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Mistakes in Second Book of General Ignorance

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dr bartolo
874401.  Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:09 am Reply with quote

Toad wrote:
"Who made the first flight in an aeroplane?"

Well it certainly wasn't Cayley's coachman or even Lillianthal.

As an American in Hong Kong working for a British airline this isn't the first bogus claim I have heard from the Brits, Kiwis and Aussies, just the most ridiculous.

Apparently, your "research" into the subject didn't include looking up the definition of "aeroplane". This features the word "powered". I would question that shifting your weight around on a glider constitutes "powered flight".

What Cayley and Lillianthal created were "aircraft" but they certainly weren't the first to do that or even fly them with a person on board. The first documented manned flight on an aircraft (a hot air balloon) was in Paris nearly 70 years before. The Chinese invented the hot air balloon and kite hundreds of years before that.

Is there an editor in the house?


I belive, that when they say "areoplane", they mean "heavier than air flying machine".

874403.  Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:42 am Reply with quote

When you restrict your research to Wikipedia that's what happens.

"Airplane. An engine-driven fixed-wing aircraft heavier than air, that is supported in flight by the dynamic reaction of the air against its wings." US Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration.

What they are saying in much of "General Ignorance" qualifies as infotainment. No more no less. Interesting, absolutely, factual, not so much.


874406.  Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:27 am Reply with quote

Toad, do you know anyone called bobwilson?

874539.  Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:56 am Reply with quote

" How do you know if something is radioactive?"

Because of the prevalence and dangers of Radon gas in homes in some areas, the issue of detection is of vital importance and deserves an actual answer.

Radioactive substances, emit radiation true enough. What is alarming and potentially fatal about radioactive radiation is the emission of very, you might say ultra high energy ionizing radiation with high energy photons in the X-ray spectrum the least of the dangers. The decay of radioactive nuclei results in the emission of Beta particles (high energy electrons or positrons), anti-neutrinos and/or Gamma rays.

Radioactive (ionizing) radiation was first detected by Henri Becquerel by means of phosphorescent or fluorescent materials or by the use of photographic plates. Today ionizing radiation can be detected, measured and even observed indirectly in field and laboratory settings by means of a variety of detectors.

Consult your local authorities to see if Radon gas is a danger in your area and best methods for evaluating its presence and risks.


874560.  Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:36 am Reply with quote

Withdrawn, with apols


Last edited by PDR on Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:09 am; edited 2 times in total

874564.  Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:42 am Reply with quote

Toad wrote:
In a, no wait, a second book written by know-it-alls for know-it-alls it isn't surprizing to find the kind of "mistakes" know it alls are known for.

Nevermind The 2nd Book Of General Ignorance, flower!

I think you should be reading How To Win Friends And Influence People!

874565.  Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:44 am Reply with quote

PS - the software of this forum makes producing indented lists very tedious!


874571.  Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:53 am Reply with quote

We love to be corrected when we get stuff wrong, Mr Toad (for I somehow feel sure you are of the masculine persuasion) but, you know, there are ways and ways of putting things....

Welcome anyway :-)

874572.  Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:54 am Reply with quote

Sorry PDR I may be reading that list wrong but it appears that aeroplane (airplane) is a subset of aircraft and is powered, what Toad asserts. We all know(FSVO) the question should have been
"Who made the first flight in a, heavier than air, aircraft?" however aeroplane was used and this suggests a powered craft so Toad is right.

aeroplanes(airplanes) are in sections 2. b . i~iv

874807.  Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:09 pm Reply with quote

Remember, it is yourselves that chose this battle.

" Let us put it another way: the lack of curiosity is the Dementor that sucks all hope, joy, possibility of beauty out of the world. The dull torpid acedia that does not care to find out, that has no hunger and thirst for input, understanding and connection will desertify the human landscape and land our descendants squarely in the soup." Stephen Fry-Forethought, The Second Book of General Ignorance.

Behind this tongue-in-cheek talk of the nobility of the quest to uncover the truth is, I suspect, an air of superiority, the Cognoscenti gone to illuminate the Ignorati.

Where has your "curiosity" lead you? Re-written Wikipedia searches for the answers to a vast ocean of unexplored pointless trivia. Entertainment for some, a waste of time for the truely curious. No thanks.


875658.  Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:07 pm Reply with quote

Toad wrote:
Remember, it is yourselves that chose this battle.
No thanks.


875673.  Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:50 pm Reply with quote

Someone couldn't work out the answers to the Advent calendar and is feeling a bit stroppy...

875717.  Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:20 pm Reply with quote

Personally, I wasn't planning to battle anyone...

875727.  Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:09 am Reply with quote

* puts sword down, pouts*

876238.  Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:22 pm Reply with quote

Here's a genuine one; the book states that there are 42 pips on a single dice.


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