Saturday, June 4, 2011


This past week was Erudite week for the Divergent faction-of-the-week challenge!

I know this may not go over well with most of you who have read the book, but Erudite would definitely be my faction of choice. Before I talk about how my Erudite week went, I wanted to defend my faction a little. (The next paragraph might be a tiny bit spoiler-y, but it's so ambiguous  so probably not)

First of all, saying an entire group of people is evil because a few of them do evil things? Yeah, not cool. (and part of why our society is kinda effed up, IMO) Y'all read the book. Compare Eric to Tori. Same faction. That's all I have to say about that.

Secondly, there's a theme I've been seeing going around saying the Erudite just learn for learning's sake and do so randomly and without a purpose. Not so! Here's one example, though it should be all you need: Though the process is not discussed directly in the book, the author does say that Erudite developed the serums used in the simulations. You know what that requires? Focused study in one or two specific subjects (brain chemistry, specifically) for many many years - and then applying what was learned to create a solution.

Now look at me, getting all riled up defending an imaginary organization. I kinda view the Erudite faction as one big university campus. You may spend the first few years gathering general knowledge, but then you find your chosen fields of study and go on to learn more, but also to discover and develop new technologies.

So how did I celebrate Erudite week? By gathering a whole bunch of extra knowledge! You know what I learned?

  • To cool a 20,000 gallon pool of 90-degree water by 10 degrees using ice cubes you would need a whopping 8750 pounds of ice. So don't try that this summer. Not worth it.

  • You know the bright lights people see in near-death experiences? There are three scientifically valid things that cause this: (1) oxygen deprivation, which can affect the optic nerves; (2) trauma to the right temporal lobe, the area of the brain responsible for perception; and (3) the release of massive amounts of endorphins, which can override the optic nerves.

  • When the news reports a 6.8 magnitude earthquake, they're not using the Richter scale anymore, but a new universal measurement called the moment magnitude scale. The Richter scale is a relative measurement, whereas the moment magnitude is an absolute scale.

  • Rosa Parks was NOT the first black person to be arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person. Not even that year. But the first two to receive national attention for the same act? They were poor and had questionable family backgrounds so they didn't make as good a champion for the NAACP.

  • The phrase "Pie in the sky" comes from a song written by labor activist Joe Hill. The song was a satiric attack on the Salvation Army, whose preachers Hill criticized for lulling workers into complacency. "You will eat, bye and bye, In that glorious land above the sky; Work and pray, live on hay, You'll get pie in the sky when you die." (Which makes it exceedingly hilarious when this phrase is used by a North Korean diplomat criticizing the US)

  • The Strategic Petroleum Reserve? Stored in subterranean salt caverns, not tanks.

  • I learned the definition of the word ersatz, a word I'm almost certain I've never heard before.

  • The difference between a pardon and a commutation? The former is a forgiveness of crimes after the sentence is served. The latter is when the people are released from prison.

  • Members of Congress are given an absolute privilege to lie with impunity in the House or Senate. (That deserves a big ole WTF?)

So next week is DAUNTLESS!
DAUNTLESS: fearless, undaunted.

Undaunted: courageously resolute, especially in the face of danger or difficulty; not discouraged.

I have no idea what I'm going to do for it, but I'm game for almost anything that won't cost me a lot of money. (I wanted to do this, but it's expensive and I'm still ridiculously underemployed.) Leave suggestions in the comments!


  1. Sounds like you acquired a number of cool facts this week. I'm impressed!

    You make some very good points about the Erudite faction, and I do agree with what you've said. It's only the people like Janine who seek to use knowledge to harm, rather than help, others that I have a problem with. I'm sure there are many in the faction, including initiates like Caleb, who would vehemently disagree with what Janine has done.

  2. I loooove your list of things you learned!! And I agree, a few bad people shouldn't spoil the entire group but it is what our world is like, unfortunately.

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