Jun 29, 2013

Not so Sandy Deserts

Believe it or not, most of the Earth’s deserts are not composed entirely of sand. Much, about 85% of them, are rocks and gravel. The largest, the Sahara, fills about 1/3 of Africa and still growing, which would nearly fill the continental United States.

Happy Friday

"Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel and complete a character."

Each week I strive to mold and chisel a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Booze

As we approach the July 4 Holiday, I thought a bit of drinking history might be interesting. The first references to the word “booze” meaning “alcoholic drink” in English appeared around the 14th century, though it was originally spelled 'bouse'. The spelling, as it is today, didn't appear until around the 17th century.

The word 'booze' appears to have Germanic origins, though which specific word it came from is still a little bit of a mystery. The three main words often cited are more or less all cousins of each other and are very similar in meaning and spelling. One of the words came from the Old High German 'bausen', which meant “bulge or billow”. This was a cousin of the Dutch word 'búsen', which meant “to drink excessively” or “to get drunk”. The Old Dutch language also has a similar word 'buise', which translates to “drinking vessel”.

It is thought that the word “bouse” in English, which later became “booze”, has its origins in one or more of those three words, with most scholars leaning towards it coming from the Dutch word 'búsen'.

The origin of the word “booze” does not come from E. C. Booz, a 19th century distiller in the United States.

Archeological evidence suggest that the earliest known purposefully fermented drink, beer, was made around 10,000 BC.

Native American tribes had numerous forms of alcoholic beverages they brewed, long before the “white man” came to the Americas.

The Greek followers of Dionysus believed intoxication brought them closer to their god. Some current imbibers still believe this.

Nothing Festival

The annual Teluride, CO Nothing Festival is being held in mid-July. Here are the exciting activities for the locals in addition to eating and drinking too much.

Sunrises and sunsets as normal.
Gravity continues to be in effect.
The earth’s rotation will be increased to add a few thrills.
The laws of physics will be on display.
Duct Tape Seminar: How to defeat weapons of mass destruction for under $10.
How we use old Volkswagens.
Sense of humor search. Am sure a fun time will be had by all.

Ambient Sound

When thinking of nothing, there is a site that does no more than provide ambient sound. The idea is that you can be more productive if there is commotion going on around you. LINK

Choluteca Bridge

The Choluteca Bridge was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers with such design strength, it could withstand the worst of hurricanes that affected the area. When Hurricane Mitch came in 1998, it destroyed 150 Honduran bridges, but not the Choluteca Bridge.

However, the storm rerouted the Choluteca River. So now, the Choluteca Bridge is still standing, but useless. Hmmm

Ten Weird Fast Foods

Here are a few weird fast food menu items from around the world.
1. Pork and seaweed doughnut (Dunkin' Donuts China)
2. Darth Vader burger (Quick, France) all black bun
3. Kimchi croquettes (Dunkin' Donuts Korea) made with real kimchi
4. Bacon Potato Pie (McDonald’s Japan) mashed potatoes and bacon deep-fried in the familiar apple pie shell Mmmm!
5. Shrimp burger (McDonald’s Japan) fried shrimp patty
6. Chicken Nugget burger (Burger King, Poland) ground chicken with curry sauce
7. Coffee Jelly Frappuccino (Starbucks, Japan) a regular Starbucks Frappuccino (frozen coffee drink) with coffee jelly, made from actual brewed coffee.
8. Cheese and marmite panini (Starbucks UK) Marmite is a brown, sticky spread made from yeast byproduct.
9. Tuna Pie (Jollibee, Phillipines) the tuna, pie comes stuffed with cooked tuna and vegetables
10. Winter double king pizza (Pizza Hut, Japan) a pizza topped with mayonnaise, king crab, shrimp, beef, broccoli, onion, corn, egg, and potato and a removable crust made of fried, mayonnaise-stuffed shrimp that look like little pigs in blankets.
Jollibees is a chicken and burger franchise like McDonalds. It is also in a number of states including California, New York, and Nevada. Mascot is Jolly bee.

Oysters Alive

Did you know that most oysters are served while still living? Oysters are generally served live because they deteriorate much faster than most other animals when dead. When their shells are cracked open, they can survive for a significant amount of time.

It is only when the flesh is actually separated from the shells that they begin to die; this is why oysters are almost always sucked directly out of their shells.

Bloody Good Story

When James Harrison had chest surgery at age 13, he resolved to begin donating blood to help others in need. When he did so, doctors realized that he carries a rare immune globulin that can prevent unborn babies from suffering attacks by their mothers’ antibodies, a condition known as Rhesus disease.

In the 59 years since this was discovered, Harrison has given blood more than 1,000 times, an average of once every three weeks for five decades, and his donations have saved an estimated 2.4 million babies. Harrison holds a spot in Guinness World Records. He calls this, “The only record that I hope is broken".