Update 9

We just passed Post Number 1000! Time for some updates, links to friends, and news about the future of this website.

Trinity College Library
David Iliff, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Today the Generalist Academy officially passes an important milestone: one thousand posts. (I am not counting the 80-odd updates, featured category posts, and from the archives posts.) I want to thank you all for reading, sharing, commenting, liking, and generally participating in what has been an extremely fun project for me. It really does mean something to be able to share the strangest nooks and crannies of our strange world – cheers!

I am proud of the fact that there has been something new here every day for nearly the last three years, despite all of the dramas – both global and personal – that could have interfered. I’m also proud of the fact that this website has never carried advertising or used a paywall. It’s a labour of love, and I have loved doing it.

But! Writing a post every day is rather taxing. As much as I enjoy this, I need to take a bit of a break.

After the website’s third anniversary (coming up at the end of this month), I plan to dial back the number of new posts. The Generalist Academy is not stopping – it’s just going to slow down. My new goal will be to write two or three posts a week, and I hope you continue to read and enjoy those posts.

I mean, why stop just when I’m enjoying it?


Whale snot drone pilots – TED.com has a nice feature about this most obscure of scientific professions.

Space humility – Captain Kirk finally went to space, and got his own dose of space humility: “I can’t even begin to express what I …what I would love to do is to communicate as much as possible … the jeopardy… the the the moment you see how… The vulnerability of everything, it’s so… small.”

Tiniest car – Alex Orchin drove the world’s tiniest car the entire length of Great Britain to raise funds for charity.

Doomsday Glacier – Thwaites Glacier is cracking up, so they are sending in Boaty McBoatface to check out the damage.

Torpedo-proof chair – A Reddit thread on the Emeco Navy Chair highlighted this gorgeous video from Popular Mechanics of its production process.

Space ice – yet another new form of ice has been discovered, and it’s black, hot, and possibly the most common form of water in the universe.

Quantum crossword – reader Gareth E. points out that the New York Times crossword puzzle does it again. Is the answer “Star Wars” or “Star Trek”? Or both?


I have had the great privilege of being linked to by some pretty cool aggregators, meta-blogs, news sites, and newsletters.

Another Metafilter post, this one about the search engine of 1896. Thanks kathrynm! The same post was also picked up by beSpacific, one of the best legal blogs on the Internet.

Indian news site ScoopWhoop linked to a post on the samurai’s katana. Whoop whoop!

A site about DragonFly BSD (an open-source operating system) noted the Year 2038 problem.

I used to read Fark a lot in my younger years… and now I am finally Some Guy. Pretty excited about that, even if the link never made it out of the STEM subsite.

Somebody on Quora used my post on the Great Bell of Dhammazedi to answer a question; it’s flattering, but I wish they had linked to the source.

This website had another appearance on Clive Thompson’s Weekly Linkfest. It’s a great and frequently surprising read; check it out if you haven’t already.

Apparently there’s an Italian website for fans of the F-104 Starfighter, and their Facebook page has been sending a lot of traffic this way regarding the Ottawa Airport debacle of 1970. They also helpfully pointed out a typo in the post, where I mistakenly called their beloved jet an F-410. Mi scusi!

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