Apr 29, 2016

Happy Friday

Shared joy is double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow. -Swedish proverb

I always share my joy when celebrating a Happy Friday!

International Dance Day

It was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Council, and is celebrated on April 29 every year. The main purpose of Dance Day events is to attract the attention of the wider public to the art of dance. Every year, the president of the CID sends the official message for Dance Day which circulate in every country of the world.

Cradles of Civilization

Current scholarship generally identifies six sites where civilization emerged independently: Mesopotamia (Iraq, Syria, and Kuwait, including regions along the Turkish-Syrian and Iran–Iraq borders), the Nile River (Africa), the Indus River (Asia), the Yellow River (China), the Central Andes (southern Ecuador, Peru, western Bolivia, and northern and central Argentina, and Chile), and Mesoamerica (from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica).

Historic times are separated from prehistoric times when records of the past begin to be kept for the benefit of future generations; that is, with the development of writing.

The earliest signs of a process leading to sedentary culture can be found in the Levant (from ISIL fame) to as early as 12,000 BC. The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the eastern Mediterranean, including all of the eastern Mediterranean with its islands, including all of the countries along the eastern Mediterranean shores, extending from Greece to Cyrenaica (Eastern Lybia).

Modern meaning includes Syria-Palestine or the region of Syria bounded by the Taurus Mountains of Turkey in the North, the Mediterranean Sea in the west, and the north Arabian Desert and Mesopotamia in the east. Today, Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey are sometimes considered Levant countries.

The first cities to house several tens of thousands were Memphis and Uruk, by 3000 BC.

Wordology, Salubrious

Some words just roll off the tongue and you can almost taste them. This word means promoting health

My sincerest wishes for a salubriously beneficial and gratifyingly pleasurable period between dawn and sunset. In other words, have a happy Friday.

Happiness Study

For the study, published in Social Psychology and Personality Science, researchers Aaron Weidman and Elizabeth Dunn from the University of British Columbia gave 67 participants $20 to spend on either an experiential or material purchase of their choice, and then to report one experiential or material gift they had recently received. Then they quizzed them about their happiness levels through text messages and questionnaires.

They found that the study subjects derived more frequent momentary happiness from material goods, but more intense momentary happiness from the experiences. In other words, they enjoyed their material goods on a greater number of occasions than they did their experiences, even though the happiness felt from the experiences was slightly more intense.

People who want the most happiness for their buck should buy experiences, not things. The idea is that the joy of an experience begins before it even starts, and continues when you look back on the fancy dinner or vacation fondly. Experiences provide both more anticipatory happiness and afterglow happiness.

Twelve Words Turning 40

Words that are forty years old during 2016 include:

While beer belly had been around since 1942, beer gut arrived in 1976.

This blend of Bombay and Hollywood, used to refer to the Indian film industry, was first used in a 1976 Inspector Ghote mystery novel by H.R.F. Keating.

While we already had baby boom to describe the increase in births after World War II, and were already referring to the members of this generation as baby boomers by 1970, during 1976 the generational label was shortened to just boomers.

The first citation we have for Trekkie, (an admirer of the U.S. science fiction television program Star Trek) comes from a 1976 New Yorker caption reading, “Of course, I didn't know George was a Trekkie when I married him.”

The earliest citation for chicken nugget is from a 1976 ad in a Jackson, Missouri phone book for Troy’s Fish House. “Catfish ‘All You Can Eat.’ Shrimp—Oysters—Steak. Chicken Nuggets—Burgers.” It wasn’t until the early '80s that the McDonald’s Chicken McNugget introduced.

Hackers were calling themselves hackers before 1976, but the first print citation of hacker showed up that year and was defined by various publications around that period as a “compulsive programmer,” a “home-computer nut,” or “someone who spends much of his time writing computer programs.”

The first Ebola outbreak occurred in a village near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976, and the virus was identified and named after the river.

PMS was first used as an abbreviation for “the premenstrual syndrome,” in a 1976 Lancet (medical journal) article.

It was during the 1976 presidential election race between Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford that the term 'exit poll' was used to describe a poll asking how individuals leaving a polling station had voted. It is used to predict the result of an election.

The phrase Super Tuesday was first used to refer to the general election, but during the 1976 presidential race it was in reference to the primaries. From a New York Times article about how “New York would open up a string of victories on super-Tuesday, June 8, in California, Ohio and New Jersey.”

MEME (pronounced meem)
Richard Dawkins introduced the word meme in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene: “We need a name for the new replicator, a noun which conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation. Mimeme comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like gene. I hope my classicist friends will forgive me if I abbreviate mimeme to meme. Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches.”

Iconic is an old word for “pertaining to an icon or image,” but it was 40 years ago that it first came to be used as a way to refer to “a person or thing regarded as representative of a culture or movement; important or influential in a particular (cultural) context.”

Subway Origins

Subway opened in 1965, when 17-year-old Fred DeLuca received a $1,000 investment from a friend of his family, Dr. Peter Buck. Buck suggested using the money to open up a sub shop, because it would be a good way for DeLuca to pay for college and medical school.

On August 28, 1965 DeLuca opened Pete’s Super Submarines in Bridgeport, Connecticut. However, on the radio ads, it sounded like “Pizza Marine,” so they changed the name to Pete’s Subway and later to Subway.

In 1974, DeLuca started franchising and he went through a bit of a learning curve, but he was soon able to jump from 16 stores to 200. Since 1987, 1,000 Subways open every year. As of mid-2015, Subway is the biggest restaurant chain, with the most franchises in the world.

What's in a Name, Emergency Goaltender

All NHL teams must have an emergency goaltender on call, in the event that one of the two goalies on the roster can’t play.

The league keeps a list of willing and able goalies in each city. When Anders Lindback was injured before the Arizona Coyotes played Montreal, the team called up Nathan Schoenfeld, a local bank manager. Schoenfeld rode the bench all night and got the best seat in the house for Coyotes’ 6-2 win. He also received $500 and a jersey.

Costco Savings Tips

If there is an asterisk * on a Costco price tag, that means the item will not be restocked and what you see is the last in the store. So if your favorite seasonal product is marked with an asterisk, it is time to buy enough to last you till next year.

A plus sign + on the sign means the item is discontinued.

Costco is a great place to visit for end-of-season sales. At the end of summer, Costco does major markdowns of large seasonal items like patio furniture and pool toys to free up room for the next season’s products.

Costco's food court charges $1.50 for a hot dog and drink, and $1.99 for a slice of pizza. Costco is actually the 14th-largest pizza chain in the US.

Costco's prices are coded. If an item ends with $0.99, it is regularly priced merchandise. Items ending with $0.97 have been marked down (usually also has an asterisk), meaning you are probably getting more for your money. If you see a price tag ending in $0.88 or an even dollar, those are usually local markdowns by a manager trying to get rid of a product. Other cents, such as 59, 69, 79, etc. is a special offer from the manufacturer, it reflects competitive pricing over other discount retailers.

Costco sends out an employee to comparison shop to make sure the warehouse is the lowest price on certain foods and big ticket items. They drive around town for two days filling out a clipboard of hundreds of items for comparison.

Costco locations sell restaurant gift cards, movie tickets, and other deals that allow you to get Costco-style discounts at local retailers. Some national deals: $100 worth of Cold Stone Creamery gift cards for $69.99 and a ten-pack of Regal Entertainment movie tickets for $89.99.

You can shop at Costco without a member card if you use a gift card, so you can ask a friend with a membership to get you a gift card and go shopping.

Costco, like Sams, does not offer bags. If you do not want cardboard box, bring your own bags.

Apr 22, 2016

Happy Friday

No matter how you spell it, I always enjoy a Happy Friday!

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day. This observance arose from an interest in gathering national support for environmental issues.

In 1970, San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson separately asked Americans to join in a grassroots demonstration. McConnell chose the spring equinox, March 21, 1970 and Nelson chose April 22.

National Pretzel Day

April 26 is National Pretzel Day. Eat some pretzels, low in calories and a healthy salty treat. Dunk a pretzel in chocolate. Wrap some pretzels in bacon and add some chocolate. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

Steak Myths Debunked

Searing steaks lock in juices.
False - First, it helps give you a nice crunchy and flavorful snap when you take a bite. And secondly, you can get a prettier color on the outside, but it does not lock in juices.

Salting steak before cooking will draw out the moisture and leave you with a tough cut of meat.
Yes and no - It is true, if you are going to salt-pack a steak for an extended period of time, the salt will draw out the moisture. If you prepare a steak for grilling by adding sea salt and crushed pepper on the exterior just before placing it over the flame, there is not enough time for the salt to draw out moisture and you get a seasoned, great-tasting cut of meat.

Only flip your steak once.
False - If you flip your steak more than once you are not ruining it. It is simply a matter of personal preference. The effect on steak's taste is negligible. If you are regularly flipping your steak, chances are you keep the grill hood open, which means you are letting out heat. This will affect cook time, but if you make an adjustment for the lower temperature by extending time, it will be fine. Some people prefer to flip their steaks often because it helps prevent curling.

Sizzling steaks hot of the grill taste best.
False - Setting your steak out on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking it is a misconception, but resting your steak after cooking is not. Resting your steak for five minutes after coming off the grill will make it juicier. When a steak comes hot off the grill the exterior is very hot, and because of the temperature, there is little moisture on the surface. The center of the steak is considerably cooler and still has moisture. As a steak rests, the muscle fibers loosen and the juices will spread more evenly across the steak and not so much on your plate.

Summer Outdoor Lighting Tip

Bugs do not fly toward many LEDs, because bugs are attracted to ultraviolet light and most LEDs do not give off this type of light.

Wordology, Pareidolia

This is a psychological phenomenon involving a stimulus (an image or a sound) wherein the mind perceives a familiar pattern of something where none actually exists. Things leap to mind, like the man in the moon, Jesus Chicken, and Michael Jackson in a pan.

Hemp vs. Cannabis vs. Marijuana

 The two subspecies of cannabis are known as Cannabis indica (hemp) and Cannabis sativa (hemp and marijuana). A third type found mainly in Russia, Cannabis ruderalis has a lower THC content than either C. sativa or C. indica, so it is rarely grown for recreational use and the shorter stature of C. ruderalis limits its application for hemp production. Cannabis ruderalis strains are high in the cannabÑ–noid cannabidiol, so they are grown by some medical marijuana users. (The term, marijuana originally spelled as "marihuana", "mariguana", etc., originated in Mexican Spanish.) Marijuana is now mostly an American term.

Tall, sturdy cannabis plants were grown by early civilizations to make a variety of foods, oils, and textiles. These plants were bred with other plants with the same characteristics, leading to the type of cannabis known as hemp. It is virtually impossible to get high on hemp, although it does have some medicinal benefits.

Other plants were recognized for being psychoactive and were bred selectively for medical and religious purposes. This led to unique varieties of cannabis known as marijuana.

The core agricultural differences between medical cannabis and hemp are largely in their genetic parentage and cultivation environment. Marijuana growers usually try to maintain stable light, temperature, humidity, CO2 and oxygen levels, among other things. Hemp is usually grown outdoors to maximize its size and yield, and less attention is paid to individual plants.

Cannabis plants contain unique compounds called cannabinoids. Current research has revealed over 60 different cannabinoids so far, but THC is the most well known. THC is credited with causing the marijuana high. While marijuana plants contain high levels of THC, hemp contains very little.

Countries like Canada have set the maximum THC content of hemp at 0.3%. Any cannabis with higher THC levels is considered marijuana. Medical marijuana produces anywhere between 5-20% THC on average, with some strains up to 25-30% THC.

Before 1910 Bristol-Meyer’s Squib and Eli Lilly included cannabis and cannabis extracts in their medicines to cure common household ailments. The US Bureau of Narcotics, during the 1930s, used the name “marijuana” when campaigning against the plant, and showing its new “foreign” identity. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 federally criminalized the cannabis plant in every US state.

All cannabis is federally illegal to produce in the United States. Both hemp and marijuana are classified as Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act (non-psychoactive hemp is not included in Schedule I). It is legal to import hemp products into the United States. The US Drug Enforcement Administration is preparing to decide whether cannabis should be reclassified under federal law during The first half of 2016.

In the US, eight states allow people with certain medical conditions to use marijuana. Seventeen states have passed laws opening the door to marijuana use as long as the drug is extremely low in THC, the intoxicating ingredient. Five states have removed the potential for jail time for those caught with small amounts of the drug.  Some states both have approved marijuana use by sick people and removed jail sentences for recreational users, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada and Rhode Island. Four states and Washington, D.C., allow marijuana possession in small amounts by adults over 21 for any reason, including  Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington.

Outside the US, hemp is grown in more than 30 countries. In 2011, the top hemp-producing country was China, followed by Chile and the European Union. Hemp production is also expanding in Canada.

Marijuana remains illegal in most countries, but a few, such as Israel and Canada, have recently started to regulate marijuana as a medicine. Legalization supporters consider possession either legal or tolerated in Argentina, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Uruguay, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Hemp can be made into wax, plastic, resin, rope, cloth paper, fuel, detergent, paint, snacks, flour, beer, insulation, carpeting, paneling, auto parts, and an estimated 25,000 products. Thomas Jefferson drafted both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution on hemp paper.

Open Closed Tab Trick

If you accidentally close a tab while in your browser, hold down the CTRL button (on the lower left or right of your keyboard) and the SHIFT key, then press the letter T. Your closed tab is back and ready to continue.

Apr 15, 2016

Happy Friday

Laughter is the language of the soul.

I always speak with laughter in my soul on a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Bollard

A bollard was originally a wooden or metal post that was used to moor a ship. In the 20th century, a bollard became a post meant to obstruct cars and other traffic or to separate cars from people, cars from buildings, etc. Many places decorate them to give some visual appeal.

In New York, bollards are most often found by fire hydrants. Wellington, New Zealand, has bollards with their tops curled into the spiral shape of plants. For decades, Amsterdam used bollards to distinguish people spaces from car spaces on streets without elevated sidewalks. In Mexico City some bollards are shaped like little pyramids.

Beer Myths Debunked

False - If Cold Beer Gets Warm, Cooling It Again Will Make It Stale
This is a myth brought on by marketers. The fact is, beer experiences substantial fluctuations in temperature during shipping. Of course, you do not want these changes to be drastic, and excessive heat will certainly ruin beer.

Maybe - The Color of the Bottle Affects Beer’s Shelf Life
It is not the color of the bottle so much as its translucence that affects beer’s long-term quality. Clear and green bottles allow in significantly more UV light than brown ones. If you store green or clear bottles in complete darkness, there is no discernible difference in shelf life from that of a brown bottle in similar conditions.

True - Putting Beer in the Freezer Is an Easy Way to Quick Chill It.
This is true as long as you do not freeze it. Beer will explode when frozen. Placing a beer in the freezer for a short period should be fine. According to the American Homebrewers Association, freezing beer alters the molecular structure of the proteins in the beverage. It can also reduce the carbonation level and, in the case of bottle-conditioned brew, possibly kill the yeast.

True - Beer Should Be Stored Upright.
There are a few reasons why beer should not be placed on its side, and this applies to both corked and capped bottles. Yeast is critical to beer, but the sediment it leaves behind has a way of corrupting flavor. You want the yeast sediment to settle at the bottom of the beer. According to Beer Advocate, prolonged storage on the side will create a “yeast ring” along the walls of the bottle. Upright storage slows the process of oxidation and prolongs the life of the beer.

False - Bottles Are Better Than Cans. This is a matter of personal taste. Canned beer has is often associated with mass-market. cheap beer and so the myth. It is not so much the receptacle, it is the beer that makes the taste. Many craft brewers have begun to can their beer. Some craft brew fanatics even swear by the distinctive flavor of canned brew. The Huffington Post conducted a blind taste test and found participants preferred the taste of canned beer to bottled three times out of four.

The Real Popeye

Frank "Rocky" Fiegel (January 27, 1868 - March 24, 1947) was a real-life person from Chester, Illinois who inspired the Thimble Theatre character, Popeye.

Rocky was a well-known Chester individual and something of a local legend. He supposedly had an inordinate strength and often participated in fights. Like Popeye, he smoked a pipe and was toothless. He is said to have been kind to children as well. Incidentally, Wimpy and Olive Oyl were also based on real people.

Difference Between Perfume, Cologne, Toilette, and Other Fragrances

Fragrances are complex mixtures of what people in the industry refer to as raw materials. These raw materials can be extracts from natural sources or synthetic raw materials.

Oils are dissolved in a solvent (usually alcohol), to preserve pleasant scents. The higher the concentration of oils, the greater the strength of the fragrance. The strength determines how long an application lasts on your skin.

All fragrances are largely the same, but they are given a name based on the concentration of oil in alcohol and water, such as:

    Eau Fraiche – The most diluted version of fragrance, usually with 1% – 3% perfume oil in alcohol and water. Usually lasts for less than an hour.
    Cologne (Eau de Cologne) – Oldest term for perfume, used in North America for masculine scents. Light, fresh and fruity, typically composed of 2% – 4% perfume oils in alcohol and water. Usually lasts for about 2 hours.
    Toilette (Eau de Toilette) – A light spray composition with 5% – 15% pure perfume essence dissolved in alcohol. Usually lasts for about 3 hours.
    Perfume (Eau de Parfum) – Historically genderless, used to describe both men’s and women’s fragrances. The best term used to describe a fragrance. Contains 15% – 20% pure perfume essence and lasts for about 5 to 8 hours.
    Perfume – A corruption of the Latin phrase per fumum (through smoke). The most concentrated and expensive of all fragrance options. Slightly oilier, perfume is composed of 20% – 30% pure perfume essence. A single application of perfume can last up to 24 hours.

Usually, the amount of concentrate a fragrance contains will affect its price.

Major brands create perfumes that are part science and part marketing. They have a familiar feel to all their perfumes. Ralph Lauren perfumes are made to have a family of familiar scents, such as the newest Polo perfume should smell comfortable, even though it is not the same original scent.

The shelf life of an average bottle of perfume is 3-5 years from the date of manufacture.

More money does not necessarily mean better colognes or perfumes. Some of the most popular fragrances are relatively cheap forumalea. It is possible to mix expensive raw materials and create bad fragrances. Most often price is determined by the marketing cost and the image associated with a brand, but not necessarily the cost of raw materials comprising the scent. Buy the scent, not the name.

Jimmy Carter Peanut Statue

The Jimmy Carter Peanut stands 4 meters (13 ft) tall with a wide, toothy smile and no eyes. The peanut can be found on the side of the road in Plains, Georgia (Jimmy's hometown). The structure started out being constructed in Indiana in 1976 to honor Jimmy Carter’s visit to the state during his presidential campaign tour.

Before he was president, Carter was a peanut farmer. The statue has the same grin that was known so fondly as one of Carter’s traits during his years in office. It is the most photographed thing in Plains.

Zika Virus Update

There are now 346 cases of Zika confirmed in the continental United States, all in people who had recently traveled to Zika-prone countries, according to the most recent CDC report.

A Brazilian study released this week also links Zika to a second autoimmune disorder that resembles multiple sclerosis and involves a swelling of the brain and spinal cord. "Though our study is small, it may provide evidence that in this case, the virus has different effects on the brain than those identified in current studies," said Dr. Maria Lucia Brito, a neurologist at Restoration Hospital in Recife, Brazil. Six of 151 patients tested positive for Zika.

Scientists reported in the April edition of the New England Journal of Medicine that while evidence gathered does not provide conclusive proof that Zika causes microcephaly and other birth defects, an increasing amount of scientific research suggests that is the case. Still no need for panic.

Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout cookies trace their roots back to 1917, when an Oklahoma scout troop sold cookies as a fundraiser at their local high school.

The cookies are produced by two bakeries: ABC Bakers (a subsidiary of Interbake Foods) and Little Brownie Bakers (owned by Keebler/Kellogg’s). There are some major differences between the cookies they produce, but the core five cookies are the same, although with different names: Thin Mints, Trefoils or Shortbread, Samoas or Caramel deLites,  Tagalongs or Peanut Butter Patties, and Do-si-dos or Peanut Butter Sandwiches.

Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils, and Do-si-dos, are produced by Little Brownie. Shortbread, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, and Peanut Butter Sandwiches are produced by ABC. The only cookie name shared by both companies is Thin Mints.

Other, newer names cater to specific audiences. Both Little Brownie’s Toffee-Tastic and ABC’s Trios are gluten-free. Little Brownie’s Thin Mints and ABC’s Lemonades, Thanks-A-Lots, Thin Mints, and Peanut Butter Patties are vegan.

About 25 percent of all Girl Scout cookies sold are Thin Mints. Samoas or Caramel deLites are second with 19 percent of sales. Once the cost of the cookies is repaid to the bakery, all of the net revenue raised through Girl Scout Cookie sales stays with the local councils and troops. Am waiting for a new flavor, bacon peanut butter sammie.

Apr 8, 2016

Happy Friday

"I think you can destroy your now worrying about tomorrow." - Janis Joplin

I never worry about tomorrow while enjoying a Happy Friday!

Buying Light Bulbs

We typically have been buying light bulbs based on how much energy they consume (Watts), regardless of light emitted (Lumens). All that began to change with the advent of different types of light bulbs, such as CFL, halogen, LED, etc., since they consume different amounts of energy to produce the same amount of light.

Lumens measure how much light you are getting from a bulb, regardless of type and regardless of energy consumed. This equalizes all bulbs and types for comparison. More lumens means brighter light.

Another measurement that is not well understood is Kelvin. It is a scale of measurement for the color a light produces. The higher the Kelvin (K) number, the cooler the light appears. Most bulbs will be in the 2,500K to 6,500K range, with 2,500 being the warmest and 6,500 the coolest. Kelvin is usually ignored except for specific lighting circumstances. The 2,700K to 3,000K range is warm and inviting, 3,500K casts a neutral light, 4,100K casts a cool and bright light, 5,500K to 6,500K range is closest to daylight.

To compare brightness of typical old style bulbs, here are a few examples:
Replace a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a bulb that gives you about 1600 lumens,
Replace a 75W bulb with a bulb that gives you about 1100 lumens,
Replace a 60W bulb with a bulb that gives you about 800 lumens,
Replace a 40W bulb with a bulb that gives you about 450 lumens.

Sixty watt bulbs used to be the standard as they offered the best compromise of minimum required light and cheaper cost. Now that energy cost has been so greatly reduced, 1100 lumen lights are becoming the standard minimum. Brighter lights make it easier to see and make everything look better, especially when trying to sell your house.

Wordology, Accumagate

When an individual, while under the influence of alcohol, stumbles over his or her words and accidentally invents a new one, they have accumagated, such as while trying to say 'communicate' you accidentally say 'accumagate'. It goes with the next morning feeling crapulous.

Addyi a Year Later

So, my friend Jeff asked another puzzler this week, "What happened to Addyi?" Addyi is the brand name for a little pink pill called flibanserin and known as the 'female Viagra'.  It received approval from the FDA, in August, 2015. It is a non-hormonal serotonin to treat a little or no sexual desire disorder in pre-menopausal women. The manufacturer states that flibanserin corrects an imbalance of dopamine and norepinephrine, both responsible for sexual excitement, while decreasing levels of serotonin, responsible for sexual inhibition.

The difference between Addyi and Viagra type drugs is that the men's medications are physiological. Addyi targets lack of libido and affects the balance of certain chemicals in the brain. It also requires a daily (taken at bedtime) dose. JAMA reported a benefit for flibanserin over a placebo.

One study showed marginal results for women, compared to Viagra's immediate physical results for men.  Severe adverse reactions have been observed, including dizziness, low blood pressure, and passing out after taking the drug along with much alcohol.

Incidentally, in English the meaning of the name Addy is ardent (characterized by intense emotion).

Internet Users

Here is a chart that shows the increasing number of internet users for the past few years.

Number Seven

I may be a day late, but seven is still a special number. The world was formed in seven days, there are seven wonders of the world, seven deadly sins, seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, seven hills of Rome, seventh heaven, etc.

  •     Shabbat is the seventh day of the week. Shabbat connects the six days of the week. All of the other days revolve around it. It serves as the center for the three days before it and the three days after it.
  •     Number 7 is the number of perfection, security, safety, and rest.
  •     Number Seven contains the number three of the heavens and soul with the number four of the earth and body.
  •     The Pythagoreans called the number 7 “the Septad”.
  •     Seven colors of the rainbow. Isaac Newton identified the seven colors of the rainbow as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
  •     There are seven days in a week.
  •     Each airplane in Boeing's line of passenger jets is named with a 3-digit number beginning and ending in 7.
  •     There are seven dwarfs.
  •     As You Like It by William Shakespeare's contains Shakespeare's 7 Ages of Man theory.
  •     There are seven notes to the diatonic scale.
  •     Music has seven notes in an octave (the eighth is a repeat of the first): Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La Ti, Do.
  •     There are seven letters in the Roman numeral system.
  •     Seven circles form the symbol called “The Seed of Life”. The Seed of Life symbolizes the six days of creation. The central circle symbolizes the day of rest.
  •     Number seven is the number of Neptune.
  •     In the Harry Potter series of novels by J.K. Rowling, seven is said to be the most powerfully magical number.
  •     Number seven is lucky for Cancer and Pisces.
  •     In the Tarot, seven is the card of the Chariot. The Chariot is symbolic of the need to focus.
  •     September means “the seventh month” in Latin.
  •     The British fifty pence coin is a heptagon (seven sided).
  •     Nitrogen (N) has the atomic number 7.
  •     Number 7 is the international country calling code for Russia.
  •     Lotus Seven was an open top, two-seater sports car.
  •     The opposite sides of a dice always equal the number seven when added.
  •     In Japan there are Seven Lucky Gods. They have a ship called Takarabune, the Treasure Ship. They arrive in town every New Year and give gifts to all worthy people.
  •     In Hindu weddings the bride and groom walk around the holy fire seven times during the wedding ceremony.
  •     Seven people have been beheaded privately on Tower Green within the walls of the Tower of London.
  •     There are seven continents – Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.

I could go on, but it is already the eighth.

What's in a Name, Frisbie

William Russell Frisbie bought a bakery in Connecticut in the late 19th century, which he called the Frisbie Pie Company. After Frisbie's death, his company continued to flourish and it 1956 reached a peak production of 80,000 pies per day. Pies and cookies made by the company came with plate-shaped tin bearing the name 'Frisbee Pies'.

Yale students discovered a second use for the tins, and began to hurl them around the university campus. As the flying disk approached its target, the thrower would shout "Frisbie" as a warning. The slightly different spelling "frisbee" is now used for the toy.

Internet and Web

The Associated Press announced that the next edition of its stylebook will endorse 'internet' over 'Internet' and 'web' over 'Web'.

The change is the latest in a long-running debate over whether 'the internet' is a proper noun,  no different than a television or a hair roller. AP Standards Editor Thomas Kent said, “The changes reflect a growing trend toward lowercasing both words, which have become generic terms.” Hopefully the automated spell checkers will be updated by then.

Apr 1, 2016

Amazing Facts III Trivia Treasures

Amazing Facts III Trivia Treasures is now available on Amazon (my 52nd book). If you liked the first two Amazing Facts, you will love this one. If you have not read the others. Try this one and you can always go back to buy the others. LINK

Thousands more amazing facts about things you don’t know, but want to know, and facts you think you know but don’t. Hundreds of facts about food, laughter, health, medicine, technology, etc. Origins of words and sayings. Popular myths debunked and so much more. If you are interested, disinterested, lazy, or sharp of wit, this book will keep you amazed, interested, entertained, and anxious to share your new-found knowledge to impress friends and family. All organized and fully indexed for your inner geek to find specific information.

Happy Friday

“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.” ~ Lucius Seneca

There is always an opportunity for kindness, especially on a Happy Friday!

Cheese Weasel Day

On April 4, 2016 give your favorite tech person a Thank You using #cheeseweaselday on Twitter. Send someone you know in the tech sector a Cheese Weasel Day Greeting card. Arrange secretly for a slice of cheese to be placed under the mouse pad of a tech person you know. They will understand.

National Tartan Day

On April 6, 2016 the US celebrates National Tartan Day, established by Congress in 1997 as a way to recognize Scottish-American citizens. Thirty four states have their own official tartan. Like official flowers and birds, the patterns in have been adopted by legislators as legitimate state symbols.

Blonde Myth Debunked

No, this is not an April fool's joke. The 'dumb blonde' stereotype is wrong, according to a new national study of young baby boomers. The Ohio State University study of 10,878 Americans found that white women who said their natural hair color was blonde had an average IQ score within 3 points of brunettes and those with red or black hair. The resulting findings showed that blonde-haired white women had an average IQ of 103.2, compared to 102.7 for those with brown hair, 101.2 for those with red hair and 100.5 for those with black hair. None of the differences are statistically significant.

The results for blond white men were similar. They also had IQs roughly equal to men with other hair colors. The study was published during March, 2016 in the journal Economics Bulletin.

Data from the study came from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, a national survey of people who were between 14 and 21 years old when they were first interviewed in 1979. The NLSY79 was conducted for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not sure why it took over thirty years to analyze the data or who paid for this wildly useless bit of old information. Further reading showed this article in close proximity to "Do unions reduce the wage penalty experienced by obese women?" Answer, yes.

US National Flower

In 1985, as the U.S. Senate signed a bill declare the rose America’s national flower. President Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law during 1986.

Third Leading Cause of Death in US

Research estimates up to 440,000 Americans die annually from preventable hospital errors. This puts medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Leapfrog, an independent, national nonprofit organization that administers the Score, is an advocate for patient safety nationwide.
“We are burying a population the size of Miami every year from medical errors that can be prevented. A number of hospitals have improved by one or even two grades, indicating hospitals are taking steps toward safer practices, but these efforts aren’t enough,” says Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog.

Key Findings:
On average, there was no improvement in hospitals’ reported performance on the measures included in the score. Of the 2,539 general hospitals issued a Hospital Safety Score, 813 earned an “A,” 661 earned a “B,” 893 earned a “C,” 150 earned a “D” and 22 earned an “F.”

The states with the smallest percentage of “A” hospitals include New Hampshire, Arkansas, and Nebraska. No hospitals in New Mexico or the District of Columbia received an “A” grade.

Maine claimed the number-one spot for the state with the highest percentage of “A” hospitals.

Kaiser and Sentara were among the hospital systems where 100 percent of their hospitals received an “A.”

2013 (latest causes of death available) -
Heart disease: 611,105
Cancer (all types): 584,881
Hospital preventable  error deaths: 440,000
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 149,205
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 130,557
Stroke (brain diseases): 128,978
Alzheimer's disease: 84,767
Diabetes: 75,578
Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,979
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis (kidney related): 47,112
Intentional self-harm (suicide): 41,149.

Price of Stamps

So, the agreement to raise the price of stamps by 3 cents for two years is complete and the Post Office is crying that the price of stamps set to drop by 2 cents, beginning April 10 will cost it money. It is still a penny ahead and Congress, true to style cannot let any tax end, no matter how little it is.

Traffic Cones

This sounds like another April Fool's Day joke, but it is not. Scotland spends $15,000 per year removing traffic cones from a statue's head.

The government is having a problem with revelers messing up a historic statue in the most hilarious way possible. In Glasgow, there is a statue of the Duke of Wellington. For the last several decades, this statue has been at the center of a bloodless battle between Glasgow City Council and the local drunkards, the latter of whom love nothing more than climbing the statue and placing a traffic cone on its head.

After years of being climbed, the statue has lost its sword and spurs. The cost of removing these cones is running up an annual bill of 10,000 GBP of taxpayer's money and, embarrassingly, the defaced statue is becoming a tourist attraction in itself.

As a result, Glasgow City Council planned to raise the statue's plinth (base) to such a height that the inebriated would not be able to reach anymore. However, thanks to a petition from local residents, the proposal was shot down.

Dutch Doors

There is a Dutch senior facility that attached life size pictures of previous home front doors to the resident's room doors. It helps patients with dementia have a familiar look and assist them to find their room.

That is a truly caring facility.

Zika Virus Facts

Much fear-mongering has recently been spread about the Zika virus, but here are a few facts to keep things in perspective. It is not all that bad, certainly is not life threatening, and most people will not even know if they get it.

Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 and is named after the Zika forest in Uganda. In 1952, the first human cases of Zika were detected. Since then, outbreaks of Zika have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Brazil.

Eighty percent of Zika cases will not be diagnosed. Most people infected with Zika virus will not even know they have the disease, because they will not have symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period, from exposure to symptoms for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.

There is no vaccine to treat or prevent Zika virus.

Zika in the U.S. as of March 23, 2016:
Locally acquired vector-borne cases reported: 0
Travel-associated Zika virus disease cases reported: 273 (of the 273 travel-associated infections, 19 are in pregnant women and 6 were sexually transmitted.)

It may be "on occasion" spread through sexual contact or blood transfusions. The CDC has received 15 reports of possible spread of Zika through sex, meaning a person traveled to an area where Zika has broken out, acquired the virus, and gave the virus to a sexual partner who did not travel. Brazilian scientists have found the virus in saliva and urine of infected people.

The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week, but it can be found longer in some people.

Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

There have been reports of congenital microcephaly in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. Zika virus infections have been confirmed in several infants with microcephaly. It is not known how many of the microcephaly cases are associated with Zika virus infection. A pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy. There is no evidence that prior Zika virus infection poses a risk of birth defects in future pregnancies.

Cooking Steak Myths

Myth Searing steaks lock in juices. - First, it helps give you a nice crunchy and flavorful snap when you take a bite and you can get a prettier color on the outside. However, it does not lock in juices.

Myth Salting your steak before cooking will draw out the moisture and leave you with a tough cut of meat. - Yes and no. It is true, if you are going to salt-pack a steak for an extended period of time, the salt will most definitely draw out the moisture. The way to prepare a steak for grilling is to pat a nice solid coat of sea salt and crushed pepper on the exterior right before placing it over the heat. There is not enough time for the salt to draw out any moisture and you are left with a well-seasoned, great-tasting cut of meat.

Myth Only flip your steak once.- If you flip your steak more than once you are not ruining it. This is simply a matter of personal preference. The effect on your steak's taste is negligible. It is more about how you prefer to grill, and where you are most comfortable. If you are regularly flipping your steak, chances are you have the hood open, which means you are letting out heat. This will affect the timeliness of your cook, but if you make an adjustment for the lower temperature by extending time, it will be fine. Some people prefer to flip their steaks often, because it helps prevent curling.

Myth Sizzling steaks hot of the grill taste best. - While setting your steak out on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking it is a misconception, resting your steak after cooking is not. You should not go straight from grill grate to plate. Resting your steak for five minutes after coming off the grill will make it juicier and more flavorful. Basically, there is much science that goes into this. When a steak comes hot off the grill the exterior is very hot, and there is little moisture. The center of the steak is considerably cooler and still has moisture. As a steak rests, the muscle fibers loosen and the juices will spread more evenly across the steak.