Useless facts drummed into you at school

Guitar tuning: Eddie Ate Dynamite Good Bye Eddie.

Actually not useless, except to me who can’t string two chords together. I dream of reaching Status Quo levels of three chord mastery.

learning how to do sums in different bases.
I have used base 2 and base 10 and I can recognise base 16 but what was the rest of it about?

Who does anything in base 7 or base 9? What is the point?

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That there are 4 gas giants in our solar system… when there are actually 5. @Jim :slight_smile:


Almost the entire geography syllabus e.g. what a terminal moraine is (might come in handy if climate change should cause the South Downs to become heavily glaciated in the next couple of decades) or how to make cassava safe to eat (answer, pay someone who really knows what they’re doing). I gave it up as soon as I could, but that still wasn’t soon enough.


But at least you know what an Oxbow Lake is :grin:


That the German for “Do you get pocket money?” is “Bekommst du Taschengeld?” Not that German isn’t useful per se, but there is no real life situation where you would actually say that.

Rôche moutonnée :+1:

Unless you set up stall as a school gate pusher in Germany?

Sold to us as facts at the time. Therefore qualifying as fact AND useless.

In theory, yes. But I’ve only just discovered, literally in the last 30 seconds from Wikipedia, what an oxbow is.

I could have spent the time learning some Russian instead. That might just have saved a good deal of grief at the security checkpoint at Novosibirsk airport in 2007.


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There are times when I worry about you.

In which Graeme escapes the clutches of the Федера́льная слу́жба безопа́сности Росси́йской Федера́ции and prevents the maintenance of the MIG 25…

People who care what day it is (I’m sort of retired, so I’ve lost track, but apparently it determines more than what’s on the telly) ?

Then there are the fanatics. Careful with them …


Just saying that it’s useful in certain circumstances…

Edit: Soz, meant to reply to @MrKettle

We were just trying to get to check-in. Honestly.


I’m retired too and the number of times I need to look at the calendar on the laptop to find out what day it is is unsettling. :grin:

It’s also rather nice.


As far as Italian goes I remember this:

è il mio cappello moderno?

It has sadly proven to be of no use to me but I live in hope.

Brown coat says your cover is blown.

The first words i learnet in french lessons aged 12 was la piscine. (Swimmimg pool). The only french I’ve not forgotten.