Have you learned anything new lately?

Two things I bumped into over the weekend.

I knew the speed of light was fast, and I always heard the numbers. But just how fast? Well, I had it put in perspective for me just last weekend. A proton of light could orbit the earth in .13 of a second. It can go around the earth 7.5 times in a second. I thought that was interesting.

And the Book of Genesis was plagiarized from Enūma Eliš.

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How so? The stories are entirely dissimilar. Lots of gods teaching men, no idea of original sin and no satan, talking snakes or magic apples/figs/passion fruit that I can see. Most of the hebrew story characters are entirely missing.
The only parallels I could see that were in any part convincing was the notion that the Earth was contained in water and that man was created from dust (albeit with an infusion of divine blood) to serve the gods with some freedoms.

I can’t see the story as being plagiarized by the early Semites/Canaanites but a minimum badly retold part merged with other mythologies (maybe from Crete) and a hefty chunk of storytelling imagination.

Yes, plagiarized is too strong a word. It contains many myths that were common in the Mesopotamian region. Citing OT is a bit hyperbolic as well. The articles I read cited Genesis 1 and 2, many of the Psalms, and some other duplicated material.

Enuma Elish?

In both Genesis and Enuma Elish, creation was the result of a divine speech. The sequence of creation events is very similar in both Genesis and Enuma Elis-light, the firmament, the dry land, luminaries, and finally man.

Basically, I just had fun reading… I don’t recall half of it, but it serves to say, the bible was a creation of the men and culture of the time.

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I had a fairly febrile time learning that there exists such an entity in pure mathematics as an inaccessible cardinal, viz:

Quickly followed by indescribable cardinals:

And by Tarski’s Undefinability Theorem:

Set theory leads to some serious weirdness.

Another interesting thing about light: A photon doesn’t experience time. So a photon travelling from the Andromeda Galaxy to us takes 2 million years from our perspective. From the perspective of the photon, the 2 million lightyear trip is instantaneous due to time dilation.

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I thought I had a grasp of set theory… If I understood what you were talking about I would have learned something new. I know what a cardinal number is. I understand the words you are saying, but there is something about their sequence I just can’t wrap my brain around.

Can a number be both cardinal and indescribable? Isn’t cardinal a description? If it is uncountable, how is it cardinal? By definition ‘Cardinal numbers’ are counting numbers. The fact that it is uncountable would mean it is not cardinal. Oh! I am so confused. My poor little monkey brain.

What have I learned lately…

Well directly with my job, i engineer borehole seismometers that measure various applications, such as volcanos, tsunamis, earthquakes etc…

And I learned what happens when a customer deploys them incorrectly, deep under the sea and use the wrong cables that can cope with the pressure… needless to say, they are muppets and I have a lot of rework in the near future.

At home, I learned that Pokemon cards that my eldest boys (12yrs & 7yrs) can actually be quite valuable, but still seems an absolute nonsense to me.


I feel your pain. I’m currently rebuilding a $40k sub assembly, and who knows what else inside a one of a kind six figure machine. All because someone said they only “recommend” you don’t run certain product through it, not that it can’t run it.

So I learned what happens to bearings that get filled with basically sand at 10,000 rpm under load, It’s ugly.

Could you at least retrieve said seismometers or are they even worth retrieving at this point?

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Ah jeez that’ll do it! Was you able to salvage it?

We got the instrument up from the sea bed and back to the company, unfortunately they caused it to leak, so essentially its completely beyond economical repair.

Everything you could do wrong, they managed it.

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Hardly. Once the bearings lockup and the shaft continued to rotate inside the bearing there isn’t much to salvage. Ending up breaking more parts trying to tear it all down. Unfortunately one of a kind machines and no off the shelf parts means job security for someone.

Just painful watching your previous hard work go up in smoke because of someone else’s negligence. Then have the same person say sorry for making your job more difficult……some reason I’m skeptical to think they are actually sorry.

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And just 15 minutes ago, I learned that the wonderful world of Cichlid fish taxonomic revision has placed seven species in the Genus Nosferatu. :smiley:

Given the strongly territorial behaviour of many Central American Cichlid fishes, which can flare up into full bore internecine warfare in the aquarium if you make mistakes with décor and companion species, this Genus may well prove to be appropriate … :smiley:

More on this here:


Oh blimey, yep i feel your pain there! I’ve had some odd one’s in my time, one seismometer that was cooked my pyroclastic flow and lava, insides were char grilled.

Also had another customer once asked for a repair as a very new instrument had been the victim of a bear attack!

I thought this was an ‘errrrr my dog ate my homework!!!’ Level of excuse… but low and behold, days later i got photos sent from the camera outside their platform showing it being tossed about like a small dog toy hahaha!

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That is pretty wild. Can’t say I have had any machines mauled by animals or deep fried by lava. Unless we count rodents in electrical panels and maybe a squirrel in a drop ceiling office air duct. Other than that it is all human created carnage from recklessly throwing caught to the wind. All in the name of trying to please a boss thinking it will reward them with a pay raise. Then again put enough testosterone in one building performing mindlessly repetitive tasks and it’s only a matter of time before one of the more depraved ones will suggest breaking something just for a laugh.

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Yeah it was amusing to see.

Though nothing gives me greater joy then working in this industry now, we’ve helped give early warnings via various applications now and saved countless lives.

My previous job i worked on a project where i engineered a particular sensor, it turned out it was to be used on a military vehicle for ‘locking on’… safe to say i parted ways on that project when i found out on moral and ethical grounds.

So I find myself these days a little more forgiving of customers mishandling equipment haha!

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That is fantastic, I’m happy for you. Glad to see someone working in an industry like that. Wish I could get away from the heavy industrial work I do. I work in recycling, which unfortunately benefits both ends of the moral spectrum and continually weighs on my mind.

I LOVE what I do. Fixing things is my passion in life. I spend most of my spare time over explaining how electrical circuits and machines work to just about anyone who will listen. People know me for being the guy with the whiteboard always looking like I’m teaching a class. If I inspire someone to feel confident enough to fix even a broken light switch on their own I’m happy though.

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