited to publication by the Crown and therefore get extended copyright status, though this is a little different to that of Peter Pan's.
God must be really rich by now with all those royalties. The Ten Commandments alone!
 

JamesWhitehead

Piffle Prospector
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
12,514
Likes
9,790
Points
309
The Ten Commandments alone!
I think the Crown copyright preceded the period when derived works were protected. Online versions are presumably not covered either and impossible to police in the international Babel of servers. :angel:
 

oxo66

Junior Acolyte
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
46
Likes
60
Points
19
I think the Crown copyright preceded the period when derived works were protected. :angel:
Yes Wikipedia says "because the Authorized Version is protected by royal prerogative rather than copyright, it will remain protected... In Scotland the Authorized Version is published by Collins"

I happen to have a KJ bible next to my computer and on page 2 it includes the Licence "In terms of the Letters Patent... dated 11 July 1839, I hereby License and Authorise William Collins … of Glasgow, to Print and Publish by the Authority of HM Queen Elizabeth the second an edition of the Holy Bible..."

It goes on for a bit after that including specifying the page size, font and print run.
 

Bad Bungle

Dingo took my tray bake.
Joined
Oct 13, 2018
Messages
1,125
Likes
2,768
Points
154
Location
The Chilterns
There has been a legal clarification of something paid 'in perpetuity' following action by the City of London Corporation. Several sources for the story but 'Secret London' by Andrew Duncan (1995) and 'Who owns London' by Shirley Green (1986) cover the basics.

There was a field to the west of medieval London with a large spring that fed into the Tyburn. The field was owned by the Crown but leased to the London Corporation so the water could be channelled for use by the City - thus the field and surrounding area was known as the Conduit Estate. In 1628 Charles 1 dissolved Parliament and required a loan, the London Corporation duly obliged and in gratitude the King gave them the freehold of the Conduit Estate. By the 1750's the water supply had lost its importance and the Corporation sought to build on the land. In order to attract upmarket tenants to an unfashionable area outside of the Square Mile, the Corporation granted leases that were 'perpetually renewable' ie all lease-holders were able to renew them endlessly at the original 1754 rent.
Scroll forward to today and the Conduit Estate (now known as Conduit Meade) covers 27 acres of Mayfair, bisected by New Bond Street and all or parts of Brook Street, Maddox Street, Grafton Street, Conduit Street and South Moulton Street. All highly prestigious and desirable business addresses but despite redeeming some leases, the Corporation is only collecting about £30 rent a year from each of two dozen original properties. The lease-holders however have assigned their 'in perpetuity' leases to Insurance Companies and Pension Funds or sold under-leases to sub-tenants for huge sums.
In 1925 the London Corporation had had enough and sought a legal ruling to limit the 'perpetually' part of the leases. The 1925 Property Act did reduce 'perpetually' to 2,000 years max, so in less than 1,800 years the Corporation can get its hands on the Conduit Meade Estate again and bump the rents up.
 

JamesWhitehead

Piffle Prospector
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
12,514
Likes
9,790
Points
309
The Scaffold were unaccountably popular for a short time. Roger McGough rebranded himself as a Merseyside poet and later as the voice of poetry on Radio 4. In the 1980s, his presence was still deemed essential at any Liverpool event, though he lived in Surrey, iirc.

I have reason to remember taking the call from his agent that Roger would not be able to judge our poetry competition after-all.

This was the day after the publicity materials had gone to the printers with his name on! :kersplat:
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
36,641
Likes
23,239
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
The Scaffold were unaccountably popular for a short time. Roger McGough rebranded himself as a Merseyside poet and later as the voice of poetry on Radio 4. In the 1980s, his presence was still deemed essential at any Liverpool event, though he lived in Surrey, iirc.

I have reason to remember taking the call from his agent that Roger would not be able to judge our poetry competition after-all.

This was the day after the publicity materials had gone to the printers with his name on! :kersplat:
Nice of him to give you plenty of warning.
 

Bad Bungle

Dingo took my tray bake.
Joined
Oct 13, 2018
Messages
1,125
Likes
2,768
Points
154
Location
The Chilterns
Christ Almighty I hate this song. I remember it being used on a t.v ad when I was young for a chain of liquor stores. Elton John also sings backing vocals on the original recording.
Mike McGear was the professional name of Peter Michael McCartney, the younger brother of Paul ?
 

JamesWhitehead

Piffle Prospector
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
12,514
Likes
9,790
Points
309
Nice of him to give you plenty of warning.
I gather it is par for the course when slebs sign up to do unprofitable jobs, which still serve to promote their name and image.

They cry off at a late stage, when more immediate rewards are dangled elsewhere.

Charities tend to get their fingers burned a lot, I understand. In the event, we had to halt the job and have the art-work re-jigged.

Luckily, the printers were cooperative. ;)
 

hunck

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
4,274
Likes
5,018
Points
209
Location
Hobbs End
Christ Almighty I hate this song. I remember it being used on a t.v ad when I was young for a chain of liquor stores. Elton John also sings backing vocals on the original recording.
Additional fact pop pickers - Jack Bruce played bass on it according to Mike McCartney.
 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
26,626
Likes
27,408
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
Christ Almighty I hate this song. I remember it being used on a t.v ad when I was young for a chain of liquor stores. Elton John also sings backing vocals on the original recording.
I don't mind it.

For some reason it reminds me of The Mighty Quinn by Manfred Mann. An old friend of mine really hates that song and people who knew him would specifically ask the landlord in our local if he was in at his usual seat in the upstairs snug (the main bar being downstairs). If he was, they'd one by one put it on the jukebox before taking their pints upstairs to join him. Twenty or thirty minutes later, it would start coming on every third of fourth song and he'd start swearing and blaming everybody present.

It was actually quite funny, but he wasn't really acting! The only explanation we'd ever get as to why he hated it was that it was 'a fucking stupid song with fucking stupid lyrics.'

 

JamesWhitehead

Piffle Prospector
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
12,514
Likes
9,790
Points
309
"Come all without, come all within You'll not see nothing like the mighty Quim!"

It's a hymn to coitus interruptus, I assumed. :wear:
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
27,920
Likes
12,767
Points
284
I don't mind it.

For some reason it reminds me of The Mighty Quinn by Manfred Mann. An old friend of mine really hates that song and people who knew him would specifically ask the landlord in our local if he was in at his usual seat in the upstairs snug (the main bar being downstairs). If he was, they'd one by one put it on the jukebox before taking their pints upstairs to join him. Twenty or thirty minutes later, it would start coming on every third of fourth song and he'd start swearing and blaming everybody present.

It was actually quite funny, but he wasn't really acting! The only explanation we'd ever get as to why he hated it was that it was 'a fucking stupid song with fucking stupid lyrics.'

It was written after Bob Dylan saw Anthony Quinn (a Mexican) starring as an Eskimo in the film The Savage Innocents, so it does make sense.
 

Lord Lucan

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Feb 17, 2017
Messages
1,384
Likes
3,210
Points
154
I don't mind it.

For some reason it reminds me of The Mighty Quinn by Manfred Mann. An old friend of mine really hates that song and people who knew him would specifically ask the landlord in our local if he was in at his usual seat in the upstairs snug (the main bar being downstairs). If he was, they'd one by one put it on the jukebox before taking their pints upstairs to join him. Twenty or thirty minutes later, it would start coming on every third of fourth song and he'd start swearing and blaming everybody present.

It was actually quite funny, but he wasn't really acting! The only explanation we'd ever get as to why he hated it was that it was 'a fucking stupid song with fucking stupid lyrics.'

This one I quite like.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
48,676
Likes
20,632
Points
284
Location
Eblana
I don't mind it.

For some reason it reminds me of The Mighty Quinn by Manfred Mann. An old friend of mine really hates that song and people who knew him would specifically ask the landlord in our local if he was in at his usual seat in the upstairs snug (the main bar being downstairs). If he was, they'd one by one put it on the jukebox before taking their pints upstairs to join him. Twenty or thirty minutes later, it would start coming on every third of fourth song and he'd start swearing and blaming everybody present.

It was actually quite funny, but he wasn't really acting! The only explanation we'd ever get as to why he hated it was that it was 'a fucking stupid song with fucking stupid lyrics.'

A righteous hatred, the way I feel towards U2.

Here's a song which I like, similar in sentiment to The Mighty Quinn.

 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
13,289
Likes
15,438
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Now's the time to grab your timepiece and your compass and visit Greenwich, because right about now the venerable geographical / horological reference site will become magnetically "calibrated" as well for the first time in over 3 centuries.
Compasses at Greenwich Are About to Do Something Not Observed in Over 300 Years

For the first time in centuries, compasses in Greenwich are about to point directly at true north: an epic coincidence of time and magnetism that hasn't taken place for some 360 years.

This serendipitous occurrence – which is set to occur within the next fortnight – serves as a startling reminder of how Earth's magnetic north pole is constantly wandering, unlike the fixed 'true north' of Earth's geographic north pole.

The angular difference between those two different points is called magnetic declination, and while the gap might not be something ordinary people spend a great deal of time thinking about, it's a disparity that can last for centuries at a time.

For hundreds of years now in the UK, due to Earth's shifting magnetic north pole, declination has been negative, meaning compass needles have been pointing west of true north.

But nothing lasts forever. The agonic – an invisible line that connects Earth's north and south magnetic poles (and which represents zero declination wherever it passes through) – has been moving ...


t's set to pass through Greenwich this month – the historic site of the Greenwich Royal Observatory – making history in the process.

"At some point in September, the agonic will meet zero longitude at Greenwich," says geomagnetism researcher Ciaran Beggan from the British Geological Survey (BGS).

"This marks the first time since the Observatory's creation that the geographic and geomagnetic coordinate systems have coincided at this location." ...

FULL STORY (WITH ILLUSTRATION OF HISTORICAL DECLINATION VARIATION):

https://www.sciencealert.com/compas...ething-that-hasn-t-happened-in-over-300-years
 

Megadeth1977

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
1,752
Likes
1,318
Points
154
Location
London bow
Sir James Matthew Barrie assigned the copyright of Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, London. Peter Pan is the only copyright in the UK that has been extended in perpetuity, meaning the Hospital can receive royalties forever. It is the copyright which never grows old. (Copied from Reddit). Apparently The King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer are limited to publication by the Crown and therefore get extended copyright status, though this is a little different to that of Peter Pan's.
And don't forget Disney keep geting copyright laws extend so Micky mouse doesn't become public domain wich also affects ip not owned by Disney.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
13,289
Likes
15,438
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
I didn't realize the set of officially named minerals was limited to only those minerals demonstrated to occur in nature until I ran across this tidbit in the context of discovering a new "official" mineral (edscottite) within the Wedderburn meteorite:

Scientists have come across edscottite before, inside smelters. It is one of the phases iron goes through when it is smelted into steel.
But they have never seen it naturally occurring. And minerals only get a name when you can find them in nature.

“We have discovered 500,000 to 600,000 minerals in the lab, but fewer than 6000 that nature’s done itself”...
SOURCE: https://www.theage.com.au/national/...-inside-it-a-new-mineral-20190830-p52mhg.html
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
27,920
Likes
12,767
Points
284
And don't forget Disney keep geting copyright laws extend so Micky mouse doesn't become public domain wich also affects ip not owned by Disney.
And don't forget Marvel (i.e. Disney) and DC own the word "superhero", so if you make a film featuring someone with superpowers, you'll have to call them superb people or something.
 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
26,626
Likes
27,408
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
I was reading some of the background to Robert Louis Stevenson's The Bottle Imp (recommended short story), when I came across this:

The Unexpected Hanging Paradox:

A judge tells a condemned prisoner that he will be hanged at noon on one weekday in the following week but that the execution will be a surprise to the prisoner. He will not know the day of the hanging until the executioner knocks on his cell door at noon that day.
Having reflected on his sentence, the prisoner draws the conclusion that he will escape from the hanging. His reasoning is in several parts. He begins by concluding that the "surprise hanging" can't be on Friday, as if he hasn't been hanged by Thursday, there is only one day left - and so it won't be a surprise if he's hanged on Friday. Since the judge's sentence stipulated that the hanging would be a surprise to him, he concludes it cannot occur on Friday.
He then reasons that the surprise hanging cannot be on Thursday either, because Friday has already been eliminated and if he hasn't been hanged by Wednesday noon, the hanging must occur on Thursday, making a Thursday hanging not a surprise either. By similar reasoning he concludes that the hanging can also not occur on Wednesday, Tuesday or Monday. Joyfully he retires to his cell confident that the hanging will not occur at all.
The next week, the executioner knocks on the prisoner's door at noon on Wednesday — which, despite all the above, was an utter surprise to him. Everything the judge said came true.

Also apparently features in a story called Mr Mee by Andrew Crumey:

Tissot showed a similar misunderstanding of my teaching when, exasperated by his continuing moroseness and his near-permanent occupancy of my writing desk, I said to him, 'Next week I am going to bring your wife here so that you can speak to her in person and sort out your difficulties. I know you don't want to see her, and so I shall not tell you which day she will arrive; but you can be sure that you'll meet her before the week is out.'
Tissot knew his wife would not be brought to confront him next Friday, because in that case he could be certain by Thursday evening that she must be coming, and he could make himself absent. But equally, I would also have to avoid Thursday, since otherwise he would be forewarned when Wednesday passed without a scene. Dismissing every other day in a similar manner, Tissot concluded that his wife could never show up unexpectedly to harangue him; but on Thursday he answered the door to be greeted not only by her, but also by her mother, both of whom boxed him soundly about the ears while I made myself scarce, quietly judging that so poor a logician deserved everything he got.
Article that includes some of the philosophical issues it raises:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unexpected_hanging_paradox
 
Top