Oct 20, 2017

My Latest Book

I have recently had my 53rd book published. A great read. "Amazing Facts IV - Tantalizing Trivia". If you enjoy this blog, you will love the book. you can pick one up at Amazon.
PS - After you read it, please leave a comment on the page. Thanks.

Happy Friday

When we are young, beauty is on the outside, when older it comes from within.

Happiness always shines through, especially on a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Lenticels

(LEN-tih-sells) These are little pin size spots on apples, pears, and potatoes. Plants need a constant stream of fresh air, just like people, and that “fresh air” means carbon dioxide. Flowers, trees, and fruit all take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, but unlike people, plants do not have nostrils.

The lenticel functions as a pore, providing a pathway for the direct exchange of gases between the internal tissues and atmosphere through the bark, which is otherwise impermeable to gases. The name lenticel derives from its lens-like shape. The shape of lenticels is one of the characteristics used for tree identification

Each little speck is an opening in the fruit or tuber’s skin or the tree’s bark. Carbon dioxide goes in, and oxygen comes out. Like any opening, lenticels are vulnerable to infection and sickness. In an apple disease called lenticel breakdown, a nutrient deficiency causes the apples’ spots to darken and turn into brown pits. This does not hurt the inside of the fruit, but it does make the apple look unattractive.

Salt Quickie

One third of all the salt produced in the US is used to melt ice on roads.

Dawn, Sunrise, Twilight, Sunset, and Dusk

Dawn occurs before sunrise, before the top of the Sun reaches the horizon.

Twilight is the name given to the period between dawn and sunrise, or between sunset and dusk, when light is still visible in the sky due to sunlight scattering off the atmosphere.

Sunrise and sunset are the points at which the top edge of the Sun reaches the horizon; the only difference between them is the direction in which the Sun is moving at the time. It actually occurs when the top of the Sun is 0.57° below the horizon due to refraction of the Sun’s light by the atmosphere.
Dusk occurs after sunset, once the top of the Sun has passed the horizon.

Dawn, dusk, and twilight can also be separated in astronomical, nautical, and civil sections by how far below the horizon the Sun is (18°, 12° and 6° below the horizon respectively).

Health Care Cost

The US has the most bureaucratic health care system in the world. More than 31 percent of every dollar spent on health care in the US pays for paperwork, overhead, and other non direct-health related expenses.

The US spends 17.6 percent of its GDP on healthcare. The Netherlands is the next highest, at 12 percent of GDP. Ten percent of Canada’s GDP is spent on health care. The average among OECD countries was almost half that of the US, at 9.5 percent of GDP.


The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has a mission to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. It was established in 1961 and has membership of 35 countries. Its annual budget is EUR 374 million and has a staff of 2,500. It publishes 250 new titles per year.

The OECD provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. It works with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change. It analyses and compares data to predict future trends. It sets international standards on things, such as agriculture and tax, to the safety of chemicals. It seeks to foster globalization and promote the 'green agenda' by working with the countries involved in the Paris climate agreement.

It looks at issues that directly affect everyone’s daily life, like how much people pay in taxes and social security, and how much leisure time they can take. It compares how different countries’ school systems are readying their young people for modern life, and how different countries’ pension systems will look after their citizens in old age.

In addition, it tries to make life more difficult for the terrorists, tax dodgers, crooked businessmen, and others whose actions undermine a fair and open society.

From its web site "Today, we are focused on helping governments around the world to:
    Restore confidence in markets and the institutions that make them function.
    Re-establish healthy public finances as a basis for future sustainable economic growth.
    Foster and support new sources of growth through innovation, environmentally friendly ‘green growth’ strategies and the development of emerging economies.
    Ensure that people of all ages can develop the skills to work productively and satisfyingly in the jobs of tomorrow."

Cutting the Cord

Cord cutting refers to those who give up their cable TV plan and find TV and movie watching over the internet, TV antenna, smart phone, computer, etc. The research firm eMarketer says that by 2016 year end, 16.7 million U.S. adults had already cut the cord and that by the end of 2017 it will be 22 million. The five biggest TV providers are projected to have lost 469,000 customers during the third quarter of 2017.

Sixty one percent of 18 to 29 year olds say the primary way they watch television now is with streaming services on the internet, compared with thirty one percent, who say they mostly watch via a cable or satellite subscription and five percent, who mainly watch with a digital antenna, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in August 2017.

The main cause for cord cutting has been the high cost of cable, bad service, annual price increases, and lack of competition in many areas of the country. Cost reductions average about 50% savings and range from a few dollars a month to as much as a 90% drop in monthly fees.

In addition, many are finding better picture quality and more diversity of offerings. Even TV antennas provide a sharper picture than offered by any of the major cable companies, because the signal is not compressed. With the coming proliferation of reasonably priced 4K TVs, picture quality is even more important and cable companies offer virtually no 4K content, with the exception of some sporting events.

Light Me Up

We have all read the light fixture warning not to use anything higher than a 60-watt bulb, or 75, etc. The newer LED bulbs still fall under that fixture rating, however since the equivalent LED bulbs use much less wattage, you can choose a watt equivalency that is higher than that of the old bulbs. As an example, a 60 watt bulb equivalent is a 9 watt LED. They both put out 800 lumens.

You can replace an old 60 watt bulb with a 100-watt equivalent LED bulb (or higher), which is about 17 watts and therefore well under the safety limit of a 60-watt maximum fixture. You get lower energy bills and almost twice the light. One limiting factor might be bulb size, so be sure to check the physical size of new bulbs to make sure they fit the socket. Every now and then I come up with a bright idea.