Mar 30, 2010

Kellog's Corn Flakes

The company began with the serendipitous discovery of toasted flakes which later were developed into Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. This event set in motion a century of innovation for Kellogg.  In the late 1800s at the Battle Creek Sanatorium, a combination hospital and health spa for the elite and famous.

W.K. Kellogg, business manager, and his brother, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, chief physician, were in the process of cooking some wheat for a type of granola when they were called away. When they returned, the wheat had become stale. They decided to force the tempered grain through the rollers anyway, and surprisingly, the grain did not come out in long sheets of dough.  Instead each wheat berry was flattened and came out as a thin flake. This led to the formation of the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company in 1906, which eventually became Kellogg Company – changing the form of breakfast forever. One of the items on the "Battle Creek Diet" was lima bean paste on toast, Yuck!

Aspen to the Rescue

The rising level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is making some trees grow by 50% is a finding of a new study of natural stands of quaking aspen, one of North America's most important and widespread deciduous trees. The study, by scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota at Morris (UMM) and published Dec. 4, 2009 in the journal Global Change Biology, shows that elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide during the past 50 years have boosted aspen growth rates by an astonishing 50 percent.

The findings are important as the world's forests, which cover about 30 percent of the Earth's land surface, play an important role in regulating climate and sequestering greenhouses gases. The forests of the Northern Hemisphere, in particular, act as sinks for carbon dioxide, helping to offset increased levels of carbon dioxide.

Aspen is a dominant tree in mountainous and northern forested regions of North America, including 42 million acres of Canadian forest and up to 6.5 million acres in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

"We can't forecast ecological change. It's a complicated business," explains Waller, a UW-Madison professor of botany. Carbon dioxide is food for plants, which extract it from the air and through photosynthesis convert it to sugar, plant food. Seems to me nature is healing itself. Hmmm, wonder if that news is in the Global expletive findings?

Fighting Allini

When French explorers first journeyed down from Canada to the upper Mississippi Valley in the early Seventeenth Century, they found the region inhabited by a vigorous Algonquin nation who called themselves "Hileni" or "Illiniwek," which means "men." The French explorers interpreted it as "Illinois." The University of Illinois was established in the year 1867 and began fielding athletic teams named the Fighting Illini or fighting men.

Bring Home the Bacon

To earn money, especially money for one's family; to be successful, especially financially successful.

The origin of the phrase 'bring home the bacon' is sometimes suggested to be the story of the Dunmow Flitch. This tradition, which still continues every four years in Great Dunmow, Essex, is based on the story of a local couple who, in 1104, impressed the Prior of Little Dunmow with their marital devotion to the point that he award them a flitch (a side) of bacon. The continuing ritual of couples showing their devotion and winning the prize, to considerable acclimation by the local populace, is old and well authenticated. Geoffrey Chaucer mentions it in The Wife of Bath's Tale and Prologue, from 1395:

    But never for us the flitch of bacon though,
    That some may win in Essex at Dunmow.

The derivation of the phrase is also muddled by association with other bacon expressions, as save one's bacon, chew the fat etc. In reality, the link between them is limited to the fact that bacon has been a slang term for one's body, and by extension one's livelihood or income, since the 17th century.

Bayer Heroin

Did you know Bayer (a dye factory at the time), of Bayer aspirin fame in Germany invented (with help) heroin as well as aspirin. It had both trademarked before 1900. Heroin was marketed as a cough suppressant and cure for TB and asthma. Aspirin was marketed for Rheumatism.

Early heroin users supported their habits by collecting and selling scrap metal, hence the name 'junkie'. Ninety five percent of the legal medical heroin today is used in Britain.

Ice Cream

Soon it will be time to sit around the pool and bring out the ice cream. The origins of ice cream can be traced back to at least the 4th century B.C. Early references include the Roman emperor Nero, A.D. 37-68,, who ordered ice to be brought from the mountains and combined with fruit toppings, and King Tang, A.D. 618-97, of Shang, China who had a method of creating ice and milk concoctions. Over time, recipes for ices, sherbets, and milk ices evolved and served in the fashionable Italian and French royal courts.

After the dessert was imported to the United States, it was served by several famous Americans, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The first ice cream parlor in America opened in New York City in 1776.

American colonists were the first to use the term "ice cream". The name came from the phrase "iced cream". The edible ice cream cone made its American debut at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

Mar 26, 2010

Internet Reading Tip

Have you tried reading some web pages with type so small that you have to strain your eyes? Here is a tip. Hold down the 'ctrl' key and move the scroll button on your mouse forward. To reduce, move the scroll back. It only works for the page you are reading and is temporary, until you change pages.

Food from the Eighties

1980 - Jell-O pudding pops
1981 - Newman's Own Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Tofutti (soybean curd frozen dessert)
1985 - Classic Coke, Hamburger Helper Taco Bake Dinner & Tuna Helper Tetrazzini (General Mills)
1986 - Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn
1987 - Oscar Mayer Bun-Length hot dogs, Snapple
1988 - Boboli Pizza...prefab crusts/make your own pizza, Hershey Kisses with almonds
1989 - Fresh Express "salad in a bag," Healthy Choice (frozen dinners)

Phone Radio

Here is an interesting twist, an application for the iPhone that plays radio.

Public Radio Exchange developed the free Public Radio Player  for the iPhone and now has 2.5 million downloads. The other application it has developed is for the show 'This American Life'. Since we already have video on the phone, seems logical to add radio as another battery burner.

Tin Cans

Remember the game, "kick the can?" Here are some can facts for you. 200 years ago in 1810, Peter Durand invented the tin can.  Back then, the best craftsmen could only produce up to 60 cans a day.

In 1858, Ezra Warner of Waterbury, Connecticut patented the first can opener. The U.S. military used it during the Civil War.

In 1866, J. Osterhoudt patented the tin can with a key opener like you can find on old sardine cans.

An electric version of the can opener was first sold in December of 1931.

The first canned beer, "Krueger Cream Ale," was sold  in 1935 by the Kruger Brewing Company of Richmond, VA.

Ermal Fraze invented the pop-top can in 1959. OK, I'll can it with the can facts.

Wow, Two Feet of Snow

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Big Brother Tracks Trash

It could happen here. In England, More than 2.5million homes now have wheelie bins fitted with microchips to weigh their contents. This is an increase of nearly two-thirds in just a year. The bins, which can be electronically identified and weighed, are designed for 'pay-as-you-throw' rubbish tax schemes. Families that put out more waste will pay higher taxes to their local council.

The spread of chipped bins marks the revival of a tax idea that the Government appeared to have abandoned last year, but the latest check showed 20% of all those that collect household rubbish. According to the responses from town halls, 2,629,052 homes have now been given bins with chips.

A spokesman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: 'There are no Government plans to introduce microchips in bins. Any use of microchips is a local authority decision - some councils use them to monitor levels of waste. This is not about spying on people or fining them.'

However, in 2008 nearly 100 councils ran investigations into the contents of their residents' bins, in some cases to check on what rubbish they dump and in others to try to obtain information on their incomes and lifestyles. Sounds like taxing is coming to both ends of the consumption cycle.

Census Jobs

I just read about a friend of a friend who just started her job with the Census Bureau. She will have two days of training for her job, which will consist of opening envelopes, removing the documents, and straightening the papers as needed to be scanned by someone else. Another person will check the envelopes to make sure they are empty.

They are paid $17 an hour, but no benefits. Hmmm, sounds like easy money!

PS - just filled out my 2010 Census form and it took about two minutes total.

Mar 25, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ballpark

Those Michiganders really know how to eat at the ballpark. The West Michigan Whitecaps minor league baseball club is running a contest to determine what new food item will be available at the Fifth Third Ballpark, where they play home games this season. Let the votes begin.

Here’s the entire list of items in the running:

1. Chicken and Waffles – Juicy chicken on a bed of waffles, smothered in gravy.

2. Chili Mac Tacos – Creamy mac and cheese smothered in chili then loaded into a hard taco shell to create a unique taste experience.

3. Chocolate Covered Bacon – This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home and this little piggy dunked itself in chocolate to become a delicious treat.

4. Corn Dog o’ Plenty – The Corn Dog o’ Plenty is a half-pound, footlong frank that is battered and deep fried.

5. Cudighi Yooper Sandwich – If you don’t know what this one is then you haven’t been to the Upper Peninsula. Cudighi is a spicy sausage found throughout the U.P. It is a sausage patty, smothered in cheese, pizza sauce, peppers and, onions.

6. Declaration of Indigestion – This is another half-pound, footlong hot dog covered in a philly cheese steak with cheese, peppers, and onions and served on a gigantic sub roll.

7. Idaho Christmas Tree – This is a batter-dipped hot dog, rolled in french fries, and deep fried to create the perfect dog on stick.

8. Poutin – A real treat from North of the border. The French Canadians created this one with fries, fried cheese curds and gravy for a super side dish.

9. The Pink Panther – A hot dog bun, slathered in icing, filled it with pink cotton candy, then drizzled with root beer syrup over the top.

10. Twinkie Cheese Dog – Another dog laid in a Twinkie covered in cheese.

One of the above will complement the current 'fifth third burger', weighing in at five thirds of a pound.

Any of these items are sure to warm the hearts of the macho Michiganders. Of course my vote is for number three.


TRUE - From the UK Telegraph paper, Nicole Mamo, 48, wanted to post an advert for a £5.80-an-hour domestic cleaner on her local Jobcentre Plus website.

The text of the advert ended by stating that any applicants for the post "must be very reliable and hard-working".

But when Ms Mamo called the Jobcentre Plus in Thetford, Norfolk, the following day she was told that her advert would not be displayed instore.

A Jobcentre Plus worker claimed that the word ”reliable” meant they could be sued for discriminating against unreliable workers. Makes me want to go ARRRGH! What hath politics wrought?

Homer Simpson Clock

Now you can add a new Homer clock to your collection of Simpsons products. Homer’s eyes move back and forth while he gazes at the donut in one hand and a can of Duff beer in the other. Homer’s arms move up and down, raising the item in each hand while he contemplates which one he’ll consume next.

The Homer Simpson Beer Vs. Donut Clock measures 12(H) x 7(W) x 3(D) inches and requires 2 x AA batteries. The product is available from Perpetual Kid for $29.99.

Funny Videos

Here is a LINK to the top funny videos on YouTube. Some have had over ten million hits. Great when you have some time to waste and need a chuckle.

More Toilet Paper

Crumpler Bags does many wacky advertisings, but the below is a bit far out. Notice the numbers and colors: 1 - brown, 2 - brown, etc.

They always find the most unique way to reach their customers and further their brand.

Their latest endeavor is distributing customized toiler paper in an array of areas in USA, Australia, Asia, Canada, and New Zealand. They plan to distribute 100,000 rolls of Paint By Numbers Toilet Paper.

Crumpler is an Aussie designer of trendy, colorful, and stylish bags that are perfect for ever day use, whether it be commuting to work, going to the gym, an outdoor trip, and more. Bags are available online, through selected specialty retailers nationwide, and at their two Crumpler NYC retail stores. LINK to the unique website.

Mar 20, 2010

Profound Thoughts Book 5

Topics include Love, Marriage, Children, and the Sexes.

Profound Thoughts Book 5                                                            

Mar 19, 2010

Spring 2010

Spring officially begins March 21. Whoopie!

Spring is here,
The grass is ris.
I wonder where the birdies is?
They say the birds is on the wing,
But that's absurd.
I thought the wings was on the bird.

New iPhone Application

The 319-bed Hospital of Central Connecticut has launched a free iPhone application that will tell you how long the wait is at both of its emergency rooms. It will also give you directions, in case you are already in the car.

Web Wills

A new service called My Webwill launched a new web based service last December. The Swedish Internet site offers to manage email and social networking accounts after death. My Webwill is testing in Sweden and the United States and plans to go live in Britain and Germany this year and more countries in later.

Users can set up a digital will with directions on what should happen to their email and social network accounts after they die. Currently, a Facebook profile, for example, can remain active long after its creator has passed away.

Some services, such as Legacy Locker Inc., Deathswitch, and Slightly Morbid, will send posthumous emails to friends and family.  My Webwill will enter accounts and manage them according to a person's last wishes.

The basic service is free and includes the deactivation of 10 Internet accounts and the option to send up to five prepared e-mails written by you. A premium service paid service offers more detailed management of social networking profiles as well as unlimited posthumous e-mails and account deactivations. It offers customers a range of services, including posting prepared messages, changing profile pictures or updating status bars. Users can also pre-write emails that will be passed on to designated receivers such as friends or family.

In Sweden and Germany, My Webwill is automatically notified of a death by national authorities. In other countries clients will need to choose one or two  people who notify My Webwill about the death and send a death certificate for the deceased.

Currently families have much difficulty shutting down sites and emails. For instance, Facebook's current policy is to move a deceased person's profile into a "Memorial State," removing contact information, status updates and group memberships once a death has been confirmed. The profile itself usually remains and confirmed friends can still find them through the search tool and write on the person's wall. This whole business may sound morbid, but it makes sense as we spend more and more time online.

Obscura Day March 20, 2010

It is an  international celebration of wondrous, curious, and esoteric places in cities and towns all over the world. You can see and experience such things as musical rocks, a worry bead museum, a European pyramid, unusual cemeteries, a hash museum, a 19th century landfill, a gasometer town,  a giant lemon, and many more unusual and wonderful things.

The folks behind Atlas Obscura, a compendium of the world's wonders, curiosities, and esoterica are putting it on. Here is the LINK   Go on, get up, get out of the house and see something truly amazing.


You may choose your word like a connoisseur,
And polish it up with art,
But the word that sways, and stirs, and stays,
Is the word that comes from the heart.


The headline says it all. Hmmm!

Beer for Blood

Cascade Regional Blood Services in Tacoma, Washington is offering donors a free pint of beer every time they give blood. They are hoping the scheme might encourage more people to donate. Donors must be over 21 and are given a coupon entitling them a free pint when they donate blood.

It appears to be having the desired effect with the blood center saying the scheme has worked so well that it is being expanded. Maybe next year they should try bacon for blood. Ha.

Daylight Savings Time

My brother has one of those clocks that only shows the days of the week. He set it ahead for daylight Savings time and lost a whole day.

American Gothic

American Gothic is a famous painting that was created in 1930.  Grant Wood entered the  painting in in a competition at the Art Institute of Chicago and won the bronze medal.

Since it came out at the onset of the Great Depression, it was viewed by many as a symbol of the steadfast American spirit. Many saw it as a struggling farmer and his wife who refuse to give up. The woman is actually Wood’s sister and the man was his dentist.

Mar 17, 2010

Irish Friendship Wish

May there always be work for your hands to do; 
May your purse always hold a coin or two;
May the sun always shine on your window pane; 
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain; 
May the hand of a friend always be near you; 
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you

Mar 16, 2010

Play Doh

Did you know Play Doh was originally a cleaner for cleaning soot off of wallpaper? Captain Kangaroo helped make it famous on his TV show. Now you know.

Foods From the Fifties

Did you ever wonder how long some things have been around?
Sugar Pops (Kelloggs)
Minute Rice (General Foods)
Lawry's Seasoned Salt (Lawry's)
Dunkin' Doughnuts (fast food chain)

Ore-Ida Foods (frozen potato products)
Duncan Hines Cake Mix (Nebraska Consolidated Mills)
Tropicana Products (Florida orange juice)
Jack-in-the-Box (fast food chain restaurant)
Taco Bell (fast food mexican restaurant)

No-Cal Ginger Ale (Kirsch Beverages)
Sugar Frosted Flakes (Kellogg's)
Non-dairy creamer (M & R. Dietetic Laboratories)
Dehydrated onion soup mix (Lipton)
Ms. Paul's Fish Sticks


A piconewton is a millionth of the force that a grain of salt exerts when resting on a tabletop.

Mar 15, 2010

China Dogs

The Chinese government is considering legislation that would make eating cats and dogs illegal.

Eating dog meat is a long-standing culinary tradition not just in China, but also Korea, and the Philippines. Cat meat can be found on the menu in China, Vietnam, Philippines,  and even parts of South America.

"The dogs you raise at home, you shouldn't eat," said Pan, a butcher who declined to give his first name. "The kind raised for eating, we can eat those." Many dogs and cats sold for meat are specially raised on farms.

The ban on eating dog and cat meat is part of a larger proposal to toughen laws on animal welfare. Individual violators could face up to 15 days in prison and a small fine. Businesses found guilty of selling the meat risk fines up to 500,000 yuan ($73,500).

Restaurants won't necessarily need to change their menus immediately. According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the law prohibiting cat and dog meat could take as long as a decade to pass.

However, to avoid upsetting international visitors during the Beijing Olympics, officials ordered dog meat off the menus at local markets. Officials in Guangzhou have warned vendors to stop selling it ahead of the Asian Games which will be held there later this year.  Reminds me of what Utah did for drinking as a prelude to its Winter Olympic bid. It's true that money talks, even to religions and Communists.

No religion

According to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, released in March, 2009, the percentage of people who claim no religion has nearly doubled since 1990. Those claiming no religion jumped from 8.2 percent in 1990 to 15 percent in 2008.

3D is a Big Deal

Sony is announcing six new 3D ready TVs this year. Some come with the glasses and others require a separate purchase of glasses and infrared transmitters. It is planning for 3D to be ten percent of its TV sales. Panasonic and Samsung already have 3D sets available at Best Buy. Vizio, the number one largest LCD TV seller, is following with a 72inch, 480Hz LED 3D HDTV screaming stunner in August, with smaller 3D sets to follow. The 72inch is slated to cost a comparatively measly $3,500.

At least a dozen 3D movies are coming out this year and a large number of theaters are upgrading to 3D capable screens.

ESPN has been testing it for two years and recently announced it is coming out with an all 3D network June 11, and plans to have at least eighty-five 3D events ready this year. One caveat, the new network will go dark when no 3D is available. Discovery announced plans for its 3D network to begin broadcasting in 2011.

Gamers are also in on the 3D craze and Microsoft and others announced some of their new games in all 3D.

Just when we all have slipped into the HDTV age, another new technology makes it obsolete. Still, I don't see full scale adoption for another 4 - 5 years, but I do smell upcharges coming sooner to a cable network near you.

Mar 12, 2010

Birthday Wishes

Tomorrow is Donald Duck's Birthday. He was likely born Friday, March 13, 1914. The number of his car license is always 313 and it really does reflect his birthday.

A Hundred Years Ago

Here are a few things from a century ago. -
1910 - First photo of Halley's Comet 1910
1910 Boy Scouts of America is founded
1911 First air conditioner invented 
1912 Sinking of the Titanic
1912 First use of zippers in clothing
1913 Panama Canal completed
1914 Outbreak of World War I
1915 Fist use of poison gas in warfare
1916 Albert Einstein - General Theory of Relativity
1917 USA enters World War I
1918 Lawrence leads Arabs into Damascus
1919 First airline between London and Paris

Cucumber Reduces Eye Puffiness Myth

The cucumber itself does not reduce puffiness. Cucumbers are able to stay cold for long periods of time outside of a refrigerator. That cold is what actually reduces puffiness (it causes blood vessels around our eyes to constrict, thereby reducing swelling). Of course, you could also lay a cold dirty sock over your eyes and it would help as much.

Manly Cupcakes

Looks like someone has kicked it up a notch. One shop has come up with some new manly cupcakes and they are selling like, um, hotcakes. For the Love of Cake's 'mancakes' feature such ingredients as beer and bacon, with no pink sprinkles. The macho cupcakes are part of a new trend that's seeing the once dainty desserts reinvented for an audience that drinks milk straight from the carton.

These new style cupcakes have everything from bacon to beer. They are a tongue-in-cheek response to the apparently too-prissy offerings that dominate display cases. At Butch Bakery in New York, the 12 available flavors include Rum & Coke (rum-soaked Madagascar vanilla cake with cola Bavarian cream filling), Beer Run (chocolate beer cake with beer-infused buttercream, topped with crushed pretzels) and The Old-Fashioned (orange-soaked whiskey cake with lemon curd filling).

LifeLock and Identity Theft

The Federal Trade Commission and a consortium of state attorneys general have reached a $12 million agreement with an identity theft protection service provider to settle charges that the company used false claims in its advertising. The FTC also charged that its service provided no protection against certain forms of identity theft, including medical identity theft.

LifeLock made promotional claims such as the following: “By now you've heard about individuals whose identities have been stolen by identity thieves … LifeLock protects against this ever happening to you. Guaranteed.”

The forms of protection LifeLock employed as part of its service, placing fraud alerts on customers' credit files “protected only against certain forms of identity theft and gave them no protection against the misuse of existing accounts, the most common type of identity theft,” the FTC release said, adding, “It also allegedly provided no protection against medical identity theft or employment identity theft, in which thieves use personal information to get medical care or apply for jobs. You can place your own fraud alerts on your credit files, but it is a pain to get credit, etc.

Restaurant Healthcare Charge

The next time you eat in a restaurant in San Francisco, take a closer look at the bill. You may see a new line item there, a "health" fee to cover employees’ healthcare.

The idea is to cover the employers’ mandatory contribution to the City’s "Healthy San Francisco" health-coverage system. The charge is levied on employers, but some crafty restaurants are adding a few dollars or percentage points to each customer’s bill to cover this charge.

Their excuse for assessing this charge separately is to let customers know how much they’re paying for employees’ health coverage. That’s the same excuse hotels use when they add "resort" or "housekeeping" fees to unsuspecting guests’ room bills. Caveat Emptor!

Mar 11, 2010

Booty Call

To prevent the wrong moment, there is an iPhone application that sends ovulation alerts sent to your phone. It sends a series of 18 text messages (3 per menstrual cycle) that let you know when you are most likely to be fertile and provide helpful fertility advice. The name is 'booty caller'.

School Days

Mark Ashby was allowed to get a blue Mohican hairstyle by his parents as a reward for hard work at school in Omaha, Nebraska. The school then suspended him for breaking the dress code.

Mar 9, 2010

What's in a Name

Here are a few you might remember and a few you probably never knew.
Birth Name Stage Name
Harry Lillis Crosby Bing Crosby
Mendel Berlinger Milton Berle
Joseph Gottlieb Joey Bishop
Emanuel Goldenberg Edward G Robinson
Laszlo Loewenstein Peter Lorre
Camille Javal Brigitte Bardot
Carlos Irwin Estevez  Charlie Sheen
John Charles Carter Charlton Heston
Demetria Gene Guynes  Demi Moore
Erich Weiss Harry Houdini
Jerome Silberman Gene Wilder
Marion Morrison John Wayne
Norma Baker Marilyn Monroe
Margaret Hyra Meg Ryan
Columcille Gibson Mel Gibson
Maurice Micklewhite Michael Caine
Nicolas Coppola Nicolas Cage
Thomas Cruise Mapother IV Tom Cruise
Allen Konigsberg  Woody Allen

National Potato Chip Day

Yep, March 14 every year marks the day we celebrate the thin and crispy snack, the potato chip.

Potatoes were originally cultivated in South America, probably in Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. More than 400 years ago, the Inca Indians in those countries grew potatoes in their mountain valleys.

During the Alaskan Klondike gold rush, (1897-1898) potatoes were so valued for their vitamin C content that miners traded gold for potatoes.

Potato Chips were first made in 1853 while Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt was on vacation in Saratoga Springs, New York.  At one restaurant, he kept sending his fried potatoes back to the kitchen because he said they were "too thick".  The chef, George Crum, decided that he would cut them into paper-thin slices, boil them in oil, fry them, and salt them as a joke to the Commodore.  It backfired.  They became an instant success and the restaurant was well known for them.

It was the invention of the mechanical potato peeler in the 1920s that paved the way for potato chips to soar from a small specialty item to a top-selling snack food. For several decades after their creation, potato chips were largely a Northern dinner dish. I can still make a dinner of nothing but chips.

Of course, I am partial to Detroit's Better Made Potato Chips. Detroiters eat an average of 7 pounds of chips per year, vs. 4 pounds in the rest of the country  Better Made has even been sending chips to our troops in Iraq.

Chip facts - Chips are available in other countries, and are also called crisps and Saratoga chips. Potato chips have become America's favorite snack, and  US retail sales of potato chip are over $6 billion and 1.2 billion pounds a year. The thickness of an ordinary potato chip is 55/1000 of an inch. Ridged chips are 4 times thicker, 210/1000 of an inch. 50.4% of US potatoes come from Idaho. The potato was the first vegetable to be grown in space.

For those who have been wondering, yes, there are bacon potato chips. Who's Your Daddy makes handmade bacon potato chips. They are available on the web and in selected stores around San Francisco.


Your best years are when the kids are old enough to help shovel snow, but too young to drive the car.

Hair Color Facts

Hair color helps determine how dense the hair on your head is, and natural blondes, top the list. The average human head has 100,000 hair follicles, each of which is capable of producing 20 individual hairs during a person's lifetime. Blondes average 146,000 follicles. People with black hair tend to have about 110,000 follicles, while those with brown hair are right on target with 100,000 follicles. Redheads have the least dense hair, averaging about 86,000 follicles.

Lincoln Logs

Frank Lloyd Wright was born Frank Lincoln Wright, but he legally changed his name when his parents were divorced. Lloyd Jones was his Welsh mother’s maiden name and Frank changed his name to honor her.

Lincoln logs were invented by his son and named after his father's real middle name.

One of my favorite quotes of his, "Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities."

Mar 5, 2010

Crash Blossoms

I know you have seen them. The name emerged last year as a description of those funny headlines that can be taken more than one way. Here are a few real headlines for your reading pleasure.

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge
Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim
McDonald’s Fries the Holy Grail for Potato Farmers
Gator Attacks Puzzle Experts
Eighth Army Push Bottles Up Germans
Lotto Winner's Body Remains Identified
US Eyes Boom in Nuclear Reactors
Jessica Hahn Pooped After Long Day Testifying

Shadow Caddy

For you golfers in the crowd, you may be soon using one of these as spring is quickly approaching.
Shadow Caddy is a robotic caddy that follows you around the course, carrying your bags just like a human caddy. Set your bag on your Shadow Caddy and off you go, free to concentrate on your game without the distraction of dragging your clubs around. It has two settings, follow and park.

It is completely hands free. It follows a small transmitter attached to your belt. It has a sophisticated detection avoidance system which prevents collisions with other carts, people, trees, etc., then picks up the transmission and goes right back to following the game. The Shadow Caddy will also carry drinks, sand buckets, etc. Another good feature, no tips required.

The caddy has been around for a while as a rental on selected golf courses. Here is a LINK to watch it on YouTube

Census 2010

The census forms are coming in a few weeks. There will be ten questions and none have anything to do with income. No one will come to your door if you fill it out and mail it in on time with no errors.

The ACS is done annually, and is separate from the Census, but run by the Census Bureau. They changed the fine this year to $5,000 from $100 if you don't fill it out. This is the part where they ask you about income, etc. Each year approximately 3 million housing unit addresses in the United States and Puerto Rico are selected.

The American Community Survey (ACS) began full implementation of housing unit address in 2005. Since 2005, the ACS interviews samples of housing units in all counties in the United States (including the District of Columbia) and in all of the municipalities in Puerto Rico.

It is interesting to note that the census from 1870 asked for value of the house and value of the 'estate' of the main person in the house. It also asked about country of origin and native language. I have census copies from from my genealogy research. The census reports are available online after 75 years.

When You Were Born

Check this site out and put in the year of your birth to discover some interesting things that happened that year. LINK

Canadians Love Bacon

Canadians also love bacon. In a recent survey conducted by Maple Leaf Foods -

* 43% of the respondents said they would rather have bacon than sex
* 23% of men ranked bacon as their number one favorite fragrance
* 82% who said they love bacon also said they are good lovers
* 23% wondered if ‘my partner loves bacon more than me’

The survey was conducted from December 1 to December 2, 2009, among 1,006 randomly selected Canadian adults. The results of the online survey have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of Canada. The study didn't say whether it was back bacon or American style. Hmmm, 82%. . .

Olympic Cheescake

Cheesecake is believed to have originated in ancient Greece and was served to the athletes during the first Olympic Games held in 776 BC.

Cheese making can be traced back as far as 2,000 BC, and anthropologists have found cheese molds dating back to that period.

Cheesecake was mentioned in Marcus Porcius Cato's De re Rustica around 200 BC and he described making his cheese libum (cake) with results very similar to modern cheesecake."


Want to see a picture of someone's house and don't want to use Google? Here is an alternative. When you enter an address you will see a picture of that place.  You can move up and down the block and magnify, also drag around in a circle to see the other side of the street.. Works like Google  VPIKE

Mar 4, 2010

Fixing Split Ends

Although there are hair care products which are marketed as being able to repair split ends and damaged hair, there is no such cure. A good conditioner might prevent damage from occurring in the first place, but the only way to get rid of split ends after they appear is by a hair cut.

Tax Day Coming

More Americans than ever will be subject to scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service this year as the government pumps billions of dollars into tax collection.

More than 1.4 million Americans were audited last year. Even more audits are expected as the Obama administration plans to spend $8.2 billion in tax enforcement initiatives in 2011, a nearly 10% increase over last year. That is one stimulus that may pay off for the government. . .


I am sure you heard someone say this or that is all mangled. A mangle is a device that used to be used for drying clothes. Sometimes it is also called a wringer. A mangle iron is used to press clothes and usually has steam coming from inside the roller.

The word mangle was coined in the early 20th century after many of the first industrial ironers had crushed and dismembered those who got to close to the feeder end or chain drives of the machines.

My Blog Visitors

The reports for shubsthoughts blog show that the blog has received interested visitors from 52 countries.

Here is the list in order of number of visitors - US, UK, Canada, India, France, Australia, Spain, Philippines, South Korea, Germany, Malaysia, South Africa, Russia, Netherlands, Romania, Italy, Pakistan, Denmark, Mexico, Brazil, Ireland, Poland, Thailand, Singapore, Switzerland, Brunei, Portugal, Japan, Greece, Hong Kong, Sweden, Bahrain. One each from Moldova, Belgium, Algeria, Finland, Iceland, Qatar, New Zealand, Jordan, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, Lithuania, Serbia, Estonia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Egypt, Mauritius, and one unknown country. I am totally delighted and hope you all come back and visit often.

Banana Museum for Sale Cheap

The International Banana Club Museum price has dropped to only $15,000! Be aware that the museum includes only the banana artifacts but no real estate, as the museum has been housed in rented space.

The owner decided to liquidate the collection after the Hesperia Recreation and Park District told him that he would no longer be able to rent space at the Harrison Exhibit Building in Hesperia, California where he exhibited his thousands of banana goodies.

The Guiness Book of World Records says that the museum is the world’s largest collection devoted to any one fruit. Bannister, the current owner, hopes that someone or some company will buy the museum and display it somewhere.


A good woman inspires a man,
a brilliant one interests him,
a beautiful one fascinates him, but
it is the sympathetic woman who gets him.