What I learned this week from February 19, 2021

“The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.” – Mortimer Adler

This week I learned how power lines can burn through sidewalks, and why cars have ‘grab handles’ above the doors.

Power lines are really hot

A fallen power line is really hot! They can melt through the sidewalk and turned the sand underneath to glass! (via reddit)

Although, according to reddit user Anbucleric, “The power line itself was not that hot (temperature wise), what caused the extreme heat was the arc flash caused by the line-to-ground fault of 13.8kV, or 14.4kv, when the line came in contact with the ground.”


Why Princess Leia said Obi-Wan was her only hope, not Yoda

Luke and Obi-Wan watch Princess Leia hologram

When the Jedi dispersed during Order 66, Yoda didn’t tell people where he was going, so she instead turned to Obi-Wan. (via cbr.com)


Emperor Palpatine’s office decor hinted that he was a Sith

Palpatine's red room
  1. Red room.
  2. Four bronzium statues from a time when the galaxy was under the rule of the Sith.
  3. Artwork of the Great Hyperspace War. Palpatine viewed the battle scene as a display of Sith superiority.
  4. Sith incense burner.

More details on each of these points at cbr.com.


Why cars have ‘grab handles’ above the doors

Those handles are not to express your fear/concern of the driver’s bad driving. They are meant to help pregnant women and the elderly get in and out of the vehicle. (from Mental Floss)


Inspiring to see a designer move over to being developer

The Director of Design for Stack Overflow explains why she took a new role as an associate software developer.


Plants might be able to grow in lunar soil

(via NASA)

I found this image while surfing around Google’s image explorer for NASA’s lunar soil collection.


Machine learning art to check out


Rent a Minor League suite for a day for work

Since Minor League stadiums have been unused since 2019, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers has neat idea: Rent a work suite! (Via thehotiron)

The “Work With a Suite View” is a fantastic idea! I hope anyone renting a suite for the day will sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at 7/9ths of the way through the work day. (Doing the math for a 9-5 day, that would occur at 3:13pm)


The world’s largest model of our planetary system

Sweden has statues/monuments/buildings of planets placed around the country which creates the solar system in scale. (swedensolarsystem.se)


MLB Beat The Streak is coming back in 2021

u/colincolinchartier reported a screenshot in r/BeatTheStreak that MLB’s “Beat the Streak” game will be back in 2021!

This is the game where you pick a player every day. If your player gets a hit, your streak continues. You try to build a long streak, possibly breaking 56 games. Nobody has every done it since the game started in 2001.

My 57hits.com baseball website started as a site to give strategy tips for this game.


Stack Overflow has a podcast

Their weekly email newsletter “The Overflow” is incredible. This week I discovered their podcast. Their description states,

The Stack Overflow podcast is a frank and funny conversation about what it means to work in software and how code is reshaping our world. As it celebrates its 12th anniversary, it’s a must listen for any programmer, as necessary as Stack Overflow itself.

If their podcast is a fraction of interestingness as their newsletter, I’m hooked.


Get file sizes of all the JPGs inside an RSS feed

I had an RSS feed with 191 images. I needed to find the image dimensions for all the images. I didn’t want to manually download every image and open them in Photoshop.

I wanted a way to quickly find all the image dimensions inside an RSS feed. So I wrote a PHP script to automate this. Someday I’ll post how I did this on my mattmaldre.com media blog.


Birds kept following me this week

A crow rides on the back of an eagle
A bird using its wings as shade to fool fish
Camo owl
Zeus: the rescued blind owl with stars in his eyes

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