2 min read

Friday, December 8, 2023

As we approach the end of 2023, let's take a moment to look back at some of the best things I decided to include in this week's newsletter:

Fortnite is a very popular game platform. It does other stuff too (like Legos, as of this week), but it's best known for the "battle royale" where 100 players fight it out to be the last one standing. It's basically ruthless, bloody-minded competition in raw form. This guy decided to try to use it to make friends:

Item 2: a list

AA, AAA, 1/2AA, PP3, C, D, and button batteries
Not to scale. Or maybe it is? One thing's for sure: it doesn't include all the battery sizes in the list below.

Battery Sizes, ranked

  1. 9V
  2. CR2032
  3. AAA
  4. A23
  5. AA
  6. 1/2AA
  7. C
  8. AAAA
  9. 4.5V
  10. LR44
  11. D

Item 3: a media recommendation

Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells (Pt. 1)

Item 4: word of the week


When you told me my birthday present was a "plinth" I assumed with a name like that it would be something cool. It's just a marble brick! You didn't even wrap it, you just put it in an old Trader Joe's bag. What the hell am I supposed to do with this? I don't even own a column. Making me carry this home is an antipresent. Do better.

Item 5: a photograph

A galaxy with a small, bright yellow core surrounded by a fuzzy halo is in the middle of the image. Within this fuzzy halo, just to the right of the main galactic core, is a companion galaxy that looks like a small yellow dot. The two galaxies appear small in the center of the image. Extending diagonally from the main galaxy in the middle are two enormous pink jets that project out in opposite directions: one reaches toward the upper left corner of the image and the other to the lower right. The ends of these long, narrow jets expand to form bulbous regions made of shell-like layers. The outer shells appear more diffuse and translucent, while the inner layers become a progressively deeper pink. Scattered across the dark background are hundreds of faint objects that vary in size, shape and color. Most appear as small dots, ovals, or lines in different shades of orange, red, and blue.
Spectacular jets powered by the gravitational energy of a supermassive black hole in the core of the elliptical galaxy Hercules A illustrate the combined imaging power of two of astronomy's cutting-edge tools, the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3, and the recently upgraded [well, it was recent when they released this back in 2012 - ed] Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope in New Mexico.

See ya!

Now that the Webb telescope has the spotlight, I wonder what Hubble is up to. Do you think they still let it take photos or is it just idling around Earth trying to intercept stray reality TV broadcasts to keep it busy until its capacitors stop working? Something to think about.

Thanks for reading. See you again next week.