Author Topic: s/o adults should know this - retrospectively obvious things you've just learned  (Read 105666 times)

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cwm

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"Guerilla" is Spanish. It means "little war."  (The Spanish for war is "guerra.")

In Spanish, it's pronounced "gair-ee-ya" or "wair-ee-ya."

I was so young and didn't really read at that age, I just heard it on the news and thought it amazing that apes were trained to handle guns  ;D

Well, for all intensive purposes, it is a miracle that they trained those apes.  >:D  >:D  >:D

I kid, I kid, I thought it was giant apes waging wars as well.

GlitterIsMyDrug

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Gorilla (guerrilla) warfare - how the heck did they get apes to fire guns?  :o

When I first learned about guerrilla marketing (in college), I couldn't get the image of a gorilla walking around handing out flyers out of my head. In fact when we took a test and had our little note card of notes, mine said "Apes with flyers" under Marketing Types.

cabbageweevil

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Before posts are made, to the effect of "shut up about 'guerrilla / gorilla', already"; I gather that this word-similarity has been a source of confusion and mirth for the past two centuries.  If I have things rightly, the Spanish word "guerrilla" (little war) originated in reference to the resistance on the part of the ordinary folk, to the 1808 -- 1814 occupation of Spain by Napoleon's armies.

One place where this word-mix-up jest shows up, is in the IMO hilariously funny little book "1066 And All That", by the British writers Sellar and Yeatman, published 1930. The book is a satire on the often stilted and unimaginative teaching of history in schools; and the confused memories of it long after, on the part of those who were taught.  The book refers to the Napoleonic episode as the "gorilla" war in Spain, "so called because of the primitive Spanish method of fighting".  Alongside is a little cartoon showing a Spanish peasant advancing with a snarl, in great-ape "tear the human apart" pose, on a terrified French soldier.

hobish

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Oh - and my brother can't whistle. I can, but can't use my fingers to do that screeching, ear-piercing whistle with my mouth.

I can't either.  I know the theory, and with a lot of work I can eventually make that breathy pre-whistling noise a teakettle makes before it gets going, but I have never been able to whistle for real.

I did teach myself to sing two notes at once, though (like this), which I think is way cooler  ;D

You know that song about the kid who wants 2 front teeth for Christmas so he can learn to whistle?

I was 6 when I knocked out my (permanent) front teeth. Learned to whistle fine. When I later got braces and fake teeth to go with them, and haven't been able to whistle well since.

That is too weird. The same thing happened to me, except I was around 12 when I knocked my teeth out in an ice skating accident.
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Katana_Geldar

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Gorilla (guerrilla) warfare - how the heck did they get apes to fire guns?  :o

When I first learned about guerrilla marketing (in college), I couldn't get the image of a gorilla walking around handing out flyers out of my head. In fact when we took a test and had our little note card of notes, mine said "Apes with flyers" under Marketing Types.

That would work, I'd be too intimidated by the gorilla not to take one.

Twik

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Just had a co-worker, an otherwise intelligent woman, who tried to convince me that Puerto Rico became the 51st state of the United States last year. I don't know if she thought it was a conspiracy that nobody knew about it, or why she thought we didn't have the fancy new flag she used as evidence, but it took her a bit of convincing to prove otherwise.

I ... she had her own flag with 51 stars? Seriously?

I know last year was an election year down there, but I think a whole new state would have made the news at some point.
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zyrs

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Just had a co-worker, an otherwise intelligent woman, who tried to convince me that Puerto Rico became the 51st state of the United States last year. I don't know if she thought it was a conspiracy that nobody knew about it, or why she thought we didn't have the fancy new flag she used as evidence, but it took her a bit of convincing to prove otherwise.

This seems to be something that a few people are confused about - I have seen a couple stories of people being convinced that Peurto Rico is now the 51st state.  I think it is because they voted to seek statehood and other people don't understand that that still needs to be approved.

cwm

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Just had a co-worker, an otherwise intelligent woman, who tried to convince me that Puerto Rico became the 51st state of the United States last year. I don't know if she thought it was a conspiracy that nobody knew about it, or why she thought we didn't have the fancy new flag she used as evidence, but it took her a bit of convincing to prove otherwise.

I ... she had her own flag with 51 stars? Seriously?

I know last year was an election year down there, but I think a whole new state would have made the news at some point.

Well, she didn't have the flag herself, but she found pictures online. So it must be true, right? Because there was a website that said it was true.

Elfmama

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Just had a co-worker, an otherwise intelligent woman, who tried to convince me that Puerto Rico became the 51st state of the United States last year. I don't know if she thought it was a conspiracy that nobody knew about it, or why she thought we didn't have the fancy new flag she used as evidence, but it took her a bit of convincing to prove otherwise.

I ... she had her own flag with 51 stars? Seriously?

I know last year was an election year down there, but I think a whole new state would have made the news at some point.

Well, she didn't have the flag herself, but she found pictures online. So it must be true, right? Because there was a website that said it was true.
Might have been this one: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/puerto-rico-state-flag_n_2090769.html

Googling for "51 Star Flag" brings up a number of images.
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Luci

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Just had a co-worker, an otherwise intelligent woman, who tried to convince me that Puerto Rico became the 51st state of the United States last year. I don't know if she thought it was a conspiracy that nobody knew about it, or why she thought we didn't have the fancy new flag she used as evidence, but it took her a bit of convincing to prove otherwise.

I ... she had her own flag with 51 stars? Seriously?

I know last year was an election year down there, but I think a whole new state would have made the news at some point.

Well, she didn't have the flag herself, but she found pictures online. So it must be true, right? Because there was a website that said it was true.
Might have been this one: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/puerto-rico-state-flag_n_2090769.html

Googling for "51 Star Flag" brings up a number of images.

When I was 7 during the first Eisenhower convention, I got really confused about why Puerto Rico was at the convention. Mom said it was a protectorate, and now I'm still confused. But at least I know it's not a state!

cabbageweevil

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US flag matters -- going off from the real world, into speculative fiction...  considerable play is made with these things, in Harry Turtledove's "Southern Victory" alternative-history novel series.  The premise: the Confederacy wins the Civil War in 1862, and successfully secedes -- there ensues a protracted rather nasty situation, in which the United States and the Confederate States are permanently at each other's throats, and fight war after war with each other.

In this time-line of Turtledove's, the "political" map differs considerably from that in "our time-line".  For whatever reason, there are overall fewer separate states in the United States -- for instance, North and South Dakota are just the one state of Dakota. Various states on the USA / CSA border change hands, or appear / disappear, from time to time. IIRC -- Puerto Rico, as mentioned in PPs, still belongs to Spain in this time-line, in which there is no Spanish-American War. Certainly, in Turtledove's time-line, Alaska is still Russian territory.

What with all the above, it can be something of a puzzle to keep track of how many states the United States has, at any particular point in time.  People who are geeks over this series, have lots of fun homing in on references in the text, to the number of stars on the United States' flag, and discoursing / disputing over whether the cited number is in fact correct...

sunnygirl

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There's a very famous British fictional character named Bulldog Drummond (who James Bond is based on), and in his first book, he actually fights a gorilla with his bare hands and wins.

Tea Drinker

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US flag matters -- going off from the real world, into speculative fiction...  considerable play is made with these things, in Harry Turtledove's "Southern Victory" alternative-history novel series.  The premise: the Confederacy wins the Civil War in 1862, and successfully secedes -- there ensues a protracted rather nasty situation, in which the United States and the Confederate States are permanently at each other's throats, and fight war after war with each other.

In this time-line of Turtledove's, the "political" map differs considerably from that in "our time-line".  For whatever reason, there are overall fewer separate states in the United States -- for instance, North and South Dakota are just the one state of Dakota. Various states on the USA / CSA border change hands, or appear / disappear, from time to time. IIRC -- Puerto Rico, as mentioned in PPs, still belongs to Spain in this time-line, in which there is no Spanish-American War. Certainly, in Turtledove's time-line, Alaska is still Russian territory.

What with all the above, it can be something of a puzzle to keep track of how many states the United States has, at any particular point in time.  People who are geeks over this series, have lots of fun homing in on references in the text, to the number of stars on the United States' flag, and discoursing / disputing over whether the cited number is in fact correct...

I believe we have two states of North and South Dakota in part because that meant two more northern senators when the Dakotas became states rather than a territory. (I think Maine was given statehood to balance a new state in the south, on the same basis.)

And yes, in that sort of alternate timeline the United States wouldn't have had the money to buy Alaska in 1867, though if I were doing world-building I might make it part of British Canada, since the Russians would still have wanted the money.
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blue2000

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US flag matters -- going off from the real world, into speculative fiction...  considerable play is made with these things, in Harry Turtledove's "Southern Victory" alternative-history novel series.  The premise: the Confederacy wins the Civil War in 1862, and successfully secedes -- there ensues a protracted rather nasty situation, in which the United States and the Confederate States are permanently at each other's throats, and fight war after war with each other.

In this time-line of Turtledove's, the "political" map differs considerably from that in "our time-line".  For whatever reason, there are overall fewer separate states in the United States -- for instance, North and South Dakota are just the one state of Dakota. Various states on the USA / CSA border change hands, or appear / disappear, from time to time. IIRC -- Puerto Rico, as mentioned in PPs, still belongs to Spain in this time-line, in which there is no Spanish-American War. Certainly, in Turtledove's time-line, Alaska is still Russian territory.

What with all the above, it can be something of a puzzle to keep track of how many states the United States has, at any particular point in time.  People who are geeks over this series, have lots of fun homing in on references in the text, to the number of stars on the United States' flag, and discoursing / disputing over whether the cited number is in fact correct...

I believe we have two states of North and South Dakota in part because that meant two more northern senators when the Dakotas became states rather than a territory. (I think Maine was given statehood to balance a new state in the south, on the same basis.)

And yes, in that sort of alternate timeline the United States wouldn't have had the money to buy Alaska in 1867, though if I were doing world-building I might make it part of British Canada, since the Russians would still have wanted the money.

Canada was actively trying to get it, so yes. If the US did not want it, it would be a province of Canada.
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cabbageweevil

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Only in these books of Mr. Turtledove's, he has other plans for Canada -- not nice ones.  The novels tell of, altogether, a pretty miserable "time-line"...