Something New Every Day: Random & Newly Found Facts

GNC

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We should start painting statues in lifelike colours like the Romans did. Then they'd be more recognisable.
 

JamesWhitehead

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Progress in dress, illustrated, from elegant robes to puffa-jackets!

Conversely . . .

painting statues in lifelike colours like the Romans did.

It has been said that the elegance and restraint attributed to the Classical cultures, morally, would not survive much exposure to the shock of their coloured statues, physically. :nods:
 

Souleater

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Just found out that the US secretary of Defence was called the Secretary of War up until 1947, talk about a switcheroo
 

EnolaGaia

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Just found out that the US secretary of Defence was called the Secretary of War up until 1947, talk about a switcheroo

There were multiple mutations in the office from the 18th through the 20th centuries, so it's a bit more complicated than it seems at face value.

The original Secretary of War was analogous to the UK Secretary at War, serving as the administrative chief of the army (alone). This was the state of the office when it was prescribed as one of the Cabinet-level components. In the early 19th century the navy was brought under the control of the Secretary of War. By the time the 20th century arrived the navy administration had been split off again. During these two periods of administrative separation there was a Cabinet-level Secretary of War basically overseeing the army and a senior, but not Cabinet-level, Secretary of the Navy overseeing the navy.

In the wake of WW2 things were reorganized such that there would be senior service-delineated admins (Secretaries of the Army, Navy and the new Air Force), plus a redefined Cabinet-level Secretary of Defense overseeing all these top service-defined admins and all services.
 

Souleater

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There were multiple mutations in the office from the 18th through the 20th centuries, so it's a bit more complicated than it seems at face value.

The original Secretary of War was analogous to the UK Secretary at War, serving as the administrative chief of the army (alone). This was the state of the office when it was prescribed as one of the Cabinet-level components. In the early 19th century the navy was brought under the control of the Secretary of War. By the time the 20th century arrived the navy administration had been split off again. During these two periods of administrative separation there was a Cabinet-level Secretary of War basically overseeing the army and a senior, but not Cabinet-level, Secretary of the Navy overseeing the navy.

In the wake of WW2 things were reorganized such that there would be senior service-delineated admins (Secretaries of the Army, Navy and the new Air Force), plus a redefined Cabinet-level Secretary of Defense overseeing all these top service-defined admins and all services.
Still interesting they changed it from 'War' to 'Defense' those two things a markedly different, attack vs defense so to speak.
 

EnolaGaia

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The UK War Office only became the “Ministry of Defence” in 1964.
Still interesting they changed it from 'War' to 'Defense' those two things a markedly different, attack vs defense so to speak.

I tend to think the reasons for the name change run deeper than just picking a less ominous label.

Generally speaking, nobody remained on a war footing (fully prepared to prosecute an international war) all the time as of the 18th century. At that time the first step in entering a war was to "raise an army" - a phrase and an operation that's become something of an anachronism over the last couple of centuries. It was also the case that for a major foreign war it could take many months for all the warring parties to achieve wartime capacities and deploy to the areas of engagement. These factors also meant it took a long time to execute any sort of pre-emptive attack, so no one was particularly worried about being strategically ambushed.

By the end of the 19th century the lead time necessary to gear up and deploy for engagement in international warfare had shrunk to (let's say) weeks or perhaps a month or two. Mechanical transportation (e.g., rail and steamships) reduced the time necessary to deploy and attack, and it became increasingly important to maintain global vigilance.

After two world wars in the space of three decades the major powers were increasingly cautious, and the rise of air power reduced the lead time for international attack to days or a few weeks. The progressive reliance on technologies made warfighting and preparedness as much a matter of industry as strictly military concerns.

Maintaining preparedness / readiness as wars became ever more destructive and frequent entailed a complex of institutions and efforts whose scope extended far beyond the ranks of folks in uniform. Military-related developments became more and more a continuous enterprise even during times of relative peace.

Because this continuous enterprise wasn't tightly linked to outright wartime anymore I think there was a reasonable justification for re-labeling it. I don't know this was consciously recognized as such at the time, but I'm pretty sure it was "in the air."

We're changing our name from War to Defense ... Defense! It's not just about wartime anymore!
 

maximus otter

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The origin of some mediaeval collective nouns:

“Why are geese in a gaggle? And are crows really murderous? Collective nouns are one of the most charming oddities of the English language, often with seemingly bizarre connections to the groups they identify. But have you ever stopped to wonder where these peculiar terms actually came from?

Many of them were first recorded in the 15th century in publications known as Books of Courtesy – manuals on the various aspects of noble living, designed to prevent young aristocrats from embarrassing themselves by saying the wrong thing at court.

The earliest of these documents to survive to the present day was The Egerton Manuscript, dating from around 1450, which featured a list of 106 collective nouns.

170974238_0-5a4bcc7.jpg


A tabernacle of bakers
An abominable sight of monks
A faith of merchants...”

Etc.

https://www.historyextra.com/period...didnt-realise-originate-from-the-middle-ages/

maximus otter
 

Bigphoot2

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The skeleton of Arch Stanton in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is a real human skeleton.
In “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1965) Tuco uncovers the grave of Arch Stanton and finds a skeleton in the coffin not the promised $200,000 he, Blonde and Angel Eyes have been looking for. Leone couldn’t get a prop skeleton to look the way he wanted it to look on film. He said he wish they could get a real skeleton, so set decorator Carlo Leva found out that a lady in Madrid had a real skeleton for hire. It was her mother's (who in life had been an actress) skeleton and before she died, she expressed the wish that her skeleton should be used in movies, so that her acting career could continue after death. Leva rented the skeleton and it is her real skeleton you see in the grave of Arch Stanton.

https://westernsallitaliana.blogspot.com/2016/01/spaghetti-western-trivia-arch-stantons.html
 

Austin Popper

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I was dimly aware of a disparity in elevation, but having it in graphic form is eye-opening.

View attachment 37696

Plus, there really is no water in the West.

View attachment 37697
I'm sitting in one of those orange splotches (both maps) and we are getting even less moisture than usual. In the places I've lived in the past 20 years, we make do with around 9" or less per year. We drove through a dust cloud on our way home again today. It probably won't be long until it's smoke instead. It's not unheard of for the local schools to close for a day or three because of air quality concerns. We are in the habit of taking about three times as much water as we think we'll need on outings, campouts, and such. It has saved us from some serious discomfort a few times. Even when you do find water out there, it usually has nasty things in it that you need to deal with somehow if you are going to drink it.
 

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Endlessly Amazed

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I'm sitting in one of those orange splotches (both maps) and we are getting even less moisture than usual. In the places I've lived in the past 20 years, we make do with around 9" or less per year. We drove through a dust cloud on our way home again today. It probably won't be long until it's smoke instead. It's not unheard of for the local schools to close for a day or three because of air quality concerns. We are in the habit of taking about three times as much water as we think we'll need on outings, campouts, and such. It has saved us from some serious discomfort a few times. Even when you do find water out there, it usually has nasty things in it that you need to deal with somehow if you are going to drink it.
Me too. Central Arizona. We always pack lots of extra water on any trips. I have upgraded to a satellite GPS (vs cell tower connections) after my husband and I got lost in the mountains of south Maricopa and Yuma counties 2 weeks ago. No cell phone service. No maps for unpaved primitive road, etc. Didn't see another person for over 40 miles. Austin Popper, we will be going to south Colorado in a few weeks to enjoy the scenery. Do you have any recommendations?
 

Souleater

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To go with the blackest paint ever, scientists have developed the whitest paint ever, reported to reflect 98% of sunlight.
Scientists say this could help combat climate change.

"Tests carried out by researchers at Purdue University on their "ultra-white" paint showed it reflected more than 98% of sunlight.

That suggests, the scientists say, that it could help save energy and fight climate change.

Painting "cool roofs" white is an energy-saving approach already being rolled out in some major cities."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-56749105
 

Lb8535

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I was dimly aware of a disparity in elevation, but having it in graphic form is eye-opening.

View attachment 37696

Plus, there really is no water in the West.

View attachment 37697
Yes it's a remarkable geography. Historically (as in 100's of millions of years) there were no rockies and the wet weather from the pacific essentially created a huge lake and wetlands where the orange/sickly green is now. Then came the rockies for various reasons and the clouds all now drop their moisture on the green stripe on the left which produces some considerable portion of America's produce. When you travel in a train from SF to NY and come over the route down to Denver, you can see that the US is flat right on to the Appalachians in PA.
 

maximus otter

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“...Einstein gave a handwritten note instead of a tip...”

Tightwad.

From now on, l’m going to carry a sheaf of Patience Strong quotes written in Urdu. Every time someone in a cafe or restaurant expects a tip, l’ll hand him one with the words, “One day, that’ll be worth millions.”

maximus otter
 
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Swifty

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Tightwad.

From now on, l’m going to carry a sheaf of Patience Strong quotes written in Urdu. Every time someone in a cafe or restaurant expects a tip, l’ll hand him one with the words, “One day, that’ll be worth millions.”

maximus otter
Who new that Einstein was a bit of a hippy? (apart from Einstein himself obviously). I hate hippies.
 

pandacracker

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For architecture fans the Imperial Hotel Tokyo has an interesting history.

I've been to the reconstructed reception in the Meiji Mura, it is indeed wonderful.

I also once had dinner (Japanese menu) in the present Imperial Hotel when a friend was on a business trip from Hong Kong. She paid. Made it taste even better :dinner::dinner::dinner:
 
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