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Well, I never knew that! Share your interesting info...

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camlan:
Random fact: One of the first recorded uses of the word "baseball" in print in English is by Jane Austen, in Northanger Abbey. Somewhere in the first chapter, Catherine, the tomboyish heroine, plays "base ball" instead of sitting nicely and sewing. (You can check this in the OED.)

Just not the author you tend to think of first in relation to sports.

Thipu1:
This is such a neat thread!

The Ancient Egyptians had a form of baseball. 

From the beginning of the Middle KIngdom through Roman times, The king is often shown performing a ritual involving a bat and a ball.  In the early images, the bat doesn't look very functional but, in later times, the bat closely resembles a baseball or cricket bat. 

In one image, there is even a column of priests carrying balls on their heads.  The inscription describes them as, 'returning balls the king has hit away'. 

DollyPond:

--- Quote from: mbbored on January 06, 2013, 02:09:11 AM ---Early on in the movie Jurassic Park, they show scientists removing blood from the stomach of a mosquito trapped in amber in order to get dinosaur DNA.

However, the mosquito they used in the movie is of the genus Toxorhynchitinae, which is the only genus of mosquitoes that do not blood feed as adults: they only eat sugar water from plants.

--- End quote ---

and in the book they give the DNA sequence of the presumed dinosaur DNA.  If you run that sequence through GenBank (this is what nerds do) it comes out as pBR322 a bacterial plasmid!  They could have at least put in a bird sequence to make it a little more authentic.

Dolly,  Supreme Nerd

Tea Drinker:

--- Quote from: squeakers on January 06, 2013, 02:31:30 AM ---
--- Quote from: Redsoil on January 06, 2013, 01:43:54 AM ---I'm currently reading one of the QI books (Steven Fry - TV show "QI" stands for Quite Interesting).

I never knew...

That Scottish clan tartans are a quite recent "invention".  You gasp in horror?  Scots on the board are screaming "awaaay an' bile yer heid"?

Read on, oh ye of little faith:


--- End quote ---

Wherever you got that from (should cite it) it almost copied it word for word from the wiki on it (tartan).

--- End quote ---

Giving credit would be nice, but if it's on Wikipedia anyone else can quote or republish it without specific permission or acknowledgement: that's part of how Wikipedia is set up. When I work on a Wikipedia entry, I'm not just giving my time/energy/words to Wikimedia, I'm putting them out there in the public domain for anyone who wants to use them. What strikes me as tacky is sites/books/etc. that are entirely taken from Wikipedia, because they are falsely claiming to give you something new/different.

Slartibartfast:
Okay, here's my strange-but-true confession.  I'll preface it by saying my experience was only with one university, so I don't know for sure if this is universal, but the way it was presented to me suggested it might be:

I worked in the admissions office at my university for a while.  Since we had students from all over the country and there was no feasible way for them all to have on-campus interviews, the university had an alumni interview program - you sign up when you apply, then an alumnus in your area contacts you for an in-person interview.  You get to ask questions about the school, the alumnus gets to ask questions about you, and they send in a form giving you a score 1-5 and notes about how you were in person.

Confession: my job was to go through and pretty much just throw out everything that was between a 2 and a 4.  If the alumnus ranked the student a 5, I noted that in the file before tossing out the form.  The only time the admissions officers even saw the interview forms (which sometimes had a page and a half of painstaking notes) was if the alumnus ranked the prospective student as a "1" - the admissions officers wanted to know what it was that made the student such a stand-out bad candidate.

I asked about it, and it turns out alumni donations go up significantly when alumni "get involved."  So the interview program has very little to do with helping rank incoming students, and everything to do with the school getting a bigger check.  Like I said, I don't know for sure that any other schools do this, but it sounded like it was a pretty common practice.

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