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The Penultimate New Things Learned entry! - Diary of a Necromancer
Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense, you're just not keeping up
robling_t
robling_t
The Penultimate New Things Learned entry!
{looks at list} Oh, dear, well, I suppose I've let this go long enough...

  • New Thing Learned for 1 December: There is a savoury form of Pocky called "Pretz"; the so-called 'tomato' flavor contains chicken, for some reason. [Source: atlanticat's habit of reading ingredient lists.]

  • New Thing Learned for 2 December: The Green Line inbound from Oak Park actually achieves speeds loud enough to drown out an iPod turned halfway up, unlike the Red or Brown lines... [Source: experimentation.]

  • New Thing Learned for 3 December: Corbin Bernsen has a collection of over 6,000 snowglobes. Hey, everybody's gotta have a hobby, man. [Source: One red paperclip : or how an ordinary man achieved his dreams with the help of a simple office supply, Kyle MacDonald.]

  • New Thing Learned for 4 December: Speaking of our "rapid transit" (ahem) system, once the Blue Line repair work has finally replaced all the old ties with composite materials, the O'Hare leg should see speeds of up to 65 MPH. Which I will believe when I see it and not a moment sooner. [Source: local news.]

  • New Thing Learned for 5 December: It is not yet possible to breed eels in captivity, which means that that unagi you're eating was wild-caught. Assuming you like that sort of thing in the first place. [Source: The year of eating dangerously : a global adventure in search of culinary extremes, Tom Parker Bowles.]

  • New Thing Learned for 6 December: Early hot dog filling machines ran so fast that all the proteins aligned within the casing, causing the dogs to split when cooked. Machinery was quickly developed that massaged the passing links to make the proteins blob up more randomly. [Source: Chicago Reader book review.]

  • New Thing Learned for 7 December: Latex balloons get their 'ring' by being partly rolled down off the dipping mold like stockings by a finger-like device that's really hard to describe. Trust me, it was funnier when I Learned it. [Source: our old pal How It's Made again.]

  • New Thing Learned for 8 December: DNA evidence now suggests that some Neanderthals may have had red hair. Um, whatever. [Source: Wikipedia.]

  • New Thing Learned for 9 December: The technical term for a female voice with masculine characteristics is 'androglossia'. Yeah, like we're going to be using that one very much. [Source: Nisus Writer's deranged thesaurus.]

  • New Thing Learned for 10 December: The mumbly bit at the end of the Pet Shop Boys' "It's A Sin" is the Mea Culpa. Who says you can't learn anything from your iTunes widgets? [Source: Sing That iTune! 3.0.3 lyrics retrieval.]

  • New Thing Learned for 11 December: Emetology is the study of vomiting. I bet y'all are going to be so glad when I wrap up this project, huh... [Source: Wikipedia.]

  • New Thing Learned for 12 December: It's lemon or milk in tea, because otherwise the citric acid makes the milk curdle instantly. Being a heathen who refuses to drink tea in the first place, I had to go look this up to be sure I was getting the details right. [Source: writing research.]

  • New Thing Learned for 13 December: The phrase "blow this popstand" appears suddenly in multiple citations circa 1973. Nobody's quite sure what the original source was, although some ephemeral media outlet such as radio is a leading suspect. [Source: KPBS radio.]

  • New Thing Learned for 14 December: Scientists have cloned cats with an inserted gene that makes their flesh glow under ultraviolet light. Nobody Knows Why. [Source: CNN.]

  • New Thing Learned for 15 December: Matthew Broderick was the producers' original choice to play Alex Keaton on Family Ties. Um, yeah, I can maybe just barely see that... [Source: Biography, "Michael J Fox".]

  • New Thing Learned for 16 December: Bertrand Russell was also a little freaked out on a daily level by the idea of the heat death of the universe. I think I feel a little better now. [Source: The new time travelers : a journey to the frontiers of physics, David M Toomey.]

  • New Thing Learned for 17 December: The first primitive baby monitor was invented in the wake of the Lindbergh kidnapping. [Source: Antiques Roadshow.]

  • New Thing Learned for 18 December: A rare birth defect can cause babies to be born without internal or external ear structures altogether. [Source: CNN?]

  • New Thing Learned for 19 December: It is still legal to raise chickens in the city of Chicago, although legislation to ban this is being considered again. Not that the thought has ever occured to me, of course... [Source: Associated Press.]

  • New Thing Learned for 20 December: A mechanism called "epigenetics" is being considered as a possible cause for certain developmental effects that classical genetic theory can't account for. Sounded kind of Lamarckian to me, but who the hell really knows anymore... [Source: Nova.]

  • New Thing Learned for 21 December: Netflix discs can manage a two-day turnaround just being left in our building's outgoing-mail holder, which is actually kind of nice to know since it means not having to remember where not to drop them off because it took a week that one time. [Source: experimentation.]

  • New Thing Learned for 22 December: "Garnet" and "Pomegranate" both derive from the same root, meaning, obviously, deep red. [Source: something on the telly the other day, which I forgot to write down, dammit.]

  • New Thing Learned for 23 December: The smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-detector that came with the house runs on the main electricity, and started cheeping for a new backup battery when the wind knocked out the power for a few minutes the other night. Must look into getting a backup power source for the sump pump, now I think about it... [Source: power failure.]

  • New Thing Learned for 24 December: Channel 7's street-level news studio has bulletproof glass, as a minivan driver discovered the hard way the other night... [Source: local news {snerk}.]


One more week of this to go, thank GOD... I do have a note for 13 December, but unfortunately I can't make sense of the first word -- if I can figure out what "pojssternd 1973" might have pertained to before New Year's, I'll come back and fill that in, so keep your fingers crossed, it's on the tip of my brain, I swear. [EDIT, THE NEXT DAY -- Oo, and I remembered it!]

Tags:
feeling: exhausted exhausted

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khavrinen From: khavrinen Date: December 24th, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Latex balloons get their 'ring' by being partly rolled down off the dipping mold like stockings

This reminds me of a (quasi-)dirty joke:

An old woman who hadn't been to see a doctor in many years was finally talked into going in for a check-up. She explained to the doctor that she was nervous because it had been so long, and so he sympathetically kept up a stream of conversation to distract her from the procedures. Among other things, as he was pulling on his gloves, he commented on how the vast number that the medical profession goes through these days would have been impossible back in the days when she was a girl. Back then, he claimed, they were actually made by having people dip their hands in the liquid latex, and peel it off as gloves when it was dry.

As he was continuing with the examination, she suddenly burst out giggling, and he asked, "What's the matter, is something tickling you?"

"No," she replied, "I was just thinking about what you said about the gloves, and I couldn't help imagining the factory where they made condoms..."

*****

Channel 7's street-level news studio has bulletproof glass, as a minivan driver discovered the hard way


Aren't you glad you weren't on the other side of that window just then?
unhipster From: unhipster Date: December 24th, 2007 11:12 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
New Thing Learned for 5 December: It is not yet possible to breed eels in captivity, which means that that unagi you're eating was wild-caught. Assuming you like that sort of thing in the first place. [Source: The year of eating dangerously : a global adventure in search of culinary extremes, Tom Parker Bowles.]

There seems to be a glut of "Year of [doing something odd]" books lately.
(Deleted comment)
robling_t From: robling_t Date: December 25th, 2007 06:36 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Oh, I'll continue to post Weird Trivia, but the strain of trying to come up with something I didn't already know each and every day has been taking a surprising toll, considering how stuffed full of crap my head already is to begin with... ;)
atlanticat From: atlanticat Date: December 25th, 2007 04:00 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Wait. My habit of reading ingredient lists caused you to learn something? I should think with all your allergies that you'd have a habit of reading ingredient lists as well. I can't imagine not picking up something and reading the ingredients just because there are a few things I wouldn't want to eat in foods in general, let alone searching for my sole known food "allergy" which is artichoke and in quotes because although I quite like eating them, my stomach complains vociferously every time I do so.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: December 25th, 2007 06:23 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Oh, I read ingredients lists all the time, it's just that you were the one who brought that particular item to my attention... ;)
bibliofile From: bibliofile Date: December 26th, 2007 10:34 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)

19 December

Actually, I knew this already, thanks to my friend B-the-Pisces (Least compatible sign? "Do Not Feed The Animals"). Fortunately, the pig and sheep in her apartment were plaster and plastic, respectively.
(Deleted comment)
robling_t From: robling_t Date: December 27th, 2007 03:53 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Good point. :) Actually meant "Oak Park" there, but I think my brain was thinking of my Mum's friend who lives in FP when I typed this up.
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