Jun 29, 2012

Happy Friday

The first ingredient in conversation is truth, the next good sense, the third good humor, and the fourth wit.

It is true that I have the sense to find the humor in having a Happy Friday!

Four Healing Spices

Cinnamon significantly decreased the blood sugar in people who had type II diabetes and ate a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon a day. This powerful bark decreases cholesterol, keeps your teeth and gums healthy, improves digestion and alleviates the congestion that comes from colds and allergies. It is also anti-inflammatory and improves blood circulation. All that and it tastes good.

Turmeric is perhaps a less well-known spice, unless you love Indian food and curry. This spice is bright orange and comes from the root of a plant in the ginger family. It is a powerful antioxidant (just as strong as vitamins C and E) and works as an anti-inflammatory agent. In fact, it can be drunk in the form of golden milk to reduce inflammation and joint pain, or put on a swollen area as a poultice. People with liver problems or hepatitis also drink turmeric or take turmeric capsules because this spice increases the production of bile in the liver and protects it from toxins.

Basil is not only delicious on pizza or ground up in pesto, but also boosts the cardiovascular system. People who have colds or asthma drink basil tea to make breathing easier and to invigorate the lungs. Basil also has a calming effect on the nerves, relieves headaches, brings down fevers, and promotes healing from insect bites and skin infections.

Oregano has always been known to help relieve bad breath. It is also great against swollen throats, coughing, insomnia and headaches. This herb is also a powerful antioxidant. Oregano has “42 times more antioxidants than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges, and four times more than blueberries.”

Not often the we find so many good tasting things that are actually good for us.

German Chocolate Cake Isn't

German chocolate cake is actually named for Sam German, the American who invented a dark baking chocolate when he worked for the American Baker's Chocolate Company in 1852.

However, Germany has been instrumental in the advancement of many desserts, with contributions that include lebkuchen or spicy gingerbread, apple strudel, stollen, which is similar to fruitcake, and of course, the Berliner, which we call the jelly doughnut. Christmas has many more German specialties, not the least of which are rum ball cookies.

CN Tower Facts

Back in June 1976 this tower solved a few problems for the people of Toronto, Canada. They had been having problems with their TV and radio reception. Interference from the many skyscrapers in the city were causing TV shows to be superimposed on top of each other.

To remedy the situation, the Canadian National Railway Company was commissioned to build an antenna that would tower over every building ever built. The antenna design turned into a tourist attraction design by John Andrews Architects and Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden Architects.

63 million dollars and 1,537 people were needed to complete the tallest free standing structure and building in the world (until 2007). The CN (Canadian National) Tower, including the 335 foot, steel broadcasting antenna, is 1,815 feet, 5 inches tall. At 1,465 feet, you can stand on the public observation Space Deck.

You can take one of six elevators to the Sky Pod level at a speed of 15 miles per hour, or you could climb the 1769 steps up the tower. There is also dining in the world’s highest and largest revolving restaurant, aptly named "360". I have been up there and the views are magnificent.

Sixteen Toronto TV and FM radio stations broadcast their signals from the antenna and all over Southern Ontario, Canada.

What's in a Name, Sooner

The name refers to an Oklahoma resident and also the OU football team. Many settlers entered Oklahoma before the legal time for settlement in April 1889, thereby beating out law-abiding folks who followed the rules and moved in on time. Sooner came to mean both an Oklahoman and anyone who begins too soon.

Origin of Birthstones

In the Bible, when Moses went to Egypt, his brother Aaron stayed behind in their birth town in Egypt's far east. When Moses asked the King of Egypt to set his people free, it was Aaron who sold the idea to their kinsfolk.

Aaron became a high priest. His ceremonial breastplate held four rows of three stones each. Exodus 28:17-20 states, "There were twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes." These 12 stones also symbolized the 12 months of the year and the 12 signs of the zodiac.

Biblical scholars have a difficult time translating exactly what these stones are. The King James Bible lists the stones as: (Row 1) sardius, topaz, carbuncle; (Row 2) emerald, sapphire, diamond; (Row 3) ligure, agate, amethyst; (Row 4) beryl, onyx, jasper. The New American Standard Bible lists them as: (Row 1) ruby, topaz, emerald; (Row 2) turquoise, sapphire, diamond; (Row 3) jacinth, agate, amethyst; (Row 4) beryl, onyx, jasper.

The gems have changed a few times and different countries use different stones. Below is the US version for 2012.

It was in 15th-century Poland that wearing these birthstones gained popularity. In contrast to today's custom of wearing your birthstone throughout the year, the early proponents owned a full set of 12 and wore each month's stone, regardless of birthday. The Gemological Institute of America says the custom began in Germany in the 1560s.

Amazon and Texas Taxes

July 1, 2012 Amazon will be collecting Texas state tax on items purchased online. If you live in Texas and are thinking of buying something soon, buy it before July 1 to save a few dollars on taxes. BTW, while you are there this might be the time to pick up a few of my books.

Most Expensive Beer in the World

Nail Brewing’s Antarctic Nail Ale
Price: $800-$1815/500ml This high priced wonder beer was concocted by Nail Brewing in Perth, Australia. All profits go to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the Whale Wars people. 

The Sea Shepherds landed a helicopter on an Antarctic iceberg, dug up some ice, melted it in Tasmania, and flew it to Perth for brewing. Only 30 bottles were made, and the first bottle sold for $800 at auction.

Another extremely expensive beer is made by Pabst. Hard to imagine, but at $44 per bottle, Chinese Pabst Blue Ribbon costs about 40 times more than what’s sold in the US.

PBR 1844 is made from German caramel malts, is aged in uncharred American whiskey barrels, and comes in a fancy glass bottle. Master brewer Alan Kornhauser designed the ale to compete with higher end wines and brandies. It is not sold outside of China.

Marilyn Monroe Thank you Note

For some reason, this tickled me.

Belfast Sparkling Cider

This drink found in many Chinese restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, dates back to the Gold Rush of 1849. According to the story, gold prospectors and sailors would frequent San Francisco’s bar scene in search of a good time.

The sailors treated the bar girls to what they thought was French champagne, but which was actually Belfast Sparkling Cider, a lightly sweetened drink introduced to the region by Irish refugees who immigrated to the US during the potato famine.

Ship captains apparently paid the bar girls to play along and watched their sailors become intoxicated to the point that it wasn’t a struggle to get them back to sea.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, it can be found in almost every large Chinese restaurant in San Francisco and to retailers throughout Chinatown. Belfast is especially popular in the month of the Chinese New Year.

Secret Camera Symbol

Most cameras have this strange symbol imprinted somewhere on the case. If you read the camera's manual, you know what it is but if you didn't, that circle with a line drawn through it marks exactly where the sensor of the camera is located.

It is called the 'film plane mark' and is helpful for people who take macro shots. Knowing exactly where the sensor plane (or film plane or focal plane) is inside the camera's body let's photographers know the exact distance between their subject and the film plane.

Jun 22, 2012

Happy Friday

To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.

I have made mistakes and stumbled along the way, but today I am laughing, because it is a Happy Friday!

How Many Kinds of Beer

Here is a great poster of the many kinds of beer and how they relate to each other. You will need to expand it to see the detail. Very interesting. LINK

Useless Inventions

Hot dog and banana slicers.

Seven Un-American Brands

Firestone tires was bought out in 1988 by Bridgestone, a Japanese rubber conglomerate based in Tokyo.

soap was bought in 2004 by by Henkel KGaA, of Germany.

Shell Oil
Company is the US-based affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell from Netherlands.

Church's Chicken
was sold in 2004 Arcapita of Bahrain (it removed bacon from its menu due to Sharia law).

Holiday Inn
is now owned by British InterContinental Hotels Group PLC.

The Chrysler building in New York is now owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Council.

is now owned by Belgian company InBev.

Also, GM, Walmart, Symantec, Kodak (what's left of it), and McDonald's now get the majority of sales outside of the US.
In fact, 53.6% of total sales from all the S&P companies were made outside of the US.

What's in a Name, BVD

This men’s underwear maker was originally founded by a group of New Yorkers named Bradley, Voorhees, and Day to make women’s bustles. Eventually the trio branched out into knitted union suits for men, and their wares became so popular that “BVDs” has become a generic term for any underwear.

Stuffed Shirt

Someone who is pompous and conceited is called a ‘stuffed shirt’. Their description goes back to American women’s fashion in the early 1900’s. At that time, women wore ‘shirtwaists’. These were dresses or blouses tailored like shirts.

As dummies were not yet in existence, stores displayed the garments in their show windows stuffed with tissue paper. They may have looked good from afar, but on closer inspection they proved to be flimsy, without substance.

Spuds, Potatoes, and Fries

Among other definitions, a “spud” is a “sharp, narrow spade” used to dig up large rooted plants. Around the mid-19th century (first documented reference in 1845 in New Zealand), this implement began lending its name to the things it was often used to dig up, potatoes. This caught on throughout the English speaking world and this slang term for a potato is still common today.

The word “potato” comes from the Haitian word “batata”, which was their name for a sweet potato. Potatoes were grown about 2000 years ago in South America. This later came to Spanish as “patata” and eventually into English as “potato”. Potatoes were first introduced to Europe through the Spanish.

Exactly who introduced French fries to the world isn’t entirely known. Among the various theories, historical accounts indicate that the Belgians were possibly frying up thin strips of potatoes during the late 17th century. It was very common for the people to fry up small fish as a staple for their meals. However, when the rivers froze up thick enough, it was difficult to get fish. Instead of frying up fish in these times, they would cut up potatoes in long thin slices, and fry them up as they did the fish. Today, the Belgians still eat more French fries or Frites than any country in Europe.

The French originally thought potatoes caused various diseases. In fact, in 1748, the French Parliament even banned cultivation of potatoes as they were convinced potatoes caused leprosy. However, while in prison in Prussia, Antoine-Augustine Parmentier was forced to cultivate and eat potatoes and found the French notions about the potato weren’t true.

The French appeared to be the ones that spread fries to America and Britain and it, in turn, was the Americans, through fast food chains, that eventually popularly introduced them to the rest of the non-European world as 'French fries'. Because of this spread by American fast food chains, in many parts of the non-European world, 'French fries' are more often than not known as 'American fries'.

Jun 19, 2012

Statler Brothers Are Not

Two of the group are brothers, but their name is DeWitt. The other two are not brothers. Don and Harold Reid, along with Phil Balsley and Lew DeWitt make up the group called the Statler Brothers.

Originally, they called themselves the Kingsmen, until the song "Louie, Louie" by another group called The Kingsmen hit the charts. They decided to call themselves The Statler Brothers, borrowed from a brand of tissue paper.

Lew DeWitt wrote "Flowers On The Wall" one of their biggest hits. LINK

New PLAN for Your Phone

The federal government wants to implement a centralized system of control over all communications, with last year’s announcement that all new cell phones will be required to comply with the PLAN program (Personal Localized Alerting Network), which will broadcast emergency alert messages directly to all Americans’ cell phones.

Although users can opt out of receiving the alerts from FEMA and the Amber Alert program, messages direct from the president will be mandatory.

The thought of cellphone users being forcibly targeted with text messages from Barack Obama during the election season has obviously stoked concerns that the emergency alert system could be exploited for political reasons.

The system went live in the New York and Washington Metro areas last December 2011, caused panic in New Jersey after Verizon customers received text messages warning them that a “civil emergency” was in progress and to take shelter. This prompted alarmed citizens to flood 911 lines with anxious calls.

Verizon Wireless later apologized to its customers for causing alarm, admitting that the confusion was caused by a “test” of the PLAN emergency alert system.

The emergency alerts are designed to be incorporated into the Intellistreets system which turns all street lights into surveillance hubs that can record conversations and broadcast messages.

For the first time ever the government will have a direct line to millions of Americans who use cell phones and be able to transmit whatever messages it decides. Between this and the GPS required on all cell phones, we no longer need worry about being alone.

Jun 15, 2012

Happy Friday

The dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.

Wednesday I had a dream and Thursday I had hope and today is really a Happy Friday!

Blue Raspberry

Do you know why some candy makers color their concoctions? Cherry, strawberry, raspberry and watermelon all lend themselves to the color red, and if any two of those flavors were in the same pack, they had to be distinguishable by color.

At first, the problem was solved by making cherry and strawberry slightly different shades of red. Watermelon pops were often made a lighter pink-red, and raspberry ones a dark wine-red. Scientists soon found out, though, that the most inexpensive and widely available dye for this deep red, Amaranth, or Red No. 2, provoked severe reactions, and was deemed a possible carcinogen and banned by the FDA.

The ice pop folks had access to blue dye, but no flavors that needed it. It was just an extra color sitting around, so they started to marry the flavor of  blue raspberry, with the bright blue synthetic food coloring Brilliant Blue, or Blue No. 1).

Blue raspberry flavor is a now common flavoring for candy, snack foods, sweet syrups and soft drinks. It is more often used in the United States and originates from Rubus leucodermis, or Blue Raspberry for the blue-black color of its fruit. This species is also related to the black raspberry. Of course, all of this has nothing to do with giving someone the raspberries, which term, by the way, is used over much of the globe or a Bronx cheer as many in the US call it.

Bacon Maple Coffee

Now you can get all your morning goodness with your cup of coffee and without getting out the frying pan.

Bacon Olive Oil

If bacon coffee is not enough, how about some bacon flavored olive oil. It is vegan, but has the rich smoky flavor. great for cooking or dunking.

Is it Real

Here is an interesting set of pictures of mockups, practice drills, lifelike works of art, simulators, puppets, robots, models, prototypes, automatons, and more. All for your viewing pleasure. LINK I especially like the robot built to pull a rickshaw.

Jun 12, 2012

What's in a Name, Moxie

This word takes its name from a soft drink, rather than the other way. The word is not used as much these days. It means 'the ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage'.

The soft drink was invented by Dr. Augustin Thompson, a Maine native and Civil War veteran who worked in Lowell, MA. He patented a nostrum called Moxie Nerve Food in 1876. He eventually reformulated his drink and shortened the name to Moxie, in 1884.

An aggressive marketing campaign helped the brand grow into one of the first mass-produced soft drinks in the United States. One early advertisement for the drink read, “It nourishes the nervous system, cools the blood, tones up the stomach, and causes healthful, restful sleep. The family who orders a case from their grocer feels better and happier; the man who buys it in town at the druggists by the glass can accomplish more work.”

Maine declared Moxie its state soft drink in 2005 and the beverage is celebrated with a festival in Lisbon Falls, ME, every year.

Water Powered Clock

Yes, you can buy an eco friendly water clock. It is cheaper on Amazon than on clock site. Details here. LINK

New Internet

June 6 marked the beginning of the new internet. The good news it that it happened with little fanfare and almost no one noticed.

The old Internet is almost out of room. The new Internet is vastly bigger. It's ready for trillions and trillions more computers, devices, web sites, etc.

In order to be on the Internet, a device or Web site needs an address. The old Internet had about 4.3 billion IP (Internet protocol) addresses. The original inventors never thought they would run out of numbers, but today, there are more mobile phones in use than that. The new Internet allows for about 40 trillion trillion trillion (or, 340,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000) addresses.

This new Internet is known as Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) and the old Internet is IPv4. (IPv5 was scrapped).

Here's an example of what an old Internet address looked like: Here is an example of a new IPv6 address: 2001:0db8: 85a3:0000:0000: 8a2e:0370:7334.

Network engineers have been working on this for years and you shouldn't notice anything different as they completely switch everything from the old Internet to the new Internet, which will take a couple of years.

If you are going to sign up for a new ISP (service provider) or buy a new home router or launch a new Web-based business, make sure it works with IPv6. Even though the new Internet is totally turned on, not every network provider has become IPv6 compliant. Many businesses have been spending millions of dollars and years to upgrade their networks.

Over time, the new Internet will have all kinds of devices (things we can't even imagine) connected to the Internet, like every appliance in your home, medical sensors, and much more.

Glazed Donut Vodka

 Here is one that needs to be on your shelf next to the bacon vodka. The trend of strange vodka flavors continues with Glazed Donut Vodka. Created by a company that has other sweet-flavored vodkas. Other 360 flavors include double chocolate, Bing cherry, and cola — it beats the real thing by over 150 calories.

Jun 8, 2012

Happy Friday

To be content with little is difficult; to be content with much, impossible.
It is never impossible to be perfectly content with a Happy Friday!

Dog Days of Summer

The earliest reference to some aspect of this expression goes all the way back to the Ancient Egyptians. They noted that the heliacal rising of the star Sirius heralded the hottest part of the summer. The star’s hieroglyph is a dog. Sirius would appear in Egypt just before the season where the Nile typically floods. So it is thought the star’s hieroglyphic symbol being a dog symbolized a “watchdog”.

It is the brightest star in what is now known as the Canis Major (Latin for Greater Dog) constellation. It’s rising marked the start of the hottest part of the year, which then became the 'Dog Days'.

The Roman’s and Greeks had expressions for Dog Days. They both believed that, when Sirius rose around the same time as the Sun, this contributed to that time of year becoming hotter. As such, they would often make sacrifices to Sirius, including sacrificing dogs, to appease Sirius with the hope that this would result in a mild summer and would protect their crops from scorching. Seems to me that offering dead dogs to a dog might not please him as much as they thought.

Popular Science Augments Reality

This month's issue of Popular Science will be the first monthly U.S. consumer magazine to bring an editorial feature to life by way of a new augmented reality technology from Aurasma that unites the physical and virtual worlds to deliver a unique and interactive experience for readers. You can hold your phone up to the printed page and it will show a video of someone talking about the article to provide more background info. Here is a LINK that shows how it works. Another great example of where art meets science.

Daimler and Benz History

Long before there was Daimler Benz and Mercedes, there were two car companies. At the same time that Karl Benz was developing his three-wheeler in Mannheim, Germany, in the 1880s, Gottlieb Daimler was creating the world's first four-wheeled automobile with an internal combustion engine in Stuttgart, 75 miles away.

Incidentally, Benz' wife, Bertha used her dowry to pay off his debts and keep him in business. She also undertook the world’s first long-distance car journey, and is acknowledged as the first lady motorist in history.

Daimler received his patent for a "vehicle with gas or petroleum drive machine" in 1885. Benz built three gas engine models between 1885 and 1887, and received the patent for his design in 1886.

In the United States at the time, cars powered by steam, gasoline, and electricity were all proliferating on the roadways.

In April 1900, Emil Jellinek, an Austrian businessman made an agreement with DMG (Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, or Daimler Motor Company) to buy and resell its cars. He decided to use his young daughter's name, Mercedes, as a product name. Jellinek ordered 36 vehicles at a total price of 550,000 marks, equivalent to over 2 million dollars today. A few weeks later, he placed a new order for another 36 vehicles.

This first ‘Mercedes’ was developed by Wilhelm Maybach, the chief engineer at DMG, and it is regarded today as the first modern automobile.

After various iterations, in November 1921, DMG applied for patents for a three-dimensional three-pointed star enclosed in a circle and it became a registered trademark in August 1923. Daimler and Benz merged in 1926.  Now you know how all the names and pieces fit together.

Finding Stuff

When you are reading a long page and just looking for a name, you can hold down the CTRL key and hit the letter F. A box will open on the bottom of the screen and you can begin typing the word. It will find and highlight that word on the page. This also works in Microsoft Word documents. If the word is not found, the box will turn pink to let you the word is not on the page.

What's in a Name, Bloomers

Amelia Jenks Bloomer was born in 1818. She was a women’s rights advocate, social reformer and temperance advocate. She married Dexter Bloomer, who encouraged her to write for his newspaper. Later she wrote for her own periodical about women's rights.

Among other things, she worked for more sensible dress for women and recommended what was called the Bloomer Costume in 1849. Bloomer believed that “pantalettes” were appropriate clothing for women. These were baggy pants that narrowed at the ankles and were meant to be worn under dresses. Bloomer advocated them because they both preserved a woman’s decency and  allowed her to participate in more activities without having to worry about indecency. That is why bloomer panties were named after her. Elizabeth Smith Miller introduced the costume, but it was Amelia that gave bloomers the name we still use today.

Later she established churches, helped pass suffrage legislation, and she even founded the Soldier’s Age Society. In 1871, she became the president of the Iowa Women Suffrage Society and helped pass a law that put an end to the distinction between male and female property rights. She petitioned congress to either end her taxation or end the “political disabilities” that did not allow her an active role in the government.

Jun 5, 2012

Boiling Tips

Here is an easy way to remember what to put in boiling water vs. room temperature water. Whatever grows below ground, like potatoes, should be placed in room-temperature water and brought to a boil. Whatever is grown above ground, like Brussels sprouts, should be placed in boiling water and then cooked until done.

Toilet Tales

In 2009, cosmonaut Gennady Padalka complained to a Russian newspaper that he wasn't allowed to use the bathroom on the American side of the Space Station.

As it turned out, Padalka actually blamed the closed bathroom door on the Russian government, which had started charging NASA for resources used by American astronauts in 2003.

The United States reciprocated by asking the Russians to keep out of its facilities, including the toilet, which NASA paid $250 million to develop. Padalka told the newspaper that the bathroom shutout was having a real effect on his cosmonauts' morale.

Castle Stairs Facts

Castles were always built with a spiraling staircase that turned clockwise. This design served a practical purpose, because incoming bad guys would ascend the stairs and have a huge disadvantage with their sword arm. Since most people are right-handed, the advantage was to the castle occupants descending the stairs with their sword-arm free to attack.


Last time I checked, there were 6,714 earthquakes during the past 30 days. There were 189 over 2.5 magnitude in the past week. Here is a site to keep on your favorites list for when you want some details. It has an interactive map along with useful info. LINK

Jun 1, 2012

Happy Friday

The conqueror is regarded with awe, the wise man commands esteem, but it is the kind who wins our affections.

I hold them in esteem and regard with awe the kind people who always have a Happy Friday!

Bacon is Gluten Free

National Basketball Association

The top-payed player in the first year of the NBA was the Detroit Falcon's Tom King who made $16,500. He managed this salary by not only playing for the team (salary $8,000 plus a $500 signing bonus) but also by convincing the team owner to hire him to be the publicity manager and business director for which he was paid an additional $8,000. Photos exist of King, still in his uniform with a typewriter on the bleachers, hammering out a press release after a game.

Chuck Conners, best known as 'The Rifleman', played for the Boston Celtics in the first year of the NBA.

The silhouette on the NBA logo is Jerry West. He is also the silhouette for the Mountaineer which stands outside the Mountainlair (student center) at West Virginia University.

Pied Piper

Below is an excerpt from the famous Grimm brothers version of the very famous tale of the Pied Piper in which the small German town of Hamelin loses all of its children to the Piper when the mayor refuses to pay him for ridding the town of rats.

“The long procession of children soon left the town and made its way through the wood and across the forest till it reached the foot of a huge mountain. When the piper came to the dark rock, he played his pipe even louder still and a great door creaked open. Beyond lay a cave. In trooped the children behind the pied piper, and when the last child had gone into the darkness, the door creaked shut.”

Here is a quote from the wall of the Piper’s House in Hamelin today: “In the year of 1284, on the day of Saints John and Paul, the 26th of June, 130 child­ren born in Hamelin were seduced by a piper, dressed in all kinds of colors, and lost at the calvary near the koppen.”

The story is largely true, with some exaggerated parts. Many theories abound as to the factual events of that day, but the most logical seems to be that the piper represents death (death was depicted as a skeleton wearing pied clothing in the middle ages) and that the children who died were killed by the plague.

Pied means 'having two or more colors'. The word comes from middle English and is taken from the word “magpie.” Thus, the pied piper was a man wearing clothing of many colors.


Walmart pulled Listerine off shelves in 1989 after a woman claimed it burned her mouth. After testing, they restocked it. Turns out that’s just how Listerine tastes. I could have told them that.

Caught Red Handed

“Caught red handed”, has its origins in Scotland around the 15th century. Given the context it was often used in the earliest references, the phrase “red hand” or “redhand” probably came about referring to people caught with blood on their hands.

The first known documented instance of “red hand” is in the Scottish Acts of Parliament of James I, written in 1432. It subsequently popped up numerous times in various legal proceedings in Scotland, nearly always referring to someone caught in the act of committing some crime, such as “apprehended redhand”, “taken with redhand”, etc.

The first documented instance of the expression morphing from “red hand” to “red handed” was in the early 19th century work Ivanhoe, written by Sir Walter Scott.

10,000 Zambonis

The ice making business was booming way before household refrigerators were common. In 1939 Frank Zamboni and his brother had been in their ice block business for years, but refrigerators were becoming popular enough that they saw things quickly changing.

They had an inventory of many large refrigeration units, so they decided to open an ice rink. It was there that Frank came up with a way to resurface the ice. Originally it took three men an hour and a half to get it done, but in 1949 he invented the precursor of the ice machine we know today.

Now one man could resurface an ice rink in ten minutes. Like Xerox and Kleenex, Zamboni is a trademarked word that we now use to refer to all ice resurfacing machines. In April 2012, the 10,000th Zamboni was sold and delivered to the Montreal Canadiens.

Free Google Calendar

Free online calendar application called Google Calendar. If you have a Google account, you can create a Google Calendar. If you don't have one, you can register for a free account.

You can use Google Calendar to schedule events and invite people to participate. By sharing folders, you can compare your schedule with other users. If everyone keeps his or her calendar up to date, it's easy to avoid conflicts. A single user can open multiple calendars and view all the scheduled events in a single window. Google displays each calendar's events in a different color.

Google includes its search feature within the Google Calendar system. You can search for specific calendars. Calendar owners can choose to keep a calendar private or share it openly with everyone. you can also set it up to send you an email to remind you of events in the calendar.

The Charleston

The Charleston was one of the biggest dance crazes of all time It was popularized in a song of the same name in the 1923 Broadway show Runnin’ Wild.

The choreography for the show was most likely original, but the style came from the Juba dance moves that originated among slaves on plantations and in southern cities like Charleston, South Carolina, where the name comes from. Here are a few super examples Charleston moves set to dubstep. LINK

What's in a Name, 5

One of the characters in the Peanuts universe was “555 95472,” or “5” for short. Introduced in September 1963, 5 explained that his father was so upset about people being seen as “just a number,” he renamed the entire family as a series of digits.

The family’s last name is taken from their ZIP Code, though when spoken, 5 insists there’s an accent on the 4. The ZIP Code, by the way, is the real one for Sebastopol, California, where Charles Schulz lived at the time.

5’s sisters 3 and 4 made a few appearances in the strip before disappearing, but 5 was occasionally a background character until 1981. You’ve probably seen 3, 4, and 5 already and didn’t even know it. All three appear in the famous dance sequence in 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'. 3 and 4 are the twin girls in purple dresses, while 5 is the spiky-haired kid in orange.