Something New Every Day: Random & Newly Found Facts

Souleater

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View attachment 39866

"69 and 61 percent of Americans are confident they could take on a house cat and a goose, respectively. After that, most respondents started to lose confidence in their fighting abilities pretty quickly. A little less than half think they could take on a medium-sized dog, and only 30 percent think they could beat an eagle in a fight"

https://www.relevantmagazine.com/cu...d-beat-a-grizzly-bear-in-hand-to-hand-combat/
Odd that more people fancy their chances with an elephant, lion, gorilla and crocodile than a grizzly
 

Mythopoeika

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Sorry if this is a dumb question, but why is 1st January 1970 the date that things are set from?
I think it's when Unix started.
The Unix epoch is the time 00:00:00 UTC on 1 January 1970. There is a problem with this definition, in that UTC did not exist in its current form until 1972; this issue is discussed below. For brevity, the remainder of this section uses ISO 8601 date and time format, in which the Unix epoch is 1970-01-01T00:00:00Z.
 

Yithian

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I've just learned that the insult 'berk' is cockney rhyming slang for the rudest of all words:

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/berk

"Etymology
The usage is dated to the 1930s. A shortened version of Berkeley Hunt, the hunt based at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire.
In the Cockney rhyming slang, hunt is used as a rhyme for c**t giving the word berk its original slang meaning."

A new one for me today:

A grass: one who informs on another to the authority.

This, too is rhyming-slang.

Grasshopper = shopper: one who 'shops' another to the police etc.
 

CarlosTheDJ

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A new one for me today:

A grass: one who informs on another to the authority.

This, too is rhyming-slang.

Grasshopper = shopper: one who 'shops' another to the police etc.

'Shop' must be rhyming slang too surely? So that's a double whammy.
 

EnolaGaia

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The rhyming slang explanation is the one most often seen, but there are variants and at least one alternative explanation.
'Grassing up' has been a commonly used expression in the UK since the mid 20th century, but is less common elsewhere. The first known use of 'grass' in that context is Arthur Gardner's Tinker's Kitchen, 1932, which defined a grass as "an informer". Grass was a well-enough established word in the 1980s to have spawned 'supergrass', that is, a republican sympathiser who later 'turned Queen's evidence' and informed on the IRA, and which gave the Brit-pop band Supergrass their name in the 1990s.

Informers are variously known as squealers, noses, moles, snouts and stool pigeons. These terms invoke imagery of covert snooping around and of talking. Grass is less intuitive. It could just have arisen from 'snake in the grass', which derives from the writings of Virgil (in Latin, as 'latet anguis in herba') and has been known in English, meaning traitor, since the late 17th century.

There is another route to the word and this is via rhyming slang. Farmer and Henley's 1893 Dictionary of Slang defines 'grasshopper' as 'copper', that is, policeman. The theory is that a 'grass' is someone who works for the police and so has become a surrogate 'copper'. The rhyming slang link was certainly believed in 1950 by the lexicographer Paul Tempest, when he wrote Lag's lexicon: a comprehensive dictionary and encyclopaedia of the English prison to-day ...
https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/grass-up.html
 

Timble2

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I have just discovered "The Wank (German pronunciation: [ˈvaŋk]) is a mountain in southern Germany, situated in the Loisach valley close tothe Austrian border in the southwestern Ester Mountains range near Garmisch-Partenkirchen." (from Wiki)
Wankbahn_poster.jpg
 

Swifty

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Can someone tell me where "Don't throw me under a buss" came from? .. geographically I'm fairly certain it's from Southern England .. I get the meaning: "Don't f**k me over!" but I'm curious about the evolution of the saying.
 

EnolaGaia

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The origins of the phrase are murky. It's used to suggest person A sacrificed or damaged person B so that person A could avoid something (blame, arrest, etc.). It's not used that often (at least in American parlance) to simply mean person A caused substantial "pain" to person B (without the insinuation that person A had a selfish motive).
"To throw (someone) under the bus" is an idiomatic phrase in English meaning to betray a friend or ally for selfish reasons. It is typically used to describe a disavowal and possibly severance of a previously amicable or warm relationship. The sacrificing of this relationship or connection may occur out of selfish gain or convenience, to avoid a perceived embarrassment, or to prevent being associated with a controversial person, position or opinion.

The earliest known usage of this phrase was 21 June 1982, when Julian Critchley of The Times (London) wrote "President Galtieri had pushed her under the bus which the gossips had said was the only means of her removal." ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Throw_under_the_bus
 

ChasFink

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Today I found out that actress P.J. Soles - ubiquitous in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and best known for her roles in Halloween and Carrie - used the surname name of her first husband - even though they divorced before her career took off - and that her birth name was Pamela Jayne Hardon.

Probably a good idea keeping "Soles".
 

Kryptonite

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I think it's one of those annoying English teacher things: Q: 'Can I go to the toilet?' A: 'I don't know, can you?'
A case of teachers in a position of power thinking they know more than they actually do.
A question related to that- why did some teachers occasionally DENY pupils permission to go to the toilet?

If I'm in a situation where I can simply and easily prevent someone from shitting themselves not just in my presence, but in my workplace, then why wouldn't I just let them go to the lavvy?
 

maximus otter

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A question related to that- why did some teachers occasionally DENY pupils permission to go to the toilet?

Because good teachers know their pupils, and know that some of the little...angels...would learn rapidly that a loo request got them X minutes out of the lesson. That is a game that has no ending.

maximus otter
 

Spudrick68

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I started reading a book "The Spectral Arctic" that someone on here recommended.

It mentions mentions the Franklin expedition to navigate the North West passage.
Apparently the local Inuits gave one of the crew the Inuit name Qoitoyok. This translates as "he who pisses a lot."

I love random stuff like this.
 

charliebrown

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Freeze dried mouse sperm for months was exposed to space radiation on the ISS.

It turns out nothing happened to the sperm, and on return to earth these sperm did their duty and produce healthy mouse babies.

NASA wants to develop space systems for long space flights such as two years in a round trip to Mars.

NASA’s policy is no sex among astronauts, but one can speculate that there is a secret room on the ISS or not ?
 

Swifty

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Freeze dried mouse sperm for months was exposed to space radiation on the ISS.

It turns out nothing happened to the sperm, and on return to earth these sperm did their duty and produce healthy mouse babies.

NASA wants to develop space systems for long space flights such as two years in a round trip to Mars.

NASA’s policy is no sex among astronauts, but one can speculate that there is a secret room on the ISS or not ?
At least one couple must have screwed each other up there. I'd be very disappointed in the human race if that hasn't happened yet. I know I would.
 

maximus otter

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EnolaGaia

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Konrad von Hochstaden was Archbishop of Cologne during a period of conflicts between the secular emperor(s) and the papacy. Konrad ascended to the archbishop position under the emperor, but switched allegiance to the Pope thereafter. He seems to have been involved in a lot of the intrigues of the time ...
The whole temporal administration of Konrad was a series of struggles with neighbouring princes and the citizens of Cologne, who refused to acknowledge the temporal sovereignty of the archbishop over their city. Konrad was generally victorious, but his often treacherous manner of warfare has left many dark spots on his reputation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konrad_von_Hochstaden

I suspect the grotesque reflects a popular disdain for someone seen as a self-serving opportunist and schemer.
 

mikfez

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Sticklebacks are related to pipefish and seahorses - they do not have scales and are most commonly found in the ocean.
Courtesy of Wikipedia
 

Souleater

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My dad asked me about why turkeys (the bird) are called turkeys, according to tinterweb, when European settlers first encountered them, they thought they were a type of guinea fowl, which in turn the Europeans thought came from Turkey (the country), so they called these large 'guinea fowl', 'turkeys'. Now this could all be bs but its a good story, im sure someone will know the origin of the name if that isnt correct.
 

Xanatic*

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Isn't Turkey as a country fairly new? From after the fall of the Ottoman Empire?
 
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