Hit me with your favourite facts


#41

Puts on chemical engineering hat

On a broader note, scientifically, the idea of boiling and freezing “points” are a fiction that 99% models our real world experience. Sure, water freezes at 0 degC (or somewhere around there) most of the time, but that can be changed by ambient pressure, degree of impurity, and the roughness of the container. In actuality, the phase change of substances are subject to pressure and temperature as modeled on phase charts. And, if you get to extreme pressures and temperatures, substances no longer resemble any phase, and instead, become an indistinct mass of protons, neutrons, and electrons known as plasma.

Related interesting fact; water is one of the few substances where the liquid phase is typically denser than the solid phase. This allows ice to float, thereby acting as a thermal barrier for Earth’s water sources to prevent the complete freezing of water bodies in below zero temperatures. This little quirk ensures that life on Earth can be sustained.


#42

Santa Claus is a bastardization of the dutch Sinterklaas and Coca Cola. ( Not sure about the last part).

Blockquote The modern Santa Claus grew out of traditions surrounding the historical Saint Nicholas (a fourth-century Greek bishop and gift-giver of Myra), the British figure of Father Christmas and the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas


#43

Sort-of yes, sort-of no—because green light is so abundant, or possibly because the natural world is largely green, the cone cells in our eyes are more sensitive to greens and yellows than blues and reds, so we’re capable of being very good at picking out variations of green in the environment. It does take relatively more light to be emitted in green frequencies—when mixed with other colors—to register as being primarily green, rather than white. But! What is green? ‘Green’-ness for a star or a lamp is probably best defined by the frequencies it emits most strongly—but for most objects, we would define green-ness as how well it reflects green frequencies. In that case, the way our eyes balance green down would be counter-acted by the extra green frequencies the sun is throwing at the object to be reflected, giving us a more neutral picture.

Color perception gets really complicated really fast.


#44

You better believe I’m stealing that Lego one. that is tremendous.


#45

Oh also if we’re doing specialty specific facts, When operations in code have hidden side effects or get information from unknown sources they’re using “Magic”. As a derivation of this, if your code relies on bugs in other technologies to be able to function, that’s known as “Heavy Wizardry”.


#46

Huh, I didn’t think of that. Very cool!


#47

Well, if we want to get super specific, the experiments I ran were done with 512 water molecules in periodic boundary conditions at 1 atm.:stuck_out_tongue:


#48

Relativity is always a fun one:

Because of gravitational time dilation, people who spend their entire live living in the Himilayas will age faster relative to people who spend their entire life living at sea level, albeit imperceptibly. While the difference is extremely slight, when you get further from where the earth’s mass is concentrated, these differences actually need to be taken into account. For instance, your GPS would not function correctly without factoring in time dilation.


#49

Couple random facts for ya:

  • The largest desert on Earth is Antarctica (the 2nd largest is the Arctic Polar Desert)

  • The Japanese company Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha is the world’s largest zipper manufacturer and makes about half of the world’s zippers. Go look at a zipper and there’s a good chance it says ‘YKK’ on it.

  • Because of certain olfactory receptor genes, cilantro has the same taste as soap to some people.

  • If you fold a sheet of paper in half 103 times, it would be as thick as…the universe (bonus fact: Brittany Gallivan, as a student in high school, became the first person to fold paper in half 12 times)


#50

The word “donut” to refer to something circular in shape, like a spare tire or one a them weights you attach to the end of a baseball bat, actually developed from the word “doughnut” and not the other way around as I always assumed


#51

Crows/Ravens are one of only four species we know of that are capable of linguistic displacement. That is, the ability to communicate about ideas that are not immediately present. Corvids, Bees, Ants, Humans.

This is why you shouldn’t mess with Ravens, other than the moral reason of not being nice to harass animals. They’ll tell all their buddies what you look like and what you did and they will tell their buddies and soon all the Ravens in the area will have it out for your jerk ass.


#52

Plus they can be grown on the same plant known as a pomato. This is the result of grafting a potato as a root stock and a tomato as the scion.


#53

Calico cats are overwhelmingly female; in order to get a male one it needs to have an extra chromosome.


#54

An old Finnish measure of distance, the peninkulma (about 6km or a bit under 4 miles), might have been based on the “distance a dog can be heard from”


#55

Suddenly the “Shitty Wizard” joke in Dota2 makes a lot more sense.


#56

Fact: I’m gonna steal your lunch money, nerds


#57

Doughnuts themselves has existed in their modern form other than shape from around the 1800s. The entomology of donut is a marketing term and a late 20’s joke “decline of spelling” newspaper article.


#59

The intuitive notion that “a closed loop divides what’s inside it from what’s outside it” was actually notoriously difficult to prove


#60

Not only can Niagara Falls be turned off for maintenance, but the amount of water that goes over the falls is set in law by a treaty between Canada and the US.

In case you’re wondering, the falls have to have 100,000 cubic feet per second of water minimum, but they can turn them down to 50,000 at night - or during the off season, meaning November through March.


#61

Between 1200 and 1150 BCE, basically every major empire (Mycenae, the Hittites, the Babylonians, and Egypt, among others) along the western to west-central Mediterranean collapsed, with the destruction of almost every sizable city as part of the process. Nobody knows why, but there is evidence that the Sea Peoples might have invaded and fucked everyone’s shit up. We have no idea who the Sea Peoples were or where they came from. In fifty years, every major civilization over a huge swath of the world collapsed.

It’s very possible that most of Western civilizations’ legends about falls from grace, or the lost golden age, stem from this period - including the Atlantis story.