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What have you Learned Today?

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1271038.  Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:35 pm Reply with quote

I have learnt this today: From a cemetery site.

One of the quirkiest aspects of early Victorian funerals was the employment of a funeral mute. It was the mute's job to stand vigil outside the door of the deceased, then accompany the coffin, wearing dark clothes, looking solemn and usually carrying a long stick (called a wand) covered in black crepe.

History’s best-known mute is undoubtedly Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist, who was employed by the extremely sour undertaker, Mr. Sowerberry. Though most "mutes" were perfectly capable of speech, it was their responsibility, not only to remain silent throughout the duration of every funeral, but also to maintain an exaggeratedly mournful expression while they served in the capacity of mute.
Macabre as it may seem, during the Regency period, there were men and boys who regularly supplemented their income as professional mutes.

1271197.  Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:55 pm Reply with quote

I learned today that the small bottles of Schweppes grapefruit and blood orange drink also come in quite big bottles!

I learned this because I thought I'd ordered six small bottles of grapefruit and blood orange drink...

1271215.  Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:55 pm Reply with quote


1271219.  Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:23 am Reply with quote

It certainly doesn't sound like a flavour combination that would wet your whistle.

Alfred E Neuman
1271225.  Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:45 am Reply with quote

Unless your whistle belongs to a vampire...

1271234.  Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:29 am Reply with quote

Sounds yummy, but, I agree that it would tend you make you pucker, rather than whistle whetted.

1271293.  Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:26 am Reply with quote

It's gorgeous stuff. Fizzy, citrusy, sweet enough but not too sweet. Good thing we both like it, because we've got plenty now.

Spud McLaren
1271345.  Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:39 pm Reply with quote

Having watched tonight's QI, I have learned that I am mildly psychic (see post 1270814).

Or maybe it was a coincidence.

1271349.  Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:22 pm Reply with quote

I actually learnt this last Saturday but haven't got round to posting it here. The arrangement of dots that denote the number 5 on a dice is called a quincunx. I managed to use this word during my interview on Monday which was quite pleasing

1271376.  Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:29 am Reply with quote

Today, I learn that in Haydn's String Quartet in F major, Op. 77 No. 2 (Hob. III:82) the minuet is in F major but the trio is in D-flat major!

I don't care what anyone else thinks: I find this more than quite interesting myself. This is one of Haydn's mature quartets, written at a time when he was experimenting with tonalities – in particular, jumping from one key to another, more remote one without modulation. He did the same thing in his Symphony No. 99 (minuet in E-flat major, trio in C major) and his Symphony No. 104 (minuet in D major, trio in B-flat major).

Of course, with composers after Haydn, such key-jumping became much more common, and modulation of keys became much more fluid. But in the time of Haydn's later years, when the Classical period was giving way to the Romantic movement, when rigid formal structures were breaking down to make way for emotional expressivities, what Haydn did was innovative, to say the least. This is why I have such great respect for "Papa Haydn" (as he was reverentially called in his time).

1271440.  Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:31 am Reply with quote

Today I learned that Sky at Night magazine has readers who range from the whimsical to the philosophical to the downright misanthropic.
On their Facebook page, they asked for suggestions for conditions on readers' ideal planet.
The pick of the responses, a couple of which may resonate with Jenny and suze.
Completely inhospitable for human life

Warm, 27° C during the day, clear skies at night for stargazing and rain between 3am and 6am for the plants.

(From Martin Holroyd) Like Yorkshire

(From Katie Kalani) What Martin said

No humans

An exoplanet exactly like Earth, but where all the humans were more interested in not harming the planet

Basically Canada in exoplanet form with no human liight pollution.

Two days sunny, one day rain all year round. Never goes below 15° C

Last edited by tetsabb on Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:17 am; edited 1 time in total

Spud McLaren
1271444.  Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:51 am Reply with quote

tetsabb wrote:
... a couple of which may resonate with Jenny and size.
What're you trying to say, tets?

1271465.  Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:19 am Reply with quote

<Quick edit>
Nothing to see here

1271470.  Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:44 am Reply with quote

Last Friday I learned that some cats like snooker.

With there not being much on we left the snooker on and sure enough my friend's tv-watching cat (so far he seems to like NCIS provided Gibbs is in it, Countryfile's One man and his dog competition, and Planet Earth provided it's about wild horses, he is oddly specific) walked into view, looked up, decided he liked it and sat down to watch it.
The moment the snooker stopped and the commentators came into view, he walked off.*) The cat's mother, also present, didn't care for snooker and did her usual Schrödingers cat act.**) My bf's late cat appearantly also enjoyed watching the snooker.

*) similarly with the previous shows I mentioned, the moment the horses were out of view, Gibbs was no longer on screen or the competition was over, he walked off.

**) where there is no question about the state of the cat in the box, namely furiously meauwing.

1271472.  Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:00 am Reply with quote

Watching the Big Cats documentary on iPlayer this morning and big brave Oscar was lying on the couch next to me. He is staring at the TV with his ears pricked and growling... at a swamp tiger. Yeah Oscar you could take him.


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