Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

Any science fiction fan—and likely many who are not—can identify the character who utters those words in that order: Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek’s captain of the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-D. Ask your Amazon Alexa for it. Or your Google Home.

Thanks to the work of xkcd, we now know that Jean-Luc—may I call him Jean-Luc?—had a number of other options in the replicator from which to choose before he settled on “hot”.

Although Garak would still like to meet that Earl Grey and tell him a thing or two about tea leaves.

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

Sunshield

Happy Friday, everyone.

At the beginning of the week, we looked at the launch and deployment of the new James Webb telescope. If you recall, one of the key elements of the satellite’s design is its sunshield. As the name says, it shields the satellite from the sun, thus keeping the equipment super cold, which is necessary to operate in the range of infrared.

But, as xkcd points out, that’s not actually the real reason for the sunshield.

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

Never Read the Comments Section

Well, my week is over and whilst I may publish a post here and there the rest of the month, please do not expect it. My holiday time is truly here and I’ll be away for the next two and a half weeks. Fear not, for like McArthur to the Philippines I shall return. But in 2022.

But before I step away for a much-needed break, I encourage you to never read the comments section with this sadly brilliant piece by Jessica Hagy of Indexed.

Sadly so very true.

Credit for the piece goes to Jessica Hagy.

White Van with Tinted Windows

Where is my mind? On the dark side of the humour scale. Because when I saw this latest Venn diagram from Indexed, my mind leapt somewhere else entirely.

Do kids even read books anymore?

At the end of the day, don’t talk to strangers, kids.

Credit for the piece goes to Jessica Hagy.

Out of Office

One of the pieces I flagged a month or so ago around the time of my trip to the Berkshires was this one by Indexed. There was a time in my life when I would receive notifications for e-mail, particularly work e-mail, on my mobile. As a manager, I tend to think that’s…not great. There becomes no separation between work and personal life and for many, if not most, people that separation is critical to maintaining a healthy balance of both.

Consequently on my trip I barely even checked my personal e-mail, because I wanted to disconnect nearly entirely from that part of my life. And so this graphic made a lot of sense. Even if I was far from being “off the grid” I was very much “off the clock”.

I don’t think I could ever be off the grid, though…

And for my American friends, it’s time to go off the clock as the Thanksgiving holiday begins for many of us this afternoon or evening. But just remember that many will still be working and serving. More on that next week.

Credit for the piece goes to Jessica Hagy.

Greater Delaware

We are at that point in the year where I begin to use up my holiday time for work. I just returned from two weeks away, but I am out again tomorrow, so no post. Ergo, this Thursday is my Friday. And so I’ll leave you with a post from xkcd that talks vexillology, or the study of flags.

Beware Greater Delaware.

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

Speaking Truth to Employees

First, today is Friday and so congrats to us all for reaching the weekend. But before the weekend begins, I want to do a little housekeeping. I am taking my first real holiday for the first time in two years—thanks, Covid. So don’t expect any posts for the next two weeks. But I’ll be back on the 25th.

Thus it seems like a good time to remind everyone to take your holiday time. Or vacation time. Or paid time off. Or whatever you call those days that your employer pays you, but you don’t have to do a damn thing. Thankfully, Jessica Hagy over at Indexed has a graphic that can explain it better than I can. She titled the piece, “Use Your Vacation Days”.

Yep.

So yeah, use your holiday time. I am. See you all in two weeks.

Credit for the piece goes to Jessica Hagy.

Danger Isn’t My Middle Name

Happy Friday, everyone, we’ve made it to the weekend. When I work with developers I always make clear to them that they are the experts and that they know the best ways of coding the crazy ideas in my head. I then almost always add that I do, however, know a little bit of HTML and CSS. Just enough to be dangerous.

So when I saw this post from Indexed I had to laugh to myself.

I like living on the edges.

How very true it is.

Credit for the piece goes to Jessica Hagy.

An Animated Approach to Understanding Vaccines…

…courtesy of Family Guy.

In the last 18 months of looking at the data behind Covid-19 and the vaccines, I’ve had a lot of conversations with people, maybe even some of you, about the pandemic and the vaccines we’re using to combat it. Unfortunately, I’m just one person. Seth MacFarlane, however, has himself and the crew behind Family Guy to produce an advert for the Ad Council. The advert explains how vaccines work, why you should get them, and does so with some really nice animation. Animation that tops any illustrations I could do.

So enjoy their animated short.

It’s like Schoolhouse Rock…without the rock.

Credit for the piece goes to Seth MacFarlane and the crew behind Family Guy.

The Hexagons of Saturn

Well, it’s the end of another week. I’ll save the bigger posts I have planned for next week and instead end with this little astronomy/geometry gem from xkcd. It takes a look at Saturn’s polar storm that takes the shape of a hexagon, not a circle or anything else.

Gooaaaallllllll

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.