Apr 24, 2015

Happy Friday

In the music of life there are no sour notes.

I always enjoy the sweet melody of a Happy Friday!

National Pretzel Day

April 26 was declared as National Pretzel Day by then-Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell in 2003.

World Tai Chi and Qigong Day

The last Saturday of April each year (April 25, 2015 - 10 am local time) in hundreds of cities, spanning 80 nations, people come together to provide a healing vision for our world.

Tai chi (tie chee) and Qigong (chee gung) combine deep breathing techniques, gentle body movement, and visualization techniques. Tai chi is a form of Qigong and is an ancient Chinese tradition that is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.

Tai chi is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of physical exercise and stretching. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that the body is in constant motion. It has many different styles. Each style may have its own subtle emphasis on various principles and methods. There are also variations within each style. Some may focus on health maintenance, while others focus on the martial arts aspect of tai chi. I have been learning tai chi locally for the past six months and, although some call it gentle, it is still a workout.

One World ... One Breath. Here are some interesting tai chi day videos. LINK

Eye Color, Green

Just two percent of people in the world have green eyes, making it the least common eye color. The color green is generally associated with jealousy, which is a common character trait amongst people with this eye color. However, they are also passionate people who have a zest for life and enjoy living life to the fullest. Others see people with green eyes as being mysterious and curious, but also highly intelligent.

Green eyes originate from Siberia and now can mostly be found in Europe. Interestingly, in Iceland the number of females with green eyes is greater than the number of males with green eyes! Ireland is also a hotspot for green eyes as they are believed to have Celtic ancestry, making green eyes and red hair a typical combination. Elsewhere around the world green eyes are very uncommon, but individuals can be found in all corners of the globe, including the USA, Europe, Asia, South America and Northern Africa.

Sometimes green eyes can bear a striking resemblance to cat's eyes, resulting in the myth that people with green eyes were evil. History is full of stories of women being condemned as witches, simply because of their green eyes. My cousin tells me she and her brother were born with brown eyes, but they are now most often hazel, and sometimes green.

Frogs and Toads

Toads have dry and pebbly skin, and frogs have moist and smooth skin. Frogs like water and toads prefer land.

Toads and frogs lay their eggs in water, because their babies start off as tadpoles. The difference is that frog eggs are laid in bunches or clusters, and they have a jelly-like substance around them. Toads lay their eggs in lines or strands, on leaves of plants that live in the water. A baby toad is a tadpole or toadlet

Frogs have slim bodies and long legs, and jump to get around. Toads have short forelimbs and hop or walk. Toads have big glands behind their eyes, called paratoid glands, which produce poison.

There are three names for baby frogs, depending on which segment of the life cycle they are in. After 21 days of being an embryo, a baby frog is called a polliwog and at this point, has a long tail and lives in the water. It becomes a tadpole when it sprouts legs. As a froglet, it has almost matured into a full-grown adult that breathes with lungs, but still has a bit of a tail. The sequence is polliwog, tadpole, froglet.

Frogs don’t actually drink water with their mouths; they drink it through their skin. A frog’s skin absorbs water when it is in the water so its body gets all of the hydration that it needs that way.

True toads do not have teeth and the skin on the head is typically ossified to the skull. Toad’s skin lets out a bitter taste and smell that burns the eyes and nostrils of its predators, much like a skunk does. True toads belong to the family Bufonidae, which consists of 50 genera and nearly 600 species, native to all continents except Antarctica and Australia. Toads belong to the order Anura, and are actually a subset of frogs. In popular use, toad seems to be used to refer to any frog that has a dry warty skin and short legs.

 Need to live near water
 Have smooth, moist skin that makes them look “slimy”.
 Have a narrow body
 Have higher, rounder, bulgier eyes
 Have longer hind legs
 Take long high jumps
 Have many predators
 Hibernate in the winter.

 Do not need to live near water to survive
 Have rough, dry, bumpy skin
 Have a wider body
 Have lower, football shaped eyes
 Have shorter, less powerful hind legs
 Do not have many predators
 Will run or take small hops rather than jump.

Bottom line, all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads and neither frogs nor toads will give you warts.

Bangers and Mash

The British meal of sausage and mashed potatoes goes back a long way. Sausages can be traced back to ancient times. Victorians were skeptical of what was in a sausage, suspected horse meat, and nicknamed them ‘Little Bags of Mystery’. After the outbreak of the World War, food shortages led to a dramatic reduction of meat in sausages, so producers packed them out with scraps, cereal, and water, which caused them to pop when cooked over hot fires. That is how the name bangers came to be. The mash comes from the way potatoes are cooked - mashed.

Crap Email Hack

We all get way too much marketing stuff in our inbox. One way to reduce it is to filter for the word unsubscribe and send the mail straight to trash. If you want to keep some of the materials, set up a folder for marketing and send the emails there. That way you can keep the info, but it is not mixed with important emails.

Origin of Credit Cards

In 1949, Frank McNamara, an executive at the Hamilton Credit Corporation, was embarrassed to find himself short of cash when it came time to pay for a dinner with clients at a New York restaurant. Charge accounts were already common, allowing customers to add up a tab at certain establishments and pay it later, but those accounts were only for each specific business. McNamara had the idea of making a card which could be used at multiple unconnected upscale New York restaurants. Diners Club would pay the restaurant, and the diner would pay Diners Club, plus interest. Diners Club's had 20,000 members in its first year, who could use it to pay for services at 28 restaurants and two hotels.

Bacon, Vitamins and Minerals

Bacon provides us with substantial amounts of the important, necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need to function healthfully. From bacon, we receive: 65% of our Recommended Daily Intake of Thiamin (Vitamin B1) as well as 47% of our Niacin (Vitamin B3), 38% of our Vitamin B12, 36% of our Zinc, 24% of our Vitamin B6, 22% of our Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), 22% of our Phosphorus, 10% of our Pantothenate, 10% of our Magnesium, 9% of our Iron and the Protein to fat balance in bacon is actually 4 to 1, which is one of the highest protein to fat balances found in any meat, fish, or fowl found on Earth.

International Dance Day

April 29 is International Dance Day. It was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Council (Conseil International de la Danse). The main purpose of Dance Day events is to attract the attention of the wider public to the art of dance. Emphasis should be given to addressing a new public, people who do not follow dance events during the course of the year. Every year, the president of the CID sends the official message for Dance Day which circulates in every country of the world.

US National Dance Day was created by Nigel Lythgoe and takes place in the United States on the last Saturday in July. It was founded and officially recognized in 2010 when American congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a National Dance Day resolution to promote dance education and physical fitness.

Free Friday Smile

Apr 17, 2015

Happy Friday

There is no doubt in the honesty of a child's smile.

I cultivate the habit of smiling and sharing a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Trivia

The word trivia originates from the Latin word trivium (plural trivia), where “tri” stands for triple and “via” means way. Basically, the word means a place where three ways meet. This word gained prominence in Rome, where people would often chin wag with others at a trivium. The word trivalis in Classical Latin meant an appropriate street corner and commonplace. In medieval times, the word gained broader meaning and came to refer grammar, rhetoric, and logic. Much of what you read here can be referred to as trivia.

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is mostly known for archiving the web, which the San Francisco-based nonprofit has done since 1996, two years before Google was founded.
It is also called the Wayback Machine and indexes over 435 billion webpages dating back to 1996. It is the largest archive of the web. The archive also hosts: