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Today I learned…

Here you can find interesting things I picked up while going about my day. Or down another random rabbit hole.

Have something interesting to share with me? Please reach out!

2024 / Week 28

Blue Zones

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“Blue Zones” are regions of the world where people live significantly longer than the average. The common denominator for the lifestyle of the people living there is a natural diet (low-processed food), a lot of physical activity (walking, gardening, etc.), and generally a pre-modern way of living without the problems of the modern world (like stress). Some places in the Blue Zone are Okinawa (Japan), Sardinia (Italy), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Ikaria (Greece), and Loma Linda (California).

Exophony

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I now finally have a word for what I do on this website: Exophony – writing in a language that is not my mother tongue. Wikipedia also has a list of exophonic writers (that are way more famous than I am).

Rivers of Babylon

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The famous song by is based on psalms (19 & 137) from the Hebrew Bible.

Memories are essentially replays of neural firing patterns

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That’s also how déjà vus work. Your brain plays a similar pattern to one it’s played earlier, and you feel like you’ve experienced it before (I’m not sure though if that’s really based on the newest scientific findings, so don’t quote me on it).

You have a Jennifer Aniston neuron

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This hypothetical neuron is officially called a “grandmother cell”, but I like the other name more. Research has shown, that when presented with a concept you already know, the same very specific set of neurons fires in your brain (no matter if you see Jennifer Aniston in an Episode of Friends or on a gala photo). It’s like a little detector in your brain.

2024 / Week 27

Switzerland is the second oldest democracy in the world

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It’s been one since 1848. The United States is the oldest democracy in the world (1789), third place goes to New Zealand (1857).

Landlocked countries

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A landlocked country is a country that does not have a coastline. Worldwide, there are 44 of them. Kazakhstan is the world’s largest, while Ethiopia is the most populous one.

A double-landlocked country, on the other hand, is a landlocked country that is entirely surrounded by other landlocked countries. There are only two double-landlocked countries in the world (Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan).

2024 / Week 26

What3Words Algorithm

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There is a geocoding system that divides the world into 3×3m squares and assigns three words to each of them. Need an example? The best place to get pizza in Bern is at this location: ///cuts.deserved.cave.

A key principle of test-driven development…

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…is making the error message change. That sounds so simple yet so effective.

Time Billionaire

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If you are in your 20s, you are a Time Billionaire – twice. A Time Billionaire is someone who has (statistically speaking) more than one billion seconds left to live.

2024 / Week 25

Calculator Spelling

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There are a ton of words you can spell with your calculator. Way more than I thought.

The Philosophy Game

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Apparently, always clicking the first link of a Wikipedia article will send you to the same page in the end: Philosophy (at least in 97.3% of cases)