Sep 27, 2009

Interesting Bike

This is a very interesting looking bike that is sure to turn heads. It actually works and is turned by the second fork, which connects up to the handle bar. The rider builds and sells them. He has a number of styles based on the same concept.


Here is something for those of you on Facebook. I added a button below each entry on my blog, so if you would like to share, just click on the Facebook icon and it takes you to Facebook (if you do not have Facebook open it gives you a signin screen). You click and the entry is automatically posted to your wall.

Sep 25, 2009

Wizard of Oz

If you have access to the Internet you can see "The Wizard of Oz" for free next month. Netflix is making the free showings available for the 70th anniversary of the film throughout the US for 24 hours beginning at 9 a.m. EDT Oct. 3.

It will be available here or in High Def on your TV if you have the service. As the Wizard said, I have to "confer, converse, and otherwise hob-nob with my brother wizards".

Curiosity and Intelligence

If you are reading Friday Thoughts, you are probably a curious person. Well, here is some good news. It also means that you are likely intelligent. Something we all knew, but now science is on our side.

Scientists from University of Toronto and the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital have discovered a molecular link between intelligence and curiosity.

Sep, 2009, the journal, Neuron published results from researchers, who studied the interaction of two proteins in a small region of the brain in the hippocampus, which plays an important role in long-term memory and spatial navigation.

For the study, the neuronal calcium sensor-1, a protein was increased by one-and-a-half times in mice. This modest overexpression increased the ability of brain cells to change how they communicate with each other and gave the mice superior memory in complex tasks and a significant increase in exploratory behavior (curiosity).

The scientists believe they have discovered a region of the brain that generates curiosity and a model for how brain activity leads to curiosity. They believe that fostering curiosity should also foster intelligence and vice versa, which may lead to the development of drugs to improve learning. I'm curious, when can we get some of those drugs?

New Book Reader

Asus just announced a new ebook reader with two, color, touch screens that will fold up like a real book.

The device will probably be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2010 and it will likely be cheaper than Kindle and Sony e-book readers. The consumer launch is planned for late 2009 or early 2010.

More readers from other manufacturers are also scheduled to come out this year or early next year, but they are all black and white.

One version might have a webcam, microphone, speaker, and the ability to make calls via Skype.


Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only, the cat died nobly.

Did You Know

Aegilops (goat grass) is the longest word with its letters arranged in alphabetical order. 

Spoonfed is the longest word with its letters arranged in reverse alphabetical order.

Sep 23, 2009

Oldest Person Dies

Here is an inspiration - Gertrude Baines, the world's oldest known person, who once quipped she had won the genetic lottery, recently died at a nursing home. She was 115 and was born in 1894 in Shellman, Ga. and claimed the title of the world's oldest living person when a 115-year-old woman, Maria de Jesus, died in Portugal in January.

Nurses at Western Convalescent Hospital described Baines as a modest woman who liked to watch the 'Jerry Springer Show' and eat fried chicken, bacon, and ice cream.

The oldest person in the world is now Kama Chinen, 114, who lives in Japan and was born May 10, 1895.

The oldest person who ever lived was Jeanne-Louise Calment, who was 122 when she died Aug. 4, 1997, in Arles, France. There is still hope for me, fried chicken and bacon, Yumm! I knew bacon was good for me.


You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

Speaking of Bacon

I like the idea of squeeze bacon.

Now you can have a squeeze bacon and squeeze cheese sandwich.

The Wayback Machine

It is a 150 billion page web archive of web pages as they were before they changed. Think of it as a perpetual inventory of web pages, showing what each page looked like at any one point in time. It has documents, videos, audio, and many interesting things to pleasantly waste your time for days.

It serves about 500 queries per second from the approximately 4.5 Petabytes (4.5 million gigabytes) of archived web data. The cluster of computers and the Modular Datacenter acts as a single massive computer.

The Wayback Machine is a tribute to the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show's "Waybac Machine" which in turn was a reference to the Univac Sherman and Peabody live on.

Speaking of Way Back

Bullwinkle's name came from a friend of Jay Ward's, Clarence Bullwinkel, who was a property owner in Berkeley, California and also owned a Chevrolet dealership. J Troplong 'Jay' Ward was the creator and producer of Bullwinkle and many other animated series, including Dudley Do-Right, George of the Jungle, Crusader Rabbit, Super Chicken, and more.

The narrator of Bullwinkle was William Conrad (d 1994) who played Cannon on TV and was the voice of Marshall Dillon on the radio version of Gunsmoke. He also narrated the TV Fugitive series and 'The Making of Star Wars'.

Gunsmoke also had Chester Proudfoot on radio, but on TV it was Chester Goode, played by Dennis Weaver. Milburn Stone was Doc Adams on radio and TV. Burt Reynolds, born in Lansing, MI. 1936 was the Gunsmoke TV blacksmith, Quint Asper. from 62 - 65. Amanda Blake, Miss Kitty, passed away in 1989


I am a participant in history, patron of the present, and votary of the future.

Dollar Coins

Did you ever wonder who the heck Sacagawea (sacka ja we a) was and what her babie's name was. The Shoshone woman, Sacagawea, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, is shown on the coin carrying her son Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, who was later nicknamed Pomp. She was a slave girl, given to Toussaint Charbonneau, a French trader born in Montreal. She was six months pregnant when she joined the expedition.

The new 2009 Sacagawea dollar, along with the Presidential Dollar series, is one of the two current United States dollar coins.

The coins are made from pure copper with a manganese brass outer clad. Unlike most other coins in circulation, the outer alloy has a tendency to tarnish quite severely in circulation, resulting in a loss of the golden patina. The Mint suggests the uneven tarnishing effect gives the the coins an antique finish that accentuates the profile and adds depth to the depiction of Sacagawea and her child.

Four designs will be minted, each for one year from 2009 to 2012. The first Native American series coin was released in January 2009 and has a reverse that depicts a Native American woman sowing seeds of the Three Sisters, symbolizing the Indian tribes' contributions to agriculture. Like the Presidential Dollar, the year of issue, mint mark, and motto E Pluribus Unum have been moved to the edge of the coin to allow more room for the design.

Unlike the Presidential $1 coins from before 2009, "In God We Trust" will remain on the front and the vacant space on the edge lettering will be taken up by thirteen stars, symbolizing the Thirteen Colonies.

The chief stumbling-block to the success of the golden dollar is the continued presence of the $1 bill. The lesson demonstrated by the Susan B. Anthony, experience, and learned by all countries that have introduced a high-denomination coin since 1979, is that the equivalent paper note must be removed from circulation. The only country not to learn that lesson is the United States

Although the Sacagawea dollar is not widespread in the United States, it is very popular in Ecuador and other foreign countries that have made the US dollar their currency. An estimated 500 million coins, approximately half of those minted, are used in Ecuador, El Salvador, and other Latin American countries


We all know the back of a coin is called the reverse, but did you know the front of a coin is called the obverse.

Laughter is Truly the Best Medicine

And it's free. Research is ongoing regarding the potential health benefits of laughter. Still to be proven is if the sense of humor and positive attitude behind laughter are also helpful.

When we laugh, we increase our pulse rate and blood pressure, and the effects may be similar to exercise. Researchers have estimated that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes burns 50 calories. Other studies suggest laughter improves blood flow, immune responses, and blood sugar levels.

Research looking at the connection between mind and body suggests that repeated doses of laughter, and even anticipation of laughter, can lead to positive physical changes.

In a paper presented at the American Physiological Society, they found that the hormones beta-endorphins (which elevate mood) and human growth hormone (which builds immunity) increased by 27% and 87 % respectively in patients exposed to "mirthful laughter."

Another study found that laughter reduced three key stress hormones; cortisol, epinephrine, and dopac -- by 38 percent to 70 percent. Significantly high levels of those three hormones have long been linked to compromised immune systems.

Laughter promotes all kinds of good endorphins, which help reduce pains and promotes deep breathing.

In another study, they found that the same anticipation of mirthful laughter reduced the levels of three detrimental stress hormones. Cortisol, adrenaline, and dopac, were reduced 39, 70, and 38%, respectively.

A group of 20 high-risk diabetic patients with hypertension and hyperlipidemia were divided into two groups: Group C (control) and Group L (laughter). Both groups were started on standard medications for diabetes and Group L viewed self-selected humor for 30 minutes in addition to the standard therapies.

The patients in the laughter group had lower epinephrine and norepinephrine levels by the second month, suggesting lower stress levels. They also increased HDL (good) cholesterol and had lower levels of inflammation.

At the end of one year, the laughter group HDL cholesterol had risen by 26 percent, and only 3 percent in the Group Control. Harmful C-reactive proteins decreased 66% in the laughter group vs. 26% for the control group.

Take these in small doses, but not in the office - Link 1  Link 2  Link 3

The study suggests that the addition of an adjunct therapeutic laughter prescription to standard diabetes care may lower stress and inflammatory response and increase "good" cholesterol levels. The authors conclude that laughter may thus lower the risk of cardiovascular disease associated with diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. Hey, if you want some good laughs and to get fit at the same time, try some of my joke books, especially 'Medical Humor - medical nonsense to tickle your funnybone'. Don't forget to use the 'search inside' feature to get a detail look at the contents.

Sep 18, 2009

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Arrgh! It be celebrated every year on September 19.  Here is a website to find more nonsense about the day. There is even a facebook group dedicated to it.

This year, a group, Pirates for Parkinsons, is using the day to march for Parkinsons Disease. To date there are 39 Pirates for Parkinson's walks or events, mostly in the UK, but others include: Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Dayton, Ohio; French Pyrenees, France;  Ghana; Glasgow, UK; Hong Kong;  Johannesburg, SA;  Ketchikan, Alaska; Luxembourg; Plano, USA;  Stockholm, Sweden; Sydney, Australia; Tokyo, Japan; Wellington, NZ;  West Bank, Middle East. Glad to see that Plano is included. More info is here. Avast, mateys, have fun for a good cause. Let me know if you see any blonde pirates - They are the ones with patches over both eyes.


There is no such thing as an uninteresting subject. The only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week, Sept 14 - 18

This week acknowledges the hard work of book bloggers and their growing impact on book marketing and their essential contribution to book buzz in general. This is the first Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Think of it as a retreat for book bloggers and a chance to totally nerd out over books. If you hurry, you can click on the Amazon below and pick up several of my books to really enhance the experience.


To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations - such is a pleasure beyond compare.

Constitution Day September 17

Here are some fun facts:

The U.S. Constitution has 4,543 words. It is the oldest and shortest written Constitution of any major government in the world. It contains 7,591 words including the 27 amendments.

Constitution Day is celebrated on September 17, the anniversary of the day the framers signed the document.

The oldest person to sign the Constitution was Benjamin Franklin (81). The youngest was Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey (26).

A proclamation by President George Washington and a congressional resolution established the first national Thanksgiving Day on November 26, 1789. The reason for the holiday was to give “thanks” for the new Constitution.

The delegates to the Constitutional Convention were involved in debates from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. six days a week with only a 10 day break during the duration of the convention.

From 1804 to 1865 there were no amendments added to the Constitution until the end of the Civil War when the Thirteenth amendment was added that abolished slavery. This was the longest period in American history in which there were no changes to our Constitution.

As evidence of its continued flexibility, the Constitution has only been changed seventeen times since 1791.

James Madison of Virginia was responsible for proposing the resolution to create the various Cabinet positions within the Executive Branch of our government and twelve amendments to the Constitution of which ten became the Bill of Rights. Have you ever wondered how so many of our congressmen and senators are lawyers? Of the fifty-five delegates who attended the convention 34 were lawyers.


In free countries, every man is entitled to express his opinions and every other man is entitled not to listen.

Ginger Day

We just passed the ginger festival, where 3,000 redheads came together for a recent gathering and it became a bonding experience.

The celebrations for the annual Redhead Day, which has spilled across a weekend to mark all things ginger id paid for by the local government in Breda, a city in the south east Netherlands. It has been celebrated for five years and has grown into a huge festival of ginger self-affirmation, overtaking the city center for one weekend every September.

The initiative is all for the redheads and there is much common ground for the members of one of the most genetically distinctive, yet disparate groups in the world. Men and women sporting a spectrum of ginger, from strawberry blonde to rich ochre, swap stories of being picked on in the playground and discrimination in the wider world. Here they just enjoy the fun and camaraderie.

National Health IT Week, Sept. 21 -25

National Health IT Week is a collaborative forum now in its fourth year of assembling key healthcare constituents - vendors, provider organizations, payers, pharmaceutical/biotech companies, government agencies, industry/professional associations, research foundations, and consumer protection groups, working together to elevate national attention to the necessity of advancing health IT.

Intelligence and Sperm

In another dumb study and finding, Sep 3, 2009, a psychologist found that men with the highest IQ also have the healthiest sperm.

"The findings could explain why some of the world’s most intelligent men have so many female admirers no matter their physical attractiveness. They also suggest that being smart and funny might have developed as a signal to women looking for a mate with healthy genes."

The research, by the evolutionary psychologist Professor Geoffrey Miller of the University of New Mexico, centered around a study of 400 Vietnam War veterans who were put through extensive mental tests and were also asked to provide sperm samples.

According to the test results, it was found that men who scored high on a battery of intelligence tests boasted high counts of healthy sperm. Whereas, low scorers tended to have fewer and more sickly sperm.

Professor Miller, who was speaking at a conference of the Association for the Study of Animal Behavior at Oxford University, believes that sperm quality was directly related to brain quality. The two traits could have evolved together as a way to advertise good genes, he said.  I guess he also believes that evolution begins in the classroom. This proves it, if you go to school, your sperm will be healthy and you might become a psychologist that gets paid to conduct stupid studies, come up with dubious results, and share them with the Brits.


The error of youth is to believe that intelligence is a substitute for experience, while the error of age is to believe experience is a substitute for intelligence.

Sep 17, 2009

Men and Memory

In another stupid research study, research shows men who spend even a few minutes in the company of an attractive woman perform less well in tests designed to measure brain function than those who chat to someone they do not find attractive.

Researchers who carried out the study, published in the Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology, think the reason may be that men use up so much of their brain function or 'cognitive resources' trying to impress beautiful women, they have little left for other tasks.

Women, however, were not affected by chatting to a handsome man. This may be simply because men are programmed by evolution to think more about mating opportunities.

Radboud University in The Netherlands recruited 40 male heterosexual students. Each one performed a standard memory test where they had to observe a stream of letters and say, as fast as possible, if each one was the same as the one before last.

The volunteers then spent seven minutes chatting to male or female members of the research team before repeating the test. The results showed men were slower and less accurate after trying to impress the women. The more they liked them, the worse their score.

In a report on their findings the researchers said, "We conclude men's cognitive functioning may temporarily decline after an interaction with an attractive woman."

Psychologist Dr George Fieldman, a member of the British Psychological Society, said the findings reflect the fact that men are programmed to think about ways to pass on their genes. If we look at the two studies together, we must conclude that if a smart man talks to a beautiful woman, he becomes dumb and his sperm get slow. This would negate both and prove how stupid they both are.

Krispy Kreme

According to TV, it takes 22 seconds for KK to make a stack of doughnuts the height of the Empire State Building (1250 feet).

Lobbyists be Gone

Remember when the new administration said, "There is no room for lobbyists in this Administration" just a few short months ago?
WASHINGTON ( -- The fight over health care overhaul is on track be the most expensive issue ever to hit the hallways of Congress.
The bill for lobbyists, television ads and political donations has topped $375 million - or enough to pay the entire insurance tab for about 30,000 families a year. 
The largest chunk has gone to direct lobbying of lawmakers and other policymakers. In the first half of 2009, the health care industry spent nearly $280 million on lobbyists, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
"The health sector is on track in 2009 to spend more on lobbying than it has on any other year in U.S. history - and by a lot," said Dave Levinthal of the Center for Responsive Politics, which analyzes and collects lobbying and campaign spending figures. And we think our elected officials really work for us?


When people cease to believe in God, they don’t believe in nothing; they believe in anything.

Stimulated Internet

The $787 billion stimulus bill set aside up to $350 million to create a national broadband map that could guide policies aimed at expanding high-speed Internet access. According to AP, it is also to figure out where broadband Internet access is available and how fast it is. The NTIA also wants extensive data on that behind-the-scenes Internet infrastructure. Officially, the goal for the map is to help shape broadband policy and determine where best to invest the $7.2 billion in stimulus money earmarked for broadband programs.

In addition to the NTIA's mapping project, there's a parallel push at the FCC to gather more detailed data on broadband subscribers. Both efforts are designed to aid the Administration in setting telecom policy, said Colin Crowell, a senior counselor to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

Of course the mapping will not be done by the February 2010 release date of a national broadband plan being developed by the Federal Communications Commission, which is also mandated by the stimulus bill.

North Carolina's state broadband authority e-NC already maintains a map of broadband availability in the state, detailed enough to list individual addresses, according to executive director Jane Smith Patterson.

Rory Altman, director at telecommunications consulting firm Altman Vilandrie & Co., which has helped clients map broadband availability, said $350 million was a "ridiculous" amount of money to spend on a national broadband map. The firm could create a national broadband map for $3.5 million, and "would gladly do it for $35 million," Altman said.

Dave Burstein, editor of the DSL Prime broadband industry newsletter, believes a reasonable cost for the map would be less than $30 million.

Internet service providers have already committed to handing over data about where they have broadband coverage, so the main job will be to collect and translate that information into a map.

When the Pew Internet and American Life Project surveyed people who didn't have broadband in 2007 and 2008, it found that most of them aren't interested in it, find the Internet too hard to use, or don't have computers.

Sep 11, 2009

Most Expensive Chocolate

I found it. Knipschildt's La Madeline au Truffe was recognized by Forbes Magazine as the most expensive chocolate in the world.

La Madeline au Truffe starts with a decadent 70% Valrhona dark chocolate, heavy cream, sugar, truffle oil and vanilla as the base for the rich creamy ganache. A rare French Perigord truffle is then surrounded by this ganache. It is enrobed in Valrhona dark chocolate and then rolled in fine cocoa powder.

The result is pure extravagance! Lying on a bed of sugar pearls in a silver box tied with a ribbon. For a 1.9 ounce ball as shown, costs $250. This product is made to order and ships within 14 days of order date. Product has a 7 day shelf life. Mmmm!


There is a theory that chocolate slows down the aging process. It may not be true, but should you dare take the chance?

Unwanted Catalogs

When you receive unwanted catalogs or other paper mail from specific sources, call the (usually toll-free) customer service number of the organization or business and request that your name be removed from their mailing list.

Other options are to make your request via e-mail from the company's website, or via letter or postcard.

Since the mailing label will help the company identify how you are listed in its files, have the label handy when you call, or tape it to the postcard if you make a written request. Sign and date your request. Think of the cycle, they print the stuff, send it to the post office, which delivers it to our mailbox, and we take the paper from the mailbox, and deliver it to the garbage. What a waste. Literally!

Double Chicken

 KFC Double Down Sandwich - Two pieces of bacon and two slices of cheese smothered with the Colonel’s Sauce and two fried chicken patties as buns. Mmmm!

Speaking of Chicken

Did you ever wonder what chicken poop is good for? A study last month Aug, 2008 shows that shooting ranges in Japan have extremely high levels of lead in the soil. To get rid of this, they developed a method of remediating the contamination by mixing the soil with chicken poop to reduce the bad environmental impacts from the lead.

The study  (published in the Journal of Environmental Quality this past month, and last year at the Soil Science Society of America) demonstrated that the amendment reduced the toxicity characteristic leaching by 90%. It also showed that levels were reduced even further when plants were grown in the amended soil.

Smell This

The male gypsy moth can 'smell' the virgin female gypsy moth from 1.8 miles away.

Cool Charger

 An 8in x 6in universal recharging pad with a conductive surface that powers up to four mobiles and iPods at a time from the mains. You attach a specific adaptor sleeve to the device to charge, then simply place it on the pad.

A recharge is said to take as long as with a conventional charger. The pad comes with one sleeve (you choose), and others can be bought separately, with major phone brands such as Apple, BlackBerry, Motorola and Nokia supported.

The Duracell MyGrid that you see here is one of those that can charge several mobiles at one time including products from Nokia, Motorola, BlackBerry, as well as the iPhone and iPod touch. It should be available in October for $80. 

You have to buy a device (sleeve) to plug into your devices so they can attach to the surface. Seems like a multiple power cord strip with less cords.

Sep 8, 2009

Brain Gel

An injectable hydrogel could aid recovery from brain injury by helping stimulate tissue growth at the site of the wound, researchers say.

Research on rats suggests the gel, developed by Dr. Ning Zhang at Clemson University, South Carolina, and made from synthetic and natural sources, may spur growth of stem cells in the brain. She predicted the gel may be ready for human testing in a few years.

Following a brain injury the tissues tend to swell up and this causes the loss of more cells, compounding the damage caused by the original wound. The standard treatments attempt to minimize this secondary damage at the site of the injury, for instance by lowering the temperature or relieving the build up of pressure, but their impact is often limited.

Scientists believe that transplanting donor brain cells into the wound to repair tissue damage is potentially a more productive approach, but while this method has produced limited results when used to treat brain injuries. The donor cells do not tend to thrive at the site of injury, or to stimulate repair. This could be due to inflammation and scarring at the injury site, and the lack of supportive tissue and blood supply to provide the necessary nutrients.

The advantage of the new gel, which is injected into the injury in liquid form, is that it can be loaded with different chemicals to stimulate various biological processes.

First, Dr. Zhang used it to help re-establish a full blood supply at the site of a brain injury in rats, potentially providing a much more friendly environment for donor cells to thrive. In follow-up work, she loaded it with immature human stem cells and the chemicals they needed to develop into fully fledged adult brain cells. After eight weeks of treatment with this mixture rats with severe brain injuries showed signs of making a significant recovery.


"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." -Ben Franklin

Bad Ad

Wow, this recession really has taken its toll. Now these Benjamin Franklins are only worth 001 dollars each.

Look close.


When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.


The origin of the word scuttlebutt, which is nautical parlance for a rumor, comes from a combination of 'scuttle' - to make a hole in the ship's hull and thereby causing her to sink - and 'butt' - a cask used in the days of wooden ships to hold drinking water (or wine). The cask from which the ship's crew took their drinking water, like a water fountain, was the "scuttlebutt".

Even in today's Navy a drinking fountain is referred to as such. Since the crew used to congregate around the scuttlebutt, that is where the rumors about the ship or voyage would begin. Thus, rumors are 'talk from the scuttlebutt' or just 'scuttlebutt'. That reminds me. Did I tell you what Tom said. . .

Mona Lisa

I have noticed that way too many blogs have pictures to reduce the amount of creative writing needed. Here is an example showing the Mona Lisa.

This site that has over four thousand pictures of the Mona Lisa from the sublime to the ridiculous and everything in between. A real time waster, but interesting.

Sep 4, 2009

Photoshop Gaffe

This guy is so tough, he can hold hands with himself. Check his left hand.

Sep 3, 2009

Opt Out

I was out checking one of my free credit reports the other day and found a tip at the bottom of the page. You can opt out of those annoying credit card and insurance offers for five years by calling 1 888 567-8688. I called and it took about three minutes. BTW, I get one credit report about every six months, because if you get all three together, you have to wait for a full year to get them again for free.


I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. -Winston Churchill

Seeing Molecules

Scientists at IBM Research in Zurich have, for the first time, made an atomic-scale resolution image of a single molecule, the hydrocarbon pentacene.

Atomic-force microscopy works by scanning a surface with a tiny cantilever whose tip comes to a sharp nanoscale point. As it scans, the cantilever bounces up and down, and data from these movements is compiled to generate a picture of that surface. These microscopes can be used to "see" features much smaller than those visible under light microscopes, whose resolution is limited by the properties of light itself. Atomic-force microscopy literally has atom-scale resolution.

Until now it hasn't been possible to use it to look with atomic resolution at single molecules. Researchers overcame this problem by first using the microscope tip to pick up a single molecule of carbon monoxide, which they used to make an image of pentacene. They hope that looking this closely at single molecules will give them a better understanding of chemical reactions and catalysis at an unprecedented level of detail.

Cup of Joe

Josephus Daniels, 1862-1948, was appointed Secretary of the Navy by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913. Among his reforms of the Navy were inaugurating the practice of making 100 Sailors from the Fleet eligible for entrance into the Naval Academy, the introduction of women into the service, and the abolishment of the officers' wine mess. From that time on, the strongest drink aboard Navy ships could only be coffee and over the years, a cup of coffee became known as 'a cup of Joe'.

Mickey Rooney

September birthdays include Mickey Rooney, who was born Joseph Yule Jr. on September 23, 1920, He started acting at 17 months old. The five foot three inch star has a way with the ladies and ran up a total of eight wives. His latest wife, Jan Chamberlin, and him have been married since 1978.

He has 320 movies to his credit. In 1944, Rooney Rooney entered military service for 21 months during World War II as a radio personality on the American Forces Network.

Name Years Children
Ava Gardner
Betty Jane Rase 1944-1949 Mickey Rooney, Jr. (born 1945)
Tim Rooney (1947 - 2006)
Martha Vickers 1949-1951 Theodore Michael Rooney (born 1950)
Elaine Devry 1952-1958
Barbara Ann Thomason (Carolyn Mitchell) 1958-1966 Kelly Ann Rooney (born 1959)
Kerry Rooney (born 1960)
Michael Joseph Rooney (born 1962)
Kimmy Sue Rooney (born 1963)
Marge Lane 1966-1967
Carolyn Hockett 1969-1974 Jimmy Rooney (adopted from Carolyn's previous marriage) (born 1966)
Jonelle Rooney (born 1970)
Jan Chamberlin 1978-present

What is he up to these days? Mickey and Jan brought their off Broadway musical: Let's Put On A Show! to the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois on August 30, 2009, to be followed with a 13 performance tour of Ontario, Canada from September 21 through October 6, 2009. Wow, not bad for his age.


"You always pass failure on the way to success." - Mickey Rooney

Breathalyzer Test

A new use for breathalyzers has been developed to detect lung cancer with eighty six percent accuracy.

The device could provide an early warning system before tumors become visible in X-rays. The sensor uses gold nanoparticles to detect levels of so-called volatile organic compounds, measured in a few parts per billion, that become more elevated in cancer patients. Currently, only 15 percent of cases are discovered before the disease has begun to spread.

A team of researchers took breath samples from 56 healthy people and 40 lung cancer patients. They found 33 compounds that appeared in at least 83 percent of the cancer group, but in fewer than 83 percent of the control group.

Then they designed an assembly of chemical sensors using gold nanoparticles measuring five nanometers across. (An average strand of human hair is about 100,000 nanometers in width.)

The devices were able to "distinguish between the breath of lung cancer patients and healthy controls.

"Given the impact of the rising incidence of cancer on health budgets worldwide, the proposed technology will be a significant saving for both private and public health expenditure," they say.

Lung cancer claims some 1.3 million lives worldwide each year, accounting for nearly 18 percent of all deaths from cancer, according to the World Health Organization.

Sep 1, 2009

Three Little Pigs

This one is just plain fun. No redeeming features. A guy builds an air gun to see if he can blow down the houses of straw, wood, and bricks. Here is the link.


Charles Tanqueray’s path through life seemed pretty clear while growing up. He followed three straight generations of Bedfordshire clergymen, so it seemed natural that he would grow up and be a man of the cloth himself.

Instead, he started distilling gin in 1830 in a tiny plant in London’s Bloomsbury district. Fifteen years later, he was shipping his gin to colonies around the British Empire, where many plantation owners and troops had developed a taste for Tanqueray and tonic.


The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity,
and tolerates shoddiness in government because government is an exalted activity,
will have neither good plumbing nor good government.
Neither its pipes nor its promises will hold water.

Did You Know?

Spider silk is very light weight. 25,000 miles – the circumference of Earth – of a single fiber would weigh about 16 ounces.