Jul 6, 2010

Five Facts about Toilets

Interesting things you may not know.

Hermann Goering refused to use regulation toilet paper and used soft white handkerchiefs. (King Richard II invented the handkerchief.)

Over $100,000 dollars was spent on a study to determine whether most people put their toilet paper on the holder with the flap in front or behind. Three out of four people have the flap in the front.

The Roman army used a water soaked sponge on the end of a stick instead of paper.

The toilet is flushed more times during the super bowl halftime than at any time during the year.

King George II of Great Britain died falling off a toilet on the 25th of October 1760.

Internet TV and Hulu

I have written about this before. Seems like internet TV is inevitable. Now it looks closer than ever.

Last month, the same week Hulu announced a paid plan, news surfaced that it is talking with CBS, Viacom, and Time Warner TV divisions to add their shows. Free Hulu already includes “Fox, NBC Universal, ABC, ABC Family, Biography, Lionsgate, Endemol, MGM, MTV Networks, National Geographic, Digital Rights Group, Paramount, PBS, Sony Pictures Television, Warner Bros. etc.

If paid Hulu (suggested $10 per month) works, the networks will have proof that they can circumvent cable and satellite companies and have the profit go directly in their pockets.

Bad news for the greedy cable companies. However, this will not happen overnight and the cable box is still easier for the uninitiated. I love competition.

Hmmm, think I found a new use for my old PC. You don't need a PC with much memory or fast speed, it all comes directly from the net. Just add a short cable from the PC to TV and all is well. An extra bonus is that you can do email or Facebook if a commercial shows up. As a bonus,YouTube looks great on a big screen.

Blueberry Muffins

A medium-sized blueberry muffin has more calories than a McDonald's Sausage McMuffin of the same size. Almost half of those calories are from fat, about a third of the fat of your suggested daily average. Switching to a bran muffin is just under the calorie count of a Sausage McMuffin.  Bottom line, sausage McMuffins still taste better.

Jul 2, 2010

Dollar Tree Flags

Had to add this one. Seems like the Dollar Tree stores in Dallas are offering a bonus this year. They are selling flags with 61 Stars, and they are crooked. If you are going for cheap decorations for the 4th, count the stars. Guess where they were manufactured.

Benefits of Cinnamon

My mother used to mix up cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling on buttered toast for a tasty morning snack. She also used cinnamon in many cookies recipes. It has been used as a medicine by other cultures since ancient times (not that I lived in ancient times). Cinnamon is a tree and the spice we use is really the bark that is either rolled into sticks, called quills or ground up into a powder.

Here is a cinnamon tip, put a out bowl of water sprinkled with some cinnamon on top to make your kitchen smell like you just baked a batch of cookies.

There are many benefits of cinnamon, such as:

It lowers LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol if you use a half teaspoon a day.

Cinnamon contains an anti-inflammatory compounds which can be useful in reducing pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Mix with honey and spread on the aching joint.

It reduces blood sugar levels, improves insulin sensitivity, and blood glucose control.

Cinnamon strengthens the cardiovascular system reducing potential heart disorders.

A study released by researchers at the US Department of Agriculture showed that cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.

It is a natural preservative and prevents bacterial growth and food spoilage.

Cinnamon has long been used to treat toothache and fight bad breath.

It is also a great home remedy for common colds, sore throat, and congestion if you take a tablespoon of honey with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. It also helps clear your sinuses.

Cinnamon boosts the activity of the brain, reduces nervous tension and studies have shown that smelling cinnamon may boost cognitive function, memory, and increases your alertness and concentration.

It has antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic, and antiseptic properties. Sprinkle some on you door jam and the ants will hate you.

Cinnamon has been found useful for providing relief from menstrual cramping and other feminine discomforts.

It is good for your digestion, is a natural diuretic, and reduces gas.

A paste of honey and cinnamon can be used to reduce the sting of insect bites.

Mix it with some sugar and sprinkle on your toast or cereal. Add it straight to your coffee or tea, or just boil some cinnamon in water, then save it to gargle with.

There too many other benefits to list here, but you get the idea. It is good for you, it smells good, and tastes good. Think I'll go make some spiced rum and cinnamon.

Prunes and Plums

Do you remember when dried plums were called prunes? All prunes are plums, but not all plums are prunes. Prune plum varieties have very high sugar contents that enable them to be dried without fermenting, while still containing the pits.

Research conducted in the US showed that the target audience, women ages 25 to 54, responded more favorably to the name dried plums. It is also more descriptive for people who didn’t know that prunes are plums that have been dried.  Outside the US, it is still called a prune. Regular people know the value of prunes.

A Brief History of The Dollar

The term 'dollar' has been around for thousands of years. Common history says it comes from the the Czech name Joachimsthaler. Thaler is a shortened form of the term. It was pronounced like 'taller'. Talers were around as recently as the 1960s in Hungary, Bohemia, and other German States.

Dalers were used in the Scandinavian countries from the 1500s until the 1920s.

The English pronunciation 'dollar' was also used for Spanish Pesos and Portuguese pieces of eight and a few other European currencies.

The US minted its first dollar in 1792. Currently, an average paper US dollar lasts 21 months before it wears out.

Canada officially changed to the (Canadian) dollar in 1853, but they were minted in Britain until 1908. Australia and New Zealand changed to the (Australian and New Zealand) dollars, from the Pound, in the 1960s. Many other countries use a dollar as the official currency, but not all dollars are US dollars and not all are tied to the US dollar for their value.

In January 2010, Zimbabwe issued a $100 trillion note, making the note the highest denomination in the world.

Britain officially changed to the decimal system and divided the pound into 100 pennies in 1971.  Now you know why dollars make sense. . . or cents. Speaking of cents, the Lincoln penny has been around for 101 years.

Heinz 57

H. J. Heinz wanted to advertise the great number of choices of canned and bottled foods it offered for sale. Although the company had more than 60 products in 1892, the number 57 was chosen because the numbers "5" and "7" held special significance to Heinz. The number "5" was Henry John Heinz's lucky number and the number "7" was his wife's lucky number. The company now has more than 6,000 products. Prepared horseradish was their first product.

Twenty Years of Inventions

During the years of 1870 to 1890, we had the invention of electric light, alternating current, the telephone, automobile, steam turbine, gas turbine, water heater, transformer, arc welding, phonograph, seismograph, development of vaccination and surgical techniques; Boltzmann’s development of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics; production of radio waves; the birth of the environmental conservation movement; and artworks by Rodin, Monet, Brahms, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Eliot, Chekhov and Twain. All of this came a hundred years after the beginning of the industrial revolution.