What I learned this week from February 26, 2021

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ― Dr. Seuss

This week I learned that seahorse skeletons are amazing, Gobots were once humans, and Tuffy Rhodes tied Japan’s single season HR record.

Seahorse skeletons are very delicate and ornate

Seahorse skeleton
Image from r/interesting

Fun observations on what this seahorse skeleton looks like:

  • “Looks like a 3D print.” —u/lhp2010
  • “this looks like the worlds most complex piece of origami” —u/anthonyhui
  • “Now that I think about it, seahorses look more like alien creatures than alot of aquatic life” —u/arrow_knee
  • “Woah, I though this was an art piece for a second 0-o” —nerdqueen694
  • “I want to use one as a battle weapon” —u/XxNitr0xX

Gobots were actually first humans

The History of the GoBots

At the 1:50 mark of the History of GoBots (on YouTube), Dan Larson gives a funny and long-winded explanation of Gobots:

One of the differences between Gobots and Transformers is that Transformers are living robotic beings.

Gobots are cyborgs who at one time were a humanoid-type species that had their organic brains transferred into form-changing robot bodies in order to save their species.

That narrative of:
• self-preservation through technology
• the merging of human and machine
• the consideration given to the continued evolution of a species
• the warnings about the dangers of our continued dependence on technology
• the potential negative implications being escalation and exportation of war beyond our own galaxy facilitated by the advancement of technology…
…elevates Gobots to one of the premiere pieces of contemporary speculative trans-humanist trans-media works of art for 8-year-olds.

NASA keeps 85% of all the collected Moon rocks in one place

Where moon rocks are stored
19 minute video of where the NASA moon rocks are stored

The other 15% are in a secret location—just in case something happens to the primary storage.

A sneaky way to get a point in tennis

When playing doubles in tennis, you can get a point even if your serve doesn’t land inside the box. Just serve the ball directly at the person nearest to the net. If the ball hits the person or their racket before touching the ground, you get a point. (Video on YouTube)

The microphone on Mars works!

First Mars audio recording

I wrote a long piece about the microphone on the Mars rover. And now this week, we got the first audio back! You can hear the wind!

Visualizing the message in Perseverance’s parachute

Mars rover parachute dechiper
Image from r/dataisbeautiful

The parachute of Perseverance’s skycrane has an unusual pattern. It spells out the phrase, DARE MIGHTY THINGS.

Each of the concentric rings in the parachute’s pattern represents one of the words. The zeroes and ones need to be split up into chunks of 10 characters, and from that, adding 64 gives you the computer ASCII code representing a letter. For example, seven white stripes, a red stripe and then two more white stripes represents 0000000100, the binary for four. Adding 64 to that gives 68, the ASCII code for the letter D.

The Guardian “‘Dare mighty things’: hidden message found on Nasa Mars rover parachute

The phrase comes from an 1899 speech by Theodore Roosevelt: “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

Edvard Munch wrote ‘madman’ graffiti on Scream painting

Madman handwriting on The Scream

I made his graffiti into a #MadmanMunch meme.

Your design portfolio is in the top 1% if…

  1. Showcases enough work to make it look like you have 4–5 years of experience (regardless of how much work experience you actually have).
  2. Demonstrates that you can do both branding and product design.
  3. Tells a damn good story.
  4. Is customized to be relevant to the person or employer reviewing it.

From someone who has seen a lot of portfolios at Google

Ice carousels are an Estonian thing

Ice carousel in Estonia

Estonian Laanemaa Ants Ale cut a circle in the Baltic Sea ice, and made it spin. Just for fun.

My Legend of Zelda is one of the worst Zelda games ever made

The Legend of Zelda gold cart on top of game screenshot

According to this Guardian article, there are 17 Legend of Zelda games made over the past 35 years. My brother and I played Zelda II: Adventure of Link for days on end. This version ranks 16th out of 17. The article says about this game:

I maintain that hardly anyone has actually finished this needlessly opaque side-scrolling follow-up to 1986’s The Legend of Zelda, because: a) it’s incredibly hard to figure out what the game wants you to do; and b) the final dungeon has TWO bosses, and if you can’t finish it then you’re turfed out to attempt the whole thing again. Long considered the worst game in the Zelda series, it hasn’t improved with age.

Ouch. Yeah, it was an odd game that we never solved.

Joe Biden’s official White House Flickr account is finally a PRO account.

Screenshot of White House Flickr account with PRO status

One month ago I wrote about how the White House Flickr account gets archived after every president change—which includes the account getting stripped of its PRO status.

After about a month of the White House Flickr account not being PRO, it finally ponied up the $60/year to become PRO again. I was tempted to “give the gift or PRO”, but I didn’t want to spend the money.

Tuffy Rhodes almost broke the Japanese single season home run record, held by Sadaharu Oh

Rhodes hit 55 home runs in the Japanese League NPB in 2001. At the end of the season Rhodes had five more games to reach 56. One of those games was against a team managed by Sadaharu Oh—the same guy who holds the single season record for home runs with 55. Oh ordered his pitchers to not give Rhodes anything to hit. Oh. “Pitcher Keizaburo Tanoue threw just two strikes in 18 pitches Sunday as Rhodes desperately swung at balls far out of the strike zone.” (source)

Rhodes achievements in the NPB (from r/baseball):

  • 2001 PL MVP
  • 2001 Fighting Spirit Award
  • 6x PL Best 9 (1997, 1999, 2001-03, 2008), 2004 CL Best 9
  • 4x Home Run leader (1999, 2001, 2003-04)
  • 9x PL All-Star (1997-03, 2007-08), 2004 CL All-Star
  • 13th all-time in Home Runs with 464, 1st among foreign players.
  • Leads all foreign players in Home Runs (464), Runs, (1100), Walks (958), Strikeouts (1655), and Total Bases (3509, tied with Alex Ramirez)
  • 2nd among foreign players in Games played (1674, Alex Ramirez had 1744), Hits (1792, Alex Ramirez had 2017), Doubles (311, Alex Ramirez had 328), Slugging Percentage (.559, Alex Cabrera slugged .592) and Intentional Walks (77, Alex Cabrera had 95).
  • He never hit less than 22 Home Runs in any of his 13 seasons in NPB.

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