Learn Fun Facts’ Monthly Miscellany, April 2018

Random Ramblings



There was a time when I went to the cinema almost every day. The cinema that I went to was located near to my school. So, after school, my classmates and I would go there to watch a movie or two. Sometimes, I would go alone if no one was free to accompany me.

Now, I barely go to the cinema anymore. The last time that I went to the movie theater was a year ago. It’s not that I don’t have the time, it’s just that I don’t enjoy watching movies on the big screen as much as I used to be.

Back in the days, even after doing some part-time job, I would go to the cinema at 11:00 PM and the movie would finish at around 1:00 AM. That was my way of relaxing in the past aside from reading.

But those days were different. The movies at the time were really great. Movies produced in Hong Kong were numerous but many of them were excellent. When I was still studying, there were approximately 400 movies produced in Hong Kong per year, but now, it would be lucky if they can produce 60 movies in one year. In addition, the quality of most of these 60 or so movies is not good.

The cost of a movie ticket has also changed a lot. Back then, the cost of a single ticket was HK$25 (US$3.20), but nowadays, it’s around HK$100 (US$12.75) or more. 

What a Mess

Earlier this morning, a deafening sound of some broken glass woke me up. I glanced at the clock and it was still 5 AM so I opted to ignore it. It could just be from somewhere else. However, after a few minutes, I smelt some kind of soy sauce and other spices. My first thought was, “Who the heck is cooking heavy meals that early in the morning?” However, as the smell intensified, I decided to see what it was.

When I went to the kitchen, I finally learned what happened. The dark soy sauce that I used for cooking last night, together with a bottle of ketchup, a bottle of light soy sauce, a bottle of black vinegar and a jar of XO Sauce (which took me quite a while to make) fell to the floor. I am not sure how it happened. Perhaps, I didn’t place back the soy sauce properly after I used it last night…

Long story short, it took me three hours to clean up all the mess and the glass shards. After cleaning the mess, I also cleaned the entire kitchen as I was already cleaning too long anyway, might as well clean them all.

How Much Water Do You Drink?

Most people would tell you to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water  (around 2.5 liters) per day to avoid dehydration. However, experts are still debating the exact amount of water that is needed by the human body and it seems that nobody agrees with each other.

I have read some scientific articles that even argue that you don’t have to drink 8 glasses of water since you can get all the water you need from the food that you eat and from other drinks like juice, coffee, and beer. Yes, beer. While others say that alcoholic beverages can dehydrate you, others argued that there is no scientific basis that supports the claim. Personally, I don’t buy their claims since their tones are rather condescending. Instead of making arguments, they would say something like, “the media brainwashed you into believing that you need to drink 8 glasses of water a day.” This kind rhetoric just rubs me the wrong way. Those are the same type of people who will say, “Wake up Sheeple!”

wake up sheeple.jpg

Now then, back to the original question: How much water do you drink per day? I drink around 4.5 liters to 6 liters per day depending on the weather and how much exercise I do. Each day, I exercise for 1.5 to 3 hours depending on my mood and the amount of free time that I have. So, drinking a lot of water makes sense for me. However, even if I don’t exercise for some reason, I would still drink around 4 liters of water a day. I can’t imagine myself drinking less than that.

Monthly Likes


Portland, Oregon could have been named as Boston, Oregon.

William Overton, the founder of the place, owed money from several benefactors in Boston and Portland. In 1845, the city that would give its name was chosen through a coin toss.

Curious Links

Chicken Itza (Mysterious  Places)
Beware of these Financial and Identity Theft Scams (psecu)
20 Unusual Things that Exist in Our World (The Awesome Daily)
12 Weird Things that have Washed Ashore (Mental Floss)
List of Artificial Intelligence Projects (Wikipedia)



Lewis Carroll

The following is an extract of an obituary of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) published in the Daily Telegraph on January 15, 1898:

The sayings attributed to him at Oxford would fill an entertaining volume of Carrolliana. Among other things, his ‘etymology of the bell’ is still quoted with relish by scholars. There was a provisional belfry at Christ Church College, which was familiarly known to Oxonians of the time as ‘the meat safe.’ Mr. Dodgson, undertaking to explain this epithet etymologically, split up the word belfry into two parts — the French word belle and the German word frei (free). Then he went to work as follows:

Belle = beautiful = comely = meet (meat);
Frei = free = secure = safe
Result: ‘Meat-safe.’



A mathematician friend told me that if I write down the number 82 to 1 in a descending order and concatenate the digits together:


The 155-digit number formed would be a prime. And she’s correct. You can check it on Wolfram|Alpha.


The first song is titled Keiko no Yume wa Yoru Hiraku performed by the enka singer Keiko Fuji and the next song is Inochi Azukemasu also by the same singer.


“A variety of nothing is superior to a monotony of something.” — Jean Paul Richter


A discussion on how optical illusions trick our brains.

Posted by

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. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is edmarklaw@learnfunfacts.com

28 thoughts on “Learn Fun Facts’ Monthly Miscellany, April 2018

  1. I only went to the movie theater in Hong Kong when I was a kid. Somehow my dad liked to see movies from the US with subtitles. I think these days, it’s cheaper to make movies in China. I’m glad Portland, Oregon was named. That was the first city I came.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wow, this post was jam-packed with facts and info … I’ve not been to the cinema since 1992.

    I started renting movies and now don’t even do that. I cancelled my cable in 2010 so I don’t even watch TV … yes, I am an oddball.

    I only drink water and I try to drink 6-7 glasses a day. That is because last year I got gout … I got gout because I was eating healthy and though it seemed to be the right things to eat to say healthy, it was full of purines and caused gout in my one big toe. I don’t like to take medicine so I changed my diet all around and was fine in a few months … one change involved drinking tart cherry extract and drinking more water.

    Thanks for the interesting post.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Most movies these days just don’t have what it takes to pique my curiosity so I rarely watch new movies. It’s more fun to discover great old movies.

      I’m too busy with reading books and with my research projects to watch tv though I would occasionally watch some shows if they are good which is also rare.

      Eating a balanced diet is still the best way to go. It doesn’t matter if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you have to eat a balanced meal. Any food eaten in large quantities is bad.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. TV programs were better quality a few decades ago. I really miss the mini series which we have over here … I enjoyed “Roots” and “The Thornbirds” and though I am not a cowboys-and-Indians-fan, I thoroughly enjoyed “Lonesome Dove”. Here it seems like most shows are reality TV or something like “Game of Thrones” none which interest me.
        And as I said, I heard of no moves that would take me to the show anymore.
        I miss reading and was an avid reader for years. As a bus rider for many decades, I buried my nose in a book back-and-forth to work, on my lunch hour and even at night. Since working from home, there is no commute, and it seems I am on the computer an inordinate amount of time. When I retire, I want to resume reading again and have many books that my mom and I bought as we enjoyed the same books. She read many before she passed away and I have about three tubs of books downstairs and a great deal more upstairs – all pocketbooks, but still a lot of reading. Had I not begun blogging, perhaps I would be a little more ahead of the game.
        I have tried to eat properly and since it is just me, I don’t usually make a big meal, but often make meals ahead and keep them handy for during the week. I am not much of a cook. My mom always did the cooking and told me “it’s easy, if you can read, you can follow a cookbook and learn to cook” … not sure I echo her thoughts though.
        I’ve always been tall, so weight wasn’t a problem, but being sedentary all these hours a day is not good. That’s why I started walking, but the weather has wreaked havoc with my walking regimen of late – three inches of rain since Friday at noon and three thunderstorms. This too shall pass.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Even if I do watch tv shows, it would be old tv shows. The only thing I watch these days are documentaries. But even then, the quality of documentaries is dropping. That’s why I’m glad that David Attenborough doesn’t retire yet despite his age as he’s one of the only few people that can deliver quality nowadays.

        Oh, and now, National Geographic and Discovery Channel are now infested with reality shows as well.

        I’m in the field of research so reading is part of the job. I think that I made my blog just to have another excuse to read…

        I had zero talent in cooking when I was a teen. However, during college, I somehow got hired at a high end Shanghai food restaurant. The head chef told me that it doesn’t matter even if I don’t know how to boil water as they’d train me.

        At first, it was difficult, but I had to learn quickly since messing up isn’t an option considering how high customers pay for even our most basic menu.

        Eventually, I learned and even had the opportunity to teach new recruits. I may be no professional chef, but I suppose that my cooking skill is good enough.

        At home, I normally do cardio, bodyweight exercises and isometric/isotonic exercises. They don’t need any huge equipments and can be conveniently done at home.

        When practicing and conditioning for marathon, I’d run even if it’s storming, though I won’t recommend anyone to do it 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My parents always had me watch the National Geographic specials, as well as Jacques Cousteau and Animal Kingdom as a child, and read the “National Geographic” magazine as well, so I am disappointed to read that it is now reality-based as well. There is no accounting for taste in TV and/or movies these days. I’m probably the only person who has never seen any of the “Star Wars” movies or anything sci-fi … just never watched it.

        I lived at home as I used to like to travel when I was younger and saved my money to use on travel and photography back in the 70s and 80s. I worked at a diner through college and loved it – I was very shy before working there and it made me feel more comfortable and outgoing.
        Everyone who worked there, except me, was from the Deep South and very friendly, as was the clientele. I learned to cook on a grill when the cook was on a break and I had never even fried an egg before working there. They were open 24/7 and served all types of food, so I learned to cook a little of everything. I stayed on there after college was done as my manager was going to retire and I didn’t want him to have to look for someone for weekends … I worked weekends through school, plus all Summer holidays and all school breaks.

        I don’t walk in the rain but it is because I worked in the City of Detroit for decades and went to work by bus … many times I stood out in a thunderstorm, driving rain or a blizzard, so now I am less likely to do so if I don’t have to. We are having another 48 hours of flooding downpours and thunderstorms so my walking regimen will take a major hit. My goal last year was only 755 miles (to beat the 2016 mileage of 754 miles by a mere mile) and that is how I do it every year … just beat my prior year’s mile by one mile. We had great weather in 2017 and I got to 1,050 miles walked when bad Winter weather set in and continued until Spring and we had horrible Spring weather – still had snow in April.

        I may not make that 1,051 mile goal this year but I think 2017 was a fluke and I’m going to try not to agonize over it too much. Running in a storm for conditioning – you are very brave! :)


  3. WOW! this post is rich in information and fun facts. With regard to the cinema I have always enjoyed movies and I think that most movies are not getting the viewers into the theaters any more. What is sad about this is that no one will make the ‘big’ movies anymore. This past year I really enjoyed Blade Runner 2049. It did not rely on computer generated graphics and had some very interesting technical feats, brilliant sets and good acting. But it was long for today’s audience and I do not think it did as well as it should have done. I think that audiences today would complain that some of the great films of the past were too long : Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge on the River Kwai, Dr. Zhivago to name but three. Anyway…thanks for this full up and full on post

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Boy, you’re just full of inspiration today! Once upon a time I worked in a very fulfilling job that paid very little, so a buddy and I took advantage of $1 matinee movies in the afternoon. We still worked our full-time hours, but the bargain was too good to pass up! You’ve also reminded me to go pour a glass of water, and go to the store for more beer! They are both excellent here in Portland Oregon 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When I was part-timing as a street vendor when I was 12 during the summer vacation., I would at least drink 10 cans of coke during work. The work was tough since I had to push a heavy cart full of clothes from place to place. Now though, I rarely drink coke. I can’t even remember when I last bought one lol.

      It’s hard to explain in simple terms, but I’ll try. It involves a lot of primality tests (they are methods for testing whether a number is prime. There are now many such tests known, but they are still not enough to test the primality of all types of primes).

      But for this case, they had most likely used brute force algorithms to find prime numbers with this kind of pattern.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love to watch movies on cinema, the big screen and the atmosphere makes even mediocre movies good. But it´s not often I go. Many times it´s hard to find any who want to join me, many tomes because just the movie.
    Water I drink very much. At least 3 liters/day I drink water to everything, and it must be tap water. We have very good water here and I don´t like sparkling water, but have it at home for guests.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. It’s as if your brain exploded and all these topics dripped out.
    My cinema fix, as a teenager, was satisfied by going to a matinee for a dollar fifty, then going from screen to screen watching movies until ten hours later. Sometimes, I’d just go to a movie I’d seen to hear people reacting to it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sadly, there’s no such thing in HK. In the Philippines, if you purchase a movie ticket, you can be in the cinema for many hours (you can’t go to another theater house though, so you’d watch the same movie again and again…)

      Liked by 1 person

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