TIL actor Robert Pattinson dealt with an obsessed fan who had been camping outside his apartment by taking her out on a dinner date. “I just complained about everything in my life and she never came back.” (12/15/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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TIL I date like Robert Pattinson.


“I hate that I am attracted to goats. Why can’t I just be normal?”


Nothing is more attractive than who you **imagine** someone is.


Imagine how she feels reading this. Lol


For all the shit he gets for Twilight, he's a talented actor and seems pretty down-to-earth.


TIL BBC journalists requested an interview with Facebook because they weren’t removing child abuse photos. Facebook asked to be sent the photos as proof. When journalists sent the photos, Facebook reported the them to the police because distributing child abuse imagery is illegal. (12/17/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Isn't requesting said images just as illegal?


God Facebook is hitting like comic book villain levels of cartoonish evil.


*Cop arrests pedophile and takes his child porn for evidence* “Johnson, look at this sick bastard. We got to put this in evidence” “I’m sorry Greg, I’m going to have to arrest you for having that child porn, hand it over” *From across the room, Richard sees the arrest* “Johnson! Hands up, you’re under arrest for that child porn! I’ll take it from here” *continues until every cop in the world has arrested each other*


I make jewelry. I have a FB page for selling jewelry. I have jewelry that has space themed titles i.e., Eclipse, etc. I have a ring with a red stone in it called the "Red Venus Ring" I got a notice from FB that said, "Your listing Red "Venus" Ring-Red Sunstone...may go against our rules on selling adult products and services." Go figure.


This is the biggest corporate "no u" I have ever seen.


TIL only three people in the nation were qualified to hand-pack the parachutes for Apollo 15. Their expertise was so vital, they were not allowed to ride in the same car together for fear that a single auto accident could cripple the space program. (12/19/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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*The Apollo computers were designed with a kind of memory called “core rope memory.” It was the densest computer memory available at that moment in time—between 10 and 100 times more efficient, in terms of weight and space, of any other memory available, absolutely essential on spacecraft where weight and space were always at a premium.* *But core rope memory suffered from one small problem: It had to be made by hand.* *Each wire representing a 1 or a 0 in the computer program had to be positioned with absolute precision, by a person, using a needle, and wire instead of thread. A wire threaded through the center of a tiny ring-shaped magnet was a one. A wire threaded to the outside of that magnet was a zero.*


>Finally, the parachutes were folded and packed by hand. During the Apollo missions in the 1960s and early 1970s, only three people in the country were trained, and then licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration, to fold Apollo parachutes—Norma Cretal, Buzz Corey and Jimmy Calunga —and they handled all 11 Apollo missions. Why not just train and license more people then?


Out of curiosity, if it was such an important skill, how come only three people were trained to fold the parachutes and not more?


how about every other apollo? why is this only a problem for 15?


Didn’t 2 out of 3 of Apollo 15’s parachutes actually deploy?


TIL in 2012, a burger king employee anonymously posted an image on 4-chan of him putting his feet in lettuce, with the caption: “This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King.” It took 20 minutes for people to track down the branch the employee worked at and contact the news. He was promptly fired. (12/16/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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>These Burger King employees might be good at balancing themselves on buckets of vegetation, but they're not very good at removing Exif data from their photos. The denizens of 4chan were quick to notice, and the lettuce-stepper was fired they very next day. >The original post went live on July 16 at 11:38 p.m. >At 11:47 p.m., another 4chan user noted that the photo's Exif data pointed to Mayfield Heights, Ohio. >At 11:50 p.m., just 12 minutes later, someone posted the address of the Burger King branch in which the lettuce-stepping occurred, wishing the OP a happy unemployment. >At 11:55 p.m., someone contacted the news. >At 11:58 p.m., someone posted the link to Burger King's Tell Us About Us form, with the photo attached. And that's why I'll never mess with the internet.


Number 15


I swear, 4-chan users are the most efficient people on the planet when it comes to trolling people. If it somehow screwed someone over they didn't like, they'd find the cure for cancer in an hour.


Number 15: Burger king foot lettuce. The last thing you'd want in your Burger King burger is someone's foot fungus. But as it turns out, that might be what you get. A 4channer uploaded a photo anonymously to the site showcasing his feet in a plastic bin of lettuce. With the statement: "This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King." Admittedly, he had shoes on. But that's even worse. The post went live at 11:38 PM on July 16, and a mere 20 minutes later, the Burger King in question was alerted to the rogue employee. At least, I hope he's rogue. How did it happen? Well, the BK employee hadn't removed the Exif data from the uploaded photo, which suggested the culprit was somewhere in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. This was at 11:47. Three minutes later at 11:50, the Burger King branch address was posted with wishes of happy unemployment. 5 minutes later, the news station was contacted by another 4channer. And three minutes later, at 11:58, a link was posted: BK's "Tell us about us" online forum. The foot photo, otherwise known as exhibit A, was attached. Cleveland Scene Magazine contacted the BK in question the next day. When questioned, the breakfast shift manager said "Oh, I know who that is. He's getting fired." Mystery solved, by 4chan. Now we can all go back to eating our fast food in peace.


And it sprouted the Number 15 meme


TIL Bill gates purchased the Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex for $30,802,500. Three years later he had its pages scanned into digital image files, some of which were later distributed as screen saver and wallpaper files on a CD-ROM as part of a Microsoft Plus! for Windows so everyone could enjoy them. (12/19/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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>The manuscript does not take the form of a single linear script, but is rather a mixture of Leonardo's observations and theories on astronomy; the properties of water, rocks, and fossils; air, and celestial light. The topics addressed include: >An explanation of why fossils can be found on mountains. Hundreds of years before plate tectonics became accepted scientific theory, Leonardo believed that mountains had previously formed sea beds, which were gradually lifted until they formed mountains. >The movement of water. This is the main topic of the Leicester Codex. Among other things, Leonardo wrote about the flow of water in rivers, and how it is affected by different obstacles put in its way. From his observations he made recommendations about bridge construction and erosion. >The luminosity of the Moon. Leonardo speculated that the Moon's surface is covered by water, which reflects light from the Sun. In this model, waves on the water's surface cause the light to be reflected in many directions, explaining why the Moon is not as bright as the Sun. Leonardo explained that the pale glow on the dark portion of the crescent Moon is caused by sunlight reflected from the Earth. Thus, he described the phenomenon of planetshine one hundred years before the German astronomer Johannes Kepler proved it. It's kind of neat that the topics the codex discussed are similar to what one would imagine they contained. Scientific observations about the world.


Pocket change.


>it was sold to Bill Gates at Christie's auction house on 11 November 1994 in New York for US$30,802,500 (equivalent to $53,222,898.79 as of 2019) Crazy how the cost in 1994 to 2019 almost doubled due to inflation. Have wages doubled since then? NOPE. Edit: Wow! I did not expect this to blow up or get gold :O Thank you all for joining in on this off-topic discussion here. It's interesting to see everyone's point of view on the subject.


They used to charge for Microsoft Plus, so it was also to make a profit. MS Plus was a collection of add-ons for windows that many believed should have been included for free.


The dude who owned it before Gates was named Armand Hammer. I assume he made his fortune selling baking soda.


TIL that a man named Oswald can be heard only at Embankment station saying “mind the gap”. In 2012 they were planning on changing all voiceovers but decided not to at this station when Oswalds wife told them that he had passed away in 2007. She loved listening to him when on the way to work. (12/18/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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When I was a little kid my dad worked at a public library. He recorded the “the library will be closing in 10 minutes” announcements on a tape. We moved away soon after, only to return for a visit 11 years later. We stopped in near closing time to hear a much less clear, but familiar voice. They were still using the same tape. edit: grammar


It was replaced by a new recording (the one heard at all other stations other than Embankment). His widow was upset and asked staff why it had changed, as she regularly would let a few trains go by just to listen to his voice when she was having a bad day. After hearing about it Transport for London reinstated it so she could hear it on her commute daily.


What a dear.


When I was having a bad day at university I would ride the Piccadilly Line so I could hear "this is a Piccadilly Line train to Cockfosters"


Myself and two other engineers loaded this message onto the PA router mentioned. The original message was actually on EEPROM on our old PA equipment (no longer used), rather than tape. We had to find the ancient spares, fashion some cables up to strip the audio, record it, then encode it so the (new) PA firmware could store it before uploading it.


70% of Americans would support a nationwide mandate requiring that solar panels be installed on all newly built homes. The survey showed that the support for this measure is highest among younger adults. (12/15/2019) ~ Futurology

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There has to be a tremendous flaw in this poll.. There is absolutely no way in hell 70% of Americans support this.


Supported by people who don't think that they'll ever buy a house?


"House prices are ridiculous! How are we ever supposed to afford our own home? Something must be done!" "What if you force homebuilders to add 10s of thousands of dollars in solar panels on them?" "Yeah, I don't see how that could be a bad thing."


Mandate? No. 100% tax deductible up to a certain value- absolutely. Free societies still need free will and incentivising good behavior should always trump mandating a behavior.


Why would you support a mandate like this in places where the peak sunlight hours are low? It's not feasible. The return on investment isn't there.


TIL in 2007, reigning Jeopardy! champion Scott Weiss purposely placed his final bet in such a way as to force the first three-way tie in the game’s history. He said he knew he could have bet more and won the game, but thought it would be fun to force a tie instead. (12/16/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Can't do this anymore though. They implemented a tiebreaker a few years ago.


This kind of reminds me of John Carpenter, the guy who called his dad on the million-dollar question, only to tell him that he's going to win a million dollars (and not the guy who directed *The Thing*). Not one man should have all that power


>Only the winning contestant gets to keep the money and play on. So all Weiss had to do was bet enough to beat the others by at least one dollar. Instead, he bet enough to bring his score to exactly $16,000, creating the first three-way tie in the history of the show. >Back in his living room, Wood was stunned. >"My wife was in the kitchen making dinner, and I definitely yelled out, 'There's a three way tie on Jeopardy!' " he says. "I think my wife was not as impressed as I was." >Wood thought it was a fantastic act of sportsmanship. "I thought about it a lot in the last two years," he says. Love how the article is about the guys who wrote a song about the people who did the three way tie lol


Trying to figure this out. You write your amount before hearing the answer? Depending on the amount the other two waged and their confidence, how can you know what to bet to ensure a three way tie? I mean, if the other two were tied and you assume they both bet the max and were correct, then you could calculated your amount to ensure you met this amount. But even then, there is not way to force a three-way tie.


What a legendary madlad


TIL That only 14 years after almost the entire Choctaw population was forcibly relocated in the Trail of Tears, the tribe donated $170 (over $5,000 today) to victims of the Potato Famine in Ireland, creating a bond between the two peoples that lasts to today. (12/20/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Germans, for some reason, are fascinated with Native Americans. They've donated generously to museums and preservation and spend millions on tours. They even have strange Native American festivals, kind of like Burning Man.


"Your broken European culture infested both our peoples. Here's to recognizing the shared origin of our suffering."


I've hiked parts of the Trail of Tears, in the Ouachita mountains in SE Oklahoma and Arkansas. It's difficult as hell and I couldn't imagine forcing children on it. This particular region isn't flat like central Oklahoma, or swampy like Mississippi, where the Choctaws started walking towards Oklahoma. The Ouachita and Ozark mountain ranges had to be traversed too


Recently, the Choctaw visited my home town Cork, Ireland to plant a peace tree.


>At the time, however, white Americans took the tribe’s generosity not as empathy but as a sign of the success of Christian evangelizing. For fucks sake lol that was *not* your victory


TIL that multiple Star Wars lead actors have struggled with a habit of making their own sound effects for fight scenes – to the point where multiple takes needed to be re-shot because you could see the actors making lightsaber noises. (12/16/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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^pew ^pew


I mean, wouldn't we all in that situation?


I’d rather see that version of the movie


I can imagine Christopher Lee in his booming bass going "Zmmmmmmmmm.. Fwoosh Fwoosh Fwoosh.....Zmmmmmmm


I bet A New Hope was easy-ish to film, because nobody knew what they were going to sound like after the effects were added in. All they knew was that they had a stick connected to a metal handle.


TIL That in 2012 the University of Chicago received a package for “Henry Jones Jr” (Indiana Jones). Inside a replica of Indiana’s notebook. Turned out that someone had ordered it online, it fell out the packet and a postal worker assumed the name/address on the notebook was the intended recipient (12/18/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Postal worker should get credit for giving a fuck


"I should have sent it to the Marx Brothers!" Edit, im not Fucking changing it. I got it wrong. Welcome to Reddit folks.


It belongs in a museum!!


And with that turn of events the university now has the staff of Moses in their archives right next to the strangely Indian voodoo dolls.


I never realized how much I'd love one of these replicas I didn't even know someone was making until now.


TIL that in the 80s, businessman Armand Hammer bought a significant portion of the company that makes “Arm & Hammer” products simply because people kept asking him about the name (12/19/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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My name is Tim Apple. So THIS is the solution? Let me check my piggy bank.


He has a brother named Victor Hammer. That would make for a terrific MMA name.


Armie Hammer alleges that he made it in Hollywood all on his own and that his family being billionaires had nothing to do with it.


"Wait wait wait. What do ya own the Arm & Hammer company with a name like that or sumfin? Fawk yeah." "Yes, Mr. Chipperson. A significant portion, actually"


I see you went down the Bill Gates/Da Vinci Codex rabbit hole too. Only term I can think of when describing this is Reddskimo brothers.


TIL of the Parthian shot, an ancient military tactic where archers on horses would feign retreat and then turn their bodies while at full gallop to shoot at the pursuing enemy. It required great skill to master. Without a stirrup, the rider relied solely on pressure from his legs to guide his horse. (12/17/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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TIL Thick thighs end lives


A variant of this is the feigned retreat by the Mongols, who used it time and again to defeat numerically superior opponents. Incidentally, the Mongols annihilated the Khwarazmid empire (modern-day Iran) with such devastating tactics. So the Parthians had their own parting shot handed to them by the Mongols.


Horseback archery in general relies a lot on controlling the horse with your legs instead of your hands. Since you're, yknow, shooting a bow and arrow


As I understand it the horse archers from the Eurasian steppe (Mongols and other tribes from that wide area) used to take their shots when all four of their horses hooves were off the ground when the horse was in a full canter. They were extraordinary horseman and archers. Edit: Anyone that found this comment interesting should listen to Dan Carlin's "Hardcore History" podcast. All of his podcasts are good but the people that liked this comment would absolutely love his "Wrath of the Khan's" series. He tells history like that really engaging teacher you had at school that brought a subject to life. It is from his podcasts that my comment was sourced. I wouldn't bother making this edit but a few people have upvoted the comment and I'm sure they'd love Dan Carlin.


The battle of Carrhae was the best example of that. 10,000 Parthian archers defeated an army of 7 Roman Legions (45,000 soldiers plus about 30,000 auxiliaries). Killed and captured 30,000 and lost under 100 men. Rome never conquered Parthia.


TIL In 2011 two Hollywood films opened just 5 months apart from each other that had the exact same runtime, exact same plot and same ending. “No Strings Attached” with Ashton Kutcher/Natalie Portman and “Friends With Benefits” with Justin Timberlake/Mila Kunis. They both grossed 150 million dollars. (12/20/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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“Friends with no strings attached” staring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis would have done better IMO.


I KNEW there was a reason I could never really remember what movie I was talking about while referencing the trailers for those.


Not all that unusual. 1989, Deepstar Six and Leviathan. 1998, Armageddon and Deep Impact, 1998, Antz and A Bugs Life. 2005, The Descent and The Cave. 2006, The Illusionist and The Prestige. 2013, Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down


And to add to that Ashton Kutcher married Mila Kunis.


It's a fairly common occurrence to have "twin movies" where two very similar movies come out around the same time. There are tons of examples.


TIL the United States Postal Service is the single largest employer of veterans (22% of the postal workforce) and nearly a third of the veterans are disabled. (12/21/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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The federal government is one of the few employers that routinely makes accommodations for people with disabilities.


As described in the documentary "Men in Black II", the postal service is also the single largest employer of extra terrestrials.


I could be mistaken but I believe any time of service in the military carries over towards retirement. I was also told by an acquaintance that had worked for the USPS that they don't pay into social security.


The USPS has long been a great job for marginalized communities. After the Civil War it was one of the only ways black Southerners could get good jobs in racist areas. Glad to see it's helping returning soldiers too!


The USPS is a modern wonder of the world. Seriously. * You can ship a letter from Nome, Alaska to Key West, FL with a single 55¢ stamp. Just as you would if you were to send a letter across town * Their parcel shipping rates are 20%-40% cheaper than the private couriers (FedEx, UPS) and often will get your packages to their destination faster * They will even mail you free Priority Mail shipping supplies, including boxes! The USPS is one of the ways this country is great. We have arguably the best postal system in the world. The European postal systems are often quasi-public corporations that screw, exploiting their vaulted status to screw people over and provide bad service. Understand that when you hear stories about the USPS failing it's only because they have to unfairly fund their pensions several **decades** in advance.


TIL that the Persian Army brought an immense block of marble to the Battle of Marathon, intending to build a monument of their victory. Captured by the Greeks, they sculpted a statue of Nemesis, the goddess who cuts down those with too much pride (12/17/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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This is from Pausanias according to the wikipedia article you mentioned. Pausanias lived around 110 ~ 180CE over 600 years after Marathon (490bce) and likely made the whole thing up to portray Darius as vain. Edit: silver! Thanks kind sir. Who said you can't earn anything from studying history?


Do you know what nemesis means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent, personified in this case by an 'orrible cunt... me.


Is this story mentioned anywhere in Herodotus, because I don't think it is, the earliest source I can find is from Pausanias, who was writing about 600-700 years later. Now, there was worship of Nemesis in Rhamnous, near the Marathon battlesite, where this statue was said to have existed, but the temples to Nemesis didn't even begin construction until 30-40 years after The Battle of Marathon, which is a bit too much to draw definite connections to it. So consider me skeptical, unless someone knows a mention of it prior to Pausanias. Edit: Or just downvote me, that's a good option too.


>As the "Goddess of Rhamnous", Nemesis was honored and placated in an archaic sanctuary in the isolated district of Rhamnous, in northeastern Attica. There she was a daughter of Oceanus, the primeval river-ocean that encircles the world. Pausanias noted her iconic statue there. It included a crown of stags and little Nikes and was made by Pheidias after the Battle of Marathon (490 BC), crafted from a block of Parian marble brought by the overconfident Persians, who had intended to make a memorial stele after their expected victory. Her cult may have originated at Smyrna. Lady's got a solid origin story


This sounds very much like propaganda.


Canadian duo invent a toothpaste tablet to eliminate plastic tubes: “Toothpaste tubes take over 500 years to break down and are unable to be recycled. We’ve developed toothpaste tablets that remove the need for a tube altogether.” (12/17/2019) ~ Futurology

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If they can get the price competitive with common toothpaste, they will be successful.


Toothpaste tubes used to be made of metal, which I presume would have been suitable for recycling.


Or.. hear me out.. you could just put normal toothpaste inside a recyclable/biodegradable container.


“Invent.” Meanwhile, Lush has been making these for years.


Man! There's another horrible thing I've contributed to destroying the planet. I had no idea my lifetime's worthy of discarded toothpaste tubes were an environmental catastrophe.


Sanders: Instead of weapons funding we should pool resources to fight climate change – “Maybe, just maybe, instead of spending $1.8 trillion a year globally on weapons of destruction… maybe we pool our resources and fight our common enemy, which is climate change.” (12/20/2019) ~ Futurology

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How about we formally declare climate change a global enemy, and let the armies handle it? If anyone gets the necessary funding, it's them. Swords to ploughshares 😊


I'm sure Australian indigenous communities in the desert would love to be paid twenty thousand a year to grow a forest for the next twenty years.


Why is it that every post on r/futurology now seems to not actually discuss any future technology and is basically copypasta from r/politics


I don't understand this subreddit. Either political content is banned or it's not. You can't have it both ways. I've posted very similar links in the past and they were removed by /r/Futurology mods. /u/mvea is literally a /r/Futurology mod, yet it's fine when he posts it.


The fundamental premise here is that every nation in the world has the same value structure as Western civilization, which is just startlingly wrong.


TIL of of Applesearch, an organization that has dedicated the last 20 years to finding and saving heirloom apple varieties to ensure their survival for future generations. (12/20/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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There's a tree in Utah that produces one pound apples. Supposedly it's one of the last of its kind


Are the heirloom varieties better? Do they have more unique flavours? I initially thought 'of course the new brands would be developed to taste better', but I remember my mum saying that tomatoes have no flavour now compared to yesteryear. So i guess new types are developed for ease of growing rather than flavour. We can't let the most economical become the norm.


**Heirloom** -NORTH AMERICAN *denoting a traditional variety of plant or breed of animal which is not associated with large-scale commercial agriculture.* For anyone else wondering what the definition is and not finding it in the comments like me.


Now I know where I'm getting my apple trees from, thank you!


I thought you couldn’t grow an Apple variety from seed - only by grafting...


A Hawaiian island has been running at 100% renewable energy for few hours spurts over the last several weeks testing their system. (12/20/2019) ~ Futurology

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few hour....pbbt Found this reading a press release on the topic: > Additionally, the steam-injected gas turbine generator at Kapaia Power Station is the first of its kind to be retrofitted to run in synchronous condenser mode. This allows the generator, manufactured by General Electric, to provide inertia, fault current, voltage support and frequency stabilization to the grid without burning fuel. When power is needed, the turbine can be restarted within five minutes.


Kauai residents and businesses seem to be the most motivated in terms of taking care of the Aina, so I’m not surprised to see this happened on Kauai. Other islands also have a culture of respect for the environment but the energy demands are much higher on Oahu and Maui so it will take some time before all of Hawai'i can run off 100% renewables. There’s already a large amount of residents living off grid on Big Island because it’s sometimes easier to get power this way than dealing with the local utility providers. Each island is unique but I really think we’ll be able to reach sustainability in terms of energy usage and production. I’m a wood supplier out here and there’s big reforestation and other environmentally friendly projects in the works that don’t always make the news. Our challenges are unique considering how isolated we are but there’s a lot of good people here fighting for a cleaner/healthier tomorrow.


Hey, a topic I actually know about. I did work for the biomass power plant on Kauai, which generates 15% of Kauai’s base power. Very cool project and less of a visual blight than the wind turbines on the north shore of Oahu.


proud to live here, it has been alot faster ever since we switched


Few hour spurts at 100% kinda sounds oxymoronic lol


TIL There Are Whales Alive Today Who Were Born Before Moby Dick Was Written (12/19/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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I wonder what they think of the book


"I'm pre-Dick, what about you?" "Post-Dick."


So that means if Moby Dick was based on a true story, that fucker could still be out there...


Wait so if you want to send messages to future humans, just insert them in a whale?


Split your lungs with blood and thunder. When you see the white whale Break your backs and crack your oars men If you wish to prevail This ivory leg is what propels me. Harpoons thrust in the sky. Aim directly for his crooked brow And look him straight in the eye


46% of U.S. homeowners want rooftop solar (12/18/2019) ~ Futurology

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Here in Phoenix we have 370 days of sunlight per year. Heck yeah I’d love solar panels.


I looked into it a few times but I'm pretty efficient in my usage and have been told I wouldn't recover the cost to install. But I signed up for 100% renewable from my energy company it's only $6 more ($4 for 50% and $2 for 25%). So, if solar panels are too much then people should check with their power companies for more options.


I'm totally down to have one, it just kinda depends on the price tbh


I live in sunny Sydney, Australia. I installed a 7.5kWh roof solar system exactly 2 years ago tomorrow. Payback was estimated to be 4 years - with a panel and inverter 10 year guarantee. It cost me A$5,500 after rebates. Now my power costs me $0.27 per kWh and I can get a A$0.09 per kWh feed-in allowance - so my goal is “self-consumption” - rather than rely on feed-in tariff. I have been tracking my solar generation and power bills. As of my last quarterly power bill - last month - when compared to the two years before I installed solar - I have saved A$4,856 in 2 years. With a hot Summer looming (it will be over 43c - 105F today) and lots of aircon use - I expect the solar will have fully paid for itself after my next power bill in March. I only wish I had installed solar years ago! I also charge my new Outlander PHEV from the solar too - but I really can’t assess the gas savings I get but in Sydney we pay A$0.47 per litre (A$1.88 per gallon) in petrol tax - and I sure love driving tax and gas free!


46%? I'm surprised it's that low. I mean, if it's just wanting, why not? I want an electric car. I want more money. I want nicer hair. I want a Philly Cheesesteak with tater tots and ranch dressing.


TIL that Peter Ostrum, who played Charlie in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory currently earns just $8-9 every three months from royalty payments. (12/16/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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He's also a veterinarian and playing Charlie was his only role in film in his life. He never spoke of the role for years until the 90's.


I bet it was Grandpa Joe who screwed him out of royalties! r/grandpajoehate


How sad -- those are Oompa Loompa-like wages.


Harsh. My ex gets more than that from a recording of her singing a children's song at school in the 90's due to it being used often in some schools. It is about 15$ per month though paid out annually. Crazy.


Should have sold the Everlasting Gobstopper to Slugworth.


TIL “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps” originated as an idiom to describe a ludicrously far-fetched or impossible task (12/16/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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People not understanding the meaning of this idiom always makes me think of the similar misunderstanding of "a few bad apples". People will often dismiss the harmful actions of people belonging to certain groups as "just a few bad apples," to indicate that not every member of that group is bad. What they fail to realize is the full idiom is "a bad apple spoils the bunch," meaning if those apples (people) are allowed to stay they will eventually turn the rest rotten. It's not meant to be dismissive, it's meant as a warning to take action and remove them.


Etymologist Barry Popik and linguist and lexicographer Ben Zimmer have cited an American newspaper snippet from Sept. 30, 1834 as the earliest published reference to lifting oneself up by one’s bootstraps. A month earlier, a man named Nimrod Murphree announced in the Nashville Banner that he had “discovered perpetual motion.” The Mobile Advertiser picked up this tidbit and published it with a snarky response ridiculing his claim: “Probably Mr. Murphree has succeeded in handing himself over the Cumberland river, or a barn yard fence, by the straps of his boots.” >“Bootstraps were a typical feature of boots that you could pull on in the act of putting your boots on, but of course bootstraps wouldn’t actually help you pull yourself over anything,” Zimmer told HuffPost. “If you pulled on them, it would be physically impossible to get yourself over a fence. The original imagery was something very ludicrous, as opposed to what we mean by it today of being a self-made man.” It also brings to mind the image of someone walking around, bent over and grunting vigorously.


It's funny what people will say, without realizing how stupid it sounds, with all of the sincerity of the world.


This is also, I believe, why starting up a computer is referred to as “booting”: as it loads its simplest systems and uses those to load increasingly complex systems until it’s fully operational, it’s metaphorically pulling itself up by its own bootstraps.


I think it still is. Just lots of people don't realize how impossible the shit people are supposed to be bootstrappy about really is.


TIL of Matvey Kuzmin, known as ‘Lone Wolf’, the oldest person to be awarded Hero of the Soviet Union. During WW2, a Nazi battalion paid him to lead them to the rear of Russian defenses. Instead, he led the battalion directly into an ambush. Realizing his betrayal, the Nazis killed him. He was 83. (12/16/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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God Damn the balls....Knowing you're going to die and easily could have avoided it. This guy literally walked to his own death by choice, step by step, knowing with each step his life was closer to being over. Incredible.


Pretty badass to simply be an 83-year-old man hunting and fishing to stay alive in 1940s Russia.


Is it any surprise that the Soviets referred to WW2 most commonly as the Great Patriotic War? Say what you want about their system, but the world should heap way more credit onto the Soviet Union for what they sacrificed in that war.


Remember, you're never too old to kill fascists.


The heroism of Communists (Russian or otherwise) on the Eastern Front is unparalleled in human history.


TIL that Margaret Mitchell’s husband said to her “For God’s sake, Peggy, can’t you write a book instead of reading thousands of them?” She went on to write “Gone with the Wind.” (12/15/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Imagine living in a time where reading was viewed like TV or Video games. "Stop rotting your brain in those books. Go out and do something!?" Insufferable people always existed.


...Just make sure you write the ending first.


In related news, E.L. James's cat told her to stop masturbating to fanfiction and write Fifty Shades Of Grey.


TIL that Peggy is a nickname for Margaret


As much as Stephen King writes, he tells you that he reads ten times more.


TIL of a bacterium that does photosynthesis without sunlight. Instead it uses thermal “black-body” radiation. It was discovered in 2005 on a deep-sea hydrothermal vent, at a depth of 2400 m, in complete darkness. (12/19/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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What is interesting is they concluded it changes the way life could possibly exist in the universe. “It is possible that GSB1 also uses light emitted from chemical reactions for photosynthesis, according to Van Dover. Her group has shown that deep-sea vents have more light in the visible spectrum than would be expected based solely on the water's temperature, and some of this light may come from chemiluminescence.”


What is black body radiation?


Is this like the bacteria they found that eat electrons off rocks?


The real ground breaking discovery here is a lower energy 'photon based' pathway to splitting water molecules right? Traditional photosynthesis requires relatively higher energy 'visible light' photons, while this newly discovered process works at lower energy levels, which really is a novel discovery.


Fun fact: The study of these organisms and others that live at high temperatures also led to the discovery of the high temperature-stable enzymes that make modern gene sequencing and CRISPR possible. Science, bitch!


TIL Matt Groening originally planned for Krusty the Clown to be Homer Simpson in disguise. This is why Krusty looks so similar to Homer. (12/16/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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The running gag / story / irony being his son Bart simultaneously berated Homer and idolized Krusty.


“Homer Gave Me A Kidney – It Wasn’t His, I Didn’t Need It, And It Came Postage Due – But Still, A Lovely Gesture.” - Krusty


Marge was supposed to have rabbit ears, like the Life in Hell characters.


I'm seeing double here! I see four Krustys!!


Ok, memorize these funny place names: Walla Walla. Keokuk. Cucamonga. Seattle.


Google Nest or Amazon Ring? Just reject these corporations’ surveillance and a dystopic future Purchasing devices that constantly monitor, track and record us for convenience or a sense of safety is laying the foundation for an oppressive future. (12/17/2019) ~ Futurology

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Really don't understand why people are surprised about the latest new stories about strangers "*hacking*" their Google Nest or Amazon Ring account. Especially when they use Password as their password (or something equally as stupid). You would think someone at Google or Amazon would take a moment before launch and set password policies in place and a mandatory 2 form factor authentication process to view their account. My analogy is, would you set your verbal security password with ADT to be "**Password**"? Then, don't do the same with a 24/7 surveillance device in your childrens bedrooms.


That’s why I have a cctv camera system linked up to a server in my own home. Any motion and I can view it through a private ip address. Not linked to any services. No associated with any companies. Just constant recording and a big storage server box Edit: I’ll make a guide in a few days for all you guys, there’s like 9 people that want some pointers. I won’t provide personal images because privacy. But it will be in depth on what products I use and how it wires together.


This is one of those all or nothing topics that never seems to be discussed in any sort of nuanced way. It's always a risk vs benefit situation, and so many people seem unable to accept that not everyone has the same needs, values or concerns.


At least in 1984 the government paid for the surveillance TVs. Facebook expects consumers to fork out a couple hundred dollars for theirs.


Who cares if they see my porch in the first place? Satellites can see the same thing. It’s outside, people can see it all day everyday. Don’t put any inside your house. Who cares. Your not that interesting in the first place.


TIL that 95% of the world’s food needs are provided by just 30 species of plants. At least 12,650 species names have been compiled as edible. (12/15/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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All I need are PO-TA-TOES! Boil em', mash em', stick em' in a stew!


edible doesn't mean it tastes good or is easy to cultivate.


Great, now I'm trying to see if I can name off 30 plants.


I like the fact that the Wikipedia-page is called "Neglected and underutilized crop", as if it's shaming me for my undiversified plant intake.


Most people on earth have to rely on affordable basics to survive, such as rice, corn, wheat and potatoes. I underatand the point you're making here. But it's not that simple. It doesn't make sense (w.r.t. nutrition) forcing more people to eat useless superfoods.


TIL of Julie D’Aubigny, who was a 17th-century bisexual French opera singer who once took vows at a convent just so she could have sex with another nun, and then set it on fire. When she kissed a women at a ball, she was challenged to a duel by 3 men and she then beat them all. (12/17/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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>As she left for Paris, she earned her living like she did previously by singing in various events. Soon after she met an old actor named Marechal, who had started to train her until his alcohol problem grew worse and she was sent back to Paris. In Villeperdue and dressed as a tomboy, she was insulted by a young man and they fought a duel where she drove her sword into his shoulder. The day after, she asked if he was okay and discovered that this was the son of Duke of Luynes. She then indirectly apologized and began a love affair with the young man. "Hey sorry I stabbed you. Wanna stab me so we're even steven?"


Yo she also ran away with her lover and stole a dead nuns body and put it in her bed and set it on fire to make it seem like an accident


And where's the Netflix series on this woman, hmm?


I'm sure the owner of the convent was nun too pleased. I'll see myself out.


My ex-gf was descended from relatives of this woman and she was not the only batshit crazy one in this bloodline either (actually not talking about my ex-gf, who was very normal). My ex-gfs mother told me a lot about the history of their family and it was fascinating. The bonus of coming from aristocracy is often your family history is very well documented - I barely know even 5 generations above me.


Federal court rules veggie burgers can still be named burgers, for now (12/16/2019) ~ Futurology

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Saying that you can only call something a hamburger if it comes from Hamburg makes more sense than trying to say you can't use the term veggie burgers.


Makes sense, as 'burger' does not necessarily imply meat; it seems like the law was way too broad. It would make sense (IMO) that unqualified words that actually mean meat could be restricted to products that are meat. So, 'bacon' is restricted to bacon from a pig; 'turkey bacon' can come from a turkey; 'veggie bacon' is from vegetables. It would make sense to require labeling that clearly says that. If you look at the label of Tofurky, it clearly says 'Plant-Based'.


I'm surprised this even became an issue. Being non-meat is the biggest selling point for veggie burgers. Restaurant that sell it are pretty loud and clear which menu item is their veggie burger.


Who would buy a product simply labelled "sausages"? Everyone buying sausages reads the other words, so they know if they're buying pork, beef, or veggie sausages etc. Of course, jokes on them, half that cheap pork sausage probably *is* plant-based fillers.


The complaint from lobbyists that calling plant based products milk or meat is misleading customers has always been a load of bull. If you can't compete than GTFO.


TIL Charles Dickens once jumped in through the window of his wife-to-be’s home dressed in a sailor suit, did a jig whilst playing the hornpipe, jumped back out the window again and re-entered the room as if nothing had happened. (12/15/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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A friend of mine got tossed through a window of a bar during a bar fight he was not a part of. then got arrested for breaking the window. He is a lawyer now.


“Uhh what the fuck was that?” “What was what?”


It was the best of times It was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.


Yeah band camp was crazy


Well, through a *French* window. Which is really a door...


TIL that for months, scientists in France could not figure out why seagulls they were tracking were traveling far inland, away from their breeding colony. Eventually, they traced the seagulls’ path and discovered they were visiting a chip factory. (12/16/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Well what else were they gonna have with their fish!?


Seagulls! Stop it now!!!


It took months to slap a GPS on a seagull?


This is happening in my town right now. We have a shit ton of sea gulls just absolutely covering up the Wabash River in Indiana. I have never seen this happen before, I have no idea where they came from or why they are here. It's been going on for about 2 weeks. I'm guessing they came from Lake Michigan, but that's literally all I got at this point.




TIL that children belonging to the Moken tribe of Thailand have perfect vision underwater. They do is by constricting their pupils and changing their lens shape, just like dolphins and seals. They use this ability to hunt for fish, clam and shells to eat. (12/20/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Also, when exposed to underwater environment enough at an early age - before ~5 years - this skill can be acquired.


I used to blow bubbles with my nose until one of them covered my eye(s), then I could see clearly through it. Only lasted a couple seconds but I felt like I was onto something.


Dry land is a myth.


Growing up I was able to see underwater, but I had terrible vision (-7.25,-7). It was interesting that I thought everyone else was able to see clearly underwater like me, but latter learned that is not the case. My vision went bad during my 2nd grade class, when all of a sudden everything became blurry as hell. Now that I had my vision fixed with Lasik, my ability to see clearly underwater has disappeared (I'll have to double check).


Is it possible to learn this power?


ELI5: How did they calculate a single sperm to have 37 megabytes of information? (12/18/2019) ~ Explain Like I'm Five

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DNA is coded with 4 letters: A, T, G, C. A byte can hold 4 pieces of these letters. A byte can contain for example "ATTG". If you know how long your data is, then you know how much byte you need. For example "AATGCCAT" is 8 code long, than you need 2 bytes. 37MB is appr. 37 Million bytes. That means the genetic code must be about 4*37 Million = 148 Million codes. A sperm has the half of your genes/code. If a human has about 300 Milion codes then the calculation is correct.


That's actually an extremely misleading number. The humane genome contains around 3.1 (men) to 3.2 (women) billion base pairs. Since the X chromosome is three times longer than the Y chromosome, women have a higher total genome length than men. A base pair is made of two of the four nucleobases: adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine, but only the four combinations AT, TA, CG and GC are possible, because A and T only and always go together, and C and G only and always go together. These four combinations can be encoded with two bits, so that's 6.2-6.4 gigabits, or about 750 megabytes for a full, exact copy of a human genome. Now, even if you need 750 megabytes to store the "raw data" from a human genome, at least a computer scientist will have a hard time defining all of this as "information". E.g. if you record 74 minutes of complete silence on a CD, the disc contains roughly 750 megabytes of "data" as well, but actually no "information". Large parts of the human genome are repetitive, only a very small part actually differ between different individuals and from the difference, several base pair sequences only occur in a few well-defined varieties. Depending on how you "compress" or ignore this DNA that's not unique, you could arrive at the conclusion that there's only 37.5mb worth of DNA that's "unique" in each sperm, but DNA isn't the same as a .zip file, and while it's useful to compress it when dealing with it as digital data, our bodies don't work that way, so no, there is far more than 37.5mb of information in a single sperm. A sperm cell doesn't just contain the unique parts of a person's gemone. It contains 1 entire copy of it. Every single of the 3.1-3.2 billion base pairs is present.


Other posters here have arguably gone beyond the age limit for this sub and have also mixed up "information" and "data". Sperm cells carry DNA, which, strictly speaking, does *not* carry information, but rather is a memory molecule, and therefore contains data. Information arises when algorithms in the DNA are put to use. This is exactly how code written by humans is stored as data and information only emerges when the code is run (for those older than 5, this is because information is a thermodynamic quantity and requires heat dissipation). To estimate how much data a sperm cell carries, researchers looked at how much DNA is inside and estimated the space required to store it. I cannot find any source for the 37 Mb number, but I'm pretty sure that it simply comes from looking at how much space a FASTA file (a string of letters representing nucleotide bases) of the DNA sequence inside a sperm cell takes up in computer memory. This is why their number is neither 4 nor 400 Mb as cited by other users: these numbers are measures of information and not data storage, so their calculations include things like compression and algorithmic complexity, which are difficult to interpret for biological systems. Source: am a PhD student studying information in biological systems.


Okay, so how much sperm can I fit in a 1TB HDD? Asking for a friend...


There is 4 possible nucleotide of each location in our DNA. 2 alternatives can be represented by 2 bits there is 8 bits in a byte so 4 base pair per byte. The human genome is around 3.2 billion base pairs 3 200 000 000/4= 800 000 000 = 800 MB. So to get to 37 MB you either only include the protein-coding part of the DNA. The other alternative is you use the number that you could get if you compressed the data in some way. Because human DNA is very close to other human DNA you can losslessly compress to roughly 4 megabytes. So if sperm contains 37 megabytes of information depending on what you mean by information. You can have values of 800 MB to 4 MB depending on how you look at it. What information is not an easy question. What is the amount of data in the string "aaaaaaaaaa"? you could compress it to 10a and you have reduced if from 10 to 3 characters but no information loss. EDIT: Missed that the number was for a haploid genome and a 3->4 mixup.


TIL that Touchstone Pictures was created by Disney for PG-13 and R-rated films. Ever since then, Disney has released films deemed inappropriate to be released under the Disney label as Touchstone. (12/17/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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I feel like I find out something new Disney owns every week. Next we’ll find out which porn sites they own.


Very similar to their Disney+/Hulu strategy


Nightmare Before Christmas was originally released under Touchstone.


>Touchstone is literally a pseudonym for Disney >Touchstone released *Who Framed Roger Rabbit* Jessica Rabbit is indisputably a Disney Princess. Add her to the lineup, you cowards!


1984 ... I worked in home video then and I remember the launch of Touchstone quite well. Probably for all the cool promo shit they gave out with their early movies. Splash..was their first movie and there were large Daryl Hannah posters and small mermaid standups. Did I mention Daryl Hannah as a mermaid ?


Nearly half of U.S. population will be obese by 2030, analysis says (12/19/2019) ~ Futurology

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I haven’t gone to the dentist or doctor in like 10 years. Had no clue of the state of my health but I figured i wasn’t that bad. I have co workers who pant when they climb a flight of stairs or even walk to the bathroom on the other side of the building. It’s like a two minute walk. Sometimes I go poop at work and the big guy in the stall next to me is literally exhausted and gasping for air just from shitting. So I didn’t care much about my health because I haven’t reached that point. My filling fell out a few weeks ago so I had to go to the dentist no choice. Had 3 Appointments in two months. Cleaning, root canal, then a third to replace a silver crown I got 10 years ago. They took my blood pressure each appointment before they did anything, and every single time I get high blood pressure. First one was 150/111. Don’t remember the 2nd but fairly same range. third was 155/115. I thought it was just because I was nervous af so I went to Walgreens and got my blood pressure tested. My Normal not nervous blood pressure is 143/106. I’m 25 and have the health of a 50 year old man. All I eat is junk food and I work at a desk and I live a sedentary lifestyle. So now I wake up an hour early before work and go ~~run~~ jog a mile. So far I’m miserable as fuck *some info for anyone else reading this since it seems to be brought up a lot in the comments. I only drink water, and it’s been that way for a decade. I don’t smoke anything and I don’t drink alcohol. I’ve gotten drunk like 4 times in my life that’s it. No beer. I’m 5’7 and I weigh 175 pounds. I’m super weak so I’m sure that’s mostly body fat. I don’t think I’m obese though just chubby. Maybe borderline fat. When I suck in my stomach it’s flat and flush with my body. Then when I let go and relax, my stomach sticks out like 3 inches. But the rest of my body is small. Scrawny arms legs thighs. I definitely am nowhere close to looking like the Walmart mobility scooter people. I plan on seeing a doctor but it probably won’t be until like February since these dental visits + holidays have left me in a small debt right now It’s most likely my diet. I don’t eat breakfast. For lunch I usually eat a Kroger’s French bread pizza. When I get home from work I make a plate of half pizza rolls and half buffalo chicken tenders. Then a few hours before bed I make a Marie calendars pot pie for dinner. That’s how it’s been for probably 6 years. I am gonna change my diet too. As far as my teeth, I plan on being more vigilant. I’ve been Brushing my teeth twice a day now instead of once like I used to. I’m scheduled for another cleaning in March and I intend on going every 6 months instead of every ten years.


So if I just keep myself from obesity, I will be a 5 in ten years?


I am forever glad that I am no longer counted among that percentage. 60 pounds down and finally edging into a norma BMI, 30 more to go to my goal weight. Stronger, faster, healthier, and happier than I've ever been.


Unless "obese" is restricted to the literal mobility scooter at Walmart tier of fatties I would have thought that nearly half of Americans are there already.


I’m not really sure if this is PC and I might get some flak for this, but I don’t understand the fat positive thing. I totally get not wanted to be treated differently because of the way you look, but it seems like some of the fat positive people have just kind of surrendered to the thought that they’ll always Be obese and so they might as well make the best of it. I’m about 30 to 50 pounds overweight at a given time and I’ve always worked towards losing it. I hate the way it makes me feel. I just don’t understand completely surrendering to weight.


ELI5: Why does adding white vinegar to the laundry take care of bad smells and why don’t laundry detergents already contain these properties? (12/16/2019) ~ Explain Like I'm Five

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Vinegar helps break down protein and minerals, like salt and calcium. So vinegar will help remove smell from dirt, sweat, etc. Because vinegar also breaks down calcium, it softens your clothes and helps clean your washing machine in good shape by preventing scale. Commercial laundry detergents are designed to make your clothes very fluffy and scented and to make you, as a consumer think that scent is a necessary part of cleanliness and therefor keep you buying the product.


General rule of thumb, most of the stains you're trying to remove require a high pH(more basic/alkaline). Vinegar, being an acid, actually lowers the pH making commercial laundry detergents less effective. The smell is likely coming from your washer itself, which the vinegar helps to remove odors from. Source: I work for company that supplies raw materials for making Laundry Detergents. Edit: Whoa, my first silver! Thanks Anonymous Redditors! Finally putting my chemistry degree to good use.


We used vinegar in our front load washer for about a year before it broke. Turns out the vinegar caused some kind of reaction between the aluminum and stainless steel used in the drum, and caused the aluminum to basically dissolve. Electrolysis of some kind. The repair shop said that happens often when people use vinegar in some washers. It was actually in the manual not to use vinegar in the machine. So our bad. And not covered by the warranty. Our new washer actually says you can use vinegar to clean it when using the tub cleaning cycle. So we use vinegar in the laundry too.


"Adding" used here is confusing. You do not add vinegar, you use it instead of detergent, or use it in the rinse cycle. Cleaning clothes requires a ph of about 11. Most water is a ph of 7. So borax or washing soda will help your detergent clean better, because the ph is raised (by the soda or borax). Deodorizes as well. Detergent works by having two heads. One head is sticky and picks up dirt and grease and the other head is water soluble and is washed away, carrying the grease with it. When either too much or too little detergent is used, the sticky heads remain in the laundry with the smelly smells. The vinegar carries these away. Understanding the process makes it easier to remember, for me at least. (Please forgive bad sentence structure and spelling, I have a broken finger.)


Modern washers can stink because, unlike the olden days, a lot less water is used so a lot of stuff gets left behind when the water is drained away. Dead skin, hairs, oils, dirts, even detergent leftovers stay behind and start to decay and get smelly. Less water also means that you can not use a lot of detergent, because it does not always breakdown all of the soap, which gets left behind. Front load washers are the bane of my existence because that seal around the door retains water and gets funky. You must always dry that entire seal, even behind it, when you are done using the machine. If you pull back the seal at the bottom you will see some holes made to drain out excess water. Those drain holes are usually clogged with hair, socks, coins etc and the water will puddle there and get funky. If you buy a front loader be prepared to do a lot of cleaning chores. Front loaders get the funk. Once the funk takes hold it is hard to get rid of and it smells like low-tide at the marsh. I work on these machines as part of my job.


75,000 people call on Congress to ban on facial recognition tech (12/16/2019) ~ Futurology

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I'm personally curious and excited to see what the fashion industry will do with face mask in the next decade or so. You know, since we'll all be wearing them to prevent the government from tracking my face all around town. (Even though they already do that anyway)


"Only 75,000 people care about us not instituting facial recognition tech. The other 327,125,442 do not seem to mind, so we will be putting it into full force by the end of 2021." Not a single non-corporate or non-government entity wants that stuff, but the Powers-That-Be would LOVE it to the extent they'll find some way to get it in place, however low-key they need to start.


The weirdest thing I saw using facial recognition was YUM YUM food Corp (owners of chains like KFC). apparently in a handful of test restaurants in Japan they used facial rec to start prepping orders earlier. It just wasn’t facial rec but they had like 40 different aspects it also took into account. Time, pace of walk, gaunt of walk, facial cues etc to determine if you were happy, sad, tired, hungry etc. All in hopes of figuring out if they could recognize if people had a tendency to order certain things with certain cues. Like if they looked sad they would want more “home comfort cooking” (IE carbs) foods like mashed potatoes. Or if they looked happier and walked faster that they would order something lighter like a salad. I never would have thought of this but apparently it worked pretty well. People smarter than I


The problem with surveillance of all sorts is the asymmetry. Other humans get to see you, see where you’ve gone, examine your phone records, internet history, transaction history, and more. You, on the other hand, have no idea who those people are; what information about you was accessed, or how that information was used or misused. The camera is one-way. You can’t challenge the person on the other end: “Why are you looking at me? Why did you listen in on my private phone call? Did you use my information for your own personal benefit? Are you just a creep?” I’d love to see legislation that fixes that problem: think of it as GDPR for governments. Imagine if you could demand, from your government, the full record of every bit of data associated with you: from every agency, for as far back as the records go; all within 24 hours of your (free) request... including the names of any humans who accessed that information and the reasons for that access. There’s no legitimate reason we couldn’t do this, and it would go a long way toward protecting privacy and freedom.


and some people in congress reply with : 75000 people like to see terrorists roam around freely


TIL it is theoretically possible to send a paper plane from the ISS to earth, without the planes burning up on reentry. An experiment was scheduled, but unfortunately cancelled. (12/20/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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wtf uncancel that shit


Sure. Or maybe a paper coffee cup. Just pitch something with negligible mass towards the Earth from orbit with a low enough velocity and it won't burn up because there won't be enough velocity to cause heating due to friction. A paper plane might drift around in the upper atmosphere for a while, though.


Cool idea for an experiment, but I can see how actually tracking an 11 inch long piece of paper entering the atmosphere would be basically impossible.


They should start with a bucket of bouncy balls* first, and go from there. *aka super balls


Imagine your flight getting grounded because of a paper plane stuck to the windshield.


TIL the plasma globe was invented accidentally by an MIT undergrad, who was working in a lab to create electrical rocket engines. Right after inventing it, he naturally brought it to his girlfriend’s house party. (12/18/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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That's a shit picture of a plasma globe. People associate one with that crystal electric ball from Spencers but this is a picture of some plasma flat globe BS


"I'll blind her with science!"


"Ya'll wanna drop acid and stare at this for a few hours?" Yep, I do.


Wait...he had a girlfriend?


All I remember is being able to draw the electricity out through the globe. My friends and I would place a dime on the top of the globe and if you hover your finger over it the spark jumps the gap and will burn a hole in your skin if you hold it long enough. Obviously it was a competition. Pre-internet challenges... maybe we could start one now doing that.


TIL That Jimmy Dean, country singer, TV host, and entrepreneur introduced The Muppet’s to mainstream audiences. He turned down a large stake of Jim Henson’s company stating he hadn’t “earned it”. He also believed he was a terrible actor and musician, and went on to create The Jimmy Dean Meat Co. (12/16/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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The best part about Dean rejecting that stake (which was 40%, by the way) is that he has consistently stated that he did not ever regret making that decision. He was a firm believer that Henson deserved all the profits of his own work. Also, his "blunt, straight-talking" autobiography is titled *30 Years of Sausage, 50 Years of Ham*, and I think that's just the best.


>But Dean, a heavy critic of his own performances, believed he was a terrible actor and musician, and began pursuing other ventures. In the late 1960s, Dean started a hog butchering company with his brother, Don, in his hometown of Plainview. The brothers ground the meat, while their mother seasoned it. Within six months, The Jimmy Dean Meat Co. was already a profitable business. By the late 80s, the Deans were making more than $75 million in profits. Dean sold his company to Sara Lee Foods in 1984, remaining its spokesperson until 2003. Really glad the meat packing venture worked out well for him. He deserved it.


Every mornin' at the mine you could see him arrive. He stood six-foot-six and weighed two-forty-five. Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip and everybody knew ya didn't give no lip to Big John.


Holy shit how did I not know the sausage guy was the country music guy.


Burt Saxby? Tell him he's fired!


TIL the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy collects about $4000 worth of coins every day. Most of the money goes towards charities like a supermarket for the needy. (12/21/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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They still won’t let me dive down to the plug, even after being shown that most excellent documentary, Futurama.


I wonder how much money the guys selling cell phone chargers and toys standing next to the fountain make


I did the math, if this is correct, that adds up to 28,000 a week which is 1,460,000 (One million four hundred sixty thousand) every year!


Who the fuck throws paper money into a fountain?!


"Roman officials have the fountain cleaned every night, reportedly ***netting as much as $4,000*** in loose change from around the world each day" Netting in Italian means half of what was collected.


Goldman Sachs on Monday announced its plan to invest $750 billion over 10 years to fight climate change by funding sustainable development. Goldman Sachs plans to invest in five areas: clean energy, sustainable transportation, food and agriculture, waste and materials, and ecosystem services (12/16/2019) ~ Futurology

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Even Goldman Sachs is divesting from fossil fuels. They won't finance Arctic oil drilling for instance. Clean energy is wind, solar, and lithium ion battery storage; sustainable transportation is EVs as in no oil. It should be fairly obvious the fossil fuel era is coming to a crashing end. Real soon.


If they are doing it for the environment, we win and it proves the environment is in danger. If they are doing it for money, we win and it proves that it was the economical choice all along. Win win.


Not really understanding all the comments about "they're only doing it for profit". Well no shit, it's 750 billion dollars. How are companies supposed to operate? And while everyone is complaining, they're missing the big point, which is that sustainable energy solutions are becoming profitable, which is the only way they're ever going to be adopted across the board. I get that the whole "corporations are bad" thing is kind Reddits go-to on anything companies do, but what's so wrong with everyone winning? Edit: Thanks for the Gold!


Obviously they are doing this because they think they are going to profit. I don't think they have suddenly become interested in doing "the right thing". It's all about money. If, a couple of years from now it looks like they are not going to profit, they will drop the program like it never happened.


Oh the whole lie that going green hurts jobs is nonsense. Creating demand for something never translates that way. The only issue is the coal miners who don’t want to transition away from their current income generator. Course I don’t feel too sorry for them I’ve been laid off and forced to switch career paths too so like suck it up.


TIL that the world’s oldest mouse, Yoda, reached the age of 4 years in a pathogen-free environment at the University of Michigan, living with his cage mate Princess Leia. 100-year-old people are much more common than 4-year-old mice.”, said his lab director. (12/17/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Wouldn't last 15 minutes outside in an Ann Arbor winter


When 4 years old you reach, look this good you will not.


Mr. Jingles lived more than 60 years. Amateur.


Yoda and Leia, interesting duo!


Why? How? What was the research about? A mouse-longevity-serum? So many questions so many possibilities!


ELI5: Why does packaging tape adhere so well to cardboard but terribly to almost everything else? (12/20/2019) ~ Explain Like I'm Five

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Because it's developed specifically to bond well with the fibers of the cardboard. If you try to stick another type of tape, say duct tape to a cardboard box it wont stick very well because it doesn't entangle the box fibers very well. Because packaging tape essentially relies on those fibers to form a good bond, it doesn't bond well to surfaces that can't provide something similar to the fibers.


It adheres well to paper because it's a starch based adhesive. A similar adhesive is used to bind the layers of paper in a box such as the outer wall, flutes, and inner wall of a single wall corrugated box. When you boil spaghetti you can throw it against the wall to determine if it's cooked enough because of the starch on the outside of noodle. It obviously isn't adhering very well to the wall though. It should adhere much better to paper, but the water could be an issue. Source: I'm a Packaging Engineer


I also have a question concerning clear packing tape! Why does it smell so bad? I’ve bought multiple rolls from multiple brands and sometimes it smells gross as heck. It’s been a while so I can’t describe it exactly but it’s def not RIGHT.


Explained like you're five: Different things have different shapes. Some of those shapes are very tiny. In my shoe, tiny hooks attach to the other side of it. See the squiggles in the other side? If you look closely they are tangled up and criss cross and are just a mess! The hooks on the other end use these to get stuck over and over again. Once they are stuck they have a hard time getting unstuck. Packing tape is like this but way smaller. You can't see it, and they are bunch different shapes: the cardboard like a bunch of glued together sticks, and near the surface they stick out. The packing tape looks like something that can grab onto these sticks, and the glue just helps them stay there.


I used to sell specialty chemicals to Bostik, 3M, etc. Every adhesive has a different chemical make up. Duct tape has different chemicals in it than Scotch tape for example. These formulations are designed to do different things. Some adhesives, like packaging adhesives are pressure sensitive, meaning the harder you push on them, the better they should stick. Depending on the chemical compound in the formulation, some chemicals will stick better to fibrous materials, some will stick to metal or rubber, some will stick to plastics. Fluronated materials are exceptionally difficult to adhere to, for example, so you need specialty tapes for those materials. These chemicals all have different smells as well. Those smells are a combination of what chemicals are in the compound and how those formulations were cured (Heat, solvent, UV, etc). Lastly, depending on how the chemicals are cured and which are used, they will have different coloring. Duct tape...the color doesn’t really matter. Clear packaging tape it matters very much...the chemicals will need to be resistant to yellowing (the term for clear chemicals turning brown as they age or are subjected to the elements) in addition to having certain adhesive properties. Hope that helps.


TIL of the Machine Identification Code. A series of secret dots that certain printers leave on every piece of paper they print, giving clues to the originator and identification of the device that printed it. It was developed in the 1980s by Canon and Xerox but wasn’t discovered until 2004. (12/15/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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No. Several of us discovered it in the 80's and made a huge stink about it. We were called conspiracy theorists and dismissed. Some of us went to enough trouble to prove it, comparing the yellow dots under microscopes/magnification and UV from multiple printers and multiple pages. We proved it. They lied and said no.


There's a black market for stolen printers in many countries (Africa is particularly bad) to get around the tracking code issue. I mean commercial printers like I use at work (as a printing business). We're talking about skilled technicians disassembling a multi-ton device that needs a crane and forklift to remove. Like in a hollywood heist movie, but for printing certificates. It's a waste of time copying banknotes, ID papers and vocational training and qualification certificates are where the money is. Been aware of this tech since the mid 90s. Yellow dot patterns because that's the human eye is least sensitive to.


And that's why you need cyan even if you only print a black and white doc.


That’s why you need to dump your printer after printing the ransom note


There is no way my printer does this. Despite not using it, it is always out of colored ink.


Kids For Cash (2013) [Trailer]- a crooked judge sends kids to juvenile detention in exchange for kickbacks given by the private corporation that runs it. (12/16/2019) ~ Documentaries

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I sure as hell hope this judge is in jail now, but somehow I doubt it.


Glad he’s in prison. We call this the “expulsion to prison pipeline” here where I live. Schools expel and refer to juvenile court on minor infractions of school zero tolerance policies. Possession of a marijuana as a teen in Indiana will get you a year of probation, multiple drug tests, required mental health and expulsion from school for the remaining and next semester. How’s a kid supposed to manage social stigma from their peers and isolation? They don’t and end up violating, getting sent to juvenile incarceration and it destroys their lives. You can blame the new “federal safety laws.” On the flip side there is probably tons of this stuff going on with juvenile programs and public private partnerships with corporations owned by community justice system leaders. The adults in rural Midwest communities face the same via problem solving courts, rehab, drug testing and work release programs. It’s like the Wild West of catch and release - but fashioned as a program to help addicts. For adults it’s most likely a profit center vs the higher expenses of incarceration in gross, yet profitable for a smaller count like juveniles.


Can't even start a small business these days


Also generally, juvenile detention is far more traumatic and chaotic than actual jail. These kids are treated like animals.


I did a lot of dumb shit when I was younger, and I look at where I’m at now and imagine where I would have likely ended up if I pulled the kinda stunts I pulled around this type of punishment system. I’m very lucky.


TIL that Viggo Mortensen was offered the role of Aragorn in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit film trilogy, but he turned it down since Aragorn never appeared in Tolkien’s Hobbit. (12/17/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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The lengths to which filmmakers will go to milk something for all it's worth astounds me


Aragorn would have been 10 years old at the start of *The Hobbit* (and Bilbo would have been 50). When Frodo later meets Aragorn in Bree, he is ~~77~~ 87 (addition is hard) years old. PJ takes a lot of weird liberties with the source material, but that one is a massive stretch.


The best thing about the Hobbit Trilogy is that it doesn’t really have any spoilers for the book.


The Hobbit movie was a sad money grabber.


and he only took the role of Aragorn in the first place because his son was a huge fan of the books.


TIL that during the Civil War the king of Siam (now known as Thailand) offered Lincoln war elephants to help fight the confederates. Lincoln respectfully declined. (12/18/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Civil War history would've been a lot cooler if Lincoln said yes.


I would have gratefully accepted, could you imagine a line of war elephants coming at you, I mean all my knowledge of them comes from Lord of the rings... but still


Lincoln was smart. Logistically elephants would've been a burden at best and for not much of a real benefit. There's a reason they fell out of fashion around the same time that firearms became prolific, and we had *gatling* guns during the Civil War. Not to mention their biggest benefit is being able to charge ranks, but we were fighting in forests and swamps. Elephants would've been useless.


I thought that was just a throwaway line in the king and i


*cries in Cersie*


Using human blood cells, researchers successfully 3D bioprinted “mini-livers” that perform all liver’s typical functions (producing vital proteins, storing vitamins, and secreting bile). Liver tissue can be made in the lab in only 90 days and may in future become an alternative to organ transplants. (12/18/2019) ~ Futurology

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This is so fucking crazy. If they can mimic this with a pancreas, we could fix a lot of diabetics too. I think that will be a lot hard though.


It looks to me like someone is eyeing up a Harper-Avery award! Well done. 🙂


Can I use some of these just to to up my liver? Would help with the drinking.


This is right out of a Grey's Anatomy episode. Wow.


So can people can continue non stop drinking???? Asking for a friend.....


In LOTR, Gondor gets invaded and requests aid from Rohan. They communicate their request by lighting bonfires across the lands and mountains, with the “message” eventually reaching Rohan. Was this system of communication ever used in history? (12/19/2019) ~ History

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The Byzantine Empire had a rather robust system spanning some 450-600 miles with various branches off that main line. Estimated that a message could travel from one end to the other in an hour.


Yes, all over the place in many time periods with different technology. It’s just a simple way to communicate over long distances, smoke, fire, flare, etc. It’s one of the communication methods that have been universally discovered by everyone. Even the isolated American natives in north and South America used their own techniques


🎵 Let’s get down to business 🎵 and make unoriginal comments 🎶 I just removed 23 repetitions of the same lame-ass tired “joke” *Mulan* lyric. Stop it. If you want to go shitpost, there are plenty of subs out there for that. We’re not one. Knock it off or I’ll pull the whole thread.


As with most things Tolkien, such as the riddles and the Shire, they are actually based on Anglo-Saxon history. The Anglo-Saxons apparently had a system of beacon fires that they used to protect the coast from invaders such as Vikings.


Warning beacons were lit warning of the arrival of the Spanish Armada. ​ In LOTR novels Gondor sent a messenger with a red arrow to signify their dire need of aid from Rohan.


Facebook and Twitter shut down right-wing network reaching 55 million accounts, which used AI-generated faces to ‘masquerade’ as Americans (12/20/2019) ~ Futurology

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We really are going to have to teach critical thinking/analysis of information much more in the future.


"Reaching 55 million accounts" This **could** mean they removed one account with 55 million followers. >Facebook said that it removed 610 accounts, 89 Facebook pages, 156 groups, and 72 Instagram accounts that were connected to the organization. Edit: why are you downvoting a text from the article? This world has no chance Edit2: alot of "alternative accounts" and the like want to divide the people so they are mad I'm pointing out the clickbatey headline and exposing their attempt at exaggerating the truth.


As always with disinformation campaigns we have to ask what the goal was, and what tactics they used. The article gives us the goal: >In a blog post, Facebook said that it connected the accounts to a US-based media company called The BL that, it claims, has ties to Epoch Media Group. In August, NBC News first reported that Epoch Media Group was pushing messages in support of President Donald Trump across social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter We also have the starting points for the tactics used: >Pro-Trump messages were often posted “at very high frequencies” and linked to off-platform sites belonging to the BL and The Epoch Times. The accounts and pages were managed by individuals in the US and Vietnam. Read: they created fake news articles, crafted messages at high volume, and then used an influence network of fake accounts to greatly amplify the reach Citing some stats from the article >Facebook said that it removed 610 accounts, 89 Facebook pages, 156 groups, and 72 Instagram accounts that were connected to the organization. Around 55 million accounts followed one of these Facebook pages and 92,000 followed at least one of the Instagram accounts. The organization spent nearly $9.5 million in advertisements, according to Facebook. That's a fairly large impact for a small investment of effort. As always, we have the challenge of asymmetric warfare: this kind of influence campaign is much harder to protect from than it is to create. Which begs the question: how do we defend against this? Training individuals to think critically is one solution but a better technological defense is critical.


It's weird how every time this happens, all of the fake accounts are always far-right. It's almost as if they rely on propaganda to stay in power..


Umm just curious because I’ve personally never heard of it but has there been a instance of them ever shutting down a left wing network or no because that feeds there interests?


ELI5: What’s activated charcoal? (12/17/2019) ~ Explain Like I'm Five

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First let's talk a little about what charcoal is -- charcoal is when you take wood and you heat it up without oxygen being around. The lack of oxygen is important because you don't want the wood to burn, you want to remove the water and other chemicals from the wood and leave behind the carbon. This oxygen-less heating process is called pyrolysis. Activated charcoal or activated carbon is charcoal that has been treated to create lots of small holes/pores within the structure of the charcoal. These microscopic holes increase the surface area. This gives the activated carbon more area to bind to things and lock them up, which is why activated carbon is useful for purification purposes. Different chemicals bind to activated carbon better or worse than one another, and you can change those properties by treating/modifying the activated carbon in different ways. You can make activated carbon using chemical activation using acids/strong bases/salts or physical activation with hot gases during pyrolysis.


There already seems to be some great answers here, but I just want to add a disclaimer. While activated charcoal has many great uses in emergency medicine, do not eat or otherwise ingest activated charcoal products if you take regular medication. Due to its ability to absorb basically...most anything, it will absorb or at least partially absorb the medicine when it's in your stomach and system, rendering it ineffective or less effective.


Pressure cooked regular charcoal basically. Regular charcoal is made by heating up wood without oxygen. It still have the structure of wood, but it's mostly carbon now, so it's black. Activated Charcoal is made by forcing hot pressurized steam through the fibers of regular charcoal, clearing out the fibers and veins from when the charcoal still used to be a tree, giving it a larger surface area to absorb things. People exploit this property by using it as filters, absorb toxins, unscientific diy projects etc.


I heard that activated charcoal stops medication like birth control from working, is that true?


Also does it work in tooth paste to make your teeth whiter?


TIL about Zell Kravinsky, who donated his kidney to a poor African American man. He calculated the chances of dying from the procedure at 1 in 4,000, and said “to withhold a kidney from someone who would otherwise die means valuing one’s own life at 4,000 times that of a stranger”. (12/16/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Not gonna lie, I do value my own life more than 4000 times more than that of a stranger.


That's the odds of dying from the procedure. Did he calculate the odds of later on being on dialysis that could have been avoided if he had 2 kidneys, or of dying later from kidney failure or insufficiency? Also - If I do give one and then one of my children has a severe problem and needs one and I can't be there for them, then it becomes a huge problem. Liver would be something else, that grows. That said, I am a donor on death.


I've signed up to be an organ donor, but I'm keeping them until I'm dead. I'll donate blood on occasion as well, that risk to me is nearly 0. I was born with 2 for a reason. I do enough risky things that may put my organs into the donor pool soon enough anyway.


In over 250,000 American transplants, less than 2% of donors have had major issues. By Federal Law all donor costs are paid for and if donor ever requires a kidney they go to the very top of the recipient list. And more than 97% of all donors say they would do it again. Source: my sister in law is waiting for a kidney and I am on her donor list.


Well now I REALLY feel like crap for not marking myself as an organ donor on my license :I


TIL of Karl P. Schmidt, a herpetologist who documented his own death after he was bitten by a juvenile boomslang snake. He made detailed notes on the symptoms he experienced, almost right up to the end. He died 24 hours after the bite, bleeding in his lungs, kidneys, heart, and brain. (12/20/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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FYI, what caused the bleeding: >Boomslang venom works by causing disseminated intravascular coagulation, a condition in which so many small clots form in the blood that the victim loses the ability to clot further and bleeds to death.


I was disappointed to learn that he did not respond to an accidental bite like a metal AF scientist, but rather made a fatally foolish assumption that the intentional snake bite could not be fatal.


The sequel to “Are you there God? It’s me Margaret” was super dark.


After experiencing these symptoms he later wrote "....but my dick still seems to be getting blood. So I got that going for me...which is nice."


More like derpetologist, amirite?


ELI5: Why does putting clear (scotch/packing) tape on a frosted window let you see through it? (12/15/2019) ~ Explain Like I'm Five

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Frosted glass is simply glass with a (chemically) roughened surface which causes the light passing through the pane to diffuse in all directions, instead of letting straight through. (Scotch) tape is essentially a clear plastic surface coated with a thin layer of transparent adhesive. When you stick it to frosted glass the adhesive fills the small cavities on the glass surface which were made by the chemicals used to frost it. The adhesive thus smoothens the surface, counteracting any diffusion. This also means that the tape trick only works on chemically frosted glass, or mechanically frosted glass with a fine texture, because the thin layer of adhesive can only smoothen out relatively small cavities in the glass. Edit: thanks for the silver! Edit 2: and thanks for the double silver and the gold!!


So I could de-frost my bathroom windows with patterned privacy tape, and just the frosted parts of the patterned tape would be visible? If that makes sense Edit: auto correct issue


The adhesive on the tape fills in the rough surface smoothing it out allowing light to travel through it without scattering


In Tulsa, an investigation finds possible evidence of mass graves from 1921 race massacre (12/17/2019) ~ History

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Hi everyone, And welcome to /r/history We just wanted to mention due to all the history deniers trying to decry this moment of history as "fake news" via anonymous reports that it's not. It is a thing which happened. The reason we mention this is, we'd like to remind you all that **you can help keep history denial from spreading.** When you see someone breaking **Rule 3: No historical negationism or denialism**, please use the **report button.** Thank you.


I'm from the Tulsa area, and this is definitely a part of our history that is quite painful, especially knowing that the black community in Tulsa was forever changed by the events. There has been a recent push to increase education and understanding about this in local schools, because for a long time it was shoved under the rug and not discussed.


I had never heard of the Tulsa massacre of 1921 until I saw it on watchmen, and I thought it was part of the show. It seems this part of American history was just left out of my history classes in Tennessee. This is why we need know about our American history so this never happens again, and my schools omitted it from the texts.


Fun fact: I live in Tulsa and recently found out that one of our very popular music venues (The Old Brady Theater) was a place where they kept the bodies until they could be buried. That place has always had an eerie "i wouldn't want to be here after hours alone" vibe and now i know why. And yeah, bands still play there, it's a pretty popular place. So many people don't even know...


Recently read about this, it was truly a horrendous act. They murdered hundreds of men, women, and children all because a black kid supposedly stepped on a white lady's foot. Officials at the time locked down the town in order to cover up the crime. Several survivors who witnesess the attacks were also rounded and disappeared. All in all, this was a monumental attrocity.


TIL in 1900 A category 4 hurricane was raging through the Bahamas. The advanced weather stations in Cuba tried to inform the US Weather Bureau that it was headed west to Texas. They ignored the Cubans and claimed it was headed north instead. The hurricane hit Texas killing up to 12,000 people. (12/19/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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For those wondering, this is the infamous Galveston hurricane that more or less wrecked Galveston's then high growth rate. It remains the deadliest natural disaster in US history.


I personally would trust the Cubans on telling me where the hurricane was going right after it hit them. Cuba - "That hurricane is heading west im looking right at it" Texas - "you are mistaken it is going north" Cuba - "oh yeah our mistake" Cuba talking to Puerto Rico "Man Texas is dumb as shit"


Texans ignoring scientists? That's so unlike them.


Everybody makes mistakes. In Havana, 1948, the year I was born, the Cuban weather service forecast that a currently active hurricane would completely bypass the city. My dad, an engineer, had a mercury barometer he built as a physics class project. He could see the barometer dropping like a rock, so he battened down the house while the neighborhood grasshoppers fiddled. Our house came through fine (as well as others who listened to him). I don't think it was the worst ever, but the eye did pass directly over.


Rip Galveston Island


TIL of Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, an American businessman who died when the RMS Lusitania sank in 1915, after giving his lifejacket to a young mother and her baby. He knew that he could not swim and that there were no other lifeboats available at the time. His body was never recovered. (12/20/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Say what you will about these American industrialists and their cut-throat business practices, but if you look at the Lusitania and the Titanic sinkings, they had their fair share of mega-rich passengers and the men lived by a code of conduct that dictated you put women and children first, always... and it was better to die than live without honor.


I'd like to throw in a plug for the book "Dead Wake" by Erik Larson. It's a fascinating book that follows the Lusitania from New York to its final resting place, along with the submarine captain who fired the torpedo that sank it. It's a great read and the description of the actual sinking is really vivid.


Can you imagine a "captain" of industry in the USA today who would consider doing this? I can not.


so, like.. this guy was Anderson Cooper's ancestor? right? (Anderson Cooper's mom was Gloria Vanderbilt).


Wonder if the recipients survived


TIL when Patrick Stewart grew a comb over as a young bald man, some friends of his invited him on a picnic, then forcibly held him down, cut it off, and told him “You be yourself. No more hiding.” (12/16/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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When he was cast in Next Generation, the executives were worried the audience would be distracted by his baldness. Gene Roddenberry had him audition twice, once with the worst toupee they could find and once bald, to prove 1) his acting would override any possible distraction and 2) they could do *much* worse than bald.


This hits home as a guy balding at a young age. Fucking love this man.


He then honored them by going on to make a living pretending to be other people.


Be yourself! And by that we mean do the hairstyle we think looks better on you instead of the one you wanted to do.


Those were some good friends.


ELI5: How does a government go into debt? (12/19/2019) ~ Explain Like I'm Five

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It can do so in the most straightforward method which is to borrow directly from banks or other lending organizations. More commonly, a government issues bonds or notes. These bonds or notes promises a certain payment in the future. Essentially they are promissory notes (ie lend or 'invest' in me money now and I will promise to pay you back in the future') There are also ways that are sort of like debt - for example getting another group some kind of rights (mining, logging, or oil extraction) in return for cash or infrastructure development. All debt is just a concept of getting something of value now and giving a promise to pay that back (in kind or other forms) at some later date.


Imagine your friend Jimmy asks if he can borrow £1 for sweets and he promises he'll give you £1.10 tomorrow. If you trust Jimmy that seems like a great deal. Then tomorrow Jimmy could give you the money back or ask someone else for £1.1 to give you and pay them back more the next day. That's how the government gets into debt and that's how they sustain it.


By issuing debt. In the form of bonds. A bond is a IOU from the gov. Whoever buys the bond gives the gov $100. In x years time, the gov repays X+interest. The gov is now in debt for X+interest.


Your question is complex because "debt" means something very different to governments than to regular people, and gets people confused. Further, "a government" conflates very different financial situations governments can be operating in, which radically changes what debt means to them. Consideration #1: is it a fiat currency system, controlled by the government in question? The US federal government is, whereas none of the 50 states are. While you or I can go broke, the US federal government literally cannot go broke unless the government specifically chooses to. It does not have a piggy bank, nor a checking account, like we might. It's better understood as simply destroying money it receives in taxes, and creating money it issues when it wants to pay for things, such as federal employees' salaries. None of that creates debt, even if money is being taken out of the economy faster than put in (deficit spending, an unrelated concept). 100% separate from this, the federal government might choose to manipulate the amount of currency and economic activity in the US economy. A main tool for doing this is through treasury bonds, which is where we get to the US federal government and debt. Like before, these bonds can always be paid, 100% of the time, no matter what, unless the government chooses not to, for some arbitrary reason. A bond is a financial instrument that is sold on the market at some price, and eventually matures and gets converted into issued currency. Between its initial offer and maturity, it can be traded around, even bought pre-emptively by the federal government itself. Whoever holds the bond, the federal government is in debt to. People selling the bonds early is no big deal, and there's not really any such thing as the bond holders demanding their money early - that's a weird thing people say but isn't even a hypothetical problem. That's what debt is like for the US federal government, which has a fiat currency it controls. So what about governments without that? US states and local governments actually are a lot more like a regular person or household. They can't issue currency, and they do have money hopefully saved up in reserves. Running out of money is an actual possibility, and being tight on money happens regularly and causes all sorts of havoc sometimes. If they don't have the money, they can't do projects or pay salaries. Just like people, sometimes it's worth it to borrow, and governments can issue bonds. (issue = create). All governments have their own proceedures for what makes this possible, but the general idea is if a bond is approved, the bonds get sold, and will eventually mature into a cash payment. But unlike the federal government, states need to actually have collected the specific money to issue in bond payments, such as through revenue from taxes, or if needed, issuing another bond. They do not automatically have the ability to pay them, like the US federal government. That said, it's still generally a good idea to use bonds to grow an economy faster than the interest rate of the bond. What other ways do governments go into debt? Being weak or corrupt, when your neighbor is predatory: an example of China and its neighbors. China is powerful compared to Malaysia. China offering to develop a Malaysian port sounds great at first, if you're Malay or an official benefitting from making the deal. But the deal is a contract with teeth. When it becomes more and more apparent that this whole project isn't going to materialize into something real and profitable for Malaysia, it becomes clear the powerful China will seek to get their due, even if Malaysia has not benefitted. This kind of situation, specifically with China, has been coming up, and is akin to owing a debt, though sometimes that debt is paid in ways such as leasing land or other political favors. When a country is economically strong, it is less vulnerable to predatory deals that create this kind of debt. And likewise, the less there are corrupt officials looking to line their own pockets at the expense of their own people, the less likely they are to accept bad deals such as these.


A new future president is nearing the election. He gets a call from a major lender, like the IMF or World Bank. They say, "We can offer you funding to build infrastructure in your crumbling country. Same-day financing, no credit score too low, we offer payday loans, etc." The candidate tells everyone he can get them highways without dirt and potholes; rail lines that don't constantly derail; a port to boost the economy of a port city; stadiums, bread, circuses, etc. He gets elected. The country takes the loan. The terms are for them to pay back regularly, but they're not making enough money, and now they're insolvent and the interest on the loans costs 50% of the GDP. Welcome to Ecuador.


TIL France was the first Weatern European Country to decriminalize homosexuality way back in 1791. The man who presented it, Louis-Michel le Peletier, stated that only “true crimes” ought to be punished, and not “superstition” (12/17/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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This happened during the revolution. Plenty of anti-religious sentiment took place during this time. So I imagine 'superstition' was code for religion.


That's a good quote. Trudeau the elder also said it well: "There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation. What's done in private between adults doesn't concern the Criminal Code."


To decriminalize something, it has to be a crime first, right? Was there no country where homosexuality just wasn’t a crime?


The fact that it's still "illegal" in some places should be horrifying to anyone with a brain, but then again: a great many people seem to lack one.


I killed that guy in Assassin’s Creed.


TIL that wood can now be made stronger than steel and nearly as bulletproof as Kevlar (but at only 5% of the cost)! (12/16/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Is it flexible though? Strapping on your 4x8 bulletproof vest sheet may prove difficult.


I feel like fully bulletproof is a lot better than mostly bulletproof.


For a one-liner, the title summarize the article rather well. The article does answer most of the usual questions left open by the title : which strenght, compression, shear, ... and "what do they mean as 'nearly as bulletproof" (the answer is at same thickness) ?


Lol @ the part where they try to make wood windows. They basically strip it of it's pigments, turn it to much and pour plexiglass into it for a result that is let's light through. They essentially made plexi glass with wood in it.


Counterpoint: steel doesn’t rot, absorb moisture and it’s easily recyclable.


TIL that Microsoft Flight Simulator is the longest-running software product line for Microsoft at 37 years old, predating Windows by three years (12/17/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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The earliest versions ran on ms-dos before windows came out. Before windows 95, windows wasn’t even an operating system, it was a program that sat on top of ms-dos that would let you do gui stuff. I bet before windows 95, if you wanted to use flight simulator, you would have to close and completely exit windows so that you can free up base memory or make space in ram (which was called high memory back then).


Fun fact: a version of Flight Simulator was embedded in Excel 97. You had to enter certain text in a certain cell and it would launch the game.


My dad was on the IBM PC design team and when the PC was about to be released, he was invited to the Pentagon to see if they would allow it to be sold in the USSR. My dad set up a PC and loaded MS Flight Sim for them. It was a quick no. I remember playing that monochrome wire frame game for hours. The biplane dog fight was so simple yet so much fun.


And here I thought it was actually their Basic product line was their oldest. Hint: it is, it predates MS-dos and their latest release of the product line with Basic was 4 month ago, July 2019 for Visual Basic .NET.


It really did a whole lot better than the short-lived Microsoft Fight Simulator, which featured a variety of programmers squabbling on the Microsoft campus.


TIL “Jimmy cracked corn and I don’t care” is actually about a slave who started drinking his masters whisky after he was killed being bucked from a horse. (12/18/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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wow... the slave was able to drink after being killed? impressive.


As a white kid growing up in Michigan I remember singing "Jimmy cracked corn and I don't care ; the masters gone away" and holy shit I haven't thought about that in decades and this just fucked me up a little.


This is a poorly written article. In practically the same breath it says that cracking corn means to gossip. Then they say without any other context “but probably jimmy drank whisky”. What has lead them to this conclusion?


For some reason my sister-in-law and I love to joke about this song, like “well you must care, you wrote a whole song about it”


Yar! This here post is worded in a misleading fashion. Although it seems right enough, at a glance it can be mite confusing.


Impeachment Questions: Rules Reminder (12/19/2019) ~ Explain Like I'm Five

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TIL That Scientists discovered a species of fungus at Chernobyl that uses the gamma radiation from the nuclear waste as a food source (12/17/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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This isn't the beginning of a horror movie or anything. Nope. Not at all.


Protomolecule confirmed


I for one, would like to welcome our new fungus overlords.


Life finds a way


The article describes the process as analogous to the capture of visible light photons in photosynthesis. I have my doubts. The energy of gamma ray photons is 1000 times that of a visible light photon. Photosynthesis is catching a fastball in a catcher's mitt. A gamma ray photon would be like a cannonball. Probably the gamma rays are generating a lot of free radicals in the system and the fungus is evolving to use those high energy species as fuel.


TIL reindeer meat is actually some of the healthiest meat out there. It contains way less fat than beef, and Norwegians are known to eat smoked reindeer, grilled reindeer, reindeer pizza and reindeer tartare (12/17/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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That explains why Santa has lived for so long.


Anyway, like I was sayin', reindeer is the fruit of Norway. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, reindeer kabobs, reindeer creole, reindeer gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple reindeer, lemon reindeer, coconut reindeer, pepper reindeer, reindeer soup, reindeer stew, reindeer salad, reindeer and potatoes, reindeer burger, reindeer sandwich. That....that's about it.


Is fatty meat really that bad? It certainly tastes better in a wider range of cooking methods.


High protein/no fat does not a healthy diet make. See: rabbit starvation “Protein poisoning (also referred to colloquially as rabbit starvation, mal de caribou, or fat starvation) is a rare form of acute malnutrition thought to be caused by a near complete absence of fat in the diet.” Just an FYI


Reindeer is delicious. Just bought some smoked reindeer sausage at the holiday market. I made a pizza last night with some chanterelles, artichoke hearts, and goat cheese.


TIL Cilantro and Coriander come from the same plant. Cilantro is the leaves, and Coriander is the seeds. (12/17/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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In Australia, New Zealand and I believe Europe, it’s just coriander leaves and coriander seeds.


Or, even more simple: cilantro is the spanish word for coriander.


TIL that OP has never been outside of the United States


I'm just here for the arguments between those that like it and those that think it tastes like soap.


I’ve lived in the USA and the UK, and I can confirm that cilantro and coriander are exactly the same thing, the leaves of the plant.


TIL that rapper DMX became addicted to Crack Cocaine at age 14, has fathered 15 children and has been arrested over 20 times. (12/18/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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X gon give it to ya, but not if it’s child support


Abandoned by his dad, beaten by his mother and others repeatedly and no real stability at home. It'd have been a miracle if he came out of that a well adjusted man.


I was one of the background artists at one of his concerts after he got out of prison for the airport thing. Fucking worst show I’ve ever played. He was the biggest drunk asshole I had seen. The whole thing was a shit show. Jerimih was a cool guy though. Took care of his fans and was professional all the way through.



There was that one time where he was arrested for impersonating an FBI agent. That was his excuse after being caught with drugs.


TIL in 1859, during a massive solar storm, telegraph operators in Boston MA unplugged their batteries and were able to send messages to Portland ME using only the auroral current. (12/19/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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That's fucking awesome.


*The sky was so crimson that many who saw it believed that neighboring locales were on fire. Americans in the South were particularly startled by the northern lights, which migrated so close to the equator that they were seen in Cuba and Jamaica. Elsewhere, however, there appeared to be genuine confusion. In Abbeville, South Carolina, masons awoke and began to lay bricks at their job site until they realized the hour and returned to bed. In Bealeton, Virginia, larks were stirred from their sleep at 1 a.m. and began to warble. (Unfortunately for them, a conductor on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad was also awake and shot three of them dead.) In cities across America, people stood in the streets and gazed up at the heavenly pyrotechnics. In Boston, some even caught up on their reading, taking advantage of the celestial fire to peruse the local newspapers.*


It’s disappointing that so much cool science shit happened in the 1800s when we weren’t able to properly study it.


The Carrington event is interesting. Probably doom us now.


Actually it also set some of the lines and equipment on fire, and if it happened today it could be disasterous, like anything electric powered potentially being fried. Maybe things like non-computerized toasters would be fine, but any type of CPU probably couldn't handle the current generated...


TIL that the Southern Baptist Church formed in 1844 when Baptists living in the south opposed the efforts of Baptists living in the north to prevent missionaries from owning slaves. So they formed the Southern Baptist church, a church that explicitly allowed slavery. (12/19/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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The most horrible religious group, those racist idiots used to come to my house when I was a kid to tell us we were going to hell because we were Catholic.


"...with blackjack! ...and hookers!" "No, just with slavery. WTF is wrong with you bro?"


As much as it pains me, I must point out that the Southern Baptist Church has admitted they were wrong, and publicly groveled to ask forgiveness. As much as I disagree with them on almost everything, they have been much more open and apologetic about their racist past than most churches.


So I asked him "Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist"?


My family is Southern Baptist. My dad is an ordained Southern Baptist pastor. He was also in the Army so we moved a lot. Often we would be members of a church but dad wouldn't be the pastor of it. One of the churches we attended had a black family visit several times and everyone was very nice to them. It honestly didn't even occur to me that it would be unusual or anything. Until the next month's "business meeting" when one of the elderly deacons presents that we need to vote to allow them to come. After a lot of gasping, the entire congregation present basically shot him down and told him that anybody is allowed to come no matter what, what is his problem, and so on. We stopped going there not long after because dad got invited to be the pastor at another church.


TIL a German filmmaker once asked Carthusian monks for permission to film a documentary of their lives. They responded affirmatively 16 years later and the film took 5 more years to complete. (12/18/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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>The idea for the film was proposed to the monks in 1984, but the Carthusians said they wanted time to think about it. They responded to Gröning 16 years later to say they were willing to permit him to shoot the movie if he was still interested. Gröning then came alone to live at the monastery, where no visitors were ordinarily allowed, for a total of six months in 2002 and 2003. He filmed and recorded on his own, using no artificial light. >Gröning then spent two and a half years editing the film. The final cut contains neither spoken commentary nor added sound effects. It consists of images and sounds that depict the rhythm of monastic life, with occasional intertitles displaying selections from Holy Scripture. A Quiet Place: Holy Edition


I saw this. Its beautiful and sublimely intense


"Hey did we ever send that letter back to that filmmaker?" "I thought you had." "I thought YOU had!"


I imagine the response 16 years later was just a letter that said "Ah sure why not"


TIL Monks are ents


TIL After the scene where Margot Robbie has sex with Leonardo DiCaprio on a pile of money in ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, Robbie ended the scene with her back covered in paper cuts from the fake money they used (12/15/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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> paper cuts from having sex on a pile of fake money *That’s* why the real stuff is made with *cotton fiber.*


When you counterfeit money you can put it in the dryer with poker chips to give the money a natural feel


I feel like a pile of money is one of the most unsanitary places you could possibly have sex.


That's a real pro there. Get the scene in the can, then complain about the paper cuts.


Then rolled in a bed of real money she made from it to soothe the wounds from the scene.


TIL The Philippines has its own version of apple pie made from coconuts and condensed milk. Buko pie is believed to be invented by Soledad Pahud, she discovered apple pie while working as a maid in the United States, she returned to the Philippines where the lack of apples led to her coconut recipe. (12/15/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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So they have coconut pie?


TIL that all pies are just versions of apple pie, regardless of the presence of apples.


Not really true. buko pie uses cornstarch, condensed milk, and coconut juice. Even the crust is different. No similarity to Apple pie. There is a Philippines version of Apple pie that uses chayote, crackers, cinnamon and brown sugar.


Australia has it's own version of apple pie called meat pie, except it's savoury and totally different and has nothing to do with apple pie.


I have my own version of Apple pie, it's a stew made with beef instead of apples, and instead of a crust I put it in bowls.


Climate change: Major emitters accused of blocking progress at UN talks (12/15/2019) ~ Futurology

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What I don’t get is why the bbc would write an article like this but use this ridiculous picture as the thumbnail. It’s like they don’t want people to take this seriously.


Climate change would have too big an effect on those countries economies to want to do anything about it. Appealing to their sense of helping humanity isn’t helping so how do you get them to change their stance? Or how do we side step them eg trade embargoes


""Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India and China were "part of the problem". "" So is Russia, one of the top five that as far as I know is doing nothing. But China more than any other needs to be brought onboard. In the last eighteen months China has developed enough coal station power to provide all the energy requirements of 31 million homes. In the pipeline are a further 148 Gigawatts of coal power. They are also building coal power stations outside China at something like a 25% discount. People who constantly campaign in the US and EU need to wake up to the fact that the world could go carbon zero except for China, India and Russia and CO2 output would stay at 40% of what it is today.


How much of an asshole do you have to be to be filthy rich and still want to burn the world down to be a little richer (which will have no effect in your life because of how rich you already are).


Implies the UN is capable of making progress in anything.


TIL that Ishinosuke Uwano, a WWII Japanese soldier who had been missing since 1958, was found alive in Ukraine aged 83. He’d been declared dead in 2000. He hadn’t visited Japan in 60 years and had to enter the country on a Ukraine passport. (12/16/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Lots of Japanese prisoners were sent to forced labor by the Soviets until it's capitulation Some of them just stayed behind There's a comic somewhere by some guy who's experienced it it's really neat but I can't find it


There is also the story of another Japanese soldier who was found recently in the jungle somewhere. Not realizing the war was already over (for 30+ years).


The last sentence was that last year officials went to the Philippines to investigate a rumor that one veteran still hides there in the jungle. The war is over for 74 years. I know there were soldiers found after 30ish years but damn, if someone is still out there, that's a fucking achievement.


He's still alive, 97 years old.


>WWII Japanese soldier who had been missing since 1958 Hmm...


Aussie farmers fighting big gas companies for their land (2019):What would you do if someone walked into your backyard, dug a big hole and put a fence around it with a sign saying ‘No Trespassing’? (12/20/2019) ~ Documentaries

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Imagine signing a contract without reading it and then complaining when the other party enforces it.


'What would you do if someone came into your backyard, set up a gigantic farm with a fence round it with a sign saying 'no trespassing'....most aboriginal people probably.


>"Brentley ... was the jewel in the crown of Caine's multi-million dollar business ... until GCQ came in and destroyed everything ... it's a gas field" That's evil! >"His troubles began in 2010, when this bush-smart kid **ended up against his better judgment to allow Queensland Gas Company to build a 3 kilometer, 40 meter wide pipeline along one boundary**" Uh. >"Caine put locks on all the gates and shut them out" ... "In the eyes of the law, Caine is the criminal" ... "You see, **QGC has every legal right to access his farm whenever they want**" Oh. >"They have the government's support, so I have to fight both the gas company *and* the government!" Well... >"They next wanted to put three coal seam gas test well onto Caine's land" >"- I'd rather just relocate, get of of their hair, we're happy to move on *outside the gas*, so I can continue on with my enterprise" >"So QGC began to negotiate to buy Brentley, for 2 years, then 'suddenly' pulled out ... and sent two land access officers to Caine with a conduct and compensation contract to allow them to build gas wells on Caine's property and asked him to sign it" >"- Thing is I can't read or write real good. They never read that thing for me, or try to make me understand it." >"Caine agreed to signed and agreed to three methane production wells" ...


Rule #1: If you can't read and write, don't make your mark on a contract with someone you are fighting.


If you sold the mineral or gas rights to the dirt under your house, the owner of those rights is right in his ownership. Any work site manager is right in fencing off the work area for safety reasons.


TIL Pooping can be a life-threatening experience for a Sloth. They take a dump around once a week and have terrible constipation. A single poop can be up to a third of the Sloth’s body weight. (12/16/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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The sloth's committed strategy for survival isn't terrible teeth or fast movement, it's concealment. They look like foliage and they smell of mould, they hide in plain sight. Their poo on the ground would be a total giveaway so they risk coming down to the ground in order to bury their poo away from where they sleep. Constipation is a big plus if you're a sloth.


Even better, they always go to the same spot to poop. People know this, because that's how sloths find each other to mate. The male sloth just kinda hangs out near a female's poop palace and when she finishes, he's like, "So, now that you're done with that...."


TIL I’m a sloth.


Imagine the relief, though


I would love to shit once a week and lose 30% of my body weight.


TIL of the Berners Street hoax: In 1809, Theodore Hook bet his friend that he could make a random house the most famous house in London within a week. He did so by ordering chimney sweeps, piano deliveries, and priests to the address. The ensuing chaos brought London to a standstill. (12/18/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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4chan 1800 style.


>Despite a "fervent hue and cry" to find the perpetrator, Hook managed to evade detection Well, I mean, someone *eventually* found out.


That is excellent. And to mister Hook... Well done, well done indeed.


The original DDOS attack


"berners street" and "sanderson hotel" is this some sort of coded campaign plan? if so, I think I like it.


The rise of Vladimir Putin – 20 Year of Putin, pt.2 (2019) – “This documentary looks at the rise of Vladimir Putin using video material never shown before. The two-part film begins its examination with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the year 2000.” (12/17/2019) ~ Documentaries

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How does he look older with more hair?


The first part of this was some top-class documentary making. Looking forward to this. The first part has footage with Boris Yeltsin and his family while Putin wins the election. Crazy access. Brilliant.


Link to part one?


Putin up with him for 20 years


Would make a great movie...maybe someone could ask Daniel Craig?


Vanishing without a trace (2019) The Evaporated People of Japan, known as Johatsu, a social phenomena where people choose to abandon their old life and remain missing (12/15/2019) ~ Documentaries

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Oh so tempting


Sometimes...the pain and stress of continuing to perform the functions of an employee and citizen are so much of an unending burden...the freedom of being homeless is better.


Just like all the other commenters here, I understand why people do this 🙁


Some days, that seems like a really good idea.


I did this to a degree. Stopped talking to one side of my family after I realized they were the root of a lot of my mental health problems. Sometimes I miss them, but I'm happier and healthier without them in my life. Sad, but true.


TIL that a group of striking coal workers in West Virginia had leftover WWI chemical bombs dropped on them by the US government during the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest labor uprising in American history. (12/15/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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It was one of the few instances of use of aircraft against civilians in the United States, and the only case where the US Air force was used against Americans. When some of them were tried for treason, their lawyers displayed to the juries the bombs used against their clients, who ended up acquitted.


Fun fact: the do NOT teach us this in state history (I'm from WV). Didnt hear of Sid Hatfield until I was fucking 26. Union leader assassinated on the courthouse steps, and somehow that story didnt seem interesting or important enough...oh, yeah, our books WERE subsidized by Massey Energy, why do you ask?


By the time they were marching to Washington DC, they had a larger standing army than George Washington.


And they'll do it again


Goes to show that the constitution ultimately is just words on a paper.


TIL in 1719 prisoners in Paris were offered freedom at the condition they would marry a prostitute and move to Louisiana. (12/17/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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As an American, this explains a lot....


TIL Louisiana was France's Australia.


Yep, my family was kicked out of France for partying too hard, then kicked out of Acadiana for partying too hard, then finally settled in New Orleans where they told everyone to party as hard as they want.


So, what's the downside?


Being sent to a hot and humid hole, full of disease... And on top of that, moving to Louisiana!


TIL that the voting age in Brazil is 16 and voting is mandatory for all literate people from 18 to 70 (12/18/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Interesting that it starts at 16. I can't imagine making any good decisions at 16, but to be fair I can't imagine making any good decisions between 18 and 70 either


Well there's a pretty damning case study that shows mandatory voting doesn't lead to good government.


And yet still... Bolsonaro. It’s almost like the key to successful democracy is more complicated than hunting for single silver bullet solutions. Still, there is an appeal to this as part of an answer to voter suppression.


Compulsory voting is a no. Automatic registration is a hell yes.


In Brazil voter ID is mandatory, and most voting places, like 99%, have electronic voting machines. This year, all voters had to go to the electoral offices and register their biometrics in the voter id.


TIL of the Texas City Disaster, the deadliest industrial accident in United States history. The explosion, caused by a ship full of ammonium nitrate catching fire, was so large that the ship’s anchor serves as a memorial to the explosion where it landed… a mile and a half inland. (12/19/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Jesus christ, that picture of the parking lot is insane.


I have some questions about the wording of this bit in the article; "Two sightseeing airplanes flying nearby had their wings shorn off,[5] forcing them out of the sky" It is technically accurate but it makes it sound like forced landings. From my history of working with aircraft I'm pretty sure having their wings shorn off causes a plane to do something that is normally described differently to this.


TIL that there's a Texas City in Texas


I saw on a tv program years ago that 47 firemen rushing to the scene were cut in half by a piece of flying metal from the ship. What an awful disaster.


My grandmother lived in Galveston (just across the bay) at the time it happened. She said she thought it was the end of the world--huge boom, and black clouds, etc. She would have been about 12 at the time.


TIL about Patton’s Prayer. During The Battle of the Bulge, clear weather was desperately needed to advance. He asked a chaplain to write him a suitable prayer. The chaplain complied, and the ensuing prayer was handed out to the troops. The weather cleared, and Patton gave the chaplain a Bronze Star. (12/15/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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This is the prayer: > Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen.


I knew this fact but I love it so much. The reason being the battle of the bulge was so rough as far as weather goes as it got in ww2. If it had been any worse we wouldn't have prevailed. There were americans fighting barefoot in that battle ffs. As a veteran of afghanistan it almost makes me not consider myself a veteran. I've been on the receiving end of fire and fired at enemies. The men in the battle of the bulge are absolute fucking troopers. I dont think men of that caliber still walk the earth. At least as much as they do now per capita. I've been through some shit. Battle of the bulge nibbas earned the eternal triple og status. For eternity.


And then he slapped him for good measure.


So what would he have done to the chaplain if the weather sucked?


TIL the US army still had sorcerors in its employ and rewarded them for the success of their magic spells in 1944.


TIL of Cody Slaughter, who was so honest during his job interview with the Border Patrol, that he admitted to molesting a toddler, and having sex with various types of animals, offences the police were previously unaware of. (12/19/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Interviewer: And what would you say is your biggest weakness Mr. Slaughter? Slaughter: Honesty. Also, bestiality and pedophilia.


>On July 2, Slaughter allegedly admitted to molesting a 2-year-old girl eight years ago, when he was 14, and having sexual contact with a dog, horse and pig. The alleged admission came in response to an interviewer’s question about any unreported criminal acts in the past. >...was released from jail because no complaint was filed. >The rest of us feel redeemed for any stupid answers we've given in a job interview.


"What the fuck? Dude! Why are you telling me this? With a background like that you should be applying for the real police, get on out of here and grab yourself a badge and a gun!"


Reminds me of that random border patrol agent who turned out to be a serial killer.


So my dad is a probation officer and one time administered a drug urine test to a criminal. The drug test comes back positive. My dad says to the criminal "do you have anything to admit to" and the criminal says "yeah I stole my neighbors Xbox"


TIL The Las Vegas prosecutor who charged Bruno Mars and Paris Hilton for cocaine possession committed suicide after his own arrest for crack cocaine. (12/17/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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It’s kind of like preachers who rail against homosexuality then get busted for trying to solicit sex on line from an underage male.


Well, being a prosecutor in prison with people you helped put away would make for a bad time...


cocaine is helluva of drug


>Schubert is survived by two young children who live in Idaho, Schneider said. Yeah. That will drive you to extremes. What a conflicted man to end in such ignominy. Fuck.


Substances use should not be a crime, it should be treated like a medical problem and the law needs to stay completely out of it.


TIL a “familiar stranger” is a term used by social scientists for strangers we see on a regular basis but with whom we don’t interact. Familiar strangers are more than complete strangers but do not rise to the level of an acquaintance. (12/21/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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When I used to take the train into work, I would see the same people every day and just kind of head-nod to them like 'hey random person, good to see you and know that I haven't shifted universes overnight'


What's even more interesting is seeing these people 'out of context'. Myself-I've seen fellow train riders and familiar strangers in grocery stores and shopping centers in our town. It weirds me out because I want to greet them but have never interacted with them (much or at all) on the train. My wife is a pre School teacher and when she sees her students outside of school, they give her that incredulous look of disassociation.


People who work on the same floor as you, who you have never interacted with beyond something like holding a door open or something like that


There's a checkout clerk at my local convenience store where I get gas and breakfast once a week or so. She's the sweetest lady I've ever met. Calls customers "darlin'" and "love" and "baby." She's obviously going through some health issues, she's lost her hair, her voice goes in and out, and sometimes she's not working for a few weeks, then returns. I only know her name because of her name tag, but I make a point to to go through her line. We chat, only briefly, because she has a line and a job to do. In my heart I truly love this "familiar stranger." If the definition includes "we don't interact," well, I guess it doesn't qualify. But I don't know any more about her than what I've described. I'm just another friendly customer to her. Be nice to your retail workers. They don't get enough appreciation.


Like the guy with the mullet and the windbreakers who power walks through my neighborhood every day. 80s guy is a rad dude.


TIL that if you’re an American needing to find an embassy in Austria, you can go to any McDonald’s in the country and they will provide you a phone number and even a phone if you need it in order to contact the embassy. (12/15/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Is the info not otherwise readily available? This all makes it sound very cloak and dagger.


And yeah, of all the dangerous countries in the world, Austria is where you’d need to go to the American embassy...


Commonwealth citizens can contact a British embassy or consulate if one for their own country is unavailable for any reason.


Anyone who would know this arcane fact would be savvy enough to figure out how to get the number on their own.


Can just imagine hundreds of confused Austrian McDonald's employees wondering why some annoying fucking tourist is demanding the number of the embassy from them tomorrow.


TIL that composer John Williams has been nominated for 51 Academy Awards (winning 5) second only to Walt Disney who has 59. Williams has been nominated in six different decades, receiving his first for Valley of the Dolls in 1968 and his last for Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2018. (12/17/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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He’s the Edith Head of music. It’s funny, I was introducing my children to some of his more popular pieces over the weekend, and what I always find most amazing is the range of them. Sure he has a bunch of the big brass ones like Superman and Indiana Jones, but so many others like Schindler’s List or ET. Compared to some other “major” score composers these days and they all sound so much alike... Truly one of (if not) the greatest ever.


He and Hans Zimmer are my favorites.


John Williams said Steven Spielberg should find a better composer for Schindler's List. Steven replied, "I know, but they are all dead."


i'm a huge soundtrack head but the 2018 nomination for *the last jedi* sounds nothing more like a default nomination. that soundtrack was severely lacking compared to his previous works on the prequel and original trilogies.


With 115 film credits, over 44% of his scores have gotten nominations. And he didn't even get his first one until he was 17 in.


TIL that, depending on the species, most bamboos only flower once every 60 to 130 years – often simoultanesly worldwide, regardless of the geographic location. (12/18/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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And the fruit causes an explosion in the rat population, then when all the fruit is gone the rats go after crops and stored food which leads to a famine.


They're plugged into the mycelium network.


My sleep deprived brain read that as "baboons" and I was throughly disappointed when I clicked and saw a picture of bamboo and not a super old primate covered in flowers. I'm taking a nap.


TIL bamboo flowers


Could you imagine if some poor guy you were bamboo torturing (where you suspend someone over bamboo stalks and let it grow through their body) and the shit started blooming.?


TIL that Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman are separated but no divorced due to how close they still are (12/15/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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She's probably sticking around because of his magnum dong.


Well he doesn't know how many years on this earth he has left. He's going to get real weird with it.


They played husband and wife in Matilda. Had no idea they were married in real life.


Why are they separated then? Genuinely asking


Just do like in the old times with 2 seperate beds. Close, but seperate. Perfect harmony.


TIL Researchers have found that Inuit from northern Quebec are genetically distinct from any present-day population in the world. They compared the genetic profile of 170 Nunavik Inuit with “everyone possible” from Asians, Africans, and Europeans to North and South Americans (12/20/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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>"They were very different, as was expected," said Zhou. >Then researchers compared the profile with those available from other Indigenous populations, from Greenlandic Inuit to Indigenous groups from North and South America, Alaska, and Siberia. >"[Nunavik Inuit] were still … unique, because they are isolated, homogenous, and not known to have admixed with other populations," said Zhou. >"They do not share similar genetic components [or] genetic structure to any kind of present-day, worldwide populations." Would be very intrigued to see what the genetic profile of a people that were entirely untouched by the outside world would be like then. Like the Sentinalese people.


There's a good chance they're a relict population of the Dorset culture.


Did aliens in ancient times come to breed with our women to create a super species? Or could their motives have been more sinister? /s


Does this mean they were separated a few tens of thousand years ago or even further ?


I wonder what is unique about them. That's pretty cool to be so different.


TIL the word “Apple” didn’t always refer to the specific fruit. As late as the 17th century the word was used for all fruits that weren’t berries. (12/15/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Pomme de terre = apple of earth, French word for potato


Bonus TIL: **corn** was the same thing for vegetables.


The irony being that apples are berries.


This means the forbidden fruit in the Bible isn't an apple as European drawings depict.


Does this imply that ‘Eat an apple a day...’ refers simply to fruit? Any idea when that particular saying got popular?


TIL Once a year, fish swim to Mexico for an orgy so loud it can deafen dolphins and sea lions (12/16/2019) ~ Today I Learned

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Once a year, college students go to Daytona Beach for an orgy so loud it can deafen dolphins and locals.


how hard would you have to clap fish cheeks in order to deafen other animals??


Then there was the time I came across the AC/DC tour bus broken down on the highway, and they asked me to party with them. Good times.


Spring Break right?


I went one year.. Food was okay; but I met Kanye!


ELI5: How is there always a seemingly ready and plentiful supply of sperm (12/15/2019) ~ Explain Like I'm Five

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Because men make several million sperm cells per day, and there are always sperm cells in various stages of production. It's not like after an ejaculation you need 2 months to make more. Today, you (if you're male) will finish making, let's say 30 million sperm cells. There are also 30 million more sperm cells at "99%" that will be ready tomorrow, 30 million more at 98% that will be ready the following day...etc. You also have a bunch of surplus sperm cells ,so you have multiple rounds in the chamber, so to speak. Also, it's important to note that sperm is not the same is semen, sperm is a component of semen. Semen is almost entirely fluids from your seminal vesicles and prostate gland. An ejaculation with 50 million sperm cells is identical to one without except under a microscope. That's why men who have had vasectomies or men who are infertile can still ejaculate. Fun extra fact: The reason testicles are external and not inside the body is because the ideal temperature for sperm production is a few degrees cooler than our core body temperature. Keeping the testicles in an external sac keeps them cooler for optimal sperm production. That's also why the scrotum can tighten and sag. If it's too cold, your scrotum will contract to bring your testicles closer to your body to keep them warm. Too warm, and it'll relax and let them hang low away from your excess body heat.


Only about 2% of ejaculate are sperm. Most is nutritive fluid for their journey and produced by the prostate.


In your testes, you have things called seminferous tubules (which is a fancy way of saying sperm factories). They are filled with cells which can produce sperm cells- so many that you are able to produce around 1,500 per second! After they are produced they stay in a place called the epididymis which is where they stay and mature, into cells with motility, meaning they can swim to the egg and fertilise it when the time comes. As you said this process can take a while, usually between 60-75 days. Thankfully, sperm cells are super small (tens of millions in a millilitre of semen). So there is plenty of room for them to stay there and mature while more are being constantly produced. However, someone who masturbates multiple times a day will start to use up some of this supply - the volume of semen might (but not always) stay the same but the concentration of sperm cells in the liquid may decrease to help maintain a reserve. This is why fertility doctors may recommend you do not masturbate between attempts at trying for a baby. The numbers might not seem like they add up but remember concentration of sperm cells in the semen can decrease, while the same amount of semen roughly could be released several times a day, each time only releasing part of a reserve that has been there maturing for a while. Hope that helps


Also would like to add most of what you see when you ejaculate isn't sperm but a cocktail of various fluids created by the prostate and other glands that help keep sperm mobile and alive while in the vagina. This is especially true if it's your 2nd or 3rd time ejaculateing within 24 to 48 hours


So. Is there a limit of sperm that can be stored and how much is the max generally and also does the making of them stop when full?