Let's start a forum on trivia

Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2016 06:35 pm
Here's a good one to start it off:

Gold appears on so many artworks from across Asia in large part due to its unique physical and symbolic qualities. Physically, gold is the most ductile of metals. Indeed, a single ounce of gold can theoretically be spun into a wire 1,250 miles long without breaking.
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2016 07:10 pm
I've got one.

Are vacuum tubes still in use for new products?

Depends on what industry you're talking about. The bulk of amplifying devices are solid state devices these days, but there are plenty of niche applications where you just can't replace the vacuum tube.

While most guitar amps are solid-state just because economy of scale means they're cheaper, some of the better-sounding ones on the market are still using vacuum tubes, just because the vacuum tube gives odd harmonic distortion while solid-state only gives even. A lot of audiophiles think that the vacuum tube amps just sound better than the solid-state ones. Probably something like nostalgia, since the older amps were tube amps.

There is more about it here and on easily searchable websites
cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2016 07:16 pm
That's a good one! However, with my bad hearing, I don't think I'd notice the difference.
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Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2016 08:35 pm
I got another, CI.

From the information below the video:
This is the description I found with this GIF:
"Molecules of the protein myosin drag a ball of endorphins along an active filament into the inner part of the brain's parietal cortex, which produces feelings of happiness." That's what it said; I have no idea if it's accurate Smile

cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2016 08:43 pm
I need more of that stuff.
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Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2016 09:12 pm
German engineers have created a camera no bigger than a grain of salt that could change the future of health imaging and clandestine surveillance.

Using 3-D printing, researchers from the University of Stuttgart built a three-lens camera, and fit it onto the end of an optical fibre the width of two hairs.

Such technology could be used as minimally-intrusive endoscopes for exploring inside the human body, the engineers reported in the journal Nature Photonics .

Some capture much pleasure from animation, others take it with a grain of salt.
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Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2016 10:06 pm
U.S. government agencies are still using Windows 3.1, floppy disks and 1970s computers


Some U.S. government agencies are using IT systems running Windows 3.1, the decades-old COBOL and Fortran programming languages, or computers from the 1970s.

A backup nuclear control messaging system at the U.S. Department of Defense runs on an IBM Series 1 computer, first introduced in 1976, and uses eight-inch floppy disks, while the Internal Revenue Service's master file of taxpayer data is written in assembly language code that's more than five decades old, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

Some agencies are still running Windows 3.1, first released in 1992, as well as the newer but unsupported Windows XP, Representative Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, noted during a Wednesday hearing on outdated government IT systems.

The government is spending more than US$80 billion a year on IT, and "it largely doesn't work," Chaffetz said during a House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. "The federal government is years, and sometimes decades, behind the private sector."

Your tax dollars are keeping ancient computers alive
U.S. agencies now spend about spend about 75 percent of their IT budgets maintaining existing or legacy systems, with only about 25 percent going toward procuring new systems, said Dave Powner, director of IT management issues at the GAO.

The GAO told lawmakers that the Department of Veterans Affairs' payroll system and its benefits delivery network is written in COBOL, a programming language dating back to the 1950s, as is the Department of Justice's federal inmate tracking system and the Social Security Administration's retirement benefits system.

Committee members pushed tech officials from three agencies to update their IT systems. Agencies are working to modernize, but in some cases, the old systems still work and are low on the priority lists, the agency representatives said.

For example, the DOD's Strategic Automated Command and Control System for nuclear forces, running on an IBM Series 1, is a "tertiary" system that maintains 99.99 percent uptime, said Terry Halvorsen, CIO for the agency. The system is slated for replacement, but not until year three of a five-year modernization plan, he said.

Budget cuts in recent years have also slowed agencies' ability to update their IT systems, added Terry Milholland, CTO at the IRS. The IRS has about 650 fewer IT workers now than it did in 2011, said Representative Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat.

Republican committee members questioned the impact of recent budget cuts. In the early to mid-2000s, the IRS received significant budget increases, said Representative Mick Mulvaney, a South Carolina Republican.

"When you're still using technology and computer systems from the '70s and the '80s, this is not a problem that started in 2012," he added. "How can you really sit here and tell us this is money?"
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2016 10:58 pm
Yikes, even I, tech sloth personified, didn't expect that. Trillions to war and this, assuming it's true? My ordinary tech problems are a mix of antique computer and ordinary befuddlement. I did have a friend, way back, mathy, who worked for IBM early; wonder how she fared.

Trivia -

I got Pacco from the human society and we were both lucky, he, wandering down highway 101 before being picked up and in "in jail" for a month, me, so glad. Geez, even reading wiki on them makes me tear. But another sentence from wiki made me laugh, and wiki rarely makes me laugh.
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2016 05:46 am
I clicked on your link but it did not load. I will be back to try again later.
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Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2016 06:36 am
you need an "h" on the http, otherwise the link is dead
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Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2016 07:47 am

Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2016 09:16 am
Based upon the most recent discoveries, the oldest known dinosaur reptile was in the early mid Triassic( about 242 million years ago), and was a birdy -like critter called NYASASAURUS. This critter predates the Eoraptor by at least 20 million years.

Many people are still looking so I dont expect this title of "first dino" to remain fixed for more than a few yrs

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Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2016 10:53 am
BBC headline, couldn't think of anywhere else to post it.

Hitler's wife's knickers sold at auction

Doesn't say if they've been washed.

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Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2016 05:06 pm
Thanks again Ed for the profile, and as a former writer of minor consequence I advise you to continue submission
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Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2016 05:37 pm
Looking at information for the DVD release of the German film Heimat III this week, I was surprised to note that it has a running time of 11 1/2 hours. I was surprised because that’s less than half the time of its predecessor, Heimat 2, which at 25 1/2 hours holds the Guinness record for the longest film. More specifically, for the “Longest Film Commercially Shown In Its Entirety.” (For the record, the first Heimat was 15 1/2 hours.) R. W. Fassbinder’s 15 1/2 hour Berlin Alexanderplatz was also recently released in the US on DVD.

I guess those Europeans just have more stamina than us. I know of plenty of examples of world cinema that run four, five or six hours, but only one American film that makes the four hour mark. I adhere to the old adage that a bad film is always too long, but a good one is never long enough. And especially in the wintertime, when the sun is only out for a few hours anyway, what better way to spend those long nights than with a movie that eats up an entire evening?

So I sat down to make a list of the fifty longest English-language films. Rules: No re-edited "director’s cuts" for DVD, though I did count releases that were shortened for wide release (a fairly common practice for epic films in the 1950s and 60s). TV series and serials didn’t count. Nor did experimental movies (sorry Andy Warhol fans) or made-for-tv movies. An alternate way to think of this list is, what was the longest any producer expected Americans to keep their butts in a theater seat? Take a jump and see what I came up with.

• Hamlet (1996) (242 mins.)
• The Iceman Cometh (239 mins.)
• Gods and Generals (231 mins.)
• Once Upon a Time in America (229 mins.)
• Lawrence of Arabia (227 mins.)
• Gone With the Wind (226 mins.)
• Heaven’s Gate (220 mins.)
• Ben-Hur (212 mins.)
• Exodus (208 mins.)
• War and Peace (208 mins.)
• Apocalypse Now Redux (202 mins.)
• The Alamo (202 mins.)
• Malcolm X (202 mins.)
• The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (201 mins.)
• Giant (201 mins.)
• The Godfather Part II (200 mins.)
• Dr. Zhivago (197 mins.)
• Intolerance (197 mins.)
• Pepe (195 mins.)
• Ryan’s Daughter (195 mins.)
• Schindler’s List (195 mins.)
• Titanic (194 mins.)
• Reds (194 mins.)
• The Right Stuff (193 mins.)
• It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (192 mins.)
• Nixon (192 mins.)
• Tess (190 mins.)
• At Play in the Fields of the Lord (189 mins.)
• Hawaii (189 mins.)
• JFK (189 mins.)
• Nicholas and Alexandra (189 mins.)
• Gandhi (188 mins.)
• The Fall of the Roman Empire (188 mins.)
• The Green Mile (188 mins.)
• King Kong (2005) (187 mins.)
• The Birth of a Nation (187 mins.)
• Short Cuts (187 mins.)
• Judgement at Nuremberg (186 mins.)
• The Deer Hunter (185 mins.)
• Barry Lyndon (184 mins.)
• Spartacus (184 mins.)
• Woodstock (184 mins.)
• Around the World in 80 Days (1956) (183 mins.)
• O Lucky Man! (183 mins.)
• Pearl Harbor (183 mins.)
• El Cid (182 mins.)
• Fiddler on the Roof (181 mins.)
• Dances with Wolves (180 mins.)
• The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (179 mins.)
• The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (178 mins.)
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2016 06:09 pm
Shoah ran nine hours, but if I remember, could be seen in two parts - we saw 1/2 of it one day, and the rest, the next. I see it was a Franco British production... mmm, I can't seem to copy it from wiki right now. This happens with my recalcitrant mac off and on, so it's probably not anyone's fault but the mac, not mine either.
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Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2016 06:10 pm
Shoah ran nine hours but, if I remember, could be seen in two parts - we saw 1/2 of it one day, and the rest, the next. I see it was a Franco British production... mmm, I can't seem to copy it from wiki right now. This happens with my recalcitrant mac off and on, so it's probably not anyone's fault but the mac, not mine either.
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Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2016 06:30 pm
Andy Warhol made a movie nine hours long, of a man sleeping. I don't consider it a real movie.
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2016 06:47 pm
Gotta say, those are totally, and I do mean totally, different sets of nine hours. Shoah was actually 9 hrs and 23 minutes. I'm glad I saw it, but it wasn't easy.
Warhol, nine hours, what to say... I saw some footage of some group (?) with him a million years ago. I wasn't very interested then, and probably not now either. I get he has a place in the art world, ah, conceptually.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2016 06:53 pm
I was in London when Warhol died in the late eighties, and people left flowers at the Tate Art Museum.
That's when his Marilyn Monroe was popular.

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