Tell us an interesting random fact you stumbled across

The first settlrment in Delaware was Swedish, known as Nya Sverige, in 1636. But 20 years later, the Dutch defeated Sweden, and Swedish colonies were merged into the Dutch American colonies.

Parton’s comment on being told of this: “Hey, there’s no such thing as ba-a-a-ad publicity”.

I tittered sheepishly.

Oh, ewe two! Shear madness!

I think @F.U.Shakespeare is trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

Something occurred to me as an interesting item for the Dustbin Of Our Cultural History thread - but when I checked it out, it remains something which is still very much alive (to my great surprise). Therefore I think it qualifies as an interesting random fact (if you see what I mean.)

I haven’t been in the habit of watching the (English) FA Cup final or the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final for quite a few decades*. Way back in the day, the crowd would be entertained before the match by community singing, culminating with the hymn Abide With Me. The community singing is gone (kinda, see below) - but the hymn remains (!). Here’s Emily Sande singing it from the roof of an empty Wembley Stadium before the 2020 FA Cup final

I say that community singing is gone - but the spirit lingers on. This is the 2016 Rugby League Challenge Cup Final, with some of the crowd (remember them?) joining in.

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* - to those still in the habit of watching - of course you knew. Sorry. This is for the rest of us.

Drug Lord Pablo Escobar imported lots of African Wildlife to Colombia. Most of it has been removed to zoos, but the hippopotamuses have remained. They’re big, hard to dislodge, very dangerous, and have no natural predators in Colombia. It’s feared that there can be a population explosion of hippos there that will wreak ecological disaster.

No predators for the Colombian hippos? What about man? I’m surprised hippo poachers haven’t struck in Colombia.

Maybe if you give them time, a culture of hippo poaching will develop in Colombia. In Africa they evidently hunt them for meat and for their teeth (as a substitute for elephant ivory). But I don’t think there’s a market for Hippo organs, the way there is for bears, lions, and tigers.

The story goes he played them in a “mock music-hall style" to get back at John.

That is one of the most brilliant things I’ve read here lately. Bravo, good sir knight.

The most common name given to baby boys born in Israel in 2019 (most recent year available) is still Muhammad, although others such as David and Ariel are getting closer every year.

Currently available in small sizes for things like ATVs and Bobcat skid loaders, airless tires could be on a passenger car near you in the next four years.

Interesting. I wonder if that tech is finally ready for prime time.

That idea bombed in the early 2000s; the tech wasn’t ready. See

I have seen more of them recently on things like these:

The concept has been raised several times well before the 21st century, usually in the form of a tire made from or filled with foam. I remember a striking picture of a guy pounding spikes into a tractor tire, which didn’t deflate because it was essentially filled with foam.

IIRC, the reason this approach had problems was because of excessive local heating of the foam. In pneumatic tires, the air can move around and redistribute the heat. In foam tires, it’s trapped in local pockets.

'Zactly. You need flex for a decent ride. But each flex adds heat. Air at 35-70 psi flexes with a very low coefficient of thermal whatever, so there’s not much heat build-up from teh air itself. And the sidewalls only need to be thick enough to hold the air in, plus offset a certain amount of lateral squirm.

With any non-pneumatic tire whatever is doing the flexing has a much higher coefficient of thermal whatever. Plus the hotspots you mention. Not an easy problem.

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a card game at a gaming store – something I haven’t done in ages. It’s called Skulls of Sedlec. It’s a pretty decent, quick-play game for two or three players

I was wondering “Why Sedlec?” I figured it was some made-up fantasy kingdom. I was wrong.

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I hadn’t heard of the Ossuary of Sedlec before, but you HAVE to see pictures of this place in the Czech Republic:

The Bismarck was the second largest battleship ever launched by the Nazis; her sister ship – Tirpitz – had a larger displacement.

The Nazis created chlorosulphuric fogs to hide Tirpitz when she was not on patrol, the acid from this fog is suspected to have stunted the growth of nearby trees.

Around 20 years ago I purchased some solid tires for my bicycle. They were terrible. Felt like they were losing grip on the turns, and they squeaked on the turns. I quickly removed them and reinstalled regular tires and tubes.

That’s because they lacked the flex needed to turn the tire slightly so that the sidewall has enough ‘give’ to corner smoothly. With this idea, it is the wheel, not the tire that offers that flexibility. I know the concept is in testing. If it works, it will be okay for everyday commutes, but not for someone who expects a performance machine from their vehicles.