Learn Fun Facts’ Monthly Miscellany, June 2018

Random Ramblings

Mobile Phones

I am planning to purchase a new mobile phone at some time in the future to enjoy the features of a newer smartphone. However, one thing prevents me from doing so. Currently, I have three mobile phones — a Samsung Galaxy S2 (bought in 2011), Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (bought in 2013) and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (bought in 2015) — and they are still in good condition. Well, they have to be rooted and flashed to install custom ROMs as they don’t get updates anymore, but otherwise, they don’t have any other issues.

So, most likely, I wouldn’t buy a new phone until at least one of them dies.

Are Maps and Atlases Still Relevant?


Before the advent of electronic maps and GPS, we mostly rely on maps and atlases to learn more about the geography of a place. However, GPS, Google Street View and the internet, in general, have made them. practically obsolete. “Mapping” itself isn’t obsolete since the services provided by Mapping Specialists are still essential, especially for creating custom maps. Paper maps and atlases, on the other hand, are now becoming less and less popular.

Personally, I like to bring a map or two with me when going to another country or some unfamiliar place. I think that this is a better way to travel as I don’t like to mindlessly follow the direction given by a GPS app. Going from one point to another without knowing precise and shortest route opens a great opportunity for exploration. Getting lost while traveling is part of the fun.

I only use a GPS if I urgently have to go to a place that I am not familiar with.

Monthly Likes


plan of venice.jpg

Jacopo de’ Barbari (c. 1460/70 – c. 1516), an Italian Renaissance artist, created a remarkable model of the aerial view of Venice in 1500 using six blocks of wood. The woodcuts were placed on large sheets of paper measuring 1.345 meters x 2.818 meters. It was said that it took three years for de’ Barbara to complete it.

The model was created based on the work of several surveyors in bell towers around Venice. The model is highly detailed. For example, it depicts a bell tower with a flat roof in St. Mark’s Square. The flat roof was added after the top of the tower was destroyed by a fire in 1489. The model was updated when the bell tower was restored in 1514. Others would also modify it from time to time to take into account the new buildings constructed in Venice.


On June 30, 1960, a thunderstorm struck the Columbia, Missouri, area and made time not only stand still, but go backward. The Columbia Missourian reported that Mr. C.W. Brenton looked at his electrical clock at 7:55 P.M. and was startled to see that the clock was running backward. During the storm a surge of lightning had entered his home along the power lines and fused some of the wiring in the clock. This apparently reversed the magnetic field of the motor, causing the hands to turn in the wrong direction.

— Peter Viemeister, The Lightning Book, 1961




The 1951 issue of The Dark Horse, the staff magazine of Lloyds Bank, gave the following jaundiced mnemonic for pi:

Now I live a drear existence in ragged suits
And cruel taxation suffering.

The number of letters of each word represents the numerical value of π. Thus, π = 3.141592653589.


Goo-goo goo-goo goo-goo goo
Goo-goo goo-goo goo-goo
Googly, googly, googly goo:
That’s how we fill a column.

— G. K. Chesterton


I found this interesting little puzzle in Crux Mathematicorum, 1979, No. 83:

Which of the following statements is true:

A). All of the below
B). None of the below
C). One of the above
D). All of the above
E). None of the above
F). None of the above
Answer: A is definitely not true since a number of statements below contradict each other. B can’t also be true since that would mean C (One of the above) is true as well. Only one of the statements is true, so we have to also rule C and D out. This means that E must be true since A, B, C, and D are false. Lastly, F is false since E is true.


“I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong, and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid.” — G. K. Chesterton


This is one of the most foolish and irresponsible things to do if you are a goalkeeper. Nonetheless, watching Rene Htguita’s execution of the “scorpion kick save” is impressive.

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

27 thoughts on “Learn Fun Facts’ Monthly Miscellany, June 2018

  1. Cartography is one of my passions. I always prefer looking at a map and don’t own GPS system in my car. Did have a Samsung now emigrated to Huawei P20 lite. So far so good. Enjoyed your post today, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My car has a built-in GPS system though I barely use it. Hong Kong isn’t that big after all…

      I hear good things about the P20 (mainly about the camera).

      Thanks for reading.


  2. On the topic of maps: a paper map is like an analogue watch in that it has a past and a future, where you have been and where you are going. The GPS, even when extended to the max , is really only this moment in time. Or am I just being a luddite?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Getting lost while traveling is part of the fun.
    I’ve maintained this for years. Watching folks in Everquest II die from running off clifftops while following their maps has given me endless hours of fun 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! All smartphones have indeed a live by date. This is to ensure that manufacturers like Samsung and iPhone have ensured business. The old fashioned Nokia phones without smartness lasts and lasts. It is making a comeback as schools find smart phones distracting for students and will ban them for use when in school. Also for seniors it helps them to use it for voice calls. Technology…boon or bane is my view😃

        Liked by 2 people

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