Apr 3, 2015

Happy Friday

"Life is a mirror, if you frown at it, it frowns back; if you smile, it returns the greeting." William Makepeace Thackeray

I smile in the mirror every morning and it sticks, especially on a Happy Friday!

The Easter Bunny

Today’s Easter Bunny grew out of religious practices in pre-Christian Germany. Eostra, a goddess of fertility and spring, was associated with the rabbit because of the animal’s high reproductive rate. The legend was subsequently merged with the Christian celebration of Jesus’ rebirth.

Easter Eggs

Decorated eggs predate Easter and have been found as early as 60,000 years ago. About 3000 BC in Persia, eggs were dyed red given as gifts in celebration of the first day of spring.

The practice of giving red Easter eggs, symbolizing the blood of Christ, became a Christian tradition, with the hatching of an egg symbolizing the resurrection. The Easter egg is also a byproduct of Lent, as many families would give up eggs during those fast days, which ended with Easter.

Some of the oldest egg dyes were made from a variety of materials, including onion peels, tree bark, flower petals, and vegetable and fruit juices.

Cadbury sells over 200 million cream eggs each year in the UK. More than three for each person who lives there.

The PAAS Dye Co. launched its product during the 1880s. The first packets contained five colors for 5 cents. The company now claims to sell more than 10 million kits annually including dyes, paints, stickers, glitter, etc.

In some European countries, children go from house to house to collect eggs.

The White House Easter Egg Roll, an annual tradition on the Monday after Easter, is the only time that tourists are allowed to gather on the White House lawn. The tradition actually started on the lawn of the Capitol, by Dolly Madison during the early 1800s, and was moved to the White House in 1878, when Rutherford B. Hayes was president.

Many Easter eggs are formed from chocolate. In Scotland, a popular treat sold in fish-and-chips shops is deep-fried chocolate eggs.

The most valuable Easter eggs are the jewel-encrusted Fabergé eggs, crafted in the late 1800s and early 1900s as Easter gifts for the families of Russian czars. Only 65 were known to have been made. Most are worth millions of dollars.

The world's largest Easter egg, as recognized by Guinness World Records, was made of chocolate in 2005 in Belgium and weighed 1,200 kilograms or more than 2,600 pounds.

The term for intentional inside joke, hidden message, author's names, or feature in a work such as a computer program, video game, movie, book, or crossword is Easter Egg. The term was coined at Atari after a programmer put his name in a hidden room in the game Adventure, released in 1979. The name evokes an Easter egg hunt.

Cheese Weasel Day

April 3rd is Cheese Weasel Day, the holiday where the Cheese Weasel brings dairy goodness to all the boys and girls in the tech industry. It seems to have started about 1992 when a weasel was spotted carrying a Kraft Cheese Single. They assumed it must be the Cheese Weasel and therefore, that it must be Cheese Weasel Day. He was off to put it under the keyboards of good tech workers everywhere and that is what many techies do today. Some offices put out a spread of exotic cheeses for all to enjoy. Some still hide cheese slices under keyboards of the unsuspecting.

What's in a Name, Cutty Sark

"Cutty Sark" is a brand of whisky, and before that it was the name of a legendary sailing ship. Originally, it referred to ladies' underwear. Cutty sark comes from the now outdated words cutty (short) and sark (shirt). The term first appeared in an 18th century Scottish poem where it described a skimpy nightgown worn by a seductive, but dangerous witch.

Incidentally, since the 1960s, American writers have increasingly used whiskey as the accepted spelling for aged grain spirits made in the US and whisky for aged grain spirits made outside the US. However, some prominent American brands, such as George Dickel, Maker's Mark, and Old Forester use the 'whisky' spelling on their labels, and the Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits, the legal regulations for spirit in the US, also use the 'whisky' spelling throughout.

Whisky/ey is an umbrella term for a type of spirit distilled from a mash of fermented grains. Within the broad category of whisky/ey are sub-categories, including bourbon, rye, Tennessee, Scotch, Irish, and Canadian style whiskies. Whisky usually denotes Scotch whisky and Scotch-inspired liquors, and whiskey denotes the Irish and American liquors.

A way to remember - Countries that have E’s in their names (UnitEd StatEs and IrEland) tend to spell it whiskEy (plural whiskeys). Countries without E’s in their names (Canada, Scotland, and Japan) spell it whisky (plural whiskies)

RIP Gary Dahl

Gary Dahl got the idea for the Pet Rock, an ordinary rock, packaged in a pet carrier, requiring no food or care, at a California bar.

Pet Rocks made Mr. Dahl a millionaire practically overnight. He passed away March 28, 2015

Rich Folk Facts

In 2013, the world had about 2,170 billionaires. Women make up 8.5% of those. Ten of America's 43 self-made billionaires dropped out of college.
Sheldon Adelson dropped out of City College of New York ($36.4 billion)
Paul Allen dropped out of Washington State ($16.2 billion)
Andy Beal dropped out of Baylor University ($11.1 billion)
Michael Dell dropped out of University of Texas ($15.3 billion)
Larry Ellison dropped out of University of Chicago ($52 billion)
Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard ($81.6 billion)
Jan Koum dropped out of San Jose State University ($7.5 billion)
Jack Taylor dropped out of Washington University ($11.4 billion)
Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard ($33.1 billion)

Four of the youngest billionaires in the world are connected to Facebook (Dustin Moskovitz, Sean Parker, Eduardo Severin, and Mark Zuckerberg, ).

America's youngest self-made female billionaire is 30 years old and a college dropout.

New York has the largest number of billionaires, with 96, Hong Kong has 75, Moscow 74 and London 67.

Carlo Slim Helu, a Mexican billionaire worth $69 billion, is considered to be the first “world’s richest man from a developing nation.” He has lived in the same modest home for the past 30 years. His wealth is equal to 5% of Mexico’s economic output.

Millionaires -
The average millionaire goes bankrupt at least 3.5 times.

In the United States, approximately 7% of households are millionaires.

A 2010 study shows that millionaires pay approximately 40% of all taxes in the United States.

According to the book The Millionaire Next Door, only 20% of millionaires inherited their wealth. The other 80% earned their cash on their own.

Half of all millionaires are self employed or own their own business.

Eighteen percent of millionaires have Master’s degrees, eight percent have law degrees, six percent have medical degrees, and six percent have PhDs.

Those with Russian ancestry have the highest concentration of millionaire households in America, with $1.1 trillion, or nearly 5% of all the personal wealth in America. The Scottish rank second, Hungarians rank third, and English ancestry groups rank fourth.

A pentamillionaire is someone with the net worth of $5 million. A decamillionare has a net worth of $10 million. A hectamillionaire has a net worth of $100 million.

The number of U.S. millionaires dropped by 129,000, to about 5 million in 2011.

On average, millionaires are 61 years old with $3.05 million in assets.

Just twenty percent of millionaires are retirees.

In 2008, there were 10 million people around the world who were classified as millionaires in US dollars.

There were 185,000 millionaires in Canada in 2011.

The largest increase in the number of millionaires in the past year were in India (21%), China (16%), and Singapore (14%).

Top five countries with highest percent of millionaires.
Rank, Country, Percentage of Population with Millionaire Status, Total Number of Millionaires
#1 Singapore 17.1% 188,000
#2 Qatar 14.3% 47,000
#3 Kuwait 11.8% 63,000
#4 Switzerland 9.5% 322,000
#5 Hong Kong 8.8% 212,000

What's in a Name, Birdseye

The namesake of Birds Eye Frozen Foods was the company’s founder, Clarence Birdseye, who introduced the concept of flash freezing to the world. He developed his technique after seeing food freezing in action in the Arctic, and noting how much better frozen fish tasted if it had been frozen immediately after been caught. He helped pioneer flash freezing as a frozen food standard and helped develop in-store freezer cases and refrigerated boxcars that allowed his frozen foods to travel in comfort.

Birdseye’s food was the first frozen food sold commercially in the United States. On March 6, 1930, Birds Eye frozen foods were put on sale at Davidson’s Market in Springfield, Massachusetts, the first product of its kind.

Eye Colors, Brown

Each of the various eye colors show something about us.

Brown is the most common eye color in the world, because it is caused by a dominant gene. Brown eyes contain large amounts of melanin, a pigment that also causes skin to darken in the sun. If you are lucky enough to have brown eyes, you are much less likely to develop melanoma skin cancer than those with less melanin and those with fairer coloring.

There is a common myth that people with brown eyes are very confident, but it is not always true, as eye color does not determine confidence.

Very dark eyes are sometimes mistaken for being black, but truly black eyes only exist in fiction. Those people who do have incredibly dark brown, almost black, eyes share many of the same traits as those with a lighter shade of brown.
It is very uncommon to find people with brown eyes in some parts of the world, especially Iceland and other parts of Scandinavia. Conversely, brown eyes are everywhere in Africa and Asia.

Technically in the brown eye family, amber eyes are of a solid color and have a strong yellowish/golden and russet/coppery tint from the yellow colored pigment lipochrome in the iris (which is also found in green eyes). Amber eyes should not be confused with hazel eyes; although hazel eyes may contain specks of amber or gold, they usually tend to comprise many other colors, including green, brown and orange. Amber eyes are very rare worldwide, and are most common in Asia and South American countries. Amber eye color can range from golden yellow to a more copper tone. There is a new laser treatment undergoing human testing in Costa Rica that turns brown eyes blue. Reminds me of a song LINK.