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You thought I'd given up? No such luck! - Diary of a Necromancer
Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense, you're just not keeping up
You thought I'd given up? No such luck!
Okay, let's see if I can make any sense of my notes at this remove and bring y'all up to speed with what I've learned since last we met...

  • New Thing Learned for 24 May: A tactic in Greek naval battles was to attempt to rake across the side of an opposing ship with your bow, thereby snapping off the oars and leaving your opponent dead in the water. [Source: something on History Channel about the 300 Spartans.]

  • New Thing Learned for 25 May: Lane Tech is the largest high school in Illinois. No wonder they can lose whole murals. [Source: local news.]

  • New Thing Learned for 26 May: John Wayne would have been 100 today. The Buddy Holly song "That'll be the day" was inspired by Wayne's iconic line in The Searchers. [Source: centenary tribute on encore!westerns.]

  • New Thing Learned for 27 May: Bamboo is split into strips for mat-weaving with a device resembling an apple corer. [Source: Cultivating life, "Bamboo".]

  • New Thing Learned for 28 May: The village of Elwood is about 5 miles south of Joliet. If I have to explain to you why this is funny, I'm sending you to retake Remedial Chicago. [Source: local news.]

  • New Thing Learned for 29 May: Five other people were wounded in the Robert Kennedy assasination, which gets glossed over in most accounts. [Source: documentary on same.]

  • New Thing Learned for 30 May: The Soviet Union had a me-too supersonic plane program, until the first production model cracked up at the Paris air show in 1973. Despite this crash, some development continued through the 1970's. [Source: "70'sTech", History Channel]

  • New Thing Learned for 31 May: Though not subject to classic CRT "burn-in", LCD monitors can still suffer from a persistence effect that mimics it, if temporarily. [Source: too many fixed screen elements on RuneScape...]

  • New Thing Learned for 1 June: Ethylene promotes both fruit ripening and flower decay, which is why it's a bad idea to put the supermarket florist next to the produce department. Um, too late. [Source: Flower Confidential, Amy Stewart.]

  • New Thing Learned for 2 June: I think I had something better relating to the evening's entertainment, but all I can remember about that night is how incredibly strong the ginger beer at violachic's party was, as in, that's nice to know so I won't ever buy it... [Source: imprudent culinary adventuresomeness.]

  • New Thing Learned for 3 June: Hard-plastic disposable cups, such as Solos, are made by blowing them out of a flat sheet of plastic into a mold, like bubbles. [Source: How It's Made. Yet again.]

  • New Thing Learned for 4 June: An eruv is a symbolic enclosure of a neighborhood meant to bring it into compliance with strict orthodox Jewish traditions about permitted activities on the Sabbath. As I could probably have guessed from all the yeshiva boys I pass on my way to the dentist, I'm actually just a couple of blocks from living within one, which probably explains the stove, too... [Source: Wikipedia.]

  • New Thing Learned for 5 June: Scientists in Arkansas have been going around poking holes in live cows to study their stomach contents. Why? For SCIENCE! [Source: Salon.com.]

  • New Thing Learned for 6 June: The section of western Chicago where the streets start coming in groups all beginning with the same letter are being coded by their distance from the Indiana state line, hence, the beginning of the K group, 11th letter of the alphabet, is 11 miles in. Mmm, trivial. [Source: Wikipedia.]

  • New Thing Learned for 7 June: Faced with protests over the Americanization of local culture, McDonald's French division sacked Ronald in favor of drafting local-boy Asterix for an ad campaign in that country. Chienne, s'il-vous plait. [Source: Con$umed : how markets corrupt children, infantilize adults, and swallow citizens whole, Benjamin Barber.]

Hm, well, that's one New Thing for each day in the period in question, although I'm not sure they're all in the exact order in the middle part there... Other interesting items from this interval that didn't quite rise to the status of New Things Learned worth calling that are that one is supposed to call 311 to report dead crows to be checked for West Nile, so the city can ignore them (I think it's still out there on the neighbors' lawn), and that Upstairs may know a strawberry when he sees it, but that's about the extent of his expertise in matters botanical, because the sugar-snap peas I'd put in along the fence mysteriously vanished one day, and when I asked him about it he admitted to his chagrin that he'd thought that the little shoots were a resurgence of the bushes that had been pulled out earlier, and he'd carefully transplanted them into a bare spot in the parkway planting! They seem to be doing all right out there, but annual vines are an odd substitute for the dead bush they replaced, to say the least... I've planted replacements, anyway, which are coming up well enough that I think we'll still get a crop this year. Ah, the petty compromises of condo living.


8 responses | moved to respond?
randomdreams From: randomdreams Date: June 8th, 2007 03:15 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
The soviet SST was pretty close to being a flat-out copy of the Concorde, but a lot of their other supersonic aircraft were heavily copied by the US and the Brits. They had some great tech.

Ethylene promotes ripening in general. If you want fruit to ripen you put them in a bag together so they can talk. Especially mangos.

The new Michael Chabon book, "The Yiddish Policemen's Union", involves eruvs very heavily. You'll learn lots about them. Ditto a recent straightdope.com article.

As with plastic cups, so also with lightbulbs. The glass sheet runs on a perforated belt, where it's heated from the top and a vacuum applied from the bottom, sucking the glass down into bulbs. They then snap off where they touch the steel, as they cool, and drop into a soft catching system.

Asterix comic books rock. I have one in Danish that I particularly love. Dogs, in Danish, go Vov! vov!
ashnistrike From: ashnistrike Date: June 8th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Explain Remedial Chicago to a newcomer?
robling_t From: robling_t Date: June 8th, 2007 12:33 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
We'll have to have a DVD-watching party, methinks... >:)
From: rabid_chemist Date: June 8th, 2007 04:00 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Oh, Asterix, why oh why did you become a corporate whore? And for this corporation, no less?

Hey, you gonna come by on the 30th?
robling_t From: robling_t Date: June 8th, 2007 12:31 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
...What was on the 30th that Gaius hasn't put onto his calendar for me? (silly Mac has to be told these things still, bad secretary...) haven't
robling_t From: robling_t Date: June 8th, 2007 01:14 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
[consults biological brain} Oh, right, gaming -- depending on the weather, yeah, there's a good chance I might actually get there this time, since it no longer involves waiting a second godawfullongtime to switch transit directions... (My rule of thumb these days is that if the average human walking pace is 3miles/hr, it's probably not worth waiting around for the CTA if you're only going a couple of miles and the weather's cooperative...)
From: rabid_chemist Date: June 8th, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Ah, you already figured it out yourself. Groovy. I agree about waiting for the CTA. I'll be taking the 49B down to Western, and if I happen to see an eastbound Lawrence bus coming down the street, great, but given average waiting time, I'll be better off just walking the four blocks.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: June 9th, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Heh, given average waiting time, I can beat the Foster bus from Lincoln to my stop six blocks west of Kimball most of the time, if I've just missed one... I almost never bother even trying to wait for the eastbound 81 to get to the Brown, it's just not worth it unless the weather's really frightful. (Curiously, the westbound 81 seems to run more often or something.)
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