Jan 24, 2014

Happy Friday

Nature gives us the morning dew. We must make our own morning DO.

I DO always enjoy having a Happy Friday!

Global Belly Laugh Day

Today is Global Belly Laugh Day. Laughter causes the tissue lining our blood vessels to expand and increase blood flow. This makes us feel more positive, boosts our immune systems, increases pain tolerance and makes us feel good. It is appropriate to be celebrated this time of year as Victor Hugo said, " Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face."

Send out an email, put up posters, and tell everyone you meet to laugh out loud. Share your laughs with others. Look through old photos of you, family, and friends wearing crazy outfits and send them with good wishes. On your way to work, laugh out loud at every stop light and look around at how many people you can make smile. Ask your work friends to try it on the way home and report back next Monday. This will extend the holiday into next week. Text a picture of you laughing to everyone on your contact list and ask them to do the same. When no one is around, draw a smiley face on any blackboard or whiteboard at work with the words Global Belly Laugh Day.

It is OK to laugh in private, but much better to share. That is why today is not just a local or national holiday, it is a global holiday. Laughter knows no language, age, ethnicity, etc., barriers and can be shared with all.

Today is the day to take the Laughing Oath and paste a copy on your bathroom mirror to remind you every day.
"I do solemnly swear from this day forward
To grease my giggling gears each day
And to wear a grin on my face for no reason at all!
I promise to tap my funny bone often,
With children, family, friends, colleagues and clients,
And to laugh at least fifteen times per day.
I believe that frequent belly laughter
Cures terminal tightness, cerebral stiffness,
And hardening of the attitudes,
And that HA HA often leads to AHA!
Therefore, I vow, from this day forth,
To brighten the day of everyone I meet,
And to laugh long and prosper."
from - The Laughing Classroom, by Diana Loomans and Karen Kolberg

National Peanut Butter Day

Interesting that these two holidays would be on the same day this year. January 24, 2014 is National Peanut Butter Day.

Peanut butter is a staple in over 90% of US households and the average person consumes more than six pounds of peanut products each year. Women and children prefer creamy peanut butter, while most men go for the chunky variety.

George Bayle, a St. Louis snack food maker, started making peanut butter in the 1890s. For many years, manufacturers struggled with the oil separating from the grainy solids of the peanut butter. In 1923 Heinz became the first company to homogenize the peanuts into the spreadable butter we know and love today.

It takes 550 peanuts to make a 12 ounce jar of peanut butter. It is the high protein content that causes peanut butter to stick to the roof of your mouth.

Nuts Are Healthy

Had been thinking about this and it seems to fit with peanut butter day. According to data analysis conducted by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Harvard School of Public Health and published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013, those who ate nuts nearly every day were 20 percent less likely to die in the course of two 30-year cohort studies.

Nut eaters were almost 30 percent less likely to die of heart disease and more than 10 percent less likely to die of cancer than those who never ate them, even after adjusting for other lifestyle factors. The nut eaters were also slimmer and had lower rates of type 2 diabetes.

The study found that nuts, such as almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, and peanuts delivered the health and longevity benefits in direct proportion to consumption.

Researchers tracked the health of 119,000 men and women for 30 years and included detailed dietary questionnaires every four years.  “What we find is regular nut consumers are actually lighter; there is less obesity in that group,” said Charles Fuchs, director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment Center at Dana-Farber and senior author of the paper.

Previous studies have also pointed to a correlation between eating nuts and lower risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and diverticulitis. Higher nut consumption also has been linked to reductions in cholesterol levels, inflammation, and insulin resistance. It is nuts not to eat nuts.

Superman's Real Name

Comic book character Superman's alter ego, Clark Kent was named after actors Kent Taylor and Clark Gable. He was also the first superhero to wear a cape.

Shubsthoughts Blogviews

The top ten viewers to my blog last month in order are:
United States
United Kingdom
Thank you to all my new best friends from Russia for being number one. Thank you to all the rest of my new friends from around the globe. Hope you enjoy the content.

Basketball Quickie

This week in 1892, the first officially recognized basketball game was played at the YMCA gym in Springfield, Mass.

Flying vs. Driving

MIT statistics professor Arnold Barnett reports that in the last five years, the risk of dying on a flight in the United States was one in 45 million. So, you can fly every day for 123,000 years before encountering a crash.

Your chance of being killed in a car accident in a given year is one in 7,000, making flying thousands of times safer.

Is It Cold or Flu

This time of year many will get one or the other, or both. However, there is a difference that is quite striking. Both can share a number of the same symptoms, including a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and cough. Because both the common cold and flu are caused by viruses, neither respond to antibiotics, which only work on bacterial infections. Antiviral medications can be prescribed by a physician to treat the flu and should be administered within 48 hours of when people begin to feel ill.

Colds tend to be relatively mild and typically last only a few days. Colds also have a more gradual onset with mild aches, and pains. Common colds are caused by many different viruses and high fever is rare. Colds are much more common than cases of flu.

The flu, short for influenza, usually comes on suddenly and is accompanied by fever, severe aches, chills, and fatigue. Effects of the flu can last for weeks.

Treatment for both includes plenty of rest, drinking fluids, taking antihistamines, pain relievers, and decongestants. Don't forget to keep a good supply of chicken soup, just in case.

Top Five Lead Singers Net Worth

1: Paul McCartney  – $800 Million (The Beatles, etc.)
2: Bono – $600 Million (U2)
3: Jimmy Buffett  – $400 Million (Solo)
4: Elton John – $320 Million (Solo)
5: Mick Jagger  – $305 Million (The Rolling Stones)

Definition of Happiness

No Words Needed

Jan 17, 2014

Happy Friday

How can you wake up in the morning and not be delighted that you have now lived another day longer than you ever have before.

I find it even more delightful when I wake up and celebrate a Happy Friday!

Laughing Buddha

The Laughing Buddha also Happy Hotei is the nickname for Budai or Pu-Tai, which means “Cloth Sack”. Budai was a real zen monk who lived in China during the 10th century, and he has always been portrayed as a smiling or laughing fat man. Though he is called the Laughing Buddha, do not confuse him with Gautama Buddha, the sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded.

Budai or Hotei (in Japanese) is one of the seven lucky gods in Japan, and you can find statues of him in many shrines and temples just like in China and other East Asian countries.

Coffee Facts

A coffee bush does not produce usable fruit for five to six years, but then can produce for thirty to forty years after that. Coffee was eaten long before it became a liquid refreshment. African tribes would mix the coffee berries with fat and create energy balls that they would eat once or twice a day, when they needed a boost of energy. Green coffee beans were ground up and mixed with fat, then made into small balls, which were eaten by travelers on long journeys. It was the first plant to be cultivated around the world.
The fruit, or cherry, is a reddish two-seeded berry. The two seeds are what we call coffee beans, but are actually seeds. The cherries and leaves also contain caffeine. In some countries, the berries are fermented into wine, but mostly they are used for fertilizer or cattle feed.

Coffee was the very first food to be freeze dried in 1938. Nestle invented the freeze dried coffee. It was a milestone that was unprecedented and set a new standard for how food could be packaged and sold.

Coffee is so popular and in such high demand that it is actually the second most traded commodity on earth, only behind oil.

Mocha is a city in Yemen and the island of Java in Indonesia are two places, which types of coffee are named.

Wordology, Punt

A punt is the small indentation on the bottom of wine bottles designed to give the bottle extra strength. It is also known as a kick.

Nuff Said

Chocoholics Rejoice

Everyone knows the importance of eating vegetables and chocolate is a vegetable. Chocolate is made from cacao beans and sugar. Beans are vegetables. Sugar is derived from either sugar cane or sugar beets. Both are plants in the vegetable category.

Chocolate candy bars contain milk, which is dairy. Therefore, chocolate candy bars are a health food.

Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, and fruits are good for your health.

Eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It will take the edge off your appetite, and you will eat less at meals.

Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger.

A box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Am just trying to help.

Decimate and Obliterate

The word “decimate” does not mean to destroy something completely and leaving nothing behind. It actually means to destroy a great or large amount, not the entire amount. Some people tend to use this word in absolute and complete terms, as if there is nothing that can be done, said, or seen after the decimation takes place.

Think of it this way: if a 10-story building gets decimated, then there should still be a story or two left after the decimation. If all ten stories get destroyed, then the building has not been decimated. It has been obliterated.

Drain Fix

Grab some baking soda and sprinkle it in and on the drain. If it just sits on top of the drain, that's okay.
2. Pour white vinegar down the drain. Add as much vinegar as you can without overflowing the clogged drain. You will immediately be able to see the baking soda and vinegar start to go to work. Together, they will form bubbling carbon dioxide, which will naturally clear away any build-up.
3. Plug the drain with a stopper.
4. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
5. Remove the plug and run very hot water through the cleared drain pipe.

Ten Unique Jobs

With so many people out of work, I thought it might be nice to help them expand their job search. Here are some jobs you might not thought of applying for.
Dog Food Taster
Odor Judge (for underarm odors)
Bull Semen Collector
Artificial Inseminator (animals)
Condom Tester
Coin Polisher
Dinosaur Duster
Mount Rushmore Crack Filler
Pollen Collector
Breath Odor Evaluator
Now get out there and expand your horizons.

Awesome Technology

From last week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) here is an awesome speaker. ClearView Audio CLIO is a clear acrylic speaker which pushes sound through the side of the device instead of the rear, like traditional cone speakers.

Edge Motion-driven speakers actuate a thin membrane along the side in a manner that creates an extremely efficient, piston-like motion in front. The resultant speaker system is thin and lightweight with the ability to produce a rich, full sound across the audio range.

Jan 10, 2014

Happy Friday

Life is like a warm bath, you need to get in to enjoy it.

I always fully immerse myself in the joy having a Happy Friday!

Coffee and Tea Dehydration Myth

Caffeinated drinks may send you to the loo quite often, but liquid in the coffee or tea still counts toward your hydration goal, because it is mostly water.

Caffeinated beverages do not dehydrate you when consumed in moderation of about five cups or less per day. In fact, any fluids you ingest will help keep your cells saturated, including coffee, juice, tea, or soda.

How Much Water

Speaking of hydration, North American companies use 1.39 liters of water to make one liter of bottled water. That is less than the global averages of a liter of soda, which requires 2.02 liters of water. A liter of beer needs 4 liters of water, wine needs 4.74 liters. Hard alcohol guzzles 34.55 liters of water for every liter.

Aerosmith Trivia

These rock legends have been entertaining folks for three decades, but the band’s biggest money maker is from the Guitar Hero: Aerosmith rhythm action game.

The royalties the band earns from the game dwarfs anything they ever earned from any of their other albums, concerts, or other merchandise. So, the band earned more money from people pretending to play their music than actually playing it themselves.

Insulting Names

Many common words we use to insult people did not begin with our current definition. Here are a few that have changed over the years.

Punk, worthless person - Punk has long been an insult in the English language. Shakespeare used it as an especially dirty word for prostitute in 1602. Eventually it came to mean young male prostitutes. This evolved by the 1920s to mean "young, inexperienced boy.” Inexperienced soon translated to good-for-nothing and criminal. During the 1970s, British men in spiky leathers and Mohawk hair styles were called punks.

Brat, - badly behaved child - The worst kind of children in the olden days were very poor. Brat as slang dates from the 1500s in England, and meant beggar’s child. Beggars often made sure their children were prominently displayed to garner more sympathy and money, which was annoying to passersby. Bratt is also an old English word meaning 'ragged garment' or 'cloak'. Brats often wore bratts, affirming that they were in fact, brats.

Jerk, obnoxious or dull person - Because older trains ran on steam, they often needed to be refilled with water. Water towers were built periodically along the train tracks and had hanging chains that the boiler man would “jerk” to start the water flowing. Towns sprang up around many of these water-stops and smaller ones were usually called jerk-water towns and their populations jerks.

Dunce, slow-witted or stupid person - John Duns Scotus was a brilliant 15th century philosopher. He pioneered the idea that we had the exact same kind of goodness inside us that God did, but a lot less. Unfortunately, his followers, known as the Dunses in the century succeeding his death, were reputed to be the most stubborn, closed-minded philosophizers around. Mr. Scotus’ name became attached more to his stubborn followers than to his own work.

Bum, one who performs a function poorly - We owe the legendary German work ethic for the introduction of the word bum to mean useless. It meant 'buttocks' since the 13th century (and is still used as such by many). The use of the word became popular during the Civil War, when German immigrants swelled the ranks of the Yankees. The German word bummler was easily shortened to apply to any soldier, because he was a loafer, sitting on his bum all day.

Barbarian, uncivilized or savage - “Bar-bar” was how ancient Greeks imitated the babbling stammer of any language that was not Greek. Thus barbarian came to mean the sort of lowbrow foreigners.

Cretin, stupid or insensitive person - Cretin is an insult that evolved from a real and dreadful medical condition. It comes from a word used in an 18th century Alpine dialect. The word was crestin, used to describe a dwarfed and deformed person. Cretinism was caused by lack of iodine resulting in congenital hypothyroidism.

Grand Predictions

This time of year many pundits are either rehashing the greatest, best, and worst of the past year or offering predictions for the near and distant future. Here are a few from the 1890s predicting life in the 1990s.
“Three hours will constitute a long day’s work by the end of the next century.”

“Longevity will be so improved that 150 years will be no unusual age to reach.”

“In the 1990s, the United States will be a government of perhaps 60 states, situated in both North and South America.”

“In 100 years Denver will be as big as New York and . . . if the republic remains politically compact and doesn’t fall apart at the Mississippi River, Canada will be either part of it or an independent sovereignty.”

“We shall not only restore the dress of our great-grandfathers before we stop, but run the costumes of Adam and Eve a pretty close shave.”

“The waist line will be just below the bosom.”

“Politically, there will be far less money expended in electing officials, I fancy. Many of our leading politicians, out of a job, will be living on the island.” [in jail].

“There will be no need of a standing army.”

“Law will be simplified and brought within the reach of the common people . . . The occupation of 2/3 of the lawyers will be destroyed.”

“Transcontinental mail will be forwarded by means of pneumatic tubes.”

“By the year 1993, the mechanical work of publishing newspapers may be done entirely by electricity.”

“Aluminum will be the shining symbol of that age. The houses and cities of men, built of aluminum, shall flash in the rising sun with surpassing brilliance.”

“Long before 1993, the journey from New York to San Francisco, and from New York to London, will be made between the sunrise and sunset of a summer day. The railway and the steamship will be as obsolete as the stagecoach.”

“Labor organizations will have disappeared, for there will be no longer a necessity for their existence.”

Wordology, Roughshod

The expression "to run or to ride roughshod" over somebody or something, means to tyrannize or treat harshly. During the 17th century, a "rough-shod" horse had its shoes attached with protruding nail heads to get a better grip on slippery roads.

Ten Different Types of Laughter

Laughter is a social structure, something that connects humans with one another in a profound way. People are about thirty percent more likely to laugh in a social setting that warrants it than when alone with humorous media. In other words, you are more likely to laugh with friends while watching a comedy together than when you are watching the same show by yourself. About 90 percent of our laughter is related to jokes or humor.

Belly Laughter - Belly laughter is considered the most honest type of laughter and it the type where the whole body shakes and you gasp for air. Men are more likely to grunt or snort at something they find funny, while women let loose with giggles and chuckles.

Canned Laughter - Canned laughter is another term for "laugh track." It is real laughter taken completely out of one context and placed in another, such as from a real studio audience to a filmed movie. Canned laughter over a soundtrack to programming increases the chance of an audience finding humor in the material.

Contagious Laughter - Imagine you are out for dinner with a group of friends and someone tells a joke and gets one person laughing, which gets a second person laughing, and so on. Contagious laughter raises the possibility that humans have laugh detectors. People are made to respond with laughter on hearing laughter itself, much like the mystery of spreading a yawn. If it spreads too far, it is called mass hysteria.

Cruel Laughter - Cruel laughter has been around for a long time. In the late Middle Ages, for instance, there's record of residents buying a condemned criminal from a different town just so they could enjoy quartering him themselves. Slapstick comedy often induces cruel laughter.

Etiquette Laughter - People rely on laughter to get along with others, so whether we are with a boss or friends, we tend to laugh at things they say or do, to be polite. Laughter could have developed in our ancestors before full speech, so the sound is merely a way to communicate and show agreement.

Nervous Laughter - During times of anxiety, we often laugh in a subconscious attempt to calm down. However, nervous laughter usually just heightens the awkwardness of the situation.

Pigeon Laughter - Pigeon laughter, which is often practiced in laughter therapy or laughter yoga, involves laughing without opening your mouth. By keeping your lips sealed, the laughter produces a humming sound, much like the noises a pigeon makes.

Silent Laughter - Silent laughter can have real benefits, because it involves the same type of deep breathing that comes with belly laughter. One woman who worked as a clown in a children's hospital explained that teaching sick children the art of silent laughter enabled them to go back to sleep after waking up from a bad dream. This type of laughter is also practiced in laughter yoga and laughter therapy, where it is often called joker's laughter.

Stress-relieving Laughter - Stress is an important reasons to find something humorous and laughter is a sure cure for stress. Stress builds tension in the human body, and that tension has to go somewhere. Stress-relieving laughter can take many forms, but it is usually found in an outburst, much like belly laughing.

Snorting Laughter - About twenty five percent of women and thirty three percent of men laugh through the nose. This is the kind where you might blow milk out your nose when surprised with a humorous situation. A person might either blow air out or suck it in through the nose when laughing. A well told joke often induces me to experience a few different types of laughter in one bout.

Larry, Moe, and Curly

When it comes to laughter, these three were in the front of the pack. Their antics have spanned generations of slapstick aficionados. For the Three Stooges fans in the bunch, just received the following. My niece, Kalyn turned me on to this Kickstarter to produce a history of the Three Stooges.  LINK

Also the fans home page http://www.threestooges.com

The truth About Egg Yolk Color

Americans eggs tend to have bright yellow yolks, because of what they feed feed the hens. Egg yolk color is almost entirely influenced by its diet. If you feed yellow corn it shows and if you feed birds white corn, the egg yolks are more white. In South America, hens that peck at red annatto seeds lay eggs with yolks ranging from pink to orange to deep reddish.

The yellow color in egg yolks, as well yellowish chicken skin and fat, comes from pigments found in plants.

In most parts of the world, diners prefer their yolks with a bit more color so commercial feeds often contain lutein as an additive, although yellow maize, soybeans, carrots, and alfafa powder will also add the color.

Many egg eaters assume that darker yolks are a sign of higher nutritional value. That is not true. Although chicken feed does influence the nutritional value of birds and their eggs, researchers say yolk color does not tell you anything about nutritional value. When it comes to taste, slap a few eggs next to a huge hunk of bacon and the taste becomes awesome, regardless of yolk color.

Jan 5, 2014

Happy Friday

"If you do something well and you enjoy it, what more can you bloody well ask?" Peter O'Toole

I am very good at, and always bloody well enjoy having a Happy Friday!

A is for Alcohol

Now that the holidays festivities have subsided, I offer a bit of solace to the imbibers in the crowd. A recent study from the Research Society on Alcoholism shows that regular drinkers are less likely to die prematurely than people who have never indulged in alcohol. It concludes that abstaining from alcohol altogether can lead to a shorter life than consistent, moderate drinking.

The controlled study followed 1,824 individuals between ages 55 and 65 over a 20-year period and accounted for variables including socioeconomic status to level of physical activity. It found that mortality rates were highest for those who had never had a sip, lower for heavy drinkers, and lowest for moderate drinkers who enjoyed one to three drinks per day.

Results showed 69 percent of nondrinkers and 60 percent of heavy drinkers died prematurely, while only 41 percent of the moderate drinkers died prematurely. Even with the other heavy drinking mortality factors, such as risks for cirrhosis and cancer, accidents, and poor judgment associated with heavy drinking; those who imbibe are less likely to die prematurely than nondrinkers.

A possible explanation offered is that alcohol can be a social lubricant and strong social networks are essential for maintaining mental and physical health. Also, nondrinkers demonstrate greater signs of depression than drinkers. Another recent study found that moderate alcohol consumption boosts your immune system. In addition, there is potential heart health and circulation benefits of moderate drinking, especially red wine.

The difference between moderate and chronic is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. They define moderate as no more than four drinks on a single day and no more than 14 in a week for men. For women, it is defined as no more than three drinks on a single day and no more than seven in a week.

C is for Cabo Wabo

Sammy Hagar, lead singer for Van Halen made more money from Cabo Wabo than all record, concert, song royalties, and products combined.

He is the founder of the Cabo Wabo Tequila brand along with Cabo Wabo night clubs and restaurants. In 2007, Hagar sold an eighty percent share of the tequila brand for $80 million and sold the rest a three years later. Now he started a new venture with "Sammy's Beach Bar Rum".

Hagar claims he came up with the name after watching a man walk unsteadily along a local beach In Cabo San Lucas after a heavy night's partying. He used Cabo and shortened "wobble" to "wabo" and said the man was doing the "Cabo wabo."

Jan 1, 2014

F is for Fried Chicken

This has been around for a while, but still makes me laugh, so I felt compelled to share. It is time to start the new year with a good hearty laugh.

Our teacher asked what is my favorite animal and I said, "Fried chicken". She told me I am not funny, but she could not have been right because everyone else laughed. My parents told me to always tell the truth. I did. Fried chicken is my favorite animal. I told my dad what happened, and he said my teacher is probably a member of PETA. He said they love animals very much. I do too, especially chicken. Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principal's office. I told him what happened and he laughed too. Then he told me not to do it again.

The next day in class, my teacher asked me what is my favorite live animal. I told her it is chicken. She asked me why, so I told her it is because you can make them into fried chicken. She sent me back to the principal's office. He laughed and told me not to do it again. I don't understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher does not like it when I am.

Today, my teacher asked me to tell her what famous person I admired most. I told her, "Colonel Sanders". Guess where I am now?

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Proverbs 17:22, "a merrie heart doth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones," has transformed into the popular saying, "Laughter is the best medicine."

More About Laughter

Here is more good news to smile about this year. A recent study found that groups that either watched or participated in comedy felt less pain than their peers, who watched a documentary. People who laughed more had an even higher pain threshold than those who only had a few giggles. Chuckling with others also increased laughter's positive impact. People are 30 times more likely to laugh in a group than alone.

Laughing triggers endorphins, neurotransmitters produced by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, which spark a feeling of comfort similar to what occurs when someone takes an opiate. Love, excitement, spicy foods, orgasms, exercise, and pain all cause the brain to produce endorphins, which also provide an analgesic effect.

Clowns and Laughter

Being a clown is a noble profession. Clowns have proven to improve lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Genuine laughter for a whole day could burn 2,000 calories and lower the blood sugar in people with diabetics, a review published in the British Medical Journal found.

Laughter also enhanced fertility, Thirty six percent of would-be mothers who were entertained by a clown after in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer became pregnant compared with 20 percent in the control group. OK, women, no jokes please.

Greatest Clown in History

Britain's Joseph Grimaldi has been known as the "greatest clown in history". Joseph Grimaldi (18 December 1778 – 31 May 1837), is the most celebrated of English clowns. Grimaldi's performances made the 'Joey Clown' character the central character in British harlequinades. He was born in Clare Market, London, the son of an Italian, Signor Joseph 'Iron Legs' Grimaldi, ballet-master at the Drury Lane and Rebecca Brooker, a dancer in the theatre's corps de ballet.

His father died when he was nine, and plunged the family into debt. When less than two years old, he was introduced to the stage at Drury Lane; at the age of three, he began to appear at the Sadler's Wells theatre. As a young man, he fell in love and married the daughter of the principal proprietor of Sadler's Wells. Maria Grimaldi died in childbirth 18 months after their marriage. He found solace in performance, and eventually married again, to Mary Bristow. After he passed away, his burial site and the area around it was later named Joseph Grimaldi Park.

Charles Dickens was invited to edit and improve a clumsily written life of Grimaldi, which had been based on the clown's own notes. The 'Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi' sold well for Dickens.

Wordology, Duchenne Smile

While conducting research on the physiology of facial expressions in the mid-19th century, Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne (de Boulogne) identified two distinct types of smiles. The eponymous Duchenne smile involves contraction of both the zygomatic major muscle, which raises the corners of the mouth and the orbicularis oculi muscle, which raises the cheeks and forms crow's feet around the eyes.

A non-Duchenne, or politician smile involves only the zygomatic major muscle. Research with adults initially indicated that joy was indexed by generic smiling, involving just the raising of the lip corners by the zygomatic major. More recent research suggests that smiling in which the muscle around the eye contracts, raising the cheeks high (Duchenne smiling), is uniquely associated with positive emotion.

There are also two types of laughter, Duchenne and non-Duchenne. Duchenne laughter is the type of natural chuckle that people experience when they see or hear something funny, which is often contagious. This giggling involves the contractions of the orbicularis oculi muscle and adds more pain relief than non-Duchenne laughter, which is emotionless and context-driven. Duchenne laughter might be so effective because it involves muscle activity much like exercise, which releases endorphins. The capacity to sustain laughter for periods of several minutes at a time may exaggerate the opioid effects.

Last Regrets

While derping around the net seeking some more happy thoughts to begin the new year, I came across the following. It brings into focus that way too many people fail to cultivate relationships and be happy until it is too late. This is not meant to be morose, but rather as a heads up to celebrate, have fun, and laugh so you do not have these regrets.

A nurse, Bronnie Ware, on her blog, inspirationandchai relates some things shared by her patients, who were within the last few weeks and months of their life. The most common five regrets her patients related were:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. This was the most common regret of all.

2. I wish I didn't work so hard. Mostly men said this, but also women. They regretted missing so much time with family.

3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings. They regretted not saying how they really felt, just to keep peace with others.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. After family, they most regretted letting friendships lapse by not taking the time to stay in touch.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. Too many people forget that happiness is a choice and they waste time on old comfortable habits. They longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.