TIL Thread: Today I learned...

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:36 pm

TIL it’s called “Unchained Melody” because it was written (sans lyrics) for the score for a prison film called “Unchained” which no one remembers.
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:06 am

TIL that the water tower in Strongsville, Ohio has a drawing of Ziggy that the strip's creator painted on years ago. This was because some teenager went up and painted "Ziggy Rules" graffiti on it.

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Apparently Ziggy in the graffiti was in reference to "Ziggy Stardust", but since the creator of the comic lived in the area anyway, they decided to have him draw on the tower. He became the town's unofficial mascot as a result. I think it got painted over, though.
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Pocket (?) » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:52 pm

TIL cheetahs can meow.


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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Pocket (?) » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:16 am

TIL the eponymous car in Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" was not actually a taxi at all. It was a euphemism for the cop cars in Toronto, which were yellow at the time. Presumably the old man got put away for protesting the stuff in the previous verses.

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:08 pm

TIL about the Bielefeld conspiracy.

TL;DR: a newsgroup years ago decided to make fun of conspiracy theories by saying that the German city of Bielefeld doesn't actually exist. It was an early form of internet meme.
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Perrydotto (?) » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:31 pm

that joke made it into the news and general media and has basically never gone entirely away
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by W.T. Fits (?) » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:35 pm

This is more "A few days ago I learned" rather than "today I learned," but at any rate:

I learned that Romans SUCKED at calendars.
Besesoth wrote: Okay! A brief divergence on calendars, which I originally wrote to answer the question:

“Why isn’t the new year on the winter solstice?”

The answer, honestly, is that the Romans had no fucking idea how to run a calendar.

Like, seriously, people notice "OCTOber" and "DECEMber" and say, "hey, those mean 'eight' and 'ten', but they're the 10th and 12th months, what's up with that?".

If you've got a little more history, you'll know that July and August are named after Julius and Augustus Caesar, and think, "oh, they added those two months and bumped the rest of the months back."

Nope. The Romans were way, way worse at calendars than that.

July and August were actually originally Quintilis and Sextilis - the fifth month and the sixth month. They were called this because the year traditionally started in March. So they had Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, December.

Martius was named for Mars; Junius was named for Juno. We have no idea what Aprilis and Maius were named after. (No, really. We have some clues but beyond that it's just guesswork.) Then they got lazy and just numbered the months.

"But wait," you ask, "what about January and February?" Hold onto your butts, because calling the months by their numbers? Not even close to the laziest the Roman calendar got.

Between the end of December and the beginning of Martius were 50-odd intercalary days. They didn't have months associated with them. They were just sort of there.

I swear I am not making this up.

In addition, each month had either 30 or 31 days. I was going to say "alternated between" but I looked it up and nope, the Romans decided that was too easy, so it actually went:

* Martius 31
* Aprilis 30
* Maius 31
* Junius 30
* Quintilis 31
* Sextilis 30
* September 30
* October 31
* November 30
* December 30
* intercalary 51

Okay. This is where we are at the beginning of the Roman Republic.

Look at that. Remember it. You will look back on this and say "actually, that makes sense" after what comes next.

At the beginning of the Roman Republic, the Senate decided to fix the calendar. This was for two reasons:

1) The Romans thought the Greeks kicked ass, and wanted to emulate their calendar.

2) Count those days. You will notice that they add up to 355, which means that each year is actually ten (and change) days shorter than an actual solar year - which meant that by the time of the Republic, March was somewhere in the autumn.

So the Senate decided to do some reforming. They added two brand-new months to the calendar, Januarius and Februarius. Januarius was named after Janus, because his holiday fell about a week into the new month. (Janus was the god of doorways. We'll come back to him.) February was named after the Februa, a feast that fell in the middle of the new month and that had, in fact, long since been replaced by Lupercalia, an identical feast on the same date with a different name For Reasons.

The Senate also added an intercalary month, Mercedonius, the Month of Wages.

Yes, an intercalary month. I want to make sure that's clear.

They also changed the lengths of the months to better fit the Greek system. The Greeks had largely lunar months, so they alternated between 29-day and 30-day months. Once again, the Romans said, "you know, we like this, but it's too easy".

Look, the next part is going to go into "what the hell was wrong with them?" territory, just warning you.

This is the calendar the Roman Senate ended up with:

* Januarius 29
* Februarius 23
* Mercedonius 23
* THE REST OF FEBRUARIUS NO I AM NOT KIDDING 5
* Martius 31
* Aprilis 29
* Maius 31
* Junius 29
* Quintilis 31
* Sextilis 29
* September 29
* October 31
* November 29
* December 29

See what I meant about Mercedonius being an intercalary month? It's literally in the middle of February. Like, they got 3/4 of the way through February, got bored, and decided to do something else for a month and come back later.

Also, the Romans had caught on to leap years by this point, so every fourth year, Februarius had an extra day on the end, bringing its total to 29.

I want to be clear, though, that while they'd caught on to leap days, they still had not caught on to the length of the damn year. Count those days again: it's 378. By the time of poor Gaius Julius Caesar in 46 BC, the calendar was so fucked up that he needed three intercalary months to right it again.

Bonus: the priesthood - who until not long before Julius controlled the release of the calendar, meaning that people paid attention to them to know when the months started - would extend or contract years to keep politicians (who were on yearly terms) they liked in power or force politicians they didn't like out early.

The Julian reform

- which was ordered by our friend G.Jiddy but not, as far as we know, actually created by him - did three important things.

First, it added those three intercalary months to put the year back where it was supposed to be (March had slid around to the dead of winter).

Second, it got rid of Mercedonius, putting the year back at 355 days.

Third, it scattered ten new days throughout the year, which gave us the calendar we know today.

Julius's reforms still weren't quite right - the length of a year is just a fraction shorter than 365.25 days, which forced the Gregorian reform of 1582. But it was good enough for government work, as they say.

(Incidentally, the Senate voted after Gaius Julius Caesar's death to rename Quintilis after him because he was born then, and likewise Sextilis after Augustus Caesar. The Caesars themselves had little to do with it. I mean, obviously G. Jiddy couldn't possibly have; he was dead at the time.)

So remember how we were talking about why the year doesn't start on the winter solstice?

A couple reasons. First, it never did (in the Roman tradition, anyway). It originally started in March, which contained the spring equinox but didn't start on it.

The start of the year was moved back to January for political reasons. Remember Janus, the god of doorways? It was considered auspicious for consuls to change out near his festival. His festival was nearest the kalends of January (that is, the first day of the month). So consuls wanted to start on the kalends of Januarius so they could start their term with an offering to the god of doorways, who would then grant an auspicious transition between consuls.

So why didn't the kalends of Januarius get moved back to the winter solstice? Because of Yule.

Not because the Romans celebrated Yule - it was a pagan holiday. The Romans celebrated Saturnalia. Saturnalia was originally on the 18th of December (or, as the Romans would have measured it, the 13th/12th/14th day before the kalends of Januarius), but it expanded, becoming a week-long event. This was partly because, well, people liked a party at the end of the calendar year (not to be confused with the end of the actual year pre-Republic) and partly because it was, consciously or not, taking over Yule.

Moving the kalends of Januarius back to the winter solstice would have necessarily moved Saturnalia away from the winter solstice - and the people who'd been celebrating Yule and were now celebrating Saturnalia didn't want that. So Saturnalia stayed where it was, and Januarius stayed where it was. And that's why the new year doesn't start on the winter solstice.

And now you can feel good about literally every worldbuilding decision you've ever made.

(For the sake of clarity: I use "pagan" as the Romans would have; "paganus" meant someone who lived outside the city and practiced a non-Roman religion.)
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Pocket (?) » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:54 pm

Suddenly the idea of months perfectly following the phases of the moon and constantly going off from the actual solar cycle looks a lot better by comparison. It's not like we don't still do the same thing with days of the week.

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Pocket (?) » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:15 pm

TIL the song "Spooky Scary Skeletons" isn't anywhere near as old as the black-and-white cartoon it's usually associated with. It's from 1996. Only two years older than the Disney Sing-Along Songs tape the viral video was lifted from.

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:34 pm

huh

til same
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:54 am

TIL about this scene from "Invader Zim"



There was supposed to be traffic in the scene, which is why they're yelling.

Except..they forgot to animate the traffic. They're just shouting on an empty street.

They decided "screw it" and just went with it, adding car traffic sound and such.
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:32 pm

TIL about the "Lensman" anime, and why they probably won't re-release it anytime soon.

That post is one big TIL, like how, until the 1980s, when a Japanese publisher bought the rights to publish a work from another country, they owned ALL THE RIGHTS within Japan, including movie/TV show rights, etc. Which would explain why there were manga adaptations of popular American cartoons like "Popeye" and "Batman", etc.

American companies knew this, but they figure that, since those adaptations wouldn't be seen by anyone in the US they didn't pay much attention to it (this was before anime became popular with American people).
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by The Doctor (?) » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:38 am

Today I learned that the Kentucky Fried Chicken Twitter account only follows the five Spice Girls, and six guys named Herb.

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:42 am

The Doctor wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:38 am
Today I learned that the Kentucky Fried Chicken Twitter account only follows the five Spice Girls, and six guys named Herb.
...

Well done, KFC Twitter guy :golfclop:
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:47 am

TIL that Japan has an "orphan work" clause in their copyright law.

Basically, if you want to re-release piece of work that's still technically in copyright, but you absolutely cannot find the owner (including searching on the internet), you can file a motion with the Japan Minister of Culture with proof that you did try searching and can't find anyone who would supposedly own it, and if they find it sufficient you can publish them with their blessing.

This would explain how some of the really obscure anime from decades ago got re-released. They used this method.
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Pocket (?) » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:21 am

There was talk about doing something like that in the US, as well. I remember because people were panicking that it would mean stuff they posted on the Internet would be free to claim if they didn't use their real legal names or something. I don't think I ever found out how that ended up.

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Perrydotto (?) » Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:59 pm

TIL:

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:00 pm

:amazing: beautiful
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;) ❤️ :twasnothin:

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Perrydotto (?) » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:01 pm

I have not seen confirmation from Toby Fox on whether this is real or fake but I have to admit it's impressive all the same
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:12 pm

Does that mean Bill Fagerbakke should get credit for voicing Sans? :ponder:
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by diribigal (?) » Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:05 pm

With browser extensions like Video Speed Controller, it's possible to watch netflix at higher speed like I'm used to doing for youtube. In theory, this would allow me to, say, catch up on ponies faster.
ImageImageImage Very math.

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:39 pm

TIL that there are 11 people documented to be born in Antarctica. First one, Emilio Palma, was born in 1978.
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Bigdog (?) » Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:22 pm

TIL that if you google image search "lance storm mic", like the entire first row of results are all from Angelfire website hosting

it's like no one has put pictures of lance storm online since the early 00s, which I suppose checks out tbqf

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by PonyHag714 (?) » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:13 pm

Chrysalis and Trixie have the same voice actor, Kathleen Barr. Image
Image It's not goodbye...it's just see you later.

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:21 pm

PonyHag714 wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:13 pm
Chrysalis and Trixie have the same voice actor, Kathleen Barr. Image
Kathleen Barr did a ton of voice on the show. She was also Kevin in "Ed, Edd n Eddy".
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:14 am

I watched the Batman episode "Baby Doll" today during the livestream, which parodied the Cousin Oliver trope with "Cousin Spunky".

Well, TIL that Robbie Rist, who played the original Cousin Oliver in "Brady Bunch", voiced in this episode...playing ANOTHER character (specifically Brian, the first former co-star that Baby Doll was seen kidnapping).

And while looking up Rist, he has done a lot of voice work in animation, including dubs in anime. He voiced Choji in "Naruto", for example.
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:06 pm

TIL that comic book writer Michael Fleisher sued Fantagraphics and Harlan Ellison for defamation in the 1980s because The Comics Journal published an interview with Harlan Ellison where he described Fleisher as "crazy", "certifiable", "twisted", "derange-o", "bugfuck", and a "lunatic". Note that Ellison meant that to be complimentary; he was PRAISING Fleisher's work.

Fleisher lost the case.
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Pocket (?) » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:40 pm

By failing to prove he wasn't all of those things, I presume.

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:21 pm

lol
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;) ❤️ :twasnothin:

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Adiwan (?) » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:51 pm

Today I learned that quite a lot of U.S. citizens tear $2 bills because of a superstition that that get rid of bad luck that they are supposedly hold.

You are bonkers guys!
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by W.T. Fits (?) » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:13 pm

I have been a U.S. citizen for 38 years, and I have literally never heard of this until now.
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:14 pm

W.T. Fits wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:13 pm
I have been a U.S. citizen for 38 years, and I have literally never heard of this until now.
29 years and yeah, same.

Only thing I can say is that $2 bills are very uncommon (I think I only got them once or twice in my entire life). So much so that many people don't even know they exist, and they sometimes get mistaken as forgeries as a result.
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Adiwan (?) » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:24 pm

Background to my piece of knowledge is this video that has mentioned this
"The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." - Douglas Adams

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by SlateSlabrock (?) » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:48 pm

There was a steel company in the '80s that paid its workers in $2 bills so that you'd be aware of that company's influence on the local economy if you saw them.

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:57 pm

i didn't know there were 2$ bills
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Octavia (?) » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:09 pm

SlateSlabrock wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:48 pm
There was a steel company in the '80s that paid its workers in $2 bills so that you'd be aware of that company's influence on the local economy if you saw them.
My grandfather said they did the same thing when he was based in Rantoul, IL, in the Air Force. Whenever locals would get mad about people from the base causing trouble, they'd be reminded of how much those guys were bringing into the local economy every time they got change.
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:52 pm

DaikatunaRevengeance wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:57 pm
i didn't know there were 2$ bills
You didn’t think Thomas Jefferson’s ghost would be appeased with just the nickel, did you
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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Pocket (?) » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:55 pm

It's also got what might be the best back picture of any US bill: an engraving of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, copied from the famous painting. All the others just get, like, buildings and stuff. Weird that they'd waste it on a denomination that, even at the time, they had to know was going to be in low demand.

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:47 pm

TIL that the artist who drew the Winking Chef is Gill Fox.

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Re: TIL Thread: Today I learned...

Post by diribigal (?) » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:23 pm

Today I learned that just like you can use Green's theorem to get a tidy formula for the area of a polygon given the coordinates of the vertices, you can do the same sort of thing with curvilinear coordinates like finding the area of a "polygonal" region on a sphere using (Kelvin-)Stokes' theorem, as explained on YouTube here:


Maybe Fontra will appreciate this?
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