Jun 24, 2016

Happy Friday

It is easy to say no. Saying yes takes much more courage.

Yes, indeed, Enjoy a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Red Tape

The practice of referring to “excessive bureaucratic rigmarole” as red tape dates back more than 400 years to the court of the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, Charles V, 1500-1558, heir to three of Europe’s most powerful dynasties (Habsburg, Valois-Burgundy, and Trastámara).

At the time, administrative documents were bound in some fashion, either with rope, string, ribbon, or cloth. During the early 16th century, in order to distinguish the most important documents that required immediate discussion at the highest levels of government from those of less significance, Charles’ ministers began tying important papers together with red string or red ribbon.

Seeing the efficacy of such a system, the method was soon adopted across Europe, and England’s Henry VIII used red string, ribbon, or cloth to secure the petitions he sent to Pope Clement VII requesting annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon in 1527.

The term 'red tape', in reference to this string for important papers dates back to the late 17th century where it was written in Maryland Laws: “The Map . . . upon the Backside thereof sealed with his Excellency’s Seal at Arms on a Red Cross with Red Tape.”

The Oxford English Dictionary dates its current meaning to 1736 and John Hervey’s Poetical Epistle to the Queen: “Let Wilmington, with grave, contracted brow, Red tape and wisdom at the Council show.”

Energy Drink Ingredients

Here are some of the most common energy drink ingredients, and where they rate on usefulness and safety. I covered energy drinks this before, but this offers more detail.

Ginseng is used most commonly in Chinese medicine. Ginseng is an herb that has been used traditionally to treat numerous ailments. It is generally thought to boost immunity and improve overall health. Research does not conclusively back up these claims, but short-term use is thought to be safe.

Taurine is an amino acid found in protein, meat, fish, and breast milk. It helps us maintain neurological function and regulate fluid levels. There are some claims that taking a taurine supplement can improve athletic performance, but not much data exists on its efficacy or its safety as either a supplement or energy drink ingredient.

Guarana is an herb that is often used as a stimulant in teas, either added or naturally occurring. Its major component is caffeine. It has been associated with increased energy and enhancement of physical performance.

Ginko biloba is another herb, added to supposedly increase alertness. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years, according to the Mayo Clinic, and research supports its use for some medical conditions including dementia, anxiety, and schizophrenia. For other uses, evidence is lacking or mixed.

Carnitine is naturally produced by our bodies and is a substance that is used to turn fat into energy. You can also buy it as a supplement, and it claims to boost exercise performance.

Some studies suggest carnitine may be promising in treating various health problems, like certain heart conditions, kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism, but in all cases, more research needs to be done.

Dial-up Internet

According to a study from the Pew Foundation, only 3% of U.S. households went online via a dial-up connection in 2013. Thirteen years before that, only 3% had broadband.

World's Fastest Computer

The Sunway TaihuLight takes the top spot from previous record-holder Tianhe-2, also located in China, and more than triples the latter's speed. It is capable of performing some 93 quadrillion calculations (petaflops) per second and is five times more powerful than the fastest US system, which is now ranked third worldwide. The TaihuLight is comprised of some 41,000 chips, each with 260 processor cores for a total of 10.65 million cores.

Medical July Affect

This documented phenomenon is known as the July Effect: when all the almost-docs get to swap their med school scrubs for white coats and stethoscopes, hospitals are temporarily at higher risk of the sort of silly slip-ups and errors, as well as making hospitals the third leading killer of Americans each year.

The coincidence of med school graduations in the month has been directly linked to a ten percent spike in hospital errors, involving everything from mixing up medications to not knowing how to work a defibrillator. Experts agree that, if at all possible, it is best to avoid hospitals throughout the summer.

Researchers from the University of California at San Diego investigated more than 62 million US death certificates between 1979 and 2006. Of those, 244,388 deaths were caused by medication errors in hospitals.

Month to month, the statistics showed a relatively equal chance for a fatal medication error, except at teaching hospitals in the month of July. The study found that fatal medication errors spiked by ten percent in July in counties with a high number of teaching hospitals, but stayed the same in areas without teaching hospitals. The findings appear in a recent issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Hospital errors are the third leading cause of death in US.

Sweet Urine

In 1647, English physician Dr. Thomas Willis was the first in modern medical literature to discover that urine from those who had diabetes tasted sweet, comparing the flavor to that of honey.

Willis described the flavor as “wonderfully sweet as if it were imbued with honey or sugar.” Although such a discovery is off-putting and disgusting to most, it broke down barriers to the understanding of diabetes. Ultimately, it led to the term “mellitus” as in “diabetes mellitus,” a Latin word for “honey” which Willis coined.

Hurricane Facts

We are not seeing major hurricane increases due to global warming or any other reason. The last major hurricane (defined as a Category 3 or above) to hit the US mainland was  Hurricane Wilma, which made landfall in Florida on Oct. 24, 2005.

Although a major hurricane typically strikes the US about once every two years, no major hurricanes have made landfall in the US for more than 10 years.

The second longest stretch between major hurricane strikes was between the major hurricane that struck in August 1860 and the one that struck in September 1869, NOAA records show. The third longest stretch was between the major hurricane that struck in September 1900 and the one that struck in October 1906.

Easy Life Hacks

Did you make a mistake while leaving voicemail? Hit the # (pound or hashtag) button. It allows you to re-record your message. Works on a majority of operating systems.

Good for insurance claims, if you own some expensive things, they probably have some identification number. If so, write it down and save it in a safe place, preferably outside the house. Another idea is to take pictures or videos of the inside of your house, including TV, furniture, jewelry, etc.

If an anyone calls and asks if you have a security system, the answer is always yes. If they are bad guys, you shut them down and if they are sales people you also shut them down.

Pouring sugar on spilled nail polish helps to make it clump for easier cleanup.

Jun 17, 2016

Happy Friday

Happiness is a gift to ourselves that is shared with the world.

I love to share my happiness every Happy Friday!

Sunscreen Facts

Summer is due to arrive in the US on June 20, 6:34am EST. This means it is time to slather on some sunscreen - do it early and do it often. The US FDA, which regulates sunscreen, among other stuff too numerous to mention says, any sunscreen that is (Sun Protection Factor) SPF15 or above, and carries the label "broad spectrum," must provide protection both from both UV-A and UV-B light. Any sunscreen SPF14 or below, or that is not labeled "broad spectrum," is primarily only useful for protection from UV-B light and against sunburn only. Other countries have started providing measurements for UV-A protection on their products, but not the US, yet.

Broad spectrum protection blocks both UV-B and UV-A light, which means you reduce your risk of sunburn as well as skin cancer. UV-A light, which has a much longer wavelength and penetrates deeper into the skin can also cause skin cancer.

SPF numbers are a simple metric, if you could stay in the sun for 10 minutes without getting a sunburn, SPF15 sunscreen would increases the length of time you can stay out in the sun by 15, so you should be able to stay in the sun for 150 minutes without getting burned. In addition, a higher SPF should prevent more UV light from affecting your skin.

SPF15 absorbs 93.3 percent of UVB rays, SPF30 absorbs 96.7 percent, and SPF50 absorbs 98%. Anything above 30 is probably not necessary and 50 or more is essentially a waste of money with little additional protection.

There are two basic kinds of sunscreens: physical blockers and chemical blockers. Physical blockers use minerals to deflect the UV rays away from the skin. Chemical blockers absorb and filter the light to prevent its damaging effects.

Sunscreen manufacturers are no longer allowed to claim their products are "waterproof," because none are. They can claim that their sunscreens are water resistant for instance 40 minutes, after which it should be reapplied.

Interesting to note that Australia is the skin cancer capital of the world with two in three getting skin cancer before age 70.

Bottom line, Consumer Reports found 74 percent of the physical blockers they tested failed to match their labeled SPF. For best results, go for broad spectrum SPF 30 to 50.  Unlike politicians, sunscreen is better when you lay it on thick - and often.

DEET Facts

Experts are now saying that it is okay for all pregnant women to use insect repellents that contain DEET.

DEET is the most tested insect repellent available on the market. Concerns over the safety of DEET first emerged during the 1980s after reports of encephalopathy following DEET exposure, particularly in children. However, the role of DEET in either the illness or deaths was and remains purely speculative, says a recent meta-study about the safety of DEET.

A 2015 paper on insect repellent said, “During the 1980s and 1990s there were several reports of encephalopathy following DEET exposure in children. However, risk assessments by both the US Environmental Protection Agency and independent publications, as well as a clinical trial, found no association between encephalopathy and DEET use, and no toxological risk or severe effects except after inappropriate use (ingestion, direct inhalation, or eye exposure).”

The Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences looked into the health effects of DEET, as well, and found that over 40 years of use, from 1961 to 2002, eight DEET-related deaths occurred. Three were of people intentionally drinking it, two were of adults wearing it, and three were of girls under 6 who underwent “heavy” use.

DEET is the safest bug repellent, according to both the CDC and the EPA. It is also one of the few OK for use on babies as young as 2 months, and on pregnant women in their second and third trimesters.

Because people are worried about this type of thing, most bottles of DEET tell you to wash it off after use. This step is to minimize excess exposure.

Picaridin has not been safety-tested nearly as much as DEET, though it may be just as effective. Oil of lemon eucalyptus is most often a synthesized, lab-made compound also known as PMD. According to the CDC, neither type is suitable for use on children younger than 3, because they are severe eye irritants and children that young tend to rub their eyes a lot. PMD is not the same as the “pure” oil of lemon eucalyptus, which is not recommended for use as a repellent as it has not been tested for efficacy.

GPS Alert

The US Federal Aviation Administration has warned that GPS signals could be unavailable or unreliable on June 9, 21, 23, 28, and 30 across the west coast. The signals are most likely to be disturbed primarily around California, surrounding southwestern states. and the northern corner of Mexico. Although the disruptions will be more severe at higher altitudes, the signal could be scrambled as low as 15 meters (50 feet).

The FAA has advised pilots to avoid the areas at the mentioned times and instructed them to closely monitor their flight control systems.

According to the warning, the problem is something to do with “GPS Interference Testing." Other than that, the FAA remains quiet. The center point of the disturbances is the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in the Mojave Desert. This complex is the US Navy’s largest installation, which is dedicated to researching, developing, and testing the majority of their weaponry and armaments.


The last major hurricane (defined as a Category 3 or above) to hit the U.S. mainland was  Hurricane Wilma, which made landfall in Florida on Oct. 24, 2005.

Although a major hurricane typically strikes the U.S. about once every two years, no major hurricanes have made landfall in the U.S. for more than ten years.

The second longest stretch between major hurricane strikes was between the major hurricane that struck in August 1860 and the one that struck in September 1869, NOAA records show. The third longest stretch was between the major hurricane that struck in September 1900 and one that struck in October 1906.

Regrowing Herbs at Home

For a fun organic money saver, you can grow your own herbs with leftovers. Below are a few favorites.

Mint is an easy-to-grow perennial herb. Snip a stem off the plant so it measures about 2-3 inches lengthwise just below the leaf node (where the leaves begin to grow). Remove the lower leaves for use in your recipe, but leave a few at the top. Place the stem in a glass of water on a windowsill that receives sunshine. The mint will develop roots within a few weeks. Change the water when it starts to look murky. About a week after roots appear, plant in a pot with soil and continue to water as necessary. Keep it contained, as it develops runners and spreads quickly in a garden.

Rosemary is a great addition to pork chops, roasted meats, fish, and vegetables. Snip a few sprigs of rosemary from 2-3 inches off the top of the plant and pull away the lowest leaves, leaving a few at the top. Place the sprigs in a small glass with the stem fully immersed in water on a windowsill. Change the water every few days. Rosemary is slow to produce new roots and can take two months or longer before you see progress. About a week after roots appear, transfer the plant to soil.

Lemon Balm, Oregano, Sage, Thyme - The process for regrowing these is identical to regrowing rosemary or mint. You can even combine all in the same glass to save space, but do not pack too close as the roots will tangle.

Parsley only grows for two gardening seasons and then dies. In its first year it produces the delicious leaves that are commonly used for sauces and the second year it goes to seed. A benefit of its final year are its edible roots, which are considered the most flavorful part of the plant. The process for regrowing parsley is identical to the others above.

Fennel is slightly sweet and licorice-flavored in taste and great for poultry. I use dried fennel on pizza. The directions for growing this is different from the others. Cut off the fennel stalks and place the fennel bulb fully submerged in a bowl of water. Place in direct sunlight and change the water every few days. New fennel stems will grow within a few days.

Grilling Tip

Toss some potato chips or Doritos on top of coals and light them. They will burn for long enough to start your coals and there is no fuel smell.

Phone and Medical Info

There is an app that is pre-loaded on iPhone and available for Android that could save your life or the life of someone you love.

It is the Health app, which includes Medical ID. You can use Medical ID to list the names of your emergency contacts, their phone numbers, special instructions, your health ailments, and any medications you are taking or allergic to, that emergency personnel should know about.

Paramedics may not have time to access this information on your phone in an emergency, so it is not meant to replace a medical ID bracelet. However, if time is available, emergency personnel usually know they can swipe for this information.

For iPhones, Tap on Medical ID > Edit. Then turn on Show When Locked. This ensures that first responders can see your medical information even when your iPhone screen is locked. To make an emergency call or to see your Medical ID, wake up your phone by swiping left to right > tap Emergency > make emergency call or tap Medical ID to see the stored medical information.

For Android users solutions vary by manufacturer. Under Settings, look for an Emergency Contact-type feature. It may be under My Information. If so, fill in your medical information and emergency contact numbers.

To add an Emergency Contact to your phone lock screen, tap Settings > Lock Screen > check mark Owner Info > Tap the small icon to the right of Owner Info > type in your emergency contact name and phone number after owner name. This information will scroll across your lock screen even when it is locked.

You Need to Laugh More

Many folks do not laugh enough. This guy has upped his laughing to a fine art. A few moments of pure fun. LINK

Jun 10, 2016

Happy Friday

"He who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love."

I am sowing and planting to reap the benefits of a Happy Friday!

Gas Prices

According to Bloomberg, WTI oil is at $49.61 per barrel, and Brent is at $49.60 per barrel. On Memorial Day 2015, Brent was at $65.37 per barrel, and two years ago Brent was at $110.01.

Flights Perspective

 When Orville Wright died, (January 30, 1948 age 76), Neil Armstrong was 17 years old (born August 5, 1930).

The American Wright brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers are generally credited with inventing, building, and flying the world's first successful airplane. They made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft on December 17, 1903. Neil was the first man to walk on the moon July 20, 1969, sixty six years later. The first Mars landing was July 21, 1976, seven years later.

Why Clockwise

 If you could look directly at the North Pole from space, it would appear to spin counterclockwise. Given that spin, when a stick is placed in the ground parallel to the Earth’s axis in Egypt, the shadow cast by the stick as the Sun moves across the sky will move in a clockwise direction and a similarly placed stick in Australia would cast a shadow that moves counterclockwise.

As far back as when the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians were fashioning their first shadow clocks (~3,500 BC), the measurement of time moved in a clockwise direction. Even as more precise timekeeping methods came about, sundials (which began in earnest around 1,500 BC) remained popular throughout the middle ages and beyond, given their simplicity of construction and relative reliability. In fact, early mechanical clocks were often regularly calibrated to nearby sundials.

So, when mechanical clocks were introduced in Europe in the 14th century, their inventors were quite familiar with sundials and the clockwise direction that their shadows moved and marked time. Accordingly, by the end of that century when even cathedral clocks were sporting clock faces, they were made in imitation of their sundial forbears, with hands that moved in a clockwise direction.

The words clockwise and counterclockwise with present meaning did not appear in English until the 1870s.

The use of wise to mean a way of proceeding dates back to Old English. Clock dates to the invention of modern mechanical clocks during the 14th century. It is thought to come from either clokke (Middle Dutch), cloque (Old North French) or clocca (Medieval Latin) which all meant bell. Some of the earliest mechanical clocks were simply designed to strike a bell at set intervals, perhaps to announce prayer times or simply ring on the hour. Many early clocks did not have a face. Before they were called clocks, these early mechanical clocks were called horologia, from the Greek for “hour” (ὡρα) and “to tell” (λέγειν).

Incidentally, screws turn clockwise because our ancestors learned that right-handed people (about 80% of people) are stronger when they screw clockwise (righty tighty, lefty loosey).

Screw This

Since at least 1725 screw has meant to copulate. Not having your head screwed on right has been an expression since at least 1821. The screwball as a pitch dates back to 1866. Since 1900 it has meant to cheat or defraud. Screw-up as a person began during 1933. “To screw up” dates from 1942. Finally the screwdriver cocktail traces its roots to 1956.

The six great simple machines are the screw, the inclined plane, the lever, the pulley, the wedge, and the wheel and axle.

Browser Tip

Have you ever closed a tab in your browser and then wish you didn't?

Hold down Ctrl and Shift and hit the letter T, the tab will reappear. (This works in at least Chrome, IE, and Firefox.)

Aspirin and Heart Attack

Your chest feels heavy, as if you are in a vise and the pain is spreading to your jaw and shoulder. What to do, call 911, then chew a single uncoated full-size 325-mg aspirin.

The reason you need aspirin is the same reason you should call 911. A heart attack is a dynamic event, and early intervention can limit damage. Paramedics can give you oxygen and medication, and they will monitor your blood pressure and heart rhythm to forestall complications. In the hospital, doctors take EKGs and blood tests to see if you are having a heart attack; if so, they will usually try to open the blocked artery with an angioplasty and stent or a clot-busting drug.

Most heart attacks develop when a cholesterol-laden plaque in a coronary artery ruptures. Relatively small plaques, which produce partial blockages, are the ones most likely to rupture. When they do, they attract platelets to their surface. Platelets are the tiny blood cells that trigger blood clotting. A clot builds up on the ruptured plaque. As the clot grows, it blocks the artery. If the blockage is complete, it deprives a portion of the heart muscle of oxygen. As a result, muscle cells die, a heart attack.

Aspirin helps by inhibiting platelets and just a tiny amount is needed to inhibit all the platelets in the bloodstream. Since the clot grows minute by minute, time is of the essence.
Studies show that a chewed aspirin needs only five minutes to reduce TxB2 concentrations by 50% and 14 minutes for the chewed tablet to produce maximal platelet inhibition, versus 26 minutes for an unchewed aspirin swallowed with water.

Aspirin can also help prevent heart attacks in patients with coronary artery disease and in healthy men over 50 years of age. Low doses, between 81 and 325 mg a day, are needed.

Mustard Facts

People have been eating mustard since biblical times.

Mustard's variety is staggering, but it all comes down to one plant in the Brassica family and three types of seeds it produces: white, also referred to as yellow, because it is light yellow in color; brown, and black. The majority of commercial mustard is made with white or brown mustard seeds, or a mix of the two.

Black seeds are rarely used for mustard. They are sold whole at Indian markets and are common in Indian cooking.

Prepared mustard in a jar is: dried mustard seeds mixed with water and some other liquid, typically vinegar to get that chemical reaction going. Dry mustard or mustard flour is the dried seeds ground to a fine powder. It is in the spice section of the store.

Brown seeds carry more pronounced heat than white seeds. The addition of other ingredients, such as wine or beer instead of vinegar, spices, herbs and the degree to which the seeds are milled give prepared mustard its personality and flavor.

Yellow or American ballpark - The classic hot dog condiment gets its bright hue from turmeric, not from the ground white seeds from which it’s made. It is acidic, but not spicy hot.

Dijon - A silky smooth mustard made with brown seeds. Dijon is made in Dijon, France and must adhere to strict standards as defined by the government, but no such US standards exist. What is sold in the US as 'Dijon-style' mustard is less flavorful than the original.

Deli or American brown - This deli staple made from brown seeds is mildly spicy and not as tart as yellow mustard.

Chinese - Hot dry mustard is ground brown seeds mixed with water. The mustard that comes with egg rolls at a Chinese restaurant is in this category.

English - This mustard is made from white and brown seeds. It is most often seen in powdered form, but also sold in jars.

German - These mustards range in flavor, texture, and heat, but the two most popular styles, both made primarily with the brown seed, are hot and smooth. Bavarian-style, is coarser, milder, and sweeter.

Whole or coarse grain - This is made from a mix of whole and ground seeds, usually the brown.

Mustard, whole mustard seeds, and dry mustard retain their flavor for years. Keep both in a dark, cool spot. Jar mustard, even flavored ones can last for well over a year, but may lose its zing over time. The best way to keep jar mustard fresh is to refrigerate before even opening.

Incidentally, there is a National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin, US.

Jun 3, 2016

Happy Friday

Humor is a tonic for the mind and body.

I always have some tonic to help celebrate a Happy Friday!

Happy Doughnut Day

It is celebrated every first Friday in June. This day is set aside holey in its honor. Go out and get a dozen and enjoy.

Hazard and Risk

Hazard refers to potential for harm and risk refers to chances of being harmed under real-world conditions. Sharks are a hazard. They are fierce predators with sharp teeth, and have attacked humans in the past, but for most people, sharks are not a risk.

If you are swimming in a tank full of sharks, your risk is high. If you are mowing your lawn, your risk is low. The hazard does not change.

Wordology, Whet One’s Appetite

This means to arouse interest in something, usually food. The whet in 'whet one’s appetite' refers to a sharpening, as in sharpening one’s interest in something. Someone may whet your appetite by providing a small taste, an example or enticing description that makes you want more of the item in question or to know more about a subject. Whet one’s appetite dates back to the early 1600s to describe stimulating an appetite for food. Whet is a verb, to sharpen, as on a whetstone, or to make more aware.

Life Hacks

Use permanent marker to write the day of purchase on anything you have that might expire.

When it’s opened, hydrogen peroxide only lasts a few months before it becomes ineffective (aka turns to water). Unopened, it should be tossed after a year. You will know when it is bad when it stops fizzing.

Cheap power strips or ones that have been overworked can be a fire hazard, and use much energy in your house. Even good-quality surge protectors are only designed to last for a certain amount of joules, which is the amount of excess electrical surges they absorb. If they start to discolor or become hot to the touch, get a new one. It is generally a good idea to replace them every three to five years to keep you and your electronics safe.

Fire extinguishers expire from five to fifteen years, depending on the type. This is definitely one thing you want to be sure is OK, when you need it.

Bleach loses some if its potency after three months. This should not be a problem for household laundry, but the disinfectant qualities fall below the EPA standards at this time, which means it is no longer effective for cleaning.

Insect repellent loses effectiveness after about two years from the manufacture date, which should be marked on the bottle.

Bisect vs. Dissect

Bisect means to divide into two equal parts, to cut in two. Bisect comes from the prefix bi- which means two, and the Latin word sect, derived from the word secare which means to cut.

Dissect means to cut apart methodically in order to learn about the internal workings of something, especially a dead animal or plant. Dissect is also used figuratively to mean to analyze something piece by piece. Dissect comes from the prefix dis- which means apart and the Latin word sect, derived from the word secare which means to cut.

More About Grilling Steaks

When your steak hits a hot surface, the smell and color change from pink to brown is part of the Maillard reaction, named for scientist Louis Camille-Maillard, who discovered the principle.

Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, and simple sugars rearrange themselves and produce thousands of molecules that result in smell and color changes, as well as flavor variation and intensification. This happens in all kinds of food, from baking bread to grilled shrimp. It is also what causes toast to smell so good and what turns beer brown.

Having a dry surface encourages the Maillard reaction, which is why so many articles and recipes for steak tell you to let the meat air dry or to pat it with paper towels before cooking it. Drier food plus hot temperatures equals more reactive compounds in your steak. More Maillard reaction equals more flavor.

Serious Eats points out that flipping your steak several times during the cooking process lets the heat from one side disperse back into the meat, which rescues the outer edges from becoming tough and overcooked. Frequent flipping cooks the meat more even, and significantly faster. Flip every minute instead of once or twice and the meat will be done in a third less time. This works because neither side has time to absorb much heat when facing the fire or lose too much heat when facing away.

To remove excess moisture, pat it dry with an absorbent kitchen towel or paper towel before you put it in a pan or on the grill.

You can even go the extra mile and salt steaks ahead of time and let them sit. The salt will add flavor and draw out surface moisture, all while slightly breaking down the proteins and improving the texture of the steak.

For the ultimate in tender, juicy beef, do not forget to slice it against the grain.

If you have any leftover uncooked steaks, freeze them properly for maximum flavor next time.

Grilling Tip

Cut a raw potato, rub it on your grill and the starch acts like a coating to keep food from sticking. Slice off the used edge and enjoy the rest of the potato.

What is IoT

We see these letters more and more, but many folks do not know what they mean. They mean the "Internet of Things."  The IoT is a network of objects connected to the internet that can collect and exchange data.

The new car loaded with apps, the smart home devices that let you control the thermostat and lights with voice commands, the fitness tracker that lets you share your exercise progress with friends and health data with your doctor are all part of IoT. Think about GPS-guided agricultural equipment that can plant, fertilize, and harvest crops.

Business Insider Intelligence estimates that there will be 24 billion IoT devices installed globally by 2020, along with an additional 10 billion PCs, and other devices. It is estimated that $6 trillion will be invested in IoT solutions during the next five years.

Stocks and Elections

According to research, the S&P 500 has correctly "predicted" the winner in 19 of the past 22 presidential elections. If stocks are higher during the three months before the vote, the incumbent party wins; if stocks fall during August through October, a new party wins the White House. Hmmm, more stuff to watch.