Jun 23, 2017

Happy Friday

Do not hold back. A gusto for life yields an abundance of happiness.

I am always blessed with an abundance of happiness, especially on a Happy Friday!

What's in a Name, Mickey

In the film industry, a ‘mickey’ is a gentle camera move forwards. It is named for Mickey Rooney (a ‘little creep’).

Alcohol Proof

The regulation to proof alcohol was simply to test and verify that the contents of a barrel of liquid was what it was claimed to be began in England during the 16th century to ensure that the King collected the proper amount of taxes on the sale of the product.

The first method involved soaking a gun pellet in the liquid, and then trying to light it on fire; if it burned, it was classified as a proof spirit. However, as alcohol’s flammability is temperature dependent, the higher the temperature, the more vapors the alcohol infused solution will emit and therefore more flammable. Sometimes actual alcohol was passed off as something less and taxed at a lower rate.

Frequently the product would catch fire, and the authorities would know that the spirit was at least 57.15% alcohol by volume (ABV), which at that time was classified as being 100 proof.

As scientific skills improved during the early 19th century, a far more accurate test was developed which measured the liquid’s specific gravity (the ratio of the density of a substance to a reference, in this case distilled water). Distilled water is actually denser than alcohol. In 1816 a test was developed using the fact that at 11°C  (51°F), a 100 degree proof spirit (~57.15% ABV) would weigh 12/13 that of distilled water.

AnIPA with an ABV of 6.9% in the UK would be 12.075 degrees of proof, while a 100% ABV pure alcohol would have a proof of 175 degrees.

In the US, proof is calculated by doubling the ABV. So alcohol with an ABV of 40%, is 80 proof. Nevada, US prohibits the sale of alcohol in excess of 80% ABV (160 proof), and California, US prohibits the sale of anything over 60% ABV (120 proof).

The US has singled out one alcohol in particular for regulation – absinthe ABV (45-75%). It is infused with green anise, fennel, other herbs, and grand wormwood. During the early 1900s, a number of countries banned absinthe, due to a smear campaign conducted by the wine industry and the presumed presence of thujone, a chemical compound that is said to be poisonous in large amounts. It is now known that most absinthe has very little thujone and easily meets all regulatory requirements. Beginning in 2007, absinthe returned to the US as imports from Europe and with domestic producers.

Finger Fact

The ratio between the lengths of one’s index and ring fingers is usually quite different in men and women. Men tend to have shorter index fingers than ring fingers; women tend to have their index fingers either the same length or longer than their ring fingers. I saw you checking.

Catfishing, Ghosting, Phishing, and Spoofing

New  threatening online practices are showing up almost monthly. As old threats are stopped, the bad guys dream up new ones. Below are a few current schemes by bad actors to gain personal information to steal from your bank account, abruptly end a relationship, or damage your reputation.

Catfishing is being used more and more often and refers to the act of luring someone into a perceived or real relationship via an online persona that does not actually exist. It occurs in many forms, such as individuals may steal others’ photos and use them as their own, claim to have a job they do not actually have, or build an entire fictional personality from scratch in order to appear attractive to the person they are interested in.

Ghosting is a new term for breaking up with someone by completely cutting off contact with them, ignoring their attempts to get in touch, and not providing an explanation for why they ended the relationship. It is often used by people who meet online or by using social media apps. Ghosting is also used as a way to not take responsibility for a relationship and is confusing and hurtful to the person being ghosted.

Phishing is committing fraud by posing as a legitimate and often widely-known company or brand. People who are doing this, buying up domains that are closely related in spelling to a real domain, duplicating the actual brand’s website, and capturing information for the purpose of identity or other theft. Some will take payments for products and services that don’t exist, and others will infect computers with bots, spyware, and malware. Many internet service providers recommend antivirus programs that contain real-time phishing filters. These filters can block internet pages and websites that are characteristic of phishing.

Spoofing is the act of forging an email so that it appears the email came from someone other than the actual sender. This is common among crooks, who want to install programs that record and transmit keystrokes on victims’ computers in hopes of obtaining bank account information and passwords. Most email service providers have become adept at flagging these attempts. Running and maintaining antivirus and anti-malware protection is crucial to staying safe while using the internet.

Wordology, Achaplinarse

This is a Chilean word  meaning to run about in the style of Charlie Chaplin. In Spanish it means to hesitate, turn back, or change direction in a chaplinesque manner.

Incidentally, In 1915, Charlie Chaplin entered a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest in San Francisco. He did not win and he failed to make the finals.

Three Strange Job Illnesses

Chimney Sweep's Cancer, also called soot wart, and chimney sweep's scrotum is a squamous cell carcinoma of the skin of the scrotum.  Warts caused by the irritation from soot particles, if not excised, developed into a scrotal cancer, then enlarged the testicle and proceeded up the spermatic cord into the abdomen where it proved fatal. It is the first reported form of occupational cancer, and was first identified during 1775. It was initially noticed as being prevalent among chimney sweeps.

Bagpiper's Fungus - Bagpipes are made of sheepskin traditionally coated in treacle or honey on the lining to keep it airtight. The inside is sticky, dark and damp, making it a breeding ground for spores and fungus. Pipers breath in those bacteria and develop pneumonia, respiratory infections, and more.

Wool Sorter's Disease - this condition usually afflicts those working with wool, like sheep shearers. What the name doesn't suggest is just how bad this disease actually is. The more common name is anthrax. A person can contract meningitis, high fever, and severe abdominal pain before finally suffering a fatal respiratory collapse - all from breathing in the bacteria hidden in sheep's wool.

Jun 16, 2017

Happy Friday

“Four things come not back: the spoken word, the spent arrow, the past, the neglected opportunity.” ~ Omar Ibn Al-Halif

I come back every week to celebrate a Happy Friday!

Father's Day

This year Father's Day is June 18. Happy Father's Day to all the fathers in the world. This holiday traces its roots to 1910. However, it took until 1966 for US President Lyndon Johnson to issue a proclamation designating the third Sunday in June to honor fathers. Then, US President Richard Nixon signed a law declaring that Father's Day be celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June. It has been an official, permanent national holiday ever since.

A bit of history - Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd thought it might be nice to honor fathers and proposed to the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA that they celebrate a 'father’s day'. She chose the 5th of June because it was her father’s birthday. The idea received strong support, but the ministers asked that the day be changed to give them extra time to prepare sermons on the subject of fathers. The first Father’s Day was observed on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington, and soon other towns had their own celebrations.
Father's Day is celebrated around the world, but many countries celebrate on different days.

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around, but when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” ~Mark Twain