Wordcraft Home Page    Wordcraft Community Home Page    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Potpourri    Totally Useless Information
Page 1 2 
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Totally Useless Information Login/Join
 
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
quote:
I'm not a mathematician. I wrote a ten-line, recursive lisp function that takes an amount to change and a list of coins, does an exhaustive search and returns the number of ways to make change.
Okay then. I suppose formally neither is Bob or Shu, as a mathematician should have a PhD in mathematics. However, I know both of them are amateur mathematicians, at least. And you, neveu, might not be a mathematician, but you are very smart. How's that? Wink
 
Posts: 24547 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of BobHale
posted Hide Post
I have a BSc in mathematics if that helps.
(It never helped me, but that's another story.)


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
Posts: 8871 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arnie
posted Hide Post
I just about passed Maths O-level GCE ...


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
Posts: 10940 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
quote:
I just about passed Maths O-level GCE ...

I knew you were clever, Arnie. I failed mine! Mind you, I did pass my English Lang. and English Lit.


Richard English
 
Posts: 8038 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Bob, what is a BSc? Is it a bachelor's degree in science? Or don't you have bachelor's degrees?
 
Posts: 24547 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of BobHale
posted Hide Post
Exactly that. Big Grin


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
Posts: 8871 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
<Proofreader>
posted
Did you know:

Cats never sleep on their backs

Donkey breath smells like peppermints

These are two statements of specious accuracy. The first was in one of the “Uncle John . . . “ books, a series relating "trivial" information. It was presented as fact and as I read it, I was watching my cat asleep on the floor with all four feet pointed skyward.

The second came to me while I was acting as Docent Training Leader at our zoo, and also editing the docent newsletter. Docents would relate incidents they encountered at the zoo for discussion, and offer fillers I could use in the newsletter.

When told about the aroma of donkey breath, I was dubious. I’d never noticed that particular fragrance before. Given their diet, it was an unlikely fact. So I put it aside until it could be verified.

A few days later, while walking through the petting area, I saw a security guard feeding the donkey, right next to the “Don’t Feed Animals” sign. He saw me watching, held up the article in his hand, and said, “Did you know donkeys love Necco Wafers?”

That’s why a little scepticism goes a long way.
 
Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
more usless info


Mosquito repellents don't repel. They hide you. The spray blocks the mosquito's sensors so they don't know you're there.


The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as substitute for blood plasma.

No piece of paper can be folded in half more than 7 times.

Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are fifty years of age or older.

The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley's gum.

The king of hearts is the only king without a mustache.


Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.

Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.


Marilyn Monroe had six toes.


Pearls melt in vinegar.


The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.


Turtles can breathe through their butts.

In 10 minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all of the world's nuclear weapons combined.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

It's physically impossible for you to lick your elbow.


Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing. SCARY!!!

The electric chair was invented by a dentist.


TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

"Go," is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

If Barbie were life-size, her measurements would be 39-23-33. She would stand seven feet, two inches tall. Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.


Americans on average eat 18 acres of pizza every day.

Almost everyone who reads this will try to lick their elbow
 
Posts: 64 | Location: Martinsburg, W.V.Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of jerry thomas
posted Hide Post
If you're serious about repelling mosquitos, you can't beat OFF!!
 
Posts: 6708 | Location: Kehena Beach, Hawaii, U.S.A.Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Three on each foot?
 
Posts: 371Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
unsure as to how the toes were on her feet but kinda funny you brought that up
 
Posts: 64 | Location: Martinsburg, W.V.Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<Proofreader>
posted
quote:
If you're serious about repelling mosquitos, you can't beat OFF!!

Is that the repellent or the sexual practice?

If you buy the postage stamp with Marilyn Monroe on it and lick the back, you become an honorary Kennedy.
 
Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of jerry thomas
posted Hide Post
STEWARDESSES is one of many words typed with left hand only.
 
Posts: 6708 | Location: Kehena Beach, Hawaii, U.S.A.Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Nice to see you again, Blues!
 
Posts: 24547 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
<Proofreader>
posted
The 2008 IgNobel Prizes were awarded last night. The prize for biology went to a project that proved dog fleas jump higher than cat fleas.

Take a cat and a dog, both with fleas,
Add some scientists, all with degrees,
Let them check the fleas’ leap
And the statistics keep.
Share one IgNobel prize, if you please.

This should really go in the "Limerick Game: Babylon" since a discussion of castrating fleas and enjoying the oyster byproduct is ongoing.
 
Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
quote:
Go," is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

Yes?

No!


Richard English
 
Posts: 8038 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of BobHale
posted Hide Post
Who is it?
I.

Smile

Actually I wrote a kind of essay about this very question many, many, many years ago when I was but a lad.

I started off with the sentence...

What is the shortest complete sentence in the English language?

and gave that number 1... thus

1. What is the shortest complete sentence in the English language that is meaningful when taken in context?

I then posed this question, number 2...

2. Is this the shortest sentence?

and went on as follows.

3. Is this it?

4. Is this?

5 This?

6. ?

7.

Actually there were quite a few others between 1 and 2 but you get the gist. Number seven above is perfectly meaningful in the context and yet contains no words, no letters and no punctuation. In fact nothing at all.

It seemed clever to me when I was eleven.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
Posts: 8871 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Re TYPEWRITER AND STEWARDESSES.

Typewriter is top row only. But so is PROPRIETARY (11), PROTEROTYPE (11), RUPTUREWORT (11) and PRETTYPRETTY (12). The left hand gives us AFTERCATARACTS (14) and TESSERADECADES 14). "In July, oh my kill-joy Molly, I'll look in upon my jumpy polo pony up in hilly Honolulu" is right side only. (Taken from M. Gardner's notes to Bombaugh's Oddities and Curiosities of Words and Literature.)

I should point out that at least two of the regulars here disagree with all of the above.

T - middle
Y - top
P - top
E - middle
W - bottom
R - top
I - middle
T - middle
E - middle
R - top

S - right
T - right
E - left
W - right
A - left
R - right
D - right
E - left
S - right
S - right
E - left
S - right
 
Posts: 371Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<Proofreader>
posted
quote:
STEWARDESSES is one of many words typed with left hand only.


Perhaps Val should investigate earlier posts in the thread so he can then discern what the other hand can do while typing the word.
Something that will REALLY give you a happy face! 8-P
 
Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by blues:

Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are fifty years of age or older.

I just had to look that one up!

That "fact" is reported by the Federal Bureau of Miscellaneous Information. But it's not true.
Here's some information from Silvics of North America, published by United States
Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

  • Quercus alba, white oak - "Trees normally bear seeds between the ages of 50 and 200 years, sometimes older; however, opengrown trees may produce seeds as early as 20 years.
  • Q. bicolor, swamp white oak - The minimum seed-bearing age is 20 years, optimum age is 75 to 200 years, and maximum age is usually 300 years."
  • Q. chrysolepis, canyon life oak - "Canyon live oak trees begin to produce flowers at the age of 15 to 20 years."
  • Q. coccinea scarlet oak - "Minimum seed-bearing age is 20 years, but maximum production does not occur until after 50 years of age."
  • Q. falcata var. falcata, southern red oak - "Seed production usually begins when a tree is about 25 years of age, but maximum production is usually between the ages of 50 and 75 years."
  • Q. falcata var. pagodafolia, cherrybark oak - "Seedbearing begins when the trees are about 25 years old, and optimum production is reached when they are between 50 and 75 years of age."
  • Q. garryana, Oregon white oak - "The age when a tree first bears fruit, the age of maximum production, and the average quantity produced have not been determined."
  • Q. keloggii, California black oak - "In natural stands, black oak must be 30 years or older before it produces viable seed. The oak produces some acorns sporadically between ages 30 and 75 but seldom large quantities before 80 to 100 years."
  • Q. laurifolia. laurel oak - "Acorn production begins when the trees are 15 to 20 years old; they soon become prolific bearers."
  • Q. lyrata, overcup oak - "Trees begin bearing seeds about 25 years of age and good seed crops are produced every 3 to 4 years."
  • Q. macrocarpa, bur oak - "Bur oaks bear seed up to an age of 400 years, older than reported for any other American oak. The minimum seed-bearing age is about 35 years, and the optimum is 75 to 150 years."
    Q. michauxii, swamp chestnut oak - "Trees begin to produce seed at about age 20 to 25 and attain their optimum production around age 40."
  • Q. nigra, water oak - "Trees bear seed at about age 20 and production seems to alternate between prolific and lean years."
  • Q. nuttallii, Nuttall oak - " Young trees about 20 years old produced good seed crops for several years at Stoneville, MS; this is probably the age at which optimum seed-bearing begins. In the TVA arboretum at Norris, TN, 5-year-old trees bore acorns."
  • Q. palustris, pin oak - "Pin oak stands begin producing seed at about age 20, but open-grown trees may begin at ages as young as 15 years."
  • Q. phellos, willow oak - "Seed production starts when the tree is about 20 years old."
  • Q. prinus, chestnut oak - "Chestnut oak begins producing seed at about age 20, but stump sprouts as young as 3 years can produce viable seed, and coppice stands as young as 7 or 8 years can have abundant acorn production."
  • Q. rubra. northern red oak - "In forest stands northern red oak begins to bear fruit at about age 25 but usually does not produce seeds abundantly until about age 50."
  • Q. shumardii, Shumard oak - "The minimum seed-bearing age for Shumard oak is 25 years and optimum production is about 50 years."
  • Q. stellata. post oak - "In common with many other oaks, post oak begins to bear acorns when it is about 25 years old."
  • Q. velutina, black oak - "In forest stands, black oak begins to produce seeds at about age 20 and reaches optimum production at 40 to 75 years."
  • Q. virginiana - "There is no published information on minimum seed-bearing age or size of the acorn crop."


Pearls do not actually melt in vinegar. They effervesce. Vinegar (a weak solution, usually 5%, of acetic acid) reacts with the nacre (calcium carbonate) of the pearl, and carbon dioxide gas is given off. Fake pearls made of plastic won't effervesce. A few years ago some fake pearls were passed as real and they weren't caught until years later. The outside was polycarbonate, which did effervesce. Read about it here.

I found the list Blues posted on the internet, along with some replies. Someone did some research and concluded that almost half of them were really true, but the others weren't. He said the one about turtles breathing through their butts wasn't true, but it apparently the Fitzroy River turtle does just that.
quote:
  • A species called The Fitzroy River turtle (Rheodytes leukops) pulls in water through it's cloaca.
    # This Australian species uses cloacal respiration, and essentially breathes through it's arse.

The Straight Dope quotes George Angehr, Smithsonian ornithologist and Straight Dope curator of critters:
quote:
  • Although basically air-breathing, many aquatic species have developed ways to pick up oxygen even when submerged. Of these the most remarkable, which some turtles share with dragonfly nymphs, sea cucumbers, and certain televangelists, is the ability to breathe through one's butt. You've heard the expression 'Blow it out your after regions?' It's no mere figure of speech. Many species have a pair of sacs (bursae) opening off the cloaca (combined digestive and urogenital chamber). These are heavily vascularized to facilitate the uptake of oxygen.
  • Find the subject of butt-breathers fascinating? Then here's some more info: Dragonfly nymphs, which are aquatic, take water in through the rectum and absorb oxygen through gill-like structures in the hindgut. They can also travel by jet-propulsion by expelling a powerful stream of water from their rear end. Sea cucumbers, related to starfish, have elaborate respiratory trees branching from the end of the digestive tract, through which they breathe. They also use the anus in self defense. Some can shoot out sticky threads that can entangle an enemy. Others actually disembowel themselves when disturbed: they eject the digestive tract and respiratory tract from the anus. The innards crawl around by themselves for awhile outside the animal, and as they are sticky they can also entangle an attacker. The sea cucumber then blithely crawls off to regenerate its digestive tract.

Angehr also gives an account of the scientists who discovered the Fitzroy River turtle. It's worth reading.

The Straight Dope also quotes Chas Peterson, Department of Zoology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater OK:
quote:
The Fitzroy River turtle can indeed breathe through the cloaca ... .

However, I fear a misleading impression has been given that all turtles can do so--not true. A few "side-necked" turtles (like the Fitzroy River guy) can, but the vast majority of turtles either don't have cloacal bursae, or have them but can't use them for breathing. ... I also proved once and for all that, whatever turtles are doing with their butts, they cannot drink through them.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: tinman,
 
Posts: 2851 | Location: Shoreline, WA, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
okay i need to more research upon what i put on here and make sure my source is very very acurate wow never knew i could make people think about it so much glad i could make you all wonder
 
Posts: 64 | Location: Martinsburg, W.V.Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
It's a bit like the "reality" thread. If enough people repeat a statement, even if it is simply a creation or someone's imagination, then it will gain credence at each repetition until, for may people, it becomes reality - since, in my experience, many people don't check their facts.

And the stranger and more improbable the "fact" the more likely it is to be believed, it seems to me. Most of the reports of the more extreme civil cases that have reached the US courts fall into this category - but some people continue to repeat them as facts without bothering to check. The microwaved poodle; wrecked Winnebago and incinerated Cuban cigars cases are all myths that are still repeated.

So, whilst such lists of supposed facts are great fun, massive pinches of salt are needed when digesting them.


Richard English
 
Posts: 8038 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arnie
posted Hide Post
quote:
massive pinches of salt are needed when digesting them.

Not too good for me with my high blood pressure! Red Face


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
Posts: 10940 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2  
 

Wordcraft Home Page    Wordcraft Community Home Page    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Potpourri    Totally Useless Information

Copyright © 2002-12