Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Six

1- Bumps on the ‘F’ and ‘J’ Keyboard Buttons

The reason why there are tiny bumps or ridges towards the bottom of the letter ‘F’ and ‘J’ buttons in all keyboards — yeah, look down if you’re currently in front of one — is to help the users locate the exact keys without looking at the keyboard.

Why specifically those two keys? Well, it’s because the ideal hand position for typing is placing the two index fingers on the F and J, the left hand covers A, S, D, and F, while the right one covers J, K, L, and the semicolon. The thumbs are placed onto the Space button. This arrangement allows for Touch typing, also called Touch type or Touch method or Touch and type method, which is typing without using the sense of sight to find the keys. For the touch-typist, mainly, the letters mentioned above are known as “home row keys”.

According to this thread on Quora, the bumps are there to help the blind, as braille. The writer argues that pre-touch phone era of Nokia handsets or even landline phones with numeric keyboards there is one on the number 5, which obviously is not there to help us memorise where all the keys are without looking since they are only 10 buttons or so. That said, the ‘F’ and ‘J’ bumps exist to help blind people.

However, a significant number of sources report that the bumps feature was first introduced by June E. Botich in 2002 as a way to increase the speed and preciseness of the keyboard users. She actually holds a patent for the invention of these modified keys. Nevertheless, while the patent is true, it seems the idea itself preceded Botich — going all the way back to typewriters — as stated in the corrected version of this Independent article.

2- Therapy Llamas and Alpacas

Yes, as you read in the title. We know that dogs, cats, horses, dolphins, even hamsters, birds and fish, can take part in Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) to help some of us humans. Now these furry camelids have joined the team and became equally certified. They just move around as they are, spreading happiness and comfort.

I must hug these animals at least once in my lifetime. Check the video below to see how cuddly they are.

3- Tarantism  

Tarantism is a psychological illness characterised by a hysteric behaviour, which manifests itself in the form of melancholy, stupor, madness, along an extreme impulse and an uncontrollable urge to dance. It was prevalent in southern Italy from the 15th to the 17th century. At the time, it was widely believed to have been caused by the bite of the wolf spider Lycosa tarantula. 
In actual fact, dancing off the tarantula venom was considered the only cure to overcome the ‘illness’. The dancing was violent, energetic, and lasted for three or four days.
‘Tarantism’ originates from Italian ‘tarantismo’, from the name of the seaport ‘Taranto’, after which the tarantula is also named.
Tarantism may have lived on today as it can still be seen in some music festivals. Ha.

4- The Quokka

A quokka and her baby

The Quokka (Setonix brachyurus) is another funny, furry animal. They are a small macropods about the size of a domestic cat, and are the only member of the genus Setonix. Like other marsupials in the macropod family — like kangaroos and wallabies — the quokka is herbivorous and generally nocturnal. 

The cute thing weighs from 2.5 to 5 kilograms (5.5 to 11.0 lb) and is 40 to 54 centimetres (16 to 21 in) long with a 25 to 30 centimetres (9.8 to 11.8 in) tail.

Quokkas are native to Australia and can be found on some smaller islands off the coast of Western Australia, in particular on Rottnest Island just off Perth and Bald Island near Albany. A small mainland colony exists in the protected area of Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, where they co-exist with Gilbert's potoroo
(Potorous gilbertii) sometimes called the Rat-kangaroo or Garlgyte.

In fact,
they’re the only land mammal on Rottnest Island, and have actually become a tourist attraction. Quokkas were first described by Dutch sea captain Willem de Vlamingh, who reported finding “a kind of rat as big as a cat.” The seaman named the quokkas’ island Ratte nest (“rat’s nest”) before sailing away.

You can check the The Most Unusual and Unknown Creatures [Photos & Videos] as well as its sequel, The Most Unusual and Unknown Creatures II.

5- Words with Dirty Origin 

• “Seminar” comes from the Latin word Seminarium, meaning “breeding ground” or “plant nursery”, which itself comes from the Latin Seminarius, meaning “of seed”. They all originate from the Latin  Semen, seed’.

• “Gymnasium” originates from Latin Gymnasium, meaning “school for gymnastics”, from Greek Gymnasion “public place where athletic exercises are practiced; gymnastics school”; in plural, “bodily exercises,” from Gymnazein “to exercise or train”, literally or figuratively, literally meaning “to train naked”, from Gymnos which is naked.

• “Pencil is from early 14c. and it meant “An artists fine brush of camel hair”, from Old French Pincel ― “Artists paintbrush” (13c., Modern French pinceau), from Latin Penicillus ― “Painter's brush, hair-pencil”, literally “Little tail”, diminutive of Peniculus ― ‘Brush’, which itself is a diminutive of Penis ― ‘Tail’.


Random Stuff You May Not Know

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Two

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Three

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Four   

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Five

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Seven

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Eight

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Nine 

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Ten

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Eleven
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