Today I Learned

caffeinePlease, in TIL that millennial dads are spending 3 times as much times with their kids than their fathers spent with them. Back in 1982, 43% of fathers admitted they'd never changed a diaper. Today, that number is down to about 3%.
caffeinePlease avatar

Whoo, does this put me in a good mood.

My dad did his best considering he lost his dad at 14, so I don't blame him too much. But if there was something I knew I'd do one day as a dad (currently have a 4-year-old daughter) it'd be spending free time with her.

My generation isn't the best, but I knew this was a statistic we'd slam dunk.

DuckCake avatar

High five!

I’m with you on this all the way. My dad did, and continues to do, his best. But as an elder millennial (I was born in 81, and as best I can tell that’s what I am, I guess), as I got older it felt like our generation was collectively fucked up about a lot of the same stuff - whatever the reason. And we were making many of the same promises to ourselves.

My dad loves my two kids more than anything in this world, but there’s a definite feel of redemption-seeking there. Or maybe just trying to soothe regrets.

I have a preteen and a toddler, and for different reasons I held both of them close yesterday. I begged my brain to remember these moments when I’m my dad’s age, because I’ve been able to be there for almost every leg of the journey so far. I really don’t want it to start to all just blend together, because right now it feels so special and unique to have this opportunity.

caffeinePlease avatar

High five back!

I'm 86, but I feel you. Before he passed, my dad played with his granddaughter in a similar fashion. My theory was, he saw how involved I (and my peers) was and realized it wasn't too late.

wildncrazyguy avatar

Another 40+ with a toddler here. I swear it was just the other day I was holding up a bottle for her, now she's talking in full-freakin sentences. The other day was a very eventful one: tumbling class, day at the park, went for a swim at the pool. Shortly after dinner, the wife and I were just chatting a little about our day and she comes up, looks right up at us and exclaims "I NEED TO GO TO BED" :)

I am looking forward to the day we can go on a bicycle backpacking trip together, but for now she rides in tow on mine, and I know, one day, I'm really going to miss that too.


The bicycle backpack thing could happen quicker than you think. In 1985, when he was 8, I took my son on a 200 km golf trip by bicycle. Every day ended with 9 holes of golf played with a shared set of 4 clubs (something you can get away with on pasture courses where fees are on the honour system). One day with favourable winds we did 100km and 18 holes. We slept good that night!

He still talks about it!


I think it'll help me out that my hobbies are likely to be the hobbies my kid has. When they see me playing Minecraft or something and they ask to play, I'll be able to just slide them a controller or hand them my phone to play on or something and we can build a house together.

ebits21, in TIL that Ford filed a patent over technology that could remotely disable a car radio or air conditioner, lock someone out of a vehicle, or cause a car to constantly beep, if a car payment is missed. avatar

Oh you belong in hell if I hear a neighbours car beeping because they missed a payment ….

Crul, (edited ) in TIL 70,000 years ago a volcanic eruption killed many humans, leaving only 1,000 human alive in the whole word. This created a population bottleneck which vastly reduced diversity in human genetics.

Where did you get those “1,000 human alive”?

What I read on that page is:

According to the genetic bottleneck theory, between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago, human populations sharply decreased to 3,000–10,000 surviving individuals. It is supported by some genetic evidence suggesting that today’s humans are descended from a very small population of between 1,000 and 10,000 breeding pairs that existed about 70,000 years ago.


I was wondering that myself

!deleted125603, in TIL Fungi in Chernobyl appear to be feeding off gamma radiation and are growing towards the reactor core.


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  • Followupquestion,

    They’re not so bad. I know one, real fungi.

    Spacebar, in TIL Fungi in Chernobyl appear to be feeding off gamma radiation and are growing towards the reactor core. avatar

    Melanin is how.

    exohuman avatar

    That took me by surprise. I had no idea melanin protected from radiation like it does from the sun.

    RandomStickman avatar

    The sun is a giant ball of radiation


    And isn’t sunburn a form of or similar reaction to radiation burn?

    gavi avatar

    @Spacebar Would that mean that potentially people with high amounts of melanin in their skin would likely be safer during the aftermath of a nuclear accident/attack????




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  • kokoapadoa,
    kokoapadoa avatar

    You either want to be really far away from a nuclear explosion, or right next to it.

    dreadgoat avatar

    I think the better way to understand this is to know that the melanin difference between the fairest skinned person and the darkest skinned person is way smaller than you think. Something like 2x. It makes a big difference to our eyes, but it makes almost no difference to deadly radiation.

    Imagine your skin magically became twice as thick, twice as tough. This would be convenient to avoid minor scrapes and scratches, but if you get stabbed or shot you will die just like anybody else. Hence, darker skinned people fare better when fighting off sunburn, but their skin melts off just like anybody else's when the rad levels get truly dangerous, with basically no difference at all.



    ScrumblesPAbernathy, in TIL that millennial dads are spending 3 times as much times with their kids than their fathers spent with them. Back in 1982, 43% of fathers admitted they'd never changed a diaper. Today, that number is down to about 3%.

    Millennials these days don't even know how to neglect and terrorize their kids!


    Millennials: killing the 'neglected elderly' industry!

    pikameiser avatar

    No no, those neglecting parents dug their own neglected elderly hole...


    Yeah, how dare I, degreed, spend every waking moment earning a roof and food, clothing and health care/wellness care for my kid!

    andyburke avatar

    Why should you need to spend all your waking moments earning enough money for those things?


    So billionaires and international corporations can get tax breaks, I guess. Also I didn’t get child support. A trifling amount, but it would have helped, at least with diapers, at that time.

    funnystuff97, in TIL NASA calculated that you only need 40 digits of Pi to calculate the circumference of the observable universe, to the accuracy of 1 hydrogen atom

    Whenever this comes up, I feel the urge to remind people that 40 digits is not a small amount at all. Each digit is exponentially smaller than the next.

    Imagine you had 4 (integer) digits in your bank account. Now imagine 5. Now 6. Now 7. That’s unfathomable, right? The world’s richest men are worth 15 digits. But 40 digits? That’s bloody unbelievable.

    Same way in reverse. 40 fractional digits is so incredibly small that mathematically, it’s enough to do everything at a universe scale.


    Not small, that's true, but I think the 40-is-small argument often has something to do with the fact that we've[1] come up with computer programs and mathematical formulas that can churn out literally trillions[2] of provably valid digits of Pi in more than just decimal. Compared to that, 40 is peanuts. Barely even a short jog down the road to the chemist's [3][4].

    [1] Where "we" means a specific very clever subset of humanity and so by adjacency, all of us humans and human approximants.

    [2] Billions if your native language isn't English and know that words like "one milliard" will cause most English speakers' heads to implode.

    [3] Or "pharmacy" if you're not British, though we often call them pharmacies now anyway.

    [4] This is a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference.

    [5] Unlinked footnote error. I like footnotes today for some reason.


    Then you also consider the mind-boggling size of the observable universe, to go in context, to put on top of those forty digits of Л.

    Just a week ago an astronomer friend gave me something to (barely) latch on to:
    Imagine the Milky Way is the size of an American penny. How far away is the edge of the observable universe, in all directions? Fifteen kilometers, he said.

    Hellsadvocate, in TIL city of Palm springs California would routinely burn down Black family homes to make room for shopping center redevelopments
    Hellsadvocate avatar

    But how precisely did this happen? What agency was responsible and how was it... Acted upon? I'm trying to imagine this as a city worker, like was there a responsible crew for doing this? Who gave the initial order for it?

    DessertStorms avatar

    how precisely did this happen

    Systemic racism.

    When some people aren't considered people at all, socially nor legally, this kind of violence isn't really that big of a leap for many to make (still today, but especially when it was the social and cultural norm).

    And this is just a single example out of probably millions in the same vein (here is one list of many with some of the more extreme examples, and only from the US, but the more you dig, the more you find).

    Remember - white supremacy isn't the shark, it's the water, and we are absolutely not rid of the systems that allowed that kind of thing to happen then, and still allow it today. Hell people are still burning crosses in their Black neighbours' yards (or shooting them through a closed door), not to mention the systemic aspects like cops killing and abusing Black people without any repercussions, or the prison industrial complex which is essentially modern day slavery.

    This is why it's so important to learn actual history, and not just the whitewashed version approved by those with all the power looking to maintain the status quo.

    Bishma, in TIL Fungi in Chernobyl appear to be feeding off gamma radiation and are growing towards the reactor core.
    Bishma avatar

    We just need to let it grow until it fills the New Safe Confinement. Then, in a century, when the NSC is due to be replaced we'll be off the hook thanks to the nuclear shroom.

    holo_nexus, in TIL that millennial dads are spending 3 times as much times with their kids than their fathers spent with them. Back in 1982, 43% of fathers admitted they'd never changed a diaper. Today, that number is down to about 3%.
    holo_nexus avatar

    Well it’s not everyday that I see a positive rate of change from one generation to the next. I love my child and will spend whatever moment I can with them.

    Turkey_Titty_city, in TIL that millennial dads are spending 3 times as much times with their kids than their fathers spent with them. Back in 1982, 43% of fathers admitted they'd never changed a diaper. Today, that number is down to about 3%.

    Not surprised. Loving your kids is now socially acceptable for men. But loving kids in general is not yet socially acceptable for men, sadly.

    We really need more men in childrens lives again. I remember growing up with male teachers in my elementary and grammar schools. That is essentially gone these days


    I quit my job as IT Manager 18 months ago and have been mainly stay-at-home as a 42 yr old dad. I've been volunteering at their school so much the office offered me a paid spot next year as a substitute / general Kindergarten helper. I'm built like a caveman and get 'Kindergarten Cop' jokes, but enjoy spending time with the Kindergarteners so much. It's incredible to see their progress from no knowing letters to writing sentences by the end of the year.


    That’s great! Way to rock it. I luckily have a job that allows me some flexibility to volunteer at my kids school now and again. My kids get so excited when I show up. It’s the best feeling in the world.

    KnittingTrekker, in TIL of "Deutsche Bauzeitung", a long-running German architecture and civil engineering magazine that was first published in 1867
    KnittingTrekker avatar

    Very interesting!

    P. S. So happy to find TIL!

    Deceptichum, in TIL ancient Egyptians didn't use Hieroglyphics as an everyday writing system. They reserved this for special functions. The Egyptians used two script-like writing systems called Hieratic and Demotic. This eventually became Coptic script.
    Deceptichum avatar

    Hieratic developed as a cursive form of hieroglyphic script in the Naqada III period of Ancient Egypt, roughly 3200–3000 BC.[4] Although handwritten printed hieroglyphs continued to be used in some formal situations, such as manuscripts of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, noncursive hieroglyphic script became largely restricted to monumental inscriptions.

    So it sounds like Hieroglyphics were used as an everyday eriting system, and over thousands of years this system slowly emerged.

    Also a cool fact, the letter A is actually an upside down hieroglyphic called Aleph that shows a cows face with horns.

    Beardedsausag3, in TIL NASA calculated that you only need 40 digits of Pi to calculate the circumference of the observable universe, to the accuracy of 1 hydrogen atom
    Beardedsausag3 avatar

    So, see - thing is.. I've no idea what this means, but I gave it an upvote in case someone with more than 2 brain cells wants to take a gander.

    For those interested, I think I've 2 brain cells but 1 of them recently put up a sign saying room available so who knows what's occurring.

    Have a nice evening

    ivanafterall avatar

    So, pi involves measuring circles. In fact, just think of a pie. It's a circle, right? There you go. The observable universe is the size of forty of those circles (or pies, shortened to "pi"). The size of it all just blows your mind. As for the hydrogen atom, single atoms are tiny, so you can safely ignore it.


    We're closer in scale to the observable universe than a single hydrogen atom if that's any help.

    ivanafterall avatar

    You get it.

    Umbrias, (edited )

    The observable universe is the size of forty of those circles (or pies, shortened to “pi”).

    No… Pi is a unitless number representing half a circles angular size.

    Forty in the title is the number of digits, the title means that the relative size of the universe compared to a hydrogen atom is 1 followed by 40 zeros. Pi needs to be known to that accuracy to have a proper amount of significant figures.

    Imagine trying to measure an ant with an unmarked foot long ruler. Not going to work super well. Your measurement uncertainty is +/- 6 in or 0.5ft. Well above the size of any ant.

    Adding in inch marks improves that to +/- 0.5 in or +/- 0.042 ft. Closer to some ants, maybe about right, still not going to give you a measure of the ant but you’ll be able to say if it’s more or less than that. Now measure a circle with this ruler, to get the full accuracy of the ruler, you need only know pi to 4 digits., 3.142. Roughly. Actual uncertainty has some additional stuff going on, but without getting into it there you go.



    ivanafterall avatar

    Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    IHeartBadCode avatar

    The observable universe: The most of the Universe that we can see from Earth. There's more universe past what we can see (we think) but we just can't see it.

    Circumference of the observable universe: We can only see so far out into space from Earth in all directions, so that makes a circle that has Earth at the center of it. That circle has a circumference, which is the length of that circle if you were to actually walk it.

    Calculate circumference: We calculate circumference with the formula 2πr, where r is the radius, the distance from Earth to any one point along that circle we just talked about.

    Pi: Pi is irrational and goes on forever. If you calculate the circumference with only five digits of pi, there's a bit of a "rounding" error in your calculation. If you want a more accurate value, you add in more digits of pi. The more digits you add, the more accurate you are.

    Accuracy of 1 hydrogen atom: so the furthest we can see out is 46.508 billion light years (I'm not going to get into how we can see that far with a universe that is only 14 and some change billion years old, but we can). So 46.508 * pi * 2 = 292.218382266 billion light years. That's how long the path would be if you were to walk the edge of the observable universe. In meters that would 2.7645993537522 * 10^27.

    If you used 5 digits of Pi you would be off by something like 100s of lightyears, or basically billions of meters. If you use 40 digits of pi you would be off by 120pm or 0.000000000012 meters. So for most things, 40 digits of pi is accurate enough for pinpointing any particular atom within the universe. Obviously we can use fewer digits of pi when we want to land a giant rocket on a massive planet like Mars, but knowing 40 digits is good enough for atom sized things, it gives us an upper bound of how accurate we actually need to be. So we can forgo using 50 digits of pi or whatever.

    HubertManne, in TIL that many bugle players at military funerals are simply hitting a button to play 'Taps' as there aren't enough proficient bugle players to go around.
    HubertManne avatar

    I can't read music but Im sure I could learn to play taps if I exclusively worked on it. I have a feeling they just don't want to have people doing it as an exclusive role so much anymore.

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