Feb 28, 2012

Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Before and After

Here are some stunning pictures of the incident in March 2011 and one year later. Amazing cleanup. Click on each picture for the after. LINK

How to Squish Beans

Are you having a bad day? Feeling frustrated? Use this site to squish some beans. LINK  Just click on the beans and watch. Now you will feel better.

What's in a Name Bisquick

Bisquick mix was reportedly invented in 1930 by a General Mills executive who, while on a journey by train, complimented the chef in the dining car on his fresh biscuits. The chef showed him how he pre-mixed shortening with the dry ingredients of flour, salt and baking powder and kept the mixture on ice in the train kitchen so he could prepare the biscuits very quickly.

When they mass-marketed the idea, General Mills replaced the shortening with hydrogenated oil so that the product wouldn't need to be refrigerated. At first they marketed it solely as a fast way to make biscuits, but soon, in an effort to increase sales, they started suggesting that consumers use it to make a variety of other foods, including pizza dough, pancakes, dumplings, cookies, and pies.

Top of the Morning to You

This phrase appears to not be original Irish, although some have said it has been Irish and out of use for hundreds of years. Hollywood keeps it alive, along with the response, "and the rest of the day to yourself."

It was used in Theodore Cyphon, a novel by George Walker, published in 1796. The protagonist is greeted not long after landing on the shore of Essex, "Halloo! you teney" cried one, "the top of the morning to you. Have you seen pass a tall chap, in a light blue coat, with striped trowsers."

Four Coffee Seed Facts

Coffee bean is not actually a bean, it is a seed.  Beans are always seeds, but seeds are not always beans.  A bean is just one kind of a seed.  Specifically, the bean is a name for seeds of the family Fabaceae, of which the coffee plant is not a member.
A coffee bean is actually the seed of the coffee plant, the pit inside of the coffee fruit.
Only one state produces coffee, Hawaii.
English chemist, George Constant Washington invented instant coffee.
Put used coffee grounds in houseplant soil to help the plants.

Feb 25, 2012

Steve Jobs Henry Ford

Phones started as all black.
Then they went crazy with color, shape, and size.

Where we are now.

It is difficult to stand out from the pack these days.
We have devolved into a pack of phone drones.
There is no difference in shape or style.
Steve Jobs has taken over as the new Henry Ford.

Next will we all be wearing black as the clothing color of choice?
Oops, women already are.
At least there is a variety of size and shape.

Cars started as all black.
Then they went crazy with color, shape, and chrome.
Then they began to all look alike, with color as the only differentiator.
Now they come in many sizes, shapes, and colors.

PCs started as all gray.
Then they went crazy with color, shape, and size.
Then they morphed into tablets, which all look alike.

Why have PCs and phones become clones?

It seems to me the last time we came out of a depression things changed.
I hope it happens again when we come out of this one.
It is time for a change.

Feb 24, 2012

Happy Friday

In matters of style swim with the current; in matters of principle stand like a rock.

I am standing firm on my conviction to have a swimmingly Happy Friday!

What's in a Name, Quilling

Most of us know what quilting is, but quilling is a bit different. Quilling, or paper filigree, is an art form using strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs.

The name originates from winding the paper around a quill to create a basic coil shape. The paper is glued at the tip and the coiled shapes are arranged to form flowers, leaves, and various ornamental patterns similar to ironwork.

During the Renaissance, French and Italian nuns and monks used quilling to decorate book covers and religious items. The paper most commonly used was strips of paper trimmed from the gilded edges of books. These gilded paper strips were then rolled to create the quilled shapes. Quilling can be as simple or as complex as your imagination allows. It is making a comeback and is great fun for children and adults.

How to Stump Someone

Stumping someone means ask someone a question they can’t answer. However, it actually refers to tree stumps.

Pioneers built their houses and barns out of logs and frequently swapped work with neighbors when clearing new ground. Some frontiersmen would brag about their ability to pull up big stumps, but it was not unusual for the boaster to suffer defeat with a stubborn stump. In other words, he was stumped.

Languages Fading Away

There are an estimated 6,500 languages in the world and half or more of them could cease to exist by 2100.

Languages are dying out around the globe through globalization, social change, and a shift in populations from rural areas to cities. Of the 6,500 languages estimated to be still in use, only 11 are spoken by half the world’s population, and 95 percent of the languages are spoken by less than five percent of the global population.


Grawlix is the term for a string of typographical symbols, especially "@#$%&!", used to represent an obscenity or swearword. Also, a series of violence related images in a speech bubble to represent obscenity or swearwords. It was likely coined by cartoonist Mort Walker in the 1960s. He penned Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois comic strips.

Bacon Peanut Butter Cups

 Delicious Milk Chocolate, Creamy All Natural Peanut Butter, Yummy Bacon are combined in these.

Giant peanut butter cups are filled with all natural peanut butter and yummy Applewood smoked bacon with no nitrates or nitrites and no preservatives. Each cup is 4" across and weighs 6 oz. They can be ordered on the web at LINK.

Feb 21, 2012

Origin of Tea Bags

In 1904, tea bags were invented accidentally. The inventor was a tea merchant named Thomas Sullivan. He decided that it was cheaper to send small samples to prospective customers in silk bags, rather than boxes. The recipients mistakenly believed they were meant to be dunked and Sullivan was overrun with orders for his tea bags.

Debunking the Aluminum Foil Myth

The old myth was that aluminum foil and cookware is linked to Alzheimer's Disease. It has been around since the 1980s

This myth has its roots in research from the 1960s and 1970s that showed elevated levels of aluminum in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. For years people were warned off of aluminum pots and pans, and even aluminum foil to store food.

Since those studies a great deal of research has been done into what possible connections aluminum may have with Alzheimer's Disease, and failed to show any substantive link or connection between aluminum and risk for Alzheimer's Disease.

Most experts now believe any aluminum absorbed by the body is processed by the kidneys, urinated out, and it does not pose a threat for Alzheimer's Disease.

China and USA Facts

China produced 19.8 percent of all the goods consumed in the world last year while the United States only produced 19.4 percent.

The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.

World Newspapers

Here is a site that you can go to and choose the paper from your hometown and read it as if you had it delivered. LINK  Was at the site on Feb 16 and found that the 'Top Ten' papers each had a picture and article about the new basketball favorite Jeremy Lin. Not surprising, he even made it to the front page of the Daily News in Taipei and Chongging Times in China.

If you read six or eight papers, you will be amazed that many articles are almost word-for-word, regardless of city or state as they are mostly taken from the top three news sources. Too bad we are losing independent thoughts from the media. Luckily the Internet, with all its diversity has stepped in to fill the void.

Reminder Phone Calls

Is it me or is this just strange? Here is a site that you can use to type in a message and have it call you at some specific time to remind you with the message. There is one free try, then there is a charge by the minute. LINK

Feb 17, 2012

Happy Friday

Talent is God-given, be humble.
Fame is man-given, be grateful.
Conceit is self-given, beware.

I am humble and grateful to be given another Happy Friday!

Get Off The Dime

“Get off the dime” dates back to the days of dance halls and “taxi dancers,” women employed by the halls to dance with strangers, usually for ten cents per dance (a grim occupation immortalized in the 1930 Rodgers and Hart song “Ten Cents a Dance”). A contemporary account, published in 1925, explains the phrase: “Sometimes a … [dancing] couple would … scarcely move from one spot. Then the floor manager would cry ‘Git off dat dime!’” Similarly, “dancing on the dime” meant to dance very closely with very little movement, behavior that might well attract the attention of the Vice Squad and get the hall closed. Thus “get off the dime” referred both to the the customer as the “dime” he had paid and to the small spot (“dime”) on the floor where the couple seemed frozen.

Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks were invented by Chemist William A. Mitchell, who worked for General Foods.  He also invented Tang, Cool Whip, quick-setting Jell-O, a tapioca substitute, and powdered egg whites, among other things. He received over 70 patents in his lifetime.

Relieve Eye Strain

Near-point stress can be caused by staring at your computer screen for too long. Here is a simple solution that is cost free. Every few hours close your eyes, tense your body, take a deep breath, and, after a few seconds, release your breath and muscles at the same time. Tightening and releasing muscles such as the biceps and glutes can trick involuntary muscles, like the eyes into relaxing as well.

Patron Saint

St Anthony The Great, also referred to as 'the Abbott' was an Egyptian Christian in the pre-Islamic period, who lived in the desert as an anchorite (religious hermit) for part of his life.

His relationship with pigs and patronage of swineherds stems from his work to treat skin diseases. Skin diseases were sometimes treated with applications of pork fat, which reduced inflammation and itching.

Swineherds took Anthony as their patron, and he thus became the patron saint of charcutiers (pork butchers) and also the patron saint of bacon. St Anthony is normally portrayed in pictures with a pig nearby.

What's in a Name, Listerine

Listerine was invented 133 years ago, first as a surgical antiseptic, but also as a cure for gonorrhea. An article from 1888 recommends Listerine “for sweaty feet and soft corns, developing between the toes.”

During the next century, it was marketed as a refreshing additive to cigarettes, a cure for the common cold, and as a dandruff treatment. In the 1920s the powerful, germ-killing liquid finally landed on its most lucrative use as a cure for bad breath.

Feb 14, 2012

Calorie Cutter

You can eat two Egg McMuffins from McDonald's for fewer calories and fat than a bagel with two tablespoons of cream cheese.

Ice Cream is Good For You

Ice-cream is a low GI (glycemic-index) food. This means that it is a slow sugar release food that keeps you satisfied for a longer period of time than a high GI food. For that reason, you are less likely to binge after eating ice-cream.

Nutrients in ice-cream are biotin, iodine, potassium, selenium, vitamins a, b12, D, and K. 75 grams of Ben and Jerry’s Cookies and Cream ice-cream contains only 114 calories compared to a slice of cheesecake with 511 calories.

Party Tip

Use a colander in your ice bucket or a large bowl to put ice in. The water will drop out the bottom and your guests can get at the ice without the mess.

Hiccup Cure

Rub an ice cube on your Adam's apple for a minute. The coldness interrupts the reflex arc from your brain to your diaphragm that causes hiccups.

Food Myth Debunked

The long held myth that milk is the best thing for healthy bones is not true. Many confuse "dairy" with "calcium," and assume they are the same thing. Dairy products contain calcium, but so do dark-leafy greens. Milk is fortified with vitamin D, but bone health goes beyond calcium and vitamin D.

Vitamin K is important for bone health (dark leafy greens have it, dairy doesn't). Magnesium, also missing in dairy products, plays an important role in bone health.

Milk isn't the only, or even the best, source of calcium. If you're looking for good sources of calcium and Vitamin D, consider dark greens, mustard greens, kale, and bok choy instead of milk. Toss in some almonds, cashews, and potatoes for magnesium.

Feb 10, 2012

Happy Friday

You can't go back and make a new beginning, but can begin now to make a new ending.

I am beginning to think I will end this week with a Happy Friday!

What's in a Name, TWAIN

TWAIN is a standard for communication between imaging devices (usually scanners) and computers. Because it’s always written in upper case, it’s often assumed that TWAIN is an acronym – with the “AIN” coming from 'acquired image network'.

It doesn’t. According to the twain.org website, the word “twain” was chosen from Kipling’s the Ballad of East and West, which coined the phrase “…and never the twain shall meet…” to symbolize how hard it was to connect a scanner to a computer. It was changed to upper case to make it more distinctive.

The above TWAIN has no relation to Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), whose pseudonym was taken from the steamboat practice of calling out the depth of the water to make sure it was deep enough for the boat to safely pass. Mark twain meant the depth of the water to be two fathoms. A fathom is about 6 feet. Twain is an archaic word for two.

Bacon Queen 2012

The Feb. 18 Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival is already sold out. Ten women are still competing for the title of Bacon Queen 2012 and will move on to the live Bacon Queen pageant, Feb. 16 at Johnny’s Hall of Fame, Des Moines. The judges will choose and crown the 2012 Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival Bacon Queen.

Might not sound like much, but for a state that raises 30 million pigs a year, pork is a big deal. Des Moines also hosts the annual international World Pork Expo in June.

Bacon Shake

It seems fitting after discussing the Bacon Queen to add this new menu item for Jack in the Box. It is the Bacon Milkshake. The food chain felt the need to create some bacon buzz. It's all part of a new ad campaign that asks: If you like bacon so much, why don't you marry it?

Alas, Jack sold us out, it's just a bacon flavored syrup added to a shake. Word from reporters is that the real taste is Ugh! Oh, well, give them credit for trying to get on the bacon bandwagon. Too bad it doesn't pass the sniff test.

Artificial Singing Star

Singer Aimi Eguchi is Japan's latest artificial star. She is a member of the Japanese pop band AKB 48. Eguchi's character is entirely computer generated, using features from six other band members. She is not the first, but the second computer generated singer in Japan.

Hatsune Miku, a computer generated cartoon, is the first. Miku regularly sells out "live" concerts featuring 3-D holographic images of the singer performing on stage. The statement to, 'not believe everything you see' is becoming more real every day.

Boy Scouts

In February 1910 William D. Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on this day in 1910. Scouts were originated by Englishman, Sir Robert S.S. Baden-Powell.

Boyce was visiting England and one foggy day in London town, he lost his way. A young boy guided him, but refused any monetary reward. A surprised Mr. Boyce asked why. The boy replied that he was a Scout and Scouts did not accept a reward for doing a good turn. This gesture of good will so inspired Boyce that he searched out Baden-Powell to learn more about the British Scouts. Upon his return to the United States, he formed the Boy Scouts of America.

Feb 7, 2012

3D Printing First

Have written before how 3D printing is becoming more and more mainstream, but the following is amazing.

A 83-year-old female patient had developed a chronic bone infection and doctors believed reconstructive surgery would have been risky because of her age and so opted for the new technology.

A transplant jaw made by 3D printer claimed as first time a 3D printed object has been used in an operation. The implant was made out of titanium powder - heated and fused together by a laser, one layer at a time. Once completed, the part was given a bioceramic coating.

The lower jaw was fitted to the woman's face June 2011 in the Netherlands. Shortly after waking up from the anesthetics the patient spoke a few words, and the day after was able to swallow again. She went home after only four days.

Dental Robot

Robots have come a long way in the past few years and it seems like their usefulness is growing every month. Here is a LINK which shows video of a new lifelike dental robot, used to teach dental students.

Technology is useful in so many ways. Better to let those students make their first mistakes on a robot, before getting into real mouths.

World's Biggest Happy Meal

Where else but in Texas could you find the world's biggest anything. Dallas is home to this one.

The McDonald's PlayPlace is in the box, and the building is adorned with gigantic hamburgers, French fries, Cokes, and a Ronald McDonald. The exterior is the only Happy Meal-shaped McDonald’s in the world. The interior has Austrian crystal chandeliers, Ralph Lauren wallpaper, granite floors, and mahogany booths. It is at 13105 Montfort Drive, Dallas.

Hot Pepper Pain Removal

Capsaicin, the thing that makes peppers hot, is fat soluble and thus water does not counter the burning sensation. If it is cold water it will temporarily overpower the capsaicin’s effect on the nerve receptors and tell your brain you are feeling a cold sensation, but once the cold water is swallowed the heat will come back.

Dairy products work best to counteract capsaicin because they contain a protein called casein which binds to the capsaicin, hindering its ability to bind to your nerve receptors.

Drinking milk before or while eating the peppers will help reduce irritation in your intestines for the same reason it helps in your mouth. It could save you from that awful day after burn.

Feb 3, 2012

Happy Friday

We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do.

What absolutely does it for me is having a Happy Friday!

Results of Groundhog Day 2012

It is official.  Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his lair to see his shadow yesterday. Thus we can expect six more weeks of winter.

The groundhog is also called a "woodchuck" and its scientific name is Marmota monax. Marmots are ground squirrels, living in burrows rather than trees. The marmots are related to tree squirrels, and all these animals are classed as rodents. A groundhog is one of the largest varieties of marmot and can weigh over 30 pounds just before going into hibernation.

Births usually occur during May. After four weeks, their eyes open and they begin to explore the outdoors. By August, they establish new burrows.

By the middle of October most groundhogs are hibernating and normally hibernate until about March. They can live up to about six years in the wild. Of course Punxsutawney Phil has been around since 1887.

W.C. Fields

February 3, 1880, William Claude Dukenfield was born. He became one of the most celebrated comics and actors in the US, starting his career as a vaudeville juggler, then spending several decades on the musical stage before turning to films.

W.C. Fields, his stage name, made his first short, Pool Sharks, in 1915. After silent movies, he performed in many comedy classics like, My Little Chickadee with Mae West (1940), The Bank Dick (1940) and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941).

W.C.’s famous lines became subject matter for nightclub impersonators and comedians. One of the most-repeated quotes was originally directed at the child-actor, Baby LeRoy, Fields’ on-screen nemesis: “Go away, kid, you bother me.” The one-liner that demonstrated Fields’ jaundiced humor. His most-quoted, was fired at a party hostess who offered him a glass of water. “Never touch the stuff; fish **** in it,” was his response. Other W.C. Fields witticisms: “Doctors say don’t worry about your heart, it will last as long as you live.”, “Californians talk so much about their climate, it makes their weather vane.” “I am very humble and proud of it.”, “It was a woman who drove me to drink and I never even thanked her.”

He requested that his headstone read, “All things considered, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.” Ah, Yes!

German Sex Meters

The German city of Bonn is calling its policy of levying a surcharge on streetwalking prostitutes via curb-side meters a success that would continue.

The municipal government said a "sex tax" covering levies on sauna clubs, "erotic centers" and automated pay stations similar to parking meters that were rolled out in August 2011 had brought in around $326,000 last year.

The former West German capital became the first city in Germany to introduce the meters for sex workers as a means of extending a general tax on prostitution beyond brothels to the streets of Bonn.

The meters were installed in an industrial area near the center of town used by prostitutes to solicit clients, with each sex worker paying €6 per night worked, regardless of how many customers they have. Those repeatedly caught without a ticket can be fined.

More Salt Less Bacon

I think not. Some people are beginning to say that salt is the new bacon. However, bacon is not so hoidy toity. Bacon lovers love bacon and do not need fancy names and additional flavors to make it better. The price of bacon has gone up over twenty percent in the past three years, but that is nothing compared to the price of specialty salts.

New salt types include Himalayan or alder-smoked and many more. Salt is in chocolate, on caramels, and even chocolate covered bacon.

SaltWorks sells Black Hawaiian sea salt, Bolivian Rose salt, Merlot-infused crystals, and Yakima apple wood smoked sea salt. It even has salt and pepper tastings. Some specialty salts can cost $8 per ounce, or $128 per pound. Bacon salt is much cheaper.

How Long is a Smoot

The smoot is a unit of length, defined as the height of Oliver R. Smoot, who became the president of the ISO. The unit is used to measure the length of the Harvard Bridge. In 1958 when Smoot was a Lambda Chi Alpha pledge at MIT (class of 1962), the bridge was measured to be 364.4 smoots, plus or minus one ear, using Smoot's body as a ruler. Oliver was 5 feet, 7 inches at that time. Google Earth and Google Calculator include the smoot as a unit of measurement. You have just been smitten by a smoot fact.