Jul 29, 2016

Happy Friday

Happiness is an age eraser. Be happy and you will never grow old.

Stay Happy, stay young and enjoy a Happy Friday!

Why Donkeys and Elephants

Washington insiders considered Andrew Jackson as intemperate, vulgar, and stupid. Opponents called him a jackass. During the 1828 presidential campaign, he embraced the label and began including a jackass on his campaign posters. He became the first Democrat president.

Incidentally, donkeys are in the same family as horses. A male donkey is called a jackass.

During the 1870s, influential political cartoonist Thomas Nast helped popularize the donkey as a symbol for the entire Democrat Party. It first appeared in a cartoon in Harper's Weekly in 1870, and was supposed to represent an anti-Civil War faction. Nast drew a donkey clothed in lion's skin, scaring away all the animals at the zoo. By 1880 it had already become the unofficial symbol of the party.

Thomas Nast, in an 1874 Harper’s Weekly cartoon portrayed various interest groups as animals, including an elephant labeled “The Republican Vote,” which was shown standing at the edge of a pit. He employed the elephant to represent Republicans in additional cartoons during the 1870s, and by 1880 other cartoonists were using the creature to symbolize the party.

Democrats say the donkey is smart and brave and Republicans say the elephant is strong and dignified.

Wordology, Chorale, Choral and Corral

A chorale is a slow, dignified hymn that employs harmony. In the United States, a chorale is also a choir or chorus of people. Chorale comes from the German word Choral which means metrical hymn in Reformed church.

Choral is the adjective form of chorale, meaning written for or sung by a chorale or group of singers.

A corral is a fenced enclosure used to hold livestock, especially horses or cattle. Corral is also used as a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object, to mean 'to contain livestock in a fenced enclosure or to round up'. Related words are corrals, corralled, corralling. Corral is an American word, based on the Spanish word corro which means ring.

Google Energy Use

In 2011, Google's data centers reportedly used 0.01% of the world's electricity, even though it uses low-power servers and high-efficiency data centers. Its networks use 900,000 servers across the world to power the search engine and other services. It uses artificial intelligence to monitor and make best use of electricity.

Six More Peanut Butter Facts

Peanut butter may have long-term health benefits. One recent study showed that girls between the ages of 9 and 15 who regularly ate peanut butter were 39 percent less likely to develop benign breast disease by age 30.

Peanut butter is loaded with potassium, which is shown to help counteract the effects of a high-sodium diet by relaxing the blood vessels. This is especially helpful when pairing peanut butter with bacon.

Animal trainers for movies and TV achieved a 'talking horse' effect by feeding them sticky peanut butter and letting them flap their jaws.

Thomas Jefferson did peanut farming before becoming president.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are considered the all-American school lunch food, but Canadians and the Dutch consume more peanut butter per capita than Americans do.

The peanuts in your peanut butter today are a different variety than the ones used 50 years ago. In the 1960s, peanut butter was made with a combination of Spanish peanuts and Virginia peanuts. Now the less expensive runner peanuts are used.

TV Types

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is now entering the market, traditional light emitting diode (LED) TVs are benefiting from the extra performance. If you watch movies with the lights off HDR is fine, but the best HDR-equipped full back lit LED TVs can also look good in a bright room.

Among LED TVs, there are two backlight types: Direct LED (full-array) where a large back-light shines through the whole screen, and edge-lit where lights emit from the edges.

Organic light emitting diode (OLED) TVs tend to shine, especially when the lights are off. This is because every pixel emits its own light. OLED is still the best, but if you want a TV above 65 inches you likely will be choosing an LED TV, unless you have a spare $30,000, which is the current cost of large OLED TVs.

Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese has been around since at least the 12th century and takes its name from the English village of Cheddar. The nearby Cheddar Gorge is full of caves that offer ideal conditions for aging cheese, so dairy farmers began using their surplus milk to make a new kind of cheese. Unlike other cheeses with geographically protected names, modern cheddar can come from anywhere, not just the area around Cheddar.

Cheddar cheese eventually became one of England’s most popular snacks. In 1170, King Henry II bought over five tons of the cheese for the bargain price of just a little over £10. By the time Charles I took over the throne in 1625, demand for the cheese had grown so high that the only place one could find it was at the king’s court.

Holey Swiss Cheese

The majority of holes in Swiss cheese, by USDA regulation, must measure between 11/16 and 13/16 of an inch in diameter.

Armies of microbes consume lactic acid excreted by other bacteria. They belch and otherwise exude carbon dioxide gas. This produces the familiar Swiss cheese holes. These big holes are tough on current cheese slicing machines, so the industry is asking that the regulations for Grade A Swiss be revised to make the average hole 6/16 of an inch in diameter. Many are upset that the government even bothers to regulate Swiss cheese hole size.

Jul 28, 2016

Happy Friday

A smile is brighter than a thousand light bulbs.

Smile, light up today and enjoy a Happy Friday!

Carousel vs. Merry-go-round

They are the same. In England and much of Europe, these rides usually go clockwise. In the US they move counterclockwise. To some Americans, a merry-go-round is a simple spinning playground fixture for children and a carousel is a more elaborate ride, with music, fancy horses, and other creatures.

They both can be a revolving circular platform fitted with seats, often in the form of animals, ridden for amusement, or a piece of playground equipment consisting of a small circular platform that revolves when pushed or pedaled.

Another definition of carousel is a tournament in which groups of knights took part in chariot races and other demonstrations of equestrian skills. Still one more is a continuously revolving belt, track or other device on which items are placed for later retrieval, such as a food or luggage carousel.

Chemotherapy Origin

During the early 1900s, German chemist Paul Ehrlich focused his attention on immunology as well as combating infectious diseases through the use of drugs. Ehrlich coined the term 'chemotherapy', which he described as a process of treating diseases with chemicals.
He tested his chemicals on animal models and was the first person to show the potential effect that drugs could have. In 1908, Ehrlich used arsenicals to treat syphilis in a live rabbit, which he cured before penicillin was created in 1929.

In time, he turned his interest to the cure of cancer, ultimately using the first alkylating agents and aniline dyes that proved to be effective. His pioneering research and the therapies that he discovered, such as using chemicals that combated not only diseases, but tumors as well led to groundbreaking contributions that gave birth to modern chemotherapy.

Wordology, On Accident, By Accident

A survey by Indiana State University indicates that people born after 1990 almost always say 'on accident', and are not aware that 'by accident' is proper usage. Those born before 1970 almost always say 'by accident'. 

European Union Origins, Changes

Many are aware of the recent headlines of the 'Brexit' or British secession from the European Union (EU), but are not aware of what the European Union is, how young it is, and how it began and changed over time. Here is a quick summary of the volatility, tenuousness, and fluidity of the EU.

During 1986 the Single European Act was signed. It is a treaty which provides the basis for a six-year program aimed at reducing problems with the free flow of trade across EU borders and creating a single market. In 1993 the Single Market was completed with the four freedoms of: movement of goods, services, people, and money.

During that time, there was major political upheaval when, during 1989 the Berlin Wall was pulled down and the border between East and West Germany was opened for the first time in 28 years, leading to the reunification of East and West Germany. The collapse of communism across central and eastern European brought Europeans closer together.

The Maastricht Treaty (formally, the Treaty on European Union) signed by the then 12 member nations, entered into force in 1993 with the goal of creating an economic and monetary union by 1999 for all EU states except the UK and Denmark. It aimed at unifying policies of defense, currency, and citizenship among the member nations. It has been amended by the treaties of Amsterdam, Nice, and Lisbon.

The euro was introduced to world financial markets as an accounting currency during January 1999 and in 2002 notes and coins began to circulate, with legacy currencies exchangeable at commercial banks in the currency's nation generally until 30 June 2002.

The Treaty of Amsterdam, which amended the Single European Act, other treaties establishing the European Communities, and certain related acts, was signed during 1997, and entered into force on 1 May 1999. It also made substantial changes to the Treaty of Maastricht.

Under the Treaty of Amsterdam, member states agreed to devolve certain powers from national governments to the European Parliament across diverse areas, including legislating on immigration, adopting civil and criminal laws, and enacting foreign and security policy, as well as implementing institutional changes for expansion as new member nations join the EU.

The Treaty of Nice came into force on 1 February 2003. It provided for an increase after enlargement of the number of seats in the European Parliament, which has ceremonial precedence over all authority at European level to 732 (currently 751), which exceeded the cap established by the Treaty of Amsterdam. It also provided for the creation of subsidiary courts below the European Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance to deal with special areas of law such as patents, among others. The treaty caused much consternation and debate among members.

The Treaty of Lisbon amends the two main treaties which formed the constitutional basis of the European Union. The Treaty of Lisbon was entered into force on 1 December 2009. The stated aim of the treaty was to "complete the process started by the Treaty of Amsterdam and by the Treaty of Nice with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and to improving the coherence of its action." It contained stronger powers for the European Parliament and a new role for national parliaments. One article called for "the word 'assent' shall be replaced by 'consent'". See my blog for definitions. LINK

The exact impact of the treaty on the functioning of the EU left many uncertainties which have led to calls for yet another new treaty to be drafted.

The European Union now consists of 28 countries, including Croatia, last to join the EU on July 1, 2013. Stay tuned folks as this remains a very fluid situation.

Smartphone Camera Hack

Have you ever been somewhere when you needed to scan a document, but no scanner was available. Use your phone camera to take a picture of the document. It is quick and easy. You can send the picture as a PDF file or as a JPG picture file to your home computer or directly to whomever you choose. It is also handy to use for snapping pictures of bills for itemizing expenses. Other ideas for smartphone use can be found HERE.

National Sleepy Head Day

National Sleepy Head Day (Finnish: Unikeonpäivä) is celebrated in Finland on July 27 every year. Traditionally on this day, the last person in the house (the "laziest") to wake up is woken up using water, either by being thrown into a lake or the sea, or by having water thrown on them. Other traditions include shaving the left side of the "laziest" man's chest. It is based on the story of the Saints of Ephesus who slept in a cave for some 200 years during the Middle Ages whilst hiding from persecution by Decius, the Roman Emperor at the time.

In the city of Naantali, a Finnish celebrity is chosen every year to be thrown in the sea from the city's port at 7 a.m. The identity of the sleeper is kept secret until the event. People who are chosen have usually done something to the benefit of the city. Every city mayor has thus far been thrown to the sea at least once, but other sleepers have included president Tarja Halonen's husband, Dr. Pentti Arajärvi, the CEO of Neste Oil Risto Rinne, along with many writers, artists, and politicians.

Ten Uses for Nail Polish Remover

1. Wipe away permanent marker from any smooth surface.

2. Erase scuff marks from laminate, tile, or concrete floors.

3. Remove the sticky residue from jar labels.

4. Clean and sanitize your razor.

5. Remove stains from white china.

6. Remove nail polish from the carpet. (Pour a generous amount over the stain and let it sit for about a minute before using a hard-bristled brush to scrub it out.

7. Take stray paint off glass windows.

8. Wipe off stains on your shoes.

9. Wipe off colored printing from plastic containers.

10. Loosen the superglue cap. Use a few drops of nail polish remover to dissolve the glue that is dried on the cap.

Jul 15, 2016

Happy Friday

Joy lives at the intersection of the conscious and the unconscious.

My internal GPS points me toward joy every Happy Friday!

Happy National Flitch Day

National Flitch Day is an informal holiday dedicated to an ancient English custom that dates back to the 14th century. A flitch is a measurement of bacon, now known as a slab.

In England, married couples were awarded a flitch of bacon if they did not repent on their marriage for a year and a day. A couple would come to monks and stand a mock trial to prove that they had been loving and faithful to one another for one year and did not wish they were single again. If they succeeded, they were awarded a flitch of bacon.

This tradition was brought to America by English settlers, but did not survive.

Flitch trials are still held in Great Dunmow, England once every leap year. They are organized by the Dunmow Flitch Trials Committee. The jury that reaches a verdict consists of six maidens and six bachelors, even though there is no longer an actual trial. Great Dunmow is believed to be the only location to have preserved the flitch of bacon custom.


We usually think of helium as that stuff that goes in balloons, but it is much more. It is formed by the slow and steady radioactive decay of terrestrial rock and is the second most abundant element in the Universe, but very rare on Earth. Helium is used for keeping  satellite instruments cool and to clean out rocket engines. It was also used to cool the liquid oxygen and hydrogen that powered the Apollo space vehicles.

Helium is used as a cooling medium for the Large Hadron Collider  and the superconducting magnets in medical MRI scanners. It is often used to fill party balloons, weather balloons, and airships because of its low density. Helium-neon gas lasers are used to scan barcodes at supermarket checkouts.

A mixture of 80% helium and 20% oxygen is used by deep-sea divers and others working under pressurized conditions.

It also makes for fun differences with our vocal cords. When you inhale helium, you are changing the type of gas molecules in your vocal tract and increasing the speed of the sound of your voice and changing the timbre. Your voice sounds higher pitched. In contrast, heavier gases like xenon and sulfur hexafluoride slow the speed of sound and lower your resonant frequencies.

PC Mouse Trick

If you use a mouse with a scroll button, press it toward the right when you are on a page that is too wide to fit on a screen. Now you can scroll left and right without using the scroll bar on the bottom of the screen. Left click and it turns off. Also, you can hold the shift key and use the scroll wheel. Works great with large pictures and articles that are too wide to fit on one screen.

TVs and Nits

Many new TVs come with a nit rating, such as the new Samsung HDR (High Dynamic Range) TV, which has 1,000 nits. Computer LCD screens emit up to around 300 nits. The term nit is believed to come from the Latin word nitere, to shine.

A nit is defined as a unit of light intensity and one nit is equal to one candela per square meter. A candela is the amount of light produced by one candle. Bottom line for TV watching, more nits equals brighter brights and darker blacks.


X-rays were discovered during 1895. The first use of X-rays under clinical conditions was by John Hall-Edwards in Birmingham, England on 11 January 1896.

Up until 2010, five billion medical imaging studies have been conducted worldwide. Radiation exposure from medical imaging in 2006 made up about 50% of total ionizing radiation exposure in the United States.

X-rays both cause and kill cancer. The use of X-rays as a treatment is known as radiation therapy and is largely used for the management of cancer. It requires higher radiation doses than those received for imaging alone. X-rays beams are used for treating skin cancers using lower energy X-ray beams while higher energy beams are used for treating cancers within the body such as brain, lung, prostate, and breast.

A Computed Tomography (CT scan) and computerized axial tomography (CAT scan) make use of computer-processed combinations of many X-ray images taken from different angles to produce cross-sectional (tomographic) images of specific areas of a scanned person or object, allowing a user to see inside without cutting.

Diagnostic X-rays, primarily from CT  scans due to the large dose used increase the risk of developmental problems and cancer in those exposed. X-rays are classified as a carcinogen by both the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer and the US government. The radiation doses received from CT scans are 100 to 1,000 times higher than conventional X-rays. Cancers in the United States caused by CT scans performed in the past have been estimated to be as high as two percent.

According to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, between the 1980s and 2006, the use of CT scans increased six hundred percent.  A study by a New York hospital found that nearly a third of its patients who underwent multiple scans received the equivalent of five thousand chest X-rays. Bottom line, if your doc or dentist cannot convince you that you really need the X-ray do not get it. Consider the X-ray factor of your future health vs. their wallet.

Adage, Axiom, Epigram, and Idiom

An adage is a traditional saying or proverb that states a piece of wisdom or a general truth. An adage is usually something that has been repeated for so long that it is a cliche, such as 'less is more'.

An axiom is a statement or principle that is accepted as being true, self-evidently true, or proven true by virtue of experience. An axiom can be the foundation for further study or knowledge. Axiom and adage are interchangeable and are usually sayings that have been repeated, often over many generations. Mathematicians make heavy use of axioms and maxims. An Aphorism can be a short Axiom.

An epigram is a short, witty, saying or remark expressed with brevity and sometimes paradoxically. An epigram is usually an original saying or remark, such as 'I can resist everything but temptation'. Many famous quotes are epigrams.

An idiom is a word or phrase whose meaning cannot be understood outside its cultural context. These expressions are usually figurative, such as 'cut to the chase', 'rule of thumb', etc. Idioms generally convey a casual tone and are known culturally, so other cultures may not understand the phrase or meaning. Many adages, axioms, and epigrams can also be considered idioms if not universally known.

Heineken Bricks

During 1962, Alfred Heineken created a beer bottle that also could function as a brick to build houses in impoverished countries.

Medicine and Humor

The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine says, "A highly significant increase in survival was due to the psychological variables of block three [quality of life and sense of humor] (p < .001) essentially accounted for by sense of humor (p < .005). Those who scored above the median in sense of humor increased their odds for survival by on average 31%. Conclusions: Sense of humor appeared to mediate better coping and, therefore, protected against detrimental effects of disease-related stressors upon survival."

This finding is in line with the notions that stress weakens the immune system and humor can reduce stress.

Researchers are using the idea that stress reduces blood flow and laughter increases blood flow. A preliminary study by Michael Miller, M.D., and others (all from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore) used violent and comedic movie scenes with twenty patients. In 2005 Miller reported that "average blood flow increased twenty two percent during laughter, and decreased 35 percent during mental stress." He said we still need to exercise regularly, but 15 minutes of laughter on a daily basis is probably good for the vascular system.

Bottom line, laughter can improve your health.

Jul 8, 2016

Happy Friday

Happiness creates more confidence than does knowledge.

I am confident that today will be a Happy Friday!

International Sons of The Desert Convention

It will be celebrated at the Cumbria Grand Hotel July 13 - 17. This is the Laurel and Hardy fan club convention and always provides a good time with hi-jinks and showings of their movies, plus more.

Hot Dog Day

It is on July 14 and celebrated all over the world. Enjoy some dogs today, especially with bacon and cheese or other toppings of choice.

Bastille Day

The French recognize Bastille Day, July 14, officially National Day or formally called La Fête Nationale as the end of the monarchy and beginning of the modern republic. The lasting significance of the storming of the Bastille event was in its recognition that power could be held by ordinary citizens. Today, Parisians celebrate this national holiday with a grand military parade up the Champs Elysées, colorful arts festivals, fireworks, and raucous parties.

Wordology, Lock, Stock, and Barrel

This means everything, the whole thing. The term lock, stock, and barrel refers to the parts of a gun. There are three major parts of a gun, the lock or firing mechanism, the stock or wood handle, and the barrel which the bullet travels through. If one has a lock, stock, and barrel, then one has everything that makes up a gun. In time, the phrase came to be used figuratively to mean the whole thing.

Old Time Radio Online

Download or Listen Online to over 35,000 Old Time Radio Shows. http://www.rusc.com/ (R U Sitting Comfortably)

This site features background information for each show. Less variety than RUSC. http://www.relicradio.com/otr/

This site has old and new TV shows, music, libraries,  arcades, free software, and much more. The radio portion has 2,500 shows, such as Gunsmoke, Sherlock Holmes, Johnny Dollar, Dragnet, Jack Benny, Amos and Andy, etc. is at https://archive.org/details/oldtimeradio

All provide great background listening while surfing the web.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is such a staple of American childhood that it seems like it has been around forever. In fact, there are people alive today in America who grew up in a world when the PB&J sandwich was not well-known. The first known reference to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was in a 1901 cookbook.

The first reference of peanut butter dates back to about 1000 BC with the Ancient Incas. Records show both Africans and Chinese grinding peanuts into a paste early in the 15th century. Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Quebec was the first person to patent peanut butter. He was issued with US patent #306727 in 1884. J.H. Kellogg of cereal fame, secured US patent #580787 in 1897 for his 'Process of Preparing Nutmeal', which produced a "pasty adhesive substance" that Kellogg called 'nut-butter.' George Washington Carver was born only a few years before Edson's patent was issued and he did develop a number of uses for the peanut, but he did not invent peanut butter.

US law dictates that any product labeled “peanut butter” in the United States must be at least 90 percent peanut. Eighty percent of the peanut butter sold in the U.S. is creamy, while seventeen percent is crunchy. The rest is mixed.

The jelly part of the sandwich could mean jelly, jam, or other fruit preserves. It has also been around for a long time, going all the way back to at least the first century, mentioned in 'Of Culinary Matters' by Marcus Gavius Apicius.

Mr. Welch developed Grapelade from Concord grapes in 1918, which proved to be extremely popular among the troops during World War I. When they got back from the war, they spread the practice of using it on bread. I just enjoyed a PB&J on a toasted English Muffin.

Lightning Strikes

Between 2004 and 2013 an average of 33 Americans died each year as a result of lightning strikes. The numbers have been coming down and during 2015 there were only 27 lightning deaths.

Lightning strike Washington Monument Aug 15, 2010.

Nine occurred during the first six months of 2016. On average, about three times as many men are killed as women. About ten percent of people struck by lightning become a fatality.

Wordology, Luthier

A luthier (loo ti ur) is someone who builds or repairs string instruments generally consisting of a neck and a sound box. The word "luthier" comes from the French word luth, which means lute. The term originally referred to makers of lutes and is now used interchangeably with any term that refers to makers of a specific, or specialty, type of stringed instrument, such as violin maker, guitar maker, or lute maker.

Antonio Stradivari was an Italian luthier who lived between 1644 and 1737. Throughout his life he made around 1,100 instruments, 650 of which are still around today. Out of these, about 500 are violins. Five out of 12 of the most expensive violins in the world today were made by him, and the most expensive one, called “The Messiah Stradivarius” is worth $20 million. How he was able to craft them so perfectly still baffles luthiers today.

Jul 2, 2016

Happy Friday

Happiness wrinkles make us look younger.

I always feel young while celebrating a Happy Friday!

Middle Day

July 2, at noon is the exact middle of the year. It has 182 days before and 182 days following.

Independence Day

Happy 4th of July next Monday. Let’s remember what Independence Day is really all about, even if they call it just another paid day off in Washington, where they have traded in Free Speech for Cheap Talk.

LEDs Making us Fat?

Am thinking they are trying way too hard to get headlines. According to the American Medical Association, which represents about 15% of physicians, "Recent large surveys found that brighter residential nighttime lighting is associated with reduced sleep times, dissatisfaction with sleep quality, excessive sleepiness, impaired daytime functioning, and obesity." It says, "the effect of streetlight LEDs on drivers and passengers lingers even after we have locked our cars and headed indoors, especially if we have LEDs in our houses."

Incidentally, Doximity, a social network for doctors founded in 2011 now has more members than the AMA.

Robo Call Blockers

I hate robo calls. A very annoying thing about my phone is that when I block a robo caller, it still lets the caller go to voice mail. So I went looking for a solution. Two apps might help. Truecaller for iPhone and Android, and Nomorobo for VOIP home phones.

Nomoromo blocks known robo and spam callers and you can add your own numbers to block. Truecaller allows saved contacts and blocks spam callers and telemarketers. It also searches for any name or number not in your contacts, so you do not incorrectly block numbers from a school or doctor's office. Bottom line, seems a bit intrusive with checking your contact list, but blocks robos and spammers.

Robot Persons

Some lawmakers in Europe want to declare robots "electronic persons" as part of an effort to anticipate a future legal framework and to be able to tax them as people.

Energy Credits and Rebates

My area was recently hit with a major hailstorm and it caused much destruction to cars, homes, and specifically roofs and skylights. Insurance has been very good to pick up most costs, but not always the total cost.

I went looking for other ways to make up the difference and found many energy companies, local, state, and federal government programs that offer credits and rebates. Energy companies favor credits toward future bills. Too many options to list here, but this federal
LINK is a start. In addition, look for your local utility company specifically and your state as well as local city and local county web sites for more info.

It is also wise to ask your contractor if he or she is aware of credits and rebates. It might help when choosing a roof type, adding insulation, etc. A little research can yield big financial benefits.

Windows 10 Free Upgrade Ends

The free upgrade offer ends on July 29. 2016 and will not be extended. Any upgrades completed before that date will be valid for as long as the device lasts. It is now in use by over three hundred million people, so has long been stable.

Interestingly, The newest next major iteration of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will become available on August 2, after the July 29 deadline. That means users who did not upgrade before the deadline will be another version behind.

The cost after July 29 will be - Windows 10 Home $119 (£78, AU$156) and Windows 10 Pro $199 (£131, AU$262) per license.

Blood Pressure History

In 1628, Dr. Harvey published Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus (“On the Movement of the Heart and Blood in Animals”), which was the foundation for work on the circulatory system.

Over 100 years later in 1733, Reverend Stephen Hales recorded the first blood pressure measurement after developing a further understanding of the correlation between the heart and pulse and how it applies to blood pressure and volume.

This new knowledge allowed for the invention of the first sphygmomanometer (blood pressure monitor) in 1881 by Samuel Siegfried Karl Ritter von Basch.

However, it wasn’t until 1905 that Dr. Nikolai Korotkoff discovered the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressures, further improving the sphygmomanometer by using a cuff that could be placed around the arm to provide equal pressure. Korotkoff discovered the varying sounds within the arteries as pressure was applied and released, and this remains the standard of blood pressure measurement to this day.

Here is what the US National Institution of Health says, Blood pressure can identify potential heart disease, stroke, eye problems, or chronic kidney disease.

All adults should have their blood pressure checked:
- Every 2 years if your blood pressure was less than 120/80 mm Hg at the most recent reading.
- Yearly if your last reading was 120 to 139/80 to 89 mm Hg or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems.
Wow, modern medical technology with a silly name and over a hundred years old.

Spaghetti Scooper

Have you ever wondered what the hole in the middle of the scooper is for? It is to measure one serving of spaghetti, it also helps drain water after cooking. Now you know.

Facts About Aldi

It was founded by brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht in 1946 when they took over their mother's store in Essen, Germany which had been in operation since 1913. It is one of the world's largest privately owned companies. The name is a syllabic abbreviation for Albrecht Diskont.

The German discount supermarket chain is the ninth largest retailer in the world, following Walmart, Tesco, Costco, Carrefour, Kroger, Lidl, Metro AG, and Home Depot. Target is number ten. Five of the top ten are American and three of the top ten are German owned.

  • Nine of ten items Aldi sells are store brands,
  • You must bring your own bags,
  • You must pay 25 cent deposit for cart (you get it back when returned),
  • Aldi accepts no coupons,
  • Items at Aldi are, on average, 53% cheaper than at Walmart,
  • Aldi owns Trader Joe's.