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Interesting stuff

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Dave B
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Interesting stuff

#1 Post by Dave B » January 4th, 2011, 7:03 pm

Not a discussion but there seems no place for those little gems one finds and wants others to know about.

These can be any subject, but this one is for the practical types amongst us:

engineering tool box
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getreal
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Re: Interesting stuff

#2 Post by getreal » January 7th, 2011, 1:21 pm

Is "engineer" a protected title in some countries? I remember being told by a French teacher that the term "engineer" was only used in relation to graduate engineers in France and that they had another word (I cannot recall it) for central heating "engineers" and motor "engineers". I also thought it was in Germany- it most certainly isn't in the UK.
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

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Dave B
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Re: Interesting stuff

#3 Post by Dave B » January 7th, 2011, 6:11 pm

getreal wrote:Is "engineer" a protected title in some countries? I remember being told by a French teacher that the term "engineer" was only used in relation to graduate engineers in France and that they had another word (I cannot recall it) for central heating "engineers" and motor "engineers". I also thought it was in Germany- it most certainly isn't in the UK.
This is indeed true, getreal. "Engineer" has the same status as "doctor" in many countries, if you want to use it professionally you better have a piece of valid paper to back it up!

The tradition in the UK has been to call anyone involved in technical work "engineer". hence "post office engineer", "railway engineer" etc., prior usage has precedence - as it were.

I qualified as a technician and joined a prof. body as an associate many decades ago, but when I joined EMI I was given the title "Trials Engineer" because the customers expected to see such doing the work and writing the reports (basically I was doing practical stuff that degree holding engineers also did but not the heavy maths!)

Prof bodies have tried long and hard to rectify this, to no avail so far.

However, "engineering" has no barriers being used as a name for the area of work, one can be described as an "engineering technician" ( similar to "accounting tech." or "architectural tech.") quite happily.
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Dave B
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Re: Interesting stuff

#4 Post by Dave B » January 7th, 2011, 6:18 pm

BTW, I should have said this is open to interesting girlie stuff as well! :exit:
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Alan H
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Re: Interesting stuff

#5 Post by Alan H » January 7th, 2011, 6:37 pm

Sir Monty Finniston tried to improve the status of the engineering profession in 1979, but the Government ignored just about all of it. Instead of creating a protected title, about ll they did was create BEng degrees rather than BSc degrees for engineering.

Qualified engineers can become Chartered Engineers and there is a pan-European title Eur Ing, but I know very few who use it in the UK, although many in Germany, France, etc do.
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Re: Interesting stuff

#6 Post by Nick » January 15th, 2011, 4:34 pm

Restoring the thread to it's original intentions...

From an answer to my question on Ask a Biologist, I have learned that elephants do not have, as I thought, 4 knees, but 2 knees and 2 elbows. :D



What interesting fact would you like to share with the world?

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Re: Interesting stuff

#7 Post by Fia » January 15th, 2011, 4:41 pm

I may have mentioned this before, but I think it's a lovely fact:

The noise owls make
I imagine most of us would reply "twit twoo". That's only partially correct. Apparently, the males go "twoo" and the females reply with "twit" :laughter:
Ain't nature grand?

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Dave B
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Re: Interesting stuff

#8 Post by Dave B » January 15th, 2011, 4:48 pm

Nick wrote:Restoring the thread to it's original intentions...

From an answer to my question on Ask a Biologist, I have learned that elephants do not have, as I thought, 4 knees, but 2 knees and 2 elbows. :D



What interesting fact would you like to share with the world?
I wonder if that goes for all quadrupeds? Basic structure of the rest of the mammalian body seems to have a common(ish) configuration.

Capability Brown, the famous landscape gardener, was so called, not because he was capable of designing superb gardens - which he was - but because he would look at the lie of the land and, if it met his approval, declare that it, "Has capability". He used that instead of "potential".

[For some strange reason my keyboard has decided to speak in a foreign symbol language: @ for " and the reverse, | for the tilde symbol, \ for the hash . . . ooer]
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animist
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Re: Interesting stuff

#9 Post by animist » January 15th, 2011, 4:54 pm

I am interested in geography, eg the borders between countries, and wonder if anyone knows what is special (borders-wise) about the otherwise very different countries of Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan?

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Re: Interesting stuff

#10 Post by Dave B » January 15th, 2011, 7:05 pm

Fia wrote:I may have mentioned this before, but I think it's a lovely fact:

The noise owls make
I imagine most of us would reply "twit twoo". That's only partially correct. Apparently, the males go "twoo" and the females reply with "twit" :laughter:
Ain't nature grand?
Not an interest fact exactly but my acquaintance with owls of various kinds (from the Little Owl to the very impressive European Eagle and Snowy varieties) left me with on etheory. Far from being the sagacious creatures that myth and legend makes them the owl has only four brain cells: one for sleeping, one for hunting, one for eating and one for sex.

Compared to the Harris Hawk and many other birds of prey they run on a very simple instruction set.

But they are still great!
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Fia
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Re: Interesting stuff

#11 Post by Fia » January 15th, 2011, 7:22 pm

Dave B wrote:Far from being the sagacious creatures that myth and legend makes them the owl has only four brain cells: one for sleeping, one for hunting, one for eating and one for sex.
Now you mention it I know some men who would neatly fit there :wink:

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Dave B
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Re: Interesting stuff

#12 Post by Dave B » January 15th, 2011, 9:24 pm

Fia wrote:
Dave B wrote:Far from being the sagacious creatures that myth and legend makes them the owl has only four brain cells: one for sleeping, one for hunting, one for eating and one for sex.
Now you mention it I know some men who would neatly fit there :wink:
What! One whole brain cell devoted to sex!?
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Alan H
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Re: Interesting stuff

#13 Post by Alan H » January 15th, 2011, 10:02 pm

You need a brain cell for sex???
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Re: Interesting stuff

#14 Post by Nick » January 16th, 2011, 11:28 am

The word "Vaccine" comes from the Latin for cow, because the first vaccine, against smallpox, pioneered by Edward Jenner, was derived from cow-pox.


Fancy that!

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jaywhat
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Re: Interesting stuff

#15 Post by jaywhat » January 17th, 2011, 6:49 am

Dave B wrote:BTW, I should have said this is open to interesting girlie stuff as well! :exit:

Yes, of course. You cannot have girlie engineers, now can you ? :moon:

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Dave B
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Re: Interesting stuff

#16 Post by Dave B » January 17th, 2011, 5:05 pm

jaywhat wrote:
Dave B wrote:BTW, I should have said this is open to interesting girlie stuff as well! :exit:

Yes, of course. You cannot have girlie engineers, now can you ? :moon:
Oh certainly, the above was tongue in cheek - hence the emoticon! I will admit though, with the exception of a female technical pilot officer in the RAF (one of the most attractive, in every way, people I have met in my life) my experience of female engineers in industry is not good. Two is too small a sample I know but, the first was very clever but needed to seriously build her confidence and learn assertiveness, the second was not so clever but so assertive you could see people instinctively duck as she entered the room!

But, the same could be said of many male engineers (or any other trade/profession), it's just there are more of them. I encourage girls who are interested in engineering of any kind, they can be far more creative than most blokes.
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Re: Interesting stuff

#17 Post by Nick » January 17th, 2011, 6:41 pm

animist wrote:I am interested in geography, eg the borders between countries, and wonder if anyone knows what is special (borders-wise) about the otherwise very different countries of Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan?
Hmmm.... well, both are land-locked, but that doesn't make them unique....

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animist
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Re: Interesting stuff

#18 Post by animist » January 17th, 2011, 6:46 pm

Nick wrote:
animist wrote:I am interested in geography, eg the borders between countries, and wonder if anyone knows what is special (borders-wise) about the otherwise very different countries of Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan?
Hmmm.... well, both are land-locked, but that doesn't make them unique....
Nick, thanks for finding this interesting :pointlaugh: and you are on the right lines. Just take it to a higher level - think about the countries they border

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Interesting stuff

#19 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » January 18th, 2011, 2:57 pm

Oh, that is interesting. They're the only countries in the world that are doubly landlocked [---][/---] i.e. surrounded by other landlocked countries, so that they have to cross two borders to get to the coast. But that's because the Caspian Sea is itself considered landlocked [---][/---] not a proper sea but more of a big lake. Which seems a bit unfair. Although the water in the Caspian Sea is only a third as salty as most seawater.

And I suppose that if you counted the Caspian Sea as a proper sea you'd also have to count the Aral Sea as a proper sea, which is rather more ridiculous.

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Paolo
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Re: Interesting stuff

#20 Post by Paolo » January 18th, 2011, 8:41 pm

Dave B wrote:
Nick wrote:Restoring the thread to it's original intentions...

From an answer to my question on Ask a Biologist, I have learned that elephants do not have, as I thought, 4 knees, but 2 knees and 2 elbows. :D

What interesting fact would you like to share with the world?
I wonder if that goes for all quadrupeds? Basic structure of the rest of the mammalian body seems to have a common(ish) configuration.
It is indeed standard for all quadrupeds and indeed bipeds. The only tetrapods (that's the discrete evolutionary group including all of the terrestrial vertebrates) that don't have elbows and knees are the ones that have secondarily reduced or lost their limbs, like the snakes, caecilians, whales, etc.

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