Jul 182009
 
 July 18, 2009  Posted by at 12:05 am Hmm... Tagged with: , , ,  6 Responses »

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?