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Interesting but useless stuff
ifihadahif Posted: Wed May 19 14:39:48 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was
> > either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed
> > him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others
> > showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not
> > based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were
> > to be painted..Arms and legs are "limbs," therefore painting them would
> > cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, "Okay, but it'll cost you an
> > arm and a leg."
> >
> >
> > As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year!
> > (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their
> > heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford
> > good wigs made from wool. The wigs couldn't be washed, so to clean them
> > they could carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake
> > it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the
> > term "big wig." Today we often use the term "here comes the Big Wig"
> > because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.
> >
> >
> > In the late 1700s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one
> > chair. Commonly, a long wide board was folded down from the wall and
> > used or dining. The "head of the household" always sat in the chair
> > while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Once in a while, a guest
> > (who was almost always a man) would be invited to sit in this chair
> > during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in
> > charge. Sitting in the chair, one was called the "chair man." Today in
> > business we use the expression or title "Chairman" or "Chairman of the
> > Board."
> >
> >
> > Needless to say, personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a
> > result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The
> > women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their
> > complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to
> > stare at another woman's face she was told "mind your own bee's wax."
> > Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term "crack a
> > smile." Also, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt
> > and therefore the expression "losing face."
> >
> >
> > Ladies wore corsets which would lace up in the front. A tightly tied
> > lace was worn by a proper and dignified lady as in "straight laced."
> >
> >
> > Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what
> > was considered important to the people. Since there were no telephones,
> > TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns,
> > pubs, and bars who were told to "go sip some ale" and listen to people's
> > conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at
> > different times. "You go sip here" and "You go sip there." The two words
> > "go sip" were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion
> > and, thus we have the term "gossip."
> >
> >
> > At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized
> > containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and
> > keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who
> > was drinking in "pints" and who was drinking in "quarts," hence the term
> > "minding your "P's and Q's."
> >
> >
> > One more: bet you didn't know this!
> >
> >
> > In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters
> > carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It
> > was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon, but how to prevent
> > them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a
> > square based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on
> > nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could
> > be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one
> > to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from
> > under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey" with
> > 16 round indentations. But, if this plate were made of iron, the
> > ironballs would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem
> > was to make "Brass Monkeys." Few landlubbers realize that brass
> > contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.
> > Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass
> > indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come
> > right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to
> > freeze the balls off a brass monkey." (And all this time, you thought
> > that was an improper expression, didn't you?)

ifihadahif Posted: Wed May 19 14:41:13 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Life in the 1500's

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and were still smelling pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the b.o.

Baths equaled a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying,"Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

Houses had thatched roofs; thick straw, piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the pets...dogs, cats and other small animals, mice, rats, bugs lived in the roof. When it rained, it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. So, they found if they made beds with big posts and hung a sheet over the top; it addressed that problem. Hence those beautiful big 4 poster beds with canopies.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor". The wealthy had slate floors, which would get slippery in the winter when wet. So they spread thresh on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed at the entry way, hence a "threshhold".

They cooked in the kitchen in a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They mostly ate vegetables and didn't get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been in there for a month. Hence the rhyme: peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas Porridge in the pot nine days old."

Sometimes they could obtain pork and would feel really special when that happened. When company came over, they would bring out some bacon and hang it to show it off. It was a sign of wealth and that a man "could really bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food.This happened most often with tomatoes, so they stopped eating tomatoes. . . . for 400 years!

Most people didn't have pewter plates, but had trenchers - a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Trencher were never washed and a lot of times worms got into the wood. After eating off wormy trenchers, they would get "trench mouth." (??????)

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the "upper crust".

"Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake".

"England is old and small, and they started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take their bones to a house and reuse the grave, In reopening these coffins, one out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on their wrist and lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night to listen for the bell. Hence on the "graveyard shift" they would know that someone was saved by the bell" or he was a "dead ringer".

FN Posted: Wed May 19 16:05:23 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Giant rats trained to sniff out land mines

Michael Wines
New York Times News Service
May. 18, 2004 04:31 PM

GONDOLA, Mozambique - Just about every method of detecting land mines has a drawback. Metal detectors cannot tell a mine from a tenpenny nail. Armored bulldozers work well only on level ground. Mine-sniffing dogs get bored, and if they make mistakes, they get blown up.

The Gambian giant pouched rat has a drawback, too: It has trouble getting down to work on Monday mornings. Other than that, it may be as good a mine detector as man or nature has yet devised.

Just after sunup on one dewy morning, on a football-field-sized patch of earth in the Mozambican countryside, Frank Weetjens and his squad of 16 giant pouched rats are proving it. Outfitted in tiny harnesses and hitched to 10-yard clotheslines, their footlong tails whipping to and fro, the rats lope up and down the lines, whiskers twitching, noses tasting the air.

Wanjiro, a sleek 2-year-old female in a bright red harness, pauses halfway down the line, sniffs, turns back, then sniffs again. She gives the red clay a decisive scratch with both forepaws. Her trainer, Kassim Mgaza, snaps a metal clicker twice, and Wanjiro waddles to him for her reward - a mouthful of banana and an affectionate pet.

"What Pavlov did with his dogs is exactly what we're doing here - very basic conditioning," said Weetjens, a lanky, 42-year-old Belgian who works for an Antwerp demining group named Apopo. "TNT means food. TNT means clicking sound, means food. That's how we communicate with them."

Wanjiro has been rewarded for sniffing out a TNT-filled land mine, one of scores buried a few inches below ground in the training field where she works out five days a week. Like all the training mines, this one was defused. But if the Mozambican authorities approve, she and her companions will move at year's end from dummies to live minefields - the world's first certified, professional mine-detecting rats.

Indeed, in a test last November along a southern Mozambique railway that was heavily mined during this country's 17-year civil war, teams of three giant pouched rats found every one of 20 live mines in a previously unsurveyed 4,300-square-foot swatch of land.

"Animal detection, with dogs in particular, has increased very much in the last three or four years," Havard Bach, the top expert on demining methods for the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining, said in a telephone interview. But in many cases, he said, "it would probably be better to use rats than dogs."

Rats are abundant, cheap and easily transported. At 3 pounds, they are too light to detonate mines accidentally. They can sift the bouquet of land-mine aromas far better than any machine. Unlike even the best mine-detecting dog or human, they are relentlessly single-minded.

"Throw a stick for a dog to fetch, and after 10 times the dog will say, 'Get it yourself, buddy,' " Weetjens said. "Rats will keep working as long as they want food."

Plenty of work awaits them. The International Campaign to Ban Land Mines estimates that 100 million mines have been laid worldwide, from anti-personnel and anti-tank mines hidden underground to above-ground mines triggered by tripwires. Although Mozambique's civil war ended nearly 12 years ago, sappers here still discovered and destroyed more than 10,100 mines last year alone, and mine explosions killed or injured 14 people.

Experts say that the pace of land-mine detection has slowed globally in recent years, in part because the death of its celebrity spokeswoman, Princess Diana, has robbed the cause of publicity and support. But there is also a shortage of land-mine specialists, and a true dearth of sure-fire methods to find buried mines.

Human detection - steel-nerved workers with metal detectors and probes - remains the preferred technique. But metal detectors are hard put to distinguish mines from other metal objects and even from some nonmetals, like mixtures of dirt and charcoal. Moreover, in areas where exploded mines have scattered metal fragments, rooting out false readings can be daunting.

Dogs, with their strong noses and affinity for people, are increasingly popular; about 200 are working now in heavily mined Afghanistan. But they are hard to keep healthy, especially in tropical Africa. They tend to bond with trainers, making it hard to switch them from one handler to another.

And they so badly want to please that a simple misreading of their trainers' body language can lead them to indicate a mine's presence where none exists or, far worse, ignore a real one.

Then there are rats, which don't give a fig about people but will do anything for bananas and peanuts. "All a rat wants to do is find the target and get his reward," said Bach, of the Geneva demining center. "They're almost mechanical in the way they work."

Mine-sniffing rats are the sole focus of Apopo, a Flemish acronym for "product development geared toward the demining of anti-personnel mines." The group is the brainchild of Weetjens' brother Bart, a college friend, Christophe Cox, and a University of Antwerp professor, Mic Billet, now Apopo's chairman.

The three decided in the late 1990s that so-called biosensor animals with great noses were the future of land-mine detection, but that there must be creatures better suited for the task than dogs.

With a grant from the Belgian government, they began hunting for an animal with a dog's sense of smell, but none of its drawbacks. They approached Ron Verhagen, the head of the university's biology department, for help. "And that," Weetjens said, "is where rats came along."

More specifically, along came Cricetomys gambianus, also known as the Gambian and African giant pouched rat. Up to 30 inches long, it thrives in most of sub-Saharan Africa, lives up to eight years in captivity and is "savage" in the wild, Weetjens says, but so docile when bred that some people keep them as pets.

Most important, the pouched rat (so named because it stores food, hamster-style, in its cheeks) buries what it does not immediately eat and sports a nose honed to bloodhound status by aeons of searching for buried food stashes. Persuading the giant pouched rat to hunt for land mines, therefore, is as simple as convincing him that TNT is just another tasty treat waiting a few inches underground.

Each rat gets to sweep a 10-by-10-meter square of land on which two defused mines or TNT scents have been hidden. Finding the mine or scent earns a click and a bite of banana or peanuts. Failure generally earns a second try. Some rats try to game the system, scratching the earth randomly in hopes of getting free treats. But the trainers feed them and sound a click to signal success only when they scratch the right spots.

Bananas and peanuts, after all, are what drives Gambian giant pouched rats to excel. Which is why they are often at their worst on Monday morning.

"During the week, they're on a diet. They have to work for their food," Weetjens said. "But on weekends, they get to eat as much as they want. On Mondays, they just aren't as hungry."

FN Posted: Wed May 19 16:05:50 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Hurray for Belgian scientists lol

antartica Posted: Thu May 20 00:47:21 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  pretty interesting info 'hif... thx...

and what a way to look for mines and kablooey stuff... cheers you rat... oops i meant Chris... :p

DaveHill Posted: Thu May 20 09:34:10 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Christophe said:
>Hurray for Belgian scientists lol

The end of the world is near.

mat_j Posted: Fri May 21 11:24:01 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  When using the phrases son of a gun and son of a bitch we often consider the phrase son of a bitch to be the most offensive of the two.


That naturally means son of a female dog and nothing else.

Son of a gun refers to a child concieved to a whore and a sailor on the gun deck of a ship, the deck where sailors slept.

ifihadahif Posted: Fri May 21 14:40:43 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  mat_j said:
>When using the phrases son of a gun and son of a bitch we often consider the phrase son of a bitch to be the most offensive of the two.
>That naturally means son of a female dog and nothing else.
>Son of a gun refers to a child concieved to a whore and a sailor on the gun deck of a ship, the deck where sailors slept.
argh ! shiver me timbers !

Mesh Posted: Fri May 21 14:55:54 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Hooray for sailors!!!

Mesh Posted: Sat May 22 02:14:28 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  erm maybe i posted this before or someone else has but fuck i dont care, ok?

Men can read smaller print than women .. women can hear better.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work:

The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28%

(now get this...) The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400

The average number of people airborne over the US any given hour: 61,000

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in
their hair.

The world's youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.

The youngest pope was 11 years old.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom

Those San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David,
Hearts - Charlemagne,
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in
the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. IIf the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural

"I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

Q. What occurs more often in December than any other month?
A. Conception.
> > Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes,
> > windshield wipers, and laser
> > printers all have in common?
> > A. All invented by women.

> > Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
> > A. Honey

> > Q. There are more collect calls on this day than any
> > other day of the
> > year?
> > A. Father's Day
> >
> > Q. What trivia fact about Mel Blanc (voice of Bugs
> > Bunny) is the most
> > ironic?
> > A. He was allergic to carrots.
> >
> > In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on
> > bed frames by ropes.
> > When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened,
> > making the bed firmer
> > to sleep on. Hence the phrase "Goodnight, sleep
> > tight".
> >
> > It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years
> > ago that for a month
> > after the wedding, the bride's father would supply
> > his son-in-law with all
> > the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and
> > because
> > their calendar was lunar based, this period was
> > called the honey month we
> > know today as the honeymoon.
> >
> > In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts.
> > So in old England,
> > when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell
> > at them mind their own
> > pints and quarts and settle down. It's where we get
> > the
> > phrase "mind your P's and Q's"
> >

> > In Scotland, a new game was invented. It was
> > entitled Gentlemen Only
> > Ladies Forbidden.... and thus the word GOLF entered
> > into the English
> > language.

AND FINALLY~~~~~~~~~~~~
> > At least 75% of people who read this will try to
> > lick their elbow

in fact i am sure sometime this has been posted but just in case theirs anyone here who has no seen it yet.

mat_j Posted: Sat May 22 19:06:14 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  I stand by the fact that elbow thing ain't true, i've seen a girl lick her elbow with my own two eyes

Mouse Posted: Sun May 23 22:26:25 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  >It is impossible to lick your elbow.

I can lick my elbow.

ifihadahif Posted: Mon May 24 06:51:51 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Mouse said:
>>It is impossible to lick your elbow.
>I can lick my elbow.
I can lick your elbow too.
But can you lick your eyebrows ?

addi Posted: Mon May 24 07:57:44 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  All this elbow licking reminded me of the good ol' days growing up and singing around the piano with the family. This was always one of Dad's favorites (us kids would sing backup):

My Neck, My Back

All you ladies pop yo' p***y like this
Shake your body, don't stop, don't miss
All you ladies pop yo' p***y like this
Shake your body, don't stop, don't miss
Just do it, do it, do it, do it, do it now

Lick it good
Suck this p***y just like you should - right now
Lick it good
Suck this p***y just like you should - my neck, my back
Lick my p***y and my c***k...

misszero Posted: Mon May 24 08:11:25 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  i knew the brass monkey thing! do i get a prize!?

antartica Posted: Mon May 24 08:33:58 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  mr Addie.. what's all them ***'s mean?

*in mostest innocent voice... bats eyelashes... hahaha

addi Posted: Mon May 24 08:59:28 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  antartica said:
>mr Addie.. what's all them ***'s mean?


they had to censor out "Puddy", which i believe in hip hop slang means elbow.

very naughty

misszero Posted: Mon May 24 09:18:31 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  forgive me addi, for i have sinned.

my dirty dirty mind. i think the catholic schoolgirl side of me is crying out for punishment

antartica Posted: Mon May 24 09:23:39 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  misszero said:
>forgive me addi, for i have sinned.
>my dirty dirty mind. i think the catholic schoolgirl side of me is crying out for punishment

yes, you've been a bad girl

goto my room!

addi Posted: Mon May 24 09:25:46 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  misszero said:
>forgive me addi, for i have sinned.
>my dirty dirty mind. i think the catholic schoolgirl side of me is crying out for punishment

Ohhhhh Nooooooo!
at... work...
must.... resist!!

where's Maya? she could help you : )

misszero Posted: Mon May 24 09:27:47 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  well, you boys owe me some spankings. i'm going to bed unsatisfied.

antartica Posted: Mon May 24 09:28:15 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addison said:
>Ohhhhh Nooooooo!
>at... work...
>must.... resist!!
>where's Maya? she could help you : )

haha... i see some one needs c.o.l.d. s.h.o.w.e.r. n.o.w. .. .. ..

antartica Posted: Mon May 24 09:44:08 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  misszero said:
>well, you boys owe me some spankings. i'm going to bed unsatisfied.

okies.... addi... you stop thinking and i'll go

addi Posted: Mon May 24 09:46:43 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  misszero said:
>i'm going to bed unsatisfied.

trust me, as you get older you get used to going to bed unsatisfied

and i'd help if i could, but i really don't have the foggiest in areas concerning the female anatomy. I'm just a simple boy from the wholesome midwest.

addi Posted: Mon May 24 09:47:50 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  antartica said:

>okies.... addi... you stop thinking

LOL! no worries, ant. I stopped thinking the second i walked into work this morning : )

iggy Posted: Mon May 24 14:48:18 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  antartica said:
>mr Addie.. what's all them ***'s mean?
>*in mostest innocent voice... bats eyelashes... hahaha

that image of ant batting eyelashes and in that innocent voice caused me to be sick for the rest of the year.

fucking disgusting fuck !!! :{

FN Posted: Mon May 24 15:49:58 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  This one is for you ant, look at the actor playing 'the great gazoo':

All I ask of you in return is that you don't ask how I found it.

mat_j Posted: Mon May 24 16:10:15 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  What the bloody hell is going on in here if anyone is qualified to administer spankings to Catholic girls it's me!!

FN Posted: Mon May 24 16:22:59 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Mouse said:
>>It is impossible to lick your elbow.
>I can lick my elbow.

That's your armpit, Mouse.

addi Posted: Mon May 24 17:39:02 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  applause! Applause!!
these last 4 posts are priceless!

thank you guys. I needed a laugh after straining my back trying to lick my....


Mouse Posted: Mon May 24 17:50:43 2004 Post | Quote in Reply  
  No, Chris. *Rolls eyes*

Hmm, maybe I can't lick my elbow. I used to be able to but I guess my bones have grown since then or something.


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