A Conversation for Ask h2g2

What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 241

SashaQ - happysad

Great thread!

Today I learned that shrews form a conga http://twitter.com/gunsnrosesgirl3/status/1505941498273181714 I saw one crossing a country lane shortly after I passed my driving test many years ago, and couldn't guess what sort of creature it was!


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 242

Baron Grim

Adorable!


Here's another I recently learned.

The average banana produces a positron every 75 minutes.

Banantimatter!


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 243

SashaQ - happysad

smiley - laughsmiley - ok


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 244

Caiman raptor elk - Melting on a regular basis


That explains the curved nature of bananas.

Several bananas in different planes of existence form a small ring shaped particle accelerator. Positrons are emitted when one gets eaten.


According to my son, if you eat 42000 bananas within ten minutes, you would die of radiation sickness. I disagree, since you would have exploded long before that, given the feeding rate of 10,5 kg of bananas per second you would need to maintain. You might even suffocate under the mountain of banana peels.

For scale: If you buy a full 40ft container of bananas, you will have to eat 87.5% of that to get to 42000 bananas

Processing 4.284 TeraCalories of energy might also be problematic.
My calculator tells me that this equals the energy content of 17125 slices of cake, which might fit somewhat more easily but may not have the positron emissions we were looking for.


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 245

Baron Grim

I watched an episode of QI on YouTube and learned that the first S in the name of ships, like the S.S. Archimedes or S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald did NOT stand for "STEAM" but rather "SCREW" to differentiate them as propeller driven ships rather than paddlewheel driven ships. I always thought S.S. stood for Steam Ship, but it actually meant Screw Steamer or Screw Steamship.


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 246

Caiman raptor elk - Melting on a regular basis


So if you meet the S.S. you're screwed? (You were in WW2)


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 247

Bald Bloke

and PS is Paddle Steamer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS_Waverley


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 248

Caiman raptor elk - Melting on a regular basis


Several paddle steamers are still running regular services on Lake Geneva. The youngest was commissioned in 1927. I have been on three of them. The open mechanism is magnificent to look at while in action. (a lot of big shiny metal moving around with oil in the right places)


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 249

Baron Grim

A couple of old paddlewheel river boats are semi-permanently docked in Lake Charles, Louisiana and are used as casinos, serving a predominately Texan crowd (casino gambling is illegal in Texas thanks to lots of lobbying on behalf of the gaming industries in neighboring states).


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 250

Bluebottle

I often pass a paddlesteamer, the PS Ryde, which is at Island Harbour between Newport and East Cowes, sadly disintegrating. There was an attempt to raise money to restore her, but by the time the charitable trust got permission to purchase her and started raising the £10 million needed the ship collapsed and it was realised that it was too late, she cannot be restored.

<BB<


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 251

Baron Grim

There was a small paddle boat that did dining tours in my area, along Clear Lake and Galveston Bay called "The Clear Lake Queen". It sat idle for several years, I believe starting in the late '80s, so I never actually saw her on the water. In the '90s someone bought her and sat her on the West shore of Galveston Bay in my little S-town, Bacliffsmiley - star and turned her into what was supposed to be an upscale dining experience. The location and the reputation of the town were not conducive to their business model. The business quickly floundered and the Clear Lake Queen sat rotting on the little erosion cliff on the shore for years, quickly covered in graffiti and all the windows broken and haphazardly covered in plywood. It was finally razed about a decade later. The property still sits empty.








smiley - star Podcast listeners will understand the S-Town reference and Bacliff is indeed a little S-town. Even it's name is a typo. The original name of the community was Clifton by the Sea and was established in the early 20th century as a place for folks in Houston to build little cabanas along the shores of Galveston Bay to escape the heat inland and enjoy the cool gulf breezes. When it got big enough to request a post office the postmaster declined the full name and requested a shorter name and whoever sent in the paperwork omitted the Y that everyone who doesn't live here puts back in when writing out the town name. Even some businesses in Bacliff such as the corner gas station and convenience store prints "Baycliff" on their receipts. It both annoys and humors me.


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 252

Bald Bloke

I learned how good "deepfake Audio" can be.

http://twitter.com/SpeakingOfAI/status/1558848969861607424


I wonder what U42 would have thought of it?


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 253

Baron Grim

Excellent.

James Veitch did something similar with the voice of David Attenborough.

http://youtu.be/d2A07ToxkTI



and since you've reminded me of this thread, I should mention that this weekend I learned that, at least in the US, elevators ding once when going up and twice when going down in buildings with more than three floors. I've never given it much thought, but now I will, next time I'm in a multistory building (probably the hospital for my routine MRI/CT scans).

Also, I just got a bit of deja-vu. It seems like I've had a similar discussion on this site where I posted something that seemed like knew knowledge but that actually wasn't. Oh, well, never mind.


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 254

You can call me TC

Yay! Another James Veitch fan. He just brought out another video today.


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 255

Caiman raptor elk - Melting on a regular basis


The last elevator that went "ding" on me in my experience was the one in my fisher-price toy parking/garage, some 40 years ago.

Now wondering if they make different sounds around here. (or none at all)


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 256

Bluebottle

I can't say I've ever noticed a lift 'ding' other than in toddler toys either...

<BB<


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 257

Baron Grim

I'm not specifying that it's a physical bell being "dinged", most often it's an electronic chime. But I'm curious to know what sound if any lifts make upon arriving at each floor in other regions. Not that every elevator here sounds the same either.


Other things I learned this week:

The US State of Idaho is not named after anything in any native American language. "Idaho" is a word made up by a lobbyist, originally as a name for the territory that became Colorado.

From the Idaho State Historical Society:

"When a name was needed early in 1860 for a new territory in the Pike's Peak mining
country, a lobbyist for the miners thought up the word "Idaho." He explained that the
name meant "gem of the mountains." Congress was persuaded to designate the proposed
territory "Idaho," and one of the mining towns there was named "Idaho Springs." Then,
just before final consideration of the matter, the United States Senate changed the
territorial name to "Colorado," because "Idaho" was not an Indian word.
In the meantime, use of the name "Idaho" had spread from Washington, D. C. to the
Pacific Northwest. A Columbia River steamboat, named the Idaho by Joseph S. Ruckel (a
friend of the Colorado lobbyists), was launched June 9, 1860, for service between the
Cascades and The Dalles. Later that year gold was found in the Nez Perce country. By
1862 the new Clearwater and Salmon River discoveries were known as the Idaho mines,
after the steamboat used in the gold rush up the lower Columbia. "Idaho" had the
advantage of being an excellent name, and that is why it gained popularity.
Only two years after completing action on Colorado, Congress had to create a new
territory for the Idaho mines. The Idaho and Colorado name confusion forgotten, Congress
chose "Idaho" as the name for the new territory established March 4, 1863. Strangely
enough, Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts sponsored the final choice of name in both
cases: he got the 1861 territory redesignated "Colorado" (instead of "Idaho") because
"Idaho" was not an Indian word. Two years later, he prevailed upon the Senate to use the
name "Idaho" after all."



What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 258

Caiman raptor elk - Melting on a regular basis


Idaho surely beats "I don't know" as a name for a territory.


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 259

You can call me TC

Perhaps you can help on the origins of the name California. I once heard that it was derived from the Spanish/Latin words for "hot" and "oven", but I recently read a completely different explanation, based on a proper name.

The hot oven theory, while interesting, always seemed too pat, but, from memory:

Hot:
Caldo (Italian)
Caliente (Spanish)
Calidum (Latin - OK I had to check that one)


Oven:
Four (French)
Forno (Italian)
Cf also furnace


What did you learn today? (TIL)

Post 260

Caiman raptor elk - Melting on a regular basis


Did you read about the late 15th-century novel "Las sergas de Esplandi√°n" that includes the name before California was "discovered" ? (Possibly inspired by the 11th century " Song de Roland" name Califerne).


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