Metatalktail Hour: What most people don't know August 6, 2022 5:18 AM   Subscribe

Most people don't know this, but ...

What are your favorite little known facts? The ones you covetously collect and jealously guard (no spitting these babies out all namby-pamby; you wait until that perfect moment when they will have most impact, and then strike down — or pipe up — with great vengeance), the ones you trot out to beguile and intrigue that special someone, to charm the cocktail crowd, to impress your boss's boss? Which awe-inspiring items of arcane erudition make you coruscate like a refulgent jewel amid the recherché rabble? (is it the word "coruscate"? is it the word "recherché"? is it bigger than a bread basket?).

OR, what mildly interesting true fact can you share with us today? OR just let us know how you are, what's up with you, your news this week. (but no politics, plz!)
posted by taz (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 5:18 AM (72 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

So, I used to work at Google, which had a surprisingly open culture for how enormous of a corporation it was. I didn't do a ton of work, and instead would wander around the intranet finding the remnants of all sorts of bizarre projects and reports — the stuff that happens when a company has way too much money pouring in and too many people to really keep much track of what they're all doing.

My absolute favorite fact that I found from this poking around is a number that I can't share for NDA reasons, but I will say that I found it truly astonishing: the percent of Google's global compute resources spent playing Starcraft II. Turns out training those AIs takes a lot of resources.

My second favorite fact, though, was quietly publicized, but basically no one has heard of it: Google has a real-time list of which restaurants are giving people food poisoning, which they build by correlating location data from Google Maps with search history for queries relating to food poisoning symptoms.

I like sharing that one, both because people find it surprising and shocking, but also because it gives a much better picture of the risks of the mass surveillance that these big tech companies do than most people have. Your phone isn't listening to you (except when you're like, making a phone call), but that's not the threat that's scariest to me — this sort of mass collection and cross-referencing of data can reveal much more worrisome and personal information.

It's also a good way of talking about how mass surveillance technology these days often comes in a way that seems positive and good at first glance: Apple's AirTags are, I'm sure, very convenient, but it also means that if you have a Apple phone, you are now a part of what is I think the largest surveillance network in the world, snitching on the location of objects around you without your consent, regularly sending this information to stalkers.
posted by wesleyac at 6:22 AM on August 6, 2022 [35 favorites]

I'm not sure if I should be embarrassed or proud of my activity on FF, but this is, at the moment, an accurate chart.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:23 AM on August 6, 2022 [30 favorites]

I vote for proud.
posted by taz (staff) at 7:44 AM on August 6, 2022 [17 favorites]

I like: blackberry? Not a berry. Raspberry? Not a berry? Strawberry? Not a berry. Eggplant? Berry.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:21 AM on August 6, 2022 [21 favorites]

Mine are not the most interesting facts, but they are facts known to very few people, possibly only, as I write, to one:

Of 309 reports of weddings available in digitised UK newspapers for January 1938, 117 couples were stated to be having honeymoons (38%). The most popular honeymoon destination was London (24% of couples stated to be honeymooning just in London, and another 3% partly in London). When one couple was planning a honeymoon in Holland, this was notable enough to make it into the headline ("HULL COUPLE TO SPEND HONEYMOON IN HOLLAND").

Where a hymn was recorded as having been sung at the service, in 69% of weddings the hymn was one of four specific hymns (Lead Us, Heavenly Father, Love Divine, O Perfect Love and The Voice That Breathed O’er Eden).

I didn't collect data on bridal outfits, but interesting-sounding ones included a "princess gown of cream angel skin, patterned with a gold leaf spray design", a travelling outfit of "a tomato red crepe dress, over which she wore a brown woollen coat with astrakhan collar and buttons with shoes, gloves and handbag to match, and skull cap", and someone who was "quietly attired in a one‐piece dress of Royal blue, prettily embroidered with yellow trifoil and hat to tone". Popular colours were gold, rust and blue, including "lido blue" and "petrol blue".
posted by paduasoy at 8:22 AM on August 6, 2022 [15 favorites]

I… feel bad for the angels. They’ve done so much for us, but now they are being hunted for their skins!
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:38 AM on August 6, 2022 [9 favorites]

Only during the '30s and '40s; beginning in the 1950s the angel skin trade was outlawed, though some say this repugnant practice has gained new popularity recently.
posted by taz (staff) at 8:50 AM on August 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

The project I posted yesterday is full of them:
  • Games involving fantasy themes, collaborative storytelling, and role-playing had rules write-ups at least by the early 1800s (decades earlier than the Brontës' Glasstown, etc.)
  • Many of these games involved fairly intimate social contact in the penalty phase, but Goethe tried to avoid kissing and volunteered poetry instead
  • Many early game authors were women: Madeleine de Scudéry (1667), Madame Tardieu-Denesle (1817), Rachel Revel (1825), Élisabeth Celnart (1830 [1827]), Catharine Harbeson Waterman (1853), Emily Mayer Higgins (1854), Helen Hollister (1917), etc.
  • There's a list there of wildly imaginative motifs--superhero powers, weird imagery, etc.--from what, though it isn't well-known, is probably the earliest secondary world fantasy novel, Phantasmion by Sara Coleridge, published in 1837
  • Round-robin novels were at least conceived of in the 17th C (two centuries before Mugby Junction, The Fate of Fenella, etc.)
  • The text version of the Surrealist game of "Exquisite Corpse" goes back to at least 1812, where it's called "The History"
  • The page on redeeming pledges also incidentally works in the UK's history of telling ghost stories at Christmas, because in the UK these kinds of games were likewise Christmas / winter evening traditions
  • One specific page about penalty phases in 1779 works in the early history of crossword puzzles, because one penalty was to write up a rebus or charade and what was meant by rebus or charade then was a kind of poem in which a couple of lines were clues to different terms that you then added together to find a different answer--eventually leading to acrostic rebuses, double acrostics, and finally crosswords
  • Edith Nesbit (socialist activist and author of Five Children and It, The Railway Children, "The Shadow," etc.) should also be better-known in the history of games/play for documenting the "magic city game" from her novel The Magic City in a non-fiction text, Wings and the Child, or The Building of Magic Cities
I guess Metafilter is the one place where this isn't so little-known by now, but still.
posted by Wobbuffet at 9:07 AM on August 6, 2022 [13 favorites]

I hope you all introduce these dazzling nuggets with "au contraire, mon frere!"
posted by supermedusa at 9:24 AM on August 6, 2022 [4 favorites]

How finely those great bricks stood for Stonehenge, and how submissively Anna, the Dutch doll, whose arms and legs were gone, played the part of the Sacrifice.

Is the third question on the “Nesbit or Summerisle?” quiz.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:24 AM on August 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

The singular of spaghetti is spaghetto.
posted by lyssabee at 10:06 AM on August 6, 2022 [7 favorites]

Practically everyone has a 7 digit prime number memorized.




8675309 is a prime number. One half of a twin prime with 8675311.
posted by Mitheral at 10:58 AM on August 6, 2022 [38 favorites]

I'm actively trying to stop myself from pestering other people with strange little facts that too few people seem to be aware of. That probably explains why I'm not good at smalltalk.

I bet you didn't know that.

Oh ok that was a decoy, let's play this strange game:

I got nothing.

Now, let's have a nice tequila sunrise, maybe.
posted by flamewise at 11:21 AM on August 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

Here's a fact I just learned today, and I may be the only person who knows this, but there are actually two Sprouses: a Cole and a Dylan. I've never seen anything either of them have acted in, but one of them is married to or gf/bf with Barbara Palvin (a model). Two Sprouses! And neither of them are named "Dole." Now you know.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:15 PM on August 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

if someone ate like a bird they'd be sick as a dog.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:45 PM on August 6, 2022 [4 favorites]

Grapefruit can have a bad interaction with many drugs. (Basically it messes with a class of enzymes that break down drugs; depending on if the drug is active before or after being broken down, this can lead to overdose or underdose).

That’s not the fun fact though. The fun fact is that fexofenadine (Allegra, a popular OTC antihistamine) also interacts with grapefruit, decreasing the effectiveness, but through a totally different mechanism.
posted by nat at 1:29 PM on August 6, 2022 [8 favorites]

I read that as decreasing the effectiveness of the grapefruit and I was very confused for a moment
posted by wesleyac at 2:12 PM on August 6, 2022 [19 favorites]

I would sign up for reduced-action grapefruit, they're way too tart for my palate.

Everyone has unique tastebuds and sensitivity -- I can't handle grapefruit, oranges and citra-hopped ales.
posted by k3ninho at 4:51 PM on August 6, 2022 [3 favorites]

Your Childhood Pet Rock has given us a couple of pieces of wisdom I particularly like:

* Time makes people forget that regulations are largely written in blood.

* If “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo” is a legitimate sentence English will be able to survive the singular “they.”

(The latter helps me adjust to changing times and ways of communicating.)
posted by bryon at 5:15 PM on August 6, 2022 [4 favorites]

Momento, is a common misspelling of memento.Epitome, used to mean it's exact opposite, (according to my antique dictionaries.)
posted by Oyéah at 5:53 PM on August 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

Thought of another one: Captain Crunch’s first name is Horatio. Middle name Magellan.
posted by lyssabee at 7:46 PM on August 6, 2022 [7 favorites]

"DNA" stands for "deoxyribonucleic acid".

A "cohort", "troop" or "staff" is not an individual person but a group.

To get the sum of the angles of a polygon, add up the number of sides, subtract 2, then multiply by 180 degrees.

On a totally different topic, I have found three dead animals in my yard in no more than the past three months. At first, I was suspicious that a human was harassing us. But now, I think it's likely because we leave water out for the rabbits.
posted by NotLost at 7:47 PM on August 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

My older sister had (and I hope still has, somewhere) a globe which was made during a relatively narrow time window: It has the USSR and a reunified Germany.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:53 PM on August 6, 2022 [11 favorites]

Made in an approximately two year period depending on how many Yemen's there are.
posted by Mitheral at 8:12 PM on August 6, 2022 [7 favorites]

Hooded seals are weaned only 4 days after they're born!
posted by Redstart at 9:25 PM on August 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

The Box Jellyfish has 24 eyes, eight of them structured very like vertebrate eyes. And yet they have no brain.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:02 PM on August 6, 2022 [4 favorites]

Mitheral: 8675309 is a prime number. One half of a twin prime with 8675311.

And why would anyone have these memorized?
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:18 AM on August 7, 2022 [3 favorites]

And why would anyone have these memorized?

Just the first one. You have to be in a certain age range, and probably from the US, but if you are in that demographic you memorized that number without ever particularly wanting to because of this song.
posted by Redstart at 9:32 AM on August 7, 2022 [12 favorites]

8675309 is from a song.

The number I know by heart (along with the Jenny number) is 0118 999 881 999 119 725 3.

I know lots of interesting-to-me facts but I can never bring them to mind until someone is wrong about something I know.
posted by cooker girl at 9:33 AM on August 7, 2022 [7 favorites]

I am sort of terrible at fun facts, and so I don't have a delicious collection, but I'm enjoying yours. Instead I will tell you a fun fact I learned this past fall on a bird walk, which is that white-throated sparrows have a complex sex system that in some respects is more quaternary than binary.

I had a difficult weekend -- I traveled to attend a memorial service for my dad. I was touched by how many people showed up in support. AskMe etiquette notes were on point, and everything went as well as possible, I think. And our travel didn't even get fubared by COVID or anything else. As terrible weekends go, this one wasn't bad.
posted by eirias at 10:55 AM on August 7, 2022 [6 favorites]

Possibly not a fact, as in an absolute truth, but a useful little known:
WD-40 is pretty good at cleaning whiteboards. I keep hopefully buying new whiteboard markers in "fun" colors, and about 30% in a pack of 8-10 will not clean off the whiteboard with a paper towel or cloth, generally anything that reads as red or dark blue/black/brown.
WD -40 gets off about 85% of most colors, and sometimes one of the other colors-- in this pack, it's a brilliant green-- when swiped over the problem colors, dissolves them.
I just want a new month without the lurking disasters of the previous month or projects.
posted by winesong at 11:29 AM on August 7, 2022 [7 favorites]

I learned recently that a Danish euphemism for menstruation is “communists in the gazebo.” This is easily the funniest thing I have learned in, oh, probably the past twenty years.
posted by scratch at 1:25 PM on August 7, 2022 [37 favorites]

I've been described as a 'veritable mine of useless information' more than once but, when I try to come up with some random factoid on demand, I always come up blank. I need some context to trigger the search algorithm or something. This is why I can't start a conversation to save myself, but can add startling and sometimes unbelievable information once one is underway.
posted by dg at 5:38 PM on August 7, 2022 [7 favorites]

Three extremely tenuously related facts: Hans Zimmer is the guy playing keyboards in the background of the video for Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles. Rick Wakeman played keyboards on David Bowie's Hunky Dory (so the piano line on Life on Mars is all Wakeman). And the head of Richard Nixon's waxwork can be seen in the background of the cover image for Rick Wakeman's Six Wives of Henry VIII album, because the picture of the six wax wives was taken at Madame Tussauds (it's hard to see properly on any of the online versions of that picture, you can just about see the white flash of Nixon's collar above the heads of the two left-most wives; it's a lot easier to see if you happen to find a second-hand LP version).
posted by terretu at 4:34 AM on August 8, 2022 [2 favorites]

Gary Oldman is 13 days younger than Gary Numan.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 7:56 AM on August 8, 2022 [18 favorites]

Fwiw, whenever I am in a grocery store and do not have one of their customer savings cards, I put in the local phone area code plus 8675309 and I get the discount every single time. Always is used by someone.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:15 PM on August 8, 2022 [21 favorites]

If you press that little stick next to the steering wheel, it will activate a signal that lets cars behind you know which way you're going to turn.
posted by star gentle uterus at 2:06 PM on August 8, 2022 [14 favorites]

star gentle uterus: THANK YOU. I spend much time screaming to myself that that little lever on the left (US) is really easy to flick on and it will save everyone a lot of angst. There is an Allstate commercial with different driving style characters. One of them is the person who always puts their turn signal on even when no one is around. That is me. My gf teases me that I will burn out the bulb.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 2:13 PM on August 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Here's one I acquired today: If you leave your ebike in direct sunlight in the 92-degree heat in front of the hospital while you're inside having a mammogram, then said mammogram turns into an ordeal of follow-on procedures, when you finally come outside your bike will start up but as soon as you head up the steepest hill in town the battery will shut down to protect itself and you will discover that a non-electrified 50-lb bike is really, really super fucking heavy, but you'll be so relieved not to have breast cancer that you won't mind all that much!
posted by HotToddy at 2:38 PM on August 8, 2022 [19 favorites]

Taz if you have ever seen any episode of Friends that featured Ross's children, then you have seen either Cole and/or Dylan Sprouse.
posted by Faintdreams at 3:56 PM on August 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

This still fries my brain, but Sharks (as a species) are apparently older than Trees. 🤷🏿‍♀️
posted by Faintdreams at 3:57 PM on August 8, 2022 [4 favorites]

A significant number of Moog Minimoog Model D's were manufactured in 1974. (Source: I used to help the Late Mr. Nerd restore them.)

Much to the consternation of my arms and legs, I'm taking up Polynesian dancing again. Here's hoping the exercise and the effort I'm making to eat less sugar and fatty foods will result in getting my cholesterol and A1C numbers down. :)
posted by luckynerd at 4:17 PM on August 8, 2022

Practically everyone has a 7 digit prime number memorized

Oh really? First I've heard of this. I don't really have any prime numbers memorized, although I do know that pi = 355/113 (or close enough).

Also, Albert Brooks was born Albert Einstein.
posted by Rash at 5:14 PM on August 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Adactylidium is a genus of mites known for its unusual life cycle...

Via the No Such Thing as a Fish podcast, I learned this week about the aforementioned lifecycle, which would trouble the sleep of David Cronenberg.

Also recently, on the blue I learned about the tale behind the cocaine bear. On Saturday I met a middle-aged couple from Kentucky who were impressed by my curiously well-informed recounting of an insane crime story that stretches back 37 years. Bonus fact: they tell me the Fun Mall in Lexington, where the bear now reposes, is the sort of place where a taxidermied bear who died after eating 40% of its own body weight in cocaine is like the eighth oddest thing you will see.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:45 PM on August 8, 2022

Oh really? First I've heard of this.

Welcome to today's 10K!
posted by Mitheral at 5:49 PM on August 8, 2022

Also, the countries of Chad and Romania have essentially 100% identical flags. A few other countries (Poland/Indonesia, Ireland/Ivory Coast) have pairs of flags that are substantially similar but flipped vertically or horizontally, but no one else is as close, I think.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:53 PM on August 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Haiti and Liechtenstein used to have the exact same flag. Something that apparently no one noticed till they both showed up at the '36 Olympics.
posted by Mitheral at 6:04 PM on August 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Our fingerprints are unique because they're formed in the womb by our fingers pressing amniotic fluid against the wall of the placenta and the impressions that leaves on the malleable skin surface! This blows my mind and I bring it up in every conversation I can.
posted by bendy at 6:55 PM on August 8, 2022 [10 favorites]

Ian Fleming, who wrote the James Bond books, also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
posted by BoscosMom at 6:57 PM on August 8, 2022 [4 favorites]

I don't really have any prime numbers memorized, although I do know that pi = 355/113 (or close enough).

Fun fact: 113 is prime!
posted by FishBike at 7:31 PM on August 8, 2022

And by placenta I of course mean amniotic sac.
posted by bendy at 7:39 PM on August 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

97% of all the water on earth is salt water; only 3% is fresh.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:19 PM on August 8, 2022 [2 favorites]

Albert Brooks was born Albert Einstein.

I did not know that!

Here's one in return: Michael Keaton was born Michael Douglas, but that name was... taken.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:27 PM on August 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

If one of your coronary arteries decides to close or otherwise become flow-discouraging, you can be fully awake during the procedure to put a stent in there to fix it. So you get to watch, on a screen, an image of a thing being pushed via catheter through your artery, with the image of your heart beating along in the background. And the drugs they have you on during this activity are totally the best.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 10:22 PM on August 8, 2022 [2 favorites]

Wait what? I had a stent put in my heart using this procedure in May and was totally awake (but just looking at the ceiling, they did show me a before and after*) and the only thing I got was a tiny little local anaesthetic to make the catheter going in to my wrist less uncomfortable. No pharmaceuticals at all. What am I? A cheap date?

Obviously this was all free through our nationalised** system, but still.

*Which was fascinating by the way. You can feel the tubes going up your artery, specifically I felt it as it turned the corner inside my right elbow, and then again as it went across the area just to the left of my windpipe. (They go in the right side, and failing that, in the femoral of your upper right leg, but thankfully my right arm worked fine.) The hole left afterwards is tiny, the scar on my wrist is less than 3mm across.

It was also quite interesting to see where the artery was in my arm, it came up in a long bruise afterwards so was pretty clear, it did not run where I thought it ran. More towards the bottom side than to the inside of the joint, if that makes sense. I guess that's what you get if you have to choose between physics and biology classes when you are 14.

**The NHS also provides its own underpants, which I cannot unrecommend strongly enough.
posted by biffa at 5:00 AM on August 9, 2022 [4 favorites]

biffa, being a pawn of the 'Merican Health Insurance juggernaut, I totally missed out on the underpants. Damn. But I did get the delicious drug cocktail which, for better or for worse, included fentanyl. At the time I think the consensus amongst my neurotransmitters was 'better'. There was definitely something else in there aimed at eliminating anxiety. I do not think I'd have enjoyed the experience at all had that not been provided. Regardless of how awesome the underwear. In fact, i believe the special underwear would in that case have been STRICTLY REQUIRED, if you catch my drift.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 7:52 AM on August 9, 2022 [2 favorites]

TIL the NHS provides its own underpants
posted by taz (staff) at 8:48 AM on August 9, 2022 [6 favorites]

Michael Keaton was born Michael Douglas, but that name was... taken

Michael Keaton was credited as Michael Douglas when he performed as a Flying Zookeenie Brother on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Diane Keaton (born Diane Hall, nicknamed "Annie" in childhood) also found her birth name registered with SAG, and uses her mother's surname.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:39 AM on August 9, 2022

Armoir: I don't think they would be the pants you would be looking for. A sort of jockey short made from fine mesh. Leaving little to the imagination front or back. I assume so you can focus your imagination on who has worn them previously.
posted by biffa at 1:24 PM on August 9, 2022 [3 favorites]

JohnnyGunn, where I live, I use the local Time&Temp number, 207-775-4321, for loyalty cards and the clerk is usually puzzled, but it works. May try your method sometime.
posted by theora55 at 6:41 PM on August 9, 2022 [1 favorite]

If you spill acetone (AKA nail polish remover) on a painted surface, like a dining room table, resist the urge to wipe it up "before it does damage". It is, of course, friction that removes the paint, and apparently, if you leave the offending puddle alone, it will eventually evaporate and the painted area be none the worse for wear. I learned of this interesting fact from a couple of different furniture experts I called after such an incident some years ago. Pass it on to friends and loved ones!
posted by but no cigar at 7:33 PM on August 9, 2022 [14 favorites]

If you press that little stick next to the steering wheel, it will activate a signal that lets cars behind you know which way you're going to turn.

And, if you do it BEFORE the light turns green and you enter the intersection it's even more effective.
posted by bendy at 2:39 PM on August 10, 2022 [4 favorites]

When I was reading the very interesting recent thread about serotonin and depression, I was tickled by a vague memory that Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite for which cats are the definitive hosts, and which seems to have a bunch of beneficial effects to the cats on their prey animals, as well as effects on human beings who are infected with it (a substantial number), happens to have the ability to synthesize an important neurotransmitter.

Was it serotonin? That might have been worth a comment in the thread, and could perhaps even have illuminated the role of serotonin in depression, I thought.

But no; T gondii has the ability to synthesize dopamine, and quite a lot of it too, apparently. I found a reference which said that a neuron infected by T gondii might produce ten times as much dopamine as an uninfected neuron.

But what really made me sit up straight in my chair was how they do it:
In 2009, Dr. Glenn McConkey and his colleagues at the University of Leeds in the UK demonstrated that T. gondii has the genes encoding two critical enzymes needed to make dopamine. It has the gene for phenylalanine hydroxylase, which changes phenylalanine to tyrosine, and also the gene for tyrosine hydroxylase, which changes tyrosine to dopa, the precursor of dopamine. These genes were not found in any other closely related parasites except Neospora.
T gondii can turn phenylalanine into dopamine!

Human inability to process phenylalanine, which results from inheriting two copies of a mutated gene, gives rise to one of the most significant hereditary metabolic disorders: phenylketonuria
Untreated PKU can lead to intellectual disability, seizures, behavioral problems, and mental disorders.[1][7] It may also result in a musty smell and lighter skin.[1] A baby born to a mother who has poorly treated PKU may have heart problems, a small head, and low birth weight.[1]
Could that possibly mean that being infected with T gondii could help people with PKU deal with phenylalanine?

At first that didn’t seem very significant even if true, since the disease is so rare, but there was an intriguing passage in the linked Wikipedia article:
There are two main types, classic PKU and variant PKU, depending on whether any enzyme function remains.[1] Those with one copy of a mutated gene typically do not have symptoms.[1]
which seemed to imply that people with only one defective gene could conceivably experience difficulty in metabolizing phenylalanine under some circumstances.

And there is a startling coincidence in the epidemiology of PKU:
average number of new cases of PKU varies in different human populations. United States Caucasians are affected at a rate of 1 in 10,000.[59] Turkey has the highest documented rate in the world, with 1 in 2,600 births, while countries such as Finland and Japan have extremely low rates with fewer than one case of PKU in 100,000 births. A 1987 study from Slovakia reports a Roma population with an extremely high incidence of PKU (one case in 40 births) due to extensive inbreeding.[60] It is the most common amino acid metabolic problem in the United Kingdom.
Because Turkey, which has the highest documented rate of PKU in the world, is renowned for love and toleration of cats.

Back in 2015, Cash4Lead made a wonderful FPP about Turkey and cats:
Why Istanbul Should Be Called Catstantinople: The city has long been famous for its large population of street cats, as reflected in a popular Instagram feed and upcoming documentary vimeo . “Being a cat in Istanbul is like being a cow in India,” said Sibel Resimci, a musician and confessed cat junkie who says her husband often walks nearly 2 miles to work rather than disturb street cats sleeping on his moped. “For generations, they’ve had a special place in the city’s soul.
And Turkey has high levels of infection with T gondii.
posted by jamjam at 12:32 AM on August 11, 2022 [5 favorites]

The Fed Ex logo has an arrow hidden in it. *(insert Chazz Palminteri dropping coffee mug GIF here)*

I don't remember where I learned that one; could have been MeFi.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:40 AM on August 11, 2022

If you press that little stick next to the steering wheel, it will activate a signal that lets cars behind you know which way you're going to turn.

Someone obviously has never been behind a car signaling left but turning right. And/or behind a car signaling a turn for ten straight miles.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:41 PM on August 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

I only learned this in her obituary thread, but Olivia Newton John's grandfather was Physicist Max Born.
posted by wittgenstein at 5:30 PM on August 11, 2022 [4 favorites]

97% of all the water on earth is salt water; only 3% is fresh.

And I just learned that 90% of that 3% of fresh water is locked up in Antarctic ice (for now, anyway...).
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:28 AM on August 12, 2022

The town of Yreka California, some history says the name came from the Native American name Wáiká, the name for the back side of Mt. Shasta. But, Mark Twain said the name came from a bakery sign that had been painted on canvas and turned backwards to dry. The other stuff at the stack place, obscured the B. So when people arrived, the sunlight lit up the backwards back, of the sign showing "yreka," and people took it for the town name, and it stuck. Which is why YrekaBakery is a palindrome to this day.
posted by Oyéah at 7:41 PM on August 12, 2022 [3 favorites]

The 3% fresh water locked up in ice, feeds huge aquifers that manifest as something called primordial water, which comes up from sources not necessarily known. Oh, we are f*cked alright. But, don't worry, the rich will have water, fashion, art, and plane rides, no worries.
posted by Oyéah at 7:44 PM on August 12, 2022

"Primordial Water" is also the name of my new band.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:39 PM on August 12, 2022

I just noticed this yesterday, and I wouldn’t doubt that it’s well known to those in the know (which definitely doesn’t include me), but the plot of my favorite Dylan song, Mr. Tambourine Man, has a very strong resemblance to the plot of the last song of Schubert's The Winter's Journey song cycle, The Hurdy Gurdy Man.

I would have a very hard time believing that Schubert's song did not directly inspire Mr Tambourine Man.
posted by jamjam at 10:02 PM on August 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

Artichokes are flower buds.
posted by y2karl at 10:10 AM on August 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

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