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 After prohibition was repealed, it was still marketed as a mixer.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.


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.