What I learned this week from January 29, 2021

‘All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind.’ –Martin Fisher

This week I learned about joy, mazes, White House factoids, Hank Aaron, and a bunch more.


Ordinary things cause joy

This week I rediscovered Ingrid Fetell Lee, author of “Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness“. She appeared on the podcast, Something You Should Know. Just so much good stuff. I’ll need to write a full blog post on the topic of joy.

Joy is what makes life worth living... And yet for some reason, we have decided that it is superfluous—the icing on the cake, rather than an integral part of the cake itself.

It’s really hard to write words inside a maze

I tried writing an entire Psalm inside the path of a maze. It turned out really bad. But I’m not giving up.

writing inside a maze

How to do A/B testing on WordPress site

When looking to do A/B testing on WordPress, most people will tell you to use Google Analytics tool, “Google Optimize”. But that’s tool works only for specific pages. I wanted to do A/B testing on a footer widget that appears on ALL pages of a site. I figured out how to do A/B testing on WordPress using a shortcode in functions.php. It’s pretty cool. I’ll blog about it sometime on mattmaldre.com.


How to add a “time to read” count in a Mailchimp email newsletter

The Spudart email newsletters now displays the amount of reading time for each post. Hopefully this will encourage people to click through to read more, if they know the posts are quick reads.

It took a little bit of PHP programming. I’ll blog about it someday on mattmaldre.com.


Don’t connect a 2nd monitor while in the middle of a Zoom call

I really wanted my 2nd monitor, so I plugged it in via HDMI. The sound stopped. So I quickly unplugged the HDMI cable to get my sound back.

I forgot that HDMI runs both the monitor AND the sound. My computer thought I was hooking up a new speaker, so it automatically put the sound to my monitor. But my monitor has no speakers.


The White House Flickr account is not a Pro account

Lots of fun things on my blog post about how the White House’s Flickr gets archived after every administration. The highlights:

  1. After every U.S. President’s term, Flickr deletes all the photos from the official WhiteHouse Flickr account, and moves the images onto a newly named account like ObamaWhiteHouse and WhiteHouse45.
  2. At the start of Trump’s term, it took his staff three months before posting anything to Flickr.
  3. After one week in office, Biden has yet to post anything to Flickr.
  4. Obama’s White House posted 6,668 photos. Trump’s White House posted 14,993 photos.
  5. Biden’s 2020 campaign got 17.7 million followers on Instagram, whereas his Flickr account got only 721 followers.
  6. Joe Biden’s official White House Flickr is NOT A PRO ACCOUNT.

Joe Biden’s Oval Office has a moon rock

NASA loaned a moon rock to President Biden. I actually have a little bit of history with this very specific moon rock, so I have a blog post coming.


Renaming MacOS files with the modification date

I had a need to take a bulk set of files, and add the modification date to the start of every file.

This video will show you how to use Automator to rename a set of files with the creation date. This stackoverflow comment will show you how to use the modification date, instead of the creation date.

At some point, I’ll blog the simple answer on my media blog at mattmaldre.com.


$59 to design your own color bitmap fonts

I’m looking to to make a Scrabble font for my own personal use. There are Scrabble fonts out there, but they are all monotone. To get the color of the wood grain, a color bitmap font would work really well. The program Fontself Maker (bundle for Illustrator & Photoshop CC) costs $59. More to come on this as I develop the font, and use it.


David Carson is still doing David Carson things.

Here’s how the 90s experimental graphic designer wrapped presents last Christmas.

Back in the 90s I loved David Carson’s work. Thirty years later, I still absolutely love his work. It brings me so much joy to see that he continues to do David Carson things—even in his every day life, such as wrapping Christmas presents.


Hank Aaron was a great base stealer and fielder

Let Hank Aaron be remembered as one of the greatest all-around baseball players ever. I did a podcast and blog post about how people overlook all of Homerin’ Hank’s talents, and focus only on the home runs. I even looked through over 2,300 of his baseball cards, and pulled out the ones that featured him fielding or running.


B-17 ball turret gunners did not typically enter the ball turret on the ground

This photo on Reddit is misleading. It makes you think that the ball turret gunner had to stay in his little ball the entire flight. Instead, he enters the ball turret from inside the plane. Per this video.


How to differentiate similar world flags

Ireland vs Ivory Coast, Poland vs Monaco and Indonesia, New Zealand vs. Australia, Chad vs. Romania. (r/vexillology)

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