Your Esoteric Knowledge, Please!

 
washington_1772

I love the French. With butter.

The world is a weird and fascinating place, filled with surprises and forgotten gems. What information do you have that deserves a little sunlight?

1. As many know, the commander of the English militia unit that started the Seven Years’ War was none other than our beloved George Washington. The most incendiary aspect of the incident concerned the death of Ensign Jumonville at the hands of Tanacharison, Washington’s Iroquois ally and guide. Washington subsequently signed a confession admitting that he had Jumonville “assassinated,” though he later claimed that he was misled by the translator, and that Tanacharison acted without his knowledge or consent. What is not terribly well known is that the incident was the subject of a great deal of anti-English French propaganda including this a lengthy (and very bad) epic poem that depicts Washington (unnamed) as a blood-thirsty backwoods villain.

Sample:

He [Jumonville] falls at the feet of his executioners.
Three times he lifts his heavy eyelid,
Three times his dulled eye closes to the light.
In dying, the tender memory of France
Comes to delight his great soul.
He dies: trampled under the feet of an inhuman band,
His torn members throb on the ground.

2. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, savoy, kohlrabi and kai-lan are merely different pieces of different cultivars of the same species. Not the same family, but the very same species.

3. In contrast, Asian and African elephants are not particularly closely related; rather, they’re the two surviving members of the Elephantinae family, which also includes mammoths and paleoxodon (the Elephantinae are, themselves, the sole survivors of the order, the Proboscidea, which includes all kinds of weird, tusked-and-trunked mammals). Asian elephants, in fact, are much better thought of as a species of tropical mammoths, while African elephants are a different matter entirely.

4. Liquid hydrogen contains less hydrogen per volume than — and about a quarter the energy of — gasoline.

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  1. Bob L Member
    Bob L
    @

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:2. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, savoy, kohlrabi and kai-lan are merely different pieces of different cultivars of the same species. Not the same family, but the very same species.

    My girlfriend and I were arguing about whether Brussels sprouts are just baby cabbages over dinner a few nights ago.  We like to argue without using Google. You know, the way you used to argue about things at the bar without the internet around to settle the dispute.

    Seems as though I may have to utter words that I truly hate: “You were right”

    • #1
  2. Great Ghost of Gödel Inactive
    Great Ghost of Gödel
    @GreatGhostofGodel

    The λ calculus that gives many popular programming languages their “lambda expressions” was created by logician Alonzo Church to serve as a better formal logical foundation for all of mathematics than the logic of Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica. Then two of his grad students, Kleene and Rosser, proved that the (untyped) λ calculus is logically inconsistent. They did this by showing that you can express general recursion in it. “General recursion” is another way of saying “Turing complete.”

    That’s right: a major foundational model of digital computing arose from the attempt to formalize all of mathematics, and to be Turing complete (i.e. like all popular programming languages) is to be logically inconsistent.

    • #2
  3. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: 3. In contrast, Asian and African elephants are not particularly closely related; rather, they’re the two surviving members of the Elephantinae family, which also includes mammoths and paleoxodon (the Elephantinae are, themselves, the sole survivors of the order, the Proboscidea, which includes all kinds of weird, tusked-and-trunked mammals). Asian elephants, in fact, are much better thought of as a species of tropical mammoths, while African elephants are a different matter entirely.

    There’s a slim chance that mammoths will be resurrected during my lifetime.

    And along with them will come some digestive parasite that will kill us all.

    • #3
  4. Michael Sanregret Inactive
    Michael Sanregret
    @TheQuestion

    I’ve taught zoology, but I wasn’t aware of the relative phylogeny of African and Asian elephants.  Thank you for that information.

    The esoteric knowledge of a zoologist can ruin some TV and movie animal appearances.  There was an episode of The Office when they had a bat in the office.  I guffawed when I saw it because it was a fruit bat, which is not native to Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Fruit bats look very different from the insectivorous microchiropterans that you see flying around at night in the United States.  A myotis (a common type of North American bat), is smaller than a mouse, while a fruit bat is significantly larger.  A myotis has a scrunchy, flatter, leaf nosed face, while fruits have a long snout, more like a dog.

    Also, movies, like Men in Black, frequently use South American hissing cockroachs as common cockroachs.  They really don’t look that similar.

    • #4
  5. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    Esoteric knowledge, eh?

    • #5
  6. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    1.       The Battle of Keren occurs in the Keren Pass in Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) in 1941.  The better part of a British Corps is held up by the remainder of the Italian Army which makes a brave last stand.  The fighting is hot and humid and involves scaling up cliffs while the Italians drop hand grenades down upon the heads of the infantry scaling the mountain.  It was once considered impossible to model as a game.  My game came out in issue 25 of World at War.  The British broke through after blasting there way through the shattered pass and allowing there tanks to roll into town.

    2.       The 30.06 Lee Enfield rifle of World War 1 fame, is the second most popular rifle made in the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan.

    3.       Delta Green is a role playing game set in modern times about an illegal conspiracy within the US government dedicated to delaying an apocalypse of unimaginable horror.

    4.       Eisenhower would likely look upon the efforts of modern Republicans to handle the immigration ‘crisis’ as weak kneed and laughable.  When confronted by a similar problem in the 1950’s he chartered trains to not just take tens of thousands of Mexicans back across the border, he deported them to the border of the Yucatan (southern Mexico) and let them walk back across the border from there.

    • #6
  7. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    This doesn’t quite rise to the level of knowledge, but there’s evidence that suggests that some of the largest pterosaurs were flightless.

    • #7
  8. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    From 1895 through the 1920s, professional movie projectors had closed boxes that held the film reels in use. They were only ten minutes long–1000 feet or so–because the film was made of extremely flammable material, nitrocelluose, and was prone to explosive fires. So every movie show involved two machines, right next to each other, and switching between the two continually, as inconspicuously as possible. That happened at least half a dozen times per film and if done right the audience was unaware of it.

    Starting with the sound era, reels doubled in size, but were still kept in fire-resistant compartments. Changeovers were every 15-20 minutes.

    In 1948, 35mm film switched to acetate, which burns like paper instead of gasoline.

    At the dawn of the Seventies, comedian Jerry Lewis invested in a franchise concept, which was named after him, of new, family-oriented movie theaters. A key feature was semi-automated projection, so a mom and pop operation could run the whole place with just Mom and Pop. The films were spliced onto hour-long reels, with a foil strip that triggered the changeover to the other machine.

    In an era of “Deliverance”, “Midnight Cowboy” and “Klute”, Jerry Lewis Family Cinemas failed. But the automated projection system allowed theater owners to eliminate the projectionist as a full time unionized employee. Someone still had to travel from theater to theater each week to mount and demount the films and send them back to the studios when done.

    The unions were shattered by the time digital projection came in, just after the turn of the century. Now film itself is a museum piece.

    • #8
  9. David Knights Member
    David Knights
    @DavidKnights

    Gary McVey:

    Starting with the sound era, reels doubled in size, but were still kept in fire-resistant compartments. Changeovers were every 15-20 minutes.

    In 1948, 35mm film switched to acetate, which burns like paper instead of gasoline.

    At the dawn of the Seventies, comedian Jerry Lewis invested in a franchise concept, which was named after him, of new, family-oriented movie theaters. A key feature was semi-automated projection, so a mom and pop operation could run the whole place with just Mom and Pop. The films were spliced onto hour-long reels, with a foil strip that triggered the changeover to the other machine.

    In an era of “Deliverance”, “Midnight Cowboy” and “Klute”, Jerry Lewis Family Cinemas failed. But the automated projection system allowed theater owners to eliminate the projectionist as a full time unionized employee. Someone still had to travel from theater to theater each week to mount and demount the films and send them back to the studios when done.

    The unions were shattered by the time digital projection came in, just after the turn of the century. Now film itself is a museum piece.

    An episode of the TV show Columbo turned on this reel changeover issue. Season 7 episode 3.

    • #9
  10. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    I remember that episode, DK! Good catch. Though the specific gimmick that tipped off Lt. Columbo is made up. There’d be no reason to use a falling coin to tell the operator when the reel’s end was approaching. The reels spin a simple, ingenious set of centrifugal warning bells.

    • #10
  11. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    anonymous:Classic VHF analogue television broadcasting had twelve channels: channels two through thirteen. Channel one was originally allocated below channel two (and moved several times, along with the other channels during the experimental period of television from 1938 through 1946). In 1948 the FCC re-allocated the bandwidth of channel one (44–50 MHz) to fixed and mobile radio services, and henceforth broadcasters only used channels 2–13.

    When I was a kid, we had a television with channel 1 on the dial.

    UHF channels were given numbers 13 to 83. You will never see a U.S. UHF broadcaster on channel 37, as that frequency range is reserved for radio astronomy (stations in a few other countries use channel 37). In 1983, UHF channels 70 through 83 were decommissioned and reassigned to mobile phone services. In 2009, UHF channels 52 through 69 were removed from service for reassignment.

    Great stuff, John. I’ve got a 1946 Crosley with Channel 1. Another oddity of the set: It’s not a turret tuner with fixed stops, but a radio-style continuous tuning knob with an RCA “Magic Eye” indicator.

    • #11
  12. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    George Armstrong Custer is responsible for the New England Patriots winning two Super Bowls.

    The 7th Cavalry had a regimental band. When the 7th marched out of Ft Abraham Lincoln to meet their eventual fate at Little Bighorn, the regimental band went along. However, at some point, Custer decided that he needed their horses more than their instruments and left the band members behind at a supply depot. So the band survived Custer’s disaster.

    The band leader was a recent Italian immigrant named Felix Vinatieri. The Vinatieri name should be familiar to football fans. Felix was the great great grandfather of NFL place-kicker great Adam Vinatieri. Adam won two Super Bowls for the New England Patriots with last second field goals.

    So, by sparing the regimental band, Custer won two Super Bowls for the Pats.

    • #12
  13. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:This doesn’t quite rise to the level of knowledge, but there’s evidence that suggests that some of the largest pterosaurs were flightless.

    Meh.

    http://www.neatorama.com/2010/11/25/scientists-the-quetzalcoatlus-pterosaur-could-probably-fly-for-7-10-days-at-a-time/

    Also, Brontosaurus is back, and should never have left.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-brontosaurus-is-back1/

    • #13
  14. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    anonymous:Classic VHF analogue television broadcasting had twelve channels: channels two through thirteen. Channel one was originally allocated below channel two (and moved several times, along with the other channels during the experimental period of television from 1938 through 1946). In 1948 the FCC re-allocated the bandwidth of channel one (44–50 MHz) to fixed and mobile radio services, and henceforth broadcasters only used channels 2–13.

    When I was a kid, we had a television with channel 1 on the dial.

    UHF channels were given numbers 13 to 83. You will never see a U.S. UHF broadcaster on channel 37, as that frequency range is reserved for radio astronomy (stations in a few other countries use channel 37). In 1983, UHF channels 70 through 83 were decommissioned and reassigned to mobile phone services. In 2009, UHF channels 52 through 69 were removed from service for reassignment.

    I get my TV through an antenna and while I do have still have a channel 68, I see that it is “virtual channel 68/ UHF digital channel 30”.  Anyway, all of good movies on UHF are dubbed to into Spanish (at least in the greater NY area).

    • #14
  15. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    While I’m mostly known for Doctor Who, shoes, and appraisals around these parts, I wrote my law school thesis on Virtual Currency Transactions in MMORPGs and my undergrade thesis on a female barber-surgeon who lived in York in 1572.

    That esoteric enough?

    • #15
  16. Addiction Is A Choice Member
    Addiction Is A Choice
    @AddictionIsAChoice

    I always thought “Esoteric” would be a good name for a cigarette: Esoteric Kings & Esoteric 100s!

    • #16
  17. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    TV as approved by the first NTSC forced manufacturers to recall their (relatively few) 1939-’41 sets to be retrofitted from 441 vertical lines to 525. It was only then that the FCC allowed stations to be licensed as commercial, and that’s when NBC’s WNBT ran the first ad, a stationary shot of a clock labeled “Bulova Time”. CBS followed suit. Soon, Lowell Thomas would deliver his wartime radio news roundup from a TV studio “decorated” with motor oil cans from his sponsor, Sunoco gasoline stations.

    • #17
  18. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Amy Schley: I wrote… my undergrade thesis on a female barber-surgeon who lived in York in 1572.

    More plz.

    • #18
  19. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    Addiction Is A Choice:I always thought “Esoteric” would be a good name for a cigarette: Esoteric Kings & Esoteric 100s!

    There’s the Cabal Esoteric line of cigars.

    • #19
  20. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    Amy Schley: I wrote… my undergrade thesis on a female barber-surgeon who lived in York in 1572.

    More plz.

    I had no idea that Hillary was a surgeon.

    • #20
  21. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    There’s also, of course, the Esoteric Order of Dagon. If anyone knows much about that 

    • #21
  22. Addiction Is A Choice Member
    Addiction Is A Choice
    @AddictionIsAChoice

    Fricosis Guy:

    Addiction Is A Choice:I always thought “Esoteric” would be a good name for a cigarette: Esoteric Kings & Esoteric 100s!

    There’s the Cabal Esoteric line of cigars.

    I love it when I’m on the right track!

    • #22
  23. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: 2. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, savoy, kohlrabi and kai-lan are merely different pieces of different cultivars of the same species. Not the same family, but the very same species.

    And I hate them all equally. Makes sense.

    • #23
  24. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    The most prolific actor from the original Star Wars trilogy is the late Jack Purvis.

    He played no less than three different characters: the Chief Jawa, the Chief Ughnaught, AND Teebo the Ewok.

    (He also appears in Time Bandits, Brazil, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, not to mention Willow, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth.)

    • #24
  25. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Esoteric Order of Dagon?  Don’t they have an affiliation agreement with the Herrmetic Order of the Silver Twilight?

    • #25
  26. Barkha Herman Inactive
    Barkha Herman
    @BarkhaHerman

    Assassin is a word that comes from hashish (most people know this).  What most don’t know is that the sect that were Assassins call themselves Aga Khan-ies and are present through Iran, Pakistan and India.  They belong to a small Muslim denomination, Naziri Ismailis, and still have “unquestionable devotion” to their Imam, the Aga Khan.

    • #26
  27. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    Ekosj:George Armstrong Custer is responsible for the New England Patriots winning two Super Bowls.

    The 7th Cavalry had a regimental band.When the 7th marched out of Ft Abraham Lincoln to meet their eventual fate at Little Bighorn, the regimental band went along. However, at some point, Custer decided that he needed their horses more than their instruments and left the band members behind at a supply depot.So the band survived Custer’s disaster.

    The band leader was a recent Italian immigrant named Felix Vinatieri. The Vinatieri name should be familiar to football fans.Felix was the great great grandfather of NFL place-kicker great Adam Vinatieri.Adam won two Super Bowls for the New England Patriots with last second field goals.

    So, by sparing the regimental band, Custer won two Super Bowls for the Pats.

    But with the band, they may have won the day–Never underestimate the power of music.

    Besides, his entire regiment was not wiped out, just 5 of 13 companies. So chances are the band members would have survived to play again.

    • #27
  28. Arizona Patriot Member
    Arizona Patriot
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Frank Soto:Also, Brontosaurus is back, and should never have left.

    Does this mean that I’ll be able to get those Brontosaurus ribs again, just like Fred Flintstone?

    • #28
  29. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    anonymous:Classic VHF analogue television broadcasting had twelve channels: channels two through thirteen. Channel one was originally allocated below channel two (and moved several times, along with the other channels during the experimental period of television from 1938 through 1946). In 1948 the FCC re-allocated the bandwidth of channel one (44–50 MHz) to fixed and mobile radio services, and henceforth broadcasters only used channels 2–13.

    When I was a kid, we had a television with channel 1 on the dial.

    UHF channels were given numbers 14 to 83. You will never see a U.S. UHF broadcaster on channel 37, as that frequency range is reserved for radio astronomy (stations in a few other countries use channel 37). In 1983, UHF channels 70 through 83 were decommissioned and reassigned to mobile phone services. In 2009, UHF channels 52 through 69 were removed from service for reassignment.

    More TV Trivia:

    In North America, VHF analogue television broadcasting had twelve channels: channels two (54 MHz) through thirteen (210 MHz). There is a gap between the end of Channel 6 (88 MHz) and the beginning of channel 7 (174 MHz). In that gap resides all of the North American FM radio stations (88 MHz to 108 MHz).

    BTW, does anyone know why there is a 4 MHz gap between Channels 4 and 5? I don’t.

    • #29
  30. danok1 Member
    danok1
    @danok1

    Amy Schley: female barber-surgeon who lived in York in 1572.

    Sister to Theodoric of York: Medieval Barber?

    • #30
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