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Twelve things I have learned

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Warning: This post was published more than 14 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 14 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

Just for your general information, here is a list of twelve things I have learned over the past few weeks that have surprised me. No particular reason you’d want to know, but look-ee anyway:

1. Of Alcoholics Annoymous’s famous twelve steps, only one mentions alcohol. Despite their much-repeated claims that they are not a religious organisation, step six is: “We are entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character”.

2. Humans have been cloned at least twice already. They were not, however, carried to full term – effectively, they were “aborted”.

3. Licking toads cannot make you high – bufotenine is not, as commonly believed, hallucinogenic (sorry).

4. Jesus was almost certainly not crucified. In the original Hebrew of the four gospels, only John refers to Jesus being crucified – all the others say he was hanged. It was only 800 years after his death that Jesus was first depicted in the form of the crucifix.

5. Start with any number, eg 32345364397. Count the number of even digits (4), the number of odd digits (7), and the total number of digits (11) – put these together to form a new number (4711) and repeat the process: 1 even, 3 odd, 4 total => 134. Repeat again: 1 even, 2 odd, 3 total => 123. Whatever number you start with, provided you do this enough times, you will always get to 123. This is one of a number of “Mathematical Black Holes”, which are impossible to explain.

6. Animal species are becoming extinct at the same rate they always have – there is no evidence to say that humans have increased this rate.

7. In the vast majority of studies, those who had not participated in AA meetings or attended any other form of treatment had a higher rate of addiction recovery than those who had.

8. At least 50% of US combat soldiers soiled themselves during battle in WWII.

9. Studies have found that parents have little or no long-term effect on their children’s personality, intelligence or mental health.

10. Latin America and Europe have each accounted for a greater number of terrorist attacks than the Middle East and Asia combined.

11. In five places in the Bible (I Samuel 25:34, I Kings 14:10. 1 Kings 16:11, I Kings 21:21 and II Kings 9:8) men are referred to as he “that pisseth against a wall”.

12. Look at an accepted, traditional map of the world, the kind you get on wall maps. On these maps, it appears that Greenland is approximately half the size of Africa. In reality, Africa is fourteen times bigger.

Anyway, that’s my little (!) post for now, hope you learned something!

Originally posted on The LBSC

This 2nd post was filed under: Headliner.






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 7th May 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 3rd April 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 4th March 2017)

‘Comment is free’ finally launches (published 16th March 2006)

Pollard: Poverty campaign is pants (published 23rd May 2005)

Pope John Paul II has died, aged 84 (published 2nd April 2005)

Photo-a-day 70: Home… nearly! (published 13th March 2014)


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