Apr 21, 2017

Happy Friday

You can't find a recipe for happiness on the web.

My recipe includes a good mix of laughter, joy, and smiles spread on a Happy Friday!

National Pig in a Blanket Day

April 24th is National Pig in a Blanket Day. Pig in a blanket is a humble dish enjoyed throughout the world.

National Pretzel Day

April 26 was declared National Pretzel Day during 2003. This year there are a few places that serve free pretzels. Click on this LINK to find out where.

Wordology, MacGuffin

A MacGuffin is an object, event, or person that the characters in a story value greatly. Almost the whole plot revolves around it, even though the thing itself isn’t actually important to the unfolding story. The most common type of MacGuffin is a person, place, or thing, such as money or an object of value.

Think of the falcon in the Maltese Falcon movie. The black falcon statuette, called the “Maltese Falcon” is the MacGuffin in the movie and the plot revolves around ownership and finding it. The Rabbit's Foot in Mission: Impossible III is a modern MacGuffin.

Scenario editor Angus MacPhail established the term MacGuffin for the unknown plot objective which you did not need to choose until the story planning was complete. Some say it comes from the word guff, which is defined as meaning nonsense and MacPhail added Mac from his name to the front of it. Alfred Hitchcock adopted and used the word to the end of his career.

3D Printed Shoes

Adidas announced it is partnering with a 3D printing company to mass-produce a line of shoes with 3D printed mid-sole cushions. It plans to make 5,000 pairs by the end of the 2017, and up to 100,000 pairs during 2018. Adidas plans a single design to test the tech, but wants to eventually customize each shoe to fit the unique contours of a person’s foot.

Incidentally, Nike, Under Armour, and New Balance also have their own 3D printed shoe projects.

Uninsured vs. Insured

Did a comparison on the number of US uninsured vs. insured between 2007 (before Affordable Care Act) and 2016. Medicare and Medicaid added 18.7 million more people than the uninsured reduction.

In addition, this does not count the number of insured, whose premiums are being subsidized by the Affordable Care Act.

As the chart shows, Uninsured dropped by 18.4 million people. However, the number of people covered by Medicaid and Medicare increased by 37.1 million during the same period. Medicaid, alone added 5.7 million more people than were dropped from the uninsured rolls. At the same time, Medicare added an additional 13 million people.

Bottom line, the pea shuffle of uninsured numbers looks like all is well, except the rest of us are paying more for Medicaid, more for Medicare, more for subsidies to cover insurance for the poor - and more for increases in the cost of our own health insurance.

Eliminate Nasty Paint Smells

Add one tablespoon of imitation vanilla extract per quart of freshly-opened paint and mix thoroughly until well-incorporated. Your family will appreciate the fresh smell.

Russia and US Border

The news media usually fails to mention that Russia and the US share a border. There is no wall and not much traffic of refugees trying to pass illegally.

The Russia / United States maritime boundary follows the June 1, 1990 USA/USSR Maritime Boundary Agreement, but it has yet to be approved by the Russian parliament. The United States Senate gave its consent to ratification on September 16, 1991.

Two islands, Little Diomede, US and Big Diomede, Russia lie between Russia and the United States. The islands are only 35 km away from both Chukotka, Russia and Alaska, US. Because the international Date Line runs between them, the time difference between them is about 21 hours.

Incidentally, Russia's Eastern border is with China.

International Space Station Facts

The International Space Station if reduced to two dimensions is roughly the size of a soccer pitch, at about 73 meters (239 feet) in length and 109 meters (356 feet) in width. It orbits the Earth at an altitude of 330 to 435 km (205 to 270 miles).

Incidentally, In 2001, Pizza Hut paid the Russian space agency $1 million to send a pizza to the ISS, Including a Pizza Hut logo on a Soyuz rocket and a video of a cosmonaut Yuri Usachov​ giving a thumbs up after eating some of the pizza. The space pizza, per the BBC, “spending a long time in space has the effect of deadening the taste buds, so extra salt and spices were added to the pizza and salami had to be used as pepperoni lacked the necessary shelf life, growing moldy.​”