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thadman 12th May 2011 02:33 AM

The Interesting Facts Thread
 
I'm a big fan of miscellaneous information. Jeopardy anybody?

If you've come across any facts you've found interesting, post them here. Also, if you happen to have the source associated with the aforementioned fact(s), post that as well (it doesn't need to be exhaustive, just something a member can use to locate it or explore the topic further)

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Fact: Its a myth that every fight resulted in the death of a Gladiator. Gladiators were bought and sold similar to how NFL organizations trade players today. If a fighter was killed, the game sponsor had to pay for his replacement. As a Gladiator, you had a near 90% chance of surviving a fight. If you were injured, you were given the best medical care available in Rome. Over 50% of Gladiators entered the Arena voluntarily, usually either to pay off debts or to seek fame. After winning a single fight, you could expect payment that exceeded the annual salary of a soldier in the Roman army.

Source: BBC, Colosseum: A Gladiator's Story

Thadman

Jonathan Bright 12th May 2011 03:53 AM

I learnt an interesting thing the other day. I was sitting in the car (stationary) looking in the rear view mirror at traffic coming towards me from behind. I am very short sighted and wear bifocals. The mirror was about the normal distance where I would use the lower part of the lenses to read with i.e. 18"-24" or so from my head. I was intrigued to see that the cars in the mirror were blurred but then became clear when I used the top or long distance part of the lense.
I guess this is all just plain high school optics and I missed class the day they did it back in the '60's but it was "counter intuitive" as they say and kept me amused for a couple of minutes!! Ha ha.

KnightofAwesome 12th May 2011 04:18 AM

Here's the big wiki list for misconceptions:
List of common misconceptions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

DF96 12th May 2011 11:44 AM

Quote:

all just plain high school optics
Yes. Assuming a plane mirror, the image of the cars following you are as far behind the mirror as the real cars are in front of it. That should put them in the distant part of your vision. It would be quite different if the mirror was replaced by a TV system - then the image would be positioned at the screen so you would need the close part of your vision (which would be difficult with bi/varifocals).

DF96 12th May 2011 11:54 AM

1. Under normal operating conditions, a coal-fired power station emits significantly more radioactivity into the environment than a nuclear station.

2. TV reports of power station 'pollution' often include shots of the cooling tower plumes. These consist of water, contaminated with little particles of mud and whatever else happens to be in the local river water. Not particularly dangerous! The plume of flue gases from the main stack is often nearly invisible after going through the precipitators, which may be why TV crews don't notice it.

(I used to work in the power industry.)

Pepsiiuk 12th May 2011 12:59 PM

This isn't quite a misconceptions but oh well.

Here in the UK, if you manage to catch a grey squirrel, you would be committing an offence if you release it back into the wild.

SY 12th May 2011 01:05 PM

Welcome To Cheers

jlsem 12th May 2011 02:02 PM

Did you know that the Baltimore Orioles are the losing-est MLB franchise in the modern era with 8978 losses to date since 1901? They are set to surpass the 9000 loss mark in the next couple of months.

And that the winning-est franchise of all time, the New York Yankees, began life in 1901 as the Baltimore Orioles?

John

thadman 12th May 2011 02:06 PM

Around 640BC, most Judeans were rural people and cared nothing of Jerusalem and it's King. They also knew little of Israel's covenant with Yahweh. In fact, it appears many Judeans worshipped a mother Goddess, Asherah, who they believed to be the God of Israel's wife. From a superficial reading of the Hebrew Bible, you might presume that most Israelites were monotheists. However, according to most Biblical scholars, monotheism was a much later development and did not appear full blown until after the fall of Jerusalem. Before this event, most were polytheists and still worshipped various Canaanite deities.

SY 12th May 2011 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jlsem (Post 2569724)
Did you know that the Baltimore Orioles are the losing-est MLB franchise in the modern era with 8978 losses to date since 1901? They are set to surpass the 9000 loss mark in the next couple of months.

And that the winning-est franchise of all time, the New York Yankees, began life in 1901 as the Baltimore Orioles?

John

Considering that there was no Baltimore Orioles MLB team between 1902 and 1954, the number you cite (8978) seems strange- that averages to 160 losses per season.


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