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  #1  
Old 08-09-2017, 05:05 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Something you learned recently, that you didn't know before

I know there are other threads on here about this, but I'm not going to post-dive for them.

The first one is that there is such a thing as a hybrid solar eclipse - part annular and part total. The next one will be in the southern Indian and Pacific ocean a few years from now, and hit parts of Indonesia and Australia.

I also found out last night on Facebook that a boy in my social circle (we weren't friends) is married
SPOILER:
to another man
.



AFAIK, he never dropped any clues along these lines as long as I knew him.
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2017, 07:16 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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That Pierce-Arrow made bicycles and motorcycles, and all of their products were made in Buffalo, NY; also made there, such things as General Mills cereals and Wildroot Cream Oil.
  #3  
Old 08-09-2017, 10:54 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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I learned today that some people use Denorex (NOT Desenex) to treat, or better yet, prevent head lice. Thanks, Dopers; I had never heard of it being used for this purpose.
  #4  
Old 08-09-2017, 11:19 PM
PastTense PastTense is offline
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I just learned how to add a picture to my Straight Dope profile (something I have zero interest in doing as I wish to remain totally anonymous here).
  #5  
Old 08-10-2017, 06:59 AM
excavating (for a mind) excavating (for a mind) is offline
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... I wish to remain totally anonymous here
(Looking at username) I thought you were.
  #6  
Old 08-10-2017, 07:03 AM
MareIt MareIt is online now
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I have a unique name for the US because it is not only from a different language, but it is an old fashioned name in that language. I've always known the English language translation (think Maria>Mary) but had no idea that it also can mean pearl. I have no independently verified this, but I like the idea of learning something new about my name!
  #7  
Old 08-10-2017, 07:44 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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They used to make vitamin D (for vitamin supplements) by irradiating yeast with ultraviolet light, or irradiating lanolin with ultraviolet.

It turns out that the ergosterol that strengthens the cell walls in yeast is similar to the cholesterol in the human body that, exposed to UV, makes Vitamin D3. Exposing ergosterol makes vitamin D2, which is functionally equivalent in people*.

But lanolin? Why would irradiating lanolin create vitamin D? It turns out that this is how sheep get their vitamin D. The lanolin secreted by their sebaceous glands to lubricate and protect their wool is also a sterol. When hit by UV from sunlight, some of it converts to vitamin D, which the sheep ingests when it grooms itself.

Sheep can't create vitamin D by sunlight penetrating their kin -- the wool is in the way, and their skin isn't transparent enough.








*but not in chickens, it turns out. If you give your chicken vitamin D2 as a supplement and they don't get D3, they get rickets (people can use either D2 or D3). This is how they first realized there was a difference. There are, in fact, six forms of vitamin D -- D2 through D7. What happened to D1? It was a misidentification of a mixture of D2 and a related substance. Not wanting to screw up their work on D2 and D3, they simply dropped D1 from the list of vtamins.
  #8  
Old 08-10-2017, 09:17 AM
Shoeless Shoeless is online now
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Speaking of vitamins, I found out recently that humans and guinea pigs are the only two animals that can't manufacture their own vitamin C, and have to get it through diet or supplements.
  #9  
Old 08-10-2017, 09:22 AM
Son of a Rich Son of a Rich is online now
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I learned recently that Osama bin Laden chose that particular date for the attack on the World Trade Center because he hated Porsches.
  #10  
Old 08-10-2017, 09:34 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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That the word "windfall" derives from fruit that falls off the tree due to wind. Duh, but it never occurred to me until I started reading Pastures of Heaven last week, by Steinbeck. It's in a passage on the first page where this becomes evident.
  #11  
Old 08-10-2017, 10:02 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
Speaking of vitamins, I found out recently that humans and guinea pigs are the only two animals that can't manufacture their own vitamin C, and have to get it through diet or supplements.
Nope.
  #12  
Old 08-10-2017, 10:06 AM
Patx2 Patx2 is offline
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I learned about pots syndrome which is a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system.
  #13  
Old 08-10-2017, 10:20 AM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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I just learned a few weeks ago that Porsche is a German company. I always thought they were Italian.
  #14  
Old 08-10-2017, 12:31 PM
stillownedbysetters stillownedbysetters is offline
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A documentary I viewed last night informed me that the Ku Klux Klan was roughly modeled on the American Mafia and that they were, in fact, competitive organizations. I had never known there was any such connection, assuming each organization had entirely different missions and motivations.
  #15  
Old 08-10-2017, 12:51 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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I learned last Saturday that I'm old enough to "fall and can't get up", or at least not be able to get up in an hour.
  #16  
Old 08-10-2017, 10:20 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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I didn't know until today that zucchini is a type of squash. I mean, now that I know it makes sense, but I'd never given it any thought. If not for an ad for "zucchini squash" I probably never would have, either.
  #17  
Old 08-10-2017, 10:24 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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I just learned a few weeks ago that Porsche is a German company. I always thought they were Italian.
What?
Ferdinand Porsche was a friend of Hitler, designed the 'peoples car' (Volkswagen) for him, and the Porsche company contributed financially to the Nazi party.

German, not at all Italian.
  #18  
Old 08-10-2017, 10:31 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Last night/early this morning, I watched a late 1990s Channel 4 documentary about housecats on You Tube. I found out that not only have feral cats driven several small-animal species to near extinction in the outback, they are also a ready source of bushmeat for the Aborigines who still live in that area.
  #19  
Old 08-10-2017, 10:32 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Originally Posted by stillownedbysetters View Post
A documentary I viewed last night informed me that the Ku Klux Klan was roughly modeled on the American Mafia and that they were, in fact, competitive organizations. I had never known there was any such connection, assuming each organization had entirely different missions and motivations.
Huh? The Klan was around 80 years before the 'Mafia' was known as such.

The Klan came about soon after the Civil War, as an attempt by the rebels to keep slavery clandestinely.

The Mafia became organized as a recognized group around the time of Prohibition.
  #20  
Old 08-11-2017, 12:33 AM
rowrrbazzle rowrrbazzle is offline
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I learned that "istle" (or "ixtle") is the name of a hard fiber found in the agave or yucca plants. It's used for making carpets, nets, and other things.
  #21  
Old 08-11-2017, 04:19 AM
Noel Prosequi Noel Prosequi is offline
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I had always thought Americans were just hidebound in hanging on to paper dollar bills when pretty much everyone else turned to coins for the basic unit of currency - Euro, pound sterling, AUD, CAD, etc. Something about sentimental attachment to the greenback, so I foolishly thought.

Actual exposure to the tipping culture in the US makes it obvious why workers can't have a bunch of coins rattling around in their pockets.
  #22  
Old 08-11-2017, 09:18 AM
Lightray Lightray is offline
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I learned that bees make a tiny little whoop! when they're startled by another bee bumping into them. Which is adorable.
  #23  
Old 08-11-2017, 11:45 AM
DCnDC DCnDC is offline
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Beijing has 470,000 CCTV cameras, and they claim there is one "one every corner." The official name of this system: Skynet.
  #24  
Old 08-11-2017, 11:11 PM
stillownedbysetters stillownedbysetters is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-bonham@scc.net View Post
Huh? The Klan was around 80 years before the 'Mafia' was known as such.

The Klan came about soon after the Civil War, as an attempt by the rebels to keep slavery clandestinely.

The Mafia became organized as a recognized group around the time of Prohibition.
Mea culpa.

When the urgeoning American Mafia took a hit as a result of Prohibition, the KKK took advantage of their influence with the booming southern moonshining industry to make inroads on the mafia's weakened alcohol distribution networks. According to the documentary, the KKK had their fingers in a number of vice-related industries. When the KKK began dabbling in such industries, they structured their organization based on that of the Sicilian mafia.

I had no idea that the KKK had any agenda other than the suppression of blacks before viewing this show.

Hope that is clearer.
  #25  
Old 08-11-2017, 11:31 PM
Aspenglow Aspenglow is offline
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Originally Posted by Lightray View Post
I learned that bees make a tiny little whoop! when they're startled by another bee bumping into them. Which is adorable.
That's fascinating -- and I never knew about it, either! Ignorance fought.

I learned today how to make a new cocktail that handily uses up fresh peaches with bourbon. Yum.
  #26  
Old 08-12-2017, 01:53 AM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
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Only three species in the animal kingdom experience menopause. Humans, orcas, and blue finned whales.

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"Gimme an octopus. And while you're at it, give me another." ~ CalMeacham
  #27  
Old 08-12-2017, 02:06 AM
Velocity Velocity is offline
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I found out that blood type A is nearly as common as blood type O. I had thought that O significantly outnumbered every other type by a pretty big margin.
  #28  
Old 08-12-2017, 02:20 AM
Lacunae Matata Lacunae Matata is offline
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I learned a couple of days ago that, in the 1950s, someone tried to steal a nearby lighthouse. Would've gotten away with it, if it weren't for those meddling Coast Guard kids.

(Apparently, a couple of enterprising souls decided to salvage the Savannah Gray bricks from the Cockspur Island lighthouse, near Fort Pulaski/Savannah. A Coast Guard patrol caught them, and they claimed that they had permission from the DNR. But it turns out that the USCG actually still owned that lighthouse, so the vandals were stopped, and the cute little lighthouse was sold to the Department of the Interior, asap. Iirc, Cockspur Island is now part of the Fort Pulaski National Monument. And it's still the cutest little miniature lighthouse you've ever seen. (It's in the mouth of the Savannah River, so it didn't have to be tall. It was basically marking sandbars for ships that relied on sails and steam, when built.)

That's obscure history about a tiny corner of the world, but as a student of eccentric local history, I'm a little bit surprised that I hadn't heard the story before last week.

More personally, I've learned quite a lot about the peregrinations of my mother's father's mother's family lately. My mom's cousin loaned a shoebox of unidentified family photos in hopes of help with identification. And I've had a lot of personal satisfaction, identifying people and locations. (Apparently, my photographer uncle shot a lot of commercial postcards in the teens and twenties. I wish I knew what happened to his studio's negatives, but we've identified photos from as far away as the Panama Canal Zone and Danielsville Kentucky.)
  #29  
Old 08-12-2017, 05:41 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
I learned last Saturday that I'm old enough to "fall and can't get up", or at least not be able to get up in an hour.
Wow, hope you are okay - assume so since you were able to post. That's scary.

I am surprised that a puppy can be a guest in two-cat, never-a-dog home and not have all animals freak out. My son is visiting with his new dog and she is a very mellow hound mix/mutt. She's in the basement, and the cats are fine - touch noses with her through the toddler barrier; no puffy tails. Who knew?
  #30  
Old 08-12-2017, 06:40 AM
Nayna Nayna is offline
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I learned that the sun is about 400,000 times the size of the moon, and is also about 400,000 times as far away as the moon, which is why we can have solar eclipses on earth.
  #31  
Old 08-12-2017, 07:01 AM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-bonham@scc.net View Post
What?
Ferdinand Porsche was a friend of Hitler, designed the 'peoples car' (Volkswagen) for him, and the Porsche company contributed financially to the Nazi party.

German, not at all Italian.
Not only that, but he inspired the invention of LSD*, too.


* - the Limited-Slip Differential
  #32  
Old 08-12-2017, 07:56 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is online now
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Today I learned there are drive-thru banks.
  #33  
Old 08-12-2017, 10:18 PM
LouisB LouisB is offline
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Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
I learned last Saturday that I'm old enough to "fall and can't get up", or at least not be able to get up in an hour.
I learned this several years ago.
More recently I learned I have a brain bleed.
  #34  
Old 08-12-2017, 10:43 PM
JWT Kottekoe JWT Kottekoe is offline
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Originally Posted by Nayna View Post
I learned that the sun is about 400,000 times the size of the moon, and is also about 400,000 times as far away as the moon, which is why we can have solar eclipses on earth.
Correction: The sun is about 400 times as far away and its radius is about 400 times the moon's radius.

Last edited by JWT Kottekoe; 08-12-2017 at 10:43 PM.
  #35  
Old 08-12-2017, 11:25 PM
Son of a Rich Son of a Rich is online now
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Originally Posted by stillownedbysetters View Post
When the urgeoning American Mafia took a hit as a result of Prohibition, the KKK took advantage of their influence with the booming southern moonshining industry to make inroads on the mafia's weakened alcohol distribution networks.
That's the first time I ever heard that Prohibition was bad for Italian organized crime.
  #36  
Old 08-12-2017, 11:36 PM
Nayna Nayna is offline
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Correction: The sun is about 400 times as far away and its radius is about 400 times the moon's radius.[/QUOTE]

Thank you! The "radius" cleans it all up for me. I don't even remember where I read it - obviously some article about the upcoming eclipse - but 400 makes a lot more sense than 400k.
  #37  
Old 08-12-2017, 11:37 PM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Just today I learned that most Americans don't use an electric kettle. I thought my nephew was pulling my leg, until I googled and lo and behold, it's true!
  #38  
Old 08-13-2017, 01:19 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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Just today I learned that most Americans don't use an electric kettle. I thought my nephew was pulling my leg, until I googled and lo and behold, it's true!
You can buy an electric kettle for $20, but I've never seen the need for one.

If I need hot (but not boiling) water I use the microwave. I don't like to boil it, and try to have something in the cup to prevent any explosions.
If I need boiling water I use the stove top.

I don't use boiling water for tea, hot chocolate, ramen, etc. I prefer merely hot water and the microwave is fine for that.

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 08-13-2017 at 01:24 PM.
  #39  
Old 08-14-2017, 01:58 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
Last night/early this morning, I watched a late 1990s Channel 4 documentary about housecats on You Tube. I found out that not only have feral cats driven several small-animal species to near extinction in the outback, they are also a ready source of bushmeat for the Aborigines who still live in that area.
Since you mentioned 'outback' and capitalized 'Aborigines' I'm going to presume you're talking about Australian Aborigines. Whilst feral cats are indeed a problem especially knocking off native marsupials, I can pretty much guarantee that there are >1 aborigines eating cat-bushmeat.
  #40  
Old 08-14-2017, 08:22 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Only three species in the animal kingdom experience menopause. Humans, orcas, and blue finned whales.

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Does that explain the alternative orca name, Killer Whales?


(Ducks and Runs -- whales don't have access to chocolate)
  #41  
Old 08-14-2017, 08:28 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
Speaking of vitamins, I found out recently that humans and guinea pigs are the only two animals that can't manufacture their own vitamin C, and have to get it through diet or supplements.
As Darren points out, there are some others. But most animals can, indeed, produce vitamin C in their own bodies. Presumably after our ancestor lost the ability, it wasn't a fatal mutation because they had a diet already rich in vitamin C, so it didn't make a difference. It was only when people started taking long sea voyages and the like that vitamin C deficiencies showed up as scurvy.

Ironically, the rats on board didn't suffer from scurvy as the sailors did -- their bodies were simply making their own vitamin C.


What's insidious is that vitamin C apparently deteriorates rapidly, so taking on board a supply of vitamin C isn't as easy as you'd think. Why it is that it survives in line juice and sauerkraut, but deteriorated to a useless byproduct in other cases (and, for that matter, how we keep the vitamin C from deteriorating in bottles of modern supplements) I admit I do not know. But early attempts to prevent scurvy by bringing on board foods that should have prevented it , but which didn't, must have been a severe test of the Scientific Method.
  #42  
Old 08-14-2017, 09:12 AM
Dragwyr Dragwyr is offline
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I recently found out that Jeppson's Malört is one of the worst liquors to drink.
  #43  
Old 08-14-2017, 10:19 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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I recently found out that Jeppson's Malört is one of the worst liquors to drink.
Don't leave us hanging. Elaborate.
  #44  
Old 08-14-2017, 10:31 AM
Filbert Filbert is offline
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
As Darren points out, there are some others. But most animals can, indeed, produce vitamin C in their own bodies. Presumably after our ancestor lost the ability, it wasn't a fatal mutation because they had a diet already rich in vitamin C, so it didn't make a difference. It was only when people started taking long sea voyages and the like that vitamin C deficiencies showed up as scurvy.

Ironically, the rats on board didn't suffer from scurvy as the sailors did -- their bodies were simply making their own vitamin C.


What's insidious is that vitamin C apparently deteriorates rapidly, so taking on board a supply of vitamin C isn't as easy as you'd think. Why it is that it survives in line juice and sauerkraut, but deteriorated to a useless byproduct in other cases (and, for that matter, how we keep the vitamin C from deteriorating in bottles of modern supplements) I admit I do not know. But early attempts to prevent scurvy by bringing on board foods that should have prevented it , but which didn't, must have been a severe test of the Scientific Method.
So... would it be possible to extract enough vitamin C to stave off scurvy from the ship's rats?
  #45  
Old 08-14-2017, 11:37 AM
stillownedbysetters stillownedbysetters is offline
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That's the first time I ever heard that Prohibition was bad for Italian organized crime.
In the beginning, it disrupted their supply chain. Obviously, they recovered from this early hit and thrived on Prohibition as they found other supply sources. But in the beginning the moonshiners (backed by the KKK), who experienced no such disruption, were able to make inroads utilizing already existent, illegal, distribution networks.
  #46  
Old 08-14-2017, 12:15 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by Filbert View Post
So... would it be possible to extract enough vitamin C to stave off scurvy from the ship's rats?
Mmmmmmm -- fresh-squeezed rat juice!


I suspect Vitamin C doesn't get stored in some useful place from which it can be easily extracted. Still, what do I know. The Learned Master commented on how Eskimos obtain vitamin C from the animals they killed:

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...hey-get-scurvy
  #47  
Old 08-14-2017, 12:25 PM
Knowed Out Knowed Out is online now
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I learned that Steven Wright is considered paraprosdokian because of his comedic method of destroying a cliche in midstream.
  #48  
Old 08-14-2017, 12:26 PM
minor7flat5 minor7flat5 is offline
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They make safety reading glasses.

A few months back I caught myself working on the lathe with reading glasses because I couldn't see my work well enough--not a good idea. I searched Amazon and found that safety reading glasses are a thing. Very cool for the not-so-young crowd.
  #49  
Old 08-14-2017, 01:15 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Don't leave us hanging. Elaborate.
It's very bitter. It's basically vodka macerated in wormwood. I like it well enough, but I grew up on wormwood tea.
  #50  
Old 08-14-2017, 08:34 PM
ASGuy ASGuy is offline
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I learned today (14-Aug) that in my County if you construct an island in your kitchen you are required to provide an electrical receptacle at the island itself. Makes it difficult to build an island if the kitchen is atop a concrete slab.
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