The thread of interesting facts.

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newdarkcloud

The thread of interesting facts.

Postby newdarkcloud » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:01 pm

This thread is a simple enough premise. Here you put down any little factoid you want that you think others might be interested in.

For example: Your odds of dying on the way to purchase a lottery ticket are actually higher than your odds of winning the lottery.

I know you guys have all sorts of fun facts you'd like to share. Please, go right ahead.
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Narratorway
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Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Narratorway » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:34 am

The plastic tips at the end of shoelaces are called 'aglets'. Their true purpose is sinister.

Image
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:12 pm

Sids room is 4 sids long.

And for something that is not that:
Ignobel prizes,which began in 1991,is awarded to funny,and sometimes pointless research.For example,last year ignobel prize for writing was awarded to "US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports (Actions Needed to Evaluate the Impact of Efforts to Estimate Costs of Reports and Studies)".
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newdarkcloud

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby newdarkcloud » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:39 pm

Buzz Aldrin was the second person to set foot on the moon, and the first person to pee his pants on it.
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Zukhramm
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Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Zukhramm » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:01 pm

And the third guy, who didn't set his foot on the moon, was the loneliest man ever, in the world.
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dudecon
Location: Camarillo, CA
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Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby dudecon » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:36 pm

In a normal building the combined body mass of the tenants is approximately the same as each of the following:
the air contained within the building envelope
the water in the pipes
the copper in the electrical system
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Deadfast
Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Deadfast » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:10 pm

There is a U.S. Patent #6,293,874. It describes an apparatus that kicks its user in the buttocks. I am not kidding.
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Kavonde
Location: Bakersfield, CA
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Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Kavonde » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:52 pm

Bananas, as we generally know them, are actually the result of centuries' worth of careful genetic manipulation. Natural bananas are small, squat, and nearly inedible due to the quantity of large, hard seeds they contain.
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newdarkcloud

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby newdarkcloud » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:59 pm

On the line of thinking, carrots as we know them are also the product of generic engineering. They were originally purple, but bread to become orange because that was the color of a reigning royal family.
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krellen
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Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby krellen » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:02 pm

Birds are dinosaurs. The one surviving line of dinosaurs is what we nowadays call birds.
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Retsam

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Retsam » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:42 pm

Just like a 404 HTTP error means "page not found", HTTP error code 418 means "I'm a teapot", which is the error that occurs when Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol commands are sent to a teapot. "The resulting entity body MAY be short and stout."

The HTCPCP is defined here. There's actually been a ton of these April Fools joke RFCs, I think my favorite is the The Infinite Monkey Protocol Suite (IMPS).
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Lachlan the Mad
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Lachlan the Mad » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:09 am

The world's largest manufacturer of tyres (tires for the Americans in the room) by volume... is Lego.
rrgg

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby rrgg » Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:48 am

Historically, actual "swordsmen" almost never actually existed on ancient or medieval battlefields. Now, that's not to say that no one ever used swords, rather that the sword is generally just a sidearm. You carry it in a scabbard at your hip, freeing up your hands to carry something far more useful like bows, polearms, lances, javelins, etc. If all of your archers/spearmen are carrying sidearms, then there isn't going to be much place for a guy who shows up carrying just a sword and says "I'm a swordsman!"
Moridin

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Moridin » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:23 am

rrgg wrote:Historically, actual "swordsmen" almost never actually existed on ancient or medieval battlefields. Now, that's not to say that no one ever used swords, rather that the sword is generally just a sidearm. You carry it in a scabbard at your hip, freeing up your hands to carry something far more useful like bows, polearms, lances, javelins, etc. If all of your archers/spearmen are carrying sidearms, then there isn't going to be much place for a guy who shows up carrying just a sword and says "I'm a swordsman!"


Romans and their gladius would like a word with you.
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krellen
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Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby krellen » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:28 am

Moridin wrote:
rrgg wrote:Historically, actual "swordsmen" almost never actually existed on ancient or medieval battlefields. Now, that's not to say that no one ever used swords, rather that the sword is generally just a sidearm. You carry it in a scabbard at your hip, freeing up your hands to carry something far more useful like bows, polearms, lances, javelins, etc. If all of your archers/spearmen are carrying sidearms, then there isn't going to be much place for a guy who shows up carrying just a sword and says "I'm a swordsman!"


Romans and their gladius would like a word with you.

The Roman Gladius was a sidearm. Roman Legionnaires were primarily armed with spears and javelins.
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Deadfast
Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Deadfast » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:05 pm

Retsam wrote:Just like a 404 HTTP error means "page not found", HTTP error code 418 means "I'm a teapot", which is the error that occurs when Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol commands are sent to a teapot. "The resulting entity body MAY be short and stout."

Since you brought up HTTP, the header that contains the URL the agent was referred from is called the HTTP referer. Yep, the whole internet is running on a misspelling.

Retsam wrote:The HTCPCP is defined here. There's actually been a ton of these April Fools joke RFCs, I think my favorite is the The Infinite Monkey Protocol Suite (IMPS).

I disagree and put forward RFC 1149 - IP over Avian Carriers.
Moridin

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Moridin » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:21 pm

krellen wrote:
Moridin wrote:
rrgg wrote:Historically, actual "swordsmen" almost never actually existed on ancient or medieval battlefields. Now, that's not to say that no one ever used swords, rather that the sword is generally just a sidearm. You carry it in a scabbard at your hip, freeing up your hands to carry something far more useful like bows, polearms, lances, javelins, etc. If all of your archers/spearmen are carrying sidearms, then there isn't going to be much place for a guy who shows up carrying just a sword and says "I'm a swordsman!"


Romans and their gladius would like a word with you.

The Roman Gladius was a sidearm. Roman Legionnaires were primarily armed with spears and javelins.


No it wasn't. The legionnaires did carry pilums(which were designed to bend on impact so they couldn't be thrown back, making them useless in melee), but gladius was their main weapon.
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Kavonde
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Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Kavonde » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:37 pm

Moridin wrote:
krellen wrote:The Roman Gladius was a sidearm. Roman Legionnaires were primarily armed with spears and javelins.


No it wasn't. The legionnaires did carry pilums(which were designed to bend on impact so they couldn't be thrown back, making them useless in melee), but gladius was their main weapon.


Moridin's right, actually. Mind you, a legionnaire swordsman wasn't exactly a fencer; they were trained to make quick, brutal, efficient thrusts and chops and then get back behind their shield. The Greeks were the ones who used spears with their phalanxes.

EDIT: Hold on, I've done a bit more research. (I'm in an Art Appreciation class, not like I'm missing anything.) Early Roman legionnaires did use thrusting spears called hasta, but they were phased out in favor of gladii by the time of the Republic.
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Thomas

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Thomas » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:48 pm

Darn i was ninja'd on providing the information on the phasing out of spears in the Roman system in favour of swords

Also the reason why the majority of the army didn't carry swords in medieval times was that swords were too expensive, not that everyone had one. Archers for example, only had daggers for hand to hand. Pikemen sometimes had them though but mainly a weapon for Knights I believe.

EDIT: Also apparently pila weren't designed to break on impact. By the time they reached the enemy, the Romans would already be charging and they encumbered the enemy more when the full weight and size is stuck in the enemy shields.

EDIT EDIT: Incidentally the gladii was actually based of Iberian/Celtic designs of swords that they were being used effectively
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dudecon
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Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby dudecon » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:06 pm

Interesting fact: The whole "are swords a big deal or not?" topic deserves it's own thread.
Traiden
Location: Traveling

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Traiden » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:21 pm

Interesting fact, there are fungi that turn insects into zombies for the sole purpose of making more zombie insects.
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Retsam

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Retsam » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:16 am

Traiden wrote:Interesting fact, there are fungi that turn insects into zombies for the sole purpose of making more zombie insects.

And pictures of it are seriously creepy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophiocordy ... ilateralis
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Nalyd

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Nalyd » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:20 am

Shhh, you'll give the other DoW players ideas. :p
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Lachlan the Mad
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Lachlan the Mad » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:58 am

I heard from a guy at a swordfighting school that the general strategy used by Greek and early Roman soldiers was to form a phalanx, hide as much of yourself as possible behind a massive shield, and stab out from behind it. They developed this style because (a) they didn't have enough metal to make large amounts of armour, so they mostly armoured the parts which would stick out from behind the shield (which is why they wore greaves but not breastplates), and (b) bronze swords were very heavy and not very sharp.
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Thomas

Re: The thread of interesting facts.

Postby Thomas » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:02 am

Two-handed medieval swordsmen had this really crazy way of fighting. They basically pointed the sword at your throat and then ran at you swivelling their hips (which worked to block). It sounds stupid, but if you had a body of people doing that to me I'd be terrified. (Also infantry battles in the middle ages took breaks. Like two blocks of soldiers would fight each other, and then they'd break off and reform lines, catch their breath and then charge at each other again. Losing formation was thought to be death

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