You Learn Something New Every Day

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JD
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Joined: 05 May 2010, 15:26

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
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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Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

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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
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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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.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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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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Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 18:51

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

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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.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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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.
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

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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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