Trivia - true or false.

  • Thread starter Astronuc
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  • #26
Art
I remember being told the horse-statue explanation by an uncle - a Colonel in the army - when I was a wee lad.
Apparently the horse code only holds for statues depicting Gettysburg.

Also

[Q] From Anita Finley: “Can you tell me the origin of honeymoon?”

[A] Those of you with romantic constitutions had better look away now. There are many invented stories about the origin of this word, mostly so sickly that I cringe at repeating them. There is, for example, the suggestion that at some time in some place there was a custom for newlyweds to drink a potion containing honey every day for the first month after the nuptials. But the word only turns up in English in the middle of the sixteenth century. Let me quote you a passage from Richard Huloet’s Abecedarium Anglico Latinum of 1552 (in modernised spelling): “Honeymoon, a term proverbially applied to such as be new married, which will not fall out at the first, but the one loveth the other at the beginning exceedingly, the likelihood of their exceeding love appearing to assuage, the which time the vulgar people call the honey moon”. Putting it simply, it was that charmed period when married love was at first as sweet as honey, but which waned like the moon and in roughly the same period of time. Cynical, I know, but that’s etymology!
http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-hon1.htm

And

It was wet your whistle when first recorded in Canterbury Tales ~1400 then about 300 years ago it became whet your whistle then more recently reverted back to wet again.
 
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  • #27
Gokul43201
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Apparently the horse code only holds for statues depicting Gettysburg.
This appears to come from straightdope.

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a5_074.html

We then got down to the guts of the investigation. I got photos of 18 equestrian statues featuring historical figures (Napoleon, George Washington, etc.) in cities ranging from Chicago to Leningrad (well, that's what it was when I looked this up--now it's St. Petersburg). I then checked to see whether the individuals depicted had been wounded or killed.

This involved some guesswork. Does getting grazed by a bullet count as a wound? If the guy was assassinated, does that mean he was killed in action? Does it count the same if the horse has both front feet off the ground versus having one front foot and one back foot? I wrestled with these questions late into the night. Giving the code the benefit of the doubt, I determined as follows:

Code corresponds with subject's fate: 8
Doesn't correspond: 8
Not enough information to tell: 2
That "debunking" is completely discountable. For one thing, the ability to succesfully cast equestrian statues with the horse balanced on its hind feet was developed only in the early 1800s. Any code that required such a display could not have predated this time. So, looking at statues of George Washington and Napoleon erected before the middle 1800s will only generate false negatives.

Moreover, given that there are 3 different configurations, the likelihood of accidentally getting the outcome right is closer to 1/3 than to 1/2. So, if Cecil found an incidence of about 1 in 2 following the code, despite many false negatives, that is stronger support for the existence of the code than for the lack of one.

Significantly, in the two equestrian statues I turned up by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of the most famous sculptors of his day and someone who surely would have respected a code had there been one, I found that one piece did correspond with the code and one didn't. Granted, in this world of doubt and pain, one can be certain of nothing. But I say the code is BS.
The two statues involved are of Gen. Logan and Gen. William Sherman - both have one foreleg raised. Logan died of complications related to his injuries. Sherman's death was much more mysterious. I just read pages from Sherman's daughter's diary where she describes his last days. The doctors had no idea what was causing his illness, so the cause of his death was unknown. Given that Sherman was twice injured during battle, a prudent sculptor might err on the safe side.

And when I was told about the code, I was in India, near a statue of some Englishman - can't recall who.
 
  • #28
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Forwarded from a family member. The originator claims not to have verified any of this.

Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand
I hate to do this but I can't stop myself. Zero, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, a
 
  • #29
Evo
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  • #30
BobG
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Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day
This one is true, or at least once was. Mother's Day is second and Valentine's Day is third. Love means never being able to refuse the charges? With unlimited long distance and cell phones, I'm not sure it's true anymore.

The busiest day for any type of long distance call is the Monday after Thanksgiving. People calling work to report they're stranded en route at an airport, perhaps?

The busiest holiday for any type of long distance call is Mother's Day.

http://www.snopes.com/holidays/fathersday/collect.asp
 
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  • #31
BobG
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Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
What does that mean for bald people?

Actually, this one is probably true when analyzing groups. Nutrition during childhood will affect development, including brain and neurological development. The statement is about as meaningful as saying people with lead or cadmium in their hair are less intelligent. True, but it's the toxic chemicals during childhood that reduced brain capability, not an indication that less intelligent people produce more lead and cadmium.
 
  • #32
Art
Gokul - Re horses - I was told it was only legend with the possible exception of Gettysburg by a curator whilst in a museum in Washington.

The problem with many statues of Napoleon and the legend is that they do depict him on a horse with both forelegs raised whereas he did not die in battle.

Based on the link Evo supplied it seems only 1/3 of sculptors know of this code :biggrin:
 
  • #33
Art
Some other commonly believed modern myths gleaned from the Web,

No two snow flakes are the same shape.

Warm air rises, cool air is sucked in to replace it.

Heat is caused by molecules moving.

Earth rotates exactly once in 24 hours

Venus is the only planet with a day longer than its year

Without the Bernoulli effect, airplanes couldn’t fly

Columbus proved that the Earth is round

Butterflies emerge from a cocoon

The taste map of the tongue

The sun is the main source of heat on Earth

The reason clouds form when air cools is because cold air cannot hold as much water vapor as warm air.

The water in a sink rotates one way as it drains in the northern hemisphere and the other way in the southern hemisphere due to the Coriolis Effect, caused by the rotation of the Earth.
 
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  • #34
Gokul43201
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Gokul - Re horses - I was told it was only legend with the possible exception of Gettysburg by a curator whilst in a museum in Washington.

The problem with many statues of Napoleon and the legend is that they do depict him on a horse with both forelegs raised whereas he did not die in battle.

Based on the link Evo supplied it seems only 1/3 of sculptors know of this code :biggrin:
I'm not denying that it's very likely just bogus - the veracity of most stories varies inversely with their interestingness - but the "debunking" performed at the first site was terrible. At least snopes got the math right.

Also, I came across this in the course of my wanderings:

For equestrian monuments: If the horse has its four legs on the ground it means that the rider was not killed in action. In this case the rider must have his head covered and must not be holding his weapons. When the rider was wounded in a battle, the horse is depicted with one of its fore legs rose. The rider should hold his weapons in combat ready position and must have his head covered. A horse standing on its hind legs means that the rider was killed in combat. In this case the rider's head must be uncovered and the figure must be represented as if engaged in action.
http://www.periferia.org/publications/statuary.html
 
  • #35
Moonbear
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What does that mean for bald people?
I don't know, but currently I'm acquiring more silver and platinum in my hair. :biggrin:
 
  • #36
fuzzyfelt
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Gokul - Re horses - I was told it was only legend with the possible exception of Gettysburg by a curator whilst in a museum in Washington.

The problem with many statues of Napoleon and the legend is that they do depict him on a horse with both forelegs raised whereas he did not die in battle.

Based on the link Evo supplied it seems only 1/3 of sculptors know of this code :biggrin:
I don’t know about American military statue rules, but I have heard something along the lines that the tradition of representing riders upon horses performing the pesade or levade( I think the levade actually originated later again) began with Velazquez, and that this position with a rider was a newly attained feat, and very difficult for both horse and rider to accomplish.

‘In this court, dedicated to preserving reputation at all costs, with its coffers and its gene pool disastrously reduced, artifice and sleight-of-hand were essential. Once there, the radical youth could not carry on painting like Caravaggio, he gives his master's what they want; we see the great Olivares in gleaming black armour, easily staying in the saddle as his horse performs a levade, a move which requires the peak of equestrian ability, and also conveying the message that this man, not the king is the architect of Spain's military prowess.
This is a pose he also uses, with some irony, for the King's heir, Infante Baltasar Carlos, all part of a highly ambitious programme of political propaganda.’

After that, because it showed greatness, many people wanted themselves represented in similar fashion, and from this I’d guess that how they died wasn’t a consideration in this context.
 
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