Jayeless.net

Posts categorised ‘Quite Interesting’

Link: “What cats’ love of boxes and squares can tell us about their visual perception”

Original post found at: https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/05/what-cats-love-of-boxes-and-squares-can-tell-us-about-their-visual-perception/

It is a truth universally acknowledged—at least by those of the feline persuasion—that an empty box on the floor must be in want of a cat. Ditto for laundry baskets, suitcases, sinks, and even cat carriers (when not used as transport to the vet). This behavior is generally attributed to the fact that cats feel safer when squeezed into small spaces, but it might also be able to tell us something about feline visual perception.

Antipodes of the World

When I was a kid, I was somewhat obsessed with this question of, “If you tunnelled straight down into the Earth and right through the core out to the other side, where would you emerge?” It seems like some in Britain think you’d emerge right here, in Australia – hence the use of the word “antipodean” for Australians and New Zealanders – and my dad used to tell me that …

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Reviewing Victoria's Public Holidays

For those who are unaware, today (Sunday, 25 April) is the public holiday of Anzac Day, which commemorates a campaign whereby Australian and NZ soldiers tried to invade part of modern-day Turkey at the behest of the British, who had put together their plan so haphazardly that it was pretty much doomed from the start, and got solidly trounced. Now, even when I was a kid I didn’t really like …

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Melbourne Time

Tonight we set our clocks back to return to standard time, and as such here’s a discovery I made through Twitter: according to this tweet, it’s only in 1895 that Melbourne joined Sydney on GMT+10, which is indeed Sydney’s “true” time zone (GMT+10’s central meridian, 150°E, runs through the middle of Sydney). Before that, Melbourne time ran 20 minutes behind …

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Random fact: the reason an Australian dollar has long been worth approx. half a British pound is decimalisation. In both currencies before that, there were 20 shillings to a pound. When Britain decimalised, they decided that one old pound = one new pound. Australia, on the other hand, went with one old shilling = 10 cents, so the new dollar was only worth 10 shillings. Since both currencies started floating the exchange rate has bounced around a lot – AUD$1 has been worth everything from 34p in 1998 to 72p in 1984 – but the rate’s still around $1 = 56p today (or conversely, £1 = $1.78).

An eight-year-old blog post on many points of internationalisation developers screw up, including date formats, timezones, and the 20+ currencies all called dollars. Why are so many sites so ambiguous? Most of the post is still relevant today.

photo of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.