3 min read

Friday, May 5, 2023

Good morning. Wolmania stands with the Writers Guild of America, so any offers to exploit this newsletter for television or film will be rebuffed until the WGA receives a fair new deal that compensates them for the true value of their labor. Not until that's done will I consider adapting my ranked lists of food items or nationalities for a premium streaming service.

In the meantime, I stay firmly on this side of the picket line.

Blodgett's Hotel, headquarters of the U.S. Patent Office and the General Post Office, 1810

There was a really big fire in 1836 and all of the U.S. Patent Office's records covering registered patents dating back to 1790 were lost. Out of an estimated 10,000 X-patents (so called because they predate the modern patent numbering system), fewer than 3,000 were ever fully replicated despite a herculean effort to reach out to patentees for information about their inventions. Basically it sucked.

But! After giving up on tracking down this lost info way back in 1947, the USPTO recently started looking for the missing X-patents again. Back in October 2022, they tracked down some good ones at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum. Robert Fulton (a steamboat magnate in the 1800s) had some patents for... uh... steamboat stuff, I'm guessing? Smithsonian Magazine didn't really specify other than to call the patents "critical" and "iconic", so I'll take their word for it. This is they:

You may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like.

Anyway, keep an eye out for X-patents. You might just find yourself featured in a future issue of Wolmania.

Item 2: a list

The logos of all English Premier League teams

English Premier League Teams (for now), ranked

  1. Wolverhampton Wanderers
  2. Chelsea
  3. West Ham United
  4. Arsenal
  5. Brighton & Hove Albion
  6. Tottenham Hotspur
  7. Southampton
  8. Leicester City
  9. Crystal Palace
  10. Bournemouth
  11. Newcastle United
  12. Liverpool
  13. Leeds United
  14. Manchester City
  15. Aston Villa
  16. Nottingham Forest
  17. Fulham
  18. Brentford
  19. Manchester United
  20. Everton

Item 3: a media recommendation

It's probably weird to jump right into episode 207 of a podcast that's basically Bert and Ernie chatting about their mental problems, but this installment  is a fascinating 95 minute journey. You'll learn a lot about your fellow humans' (rated G-PG) bathroom habits and if you stick with it you'll get a shocking insight into why you really shouldn't drink the water from British bathroom sinks. It's also a pretty good look at the nuances of constructing effective public polls.

If you enjoy this one, consider listening to the previous 4 years' episodes (also available wherever podcasts are sold - just search for "Reconcilable Differences").

Item 4: word of the week


Do I know how to play drums? Well I do know what a paradiddle is. It's a drumming thing. I will not be taking follow-up questions at this time.

Item 5: a photograph

Slim Aarons - Poolside Gossip (1970)

This photo, taken in Palm Springs, is well composed and captures a certain vibe that remains part of the Palm Springs experience today. But it may be more fully appreciated with the backstory and the outtakes, provided here by Iconic Photos. I also like that the stars reunited in 2015 to recreate the shot, even if a part of me can't help but be annoyed that they didn't match the camera placement:

See ya!

Thanks for reading. I'll be traveling next week so keep your expectations low. It'd be best if you always keep your expectations low, actually.