Sep 26, 2014

Happy Friday

A smile is a light in the window to your soul.

With Autumn's diminishing daylight, it is time to smile and light up a Happy Friday!

Acronyms and Initialisms

Although many believe both are acronyms, there is a difference. An acronym is a pronounceable word that is formed using the first letters of the words in a phrase (sometimes, other parts of the words are also used). Some common acronyms include NASA (National Aeronautical and Space Administration), scuba (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus), and laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation). WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get  RAM - Random Access Memory  NAFTA - North American Free Trade Agreement WASP - White Anglo Saxon Protestant.

An initialism is formed using the first letters of the words in a phrase -- it is pronounced like a series of letters, not like a word. Some common initialisms include UFO )Unidentified Flying Object) and LOL (Laugh Out Loud).  IMHO - In My Humble Opinion.

ROTC - Reserve Officers Training Corps is used both as an acronym and initialism.

Ig Nobel Awards

On September 18, 2014 the 24th annual Ig Nobel, pronounced 'ig no bell' Prize ceremony was held at Harvard. Each winner has done something that makes people laugh then think. Winners traveled to the ceremony from around the world at their own expense to receive their prize from a group of amused Nobel Laureates. On lucky person won a date with a Nobel laureate. Real Nobel Laureates hand out prizes.

The awards ceremony is traditionally closed with the words: "If you didn't win a prize, and especially if you did, better luck next year!"

The "Stinker" is the official mascot of the Ig Nobel Awards.

The Physics prize went to a team that measured the amount of friction between a shoe and a banana skin and then a banana skin and the floor, when a person steps on a banana skin that is on the floor.

The Neuroscience prize went to a team that attempted to dissect the inner workings of the brains of people who see Jesus in their toast.

The Economics prize went to the Italian government's National Institute of Statistics, for taking the lead in fulfilling the European Union mandate for each country to increase the official size of its national economy by including revenues from prostitution, illegal drug sales, smuggling, and all other unlawful financial transactions between willing participants.

The Biology prize went to a team that discovered when dogs poop and pee, they tend to align their body axis with Earth's north-south geomagnetic field lines.

The Public Health prize went to a team that investigated whether it is mentally hazardous for a human being to own a cat.

The Arctic Science prize went to a team that observed how reindeer behave upon seeing humans disguised as polar bears.

The Medicine prize went to a team that was able to treat "uncontrollable" nosebleeds using strips of cured pork. A team at the Detroit, Michigan Medical Center decided to try the folk remedy as a last resort after failed attempts to stop an uncontrollable nosebleed in a 4-year-old who suffers from Glanzmann thrombasthenia, a rare condition in which blood does not properly clot. They stuffed strips of cured pork into the child’s nostrils twice, and the hemorrhaging ceased. They reported the clotting factors in pork and the high level of salt pulls in a lot of fluid from the nose. Ah, they may never stop finding new uses for bacon.

Love Your Teeth Day

A bit late on this. To increase awareness of the importance of dental care, the Chinese government designated September 20 as national “Love Your Teeth Day.” This day involves promotions from dentists to attract clients, as well as information meant to encourage people to see a dentist and take better care to avoid cavities in the future. The campaign has been running for decades and has been successful in getting more people to the dentist.

What's in a Name, Avocado

The original name for avocado is Ahuacatl, an Aztec word which means testicle. The avocado tree is originated from Central America and Mexico. The plant is cultivated in countries with very warm or hot climates. The fruit, when ripened, is very tasty and is used in many savory dishes. It can also be used as an aphrodisiac to stimulate the sex drive.

The fruit consists 67% fat and mostly made up of oleic acid and monounsaturated fat. An oil is extracted from the fat found in this fruit, and can be used in cosmetics, lubricants, and cooking oil. Avocado oil is also used in the manufacturing of numerous skin-care products.

Read Newspapers Online

I am not a fan of paying for information that should be free on the web, but sometimes there are exceptions. For instance, it you are away from home and wish to keep up with local news, there are ways to get your paper online. Another time might be to look up family historical information that may have been in the paper. Here are a few sites that provide online issues of printed copies.

Newseum – You can find and download front pages of more than 800 newspapers from around the world and it is updated daily. The collection includes small-town and local newspapers as well as globally-distributed big papers. It also maintains an archive of newspaper front pages belonging to dates of significant importance, for example, September 11.

Press Display – Like Newseum, but for a fee, this is where you can find current and past issues of hundreds of newspapers and magazines in full-color, full-page format. Individual issues cost 99¢ each and you may also download them to your PC or mobile device for offline reading.

NewspaperARCHIVE – Billed as the world’s largest online archive of historical newspapers published from 1753 on. You can browse newspaper issues by date or find articles that match a particular phrase. NewspaperARCHIVE costs $9.99 a month if you subscribe for a year.

Boston Globe – All issues of The Boston Globe newspaper printed since 1924 are available online. You can access all news articles printed since 1979 for free while the older articles are available at $2.95 for a single article.

Times Machine – This site has archived editions of The New York Times from 1851 through 1922. The issues are identical to the original newspapers, and include all pages including advertisements.

Times Archive – The Times daily paper from the UK offers digital archives of issues from 1785 to 1985 on its website. All pages of the papers are completely scanned, and organized with an index of topics. You can read the articles highlighted on their front page for free while specific papers and articles are available for £4.95/day.

Fastening Tips

Have you ever wondered what type of glue is the best to stick things together. Maybe you want to stick glass to a brick, or ceramic to leather. The sole purpose of this site is to help you stick things together. It might be very helpful. LINK

Capons, Chickens, Cockerels, Hens, and Roosters

A capon is a rooster or cockerel that has been castrated. This culinary practice existed in ancient China and Europe. Romans castrated roosters to double their size. Capon meat is more moist, tender, and flavorful than that of a cockerel or a hen and is less gamey tasting.

Chickens are a domesticated fowl, bred primarily as a source of food, including meat and eggs. In the UK and Ireland adult male chickens over the age of 12 months are primarily known as cocks. In the US, Australia, and Canada they are more commonly called roosters. Males less than a year old are cockerels.

Hens are female chickens over a year old and younger females are called pullets. In the egg-laying industry, a pullet becomes a hen when she begins to lay eggs at 16 to 20 weeks of age. Chicken eggs vary in color depending on the hen, ranging from bright white to shades of brown, blue, green, and purple.

Here is a quick summary. Roosters generally crow and hens generally cluck. All capons, cockerals, hens, and roosters are chicken. All capons, cockerals, and roosters are male. All hens and pullets are female. All cocks are not chicken, but also the male of other species, such as cock sparrows. "Roosting" is the action of perching to sleep and is done by both chicken sexes.

During the course of the 2014 Super Bowl, American consumers devoured a total of 1.25 billion chicken wingettes and drumettes (the wing tips were sent to Asia). There is a chicken sound app for smartphones that can be used as a ringtone, or just to irritate those around you.

Overweight Defined

During 1998, twenty nine million Americans suddenly became overweight without gaining an ounce. The US government announced new guidelines lowering the threshold of what classifies a person as overweight.

Previously, if your body mass index (BMI) was less than 28 for men or 27 for women, you were considered 'normal'. Since then only BMIs of 25 or below are considered healthy. That was a reduction of about 20 pounds for the average male. BMI is a ratio of weight to height, and is considered an indicator of how much body fat a person has.

Wordology, Goodbye

The customs of English speakers and many English words are based on religion, often without most people being aware of the fact. In this vein, our most common phrase to bid someone farewell is “goodbye.” While it seems like a mundane, secular word, goodbye is actually a contraction of the phrase “God be with ye,” an expression that dates back to the 14th century.

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Speaking of goodbye, On September 19, 2014, Oasis Beverages announced it acquired the Pabst Brewing Company. Pabst owns Pabst Blue Ribbon, Old Milwaukee, Schlitz, Ballantine India Pale Ale, and Colt 45. Oasis has brewing operations in Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Maybe they will change it to Pabst red ribbon.

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