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23 hours ago, Tub said:

Shouldn't you have said " on railway-line " pun?

No. I credited everyone with the smarts to see that on line could refer to computers, forums and railway lines, or even on topic, leaving them the freedom to go in their preferred direction. Had we been talking about sheep rather than cattle, there would have been the option of discussing rams.

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Today I learned that skills improved by participating here on scienceforums can, at least in some minor way, be helpful in the current virus situation. I joined a local initiative where students study

I found out you can be superstitious, but not a little bit stitious.

Today I learned that you only need 39 digits of π to calculate the circumference of the observable universe with a precision of one atom.

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30 minutes ago, Area54 said:

No. I credited everyone with the smarts to see that on line could refer to computers, forums and railway lines, or even on topic, leaving them the freedom to go in their preferred direction. Had we been talking about sheep rather than cattle, there would have been the option of discussing rams.

Sorry, A. I think there has been a bit of miscommunication here - two countries separated by the same language. When i wrote " on railway-line " that was my pun. Here in little England,  we don't say " railroad tracks " but we do say " railway lines ". If you were English you would probably have thought that my pun was the greatest, funniest pun ever invented! Can i give you another great pun: ....... it seems we had a crossed-line. Do i get the prize now, or will i be  "punished " for not being funny? :)

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3 hours ago, Area54 said:

 Had we been talking about sheep rather than cattle, there would have been the option of discussing rams.

Not too long ago (but before railways) the word "cattle" could mean both sheep and cows. I'm reading a Greek novel at the moment, written about 200 AD which uses the word "probata" literally "that which is driven forwards" referring to a flock of sheep or a herd of cattle. In both cases, the English translation of around 1650 uses the term "cattle".  The device to stop livestock from walking through gate is still called a cattle grid in the UK. There are people who go round building little ladders inside them to help hedgehogs escape when they fall in. I'll stop now.

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12 minutes ago, DrKrettin said:

Not too long ago (but before railways) the word "cattle" could mean both sheep and cows. I'm reading a Greek novel at the moment, written about 200 AD which uses the word "probata" literally "that which is driven forwards" referring to a flock of sheep or a herd of cattle. In both cases, the English translation of around 1650 uses the term "cattle".  The device to stop livestock from walking through gate is still called a cattle grid in the UK. There are people who go round building little ladders inside them to help hedgehogs escape when they fall in. I'll stop now.

No. Before steam railways, but after railways, which have been around since at least 600 BC, as per the wikipedia article.  I knew that railways in mines and quarries long pre-dated the introduction of steam, and were therefore in use when cattle had a wider meaning, but I only learned of the Greek example today.

I have a cattle grid, but sadly neither cattle, nor hedgehogs.

Edit: I know you were meaning mechanically powered railways, but I just wanted to be pedantic.

Edited by Area54
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1 hour ago, DrKrettin said:

*groan* I'm rather fazed by your spelling.

Hello, Drk. I stumbled across two new words recently: one was " catachresis ", which is relevant to " phase " and " faze "; the other is  "ultracrepidarianism "  which could apply to a few  people in these forums ( not including you, of  course..ha,ha.. but definitely including me ). You may already be familiar with these words but, if you aren't, and knowing your interest in Greek and Latin, i think you might be interested in their etymology.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/ultracrepidarianism

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10 minutes ago, Tub said:

Hello, Drk. I stumbled across two new words recently: one was " catachresis ", which is relevant to " phase " and " faze "; the other is  "ultracrepidarianism "  which could apply to a few  people in these forums ( not including you, of  course..ha,ha.. but definitely including me ). You may already be familiar with these words but, if you aren't, and knowing your interest in Greek and Latin, i think you might be interested in their etymology.

 

Thank you - they are both interesting, but the ultracrepidarianism  (which I had come across but forgotten) has a particularly interesting etymology. I find etymology fascinating, which puts me in a very small minority methinks.

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Today I learned how hot temperatures can ground airplanes. The problem with flying in hot temperatures is similar to the problem faced in high altitudes: thin air. Hotter air is less dense, which means there is less air beneath the wings for lifting the aircraft and less air to flow through the jet engines.

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Today I learn about "the way to spiritual power through discipline" as practiced by Shugendō monks beginning in the 7th century until outlawed by the Japanese government.  Essentially, the practice involved a method of extremely slow suicide called self-mummification, which lasted about 9 years if successful.  Ritualized suicide, ultimately religious escapism. 

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Today I learned that a comparatively weak quantum computer with just a few thousand Q-bits as compared to a smart phone using billions of classical bits, could perform more computations simultaneously than could be performed by the entire visible universe if it was made into computers. It's mind boggling how these quantum computing techniques can exponentially be faster than classical computers. I find the below 8 minute video very interesting and the whole channel contains some real gems:
 

 

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8 hours ago, koti said:

Today I learned that a comparatively weak quantum computer with just a few thousand Q-bits 

Today I learned that Intel will sell you a chip with 17 qbits

https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intel-delivers-17-qubit-superconducting-chip-advanced-packaging-qutech/

And it needs rather specialist cooling ( 0.02K).

Classical computing isn't dead yet, though it may not be long.

Edited by John Cuthber
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2 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

Today I learned that Intel will sell you a chip with 17 qbits

https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intel-delivers-17-qubit-superconducting-chip-advanced-packaging-qutech/

And it needs rather specialist cooling ( 0.02K).

Classical computing isn't dead yet, though it may not be long.

That 20 millikelvin operating temperature doesn’t look too promising. I’m no expert but it’s probably not any time soon we could get a home environment PC to near absolute zero temperature. 

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Today I learned the Argentine lake duck is notable for possessing, in relation to body length, the longest (this is link to Largest body part....many interesting trivia) penis of all vertebrates; the penis, which is typically coiled up in flaccid state, can reach about the same length as the animal itself when fully erect, but more commonly is about half the bird's length.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_duck

Edited by Itoero
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I've learned that wolf-PAC.com has a petition to get big money out of politics,
and forapeoplesparty.org is trying to start a third political party. Both are trying to give back power to "We the People."

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Today I learned that those white spots that sometimes appear under our fingernails are call Leukonychia and that certain types may confer serious health conditions from malaria and leprosy to Darier's disease, liver failure, and kidney failure.  There are four primary types:  Punctata, stratia, longitudanal and totalis.

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