May 31, 2011

What's in a Name

There are many countries that end in 'stan', such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. Pakistan has an interesting beginning. It is an acronym of the different regions, which originally broke down into: P=Punjab, A=Afghania, K=Kashmir, S=Sindh and the suffix -stan. Later, the 'i' was added to ease pronunciation. It might almost be called a place of places, as the name is made up of different regions.

The suffix -stan in Persian means "home of" and in Sanskrit means "place". So, Afghanistan is the place of the Afghanis and Pakistan is the place of the various Paks. In the old days, when tribes moved, the name was given to where they lived. It was their place. Many people still move from one place to another and still refer to their current house as 'my place'.

Incidently, abad, or abat is used as an ending in Asian cities names to refer to the person who founded the community. For instance, Abbottabad (where Osama was killed) was named after James Abbott, a British officer who governed the area during the British Colonial era.

Alcohol Does Not Kill Brain Cells

Time to debunk another popular myth. Research has shown that the quantity of alcohol you could possibly take in, without killing yourself, does not introduce enough alcohol into your bloodstream to kill brain cells. This was proven by a study by Grethe Jensen and co. in 1993. They meticulously counted neurons in matched samples of non-alcoholics and alcoholics.  They found no real difference in the density or overall number of neurons between the two groups.  Other research has backed up those findings. 

According to a study done at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, in Italy, 29% of people 65 years or older who almost never drank alcohol throughout their life had mental impairment issues. About 19% of people 65 years or older who drank moderate amounts of alcohol regularly had any mental impairment. It was further discovered that, among the various groups where other problems might impair them mentally, the same trend appeared. In every group, those who drank moderately on a regular basis throughout their lives always had a less chance of becoming mentally impaired in their old age compared to those who didn’t drink at all or almost never drank.

Scientists also once believed that the number of nerve cells you have in your brain, once you reach adulthood, was fixed. They have now discovered that new neurons are continuously created in the adult brain.

There are other side effects of alcohol on your brain, such as developing Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which is characterized by: confusion, coordination problems, hallucinations, memory problems, eye problems, and even inducing a coma or death, if left untreated.  Excessive alcohol consumption over a long period of time causes a vitamin B1 deficiency, because alcohol inhibits the body’s ability to absorb thiamine.

Bacon Rub

Here is a grilling favorite, a dry rub with a twist. Bacon Rub allows you to give nearly any meat a bacon-wrapped flavor simply by rubbing in this mix of herbs, spices, and brown sugar.

It is all-natural, Kosher and vegetarian friendly and is zero fat. Mmmm! Who could ask for more?

Tips to Make Your Browsing Easier

Here are a few tips that might help while browsing the web to get around your screen a bit faster without using your mouse.

Go directly to the Address Bar - (to type in a new site)
    Firefox: Control/Command + L
    Chrome/Safari/WebKit: Control/Command + L
    Internet Explorer: Alt + D
    Opera: Control/Command + L

 Get to your browser search box - (to search something)
    Firefox: Control/Command + K
    Safari: Command + Option + F
    Internet Explorer: Control + E
    Opera: Control/Command + E

May 27, 2011

Happy Friday

Live your best, act your best, and think your best today, because it is preparation for all the tomorrows that follow.

I am always living, acting, and thinking my best when preparing for a Happy Friday!

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who died in our nation's service. The preferred name for the holiday gradually changed from "Decoration Day" to "Memorial Day", which was first used in 1882.
Decoration Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 to honor Union and Confederate soldiers by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic (an organization for Northern Civil War veterans), in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a battle.

The holiday changed after World War 1 from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.

In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a federal national holiday by an act of Congress, and its observance was set on the last Monday in May.

Memorial Day Poppies

Moina Michael conceived of an idea in 1918 after reading a poem, to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later, Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom. When she returned to France, she made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries.

In 1921, the practice of selling poppies was taken up by the American Legion Auxiliary and in1922 by the VFW. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. The practice continues today. 

Several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3, Jefferson Davis' birthday, in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Blood Pressure Facts

High blood pressure affects about 50 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide.

Blood pressure measures the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. It is highest near your heart and in the major arteries and lowest in small arteries and capillaries. Because it varies, blood pressure is taken in a standardized place, usually on the inside of your upper arm along the brachial artery.

The upper number, systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart pumps blood throughout the body. The lower number, diastolic blood pressure, is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is relaxing. Healthy blood pressure should be around 120/80 or lower. When the systolic pressure is greater than 120 and the diastolic pressure is greater than 80, patients are diagnosed as having high blood pressure. These levels have recently been lowered from 140/90. Different levels are used for children and adolescents.

High blood pressure is called hypertension and can lead to a number of serious conditions, including coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure. Elevated blood pressure levels can make you tired, give you headaches, cause vision problems, and give you an upset stomach, or there can be no symptoms.

Low blood pressure is called hypotension and can result in a decrease in the amount of blood being pumped to the brain resulting in lightheadedness, dizziness, weakness, and fainting. Extremely low blood pressure can also be a sign of a severe cardiac disease and should be taken just as seriously as high blood pressure.

Red Meat and Blood

While on the topic of blood pressure, it is interesting to know that the red fluid in red meat is not blood. Almost all blood is removed from meat during slaughter, for both red and white meat. A very small, trace amount of blood remains within the muscle tissue of meat from the store.

Red meats, such as beef, contain a good deal of water. Water mixed with a protein called myoglobin, makes up most of the red liquid. It  is a protein, that stores oxygen in muscle cells, very similar to hemoglobin, which stores oxygen in red blood cells. Most animals with a high amount of myoglobin are considered to be red meat, while animals with low levels of myoglobin, like most poultry are considered white meat.

Chickens and Turkeys are generally considered white meat, however due to the fact that both use their legs extensively, their leg muscles contain a significant amount of myoglobin which causes their meat to turn dark when cooked. This is why they have both white meat and dark meat.

Meat remains pinkish-red if it has been exposed to nitrites.  Packagers use this to artificially keep the meat looking pink, even after it has spoiled.  Consumers associate pink meat as fresh even though the pink color has little to do with the freshness of meat. Trust your nose, not your eyes.

The Kiss, Optical Illusion

It may look like a blurred face in a mask, but take a closer look and you will see a couple kissing. Hint, she is on the left. Once you discover the kiss, your mind will alternate between the two visions.

It is named Mask of Love, created by Gianni Sarcone, Courtney Smith, and Marie-Jo Waeber from the Archimedes' Lab in Genoa, Italy. It was a finalist at the Best Illusion of the Year Contest in Naples, Florida.

What's in a Name

Popsicles did not always have that name. The first ice pop came about by accident in 1923. Lemonade salesman Frank Epperson left a glass of lemonade outside one cold night. The next morning he found it frozen solid. After a bit of tinkering, the ice pop was born. He originally named it after himself, the epsicle ice pop.

May 25, 2011

Free E-books

Do you have a Kindle, or Nook, or iPad? Even you don't, here are ten sights you can go to to get free e-books to read. Also Barnes, Amazon and a few others offer some free e-books, but they are not the popular bestsellers.
  1. Authorama
  6. Project Gutenberg
  8. Open Library
  10. Universal Digital Library at Carnegie Mellon University

Four Popular Myths Debunked

You lose most of your body heat through your head. A military study many years ago tested the loss of temperature in soldiers when exposed to very cold temperatures. They found rapid heat loss in the head. The results did not mention that they were fully clothed except for their heads. Without clothes on you lose about 10% of your body heat through your head.

You should drink at least eight glasses of water a day. In 1945 a government agency said that the human body required about 8 glasses of fluid a day. That includes fluid from all foods and drinks. Over time fluid was converted to water and hence the myth. However, water is filling and having a glass before meals does cut down on food consumption.

Eating turkey makes you sleepy because it contains tryptophan. Chicken and ground beef contain about the same amount of tryptophan as turkey does, while pork and cheese actually contain more. Turkey gets the bad rap because it is usually consumed during holidays with much other food and drink. Large heavy meals slow blood flow which can cause drowsiness.

Eating at night makes you fat. This one is just simple math. It doesn’t matter what time of day you eat. As long as you eat only the total calories that you burn each day, you will not gain weight. If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight, and if you eat more calories, you will gain.

Chicken McNuggets Ingredients

These tasty little nuggets are said to have a worldwide flavor. Now we know why. Abu Dhabi did some checking and found out the chicken is from Brazil, bread crumbs are from the United Kingdom, and wheat is imported from Canada, Australia, Pakistan and Paraguay.

Emulsifiers come from Spain, Germany supplies salt and stabilizers, India supplies spices, flavor enhancers and vegetable protein, while China produces dextrin for enhancing crispness. All this is cooked up in vegetable fat processed in the UAE, but made from canola seeds imported from Canada. Who said we do not have a world economy.

Super Heroes

For the cartoon lovers in the crowd, Marvel comics has full shows of its famous cartoon super heroes on its web site.

Adventures of the Fantastic Four, X-Men, Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk, Avengers and more. LINK

May 20, 2011

Happy Friday

It takes an hour to like someone, a day to love someone, and a lifetime to forget someone.

I spend my hours and days trying not to forget to have a Happy Friday!

Expensive Phone

Do you think your phone was expensive? Try this one. The Goldstriker iPhone is encrusted with 271 grams of 22 carat pure solid gold and more than 200 diamonds. The Apple logo on the back features 53 gems and the home button is covered with a single 7.1 carat diamond.

It is also decorated in a chest carved from granite and kashmir gold along with a lining made from top Nubuck grain leather. Oh, the cost, $3.2 million.

What's in a Name

Sometimes names, sayings, and slogans do not port well to non-English speaking countries. When Kentucky Fried Chicken opened their first restaurant in Beijing, they accidentally translated KFC's famous slogan, “Finger-lickin' good” to “We'll Eat Your Fingers Off!
Pepsi had fun when "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation"  turned out to be "Pepsi will make your ancestors return from the dead". in Taiwan.
Pizza Hut calzone called the P'zone turned into pezón, the Spanish word for "nipple".
Puffs tissues had a problem in Germany as the name is a colloquial term for whorehouse.
A warehouse sign in China was painted on the building as "Translator Server Error".
Coors slogan, “Turn it loose!” came out as, “Suffer from Diarrhea" in Spanish.
Clairol  had a curling iron called the "Mist Stick" that turned out to be “Manure Stick” in Germany.
Jersey Shore cast comes out as "The New Jersey Life of Macaroni Rascals".
Frank Perdue of chicken fame was surprised when, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken"  was translated into, "It takes a hard man to make a chicken aroused".
The name for a massage parlor in Japan was translated into hand job.
An interesting twist was IKEA furniture in Swedish translated into English became a "Fartfull workbench". Finally after a Papal visit, “I saw the Pope” (el Papa) translated as “I saw the potato” (la papa).

Six Uses for Bananas

There are many uses for bananas, including the peels. For instance, you can dry out banana peels, grind them up, and use as a potassium and phosphorus rich mulch for new plants and seedlings.

You can skip the grinder and cut up banana peels and chuck them in the soil as plant food. This is especially effective for roses and staghorns. It also keeps aphids away from the roses, although I don't know why.
Put a banana peel into a large jar, cover it with water, and let it soak. Top up your watering can with the banana peel liquid of one part banana-peel water to five parts regular water. Makes great liquid fertilizer.

The tryptophan in bananas can be a relaxing mood enhancer, helping to combat the symptoms of depression. That is also why bananas and chocolate are so good to set the mood.

Adding a peeled banana in with a roast will tenderize it. You can also put a banana skin on top of chicken pieces to keep them moist while cooking and it does not affect the flavor.
One of my favorites is to use a cut up banana on cereal to eliminate the need for sugar.

The Year 1950

Here are some prices from that year.
Car: $1,750
Gasoline: 27 cents/gal
House: $14,500
Bread: 14 cents/loaf
Milk: 82 cents/gal
Postage Stamp: 3 cents
Stock Market: 235
Average Annual Salary: $3,800
This week last year many European airports were closed due to the Icelandic Volcano ash covering the skies.

May 19, 2011

Something is Rotten in Denmark

I heard someone say this on an English TV show recently and thought it interesting that they use the same expression we do. Looked it up and found out it is from Shakespeare's Hamlet when Marcellus sees the ghost of Hamlet's father, the king of Denmark. Literally it meant that something was wrong with the government of Denmark. Used loosely now, it means something is wrong or things are unsatisfactory.

Bacon Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds with bacon salt. Yum!


Thinking you've heard or felt a new text message vibration when there is no message.

Pocket Picks

Back in 1982, Sony came out with the 'Watchman', a flat panel black and white TV that was 7 inches by 3 inches, with a 1 3/4 inch screen and weighed about 22 ounces. It hit the US two years later, in 1984. It was amazing for its time.

Sony also had the 'Walkman' portable music player that you could carry with you. It came out in 1979.

Apple just took those concepts a few steps further with it's iPad, which combines TV, music, and computer technology in roughly the same size package. It just took 30 years for smaller, faster technology to catch up. I can hardly wait for the next 10 years, when all of this technology will be placed in a pair of glasses, and voice controlled.

Venus Rising

The Soviets successfully landed several spacecraft on Venus, beginning in 1975. Seven of the landers conducted chemical analysis of rocks, which indicate a composition similar to that of terrestrial basaltic volcanic rocks. In 1981, the Venera 13 lander provided the first color images of the surface of Venus. The US sent Pioneer to Venus in 1979 and Magellan in 1989 to continue the work of mapping the surface of the planet. Neither landed on the surface of the planet.

At the surface, the atmospheric pressure is 92 times that of the Earth's at sea-level. Venus has a surface temperature of about 900° F. It is about 84% of the size of earth and a Venusian day is 243 Earth days. Venus rotates from east to west, so the Sun rises in the west and sets in the east.

May 13, 2011

Happy Friday

May you have smiles when sadness intrudes, laughter to kiss your lips, and hugs when spirits sag.

I always smile and laugh while thinking about giving out free hugs and having a Happy Friday!

Five Anti Ant Actions

This is the time of year ants are really having fun with us, but here are a few household things to keep them away for a while. These are all cheaper than the commercial insecticides.

Put some vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray around the areas they show up, like all your door jams. Vinegar leaves behind a natural ant repellent and the smell dissipates quickly.

Draw a wide line of chalk on the ground, ants will not cross over it, nor will a number of other little creatures. if you see a few ants, draw a circle around them and watch how effective it is.

Black Pepper is another natural safe item to use if the other methods are not available, try sprinkling some pepper around. They hate that. Sprinkle some by their nest to keep them from feeding the queen. Course ground pepper is less effective.

Cayenne Pepper has the same abilities as regular pepper and it also keeps the squirrels away if you mix it with a bit of Vaseline and put it on your fence. Of course you need to replace after a heavy rain.

Cinnamon is also good to bug the bugs and it smells great

Ducks, Pigs, and Bunnies

For those of you who remember the good old days of clean and entertaining cartoons, here is a site that has what it bills as the top ten best Looney Tunes cartoons. Daffy is daffy, Bugs is bugged, Elmer is befuddled, Sylvester is sly and Porky is porky, plus more.  LINK

Technology History

Television was first introduced to the American public at the 1939 World's Fair. World War II delayed commercial network programming in the US until the late 1940's. A popular black-and-white model, the 1948 Admiral, had a 7 inch screen encased in a large metal box four times the screen size. It cost $2,495 ($22,642.49 at today's cost) 

One of the earliest computers, ENIAC was introduced in 1946. It weighed 30 tons, had 6000 switches, 18,000 tubes and occupied an entire room.

The Apple iPad has a  9.7 inch screen and weighs 1.3 pounds.

Salty Talk

We have seen the advice to reduce salt intake for blood pressure. The American Heart Association encourages people to consume no more than 1,500 milligrams a day of sodium, which is less than half of what people consume. It also says 90% of all Americans will develop hypertension over their lifetime.

Of course there is also scientific evidence that shows increased salt intake keeps blood pressure low for those with low blood pressure and keeps it high for those with high blood pressure. Now there is another new study that raises questions about sodium and its effect on the heart. European researchers followed 3,681 people, average age 40, for about eight years, testing sodium excretion in the urine. They found that systolic blood pressure (the top number) was slightly lower in those who excreted less sodium and those with lower sodium excretion had an increased risk of cardiovascular death. The findings were consistent in participants younger and older than 60 years. So, if you consume less salt you have more chance of cardiovascular death.

The AMA weighs in with, "Lower sodium intake is recommended for people with high blood pressure and people with heart failure."

The Salt Institute is delighted with the findings and I would think Orville Redenbacher is feeling vindicated. Maybe it's time to put a bit more salt on your bacon. . .

Did you Know

1 pound of lemons contain more sugar than 1 pound of strawberries.

May 10, 2011

Gillette and Objectionable Hair

In November 1902, King (his real name) Gillette filed a patent for a safety razor that was a modest improvement on previous models.  It sold for $5, the equivalent of about $100 today. He told his staff that, “The whole success of this business depends on advertising.” Then he proved it.

Many countries do not share the hygiene habits we do in the US. Did you ever think about why we do things differently? Maybe it is not so much custom as it is the power of advertising. After selling millions of razors and blades to men, Gillette developed a new insecurity for women and he called it 'objectionable hair'.

The Journal of American Culture reveals that women shaving, in particular their underarms, was caused by magazine marketing.It says the hair-free underarm revolution was created by a marketing blitz from Gillette called The Great Underarm Campaign.

It began in May 1915, in Harper's Bazaar magazine. The first ad "featured a waist-up photograph of a young woman who appears to be dressed in a slip with a toga-like outfit covering one shoulder. Her arms are arched over her head revealing perfectly clean armpits. The first part of the ad read, 'Summer Dress and Modern Dancing combine to make necessary the removal of objectionable hair.'

Within three months, the once-shocking term "underarm" was being used. A few ads mentioned hygiene as a motive for getting rid of hair, and most appealed strictly to the yearning to be hip.

Gillette changed a nation and has sold billions of razors and blades in the process. This is the same company showed us that one blade was not enough, then two, then three, then four, and now five blades make the perfect shave. Reminds me of two and three ply toilet paper. The Gillette products became so ubiquitous that the name became as synonymous with razor as Kleenex is with tissues.


In 1912, Sam Seelig opened the first grocery store bearing his name in Los Angeles. By 1922, the Seelig’s chain had grown to 71 stores. When Sam decided to leave the company to enter the real estate business two years later, a contest was held to rename his stores. Safeway won. The name was a reference to the chain’s cash-and-carry policy.

While many grocery stores at the time offered credit, Seelig’s did not, making it the “safe way” to shop and avoid falling into debt. Safeway’s 322 stores merged with M.B. Skaggs’ chain of 428 stores in 1926 and was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1928. Today, the chain has more than 1,000 stores.

A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush

This phrase has been current in English since the mid 15th century. It means that it's better to have a thing of lesser value in reality than it is to have something of greater value in theory.

For example, it's better to work at a modest job to make a living, than to wait for someone to offer you a high-paying one that might never happen.

One origin of the story is that a huntsman knew that he could easily catch at least one bird if he waited by a stream. There were many more birds in the forest, but he could not be sure he would catch any there if he tried.
What you have (a bird in the hand) is worth more than what you might possibly get (two birds in the bush).

Six China Facts

China's economy grew 316% vs. 43% in the US, during the past ten years.
85% of artificial Christmas trees in the US are made in China.
80% of Christmas toys in the US are made in China.
China raises more pigs than the next 43 pig growing countries combined.
US fastest high speed train is half fast compared to China's, 150 to 302mph.
During the next 15 years, China will build enough new skyscrapers to fill ten New York size cities.

May 6, 2011

Happy Friday

In love, it is better to know and be disappointed, than to not know and always wonder.

I know I am never disappointed and never wonder about having a Happy Friday!

Rape and Rapeseed

Rapeseed, sometimes called Rape, is a plant cultivated for its seed to make oils, bio-diesel, and animal food. It is a member of the mustard family, along with turnips, radishes, cabbage, and watercress, among others.

Rapeseed was the third leading source of vegetable oil in the world in 2000. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, after soybean and oil palm. Its saturated fat is 6% vs. palm oil at 79%.

Canola is a trademark for a hybrid variety of rape initially bred in Canada (Canola is an acronym for Canadian Oil, Low Acid). Canadian Rape growers renamed the oil back in the 1970s to get away from the negative connotation of the 'rape' name. (Like how prunes are now called dried plums.)

Rapeseed oil was produced in the 19th century as a source of a lubricant for steam engine and now makes into a bio-diesel. Rapeseed leaves and stems are also edible and some cook it like spinach or bok choy.  Despite of some lingering, but incorrect internet rumors, canola oil is not bad for you.

What's in a Name

Here is something that you don't think about often, unless you do not have one, then too many people seem compelled to mention it. The glabella is the name of the space between your eyebrows.

McDonald's Choices Around the World

The Japanese know how to add menu items at McDonald's. They have the bacon, cheese, and potato pie. Wish we did.

McDonald's also serves spaghetti in the Philippines, hot dogs in Japan, pork burgers in Thailand, seaweed seasonings all over Asia, lobster salad on a bun and Poutine in Canada, ham and cheese on flat bread in France, pizza pockets in Morocco, fried salmon on a bun in Norway, fried beef stew on a bun in Poland, bacon and ketchup on a bun in England, bratwurst in Germany (of course), and beer in many countries, but not, alas, the US. Not sure how many let you supersize the orders.

Top Eleven Uses for Mouthwash

The following presume to use the type of mouthwash with alcohol in it.

Nail fungus problems and athlete's foot are difficult to eradicate. Make up a 50/50 solution of alcohol-based mouthwash and vinegar, and apply to the affected area with a cotton ball two-to-three times per day. It make a week or more for the fungus, but only days to get rid of athlete's foot.
Apply some mouthwash to poison ivy infected areas and it will it relieve the itchiness and inflammation as well as dry up the area and begin the healing process.

Mouthwash is great for cleaning the kids’ hands in a pinch, as long as it is the alcohol-based and sugar-free kind.

When traveling mouthwash can be used as a substitute deodorant in a pinch, due to its bacteria-killing properties.

Of course mouthwash eliminates garlic odor in your mouth, but it can also take get rid of the smell of garlic on your hands after you’ve handled it. Just pour some on your hands, rub them together, and let them air-dry.

Mouthwash was first used as a surgical antiseptic before people figured out its mouth-washing properties. Apply some mouthwash to your wound, dry, and cover with a bandage.

By mixing two tablespoons of mouthwash per gallon of water and filling your flower vase with this mixture, your cut flowers will last longer because it kills the bacteria that accelerates decomposition.

Apply mouthwash on a damp cloth to wash glass surfaces. Dry with a cotton cloth.

In the same way that mouthwash removes bacteria from your mouth, you can remove it from your laundry as well. Add one cup to the regular cycle of a full load of laundry. This is especially handy for those stinky gym socks; mouthwash kills all the bacteria that is sometimes left behind in a regular wash.

Dunk your toothbrush in a cup of mouthwash before brushing to ensure your toothbrush is clean and free of bacteria.

The end - pour a cup of mouthwash into the toilet, let it sit for half an hour and swipe it with the toilet brush.

Is Your Name Popular

Have you ever wondered how popular your name is? Probably not, but there is a web site that will tell you. LINK Just type in your name and Pokemyname will tell you how popular it is, how many others share your name. it also shows how your name looks in Braille, Semaphore, barcode, morse code, and sign language. Fun diversion.

1965 Inventions Plus

The Kennedy half dollar came out that year and contained 60% copper. An uncirculated one is worth about four dollars today. The artificial Aspartame came out in 1965. It came under attack as causing cancer, but the claims were debunked and it is now considered safe. Astroturf hit the ground in 1965 and is still around. Kevlar was invented that year and is still protecting us from the bad guys. Basic, the computer programming language was developed in 1965. The 'Big Bang' theory was developed in 1965 and the Nobel prize in science was awarded its discoverer. Some say the internet was developed in 1965, but it was really conceived, much like its current form in 1968.

On Palm Sunday, April, 1965 fifty one tornadoes hit around the Southern US, causing tremendous damage.Medicare was created by Lyndon Johnson. the Maple Leaf became the official Flag symbol for Canada. The Gateway arch in St. Louis was completed. Warren Buffet takes over Berkshire Hathaway and the stock price was $18 per share.  No, the pencil was invented in Switzerland in 1565, not 1965.

May 4, 2011

Cranberry Jell-O

It is reportedly the only flavor that contains real fruit flavoring.

Unusual Plants and Trees

The website name describes what you will see, '15 Eccentric Endangered Trees, Plants, and Flowers'. Great pics of unusual living things from around the world. Here is the welwitschia mirabilis, which usually has only two leaves, but they curl around into an unusual clump. It can live for a thousand years.

A quick read, but you might get hooked by all the related sites of weird plants, exotic animals, etc. LINK A fun diversion to explore the unusual around us.

Some Illuminating Thoughts

On Jan. 1, 2012, 100-watt incandescent bulbs will start disappearing from store shelves.The front of the new bulb labels will list energy cost and lumens, which can vary widely even for bulbs consuming the same amount of energy or wattage. Lumens already appear on bulb packaging, but we often overlook the fine print.

The back will list the bulb's expected life span, energy consumption and its "light appearance," or color, which is measured on a temperature scale known as Kelvin (K). Lower Kelvin numbers mean the light is more yellow; higher Kelvin numbers mean it's whiter or bluer. The traditional incandescent, which gives off a warm, soft and almost yellowish light, has a temperature of about 2,700 to 3,000K — similar to most halogens. LEDs' temperatures range from 3,300 to 5,000K while CFLs can be quite warm (2,700K), neutral or cold (6,500K).

For kitchens and work spaces, where a brighter and whiter light is desired, look for bulbs marked 3,500 to 4,100K. For a cooler, bluish light akin to daylight, good for reading, look for bulbs with 5,000 to 6,500K.

For CFLs, the back label also notes that the bulbs "contain mercury" which, in high enough doses, can cause tremors, mood swings, headaches and insomnia. (CFLs have, on average, 4 milligrams of mercury, while older thermometers have about 500 milligrams.) No mercury is released unless the bulb breaks. Besides being expensive, I have tried them in my ceiling fans and about one in four burns out within a few months. The new label lists a government website for tips on how to clean up broken pieces and dispose of the bulbs. This is very scary stuff.

Here is a link to a Youtube explaining the new CFL bulbs LINK  This Texas congressman is not happy. If these bulbs are really that good, we would have already bought them and they would not have to be forced on us.