Useless facts

Let’s post some useless facts we find online. I’ll start HS out.

The lint in the bottom of your pocket has a name.

At some point in time, for whatever reason, someone decided to give a name to the lint that collects in the bottom of your pockets. And that name is hilariously “gnurr.”

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I had been scouring these sorts of pages for a quiz game I’ve put together that we can play once the current categories game has ended. Here’s a fact that won’t be needed:

The bumblebee bat is the world’s smallest mammal

Weighing in at 0.05 to 0.07 ounces, with a head-to-body length of 1.14 to 1.29 inches and a wingspan of 5.1 to 5.7 inches, the bumblebee bat—also known as Kitti’s hog-nosed bat—is the smallest mammal in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. To see this tiny bat for yourself, you’d have to visit one of a select few limestone caves on the Khwae Noi River in Kanchanaburi Province of southwest Thailand.

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How to figure out Easter in the Northern hemisphere.

It is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.

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That totally doesn’t sound like a pagan ritual.

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How to figure out Victoria Day in Canada: It’s the Monday just before May 25.

Usually, that is the last Monday in May, like Memorial Day in the US, but in years like this one, Victoria Day is a full week earlier than Memorial Day. Today is Memorial Day, but Victoria Day was last week.

Why? Because May 24 was Queen Victoria’s birthday. It has been a a national holiday in Canada since 1901; while Victoria was alive, May 24 was an unofficial patriotic holiday.

Nowadays, it’s considered the start of the gardening season.

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Useless bodyparts

I have a pea sized spare spleen

Edit: oops, it’s called accessory spleen in English.

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Modern trains don’t go clackety-clack.

It’s not because of modern trains, but because of modern rails.

There has to be a gap between two pieces of rail, to account for heat-based expansion. Originally, it was a plain flat gap between two long pieces of rail, held together with a piece of movable rivet joint. When the train’s wheel jumped over these gaps, the clickety-clack sound is heard. It also spoilt the wheels as well as the rails, requiring frequent maintenance, especially when the rivets joining the two rails decided to fly away because they’d been eroded by the continuous movements.

Modern rails have a more complex system of jointing, which accommodates the gap as well as the joint in an angular-step design which allows a better movement and doesn’t cut into the wheels too. But that got rid of the clackety-clack sounds too.

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Strawberries aren’t berries.
But Bananas are.

The things hanging off the Titanic are called “Rusticles” but they’re actually (for lack of a better term) bacteria poop.

Women could own property and land and make money in Ancient Egypt, making it more equal in terms of gender than even 100 years ago in our societies.

I’m full of useless facts.

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Orange (the color) is named after orange (the fruit).

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An orange used to be a norange, but the n migrated. Another word like that, but in the other direction, is nickname; it used to be an ickname.

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Budapest is Buda + Pest.

As in, there used to be two cities named Buda and Pest (as well as a third one named Óbuda, which means Old Buda), and then they merged into one.

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Polar bears are left handed.

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Here are a couple:

A snail can sleep for more than three years at a time.

A “jiffy” is about one trillionth of a second.

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Spartan women were encouraged to be active unlike the Athenian women (or other women in Greek City-states)

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The Aztecs had mandatory education for everyone.

I don’t know what I’m going to do with this fact.

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If you walk on your heels when barefoot, it makes it much harder to identify your tracks.

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Brinjals/Aubergines/Eggplants are berries botanically. Nutritionally, they aren’t that great, but when cooked absorb other ingredients well, hence are used as vegetables.

Purple & violet coloured Eggplants are named so in the US (a place with weird etymological processes anyways) only because one of its cultivars grows white berries that look like eggs when still growing.

The word Aubergine traces its roots to the Sanskrit name vatingama, ‘remover of flatulence’ since it was assumed that they helped reduce flatulence. That word gave rise to the current Indic name baingan and the Arabic badinjan from the Persian badingan.

Arabic tendencies to add the prefix al- made the name albadinjan, which is how Europe was introduced to the plant. The Spanish made it alberenjena and the French reduced it to aubergine, as we know it today.

Portuguese speakers removed the al- and reduced it to brinjella, and brought the word along when they colonised the Indian subcontinent. Thus leading to the plant being named brinjal in English spoken locally. So even if the original root is Indic in origin, and the words brinjal and baingan are similar, they have different etymologies altogether.

Oh, and brinjella also gave rise to the Caribbean name for the plant: brown jolly.

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Eggplants contain nicotine. Found this out since I’m allergic to them (and the whole family of nightshades).

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White cats with blue eyes have a 65-85% chance of being deaf.

White cats without blue eyes have up to a 20% chance.

However, white cats with one blue eye and one non-blue eye have a 40% chance of being deaf. Most often, when they are deaf, the ear next to the blue eye is deaf but the other one is hearing.

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Wordle has two word lists: one for five-letter words that are valid words for guesses, and a second, smaller list of five-letter words that are acceptable solutions. The second list omits words that are obscure, jargon, or otherwise unacceptable.

Here are some words that are real five letter words that would probably be accepted as guesses, but not as solutions.

Birds: plover, wader, snipe, crake, veery, vireo, buteo
Science: biome, biota, prion
Biology: femur, tibia
Botany: calyx, sepal, bract
Mythology: lamia
Words that are also proper names: harry, sally, peter (as in “to peter out”)
Objectionable: penis, vulva, fetus, sperm, pussy, whore, bitch,

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