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Things I Actually Learned from TV


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#1

18matt

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Posted Feb 22, 2006 @ 6:33 PM

I really like the TV Lessons I've Learned thread. But I'm constantly reminded of relevant, useful information I learned from watching tv. And not stuff like learning the alphbet from Sesame Street or current events from the news. But rather things you learned while watching non educational or informative shows.

I remember there was an episode of Who's The Boss where Tony was telling Billy (that little boy with the weird voice who lived there for a while) to put his scarf in his jacket sleeve so he doesn't lose it when he takes them off. 15 years later, I've started wearing a scarf, and I do that every time I take it off. It actually is a pretty good tip.

Similarly, when I got my first full time job, I started depositing 10% of my paychecks into a savings account, like Ross and Monica's Dad had told them on Friends. I don't do that anymore because I'm poor, but at the time, and had saved like $1500.

Also, when I was about 10, I remember learning about the Hypotenuse of a right triangle from a McDonalds commercial. Since then my math knowledge is obviously far beyond that, but at the time it really impressed my teacher.

So what things have you learned?

Edited by 18matt, Oct 15, 2007 @ 7:00 PM.

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#2

merroni

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Posted Feb 22, 2006 @ 6:48 PM

I learned my parts of speech and how a bill becomes a law every Saturday morning.

Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get your adverbs here!!!
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#3

CoderLady

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Posted Feb 22, 2006 @ 6:52 PM

I learned from a throwaway line on The West Wing that Sweden has a 99% literacy rate.
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#4

Brightblue

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Posted Feb 22, 2006 @ 7:00 PM

Okay this is a true story, I was driving my parents stick shift up a huge grade in California, and the car kept slowing down something terrible and I started to freak out, and then this old Bugs Bunny cartoon came to mind (I have no idea why) and I remember the chracter yelling that if he shifted down to a lower gear the car would go faster. (Truck in the cartoon) but I figured why not, I tried it and it worked!
Weird.
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#5

volcano

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Posted Feb 22, 2006 @ 7:42 PM

Honestly, until college I had learned most of my religious mythology from the X-Files. I learned the story of Lazarus from the episode Hollywood A.D. South Park also can teach you a bit about religions - I've lived in Utah my whole life, surrounded by Mormons, so the Mormon episode didn't actually teach me anything, but it was a really succinct (and fairly accurate) summary of the religion.

I'm in law school now and although I wouldn't say that Law and Order has really taught me anything concrete, it certainly has taught me to look out for loopholes and technicalities.
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#6

Lux Lisbon

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Posted Feb 22, 2006 @ 8:58 PM

Thanks to Lisa Simpson, I learnt about schaudenfreude, sour grapes, dodecahedrons, and I will NEVER mispronounce the word 'foliage'.
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#7

StapleWebs

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Posted Feb 22, 2006 @ 9:24 PM

Sounds silly, but I learned A LOT about sex from MTV's Loveline (not the radio show). Some of it good (contraceptives, STDs, HIV), some of it bad: a 10 year old doesn't need to know that semen has no protein so the bodybuilder is not saving saving money on protein shakes by eating his own semen after masturbating. (Put that under a spoiler, because it's rather disgusting.)
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#8

Hey Im Jeff

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Posted Feb 22, 2006 @ 9:33 PM

Mr. Belding taught me that "principal" in the head-of-the-school sense is spelled with "pal" at the end.
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#9

Feckless

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Posted Feb 22, 2006 @ 11:33 PM

Grey's Anatomy taught me that it is possible to remove an entire hemisphere of a small child's brain without causing permanent impairment. I'm not sure how useful this was to me, but it does appear to be correct.
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#10

Gamera

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 12:56 AM

One of the CSI-ish shows taught me that glasses-wearing people always remove their glasses before they commit suicide by jumping from high places. Good to know.
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#11

Siobhann

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 1:10 AM

When I was in middle school, I learned the definitions of 'puerile,' 'obtuse' (non-mathematical) and a couple of other words from episodes of "Mad About You."

Edited by Siobhann, Feb 23, 2006 @ 1:10 AM.

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#12

Mack the Spoon

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 1:47 AM

I cannot recount the number of things I learned from "Bill Nye the Science Guy". Sooo much stuff, most of which stays with me pretty well - everything from surface tension, to the relative sizes of the planets in our solar system, to the difference between centripedal and centrifugal forces. Great show.
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#13

Namarie

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 1:52 AM

According to "CSI", smiling suppresses the gag reflex. I'm not positive this is true, but I have used it in situations where I really didn't want to be gagging, and it seemed to work.
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#14

JakeyIsSusan

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 3:05 AM

I'm already learning from this thread!

Thanks to Lisa Simpson, I learnt about schaudenfreude, sour grapes, dodecahedrons, and I will NEVER mispronounce the word 'foliage'.


Marge: Look at this lovely foilage!
Lisa: I think it's pronounced FOLIAGE...

I forget Marge's retort to that, but I remember it was funny.

I also learned, from "The Simpsons", that in Australia the toilet flushes counterclockwise.
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#15

Dispatcherbert

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 3:38 AM

Grey's Anatomy taught me that it is possible to remove an entire hemisphere of a small child's brain without causing permanent impairment. I'm not sure how useful this was to me, but it does appear to be correct.


Quasi related on a health note: I learned from Desperate Housewives that there really is such a thing as a wandering spleen.
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#16

DaystromX

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 3:46 AM

Marge: Look at this lovely foilage!
Lisa: I think it's pronounced FOLIAGE...

I forget Marge's retort to that, but I remember it was funny.

I think it was something about not having to be a "nuke-you-lar" scientist to know how to pronouce foilage.

I also learned, from "The Simpsons", that in Australia the toilet flushes counterclockwise.

Except in the American embassy, where they've installed a device that will make water swirl the correct, American way.

Topic? I had never heard that Thanksgiving song that everyone sings before The West Wing taught it to me. And CSI features all sorts of medical conditions I had never heard of (Chimeraism?)
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#17

espie

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 8:17 AM

Thanks to Blackadder I'll never forget the name of Sir Francis Drake's ship: The Golden (Be)Hind".
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#18

Hey Im Jeff

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 9:03 AM

Marge: Look at this lovely foilage!
Lisa: I think it's pronounced FOLIAGE...

I forget Marge's retort to that, but I remember it was funny.

Marge: That's what I said! "Foilage!"
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#19

RandomWatcher

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 10:40 AM

I learned from Kim Possible (Hey, it was late at night, and I was flipping through the channels) that the elderly population is growing 10% every year.

Edited by RandomWatcher, Feb 23, 2006 @ 10:39 AM.

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#20

volcano

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 11:39 AM

Also from the foilage episode of the Simpsons is the way to tell the difference between cider and juice:

"If it's clear and yella, you got juice there fella."
If it's tangy and brown, you're in cider town."

ETA: The song from the Valentine's episode also helps you remember the forgotten presidents:

"We are the mediocre presidents,
You won't find our faces on dollars or on cents,
There's Taylor, there's Tyler
There's Fillmore and there's Hayes
There's William Henry Harrison
(I died in thirty days!)"

Of course, there's a couple more forgotten presidents, but I don't remember who they are.

Edited by volcano, Feb 23, 2006 @ 11:43 AM.

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#21

The Librarian

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 11:46 AM

According to "CSI", smiling suppresses the gag reflex. I'm not positive this is true, but I have used it in situations where I really didn't want to be gagging, and it seemed to work.


This could explain why grimacing looks so much like smiling.

I remember being the only one in my geology class who knew how an audiotape worked. I AMAZED the dude sitting across from me. Little did he know I got the information from a half-remembered episode of Beakman's World. Forget Bill Nye, Beakman was da bomb!
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#22

nicepebbles

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 1:14 PM

I learned from a rerun of CSI that if you shoot someone and don't clean up the blood and water is allowed to mingle with the blood, spores of some kind will grow. If you have a compromised immune system, it'll kill you. Just thought I'd share.
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#23

LilWharveyGal

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 1:41 PM

On a more macabre note, CSI taught me that if I'm ever attacked I should scratch the murderer/rapist/whatever like there's no tomorrow, so that lots of nice evidence collects under my nails that will help to catch the bastard.

All I really needed to know about math I learned from Square One TV.

And Vicar of Dibley introduced me to the tradition of having pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. (Who knew?!)
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#24

StapleWebs

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 1:48 PM

I learned from Lifetime's show What Would You Do? that if a person points a gun at you, you're supposed to run in the opposite direction in a zig-zag pattern - odds are, the person with the gun is not a pro and it'd be difficult to hit you.

Edited by StapleWebs, Feb 23, 2006 @ 1:48 PM.

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#25

Rockstar99435

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 1:48 PM

I've never actually had to deliver a baby, but I've seen it done enough times on TV that I'm fairly confident that if I absolutely had to, I could.
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#26

Brightblue

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 1:49 PM

On a more macabre note, CSI taught me that if I'm ever attacked I should scratch the murderer/rapist/whatever like there's no tomorrow, so that lots of nice evidence collects under my nails that will help to catch the bastard.


They made a point of this on Hawaii Five-O as well.
Drat aged myself.

I also learned that you can substitute apple sauce for sugar in cookies.
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#27

Watermelon

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 2:24 PM

I also learned that you can substitute apple sauce for sugar in cookies

I learned you could substitute it for oil.

ETA:For and from are not the same thing.

Edited by Watermelon, Feb 23, 2006 @ 2:26 PM.

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#28

VersesBatman

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 2:32 PM

I learned how to seperate eggs from Little House on the Prairie.
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#29

almostlunchtime

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 3:03 PM

Another helpful Simpsons moment:

Leaves of three, let it be.
Leaves of four, eat some more!

Came in very handy when I went hiking last weekend. That and the poison oak warnings taped up everywhere with a flat surface.
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#30

labprincess

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Posted Feb 23, 2006 @ 3:13 PM

There's William Henry Harrison
(I died in thirty days!)"

BWAH! That episode was highly educational for me as well.

that if a person points a gun at you, you're supposed to run in the opposite direction in a zig-zag pattern

IIRC, it's called "serpentine" when you do that. I didn't learn it from any particular TV show; I actually picked it up from watching TV with my dad. Whenever someone on TV was being chased he'd say "Serpentine! Serpentine!"
Who would've guessed that I could actually pick up something useful from the unholy combination of TV and my dad's weirdness?
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