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chyna's avatar

Is there anything new you have discovered recently that you would like to share?

Asked by chyna (46497points) 1 month ago from iPhone

It doesn’t actually have to be a new invention, but something new to you. It could be electronics or food or whatever.
I have been needing/wanting a dusk to dawn light on both ends of my house. My brother has been saying for months that he would install the device that would convert my light fixtures to dusk to dawn. I was in Home Depot and they now make dusk to dawn light bulbs! No special device necessary! Yes I bought them, in a regular bulb for my doors and flood lights for the ends of the house. I’m very happy with them. Who knew? So please share any new things you have come across.

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20 Answers

AK's avatar

I have been learning Japanese during lockdown and I’ve learnt a few surprising things about that language.
– Japanese language has three different scripts! Three different sets of writing techniques, all of which one must master, if they hope to bcome proficient in that language
– Despite having 3 different scripts, Japanese language doesn’t have an alphabet equivalent to the letter – L of English language. They do have an alphabet that sounds similar to L…but its pronunciations can vary between -la,ra,da….That is why Japanese find it very difficult to pronounce La!
– 10% to 15% of modern japanese language is actually English (or borrowed from English)!...but you wouldn’t know it because they change the pronunciation of the words completely. For example: A television is terebi (remember, no L???) and a table is taburu (no L again)....they just Japan-ize english words and use them. Other languages have their own words for TV and table but Japanese use English words.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

While driving the right turn signal on my car dashboard started blinking double time. It’s happened a few times before, but this is the first time I realized it means one of the bulbs is burned out.

janbb's avatar

One of the largest herbivore dinosaurs was recently found in Australia. It is a new breed. It fascinates me that they are still finding new breeds of dinosaurs.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@AK Tacoraisu=Taco on top of rice. It is interesting!

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Nothing world shattering, but I recently read an article about an abandoned life boat that was discovered on an isolated island, between the tip of South Africa and the Antarctic continent, and no none knows how it got there, or who could have been stranded there. No remains or bodies have been found, (the place is extremely cold so any remains would have been preserved), and the only other evidence of any habitation is a smashed up copper kettle. It is hard to know how the boat could have even arrived at the island, as it is surrounded by glaciers and sheer cliffs, and anything that is taken in or out by scientific of military expeditions is flown in my helicopter. But SOMEONE was obviously there at some point in time. A real mystery. I’m fascinated with things like that. And the lifeboat is still there, to this day.

chyna's avatar

@Nomore_lockout I love those kind of mysteries too.

Demosthenes's avatar

@AK I studied Japanese in college. I remember learning over 120 kanji, but unfortunately I’ve forgotten how to write most of them (though I do recognize some and can still read them thankfully). It’s true many words come from English. In some cases, the English-based words have slightly different meanings. Japanese has a native word for “door”, tobira, but the borrowed doa refers only to a Western-style door. Likewise, ochichi or gyunyu refer to breast milk or cow’s milk (in the context of the animal), but milk sold in cartons is called miruku, borrowed from English (probably because cow’s milk wasn’t consumed much before Western influence).

Something new I’ve discovered recently is the New York Review of Books. With more time for reading magazines on account of the pandemic and frequently coming across the NYRB referenced or quoted, I decided finally to subscribe and I love it. It’s just the kind of complement to the New Yorker I’ve been looking for (my favorite part of the New Yorker is often the book reviews and criticism). It’s given me ideas for new fiction and nonfiction to read and just informed me further on topics I otherwise might not have known much about. I recommend it to anyone who loves books.

chyna's avatar

I love the mini dishwasher!

AK's avatar

@KNOWITALL Yea! Tacoraisu…..and a stakei (Steak)....or a cakei (Cake).....It is just English, with Japanese Syllablization. There are 1000s of such words but like Demosthenes said, some words have morphed into different meanings altogether. But if you pay attention, know the common Japanese words and have a basic grasp of grammar, you can understand them because all modern Japanese speak Japenglish. The older ones don’t.

@Demosthenes Mad respect to you brother. Nihongo is very tough, I can attest to that. Kanji is crazy tough. Meanings, interpretations, derivations….all are completely alien to people like us, who come from different cultures.

@janbb @nomore_lockout your stories are fascinating. I’m going to google and read up on them.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Due to its remote location, Bouvet Island has never become a commonly visited destination. Therefore, it was surprising when an abandoned lifeboat was found moored there in April 1964. This discovery led to an examination of Bouvet Island, but no trace of human life was ever found on it. @AK Here is some brief, basic info.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

@AK I’m thinking maybe survivors from a torpedoed ship during WW2 but who knows. Just speculating, and where the hell could they have gone? The cold temps could have preserved the boat.

smudges's avatar

Well shoot! I saw this question and was excited to share something new I learned… but then I forgot what it was. It was recent, too! Will be back if I think of it.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Ok, something new I learned:

During the 18th century in Europe, there was an emphasis of classes among people. The classes could be boiled down to the upper class, middle class and lower class. The middle class was a very recent invention, so they were slightly better than the lower class in the hierarchy, but still often got lumped with the lower class. There was actually a lot of expectation on what the upper class people should behave. They were only given three choices of jobs because other jobs were just too lowly for them and they would be judged by other upper class people if they chose them: maintaining the family’s property (which in most cases was off-limit because you had to be the first son to do so), becoming a member of the church, or joining the army.

The class distinction was extremely important when it comes to the military. In the army, there were also two kinds of people: the “gentlemen” (almost always commissioned officers), and the lowly soldiers (privates and NCO, mostly everyone of the lower and middle classes). There was a belief that the lowly soldiers were unintelligent and incapable of higher thinking like battle strategy, so they were never told what the “gentlemen” thought when ordered something. Instead, they were expected to memorize and practice what they had to do in a battle everyday, and obey orders without questions. Anyone who questioned orders or messed up would be severely punished.

As for the gentlemen, they were kept in line by a different thing: honor. Honor was things expected on the gentlemen for them to be considered gentlemen. It basically consisted on things like bravery during battle, kindness for your friends and enemies, courtesy in interpersonal relationship… The gentlemen held dear on to honor because that was the very thing that separated them from the lowly soldiers. To a lowly soldier, harsh punishment could be a big factor to keep them in line though not always guaranteed, but for the gentlemen, the prospect of loss of honor was scary enough. Willpower became a big thing to differentiate the gentlemen from the rest of his army.

Another factor that made the gentlemen so invested in honor was because being a soldier was considered an honor in itself by the upper class. As I said before, upper class person only had three choices for jobs. And being a soldier somehow became a very popular choice. It wasn’t just a job, it was a way of life and a pride of oneself and one’s family. It’s very understandable why they were so scared of loss of honor.

Side note: because being a commissioned officer was a very big deal, people had a way to keep the lower class away from the true gentlemen. The British had a system of purchasing ranks: basically you had to pay a large sum of money and had someone you knew recommend you to the position. This deterred a lot of wannable lower class people.

smudges's avatar

Ok, this wasn’t it, but I found this out a while back. I’d always wondered about birds’ nests and babies pooping in them and figuring they must be a gross mess. I found out on a nature show that the poop comes out in little thin bags, so when baby goes, mom or dad just pick it up and drop it out of the nest.

I know, it’s a little thing, but I love finding out these little tidbits about nature!

smudges's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Huh! That surprises me about the upper class wanting to be in the army. Once they got there, I’m not surprised that they were officers, though. Surprising too that there were only 3 jobs available to them.

Caravanfan's avatar

I tried a mint stout and loved it.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Had to split the response because it got longer than I expected :(

Wars during that time were basically games between gentlemen. They viewed wars pretty much the same way we view sports today: you compete with your opponent, you try hard not to lose, but at the end of the game you shake hands and bow to your opponent, no one holds grudge. It wasn’t uncommon for general of country A to fight intensely with general of country B and lose, only to be invited to dinner that very night by general B (this was what happened between Washington and Cornwallis after that last battle of the Revolutionary War). Only that a sport player has tools like bats, rackets, balls… and an 18-century officer has his disposal of lowly soldiers as tools.

And that led to a very bizarre way prisoners of war were treated. The lowly soldiers went to jail, the kind of horrible jail you can imagine. But the officers were assigned civilian’s houses to stay in. And they called that kind of imprisonment “parole”. They made sure the prisoners were taken good care of, with enough food and excellent health care. They were even allowed to go around the place where they were held at, provided that they didn’t wander too far from that. They were even allowed to participate in normal civilian activities like attending parties or going horseback riding. There was no guard around to watch them either. An outsider looking in without knowledge of the history wouldn’t be able to tell that they were prisoners at all.

Now one will ask this question: if they were allowed to do whatever they wanted without anyone watching over them, would they just seize the opportunity and escape? That was exactly what I thought when I first came across this fact too. But remember: those people were obsessed with honor. Escaping imprisonment was considered a very dishonorable act. Even if they managed to escape, what would they do next, now that their honor had been shattered and they were now known to their peers as “that guy who escaped imprisonment like a sissy?” So no, there was just no reason they could think of to escape. You are more likely to hear stories of the lower class prisoners escaping their jail than stories of officers running away from their town, even though the officers’ condition allowed much more opportunity to escape.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Another split :(

And then the American Revolution came, and it presented everyone with a strange situation. To the gentlemanly British, the Revolution was a mess in every aspect possible: the American Army consisted of a lot of officers who were traders or farmers with slightly higher intelligence and respect than their subordinates, which was a strange thing considering everything I mentioned earlier. The Americans were fighting against the country that was supposed to be part of their place, and as a result they weren’t supposed to be considered real soldiers, but instead criminals. And their motivation for fighting was to become an independent country, which was far different than the motivation of previous wars, which was for gentlemen to show each other who was boss. As a result, the British was very reluctant to treat the American soldiers the same way they treated their previous enemies.

But the Americans saw nothing strange in their war. To them, they were legitimate soldiers, fighting a legitimate war, and should be treated with respect. As a result, the American officers expected to be treated the same way as the European officers. This led to a dispute for some time before the British finally gave in and treated officer prisoners with the same standards I mentioned earlier. Ethan Allen was an example of that. He was put in jail with the common soldiers before the British gave in and gave him a parole. One reason for why the British gave in was because Washington threatened them to treat their British prisoners the same way if they didn’t respect the Americans, in direct response to Ethan Allen’s arrest. And of course the British couldn’t have that with their gentlemen.

And this led to a lot of conflict between the common people most particularly Loyalists and the soldiers. To the Loyalists, the Patriots were nothing more than pesky criminals, yet they were given a house, fed well and were able to move around like nothing had happened. To them, this was a big insult to justice. Some people got so angry that they took the matter into their hand and assaulted the Patriot prisoners. It didn’t help either that some Patriots even put on their uniforms and walked around to tease the Loyalists.

And because the Patriot officers didn’t always belong to the upper class, some of them didn’t hold too strongly to the “honor” concept of the Europeans. This led to some prisoners escaping their imprisonment when the opportunity arose. And some Patriots even encouraged this by coming to the places where the prisoners were held and performed “rescue missions”. Those people were of the minority though. Washington didn’t like that either, even blatantly telling everyone that any officer escaping would be put back to imprisonment if caught.

This is actually the basic of my story. My Continental Army character is a prisoner and the girl he meets is the host of his house. The town they are in has a large number of Loyalists, and they flat out hate the officer.

Side note: at the start of the Revolutionary War, the Americans actually strove hard for an “egalitarian” war: it didn’t matter which class you belonged to, as long as you wanted freedom and could fight, you were welcomed to join. But over time, war leaders were slowly forced to adopt the standard European class system to their army. The reasons for this change were:
– People, especially lower class citizens, simply ran out of steam. At the start of the war they were enthusiastic. But then they slowly realized that the war lasted longer than they thought, and they just couldn’t afford to dedicate their life to the war when they had other more important things to attend to like their families. It started to take more and more to motivate them to join the war other than just the goodness of their heart.
– The war leaders started to realize that there was the reason why the European system existed in the first place. Think about it: in a middle of a heated battle on a vast open field, with your enemies firing and charging at you, and anyone can die at any moment, it’s extremely crucial that your soldiers are disciplined enough to stay in their position and not overcome by fear and run away. The only way to make sure that happens is to train them to fear the leaders and obey orders without question. And to do that, you need a strong-willed leader who is not only good at keeping everyone in line, but also good at keeping himself in line. And that all leads back to… the European class system.
– The small American militias had proven to be ineffective against the British army. The militias’ biggest weakness was their lack of discipline and direction. They were more like “there’s the redcoats! Fire at them! Die lobster die!”, while the British soldiers had clear plans, and strong-willed leaders guiding everyone into the battle. The militias might win initially, but over time the British’s persistence and strategic thinking would overpower them all. This was the reason why the Continental Army was created, to bring the soldiers together to form an organized force against the British.

LostInParadise's avatar

The actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus is related to the historical figure Alfred Dreyfus. Link

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