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Know who else was a vegetarian?
December 23, 2009 5:11 PM   Subscribe

Learn Something Every Day is equal parts web comic, obscure facts, stupidity and fun! By Young.
posted by cjorgensen (22 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Today you can learn that Hitler was not a vegetarian.
posted by mendel at 6:17 PM on December 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


IIRC, the "immortal jellyfish" isn't so much immortal as a living demonstration of the teleporter quandry every Star Trek Fan inevitably wrestles with. Or the Ship of Thesius, if you want to be all "normal" about it.

What happens is that the jellyfish splits into five baby jellyfish, and you can argue either that the original died, is one of the babies, or split into five jellyfish. Options two and three essentially mean it's immortal, and the cellular tissue from parent to child backs up that idea.

Of course, we don't really think jellyfish have souls or sentience, so it's not as easy to philosophize over as Tom Riker or Tuvix.

Er, I actually just googled it, and it turns out I overthought THE WRONG PLATE OF BEANS. Turns out the original jellyfish just reverts to a younger stage of its lifecycle when reproducing. So, more Benjamin Button than Number 1.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:25 PM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some of these are cute.

Some of them have misspellings that make me want to throw things.
posted by Lucinda at 6:30 PM on December 23, 2009


I don't meant to be flip, but some of these really need a citation. They are just a cute illustration above those lists of dubiously true weird facts.
posted by mmmbacon at 6:31 PM on December 23, 2009


*waits for jessamyn to come along and upbraid you for using the "Know who else was a..." header - just like she did to me - when this post really has nothing to do with Hitler at all*
posted by crossoverman at 6:40 PM on December 23, 2009


My next website will be LearnSomethingUntrueEveryDay.com ... It'll be the Biggest Thing on the Internet. And if it isn't, it'll be entry #1.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:01 PM on December 23, 2009


I really wanted to like this.
The amateurish drawings and garish colors made me close the window... very quickly.
posted by Drasher at 7:28 PM on December 23, 2009


I like this just for the December 22nd item: "We can udnretsnad any msseed up stnecene . . ." Does anyone know what this phenomenon is called?
posted by calumet43 at 8:14 PM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hitler is getting funnier and funnier...
posted by Balisong at 8:14 PM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know what this phenomenon is called?


Smoe dbuuois osuldianth calim is what I would call it.
posted by tractorfeed at 8:31 PM on December 23, 2009


Some of them have misspellings that make me want to throw things.

Agreed. Everyone knows that the sound of farts is not "parp."
posted by solipsophistocracy at 8:32 PM on December 23, 2009


Would non-chess players taunt those who do play the game about that? No, because people who don't play chess generally don't give a flying flip about whether other people play it or not. They don't feel threatened by someone being a chess-player. But once the issue is vegetarianism, it's a different story.

This is either entirely untrue, or only true about people who define themselves within social interactions by the fact that they are vegetarian. Non-vegetarians could honestly give a shit, except for the circumstances when (1) they are trying to make sure that somewhere a group is planning to head out has a decent array of vegetarian options, or (2) the rare instance where a vegetarian is smug or preachy about it. This person seems to be one of the latter.

The intrigue of the "Hitler was a vegetarian" thing is not that vegetarians would include Hitler in their midst, but rather that it seems so out-of-character, and yet somehow believable in his hypocritical philosophy (which also posited the superiority of a race of which he was clearly not a member himself.)
posted by Navelgazer at 8:39 PM on December 23, 2009


(to clarify - I love my vegetarian friends. I'm not picking on the writer who made the statment above because of his eating habits, but rather because he seems to be a self-important asshole about those habits. Godspeed eating according your beliefs, please!)
posted by Navelgazer at 8:47 PM on December 23, 2009


I think the thing is that vegetarianism is a choice many people make out of health or morality.

If you talk to a sedentary person about how you jog 5 miles a day, he might reply "Yeah, but I heard 10 minutes 3 times a week of cardio is just as good in a magazine."

If you tell a person that you've decided to only buy fair trade coffee, you might get a rant on how all the certifications on Earth are a scam, and how coffee wouldn't even be on the market if workers couldn't make a good living selling it.

The issue is that non-vegetarians feel threatened when they hear that someone else is a vegetarian. People have a drive to be moral and healthy, and vegetarianism implies they could be doing more, so they either have to be intellectually honest and accept why they eat meat, or they can rationalize it by getting mad at the "pushy" vegetarians who want to "impose" their diet on you. It's almost a bit like how some people feel alienated by other religions, as it implies they may have made the wrong choices, and then come to fear or hate the other religion for it.

Plus, there occasionally are militant vegetarians who act like people who eat meat are truly doing something terrible (like, infanticide terrible). They're extremely rare, but just one or two encounters, either in real life or in anecdotes from friends, will be so obnoxious to some people they will carry those characterizations to every vegetarian.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:54 PM on December 23, 2009


PS: I'm a meat eater, and I feel like I'm justified because humans are omnivorous by nature and we have the capacity to humanely raise and kill animals. Our shortcomings in humanity to livestock is frankly disheartening and embarrassing, and I'd probably be the first to eat cheap vat meat to be clean of the issue. I don't want to start a flame. I just want to give my post some context.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:56 PM on December 23, 2009


Everyone knows that the sound of farts is not "parp."

It is in England. You're confusing Standard American Farts with The Queen's Farts.
posted by MikeMc at 9:00 PM on December 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


Hitler was a vegetarian because he *said* he was a vegetarian (there are numerous citations). If he sometimes ate meat, that doesn't mean he wasn't a vegetarian. It means he wasn't a very good vegetarian. Expecting Hitler to be morally consistent is...well, that wasn't his strong point.
posted by chrisgregory at 9:14 PM on December 23, 2009


There will be a new "fact" tomorrow. I don't think the comic was going for biting social commentary and expecting it to be factually accurate is like getting your news from a show that comes on after talking puppets.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:48 PM on December 23, 2009


I really wanted to like this. I love cartoons! I love facts! But the obscure facts were more of the back-of-the-Frosted-Flakes level than the really-obscure-mind-blowing level. Okay, so butterflies taste with their feet. There are more sheep than people in New Zealand. Yawn-worthy as far as factoids go. And the cartoons just... well... barely even were cartoons. Sigh.

Though I will be waiting with bated breath for onefellswoop's site! Unless the site's existence is the very first untruth.
posted by festivemanb at 11:32 PM on December 23, 2009


C'mon, the art's as good as xkcd.
posted by m0nm0n at 11:43 PM on December 23, 2009


So does anyone know if it's true that an apple wakes you up better than coffee? Because that might actually be useful knowledge.
posted by creasy boy at 3:11 AM on December 24, 2009


Hitler was a vegetarian because he *said* he was a vegetarian (there are numerous citations). If he sometimes ate meat, that doesn't mean he wasn't a vegetarian. It means he wasn't a very good vegetarian. Expecting Hitler to be morally consistent is...well, that wasn't his strong point.

Kind of like how Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Bob Allen and Ted Haggard are straight.
posted by stavrogin at 4:26 AM on December 24, 2009


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