Friday, January 13, 2017

Things I learned lately - 13 January

  • According to Gallup, an incoming presidential approval rating has never been this low before.
  • The little handles on a glass bottle of syrup are an example of what's referred to as a skeumorph. The handle is a leftover relic of when syrup was stored in much larger 5 pound jugs (with a proportionally larger handle), but now serve no real practical purpose other than to identify the bottle's contents. Other skeumorphs include the floppy disk symbol for saving files, and the online shopping cart symbol. 
  • We may get to see a supernova with the naked eye in 2022, although it will just look like a bright star where there once was nothing.
  • Bell Telephone started rolling out dial telephones in 1919. New York got them in 1922. The last holdout was Catalina Island, off California, which didn't go dial until 1978. In case you're wondering, prior to dial, you asked an operator to connect you to the other person manually.
  • Panasonic now has a Countertop Induction Oven, a microwave-sized appliance that cooks like a full-size oven. It uses infrared heat and induction to quickly and evenly cook your food. It can cook a full meal of chicken cutlets and potatoes in 23 minutes. 
  • A new law that came into force on January 1, 2017, gives French workers a right to disconnect that will let them ignore email outside of working hours. Companies with 50+ employees have to negotiate with their employees over when they can ignore their smartphones and emails. The aim is to improve workers' work-life balance, and to prevent burn-out.
  • The word 'never' is a contraction of the words 'not ever'.
  • Holding your coffee cup from above in a claw-like grip is the best way to prevent it from spilling.
  • Cotton candy was originally called fairy floss.

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