Monthly Archives: April 2016

The art of interruption

A pair of sociologists did a study of conversations between the same gender and with the other gender. In 10 same gender conversations there were 7 interruptions. In 11 cross-gender conversations there were 48 interruptions and 46 of them were by the male.

(The Great Courses – Understanding Linguistics: The Science of Language)

What was the exchange rate?

Jewish leaders did not think that it was appropriate to use Roman money to pay for items in the Jewish Temple so there were money changers who would change your Roman coins into Temple script that could be used to buy items in the Temple. These are the people that Jesus was upset with when he entered the Temple. Scholars aren’t exactly why Jesus was upset but it is thought that he was upset because they were making money on the transactions.

(The Great Courses – How Jesus Became God)

Imagine learning a new word every two hours

By the age of one year and eight months children know about 50 words. by age five they are learning about 15-20 words PER DAY! By age eight they know about 18,000 words. For most languages like English and the European languages the basic acquisition of a language is complete by the age of six or seven, however some languages may take longer. The Cree Native American language in Canada is unusually complex and may not be completely acquired until around age ten.

(The Great Courses – Understanding Linguistics: The Science of Language)

I’m surprised we haven’t had a movie version

Genesis 6 talks about he ‘sons of God’ taking wives among the ‘daughters of men’ and producing offspring. The story is also told in 1 Enoch which is another ancient Jewish writing. These offspring were 450 foot monsters who had large appetites and started eating men so God sent the Noah flood. The monsters were eventually thrown into a pit and what came out of their bodies are today’s demons.

(The Great Courses – How Jesus Became God)

The consequences of one finger

In 1905 in the strait of Tsushima the newly modern fleet of Japan destroyed the Russian fleet. This was the beginning of the rise of Japanese power in the region and kept Russia out of the area until after WWII. One young Japanese officer was named Yamamoto who eventually commanded the Japanese forces in early WWII. In the battle in 1905 he lost two fingers in an explosion. If he had lost a third finger he would have been discharged from the military.

(The Great Courses – The Decisive Battles of World History)

I bet Google could come up with a better option today

FDR declared a national bank ‘holiday’ on the day he took office as President of the United States. Individual states had been using this idea in the past months to try and stem the tide of bank runs. One of these was when Huey Long ordered his governor to declare a bank holiday in Louisiana. The holiday was declared to be in honor of the sixteenth anniversary of Woodrow Wilson’s decision to sever diplomatic relations with Germany. This was the only significant incident Long could find for that date in a almanac that he had borrowed from a friend.

(Book – The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope)

They should have invaded when they had the chance

After WWII the Chinese nationalists were driven from mainland China to Taiwan. While the US did send some supplies to them the US considered them a lost cause and was not initially prepared to support that government against an invasion from the communists. In January 1950 Truman even stated that the US would not militarily support that government. The Korean invasion in June 1950 changed everything and Taiwan was afterword seen as a critical American base.

(Book – Nixon and Mao – Margaret Macmillan)