Learn Fun Facts’ Monthly Miscellany, February 2019

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Random Ramblings

  • The past Lunar New year was quite hot here in Hong Kong. While it’s not that “hot”, it’s hotter than the normally cool temperature people enjoyed during this period. Unsurprisingly, the temperatures on the second and third day of this year’s Lunar New Year were the highest on record, reaching up to 24.9ºC and 25.8ºC respectively. This occurrence is attributed to climate change. Some theorize that in a few years, Hong Kong may not even experience a winter season. While some crackpots still insist that climate change is a made-up conspiracy theory, evidence suggests that it’s very real. They just refuse to acknowledge it.
  • I saw a 128 GB USB drive while walking on the street and picked it up. When I went home, I decided to plug it to a computer to see if it still works. My instinct told me that it’s full of malware and someone may have intentionally left it there. So, I ran it on a virtual machine just to be safe. Indeed, the USB drive was full of viruses and other nonsense. After cleaning it, it’s now as good as new.
  • Anyone who is interested to become a contributor for Learn Fun Facts is welcome!

Comment

Some time ago, someone left a comment on my post Pun of the Weak: Riddles which he or she may consider a thought-provoking one::

19 02 07 15 44 18

Of course, it was written by an anonymous wit who didn’t leave any means of contact. How typical. Oh well, it’s just another day of being a blogger I suppose.

Monthly Likes

Anecdote

In a BBC Radio segment Quote… Unquote (February 5, 1979), Robert Lacey told of a (most likely apocryphal) headline which apparently appeared in the New Chronicle in 1942 during World War II:

EIGHTY ARMY PUSH BOTTLES UP GERMANS

Entertainment

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Author Charles Lamb (1775 – 1834) liked the theater so he was ecstatic when he was able to get one of his works produced. Unfortunately, it was a total failure. On the first and final night of the play, the audience continuously hollered at it while throwing some jeers from time to time, and Lamb also participated in the hissing. He later explained that he did it as he was “damnably afraid of being taken for the author.”

Humor

This is from Reddit’s r/PunPatrol.

Language

This image, shared by Yang Yixue, is quite funny. While the first part of the sign is relatively correct, the second part was obviously translated using machine translation software. The words on the last part of the sign, 后果自负 (hòuguǒ zìfù), can be translated as “You are responsible at your own risk”. However, 自负 (zìfù) can both mean “conceited” and “bear the responsibility yourself”. So, this is how the error occurred.

When I tried to translate it with Google Translate, it gave “conceited at your own risk”.

It seems that many people still do not get that machine translation doesn’t generally work for Classical Chinese as a single word or a group of words can have a large number of meanings which not only depends on the context but also the words that precede or follow it.

Literature

When poet Robert Frost was in his late eighties, a fellow train passenger told him, “Congratulations on your longevity!”

“To hell with my longevity,” Frost replied. “Read my books.”

Reference: Robert Francis, Frost: A Time to Talk, 1972

Mathematics

Poor teaching leads to the inevitable idea that the subject [mathematics] is only adapted to peculiar minds, when it is the one universal science and the one whose four ground-rules are taught us almost in infancy and reappear in the motions of the universe.

— T. H. Safford, Mathematical Teaching, 1907

Music

Every time I think of WordPress’ Gutenberg editor make me remember this song.

Poetry

Thought is deeper than all speech,
Feeling deeper than all thought;
Souls to souls can never teach
What unto themselves was taught.

We are spirits clad in veils;
Man by man was never seen;
All our deep communing fails
To remove the shadowy screen.

Heart to heart was never known;
Mind with mind did never meet;
We are columns left alone,
Of a temple once complete.

Like the stars that gem the sky,
Far apart, though seeming near,
In our light we scattered lie;
All is thus but starlight here.

What is social company
But a babbling summer stream?
What our wise philosophy
But the glancing of a dream?

Only when the sun of love
Melts the scattered stars of thought;
Only when we live above
What the dim-eyed world hath taught;

Only when our souls are fed
By the Fount which gave them birth,
And by inspiration led,
Which they never drew from earth,

We like parted drops of rain
Swelling till they meet and run,
Shall be all absorbed again,
Melting, flowing into one.

— Enosis, Christopher Cranch

Pun

Q: Why is the nose positioned on the middle of the face?

A: Because it’s the scenter of course.

Quote

“I never forget a face, but in your case, I’ll be glad to make an exception.” — Groucho Marx, quoted in Loe Rosten, People I Have Loved, Known or Admired, 1970

Riddle

The way of the world and the heavens I hold;
Burdened with legend, my story is told.

Solution (Click to Show)

The Atlas.

Video

Well, that’s certainly an ingenious basket.

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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

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