The Factoid Thread

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This topic contains 42 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #46048

    Unseen
    Participant

    This thread is devoted to things most people (or most people outside certain specialties) don’t know. For example:

    It wasn’t until 1879 that we found out what state 99% of the visible matter in the universe is in. That’s when Sir William Crookes discovered plasma, the most abundant state of matter in the universe.

    The second fastest land animal after the cheetah lives on the grand prairies of the United States. The pronghorn, which is often wrongly called the pronghorn antelope. It is not an antelope but is its own “thing.”

    The snow leopard isn’t a leopard at all. It’s more like a tiger. DNA has shown that the snow leopard, despite having spots rather than stripes, is far more closely related to tigers than leopards.

    The fastest animal in level flight is the Brazilian freetailed bat, which has been clocked at 99.5 mph (let’s call it 100 mph). This is 45% faster than the animal previously thought to hold the record, the common swift, which has been clocked at 69 mph.

    Other than humans, only two kinds of animals seem able to react to rhythm the way we do: cockatoos and sea lions.

    #46049

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Here is a worthless fact apropos of nothin: in college i was a dog track announcer. So i wanted to make a name for myself and i observed how announcers had their pet phrases. I decided on…breaks from the gate like a cheetah in heat…so the chart writer falls out of her seat laughing but the general manager, my boss, chastised me…keep it straight-laced Glen! Unseen you brought up cheetahs so this is on you.

    Bull sharks are anadromous. So are striped bass.

    Brook trout are not trout. They are char.

    There is a hiking trail in Western Massachusetts called goat trail. In the 1700s a goat died pinned between two great boulders. Thereafter the name stuck.

    #46055

    Atoms are so tiny that even the full stop at the end of this sentence has a width of around 20 million atoms. Inside each atom are even smaller particles, called subatomic particles. These include a nucleus, which contains protons and neutrons, and electrons that whizz around the nucleus.

    Imagine an atom magnified to the size of a football stadium. The nucleus of the atom would be the size of a pea in the center of the stadium, and the electrons would be whizzing around the outer stands. The atom is mostly comprised of empty space.

    #46056

    _Robert_
    Participant

    In Saltwater where electricity conducts well, electric fish have their “batteries” wired in parallel so to create less voltage but more current. Freshwater fish are wired in series to develop the higher voltages required to overcome the more resistive fresh water.

     

    #46057

    jakelafort
    Participant

    A word i never hear yet have seen in books a great many times. JEJUNE

    Dictionary
    Definitions from Oxford Languages · Learn more
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    je·june
    /jəˈjo͞on/
    Learn to pronounce
    adjective
    1.
    naive, simplistic, and superficial.
    “their entirely predictable and usually jejune opinions”
    Similar:
    naive
    simple
    innocent
    artless
    guileless
    unworldly
    childlike
    ingenuous
    unsophisticated
    inexperienced
    ignorant
    green
    immature
    callow
    trusting
    trustful
    unsuspicious
    unwary
    unguarded
    credulous
    gullible
    easily taken in
    unaffected
    without airs
    open
    frank
    uninhibited
    natural
    unpretentious
    spontaneous
    down-to-earth
    childish
    juvenile
    puerile
    silly
    infantile
    wet behind the ears
    Opposite:
    sophisticated
    mature
    2.
    (of ideas or writings) dry and uninteresting.
    “the poem seems to me rather jejune”

    The definition changed from when i 1st sought a dictionary to learn its meaning. Don’t use this word unless you are prepared to give a definition.

    #46058

    I like to discover such recherché words too.

    #46059

    Unseen
    Participant

    The word “penultimate” means “second from last” not “the very best” or “the most wonderful” or “the top of the list.”

    The word “kudos” doesn’t mean “praises,” it means “praise.” It’s singular. It’s the Greek word for praise.

    Strictly speaking, you should pronounce the first “r” in “February.” It feels clumsy, I know, but it is an “r” not a “y.”

    “Dour” rhymes with “poor” not “tower.”

     

    #46062

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Whose brilliant idea was it to add the r in february. It makes it hard to say ten times fast. Febuary ten times fast is like buttah.

    #46075

    Unseen
    Participant

    Let’s talk about words you run into in literature but not in actual everyday conversation. Words like…

    ennui – boredom

    crepuscular – of or having to do with twilight, dusk or dawn

    #46076

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Let’s talk about words you run into in literature but not in actual everyday conversation. Words like… ennui – boredom crepuscular – of or having to do with twilight, dusk or dawn

    I read that just 3000 words provides coverage for around 95% of common usage, so that 1.75% of the English dictionary will give you understanding of 95% of what you read/hear.

    #46077

    Unseen
    Participant

    Let’s talk about words you run into in literature but not in actual everyday conversation. Words like… ennui – boredom crepuscular – of or having to do with twilight, dusk or dawn

    I read that just 3000 words provides coverage for around 95% of common usage, so that 1.75% of the English dictionary will give you understanding of 95% of what you read/hear.

    Hard to wrap one’s head around on the one hand, but quite believable on the other.

     

    #46078

    Unseen
    Participant

    That delicious Asian dish called Pho is mispronounced almost universally. It isn’t pronounced like “foe.”

    #46079

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    I may be receptive to other varieties if they exist, but the Pho broth I seen on the grocery shelf had anchovy in it, so I pronounced it *Feh!* 🤮

    #46080

    Unseen
    Participant

    FILE UNDER “WHO KNEW?”

    Male kestrel (sparrow hawk) takes on single dad role.

    As an aside, aren’t male kestrels gorgeous birds?

    #46081

    Unseen
    Participant

    Dogs walk on their feet. Cats walk on their toes.

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