Things you were shockingly old when you learned

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I think I was like 16 or 17 when I learned that cows and bulls were the male and female versions of the same animal and not two distinct animals.

What sort of seemingly basic facts did it take you a surprisingly long time for you to learn?

filthy dylan, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 05:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

How a candle works.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 05:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

Practically everything.

Abbott of the Trapezoid Monks (Abbott), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 06:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

that SHIFT + 6 = ^. I think I figured it out a month or so ago. I always wondered how people got that character.

ILX MOD (musically), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 06:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

DO you have a Mac?

The best things about macs is that making any character is stupid easy.

¢™
øºÖØ°

Abbott of the Trapezoid Monks (Abbott), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 06:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

&¶¶¶¶¶¶

Abbott of the Trapezoid Monks (Abbott), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 06:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

!

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 07:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

That (most) BMWs are named according to engine size (I was a car freak as a child but never knew this until being informed by a German flatmate while I was a PhD student).

i.e. 318 = 3 series 1.8 litre engine etc.

krakow, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 07:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

Didn't know that black and green olives are identical, just different stage of maturity, until a few months ago.

Didn't realise that Adam Ant was a pun, until a year or so ago. Likewise Lipps Inc.

Zelda Zonk, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 07:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

I've got a mac and I still don't know how to do any of, um, ^ those ^

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

I end up going to wikipedia and copy-and-pasting when I want unusual characters

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

The cows-and-bulls thing, plus Adam Ant, are the only things on this thread that I do know

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

how to cook an artichoke properly

nelson algreen (get bent), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

(a julia child recipe steered me right)

nelson algreen (get bent), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

How to tie my shoes (velcro, you see..)

Sugar hiccup, Makes a pig soar and swoon (Pillbox), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 08:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

Didn't realise that Adam Ant was a pun, until a year or so ago.

^^^ this. Same with Sandy Shaw.

NotEnough, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

Fay Fife of the Rezillos.

Mark G, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

(i.e. it's a pun on "I am from the town of Fife, my good fellow" in broad scots)

Mark G, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

What's the Adam Ant pun? Adam Ant = adamant? If so... pretty lame pun.

Mordy, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

That's it.

Mark G, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

xpost Tell that to Lai Mpun, the lead singer of Bangkok's Phleng Chat.

I CRIED (G00blar), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

I am 33 and didn't know any of these things. Wait - how the hell DOES a candle work?!

Savannah Smiles, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

Same with Sandy Shaw.
OK I was 32 when I found out this was a pun.

I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE UP TO (Colonel Poo), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

i don't know how to explain it but i used to think chickens had a really weird way of "mating", something to do with the rooster's legs. (!!?!?) :)

Ludo, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

I thought penguins were as tall as humans until that march of the penguins movie

I CRIED (G00blar), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

"that SHIFT + 6 = ^. I think I figured it out a month or so ago. I always wondered how people got that character."

^^^Dude, you beat me by a month. Thanks!

I once spent a half hour trying to eject a cd from a Mac before someone finally told me there's an eject button on the keyboard. I was going through all these crazy menus and preferences...

Nate Carson, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think I was like 16 or 17 when I learned that cows and bulls were the male and female versions of the same animal and not two distinct animals.

What sort of seemingly basic facts did it take you a surprisingly long time for you to learn?

― filthy dylan, Wednesday, November 12, 2008 5:30 AM (6 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink


I did not know that oxen were cattle until about a week ago.

With a little bit of gold and a Peja (bernard snowy), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

I thought penguins were as tall as humans until that march of the penguins movie

loooool one of my friends thought this and it was since passed into running joke territory.

I think I've done that Mac eject button thing too :(

Pronounced lapels like 'labels' for years until corrected but happily don't dress well enough to use it often

The Slash My Father Wrote (DJ Mencap), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

My girlfriend was shocked to learn, at the age of 33, that a 'Flea Circus' is actually a rather charming mechanical toy, and is in no way operated by any parasitic insects.

Huey in Bristol (Huey in Melbourne), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ismael, at the age of 32, is shocked to learn the same thing. This thread is getting embarrassing

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

WAT! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flea_circus

Øystein, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

I thought penguins were as tall as humans until that march of the penguins movie

one of my friends thought this and it was since passed into running joke territory

no but seriously, what is this about?

negotiable, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

i mean i can see that there's rarely anything to size them against in the big white antarctic, but why would anyone then automatically think okay here's a bird i could play tag with

negotiable, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

u could still play tag w/it tho

SNAKES! (ice crӕm), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

But you could make the same assumption with ostriches in the big yellow desert (or wherever they live), and in that case you'd be right!

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm still in touch with several grown adults who genuinely believe there's 'something' to supernatural claims about ouija boards, despite its fairly obvious origins in parlour games / illusions which utilised the (admittedly fucking spooky) ideomotor effect.

Huey in Bristol (Huey in Melbourne), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

aw no-one said 'where babies come from'

Cittaslow Mazza (blueski), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

I've had a lot of experiences in my adult life with mispronouncing words I understood as part of written text, but hadn't heard aurally in the context of conversation etc. For example, I was well into my twenties before I knew the word "vehement" wasn't pronounced veh-hee-ment. I wish others would politely correct you when you do that instead of letting you blindly sound like an idiot.

Sugar hiccup, Makes a pig soar and swoon (Pillbox), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm a bit like that, but now I'm in the habit of saying works incorrectly, I can't get out of it. Canal is not pronounced can-el, but there's fuck all I can do about it now.

NotEnough, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

^ This happens to me all the time too - so much so that I actually now find it quite amusing when I realise, midway through a sentence, that a word I've never heard before is looming at the end. I suppose that people who talk a lot, rather than reading, must find the same with spelling. It only annoys me when some moron uses it as an opportunity to score cheap points (sadly fairly often)

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

I was going to start a thread like this, but it was going to be more about 'life lessons' that took you forever to learn, rather than trivia.

Anyway it's taken me this long to fully realize how unreliable first impressions can be when it comes to people.

invisible jet (wanko ergo sum), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

but why would anyone then automatically think okay here's a bird i could play tag with

haha

Ant Attack.. (Ste), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

TAL have an episode on this in the "best of" section on their wesite. people who thought unicorns were real, etc., lots of awkward silences at cocktail parties: good stuff.

rent, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

i like to tag birds. (runs)

Sugar hiccup, Makes a pig soar and swoon (Pillbox), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

There's a penguin here and he wants to say "you didn't touch me ner ner ner"

Mark G, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

I thought penguins went "weh weh weh"

╓abies, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm still in touch with several grown adults who genuinely believe there's 'something' to supernatural claims about ouija boards, despite its fairly obvious origins in parlour games / illusions which utilised the (admittedly fucking spooky) ideomotor effect.

― Huey in Bristol (Huey in Melbourne), Wednesday, November 12, 2008 7:08 AM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

you couldnt get me in the same room as a ouija board

a country packed with ponies (sunny successor), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

I was about 35 when I figured out Open Sesame = Open Says Me.

Rotgutt, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

i used to think HAZCHEM was a foreign word for danger like Achtung

Cittaslow Mazza (blueski), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 14:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

I just figured out, like 2 days ago, that the lyrics are "highway to the danger zone"

(until then, thought they were "I went to to the danger zone")

homosexual II, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 15:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

saw Toni Basil in the credits of Dennis Hopper's awful 'The Last Movie' (1971). Don't remember if she was a performer or choreographer. Also saw Russ Tamblyn (Dr. Jacoby on Twin Peaks) in the credits.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 4 September 2018 16:53 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I just learned today that Gene Kelly directed Hello, Dolly! It's not like I was unfamiliar with the movie or its history or its place in the declining days of roadshow musical movies, I just . . . never knew!

Eliza D., Tuesday, 4 September 2018 17:26 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I've spoken French since high school and been familiar with the phrase roughly the same length of time, but it was only this morning age 48 that I realised the phrase "gay divorcée" rhymes. Having only seen it in print I guess I mentally voiced it with a clueless Aussie accent.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Friday, 7 September 2018 06:50 (one week ago) Permalink

I never heard of the phrase "shave and a haircut, two bits" till my partner mentioned it last night

I can do the knock, I just didn't know it had words

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 7 September 2018 15:14 (one week ago) Permalink

That’s how the barber gets rich.

faculty w1fe (silby), Friday, 7 September 2018 15:23 (one week ago) Permalink

My office overlooks, among other things, a set of train tracks, and the other day a freight train passing by did "shave and a haircut, two bits" with its horn.

Chuck, did you never see "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDsgkRW2hDA

Eliza D., Friday, 7 September 2018 15:34 (one week ago) Permalink

my second car was a pink toyota corolla with an air horn of the same riff, except that the pipes for the notes had been switched

it was hard to convey the correct motorist frustration with that as my warning bell

lee guacamole (darraghmac), Friday, 7 September 2018 15:39 (one week ago) Permalink

Chuck, did you never see "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"

ha, so many times

this is one of those 2 + 2 = 0 zero moments

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 7 September 2018 15:50 (one week ago) Permalink

I was reading a novel about an old lady who keeps knocking on the narrator's door, "shave and a haircut, two bits" and I just assumed she was a barber

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 7 September 2018 15:51 (one week ago) Permalink

my second car was a pink toyota corolla with an air horn of the same riff, except that the pipes for the notes had been switched

it was hard to convey the correct motorist frustration with that as my warning bell

this brings me joy

kinder, Friday, 7 September 2018 20:48 (one week ago) Permalink

That tune as a car horn is not uncommon among Mexicans 'cause it means "chinga tu madre, cabron"

Dan I., Saturday, 8 September 2018 21:08 (one week ago) Permalink

Gumbo is derived from the bantu word for okra, though it doesn't have to contain okra.

LIma beans were originally imported from Lima, Peru.

Red beans and rice were traditionally eaten on a Monday prepared using meat left over from Sunday dinner.

cos they just turned up in a multiple choice quiz

Stevolende, Saturday, 8 September 2018 23:24 (one week ago) Permalink

Jambalaya is similar to Gumbo except it doesn't contain a thickener.

Stevolende, Saturday, 8 September 2018 23:27 (one week ago) Permalink

Lima beans are repulsive and my primary objection to Peru then. and peru has so much awesome acceptable food. no comment on cuy.

Hunt3r, Saturday, 8 September 2018 23:34 (one week ago) Permalink

Because i could not get it.

Hunt3r, Saturday, 8 September 2018 23:34 (one week ago) Permalink

denim originated in Nîmes, France i.e. "de Nîmes"

:o

a blue-dyed version of a similar fabric was made in Italy and distributed from Genoa; the French name for Genoa is "Gênes".... i.e. bleu de Gênes.. "blue jeans"

still today when you walk around France workmen wear blue trousers/overalls (though it is fairly bright blue rather than dark indigo)

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 9 September 2018 00:09 (one week ago) Permalink

What timescale was this? If you search for "Japanese boro" you'll find lots of pics of indigo dyed cotton from the 19th century (boro is actually the name of the patchwork technique they use for combining the scraps to make a complete piece but I was struck by the similarity to denim when I saw some examples a few years ago)

(Also: wikipedia points out https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungaree_(fabric) which almost certainly won't hyperlink correctly)

Elsewhere, today's guardian defines 'stan' as coming from the Eminem song and not south park as I'd imagined.

koogs, Sunday, 9 September 2018 01:55 (one week ago) Permalink

holy hell tracer thanks

gordon cartyard (alomar lines), Sunday, 9 September 2018 04:23 (one week ago) Permalink

koogs yeah, none of that is to suggest a hierarchy of authenticity, just that i'd never known the etymology of those words before and certainly never imagined that it was French

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 9 September 2018 10:48 (one week ago) Permalink

I got a twofer today.

The woman on cans of Sweetheart Stout is Venetia Stevenson, alibi girlfriend of both Tab Hunter and Anthony Perkins, married to Russ Tamblyn and Don Everley, and whose daughter was married to Axl Rose.

She was selected for the can by a member of the brewery family on work experience between getting his degree and choosing a career path. That career was politics and George Younger went on to be Defence Secretary and Scottish Secretary in a Thatcher cabinet.

Bimlo Horsewagon became Wheelbarrow Horseflesh (aldo), Sunday, 9 September 2018 11:15 (one week ago) Permalink

Nice.

Scottish Country Tweerking (Tom D.), Sunday, 9 September 2018 12:00 (one week ago) Permalink

I always suspected she wasn't actually from Alloa tbf.

Scottish Country Tweerking (Tom D.), Sunday, 9 September 2018 12:01 (one week ago) Permalink

yeah, i knew the 'de nime' thing (maybe from QI?) but the genoa / jeans thing was new.

and the boro is different, i think, in that it's indigo cotton, looks very similar from a distance, but jeans fabric is woven differently, it's a twill, with diagonal stripes.

weaving is fascinating, i'd love to learn more about it.

koogs, Sunday, 9 September 2018 12:08 (one week ago) Permalink

Clarence White's real name was Clarence LeBlanc and his parents were French Canadians.

Scottish Country Tweerking (Tom D.), Sunday, 9 September 2018 12:36 (one week ago) Permalink

Is Big Black a pun on Steve Albini's surname translating as little white?

Stevolende, Sunday, 9 September 2018 13:00 (one week ago) Permalink

Woah!

anatol_merklich, Sunday, 9 September 2018 13:41 (one week ago) Permalink

thread just keeps bringing it, love these.

Hunt3r, Sunday, 9 September 2018 14:18 (one week ago) Permalink

A tiny bit of white spirit can remove the gunk from stickers on cd cases/books etc

Dan Worsley, Sunday, 9 September 2018 18:22 (one week ago) Permalink

CD cases yes, but exercise caution with books because it can take printed colour right off too.

Hans Holbein (Chinchilla Volapük), Sunday, 9 September 2018 19:00 (one week ago) Permalink

I use a white vinegar solution for books

coetzee.cx (wins), Sunday, 9 September 2018 19:02 (one week ago) Permalink

When I worked at a record store we used goo gone for removing stickers from cd cases. You can also use it on hardwood floors if there is adhesive stuck there as well.

Yerac, Sunday, 9 September 2018 19:04 (one week ago) Permalink

I always used lighter fluid.
Have heard that coconut oil works but not tried it

Stevolende, Sunday, 9 September 2018 20:39 (one week ago) Permalink

xxxp the full fabric name was “serge de Nîmes”

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Sunday, 9 September 2018 21:16 (one week ago) Permalink

Former child actor Charlie Korsmo from "Dick Tracy" and "Hook" is now a lawyer and teaches law right down the street from me at Case Western Reserve University.

https://law.case.edu/Our-School/Faculty-Staff/Meet-Our-Faculty/Faculty-Detail/id/997

Eliza D., Monday, 10 September 2018 15:02 (one week ago) Permalink

Whoa he really still looks a lot like he did as a kid!

Dan I., Monday, 10 September 2018 18:01 (one week ago) Permalink

The sax solo by King Curtis in "Yakety Yak" by the Coasters was the inspiration for "Yakety Sax" (aka Benny Hill theme) by Boots Randolph.

Liquid Plejades, Monday, 10 September 2018 22:46 (one week ago) Permalink

I got a twofer today.

The woman on cans of Sweetheart Stout is Venetia Stevenson, alibi girlfriend of both Tab Hunter and Anthony Perkins, married to Russ Tamblyn and Don Everley, and whose daughter was married to Axl Rose.

She was selected for the can by a member of the brewery family on work experience between getting his degree and choosing a career path. That career was politics and George Younger went on to be Defence Secretary and Scottish Secretary in a Thatcher cabinet.

― Bimlo Horsewagon became Wheelbarrow Horseflesh (aldo), Sunday, September 9, 2018 4:15 AM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

was just thinking about sweetheart stout today for some reason. i seem to remember it being very bad and that I've never seen anyone order one apart from myself to try it and an old lady once at a function

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Monday, 10 September 2018 23:11 (one week ago) Permalink

"Throwing Muses were formed in 1983 by Kristin Hersh and her stepsister Tanya Donelly,"

How is it that I love this band but never knew this

fgti is for (flamboyant goon tie included), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 20:52 (one week ago) Permalink

That is a huge suprise to me to but looking at Wiki seems that they didn't become step-sisters till around 1990.

everything, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 21:07 (one week ago) Permalink

Woah, curveball.

Here's one: I have it sorted NOW, but for a long time I was tripped up by this group:

Ronnie Van Zant
Steven Van Zandt
Johnny Van Zant
Townes Van Zandt

...sometimes leaking into Stevie Ray Vaughn or just plain absurdities like Van Cliburn / Van Morrison.

Never mind the bollards (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 23:20 (one week ago) Permalink

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/cards/12573.jpg

mookieproof, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 23:43 (one week ago) Permalink

"Throwing Muses were formed in 1983 by Kristin Hersh and her stepsister Tanya Donelly,"

How is it that I love this band but never knew this

Yet I don't love that band and I feel like everyone always knew this?!?!?

Scottish Country Tweerking (Tom D.), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 23:44 (one week ago) Permalink

Yeah I knew this, but I'm a big TM/Hersh fan. They'd been friends even before K's mom married T's dad as well, iirc.

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Wednesday, 12 September 2018 00:53 (one week ago) Permalink

I thought there was shared blood so it was half sister not step sister so that's new to me.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 12 September 2018 07:29 (one week ago) Permalink

Is the correct term for somebody coming from Michigan a MichiganDer, hadn't heard it before i was watching Monday Night's Chris Hayes show. Would have just gone with Michiganer or something similar.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 12 September 2018 10:08 (one week ago) Permalink

Michigander is correct

faculty w1fe (silby), Wednesday, 12 September 2018 10:27 (one week ago) Permalink

And the feminine form is Michigoose of course.

People from Manitoba are correctly called Manitoboggans.

Never mind the bollards (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 12 September 2018 11:23 (one week ago) Permalink

I used to hear Michiganian a lot more when I was a kid but Michigander seems to have won out

joygoat, Wednesday, 12 September 2018 11:59 (one week ago) Permalink

Mishegoss, iirc?

I Don't Have Any Ears, I Am Positive (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 12 September 2018 12:07 (one week ago) Permalink

whats sauce for the mishegoss is sauce for the michegander

NAGL usa (darraghmac), Wednesday, 12 September 2018 15:00 (one week ago) Permalink


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