May 19, 2017

Happy Friday

"As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death." ~Leonardo Da Vinci

Happy days are always well-spent days, especially on a Happy Friday!

21 Gun Salute

The origin of gun salutes is usually attributed to soldiers or other armed types demonstrated peaceful intentions by placing their weapons in a position that rendered them ineffective. As cannons and small arms came into use, a good way to render them ineffective and demonstrating peaceful intentions, was to fire them, as reloading was a real pain. At sea, seven shots became the norm, probably because of superstition and mysticism about the number seven. On land, with a less limited supply of gunpowder, they could fire three guns for every one shot from a ship, so a salute from a ship of seven guns would be answered by a salute from the shore batteries of 21 guns. When gunpowder technology and storage improved, ships at sea adopted the salute of 21 guns.
There is a complex protocol for salutes. Twenty one guns are only used to salute a national flag, the sovereign or chief of state of a foreign nation, a member of a reigning royal family, and anyone who has ever been elected President of the US. A vice-president, speaker of the house, American or foreign ambassador, a premier or prime minister (unless sovereign), chief justice, cabinet member, state governor, secretary or ranking general of a branch of the armed forces, and president pro tem of the senate all receive 19 gun salutes on entering. Generals, admirals, the assistant secretary of defense, and chairpersons of House committees receive 17. There are 15, 13, and 11 gun salutes for people of descending rank, both military and civilian.

For a full-honor funeral at Arlington, a President gets 21 guns. A secretary of defense, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or other military officer given command over multiple branches of the service receives 19. Seventeen guns are fired for a four-star general, 15 for a three-star, 13 for a two-star, and 11 for a one-star.

Runpee

This phone app tells you the best time during a movie to go relieve yourself.

Taco Bell Beef

Taco Bell 'meat' is made up of 36 percent beef. The other 64 percent includes: water, isolated oat product, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch and sodium phosphate, as well as beef and seasonings.

Two Amazing Costco Facts

Costco sells over 100 million hot dogs a year, according to the Daily Meal. That is more than all the major league baseball parks combined sell in an entire season. I also think they are better dogs than sold in many of the stadiums, and they are cheaper.

 It is also one of the largest pizza chains in the US.

Natural Foods

Natural is a broad term used to describe products that are minimally processed, and free of synthetic dyes, coloring, flavorings and preservatives. Products labeled “natural” can still contain fructose corn syrup and GMOs. The term is largely unregulated by the USDA. Even meat, poultry, and egg products can still have antibiotics and growth hormones, and can be fed on GMO feed. The US FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives.

The USDA says,  claims indicating that a product is natural food, such as “natural chili” or “chili - a natural product” would be unacceptable for a product containing beet powder which artificially colors the finished product. However, “all natural ingredients” might be an acceptable claim for such a product.
The UK FSA guidance states: "The term ‘natural’ without qualification should be used ... to describe single foods, of a traditional nature, to which nothing has been added and which have been subjected only to such processing as to render them suitable for human consumption."


Natural or all natural labels are more marketing than fact based. Naturally, this is all unnatural label mumbo jumbo that means little, but makes us feel good.

Divorce Rate

Just read that 67% of second marriages and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. The average divorce rate for first marriages is about 41% in the United States, and the divorce rate figures have been declining.

YouTube Tips

Here are a few YouTube keyboard shortcuts to increase your viewing pleasure.

K = pause or play
J = rewind 10 seconds
L = fast forward 10 seconds
M = turn off the sound
Number 0 = jump to the start of the video
Numbers 1 to 9 = jump to between 10% and 90% of the way through the video.

Find your favorite artist’s page - type # + the artist’s name (without spaces) in the search bar.
To use theater  or full screen mode, click on the small rectangle or the open box next to it in the lower right corner of the video.

To change the speed of a video, click on the gear symbol in the lower right corner of any video.

Thomas Edison Phonograph

This was written during 1877 about his phonograph. The same might be said about social apps and smart phones today.
“He has been addicted to electricity for many years,” the phonograph, with its ability to record speech, “will eventually destroy all confidence between man and man.”

Another paper of the time outlined ways phonographic technology might go wrong: greedy thieves might trick elderly millionaires into vocally amending their wills; sketchy neighbors might use opera recordings to lure women out of their homes; and wives might frighten their husbands out of sleep by playing a tape that yells “POLICE! FIRE!” over and over again. Editorial fear-mongering has not changed much during the past 140 years.

What is DLNA

TVs and many devices usually include DLNA as one of the features. For most of us, it is unimportant and we do not even know what it means. Since it is a standard, manufacturers and stores to not use it as a selling point, because almost all devices have the feature.

DLNA stands for Digital Living Network Alliance, the trade group founded by Sony in 2003 to define the interoperability guidelines.

It separates multimedia devices into 10 certified classes subdivided into three broad categories: Home Network Devices (PCs, TVs, AV receivers, game consoles), Mobile Handheld Devices (smartphones, tablets, digital cameras), and Home Infrastructure Devices (routers and hubs). All DLNA-certified devices use Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) to discover and talk to each other on the network.

May 12, 2017

Happy Friday

Family and friends are not our whole life, but make our lives whole.

Family and friends always make my life whole, especially on a Happy Friday!

National Limerick Day

It is observed annually on May 12 and celebrates the birthday of English artist, illustrator, author, and poet Edward Lear. He is known mostly for his literary nonsense in poetry, prose, and limericks.
National Limerick Day also celebrates the limerick poem, a very short, humorous, nonsense poem. Within a limerick, there are five lines.  The first two lines rhyme with the fifth line and the third and fourth line rhyme together. The first, second, and fifth lines must have seven to ten syllables while rhyming and having the same verbal rhythm. The third and fourth lines only have to have five to seven syllables, and have to rhyme with each other and have the same rhythm. The limerick also has a particular rhythm which is officially described as anapestic trimeter
A limerick example of a nursery rhyme.
    “Hickory, dickory, dock,
    The mouse ran up the clock.
    The clock struck one,
    And down he run,
    Hickory, dickory, dock.”

There once was a man named Lodge,
who had seat belts installed in his Dodge.
When his date was strapped in,
He committed a sin,
without ever leaving the garage.


A bather whose clothing was strewed
By winds that left her quite nude
Saw a man come along
And unless I am wrong
You expected this line to be lewd.

Mother's Day

In the US, Mother's Day is celebrated May 14. In the UK, Mothering Day was celebrated March 26, where it is always celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, three weeks before Easter Sunday.

Anna Jarvis had originally conceived of Mother's Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. During 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day in the US. It wasn’t to celebrate all mothers. It was to celebrate the best mother you have ever known, your mother.

The day took off in Britain when a vicar's daughter, Constance Smith was inspired by a newspaper report of Jarvis' campaign and began a push for the day to be officially marked in England. Smith founded the Mothering Sunday Movement and even wrote a booklet, "The Revival of Mothering Sunday" in 1920. Interestingly, neither Smith nor Jarvis became mother’s themselves.

The French celebrate Mother's Day on the last Sunday in May. Mother’s Day in Spain is celebrated on December 8th.

Wordology, Donnybrook

A  donnybrook is a free-for-all or brawl and is usually a public quarrel or dispute. Usage of the word stems from history of a place in Ireland. The word donnybrook comes from Domhnach Broc, meaning 'The Church of Saint Broc'. A donnybrook is larger than a fight, but smaller than a brouhaha or hubbub.

The Donnybrook Fair was an annual eight to fourteen day event held in Donnybrook, Ireland from the 1200s to the mid 1800s. The fair was legendary for the vast quantities of liquor consumed, the number of hasty marriages performed during the week following it, and for the frequent brawls that erupted throughout it. From the 1790s on there were campaigns against the drunken brawl the fair had become. The event was abolished in 1855, but not before its name had become a generic term for a free-for-all.

Incidentally, there is an annual Donnybrook Fair held in Walsh, Ontario, Canada named after the Dublin fair.

Five Time Tips for Success

Planning for success is necessary for achieving success. Remember the old adage, "Failure to plan means planning for failure." Here are a few tips that might help increase your chances for success.

Take time at the beginning of each day tо рlаn your dау. If you do not know what you are going to do, you will never know if you achieved it.

Create your ToDo list with A,B,C priorities, with A being most important to you. Spend Eighty percent of your time on A items, fifteen percent of your time on B items, and the remainder on C items. If you do this each day, you can satisfy your own needs as well as others, but with the proper priority for your own success.

Take time before еvеrу call аnd tаѕk tо dесіdе what rеѕult you desire. Define success and you can achieve it. When on the phone smile, it will do wonders for your attitude.

Do not answer the phone, email, or text just because they happen. I call this letting others steal your time. In order to be the most productive, schedule time to put phone in airline mode and shut down email and text. When you are ready for others, turn them back on and answer with your priorities, not others'.

Every day, compliment at least one person. Also, try to smile at people more often. An engaging smile is a precursor to success.

Quote

Someone on the web made a picture for one of my quotes. In fact I found at least 12 sites that have reposted this quote.

HDMI Cable Facts

So, you bought a new 4k TV and the salesperson is trying to sell you new whizbang goochi goochi 4k, or Ultra HDMI, or HDMI-2 cables to handle the new high speeds. Do not listen. It is a scam to increase store profit.

It is important to understand that HDMI cables are pipes, just like water pipes. Liquid goes in liquid comes out. The pipe does not care whether it is water or soda or rum. In HDMI cables, data goes in and data comes out. No decisions are made, nothing is done to the data, it simply passes through the cable. The cable does not care what type of data it is.

A quote from HDMI.org: "Version 2.0 of the HDMI Specification does not define new cables or new connectors. Current High Speed cables (category 2 cables) are capable of carrying the increased bandwidth."

By definition, HDMI supports standard, enhanced, or high-definition video, plus multi-channel digital audio on a single cable. There have been two HDMI cable standards, standard and high speed. Standard HDMI cables have been out of date since about 2010, but still support devices up to 1080. High speed cables support everything, including 4k, etc. They do not care whether the signal is standard, HDR, 4K, ULTRA, HDMI1, or HDMI2. HDMI cables are marked on the package and on the cable, so just avoid cables marked "standard" and you will be fine for 4K.

Gold ends, fancy cord wrapping, etc., are pretty, but not important for delivering signals to the TV. Manufacturing quality may have some slight affect and might not last long if abused. Of course, when was the last time you abused your cables. You plug them in, hide them behind the TV and forget about them.

The difference in cable quality does matter when you buy longer lengths. Usually HDMI cables are less than about 9 feet in length. If you want to string a 50 foot HDMI cable to a different part of the house, then quality is important, so the signal is not lost along the length. It still has nothing to do HDR, 4K, etc., it is simply manufacturing quality and potential signal loss.

Incidentally, there is a new standard coming out toward the end of 2017 called HDBaseT. The HDBaseT cable combines audio and video signals, USB, network, and even power into one single cable and is set to replace HDMI in the long run. It will be in the next generation devices, but that will likely take years.

Pay TV Dropout Rate

Over 750,000 American households ditched pay TV during the first quarter of 2017.

May 5, 2017

Happy Friday

Laugh at yourself and it will cure your depression. Laugh with others to ease their pain.

I love to laugh out loud, alone and with others, especially on a Happy Friday!

Happy Cinco de Mayo

 It is celebrated May 5 and is a holiday commemorating the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage.

Happy Obscura Day

It is celebrated May 6, 2017 and is dedicated to the celebration of exploration and discovery. Caution, it can be extremely addictive for the curious. LINK  As an example of the types of thing you might find on Atlas Obscura, here is Molly Lewis whistling Gluck’s Melodie “Dance of the Blessed Spirits”. LINK

Seven Facts about May

No other month begins or ends on the same day of the week during the year as May.

The Empire State Building opened fоr аll оn Mау 1, 1931. Thіѕ 443 mеtеr tаll buіldіng hеld the hоnоr оf bеіng the tаllеѕt buіldіng оf USA until the Wоrld Trаdе Cеntеr claimed the glory. Hоwеvеr, after the WTC аttасk оn 9/11, this buіldіng (including antenna) is the tаllеѕt building оf Nеw York, аgаіn.

May celebrates mаnу days, bеgіnnіng wіth the Mау Dау оn the fіrѕt dау of Mау. Thіѕ іѕ also knоwn аѕ international workers' day, a celebration of laborers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labor movement, socialists, communists or anarchists, and occurs every year on May Day.

Mоthеr’ѕ Day іѕ celebrated on the second Sunday іn Mау. Memorial Day is сеlеbrаtеd on the lаѕt Monday іn Mау. Armеd Fоrсеѕ Dау іѕ the third Sunday іn Mау.


Nurses are heavily (and rightfully) honored during the month of May. There is National Nurses Day, May 6, National Student Nurse Day, May 8, and National School Nurse Day, Wednesday of National Nurse Week May 6 - 12. The American Nurses Association has designated 2017 as the "Year of the Healthy Nurse (ANA defines a healthy nurse as someone who actively focuses on creating and maintaining a balance and synergy of physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, personal and professional well being.)

Wordology, Graffiti

Both "graffiti" and its occasional singular form "graffito" are from the Italian word graffiato 'scratched'. The term graffiti originally referred to the inscriptions, figure drawings, etc., found on the walls of ancient sepulchers or ruins, such as the Catacombs of Rome. Use of the word has evolved to include any graphics applied to surfaces in a manner that usually constitutes vandalism.

Graffiti are writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted, mostly illicitly on a wall or other surface, often within public view. Graffiti range from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and have existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire.

Tidbits

Charlie Chaplin died during 1977, the year Apple was founded.
The Wright brothers made their first flight during 1903, just 66 years before the first man stepped on the Moon during 1969.

Twelve million penguins in Antarctica celebrated World Penguin Day April 25, 2017. 

They consist of five species: Emperor, Adélie, Chinstrap, Gentoo and Macaroni.

Nazism, Fascism, Socialism, Communism

These terms are found in the media and social web sites much too often lately. However, it seems most are unaware of what each term means as they call anyone with a different point of view any of these words interchangeably.

Nazism
- Nazi was formed from the first two syllables of the German pronunciation of the word 'national' (na-tsi̯-o-ˈnaːl). Its political and economic doctrines were put into effect by the Nazis in Germany from 1933 to 1945, including the totalitarian principle of government, predominance of Germanic groups assumed to be racially superior, and supremacy of the leader. It arose from attempts to create a nationalist redefinition of 'socialism' as an alternative to both socialism and free market capitalism.
It is usually characterized as a form of fascism that incorporates scientific racism and anti-Semitism, developed from the influences of Pan-Germanism and the anti-communist movement. It aimed to overcome social divisions and create a homogeneous society, unified on the basis of racial purity.

Bottom line, Nazism is racist, anti-Semitist, anti democracy, anti capitalist, anti communist, and anti socialist.


Fascism - Originates from Italian fascismo, equivalent to fascio, meaning bundle or political group. The ideology originated in Italy and was established by Mussolini beginning during 1922 and is a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism. He founded the National Fascist Party. His economic system intended to resolve class conflict through collaboration between the classes.

Bottom line, Fascism is militaristic, nationalistic, racist, anti democratic, anti liberal, anti Marxist, and organizes a country along hierarchical authoritarianism without ethical or legal restraints, and it is dedicated to increase its territory.


Socialism - Under Socialism, equality is the main focus. Instead of workers owning the facilities and tools for production, workers are paid and allowed to spend their wages as they choose, while the governing body owns and operates the means of production for the benefit of the working class. Each worker is provided with necessities so he is able to produce without worry for basic needs. Advancement and production are limited because there is no incentive to achieve more. Without motivation to succeed, workers' human instincts prohibit drive and desire due to no incentives.

"Machines and other improvements must serve to ease the work of all and not to enable a few to grow rich at the expense of millions and tens of millions of people. This new and better society is called socialist society. The teachings about this society are called 'socialism'." ~ Vladimir Lenin

Socialism and Communism are structures that promote equality and seek to eliminate social classes. Sometimes, the two are used interchangeably, though they are different. Communism is a political system, socialism is primarily an economic system. Both espouse everyone doing their share and working together to provide for the greater good. Each utilizes a planned production schedule to ensure the needs of all community members are met. They are utopian economic structures that some countries have tried, but most have failed or became dictatorships. Socialist philosophy is "From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution."

Bottom line, Socialism is mainly an economic system that espouses equality among the masses, dictated by leadership that owns all the resources. Two kinds of property: personal property, such as houses, clothing, etc. owned by the individual and public property including factories, and means of production are owned by the State, but with worker control.


Communism - From the French word communisme, a doctrine based on Marxian socialism and Leninism that was the official ideology of the U.S.S.R. It grew out of the Socialist movement and is a system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, with actual ownership belonging to the community or the totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party. The communist philosophy embraces a communal lifestyle to share all economic and material products between inhabitants of the commune, so that all may benefit from everybody's work. Communist philosophy is "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".

The Soviet Union was officially dissolved on December 26, 1991. Currently, countries controlled by Marxist–Leninist parties under a single-party system include the People's Republic of China, Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, and North Korea. Many other countries have Communist parties, that are not dominant.

Bottom line, Communism is totalitarian, anti individual ownership, and anti capitalist. It is equated with socialism and contrasted with democracy and capitalism. Communism is considered an extreme form of socialism. Private property is abolished. The concept of property is negated and replaced with the concept of commons and ownership with "usership".


Interesting to note that all four of these 'isms' promote equality, but all have a ruling class that is above the community and enjoys the riches denied to the masses.

Banana, Herb or Fruit

The banana plant is a hybrid, originating from the mismatched pairing of two South Asian wild plant species. Every Cavendish banana, the most widely known in the world, is genetically identical.

They are cultivated from cuttings under the ground. A banana (the yellow thing you peel and eat) is a fruit, containing the seeds of the plant. However, commercially grown banana plants are sterile and the seeds are reduced to little specks. The banana plant is called a 'banana tree' in popular use, but it is technically regarded as a herbaceous plant or herb, not a tree, because the stem does not contain true woody tissue.

Bottom line, a banana is both a fruit and herb.

Landline Call Blocking

AT&T, Verizon, and others have a feature for home landline phones that blocks 'Anonymous' and 'Private' callers. It will not block 'Unknown' or 'Out-of-Area' callers, so aunt Bertha's call will get through.

Pick up your phone and dial *77. This will activate the Anonymous Call Rejection feature on your landline. Anonymous and private numbers will not cause your phone to ring. When Anonymous Call Rejection is turned on, private callers will hear an automated message. The automated message will prompt them to hang up, unblock or “un-private” their number, and call again. If the caller makes their number visible and calls again, your phone will ring. If they remain private, your phone will never ring.

To turn off this feature, pick up your phone and dial *87.

There are also other options, such as dialing *60 for AT&T landline phones to block 10 local numbers, but the company charges a monthly fee for the privilege.