The English coined "soccer"


From my friends at Duolingo:

The people that affectionately call their Prince William "Wills" and £5 and £10 notes ~"fivers" and "tenners"~ are responsible for shortening "Association Football" to just "Assoc."—which, when written, looks like it might be pronounced "Assock." (This "Association Football" name is the same as the French Football Association in FIFA!) In late 1800s England, at Oxford, there was also a fad of adding -er to some words. And thus, "soccer" was born. In England. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Quantity precedes quality


Found via Dynomight:

Quality over quantity. I often worry that I write too much on this blog. After all, the world has a lot of text. Does it need more? Shouldn’t I pick some small number of essays and really perfect them?
Arguably, no. You’ve perhaps heard of the pottery class where students graded on quantity produced more quality than those graded on quality. (It was actually a photography class.) For scientists, the best predictor of having a highly cited paper is just writing lots of papers. As I write these words, I have no idea if any of this is good and I try not to think about it.

I hadn’t heard this before, but I do find it to be true. Creativity is a habit. The way to quality is through quantity.

Jalapeños are less spicy


From D Magazine:

The standardization of the jalapeño was rapidly accelerated by the debut, about 20 years ago, of the TAM II jalapeño line, a reliably big, shiny, fleshy pepper that can grow up to six inches long—with little to no heat. TAM II peppers have become some of the most popular in the processing business.

The driver of the change was the desire for processors to have predictable levels of spiciness.

Hat tip to Mark for sharing this.

The size of Lake Victoria


I was listening to Fall of Civilizations podcast and they referenced the size of Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile river, in Africa as approximately the US State of Georgia.

It turns out this is incorrect. Lake Victoria is 23,146 square miles while the US State of Georgia is 57,513 square miles. However, it is about the same size as the Country of Georgia, which is 26,830 square miles or the state of West Virginia (24,038 square miles). Still incredibly massive, and it's not even the biggest fresh water lake! That honor goes to Lake Superior, which is 49,300 square miles, about the size of Alabama or Greece and holds 10% of the world's fresh water (!).

In either case, Lake Victoria has shot up my list of places to go. I'm sure I knew that it was the source of the Nile river at some point, but there's something romantic about being reminded about all that distance and all that history.