06 December 2017

Things you wouldn't know...

All the mountains on Saturn’s moon Titan are named after peaks in The Lord of the Rings.

J.R.R. Tolkien and Adolf Hitler both fought at the battle of the Somme.

Splenda was an insecticide that became a sweetener when an assistant misheard an order to “test” it as “taste” it.

 The symbol of the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada is the forget-me-not.

A decapitated planarian flatworm grows a new brain complete with all its old memories.

95% of all avocados on sale today are descended from one tree grown by a Milwaukee postman in 1926.

There are whales alive today that were born before Moby-Dick was written in 1851.

The 1784 “Kettle War” between the Netherlands and the Holy Roman Empire involved only a single shot. It hit a kettle.

North Americans account for less than a sixteenth of the world’s people, but more than a third of their weight. (error - see reader Kyle's comment)

After just four moves in a game of chess, there are 318,979,564,000 possibilities for the layout of the board.

10,000 horses were killed at the battle of Waterloo. 
Selections from the first book written by the elves at QI/NSTAAF.  They have now authored The Book of the Year.

7 comments:

  1. >95% of all avocados on sale today are descended from one tree grown by a
    >Milwaukee postman in 1926.

    I believe this is incorrect, or poorly stated.

    95% of the avocados sold today are "Hass Avocados" descending from a tree grafted and grown by Rudolph Hass in 1926. The tree grew quickly, and produced many fruit which tasted good. While Hass received a patent for the specific fruit tree, the Haas avocado tree was widely re-grafted and propagated by others all over the country. This tree was in La Habra Heights California.

    Hass was a postal carrier for the Pasadena California Post office when the tree was developed. He had been born in Milwaukee in 1892, but had moved to Pasadena in 1923 and taken a job with the Post Office in 1925.

    So... a more correct wording would be "95% of all avocados on sale today are descended from one tree grown by a Pasadena postman in 1926" or "95% of all avocados on sale today are descended from one tree grown in 1926 by a postman born in Milwaukee"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've amended the text. You could have a successful csreer as a copyeditor. :-)

      Delete
    2. > csreer

      since we are on an editing spree, that s/b 'career'.

      I-)

      Delete
  2. "North Americans account for less than a sixteenth of the world’s people, but more than a third of their weight."

    This factoid made me immediately suspicious. This would seem to imply that the average North American weighs FIVE TIMES more than the average for the rest of the world. No citation... but I found this: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-12-439

    "In 2005, global adult human biomass was approximately 287 million tonnes, of which 15 million tonnes were due to overweight (BMI > 25), a mass equivalent to that of 242 million people of average body mass (5% of global human biomass). Biomass due to obesity was 3.5 million tonnes, the mass equivalent of 56 million people of average body mass (1.2% of human biomass). North America has 6% of the world population but 34% of biomass due to obesity."

    I could see how that last sentence could be converted to the quote from OP due to a game of "telephone."

    There's a table half-way down that breaks it down... based on that, you can calculate that NA represents 2/27 (7%) of total biomass, 10/47 (21%) of Biomass for people with a BMI >25, and 34% of biomass for people with a BMI >30%.

    So, you might say that NA makes up a third of the "excess" weight in the world, which sounds a lot more plausible to me. That said, the flaws in the BMI calculation are well-established. BMI does an extremely poor job of measuring actual excess fat. The graph on Wikipedia seems to show there isn't even a correlation. Maybe NA is more prone to bodybuilding? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_mass_index#Limitations

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're quite correct. I've amended the text of the post.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Fixed. (my transcription typo, not theirs)

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...