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Author Topic: s/o adults should know this - retrospectively obvious things you've just learned  (Read 284169 times)

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VorFemme

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I remember a museum that was curating an outfit in a fabric older than the style it had been sewn into (18th century gown with 17th century fabric, if I recall the chapter in the costume book correctly) found needle holes for two more garments.  They too photos of the way it had been given them, them redid the sewing on one set of holes (least wear) to find a garment about fifty years older than the one that had been preserved for two hundred years....took more photos and took it back apart to recreate the original gown - which matched the dating of when the material would have been made....

And set it up in an exhibit showing how the original garment looked and what later generations did with expensive silk brocaded fabric to stay in style with the latest garment - without buying new fabrics, instead taking apart grandma's old gown to redo fifty years and then another fifty or sixty years later, grandma's gown made from her grandma's gown was remade for someone else.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

MariaE

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Sour cream should not be stored in the freezer.

I don't know if I would call that retrospectively obvious. But definitely not a good idea.

Neither should egg yolks.
 
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice

cicero

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I don't know if this was mentioned (possibly by me?) but it happened again today so i thought of this thread:

If you work in an office that has a fax machine, and someone tries to send you a fax but dials your landline by mistake and you get that annoying "beeeep beeeep" sound, just forward the call to the fax number (in our office i do this by pressing  "transfer" and then the three digits of the fax's extension, not the whole number).

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Jocelyn

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There was a speaker on the radio a few weeks ago talking about this subject. They worked in costume museums and explained that when you look inside lots of these small outfits the clothes had been cut down from a bigger costume, or they had lots of excess fabric inside so the original owner could sell the outfit later.

Nineteenth-century books often have the middle class characters talking about cutting down old clothes for someone else, or letting out seams or pleats for growth, or turning the fabric and resewing it in the latest style, which might require more fabric than a previous season's.
I have a WWII-era tailoring book that shows how to remake a dress. There's lots of tidbits like adding a bodice of another color, which would help some with making an out-grown dress over (the skirt portion being more likely to already have extra fabric). It was also intended to address the desire to have something new, in an era of fabric rationing. A dress might still have plenty of good wear in it, but remaking it and adding a bodice and sleeves of another color or a print would make it look like a new dress.

Hmmmmm

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I know this is an old thread... but my husband was laughing at me yesterday.

We were laughing at a Jim Carey parody of the Matthew McConughey Lincoln commercials. He said something about a link between Lincoln and his role in the movie Lincoln Lawyer. And I responded "Huh, hadn't thought about that." Then another light bulb went off and I said "I'd always associated the movie with President Lincoln, not the fact his character is driven around in an old Lincoln."  DH: :o ::) ;D

Barney girl

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As a lawyer who works in Lincoln I always have to think again when I see this title.

Piratelvr1121

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Watching a Big Bang Theory rerun last night with Bob Newhart as the boys' childhood hero, Professor Proton.  (Bob may be 85, but he is hilarious.  My DH had never seen him in anything, and was blown away by how funny he is).  Anyway, the professor is doing his kids' science show for Leonard, Sheldon and Penny.  Along with Penny, I was amazed by the potato clock.  I know it's a staple science demo, but I had no idea how it worked - I had to have DH explain it to me, and I'm still not sure I understand it.

Per the bolded: Your DH has been deprived of some great stuff! I was a kid when the first Newhart show was on its first run. It was, and still is, a great show. It holds up. And as for age and being funny, let me suggest a few more guys (male and female) who are freaking funny and  over 80: Betty White, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner. Those are the ones living. Some now deceased people are worth looking into, as well.

My honest opinion: some of these people are more entertaining/funny than a lot of younger celebrities!


The funniest man ever to live: Tim Conway.

I swear the times that I've laughed till I wept were partly because of him and his Siamese elephant story on the Carol Burnett show.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

TootsNYC

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"My, people sure had small feet in the olden days!" I heard people say when they look at shoes from the Victorian era.

The shoe is in almost perfect condition, so could it be a teen or child wore the shoes just once and it was put away and never used again because of a growth spurt?  Just one pair of barely-used shoes doesn't mean everybody had smal feet (size 3 or 5 high heeled lace up ladies' boot).  If they were bigger or more comfortable, the shoe would have been worn more, right?

It took me a while to think this through.
 

Same thing with antique furniture: "They really made stuff to last back then!" 

Because the shoddy everyday stuff fell apart a long time ago.

I'm sure that's true, but one thing that I am learning (as I take a woodworking class that is teaching me some more traditional wood joinery methods) is that there really were some methods of construction that are highly uncommon now that were much more common in the past. Things like mortise and tenon joinery used to be pretty common even on furniture of average quality, because it was possible to create a joint without hardware (that a lot of people didn't have access to, or couldn't afford), and you could do it with hand tools. These days, most table legs are attached to each other and the table top with screws, because screws are readily available, not very expensive, and easier to use. You'll only see mortise and tenon joints on really high end furniture (and sometimes not even then), even though it often creates a much stronger and durable joint. It takes more time to do (even with really fancy machines, the way I'm learning to do it), and it takes a lot more effort. It's also a lot harder to mass produce and have it work well, so most low- to mid-range furniture manufacturers don't have much incentive to bother with it.

I also think there was slightly less shoddy everyday stuff before the concept of planned obsolescence set in, too. If you were only ever going to buy one dining room table (for example), you'd make sure to buy one that was going to last you for a very long time. If tables don't last as long, furniture manufacturers can sell more of them as you have to replace the ones that fall apart, and people can begin to justify buying a new table every time they move or their tastes change slightly. A lot of antique furniture was built during a time when that just wasn't the case (either on the side of the furniture manufacturers or the customers).

I think that's true. Because things were made by hand, and the work was labor intensive, the people doing it didn't want to end up w/ something that would just fall apart--how frustrating! So they mostly made things in a way that would last. (Except, perhaps for the apprentices.)

Also, their markets were local. So if they made furniture that fell apart, people were going to stop buying it.

Not that people w/ almost no skills didn't cobble together something quick, that was "good enough for now" and "obviously handmade."

JoW

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"Same thing with antique furniture: "They really made stuff to last back then!" 

I can't count the number of times I've heard that.  But I wonder, did they make everything sturdier back then?  Or did they make some sturdy and some shoddy an the shoddy stuff broke and was discarded?  I think maybe only the good stuff lasted long enough for us to see it. 

I currently own 2 computer desks.  The one I'm using now is solid oak and is 20 years old.  It will last forever.  The other one is 25 years old and made from particle board covered with contact paper and was purchased at Wal-Mart.  Its in deplorable condition and will be disassembled and discarded this winter. 

PastryGoddess

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Watching a Big Bang Theory rerun last night with Bob Newhart as the boys' childhood hero, Professor Proton.  (Bob may be 85, but he is hilarious.  My DH had never seen him in anything, and was blown away by how funny he is).  Anyway, the professor is doing his kids' science show for Leonard, Sheldon and Penny.  Along with Penny, I was amazed by the potato clock.  I know it's a staple science demo, but I had no idea how it worked - I had to have DH explain it to me, and I'm still not sure I understand it.

Per the bolded: Your DH has been deprived of some great stuff! I was a kid when the first Newhart show was on its first run. It was, and still is, a great show. It holds up. And as for age and being funny, let me suggest a few more guys (male and female) who are freaking funny and  over 80: Betty White, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner. Those are the ones living. Some now deceased people are worth looking into, as well.

My honest opinion: some of these people are more entertaining/funny than a lot of younger celebrities!


The funniest man ever to live: Tim Conway.

I swear the times that I've laughed till I wept were partly because of him and his Siamese elephant story on the Carol Burnett show.

I'm a huge Jonathan Winters fan.  I was so sad when he passed away

Sirius

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Good product design is actually much harder than it seems. Things like this happen because the designer knows what the icons mean but has trouble approaching this from the perspective of someone who doesn't.

Many years ago, a company I worked for had a user interface to control several types of hardware. One type was a "Communications Processor" which was (for odd reasons) called a "COP". The user interface icon had the picture of a policeman with his hand up, palm out. Somebody who didn't know the system would assume that that icon was to stop something, not to access the "COP". Take this out of the cultural environment (this was the US and we were internationalizing the product for Japan) and it gets even more confusing.

I work with a program that shows a car icon for the manual function and an upraised hand icon for the automatic function.  This is a dictation program; if I don't want dictations to automatically go into my queue I have to click on the car.  I do this if I'm working on an extremely long job and I don't want more stat jobs in my queue until I'm finished with the job job.  Once I'm ready for whatever is in the queue I click on the upraised hand.  I have no idea what the logic behind these two icons came from.

Margo

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I wonder if the software was recycled / developed from something else?

I remember years ago I 'test drove' a smart phone for my dad.

his company was working on smartphones for district nurses / social workers other people who might be visiting people's homes in potentially risky situations - he idea was that the phone could be a tracker and a panic button. I was test driving it because my job at the time meant I was  moving around a lot so they got to test the accuracy of the tracking. 

The the project was based on stuff which had originally been designed for naval use and then developed for  marine use (tracking fishing fleets, I think)

So some of the commands and things carried forward - I think al the distances were still in nautical miles, and speeds in knots, for instance. Admittedly this was still very much in the development stages but I can see how an icon or command could be left unchanged even though it might make no sense in the final product.

lady_disdain

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"Same thing with antique furniture: "They really made stuff to last back then!" 

I can't count the number of times I've heard that.  But I wonder, did they make everything sturdier back then?  Or did they make some sturdy and some shoddy an the shoddy stuff broke and was discarded?  I think maybe only the good stuff lasted long enough for us to see it. 

I currently own 2 computer desks.  The one I'm using now is solid oak and is 20 years old.  It will last forever.  The other one is 25 years old and made from particle board covered with contact paper and was purchased at Wal-Mart.  Its in deplorable condition and will be disassembled and discarded this winter. 

I believe that that is the case in many things. I see a lot of antique jewelry. Some of it is beautiful, detailed and made to last. And sometimes, great grandma's brooch is just mass produced Victorian stuff, not much better than cheap jewelry today. The things that survived were made to last. The shoddy, cheap stuff just fell apart or was tossed over the years.

Betelnut

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"Same thing with antique furniture: "They really made stuff to last back then!" 

I can't count the number of times I've heard that.  But I wonder, did they make everything sturdier back then?  Or did they make some sturdy and some shoddy an the shoddy stuff broke and was discarded?  I think maybe only the good stuff lasted long enough for us to see it. 

I currently own 2 computer desks.  The one I'm using now is solid oak and is 20 years old.  It will last forever.  The other one is 25 years old and made from particle board covered with contact paper and was purchased at Wal-Mart.  Its in deplorable condition and will be disassembled and discarded this winter. 

I believe that that is the case in many things. I see a lot of antique jewelry. Some of it is beautiful, detailed and made to last. And sometimes, great grandma's brooch is just mass produced Victorian stuff, not much better than cheap jewelry today. The things that survived were made to last. The shoddy, cheap stuff just fell apart or was tossed over the years.

I agree--the good stuff lasts, the cheap doesn't...in any era.  BUT, things "in the olden days" were often made from iron or other types of material that do tend to last longer.  Now it is all plastic--more likely to break.  My parent's toaster (wedding present) lasted something like 30-40 years (with a few minor repairs).  It was metal.  Let's see if ANY modern day toaster (plastic) lasts that long!
Native Texan, Marylander currently

ladyknight1

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"Same thing with antique furniture: "They really made stuff to last back then!" 

I can't count the number of times I've heard that.  But I wonder, did they make everything sturdier back then?  Or did they make some sturdy and some shoddy an the shoddy stuff broke and was discarded?  I think maybe only the good stuff lasted long enough for us to see it. 

I currently own 2 computer desks.  The one I'm using now is solid oak and is 20 years old.  It will last forever.  The other one is 25 years old and made from particle board covered with contact paper and was purchased at Wal-Mart.  Its in deplorable condition and will be disassembled and discarded this winter. 

I believe that that is the case in many things. I see a lot of antique jewelry. Some of it is beautiful, detailed and made to last. And sometimes, great grandma's brooch is just mass produced Victorian stuff, not much better than cheap jewelry today. The things that survived were made to last. The shoddy, cheap stuff just fell apart or was tossed over the years.

I agree--the good stuff lasts, the cheap doesn't...in any era.  BUT, things "in the olden days" were often made from iron or other types of material that do tend to last longer.  Now it is all plastic--more likely to break.  My parent's toaster (wedding present) lasted something like 30-40 years (with a few minor repairs).  It was metal.  Let's see if ANY modern day toaster (plastic) lasts that long!

On that note however, many consumers will pass up an all metal appliance due to cost alone. There are some boutique appliance manufacturers that make all metal/glass appliances, but you have to special order them in most cases and may pay 10x the price of the mass market equivalent.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien