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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:32 am 
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Today back in 1993 - a big day for Trekkies, as Deep Space Nine made its debut with 'Emissary', the first Star Trek not to take place on the Enterprise (whichever Enterprise), or to take place on a ship at all, instead focusing on a space station (the titular Deep Space Nine, which was originally just a temporary title they meant to replace when they thought of something better, but everyone got used to it during pre-production), likened to 'The Rifleman' compared to the original series' old 'wagon train to the stars' analogy (one early idea was to have it actually be set in a town on Bajor, instead of a space station, until they realised what it'd cost to shoot on location every week), and since they weren't really in a position to be boldly going anywhere under their own power, in the pilot episode they discovered a wormhole which led to the unexplored Gamma Quadrant, and also contained a race of timeless alien entities the locals regarded as gods, who Commander Sisko taught about baseball. But somebody had already rented the first VHS when I got to the video shop when it all arrived, so the first episode I saw was episode two, 'Past Prologue', all about the station's first officer Major Kira, who is just amazing and had me instantly hooked.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:38 am 
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my middle name is Isabelle, I like cats but I don't own any (dad won't allow me to get one, guess I gotta wait till I turn 18 to move out and adopt one lmao). My neighbours cat Stella seems to think she's ours though! I hope to work with animals in the future, but for now I'm mainly just focusing on my subjects I school rather than the future. Im studying visual art and Japanese n school, and I'm going to Japan this year in July (I'm not Japanese though, I'm half Filipino half Australian)! I have 3 siblings- a 17 year old brother, a 19 year old sister and a 8 year old sister. I'm still in the closet, and my little sister keeps accidentally almost outing me! (she's quite nosy- but she's also clueless. but she's constantly sputtering out things like 'did you know Jasmine's wallpaper is of two gay girls?', 'Jasmines password is *gay ship name*, whats that?' 'Jasmine said in her diary.. that I promise I didn't read.. that love is love!' and other things like that.) I tend to blabber HEAPS online (like this) , but in real life I'm tHE most awkward girl ever, and I barely talk- unless I'm with my friends that I trust. I guess online I just get more excited because people don't know me, and I feel like they won't judge me as much. I have anxiety to.. aaaaand I've gone on an on for too long and you're all probably asleep by now. sorry! bye bye, and love from Sydney, Australia


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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:00 am 
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Welcome :bigwave also from Sydney. Hope you're surviving the heat (okay, it's not been that bad, I'm just awful with heat - I'm actually looking forward to going back to work, just because of the air conditioning).

Speaking of aircon and other wonders of modern life, today is National Technology Day, as declared by... some website, which kinda seems like it's just trying to advertise some apps, or something. Still, where would we be without tech? Well for one thing, there'd be no Kitten board, we'd all just be stuck in our own little corners of the world - although since we're what-if-ing, and the consequences of removing technology (even just modern technology, not going so far back as the wheel and all that) would be massive in terms of population migrations and where everyone ended up, let's go for the best-case scenario, and imagine we'd all wind up near enough to all hang out at the same medieval-style tavern discussing how yon Lady Tara and Lady Willow in that young lad Shakespeare's latest work As You Love It Sweetie be main adorable and no mistake, sirrah, certes we'll be camped out in front of the Globe for season tickets. That got weird fast. So let's be thankful for technology, which is apparently the only thing stopping history from falling to pieces...

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:45 am 
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On this day way back in 1610, Galileo Galilei hauled his telescope up onto a hilltop and bundled himself up in a warm coat for an evening's stargazing, or rather planet-gazing, since he had his sights set on Jupiter. Not the first time anyone had noticed a colossal planet up there, but he did spot something new that night, in the form of a handful of stars that, oddly, seemed to have lined up around Jupes. Odder still was that, the night after, they were still there, as if Jupiter were dragging part of the night sky around with it, and then one of them went missing only to turn up on the other side of the planet - long story short, Galileo soon realised that what he was seeing were moons, the first (apart from ours) ever spotted, and the notion that celestial bodies could be in orbit of something that wasn't the Earth, well, that idea turned out to be rather a big deal.

Since Galileo had some class he didn't break out 'Moony McMoonface' (I mean, it was kind of funny when it got suggested for that British research ship, but we've actually got a Ferry McFerryface on the harbour now, and it's just embarrassing), but he did have an eye toward where his funding was coming from, and dutifully sucked up to the boss by naming them Cosimo's Stars. Simon Marius, who was tinkering with his own telescope around the same time and had also spotted something odd around Jupiter, managed to be the one to give them their lasting names of Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, after Jupiter's lovers (possibly having an inkling that there might be a lot more moons out there, and choosing a naming scheme that had plenty of entries, what with the dating habits of the old gods). The astronomical community in general decided they didn't all have to suck up to the Medicis and went with those names, but those four (the largest of 69 we've spotted so far) are still known as the Galilean Moons, so those chilly nights outside Florence weren't a complete waste of time.

Besides having wikipedia open I'm paraphrasing from memory from one of my favourite books, Journey Beyond Selēnē by Jeffrey Kluger (also called Moon Hunters apparently), all about our investigations of the various moons of the solar system, starting from having a look through telescopes at anything in range through to JPL's missions to get a much closer look at the outer system.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:59 am 
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I'm sorry for daring the weather by saying the heat hadn't been 'that bad' - for those around the globe, wherever you were on Sunday it was cooler than Sydney, where out in the city's west we officially qualified as the hottest city in the world (47.3 degrees in Penrith) for that day. I mean okay, the northern hemisphere's in winter so that cuts down the competition, but still.

Now, obviously, today's fact is the birthday of possibly the first real-world case of someone possessing the X-gene, with the superpower of 'being lovely', her highness Amber Benson :bow But being the trivia fan I am I had a look at my various info sources anyway, and discovered that that may not just be a coincidence, as January 8 has also given us a veritable Justice League of awesome, including William Hartnell (the first Doctor, for those of you who aren't Whovians), Stephen Hawking (the only person ever to appear as 'himself' - a hologram of himself - on Star Trek), David Bowie, Elvis Presley, and Graham Chapman (of Monty Python).

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:08 am 
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So technically it's still Amber Benson's birthday in some parts of the world, so let's keep celebrating that :bounce But also, for trivia's sake, on this day back in 1960 construction kicked off on the Aswan High Dam, which created Lake Nasser (including submerging quite a bit of history in the process, although the big name sites were dismantled and rebuilt on higher ground - some of them under ridiculous time pressures, with temples still being taken apart while surrounded by artificial walls with the water rising around them), and allowed the annual flooding of the Nile to be controlled. Whether it was all really a good idea depends who you ask (in general, 'mostly, yeah, more or less') but it's certainly spectacular - one of my very rare overseas holidays, ten years or so ago, was an archaeology tour of Egypt, including a cruise from Aswan to Abu Simbel.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:29 am 
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It's World Laughter Day :laugh The event has to do with Laughter Yoga, where people get together for the purpose of laughing, but I figure you probably get most of the benefit from just, y'know, having a laugh at something funny. Like this, especially if you watched Star Trek TNG (if not it's probably kind of bizarre, but I'm me, who by now is surprised that I'm defaulting to Trekkie?)

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:52 pm 
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Random fact for today - in 1969 the Soviet Union launched Soyuz 5, which met up with Soyuz 4 launched the day before and became the first crewed spacecraft to dock in orbit (which may not sound like a huge deal, but rendezvous and docking is a big deal in achieving basically anything up there). They also moved crew from one ship to another for the first time, by the somewhat hey-why-not method of opening up the doors and spacewalking from one to the other (they didn't have doors inside the docking mechanism as Apollo did), and 5 also mad a godawful reentry, coming in nose-first due to not disengaging with its service module, managing to turn the right way around before the hatch burned through, and then messing up its retro rockets and landing a lot harder than intended - fortunately not fatally, although the two cosmonauts who went up on 5 and came down on 4 were probably glad they got off when they did.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:56 am 
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Fun fact for today - on this day back in 1773 Captain James Cook (no relation) crossed the Antarctic Circle, the first time (so far as anyone knows) any ship ventured that far south, during a mission from the Royal Society to find out if Terra Australis (another big southern landmass besides Australia, which he'd already bumped into last time out) existed; by sailing over pretty much everywhere in the Pacific ocean any smartass back in Blighty imagined it might be, he demonstrated to the Society's satisfaction that no, it didn't. Just as well really, imagine if there were two Australias - the Crocodile Dundee films might still be going on today.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:19 am 
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Today back in 1953, well, wikipedia makes it sound a little bit more graphic than it actually was, with "Almost 72% of all television sets in the United States are tuned into I Love Lucy to watch Lucy give birth." I feel like reality tv nowadays has gotten to anything's-possible levels, so I'll just confirm that it was offscreen - although the whole 'Lucy is pregnant' storyline was run in conjunction with Lucille Ball actually being pregnant, and while the episode had been filmed a couple of months previously, it aired just twelve hours after the real-life birth of Desi Arnaz Jr.

And since she went on to help get Star Trek made (check the credits of any original series episode, it's a Desilu show), I'd be remiss if I didn't mention DS9 likewise pairing up its plotlines with real events to make the best of a pregnancy - rather than have Major Kira wear long coats and sit behind desks for a whole season (as befell Dr Crusher on TNG and B'Ellana on Voyager), since Kira's not so much the type to sit behind a desk and flip it over on the way to beating up someone, when Nana Visitor announced her pregnancy to the producers, not long after they had just (fictionally) made Keiko O'Brien pregnant, at the suggestion of Laura Behr (wife of producer Ira Steven Behr) they just beamed the baby out of Keiko and into Kira. Due to a medical emergency from a runabout getting totalled, not just for fun. All that didn't happen on this day, I just like rambling on about Star Trek...

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:48 am 
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Artemis wrote:
Today back in 1953, well, wikipedia makes it sound a little bit more graphic than it actually was, with "Almost 72% of all television sets in the United States are tuned into I Love Lucy to watch Lucy give birth." I feel like reality tv nowadays has gotten to anything's-possible levels, so I'll just confirm that it was offscreen - although the whole 'Lucy is pregnant' storyline was run in conjunction with Lucille Ball actually being pregnant, and while the episode had been filmed a couple of months previously, it aired just twelve hours after the real-life birth of Desi Arnaz Jr.


Another random fact related to that: the network completely banned the show from using the word 'pregnant'. They were only allowed use 'expecting'.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:59 am 
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I wish I could be surprised by that (actually, I wish I could think 'well, it was the 50s' and not then find out that it still happened on some tv show or other recently)...

There's a bevy of birthdays today, including Tom Baker (the Doctor), David Lynch (many weird things, but I mainly think of Dune), DeForest Kelley (Dr McCoy), and Rainn Wilson (Discovery's younger version of Harcourt Fenton Mudd), but my favourite for amusing-anecdote purposes is Francesca Buller, who's married to Ben Browder - Farscape's John Crichton - and who appeared in four separate roles on the show (one for each season), every time trying to kill him: in order of appearance, by eating his skeleton (M'Lee), betraying him to the Peacekeepers (Ro-NA), shoving him head-first into her own private gang war (Raxil), and when she turned up again as War Minister Ahkna, well, you don't get to be the Scarran War Minister by being easy-going. They're still married, so presumably she's biding her time...

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:37 am 
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Ugh, Monday - specifically Monday in summer in Sydney, it's a warm one and that's not ideal for me. Still, fun fact time. On this day back in 2000, a tv show that you may not have heard of (and if you have, probably only by association with Xena) made its premiere, Cleopatra 2525. If you don't know it, it's really, really campy, but in a good way, with a surprisingly strong cast - Jennifer Sky (much more bearable than her unfortunately annoying-on-purpose role on Xena) as Cleo, a stripper put in cryogenic suspension due to complications during a boob job, awoken by accident five centuries later to a world dominated by genocidal war machines on the surface, humanity living underground, and everyone's only hope the mysterious 'Voice' issuing orders by remote to her various commando teams, one of which Cleo obviously/haphazardly joins, composed of Hel (Gina Torres, badass even when she's silly), Sarge (Victoria Pratt and her abs of steel) and reprogrammed terminator-esque android Mauser, and continually plagued by Jokeresque supervillain Creegan. The original plan was for Lucy Lawless to be Voice, but the scheduling didn't work out. They saunter around your typical late-90s/early-00s dystopian future lit by neon, wearing basically exercise gear with techy-looking plastic glues to it and getting into laser blaster fights with the most improbable wire-fu imaginable. If you like the more over-the-top moments of Xena, it's well worth grabbing on dvd.

Also today going five centuries the other direction, back in 1506 the first contingent of Swiss Guards rocked up to the Vatican, and they're still there (not those specific guards... probably, you never know what the church gets up to).

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:00 am 
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Turned up something fun today - it's a happy birthday to Mariska Hargitay, aka Olivia Benson on SVU, who's been there so long that by rights she ought to be developing meta-awareness like She-Hulk or Alan Shore and know she's in a tv show by now. But the fun bit, which I wasn't aware of until today, is that she was originally cast as Dulcea in the Power Rangers Movie (the 90s one filmed in Sydney, not the newer one), an alien warrior/occasional owl who did... something or other, ninja powers, it sounds silly. Sadly her scenes were reshot with Gabrielle Fitzpatrick (who had originally been going to play Dulcea, but had pulled out due to surgery, which she recovered from to come back to the role) when the producers felt that Mariska wasn't really working in the role; one can only imagine what wasn't working was that it wasn't believable she needed the Power Rangers around, rather than just kicking all the monsters' butts by herself.

Here she is, in her alien battle bikini, because of course that's what she'd wear. From now on every time there's a scene in Olivia's apartment I'll be looking out to see if that's hanging in her wardrobe in the background, because if I was the set dresser, that's absolutely what I'd do if I could get away with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:27 am 
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O, lawd...that costume!


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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:21 am 
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It's Australia Day - but more interestingly, it's also the anniversary of the Rum Rebellion in 1808 (popularly known as the Great Rebellion for the rest of that century, because we didn't have a lot of history so we had to make a big deal of whatever was lying around, although unlike the She-Ra version there was a deplorable lack of gorgeous women wearing swimsuits and tights), in which William Bligh - as in Mutiny on the Bounty - turned out to be about as good at maintaining control of New South Wales as he was with his ship, and got deposed by a military takeover led by John Macarthur, ostensibly in response to Bligh's trying to clear up the trade in rum that Macarthur was making quite a bit out of, but for the most part it was just a matter of both of them being jerks who got on each other's nerves and refused to listen to each other on anything, a tradition which members of the NSW parliament proudly uphold today. So we were technically a rebel colony for a couple of years, until Britain got word of it and sent a new governor to tell us to cut it out.

While there have been five movies about the mutiny on the Bounty so far, Bligh's tenure as governor so far has just given us a short-lived sitcom (no, really).

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:54 pm 
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Big day today - on this day back in 1958 the design of the Lego brick was patented. Yay! And regardless of what happens pretty much any time anyone on tv mentions them, Lego remains very insistent that they're 'Lego bricks', not 'Legos', so as to avoid losing the trademark on the word (the kind of situation aspirin fell to).

And also, a random fact about me for the first time in a while - chatting with my mother about the Rum Rebellion, she mentioned that I had an ancestor in the New South Wales Corps (aka the Rum Corps), because she's into genealogy big time. Evidently he was at one point given a cargo of wine (not rum) to deliver up to Parramatta, and it being a long journey back in those days he stopped off at a pub along the way, became acquainted with a lady who promised to become quite friendly in exchange for a few drinks, they were joined by a few others, and long story short he ended up being relocated from the Corps to a chain gang when his superiors didn't buy his explanation that the entire load of wine had been "stolen". So that's a genuine convict ancestor, in a roundabout way.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:02 pm 
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Monday again - but on this particular day in 1971, Alan Shepard landed on the moon, in the LM Antares piloted by Stuart Roosa, and proceeded to get out and have a round of golf (well, two balls, but they did go a long way, and Apollo 14 didn't have the lunar golf buggy to go find them; probably landed in a bunker anyway). As well as having been one of the Mercury 7 astronauts who got shot into orbit in NASA's first round of spacecraft, Shepard also did well in fictional counterparts - Alan Tracy in Thunderbirds was named after him, as was Commander whatever-name-you-chose (Elizabeth in my case) Shepard of Mass Effect.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:24 am 
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Bit of recentish history today (well, it's recent by history standards) - today in 1996 Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov at chess, marking the end of human civilisation and the rise of machines as the dominant species on the planet. Unfortunately they seem to be leaving us to our own devices (unintentional pun there) for the moment, which given how we're doing at governing ourselves gives you a lot of sympathy for those poor pre-warp civilisations Starfleet was always watching from orbit and not getting involved with for fear of altering the course of their societal development.

But on a happier note, happy birthday Laura Dern, who I'm pretty sure now takes third place behind Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Williams for 'most Imperial personnel annihilated by pushing one button'.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:19 am 
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Some more history - today is the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, who you'll remember from that time he teamed up with Kirk and Spock to fight Genghis Khan and Kahless the Unforgettable (Klingon Jesus, basically), only to later give his life in an attempt to rescue Surak, the father of Vulcan logic. Prior to that he had a career in politics (and on a more fictional than that, but less fictional that the previous sentence, note, he appears in Flash for Freedom, the third Flashman novel, in which he spots Harry Flashman for a scoundrel right away; sadly Flashy's US Civil War memoirs, in which their acquaintance was renewed and he evidently blackmailed Flashman into saving the Union, never got written).

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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:32 pm 
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I've got a fact. Not so random though, sort of relevant.

The last time Valentine's day coincided with Ash Wednesday was in 1945. And in this century this will occur again in 2024 and 2029. So that's your calendar sorted.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Facts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:03 am 
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*marks calendar*

Got a science fact for today - on this day back in 1996 the Discovery Program kicked off with the launch of a Delta II rocket carrying the NEAR Shoemaker probe towards asteroid 433 Eros, which it managed to enter into orbit around, and finally land on. Eros later did its darndest to return the favour in The Expanse, where it ate its inhabitants then went on a crash course for Earth after dodging a Mormon generation ship trying to ram it, it's a complicated show. Still, you can't really blame NASA (although it's probably worth keeping an eye on it, just in case).

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