Mind Blowing Facts


a recursive acronym as an excuse to add more cheese?
mac and cheese and cheese and cheese…


So I sounded that out and found myself singing an oddly appropriate Billy Joel song…


You outta know by now?


From the time it was discovered to the time it was wrongfully (because dwarf planets are planets too!) stripped of its status as a planet, Pluto hadn’t made a full trip around the Sun.

Nintendo was founded 35 years before the fall of the Ottoman Empire


Because opposite polarities attract, the earth’s “North Pole” is actually a south pole (and vice versa)

That article includes some other rather nice sentences like “The Canadian government has made several measurements since, which show that the North Magnetic Pole is moving continually northwestward.”



Scotland continues to punch above our weight in terms of scientific contribution:
Underlying theories behind radio

Researchers in Scotland’s universities are responsible for many major discoveries and innovations, including the MRI scanner, the development of keyhole surgery, and the theory that first posited the existence of the Higgs-Boson particle.


Geeeeez that really did blow my mind just now


You can highpass filter a signal by subtracting a lowpass-filtered version of the signal from the original


Excuse me. No useful facts here, please.


@pichenettes likes to analogize integration and differentiation as lowpass and highpass filtering, respectively, which is the exact opposite direction that I would have needed analogies for.

but intuitively, it makes sense: integration will tend to smooth out sharp edges (which correspond to high harmonics), and differentiation will tend to introduce (or reveal) them.

also, convolution in the time domain is multiplication in the frequency domain and vice-versa, so all filtering could be thought of as “spectral multiplication” with an impulse response

@Simeon I hope I added sufficiently useless knowledge there :slight_smile:


Catholic and Protestant countries literally disagreed on what the date was for nearly 200 years in some cases. So if you had somehow been on an airplane from Spain to the British Empire in the 1600s, they would have reminded you to set your clocks back ELEVEN DAYS


For some reason I suspect this would be the least of your many problems…


it occurs to me belatedly that we are in the midst of this same kind of silliness with regard to measurement… I’ll be curious to see how long the US holds out on adopting the metric system for


Probably for another .4 Queen’s Lifetimes or so.


I work for an engineering software company, and can say that resistance to supporting SI units (metric) is very real and seems completely irrational to me. Our biggest customers are US aerospace and military, but we do have some significant European and Asian licensees as well, and there are scientific applications for some of our stuff that I would have assumed were all using metric.


cirque du soleil created the original flying trapeze act for their first resident show in las vegas, mystére, at their headquarters in montreal (where they use the metric system).

but then they built the custom theater at treasure island (in america… where they don’t use the metric system) and just did a numeric 1 to 1 construction job on the trapeze rig (30 cm suddenly became 30 inches).

it took a few months for the acrobats to relearn all the technique with the different sized rigging! completely insane from a circus trick perspective!


Been spending today learning about filter DSP and that all thoroughly went over my head. My mind is still too busy being blown by the fact that a comb filter is a short delay and I found that out years ago.


It isn’t just pichenettes. That’s a standard way to talk about filtering. Google a passive RC Integrator circuit and one can see that it’s a lowpass filter (cap to ground), and a passive RC Differentiator is a highpass (cap in series).

A guitar passive tone circuit is an RC integrator with the addition of an inductor (the pickup). This creates an LCR circuit and adds resonance effects. Change a ceramic cap in the tone circuit to an Orange Drop of the same rating and the overall tone can change because the different cap alters the resonant peak.


Human brains are divided into four sections (lobes) by function. Octopus brains are divided into between 50 and 75 lobes, depending on species and how you count them.

3/5 of an octopus’ brain mass is in their tentacles, which can perform complex actions on their own.

Octopuses have 1600 suckers which they can taste with, use as suction cups or ‘pinch’ to pick things up and they can control every one individually.

I’m reading a great book about octopuses. :smiley: