Aug 31, 2010

Brain Myth Debunked

Many still believe that we only use about 10 percent of our brains, even after science has proven otherwise.

Many sources of this misinformation appear to point to an American psychologist of the early 1900s named William James, who said, "the average person rarely achieves but a small portion of his or her potential." The media has long perpetuated that into "only using 10 percent of our brain".

In addition to those 100 billion neurons, the brain is also full of other types of cells that are continually in use. We can become disabled from damage to just small areas of the brain depending on where it's located, so there is no way that we could function with only 10 percent of our brain in use.

Brain scans have shown that no matter what we are doing, our brains are always active. Some areas are more active at any one time than others, but unless we have brain damage, there is no one part of the brain that is absolutely not functioning. Here is an example. If you are sitting at a table and eating a sandwich, you are not actively using your feet. You are concentrating on bringing the sandwich to your mouth, chewing and swallowing it. But that doesn't mean that your feet aren't working -- there is still activity in them, such as blood flow, even when you are not actually moving them. Also true - alcohol does not really kill brain cells.


William Wrigley, Jr. founded his company in 1891 with the goal of selling soap and baking powder. He offered free chewing gum as an enticement to his customers, and eventually the customers didn’t care about the baking powder; they only wanted the gum.

Things To Do


The word 'deadline' originated during the Civil War. It signified a boundary line, generally drawn on the ground, which a prisoner of war could not cross.  If prisoners went beyond the line, they were shot by guards. The POWs were often warned, "If you cross the line, you are dead."

Top Three Most Costly Medical Errors

The following are annual numbers from 2008 for preventable medical errors. The first one is usually from not turning patients in bed.

1. Pressure ulcers - 374,964 errors, $10,288 per error, $3.86 billion total.
2. Postoperative infections - 252,695 errors, $14,548 per error, $3.68 billion total.
3. Mechanical complication of a device, implant, or graft - 60,380 errors, $18,771 per error, $1.13 billion total.

US Employment Numbers

Much talk lately about jobs saved, jobs created, company hiring, etc., but there is one number that is without politics. How many people actually have jobs is answered below. Does not show how many have entered the workforce since 2004, but are currently unemployed. Three tenths of one percent increase since last year.

Employed Americans per US Bureau of Labor Statistics (not seasonally adjusted)
Jun 2004 - 139,861,000
Jun 2007 - 153,072,000
Aug 2008 - 154,853,000
jul 2009    - 139,817,000
jul 2010    - 139,860,000

Aug 27, 2010

How Many Books

How many books have ever been published in all of modern history? According to Google’s advanced algorithms, the answer is almost 130 million books. Yes, that number includes my books.

In order for Google Books to successfully catalog the world’s supply of printed knowledge, the company needed an estimate of the amount of books it needs to scan. That’s why Google set out to find the number.

First it had to define what a book is and agreed on ‘tome', an idealized bound volume. A tome can have millions of copies, like a bestseller or can exist in just one or two copies, such as a rare 'Tom Sawyer' first edition. ISBN, or International Standard Book Numbers, are designed to be unique identifiers for books but have only been around for  about 40 years and are mostly used in Western countries.

The company poured over a billion raw records and used many and various algorithms to determine and discard duplicates. Of course the absolute number needs to be constantly, because new books are being published every day. In fact, I have a new one that should be out within about a month. "Flowers, Foreplay, Facelifts, Flatulence - A humorous romp through the four stages of relationships."

Raleigh Bar

It features a layer of bacon, salt, and fresh caramel on top of pecan nougat, all wrapped up in a thin coating of delicious dark chocolate.

The bacon flavor is subtle and blends deliciously with the salted caramel. Yummm!

Portland Bacon Fest

The second annual Portland Bacon Fest was held on August 21 and was a huge success with all things bacon available. Another city catches the bacon wave.