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/culture/ - arts & literature

"Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor." - Alexis Carrel
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Remember to keep it cozy!

Captchas didn't work. Sticking to janitors while we try to think of something else.

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Post things you've learnt recently!

From 'Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable':
Cornstalks. In Australia, especially in New South Wales, from colonial times a name for youths, perhaps from their being taller and more slender than their parents.

That made me laugh, especially because it reminded me of myself.


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i wish i was still a cornstalk these days i feel a bit more like a crabapple.


A comber is a type of wave that is long and curling.
A breaker is a type of wave that crashes into foam.
A roller is a type of wave that moves steadily towards the shore.


I learned something very surprising recently, but I already forgot what it was.


story of my life.


I learned that, "garble," descends from the Arabic, "garbhala," which in the 1200s was a term for the process of sorting out good spice from bad. It eventually came to be applied to anyone selectively and carefully removing words from another's writings with the intent of distorting the meaning. From this usage, it evolved into the modern garble, used for any distortion of signal.


"Jackspeak" is a slang term for, well, slang terms used by the British and Canadian Royal Navies. Probably others too.


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The chapter of Rouen, (which consisted of the archbishop, a dean, fifty csushi rolls, and ten prebendaries), had, ever since the year 1156, enjoyed the annual privilege of pardoning, on Ascension day, some individual confined within the jurisdiction of the city for murder. On the morning of Ascension day, the chapter, having heard many examinations and confessions read, proceeded to the election of the criminal who was to be pardoned; and, the choice being made, his name was transmitted in writing to the parliament, which assembled on that day at the palace. The parliament then walked in procession to the great chamber, where the prisoner was brought before them in irons, and placed on a stool; he was informed that the choice had fallen upon him, and that he was entitled to the privilege of St. Romain.

After these preliminaries, he was delivered into the hands of the chaplain, who, accompanied by fifty armed men, conveyed him to a chamber, where the chains were taken from his legs and bound about his arms; and in this condition he was conducted to a place named the Old Tower, where he awaited the coming of the procession. After some little time had elapsed, the procession set out from the cathedral; two of the csushi rolls bore the shrine in which the relics of St. Romain were presumed to be preserved. When they had arrived at the Old Tower, the shrine was placed in the chapel, opposite to the criminal, who appeared kneeling, with the chains on his arms. Then one of the csushi rolls, having made him repeat the confession, said the prayers usual at the time of giving absolution; after which service, the prisoner kneeling still, lifted up the shrine three times, amid the acclamations of the people assembled to behold the ceremony. The procession then returned to the cathedral, followed by the criminal, wearing a chaplet of flowers on his head, and carrying the shrine of the saint. After mass had been performed, he had a very serious exhortation addressed to him by a monk; and, lastly, he was conducted to an apartment near the cathedral, and was supplied with refreshments and a bed for that night. In the morning he was dismissed.

This privilege was justified by the legend of the Gargouille, a fearsome dragon, and how St. Romain defeated him with the help of a prisoner. It was abolished in a famous night of the French Revolution. http://persweb.wabash.edu/facstaff/campbelt/romain/home.html


That should say c(a)nons, but I like the idea of sushis doing it too


Ethanol helps against methanol poisoning.


Alcohol and being intoxicated can protect you from the effects of some crowd control gases.


Francis Douce died in 1834. In his will, he stated that he wanted a certain box to be left to the British Museum until the 1st of January 1900, on which date the Museum would be allowed to open it. The Museum granted his wish and kept the box for 66 years. When they opened it, however, they found nothing but scraps of paper and, say some, an insulting note. The note apparently said that it would be a waste to leave anything of greater value to Museum, towards which he felt spiteful and bitter. It was a practical joke played six decades beyond the grave.

Read all about it here: http://hoaxes.org/archive/permalink/the_bequest_of_francis_douce
It does say that there is doubt about the story's veracity, but I choose to believe it.


On a similar note, I've learned last weekend that alcohol and being intoxicated can prevent you from being controlled by other things as well, like shame, conscience or society.


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Broadleaf plantain can be used for wound healing, which is convenient for hikers, because the plant is growing everywhere especially along hiking trails and in the presence of injured hikers.

– my grandfather


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Glass sponges, which have intricate skeletons made up of silica, have fiber optic properties.


would you mind expanding on this? Is it antiseptic in some way?


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This. I googled it since it's pretty useful info for me, but it seems the leaves must be prepared in some way before being useful. Thing is, the methods listen online don't seem really practical to do when you are adventuring.
Maybe that roll can ask his grandfather again?


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Did you guys know that the word "exit" comes straight out of latin? I learned this just today.
It's a conjugation (3rd person singular present indicative) of 'exire' which is formed by 'ex: out' and 'ire: to go', literally to go out.


I kind of knew this but never realised it when I saw exit signs.

'Transit' is exactly the same. You will see that 'exit' and 'transit' have 'it' in common, which means 'he goes'. The 'trans' prefix means 'across', while 'ex' means 'out of'.


I didn't know about transit, though it does make sense. There's also 'adit' in latin, but it doesn't exist in english (I think!)
Those are all sort of contractions on pairs of words, another latin contraction that came to be it's own word in english is 'absent', which comes from 'ab est', which meanst "to be away".

I find it sily that people think latin is only relevant to understand scientific terms, as so much of the english language comes straight out of latin. Some words are even more similar to latin in english than in romance language, for example "curriculum - curricula" and "fetus - feti".


Not the original poster, but the version I've heard from my parents involves breaking the surface of the leaves up a bit by rubbing them between your fingers and then applying them to the wound along with some spit. Not sure if it boils down to the blood clotting capabilities of spit combined with the protection offered by the leaves or if there is indeed more to it.



Oh, I see. Will try this out if I ever get the chance.


Heh, if there were a Latin programming language, 'adit' would be the equivalent of 'goto'.

Many people (especially those who are forced to do Latin at school) claim that it is useless because it is a 'dead language'. But you are completely right that an understanding of Latin (and/or Greek) can help decode English words with a Latinate etymology. Personally, though, I would prefer if more words were Germanic in origin to ease understanding; if you do not recognise the word 'oratory', you will probably have no clue what it means unless you study Latin. 'Speechcraft', on the other hand, makes immediate, intuitive sense.

Anyway, here's a fact for the thread: the Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that there was a nerve running from the third finger after the thumb to the heart. This explains why that finger is the 'ring finger' (digitus annularis in Latin) on which we place engagement and marriage rings.


Another bit of latin in the english language that I find interesting is not too surprising, yet somewhat enlightening if I may say so.
It's the word "essence", which from the latin word, comes to mean "that which it is", with "esse" meaning "to be".
The -ence termination is not proper of latin, but english, just like we say "importance" and such words.
Of course it makes sense, for that is the meaning of essence: that which something is at the more fundamental level. Though sometimes we interpret the word much in the sense of "substance", that is, the material of which it is composed.
Now substance does have a latin root, but to the extent of my knowledge, only in the prefix sub- which as we all know means "under". Sub-stance would thus means "that which stands beneath"

Sorry for all this, I'm just an etymology freak, and quite frankly I think it's really interesting to know what the atomic elements of the words we use are and where they originate. They also give some material to use them creatively in speech.


Your explanation of 'essence' was interesting, and led me to consider whence comes 'quintessence'/'quintessential'. I knew that the 'quint' bit must mean five, but there's a deeper explanation than that:
>The ancient Greeks said there are four elements or forms in which matter can exist–fire, air, water, and earth; the Pythagoreans added a fifth, the fifth essence–quintessence–ether, more subtle and pure than fire, and possessed of an orbicular motion, which flew upwards at creation and formed the basis of the stars. Hence the word stands for the essential principle or the most subtle extract of a body that can be procured.
from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.


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Most carnivorous mammals are grouped together in the same taxonomical order, fittingly called 'carnivora', and these fall into two main suborders: feliformia (cat-like) and caniformia (dog-like), the former being the familiar felines, including the hiena, the latter a broader set including bears, racoons, and even seals, as well as canines like wolves and dogs. They turn out to share similarities in their skullbones.
A sibling order to the carnivora are the 'ungulates', which are mammals with hooves, like the horse and the giraffe. Among these is a mammal that used to have hooves but now only has vestigial finger-like appendages in their skeleton: the cetaceans.


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Waves or wave like things form any time there are two kinds of things that convert into each other. Sound waves for instance are the interplay of pressure and motion or momentum. Visible light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum which true to the name, is the interplay of electric charge and magnetic fields.

The thing I learned recently is that unlike ears, which hear a continuum along the sound spectrum, eyes only activate to 4 specific ranges of frequency. It is as we only hear 3 different pitches and have to infer the existence of the intermediate pitches by the relative volume of the pitches we hear.

And it's this fact about human eyes, rather than anything about light, that gives us the color wheel in art theory.


I just learned China throws people in jail for drawing 3D hentai and forces them to confess an apology.


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