You Learn Something New Every Day

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Warren
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Warren »

Highway wrote:
05 Jan 2020, 14:04
Probably better to call it a civil engineering disaster.

The time of failure must have been amazingly short given the height of the breach flow, although I wish the article had given an estimate of the flow rate, not just a height.

Currently I'm working on the delegation of "small pond" review authority in our state, but large dams are not involved in that (thank goodness). Ours are only hazard class 'a' dams, failure of which is unlikely to result in loss of life or property damage. But even with that, the scrutiny and oversight of all dams is being increased due to the catastrophic nature of their failure.
You might want to watch Forgotten Tragedy: The Story of the St Francis Dam currently available on Amazon Prime. Not a great documentary as far as watchability goes. But it has a lot more information.
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JD
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by JD »

I saw a TV show about the "Satanic Ritual Abuse" panic and the Keller case in Texas, and it inspired me to do a little research, and I found something really interesting I'd never heard of before that some people have pointed to as kicking off the whole SRA and recovered-memory debacle.

In 1980, psychiatrist Dr. Lawrence Pazder and Michelle Smith published the "nonfiction" book Michelle Remembers, which uncritically reported on Michelle Smith's "recovered memories" of being horrifically abused by a Satanic cult, one of the first modern works on the topic. Despite a complete lack of corroborating evidence, Pazder and Smith presented all this as completely factual. And within a few years, people were seeing Satanic child-abusing cults everywhere...

Pazder apparently believed (assuming he was sincere) that Smith "couldn't" have just been a disturbed person who was conflating things she'd seen with her memories, but given the cultural environment of the times, it seems like something she might easily have picked up elsewhere. Consider:
- 1968: Rosemary's Baby
- 1973: The Exorcist
- 1976: The Omen
- 1976/77: Michelle Smith claims she was abused by a Satanic cult as a child
- 1980: Michelle Remembers is published
- 1983: the McMartin preschool case is filed
It's like a damn connect-the-dots drawing.
Last edited by JD on 06 Jan 2020, 13:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Warren
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Warren »

JD wrote:
06 Jan 2020, 12:04
Despite a complete lack of corroborating evidence, Pazder and Smith presented all this as completely factual.
Which is why psychology is taught by the Liberal Arts Department.
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thoreau
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by thoreau »

Warren, are you repressing memories of a liberal arts student touching you? Or not touching you?
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Hugh Akston
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Hugh Akston »

I was under the impression that the word ginormous was the invention of a Will Ferrell movie, but Mr Webster says it was a bit of British military slang dating back to the war.
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

thoreau wrote:
06 Jan 2020, 12:55
Warren, are you repressing memories of a liberal arts student touching you? Or not touching you?
I think we all know the liberal arts never laid a glove on Warren.

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Jake
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Jake »

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
05 Jan 2020, 12:19
The biggest man-made disaster of 20th century America was Donald Trump.
You take that back! He'll tell you himself: he's a self-made disaster! ;)
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JD
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by JD »

Hugh Akston wrote:
06 Jan 2020, 21:26
I was under the impression that the word ginormous was the invention of a Will Ferrell movie, but Mr Webster says it was a bit of British military slang dating back to the war.
Interesting: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?c ... us%3B%2Cc0
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lunchstealer
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by lunchstealer »

The gas leak at DuPont's plant in Bhopal India killed like four times as many people as that. That seems like a man-made disaster to me, but what do I know?
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Warren
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Warren »

Well you don't know when a new page starts or that after three days the thread has drifted that's for shit sure. :P
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lunchstealer
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by lunchstealer »

Your last post about the disasters topic was on this page. Jake posted about the disasters topic six posts and less than two days after your post. My post was two posts and less than 12 hours after Jake's.
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Kolohe
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Kolohe »

There was a civilian airliner (as in, the same individual plane) that was shot at twice by military forces. (Though the first time might have been deliberate, i.e. not a target misidentification)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kweilin ... #Chungking
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JD
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by JD »

A calque is when a term from one language is adopted into another by translating the individual words, like "marche aux puces" -> "flea market", or "skyscraper" -> "rascacielos".

But something I was not familiar with is phono-semantic matching, in which both the term's meaning and its phonology from its parent language are approximated in the borrowing language. For example, the Mandarin for "world wide web" is wàn wéi wǎng, which means "myriad dimensional net", and the Mandarin for "sonar" is shēngnà, which means, loosely, "receiving sound".
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston

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JD
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by JD »

There once was a powerful country that built a 1000-mile barrier to try and prevent smuggling, and it didn't work, as people found holes in it, or climbed over it, or just threw things over it.

The country was Great Britain, and the barrier was to prevent the smuggling of salt from one side of India to the other.
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston

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Jennifer
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Jennifer »

Slightly disappointing bit of linguistic trivia: in British English, the word "bedsit" refers to a living arrangement which an American would call "SRO/single-room occupancy" or "room in a boardinghouse" (if not for the fact that "snob zoning" laws have basically outlawed such affordable accommodations in most of the United States): basically, you have your own private room, but not your own private bathing, toilet and kitchen facilities; these are shared among all residents of the building.

During the spoken-word part of "Nights in White Satin," when the man says "Bedsitter people look back and lament / another day's useless energy spent" ... I've been hearing that song since before I was old enough to form long-term memories, and I'd always figured "bedsitter people" referred to sick or injured folks lamenting the fact that they're confined to their beds all day (and NOT for the sort of pleasant romantic activities implied by other lyrics of that song) -- but no, it refers to people in living arrangements popular with The Poors. The same lyric written by a contemporary American might say "Trailer-park dwellers look back and lament."

Nights in White Satin remains a beautiful song, but I liked it a tiny bit more when I thought a certain lyric was expressing sympathy for the bedridden.

ETA: A friend of mine who's a UK native says there was no stigma attached to bedsits in the UK, the way there are stigmas attached to certain po'folks housing in the US.
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