Things I learned in 2021

  1. There are only 15 bobsled tracks in the world.

  2. Company Demonyms: Googler (also Noogler, Xoogler, and Doogler and Greygler), Microsoftie, Tweep, Amazonian, Zoomie, Hubber, Oktanauts, Shopifolk, Pinployee, Twilion, Sentaur, Tabloid.

  3. All animals combined weigh 4 gigatonnes. All plastics, 8GT.

  4. Sperm whale oil was used as an automatic transmission oil additive until the 1970s.

  5. BP runs their own fiber backbone through the Gulf of Mexico.

  6. Staghorn ferns are eusocial.

  7. Marsquakes are seasonal and occur most frequently in the winter.

  8. “Geofoam” is a marketing term for styrofoam blocks used in large scale engineering.

  9. Brandolini’s Law states that it takes a lot more energy to refute bullshit than to produce it. Hence, the world is full of unrefuted bullshit. Also know as the Bullshit Asymmetry Principle.

  10. Red Tidewater cypress was abundant and inexpensive during the first part of Frank Lloyd Wright’s career, when it became a signature of his style. Florida’s old growth cypress forests were depleted by the 1950’s and building a single house to FLW’s original specifications requires sourcing wood from multiple states.

  11. One of the most efficient ways to remove image blur is to blur the image more, see what that looks like, then just do the opposite (paper direct link).

  12. Fungal infections in humans are rising due to the increasing thermo-tolerance of fungi.