Nov 27, 2009

Men at Work

I'll take X.

Trees

A mature tree can produce as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year. It takes 12 trees to produce a ton of printing paper—24 trees for higher grade writing paper. Emails are treeless.

Five Old Wive's Tales Debunked

Chocolate causes acne
The American Academy of Dermatology says acne is not caused by any specific type of food, including chocolate. The adolescent affliction is linked to the levels of testosterone in your body.

Sitting too close to the TV will ruin your eyes
According to WebMD.com, the worst thing that can happen as a result of sitting too close to the screen is a nagging headache.

Carrots improve your eyesight
The American Optometric Association found that 48% of Americans still believe carrots are the best food for eye health. And though it does have beta-carotene and Vitamin A.
Dark leafy greens like spinach are even healthier for the eyes.

Taking a swim less than one hour after eating will give you cramps
The Mayo Clinic says it is perfectly safe to swim after you eat a light meal or snack. The site does recommend taking a break after eating a big meal, not because of cramping, but due to lethargy.


Lightning never strikes the same place twice
According to the National Weather Service, lightning can strike the same place numerous times. In fact, the Empire State Building is hit an average of 25 times a year.

Quotable

When a defining moment comes along, you define the moment, or the moment defines you.

Good Advice


Amazon PayPhrase

Amazon's latest payment technology, PayPhrase, lets customers buy from Amazon and affiliated merchants by using two or more words and a four-digit password. The technology, which was announced last Thursday, accesses information stored in the customer's Amazon account to pay for purchases and to identify the shipping address. Like PayPal, PayPhrase is designed to work on Amazon's own site and on third-party sites that use the payment technology.

Amazon wants PayPhrase to compete directly with eBay's PayPal and Google Checkout.

Analysts worry that the combination of a memorable phrase and a simple four-digit PIN may not be secure enough for financial transactions, even if Amazon promises to freeze an account when the wrong information is entered too many times. More ways to spend money in the airways

Quotable

Dogs look up to us, cats look down on us, but pigs treat us as equals.

Look Close



Everything is not always as it appears.

Nanotechnology

The term 'nano-technology' was first coined in a paper by Norio Taniguchi at the University of Tokyo, in 1974 and the term 'nanotechnology' by K. Eric Drexler in 1986.

Albert V. Crewe, the University of Chicago physicist who developed the high-resolution electron microscope that captured the first image of an individual atom picture in 1970, passed away last week. The significance of his finding is that the diameter of an atom ranges from about 0.1 to 0.5 nanometers

The term nanometer, abbreviated nm, is derived from the Greek word for midget and  nano is a metric prefix and indicates a billionth part. A nanometer is about the width of six bonded carbon atoms, and approximately 40,000 are needed to equal the width of an average human hair. Looking at it another way, 1 inch = 25,400,000 nanometers.

DNA width is 2 nm and common bacteria range from 1,000 to 10,000 nm. A nanometer is the length a man's beard grows in the time it takes him to raise the razor to his face.

Quotable

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.

Egg Fun Facts

The word egg tracks it name back to a prehistoric Indo-European source related to words for bird. The Old English term was oeg, which survived in Middle English as ey, but in the fourteenth century the related egg was borrowed from Old Norse. For a time the two forms competed with each other until the late sixteenth century, when egg won.

Eggs are a good source of protein, vitamin D, vitamin A, riboflavin, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, choline, iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium.


Current studies show most of the cholesterol formed in the human body results from saturated and trans-fats, and not the cholesterol in the egg. Eggs have no trans-fat and only 8% of the daily value for saturated fat.

The color of the egg shell is not related to quality, nutrients, flavor, or cooking characteristics. White shelled eggs are produced by hens with white feathers and white ear lobes. Brown shelled eggs are produced by hens with red feathers and red ear lobes. Brown egg layers usually are slightly larger and require more food, so brown eggs usually cost more than white eggs.

China produces the most eggs, at about 160 billion per year. In the US, about 65 billion eggs per year.

A hen can lay about 250 eggs per year.

There are 150 species of chicken. A rooster is a male, a hen is a female, and they are both chickens.


When a hen lays an egg it will only hatch into a chick if a rooster has fertilized the egg by mating with the hen. The hen and the rooster must mate before the egg is laid in order for the egg to be fertilized. Hens will lay eggs even if a rooster is not present. If you crack a raw egg and there is a red dot inside the egg, that means the egg was fertilized.

A fried egg is golf slang for a ball half-buried in a sand bunker.

Adam and Eve on a raft, and wreck ‘em is diner speak for
scrambled eggs on toast.

Eggs Benedict origins can be traced to many sources, but two are most popular.
The most popular legend of the dish's origin says that it originated at Manhattan's famous Delmonico's Restaurant when regular patrons, Mr. and Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, complained that there was nothing new on the lunch menu. Delmonico's maitre d' and Mrs. Benedict began discussing possibilities and eggs Benedict was the result. The second
The dish was inspired by Harry Benedict, a customer at the Waldorf Astoria in New York who wanted a meal to help him overcome a hangover.

Eggs Pope Benedict substitutes German pumpernickel bread for the muffin and German bratwurst sausage for the ham. It was created when Benedict the XVI became Pope in 2005.

Omelet come from the French, and Deviled comes from the Ancient Romans.

Souffles do not fall if there is a loud noise. The folklore is not supported by science. The rise and and fall of every souffle is a direct result of temperature. Heat expands the air in the egg whites and coolness deflates it.

Eggs usually can last six to 8 weeks if refrigerated. To find out if eggs are bad, you can always use the "float" test. If they float in salt water, they are bad, or crack one open and the smell will tell.

Nov 19, 2009

Quotable

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

Bacon Salt

You probably know that I enjoy a good piece of bacon every now and then, and this new product grabbed my attention.


The ad says it is zero calorie, zero fat, vegetarian and kosher seasoning that makes everything taste like bacon. There are even more flavors than shown, including Applewood, Jalapeno, Mesquite, Cheddar and Maple. Alas, I read the ingredient list and there is nothing close to bacon in the list. They also have bacon flavored sunflower seeds and bacon flavored lip balm for those dry winter days. Nice try guys, but I want real bacon.
The web site is http://www.baconsalt.com

Quotable

Familiarity breeds attempt.

USB Drive

A new USB 3.0 drive was announced last week by Super Talent Technology and it should be available next month. It can support data transfer rates up to 5Gbit/sec or 10 times faster than current USB 2.0 products. It fits into the current 2.0 ports, but would be limited to those slower speeds. The price wasn't announced yet, but I would think the largest size would be many hundreds of dollars and the smallest about two hundred bucks.


It comes in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities and is 3.7 inches by 1.4 inches by half inch thick. The drive can deliver data transfer speeds up to 200MB/sec in USB 3.0 ports. To compare size, it can likely hold about 35,000 songs or about 500 half hour TV shows.  I love new technology.

Quotable

No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.

Eight Teeth Facts - some might surprise you

     1. All Teeth Whiteners Are The Same: No, they are not. The choices between teeth whitening systems include toothpastes, gels, rinses, strips, trays, prescribed whitening agents, and even laser treatments. Each has its own pro’s and con’s other than price and speed of results.

   2. Not Brushing Causes Bad Breath: Partially true, there are also many other factors for bad breath. Eating unpleasant smelling foods like garlic or onions, the odor remains until the body passes the food. Drinkers, smokers, and dieters can also have chronic bad breath.

   3. Breath Into Your Hand To See If You Have Bad Breath: Not true. This practice will only tell you if your hand smells or not. Because different muscles are used to breath and talk, the hand test isn’t exactly accurate.

   4. ADA Approved Gum Can Be Substituted for Brushing: Not true, but it can help. Chewing it in between brushing may help for conditions such as reducing plaque, promoting tooth enamel, reducing cavities, or combating gingivitis.

   5. Put Aspirin On An Aching Tooth: Not true. Placing it next to the tooth and gums can actually burn the gum tissue. Swallowing aspirin for pain is OK. Rinsing your mouth with warm water or an over the counter antiseptic containing benzocaine is also effective.

  6. Pregnant Women Should not Go To The Dentist: Not true. New studies show that gum disease can affect the unborn baby. Women who are pregnant or considering it should definitely see a dentist. Pregnant women can safely see the dentist and even have local anesthetics at 13 to 21 weeks gestation. Caution is advised for X-rays and some drugs.

   7. It is OK To Swallow Mouthwash: Not really. About 90 percent of mouthwashes contain high levels of an alcohol, which is not meant to be swallowed. It is also more dangerous for children and should not be given to those under twelve. The long terms affects of swallowing mouthwash can be dangerous.

   8. Mostly The Elderly Get Gum Disease: Not true. About 80 percent of Americans can have some form of gum disease. It can range from inflammation, to periodontitis that can result in damage to the bone. Most cases of gum disease can be reversed with brushing and flossing.

Nov 17, 2009

Mini Printer

It is the size of a computer mouse. PrintBrush is the smallest printer in the world. It is Powered by rechargeable batteries and wirelessly connected via Bluetooth. It can be used on any surface and prints full 8 1/2 by 11 pages at 600 dpi. It also features an optical sensor that helps to ensure a high image quality. Cool stuff should be available the beginning of next year for $199.

Russian Sand Art

Here  is an interesting diversion. It is long, but you don't have to watch the whole thing to enjoy.

Ford

Hard to believe Ford is doing so well when you read the following. A husband and wife went to their local Ford dealership in Canton , Mississippi to pick up their car.  When they arrived,they were told the keys had been locked in it.

They went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver's side door. As the wife watched from the passenger side, she instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. She told the repair man that the door was open and he replied, "I know. I already got that side."

Having a Bad Day

Couldn't resist sharing this. I know could not have been taken on Friday, because everyone has a Happy Friday.

Nov 12, 2009

Sex Cures Headaches

Endorphins released into our bloodstream when we have sex not only give us pleasure, but also act as painkillers. Useful information for the next time your partner uses a headache as a reason to say no.

Quotable

Age is a relative thing - think about dead fish and good wine.

Border Patrol in Action

35 seconds of fun. Click here

My mother said, "Take your Asprin."

She must have known something. Aspirin may be good for your liver, protecting it against damage from too much Tylenol and possibly even from obesity and alcohol abuse, according to a new study by a Yale physician, Dr. Wajahat Mehal of Yale, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. It shows liver damage can be prevented by low doses of aspirin and has a protective effect, preventing inflammation of the liver caused by many medications.

Liz Taylor

In a controversial new biography, Liz Taylor reveals she likes her lovemaking loud, rough, and frequent.
Coincidentally, looks like that's also how she likes to eat.

Friday the Thirteenth

Triskaidekaphobia (from Greek tris meaning "3," kai meaning "and," and deka meaning "10") is fear of the number 13.

It is a superstition and related to a specific fear of Friday the 13th, called friggatriskaidekaphobia.  That is the truth!

PS - See October post about Friday.

More Superstitions About Thirteen

The Turks have virtually removed 13 from their vocabulary.
Another superstition is that if 13 people sit down to dinner together, all will die within the year.
Beware naming your children with 13 letters in their name, they may be cursed, for example, Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson.
Why are there are 13 witches in a coven?
In a 'Baker's Dozen' the extra loaf was baked as a special bribe for the devil not to spoil the batch of loaves.

Engrish?

I think someone is saying to have a Happy Friday in Chingrish or Engrish.

Al Gore

The self-proclaimed, and debunked 'inventor of the internet' now wants his organization, the Alliance for Climate Protection, to support creating a .eco domain to promote environmental causes.

The idea comes from Dot Eco LLC, which claims they will donate some of the cash from registration fees of .eco web addresses to green initiatives. Dot Eco plans to file an application for the .eco top-level domain later this year with ICANN, the non-profit organization that coordinates website names.

Problem is, they have not yet been able to define what the criteria is for distributing the web addresses. Even with his Nobel, he can't seem to define 'eco' anything.

Quotable

It is harder to prove a truth than a lie because of the requirement that a proof be true.

ECO Myths

Here are some eco myths to think about.
Myth: The Earth is warmer than it was 100 years ago.
Truth: At most it’s risen by 0.3 Celsius, less than 0.003 degrees annually.

Myth: Global Warming must be happening, it’s warmer here in Small Town.
Truth: It is global averages that matter (see above)

Myth: Carbon dioxide levels and average global temperatures are at a record high
Truth: No, they are among the lowest determined over the last few million years.

Myth: Rising carbon dioxide levels are directly linked to rising global temperatures.
Truth: Not necessarily, there is a 400-4000 year timelag

Myth: Receding ice sheets prove anthropogenic (man made) Global Warming is happening
Truth: Some ice is melting, other areas are actually growing

Myth: Carbon dioxide is the most potent greenhouse gas
Truth: No, that would be water vapor of which there is an abundance in the atmosphere, then there is methane, and nitrogen trifluoride used in the manufacture of flat screen TVs.

Myth: If we accept it as real, we can do something about it.
Truth: We cannot even control local weather, what makes us think carbon sequestration and seeding the oceans, etc. will allow us to affect the climate. These come from a science web site.

Piano Stairs

Here is a novel way to get people to take the stairs, replace them with piano keys. Looks like great fun.  LINK

Human Egg

Here is a picture of a human egg and of sperm trying to invade it. This is an actual photograph of the sperm trying to neutralize the outer yellow protective layer so they can get in. Amazing picture.

Speaking of Cells

Robert Hooke (1635 - 1702) was an English physicist. He was the first to coin the word “cell” to describe the basic unit of life (he thought that plant cells, when magnified through a microscope, looked like “cellula,” the living quarters of monks).

Instant Rice

Also known as minute rice, is rice that has been precooked and dehydrated so that it cooks rapidly. Regular rice requires approximately 20 minutes to cook while instant rice usually needs between five and 10 minutes, or 90 seconds in a microwave. Because it has already been cooked, all that is necessary to prepare instant rice is to re-hydrate it with hot water.

Instant rice is made by using several methods. The most common is similar to home cooking. Rice is blanched in hot water, steamed, and rinsed. It is then placed in large ovens for dehydration until the moisture content reaches approximately twelve percent or less. The basic principle involves increasing moisture of the milled white rice by using steam or water to form cracks or holes in the kernels.

The fast cooking properties happen at recooking. Water quickly penetrates into the cracked grain.

Kellogg's Cocoa Krispies

The nation's largest cereal maker, is being called to task by critics who object to the swine flu-conscious claim now bannered in bold lettering on the front of Cocoa Krispies cereal boxes: "Now helps support your child's IMMUNITY."  What a load of rice that is, unless it means the chocolate covering, which is good to cure most everything.

Dagwood and Bacon

A friend of mine, John Chapman sent me this from Monday's paper. Seems even Dagwood likes bacon. Of course the clock is not as sophisticated as the one I mentioned last year that actually cooks a slice of bacon, so you wake up to the wonderful aroma.



PS - Chapman is the author of "Men are from Mars, Women are from Hell." Hilarious book available on Amazon.

Limerick

There was a Young Person of Bantry,
Who frequently slept in the pantry;
When disturbed by the mice,
She appeased them with rice
That judicious Young Person of Bantry.

Health Insurance Myths

On the Fortune 500 list of top industries, health insurance companies ranked 35th in profitability in 2008; their overall profit margin was 2.2 percent. They lagged far behind such industries as pharmaceuticals,  profit margin 19.3 percent, railroads (12.6 percent), and mining (11.5 percent). Among health insurers, the best performer last year was HealthSpring, which showed a profit of 5.4 percent. “That’s a less profitable margin,’’ AP noted, “than was achieved by the makers of Tupperware, Clorox bleach, and Molson and Coors beers.’’

For the most recent quarter of 2009, health-insurance plans earned profits of only 3.3 percent, ranking them 86th on the expanded Yahoo! Finance list of US industries. Makers of software applications, by contrast, are pulling in profits of nearly 22 percent.

Bread Shoes

True - Not to be outdone by the above. Here are a pair of bread shoes. They can be made to size and can be shipped to the US at a cost of 17 Euros. Looks like they are soft. No, not going to waste your time with this link either.

Target

Check out Target's Black Friday sales for $3 toasters, coffee pots, crock pots, and sandwich makers. Digital picture frames for $29. HDTV LCD 1080p 40 inch $449.  Wow, it is really pushing for traffic this year.

Picnic Truck

Who couldn't use one of these for the ultimate tailgater. It has a BBQ grill, a beer tap, an ice box, a 42″ HDTV and a kick butt sound system.  Toyota is at it again.

Nov 6, 2009

Fun With Words

Here is a fun sight for those who like anagrams, crossword puzzles, or just word games. Type in a word and you get a definition, words found within the word, anagrams, words beginning and ending with the word, words beginning with the same letters, etc. Handy reference site to put in your bookmarks.

Here is another site, Ninja - a dictionary for your iphone.

Bus Stop

Here is a unique bus stop. It is in England. Seems the woman did not like the looks of the stop in front of her house, so she decorated it herself.

Quotable

Men do not make beds when they get up for the same reason they do not tie their shoes when they take them off, to make it is easy to get back into.

Nov 5, 2009

Healthcare Bill

I just finished reading the healthcare bill, HR3962 or the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

Have attached a link to my 19 page summary for those who might be interested in a snapshot view that you won't get from TV or the newspaper.

Click on the link below. It is best viewed in full screen mode. Comments welcome.


Shubnell_latest_healthcare_bill_summary

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

Most people think that a coin toss is completely random and the odds of it landing on heads or tails is equal.  Recently, a three-person team of Stanford and UC-Santa Cruz researchers produced a study that challenges conventional wisdom.

The researchers concluded that a coin is more likely to land facing the same side on which it started. If tails is facing up when the coin is on your thumb, it is more likely to land tails up.

They used a high-speed camera that photographed people flipping coins and found that from 51 to 60 percent of the time, depending on the flipping motion of the individual, it landed on the side that was facing up when the flip began.

Most people count how a coin lands, but do not check how it started and that has led to some common misconceptions. It is also not how high a coin is flipped or other variables, such as wind speed, air temperature, phase of the moon, or size or the weight of the coin. Knowing how it starts slightly increases the odds in your favor.

The researchers used the camera to show that coins flipped from a thumb don't just rotate around their axis, but they also spin like a Frisbee and that is caused by the motion of the thumb. They found that there is always bias and some people have more bias than others due to the way they flip, but the bias is always toward the side facing up before the flip.

The landing surface also has an influence, like a hard surface changes the equation. Bottom line call it as you see it and always for a soft surface, like grass. I wonder how many coins they spent paying for this 'scientific research'?

Quotable

Did you ever stop to think that worrying works? 90% of the things you worry about never happen.

Jack Benny

Jack Benny was born Benjamin Kubelsky in Chicago on Valentine’s Day, 1894. His parents lived in nearby Waukegan. Jack worked there as a violinist in the pit band of a local Vaudeville house and that was his beginning in show business.

He toured working with a female pianist in an act known as "Salisbury and Kubelsky - From Grand Opera to Ragtime", but when concert violinist Jan Kubelik’s lawyer objected to the comedic violin-playing and similarities in name, Benjamin changed his name to Ben Benny.


With a new partner, “Benny and Woods” continued, but when World War I broke out, Benny enlisted, working in a Navy-sponsored revue touring the Midwest. After the war, Benny went back to vaudeville, doing a monologue as “Ben K. Benny, Fiddleology and Fun.”

Although he changed the spelling to “Bennie,” Ben Bernie, an entertainer (also a violinist-bandleader who did monologues), had been doing a similar act longer, so his lawyer contacted young Kubelsky objecting to the similar names. This time, Benjamin changed his stage name for the last time to Jack Benny.

Notice To Die

True - When Arthur Zissen died in his Florida apartment in late September 2007, he failed to give the landlord 60 days advance notice he was going to die.

The manager at the Sun Harbour Yearly Residences sent the family a bill demanding rent for October, November, and December, and telling them Art forfeited his security deposit and last month's rent for failing to give 60 days notice.  It said it was "just following the letter of the lease."

The family took the case to court and won, but then the landlord appealed and the family had to wait for another decision from the judge in the appellate court. A $2,000 bill for court costs and lawyers fees of $17,000 was added.

Luckily, the family was awarded attorney fees in the first case and asked for attorney fees in the appeal. The entire estate was on hold until the case is resolved. Finally the landlord lost the appeal in 2008. Might be a good idea to check your lease or ask your landlord, so your estate doesn't have this problem when you die.

Quotable

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.

Name That Tune

Did you ever forget the name of a tune, or the words to a song, or you can't remember the artist. Midomi is a site that will help you. Sing the words and it will tell you the tune and artist.

Question

Did you ever stop to think that memes are just mini mor─ôs.

Tissue Dispenser







Here is a unique Kleenex dispenser.

Human Filters

Generally speaking, the key is sensory awareness. Humans have kind of evolved to fit into their environment by filtering out information they don't need. If you actually look at the amount of data coming in through all your senses, there's something like 100 million bits of information coming in every second through your visual system and another 10 million bits coming through your auditory system and another one million bits coming through your tactile system.

We are at any given time, absorbing hundreds of millions of bits of data per second through our senses. We can manage this, because our conscious stream is only aware of a very tiny fraction of that sensory input, maybe a few hundred bits per second. Most of our intelligence is really a filtering process, determining which of those bits are most relevant at any instant. Our sensory awareness is really much higher than we perceive. I knew that I knew more than I thought I knew.

Quotable

"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few are to be chewed and digested." - Sir Francis Bacon 

Bacon Cookies

Never thought of it until I read the quote above, but you can think of my books like bacon cookies, sweet and salty. Mmmmm!

Swiss Steak

Swiss steak, the bane of school cafeterias everywhere, has nothing to do with Switzerland. Instead, the term “Swiss steak” refers to the meat having gone through a process called “swissing” before being cooked.

Swissing, which also has applications for textiles, refers to a process of hammering, pounding, or rolling a material to soften it up. With Swiss steak, butchers take tough cuts of beef and pound them or roll them to make them tender and more palatable.