Today I learned

As Randall Munroe of xkcd says, for each thing “everyone knows” by the time they’re adults, there are 10,000 people in the United States learning about it for the first time.

  • There’s a non-breaking hyphen character to prevent word breaks in hyphenated terms like “COVID‑19” or “I‑94.”
  • GitHub is iterating on issue templates with issue forms which support single-line inputs, text areas, dropdowns, and checkboxes.
  • You can open two channels at once side-by-side in Slack for Desktop.
  • The term andon refers to a system in which any individual in a process can raise an alarm when a processing or quality problem occurs. It gives individuals the ability and empowerment to stop and call for assistance.
  • Some fungi form networks between plants to transfer water, carbon, and other nutrients and minerals to each other.
  • Marchetti’s constant posits that people adapt their lives so that their average travel time to work is approximately 30 minutes.
  • There’s a website which “generates all sorts of weird fishes.”
  • The state of Wyoming has two escalators.
  • Wikimedia’s Grafana instance (which shows statistics on their running services) is public.
  • The term “Deaf Gain” (as apposed to “Hearing Loss”) refers to the myriad of ways which both deaf people and society at large benefit from the existence of deaf people and sign language.
  • Postres can natively convert SQL results to JSON objects.
  • There’s an official Spanish version of the Star-Spangled Banner.
  • Blind users can edit text on Android devices using TalkBack (if it cooperates).
  • You can press Control to temporarily pause VoiceOver readout.
  • Permission marketing works like this: if you stop showing up, people complain, they ask where you went.
  • The phrase “long time no see” may have originated as a phrase mocking Chinese immigrants’ usage of English (it is a direct translation of the common greeting 好久不见).
  • The medical model of disability views disability as a defect in a human, whereas the social model of disability views disability as an inability of society to accomodate a person’s differences.
  • Of 1121 federally-managed .gov domains, 28% of them simply redirect to another domain.
  • Dice have dots on them because they predate Arabic numerals.
  • There is a braille keyboard on iPhone.
  • A numeronym is a number-based word, like k9 (representing “canine”) or a11y (representing “accessibility”).
  • Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are the third most common ingredient in human breast milk, and is indigestible by babies (it feeds gut bacteria).
  • In Slack, you can add multiple emoji reactions by holding Shift.
  • Bob Ross, Inc. is located in Herndon, VA.
  • The IRS cannot accept a single check (including a cashier’s check) for amounts of $100 million or more.
  • GitHub shows public keys registered to a user if you append .keys to their profile URL.
  • There are 11 characters for different kinds of spaces, including the word space (the one you get with the space bar), zero-width space, and em space.
  • You can figure out if a phone number is a mobile, landline, or VoIP number using AWS Pinpoint.
  • ULID (Universally Unique Lexicographically Sortable Identifier) is similar to a UUID, but sorts alphabetically according to time.
  • The General Services Administration used to manage hemp plantations in South America.
  • SPIFFE (Secure Production Identity Framework for Everyone) is a universal identity control plane for distributed systems, designed to authenticate services to each other.
  • There’s a book written in 1420 with a blank spot in it because a cat peed on the page.
  • You can develop film using instant coffee.
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love as recorded by Elvis Presley was originally written as “Only fools rush in / But I can’t help falling in love with him”.
  • Lewin’s theory of change proposes that individuals are influenced by restraining forces (obstacles that counter driving forces aimed at keeping the status quo) and driving forces (positive forces for change that push in the direction that causes change to happen) — and three steps to adjust the equilibrium point.
  • More than you ever want to know about how Emoji are implemented and rendered.
  • Collective capitalism is a type of captialism, and one such example is interlocking share ownership, in which companies own shares in other companies. This results in a spirit of cooperation between the involved companies, since each has an interest in the other’s performance.
  • Regexper is a tool which generates syntax diagrams to aid in understanding and writing regular expressions.
  • There’s a U.S. Government API for dad jokes from fatherhood.gov.
  • YAML has extremely fine-grained control over how multiline strings are processed.
  • FAIR is an acronym that refers to data which is findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable.
  • A capitonym is a word that changes its meaning (and sometimes pronunciation) when it is capitalized.
  • Normalization of deviance is the process by which improper or incorrect behavior becomes gradually standardized through inaction or a lack of consequence for variance.
  • The business fable of the chicken and the pig references when some parties are strongly committed and some are lightly invested.
  • When IP addresses end with a slash and a number, they are in CIDR notation which is a way of specifying a range of IPs. The suffix determines the last significant bit, so higher numbers are more specific — CIDR notation for a single IP address in IPv4 ends in /32, in IPv6 it’s /128.
  • There is a cross-platform standard for buildpacks — the Cloud Native Buildpacks project was initiated by Pivotal and Heroku and aims to unify the buildpack ecosystems and incorporates learnings from maintaining production-grade buildpacks for years.
  • Similar to how “example.com” is provided as an example domain, RFC5737 is about IPv4 addresses used for examples, which are any address in networks 192.0.2.0/24 (TEST-NET-1), 198.51.100.0/24 (TEST-NET-2) and 203.0.113.0/24 (TEST-NET-3), like 192.0.2.10, 198.51.100.3 or 203.0.113.254 which don’t exist on the Internet.
  • USPS sells Global First Class Forever stamps ($1.20) in addition to their national counterpart ($0.55).
  • A Certificate Authority Authorization (CAA) DNS record indicates which authorities can issue security certificates for the domain.
  • There are three types of fun — type 1 (fun while it’s happening), type 2 (fun in retrospect), and type 3 (not fun despite feeling like it would be fun).
  • Airplane black boxes are orange in color.
  • Despite having an “American” association, apples are from Central Asia.
  • Since Lyndon Johnson, the President of the United States has used a Shure SM57 microphone for addresses (most often in a pair).
  • Green visors that accountants wore around the 1900s were to reduce eyestrain due to early incandescent lights (and were worn by more than just accountants).
  • The interval specified when configuring a Route53 Health Check is not the interval you’ll receive health check requests — instead, it’s about 15 times higher (the interval is per AWS data center).
  • ONNX is an open format built to represent machine learning models.
  • There is an extended markdown syntax for footnotes, supported by some parsers.
  • Korean fried chicken developed as a byproduct of the Korean War, where Black Americans intoduced Koreans to soul food.
  • Python has a Global Interpreter Lock (GIL) which prevents multiple lines of Python code from executing concurrently across threads.
  • If an S3 bucket has periods in its name, it can’t use accelerated transfers.
  • The mix-blend-mode CSS property sets how an element’s content should blend with the content of the element’s parent and the element’s background.
  • Universal Scene Description (USD) is an open source project which is an efficient, scalable system for authoring, reading, and streaming time-sampled scene description for interchange between graphics applications, maintained by Pixar.
  • Email was invented in 1971.
  • Sea urchins will voluntarily put on hats if available.
  • If JavaScript’s equals operator is used to check secret values, attackers can use the response latency to determine the length of the password and how far into the string the characters are incorrect.
  • Arcing current from an AM radio broadcast tower is an effective amplifier for the broadcast signal.
  • A piebald animal is one that has a pattern of unpigmented spots (white) on a pigmented background of hair, feathers or scales.
  • Alexithymia is the inability to identify and describe emotions in yourself or others. People with alexithymia may need to rely on others to help them diagnose and address depression.
  • Okta is a unit of measurement for cloud cover.
  • The gender neutral form of ombudsman is either ombudsperson or ombud.
  • Assisted suicide is legal in Washington, DC.
  • Eugene Schieffelin introduced the common starling to North America because he wanted to introduce all the birds mentioned in the plays of William Shakespeare to North America.
  • Marbled crayfish can clone themselves.
  • Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska celebrates Fat Bear Week annually, to publicize and celebrate the process of bears eating as much as they can to build up crucial fat reserves in advance of winter hibernation.
  • LUFS (Loudness units relative to full scale) is a scale of loudness (the compression and amplification of sound resulting in a higher perceived sound).
  • There is a proposed standard which allows websites to define security policies through .well-known/security.txt
  • Using archive_file in Terraform can generate ZIPs on-the-fly.
  • Nix is a powerful package manager for Linux and other Unix systems that makes package management reliable and reproducible.
  • There’s a Ben and Jerry’s flavor graveyard in Waterbury, VT.
  • Wreck is a HTTP client utility library for hapi projects.
  • The saying “one swallow doesn’t make spring” derives from Aristotle and means that one instance of an event doesn’t necessarily indicate a trend.
  • You can use some shell scripting magic to achieve self-documented Makefiles.
  • USB 3.0 interferes with devices in the 2.4–2.5GHz spectrum, including Wi-Fi signals.
  • There’s a media query to check system color schemes for dark/light preferences.
  • The efficiency-thoroughness trade-off principle, which states that efficiency and thoroughness are competing concerns.