Is That So?

I was putting together a list of things that none ever gives a second thought to. Here is what I came up with:

  1. Anorexia has a little known but aptly named antonym – bigorexia. This is the colloquial term for Muscle Dysmorphia, a disorder where you think of yourself as skinny and not muscular enough, but in reality you are more muscular than average.
  2. The Great Wall of China cannot be seen from the moon (Thanks, Kunal for pointing this out!). A legend that is taught to us as kids about the Great Wall being the only man-made structure visible from the moon, is apparently just that – a legend. The wall is less remarkable than most interstate highways in the US in terms of length, width,  continuity and linearity and doesn’t meet the criteria for visibility from the moon.
  3. The oft used term “Vicious cycle/circle” has an opposite – a “Virtuous cycle/circle”. Obviously, the vicious cycle is a feedback loop with bad results, while the latter is one with good results. I have seen very educated people either misuse “vicious cycle” or pause before saying “feedback loop”.
  4. Contrary to common belief, the satellites of Uranus are not all named Shakespearean characters. At the time of writing Uranus has 27 moons – 5 large ones (Titania, Ariel, Oberon, Miranda and Umbriel), 13 inner moons that form a part of the rings of Uranus (Cordelia, Ophelia, Bianca, Cressida, Desdemona, Juliet, Portia, Rosalind, Cupid, Belinda, Perdita, Puck and Mab) and 9 irregular moons that have enormous orbit sizes and lie way beyond Oberon (Sycorax, Trinculo, Francisco, Caliban, Stephano, Prospero, Setebos, Ferdinand and Margaret). Remarkably 25 of these are named after Shakespearean characters. Who are the exceptions? Umbriel (a large moon) and Belinda (an inner moon) both happen to be named after Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”.
  5. Airports, or at least those in India, talk about “Immigration Check” for both, passengers going into India and leaving. The outbound channel should actually say “Emigration Check”.

Can you think of any more?

6 Responses to “Is That So?”

  1. Wow! Interesting tidbits! Till today I believed that the Great Wall of China can be seen from the moon!

  2. Well, I remember trying to reason with KT once that it is visible, while he insisted that it was not.

  3. Great wall info is understanding is it must have scientific support.
    Immigration/Emmigration check – time to knock Praful Patel 🙂

    • Arun,
      As I stated, I found the Great Wall fact very interesting myself, mainly because that is what I have learnt since childhood. I first checked Wikipedia, then double-checked against, a site that puts various urban legends to test, because of Wikipedia’s fallibility. In any case, the radar images from Snopes should prove it.


  4. Along the lines of the Great wall, I also have heard that Vegas Strip is the only man made structure (or area) visible from the moon during night, do you know if that is true?

    • Well, I actually heard from the tour guide that not the strip itself, but the parabolic light atop Luxor is. It is certainly visible from quite far and quite high, but I cannot find any reliable references to confirm or refute it.

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