Aug 16, 2019

Happy Friday

He who smiles most, loves best.

I always try to share both, especially on a Happy Friday!


On Aug 12, 1981 (38 years ago this week) IBM launched its IBM Personal Computer (IBM 5150) at a starting price of $1,565 for the base model with 16K RAM, a color graphics adapter, and no disc drive. It had 40K of read-only memory and 16K of user memory. Options included a display, a printer, two diskette drives, extra memory, communications, game adapter, and application packages, including text processing. The operating system was from an unknown company at the time, Microsoft.

It was not the first personal computer, but it revolutionized business computing by becoming the first PC to gain widespread adoption by industry and for personal use. It was designed, developed, built, and sold within 12 months - at that time faster than any other hardware product in IBM's history. We have come a long way in a short time.

Thought for the Day

Beyond Burger vs. Impossible Burger

Traditional meat products usually have one ingredient, meat. These new meat free products are more complicated. They are touted as good for the environment, but neglect to publish whether they are good for us to eat.

The Impossible Burger has 21 ingredients, and the Beyond Burger has 22. These burgers are highly processed foods, which generally get a thumbs-down from nutritionists and dietitians alike. Just because a product is plant-based, does not mean it is automatically healthy. French fries are plant-based. However, like so many other things, marketing trumps science and good sense.
“My main concern is the questionably high sodium content of these veggie-based alternatives, which can rank up to five times the amount of a regular burger patty. Beyond and Impossible burgers are very different," said Cynthia Sass, a New York-based performance nutritionist.
Impossible's main protein source is soy, one of the big eight most common allergens. Soy is high in phytic acid, also known as phytates. These phytates prevent the absorption of minerals like iron and calcium (among others). This can be particularly harmful, especially for children. Additionally, soy is high in phytoestrogen. This can block normal estrogen, which leads not just to hormonal imbalance, but possibly breast cancer. Impossible Burgers also include coconut oil, which supplies a significant amount of saturated fat,” according to another nutritionist. Because coconut oil contains more saturated fat than butter or lard, many nutritionists recommend using it sparingly.

Impossible Burger 2.0 ingredients include: Water, Soy-protein concentrate, Coconut oil, Sunflower oil, Natural flavors (sic), Potato protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast extract, Cultured dextrose, Modified Food Starch, Soy leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy-protein isolate, Mixed tocopherols (vitamin E), Zinc gluconate, Thiamine hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium ascorbate (vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Riboflavin (vitamin B2), and Vitamin B12.

The Beyond Burger uses pea protein isolate, which most people find easily digestible, but can cause increased gastrointestinal discomfort if people are not used to it, said Vandana Sheth, a registered dietitian nutritionist.  "This is a source of saturated fat, and you will see that one burger contains 30% of the recommended daily value." Beyond Burger is using that ingredient for a marbling effect. The American Heart Association advises that we be wary before choosing coconut oil due to its high saturated fat content.
Beyond Burger ingredients include: Water, Pea protein isolate, Canola oil, Refined coconut oil, Cellulose from bamboo, Methylcellulose, Potato starch, Natural flavor (sic), Maltodextrin, Yeast extract, Salt, Sunflower oil, Vegetable glycerin, Dried yeast, Gum arabic, Citrus extract, Ascorbic acid, Beet juice extract, Acetic acid, Succinic acid, Modified food starch, and Annatto.
Beyond Meat's 4-ounce patty is listed at 270 calories, while Impossible Foods' is listed at 240 calories. There are 246 calories in 4 ounces of Ground Beef (90% Lean / 10% Fat). Four ounces of extra-lean ground beef (95 percent lean, 5 percent fat) contains 155 calories.

A real burger made with lean beef has about the same calories, fat, and saturated fat as a Beyond Burger, but more protein, less sodium, and less calories. Caveat Emptor!

"It's Greek to Me

In a wide-ranging number of languages, major and minor, from all different branches of the language family tree, there is some version of “It’s Greek to me.”

One theory ties it to medieval monks. In Western Europe, the predominant written language was Latin, but much of the writing that survived from antiquity was in Greek. The theory holds that these monks, in transcribing and copying their texts, were not necessarily able to read Greek, and would write a phrase next to any Greek text they found: “Graecum est; non legitur.” Translated: “It is Greek; it cannot be read.”

This and other idioms all seek to describe one person’s failure to understand what the other is trying to say, but in a particular, dismissive way. It is not just, “Sorry, I can’t understand you.” It is saying, “The way you are speaking right now is incomprehensible.” It specifically compares that incomprehensibility to a particular language, a language agreed upon in that culture to be particularly impenetrable.

To Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, and Dutch - Greek serves as an indecipherable tongue and not understandable. Baltic countries think Spanish is impenetrable. People from Greece, Philippines, Poland, France, Albania, and in many other places, say some variation of, “That’s Chinese to me.”

NFL TV is Confusing

NFL makes it difficult to watch football games. In its effort to maximize profits, it has split who can broadcast what games and when. Of course, most sports leagues still sell their biggest rights packages to live TV networks, because that is still where the largest live audiences are.

There are five channels you need to access to if you want to watch the NFL. You need broadcast channels like ESPN and NFL Network either on cable or various streaming services. For local channels, you need CBS, NBC, and FOX. These channels can be accessed through a streaming service depending on your location, or using an antenna.

  • Most local NFL games will be broadcast over the air on network channels like CBS, FOX, and NBC.
  • Sunday football games air on CBS and FOX during the afternoon and on NBC for Sunday Night Football.
  • Monday Night Football airs exclusively on ESPN.
  • Thursday Night Football airs on different channels, depending on the week. The NFL Network will host 5 exclusive games that will only be found on it. The other 11 games will be simulcast on NFL Network, FOX, and Amazon Prime.
Bonus - It is long overdue, but the first time the NFL will be available in 4K on any service, including satellite and cable is from FuboTV, the only live streaming service that offers live sports in 4K. This LINK has the dates and various sports that will be broadcast in 4K on FUBO. Why not try a seven day free subscription to see the difference of 4K for live sports.

Human Freedom Index

The Human Freedom Index is the most comprehensive freedom index created for countries. It covers 162 countries for 2016, the most recent year for which sufficient data is available. The index ranks countries beginning in 2008, the earliest year for which a robust enough index could be produced.

A variety of indicators are used by various study groups to determine the level of personal freedom enjoyed by citizens across the world, including economic freedom (the ability to earn a living wage, and retain it for personal use), political freedom, access to education, religious freedom, and many others. The evaluation is then compared between nations. America’s neighbor to the north, Canada, invariably finishes with a higher ranking of personal freedom than the United States, which routinely ranks in the second ten.

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents more freedom, the average human freedom rating for 162 countries in 2016 was 6.89. Since 2008, the level of global freedom has decreased slightly (−0.06), with 56 countries in the index increasing their ratings and 81 decreasing. Out of 10 regions, the highest levels of freedom are in North America (Canada and the United States), Western Europe, and Oceania. The lowest levels are in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.

The top 10 places, in order, were New Zealand, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and Denmark (tied in 6th place), Ireland and the United Kingdom (tied in 8th place), and Finland, Norway, and Taiwan (tied in 10th place).

Selected other countries rank: Germany (13), the United States and Sweden tie (17), Mexico (75), Russia (119), China (135).

Happy Friday

Everything happens for a reason.

Today is the reason I am celebrating a Happy Friday! 

Mind Changers

Many self proclaimed and real experts have once told us and sold us that these items are either good or bad for us. In fact each of the following have gone from good to bad or from bad to good and a few changed back again.

They include: artificial colors green 1, orange 1, red 1,2,4,32, butter, chocolate, cigarettes, coffee, cyclamates, eggs, nuts, red meat, red wine, salt, saturated fats, sugar, potatoes, carbohydrates, whole milk, coconut oil, baby aspirin, paper bags, plastic bags, quaaludes, thalidomide, and toilet paper.

If something becomes a super fad, just wait for a while and the "experts" will change their mind. Think gluten hype and the less than one percent of people who are celiac sufferers.

Space Program Benefits

Here are some great NASA spinoffs that many are not aware of.
Water purification — In the closed environment of space, keeping water clean is vital. If and when we colonize the Moon, or Mars, water purification will be all the more critical.
    Air purification —  \Clean air is just as important as clean water, and so air scrubbing was a priority for NASA. Boosted by NASA technology, air scrubbing is a big business, both for the home and for the planet. It is possible that NASA’s efforts to enlist bacteria in an air-purification push will prove to be the biggest breakthrough of all.

    Carbon capture — As NASA notes, “Metabolic wastes—mainly evaporative water loss, urine, utility water, expired carbon dioxide, and feces amount to 10 to 14 pounds per man per day.” In space, such accumulation is an enormous burden. NASA knew that carbon is also an energy source, and so with good science, carbon waste can become carbon fuel. Thus carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere could become, potentially, the basis of a new energy source, clearing the air while powering human civilization. In other words, this new system could become a closed loop of abundant, and clean, energy.
    Temper Foam —  NASA started out trying to keep astronauts from being crushed or killed by G-forces and impacts. “The material now known as Temper Foam­, not only provides better impact protection, but also enhances passenger comfort on long flights because it distributes body weight and pressure evenly over the entire contact area.”
    Shock absorbers for buildings — NASA’s efforts to cushion astronauts and their rockets have turned into a new technology that cushions people and their buildings: “With NASA funding, North Tonawanda, New York-based Taylor Devices Inc. developed fluidic shock absorbers to safely remove the fuel and electrical connectors from the space shuttles during launch. The company is now employing the technology as seismic dampers to protect structures from earthquakes. To date, 550 buildings and bridges have the dampers, and not a single one has suffered damage in the wake of an earthquake.”
    Freeze-drying food — One of the early challenges NASA faced was bringing food into space. Such nutrients had to be kept minimal, had to be kept clean, and had to be easy to clean up. At the same time, they had to be satisfying and tasty and now it is a new terrestrial industry.
    3-D food printing — Even now, the 3-D printing of anything is difficult  to understand. Fortunately, we do not have to understand how it is done; we can just get the benefits.
    Advanced ceramics — As NASA wrote in 2006, “To meet the requirements of the next generation of both rocket and air-breathing engines, NASA is actively pursuing the development and maturation of a variety of ceramic materials.” In the years since, advanced ceramics have been used to develop and safeguard all manner of structures in challenging environments, from wings to engines to antennas.
    Powdered lubricants — In space, where every ounce counts, it’s vital to make everything as light and efficient as possible. Thanks to technology transfers, everyone has access to lubricants that weigh little and last long.
    Scratch-resistant lenses — Plastic lenses are far superior to glass lenses because they do not shatter. However, early plastics scratched easily. So NASA figured out how to use an electric discharge of organic vapor to make a thin plastic film that was both tough and translucent. That helped considerably with space-helmet visors and now many eyeglasses are no longer glass.
Other items from the space program. These include cordless power tools, flame-resistant firefighter gear, the integrated circuit that gave rise to the microchip, and thin, lightweight insulation. Improvements to kidney dialysis, a lightning detector, automated credit card transactions, radar, jet aviation, and synthetic rubber.
Contrary to popular belief, NASA had nothing to do with the development of Tang, Velcro, or Teflon, although it did use and popularize these products.

Incidentally, the first meal on the Moon included bacon squares, cubes of sugar cookie, a fruit drink, and coffee. Fly me to the moon

Six Interesting Animal Facts

Pandas can sleep anywhere, so they usually fall asleep wherever they happen to be.

Squirrels use their tails as umbrellas and parachutes.

A dog’s nose print is as detailed as a human fingerprint and can be used to identify them.

Giraffes only sleep for about 4 and a half hours a night, on average.

Tigers have striped skin underneath their striped fur.

Baby elephants suck on their own trunks, like pacifiers.

Aug 2, 2019

Happy Friday

No one ever died from an overdose of happy.

I like to soak it up, devour it, and bathe in it, especially on a Happy Friday!

Happy National Happiness Happens Day

It is celebrated annually Aug 8 on the founding date of the Society of Happy People, which you can join for free. The society encourages members to recognize their happy moments and think about happiness in their daily life. They have two mottos which include “Happiness Happens” and “Don’t Even Think of Raining on My Parade.” Their purpose is to stimulate people’s right to express their happiness.
The holiday is based on the premise that happiness is unlimited and contagious and that sharing one's happiness and can bring a lot of joy in other people's lives. Happiness is encouraged all day. Recognize every moment of glee, joy, delight, and pleasure.  A flicker of a giggle should be given its due and should it blossom into full blown happiness.

Incidentally, August 9 is Book Lovers Day, an unofficial holiday that encourages people to pick up a book (or two) and spend the day reading, especially all 54 of my books.

Antenna Color Codes

Many are not aware of how much free TV is available using a TV antenna. There is a handy site that lets you know how many TV channels you can expect to see using an antenna. There is some overlap of stations and some not in English or for shopping only, but there is variety. A number of local stations have begun adding sub-channels, such as Laff, PBS, CW Network, Escape, GRIT, Cozi, Retro TV, Movies!, Go, ME TV, This TV, Justice Network, Weather, Bounce, and more. In fact, there are over 130 new, free, over-the-air stations coming during the next year.

Obviously all antennas are not equal and outdoor are better than indoor for receiving more stations. LINK
By typing in my zip code, I find that there are 112 free over the air TV stations, not including sub-channels available, providing I use the correct antenna. They are sorted by antenna color code, with the easiest and cheapest type first.

Yellow - A Small Multi-Directional Antenna is recommended in Yellow color code areas. Signal strength is highest, so small antennas that receive signals equally well in all directions work very well. Indoor antennas work very well in Yellow color code areas, which are usually 10 to 15 miles from the TV station transmitter. Many indoor antennas have a range from 30 to 50 miles.

Green - A Medium Multi-Directional Antenna is recommended in Green color code areas. Signal strength is still good, but weaker than in yellow areas. An amplified indoor antenna may also work in Green color code areas, which can be up to 30 miles from the TV station transmitter.
Light Green - A Large Multi-Directional or Small Directional Antenna is recommended for Light Green color code areas. Signal levels are weaker, so a larger omnidirectional antenna or a directional antenna is needed to receive signals effectively, which can be up to 30 miles from the TV station transmitter.
Red - A Medium Directional Antenna is recommended in Red color code areas. Signal strength is weaker, and directional antennas are needed to pick up signals. These are the most popular antenna types due to their modest size and effectiveness 30 to 45 miles from the TV transmitter site.
Blue - A Medium Directional Antenna with an Antenna Preamplifier or a Large Directional Antenna is recommended for Blue color code areas. Signals are weaker, so larger antennas or antennas with amplification are needed to receive TV signals effectively. TV antennas in the blue color code area may also need to be installed on a tower or high rooftop to pick up distant channels, which can be 45 to 60 miles from the TV station transmitter.

Violet - A Large Directional Antenna with an Antenna Preamplifier is recommended for Violet color code areas. These are areas farthest from the TV station transmitting towers, and need the largest antennas and best preamplifiers to pick up TV signals effectively, which can be 60 miles or more from the TV station transmitter. TV antennas in the Violet color code area may also need to be installed on a tower or high rooftop to pick up distant channels.