Category Archives: Personal Interest

Amazing Useless Facts Debunked and Criticized

I’m getting sick of these lists of “amazing facts” that are complete baloney. In the interest of keeping my readers from being uneducated and gullible, I decided to whip up this list – references are linked to. This is the latest list I received, verbatim, followed by the facts that contradict the “facts” (or at least show you why the fact isn’t really all that amazing).

1/27/2013 – UPDATED all references

Debunked and Criticized Useless Facts

  • “I am.” is the shortest complete sentence in the English Language.

“Go!” used in the imperative mode is the shortest sentence in the English language (especially because you can use body language as a compliment referring to “there” or “away”). “I am,” is not a complete sentence. “Am,” would need a compliment to turn it into a predicate (i.e. “I am stupid”) – you can’t use body language like you can with “Go”. If you don’t like using modes, try “I go.” A sentence needs a subject and a complete predicate – which can be implied. “I am” is a sentence just like “Q” is a sentence when used as a response to “What letter comes after the letter P?”. If you walk outside and say it to some random stranger on the street and they think you make sense, then it is probably a sentence. Imagine going up to somebody and telling them “Go!” They would understand that you want them to leave. If you walked up to someone on the street and said, “I am!” they would wonder what you were responding to because it is not a complete sentence. I’m not going to keep repeating myself for the stupid people, so I found some references for them to go look at instead of whining to me. Reference 1 & Reference 2

Eumaledictio.com is no more

So eumaledictio.com is no more.  I wrote all that stuff about brewing beer and was getting a pretty decent following.  When my domain was up for renewal, I put off renewing it for a week or so and a brewing company bought out the domain name before I could blink.
 
I was getting tired of the name, anyway, but  I really doubt that a domain with a made up word that I’ve used as my internet name for the past six years is going to do much for them.  Must have been some automated system that told them that was a good buy.  Anyway, I was going to make a transition to this name eventually and just forward from the old one, but it looks like I’ll have to start from scratch, instead.
 
Welcome to the new site.

UPDATE: I found a bunch of my old articles on the WayBack Machine! So, the best ones are now added as if they never left. I also bought the eumaledictio.com domain back, finally, though it just redirects here. The brewing company that bought it wasn’t getting any use out of the name after buying it, so they finally abandoned it.

Grandma’s Anecdotal Tips (And Why Your Grandma is Stupid)

So your grandmother probably passed down all kinds of good anecdotal tips that you follow religiously and share with all of your friends. Well, your grandmother is stupid – and here is why:

  • Grandma’s Stupid Tip #1: Hot water freezes faster than cool tap water

Not usually, and definitely not for ice cubes. There is no magical property that makes hot water freeze that much faster than cool water in a freezer. My only conceivable guess here is that your grandmother’s friend’s friend got a tip for how to make more attractive ice cubes by using boiled (not still boiling) hot water and slowing down the freezing process to allow air bubbles to escape as they condense out of the cooling water. The slower you freeze your water, the fewer bubbles it will have. Boiling water also removes much of the gas trapped in the water to begin with. Unless you have very picky guests or are trying to make an ice lens to make a fire, you should not use hot water. In specific setups that are not your typical modern auto-defrosting kitchen freezer you can make steaming hot water freeze faster than warm water, though.

  • Grandma’s Stupid Tip #2: Cold water boils faster than hot water

No it doesn’t.  The same no-magic rule applies to water no matter the temperature. It is a cheap experiment to do. Why not try it yourself? Why didn’t grandma?  Use hot tap water and the boil will begin several minutes earlier than if you use room temperature or cold water. There is a little known fact that water warms faster at colder temperatures, but here’s the thing – maybe it takes three minutes for your pot of water to go from 60 degrees to 80 degrees and three more minutes to go to 90 degrees, but if you used 80 degree water to start out with, you would still have 90 degree water in three minutes instead of six. One thing to note here, hot tap water can contain more dissolved contaminants, so keep it in mind if you are worried you have old pipes leeching something like lead into your water.

Continue reading Grandma’s Anecdotal Tips (And Why Your Grandma is Stupid)

100% Free College Education!

I’ve posted a few times on sources for free online courses and materials and thought I’d put together a compilation of them in case there are any other people who want to better themselves but don’t have time or $$ to go to a university and get a degree. These are all great sources for more material if you want to better yourself or you just want the upper hand before taking a course. edit: It looks like these types of university sites are getting more popular, and several more states have added courses online for any interested party’s access. I’ll add them at the bottom as I find them if I think they are noteworthy.

MIT put together 1,800 of their courses in an online catalogue that includes books, audio lectures, video lectures, tests, study material, and class overviews. This is an extremely well built resource and is probably the best source out there for finding complete free courses online. They have recently extended their courses to high school classes, also.

http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/hom…/index.htm

 

OEDb, Online Education Database has put together tons of online courses offered through various schools. Hundreds of the classes are totally free, some of them you have to pay for, but those that do will count toward a degree. One particularly useful page is the “Skip the Tuition: 100 Free Podcasts from the Best Colleges in the World” where you can find some very comprehensive podcasts on a variety of subjects. I burn these to CDs and play them in my car on the way to and from work (an almost 2 hour drive, for me).

http://oedb.org/

Lecturefox offers Ivy League University level lectures, notes, and videos for free. You can click through the links to be taken directly to the course or lecture as offered by the university it is listed under. This is possibly the simplest site to navigate and is great for using as a shortcut to free material not advertised by a university. Many of the listings are not specifically for a class, but are extremely educational.

http://lecturefox.com/

University of Notre Dame offers their courses from a different perspective than MIT, or any of the other USA-based universities. They have tons of classes presented to anybody interested enough to view them.

http://ocw.nd.edu/

UC Berkeley offers webcasts and downloadable podcasts of their current courses organized by semester – the coolest part is that these lectures are posted the day after they are given in the class. Thanks for this one, kittycalbard!

http://webcast.berkeley.edu/

ITunesU looks to be another handy resource for audio lectures. I don’t have ITunes, so I can’t vouch for these first hand, but they advertise: “Presentations, performances, lectures, demonstrations, debates, tours, archival footage — school is about to become even more inspiring.” Thanks for this one, KellyGates!

http://www.apple.com/education/itunesu/

Utah State has a setup almost identical to the MIT site, since it uses the exact same OpenCourseWare engine MIT built to present their classes. It looks like Utah State has fewer courses (still a heck of a lot of them), but the topics are more varied. Their site has a link to all of the other OpenCourseWare sites around the world, which each probably deserve their own posting.

http://ocw.usu.edu/

Tufts University in Massachusetts publishes their course materials and the actual class content on their website.

http://ocw.tufts.edu/

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has a website geared toward educating the public about health related information. It is not as intensive or as varied as most of the OpenCourseWare sites, but it does have some very good information.

http://ocw.jhsph.edu/

The Perdue Online Writing Lab offers over 200 resources to better your writing style in any category from fiction and prose, to cover sheets and business proposals. I got this link through the links CatchMeChillin submitted in the wikipost.

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/

OpenLearn LearningSpace offers courses and articles on a dozen topics. Some of them are very extensively done, and could be a great resource to better yourself. The site is simple and easy to navigate.

http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/

Wikiversity is a traditional Wiki site geared toward community knowledge presented in the style a university would present it. It is built by professors, researchers and students and can be updated by anybody, just like any Wiki site. It is really cool, and worth checking out just to see all the interesting stuff you can do there.

http://en.wikiversity.org/

ALL OF THE OCW SITES IN THE NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING WORLD are listed here. There is a huge network or resources since OpenCourseWare put together their engine, and it keeps growing.

Chinese Open Resources for Education offers free conferences, seminars, courses, and materials – all are written and presented in Chinese.

http://www.core.org.cn/

FETP offers a Vietnamese version and an english version of their site (just click the language button in the top right corner). The courses are predominantly presented in Vietnamese and include most of the books, and source material along with many complete classes.

http://ocw.fetp.edu.vn/index.cfm

Japan OpenSourceWare Consortium offers their site in Japanese and English. They have a very comprehensive offering presented in Japanese, and a few courses partly in English.

http://www.jocw.jp/index_j.htm

OOPS has just started up their site. They are very similar to the previous sites, but are located in Taiwan.

http://www.myoops.org/twocw/

Paris Tech Grad School offers many courses, all presented in French.

http://graduateschool.paristech.org/

Universia MIT offers an unbelievably huge selection of MIT courses in Spanish or Portuguese and links to Universities all over the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world.

http://mit.ocw.universia.net/

If I find more good ones, I’ll be sure to put them up on here. If you find one, post it in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.

These courses are not for credit. They are offered for the propagation of education worldwide.

A college education does not mean a college degree.

Gas Prices are at 12 Cents a Gallon

So everyone is harping about the gas prices and all the goofballs in the media keep telling us we’re better off than other countries in the world where gas is over $6 a gallon. Well those guys are retards. How are these oil companies making money selling their gas to other countries where the gas goes for as low as .12 cents a gallon? Gasoline is so expensive because we buy it from the Saudis and the Saudis jack up their previously bargain prices just for us. They DON’T jack them up as much as the media says, though. When oil barrels go up in price, that price includes tariffs and built in costs for the processing companies that import it. That price is not what the Saudis are asking for straight out of the ground – it is what the oil processors say it costs to turn a barrel of black crude into gasoline, including their salaries, their president’s salary, all of their worker’s salaries, and the cost of their companies over there that work to acquire it and all of those folks’ salaries… in the future (speculation; I’ll get into that in a moment). It is all very misleading if you just listen to the radio or watch the news.

Earlier I mentioned some countries are getting the bargain price of .12 cents a gallon (like in Venezuela). That is in large part because the government subsidizes it. The actual lowest current price I could find from a government that doesn’t subsidize their gasoline costs was $1.29 (about 5,942 Manat). That was in Baku, Azerbaijana – a country that recently stopped subsidizing their gasoline because of theft from neighboring countries.

Continue reading Gas Prices are at 12 Cents a Gallon

Why Your Appendix Actually is Important

And why it will not be evolved away any time soon.

For a long time, culture has been debating the vestigial status of the veriform appendix in the human body. There’s a significant new theory about the historical and current purpose of our appendix that seems to be holding water quite well . Well enough in fact that it is gathering supportive physiologists like wildfire. The explanation is almost too simple.

Before I go into it, I just thought you should know that your intestines are a cesspool of bacteria. I’m serious. They have an insanely high concentration of bacteria – about 13 million bacteria per gram of feces. Before you start wondering about how you can flush those massive clumps of microorganisms out, you should know that out of all the bacteria we’ve identified in this world, less than one percent is harmful to humans. A lot of bacteria is beneficial – even essential, and the bacteria in between serves its purpose by bullying out any new harmful bacteria trying to settle in your body. Bacteria is fantastic protection against sickness. The natural infestations of bacteria in our bodies are the most important thing keeping us from contracting every single cold we come in contact with. Our natural immune system is great, but completely blocking a virus from getting into your body in the first place is the reason our immune system isn’t always exhausted.

Continue reading Why Your Appendix Actually is Important

Why Hershey Has Made Me Sad… Again.

Some people may not realize that Cadbury Creme Eggs in the United States are not from the UK based Cadbury. They are from Hershey. They have been since they were mass introduced to the United States. Hershey bought the rights from Cadbury for exclusive production and distribution in the U.S., so they make the rules here. The original recipe for the Cadbury Creme Egg started with:

Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Milk, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Soya Lecithin, Vanilla), Sugar, Corn Syrup, Egg Whites, Artificial Coloring, Vanilla.

Sounds good, right? It included plenty of fat, sugar, and happiness. Specifically, the happiness it contained consisted of 176 calories, 7 grams of fat (4 of it saturated), 29 grams carbohydrates (26 of that being sugar), and 2 grams of protein. The grand total of its parts came to 40 sturdy grams in weight and immeasurable amounts of deliciousness.

Continue reading Why Hershey Has Made Me Sad… Again.