Jun 29, 2010

Bread Bag Tags

They aren't good for much, but you can recycle them. Make it easy to tell what devices cords belong to by writing on the tag then clipping it to the cord.

You can also use a tag to mark spare keys before putting them away in the junk drawer. one other idea is to use one on the end of tape before you throw the tape in the drawer. That way you won't have to pry the edge of the roll the next time you need it.

Minced Oath

Minced oaths are a sub-group of euphemisms used to avoid swearing when expressing surprise or annoyance. 'For Pete's sake' and 'for pity's sake' originally meant 'for St. Peter's sake'. Other common ones include By gosh - By God, By gum - By God, By Jove - By God, Gee whizz - Jesus, Sam Hill - Hell, Tarnation - Damnation, Good grief - Good God, Cripes - Christ, Begorrah - By God, Dagnabbit - God damn it.

Decades of Fun

How about a trip back to your favorite decade? Check this LINK. This site takes you from the fifties to the eighties. You can find Music, Television, Movies, Books, Gadgets, Sports, and Cars all neatly packaged. Great for feeding the nostalgia bug, or just loading up on more trivia, like Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959. Did you know that in 1950 the average cost of a new house was $8,450, a new car was $1,510, a gallon of gas was 18 cents, and a postage stamp cost three cents. Now you do.

Ear Rings

Reserve Your spot in Heaven

This site has been around for a few years and I just stumbled on it again, so it must be making money. Still only $12.97 and it comes with a money back guarantee. Now it has a sister site that allows you to send someone to hell. LINK  A complete waste of time, but humorous enough for a quick look.

Jun 25, 2010

Five More Famous Name Origns

DHL - In the late 1960s, Larry Hillblom finished law school and recruited his pals Adrian Dalsey and Robert Lynn to help him with making delivery trips. The company quickly took off, and they named it after their respective last initials.

3M - The conglomerate behind Post-It Notes gets its name from its roots as a company that mined stone to make grinding wheels. The company was known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, which was shortened to 3M.

A&W Root Beer
- Roy Allen opened his first root beer stand in Lodi, CA, in the summer of 1919, and quickly began expanding. Within a year he had partnered with Frank Wright, and the pair christened their product from their last initials, 'A&W Root Beer'.

P.F. Chang’s  - The Asian dining chain’s name is a composite of the founding restaurateur Paul Fleming’s initials and founding chef Philip Chiang’s last name.

ING  - Jeff knows the banking giant’s name is an abbreviation of Internationale Nederlanden Groep, or 'International Netherlands Group'. The company’s use of orange in its buildings and promotion is the color of the Dutch royal family dating way back to William of Orange.

Speaking of Orange

Below is the spectrum carrot colors and in some regions of the world you can still find white, yellow, red and purple carrots, but most countries grow the orange variety.

In the 17th century, Dutch growers cultivated orange carrots as a tribute to William of Orange, who lead the the struggle for Dutch independence.

Newest Countries and Political Independence Dates

We usually do not think of new countries being formed, but some are not as old as you might think.

Bahrain - 15 August 1971 (from UK)
United Arab Emirates - 2 December 1971 (from UK)
Bangladesh -16 December 1971 (from West Pakistan)
Bahamas - 10 July 1973 (from UK)
Iran -1 April 1979 (Islamic Republic of Iran proclaimed)
Belize - 21 September 1981 (from UK)
Antigua and Barbuda - 1 November 1981 (from UK)
Brunei -1 January 1984 (from UK)
Marshall Islands - 21 October 1986 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)
Federated States of Micronesia - 3 November 1986 (from the US-administered UN Trusteeship)
Lithuania - 11 March 1990 (from Soviet Union)
Namibia - 21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Moldova, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan - 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Croatia and Slovenia - 25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)
Macedonia  -17 September 1991 (from Yugoslavia)
Bosnia and Herzegovina -1 March 1992 (from Yugoslavia)
Czech Republic and Slovakia -1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split)
Palau - 1 October 1994 (from the US-administered UN Trusteeship)
East Timor - 20 May 2002 (from Indonesia)
Serbia - May 2006 (after Montenegro declared independence from Yugoslavia)
Also, Cuba became independent from US on 20 May 1902.
Interesting to note that the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau are included and covered in the new US healthcare bill, even though they are independent countries and no longer under US Trusteeship.

Another Five great Google Tips

Google is more helpful than many know. Here are a few more tips to make your life on the web easier. Quotes are used for examples only.
Need a map, type "map tampa fl".
Need a definition, "define beauty".
Lost your calculator and need to do some quick math, "15+15".
Shopping for a new PC, give it a price range, "PC $500..$700".
Looking for a zip code, "75214". This query also offers a map.

Going Green

How is your carbon footprint? Here are a few things that might surprise you and are certainly counter to the hype.

Plastic bags are only about 1,000th of the carbon footprint of what is in the bags - 10g carbon dioxide equivalent.

Electric hand driers only use 20g CO2e.

Watching TV for an hour in front of a 42-inch plasma screen is about equal to a one-mile drive in a very efficient car - 220g CO2e.

Keeping your old car is better than buying a new one, because making a car creates about half the footprint of the fuel it burns. It takes a long time to recover the fifty percent CO2e cost of building the new car.

>From a woman's point of view - she can go shopping for an hour and take home 22 bags of goodies to equal one hour of her mate watching TV.

>From a man's point of view - he needs to drive his sleek new car fast and far to quickly make up for the carbon wasted in building it.

Jun 22, 2010

Red Light Photos

California's three-judge appellate panel unanimously found a total lack of evidence from Santa Ana, California red light camera program and are becoming increasingly upset at the conduct of cities and photo enforcement vendors.

The decision calls into question the legitimacy of the way red light camera trials are conducted and setting a precedent that applies to the county's three million residents and others around the country.

The attorney objected to the admission of the red light camera photographs because the city had failed to lay a proper foundation for the evidence and the photos contained hearsay evidence.

The court said the photographic records were created by a for-profit  company, not a state or local government agency and the document that they created cannot be and is not an 'official record' under Evidence Code section 1280."

Bottom line - All charges were dismissed. This may go a long way to eliminating those pesky cameras atop the lights around the country. More proof that if you get a ticket, go fight it in person, the odds are in your favor.


Duane used his handy phone to come up with the answer to the question, what do you call it when those sailors talk to each other with flags. Below are the letters A and B

Semaphore telegraph, optical telegraph, shutter telegraph are all names used to describe the passing of information visually. The lights, with shutters that are open and shut in a specific sequence, are also called semaphore telegraph.

In 1792, France set up a network of 556 optical telegraph stations stretching almost 3,000 miles. It used large movable wooden boards and was used for military and national communications until the 1850s.

Semaphore is still used today at sea and is acceptable for emergency communication in daylight or using lighted wands instead of flags, at night.

'Telegraph Hill' in San Francisco is named after the semaphore telegraph which was established there in 1849 to signal the arrival of ships into San Francisco Bay.

Man vs. Horse

Each year, for the past thirty years there is a race in Wales that pits men vs. horses. About 50 horses with riders compete against hundreds of runners for the $1,450 prize (£1,000).

The event began in June 1980 following a chat over a pint in the Neuadd Arms Hotel. The landlord overheard two men discussing the relative merits of men and horses. He decided it would improve business at his hotel and decided to put it to the test.

The 22 mile long race starts in the town center and is run over hilly farm tracks, footpaths, forestry roads, and open moorland on the edge of the Brecon Beacons in Wales.

This year's race was held June 12 and Sly Dai, ridden by Llinos Jones, completed the course in two hours and seven minutes. The nearest human came in 10 minutes later. Men have won the race two times. Can a man run faster than a horse? Of course, I can prove it. Ha.

In God We Trust

Although many people thought E pluribus unum was the motto, there was no official US national motto before 1956.

“In God We Trust” had been on coins since the 1800s, but it was not officially the motto of the United States of America until the congressional act designating it so in 1956. Coincidentally, it is also the official motto of Nicaragua.

Water Heater Wrap

It is probably the most cost effective measure out of all the energy conservation measures and it has a one year or less payback. The cost is about $30 and savings varies from $30 to $50 per year, depending on the efficiency of your water heater.

Water heater wraps maintain the temperature of the water longer so the heating elements or gas do not have to come on as often, and the less the elements come on, the longer the heater lasts.

The average household actually only uses hot water a little bit more than a hour a day, so for more than 22 hours a day, the water heater just maintains the temperature of the water. The vast majority of the cost to operate a water heater is maintaining the temperature of the water when nobody is using hot water. Oh, and setting the limit to 120 degrees will save at least another $30.

Jun 18, 2010

Top Ten Greatest Inventions

According to a survey of 4,000 Brits.
1. Wheel
2. Airplane
3. Light bulb
4. Internet
5. PCs
6. Telephone
7. Penicillin
8. iPhone
9. Flushing toilet
10. Combustion engine

Interesting to note that the iPhone is before the flushing toilet.

11. Contraceptive pill 12. Washing machine 13. Central heating 14. Fridge 15. Pain killers 16. Steam engine 17. Freezer 18. Camera 19. Cars 20. Spectacles (glasses)  21. Mobile phones 22. Toilet paper 23. Hoover (vacuum cleaner) 24. Trains 25. Google

Diet Coke With Bacon

The Coca-Cola company supposedly tested it’s latest extension to the brand, Diet Coke with Bacon in test markets across the world including the UK, China, Australia and Africa in 2007. 

Alas, it seems to be untrue. However here are some real Diet Coke flavors:

    * Diet Coke Cherry
    * Diet Coke Black Cherry Vanilla
    * Diet Coke Raspberry
    * Diet Coke Lemon
    * Diet Coke Lime

Oldest Photos

In 1839, Robert Cornelius, a Dutch chemist who immigrated to Philadelphia, took a daguerreotype portrait of himself outside of his family’s store and made history: he made the world’s first human photograph.

The oldest known color photograph was taken by Louis Ducos du Hauron in 1872. The photo is of a view of Angouleme in Southern France.

In the 1920s, a brass birdie was often used by photographers to grab the attention of children during a portrait session. A rubber hose and squeeze bulb were connected to the short length of open brass tubing. The brass base was filled with water. Squeezing the rubber bulb caused the bird to make a whistling and warbling sound. Watch the birdie. . .

Five More Google Goodies

The quotes are only used to show a sample.
To find the time anywhere, type time and the city name, "time Dallas".
To exclude something, type a dash in front of the word, "football -lions".
To find the current currency exchange rate, "usd euro".
To find the weather, "weather, detroit".
To find a number, "phonebook: jones chicago".

Can You Hear Me Now

Remember the old adage, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it. . . Have you ever thought about space? Sound is vibrations of air particles, and it only can travel through a solid, liquid, or gas, so there is no sound in space. Sound travels fastest through solids, a bit less fast through liquids, and slowest through gases.

Light waves and radio waves, which are a part of the electromagnetic spectrum, can be interpreted by radio equipment and then be translated into sound, but not the sound itself.

Even though explosion of stars, collision of asteroids, etc. can cause sound, it does not travel to be detected as we hear sound here on Earth. Space, as an almost perfect vacuum, is not an efficient medium for sound to travel and be heard by us. Although, extremely sensitive instruments can pick up sound (almost perfect vacuum, being the key). Astronauts talk to each other when space walking, by using radio waves.

Sounds can travel by air in the spacecraft and through the metal. If something exploded outside the craft, you would not hear it until something hit your craft, then the sound would travel from the metal, through the air inside to your ears. Hollywood does not follow natural laws, so you only hear sounds from space in movies and TV. . . as well as a many other unnatural things emanating from CA.


Have you wondered how the stimulus dollars are being spent? Here is a site that has the up-to-date news.  http://stimuluswatch.org/2.0/     Pick your city or state to find out where the money is going. Do not go there if you are easily upset at the billions being spent on nonsense projects.

Jun 15, 2010

Where did They Get That Name

I sometimes wonder where those crazy names originated, so I went looking.

CVS - When the pharmacy chain was founded in Lowell, MA in 1963, it was known as Consumer Value Stores. Over time the name became abbreviated to CVS.

K-Mart - Sebastian S. Kresge opened his first larger store in Garden City, Michigan, in 1962. The store was named Kresge's, then shortened to K-Mart.

IKEA - The Swedish furniture giant takes its name from found Ingvar Kamprad’s initials joined with a the first initial of the farm where he grew up, Elmtaryd, and the parish he calls home, Agunnaryd.

JBL - The speaker company is named after its founder, James Bullough Lansing. He was born James Martini in 1902, but when he was 25, he changed his name to James Lansing at the suggestion of his then future wife.

BVD - The men’s underwear maker was originally founded by Bradley, Voorhees, and Day to make women’s bustles. Eventually they branched into knitted union suits for men, and their wares became so popular that “BVDs” has become a generic term for any underwear.

How Deep is That Oil Well

Nice graphic that puts it into perspective. LINK


Fire occurrence rates in the Amazon have increased in 59% of areas with reduced deforestation and risks canceling part of the carbon savings achieved by UN measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Research from University of Exeter, published in June, 2010, in Science, analyzed deforestation and fire data from the Amazon. It found that carbon savings achieved by avoiding deforestation would be partially offset by increased emissions from fires. So, if we don't cut the trees down, nature will take care of itself. Another reason to not fool with Mother Nature.


Here is an interesting web site that allows you to add historical pictures to Google Street Maps. Now you can put yourself on the map. HISTORYPIN Very Cool Stuff.

Clowning Around

The tradition of painting clown's faces on eggs began in the U.K. around 1946 at what was then the International Circus Clowns Club, now called Clowns International.

A member named Stan Bult started recording clown images on chicken eggs with the insides blown out. It started as a hobby, and, like many hobbies, it just grew. The collection continued to be lent out after Mr. Bult's death but sadly most of the eggs were destroyed in an accident at one such exhibit around 1965.

Clown Bluey became chairman of Clowns International in 1984 and resurrected Mr. Bult's practice of recording clown members' faces on eggs. This time a professional artist was used and the faces were painted on china-pot eggs instead of chicken eggs. Over the years, many of the lost older eggs have been reproduced, and new eggs are added frequently.

The eggs are a miniature portrait. In addition to paint, the artist uses samples of the clown's costume material and wig-hair to produce an exact match. A photo of the egg collection may be seen at the Clowns International website. LINK

Here is a sample egg of Emmett Kelly.

Leon "Buttons" McBryde  heard about the British practice of registering clown makeup using eggs. He and his wife Linda eventually met the caretaker of the British clown egg registry, and started a similar registry for clowns in the US. This collection shows clowns of all types from around the world. It grew to contain thousands of eggs, and became an almost official way to lay claim to a unique appearance. There is at least one documented court case where the egg was involved to prove intellectual property of a pilfered make-up design. I have to stop clowning around and get back to work.

Jun 11, 2010

Top Five Candies of 2010

Who says older is not better? Here are four oldies and one new one. All of them are still dominated by Mars and Hershey. Of the top ten candies, five are gum and five are chocolate.

1 M&Ms - Named after its two inventors, Forrest E. Mars Sr. and R. Bruce Murrie, M&Ms originally were packaged in a tube in 1941.
2 Reese's Pieces - H.B. Reese was a former dairy employee of Milton S. Hershey who began selling "penny cups" of peanut butter dipped in Hershey's chocolate in 1923. Hershey bought his company 40 years later.
3 Hershey's - Milton S. Hershey began making his milk-chocolate bar in 1900.
4 Snickers - Snickers has been around since 1930 and was the Mars family's second product. It was named after their favorite horse.
5 - Orbit Gum - Orbit hit the U.S. market in 2001, but the brand goes back in Europe to 1976, when it was introduced as Wrigley's first sugarless gum. Mars took over Wrigley in 2009.

Where Did Calories Come From

Rotund Dr. Lulu Hunt Peters introduced a new word, calorie, to the world in 1918. Peters’ book, 'Diet and Health, With a Key to Calories', which included a phonetic spelling of the word “calorie,” because so many people were unfamiliar with it. It probably sold more than a million copies and established calorie-counting as the framework of a good health.

The diet regime gave a dangerous tool to those looking for a way to quantify and reduce their food intake. The Scarsdale Diet of 1979, a strict 700-calorie a day diet that works, because you are starving.

British Papers Go Online

The British Library has announced a project to make 40 million pages from its newspaper archive available online. It has more than 300 years of information, including coverage of the Crimean and Boer Wars. The plan is to complete the digitization of more than 4 million pages within the first two years.

With journalism standards as they are today, the world will get a totally different view of reality, if it depends only on newspapers.

Hot Stuff

To Be a Bee

A queen bee is selectively bred in a special "queen cell" in the hive and fed royal jelly by worker bees to induce her to become sexually mature. A virgin queen that survives to adulthood without being killed by her rivals will take a mating flight with a dozen or so male drones. During mating, their genitals explode and snap off inside the queen.

The snapped-off penis acts as a genital plug to prevent other drones from fertilizing the queen. Ouch!

Dr. Demento Moves On

Do you remember Doctor Demento? Last weekend, the Dr. Demento Show had its final broadcast on KIYU, KLOO, WLVQ (QFM96), WRKH and KOZT after forty years of wacky, lively, interesting broadcasting and great music, like 'The Chainsaw Juggler, 'Dirty Old Man', 'You Wanna Buy a Bunny', and more.

He will continue producing new shows every week, starting this weekend for www.drdemento.com for the foreseeable future. New shows will be posted every Saturday. That is good news for the Demento Society and his legions of followers. You know you liked him.

Birds Moonwalk

Here is a cute video of a bird doing the moonwalk to attract a mate. Click on the title for link.

Jun 8, 2010

Lost in Translation

 When officials asked for the Welsh translation of a road sign, they thought the reply was what they needed.

All official road signs in Wales are bilingual, so the local authority e-mailed its in-house translation service for the Welsh version of, "No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only."

Unfortunately, the e-mail response to Swansea council said in Welsh, "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated."

Wake-up Call

Want to have some fun? You can call anyone, including yourself and schedule a wake-up call. The calls can be text or voice. Need to get out of a meeting early? Schedule a message to yourself to go off ten minutes after the meeting starts. The first ten are free. Here is the link to http://wakerupper.com/

What's in a Name

Here are five web site names, not meant to be funny, but they are. Read the web site names slowly and enjoy.  You can also click on the link to prove they are real.

Experts Exchange – a site where programmers can trade advice. http://www.expertsexchange.com

La Drape – a British company selling high-end quilted bedspreads. http://www.ladrape.co.uk

American Scrap Metal – a scrap metal recycling firm. http://www.angelfire.com/alt/americanscrapmetal

Speed of Art – a collective of art designers. http://www.speedofart.com

Therapist Finder – a directory for therapy services.  http://www.therapistfinder.com

Name That Place

A pub is short for public house. It is a place where drinks are sold to be consumed on the premises.
A Tavern is a place where alcohol is served with food.
A Bar is pretty much synonymous with pub, however it also refers to a long bar at which stools are arranged for sitting.
A Saloon is a room with tables where drinks are served rather than at the bar.

A pub, bar and saloon are almost the same thing. All bars are pubs, not all pubs are bars. All saloons are pubs, not all pubs are saloons. Let's go have a drink.

Lost Cell Phone

A lost or stolen phone can be a real pain, but there is an application called phonefinder from Google Maps that might help. You borrow a friend's phone and call a number that turns on your phone ringer and transmit the GPS location to the phone you are calling from. Here is the LINK

Jun 4, 2010


Flocci-nauci-nihili-pili-fication  is the act of describing something as worthless. Here it is used in a sentence. I loved her in spite of her floccinaucinihilipilification of money. At least one former reader of Friday Thoughts described it that way, but he was Floccinaucinihilipilificated.

We Have It All Wrong

It costs more to send someone to jail than it does to send them to school. Maybe we should keep kids in school.

Breathable Chocolate

The answer to a chocoholic's prayers is a sweet treat in a single puff that provides all the joy without all the guilt. Le Whif is a lipstick-shaped aerosol packed with tiny particles of dark chocolate and no calories.

Dieters may find the mere smell of chocolate is enough to curb the appetite. When you breath it in, it dissolves immediately and coats your tongue and taste buds. The  particles are small enough to become airborne, but too big to enter the lungs or do any damage.

The inhalers cost £1.99 each and come in three chocolate flavors, plain, raspberry, and mint. Not sure when they will be available in the US.

Who Lies More

British men are more likely to tell lies than British women and feel less guilty about it, says the results of a poll of 3,000 people. Researchers found that the average British man tells three lies every day, that's equivalent to 1,092 a year. The average women lies about twice a day for 728 times a year.

Twenty-five per cent of men say they lied to their mother, but only twenty percent of women admit to having lied to their mum.

Seems like half the lies are used by both, as the bold ones below.

Men's most used lies -

1. I didn't have that much to drink
2. Nothing's wrong, I'm fine
3. I had no signal
4. It wasn't that expensive
5. I'm on my way
6. I'm stuck in traffic
7. No, your bum (butt) doesn't look big in that
8. Sorry, I missed your call
9. You've lost weight
10. It's just what I've always wanted

Women's most used lies -

1. Nothing's wrong, I'm fine
2. I don't know where it is, I haven't touched it
3. It wasn't that expensive
4. I didn't have that much to drink
5. I've got a headache
6. It was in the sale
7. I'm on my way
8. Oh, I've had this ages
9. No, I didn't throw it away
10. It's just what I've always wanted


YouTube has been open for business for five years. Last October, 2009, it stated that it was getting one billion hits a day. Now, Google owned YouTube gets over two billion hits a day on the site. The site said its traffic is more than double the traffic of the top three commercial TV stations combined.

YouTube is no longer just for quick and funny videos, it now has live sports (complete games), news, live music concerts and more. There are twenty four hours of new video content uploaded each minute.  The best part is that Billy Mays commercials are 'on demand' and not 'in your face'.

Cell Phones and Facebook

True - 21-year-old Korey Woodard stole a cell phone from a University of Illinois student. After he stole the phone, he took pictures of himself with it, then connected it to his computer to transfer the pictures off the phone. What he failed to realize was the university student had his phone set to automatically upload all new pictures to his Facebook profile when it connects to a computer. Two days after the phone was stolen, a picture of Woodard’s smiling face appeared on the victim’s profile.

Jun 2, 2010

Stop That


Skype TV Telephone

Many of you have heard of Skype, the free phone calling service, but did you know Skype free calling is now available on your TV. Of course you have to hook up a camera and microphone to call from the comfort of your couch. It only works on Samsung and Panasonic for now, but LG has announced plans to have it within months and I am sure more will follow by the end of this year. 
Sounds like fun, use Skype for a free family conference call and it will seem like you are all in one room, with pictures right on your TV, while you are talking. I can see this becoming a holiday and birthday favorite.

Someone Special

If you have someone in your life who is special, and you don't have Skype -  sit back, relax, and listen to this music from John Denver and Placido Domingo.

Regrow Teeth in Your Mouth

Columbia University has developed a technique for regrowing teeth in a patient’s mouth by homing stem cells to a scaffold made of natural materials and integrated in surrounding tissue, there is no need to use harvested stem cell lines, or create an environment outside of the body where the tooth is grown and then implanted once it has matured.

The tooth instead can be grown in the socket where the tooth will integrate with surrounding tissue in ways that are impossible with hard metals or other materials. The procedure could eliminate the need for dentures and conventional dental implants, which can take up to 18 months to heal, graft, and eventually put into place.

The work of Dr. Mao holds promise of a more natural process, faster recovery times, and a harnessing of the body’s own potential to regrow tissue that will not give out and could ultimately last the patient’s lifetime.

Dennis Hopper

He passed away last week at 74 of Prostate Cancer. Many knew him as an actor, but he was also an accomplished artist and photographer. Here is a LINK to to some of his paintings.