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Interesting facts/stories. An "Everything Goes" Lounge for Random Knowledge
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LeBeau Offline
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Interesting facts/stories. An "Everything Goes" Lounge for Random Knowledge
Couldn't find a thread of this nature.

Lots of time you'll read stuff or get interesting bits of trivia, that doesn't warrant it's own thread.

1) Saw "The Conjuring" recently (definitely recommend it for those who are into horror movies or if your girl likes that kind of stuff).

Reminded me about Infrasound:

Quote:Infrasound, sometimes referred to as low-frequency sound, is sound that is lower in frequency than 20 Hz (Hertz) or cycles per second, the "normal" limit of human hearing. Hearing becomes gradually less sensitive as frequency decreases, so for humans to perceive infrasound, the sound pressure must be sufficiently high. The ear is the primary organ for sensing infrasound, but at higher intensities it is possible to feel infrasound vibrations in various parts of the body.

Quote:Sound is a waveform, with low infrasonic frequencies having a long wavelength that can cover great distances, and with high ultrasonic frequencies having a short wave length. The medical profession, chiefly for diagnostic imaging, employs ultrasound most usefully. Both ultrasound and infrasound are inaudible to humans but can, on occasion, be felt resonating within the body itself. Exposure of unprotected ears to infrasound can also cause an increase in pressure within the middle ear, disturbing the sense of balance.

It is alleged that many feature films, particularly horror movies, employ the use of infrasound to produce a heightened state of unease in the audience. The most recent addition to this list is the film ‘Paranormal Activity’. Perhaps this subtle effect is partly to do with the film’s extraordinary success. The only film to date that is known for a fact to have employed infrasound is the French film ‘Irréversible’. The rolling camera-work as well as infrasound was purposely used to create total disorientation in the viewer. Some audience members found the film so disturbing that they had to exit the theatre. If you ever find yourself watching a film that, on appearance, does not seem so affecting, and yet you are physically disturbed by it, then it might be a simple case of the soundtrack having bursts of infrasound at tense moments.

This has also been proposed as an explanation for feelings of dread related to hauntings.

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

http://truthseekers.cultureunplugged.com...lence.html

2) With all the economic/finance threads lately, been thinking of how "Perverse Incentives" produced some historical oddities:

Quote:A perverse incentive is an incentive that has an unintended and undesirable result which is contrary to the interests of the incentive makers. Perverse incentives are a type of unintended consequence.

In Hanoi, under French colonial rule, a program paying people a bounty for each rat tail handed in was intended to exterminate rats. Instead, it led to the farming of rats.[1]

Funding fire departments by the number of fire calls made is intended to reward the fire departments that do the most work. However, it may discourage them from fire-prevention activities, which reduce the number of fires.[2]

19th century palaeontologists traveling to China used to pay peasants for each fragment of dinosaur bone (dinosaur fossils) that they produced. They later discovered that the peasants dug up the bones and then smashed them into many pieces, greatly reducing their scientific value, to maximise their payments.[3]

Paying medical professionals and reimbursing insured patients for treatment but not prevention encourages the ignoring of medical conditions until treatment is required.[4]

Bangkok police used tartan armbands as a badge of shame for minor infractions, but they were treated as collectibles by offending officers forced to wear them. Since 2007 they have been using armbands with the cute Hello Kitty cartoon character to avoid the perverse incentive.[5]

The Endangered Species Act in the US imposes development restrictions on landowners who find endangered species on their property. While this policy is well intentioned and has some positive effects for wildlife, it also encourages preemptive habitat destruction (draining swamps or cutting down trees that might host valuable species) by landowners who fear losing the use of their land because of the presence of an endangered species.[6] In some cases, endangered species may even be deliberately killed (shooting, shoveling, and shutting up) to avoid discovery.

Providing company executives with bonuses for reporting higher earnings encouraged executives at the Federal National Mortgage Association and other large corporations to artificially inflate earnings statements and make decisions targeting short term gains at the expense of long term profitability

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

3) Reading about some of the most notable harems in history, led me to Ismail Ibn Sharif, a ruler of Morocco from 1672–1727:

Quote:Moulay Ismaïl is also known as a fearsome ruler and used at least 25,000 slaves for the construction of his capital.[6] His Christian slaves were often used as bargaining counters with the European powers, selling them back their captured subjects for inflated sums or for rich gifts. Most of his slaves were obtained by Barbary pirates in raids on Western Europe.[7] Over 150,000 men from sub-Saharan Africa served in his elite Black Guard.[8] By the time of Ismail's death, the guard had grown tenfold, the largest in Moroccan history.[citation needed]

Moulay Ismaïl is alleged to have fathered 888 children. A total of 867 children, including 525 sons and 342 daughters, was noted by 1703 and his 700th son was born in 1721.[3]This is widely considered the record number of offspring for any man throughout history that can be verified.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ismail_Ibn_Sharif

I didn't know much about the slave trade in Europeans, there's a book about that too: http://www.amazon.com/White-Gold-Forgott...0340895098

Post up what you've learned recently, or what's interesting and on your mind.

Truth is stranger than fiction.
(This post was last modified: 07-23-2013 01:56 AM by LeBeau.)
07-23-2013 01:54 AM
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RE: Interesting facts/stories. An "Everything Goes" Lounge for Random Knowledge
4) Marsupial sex organs:

Quote:As in most marsupials, the male koala has a bifurcated penis, and the female has two lateral vaginas and two separate uteri.

5) Superfluidity:

Quote:Superfluidity is a state of matter in which the matter behaves like a fluid with zero viscosity; where it appears to exhibit the ability to self-propel and travel in a way that defies the forces of gravity and surface tension.

[Image: 220px-Helium-II-creep.svg.png]

Fig. 1. Helium II will "creep" along surfaces in order to find its own level – after a short while, the levels in the two containers will equalize. The Rollin film also covers the interior of the larger container; if it were not sealed, the helium II would creep out and escape.

"Imagine" by HCE | Hitler reacts to Battle of Montreal | An alternative use for squid that has never crossed your mind before
07-23-2013 02:53 AM
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Using something like Ferrofluid, you can actually view magnetic field lines. Besides that, you can do some really cool shit with it






07-23-2013 03:42 AM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giffen_good

Quote:A consumer good for which demand rises when the price increases, and demand falls when the price decreases. This phenomenon is notable because it violates the law of demand, whereby demand should increase as price falls and decrease as price rises.

As an example - increasing the price of bread makes poor people eat more of it.
(This post was last modified: 07-23-2013 10:42 AM by cardguy.)
07-23-2013 10:36 AM
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07-23-2013 10:41 AM
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8) Argentinosaurus

Quote:Argentinosaurus is a genus of titanosaur sauropod dinosaur. An early reconstruction by Gregory S. Paul estimated Argentinosaurus at between 30–35 metres (98–115 ft) in length and with a weight of up to 80–100 tonnes. In 2006 Carpenter used the more complete Saltasaurus as a guide and estimated Argentinosaurus at 30 metres (98 ft) in length. Mazzetta et al. (2004) provide a range of 60–88 tonnes (66–97 short tons), and consider 73 tonnes (80 short tons) to be the most likely, making it the heaviest sauropod known from good material.

"Imagine" by HCE | Hitler reacts to Battle of Montreal | An alternative use for squid that has never crossed your mind before
(This post was last modified: 07-23-2013 10:44 AM by Handsome Creepy Eel.)
07-23-2013 10:44 AM
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I first came across this in an old Martin Gardner book.

You can stack together 304 empty matchboxes - along with some beans - and create a machine which can play Tic-Tac-Toe ('noughts and crosses' in the UK) and which actually learns to play better the more times you play it.

One of my favourite things ever. Definitely plan on putting this together one day - would make a great science project for school kids.

http://gizmodo.com/5395575/304-matchboxe...e-opponent

http://makezine.com/2009/11/02/mechanica...-computer/
07-23-2013 10:52 AM
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Benford's Law is very interesting. This newspaper article is the best coverage of the law:

http://people.math.gatech.edu/~hill/ARTI...No%201.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benford%27s_law
07-23-2013 10:54 AM
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THE PHILLIPS MACHINE (invented in 1949):

Quote:The MONIAC was approximately 2 m high, 1.2 m wide and almost 1 m deep, and consisted of a series of transparent plastic tanks and pipes which were fastened to a wooden board.

Each tank represented some aspect of the UK national economy and the flow of money around the economy was illustrated by coloured water. At the top of the board was a large tank called the treasury.

Water (representing money) flowed from the treasury to other tanks representing the various ways in which a country could spend its money. For example, there were tanks for health and education.

To increase spending on health care a tap could be opened to drain water from the treasury to the tank which represented health spending.

Water then ran further down the model to other tanks, representing other interactions in the economy. Water could be pumped back to the treasury from some of the tanks to represent taxation.

Changes in tax rates were modeled by increasing or decreasing pumping speeds.

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



07-23-2013 10:58 AM
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JSG Boggs is a fascinating artist. His specially is drawing (by free hand) pencil drawings of paper money.

Often he will eat at a restaurant - and spend the meal sketching the paper money which he will then 'sell' at the end of the meal to the restaurant. He always sells his pieces for the exact same amount as the money that he has drawn. So if he has spent twenty minutes drawing two ten dollar bills. He will sell his drawings for 20 dollars at the end of the meal - in order to pay for the meal.

Even though his drawings are worth alot more than 20 dollars.

It is a mixture of conceptual/performance art - along with stunning traditional art skills. His story is really intriguing since he regularly runs into trouble with the law (and is often charged - wrongly in my view - with 'forgery'). There was a great book written about his work by Lawrence Weschler. Well worth checking out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._S._G._Boggs

On a different note. But along vaguely similar lines. Check out the following story about Salvador Dali. It describes how he was able to create 'free money' in the latter years of his life:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIpm_8v80hw&t=23m30s
(This post was last modified: 07-23-2013 11:46 AM by cardguy.)
07-23-2013 11:09 AM
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The story behind The Peters Projection is interesting. It is the map of choice for most spy agencies and government organisations. And it is radically different to the map that most of us are familiar with.

I have never watched The West Wing - but have just found on YouTube a nice scene which discusses this interesting topic:





http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gall%E2%80%...projection
(This post was last modified: 07-23-2013 11:26 AM by cardguy.)
07-23-2013 11:21 AM
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Imagine you played Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov at chess. At the same time.

If one was sat in one room and the other in a different room - you could secretly play their moves off against each other.

As such - you would be guaranteed to beat one of them (and lose to the other). Or you would draw against both of them.

Quite an elegant little scam.

I first saw it in a Martin Gardner book - but (here in the UK) it became famous after Derren Brown (a magician) used it on TV.
07-23-2013 11:29 AM
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Saw this a few years ago. TV Historian, Tony Robinson, dug through some old stories and family trees and declared that the real King Of England is in fact a bloke living in Austrailia.

He then took all of his evidence down to Austrailia to meet the guy and tell him this. The story (which is fascinating) is covered in this documentary:



07-23-2013 11:36 AM
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i was waiting for cardguy to turn up in this thread. Cool

"The whole point of being alpha, is doing what the fuck you want.
That's why you see real life alphas without chicks. He's doing him.

Real alphas don't tend to have game. They don't tend to care about the emotional lives of the people around them."

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07-23-2013 11:41 AM
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The world is running out of helium - and party balloons are to blame:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/m...squandered
07-23-2013 11:45 AM
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As part of the Cold War - the CIA secretly funded and bought up works of art by modern artists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning in order to promote American art. Thus creating a market for this new art which would otherwise have never existed.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/...78808.html
07-23-2013 11:48 AM
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The House Of Commons here in the UK has a number of unusual traditions.

One of them is that the Queen is banned from ever entering it.

Also - in order to ensure the safe return of the Queen - during the opening of parliament - an MP is locked up in the Tower of London and guarded by the Queen's guards - and not handed back until the Queen has returned safely from the House of Commons.

And when the queen's representitive (Black Rod) knocks on the door of the House Of Commons - the door is ceremonially slammed in his face so as to symbolise the independence of parliament from the monarchy. The whole history of the UK is built on the gradual rise to supremcy of democracy and parliament over the monarchy.

You can watch it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cub19x2VX_I&t=2m17s
07-23-2013 11:58 AM
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Funny/nerdy GOOGLE Easter Egg.

Search the word RECURSION on GOOGLE.
07-23-2013 12:04 PM
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(07-23-2013 10:44 AM)Handsome Creepy Eel Wrote:  8) Argentinosaurus

Quote:Argentinosaurus is a genus of titanosaur sauropod dinosaur. An early reconstruction by Gregory S. Paul estimated Argentinosaurus at between 30–35 metres (98–115 ft) in length and with a weight of up to 80–100 tonnes. In 2006 Carpenter used the more complete Saltasaurus as a guide and estimated Argentinosaurus at 30 metres (98 ft) in length. Mazzetta et al. (2004) provide a range of 60–88 tonnes (66–97 short tons), and consider 73 tonnes (80 short tons) to be the most likely, making it the heaviest sauropod known from good material.

I had never heard of this dinosaur, really interesting.

Could you post up the relevant links for this along with any future posts?
07-23-2013 10:26 PM
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(07-23-2013 11:48 AM)cardguy Wrote:  As part of the Cold War - the CIA secretly funded and bought up works of art by modern artists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning in order to promote American art. Thus creating a market for this new art which would otherwise have never existed.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/...78808.html

Cardguy already dropping gems.

+1 rep point from me, I learn stuff from so many of your posts, can tell you are a serious reader.
07-23-2013 10:28 PM
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(07-23-2013 11:29 AM)cardguy Wrote:  Imagine you played Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov at chess. At the same time.

If one was sat in one room and the other in a different room - you could secretly play their moves off against each other.

As such - you would be guaranteed to beat one of them (and lose to the other). Or you would draw against both of them.

Quite an elegant little scam.

I first saw it in a Martin Gardner book - but (here in the UK) it became famous after Derren Brown (a magician) used it on TV.

This isn't logically equivalent, but reminds me of the old broker scam.

Pick a sector, stock, or index.

Get a list of people, send half a buy recommendation, and the other half a sell recommendation.

Whatever way the market moves, drop the losers, and split the winning pool to continue the same approach.

Do it a few more times, and you will inevitably end up with a small pool of continual gainers thinking you're a prophet.
07-23-2013 10:41 PM
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Yeah that is a lovely scam as well. Annoyingly - Derren Brown (a magician here in the UK) exposed it on TV as well.

By the way - Derren Brown is a genius. If any of you like magic in any way, you should see his work. He is doing some incredibly innovative work that even fools most magicians.
07-23-2013 10:44 PM
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(07-23-2013 10:26 PM)LeBeau Wrote:  
(07-23-2013 10:44 AM)Handsome Creepy Eel Wrote:  8) Argentinosaurus

Quote:Argentinosaurus is a genus of titanosaur sauropod dinosaur. An early reconstruction by Gregory S. Paul estimated Argentinosaurus at between 30–35 metres (98–115 ft) in length and with a weight of up to 80–100 tonnes. In 2006 Carpenter used the more complete Saltasaurus as a guide and estimated Argentinosaurus at 30 metres (98 ft) in length. Mazzetta et al. (2004) provide a range of 60–88 tonnes (66–97 short tons), and consider 73 tonnes (80 short tons) to be the most likely, making it the heaviest sauropod known from good material.

I had never heard of this dinosaur, really interesting.

Could you post up the relevant links for this along with any future posts?

Scroll down to see a silhouette of one compared to a man.

Link

Here's another one from paleontology: new DNA evidence suggests that all non-Africans (Europeans, East and South Asians, Hispanics) are part Neanderthal. In other words, after modern man left Africa they interbred to some extent with Neanderthals. And Australian aborigines and New Guineans are also part Denisovan, which is another recently discovered species of prehistoric man:

Quote:Analysis of genomes of modern humans show that they mated with at least two groups of ancient humans: Neanderthals (more similar to those found in the Caucasus than those from the Altai region)[7] and Denisovans.[10][11][13] Approximately 4% of the DNA of non-African modern humans is shared with Neanderthals, suggesting interbreeding.[11] Tests comparing the Denisova hominin genome with those of six modern humans – a ǃKung from South Africa, a Nigerian, a Frenchman, a Papua New Guinean, a Bougainville Islander and a Han Chinese – showed that between 4% and 6% of the genome of Melanesians (represented by the Papua New Guinean and Bougainville Islander) derives from a Denisovan population. This DNA was possibly introduced during the early migration to Melanesia. These findings are in concordance with the results of other comparison tests which show a relative increase in allele sharing between the Denisovan and the Aboriginal Australian genome, compared to other Eurasians and African populations, however it has been observed that Papuans, the population of Papua New Guinea, have more allele sharing than Aboriginal Australians.[14]

Link
07-23-2013 11:03 PM
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RE: Interesting facts/stories. An "Everything Goes" Lounge for Random Knowledge
Will share an interesting story here...

Back in 1994 - an art collective here in the UK decided to burn a million pounds. For the sake of art.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K_Foundati...llion_Quid

Due to inflation - that is the equivalent of burning 1.68 million pounds today (which is 2.58 million US dollars).

I always found it an interesting piece of anti-conceptual art. You see - most conceptual art exists as an interesting concept. For example - Damien Hirst has an interesting piece which contains a grill which zaps flies dead, a bowl of sugar cubes, a dead cows head surrounded by a pool of blood. The piece is called 'A Thousand Years'. All of this is contained in a ten foot long cube made from glass.

The idea is that this self-contained universe might exist for a thousand years. Since there is enough nutrients in the 'cube' to allow generation after generation of flies to be born, die and slowly rot. Which helps provide the nutrients needed for the next generation of flies. To me it is a brilliant piece of nihilistic art.

When the most important collector of modern art, Charles Saatchi, saw this piece, when Hirst was an unknown art student - he apparently stood speechless in front of the piece for ten minutes.

[Image: DHS1814_771_0.jpg]

http://www.damienhirst.com/a-thousand-years

Or another favourite conceptual piece was at a local art gallery. I never saw it - but somebody explained to me the concept.

It was a small wooden table - which had three legs. On top of the table was a large pile of fruit. And attached to the pieces of fruit were electrodes which hooked up to a small electric buzz saw which was attached to one of the legs of the table.

Now - as the pieces of fruit started to rot - it would release small electrical charges - which would occasionally cause the small buzz saw to move a small distance. And over time - it would gradually saw through the leg of the table.

The art piece was called 'Entropy' - and eventually - after a few months - the leg was sawn away - and the whole table came crashing to the ground.

For the art piece - you could see video footage (sped up) showing this process.

Again - as a piece of conceptual art - I find this really enjoyable. It is particularly interesting for those who know about physics and the second law of thermodynamics.

And - again - just the idea is enough to appreciate the art. You don't have to witness it in person to appreciate it - as you would with a traditional painting.

So - what does this have to do with setting fire to a million pounds?

Well - if you think about it. The idea of setting fire to money - is quite common and unimaginative. Instead - as an idea - it becomes interesting only when you actually do so. At that point - it jumps from being an unoriginal idea - to a quite shocking piece of performance art.

So - in this instance - it is a conceptual art piece whose power lies not in the concept but in the act. And that is quite different to most pieces of conceptual art.

Of course there is a hidden twist to this piece of art. At the time - the artists and journalists all assumed that the million pounds had being wasted. And that the money could have being used to help people.

Well - what people forgot - is that due to the nature of fiat currency, all money is nothing but a concept. Backed by nothing but an idea and other people's faith in it.

As such - when the million pounds was set on fire. Nothing of value was destroyed. Instead - the rest of the money in circulation, increased in value by a tiny tiny amount. Due to a tiny tiny drop in the rate of inflation - which was caused by the burning of the million pounds. Since there was now a million fewer pounds in circulation chasing the same amount of goods.

Indeed - if you want to see the value of money truly being destroyed and lost forever. You only have to witness the printing presses of the US and the UK over the past few years. But in those cases - it was dressed up as economics and not silly conceptual art.

And there was no video footage to help visualise the destruction going on.



(This post was last modified: 07-23-2013 11:23 PM by cardguy.)
07-23-2013 11:07 PM
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cardguy Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Interesting facts/stories. An "Everything Goes" Lounge for Random Knowledge
Came across this awhile ago. The 50 most interesting articles on wikipedia. It is an excellent collection of stuff worth checking out.

http://copybot.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/...wikipedia/
07-23-2013 11:25 PM
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