Here we are again with some fresh new facts! Goals for wordcount stretching: this year hopefully words will come more consistently (read: November will not contain 80% of all the words), and hopefully we can do a “clean” Nanowrimo (read: November will contain 50,000 words). One advantage of the new year new page system is that I no longer have to write the year number on the entry. (I have to do this for the previous year’s TIL partly because there’s some 2013 entries, partly because I’m too lazy trying to extract all 365 2014’s (even though yes this is a simple find and replace) and partly because removing the 2013 entries would reduce the wordcount potentially invalidating the 50,000 word target reach (as well as disrupt the other wordcounts as well). Without further ado, here are the TIL’s. Who needs categories; 50,000 words is a perfectly reasonable number to keep track of.


The fact that “y” is a semi-vowel has nothing to do with the fact how sometimes it’s an vowel like “fly”. (it is a vowel there) Rather, it is that “y” is phonetically pronounced as an approximant to a vowel sound, despite being of consonant status. This makes “w” a semi-vowel as well (no part of this is due to “cwm” or “crwth”.)


Fanta was created in 1940 Germany when Coca-Cola was having trouble importing its syrup into Germany due to trade embargos. So they had to use their imagination to create a new formula, and imagination is “fantasie” in German. Thus it was named Fanta.

Some frequencies are forbidden from being broadcast by terrestrials so that astronomers can observe these frequencies.


I should restart this thing huh?

Ok… well. Existence of /r/PictureGame, and the name of the Potato Paradox. Also, Path of Exile apparently had a new expansion at some point. Anyway.


Low(er)-tech way to “scan” credit card information – use carbon paper and scrape it on the bumps of the credit card.

Sometimes, if your valid charger doesn’t charge, you may have to push the charger really hard to get the connections to line up.

Oh, so these are the same guys who made Inflation RPG?


How to spectrogram analyze with Audacity. It was right there all along.





Imagine Dragon’s “Warriors”, which you may know was the theme song for the 2014 League of Legends World Championships, may have been the theme song for 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup as well? (I say may because my only sources are Wikipedia and a lone site that it cites.) If so… that’s pretty impressive.

(Also to note: the song contains a little bit of League sound effects – specifically champion lock-in.)


Rankk level 8 acquired. 7.9 is pretty great fun.


Youtube got some new translucent UI. Incidentally, if the video fails several times for any reason, Youtube will revert back to the old UI.

Po-Shen Loh* on Google Translating his own name

More seriously, the reason is because the Chinese writing of my name puts the last name first, and uses the proper characters, which are then actually pronounced “Luo Bo Shen”. The character for “Shen” actually means “deep”. Google Translate then assumes that the “Luo Bo” is an attempt at pronouncing the English word/name “Robert” with Chinese sounds. Hence “Rob Deep”.

* Yeah, I know, I’m not using the abbreviating mechanism. There are several reasons.


The two digit numbers 55, 57, 95, and 97 only appeared together in radio telephone numbers (i.e. not home phone numbers) in the 1950’s, because of the telephone operator’s system of clustering pairs of numbers, translating them into words with the first two letters indicating what numbers to dial.

55 would imply finding a word beginning with [KLM][KLM] for which I guess there are a few (kleptocracy, klondike, klutz, llama).

57 would begin [KLM][PQRS] (kraken, kremlin, krill, krypton)

95 would begin [WXYZ][KLM] (ylem, zloty)

97 would begin [WXYZ][PQRS] (which, ironically, despite having the most possible combinations (as WXYZ and PQRS are the only telephone buttons with 4 letters on them), has zero Scrabble-permissible words.)

Since they were human operators, it was necessary to keep the words pronounceable, so 95 is certainly forgiven, and perhaps 55. Maybe 57 was too easily confused with CR.


Zenius – i – vanisher is actually a tatsh song for the IIDX. (Importance: it’s the name of a particular website that I think stores stepfiles and stuff.)

Actually, a lot of DDR songs originated as IIDX songs. Most DDR originals are fairly lyric-heavy.


When you copy-paste a cell in Google Sheets containing conditional formatting, it doesn’t overwrite the conditional formatting in the previous cell. Instead it adds it as a new rule!

FizzBuzz Enterprise Edition (github)

Also, this thing about social issues (specifically transgenderism, here) in open source software. This does bring up a good point – things like “reasonable” are actually pretty hard to rigorously define.

Eternity was an assembly puzzle that had a 1 million pound prize attached to the winning solution. Of course, the point was that the task was difficult enough so that the prize would not ever be paid out during the time limit. However it was solved, and subsequently the creator of the puzzle (who had to pay half of the prize, with the company paying the other half) had to sell his house to cover costs.


Some pointless appendices. Things on Two Letters.

Inconsistent ISO 3166 alpha-2 codes explained (for the most part, this equals the country internet TLD’s)

  1. AW = Aruba. Probably derived from the native Arawak.
  2. BJ = Benin.  Bad luck displacement by BElgium, BruNei, and BurundI. You might ask, why not BU for Burundi? No country has BU. Except formerly that was BUrma’s.
  3. BY = Belarus. Taken from BYelorussian SSR.
  4. CH = Switzerland. Confoederatio Helvetica.
  5. DE = Germany. DEutschland.
  6. DZ = Algeria. Taken from DZayer (in Kabyle)
  7. EE = Estonia. Estonian EEsti.
  8. EH = Western Sahara. Taken from Spanish Sahara, in Spanish. (Sahara Espanol)
  9. ES = Spain. Spanish ESpana
  10. GF = French Guiana,
  11. GQ = Equatorial Guinea. Inverted due to French (Guyane Francaise, Guinee Equatoriale)
  12. GW = Guinea-Bissau. The obvious GB is for Great Britain. GUam, GIbraltar, GuiNea, GEorgia, GAbon, displace the others. (I have no argument for GS, which was open at the time. But that’s kinda weird.) So GW I guess is an attempt at phonetic spelling.
  13. HR = Croatia. Croatian HRvatska
  14. IS = Iceland. Icelandic ISland. Remember that previous TIL that you probably forgot? Yeah.
  15. KH = Cambodia. Former KHmer republic.
  16. KM = Comoros. Comorian KoMori
  17. KY = Cayman Islands. CYprus, CAnada, CaMeroon, ChiNa, Cote d’Ivoire. CS is also closed because of CzechSlovakia, and apparently former Serbia and Montenegro. But the C is a very hard C so KY kinda works.
    1. Cayman Islands additionally own .cym. They were in contention with Wales (due to Cymru) for this domain. Wales lost, but eventually got the .cymru domain.
  18. MA = Morocco. French Maroc
  19. MK = Macedonia. Macedonian Makedonija
  20. PF = French Polynesia. See #11, #12 for very similar explanation
  21. PW = Palau. PAnama, PoLand… ok fine it’s apparently spelled Pelew at some point in time. I have no response for PU since that doesn’t exist. Nor do I have a response for why not PoLand => PO.
  22. RS = Serbia. Republic of Serbia.
  23. SB = Solomon Islands. British Solomon Islands. Sadly, not French to invert things
  24. TD = Chad. French Tchad.
  25. WS = Samoa. Western Samoa.

And some more fun 2 letter things (and 1 letter). If not indicated, comes from Latin. (Yeah, why am I even trying to save words right now?)

  1. Na = Sodium. Natrium.
  2. K = Potassium. Kalium.
  3. Fe = Iron. Ferrum.
  4. Cu = Copper. Cuprum.
  5. Ag = Silver. Argentum.
  6. Sn = Tin. Stannum.
  7. Sb = Antimony. Stibium.
  8. W = Tungsten. German Wolfram.
  9. Au = Gold. Aurum.
  10. Hg = Mercury. Hydrargyrum.
  11. Pb = Lead. Plumbum.

Yeah yeah that Pu joke as well by Seaborg.

Deuterium and tritium are 氘 (dao1) and 氚 (chuan1) respectively. Elements starting from around Francium and up are different in Mainland China and Taiwan, since they were discovered after they split.

60% of C9 is colorblind.

More 2 letter things

  1. Canadian and US first level administrative divisions
    1. A: ALabama > (AlasKa, AlBerta), ARkansas > AriZona, American Samoa
    2. B: British Columbia
    3. C: CAlifornia, COlorado > ConnecticuT
    4. D: DElaware, District of Columbia
    5. F: FLorida
    6. G: GeorgiA, GUam
    7. H: HawaiI
    8. I: IDaho, ILlinois, INdiana, IowA
    9. K: KansaS, KentuckY
    10. L: LouisianA
    11. M: MAssachusetts > (MainE, MarylanD, ManitoBa), MIchigan > (northern Mariana islands (P)*, MiNnesota, MissOuri > MonTana, MiSsissippi)
      1. Hm, trying to flatten even an directed acyclic graph is pretty annoying.
      2. I also have no idea why Northern Mariana Islands gets P. A slight flaw in an otherwise spotless track record.
    12. N: New Brunswick, New Hampshire, New York, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, NEbraska > NeVada, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, NUnavut
    13. O: OKlahoma, ORegon, OHio, ONtario
    14. P: PennsylvaniA, Puerto Rico, Prince Edward island
    15. Q: QuebeC
    16. R: Rhode Island
    17. S: South Carolina, South Dakota, SasKatchewan
    18. T: TeXas, TeNnessee
    19. U: UTah
    20. V: VermonT, VirginiA, Virgin Islands
    21. W: WAshington, West Virginia, WIsconsin, WYoming
    22. Y: Yukon Territory
  2. ChiNa
    1. A: AnHui
    2. B: BeiJing
    3. C: ChongQing
    4. F: FuJian
    5. G: GuangDong, GuiZhou
    6. H: HuBei > HEbei, HuNan > HenAn > HaInan, Hong Kong, HeiLongjiang
    7. J: JiLin, JiangSu, JiangXi
    8. L: LiaoNing
    9. M: MaCau
    10. N: NeiMenggu (Inner Mongolia), NingXia
    11. Q: QingHai
    12. S: SiChuan, ShanDong, ShangHai, ShanXi > ShaaNxi
      1. Well, Shaanxi is actually also Shan(3) Xi, which is indeed different from Shanxi = Shan(1) Xi, but yea…
    13. T: TianJin, (TaiWan (pls don’t kill me))
    14. X: XinJiang, XiZang (Tibet)
    15. Y: YunNan
    16. Z: ZheJiang


In 1997, there was a rebellion in Albania because about half of its population had fallen prey to Ponzi schemes.

Properly speaking, peacock is only for referring to the male; the female is a peahen (parallel to say, chickens). The genderless noun is peafowl.

The plural of axolotl is axolomeh.

There are two ways to read in Japanese – on and kun readings.

07-16 ~ 07-22:

These days will appear shortly. Had to restart browser and subsequently lost my changes, so yeah.


A word fitting the pattern ?OR?OR?OR? is HORRORCORE.

ye (as in “ye olde”) comes from þe (where “þ” is pronounced like “th”), but the typographers would not have the “þ” character, so they settled on using “y”. Thus “ye” is pronounced like “the”.

Chrome’s flash player is called PepperFlash.


flautist is the British spelling of flutist.

anomie: a condition where society provides little moral guidance to individuals


Alea iacta est, that is to say “the die is cast”, is actually a Latin translation by Suetonius, who translated from Plutarch, reporting (in Greek) what Julius Caesar said in Latin.

Plutarch was Greek, who became a Roman citizen.

A googlewhack is a sort of a game to try to find two words when Googled together produce only one result.


Grid cells are a thing.


Emeryville’s bus service is called Emery-go-round.

Eureka in Greek looks like EYPHKA. Y for upsilon, P for rho, and H for eta.

(A small continuation from 07-09’s appendix) Boris Delaunay is the namesake of two things: Delaunay triangulation, and Delone sets. Delone is the Cyrillic version of Delaunay. His father was a French soldier who was captured in Russia.

In Skyrim, the desks are just bookcases that are half-lowered.

There are more types of movable bridges than I would’ve thought. Conveniently animated pictures at the bottom.

Russian reset in 2009: The Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented a button to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with the Russian word перегрузка. It was intended that the word was перезагрузка or “reset”, but the word ended up being “overcharge”. They pressed the button anyway.


A ha-ha is a type of wall.

Micronesia lost to Vanuatu 46-0, Fiji 38-0, and Tahiti 30-0 in three consecutive games. The game? Soccer.

The name of the typeface found in LaTeX is called Computer Modern.

You would pluralize summons to summonses.


Why exactly are people using Scratch to store their music???

The Solo cup lines, while conveniently near various milestone liquid measures, is not designed for that. Probably for structural stability.

Wait… WordPress automatically scrolls now? Mind. Blown.

The only known portrait of Adrien-Marie Legendre (the math guy) is a caricature. Importantly, the picture that was previously assumed to be of him was actually a portrait of another guy, Louis Legendre (who was a politician). (I had to think carefully how to reword the sentence so that it wasn’t ambiguous.)

Appendix: Seventy Two French Scientists and Engineers and their major discoveries.

  1. Marc Seguin – Wire-cable suspension bridge, multi-tubular steam-engine boiler
  2. Jerome Lalande – Astronomical tables, measurement of Earth-Moon distance
  3. Henri Tresca – Plasticity, material failure
  4. Jean-Victor Poncelet – Projective geometry
  5. Jacques Bresse – Hydraulic motor design
  6. Joseph-Louis Lagrange – Lagrange multipliers, differential calculus, three-body problem
  7. Jean-Baptiste Belanger – Hydraulics, hydrodynamics
  8. Georges Cuvier – Paleontology
  9. Pierre-Simon Laplace – Differential equations, statistics, astronomy
  10. Pierre Dulong – Specific heat, refractive index
  11. Michel Chasles – Projective geometry
  12. Antoine Lavoisier – Quantitative chemistry, metric system
  13. Andre-Marie Ampere – Electrodynamics
  14. Michel Chevreul – Fatty acids, Skepticism
  15. Eugene Flachat – First railroad station in Paris, railroading
  16. Claude-Louis Navier – Elasticity, fluid mechanics
  17. Adrien-Marie Legendre – Elliptic curves, analysis,  number theory
  18. Jean-Antoine Chaptal – Inorganic chemistry, manufacture of various chemicals
  19. Jules Petiet – Development of railway network
  20. Louis Daguerre – Daguerrotype photography, diorama theater
  21. Charles-Adolphe Wurtz – Wurtz reaction, aldol reaction, structures of chemical compounds
  22. Urbain Le Verrier – Prediction and discovery of Neptune via mathematics
  23. Albert Perdonnet – First French textbook on railroad engineeering
  24. Jean Delambre – Astronomic calculations
  25. Etienne-Louis Malus – Optics, light polarization
  26. Louis Breguet – Early telegraphy, electric clocks
  27. Camille Polonceau – Railway engineering, Polonceau truss (successful roof design)
  28. Jean-Baptiste Dumas – Atomic mass, molecular mass
  29. Benoit Clapeyron – Thermodynamics
  30. Jean-Charles de Borda – Borda preferential voting system, metric system
  31. Joseph Fourier – Fourier series, heat flow, greenhouse effect
  32. Marie Bichat – Histology (study of tissue), anatomy
  33. Francois Sauvage – Geology
  34. Theophile-Jules Pelouze – Organic acids
  35. Lazare Carnot – Fluid dynamics, geometry
    1. No, not thermodynamics – that’s his son Sadi Carnot
  36. Gabriel Lame – Partial differential equations, computational complexity theory
  37. Augustin-Louis Cauchy – Analysis, wave theory
  38. Eugene Belgrand – Modernization of Parisian sewer system
  39. Henri Regnault – Thermodynamics
  40. Augustin-Jean Fresnel – Wave optics
  41. Gaspard de Prony – Hydraulics
  42. Louis Vicat – Concrete and cement engineer
  43. Jacques-Joseph Ebelmen – Mining engineer, chemistry
  44. Charles-Augustin Coulomb – Electrostatics, friction
  45. Louis Poinsot – Geometric mechanics
  46. Leon Foucault – Foucault pendulum, eddy currents, measurement of speed of light
  47. Charles-Eugene Delaunay – Lunar motion
    1. Delaunay triangulation is named after Boris Delaunay
  48. Arthur Morin – Mechanics, Morin dynamometer
  49. Rene Hauy – Crystallography, mineralogy
  50. Charles Combes – Inspector-General of the Paris School of Mines
  51. Louis Thenard – Hydrogen peroxide, ethers, inorganic chemistry
  52. Francois Arago – Geodetics (geodesy), astronomy, optics, apparently Prime Minister of France for a (very) short time
  53. Simeon Poisson – Partial differential equations, probability, fluid charge
  54. Gaspard Monge – Descriptive geometry (technical drawing), differential geometry
  55. Jules Jamin – Interference, optics
  56. Joseph Gay-Lussac – Gas laws, chemistry
  57. Hippolyte Fizeau – Measurement of the speed of light, Doppler effect
  58. Eugene Schneider – Industrialist who supplied arms and railway construction
    1. Hmmm, this guy doesn’t appear to be a scientist or even an engineer
  59. Louis Le Chatelier – Process to extract aluminum from bauxite
    1. His son Henri is the namesake of Le Chatelier’s principle
  60. Pierre Berthier – Geology, mining engineer
  61. Jean-Augustin Barral – Agronomy, chemistry
  62. Henri de Dion – Metal civil engineering, material strength
  63. Ernest Gouin – Civil engineering, industrialist who built bridges and railways
  64. Louis Jousselin – Engineering, bridge builder
  65. Pierre Paul Broca – Physician, Broca’s area, brain anatomy
  66. Antoine Becquerel – Electricity, electrochemistry
    1. Grandfather of Henri Becquerel, the radioactivity guy
  67. Gaspard-Gustave de Coriolis – Coriolis effect, mechanical work
  68. Jean-Francois Cail – Industrialist who jumpstarted French industrialization
  69. Jacques Triger – Geologist, Triger process (digging through waterlogged ground)
  70. Henri Giffard – Inventor of steam injector, airship
  71. Francois Perrier – Geodesy
  72. Jacques Sturm – Numerical analysis, speed of sound

Yeah, in particular, these were the names inscribed onto the Eiffel tower.


SMBC now has alt-text?


In 2009, Iridium 33 (then still operational) and another satellite (no longer operational) crashed into each other, leading to high-speed space debris.

Also, Kessler syndrome


rot.js is a library to assist in making roguelikes.

Upon rereading 2014’s TIL (yes, all 50k words), I notice that I don’t actually entirely retain the esoteric vocabulary – even in a span as short as 3-4 weeks. I separately define a word twice (well, to be fair, variations of it)

krummholz: gnarly trees found in the subarctic as a result of freezing winds


More WordPress conversions spotted:

“Smart quotes”

1′ 1″ converts. This supersedes smart quotes so the previous TIL looks kinda bad.

As figured out: n^^n <= n!!…!! (n times) <= (n+1)^^(n+1).

412-9889 is apparently some Taiwan Pizza Hut meme. Which is apparently almost entirely ungoogleable outside of Taiwan.


Might as well count words for accountability. We have broken 13k words.

WordPress automatically converts “1 x 1” into 1×1 . (Specifically, you can use x’s to denote dimensions and it’ll convert them into slightly prettier times notation)

Lake Peigneur (in Louisiana) used to be a freshwater lake, until in 1980, due to a confusion between the map coordinate systems, a Texaco oil rig drilled in the wrong place. This caused the lake to drain into an empty salt mine, which caused several things: first, the lake became saltwater. It also created (temporarily) Louisiana’s largest waterfall.

More translation issues in literature (see 06-23-15’s TIL concerning Harry Potter): George Orwell’s 1984. Specifically, Newspeak is a fairly agglutinative language, for instance “bad” is derived from “ungood”. This poses a problem for various languages where making “bad” is actually formed from negating “good”. (Specifically, German and Russian.)

In 1941, Yreka was part of a state secession movement (to become Jefferson, the state) – actually, due to its geographic location, it was the proposed capital for such a hypothetical state. Every Thursday they would secede for an hour. Also, the name Yreka does not come from “Eureka!”; it instead comes from the Shastan Native American language.

Gershwin’s Three Preludes was originally conceived by Gershwin as 24 Preludes. Then the first manuscript had 7 preludes, the first performance cut that down to 5, and the first publication (which has stood until now) down to 3.


Pectin metabolizes into methanol.

Day 2 of AMAgeddon. Empeopled apparently pays a (negligible) amount of bitcoin for getting karma. (To put into perspective, someone calculated that you would need about 800,000 karma to get the equivalent of $1 USD.)

(Today is the massive update day. I think a total of about 90 days of TIL were added (they were already (largely) entered, just not submitted). This is by far the longest hiatus and I’m sorry.)


Huge reddit controversy causes tons of subreddits boycotting. And that leads to awareness of other alternatives. Such as Voat and Snapzu.

Hagorono chalk 😦 (I can corroborate with everyone else’s feelings of awesomeness regarding the chalk)


!?!?!? NAMBLA is a thing!?!?!?!?

Aperiogons (infinite-sided polygons) aren’t actually that silly; for example, consider them in hyperbolic space.

So the H0 train model scale takes scales 1 foot down to 3.5 mm. Yes, it converts imperial measurements into metric.

Middle-clicking a tab closes it. If you’re inexplicably closing tabs simply by left-clicking on tabs, your middle mouse button is likely jammed.


The ADFGVX cipher was chosen because the letters sound very different in Morse code.

Ah, I knew it that some people would call the opposite of transsexual cissexual. (Most notably people in the trans community, who object to the “normal” “not normal” designation).

Random reddit snippet: “The reason why time travelers will not kill Hitler is because then Germany would replace him with a less charismatic, more effective leader that would conquer the world.”

Also huh, reddit became https some point quite recently.


Carbon Based Lifeforms has a bandcamp

The Enchanted Cave 2 has a Steam version which apparently contains 20 additional dungeon levels past the level 80 boss on Kongregate (And eh, I don’t really like the gameplay of it much. It’s very grindy.)


Games: The Talos Principle, Space Station 13

I’m pretty bad at distinguishing what is “orange”. It really looks more golden/yellow…


The tz database keeps track of all historical changes to the time zone system, including Daylight Saving Time policy and such. Pretty impressive.

Spain uses UTC+1 despite being almost entirely to the west of Great Britain (who of course uses UTC+0). This makes some parts of Spain run over 2.5 hours earlier than they “should”, geographically speaking. Also perhaps this might explain their siestas?

Also if you have a very loose definition of time zone ownership, France wins with 12 time zones, ahead of Russia (11), USA (11), United Kingdom (9), Canada (6), and Australia (8).

Apparently you can actually evaluate arbitrary numerical expressions in Wikipedia.

Hmm, Ultra Hardcore is a PvP Minecraft ruleset which… makes the game extremely intense, like a FPS.


I’ve decided that I’ll start writing appendices more often. Maybe not once a day, but significantly more often than previously in this year. (year starting from January 1; I’m well aware that I spammed appendices in November of last year due to the “NaNoWriMo” stretch goal.)

Appendix: Car Brands

Today we will talk about car brands. There are a lot of car brands out there. In particular, various brands are owned by other companies and in general it’s a big mess of corporate merges in the automobile industry. So let’s begin. (Top level are ordered by production size.)

[This TIL is under construction. [todo] ]

  1. Toyota
    1. Hino (commercial vehicles, diesel engines)
    2. Lexus (luxury vehicles)
    3. Ranz (electric cars)
    4. Scion (North American segment, for Millenials?)
  2. GM
    1. Alpheon (South Korean version of Buick)
    2. Chevrolet (general)
      • Fun fact: apparently this guy called Louis Chevrolet and the ousted founder of GM William Durant started the company in 1911, and used the company to buy up a majority share of GM and reverse merged into GM, with Durant reclaiming presidency.
    3. Buick (entry level luxury vehicles)
    4. GMC (trucks, utility vehicles)
    5. Cadillac (luxury vehicles)
    6. Holden (Australian / NZ segment)
    7. HSV (Holden performance vehicles)
    8. Opel (European, South American, African, Asian segment)
    9. Vauxhall (UK segment)
    10. Wuling (special purpose vehicles)
    11. Baojun (China segment, low-cost vehicles)
    12. Jie Fang (China, pickups and light commercial vehicles)
    13. UzDaeWoo (Uzbekistan and South Korea)
    14. Saturn (defunct, unique models)
  3. Volkswagen


Appendix: Organic Chemistry Nomenclature – the nonstandard, conventional names!


(Hm. Apparently yes, acetic acid = vinegar is actually technically a short chain fatty acid. Despite it really not being very fatty at all.)

Yeah, stuff like methanoic acid, ethanoic acid, etc. etc. is boring. Let’s talk about the traditional names because those are not standard and thus not generalizable!

Actually, before we start, why not explain at least meth-, eth-, prop-, and but- because those aren’t standard either.

meth- comes from methylene which comes from Greek methy (wine), which also gives us the word mead, as well as hyle (wood).

eth- comes from ether which comes from Latin aether (sky)

prop- comes from propionic acid, which comes from greek protos (first) and pion (fat)

but- comes from butyric acid which comes from latin butyrum, or butter (which probably comes from butyrum too.)

With that out of the way, might as well start off with the carboxylic acids.

  1. methanoic acid = formic acid (Latin formica = ants)
  2. ethanoic acid = acetic acid (Latin acetum = vinegar)
    1. (Oh yea, fun fact. Apparently the IUPAC *wants* you to use formic acid and acetic acid, instead of methanoic acid and ethanoic acid. Huh. The common name is also known as a trivial name.)
  3. propanoic acid = propionic acid (see above)
  4. butanoic acid = butyric acid (see above)
  5. pentanoic acid = valeric acid (from the flowering plant valerian; the plant also names the amino acid valine. Let’s do that as well.)
  6. hexanoic acid = caproic acid (from goats (see capricorn, etc.))
  7. heptanoic acid = enanthic acids (Latin oenanthe = wild grape)
  8. octanoic acid = caprylic acid (also goats)
  9. nonanoic acid = pelargonic acid (from the pelargonium, also known as the geranium)
  10. decanoic acid = capric acid (once again goats)
  11. undecanoic acid = undecylic acid (ok they’re getting unimaginative now)
  12. dodecanoic acid = lauric acid (from the laurel)
  13. tridecylic acid
  14. myristic acid (named after myristica, the genus of nutmeg)
  15. 15
  16. palmitic acid (from palm trees; also, napalm comes from napthenic acid + palmitic acid)
  17. margaric acid (from Greek margaron which means pearl; margarine is derived from margaric acid)
  18. stearic acid (from Greek stear = tallow)
  19. 19
  20. arachidic acid (Surprise! It’s NOT related to arachnids! Rather, it comes from the genus of peanuts, Arachis, which comes from Greek arakis for a leguminous plant.)
  21. 21
  22. behenic acid (Not from behen oil or Ben oil, whose name comes from behenic acid. Instead, apparently comes from the Persian bahman, which I think is their 11th month or something, which is when they harvested the plants (moringa oleifera)
  23. 23
  24. lignoceric acid (Latin lignum = wood, cera = wax. Easy enough.)
  25. hyenic acid
  26. cerotic acid (Also probably cera = wax.)
  27. carboceric acid
  28. montanic acid (Found in Montan wax. Montan’s etymology is from the Latin of mountain.)
  29. 29
  30. melissic acid (Greek melissa = bee – e.g. mellifluous.)
  31. 31
  32. lacceroic acid (From lac/shellac = Kerria laccia? That originates from Sanskrit.)
  33. psyllic acid
  34. geddic acid
  35. ceroplastic acid
  36. … all generic, I think

Also took the liberty to fill in some gaps in Wikipedia. Yeah, I’ve been using OTHER SOURCES!

Alright. Now let’s move on to unsaturated fatty acids (which are basically carboxylic acids with double bonds and stuff.)

First, an actual TIL: Omega-3 fatty acids basically means that 3 carbons from the end (not the COOH end), there’s a double bond. This makes since because omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet. Generalize this to omega-6, omega-9 fatty acids.

Furthermore, “sesqui” means one and a half. So a sesquicentennial is 150 years.

Also, typically natural fatty acids have even number of carbons. Which explains why the common names start tapering off for the odd sized ones earlier.

…so I started this post on 06-24, anticipating this TIL to be a bit longer. But I seem to have overshot by quite a lot. It turns out that there are a ton of different unsaturated fats (not even really very organized .-.) so I guess I’ll have to leave that to another post.


LHSChiptunes apparently creates chiptune music for use of RELOADED installers (i.e. cracked software)

802.11 is the IEEE standard for wifi. Specifically, 802.11a, b, g, n are all amendments of the standard. Incidentally, there are more than 26 amendments already, so they’re already talking about amendments like ac.

verboten: forbidden


Voldemort’s original name (i.e. in English, Tom Riddle) is significantly changed in various languages in order to preserve the anagrammatic property of the phrases. For instance, in French, he’s “Tom Elvis Jedusor”.

Looking back, there is a surprising amount of untranslatable wordplay in Harry Potter. Other problematic parts include acronymization like O.W.L’s and N.E.W.T’s, as well as the sphinx riddle in Goblet of Fire.


So it seems that I have a room now. And currently, I’m just hitchhiking off of an xfinity hotspot (using the MAC spoof trick found in 8-22-14’s TIL) as well as Berkeley’s wifi when on campus (which does not extend to my dorm despite it being a street away from certain halls), while I wait for internet to happen eventually (read: within a week hopefully) At first it was to get away from the predatory pricing practices that companies like Comcast and AT&T (which seem to be the only other options. Yay internet near-duopoly) but Sonic seemed to be competitively priced among other things. And then…

WHOA Sonic might have good Usenet access!?

WHOA you get a free domain name with Sonic!?


Man I love Sonic more and more.

(By the way, Sonic stands for “Sonoma Interconnect”.)


Poles of inaccessibility. In particular, the Antarctic Pole of inaccessibility (furthest from the coastline) contains an abandoned Soviet base with a statue of Lenin. It is significantly more difficult (self-evident by the name perhaps) to access than, say, the Amundsen-Scott base in the South Pole.

Also, the North American pole of inaccessibility is near a town called Allen, South Dakota. This is apparently the poorest community in the US at around $1400 per capita. (Notably, this is still better than various African countries.) Kiryas Joel (in New York) garners this dubious distinction for cities of over 10000 people at around $7000 per capita. Its notable thing is that it’s a primarily Yiddish-speaking population.


IPSC, and (more) wats of Javascript. Of particular note:

We can create the number 100000000000000000000 simply as +[1+”e”+2+0]. OK, that would be neat, but where do we get an “e”? Easy: “true”[3] 🙂 Thus, 10^20 can be written as +[+!![]+[!![]+[]][+![]][!![]+!![]+!![]]+[!![]+!![]]+[+![]]].

Iceland, due to its small, relatively secluded, population, has an incest prevention app.


Manual elevators (well, in the door closing and stuff, not the lifting part). With that said, how did you call up such elevators back then? (e.g. if the car isn’t on the floor that you were on). Guess I never figured that part out.

Also, I find it pretty funny that people actually type out “add oil” as a literal translation to “jia you”


The paradox frog has tadpoles larger than the size of the final frog. Furthermore, tadpoles are also called pollywogs in e.g. Britain, which explains the pokemon names of Poliwag, Poliwhirl, and Poliwrath. (Yay Oxford comma!)

George Washington signed the first patent (production of potash)

Apparently, in general, public school teachers receive better compensation than private school teachers.


New use of incognito: bypass Bandcamp’s shaming you into buying their albums. Which almost certainly uses cookies to keep track of things. You could also use it to probably bypass those news sites that only let you view say 5 articles a day. (unless they’re smarter about coding things which they probably aren’t)

Oh that’s how the C preprocessor works. I assume that this trades off compilation time for faster runtime or something (as well as make programs shorter). Here cpp here does not mean c plus plus.

Spanish is also known as Castilian (which in Spanish is Castellano). I’m not sure of the differences in usage here. Of course, Castilian probably refers to the original Kingdom of Castile.

The leading game in microtransactions is actually Crossfire (1.3 billion dollars), a Counterstrike 1.6 clone mainly catered to China and stuff. Asian market op.


Open-source foods: while things like OpenSoylent (played off from Soylent, the all-purpose meal drink or whatever you call it) have recently gained quite a bit of traction, OpenCola and Free Beer have been in existence since 2001.


ESEA, a league in CS:GO, apparently embedded some sort of bitcoin miner in their client thing. This generated about $3600 in 2 weeks. (This also signifies how bitcoin mining is starting to dry up.)

Actual pirates do not say “shiver me  timbers”; this was a literary construction popularized by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

“Kebab” generally means a shish kebab if in North America, i.e. a bunch of meat skewered on a stick. But it generally means a doner kebab in Europe, i.e. a bunch of meat in between pieces of pita bread.

Apparently non-Euclidean geometry is a major plot point in various Lovecraftian works.


There are torrents for torrenting software… (granted, it’s the paid/pro version. But then again, shouldn’t torrenting software, of all companies, know the workarounds around paying for software?)

When the Ideal Gas Law fails (because it will most of the time since gases aren’t so ideal), you have the Van der Waals equation, which accurately models incompressible liquids. But the large oscillations that would be otherwise present in the graph do not actually exist, so you can correct it with Maxwell’s equal area rule.

The starting denominations in the American and British versions of Monopoly are different (excluding dollar and pound signs of course). In America it’s 2×500, 2×100, 2×50, 6×20, 5×10, 5×5, and 5×1. In Britain it’s 2×500, 4×100, 1×50, 1×20, 2×10, 1×5, 5×1. But then American editions of Monopoly changed to the British way in 2008.


The Queen’s Birthday is a holiday celebrated by commonwealth nations, and absolutely does not coincide with the actual queen’s birthday. Furthermore, it is celebrated on different days in different countries.

Streaming increases your ping by a significant amount; combined with the FPS loss by recording (to be expected) it makes the game nearly unplayable.


Good way to ensure that you likely get at least one conjecture right: make two conjectures which “go the opposite directions”. e.g. say you have two numbers a < b. One conjecture would be x > a and the other one would be x < b. You will certainly get at least one of them right. (This is obviously a massive oversimplification, but the conjectures I’m referring to are the Hardy-Littlewood conjectures.)

The EU has a rule that states that you can issue whatever you want so long as it’s in a nonstandard denomination. So the Belgians decided to change their Waterloo honoring coins (200th anniversary soon) from a 2 euro denomination (drawing the ire of the French) to a 2.5 euro denomination.

Additionally, Steam created an incremental game in order to make unlocking Steam sales fun, whaaaat. (Joining a game, which I have not yet successfully done, is significantly less fun.)

The volume of an n-ball is (sqrt(pi)*r)^n / (n/2)! Ok fine, I should not use the factorial for non-integer arguments, but it’s a bit more elegant than using the gamma function.


Rain happens to be a somewhat tricky consideration for salt manufacturers, as it could wash out the salt fields. Morton Salt Company’s slogan, “when it rains, it pours” reflects that they have added an absorbent (formerly magnesium carbonate, now calcium silicate) in their fields, which absorbs the water from the rain.

A shako is a hat worn by bandplayers.


Talc may contain trace contaminants of asbestos. Due to this, early (pre-2000 or so) Crayola crayons may contain trace amounts of asbestos (up to 2%).

Out of the KoL ores, asbestos and chrome (well, if referring to chromium; if it’s an alloy, then nope) can be mined; linoleum is derived from rubber. Then there’s the silly ore trilogy (cardboard, bubblewrap, and styrofoam).


Small shower thought: is Stockholm Syndrome a way of attempting to justify sunk costs?

Also, there are communities that try to bait scammers into wasting their time.




In the Pitcairn Islands, they harvest breadfruit by shooting at the trees. And that is the only intent of guns on the island.

Breadfruit tastes like potato/bread and is a staple fruit in many tropical islands, and has very high yield.


Wow, so “Caesar” is pronounced “Kai-sar” (in proper Latin) which makes czar and kaiser a lot more etymological sense. Furthermore, the commoners pronounced it as “Kee-sar” which makes our pronunciation of “Caesar” (in English, say) more understandable.

And yes, we’ve been saying it correctly all this time. Whew!


When writing a batch file, PING -n 61>nul is better than TIMEOUT 60, since PING.exe takes less memory than TIMEOUT.exe, apparently. Pings are exactly one second apart, leading to the desired effect.


Island is the Icelandic name for Iceland. This makes sense because “is” is North Germanic for “ice”, but “island” (English) comes from Latin “insula”.

You can actually eat the spikes in agar.io; you just have to be fully split (16 cells) and your cell sizes still able to eat them. Also, spike ejection. Not sure if the spike ejection thing is relatively new. Oh well, I never was that good at the game. (My max rank is something like 4th. I never really took the game that seriously) (Collusion is also highly OP.)

Crypt of the Necrodancer is a Roguelike + Rhythm game. In other words, you have to issue commands to the beat, although there is very little penalty for missing the beat. So somehow, when you combine two of the most punishing genres (imo – rhythm games are probably the most micro-intensive games, while roguelikes you could say are very macro-intensive, and if it weren’t for the generally turn-based nature of roguelikes would be very micro-intensive as well), you get a game that’s not all too bad.


TLC stands for (or stood for) “The Learning Channel”. Except, that sort of stopped being a thing maybe 10 years ago.

Also, Flash room escapes indeed predate real-life room escapes, which reverses my previously held belief on the matter. Strange.


Aqua, which made Barbie Girl, also made Cartoon Heroes, which was sped up to make a DDR song.

This probably shouldn’t be surprising since a good chunk of DDR songs are just remixed Eurodance (or whatever subgenre they’re calling it) songs. Then you have a bunch of songs that are produced for rhythm games by artists like dj Taka, BeforU, xi (?), etc. etc. And those are probably faster than danceable since they are hard songs (to play). Then again, I guess they speed up slower songs as well.


Pictures inside ancient manuscripts were known as miniatures. Not because they were small (although they were a bit small, yes), but rather, the word miniature is derived from minium, which is a red lead pigment.


The existence of Learned League. It’s pretty intense trivia-ing.


Bay Area Puzzle Hunt happened somewhere in this vicinity. Unlike the other puzzle events that I post onto this TIL, I did not participate in it; instead I wrote part of it. Anyway, I wrote the following puzzles:


Odds and Ends


Potential Settings


Which can be found here: https://sites.google.com/site/armlph2015/

Maybe I’ll post something (an actual post???) talking about these puzzles in a more spoilerific manner.

(incidentally, wow, ARML has their own 40th anniversary puzzle hunt, which sadly I cannot officially participate. (Even so, the puzzles were on the mathematical side but were mostly interesting.) This also means that, barring doing the ARML in 3rd grade (which I did NOT do), I missed out on both decade anniversaries.)


The Royal Institution makes surprisingly high quality educational videos.


The infamous “Pineapple vs. the Hare” story (of Common Core testing) actually started off as an eggplant. The author himself did not intend on changing this, and said that “If I thought that a pineapple would be funnier, I would’ve chosen a pineapple” and generally disapproved of the  changes made to the story.


Android was bought by Google. Google did not develop it from scratch themselves. This sort of makes sense now that Google has (figuratively) a googol of money to throw at various ventures.

svchost is actually a technique to save RAM, by bundling up a bunch of services into a single process.

Also, WordPress autosaves are unreliable. (Maybe it’s because of this post’s big length?)


[You may have read this from some other TIL-esque pages]

Since I decided to divulge the content of this TIL to some other guy who has given a fairly adequate exposition:

The 27th amendment was ratified 202 years, 7 months, 12 days after it was submitted by Congress to the states for ratification. After its submission and the subsequent ratification by a small number of states, it was largely forgotten until some undergrad wrote a paper on it in 1982 (presumably a proposal to ratify it). The paper received a grade of a C, and the student (unclear if it’s because of the grade, but probably in spite of the grade) started a letter-writing campaign to get it ratified, which was successful. There was a subsequent challenge since Congress still needed to validate the ratification or something, if nothing because usually it doesn’t take 202 years to ratify an amendment, but it went through.

(If you really want the source go ahead and Google that, I’m pretty sure you’ll find it. Then again I suspect that the only people who care about the source likely already know already.)

Anyway, I’ll just continue by saying: the undergrad mentioned above there seems to have made it a point for states to settle their scores long after the amendment has passed; for instance, it got Mississippi to recognize that slavery was illegal and Texas to repeal the poll tax.


Anime is designed to be cheaper (by about 40-60%) to produce than conventional cartoons.


Delicate Arch was not originally protected and was eventually later protected when they expanded the national park boundaries. They considered coating the arch with plastic to avoid erosion but this proposal was later rejected. One guy set a nearby place on fire (in order to demonstrate nighttime photography) and it discolored part of the arch. Another guy did a free climb on it since technically that was within the rules at the time (it is no longer legal to do so).


Australia is in this year’s Eurovision song contest. The only other time where a non-European country has participated was Morocco.


Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music is back!


I have brought into awareness that the US dollar is ridiculously strong right now. Also apparently the Canadian dollar was worth more than a US dollar at one point.


There are addons on Atom that allow you to easily commit to a git repository.


Hm, The Luna Sequence has some good songs. And strange song names

Also, craigslist apartments without pictures likely mean that the room’s quality itself is pretty meh.


Jquery namespaces


Why do so many songs suck in most parts but they have glimmering parts of hope? Sometimes it’s in ridiculously prolonged buildups, sometimes there’s just a section which… sucks…



Yeah, Chrome keeps track how often you visit a page and type it in. How else did you expect autocomplete to work?


Keva planks are apparently very popular in the simulation world (specifically, breaking keva plank structures). They are of size 1/4 – 3/4 – 4 1/2 inches. Importantly, these dimensions (1:3:18) are not (1:3:15), so they are different from Kapla blocks. Silly Wikipedia.


Today is a LoL eSports day.

The many many pages of writing on the CLG drama.

Also, hahaha MSI.


With Minecraft, you can do a bunch of crazy things, especially with command blocks. You can effectively run arbitrary code in minecraft, allowing you to, for example, make agar.io, or a laser simulation.



Just for some light-hearted humor, you know.


Parkinson’s law of triviality / Sayre’s law. tl;dr: you spend more time on trivial stuff than actually important stuff. For some definition of important.

Quoted from Wikipedia which purportedly is quoted from a blog (Wikipedia, Atwood):

This started as a piece of corporate lore at Interplay Entertainment. It was well known that producers (a game industry position roughly equivalent to project manager) had to make a change to everything that was done. The assumption was that subconsciously they felt that if they didn’t, they weren’t adding value.

The artist working on the queen animations for Battle Chess was aware of this tendency, and came up with an innovative solution. He did the animations for the queen the way that he felt would be best, with one addition: he gave the queen a pet duck. He animated this duck through all of the queen’s animations, had it flapping around the corners. He also took great care to make sure that it never overlapped the “actual” animation.

Eventually, it came time for the producer to review the animation set for the queen. The producer sat down and watched all of the animations. When they were done, he turned to the artist and said, “That looks great. Just one thing: get rid of the duck.”

Hmm. While it might not necessarily be plagiarism (I did cite it, kinda, for some definition of cite), it does provide a nice boost to that ever juicy word count.


Huge TSP (traveling salesman problem) data sets! Also, how to prove that your TSP path is indeed optimal.


Worked on a js bookmarklet.

Also, like the first time I actually legitimately used Github. No, school assignments do not count as a legitimate use.


Rainbow flags: There’s the obvious Gay Pride flag, but then there’s also the Flag of Cuzco and other Andean freedom flags. In other news, the International Cooperative Alliance used to have a rainbow flag (dating back to 1925) but they changed their flag in 2001 to avoid the association with other rainbow flags.


MUMS 05.01 – PvZ logic puzzle, left for others.


MUMS 05.04 – Quite fun word puzzle

MUMS Meta – Did quite a bit of work here, including my initial insight that the lengths of the lasers correspond to the letters (the negative index metamaterials I failed to get before hint 1/2. Oh well.). It was pretty fun. We end up backsolving two puzzles from this so that pretty cool.

MUMS 04.04 and MUMS 05.03 – Backsolved. 04.04 – we had the right idea but didn’t look at the letters correctly.

Well, that’s a wrap. I realized that I use xx.yy format even though there are only 4 puzzles per set and 5 sets…

And yea. Did I mention that extraction is hard?


There are a lot of temperature scales. Beyond the common trifecta (Fahrenheit Celsius Kelvin), and the slightly less known but still knowable Rankine, there’s a bunch of REALLY WEIRD scales. Not to mention really weird other units as well. (MUMS 04.01)

MUMS 02.01 – Meh, (4,4) pattern is very eh

MUMS 04.01 – Extraction is hard. Moving on. (i.e. did not recognize the picture)

MUMS 04.02 – Fun logic puzzle.

MUMS 04.03 – Cryptics are not my cup of tea. Did not work on.


Predictably, you can click very fast with Mouse Keys.

MUMS 02.04 – Ugh, should’ve seen Suicide Chess earlier. Although I did get the general idea correct. Stuck on extraction after “PIECE VALUE” which is annoying.

MUMS 01.03 – Did not do much on this anatomy puzzle

MUMS 03.03 – Did the work step / initial observation. Thought it was binary at first oops.

MUMS 03.02 – Yey, references to past years. I continue my streak at failing extraction.

MUMS 03.01 – Didn’t do; was working on 03.03

MUMS 03.04 – Some observations but the whole locking mechanism thing was impressively solved by some other guy on our team.


Cortex Command: interesting projectile game (see e.g. Worms)

MUMS 01.01 – Pretty much a solo-solve. Keeping track of 3-D orientation of things is pretty hard, but doable.

MUMS 02.02 – I guess Braille is probably super easy to come up with, and several functions were quickly deduced afterwards.

MUMS 02.03 – Extraction was slightly hampered by thinking that we had to do something with the Jack and Queen of spades (hah Jquery) but other than that it was a fun logic puzzle.


Berkeley Mystery Hunt: a few things about being part of the “trial” run before the show began:

I won’t be discussing the puzzles in detail, because, under my impression, there’s a second hunt open to the general public (as opposed to Berkeley students, for which the earlier time coincides with RRR week, which is pretty convenient).

It’s about 4 hours before the hunt ends, and we haven’t finished the 3rd meta (although we did finish pretty much everything else, save for a pretty tedious work/identification puzzle). As it turns out we missed a very fair extraction (we had seen all of the parts leading up to it, but failed to piece them together). But at any rate, it turns out that nobody had finished the 3rd meta, so two teams (including ours) were “elevated” to the runaround, being about 5-10 puzzles ahead of the rest of the teams. The runaround itself was pretty cute, relying on real-world things for the most part. (Note that if they had not done this, the runaround would basically be left untested, which is probably not a good idea.) Meanwhile the other teams stayed there in order to test the third meta’s solvability (and fortunately some teams did eventually complete it). Perhaps they got a bit of a push but they did need to get all of the puzzles tested out, so this was pretty understandable.

Also, MUMS begins. More to fill out the days later. On team ducksoup, because I wanted to hunt with the TTT folks at least once.

MUMS 01.02 and 01.04 are solved before I get a chance to look at MUMS. Whee.


Fun fact that I only recently rediscovered: I did not browse Wikipedia today. At all. Wow.

So I had to delve in my general browser history.

Apple forbids making watch apps for the Apple Watch.

Spying is also absolutely devastating in PvP games.


CamelCase has a name. Generally the “religion” of tab formatting code, as well as variable capitalization is intriguing.

Berkeley’s Puzzle column hints at the theme for Berkeley Mystery Hunt…


epicaricacy: schadenfreude.

The supposedly English word for schadenfreude.


Major League Eating exists


They have a Wikipedia page for a list of killings. By law enforcement officers. In the United States. In 2015. April, to be exact. And yet the list is still kinda long.

(10000 moment:) Negative index metamaterials… I swear this happened before MUMS


Dining Philosophers problem. I suppose that the stated solution works if the processes cannot “see” each other. (i.e. assign ID’s to the resources and take the smallest ID resources if it is the smallest ID resource that you currently need, ensuring that at least some process will be able to complete their task). By contrast


The reason why many scripts show Chinese characters to have thick vertical lines and thin horizontal lines is due to wood grains allowing for thicker cuts in one direction.


Google Games: puzzles are pretty easy, trivia/”trivia” is hard, programming is kinda hard without dedicated programmers, and word association is pretty fun but not that easy.


Bugs, 101: There are often duplication glitches in both trading and raiding (which is kinda like trading, except one guy gets nothing).


GNU Unifont has a lot of symbols (the most!). By comparison, what I previously thought to be very comprehensive Arial Unicode MS isn’t actually that comprehensive.

I knew this before, but why not add it here anyway. This could be a “10,000” moment (see relevant XKCD), even though it’s not actually THAT well-known of a fact. Really, I had the above fact already so cut me some slack. Marlett is a font used to display e.g. window elements that can be easily scalable (e.g. minimize and close), unlike graphics (at the time).


How UTF-8 works, which is pretty clever in both basic 7-bit ASCII support as well as future support should Unicode expand to past 40 bits plus a bit.


Town of Salem is a Mafia-esque game. Some of their design decisions are rather interesting and make for compact gameplay.


The town of Split, Croatia, comes from the name for the spiny broom shrub (Spalathos in Greek, which becomes Spalatum in Latin). It does not come from the Latin for palace (Palatium), which is an erroneous etymology because it does house Diocletian’s Palace. At the same time, that makes for an even more erroneous etymology (indeed, a false friend) – Diocletian was also famous for splitting the Roman Empire.


I don’t really understand why gamblers wouldn’t consider the opposite view which does potentially hold some credence (i.e. that the next event should have a higher probability of repeating itself, rather than changing). Especially if you observe a purportedly p=0.5 event happen 7 times, there is a possibility that this p is perhaps greater than 0.5.


South Sea Company stock bubble has a pretty fascinating and pretty illegal history.


Having too good of a data compression transmission protocol makes your system susceptible to DoS attacks that send in a highly compressed huge file which can make you sad. Or in other news, a pretty huge flaw in Minecraft multiplayer. Also related: Billion laughs attack.


Mama and papa: these words are basically taken from the first words that babies say, and humans sort of just took them to mean the first things that they pointed to (i.e. mother and father). Incidentally, Georgian (the country’s language) has these words backwards: mama means father while baba means mother.


Bernstein means amber in German. In other related news, this is how the amber stop codon was named. The other two (ochre and opal) were named for colors to match the “pattern” now made. Two of the stop codons actually encode for things (Selenocysteine and Pyrrolysine) in the presence of certain special transfer RNA, so only one of the stop codons is truly a stop codon. Incidentally, as the name suggests, Selenocysteine selenates Cysteine (i.e. changes sulfur into selenium), and with the lack of selenium, it functions as a stop codon.


When you first see Aethelred the Unready’s title (i.e. the Unready), you might think that he was unprepared or something. But in actuality, it means something slightly different. Ready is more like “read”-y which apparently back then meant something like “council” back then, so actually he was just stubborn and didn’t take his advisors’ words very much. False friends are fun! And so are word mutations.


The Red Delicious apple used to be actually kinda delicious (during the early 1900’s), indeed replacing other varieties due to taste reasons, and becoming the leading apple cultivar grown in the U.S. But then farmers started to breed for appearance rather than taste, and the Red Delicious started to dry up and taste terrible. This has led to the apple market tumbling and the apple cultivar being replaced by foreign varieties such as the Gala and Fuji apple.


So the Chinese numbering system indeed doubles the exponent (i.e. squares the units) every time. I mean, beyond the shi2, bai3, wan4 (qian is small enough that it’s not that surprising 1000 would have its own unit), and yi4 – it continues past 10^8, into 10^16 (zhao4), 10^32 (jing1), … until 10^4096.

Well, apparently. This is extremely similar to Knuth’s -yllion system.


Microsoft Hunt complete. Points to make about the hunt: the tricks are by and far not very inspiring so you should just keep that in mind (unlike, say, some of the SUMS puzzles) when solving them. Often extraction is a hard step.


Various board games’ existence, mostly as a result of Wordy Wednesday. (Which is probably the first time that I would win something material from puzzling. The next time would be shortly later, at Google Games. Wow, I’m sounding so prophetic by filling in earlier TIL entries.)


I thought salt+MD5 was safe, but apparently that can be broken more efficiently than pure bruteforce. Oh well.


In an effort to increase the wordcount of this TIL, here is some entirely skippable information.

(This is basically my impression of every single champion in League on URF mode. Yes, I played every champion that I owned. Exactly once (except in custom inhouses). It took a surprisingly short amount of time since URF games as you can see last a shorter time than regular games. The median game lasted around 21:27 which is probably one of the fastest ranked game’s length (considering that games won in normal, before the surrender timer, are rather rare (though not unseen, though again not to the extent found in URF where fully 35% of all of the games lasted less than 20 minutes))

B Aatrox – DON’T HAVE – I’ve never seen an Aatrox, but I can’t see him being terribly good in this mode, even if they buffed his revive.
A Ahri – L 5 /5 /2 – Your poke is too short-ranged, land a charm and instagib someone!
A+? Akali – W 6 /6 /5 – Terrible laning, wait until you have items and level 6
S/B- Alistar – L 3 /12/6 – You really should know how to combo with him or else you lose pretty hard.
A- Amumu – W 14/11/11 – Bad laning, go jungle instead. You do pretty hilarious damage.
B+ Anivia – W 3 /13/8 – Yes, you have an egg every minute. But unfortunately your egg is even more prone to being instagibbed.
B- Annie – L 5 /13/6 – No range GG
B Ashe – L 6 /11/6 – Permaslow but weakish poke.
A Azir – w 1 /5 /2 – I failed laning which probably makes sense as Azir. Didn’t really see lategame power.
B- Bard – W 4 /7 /17 – Alright, you’re basically a worse Morgana in a sense. But if you play him properly he isn’t that bad.
A- Blitzcrank – L 5 /12/4 – You need a good strong laner or else you won’t have a good time in lane.
A+ Brand – L 15/12/5 – Totally immobile but great CC
B- Braum – L 5 /9 /11 – Do not solo lane with Braum. He seems ok with an ADC, nothing spectacular since ADC’s don’t fare that well in this map.
B- Caitlyn – L 1 /9 /10 – Your advantage is bullying people in lane, except now everyone else can poke as well. Your traps are limited so that’s out of the question too. You are at least a bit long-ranged, so you get that point.
A- Cassiopeia – W 7 /6 /7 – Lack of mobility, try to dish out damage slightly better than you already do
A- ChoGath – W 13/6 /5 – If you land a knockup, you can pretty much chain CC them. Remember, knockups are OP since tenacity doesn’t help. Also you can charge your ult stacks really well.
C+ Corki – L 4 /16/4 – Ult doesn’t benefit from CDR, BAD (the duration between rockets, not rocket reload)
B? Darius – DON’T HAVE – You want others to be right next to you but really, what are the chances?
A Diana – DON’T HAVE – Has lots of carry potential with your ult and Q, now with no mana or cooldowns!
B- DrMundo – L 2 /9 /13 – You (still) kill yourself with cleavers. Very useless until you have ult, still useless afterwards. REVISION: You can do well against melees but you are going to die versus ranged poke.
B- Draven – L 3 /9 /3 – Lots of damage but easily killable. Yea, another ADC.
B- Elise – DON’T HAVE – Not enough damage, unreliable CC
S- Evelynn – L 17/12/7 – Alright that was a 4v5. But also, Eve’s earlygame doesn’t seem to be that strong (euphemism for “super weak”), but once you get over that hoop you can absolutely wreck face. Unless there’s a pink ward…
A+ Ezreal – L 10/12/8 – Difficult to win versus assassins.
A Fiddlesticks – W 5 /3 /4 – Too much CC, but squishy
A+? Fiora – DON’T HAVE – This is like Yi but worse, maybe
A+ Fizz – L 17/7 /5 – Good old melee assassins. Trollpole out of anything!
A+ Galio – DON’T HAVE – Surprising amount of poke but your ult is awkward to use against a mobile comp. But it could be seriously gamechanging. Needs a better gapcloser like Amumu
B+ Gangplank – W 8 /12/17 – Poke too shortrange to really matter. Sustains self, has some global presence
B- Garen – W 2 /6 /7 – lol not the worst kit but not particularly good either
C+ Gnar – L 3 /13/6 – Transform is too hard to rely on. Too melee to be very good.
A Gragas – W 9 /9 /5 – DC’ed early on so didn’t have a good start, moreover it was also a 4v5. But Gragas’s burst is pretty good couple with his mobility.
B- Graves – L 9 /9 /5 – Meanwhile this 9/9/5 was me playing to the best of my ability, at pretty much optimal conditions (besides having a Bard). You can kinda play him as a melee assassin but there are far better options.
S- Hecarim – W 5 /5 /2 – All hail the hecacopter. Seems to be weaker than before.
B Heimerdinger – L 0 /8 /3 – I guess I can’t play this champ
A-? Irelia – DON’T HAVE – Very divey and has free tenacity to boot. Could be a force to be reckoned with.
A Janna – W 0 /1 /15 – I can’t play her damagey but being a support is good enough. You have a reliable if nerfed shield and great disengage from S-picks like Wukong or Zed.
B+? JarvanIV – DON’T HAVE – lol you ult me? I flash out any day. But I just can’t see J4 outcompeting the URF meta picks
S- Jax – W 11/3 /7 – Tanky fighter with great mobility via leap strike and a stun. Very strong
A+ Jayce – L 11/9 /7 – I cannot play this champ too effectively. Good for poking, less good for all-in
B- Jinx – L 3 /13/12 – I mean, yes you have an absurd amount of W poke, but other than that, you have no mobility.
A- Kalista – L 10/8 /4 – As an ADC you are very squishy. Your poke is alright though so A- is what Kalista gets.
A+ Karma – W 7 /2 /15 – Pew pew pew. Think of this as a better RekSai and life is good.
A Karthus – W 13/17/10 – Not enough range, needs late game to work
A- Kassadin – W 7 /6 /5 – Takes too long to boot up and then you’re still melee with a ton of mobility and not much burst.
A+? Katarina – DON’T HAVE – It’s good yes, but your cooldowns are so low you don’t really need the resets.
C Kayle – L 0 /16/10 – Unit target spells are not a good thing, that means that you will not be able to spam things as neatly. Your ult isn’t really that good.
B Kennen – DON’T HAVE – Can spam everything lots and probably one of the better energy champions to get it (Ok, fine, I’m missing Zed).
S- KhaZix – DON’T HAVE – The trifecta of AD assassins (Zed, Talon, KhaZix), and KhaZix’s mobility and upfront burst is nearly on par with Zed. Not quite so slippery unless fed though.
S- KogMaw – L 29/8 /13 – (AP) Wow, AP Kog’s early damage is ridiculous! No mobi to deal with Zed though.
A+ LeBlanc – L 8 /9 /5 – Learn to combo, then you are a bit better. You have to do damage upfront and while you have very good mobility and juke potential, you have to be that much better at LB. Not a good entry champ.
A LeeSin – L 9 /11/11 – Good spammability but still, melee
B- Leona – L 1 /8 /6 – Can’t solo lane at all, too inconsistent CC.
B+ Lissandra – L 5 /7 /5 – Similar to Swain: really short range poke, but instead of sustain you get some mobility.
B Lucian – W 7 /14/8 – Quite squishy, not very potent long range poke.
A+ Lulu – W 14/6 /19 – Pretty good Zed counter. Poly+Knockup ulti
A+ Lux – W 8 /7 /15 – Super safe but no mobility. Also decently hard to hit your stuff since everyone is dashing everywhere.
B+ Malphite – L 4 /10/2 – Terrible earlygame for mediocre burst
A+ Malzahar – W 7 /2 /6 – (AD) AD really benefits here since you charge up voidlings so quickly. Susceptible to ganks but you can 1v1 very easily.
S-? Maokai – DON’T HAVE – Pretty strong CC and all. Nerfed infinite saplings though.
S- MasterYi – W 15/3 /13 – Pretty faceroll, only thing stopping it from S is not so great laning, but you can just jungle for early levels
C+ MissFortune – L 4 /10/6 – Marred by facing a Sona/Maokai lane which predictably beats us. I really don’t think MF is *that* bad but you don’t have an escape, true. Perhaps you can try dishing out damage though.
A Mordekaiser – W 16/9 /17 – http://matchhistory.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/#match-details/NA1/1789258728/50054961/eog I have no more words. But really, you are a lategame champ.
A Morgana – L 9 /7 /11 – I mean sure, you got your permabind Q (unless they have lots of mobility or a way to dodge your Q or a way to outsustain it… like 50 of the other champs…) And you yourself have no mobility. You are good early but suck comparatively late here.
A+ Nami – W 7 /0 /13 – Sona Lite, not as damagey, has CC, pretty good
B Nasus – L 6 /10/6 – (AD) Takes too long to boot up. Perhaps AP Nasus may fare better.
A- Nautilus – DON’T HAVE – Haven’t seen him. Has the potential to be really scary but I feel he doesn’t have enough dmg versus better champs in this mode.
S- Nidalee – L 11/9 /5 – Not sure what went wrong here. Probably missed too many spears.
B- Nocturne – DON’T HAVE – You can chunk them down slowly with your path and you can clean away a lot of incoming spells but that’s about it. There are better champs you could be playing.
A Nunu – W 11/7 /6 – Jungle control is absolutely ridiculous. Kill Baron in 10 seconds. Then it’s all snowballs all the way down.
B Olaf – DON’T HAVE – Melee champ. What?
A Orianna – W 9 /7 /8 – Decent midrange poker and supportive enough to help out a carry in need.
A- Pantheon – W 6 /7 /4 – (AP) Please don’t solo lane as AP Panth. Although your stun chain is pretty hilarious.
A- Poppy – W 11/14/5 – Dive dive dive! I never figured out how to play Poppy normally, so yeah this was the best I could do.
A- Quinn – W 6 /6 /2 – An ADC that’s very mobile? Yes! Play her like an AD assassin and you’ll probably do fine.
A- Rammus – DON’T HAVE – Boy this must be really fun. You win the speed race and can help lock down their team but you need someone else to help unless you’re really fun.
B+ RekSai – L 0 /5 /4 – I guess I can’t play AP Reksai as a first game. You need level 2 before you get the poke and then you probably need to be a bit fed in order to be a factor here.
B Renekton – DON’T HAVE – You have a bit of mobility and CC, that’s really all I can say.
B- Rengar – DON’T HAVE – You have the ability to offload a lot of damage, if you can get to them first. Getting your stacks should be pretty easy.
A+ Riven – W 3 /9 /9 – The fact that you don’t have range is a problem
B- Rumble – W 2 /10/15 – Not so great range for poking, at least there’s no overheat. Good enough ult but people may slip away easily in URF mode.
A- Ryze – W 12/9 /4 – Ok, so there are a lot of interesting questions with Ryze. First off, you want to build mana, but mana is useless in this mode, but you scale off it anyway. Also, your range sucks, but your passive is faceroll-worthy in URF, so how to deal? What I did was effectively jungle, since your laning quite sucks. I rushed WOTA for the spellvamp and completely ignored mana, preferring to itemize magic pen, and SV for more healing. Well, we won, at any rate 😛 (I could also 1v1 their Ryze who built not one but TWO mana items.)
A+ Sejuani – W 8 /6 /8 – Burst and tankiness and mobility and CC! Pretty good combo if you ask me.
S- Shaco – DON’T HAVE – Has insane assassination potential but highly squishy.
C+ Shen – L 3 /9 /4 – Could be almost viable with good taunt CC which got nerfed so it doesn’t chain sadly.
C+ Shyvana – DON’T HAVE – Meh no range and stuff.
B+ Singed – W 6 /7 /16 – Permanent poison, permanent ult. Fling is great against melees but too bad there aren’t enough of those. Slow field is a pretty decent gamechanger, especially if you have a poker on your side. Overall, pretty good.
C Sion – L 3 /17/5 – You can probably pass off as a CC machine, except your knockup is too hard to hit unless you have someone else backing you up.
A Sivir – W 5 /3 /17 – The amount of poke and waveclear you have is ridiculous. Not mobile enough to be S-tier though.
A- Skarner – DON’T HAVE – Great CC but very melee.
S Sona – W 10/2 /8 – Predictable faceroll
A+ Soraka – W 7 /6 /14 – Potent midrange poke if you can land it. Insane sustain and good AOE silence for those who come too close.
B+ Swain – L 8 /7 /7 – Too short range to be that great. You do have innate sustain but it’s not fast enough.
A- Syndra – L 18/11/10 – I can see the potential but your main course of burst doesn’t come up often enough.
A Talon – W 16/13/7 – Not very fluent with Talon mechanics but he is pretty reliable at killing enemies.
B-? Taric – W 8 /4 /16 – Very tanky, much heal, hope that they have Zed or something.
A- Teemo – L 10/8 /12 – You got your shrooms and you are generally really annoying to deal with. But once they get to you you are dead meat.
B+ Thresh – W 6 /1 /15 – I am quite surprised myself. I mean you have good CC, but I just went straight AP and maxing shield. Perhaps that helps win trades easily.
B+ Tristana – W 10/8 /7 – Terrible laning, but past the hump your AS, range increase, burst, sustained damage, etc. etc. is quite good.
C- Trundle – L 1 /11/11 – Definition of a worthless URF kit
A Tryndamere – W 4 /0 /8 – (AP) I basically did nothing but splitpush. AD probably works much the same. You are so slippery but if you commit you probably die if your ult runs out.
A- TwistedFate – W 4 /6 /8 – First test in going TP-less, on a very mobile ult champ. It was terrible before you got your ult…
C+ Twitch – W 2 /6 /11 – Impossibly bad level 1, and indeed until maybe level 6. Good luck
B+ Udyr – L 5 /9 /5 – You have you chase potential, but you are so easily kited in this mode.
A Urgot – W 12/10/10 – Pretty effective as usual. Low mobility but you can try to lock them up with your passive, W, and ult.
B+ Varus – L 10/19/18 – Like a worse Xerath because you’re AD, you still have to charge your Q, it’s harder to hit, and you have less CC, and are equally immobile
C+ Vayne – L 9 /13/5 – Fun fact: you have you ult up 12/14 seconds. But other than that, good luck doing anything except maybe very very late.
A Veigar – L 22/10/5 – PENTA! But in all seriousness, lack of mobility is an issue. You farm really well with your Q though.
B+ VelKoz – L 4 /8 /8 – Decent poker but there are better options. Lacks mobility which is pretty bad.
A Vi – W 9 /5 /5 – Lots of dashes, and some good hard CC. She isn’t quite the strongest laner and needs someone else as well.
B+ Viktor – L 0 /10/2 – The score was mostly because I could not do anything against a Wukong who can easily dive me 😦 But yea, immobile but could do some good teamfighting
S Vladimir – W 8 /6 /8 – Too much sustain + Trollpool
B Volibear – DON’T HAVE – You can chase but you will get kited.
B- Warwick – L 9 /14/8 – (AP) Melee, ult can be easily broken. Hilarious sustain though
S Wukong – DON’T HAVE – Way too much mobility. Please ban
A Xerath – L 4 /5 /2 – As expected, a bit better than Varus, but since your main form of poke is pretty dodgeable and has a long windup, you don’t actually poke that well.
S- XinZhao – W 28/6 /3 – (AD) wot (Ok, basically just wait till you have all three spells and then your damage/dashing in is silly.)
C+ Yasuo – DON’T HAVE – This probably doesn’t work out that well since Yas has low CD’s already. Windwall could help I suppose, but you have no range to help you.
B+ Yorick – DON’T HAVE – Too short range. No more muramana for you.
A Zac – DON’T HAVE – AP Zac is the terror; also invincibility from his revive via teleports.
A Ziggs – W 10/2 /6 – Fairly good poker with enough safety. Mileage largely varies based on how much you can hit your Q’s, just like many other poking champs
B- Zilean – L 5 /17/8 – Bombs too hard to hit, and that’s all the damage you get. Good luck!
B+ Zyra – W 11/14/6 – I’m bad at Zyra, so I was relegated to more of a split-push player here, which wasn’t too bad actually with Banner of Command.

The order:

3-31 Urgot, Jinx, Nidalee
4-01 Malzahar, Veigar, KogMaw, ChoGath, Jayce, Ryze, DrMundo, Corki, Shen, Malphite, Amumu, Lulu, Ziggs, TwistedFate, Sona
4-02 VelKoz, Tristana, Zyra, Talon, Syndra, Alistar, Azir, Karthus, Nunu, Lucian, Ashe, Vayne, Brand, Bard, Cassiopeia, Twitch, Braum, Heimerdinger, Sivir, Viktor, Blitzcrank, Rumble
4-03 Gangplank, Tryndamere, Soraka, MissFortune, Varus, Lux, Evelynn, Orianna, Ezreal, Jax, Gragas, Graves, Ahri, Hecarim, MasterYi, Riven
4-04 Nasus, Vladimir, Xerath, Nami, Gnar, Caitlyn, Udyr, Taric, Thresh, Teemo
4-05 Vi, Janna, Pantheon, Morgana
4-06 Leona, Quinn, Zilean, Kayle, RekSai, Swain, Poppy
4-07 Singed, Sejuani, LeBlanc, Anivia
4-08 Kalista, Trundle, Lissandra, Fizz, Garen, LeeSin, Annie, Sion, Akali, Draven, Warwick, XinZhao, Karma, Kassadin, Fiddlesticks, Mordekaiser

Games by length
43:28 Varus-L
41:35 Mordekaiser-W
33:30 Gangplank-W
33:02 KogMaw-L
33:01 Zilean-L
31:56 Riven-W
31:12 Morgana-L
30:47 Vayne-L
30:47 Amumu-W
30:01 Udyr-L
29:14 Nidalee-L
29:05 DrMundo-L
28:47 Zyra-W
28:27 Gnar-L
27:48 Poppy-W
27:32 Warwick-L
27:24 Lulu-W
27:14 Syndra-L
26:49 Kayle-L
26:34 Veigar-L
26:23 Singed-W
26:13 Urgot-W
26:01 Tryndamere-W
26:00 Bard-W
26:00 Talon-W
25:36 Evelynn-L
25:30 Anivia-W
25:27 Fizz-L
25:09 Ryze-W
25:03 Nunu-W
24:48 Quinn-W
24:43 LeBlanc-L
24:30 Lucian-W
24:25 Kassadin-W
24:14 Karthus-W
24:03 Gragas-W
23:37 Teemo-L
23:14 Caitlyn-L
23:04 Corki-L
23:02 Rumble-W
22:32 LeeSin-L
22:29 Taric-W
22:27 Annie-L
22:21 XinZhao-W
22:15 Alistar-L
22:03 Lux-W
21:57 Nami-W
21:53 Swain-L
21:27 Trundle-L
21:19 Ashe-L
21:10 Karma-W
21:02 Draven-L
20:56 Ahri-L
20:52 Ziggs-W
20:52 Vladimir-W
20:47 Cassiopeia-W
20:44 Jinx-L
20:42 Blitzcrank-L
20:30 VelKoz-L
20:08 Jayce-L
20:05 Nasus-L
19:56 Braum-L
19:55 Orianna-W
19:49 Ezreal-L
19:34 Hecarim-W
19:32 Fiddlesticks-W
19:30 Xerath-L
19:29 Sion-L
19:06 Tristana-W
19:05 Pantheon-W
19:04 Brand-L
19:01 RekSai-L
18:46 MissFortune-L
18:26 ChoGath-W
17:35 Akali-W
17:27 Lissandra-L
17:19 Soraka-W
17:10 Graves-L
16:58 Vi-W
16:35 MasterYi-W
16:05 Thresh-W
16:00 Sona-W
15:31 Janna-W
15:17 Leona-L
15:16 Twitch-W
15:15 Jax-W
15:10 Sejuani-W
15:08 Garen-W
14:52 Azir-W
14:22 TwistedFate-W
14:21 Shen-L
13:59 Sivir-W
13:33 Viktor-L
13:28 Malphite-L
13:02 Heimerdinger-L
12:51 Kalista-L
11:03 Malzahar-W


The Blue Marble photograph was originally taken with the South Pole near the top; hence, NASA rotated it 180 degrees.


Yeah, you know buildings like the White House and the Empire State Building have their own ZIP code, but it’s also true for the Walmart headquarters, the LA Dodgers Stadium, and Smokey the Bear.


Underpromotions in real games, the Saavedra position, and the Babson task.


Bird nest soup actually does come from swallow bird nests, or in other words, is hardened bird saliva.


Red-black trees are pretty tricky.


Paraprosdokians are basically garden path sentences and are pretty fun.


x+y is a film. So is x/y. The former is about math, kinda. The latter isn’t. They both came out in 2014.


Soft Hyphens are great! They are usually-invisible characters and programs usually don’t filter them out because their name doesn’t contain “space” (unlike, say, the zero-width space).


This little piggy went to the market… because it was fat and was ready to be sold and butchered.


Wolfenstein 1-D is apparently a Wikipedia page. While admittedly, there is a bit of a timing element, the game is still quite silly.




amanuensis: One who is employed to take dictation or copy manuscript.

If that seems oddly familiar, yes, I got it from a webcomic. From some time ago. That I just reread.


Faster way to dig through browser history, i.e. fill in the missing gaps: Chrome’s history tool is rather annoying, but as it is, when you press Next, the hovered link remains on Next even after clicking it. So hold down Enter and you can get some mileage out of that.


Hmm, so why is Isotropic Dominion down, whereas their wiki fully documents every single card in the game?


Vodka is typically made from a honey base.


Bananaphone is an actual song and does not come from Charlie the Unicorn at all, nor does Charlie the Unicorn ever use this song. (This is probably due to two scenes in Charlie the Unicorn 2 and 3: “Put a Banana in your Ear” and “Ring ring! Hello?” being conflated.)

Friendly Floatees: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendly_Floatees

Bugdom got a sequel!

Cables are twisted around each other to attempt to cancel out electromagnetic interference, i.e. crosstalk.


Interesting, apparently David Siegel could have singlehandedly decided the 2000 presidential election. He owned a resort company based in Florida with about 8000 employees. As a Republican, he would give them anti-Gore propaganda in their paychecks, and in pre-election surveys if his employees had indicated that they were pro-Bush, Siegel would tell them how to vote, otherwise he didn’t. This influenced perhaps about 1000 employees, where the margin in Florida ended up being around 537.

Also, the Li Gang incident.


Actual gameplay mechanics of Katamari Damacy. Strangely incremental in nature.

nutrimatic.org is a fairly powerful word search / regex-matcher.


Age of Empires hasn’t tried to make a 4th installment, but rather various app-like games for the phone (which originally was planned for Summer 2014, then Fall 2014, then 2015) and Farmville-like games for the computer.

Got a Prismata beta key. It certainly has some sharp mechanics.

A bunch of conspiracy theories from xkcd’s fairly recent comics.


Widdershins is a term that means counterclockwise. I did not get this from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld by the way, I got it from a MIT Mystery Hunt puzzle.

The Journal of Null Results: http://www.jasnh.com/

I guess having too high of a Scoville rating can actually induce chemical burns and be potentially fatal to ingest. Also, peppercorns and e.g. chili peppers are entirely unrelated species only related by spiciness. In this sense, white and black pepper derive from peppercorns and thus are not related to chili peppers either.


It took about 30 years (1920’s to 1950’s) for people to realize that there were 46 human chromosomes and not 48.


Cities Skylines is an unusually detailed SimCity-like made by Paradox. Well, I guess unusual detail is no longer a surprise.

Also, Helen Keller used a different form of Braille than is used today. Back then, Braille was not very alphabetically arranged, and instead there was an attempt to make the dots by letter frequency – i.e. the most common letters A and E had one dot, and the least common letters X and Z had five dots. Furthermore, there exists Chinese braille, well sort of. The best it can do is make a close rendition of the pinyin.


Functor fun!


Wow, I didn’t know that, according to some surveys in certain countries, more people responded that they use Facebook, than they use the internet.

The Rock Bottom Remainders is a group of best-selling authors who get together and form a rock band for one week of the year.


Pi day equals puzzle hunts! Also, I would prefer the 03-14-16 rather than the 03-14-15 day since 3.1416 is much closer than 3.1415. I realize you can add additional digits and stuff through time, but eh, that’s even less global than the current system is.


Some crabs can swim (as opposed to walking on the seafloor)

The pronunciation of phlegmatic includes the g. (It is not silent, like phlegm is.)


The Chinese Zodiac dragon likely has its origins from excavated dinosaur bones – after all, only a dragon-sized animal could have such big bones.

Wow, so apparently Java’s binary search and Mergesort was wrong and was fixed in 2006. (It has to do with integer overflow when getting the middle element; mid = (high + low) / 2 fails when high+low > 2^31. Of course, this first necessitates arrays with size larger than 2^30.)


How to deceive a automated grader checking for asymptotic efficiency: just make the base case REALLY slow. (Bonus: call it “checking your work”)


Foodfight! looks like an absolutely terrible film. Yet it’s still not even on Wikipedia’s “worst movies ever made” list. I guess there probably were worse films…


Japanese instant food goes too far with their Popin Cookin’. Seems like a lot of work to make pizza and burgers out of fine powders.

Oh right, they just showcased 3-D printed meals. The future is here?


They literally call it “The Crisis of the Third Century”.


BMT Team round ended up being too hard


Muzak is actually the name of elevator music.


Second Street is more common than First Street, which makes sense since sometimes First Street is actually named Main Street.


Grr, overfull boxes in LaTeX


This puzzle has another equally deep rabbit hole that leads to the wrong answer.


Wolfenstein 1-D is apparently notable enough to receive its own Wikipedia article as well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfenstein_1-D

It is exactly what it sounds like. A shooter that is 1-D, hard on your eyes, and basically devoid of strategy. Although I suppose shooters in general lack strategy, this one even lacks tactics!


Nooooo stop the dress silliness


Rather old (pre-2001) MOP stuff: http://ofb.net/~whuang/ugcs/mop/old/moplist.html


Slashdot is still alive?


Existence of Matt Gaffney’s crossword metas: xwordcontest.com. Too bad it’s behind a paywall now.


You know those segmented displays on various appliances? They’re not just LCD’s or LED’s – there’s another technology, VFD (vacuum fluorescent display) which was the precursor to both, although it is slowly being phased out for being rather energy intensive among problems with wear and tear.


Jared Diamond (the author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, among other books; the favorite author of Mr. Bellotti) was actually trained in physiology (and studied things like ecology), not in history or geography. I guess it kinda makes sense since they’re kinda related, population movements and all


http://glench.com/hash (warning: may mess up your browser history (i.e. push a lot of entries onto it) and might cause lag; the former can be solved by opening in incognito.)


xkcd’s Time won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story.

Apparently the Discovery Channel Boom de Yada song sounds slightly different than I had previously remembered (which is weird on its own; I don’t think I’ve ever seen the commercial).

The Hexayurt.


Oreos were inspired by an earlier cookie known as the Hydrox. Despite being released earlier (4 years – 1908 versus 1912), Hydrox cookies were seen as the knockoffs.

There are college mascots which are actually manifest in real animals: Tusk the male Russian boar (importantly, male because tusks) (Arkansas Razorbacks), Uga the bulldog (surprise, University of Georgia Bulldogs), Reveille the Collie (Texas A&M Aggies),  and Sir

I accidentally go to Br.Ch.’s TIL’s brace.io page and unsurprisingly, there’s a goodbye blog page. Surprisingly, it’s not actually a goodbye blog page, since it gives a site44.com error that “this website has been temporarily suspended due to excessive usage”. Not Br.Ch.’s brace.io page, but rather the blog page itself.


Lol Lenovo and that critical root certificate bug thing.

(With that said, why do computer manufacturers add random unwanted software in the first place? It barely gives you additional money through licensing.)

Tweleve is a forum dedicated to treasure and puzzle hunts.

Also, the Voynich manuscript has apparently been partially decoded. It is not a hoax. Probably.


Saturn’s hexagon cloud?


Mahjong scoring is weird


No, that simple proof for the four color theorem does not work.


Null routing in order to easily block DDoS attempts


Treasure trove literally means “treasure that has been found” (i.e. trove has a meaning)

NASA only adopted the metric system in 2007.

Cinnamon that you buy in stores is actually a related spice called cassia.


ASMT happened and you can read it in a future blogpost that hopefully won’t be delayed too much.


(This begins some non-fact material that you can probably skip over.)

Hmm, how would you make Monopoly a more fun game? The first revolutions (about 2-3) are a quick land grab predicated by luck, then people start trading for color blocks, and then once someone gets a lucky break the last two thirds of the game ends up being a foregone conclusion.

A short transcript of what happened (our Berkeley ASMT volunteer game):

After the initial landgrab, a few trades happen which gives:

Ni.Pa. with oranges

Ca.Li. with pinks

Me with reds

Vi.Ha. with yellows

Yi.Ji. with dark blues

Va.Na. with light blues

Er.Ki. with greens

I got some very favorable trades for the reds (giving up yellow and green in the process, which are admittedly higher value). And Er.Ki. was pretty dominant early on, banking heavily with 3 greens on his houses ($900 I think?). But fortunately, Go to Jail was immediately before the greens, and a lot of people were quite lucky to not land on the greens. The reds were more commonly landed on, as were yellows – but I played rather conservatively and didn’t overbuy houses until at strategic times.

And then people started falling pretty shortly after. Vi.Ha was probably the third contender during the land grab having acquired yellows rather early on. (However his trade for my yellow in exchange for a red and a dark blue was somewhat questionable. (to put in perspective, I sold off the dark blue for $700) The other red was for straight cash for around $400.) But an unlucky fall causes him to mortgage quickly from my reds, and fall down to Er.Ki. on the greens. (Note that I got the money and Er.Ki. gets the property.)

As I mentioned earlier, Er.Ki. never really got that much money on the greens, while I steadily developed red, so ultimately as he was about to reach my territory, he promptly sold off his territory to Va.Na. (i.e. kingmaking) for a large sum of cash.

To prevent from this sort of situation from happening, I made deals with people who got hit by my territory: I would buy their railroads for $200 (deducting from money owed). This gave me much needed territory. But a lot of the lots were funneled first into

With that said, kingmaker very nearly worked – I ended up with two color groups – pink and red, both with hotels, with Va.Na. having the other six. (I did have the four railroads, so that wasn’t terrible, and additionally Va.Na. never really had the capital to build hotels.) So while I had a ludicrous amount of money (at the end of the game, I had over $9000, and the scenario started when I had over $4000), my income was sporadic to say the least. It was a game of attrition as I would lose some, lose some more, maybe pass Go, and collect $1100 from reds)


Apparently the Mario Kart blue shell was due to the fact that Nintendo didn’t want everyone to be far apart in the racetrack as that would tax the rendering capabilities of the Nintendo 64.

Those are certainly unusual circumstances.



The name of Scratch the introductory programming language comes from scratching turntables to make something new. (Not, for example, “starting from scratch”)


And thus ends a one month “hiatus” (in that it wasn’t actually a hiatus, I was just procrastinating trying to fill out each of the previous days.) I apologize in advance for any short and choppy facts in some of the days. We will hopefully increase fact production shortly.

Gripe of the day: Chrome’s browser history viewer is very nonrobust.

WordPress slugs are called slugs. Furthermore, the slug for this page is 2015-2 probably because the page 2015 itself conflicts with a year category page.

I would like to say that using . as concatenation is a very silly thing to do, PHP.


saltatory: related to leaping

saltator: a type of bird

The existence of yet another puzzle hunt (USC (South Carolina, not Southern California))


Currently on “lrn2logicpuzzle”: Tapa, Nurikabe. Previously: Yajilin, Masyu, LITS, Star Battle, Fillomino in reverse chronological order. Basically gaining a working familiarity with the tricks used in each type.

Anyway, some tricks that should probably be pretty obvious.

Tapa: 3-3 blocks are symmetric (as well as 1-1-1-1 (and 0 and 8 I guess)), 4 blocks are antisymmetric, 2×2’s can deny placing long chains especially with 3, 4, etc. Some Tapa-specific connectivity constraints regarding near the edge 3’s, etc.

Nurikabe: Don’t deny islands (another island should not be diagonally away from another number if that number is cornered), in particular a cornered 2 must have a black square diagonally away from it, white squares (usually formed by 2×2’s) that can only be reached by faraway islands

Connectivity in general: Snaking, straits (if there is a region that has to be black in order to allow for connection between two regions), also as a metaheuristic if there is a cycle there is probably an error since otherwise it would be underconstrained. (particularly for Nurikabe)

Yajilin: Alternating black square “hat” chains, obligatory cornering/alleying, if there are two givens diagonally adjacent then that gives you four path squares, if there is a given one away from a wall it gives you two path squares, some connectivity regarding the path.

Masyu: Lots of patterns. Black-black, black 1 (or 0) away from wall, white-white-white, white-white which would end up continuing a path, white on a wall, white-white on a wall, black which would terminate on a wall, black given too short of a notice of turning, black-black antiloop, black-white diagonal, general connectivity rules.

LITS: What goes in certain pentominoes, type-locking in certain cages, connectivity

Star Battle: 2-square cage protection, L-triomino is bad (for 2-stars), region-row arithmetic (also shows up in say KenKen sometimes)

Fillomino: Snaking, things next to 1’s have to be filled by one of their neighbors, chain denying (not 1, not 2, not 3, etc.)


tl;dr: making things smarter than us is scary! Be careful or very bad things may happen.

I think I will abstain from further “rational” exploration for now. Too distressing.

Also, re-add => readd can be a funny typo of read.

Shuriken are not usually star-shaped (and even less often do they have the blades and such portrayed by popular culture). They are simply throwable weapons (and usually are shaped like throwing knives).

Think about it. How would you throw a real throwing star shuriken without cutting yourself?


Oops, that was not my cellphone number, that was my mom’s (new) cellphone number…


NSF actually funds a bit in the social sciences. (How this is defined, I’m not certain).

Also, polysynthetic languages and the gavagai problem.


Mathgrant is now in the word puzzle sphere (Ok, caveats: 1) He’s been at it for many months now, 2) his logic puzzles are undoubtedly currently in Grandmaster Puzzles right now.)


Ah yes, pseudo-absolute pitch (basically “trained” “perfect” pitch) can be trained. For example I randomly still retain middle C for some reason (despite not having done anything musical in the last couple of months) and can extrapolate to any other note (as any good musician should). I don’t have the operational fluency that someone with absolute pitch could have and have to mentally “translate” pitches. It’s as if it’s a second language (for instance my mind does the mental translation thing to Chinese as well). Which probably isn’t too bad. Oh well.


Wonderquest is a DROD-like, which means that it is rather infuriating at times. Meh.


The “don’t repeat yourself” paradigm is known as DRY. The opposite of this is WET, or “write everything twice”.


Typically, player piano sheet music is not created from regular sheet music. Rather, a performer plays a piece on a transcriber piano which makes markings on the fly. (and in more modern times, it is transcribed into a file on the fly)

Of course, there are exceptions, such as when music is too complex to play by a human.

Incidentally, music boxes are not produced like this, they are more rigid and mechanical sounding.

Super Bowl 50 will apparently not denote themselves with Roman numerals. (This tradition appears to have started back with Super Bowl III) And then it’ll go back to Super Bowl LI.

The British finally converted to decimal money in 1971. (Prior to then, a pence was 1/240th of a dollar.)

The Mazda Ɛ̃fini (yes that is IPA, and yes that is a product name) exists. Or well, existed, until the model was discontinued due to the Japanese asset bubble crisis or something like that.


Russian poker cards have Cyrillic letters on the corners. Probably to be expected.


A lot of birds. With fruition. Well, there wasn’t really any objective for that one except to collect a lot of birds. For something. Potentially stay tuned.


The word “android” was coined earlier than “robot”.


Of course, Frozen is inspired by a Hans Christian Andersen tale.

There is no consensus between -ible and -able still for some words (e.g. extendable/extendible although extensible is a lot more used). It seems that -able is a lot more generative though.


I realize that this may not actually be the case, oops (see header)

There is a MIT Mystery Hunt TVTropes page.


So let’s see here, Real Analysis is teaching Abstract Algebra and Abstract Algebra is teaching Set Theory. Good work guys.

Random note: if you’re nearsighted, your phone camera can also serve as a temporary fix for a lack of glasses, say.

The gac fruit contains the most lycopene out of any fruit.


Due to bad reporting by countries, some days recorded a drop of total deaths/cases regarding the Ebola epidemic.

The Ebola epidemic still exists.


A lot of administrative divisions (e.g. states, provinces, regions, oblasts, districts, prefectures, etc.) without fruition


A clove of garlic is not actually one garlic.



Reddit went down when someone allegedly posted a cheating “live update” story and the traffic crashed it.


A123456 from the OEIS is Fur Elise in MIDI format.


Birdo (the Mario character) was originally planned to be a male character. But then they realized that males can’t lay eggs so they added female clothing.

Smart Glass is basically glass with controllable tint.


The Buckeye Bullet is the fastest hydrogen fuel car.


Lots of dairy products (that did not come to fruition)

Random facts about Terminator and Chrono Trigger


The Bazooka was named after a musical instrument.

Lots of weird fish types


MIT Mystery hunt! Backsolving is fun. I feel actually useful for the first MIT Mystery Hunt ever.

Also, I guess my online riddling experience kinda helps?


Brinicles are icicles that form on the underside of sea ice, which can travel down to the ocean floor and killing various seabed organisms.

You can use lasers to remove patinations (basically oxidized metal).

umbo: the bump at the middle of a shield.


HTTP Error Code 418: “I’m a Teapot”.


“Geez Louise” is the correct spelling of the phrase that I have previously never seen spelled out (in contrast to heard verbally, which is still rare but still not unheard of)


6480 is a perfect Geoguessr round (so 32400 is a perfect score) but this requires almost pixel-perfect precision. So perhaps 6479 is the highest feasible score.


Waterflame – Glorious Morning, also known as the Age of War theme music.


The Mengenlehreuhr is a clock that uses a bunch of lights to tell the time in hours and minutes. It’s also named the Berlin Clock.

There is another type of Rock candy that originates in Britain – Brighton rock or Blackpool rock. (It is not a genre of music)

Sometimes a flight with a layover is cheaper than a direct flight to one leg of the layover… how does this make any sense at all?


You can use #page=?? in pdf URL’s to jump to the page in a link.

Apparently Scientology has a NPO to oversee and regulate all copyrights and trademarks held by Scientology, the Religious Technology Center. They got into a lawsuit with some people when they were distributing scriptures that were “enciphered” through an encheferizer (a filter that adds a Swedish Chef Muppets accent) or perhaps a Jive filter.

Also learned that the war between Scientology and the Internet has existed far before say the 4chan Project Chanology (2008), as early as 1994.

Eggcorn is eggcorn for acorn

BanYa is a Korean group, not a Japanese group, that makes songs for Pump it Up! (a Korean rhythm game) and not DDR.

Trivia nights and escape rooms are very real things. The former is also known as a pub quiz.


Both Br.Ch. and Iv.Ko. are writing the MIT mystery hunt (as part of the winning team from last year)

.cbr and .cbz are in fact RAR and ZIP compressed.


Capricious and Capricorn do have the same etymology:

Capricious -> caprice -> caprice (French) -> capriccio (Italian) -> capro (Italian) (referring to a goat) -> capreolus (Latin); capriccio originally meant “shivering” as well as “whim”.

Seekfind: a website with lots of fallacy pages… wait why is this Christian propaganda?

The caduceus (two snakes with wings) is NOT intended to be the symbol for medical professions, although has somewhat become a symbol of such due to e.g. the U.S. Army Medical Corps. The correct symbol is the Staff of Asclepius, or the asklepion. Incidentally, a 1992 study showed that medical organizations that were more commercially oriented tended to use the caduceus instead of the asklepion which was used by more “professional” medical organizations.


Path of Exile is a pretty good Diablo-like

Also, Paint’s undo function is bounded by the size of the picture: smaller pictures have a deeper undo stack.

Probably stated earlier but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Vowel_Shift


Why is GIMP on a torrent file?


Reactance is basically “resistance” from a capacitor or inductor. Impedance is the combination of reactance and resistance. The inverses of the these quantities are conductance (resistance), susceptance (reactance), and admittance (impedance), and are measured in Mhos / Siemens. The inverse of capacitance is elastance. The inverse of inductance is permanence.

Floppy disk music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFRf77DZ5xM

The Mario mushroom powerup sound is the level end sound except sped up by a factor of about 4.

“Pick your poison” apparently refers to alcohol and not actual poisons.

Apparently Laplace’s demon has been disproven by a Cantor diagonalization argument.


How do people mismeasure the half-life of things so significantly? No, I’m not even talking about half-lives of very small parts of seconds; take Iron-60. Formerly it was thought its half-life was 1.5 million years, but now after more measurement (in 2009) it’s now 2.6 million years.

The ISO standards suggest using a as the unit of a year (for “annum”) instead of, say, y or yr.

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