You Learn Something New Every Day

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JD
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by JD »

There was a select committee of the House formed in 1858 to investigate corruption in the administration of James Buchanan. Buchanan complained that it was a one-sided smear campaign, formed for partisan reasons, with an unjustifiedly broad warrant that impinged on the independence of the executive branch. The committee, for their part, mentioned that
...the President, in his letter to the Pittsburgh centenary celebration of the 25th November, 1858, speaks of "the employment of money to carry elections," said committee shall inquire into and ascertain the amount so used in Pennsylvania, and any other State or States, in what districts it was expended, and by whom, and by whose authority it was done, and from what sources the money was derived...
So complaints about Big Money ruining politics are at least 150 years old...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... Government
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Jennifer
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Jennifer »

Long ago on this thread, I mentioned learning about antimony cups and antimony pills, which were used as laxatives (though you could accidentally die of antimony poisoning if the cup's contents were too acidic).

TIL antimony is not the only toxic metal once used as a laxative; mercury was too. Historians today have identified one of the latrine sites used by the Lewis and Clark expedition thanks to the mercury residues on the ground.

https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/lew ... s-syphilis
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Jennifer
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Jennifer »

Primates and guinea pigs are the only mammals that have to eat vitamin C rather than have our own bodies synthesize it.
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JD
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by JD »

Jennifer wrote:
10 Feb 2020, 13:33
Primates and guinea pigs are the only mammals that have to eat vitamin C rather than have our own bodies synthesize it.
Kind of like how cats (and apparently songbirds, ironically) need to have taurine in their diet, but humans don't. I wonder how many other things there are like that, that we don't even think of as dietary needs but are absolutely critical to some specific kind of creature. Oh, and apparently the thing that made figuring out Vitamin C so tricky is that humans actually need very little of it, we can store it for some time, and it's found in an unusual variety of foods, like even raw meat - I think there was some post here that discussed it recently.
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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Jadagul
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Jadagul »

JD wrote:
10 Feb 2020, 16:02
Jennifer wrote:
10 Feb 2020, 13:33
Primates and guinea pigs are the only mammals that have to eat vitamin C rather than have our own bodies synthesize it.
Kind of like how cats (and apparently songbirds, ironically) need to have taurine in their diet, but humans don't. I wonder how many other things there are like that, that we don't even think of as dietary needs but are absolutely critical to some specific kind of creature. Oh, and apparently the thing that made figuring out Vitamin C so tricky is that humans actually need very little of it, we can store it for some time, and it's found in an unusual variety of foods, like even raw meat - I think there was some post here that discussed it recently.
I posted this article: https://idlewords.com/2010/03/scott_and_scurvy.htm

It's a really fascinating story. It was also made trickier by the fact that, like, lemons will prevent scurvy, but limes aren't very good at it, and either one stored in a copper cask is totally useless.

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Jennifer
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Jennifer »

Not an issue for me, but this might be VERY important for other people here: today I learned that if you buy paper towels or plates made of recycled paper, and you are wont to use these in the microwave, you must make sure those paper towels are branded "microwave safe," because it's not uncommon for recycled paper products to contain trace particles of metal.

https://www.ors.od.nih.gov/News/Pages/U ... Ovens.aspx
The NIH wrote:Never use recycled paper products in microwave ovens unless they are specifically approved for microwave use. Some recycled products including paper towels and even waxed paper may contain minute metal flecks. When a microwave oven is operating, the interaction between microwaves and the metal can cause sparks and even flames.
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JD
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

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The idea that medieval maps included HERE BE DRAGONS is largely an anachronism; the only known use of the phrase is on the Hunt-Lenox globe of 1504.
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JD
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by JD »

Today I learned about the Anti-Rent War of 1839 - 1845 in upstate New York.

tl;dr version: Much of New York state was still under the patroon system created by the Dutch, in which landlords owned vast quasi-feudal estates. Stephen Van Rensselaer III had been a lenient and benevolent landlord, but after he died his heirs started cracking down, and the residents of his manor revolted against the system. Through a combination of insurrection and political activity, the anti-renters managed to get the feudal system overturned.
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 »

The words river, derive, rive, rip, rift, and riviera may all have related origins, from the Latin ripa, a shore or riverbank, and rivus, a stream or gutter, which come from the proto-indo-european h₃reyH "to boil or churn" or h₁reyp "to tear".
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Kolohe
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

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The motto of the Austrian version of West Point is AEIOU.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theresian ... ry_Academy
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Warren
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Warren »

Kolohe wrote:
06 May 2020, 16:52
The motto of the Austrian version of West Point is AEIOU.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theresian ... ry_Academy
Wye not?
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Kolohe
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Kolohe »

The woman in American Gothic is supposed to be the guy's daughter, not his wife.



when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Kolohe wrote:
24 May 2020, 20:53
The woman in American Gothic is supposed to be the guy's daughter, not his wife.



I always figured she was his trophy wife.

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Hugh Akston
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

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It doesn't say anywhere on the painting that the woman is the man's daughter.
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Warren
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

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I thought his wife died of The Vapors and his daughter took her place.

ETA
When the picture finally appeared in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, real Iowa farmers and their wives were not amused. To them, the painting looked like a nasty caricature, portraying Midwestern farmers as pinched, grim-faced, puritanical Bible-thumpers. One Iowa farmwife told Wood he should have his “head bashed in.” Another threatened to bite off his ear. Stung by the criticism, Wood declared himself a “loyal Iowan” and insisted that the figures were not intended to be farmers but small-town folk, not Iowans but generic Americans. His sister Nan, perhaps embarrassed about being depicted as the wife of a man twice her age, started telling people that Wood had envisioned the couple as father and daughter, not husband and wife. (Wood himself remained vague on this point.)
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Aresen
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Aresen »

Kolohe wrote:
24 May 2020, 20:53
The woman in American Gothic is supposed to be the guy's daughter, not his wife.



For midwestern farmers, is there a difference?
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thoreau
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by thoreau »

Aresen, don't ever confuse the Midwest with the South, or we will have to politely ask you again. If pushed, we might decline to invite you over for casserole.
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Warren
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Warren »

Dude, he's a Canadian. Canadians makes us Midwesterners look positively impertinent by comparison.
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Eric the .5b
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Eric the .5b »

Canadians are just midwesterners with a bigger welfare state, so it's doubly weird. :)
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Eric the .5b wrote:
26 May 2020, 03:01
Canadians are just midwesterners with a bigger welfare state, so it's doubly weird. :)
As a Southerner, I just assumed the difference in both cases was their lack of culture.

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lunchstealer
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by lunchstealer »

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
26 May 2020, 14:06
Eric the .5b wrote:
26 May 2020, 03:01
Canadians are just midwesterners with a bigger welfare state, so it's doubly weird. :)
As a Southerner, I just assumed the difference in both cases was their lack of culture.
As a Southerner, I can't say for certain about midwesterners or Canadians, but it is certainly plausible that the key feature that distinguishes a Southerner from either is our lack of culture.
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JD
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by JD »

Democratic dominance of the state of Rhode Island dates back to the 1930s and something called the "Bloodless Revolution". Prior to that, Rhode Island had been firmly held by a Republican machine. But in 1934, the Democrats managed to gain a small margin in the House of Representatives, and two seats in the Senate election had contested results.

The remaining Senate seats were evenly split between parties, but the governor, normally a virtually powerless figure, was a Democrat and could cast the deciding vote on issues - including election recounts. At this point the details depend on whose version you listen to, but the Democratic candidate was found by the Senate have won each election. The now-Democratic-controlled Senate promptly threw out every single Republican appointee, which even included the justices of the state Supreme Court, and immediately selected a new court.

https://www.golocalprov.com/news/scound ... revolution
http://smallstatebighistory.com/robert- ... n-of-1935/
https://www.rimonthly.com/rhode-island-explained/2/
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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Mo
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Mo »

The last recipient of a Civil War pension died last week.

https://kottke.org/20/06/last-person-to ... nsion-dies
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Hugh Akston
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Hugh Akston »

Mo wrote:
Yesterday, 18:58
The last recipient of a Civil War pension died last week.

https://kottke.org/20/06/last-person-to ... nsion-dies
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