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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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Today I learned there are „right hand rules” related to electricity. This video explains it...this guy is crazy, hilarious and scientifically correct in his videos:

 

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Today I learned that the Japanese word ‘ken’ for dog, which comes from Chinese ‘quan’, shares the same root as Latin ‘canis’ (and hound etc). It was a Bronze Age borrowing from an early Indo-European language. 

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33 minutes ago, Strange said:

Today I learned that the Japanese word ‘ken’ for dog, which comes from Chinese ‘quan’, shares the same root as Latin ‘canis’ (and hound etc). It was a Bronze Age borrowing from an early Indo-European language. 

What led you on to that little philological/etymological excursion?

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28 minutes ago, Strange said:

This blog post: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=36996

I think it is amazing that, at that time,  a word was borrowed across civilisations thousands of miles apart. And that we can trace the fact from words still in use. 

It's amazing that people are so interested in it and to such depth; I  merely scratch the surface when I do etymological searches. I find such knowledge useful because I can often determine meanings of words I've never seen before from their components, which I might be familiar with.

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Today I learned that "piezo-" has many more pronunciations than I thought possible. (I had, of course, assumed there was only one: mine.)

  • pie-zo
  • pee-eh-zo
  • pee-zo
  • pee-at-zo
  • pie-tso
  • pee-eh-tso
  • pee-tso
  • pee-at-so

and maybe more.

 

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On 3/1/2018 at 1:56 AM, koti said:

Today I learned that the more I learn, the less afraid I am to admit that I don't know something.

At 50 I decided that I was old enough to admit that I don't know some things. From this time I started asking: what is it? And if you do that you will realize that most of the times nobody clearly know what that thing is.

I remember my first question to a man talking about hotel kitchen and asp.

Asp here, asp there, what is asp??

It was not "asp" but HACCP. After asking, it appeared that nobody around knew what it was. But I was the only one daring to ask.

52 minutes ago, Strange said:

Today I learned that "piezo-" has many more pronunciations than I thought possible. (I had, of course, assumed there was only one: mine.)

  • pie-zo
  • pee-eh-zo
  • pee-zo
  • pee-at-zo
  • pie-tso
  • pee-eh-tso
  • pee-tso
  • pee-at-so

and maybe more.

 

pee-eh-so is the more close to the Greek πίεση which means pressure.

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Today I learned that HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points :)

3 minutes ago, michel123456 said:

pee-eh-so is the more close to the Greek πίεση which means pressure.

And that appears to be the "standard" American pronunciation. Whether it is the most common or not is a different question...

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2 minutes ago, michel123456 said:

At 50 I decided that I was old enough to admit that I don't know some things. From this time I started asking: what is it? And if you do that you will realize that most of the times nobody clearly know what that thing is.

I remember my first question to a man talking about hotel kitchen and asp.

Asp here, asp there, what is asp??

It was not "asp" but HACCP. After asking, it appeared that nobody around knew what it was. But I was the only one daring to ask.

Good thing we have google now, this way I now know its „hazard analysis and critical control points” This only seems like useles information but I will use it in a conversation some day. If I don’t forget it that is ;) 

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1 hour ago, Strange said:

And that appears to be the "standard" American pronunciation. Whether it is the most common or not is a different question...

Interestingly I have only ever heard two variations, one with a harder tso (in Germany) and a softer so in the US. Maybe it is area or field dependent?

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Today I learned that plants have a way to use the entire visible spectrum.

The literature and our present examinations indicate that the intra-leaf light absorption profile is in most cases steeper than the photosynthetic capacity profile. In strong white light, therefore, the quantum yield of photosynthesis would be lower in the upper chloroplasts, located near the illuminated surface, than that in the lower chloroplasts. Because green light can penetrate further into the leaf than red or blue light, in strong white light, any additional green light absorbed by the lower chloroplasts would increase leaf photosynthesis to a greater extent than would additional red or blue light. Based on the assessment of effects of the additional monochromatic light on leaf photosynthesis, we developed the differential quantum yield method that quantifies efficiency of any monochromatic light in white light. Application of this method to sunflower leaves clearly showed that, in moderate to strong white light, green light drove photosynthesis more effectively than red light.https://academic.oup.com/pcp/article/50/4/684/1908367

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On 3/13/2018 at 6:15 PM, koti said:

Good thing we have google now, this way I now know its „hazard analysis and critical control points” This only seems like useles information but I will use it in a conversation some day. If I don’t forget it that is ;) 

If you ever go pick some food from a hotel breakfast buffet and see a glass above the food, preventing the splitting of food with saliva, it comes from HACCP regulation.

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58 minutes ago, michel123456 said:

If you ever go pick some food from a hotel breakfast buffet and see a glass above the food, preventing the splitting of food with saliva, it comes from HACCP regulation.

I’ve seen that bowl or glass many times, I always assumed its there to prevent dust or some accidental contamination. The thought that people might spit on food layed out in a hotel buffet is seriously disturbing.

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56 minutes ago, koti said:

The thought that people might spit on food layed out in a hotel buffet is seriously disturbing.

1

Who knew a servant would resent an arsehole from the ruling class?

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18 hours ago, koti said:

I’ve seen that bowl or glass many times, I always assumed its there to prevent dust or some accidental contamination. The thought that people might spit on food layed out in a hotel buffet is seriously disturbing.

Spit not split, my bad. Thank you for the smooth correction.

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On 10/03/2018 at 10:00 PM, Strange said:

Today I learned that the Japanese word ‘ken’ for dog, which comes from Chinese ‘quan’, shares the same root as Latin ‘canis’ (and hound etc). It was a Bronze Age borrowing from an early Indo-European language. 

 

On 10/03/2018 at 10:35 PM, StringJunky said:

What led you on to that little philological/etymological excursion?

Dogged determination?

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That the word "panic" comes from the ancient Greek god Pan.

From Wiki

Etymology

The word derives from antiquity and is a tribute to the ancient god, Pan. One of the many gods in the mythology of ancient Greece: Pan was the god of shepherds and of woods and pastures. The Greeks believed that he often wandered peacefully through the woods, playing a pipe, but when accidentally awakened from his noontime nap he could give a great shout that would cause flocks to stampede. From this aspect of Pan's nature Greek authors derived the word panikon, “sudden fear,” the ultimate source of the English word: "panic".[1]

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Effects

Prehistoric humans used mass panic as a technique when hunting animals, especially ruminants. Herds reacting to unusually strong sounds or unfamiliar visual effects were directed towards cliffs, where they eventually jumped to their deaths when cornered. Humans are also vulnerable to panic and it is often considered infectious, in the sense one person's panic may easily spread to other people nearby and soon the entire group acts irrationally, (...)

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So for the ancient Greeks, when someone got under panic, it was caused by the intermission of the god Pan.

At the end of the Marathon battle, the myth says that runner Pheidippides encountered the god Pan who asked him why the Athenians didn't adore him. Pan had come to the battlefield and helped the Athenians to win the battle. Pheidippides answered that from now on, Pan would be adored by the Athenians (and indeed since then they create a temple to Pan in a grotto under the Acropolis.

The concept that Pan helped the Athenians makes me think that when they saw the Persians run back to their ships it was for the Athenians a sign of panic.

Edited by michel123456
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Today I learned that Sulphur hexafluoride is the gas that gives you a low/deep voice like Xenon(the opposite of helium). Sulphur hexafluoride is also an extremely potent greenhousegas...a global warming potential of 23,900 times that of CO2. Sulphur hexafluoride is also extremely long-lived, is inert in the troposphere and stratosphere and has an estimated atmospheric lifetime of 800–3200 years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur_hexafluoride

Edited by Itoero
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Today I learned that in the late 70’s, IBM used halon gass as a fire suppressant inside their hard drives which had air tight casings. The drives were 9 plates traditional mechanical technology, 10Mb capacity at 38kg weight, about the size of a full ATX desktop PC and cost around 250K USD. The story goes that the server rooms where the drives were operating were filled with Halon gas as well to mitigate the risk of fire.

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