Jul 28, 2016

Happy Friday

A smile is brighter than a thousand light bulbs.

Smile, light up today and enjoy a Happy Friday!

Carousel vs. Merry-go-round

They are the same. In England and much of Europe, these rides usually go clockwise. In the US they move counterclockwise. To some Americans, a merry-go-round is a simple spinning playground fixture for children and a carousel is a more elaborate ride, with music, fancy horses, and other creatures.

They both can be a revolving circular platform fitted with seats, often in the form of animals, ridden for amusement, or a piece of playground equipment consisting of a small circular platform that revolves when pushed or pedaled.

Another definition of carousel is a tournament in which groups of knights took part in chariot races and other demonstrations of equestrian skills. Still one more is a continuously revolving belt, track or other device on which items are placed for later retrieval, such as a food or luggage carousel.

Chemotherapy Origin

During the early 1900s, German chemist Paul Ehrlich focused his attention on immunology as well as combating infectious diseases through the use of drugs. Ehrlich coined the term 'chemotherapy', which he described as a process of treating diseases with chemicals.
He tested his chemicals on animal models and was the first person to show the potential effect that drugs could have. In 1908, Ehrlich used arsenicals to treat syphilis in a live rabbit, which he cured before penicillin was created in 1929.

In time, he turned his interest to the cure of cancer, ultimately using the first alkylating agents and aniline dyes that proved to be effective. His pioneering research and the therapies that he discovered, such as using chemicals that combated not only diseases, but tumors as well led to groundbreaking contributions that gave birth to modern chemotherapy.

Wordology, On Accident, By Accident

A survey by Indiana State University indicates that people born after 1990 almost always say 'on accident', and are not aware that 'by accident' is proper usage. Those born before 1970 almost always say 'by accident'. 

European Union Origins, Changes

Many are aware of the recent headlines of the 'Brexit' or British secession from the European Union (EU), but are not aware of what the European Union is, how young it is, and how it began and changed over time. Here is a quick summary of the volatility, tenuousness, and fluidity of the EU.

During 1986 the Single European Act was signed. It is a treaty which provides the basis for a six-year program aimed at reducing problems with the free flow of trade across EU borders and creating a single market. In 1993 the Single Market was completed with the four freedoms of: movement of goods, services, people, and money.

During that time, there was major political upheaval when, during 1989 the Berlin Wall was pulled down and the border between East and West Germany was opened for the first time in 28 years, leading to the reunification of East and West Germany. The collapse of communism across central and eastern European brought Europeans closer together.

The Maastricht Treaty (formally, the Treaty on European Union) signed by the then 12 member nations, entered into force in 1993 with the goal of creating an economic and monetary union by 1999 for all EU states except the UK and Denmark. It aimed at unifying policies of defense, currency, and citizenship among the member nations. It has been amended by the treaties of Amsterdam, Nice, and Lisbon.

The euro was introduced to world financial markets as an accounting currency during January 1999 and in 2002 notes and coins began to circulate, with legacy currencies exchangeable at commercial banks in the currency's nation generally until 30 June 2002.

The Treaty of Amsterdam, which amended the Single European Act, other treaties establishing the European Communities, and certain related acts, was signed during 1997, and entered into force on 1 May 1999. It also made substantial changes to the Treaty of Maastricht.

Under the Treaty of Amsterdam, member states agreed to devolve certain powers from national governments to the European Parliament across diverse areas, including legislating on immigration, adopting civil and criminal laws, and enacting foreign and security policy, as well as implementing institutional changes for expansion as new member nations join the EU.

The Treaty of Nice came into force on 1 February 2003. It provided for an increase after enlargement of the number of seats in the European Parliament, which has ceremonial precedence over all authority at European level to 732 (currently 751), which exceeded the cap established by the Treaty of Amsterdam. It also provided for the creation of subsidiary courts below the European Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance to deal with special areas of law such as patents, among others. The treaty caused much consternation and debate among members.

The Treaty of Lisbon amends the two main treaties which formed the constitutional basis of the European Union. The Treaty of Lisbon was entered into force on 1 December 2009. The stated aim of the treaty was to "complete the process started by the Treaty of Amsterdam and by the Treaty of Nice with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and to improving the coherence of its action." It contained stronger powers for the European Parliament and a new role for national parliaments. One article called for "the word 'assent' shall be replaced by 'consent'". See my blog for definitions. LINK

The exact impact of the treaty on the functioning of the EU left many uncertainties which have led to calls for yet another new treaty to be drafted.

The European Union now consists of 28 countries, including Croatia, last to join the EU on July 1, 2013. Stay tuned folks as this remains a very fluid situation.

Smartphone Camera Hack

Have you ever been somewhere when you needed to scan a document, but no scanner was available. Use your phone camera to take a picture of the document. It is quick and easy. You can send the picture as a PDF file or as a JPG picture file to your home computer or directly to whomever you choose. It is also handy to use for snapping pictures of bills for itemizing expenses. Other ideas for smartphone use can be found HERE.

National Sleepy Head Day

National Sleepy Head Day (Finnish: Unikeonpäivä) is celebrated in Finland on July 27 every year. Traditionally on this day, the last person in the house (the "laziest") to wake up is woken up using water, either by being thrown into a lake or the sea, or by having water thrown on them. Other traditions include shaving the left side of the "laziest" man's chest. It is based on the story of the Saints of Ephesus who slept in a cave for some 200 years during the Middle Ages whilst hiding from persecution by Decius, the Roman Emperor at the time.

In the city of Naantali, a Finnish celebrity is chosen every year to be thrown in the sea from the city's port at 7 a.m. The identity of the sleeper is kept secret until the event. People who are chosen have usually done something to the benefit of the city. Every city mayor has thus far been thrown to the sea at least once, but other sleepers have included president Tarja Halonen's husband, Dr. Pentti Arajärvi, the CEO of Neste Oil Risto Rinne, along with many writers, artists, and politicians.

Ten Uses for Nail Polish Remover

1. Wipe away permanent marker from any smooth surface.

2. Erase scuff marks from laminate, tile, or concrete floors.

3. Remove the sticky residue from jar labels.

4. Clean and sanitize your razor.

5. Remove stains from white china.

6. Remove nail polish from the carpet. (Pour a generous amount over the stain and let it sit for about a minute before using a hard-bristled brush to scrub it out.

7. Take stray paint off glass windows.

8. Wipe off stains on your shoes.

9. Wipe off colored printing from plastic containers.

10. Loosen the superglue cap. Use a few drops of nail polish remover to dissolve the glue that is dried on the cap.

Jul 15, 2016

Happy Friday

Joy lives at the intersection of the conscious and the unconscious.

My internal GPS points me toward joy every Happy Friday!