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Things that make you go hmmm?


Hi all,

Thought I would jot down some oddities in life under the phrase ‘Things that make you go hmm?’

Such as:

Why is abbreviation such a long word?
Why is dyslexia so hard to spell?
Why do hot dogs come in packs of 8 but the rolls come in packs of 6?
What was the best thing before sliced bread?
What exactly is the Hokey Cokey actually about?

Anyone got anymore?

  1. ? - is it because body builders have appropriated the abbreviation ab ?
  2. It isn’t
  3. Hot dogs and hot dog rolls come in various different size servings, but if your rolls are a six pack, get a six serving size of hotdogs
  • or have your friends around and get 4 x 6 rolls and 3 x 8 hotdogs :rofl:
  1. Who agrees that sliced bread is the best? Not me :slight_smile:
  2. It’s a dance; what is any dance about?

Some things that make me go hmmmm are

  • 180C - what is it that almost everything one buys that needs cooking in an oven has to be at 180c? And what was it before we had metric ovens?

  • Sand - there’s coarse sand and fine sand, and I understand all sand is the result of millennia of grinding down rocks. So if a huge rock can be ground down to a pile of sand, when does the grinding stop? i.e. does the sand get further ground down till it can’t be seen? Till it is no more?


Law of conservation of mass energy says
the total amount of mass and energy in the universe is constant. Therefore it can never be no more… mmmhhh


The safety dance is about safety (and looking at your hands).


Here you go. A whole encyclopaedia entry on the subject


Doesn’t clay come next?


I think clay has a very different molecular structure (involving plate like structures I think). I think the next level is silt/mud.


Sand is one of the smallest particles in the universe:


Some sand ends up on the seafloor getting buried until it turns back into rock, much of the Oil & Gas industry relies on this helpful stuff to hold hydrocarbons in. Some is dissolved and ends up making seawater salty, some of it is ground to fine particles which make up silt/shale/mud etc.

Clay is a group of minerals, sand is a grain size really, so a sand may have clay particles in it. What gardeners often call clay is really a soil (organic matter + Clays + sand) with lots of clay particles inside. China clay, or Kaoline, skips the sand stage and converts hard rock into clay minerals before being hacked out to make the broken china I keep finding in my veg patch.

Geologists just can’t walk past these things and keep their miserable mouths shut.


Yes different soil types have different particle sizes. I think loam is next before clay.
Most sands were deposited by in the ice ages. They are often dug up mixed and separated by a machine called a grader.

  1. It is if your Lesdicsick
    People who find a thing easy never have any idea why others struggle.


Edit because spell check wants window glass experts to deposit sands and I can’t think how gla… the big lump of ice is spelled. See ref to 2.


Yes, but people who are dyslexic find all words difficult to spell.

I have a son who struggles with dyslexia and when he was younger we went through special teachers and training, funny glasses and much, much more for many years.

The word dyslexia is spelled like it sounds (except ‘y’ instead of ‘i’ might trip one up). Many words are not spelled like they sound. Dyslexia is easier to spell than many everyday words


For anyone who really needed the grain sizes. :crazy_face:


I certainly did, thanks!

Interesting to have so exact a difference between boulders and cobbles.


This seems an excellent example of thread drift; light-hearted (and not at all mineral related) whimsy to technical classification of stone sizes in 5 easy steps.

Can anyone come up with other surprising [and similarly benign] examples to keep us all entertained?


Sorry to lower the tone -Back to the original post and speaking as a man
Why does hair grow faster in places you don’t want it to and less where you would as you get older.
Why do some parts of the body get stiffer and others less so.
My apologies again.


There’s been a correspondence in The Guardian on the definition of pond and lake.

When is a body of water a pond and when is it a lake? This one runs and runs…

Or lake and sea? Why is the Black Sea a sea and not a lake and the Great Lakes err lakes not seas?

And one that makes me go hmmmm. What is the difference between a cabbage and a lettuce? I would once have said that the first is cooked and served as a vegetable and the other is served raw in a salad, but recently I’ve had quartered and charred Little Gems served to me as a accompanying vegetable…


Surely, if it’s in the The Grauniad it should be a correspondence on the definition of a pond and kale? (one for the Private Eye readers…) :smiley:


Fantastic chart @JamesE I can now perfectly accurately define the level and size of the minerality in my Chablis!