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Thread: Really trivial stuff that bugs you

  1. #14701
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    "Texas" is the US standard for large area measurements. Except when it's the size of Alaska, which ticks off Texas like you wouldn't believe.
    My favorite Alaska fact from when I visited there many years ago:

    Alaska is the biggest state in the United States; Texas is number two. If you cut Alaska in half, the two halves of Alaska would be #1 and #2; Texas would be #3.

    Rhode Island is the smallest state by area (but not population). I wonder if that makes them an advocate or an opponent of Washington, DC statehood?

    It has the longest official name of any state: "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations".
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  2. #14702
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    I don't have great ambitions for our yard this year but I do need get my tail in gear for some maintenance. I did take a machete to some Devil's Club on the back side of the house and there's yet more that needs to go. Horsetail runs amock next to the driveway and there's some Fireweed and Lupine in the mix. Alas, I doubt they'll bloom this year either since the seem to want more sun.

    The Wife is hoping that the raspberries that crept in a couple of summers ago do better this year. Me, I just want to get an herb pot or two going.
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  3. #14703
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Rhode Island is the smallest state by area (but not population). I wonder if that makes them an advocate or an opponent of Washington, DC statehood?
    I'd say the majority of Rhode Islanders wouldn't care if you dug a canal around DC and called it an island.
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  4. #14704
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Almost everything is at least 50% larger than Rhode Island. Go 20 minutes from Providence in any direction, and you're either in another state or in the ocean.
    Then almost everything is at least as large as the area of the maintained turf of all golf courses in the United States!

    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    "Texas" is the US standard for large area measurements. Except when it's the size of Alaska, which ticks off Texas like you wouldn't believe.
    My estimate of the area of golf courses in the US is 0.0135 Texases or 0.0055 Alaskas. The maintained turf is estimated at 0.0067 Texases or 0.0027 Alaskas.
    You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and I won't have it!

  5. #14705
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Well, so far as I can tell, no one here cares what our yard looks like. I am slowly but surely digging out the Scotch broom (definitely a noxious plant, and one I particularly hate as well) ...
    I like broom. It certainly has a powerful ability to colonize open ground, but it doesn't have the antipersonnel fittings of gorse/whin, so you can generally push through it if it gets in your way. And the dry seed pods make a pleasant sound.
    At our previous house we had a little plantation of it against a south-facing wall in the back garden--a riot of colour and scent in the spring, and the bees seemed to love it.
    Our local garden centre sells some pretty hybrids with red and yellow flowers.

    Grant Hutchison

  6. #14706
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    Hollywood taught me the SI units for size are banana-school bus-state of Texas
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  7. #14707
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Hollywood taught me the SI units for size are banana-school bus-state of Texas
    You missed "football field" between "school bus" and "state of Texas".
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  8. #14708
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I like broom. It certainly has a powerful ability to colonize open ground, but it doesn't have the antipersonnel fittings of gorse/whin, so you can generally push through it if it gets in your way. And the dry seed pods make a pleasant sound.
    At our previous house we had a little plantation of it against a south-facing wall in the back garden--a riot of colour and scent in the spring, and the bees seemed to love it.
    Our local garden centre sells some pretty hybrids with red and yellow flowers.

    Grant Hutchison
    We have a lot of broom growing along roads and in clearings in southern BC, just as across the border in Washington, and I like the look of it in bloom. But I hear it's difficult to control. I think our prickly-nasty equivalent of gorse, also in southern BC, would be blackberry, which I understand is not native. Some natural herbivory would be welcome...

    Notes from my last overseas holiday: "The country is challenged by the invasives. Not only did I see gorse along parts of the road, I saw it growing with broom and with blackberries like those in southern BC. Also saw yarrow and thistle, and some diminutive aster species which I doubt are native. I wonder if the thistle arrived from Scotland with the sheep."

  9. #14709
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    You missed "football field" between "school bus" and "state of Texas".
    ...and "breadbox."
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  10. #14710
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I like broom. It certainly has a powerful ability to colonize open ground, but it doesn't have the antipersonnel fittings of gorse/whin, so you can generally push through it if it gets in your way. And the dry seed pods make a pleasant sound.
    At our previous house we had a little plantation of it against a south-facing wall in the back garden--a riot of colour and scent in the spring, and the bees seemed to love it.
    Our local garden centre sells some pretty hybrids with red and yellow flowers.

    Grant Hutchison
    Ugh. You can have it. Very much an invasive pest here and gives my wife asthma when in bloom. As it is now. It's classified by the state as a Class B noxious weed.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  11. #14711
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Ugh. You can have it. Very much an invasive pest here and gives my wife asthma when in bloom. As it is now. It's classified by the state as a Class B noxious weed.
    Whereas Carl Linnaeus reputedly fell to his knees and wept with joy on first encountering it. Context is important, for sure.

    Grant Hutchson

  12. #14712
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    We have a lot of broom growing along roads and in clearings in southern BC, just as across the border in Washington, and I like the look of it in bloom. But I hear it's difficult to control.
    Gorse and broom are pioneer succession plants, and they kind of thrive on efforts to control them. They'll form dense thickets on cleared ground, but need good sunlight. If left alone, they provide shelter for shade-tolerant saplings to grow--and after a decade or two the resulting trees then shade the gorse and broom into extinction, and you end up with a nice woodland.
    But if farmers keep trying to clear the thickets (because, you know, farmland), the succession never takes place, and the plants keep spreading back into the newly cleared ground.

    Grant Hutchison

  13. #14713
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    I just now read that both are seed bankers, with broom seeds surviving in the soil longer than those of gorse. So after the woodland is cleared, broom will regenerate from the seed bank.

  14. #14714
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet
    Ugh. You can have it. Very much an invasive pest here and gives my wife asthma when in bloom. As it is now. It's classified by the state as a Class B noxious weed.
    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Whereas Carl Linnaeus reputedly fell to his knees and wept
    Yup, sounds like asthma...
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  15. #14715
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    Things that bug me: trying to read anything in which somebody used hyphens or slashes to separate phrases of multiple words apiece with only spaces between words within each phrase:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Hollywood taught me the SI units for size are banana-school bus-state of Texas
    "What's a banana-school? What's a bus-state? What makes Texas's bus-state apparently particularly characterized by its banana-school? Why does nothing after the 'are' look plural? "

    There was even an intermediate stage between that and the final realization of what it meant, when "banana school bus" was taken as possibly a description of school buses as banana-like because of their color, thwarted by the fact that Texas isn't the only state where they're that color (and it still didn't fit the "are" or anything before that)...

    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Gorse and broom are pioneer succession plants, and they kind of thrive on efforts to control them... if farmers keep trying to clear the thickets (because, you know, farmland), the succession never takes place, and the plants keep spreading back into the newly cleared ground.
    To quote somebody I once met about trying to control unwanted plants with fire: "Farr down't keeyill them, it just pisses em off." (...which was followed by "They come back with a vengince", but the first part might be more fun by itself.)
    Last edited by Delvo; 2021-May-29 at 07:16 AM.

  16. #14716
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    We don't use a generic 'football field' much as a measurement as we have too many sizes too choose from depending on which state you are from and which version of 'football' you follow.

    Texas is of course only used here as a measurement of how small something is - being only 695,662 km2 compared to Western Australia's 2,646,000 km2.

  17. #14717
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    What bugs me about football field length comparisons is that they almost always use the conversion rate of 100 yards per field. That's not the whole field; it's only the distance between end zones. Those are another 15 yards apiece. That's a 30% error.

  18. #14718
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    Also, how thick is the state of Texas? Geometrically speaking.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  19. #14719
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Also, how thick is the state of Texas? Geometrically speaking.
    I met an old colleague of mine in the street the other day, and we were sharing Covid anecdotes.
    "Yeah," he said. "They say transmission is worst where the population is densest." (Pause for a beat.) "And some of the people I saw in the park today were certainly pretty dense."

    Grant Hutchison

  20. #14720
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Almost everything is at least 50% larger than Rhode Island. Go 20 minutes from Providence in any direction, and you're either in another state or in the ocean.
    When we were in the area earlier this month, my Dad somehow thought it was a two-hour drive from Newport to Bristol (about two towns over). It isn’t a two-hour drive between any two towns in Rhode Island. It’s an hour and a half drive from Bristol to Boston.
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  21. #14721
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    I've mentioned before my inability to crack an egg and not break the yolk. Yesterday at the store, on a whim, I bought a "Just Crack an Egg" cup, a plastic cup with ingredients to mix into a fresh egg then microwave. I just ate it. Naturally, for once I didn't break the yolk and then had to mix it up.
    Next time I need to add a bit of salt and pepper.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  22. #14722
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I like broom. It certainly has a powerful ability to colonize open ground, but it doesn't have the antipersonnel fittings of gorse/whin, so you can generally push through it if it gets in your way. And the dry seed pods make a pleasant sound.
    At our previous house we had a little plantation of it against a south-facing wall in the back garden--a riot of colour and scent in the spring, and the bees seemed to love it.
    Our local garden centre sells some pretty hybrids with red and yellow flowers.
    It overtakes our local plant life and resists efforts to control it.
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  23. #14723
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    It overtakes our local plant life and resists efforts to control it.
    I know. Just doing its thing, though. I can't really hate it for that. The people who introduced it to North America undoubtedly made a mistake that has had unfortunate, expensive and long-lasting consequences, same as the people who introduced rhododendrons to Scotland. But it's not the fault of the broom or the rhododendron.
    And I confess to liking rhododendrons, too, despite the destructive effect they're having on some of my favourite parts of Scotland.

    Grant Hutchison

  24. #14724
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    ...and "breadbox."
    You know, that's almost a logarithmic scale. Could use a slightly smaller state (or nation) in there.

    banana ~= 0.1 m
    bread box ~= 1.0 m
    school bus ~= 10.0 m
    football* field ~= 100.0 m
    Texas ~= 1244 m Never mind!

    *Not soccer.
    Last edited by DonM435; 2021-May-29 at 09:40 PM.

  25. #14725
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    You know, that's almost a logarithmic scale. Could use a slightly smaller state (or nation) in there.

    banana ~= 0.1 m
    bread box ~= 1.0 m
    school bus ~= 10.0 m
    football* field ~= 100.0 m
    Texas ~= 1244 m

    *Not soccer.
    Just a hunch, and I'm too lazy to research, but I think Texas is a tad bigger. Like ~ 1244 km?

    A 0.1m banana is tiny... they're closer to 0.3m me thinks.

  26. #14726
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpatz View Post
    Just a hunch, and I'm too lazy to research, but I think Texas is a tad bigger. Like ~ 1244 km?

    A 0.1m banana is tiny... they're closer to 0.3m me thinks.
    Okay, so I should have put 1,244,000 m!

    We need items for 1,000 m, 10,000 m and 100,000 m to fill in the gaps.

  27. #14727
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    I've owned a property where I fought large amounts of broom, blackberry, and gorse. I'm currently looking at a place that has a huge blackberry swarm (pod? forest? flock? murder?) in the corner. I vote: not trivial!

    (If I do buy that place, I'd been planing to ask Torsten for advice on trees to grow for firewood ... buy maybe now I'll also ask grant hutchison for advice on trees to suppress the nasty stuff.)
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.

  28. #14728
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    You know, that's almost a logarithmic scale. Could use a slightly smaller state (or nation) in there.

    banana ~= 0.1 m
    bread box ~= 1.0 m
    school bus ~= 10.0 m
    football* field ~= 100.0 m
    Texas ~= 1244 m Never mind!

    *Not soccer.
    That's a petite banana and a huge breadbox. Where we live, a breadbox would be two bananas.

    Also a soccer field tends to be 100-110m, so quite accurate in that meaning of "football" too.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  29. #14729
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    When I was little, my grandmother had a breadbox. Haven't seen one since.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  30. #14730
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    I'm sure there's still plenty of grandmothers though. Breadboxes, not so much. I know only one person who has one.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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