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Twelve things I have learned

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 17 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 17 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and write about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

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

  • My views may well have changed in the last 17 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

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: Miscellaneous.

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