🧠 TIL about wending and poring

Today I learned that a river does not wind its way through the countryside, it wends its way through the countryside. I also learned that a journalist does not pour over the historical records, they pore over the historical records.

It is remarkable how I can go through life with these misunderstandings when I learn a word or phrase through speech instead of through reading.

🀬 Spotify is absolutely terrible

Ever since Rdio went out of business, I have yearned for a music service that is easy and enjoyable to use. Apple Music is a joke when it comes to usability and Pandora does not offer a comparable on-demand music service. This leaves me with Spotify as my only option.

Sadly, Spotify is full of design issues. However, today I encountered a problem so severe that I am closing my Spotify subscription.

Spotify permits you to save only 10,000 songs to your music library.

I wish you could have seen the dismay and anger on my face when I learned this fact. I was ready to throw my laptop threw the window in front of me.

10,000 songs is nothing. That’s less than 1,000 albums. It would take me a mere 500 hours to listen to that entire library start to finish.

This is unbelievable. I pay $120 per year for this service and I cannot save more than 10,000 songs to my library. Don’t think for a second that Spotify needs to save these 10,000 songs in a unique location on their servers requiring gigabytes of data. No, Spotify merely saves a list of metadata which holds the names of songs I’ve added to my library. It’s the equivalent of a text file on my computer which lists the title and artist name for each song in my library. At most, my account uses a maximum of 100 megabytes on Spotify’s servers. In reality, the size is probably much closer to 10-20 megabytes. In this day and age, using 100 megabytes on someone’s server is like asking the person next to you to hold a piece of paper for a second.

Spotify, I was making do with your poorly designed service, but this limit is too much for me to bear. It was nice to know you.

🧠 TIL Arby’s employs more than the entire coal industry

Apparently this is old news, but today I learned that the entire coal industry employs fewer people (~76,000 in 2017) than Arby’s (~80,000 in 2017). As of today, August 26th, 2018, an additional 40 coal power plants have closed this year, further lowering coal industry employment numbers. As far as I’m aware, Arby’s continues to do good business.

Can you imagine if the employees of Arby’s had as much political influence as the coal industry currently does? The Trump administration would be bending over backwards to support the sale of Arby’s delicious meats.Β Instead of supporting coal, the country would gain much more by supporting teachers (~3.6 million), nurses (~2.9 million), or home care workers (elderly care).

The entire coal industry employs fewer people than Arby’s [The Washington Post]

Related to the factoid above, the Trump Administration recently released its proposal to replace the Clean Power Plan. This new plan, called the Affordable Clean Energy Proposal, is designed to significantly ease regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. If implemented, the EPA’s own calculations state that the change to regulations will lead to the premature deaths of up to 1,400 people and 48,000 new cases of asthma every year. Not total. Each and every year.

EPA analysis of its own new climate proposal: thousands of people will die [Vox]

I have never wanted to be involved in the coal industry, but it sure must feel nice to have the amount of support shown by the Trump administration

πŸ‘ The Staircase

The Staircase is a multi-episode documentary which follows the trial of Michael Peterson after the death of his wife under suspicious circumstances in 2001.

There exists countless murder-mystery documentaries, but what grabs my attention about this film is the fact the even after watching the full series, I am completely torn about whether Michael Peterson is guilty. Throughout episodes 1-8, I was led further and further towards believing that Peterson was guilty. His remarkably odd behavior and lack of remorse, along with quite damning evidence, seem to prove his guilt. However, once the verdict is read in episode 8, my opinion almost immediately flipped. Episodes 9-13 suddenly show Michael Peterson in a completely different light which points towards his innocence.

After finishing the last episode, I have no idea how I should feel about the case. The fact that I could assume such strong feelings of both guilt and innocence is remarkable. In the end, I am left with feelings of sorrow about how the tragedy affected the lives of a family.


🀬 SWAG is no longer stuff we all get

I frequently hear people talking about swag. I’ll see a Reddit post titled “Check out all this free swag company X sent me!” or I’ll hear a podcaster say, “Head to our podcast store to purchase our swag!” These statements bother me because they demonstrate that the person speaking or writing does not understand what the word ‘swag’ means.

SWAG is an acronym which stands for Stuff We All Get. I don’t know where the word originated, but I first heard it used when the company I worked for purchased a bunch of t-shirts to hand out to every employee in the company. In that case, we were truly receiving swag. It was stuff that everyone in the company got.

Nowadays, people not only refer to anything they got for free as swag, they even refer to products they purchased as swag. Clearly, if you had to purchase a product, that product is not something we all get. Only you get it because you paid for it. That’s not swag.


Further reading: What does ‘swag’ mean? [Merriam-Webster]