Learn Fun Facts’ Monthly Miscellany, March 2018

Random Ramblings

The Worst Possible Superpowers

black bolt.jpg

This is inspired by Masercot’s fun post with the same title.

— The sporadic ability to run through walls.

— The psychic power to break any of your own bone with just a thought.

— The power to steal anyone’s superpower in a world where no one possesses any superpower.

— The psychic ability to cause automatic doors to open a second faster than they normally would.

— The ability to make any situation awkward.

— The power to stop time without being immune to your own power.

— You turn bald every time you get angry.

— The ability to turn into a tapeworm every full moon.

— You have superhearing which only activates when you feel sleepy.

— The ability to communicate with mammoths.

E-Book Reader

Until a few years ago, I read my e-books on my smartphone, tablet or computer. It’s mostly all right but after reading for some time, my eyes would begin to tire out. On the other hand, if I am reading physical books, I could read them for a long period of time without any difficulty. Sometimes, when doing research, I could read for a whole day and a whole night, and I’m still fine the next day.

I’ve heard that e-readers cause less strain to the eyes, but hadn’t bought one since e-readers were (and still are) not popular here in Hong Kong, and thus, hard to find. Well, that’s not actually a good reason as I could easily order one online or I can buy one during my travels to overseas. The main reason I didn’t purchase an e-reader earlier is I thought there’s not much point in buying a gadget that performs a function that can be performed by my smartphone.

But then, after some research, I decided to buy an e-reader, specifically Kindle Paperwhite HD, from Amazon. It’s like staring at a real book… well, but really, but it’s a lot better than staring at a smartphone.

While I still prefer real books, I can’t deny that it’s good to have an e-book reader.

Monthly Likes

Art

Almost every day for the duration of March 2013, Malaysian artist Hong Yi played with her food. However, she wasn’t simply playing with her food, she turned them into art. Her backdrop was only a white plate and the images depicted were entirely composed of food. There’s a large variety of designs including simple illustrations of objects, animals, landscapes, and references to popular culture. They were posted on her Facebook and Instagram.

Here are some examples:

Curiosity

In mid-1960’s, Rival Dog Company conducted a press conference to promote their new dog food. The president of the company brought with him a pedigreed collie and placed the dog at the main table next to him. As a publicity stunt, he served the dog their new product called “all-beef dinner”, but for some reason, the dog didn’t eat it. In fact, the dog completely ignored the food.

Not knowing what to do, the Rival president himself ate the dog food to the exuberance of the reporters. The next day, headlines like “Rival President Eats Dog Food, But Dog Won’t!” were all over the newspapers.

“I haven’t used an animal since,” the chairman of Rival’s PR remarked.

He was fired the following day.

Curious Links

Incredible Double Exposures Merge Wondrous Wild Animals with Stunning Scenery (My Modern Met)

Liu Bei: China’s Warlord who Teaches Good Management (BBC News)

There was Once a Woman who had Immortal Cells (Today I Found Out)

Bam Citadel (Sacred Sites)

Benford’s Law (Data Genetics)

Literature

Philip-ii-of-macedon

Philip of Macedon

Je ne puis rien nommer si ce n’est par son nom;
J’appelle un chat un chat, et Rollet un fripon.

— Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, Satire I, l. 51, 1716

This couplet translates to “I can call nothing by name if that is not his name. I call a cat a cat, and Rollet a rogue.” It is an allusion to a response provided by Philip II of Macedon to a foreign ambassador, who expressed his disapproval of some of the King’s subjects for calling him a traitor.

“My subjects are very uncouth,” Philip replied, “that they only know how to call things by their true names.”

Mathematics

coolidge.jpg

Julian Lowell Coolidge (1873-1954), a renowned geometer, and professor at Harvard University in the early twentieth-century was known for his sharp wit and humor during his lectures. He once said, “I definitely try, when I teach, to make the students laugh. And while their mouths are open, I put something in for them to chew on.”

○○○

One time, while thinking about numbers, the following occurred to me:

12 = 3 × 4; 56 = 7 × 8

I’m sure that someone must have observed this way earlier. Nonetheless, I think that this little curiosity is worth noting here.

Music

I like most of Kenny Roger’s song, but I think that The Gambler is one of my most favorite ones.

Quote

“It is better to be deceived by one’s friends than to deceive them.” — Goethe

Video

This is a short video of some of the best bowling tricks of Andy Varipapa filmed in 1948. Anyway, the commentary is quite entertaining.

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About Edmark M. Law

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. I blog at learnfunfacts.com. You can find me on Twitter @EdmarkLaw and Facebook. My email is edmarklaw@learnfunfacts.com
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16 Responses to Learn Fun Facts’ Monthly Miscellany, March 2018

  1. LightningEllen says:

    I do have a superpower! I can totally make any situation awkward, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful basket of goodies this post is!!! And hey!!! I didn’t realize #5 was a super power!!! Geez! I need to go make myself a badass cape!!! 🤣 Thank You and Cheers!!!! (Leaving after The Gambler finishes playing!) 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I bought an e-reader a few years ago and hardly ever use it! I love the food art! Also, my blog has moved. If you haven’t yet and want to continue following me, please subscribe via e-mail on my new website. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Abigail says:

    The sporadic ability to run through walls is probably the most useful of the worst possible superpowers. Or superhearing as you grow sleepy. That way, you can hear your friends/parents downstairs or in another room, whispering about you when they think you’re asleep.
    I agree with you about e-readers versus physical books. When my family and I lived overseas, I relied on a Kindle to access books. While convenient and more compact than shelves weighed down with pounds of books, I always preferred holding and turning the pages of a paper-and-ink book.
    Hong Yi’s food art puts the food styling on my site to shame. Fantastic finds, Edmark!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It would be useful in certain situations (just hope that it would work when it’s needed).

      The feeling of holding a physical books can’t be replicated by any ereader. This is especially true for old books.

      Like

  5. delphini510 says:

    I can vouch for Kindle Paperwhite. It is lit from above so you don’t have the tiring backlit screen.
    Has been an eye saviour for me.
    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

  6. paolsoren says:

    I already have some of these powers. Acute hearing just as I am about to sleep. That’s #1.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Eva O'Reilly says:

    Super powers: the ability to turn anyone else invisible, just not yourself 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ivor20 says:

    What a brilliantly witty and informative article. And thank you for the insight about e-readers, I’ve been thinking of getting one myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. masercot says:

    I laughed out loud at the one about becoming bald when you get angry. I am in awe, sir!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ESP says:

    Will take some time to go through all of this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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