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Why Is “Sic ‘em” Used As A Command For Dogs To Attack? (via Today I Found Out)

Another of life’s big questions: where did the practice of using the phrase “sic ‘em” to command dogs to attack come from?
No mention of where the succinct Australian variation “skitch” come from though.

The phrase seems based in older language usage, but how do these sorts of things find themselves in popular usage:

“Sick,” in this context, had nothing to do with the word meaning “ill,” but rather was simply a dialectal variant of “seek,” which used to sometimes carry the connotation of seeking with the intent to attack. (This sense of the word “seek” was used as far back as around AD 1000 in the work, Beowulf.)

Read more about it at Today I Found Out.


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When Coca-Cola Tried To Introduce Vending Machines That Raised Their Prices On Hot Days (via Today I Found Out)

Everyone is used to (but nobody likes) the way that petrol prices rise and fall through the week in a way that has less to do with the cost of production and more to do with increased demand and capacity to pay.
In Australia most mortgages have interest rates that can be raised (and more recently lowered) with no or little notice.
But the same grudging tolerance is not extended towards other products.
This Today I Found Out Story made me think of that.
It’s about a time when Coca-Cola trialled vending machines that had internal thermostats so that they could raise or lower their prices based on what would be understood to be people’s thirst.
It did not prove to be a popular measure.
Perhaps it was simply before its time.
(When I used to drink soft-drink there was a vending machine that sold Coke Zero cheaper than anywhere else and I went out of my way to use it.)
A brief excerpt.

When asked how Coca-Cola as a company planned to take advantage of the amazing revelation that hot weather inexplicably also coincided with an increased demand for cold drinks, Ivester stated that they’d been developing a new line of vending machines that exploited this fact. Specifically, [then CEO Doug] Ivester explained that Coca-Cola had been experimenting with vending machines that contained a thermostat and simple software that would raise the price of the products within the machine once a certain temperature threshold had been reached. As Ivester himself would correctly point out during the interview, neither the technology nor the idea of raising the price of a product in times of great demand was a new concept, noting in regards to the latter that “the machine will simply make this process automatic”.

Read the whole article at Today I Found Out.


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The Truth About Lemmings (via Today I Found Out)

You may have heard that lemmings commit mass suicide jumping off cliffs.
You may also have heard that is not true.
This video from Today I Found Out provides some background to clear things up.
Turns out appearances can prove deceiving.