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.
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 »

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".
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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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

Post by Hugh Akston »

It doesn't say anywhere on the painting that the woman is the man's daughter.
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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

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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?
If Trump supporters wanted a tough guy, why did they elect such a whiny bitch? - Mo

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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:
06 Jun 2020, 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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Aresen
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

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The Cornerstone Speech (exerpt):
Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the CSA wrote:The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution, African slavery as it exists amongst us – the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”1

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails. . . .

As I have stated, the truth of this principle may be slow in development, as all truths are and ever have been, in the various branches of science. . . . May we not, therefore, look with confidence to the ultimate universal acknowledgment of the truths upon which our system rests? It is the first government ever instituted upon the principles in strict conformity to nature, and the ordination of Providence, in furnishing the materials of human society. Many governments have been founded upon the principle of the subordination and serfdom of certain classes of the same race; such were and are in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of nature’s laws. With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan,2 is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material – the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the ordinance of the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of His ordinances, or to question them. For His own purposes, He has made one race to differ from another, as He has made “one star to differ from another star in glory.”3 The great objects of humanity are best attained when there is conformity to His laws and decrees, in the formation of governments as well as in all things else. Our confederacy is founded upon principles in strict conformity with these laws. This stone which was rejected by the first builders “is become the chief of the corner”4 – the real “corner-stone” in our new edifice. I have been asked, what of the future? It has been apprehended by some that we would have arrayed against us the civilized world. I care not who or how many they may be against us, when we stand upon the eternal principles of truth, if we are true to ourselves and the principles for which we contend, we are obliged to, and must triumph. . . .
If Trump supporters wanted a tough guy, why did they elect such a whiny bitch? - Mo

Those who know history are doomed to deja vu. - the innominate one

Never bring a knife to a joke fight" - dhex

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