Nov 17, 2017

Happy Friday

Life advice is like airplane advice, "Make sure you have your own taken care of before helping others with theirs."

I am always ready to help others celebrate a Happy Friday!

Happy Thanksgiving

Next Thursday November 23, many in the US celebrate Thanksgiving. (Canadians already had their celebration on Monday October 9.) Have fun, enjoy family and friends, and get to bed early so you are ready for the Black Friday buying spree ahead of Christmas.

Turkey Myth Debunked

Myth: Eating turkey makes you sleepy.

Thanksgiving is the official holiday you load yourself up with a competitive eater's portion of hot, steamy bird meat and a myriad of other treats. Many believe your fragile body is no match for the turkey's almighty tryptophan, a sedative so powerful that you wind up falling asleep before halftime of the football game.

According to nutritionists, food science researchers, and people who are not your grandparents, turkey is not a sedative. It is true that turkey has tryptophan (an amino acid that eventually becomes serotonin and melatonin; neurochemicals which play a role in getting your brain to fall asleep).

However, turkey does not contain enough tryptophan to have any noticeable effect on your state of consciousness. In fact, it has exactly as much tryptophan as other dairy, nut, and meat products do. In fact, cheddar cheese contains more tryptophan than turkey.

The main reason you pass out on the couch after the great meal and conversation is the fact that you ate, on average 4,500 calories or more. You pass out because your body is working overtime, struggling to digest all the meat, dressing, bread, desert, and other goodies you just consumed. A few pre and post meal alcoholic beverages also add to the mix, increasing the desire to share a comfortable nap with family.

Incidentally, when it comes to drinking that warm glass of milk, there are no natural sedatives at play either. It is simply very soothing to slowly drink a warm liquid causing a completely calming reaction.

Aluminum Myth Debunked

While we are discussing cooking, many use aluminum foil to cover their holiday bird to prevent burning. Myth: aluminum foil and cookware is linked to Alzheimer's Disease.
This myth was repeated often in the late 80s and through the 90s, and even though it has lately not mentioned as often, mainly because it is not true. There are still many people who believe it.

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

Since those studies, a great deal of research has been done into what possible connections aluminum may have with Alzheimer's Disease. The results failed to show any substantive link or connection between aluminum and risk for Alzheimer's Disease. Most experts believe any aluminum absorbed by the body is processed by the kidneys and urinated out, and it does not pose a threat for Alzheimer's Disease.

ECG vs. EKG vs. EEG

An ECG is an acronym for echocardiogram, EKG is acronym for electrocardiogram, and EEG is an acronym for electroencephalogram.

An ECG  is a more advanced testing procedure in comparison to the EKG. The echocardiogram uses ultrasound, or echoing high-frequency sound waves, to create a visual image of your heart. This helps doctors view the internal structure of your heart and how well blood is able to flow through it. Doctors can also get an accurate read on the size and shape of your heart, as well as the level of heart valve function. Echocardiograms are typically used to diagnosis blood clots, infections, and can be used to detect previous heart attacks. By indicating the velocity of blood flow as it leaves the heart, an echocardiogram can indicate whether the heart is pumping efficiently. An ECG can be performed with an external tranducer moved over the heart area or a transesophageal ECG where a thin, flexible tube is inserted into your mouth and down your esophagus.

An EKG can be an effective diagnostic tool for measuring the electrical efficiency of your heart. A healthy heart beats at a certain rhythm. An EKG displays the patterns of your heart as it beats, to determine abnormalities in heart rhythm. It can detect changes in the thickness of the heart walls, or potential damage to the heart muscle and tissue. It is performed by attaching various leads to your chest area.

An EEG is a test that also measures electrical activity, but in the brain and nerves. The electrical signals in your brain, or brain waves, are recorded in peaks and valleys on a graph. It can help determine a seizure, epilepsy, a tumor, or a stroke. EEG is also used to detect head injuries, sleep disorders, dementia, or Alzheimer’s Disease, and more. It is performed using metal discs called electrodes stuck to your scalp.
There is a statue in England that stands over 26 feet tall and is made from over 100,000 knives. It is titled the Knife Angel. The sculpture was constructed at the Shropshire-based British Ironworks Centre to raise awareness about knife crime in the United Kingdom. It is claimed to be Britain's biggest monument against violence and aggression ever created.


The sculptor, Alfie Bradley, spent two years designing and building the sculpture which features police and personal donated knives, many of which were used in violent crimes all over England and Wales. Families affected by knife crime, police officers, politicians, celebrities, community leaders, and ex-gang members welded their own knives on the sculpture as a symbolical gesture.

Families of those lost to knife violence can engrave a message onto one of the sculpture’s thousands of blades. The sculptor hopes to get it placed in Trafalgar square in London to raise awareness of violence and aggression and as a national tribute to victims of knife crime.

Inflammable vs. Flammable

Inflammable and flammable are two words that are frequently misinterpreted. Some people mistake the words as having opposite meanings. In reality, flammable and inflammable mean exactly the same thing—capable of burning.
Inflammable precedes the word flammable and has always meant 'tends to catch fire easily'.

The US National Fire Protection Association urged Americans during the 1920s to start using the word flammable to avoid confusion, because they thought people may mistake inflammable as meaning not being able to burn. Flammable has since become the preferred alternative on warning labels.


Incidentally, non-flammable is the opposite, meaning not flammable.

US Phone LTE Speeds

 LTE is an acronym for Long Term Evolution, basically a term, along with 4G (fourth generation) for phone signal speeds. Open Signal's latest report on the status of LTE networks indicates that the United States ranks fourth in overall LTE availability, with 86.5% of people able to access an LTE signal.

However, LTE service in the States is slower than fifty eight other countries worldwide. The report ranking the United States fifty-ninth of seventy seven countries in terms of average downstream speeds at around 15 Mbps. Most other studies also indicate that United States citizens pay more money for 4G LTE wireless broadband than most other developed countries. So, it is more available, more costly, and less speed. Seems like, in the US greed beats speed.

Jack Churchill

Lieutenant-Colonel John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming "Mad Jack" Churchill, of the British Army is regarded as one the greatest warriors of all time. Prior to his service in WW2, Churchill was the archery champion of Great Britain and represented his country in the world championships.
During World War II he recorded what is thought to be the last confirmed bow and arrow kill in modern warfare, killing a Nazi NCO in France in 1940. The archery shot signaled the rest of his men to launch an attack on the Nazi patrol.
To signal the start of a raid on a German garrison in Norway in 1941, Churchill leapt out his position playing “March of the Cameron Men” on the bagpipes before tossing a grenade at the enemy position and getting into the fight.
He fought throughout the entirety of World War II armed with a longbow, arrows, and a Scottish broadsword. In July 1943, he led his commando unit from their landing site in Sicily with his broadsword hanging from his belt, his longbow and arrows around his neck, and his bagpipes under his arm. After infiltrating the town, he took 42 men prisoner, including a mortar squad.

When the war was over, Churchill remarked, “If it wasn’t for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years.

Hamburger 101

Two things all the experts agree on for a succulent burger are simple; good meat and do not mess with it while cooking.

1: Start with meat that is not too lean, 80/20 is good. A juicy burger needs fat content to be juicy. Lean meat is, by definition lean and that means less fat. Less fat means drier burger.


2: Do not press the burger. Let it cook. Pressing the meat presses the juices out and they stay on the grill or in the pan, not in the meat.

Everything else, like salt, pepper, other condiments, trimmings, toppings are all a matter of taste. Bottom line, beauty and taste are individual preferences, but juiciness is in the meat.

Nov 3, 2017

Happy Friday

Attitude is a practiced art.

Practice a positive attitude especially on a Happy Friday!

Daylight Saving

It is happening to all of us again this weekend. That silly time old and futile political tradition of trying to control time. Australia changed October 1. Europe and others began changing clocks Oct 27, 28, and 29. For most of the US, Sunday Nov 5, 2am is the time to set your clock back. Fiji and Tonga set theirs ahead one hour.

The biannual time change was originally implemented to save energy. Yet dozens of studies around the world have found that changing the clocks has either minuscule or non-existent effects on energy use. In addition, current research suggests the time change can be harmful to our health and cost us money.
Following the 1973 oil embargo, the US Congress extended the DST period to 10 months in 1974 and 8 months in 1975, in an effort to save energy. After the energy crisis was over in 1976, the DST schedule in the US was revised several times. From 1987 to 2006, the country observed DST for about 7 months each year.

Arizona does not observe daylight saving, but some Indian tribes within the state do. In fact, if driving a route from the Arizona state border through both Navajo and Hopi areas to the other side, a person can end up changing clocks 7 times. For example: Tuba City (Navajo) and Moenkopi (Hopi) are only a few miles apart, but they have a 1-hour time difference during the summer. Jeddito (Navajo), in the middle of Hopi Nation territory, is 1 hour ahead of the surrounding areas during summer.


If a baby is born at 11 p.m. in California and another baby is born at 2 a.m. in New York, they have different birthdays even though they were born simultaneously.

Wordology, Dewlap

The extra flap of skin and fatty tissue that is under the chin of a female rabbit is called a dewlap. The dewlap tends to appear when female rabbits have reached the age when they can begin to reproduce. The dewlap provides a place where the female can pull out her own fur and use it to line her nest. The nest is where she will sleep as well as produce and raise her offspring.

Psycho Censors

Psycho is a genre-defining movie, regarded as one of the finest psychological horror films of all time. The film broke new ground in several ways.
It was also the first film to show a toilet flushing on screen. The censors objected to it and tried have the toilet scene removed, but Hitchcock objected. They eventually gave up trying to fix the film and let the toilet flush be shown. Interesting that the offending flush takes place about forty seconds before a character is brutally stabbed to death in a shower while completely naked.

Incidentally, Alfred Hitchcock staged the shower murder scene in such a way the censors could not find a specific shot that broke the censor's rules.

Zappa Censored

Before streaming and YouTube, stickers, such as 'Explicit Content' were considered a death sentence for certain albums as they effectively prevented them from being sold by large chains of stores that wanted to project a family friendly image. One store went a bit far and put an 'explicit lyrics' sticker on an all instrumental album.

Albums could be slapped with an explicit lyrics sticker for containing a single objectionable lyric. Frank Zappa holds the dubious honor of being the only artist known to have received a parental warning sticker for explicit lyrics on an entirely instrumental album.

The Jazz from Hell album contains no lyrics. It does contain a track titled G-Spot Tornado. This was enough for the Fred Meyer chain of stores to put an explicit lyrics warning label on the album even though the entire album is lyric-less. It appears that some doth protest too much.

Moving Out

According to 2012 US Census data, 74 percent of people living in Pennsylvania were born there. In addition, just 63 percent of New Yorkers, 61 percent of Texans, and 54 percent of Californians, were born in the state in which they currently resided.

Captcha This

Captcha comes from "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart". It is used by web sites to distinguish human web users from robot spammers.

Recently, in just minutes, an artificially intelligent machine cracked ond of those jumbled text sequences. The smart machine can be trained in a matter of minutes using just a few hundred example characters, researchers said. It works with multiple different styles of captcha and can also be re-purposed to identify handwritten digits, recognize text in photos of real-world scenarios, and detect non-text objects in images. That is because the company designed the system to mimic the way the brain identifies objects after seeing just a few examples and recognize them in strange new configurations.


Text-based captchas as above work, because unlike humans, computers struggle to recognize the distorted and partially hidden characters that make them up. Though many current machine-learning systems that can solve them exist, they must be trained on millions of images to work.

Many websites have moved away from text-based captchas, and are using image-based tests and data on mouse movements, or cookies to analyze whether users are human or machine. Some captchas are also difficult for humans to accurately decipher on first try.

Oct 27, 2017

Happy Friday

You cannot hide true happiness any more than you can turn off sunlight.

Every day let your happiness shine through, especially on a Happy Friday!

Football Statistics

It is football time of the year and I dug up some interesting statics that go far beyond the typical yards gained, passes thrown, etc.
The average NFL game lasts about 3 hours and 11 minutes, but has about 11 minutes of actual game play. The 60-minute game clock in football can run when the ball is not in play. That means much of game time is spent standing around, walking, huddling up before each play begins, etc.
The 11 minutes of action was calculated a few years ago by the Wall Street Journal. It actually averages out to between 11 and 14 minutes of play. (Counting from the snap of the football to when the play is whistled dead.)


An average game has more than 20 breaks containing over 100 commercials.

Its analysis found that an average NFL broadcast spent more time on replays (17 minutes) than live play. The majority of time (75 minutes) was spent watching players, coaches, and referees essentially wandering around the field.
An average play in the NFL lasts just four seconds and NFL teams average between 64 and120 plays per game.
If you take the highest paid star, Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions and his 2017 salary of $27,000,000 and divide it by game minutes played per season of 16 games - 6 * 11= 176 minutes, $27 million divided by 176 minutes comes out to $153, 409.09 per minute of play - not bad. (Of course this presumes no playoff games for them, which is usually a safe assumption for the Lions.)
The hundreds of millions paid by advertisers to networks and the hundreds of millions paid by viewers to networks and the hundreds of millions paid to teams and players cannot be calculated according to minutes played as we and they are also paying for the rest of the twaddle, not just the game.


Incidentally,
Baseball: Per a 2013 WSJ study, Baseball games feature 17 minutes and 58 seconds of action.
Basketball: Since the clock only runs when the ball is in play, there is exactly 48 minutes of play time.
Soccer: Per the Soccerbythenumbers.com website 2011 study, between 57 and 65 minutes of ball-in-play action is seen on average in the major European pro leagues per game.
Hockey: Average play time is 60 minutes.

Shaving Tip

To immediately close a shaving nick, rub it with Chapstick.

Neiman Marcus

Christmas is coming and Texas based Neiman Marcus unveiled its annual fantasy gift collection.

Gifts range from $9 to $1.6 million. The 91st annual Christmas Book is a 300-page catalog with more than 780 items, nearly 50 percent of which are priced under $250. The most expensive is $1.6 million for a rooftop party for 300 people above Times Square on New Year's Eve. Two nights at 150 of the hotel's rooms are included, as is everything necessary for a private party with drinks, dinner, and a DJ.


Shoppers will also find Neiman’s annual fantasy gift collection, which includes 11 more extravagant presents like the Yours & Mine Rolls-Royce Limited Edition Dawns, a pair of vehicles that can be purchased in blue for $439,625 or orange for $445,750. Being conservative, I prefer the blue one, in case you are wondering what to get me.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Before he was thirty, he already served in the army and won numerous body building competitions, while simultaneously going to business school and working at a health club. Once he immigrated to America, he continued to compete in bodybuilding competitions while also starting a bricklaying business, which he then used the profits from to start a mail-order business selling fitness related products like workout instructional materials. He then used the profits from that and his winnings in body building competitions to start a real estate investing business, ultimately making him a millionaire in his 20s, long before his breakthrough role at the age of 35 in the 1982 Conan the Barbarian.

Google Tips

Use an asterisk within quotes to specify unknown or variable words. Searching a phrase in quotes with an asterisk replacing a word will search all variations of that phrase. It is helpful if you cannot remember an entire phrase "imagine all the * living for today", or if you are trying to find all forms of an expression "* is thicker than water".
Compare foods using "vs." Type in "rice vs. quinoa," for example, and you will receive side-by-side comparisons of the nutritional facts.
Use "DEFINE:" to learn the meaning of words. Try "DEFINE: mortgage." For words that appear in the dictionary, you will be able to see etymology, a graph of its use over time, and the definition. It may also define slang words or acronyms.
Type "give me a love quote" or whatever topic you need a quote for.

Use "lyrics" in your search to have Google deliver lyrics of songs for you.

Rabbit Reproduction

We have all heard about 'breeding like rabbits', but few know how prolific rabbits really are.
First, When a doe lets a buck know that she is ready to mate, he circles her, shows off his tail, and sometimes urinates on her. This is what passes for foreplay. Then, the act itself lasts about 20-40 seconds. A buck can mate up to 7 times a week effectively, sometimes twice a day.

The average rabbit reaches sexual maturity at 3-8 months old. They are receptive to mating about 14 of every 16 days. Their breeding season lasts three-quarters of the year, and a doe does not have a 'heat' cycle. They are ready to mate anytime. They also do not have a menstrual cycle, so pregnancy can happen anytime. The act of intercourse stimulates ovulation.

Rabbits gestate for about 29 to 31 days, and usually have litters of between 4 and 12 babies. Once the babies are born, a doe can mate and get pregnant again as soon as the following day. If they maintain a pace like that and all the babies survive, the large-litter breeds can have about 100 babies per season. During October through December, some rabbits go into molting and many do not conceive.

Incidentally, a rabbit is the only edible farm animal able to produce 1,000% of its own weight in offspring per year.

Mississippi Child Law

In Mississippi, it is illegal to have a second illegitimate child - “If any person, who shall have previously become the natural parent of an illegitimate child within or without this state by coition within or without this state, shall again become the natural parent of an illegitimate child born within this state, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than thirty (30) days nor more than ninety (90) days or by a fine of not more than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($ 250.00), or both.” I do not make this stuff up folks, only politicians can make these types of laws.

Antiperspirant vs. Deodorant

Antiperspirant is not the same as deodorant. Antiperspirant stops you sweating, the other stops you smelling like you are sweating.

Oct 20, 2017

My Latest Book

I have recently had my 53rd book published. A great read. "Amazing Facts IV - Tantalizing Trivia". If you enjoy this blog, you will love the book. you can pick one up at Amazon.
LINK
PS - After you read it, please leave a comment on the page. Thanks.

Happy Friday

When we are young, beauty is on the outside, when older it comes from within.

Happiness always shines through, especially on a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Lenticels

(LEN-tih-sells) These are little pin size spots on apples, pears, and potatoes. Plants need a constant stream of fresh air, just like people, and that “fresh air” means carbon dioxide. Flowers, trees, and fruit all take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, but unlike people, plants do not have nostrils.

The lenticel functions as a pore, providing a pathway for the direct exchange of gases between the internal tissues and atmosphere through the bark, which is otherwise impermeable to gases. The name lenticel derives from its lens-like shape. The shape of lenticels is one of the characteristics used for tree identification

Each little speck is an opening in the fruit or tuber’s skin or the tree’s bark. Carbon dioxide goes in, and oxygen comes out. Like any opening, lenticels are vulnerable to infection and sickness. In an apple disease called lenticel breakdown, a nutrient deficiency causes the apples’ spots to darken and turn into brown pits. This does not hurt the inside of the fruit, but it does make the apple look unattractive.

Salt Quickie

One third of all the salt produced in the US is used to melt ice on roads.

Dawn, Sunrise, Twilight, Sunset, and Dusk

Dawn occurs before sunrise, before the top of the Sun reaches the horizon.

Twilight is the name given to the period between dawn and sunrise, or between sunset and dusk, when light is still visible in the sky due to sunlight scattering off the atmosphere.

Sunrise and sunset are the points at which the top edge of the Sun reaches the horizon; the only difference between them is the direction in which the Sun is moving at the time. It actually occurs when the top of the Sun is 0.57° below the horizon due to refraction of the Sun’s light by the atmosphere.
Dusk occurs after sunset, once the top of the Sun has passed the horizon.


Dawn, dusk, and twilight can also be separated in astronomical, nautical, and civil sections by how far below the horizon the Sun is (18°, 12° and 6° below the horizon respectively).

Health Care Cost

The US has the most bureaucratic health care system in the world. More than 31 percent of every dollar spent on health care in the US pays for paperwork, overhead, and other non direct-health related expenses.


The US spends 17.6 percent of its GDP on healthcare. The Netherlands is the next highest, at 12 percent of GDP. Ten percent of Canada’s GDP is spent on health care. The average among OECD countries was almost half that of the US, at 9.5 percent of GDP.

OECD

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has a mission to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. It was established in 1961 and has membership of 35 countries. Its annual budget is EUR 374 million and has a staff of 2,500. It publishes 250 new titles per year.

The OECD provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. It works with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change. It analyses and compares data to predict future trends. It sets international standards on things, such as agriculture and tax, to the safety of chemicals. It seeks to foster globalization and promote the 'green agenda' by working with the countries involved in the Paris climate agreement.

It looks at issues that directly affect everyone’s daily life, like how much people pay in taxes and social security, and how much leisure time they can take. It compares how different countries’ school systems are readying their young people for modern life, and how different countries’ pension systems will look after their citizens in old age.

In addition, it tries to make life more difficult for the terrorists, tax dodgers, crooked businessmen, and others whose actions undermine a fair and open society.

From its web site "Today, we are focused on helping governments around the world to:
    Restore confidence in markets and the institutions that make them function.
    Re-establish healthy public finances as a basis for future sustainable economic growth.
    Foster and support new sources of growth through innovation, environmentally friendly ‘green growth’ strategies and the development of emerging economies.
    Ensure that people of all ages can develop the skills to work productively and satisfyingly in the jobs of tomorrow."

Cutting the Cord

Cord cutting refers to those who give up their cable TV plan and find TV and movie watching over the internet, TV antenna, smart phone, computer, etc. The research firm eMarketer says that by 2016 year end, 16.7 million U.S. adults had already cut the cord and that by the end of 2017 it will be 22 million. The five biggest TV providers are projected to have lost 469,000 customers during the third quarter of 2017.

Sixty one percent of 18 to 29 year olds say the primary way they watch television now is with streaming services on the internet, compared with thirty one percent, who say they mostly watch via a cable or satellite subscription and five percent, who mainly watch with a digital antenna, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in August 2017.

The main cause for cord cutting has been the high cost of cable, bad service, annual price increases, and lack of competition in many areas of the country. Cost reductions average about 50% savings and range from a few dollars a month to as much as a 90% drop in monthly fees.

In addition, many are finding better picture quality and more diversity of offerings. Even TV antennas provide a sharper picture than offered by any of the major cable companies, because the signal is not compressed. With the coming proliferation of reasonably priced 4K TVs, picture quality is even more important and cable companies offer virtually no 4K content, with the exception of some sporting events.

Light Me Up

We have all read the light fixture warning not to use anything higher than a 60-watt bulb, or 75, etc. The newer LED bulbs still fall under that fixture rating, however since the equivalent LED bulbs use much less wattage, you can choose a watt equivalency that is higher than that of the old bulbs. As an example, a 60 watt bulb equivalent is a 9 watt LED. They both put out 800 lumens.


You can replace an old 60 watt bulb with a 100-watt equivalent LED bulb (or higher), which is about 17 watts and therefore well under the safety limit of a 60-watt maximum fixture. You get lower energy bills and almost twice the light. One limiting factor might be bulb size, so be sure to check the physical size of new bulbs to make sure they fit the socket. Every now and then I come up with a bright idea.

Oct 13, 2017

Happy Friday

Happiness on the whole, soothes a sad soul.

I never have a sad soul, especially on a Happy Friday!

International Day of Failure

October 13th is International Day for Failure. A new holiday intended for people to share stories of failure and learn from them. The goal of the people organizing the event is to have it be an internationally-recognized holiday by 2020. The holiday was created in Finland in 2010.

Office of Planetary Protection

This department is part of NASA and is responsible for preventing outer space organisms from contaminating Earth and simultaneously stopping Earth-based organisms from contaminating outer space. NASA has been employing a planetary protection officer since the Outer Space Treaty was signed in 1967.

A candidate must have at least one year of experience as a top-level civilian government employee, plus have "advanced knowledge" of planetary protection and all it entails. Planetary protection officers are tasked with making sure humans do not contaminate planets, moons, and other objects in space. The salary is $125,000 to $187,000 annually.


NASA and the European Space Agency currently hire permanent planetary protection officers.

Pizza Hack

When ordering, remember that one 18 inch pizza contains more pizza than two 12 inch pizzas.

A Road by any Name

The difference between names like street and avenue are the size of the path, what surrounds it, and how it intersects with other roads. Road is a general term for any throughway that connects two points. Streets and avenues are types of roads.

Streets are public roads that have buildings on both sides. They are often perpendicular to avenues, which historically were grander and wider. These days, the difference tends to be directional.

Denver, Colorado dictates that Streets run north-south and avenues run east-west.

In Manhattan, New York avenues run north-south and streets run east-west. In Washington, D.C., avenues run diagonal to the street grid.

Tucson, Arizona named some roads as stravenues, which run diagonal to the normal north-south/east-west grid.

Boulevards are grander than avenues and designed to funnel high-speed traffic away from residential and commercial streets. Boulevards have trees on either side and a sizable median.

Smaller roads are named way and they are a smaller side street that splits off from a road. A place has a dead end, as does a court (UK close), which usually ends in a cul-de-sac. A lane or byway is narrow and lacks a median, usually found in rural areas. A drive tends to wind around a natural landmark, like a mountain or a lake. A circle usually circles around an area and is an open road intersected by multiple roads.

Pinocchio

Was originally a book published during 1883. The story of the little wooden boy with a nose that grew if he told a lie was one of the best-selling books in the world, with 35 million copies sold.

Wireless Charging

To fully understand how wireless charging works takes understanding the concept of an electromagnetic field and electromagnetic induction. Electromagnetic induction is an energy transfer system, meaning that it can be stored or used.
Think of a person making waves with the rope, the other person will receive the waves as they travel down the rope. This is like electromagnetic induction: a force sends energy from one point to another. The base unit (powered by electricity) transmits energy to the smartphone via electromagnetic fields. The sensors on the smartphone recover the energy and channel it to the battery for storage.

Qi is the most popular wireless charging technology. It is not restricted to a particular manufacturer. Qi uses electromagnetic induction charging and magnetic resonance technology.

Kentucky Fried Recipe

A Sanders-signed copy of the recipe is inside a vault in KFC’s Louisville headquarters, and even the manufacturers do not know what goes into it. Half of the mix is made by Griffith Laboratories, and then it is sent to McCormick, where the rest of the mix is added.

What's in a Name, Knocker-Upper

There were a lot of ways to wake up before the alarm clock was invented. People living in towns had chimes from the church bells, and people living on farms had roosters to crow them awake. In some places, people made getting up in the morning a much stranger experience.
Native Americans would make sure they got up early by drinking as much water as physically possible before falling asleep. That way, the water would fill up their bladders while they were sleeping. Pretty soon, they would be so full that they needed to get up. So they would get up early.

In England, you could pay a “knocker-upper” to get you up in the morning. Your knocker-upper would come to your house first thing in the morning and bang on your window with a long stick. If he wanted to make his shilling, he would keep banging until you got up and shared with him the money (about 12 pence) and customary curse words of morning.

Boston Cream Pie

Armenian-French chef M. Sanzian was credited for creating the first Boston Cream Pie in 1856 at the Parker House Hotel. The dessert acquired its name when cakes and pies were cooked in the same pans, and the words were used interchangeably.
It is really a cake, a yellow butter cake that is filled with custard or cream and topped with chocolate glaze.


The Boston Cream Pie was proclaimed the official Massachusetts State Dessert on December 12, 1996.

Oct 6, 2017

Happy Friday

It is impossible to fill your heart with happiness, love, and joy. There is always room for more.

Expand your heart with happiness, love, and joy by celebrating a Happy Friday!

World Smile Day

Every year on the first Friday in October we celebrate World Smile Day. It was created by Harvey Ball, creator of the Smiley Face during 1963.


After his death, the “Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation” was created to honor his name and memory. The slogan of the Smile Foundation is “improving this world, one smile at a time.” The Foundation continues as the official sponsor of World Smile Day each year. It is easy to participate on this unofficial holiday. Just do acts of kindness to spread good will and cheer.

Smile, it improves your beauty 1,000%.


Also on this day is German-American Day. It first gained a spot on US calendars over 130 years ago. An annual holiday on October 6th, it marks the day in 1683 when 13 German families arrived in Philadelphia to set up home. Of course, there was no Germany until 1871, instead separate German-speaking states mostly ruled themselves as parts of the Catholic Holy Roman Empire.

National Emergency Nurses Day

Wednesday, October 11, 2018. Show them some love. They have an extremely difficult job and deserve much credit.

National Pizza Month

This month, October is the one for the Pizza goodness. Have it your way, but please no pineapple.

Debit vs. Credit Card Liability

Most credit cards offer fraud liability, which means you will not be out any money, or at least not more than fifty dollars if you are a victim of fraud or theft. Of course, you need to be current on your payments and are required to report any loss or theft as soon as you discover it.

Debit card users need to notify the bank or credit union within two business days of discovering the loss or theft of the card. The bank or credit union cannot hold you responsible for more than the amount of any unauthorized transactions or $50, whichever is less. Also for debit cards, if you wait more than two days, but fewer than 60 days after receiving your statement, you can be liable for up to $500 in charges. If you wait more than 60 days to report debit card fraud/theft, you could be liable for all the money taken, plus funds in a savings or other account linked to your debit account.


A recent survey showed 66 percent of Americans say they are more likely to trust debit cards than credit cards. Those folks should think a bit more about what it could cost them to use a debit card vs. a credit card.

Nine Hot Dog Facts

The hot dog is as quintessentially American a food as any other, and one of the staples of summer cookouts. Even though the long days of Summer are fading, hot dogs are still a wonderful treat.

During the 1690s – Legend is that the popular sausage was created by Johann Georghehner, a butcher living in Coburg, Germany. It is said that he later traveled to Frankfurt to promote his new product.

During the early 1800s, the people of Vienna (Wien), Austria point to the term “wiener” to prove their claim as the birthplace of the hot dog. It is said that the master sausage maker who made the first wiener got his early training in Frankfurt, Germany. He called his sausage the wiener-frankfurter, but it was generally known as “wienerwurst.” The wiener comes from Wien (the German name of Vienna) and wurst meaning sausage in German.

Did you know the difference between a wiener and a frankfurter? Wieners are a mixture of pork and beef. Frankfurters are made entirely with pork. Seasonings may include coriander, garlic, ground mustard, nutmeg, salt, sugar, and white pepper.

Wieners and frankfurters do not become hot dogs until someone puts them in a roll or a bun. During the late 1800s, a German peddler, Antonoine Feuchtwanger, sold hot sausages in the streets of St. Louis, Missouri. He had his brother-in-law to make up soft rolls, slit longways to fit the meat he called red hots.

Singing waiters named Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante convinced Nathan Handwerker to go into business on his own selling hot dogs for five cents. Thus was born Nathan's.

Hebrew National are 97% Fat Free Beef Franks (not frankfurter).

In Dubai, they have camel meat hot dogs.

The earliest use of the term “hot dog” appeared in the December 31, 1892 edition of the Paterson (New Jersey) Daily Press. The story was about a local traveling vendor known as “Hot Dog Morris.”

Michigan hot dogs are popular in upstate New York. Coney Island hot dogs are popular in Michigan. New York System dogs are popular in Rhode Island. Texas hot dogs are popular in New York and Pennsylvania, but not Texas. Skin or no skin, dogs are still a favorite. I prefer a solid skin pop when I bite down on a hot dog.

Blackboards

Though the term blackboard has a color in its name, most of them are now not actually black. We still use the term interchangeably with chalkboards. Now they are more often green.
A few hundred years ago, blackboards were black. They were large boards of connected slates that teachers could write on for the whole class to see. The name blackboard was not used until 1815. They were usually made with slate, but in rural areas, they were often wooden boards painted dark with egg whites mixed with the remains of charred potatoes. Later, they were also made of wood darkened with a commercially made porcelain-based ink.
During the 20th century, manufacturers began to make chalkboards using a green, porcelain enameled paint on a steel base. By the 1960s, the green chalkboard trend was becoming universal. Teachers had discovered that a different colored paint was a lot more comfortable to stare at all day, because green porcelain paint cut down on glare.

During the 1990s, schools began converting their classrooms to whiteboards, which produce less dust and eliminate that telltale screeching noise.

Did You Know

Harry Truman was the only president of the 20th century without a college degree.

Cancer Stages and Grades

Cancer is the name given to a collection of related diseases. In all types of cancer, some of the body’s cells begin to divide without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues.
Too many of us are aware of the prevalence of cancer in our society. Two words often come up, but are not universally understood. Staging is for the cancer itself and grade references the actual tumor. There are different grading systems for different types of cancer. For instance, there is Gleason for prostate cancer, Bloom-Richardson for breast cancer, Fuhrman for kidney cancer, etc.

Cancer stage refers to the size and/or reach of the original (primary) tumor and whether or not cancer cells have spread (metastasized) elsewhere in the body. Stages do not change from initial diagnosis, even if the cancer becomes more aggressive. This is important for consistent statistical analysis.

Stage 0 (zero) Abnormal cells are present, but have not spread to nearby tissue. Stages I, II, and III indicate cancer is present. The higher the number, the larger the cancer tumor and the more it has spread into nearby tissues. Stage IV shows the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body.
Staging is usually based on the TNM system of classifying cancer. In the TNM system, each cancer is assigned a letter or number to describe the tumor, node, and metastases. T stands for the original (primary) tumor. N stands for nodes and tells whether the cancer has spread to the nearby lymph nodes. M stands for metastasis.
Tumor grade is the description of a tumor based on how abnormal the tumor cells and tumor tissue looks under a microscope. There are four grades G1 Well differentiated (low grade), G2 Moderately differentiated (intermediate grade), G3 Poorly differentiated (high grade), and G4 Undifferentiated (high grade). Grade 3 and 4 tumors tend to grow rapidly and spread faster than tumors with a lower grade.

Low-grade cancer cells look more like normal cells and tend to grow and spread more slowly than high-grade cancer cells. Cancer grade may be used to help plan treatment and determine prognosis.
In addition, there are two tumor types, benign, such as moles and warts and malignant, where the cells invade the surrounding tissue and organs.

Generally, there are five cancer stages, four tumor grades, and two tumor types, benign and malignant. Unlike school, a high stage or grade is not good.

Sep 29, 2017

Happy Friday

Destiny is a decision.

I decided my destiny is to always celebrate a Happy Friday!

National Coffee Day

Today is National Coffee Day, go out and get a free cup of coffee today at your favorite Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreem, Tim Horton's, and other places - but not Starbucks.

What's in a Name, Duct Tape

It was invented by Johnson & Johnson during World War II. Their original creation for the United States military was a green waterproof tape that could be used for sealing ammunition cases to keep water out.
Soldiers soon learned the tape was good at fixing any type of rip or tear they might encounter for tents, vehicle seats, and even uniforms. After the war, returning soldiers introduced it to friends and neighbors back home.
One of the first uses for the tape was to repair or seal the ductwork in home heating and cooling systems. To match the color of ductwork, the company changed the color of the tape to silver and began to call it duct tape.
Many people believe that the tape was called duck tape, because its ability to repel water reminded of the similar property of duck feathers. There is a brand of tape named Duck tape that is sometimes confused with the original.


Duct tape comes in many different colors, although the most popular are silver and black. It is so strong, because it is made of three different layers. The bottom layer is a strong rubber-based adhesive. The middle layer is a web of cloth fabric that adds durability. The top layer is soft, waterproof plastic.

Lake Baikal

If the rest of the planet’s fresh water disappeared, there would be enough left in Lake Baikal, Russia to supply humanity for 50 years. It is world's oldest (25 million years old) and deepest (over a mile deep) freshwater lake and contains about 23% of the world's fresh surface water. In Mongolian it means "the Nature Lake." Appears the screams about running out of fresh water are a bit premature.

Alcatraz

Its name came from Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala in 1775: La Isla de los Alcatraces or "Island of the Pelicans."
In 1850, US President Fillmore converted the island to military use. A fortress was built, cannons were installed, and the West Coast's first operational lighthouse was constructed.
The US Army also began to use Alcatraz to house military prisoners. It was the perfect spot for a prison, because it was isolated and everyone assumed no prisoner could successfully escape by swimming across the frigid waters of San Francisco Bay.
During the early 1900s, military prisoners helped to build a new, 600-cell jail, as well as a hospital, cafeteria, and other prison buildings. Over time Alcatraz was transferred to the US Justice Department for use as a federal prison for prisoners too dangerous to be kept at other penitentiaries. Alcatraz usually held between 260-275 prisoners. Each prisoner had his own cell, and there was one guard for about every three prisoners.
There were 14 known escape attempts involving 36 prisoners. Of those attempting to escape, 23 were captured, six were shot and killed during their attempt, two drowned, and five went missing and were officially presumed dead.

Alcatraz was shut down during 1963, because it was too expensive to keep operating. Now it is thriving again as a tourist attraction.

Hack the Fast Food Menus

We have all heard about some secret menu items at our favorite fast food places. Did you know you can get a spam and egg McMuffin at McDonald's in Hawaii? Here is a site that shows 20 secret menus from the popular franchises. Enjoy something different to spice up your life. LINK

Piracy

Gizmodo recently reported, the European Union suppressed a 300-page study (2017 Situation Report on Counterfeiting and Privacy in the European Union). The study covered all manner of foods, drugs, goods, and services, from labels to products. Concerning digital piracy, it concluded that piracy did not harm sales of copyrighted material, including books, music, video games, and movies.


From a prosecution standpoint, one problem it found is no funds are generated when a digital game is downloaded. This shortcoming is often overcome by the sale of advertising space on illegal file-sharing sites and this process is facilitated by advertising intermediaries. This no funds process makes it difficult to follow a money stream.

Television and video broadcasts are digital and are available on a variety of platforms such as mobile phones, tablets, smart TVs, and set-top boxes. In recent years, the use of set-top boxes to access large numbers of television channels, films and other protected content has increased due to low prices, improving quality of services, reliability, and user friendliness.

In many cases the media itself is not copied or kept on servers, just the small code needed to play it. "The number of operators providing illegal IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) appears to be on the rise and this trend is expected to continue at an accelerated rate in the future...It is known that some European internet users continue to mistakenly take the fact that a digital content service is freely available online without the authorities having taken action as a sign that the service provides legal access to digital content."

The study concluded that the impact of piracy failed to provide stats which suggested a “…displacement of sales by online copyright infringements.” Essentially, piracy does not harm legitimate sales. The report posited that illicit downloads may even bolster legal sales of games and neutral for books and music. The sole area where illegal downloading was found to have a negative impact is with blockbuster films.

Q Quickie

Qatar is the only country that begins with a Q and Iraq is the only country that ends with Q.

Cannabis History

US Drug Enforcement Administration Museum in Arlington, Virginia, states that the oldest written references to cannabis date back to 2727 B.C., when the Chinese  supposedly discovered the substance and used it medicinally. Ancient Taiwanese were using hemp fibers to decorate pottery about 10,000 years ago, according to "The Archaeology of Ancient China." The plant itself was in use in both Europe and Asia more than 10,000 years ago and grew naturally across both continents.

According to a recent study, the world's first-known pot dealers were the nomads of the Eastern European Steppe. The Yamnaya, traders from what is now Russia and Ukraine, may have traded cannabis throughout Europe and East Asia about 5,000 years ago.

Archaeological records show a spike in cannabis use in East Asia around 5,000 years ago, at the time when the nomadic Yamnaya established a trade route across the steppes. Yamnaya sites show signs of cannabis burning, suggesting they may have brought the habit of smoking marijuana with them as they moved about.

The difference between hemp and pot is a single genetic switch. Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan announced that they discovered the genetic alteration that allows psychoactive cannabis plants (cannabis sativa) to give users a high, compared to industrial hemp plants, which do not.

Industrial hemp plants are the same species as marijuana plants, but they do not produce a substance called tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). This is the precursor to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in pot. Hemp plants fail to produce this substance because they lack a gene that makes an enzyme to produce THCA. Hemp is rich in non-psychoactive CBDA, while marijuana produces THC.

In the US, before the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, cannabis was a common ingredient in medicinal tinctures, and sellers were not required to mention it on their labels. During the 1920s and 1930s, Mexican immigration to the United States spiked as a result of the Mexican Revolution. People moving from Mexico brought along the custom of using marijuana for recreation, and the drug became linked with public fears of the newcomers.

LINK more info from my blog

Incidentally, it is not possible to overdose on marijuana like you can on heroin or cocaine. 

Account Killer

There is a web site that lets you get out of many web sites and remove your name quickly to diminish your web presence it is called accountkiller. Quick and easy instructions to close out online accounts. LINK

Sep 22, 2017

Happy Friday

Happiness shapes the heart, smiles light it up.
Light up your day, especially on a Happy Friday! 

September Odd Holidays

Here are a few, just in case you need another reason to celebrate.
National One Hit Wonder Day - September 25
Johnny Appleseed Day - September 26 (1774)
National Pancake Day - September 26
Crush A Can Day - September 27
Gone-ta-pott Day - September 28
Ask a Stupid Question Day--September 28
Confucius Day - September 29

National Mud Pack Day - September 30

Salty Tip

Before frying, put a pinch of salt in the pan. It should keep the oil from spattering so much.

Ig Nobel Awards 2017

The Ig Nobel awards are given for achievements that first make people laugh then make them think. On September 14, 2017 at the 27th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Harvard's Sanders Theatre, the following prizes were awarded.


  • Physics, Using fluid dynamics to probe the question "Can a Cat Be Both a Solid and a Liquid?"
  • Peace, Demonstrating that regular playing of a didgeridoo is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea (sic) and snoring.
  • Economics, Experiments to see how contact with a live crocodile affects a person's willingness to gamble.
  • Anatomy, medical research study "Why Do Old Men Have Big Ears?"
  • Biology, Discovery of a female penis, and a male vagina, in a cave insect.
  • Fluid Dynamics, Studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks backwards while carrying a cup of coffee.
  • Nutrition, First scientific report of human blood in the diet of the hairy-legged vampire bat.
  • Medicine, Using advanced brain-scanning technology to measure the extent to which some people are disgusted by cheese.

Camel Camel Camel

Came across this interesting site. It tracks prices for all things Amazon. You can create Amazon price watches and get alerts via email and Twitter when prices drop. View the price history of Amazon products. Seems practical if you are planning a large purchase, but waiting for a price drop. LINK

Wordology, Ultracrepidarian

One who gives opinions on something beyond his or her knowledge. Someone who does not know what they are talking about. No comments please.

Gravity in Space

Contrary to common opinion, gravity is everywhere, even in space. Anything with mass creates gravity. The effect of gravity decreases as distance increases. At extreme distances, the gravity exerted on a particular object might be almost zero, but is never completely absent.

At the orbit of the International Space Station, Earth's gravitational pull is about 90% of what it is at Earth's surface.

Astronauts on spaceships in outer space are affected by gravity in the same way that their spaceships are. They are both orbiting Earth, which means they are falling sideways (in orbit) at the same time they are falling toward Earth.


On Earth, astronauts feel the force of gravity as weight, because the ground prevents them from falling. In outer space there is no ground to push against astronauts. As they orbit and fall toward Earth at the same rate as their spaceship, astronauts feel weightless, as if there were no gravity.

Burger and Booze Home Delivery

Saw an ad that shows Friday's is starting home delivery of booze along with food. It claims to be first to home deliver this combination and is rolling out in Dallas and Houston, Texas, then nationwide next year. The liquor and mix come separate and you need to mix it yourself. It will be interesting to see how this will work with so many unique local liquor laws around the country.

Sep 16, 2017

Happy Friday

You cannot learn a deep appreciation of happiness if you do not dive in.

Dive in all the way to appreciate a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Rasceta

The creases on the inside of wrist.

What's in a Name, 7Up

7 Up is a brand of lemon-lime flavored, non-caffeinated soft drink. The rights to the brand are held by Dr Pepper Snapple Group in the United States, and PepsiCo in the rest of the world. Creative marketing during prohibition moved the product to underground speakeasies. Like other products such as ginger ale and tonic, 7 UP quickly became a popular mixer for alcoholic drinks. After prohibition was repealed, it was still marketed as a mixer. By the late 1940s, 7 UP had become the third best-selling soft drink in the world.

Westinghouse bought 7 Up in 1969 and sold it in 1978 to Philip Morris, which then during 1986 sold it to a group led by Hicks & Haas. 7 Up merged with Dr Pepper in 1988. Cadbury Schweppes bought the combined company in 1995. The Dr Pepper Snapple Group was spun off from Cadbury Schweppes in 2008.

7 Up was created by Charles Grigg, who came up with the formula for a lemon-lime soft drink in 1929. The product, originally named "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda" contained lithium citrate, a mood-stabilizing drug. "Bib-label" referred to the use of paper labels that were placed on the plain bottles.

The US Food and Drug Administration banned the use of lithium in beer and soft drinks in 1948, and 7-Up was reformulated two years later. Its name was later shortened to "7 Up Lithiated Lemon Soda" before being further shortened to just "7 Up" during 1936.


The actual origin of the 7Up name is unclear, as is the origin or meaning of the red dot. It contains no sugar, preservatives, caffeine or coloring.

Banana Facts

The wonderful banana probably first grew in Southeast Asia, and did not make a big impact elsewhere until the early Islamic period when it was brought from India to the Middle East, and on to Africa. The banana turned up in Europe before that, but only as an exotic rarity. In ancient Rome, it had to make do with borrowing the name of the fig (a notion which lived on in the early French term for ‘banana’, figue du paradis).

Spanish and Portuguese colonists took the banana with them across the Atlantic from Africa to the Americas, and along with it they brought its African name, banana, apparently a word from one of the languages of the Congo area (it has been speculated that it derives ultimately from Arabic banana ‘finger, toe’, an origin which would be echoed in the English term hand for a bunch of bananas, and serves as a reminder that many varieties of banana are quite small, not like the large sizes imported into Britain).


Since the end of the nineteenth century Bananaland has been used by Australians as a colloquial and not completely complimentary name for Queensland, a state where the banana is a key crop. Even less complimentary is banana republic, a term coined in the 1930s for small volatile states of the South American tropics (from their economic dependence on the export of bananas).

Wordology, O'Clock

The long form of this expression is 'two of the clock' or 'two on the clock' and the apostrophe stands for the missing letters. Two of the clock is an old expression that dates back to the time of sundials and other means of telling time. In order to distinguish the fact that one was referencing a clock's time, rather than something else, one would say, "It is two of the clock," which later became two o'clock.

Manicule

A manicule is a unique symbol. Literally it takes the form of a hand with an outstretched index figure, gesturing towards a particularly pertinent piece of text or a direction.

Although manicules are still visible today in old signage and retro décor, their heyday was in medieval and Renaissance Europe.

Despite its centuries-long popularity, the first-ever use of a manicule is surprisingly difficult to find. They were reportedly used in the Domesday Book of 1066, a record of land ownership in England and Wales. Widespread use began around the 12th century. The name comes from the Latin word manicula, meaning little hand, but the punctuation mark has had other synonyms, including bishop’s fist, pointing hand, digit, and fist.

As far as punctuation marks go, the manicule’s function was fairly self-explanatory. Usually drawn in the margin of a page (and sometimes between columns of text or sentences), it was a way for the reader to note a particularly significant paragraph of text. They were essentially the medieval version of a highlighter.

The use and dynamic of manicules changed once books began to be printed. This new technology allowed writers and publishers to highlight what they believed to be significant. The little hands with outstretched finger make it easy to find the key points without re-reading the whole text.

Funny Town Names

What started out as a temporary solution has become a point of pride for locals. In No Name, Colorado according to reports, a government official first marked a newly constructed exit off I-70 with a sign reading “No Name” as a placeholder. By the time officials got around to officially labeling it, “No Name” had the support of the community and it stuck. Visitors can find the spot near the No Name tunnels, No Name Creek, and the No Name hiking trail.

British Slaves in America

Between 1718 and 1776, British authorities exiled approximately 50,000 male and female convicts to American colonies in a policy euphemistically known as 'transportation'. Once in America, the convicts fell under a life of servitude or outright slavery, underfed and overworked.


They had to obey their masters or risk being imprisoned. In the early period of transportation, half of them died while in bondage. The Americans’ demands for independence caused Britain to stop sending its convicts to America and forced the Brits to send them to Australia instead. The Australian convict trade was about three times as large as the American version.

Sep 8, 2017

Happy Friday

If you cannot change, how can you ever discover that each day is better than the last.

Today is a better day to celebrate a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Laughing Hyena

It is used to describe someone cackling: "laughing like a hyena."
Scientists who have studied hyenas will tell you the unique sounds they make are not actually laughing. Hyenas do indeed make loud barking noises that sound like cackling laughter, but it is not because they are amused by anything.

Instead, a hyena's sound is actually a form of communication used to convey frustration, excitement, warning, or fear. Most often, you hear this unique vocalization during a hunt or when the animals are feeding on prey as a group.

What sounds like maniacal giggling to humans lets other hyenas know that one of the other members of their pack has either made a kill or been attacked. When sharing a fresh kill, the sound might also indicate frustration on the part of a younger animal that did not get its fair share yet. Likewise, the animal in possession of the meat might also 'laugh' as a warning to others that it is not ready to share yet.

There are several species of hyenas, and they all have a variety of unique vocalizations. Only one of these species, the spotted hyena makes the laughing sound that has become synonymous with hyenas, in general.


Researchers have also learned that the pitch of a hyena's sound usually varies dependent upon its social status. Hyena packs are matrilineal, which means that females are dominant and lead the pack. There is intense competition for food within a pack, and the subordinate animals, often male tend to make the sound more frequently with a higher pitch.

Scrolling Tip

If you tap the space bar while on a web page you will scroll down, but if you hold down the shift key and hit the space bar you will scroll up.

Costco Liquor Facts

Costco is the US largest wine seller.

In many states, like Texas you do not need to have a membership to buy liquor.
It sells more bottles of Dom Perignon champagne than any other store in the country.

Costco brand wine, beer, and liquor is Kirkland.


Costco's Kirkland brand vodka scored higher than Grey Goose in blind tastings and its water comes from the same region in France.

Behind the Scenes

Just came across this web site and found some fascinating behind the scenes special effects that movie makers use. An educating look at the process LINK.         

What's in a Name, Genghis Khan

That was his title, his name was Temüjin, which means “of iron” or “blacksmith.” He was the Great Khan and founder of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death. First Khagan (Great Kahn) of the Mongol Empire and Supreme Khan of the Mongols, the King of Kings.


Between 1206 and his death in 1227, the Mongol leader Genghis Khan conquered nearly 12 million square miles of territory, more than any individual in history. He was responsible for the deaths of as many as 40 million people.

He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. After founding the Empire and being proclaimed "Genghis Khan," he launched the Mongol invasions that conquered most of Eurasia.

The Mongol Empire ended up ruling, or at least briefly conquering, large parts of modern day China, Mongolia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Moldova, and Kuwait. Many of these invasions repeated the earlier large-scale slaughters of local populations.

Scissors Facts

Many people mistakenly give credit to Leonardo da Vinci for inventing scissors, but scissors were invented many years before him. Some believe scissors were invented in the Middle East over 3,000 years ago. The device consisted of two bronze blades connected by a spring-like mechanism that kept the blades apart until they were squeezed together.
A pair of scissors more like modern scissors with a cross-blade design was developed by the ancient Romans around 100 A.D.


Cross-blade scissors were made by hand for hundreds of years and were not mass-produced until 1761 when English manufacturer Robert Hinchliffe adapted the design so it could be manufactured in a factory. He was also the first to make scissors with steel.


Today, there are a wide variety of scissors with specific purposes. Scissors with a length in excess of six inches are often referred to as shears. Children's or safety scissors have dull blades and rounded tips to ensure their safe use in school environments. Nail scissors were specially developed to cut fingernails and toenails. There are also specialty scissors used by hairdressers, seamstresses, doctors, and more.

Gas is Not a Gas

Soon after oil was found in Pennsylvania during 1859, John Cassell, publisher and coffee merchant, began importing it to London. Cassell came up with a name for the substance, inspired by his own name, cazeline. On 27 November 1862 he placed an advertisement in The Times that stated, "The Patent Cazeline Oil, safe, economical, and brilliant … possesses all the requisites which have so long been desired as a means of powerful artificial light.

The first use of gasoline to be found in America is in an 1864 Act of Congress which declared a tax on the oil.

Cassell discovered a shopkeeper in Dublin, Samuel Boyd selling counterfeit cazeline and wrote to him to ask him to stop. Boyd did not reply, but instead went through his stock, changing with a single dash of his pen, every ‘C’ into a ‘G’ and gazeline was born.

Aug 25, 2017

Happy Friday

Each day is not an occurrence, it is an opportunity.

Take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate a Happy Friday!