Things I Learned 2011-09

  • Wikipedia article complexity comparison of the month: Worm vs Computer worm vs Sandworm (Dune)
  • The “Six Sigma” process was invited at Motorola. [source]
  • deipnosophist – a person who is an adept conversationalist at table. [via M. Park]
  • cloaca – the posterior opening that serves as the only such opening for the intestinal, reproductive, and urinary tracts of certain animal species, such as birds, reptiles, amphibians.  (Contrast: mammals have separate orifices for each process…) [source]
  • dyadic – two individuals (as husband and wife) maintaining a sociologically significant relationship.  [source: “If the data type of both operands of a dyadic arithmetic operator is exact numeric, then the data type of the result is exact numeric, with precision and scale determined as follows…”]
  • “vigorish”  is the longform of “vig” [source]
  • Adventures in Over-Writing on Wikipedia #1: “Before starting a verse, Wallace sometimes used onomatopoeic vocables to “warm up” (for example “uhhh” at the beginning of “Hypnotize” and “Big Poppa” and “whaat” after certain rhymes in songs such as “My Downfall”). – On Notorious B.I.G.
  • Adventures in Over-Writing on Wikipedia #2: “Although this might have just been dirty talk, a similar continuity error exists regarding the rank of Mack Gerhardt. In the season 1 episode ‘True Believers his wife says to him ‘come here Sergeant Major, and give me a report,’ but his rank is later established as Master Sergeant.”  – On The Unit
  • Orange in carrots is a completely human-bred trait from around 1700s. They used to be white, yellow, red, purple, etc. [source]
  • Ira Glass, host of This American Life, and Philip Glass, the composer, are cousins.

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