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100 Things We Didn't Know Last Year

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the the-more-you-know dept.

Education 245

gollum123 writes "The BBC news magazine is running a compilation of the interesting and sometimes downright unexpected facts that we did not know last year, but now know. some examples — There are 200 million blogs which are no longer being updated, say technology analysts. Urban birds have developed a short, fast 'rap style' of singing, different from their rural counterparts. The lion costume in the film 'Wizard of Oz' was made from real lions. Online shoppers will only wait an average of four seconds for an internet page to load before giving up. Just one cow gives off enough harmful methane gas in a single day to fill around 400 litre bottles. For every 10 successful attempts to climb Mount Everest there is one fatality. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobiacs is the term for people who fear the number 666. The egg came first."

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Duh (5, Funny)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392158)

Just one cow gives off enough harmful methane gas in a single day to fill around 400 litre bottles.

That doesn't sound very surprising, given that a gas always fills its container, just like a liquid always takes its container's shape.

Oh, and by the way, if, like me, you went straight to the bird one [bbc.co.uk] , you couldn't but snicker at the picture's caption: "There are an estimated 1.7million great tit pairs in the UK."

Re:Duh (5, Funny)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392244)

There's another sentence in there that starts well: "The research focused on great tits in ten major European cities, including London, Paris, Amsterdam and Prague..."

Reminds me of the vacation I took this past August.

Re:Duh (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392260)

I think they mean at a pressure of one atmosphere, or however they rate a gas' "normal" density but good catch lol. Oh and they forgot one: Happy cows don't really come from California as the commercial states, overheated, dead cows come from California. Good thing we learned that last summer though so they can stop running that stupid ad (I'm from Wisconsin by the way)

Re:Duh (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392300)

Happy cows don't really come from California as the commercial states, overheated, dead cows come from California. Good thing we learned that last summer though so they can stop running that stupid ad (I'm from Wisconsin by the way)

Not to mention that Wisconsin makes better cheese. We care about our curds, man! ;-)

Re:Duh (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392602)

Overheated cows in California? Try visiting San Francisco or northern California in the "heat" of the summer some time. I'm pretty sure they aren't raising dairy cattle out in Death Valley.

I used to live in Kansas and North Dakota. If I were a cow, I am pretty sure I would prefer cool, sunny northern California over waist-high snow.

Re:Duh (3, Informative)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392634)

Generally, Yes you'd measure it at 1atm. I'm actually surprised it isn't more than 400L. Note that one mole (6.0223x10^23 molecules, or atoms) of ideal gas (almost all normally encountered gases are close enough to be considered ideal) occupies 22.4L at 1atm. Noting that 1 mole of substance has a mass equal to the substance'as molecular weight in grams, which is 16g/mol for methane. That means that a Cow produces on average about 285 grams of methane per day. Which isn't all that much really.

Taking this further, by rough guesstimate, you'd need around 4000 grams of methane to substitute for a gallon of gas (This one is pretty rough, I'm using 4L is approximately 1 gallon, and ignoring that methane is significantly less dense than water, on the other hand, methane is also less energy dense than octane, so there you go), giving about 2 cow-weeks to produce the equivalent of a gallon of gas (assuming no loses). On the basis of this, I'd say you should take suggestions to run your car on cow methane with a huge grain of salt.

Re:Duh (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392886)

Taking this further, by rough guesstimate, you'd need around 4000 grams of methane to substitute for a gallon of gas

Why would you need to substitute for a gallon of gas, when methane already is a gas?

Anyway, the thing that I found curious about this whole thing is why they used the metric "400 1 litre bottles" - how would that be any different from filling a single 400 litre bottle?

Re:Duh (1)

james_orr (574634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392978)

Because most people have seen a 1 litre bottle and have never seen a 400 litre bottle.

Re:Duh (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393126)

But why does the container even matter? Anyone familiar with metric units knows how much a litre is, and has a good visual picture of how much space it takes up. So why not just say 400 litres? If people need to visialize it in "bottles" or hogsheads, or whatever, they can easily see that 400 litres equals 400 litre bottles - or even better 40 10 litre containers, which are pretty common for holding water. Or 100 4 litre wine casks.

Re:Duh (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393068)

By "gallon of gas" I mean Petrol. Alternatively, Diesel fuel if you will, commonly used vehicle fuels.

Re:Duh (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392374)

That got me thinking. You know how in 'Big Sister Dora,' Dora has some really exciting news - someone new is joining Dora's family! Someone who sleeps in a cradle, drinks from a bottle, wears diapers, and likes to be rocked to sleep. In 'Dora Saves the Game,' Dora's cousin Daisy is playing in a big soccer game that's showing on TV. But Daisy's team is short a player, so Daisy appeals to Dora to come play on her team and save the game. The two bonus episodes are 'Job Day' and 'A Letter for Swiper.' 'Go, Diego, Go!' is an animated, preschool, action adventure series starring Diego Marquez, an 8-year-old bilingual, Latino, animal rescuer with an intense love of nature and the animals around him. In each episode Diego encourages his viewers to participate in his high stakes animal themed adventures.

In other words, the topic, the thing we are talking about, follows the commentary-what the sentence says about the topic. In sentences that indicate existence, the commentary is `oy-a predicate that indicates the existence of something. Sentences that indicate existence in Tzotzil can express the existence of something concrete or a process, activity, or condition, depending upon the noun that functions as topic.

Well yeah, but... (2, Funny)

Robot Randy (982296) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392384)

While what you say is true, I expect that they are talking about it filling the bottles at sea level pressure.

And having visited the UK in 2002, I can vouch for there being quite a lot of great tit pairs.

Re:Duh (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392432)

Just one cow gives off enough harmful methane gas in a single day to fill around 400 litre bottles.

So how much unharmful methane does it give off? Do you know that you breathe out deadly carbon dioxide? That the earth is infested with deadly dihydrogen monoxide? That 40% of all sick days are taken monday and friday?

Useless liberal fear mongering.

Say what? (0)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392806)

Damn liberals fear mongers... So you are calling them liberal fear mongers based on the fact that they called methane gas harmful? OMG maybe we should call the U.S. Army to shut them down since we are in an overreacting mood and all. Now that I think about it... all of these inane comments are always made by AC's. I wonder why that is?

Re:Say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17393172)

By any chance, did you hear a *whoosh* as you posted that?

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17393030)

Presumably they meant at STP

The egg came first?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392162)

Of course it did! Dinosaurs existed millions of years before birds. I knew that last year.

ARTICLE IS GAY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392422)

Gah, what is next? "Barbara Streisand Just Dyed Her Hair" on the front page?

Not quite (0)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392178)

Ok maybe I have super-intellect or something but some of those things I knew last year. "The egg came first" ... how the heck is that news? Dinosaurs laid them well before chickens were running around... ugh idiocy.

Re:Not quite (3, Insightful)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392232)

It's not "things we didn't know last year," it's "factoids the Beeb's own magazine liked from their lists this year."

Still interesting, tho, even with a misleading headline.

Re:Not quite (2, Funny)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392334)

Highly misleading.

30. The brain is soft and gelatinous - its consistency is something between jelly and cooked pasta.

You mean that we didn't know that years prior?

31. The Mona Lisa used to hang on the wall of Napoleon's bedroom.

You mean they found it 'this year?'

Re:Not quite (5, Funny)

sugarman (33437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392408)

30. The brain is soft and gelatinous - its consistency is something between jelly and cooked pasta.

You mean that we didn't know that years prior?

Well, they didn't know how well it was cooked. It was previously thought to be al dente. They've now confirmed that it is closer to Kraft Dinner.

Re:Not quite (2, Funny)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392586)

Well, yeah. The previous misconception was that it was hung on the ceiling over his bed.

Re:Not quite (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392512)

Ok Mr Smartypants, Which came first, the Dinosaur or the Egg?

Re:Not quite (1, Insightful)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392614)

Ok maybe I have super-intellect or something but some of those things I knew last year. "The egg came first" ... how the heck is that news? Dinosaurs laid them well before chickens were running around... ugh idiocy.
Most of those "facts" were, in fact, not facts -- your egg first example shines among them. The which came first, chicken or egg question is a philosophical and/or rhetorical question, meant to generate debate but not actually solvable. It is the quintessential evolution vs creationism debate. Did God create the chicken, which then laid eggs, or did evolutionary forces result in the first chicken via a pre-chicken ancestor laying a mutated-into-a-chicken egg? Stating "The egg came first" is essentially a statement of faith. Additionally, the article that "fact" points to is highly questionable, essentially saying "a philosopher says the egg must have come first, therefore this proves that the egg came first".

There are *some* genuine discoveries on that list, but most of it is garbage.

Re:Not quite (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392766)

There is no "debate" between Creationism and the theory of evolution. And to bring that into the scope of the article discussed does it an injustice. The article, by the way, did no treat the "chicken or egg" question as a philosophical/rhetorical one, but as a scientific one.

Re:Not quite (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393096)

But what do you define as the pre-chicken ancestor? Evolution is a slow process and the "pre-chicken ancestor" is likely not that different from a chicken.

i got first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392182)

betcha didnt know thta niggas

Re:i got first post (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392900)

uh...you're a little late there genius...

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobiacs (5, Funny)

duguk (589689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392238)

Though the 666 term of 'Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobiacs' is true, in 2005, "a fragment of papyrus was revealed, containing the earliest known version of that part of the Book of Revelation discussing the Number of the Beast. It gave the number as 616, suggesting that this may have been the original."

FYI: Port 616 is officially registered to SCO System Administration Server.

Re:Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobiacs (1)

SamSim (630795) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392446)

616 also happens to be the reality designation number of the mainstream Marvel Universe [wikipedia.org] . Which, as we all know, is evil. Ish.

slightly OT (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392860)

When the news came that 616 was the actual number of tha beast, Dutch radio was very concerned and asked a spokesman of the church of satan wether they had to change all their books.
"Nah..." was the reply. "As long as number 666 annoys the hell out of christians, we're perfectly happy with it."

Re:Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobiacs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392582)

Hi, my names Zonk, I have no life and thing smearing mud on myself is funny.

Re:Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobiacs (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392616)

aibohphobia (the fear of palindromes) didn't make the list.

Re:Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobiacs (1)

Mad Marlin (96929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393034)

The 666/616 thing is way older than 2005.

The Egg (-1, Redundant)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392240)

The egg came first.

Duh. I knew this last year.

Re:The Egg (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392286)

BullShit! The Rooster came first.....

Re:The Egg (2, Informative)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392428)

BullShit! The Rooster came first.....

Yes, but, the father of the first "chicken" wasn't quite technically a chicken. And neither was the mother.

Re:The Egg (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392848)

Let me be the first to make the obligatory comment about how that sound you just heard was a joke flying over your head.

Re:The Egg (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393076)

Let me be the first to make the obligatory comment about how that sound you just heard was a joke flying over your head.

Let me be the first to inform you that I did get the joke, which is why I said "Yes, but" instead of "No, you're wrong". I was changing the subject from a joke to a slightly more literally serious discussion of evolution. Perhaps I should have emphasized the word "first".

Settles it for those who misunderstand questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392792)

Like others have said on here, we knew their argument before we saw them say it. But it didn't/doesn't "settle" the question. It only shows their lack of understanding of the question.

Their argument is that some animal that was very close to, but not a chicken (ie, the animal lacked certain chicken defining characteristics) must have laid the first egg (consisting of mutated genes different than it's own) that produced a chicken.

But, what if one defines chickens as animals capable of laying chicken eggs (which is the whole reasoning behind the asked question).

Yeah some chickens are barren, but you can't necessarily cite the lack of a certain feature(s) making it not a chicken. For example, chickens are not blind. Yet there are chickens born that are blind, and we still call those chickens.

So, then. What if a chicken was birthed. That's right. That's right crawled out of it's momma. Dinosaur gets laid. Embryo gets hit by X-rays and mutates gaining egg making technology. Chicken fetus forms in womb. Chicken gets birthed. That's right crawled out of it's momma.

Then the chicken would have totally 100% chicken characteristics and go and lay the world's first egg.

Anecdote: Cave man watching this whole thing is mesmerized and forgets to write this story into stone tablet, instead, he adds eggs and chicken to his grocery list.

Re:Settles it for those who misunderstand question (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393118)

But, what if one defines chickens as animals capable of laying chicken eggs (which is the whole reasoning behind the asked question).

Seems like a pretty odd definition; why would anyone use it? What if we define chickens as animals that normally of launch monkeys out of their butts?

The egg came first is new news? (0, Redundant)

BigGar' (411008) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392242)

Eggs were around a long time before chickens.

Re:The egg came first is new news? (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392448)

I thought the cock [threadless.com] came first.

Re:The egg came first is new news? (1)

martijn-s (456925) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392858)

Of course, implied was that they mean a chicken egg. So: Which came first: the chicken egg or the chicken? Technically, you're mostly correct, but it's a lot less 'duh' than you yourself imply.

The Pope's been known to wear red Prada shoes (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392250)

I thought The Devil Wears Prada [imdb.com] .

Re:The Pope's been known to wear red Prada shoes (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392402)

The Pope has also been known (to some) to be the Anti-Christ.

Re:The Pope's been known to wear red Prada shoes (3, Funny)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392730)

Have you seen him [news.com.au] lately?

Re:The Pope's been known to wear red Prada shoes (2, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392924)

Yeah. Here's another [att.net] .

Sure (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392294)

facts that we did not know last year

Sure, but I knew I didn't know these facts last year. I'm interested in things that I didn't know that I didn't know.

Known unknowns just aren't that interesting.

Re:Sure (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392342)

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.

Donald Rumsfeld, Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

Great tits! (4, Funny)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392302)

The research focused on great tits in ten major European cities, including London, Paris, Amsterdam and Prague, and compared them to forest-dwellers.

I'd be singing faster rap style songs too rather than longer melodies if it attracted mates with great tits.

Chicken or the Egg? (3, Funny)

Zashi (992673) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392362)

We know the egg came first because it was the first to light up its cigarette and ask "how was it, baby?"

Oblig python (4, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392370)

43. There is only one cheddar cheese maker in Cheddar, even though cheddar is the most popular hard cheese in the English-speaking world.

Not 'round here, sir.

Re:Oblig python (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392494)

D'oh, that was supposed to be "funny". Posting to retract mod.

Re:Oblig python (1)

Hyram Graff (962405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392918)

And what is the most popular cheese around here?

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobiacs... (3, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392386)

In the old days, people would scream "the Devil!" when they pronounced the number 666. These days we have a long word to wrap our tongues around to pronounce the number 666. I guess Word Nazis rule hell.

Re:Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobiacs... (1)

MollyB (162595) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392690)

I watched some documentary-style program on the history channel that suggested that the number 666 actually "translated" to (the Roman Emperor) Nero, who was persecuting the Christians and about whom the text of Revelation is actually accusing in an indirect manner, iirc. I agree we don't a tongue-twister to describe the baseless dread of a simple integer whose very origin is so hysterically twisted. (Sorry if I fit the word-nazi descriptor. Just trying to advance understanding...)

It is news which has nothing to do with science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392390)

Why is this considered 'science'?????

this article is silly (4, Insightful)

xilmaril (573709) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392430)

They say that last year we didn't know that... Panspermia is the theory that life came from other planets???

I scanned down the list for a bit, but when I saw that, I just had to reread it in surprise, then close that browser tab. I knew that a long, long time ago, as did a lot of other science or science-fiction fans. The wikipedia article on panspermia cites its usage as early as 2000.

I was kind of disappointed.

Re:this article is silly (1)

xenoarch (817676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392622)

Much older then that I used the term in a high school paper in the early nineties. Can't remember where i heard the term before. Nova, or some other PBS show I'm sure.

of course its "We" in the headlines, so either they are saying that they the Magazine itself didn't know these before, or mayhaps its the royal "We" and saying its what The Queen didn't know last year.

Re:this article is silly (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392674)

The wikipedia article on panspermia cites its usage as early as 2000.

This BBC article doesn't make sense. 1. panspermia is not a "fact", it's an idea. 2. It's been a popular idea for decades... BBC's own article [bbc.co.uk] talks about the 1960s:

"The main reason why Dr Louis's ideas have not been immediately laughed out of court is because they tie in with a theory promoted by two UK scientists ever since the 1960s."

Chandra Wickramasin himself has been promoting panspermia since 2001. So why is this special now?

Re:this article is silly (1)

General Alcazar (726259) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392818)

2000 is a long, long time ago? Geez, getting old sucks - that seems like yesterday for me. :P

I thought Francis Crick came up with that back in the 1960s?

Re:this article is silly (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392862)

The list is full of things like these. Its not really a list of discovery but of off-beat and interesting news. Panspeemia is an old idea, usually held up by discoving tough bacteria that might survive and interstellar trip on an asteroid, fossils, and now this 'red rain.' They also didnt just discover how to say 666 fear in greek, etc.

Didn't know last year? (1)

g253 (855070) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392450)

10. Panspermia is the idea that life on Earth originated on another planet.

Yea, never ever heard about that idea before 2006.

stat on everest (4, Informative)

vingilot (218702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392466)

For every 10 successful attempts to climb Mount Everest there is one fatality.

This is per expedition. See:
http://www.americanalpineclub.org/pdfs/aaj/HueyEve restAAJ_03.pdf [americanalpineclub.org]

1 in 54 climbers dies. 1 in 10 expeditions will experience a fatality.

For any climbers out there the above reference has good statistics of risk, including vs denali and k2.

Re:stat on everest (4, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392712)

thus we see it is far safer to climb mt. everest than to be president of the U.S.A.

Re:stat on everest (1)

Associate (317603) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393054)

You mean the odds of dying go up for presidents? I always thought it was %100. Good thing I'm not the president.

godless evolutionist pagans!!! (1, Funny)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392470)

*sarcasm on*

"The egg came first."

read and weep evolutionists:

"And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth."

See ??? first god created the chicken, then the chicken laid the first egg!

it's so clear now, isn't it ?

*sarcasm off*

Re:godless evolutionist pagans!!! (0)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392568)

Actually, birdseed came before the chicken OR the egg ;)

Re:godless evolutionist pagans!!! (4, Funny)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392640)

Actually, birdseed came before the chicken OR the egg ;)

I thought birdseed was what was released when the chicken came.

Re:godless evolutionist pagans!!! (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392764)

that's only half right, the other half of chickens are hens.

Re:godless evolutionist pagans!!! (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393100)

I actually considered adding (I know, roosters) after the word chicken, but decided it detracted from the funniness.

Re:godless evolutionist pagans!!! (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392802)

but plants were created the day before, and plants have egg cells. Not to mention eggplants. 8D

Re:godless evolutionist pagans!!! (2, Funny)

dapsychous (1009353) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392894)

I still say that it was really neither the chicken nor the egg, but in fact the rooster that came first. After all, the rooster laid the hen.

Thanks, I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress

lion costume (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392662)

"The lion costume in the film 'Wizard of Oz' was made from real lions." This was in a documentary in the mid 90's. Maybe the BBC needs to watch more TV.

Re:lion costume (1)

pbrammer (526214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393002)

Not to mention that the costume designers knew it when they made the film.

1.5p (5, Funny)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392676)

Flushing a toilet costs 1.5p, but the cost of requiring flushing is, of course, only 1p.

Re:1.5p (2, Funny)

PatPending (953482) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392822)

Unless you're doing a Number Two--then the cost (equivalent) is what, 2p?

Most useful (4, Interesting)

nick255 (139962) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392684)

The one I found most useful was:

79. The best-value consumer purchase in terms of the price and usage is an electric kettle.

I wonder what the worst is?

Re:Most useful (1)

MoronBob (574671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392786)

"I wonder what the worst is?" Buying a computer to read slashdot.

Re:Most useful (1)

justinlindh (1016121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392872)

The worst? Obviously the PS3. Seriously, you need to refinance your home to even get one, it needs a small power plant to power it, and afterwards you're left wondering why.

Re:Most useful (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392952)

Well, if it's confined to the same category as an electric kettle, I'd say it's either: (a) a juicer or (b) an electric carving knife.

How many people regularly use these? Sure, they sound useful, but the reality is that people use them for awhile (or infrequently), then let them collect dust for a few years before they're finally given to Goodwill.

Re:Most useful (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392996)

An ALF pog.

Re:Most useful (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393110)

An eclipse powered kettle?

Stunning Intellectualism (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392692)

Its no wonder the US is light years behind the UK and Europe with sources of wisdom like the BBC. My favorite is "The age limit for marriage in France was, until recently, 15 for girls, but 18 for boys. The age for girls was raised to 18 in 2006. " Why? So they have lowered the age of consent but increased the age of Marriage. From the article "The law, which aims to prevent forced marriages, makes the age limit the same as that for men. Tougher penalties for marital rape and assault will now be extended to partners and ex-partners in general. MPs also backed measures to counter sex tourism, child pornography and female circumcision. It will also become an offence to confiscate travel or identity documents to prevent a partner leaving. The law on theft is also being amended: until now it has been impossible to bring theft charges against one spouse stealing from another. Do most Europeans even care about marriage anymore? Who are these laws designed to effect? "female circumcision"? This is not a traditional European practice or am I mistaken? Could they be talking about the ROP? NO! That would be bigoted and intolorant. These laws could never be passed in the US. Not with the ACLU and CAIR at the helm.

*sigh* (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17392716)

I guess I'll just have to wait until next year to see which is better, vi or Emacs.

Re:*sigh* (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393018)

This is a closely guarded secret, and revealing the answer would cause too much shock and social unrest. The answer is, of course: "Neither, WordPerfect is the best."

What mean "WE" kimosabe? (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392732)

'Nuff said.

Re:What mean "WE" kimosabe? (1)

markbt73 (1032962) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392890)

I think it's "100 things some dude at the BBC didn't know last year."

New Facts (1)

NatePWIII (126267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392754)

Ok some of these are really dumb but some of them are actually quite interesting.

For one I didn't realize that the fatality rate on Everest was so high, that's pretty scarey. I guess there goes my Everest attempt, my wife was never in favor of it anyway.

I was thinking about it the other night and I had an idea, they need to put a fire escape type of tube on Everest, the kind you see installed on some high rises. Just a super long one on Everest, that way if someone is having a problem just pop them into the tube and let them slide down to advanced base camp, no rescue operation necessary and no endangering further lives in trying to evacuate an incapacitated climber.

Would something like this actually work? Could it be done in stages? A tube stretching from one camp to the next?

Re:New Facts (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393046)

Would something like this actually work? Could it be done in stages? A tube stretching from one camp to the next?

All you'd have to do would be set up an internet connection. The only problem is you'd have to get permission from Al Gore, as he owns the patent on tubes in series.

Urban birds and 'rap style' (3, Informative)

GrumpySimon (707671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392778)

Dear god that's just stupid - It's got absolutely nothing to do with rapping or urbanisation, just communication. The more I see of science reporting, the more depressed I get (hence I'm trying to do it better myself).

The original report said that the urban birds have shorter songs with an upshift in frequency, all the better to compete with traffic noise. You can read a more sciency report on it at Science Daily [sciencedaily.com] . The paper's abstract:


Worldwide urbanization and the ongoing rise of urban noise levels form a major threat to living conditions in and around cities. Urban environments typically homogenize animal communities, and this results, for example, in the same few bird species' being found everywhere. Insight into the behavioral strategies of the urban survivors may explain the sensitivity of other species to urban selection pressures. Here, we show that songs that are important to mate attraction and territory defense have significantly diverged in great tits (Parus major), a very successful urban species. Urban songs were shorter and sung faster than songs in forests, and often concerned atypical song types. Furthermore, we found consistently higher minimum frequencies in ten out of ten city-forest comparisons from London to Prague and from Amsterdam to Paris. Anthropogenic noise is most likely a dominant factor driving these dramatic changes. These data provide the most consistent evidence supporting the acoustic-adaptation hypothesis since it was postulated in the early seventies. At the same time, they reveal a behavioral plasticity that may be key to urban success and the lack of which may explain detrimental effects on bird communities that live in noisy urbanized areas or along highways.


From Current Biology here [current-biology.com] and you can even listen to the songs yourself [current-biology.com] .

Re:Urban birds and 'rap style' (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393070)

The original report said that the urban birds have shorter songs with an upshift in frequency,

You mean, like rap songs?

Re:Urban birds and 'rap style' (2, Insightful)

GrumpySimon (707671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17393142)

Are rap songs shorter with an upshift in frequency? I doubt it.

Sure, I may be being a little bit uh, anal here, but a glib report along the lines of "it's like a rap song" just trivialises and dumbs down the research which is actually quite neat: these birds have adjusted their songs to compete with the other noises in their environment, showing a high level of behavioral plasticity.

A small problem (4, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392832)

Ouch [bbc.co.uk] . You'd think they could've phrased it a little better.

Oh, sorry...

100 things some british guy didn't know last year (1)

jpellino (202698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392850)

At least, 10, 11, 27, 28, 42, 43, 44, 90 and 99 are well established.

Title is inaccurate (3, Insightful)

meckardt (113120) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392878)

This article would more accurately be captioned "100 Interesting Things". Perusing the entire list, there are more than a few factoids therein that I did know.

Come to think of it, the name "100 Things That Some People Might Not Know" would be even more accurate.

Eveyone seems to be missing the point (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392922)

This isn't "100 things no-one knew last year", it's "100 things we didn't know last year". The "we" doesn't refer to the human race, it refers at the very most to "the average person in the street", and quite possibly only to the person(s) who pick the things that go in the articles.

This isn't meant to be a list of 100 new discoveries, so can everyone stop commenting on it as though it is?

The brain is soft and gelatinous...? Really? (3, Interesting)

turrican (55223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17392942)

"30. The brain is soft and gelatinous - its consistency is something between jelly and cooked pasta."

Not to jump on the bandwagon late, here - but I'm pretty sure that's NOT something we didn't know last year...
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