Nov 25, 2017

Happy Friday

There is happiness all around us.
Increase your share by celebrating a Happy Friday!

Calorie Burning Food Myth Debunked

For many the day after a holiday brings guilt from holiday feasting, but do not fall into this myth trap. Myth: There is such a thing as "calorie-burning" foods.
If you have spent any amount of time researching diets on the web, you probably read articles about 'miracle foods' that are filled with negative calories and foods that have such a low caloric count that the stomach expends more calories digesting them than they contain. In addition to these negative-calorie foods, you can also find lists of other healthy foods that burn fat and some that magically target belly fat. Lately there are various diets which insist spicy foods will burn fat by magically heating up your metabolism. If all of this sounds too good to be true, it is.
There is no such thing as a diet that burns more calories than it provides. There are only diets that specifically cause you to lose weight through reduction in caloric intake. Food cannot reduce fat on its own.
Foods that are called negative calorie lean toward fruits or vegetables. Much of the weight loss you experience eating these foods is water weight, which returns when you start eating normally again.
The only reason you lose weight by eating these foods is that the diet plan they come with requires you to consume less calories. Those fat-burning supplements work on the same principle. You lose weight because you are starving yourself.

Bottom line, the only miracle performed by so-called 'miracle foods' is that they allow you to trick yourself into believing it is the food, not the reduction in calories.

Wordology, Paltering

Misleading by "telling the truth" is so pervasive in daily life that a new term has recently been coined to describe it: paltering.

It is so widespread that some are trying to determine insight into the grey area between truth and lies. We lie all the time, despite the fact that it costs us considerably more mental effort to lie than to tell the truth.
Researchers were looking at how often politicians dodge questions during debates and soon realized something else was going on. By stating another truthful fact, they could get out of answering a question. They could even imply something was truthful when it was not.

Individuals who had been deceived do not distinguish between lying and paltering. Although communicators think that when disclosed, it will be ethical, but listeners still see it as a lie.

Beware if someone does not answer a question directly. Be doubly aware if they state any fact (related or not) rather than answer a question. A preponderance of politicians palter!

Caput vs. Kaput

Caput, is a Latin word meaning literally 'head' or 'top'. It has been borrowed in a variety of English words, including capital, captain, and decapitate. The Italian surname Caputo comes from the appellation used by some Roman military generals. A variant form has surfaced more recently in the title Capo, as in head of La Cosa Nostra. The French language converted 'caput' into chief, chef, and chapitre, later borrowed in English as chapter.

Caput was also the name of the council or ruling body of the University of Cambridge prior to the constitution of 1856 and remains the presiding body of the Senate of the University of Dublin. Caput is also used in medicine to describe any head like protuberance on an organ or structure, such as the caput humeri.

The German word kaputt means destroyed, broken, ruined, or dysfunctional. From German kaputt "destroyed, ruined, lost" (1640s). Maybe is a misunderstanding of an expression from card-playing, capot machen, a partial translation into German of French faire capot, a phrase which meant "to win all the tricks (from the other player) in piquet," an obsolete card game.

The words may be similar, but are not related.

Five Quick Facts

An avocado never ripens on the tree, so farmers can use trees as storage and keep avocados fresh for up to seven months.

Elvis Presley's manager sold "I Hate Elvis" badges as a way to make money from people who were not buying his merchandise.

Tsundoku is the act of acquiring books and not reading them.

New York's Central Park lampposts contain a set of four numbers that can help you navigate. The first two tell you the nearest street, and the next two tell you whether you are closer to the east or west side of the park (even numbers signal east, odd signal west).

In Great Britain and Japan, black cats are perceived as auspicious. In the English Midlands, new brides are given black cats to bless their marriage, and the Japanese believe that black cats are good luck—particularly for single women.

Red Light, Blue Light

Some languages refer to colors differently. For instance, Russian and Japanese, have different words for light blue and dark blue, treating them as two distinct colors. Some languages lump colors English speakers see as distinct, together, using the same word for green and blue. Japanese is one of those languages. While there are now separate terms for blue and green, in Old Japanese, the word ao was used for both colors.
In modern Japanese, ao refers to blue, while the word midori means green. Officially, the “go” color in traffic lights is called ao, even though traffic lights used to be green. This posed a linguistic, the lights are ao in official literature, but they are  really midori.

Since 1973, the Japanese government, in its infinite bureaucratic wisdom has decreed that traffic lights should be green, but that they be the bluest shade of green. They can still qualify as ao, but they are also green enough to mean go to foreigners.


The US Federal Communications Commission has approved a new standard for OTA (over-the-air) antenna TV broadcasts. ATSC 3.0, or Next-Gen TV is supposed to prompt big improvements for antenna users, including 4K HDR video, better surround sound, interactive features, and easier access for mobile devices.

In addition, the DRM (digital rights management) portion of ATSC 3.0 is designed to allow broadcasters to provide value-added services like On-Demand and Pay-Per-View content on a subscription basis to complement Over-the-Air TV, which will remain free.

It is in testing now and Phoenix is serving as a model market for ATSC 3.0. Phoenix currently has more than 20 percent of its 1.8 million TV viewers receiving OTA (antenna) television. Ten stations in that market will deploy the next-generation TV standard before April 2018 to demonstrate the viability of the next-gen system while at the same time continuing to serve over-the-air viewers with current ATSC 1.0 digital television. Testing organizations have been testing the standard for a while and more are expected.

Next-Gen TV also has a bad downside: For the first time, it allows local broadcasters to lock down content with digital rights management (DRM), potentially preventing people from recording free, over-the-air channels. Some stations in South Korea, for instance, are already using ATSC 3.0 to broadcast 4K video, and those feeds are encrypted to prevent unauthorized copying.

All this will require new hardware to view ATSC 3.0, because the standard is not backward compatible with current tuners. That could mean another round of converter boxes or dongles, only without the government subsidies that helped push the analog-to-digital transition a few years ago.

Bottom line, all of this means interactive 4K TV over the air, no internet provider required. Obviously content will be restricted by the big guys, but cord cutters will finally be able to go back to the old days of free, but limited TV, with a few extra goodies and excellent sound and picture quality thrown in. Stay tuned, it will be a few years before we experience it in our living rooms

Another Holiday Myth Debunked

Myth: Different types of alcohol make for different types of drunk. Can you imagine a person drunk on tequila and another person who is drunk on fancy red wine.  Do you imagine them acting the same? They conjure up an image of the tequila person running naked from the cops in Tijuana, while the second is getting sleepy and dialing his ex.
For a fun sports-related buzz, grab a beer. For telling sad stories or intellectual debates, go for gin. If you are feeling loose, but fancy and it is your one night off from the kids, order some red wine. If you want to burn your whole life to the ground, order a bunch of whiskey or tequila. You will be trying to fight a stranger in no time.
Researchers have not found any meaningful difference between types of liquors, in terms of affecting mood. If we do behave differently when we drink a certain type of booze, it is most likely all in our head. There is a  psychosocial effect of drinking -  we behave how we think we behave when consuming that type of alcohol. "I think tequila makes me awesome, therefore I am awesome when I drink tequila."
Many experiments have been conducted. In one experiment, patients were given either bourbon or vodka while living at an inpatient lab for nine days. Researchers noted an increase in hostility, anxiety, and depression across the board. Yet there was no discernible difference between the bourbon and vodka drinker moods.
Different alcohols have different ethanol and congener contents. Different alcohols have different alcohol content. Also, different alcohols are usually paired with different mixers. None of these factors explain or make for different types of drunkenness.

A 2010 analysis of more than 40 studies, differences often appear to be due to the individual attempting to compensate for the expected effects of the alcohol.

Bottom line, if you think to be true, your mind will help you make it be true.qw

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.