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Sunday, 04 February 2024


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My bet is that the prunes bit does not pan out, no matter how often it has been repeated. There are reports that saying “prunes” was attributed to a single Daguerreotypist but (a) even that makes little sense given exposure times and (a) even if true, it does not suggest common practice, let alone common practice decades later when exposure times were short enough to capture lip movements associated with articulating a single-syllable word.

Mike: . . . the custom among Americans of grinning all the time is considered an oddity by some Europeans.

Well, I’m not a European, but I certainly agree. I refer to the ubiquitous cellphone photos that people take of their families, their friends, and themselves goofily grinning at the lens as “smirks.” The pictures are always the same; only the background changes. I can’t imagine anyone looks at these tedious snapshots after the immediate moment has passed. Every new venue apparently demands its own smirk, yet these compulsive snappers never seem interested in making candid photographs of the everyday lives of their subjects—something that (as anyone of a certain age will tell you) can provoke fond memories many years later.

Well, that was an interesting compendium of facts!

I sort of doubt the 70s climate thing. If you look at earth population projections, a very few hundred years from now the earth's population may well be in the hundreds of millions, rather than billions. When you subtract that much energy use -- and probably the elimination of oil and coal -- I would expect temperatures to eventually collapse as well. The earth may well pass through the 1970s climate on the way to something colder. We won't see,

Upper & lower Egypt were unified in about 3,150BCE. If you say end of ancient Egypt was start of Ptolomy I's reign, 305BCE, then ancient Egypt lasted 2,845 years ... and ended 2,329 years ago: it lasted longer than all the time since it fell.

Another way: great pyramid was 4th dynasty (so, really early, old kingdom), about 2,570BCE. Last known hieroglyphic inscription, which likely is in fact the last one made, was 24 August 394CE, 2,964 years after great pyramid. Time since then: 1,630 years.

Future historians of the world, which is of course coterminous with Egypt, will say that we are currently living in the fourth intermediate period. The restoration of the pharoahs in the last years of the 21st century will mark the transition to what will be known as the first modern kingdom, after the wars which so decisively ended the intermediate period.

Interesting facts!

I've often heard that about California's economy, but do have to question how it is measure. Because much of the California economy is subsidized, or invested in, by the United States, and much of Cali's expenses are paid by the collective United States.

Else, Cali would have to find its own self-sufficient water supply, power supply, raw materials, manufacturing, defense, military based, parks... or have to pay much more to others for same.

Strange but true, 4 out of 5 dentists make up 80% of all dentists.😀

‘When someone’s taking a picture of French people, they don’t yell out “Say Cheese”. No, they don’t even yell out “Say fromage“, as you might have suspected. But they do often yell out “Ouistiti”.
What’s a ouistiti? Well, apparently it’s a marmoset, which is a small monkey with an outlandish haircut.’

From: https://theearfultower.com/2017/07/23/eight-more-unusual-things-i-learned-about-how-to-speak-french-when-i-moved-to-france/#:~:text=When%20someone's%20taking%20a%20picture,often%20yell%20out%20%E2%80%9COuistiti%E2%80%9D.

My grandparents had a farm in Lincolnshire, and when they retired they moved to a house steps away from Lincoln cathedral. It really is a beauty - I'd put it up against any cathedral in the UK, even the fabled Notre Dame in Paris. Well worth a visit if you're in the area.

To which I might add, gorillas are the only primates that don't masturbate. However I never plucked up the courage to ask one

When you look at the basketball records of Wilt Chamberlain they become even more impressive when you realize he did not have the benefit of a 3 point basket. One season he averaged 50 points per game. The whole season, not just a few games.
Track athlete and high jumper.
Kansas City Chiefs had him try out for their football team. Would throw the ball over the crossbar in the end zone and Wilt could jump up and catch it. He decided he didn't want to play pro football - our loss.

I don't know exactly what you are getting at, but California receives less per person from the Feds than most states:

As far as smiling, there was an impoderables article about this, and most early photos were serious, posed works with long exposure times.

Though Feldman does quote Lewis Carroll's Hiawatha parody:

I have what I consider to be a pathetic open mouth smille, so I now refuse to “smile” for photos. A slight closed mouth smile is the best you’ll get.

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