May 30, 2014

Happy Friday

The constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness.

I never fail to catch it on a Happy Friday!

Laughter Studies

We all know laughing is good for you, and now, here are some studies that prove it. Laughing in the face of tragedy seems to shield a person from its effects. A 2013 review of studies found that among elderly patients, laughter significantly alleviated the symptoms of depression. Another study, published early this year, found that firefighters who used humor as a coping strategy were somewhat protected from PTSD. Laughing also seems to ease more-quotidian anxieties. One group of researchers found that watching an episode of Friends was as effective at improving a person’s mood as listening to music or exercising, and more effective than resting.

Laughter even seems to have a buffering effect against physical pain. A 2012 study found that subjects who were shown a funny video displayed higher pain thresholds than those who saw a serious documentary. In another study, postsurgical patients requested less pain medication after watching a funny movie.

Other literature identifies even more specific health benefits: laughing reduced arterial-wall stiffness, which is associated with cardiovascular disease. Women undergoing in-vitro fertilization were sixteen percent more likely to get pregnant when entertained by a clown. A clown improved lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A study of Norwegians found that having a sense of humor correlated with a high probability of surviving into retirement. Not new news, but always good to get reinforcement.

Fresh vs. Frozen

In two recent studies from Britain, researchers purchased a half dozen different kinds of fruit and vegetables, all of which came in two varieties: fresh and frozen. After buying them and then having them chill out in either a fridge or freezer for three days, researchers conducted 40 tests to compare their nutritional content.

Turns out the frozen varieties were richer in health-boosting vitamins and antioxidants. In fact, frozen broccoli had four times more beta-carotene than its fresh counterpart, while frozen carrots had three times more lutein and double the beta-carotene as well as greater levels of vitamin C and polyphenols. Raspberries and peas performed about the same, whether they were fresh or frozen.

While it is true that foods gradually lose nutrients as they move through the supply chain, that chain is far longer for fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables are regularly held in storage for up to a month before you ever see them. Plus, according to study author Graham Bonwick Ph.D., a professor of applied biology at the University of Chester, once they hit your refrigerator  the nutritional loss escalates. It is probably due to the plant's continuing metabolic activity and how cells react to oxygen and exposure to artificial dark-light cycles.

A recent study from Rice University and the University of California at Davis found that the fluorescent lights of supermarkets and the constant darkness of your refrigerator affects fruit and vegetable circadian clocks so that they excrete fewer glucosinolates, compounds with cancer-fighting properties.

"Produce's degradation reactions are very much slowed by lowering the temperature to freezing levels," Bonwick says. "Furthermore, when you freeze produce, the water present in the cells of the food is locked up as ice, slowing or preventing these processes that require the presence of free water." Since produce in the freezer section was frozen solid almost immediately after being picked, it is preserved at its nutritional peak.

German Inventions

Although it has now been replaced by the Celsius temperature scale in almost all countries except for USA and Belize, Fahrenheit (in which water's freezing point is 32 degrees and boiling point is 212) was the world standard until relatively recently. It was invented by German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit in 1724.

Aspirin, made from willow bark was developed by Felix Hoffmann in August 1897 for pharmaceutical giant Bayer, and although a US company claimed a patent for the drug after World War One, 12,000 of the 50,000 tons of Acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) produced each year are still made by Bayer.

After using blotting paper from her children’s school books to remove unwanted coffee grounds, Dresden housewife Melitta Bentz had the idea to patent her invention in 1908. She then founded a company selling over a thousand coffee filters by the next year.

German clock manufacturer Junghans Uhren Gmbh developed a watch that automatically adjusts itself to an atomic clock using radio signals. It was invented in 1990 and will remain accurate to the second for at least a million years.

The first true working car was invented by Germans Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler in 1886, 22 years before the Model T Ford went into production in the USA.

The first true accordion was invented by a German, Christian Friedrich Buschmann. In 1822 he attached bellows to a portable keyboard with vibrating reeds and called it a "hand-aeoline".

In 1977 after nine years of development, German inventors Jürgen Dethloff and Helmut Göttrup created the first card with a built in programmable microprocessor, the ancestor of the chip and PIN cards in our wallets today.

What's in a Name Sherry

This fortified wine is named for the Anglican version of its town of origin, Jerez de la Frontera in Spain. Like champagne, sherry is a Protected Designation of Origin, and only wine from that area of Spain can be labeled sherry in Europe.

Taming Odor Tips

Leave bar soap in the package and rest it somewhere out of sight. Hide an extra bar near your kitchen garbage can. Soap also lasts longer when it is dried. Open the your new soap bars and place them in closets, under the bed, in your armoire, in clothes drawers, or any place else you want to smell fresh, but not overpowering. Since it does not pick up odors, you can use it to shower after it becomes a bit hard.

Cat litter is good for eliminating cat odors, but can also be used to reduce other odors. Use cat litter in closets to reduce odors or put some in a coffee filter and stick in smelly shoes. If you have cats, be careful, as they might use the litter for their own purpose.

Put a large bowl of vinegar in a smelly room, such as the kitchen to eliminate unwanted odors. Put out a large bowl when you leave for work and when you arrive home at the end of the day, you will be surprised how well it works. Vinegar also works for wood furniture. Mix a 50-50 solution with water and wipe down the wooden furniture with a damp (not wet) cloth of the mixture.

I put used dryer sheets in clothes drawers and the pantry. They work for months. You can also put them in shoes to make them fresh. It is a good way to get a second use. They also work well in gym bags and luggage.

Baking soda is great to unstink a clothes hamper. Sprinkle on top of clothes. When ready, toss clothes into washer as usual. The baking soda also helps clean the clothes during washing. In fact, baking soda can replace detergent for washing clothes. Baking soda is also good for carpet stains or furniture odor. Sprinkle on, wait a while, then vacuum. Do not leave on for too long, or it may tend to bleach the fabric.

Coffee is the favorite of airlines to unstink airplane restrooms. Leave a dish of fresh, ground, unused coffee on a table and within hours the room smells better. If you travel, those little room packets of coffee are perfect to use in your bag with dirty laundry and at home for room odors.

Eye Goop

Other names include; eye crusties, eye gunk, sleepy dust, sleepy boogers, eye discharge, eye goop, eye crud, eye jelly, eye crust, eye bogeys, eye boogers, eye-sand, sleepy dirt, eye sand.

It is a type of  'rheum', which is the name for discharge from your nose, mouth, or eyes during sleep. More specifically, eye rheum is known as gound. Gound is made up of a mixture of dust, blood cells, skin cells, etc., mixed with mucus secreted by the conjunctiva, as well as an oily substance from the meibomian glands (named after German, Heinrich Meibom).

The meibomian glands are a type of sebaceous gland that line the rim of the eyelids with about fifty on the top and twenty five on the bottom of each eye. They secrete an oily substance called meibum that performs a variety of functions including: helps seal your eyes in an air tight fashion when they are closed; prevents tears from spilling onto your cheeks; and helps keep tears that coat your eyes from evaporating. It is this oily substance that is one of the primary components in gound, mixed with mucin from the conjunctiva and various foreign particles in your eye.

Normally, when you are awake, the gound is naturally washed away via tears and the blinking motion. As you sleep, the meibomian secretions and other components of the gound tend to gather in the corners of your eyes, as well as along your eye lines and dries out. Sleepy eyes suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.


The color orange may have been named for the fruit, but the irony is that oranges usually are not the color orange. The color orange wasn’t defined until 1542, when it was cobbled together from words that had previously been used to refer to the fruit. Its first form was the Arabic word naranj and the Persian narang, which were both derived from a Sanskrit word, naranga.

Most oranges that come from their native tropical countries are not orange. In their natural, ripe state, in the warmer countries where they are grown, the outside of the orange is full of chlorophyll, making it green. In colder areas, the chlorophyll is killed by the cold weather, and similar to the leaves on a deciduous tree, the orange color of the flesh inside emerges through the green.

It is actually the green oranges that are ripe, and those that turn orange are on their way from their peak ripeness. Many people in the United States and Europe think of green fruit as being unripe, so some orange crops are turned orange unnaturally, exposed to flash freezing or ethylene gas to eliminate the chlorophyll in the skins.

Eight Interesting Body Facts

More germs are transferred shaking hands than kissing.

The aorta, the largest artery in the body, is almost the diameter of a garden hose.

Capillaries are so small that it takes ten of them to equal the thickness of a human hair.

Your body has about 6 quarts (5.6 Liters) of blood. It circulates through the body three times every minute.

The heart pumps about 1 million barrels of blood during an average lifetime.

The human body can function without a brain (although not long).

Humans are the only primates that do not have pigment in the palms of their hands

A mans testicles manufacture 10 million new sperm cells each day, enough to repopulate the entire planet in 6 months.

Free Smile Friday

May 23, 2014

Happy Friday

One of life's greatest inventions is the bed. At night, it erases the sins of yesterday and in the morning it presents a clean slate.

On Friday it introduces us to a Happy Friday!

Chopsticks Facts

Chopsticks were created about 5,000 years ago in China. The earliest versions were used for cooking and were most likely made from twigs. They began being used as table implements about 500 AD.

The table knife’s decline in popularity in these regions at this time can also be attributed to the teachings of Confucius, who was a vegetarian. He believed that knives were not appropriate to eat with. Confucius supposedly said, "The honorable and upright man keeps well away from both the slaughterhouse and the kitchen and he allows no knives on his table."

Chopsticks later migrated to Japan and Korea. One distinct difference between Japanese and Chinese chopsticks was that the former were made from a single piece of bamboo that were joined at the base.

While the early chopsticks were more often than not made of some cheap material, such as bamboo, later silver chopsticks were sometimes used during Chinese dynastic times in order to prevent food poisoning. It changes color if touched by garlic, onion, or rotten eggs, which release hydrogen sulfide that reacts with the silver causing it to change color.

Summer Tip

Put pineapple chunks or grapes on skewers and freeze for a tasty and refreshing summer treat.

Color Me Yellow

Yellow is the color of gold, butter, and ripe lemons. In the spectrum of visible light, and in the traditional color wheel used by painters, yellow is found between green and orange. Yellow is commonly associated with gold, wealth, sunshine, reason, happiness, optimism, and pleasure, but also with envy, jealousy and betrayal. It plays an important part in Asian culture, particularly in China, where it is the color of happiness, glory, and wisdom. In China, there are five directions of the compass; north, south, east, west, and the middle, each with a symbolic color. Yellow signifies the middle. China is called the Middle Kingdom; the palace of the Emperor was considered to be in the exact center of the world.

In Egypt and Burma, yellow signifies mourning.
In Spain, executioners once wore yellow.
In India, yellow is the symbol for a merchant or farmer.
In tenth-century France, the doors of traitors and criminals were painted yellow.
Hindus in India wear yellow to celebrate the festival of spring.
If someone is said to have a “yellow streak,” that person is considered a coward.
In Japan during the War of Dynasty in 1357, each warrior wore a yellow chrysanthemum as a pledge of courage.
A yellow ribbon is a sign of support for soldiers at the front.
Yellow is a symbol of jealousy and deceit.
In the Middle Ages, actors portraying the dead wore yellow.
To holistic healers, yellow is the color of peace.
Yellow has good visibility and is often used as a color of warning. It is also a symbol for quarantine, an area marked off because of danger.
The Beatles had a song
Yellow Submarine
“Yellow journalism” refers to irresponsible and alarmist reporting.

Brand Names

Many words we use are really patented or trade marked names owned by specific companies. Here are a few of names that have become more-or-less generic, but are still owned.

Breathalyzer, Bubble Wrap, ChapStick, Crock Pot, Dumpster, Jacuzzi, Jet Ski, Kleenex, Ouija Board, Ping Pong, Popsicle, Rollerblade, Seeing Eye Dog, Styrofoam, Taser, Velcro, Zamboni

Calcium Facts

Calcium is essential for human, plant, and animal nutrition. Animals skeletons get their rigidity primarily from calcium phosphate. The eggs of birds and shells of mollusks are comprised of calcium carbonate. Calcium is used as a reducing agent when preparing metals from their compounds; as a reagent in purification of inert gases; to fix atmospheric nitrogen; as a scavenger and decarbonizer in metallurgy; and for making alloys. Calcium compounds are used in making lime, bricks, cement, cheese, glass, paint, paper, sugar, glazes, as well as many others, including fireworks.

Calcium isn't found free in nature, but it can be purified into a soft silvery-white alkaline earth metal. Though calcium has been known for thousands of years, it was not purified as an element until 1808 by Sir Humphrey Davy from England.The element name "calcium" comes from the Latin word "calcis" meaning "lime". It is the 5th most abundant element in the Earth's crust at a level of about 3% in the oceans and soil.

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption by the human body. It is converted to a hormone which causes intestinal proteins responsible for calcium absorption to be produced.

Calcium is the main component of teeth and bones and is the fifth most abundant element in the human body. Approximately one third of the mass of the human body is calcium after all water is removed.

The top three countries that produce calcium are China, United States, and India.

Wordology, Seminar

From the mid-15 century, "plot where plants are raised from seeds," from Latin seminarium "plant nursery, seed plot," figuratively, "breeding ground," from seminarius of seed, from semen (genitive seminis). It is also a school for training priests and commonly used for any school (especially academies for young ladies) from 1580s to 1930s. Also commonly used today to describe where business people go to waste time and money.

Microwave and Plastic Myth Debunked

The dangers of plastic in microwaves appears to have originated with a TV station in Honolulu that ran a segment in 2002 featuring Dr. Edward Fujimoto, who explained how microwaving plastic wrap and containers can release potentially deadly toxins into our food. A short news segment from Hawaii that few actually saw became huge when someone made it into an email that went viral.

The email claimed to be a media release from Johns Hopkins University, has the common urge to "pass this on to your family and friends" as do most untrue or politically incorrect emails. Johns Hopkins has formally debunked the email as originating from it.

Scientists do admit that it is possible heating plastic in a microwave might leach some substances into foods, but nowhere near the amount that would cause harm.

Another myth about chemicals in plastic water bottles getting into our bodies, while a boon for the metal water bottle industry, scientists say that cold temperatures actually inhibit the ability of chemicals to leak out of plastics.


Some of the earliest references to the cultivation of watermelons are found in Egyptian hieroglyphics dating back more than 5,000 years. Cultures across Africa, India, and the Mediterranean all have records referring to the watermelon. David Livingstone confirmed the origin of the watermelon, when he found wild watermelon fields in Africa.

Watermelons thrive in dry areas, and they have long served a very important purpose beyond just being a healthy part of a meal. Watermelons are about 92 percent water, and in many dry areas of Africa, the fruit has long been tapped and used as a water source for both people and animals. Evidence has even been found that they were carried by explorers as a sort of natural water bottle.

Another advantage of watermelons is that there is no waste as all of the fruit can be eaten. Aside from the juicy flesh, the seeds can be roasted and the rind can be made into preserves. The sweet juice from a watermelon is used for making beer in Russia, and it can also be used as a base for syrups.

Free Smile Friday

May 16, 2014

Happy Friday

Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product.

Happiness also provides a by-product of a Happy Friday!

More Egg Facts

In modern hen houses, computers control the lighting, which triggers egg laying. Most eggs are laid between 7 and 11 a.m. A hen requires about 24 to 26 hours to produce an egg.

Egg size and grade are not related. Size is determined by weight per dozen. Younger hens tend to lay smaller eggs. The size increases as the hen grows older and bigger. Grade refers to the quality of the shell, white and yolk.

Dates on egg cartons reflect food quality, not food safety. An ‘expiration’ or ‘sell-by’ date on an egg carton tells the grocer to pull the eggs if they haven’t sold by that time. A ‘best-by’ or ‘use-by’ date tells you that your eggs will still be of high quality if you use them by that date.

You can keep fresh, uncooked eggs in the shell, refrigerated in their cartons for at least three weeks after you bring them home, with insignificant quality loss. Properly handled and stored, eggs rarely spoil. If you keep them long enough, eggs are more likely to dry up. Eggs age more in one day at room temperature than they will in one week in the refrigerator.

The chef’s hat, called a toque, is said to have a pleat for each of the many ways you can cook eggs.

Brain Cell Myths Debunked

Brain cells can’t regenerate is an old myth. Also drinking kills brain cells is an old myth.

The reason for the regeneration myth is that it was believed and taught by the science community for a long time. In 1998, scientists at the Sweden and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California discovered that brain cells in mature humans can regenerate. It had previously been long believed that complex brains would be severely disrupted by new cell growth, but the study found that the memory and learning center of the brain can create new cells.

Even in alcoholics, alcohol use does not actually result in the death of brain cells. It may temporarily damage the ends of neurons, called dendrites. This results in problems conveying messages between the neurons. The cell is not damaged, but the way that it communicates with others is temporarily altered.

Scientific medical research has actually demonstrated that the moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with better thinking and reasoning skills and memory than is abstaining from alcohol. Moderate drinking helps the brain function better into old age.

Color Me Blue

The modern English word blue comes from Middle English bleu or blewe, from the Old French bleu, a word of Germanic origin, related to the Old High German word blao. In heraldry, the word azure is used for blue

In Japanese, a novice or inexperienced person is ao-kusai, literally they ‘smell of blue’.
In ancient Rome, public servants wore blue. Today, police and other public servants wear blue.
In Iran, blue is the color of mourning.
Blue was used as protection against witches, who supposedly disliked the color.
If you are “true blue,” you are loyal and faithful.
Blue stands for love, which is why a bride carries or wears something blue on her wedding day.
A room painted blue is said to be relaxing.
“Feeling blue” is feeling sad.
“Blue devils” are feelings of depression.
Something “out of the blue” is from an unknown source at an unexpected time.
A bluebook is a list of socially prominent people.
The first prize gets a blue ribbon.
A blue blood is a person of noble descent.
“Into the blue” means into the unknown.
A “bluenose” is a strict, puritanical person.
A “bluestocking” used to be a scholarly or highly knowledgeable woman.
The pharaohs of ancient Egypt wore blue for protection against evil.
The “blues” is a style of music derived from southern African-American secular songs. It influenced the development of rock, R&B, and country music.
Am I Blue song by Ray Charles
Blue Bayou is a song in Spanish and English by Linda Ronstadt
“Blue laws” are used to enforce moral standards.
A blue ribbon panel is a group of especially qualified people.

Statue of Liberty Symbols

The statue's formal name is "Liberty Enlightening the World" has many symbols. The crown contains 25 windows that symbolize gemstones and heaven’s rays shining through to the world. Chains and shackles are at her feet represent America breaking the chains of tyranny and accepting democracy as a form of government. The torch represents enlightenment and the tablet she holds represents a book of law. The seven rays around the head form a halo, showing she is divine and evoke the sun, the seven seas, and the seven continents.

The United States Post Office issued a Statue of Liberty Stamp a few years ago, but used the Las Vegas Liberty by mistake. Of course, the artist sued for copyright infringement.

Gluten Fad and Facts

As with most fads, gluten has way too many headlines and gluten free diets are popular, without much knowledge of what it is or why we should or should not eat gluten. In fact, the majority of Americans do not know which foods contain gluten.

Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture. Worldwide, gluten is a source of protein, both in foods prepared directly from sources containing it, and as an additive to foods otherwise low in protein.

Gluten, especially wheat gluten, is often the basis for imitation meats resembling beef, chicken, duck, fish, and pork. When cooked in broth, gluten absorbs some of the surrounding liquid and becomes firm to the bite. Gluten is often present in beer, soy sauce, some chocolates, and deli meats. It can be used as a stabilizing agent in more unexpected food products, such as ice cream and ketchup.

Experts estimate that about .75% to 1% of Americans have celiac disease. The condition, caused by an abnormal immune response to gluten, can damage the lining of the small intestine. For people with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is essential, but for others, "unless people are very careful, a gluten-free diet can lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber," according to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. Many whole grains that contain gluten are rich in an array of vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron, as well as fiber. Studies show that whole grain foods, as part of a healthy diet, may help lower risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that half of all carbohydrates in the diet come from whole grain products.

Gluten sensitivity is classified as intolerance, not an allergy.

Gluten does not make you fat and cutting gluten will not help you lose weight. Gluten-free does not mean fat-free or calorie-free. “Gluten does not make you fat,” according to the Cleveland Clinic. “Calories make you fat regardless of where those calories are coming from, whether they are coming from brown rice, which is gluten-free or a wheat bagel.” If you eat more calories in a day than you use, the extra calories will be stored as fat.

Some gluten-free foods contain extra sugar and/or calories to make them more palatable and make up for the loss of the gluten.

You can eat a clean diet that includes gluten or a clean diet that does not.

French fries are gluten-free and vegetarian.

There is nothing unhealthy about gluten. Gluten alone doesn't have many health benefits, but foods that contain gluten, like whole grains, tend to be higher in fiber and contain vitamin B, zinc, and iron. As a result, cutting gluten could actually result in nutritional deficiencies.

Gluten does not cause cancer. There is no connection between gluten and risk of most cancers. The exception is an increased risk of intestinal cancer for only those who have celiac disease, or true gluten intolerance. The Mayo Clinic lists cancer as a complication of celiac disease (not gluten). People with celiac disease who do not maintain a gluten-free diet have a greater risk of developing several forms of cancer, including intestinal lymphoma and small bowel cancer.

Numerous observational studies show that the more whole grains a person eats, including the gluten-containing grains (wheat, rye, barley), the lower risk of most cancers. This is true for some of the most common types of cancer, such as breast, prostate, and colon cancers, as well as for less common cancers, such as cancer of the pancreas. Whole grains contain fiber, which can stabilize blood sugar and hormone level.

Gray vs. Grey

The spelling depends on what part of the world you are in. In Britain, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa, the spelling is commonly 'grey'. In the United States, the preferred spelling is 'gray', although 'grey' is also accepted. Gray became the preferred spelling in America during the early 1800s.

Morbidity vs. Mortality

Was listening to radio the other day and the announcer was talking about morbidity and mortality, but was incorrectly mixing them together.

Morbidity refers to the disease state of an individual or the incidence of illness in a population. Morbidity scores or predicted morbidity are assigned to ill patients with the help of systems. Morbidity scores help decide the kind of treatment or medicine that should be given to the patient. Predicted morbidity describes the morbidity of patients, and is also useful when comparing two sets of patients or different time points in hospitals. The general definition of morbidity is the state of being unhealthy or diseased.

Mortality refers to the state of being mortal, or the number of deaths in a population. If you refer to the infant mortality rate, you would be referring to the mathematical equation of dividing the number of infant deaths by the number of live births.

Definition Morbidity refers to the state of being diseased or unhealthy within a population.

Mortality is the term used for the number of people who died within a population and incidence of death or the number of deaths in a population.


After as little as 10 minutes, the caffeine concentration in your blood reaches half the maximum concentration, which is enough to have an effect. The caffeine reaches maximum levels, making you most alert after 45 minutes. Depending on how fast or slow your body is able to break down the drug, you could feel the effects of caffeine for 3 to 5 hours.

Coffee contains hundreds of different compounds. These include many antioxidants that protect our bodies from damaging chemicals called free radicals. These molecules cause aging and are associated with illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. NIH studies show that coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, type 2 diabetes and many other diseases.

May 9, 2014

Happy Friday

Karma has no clock.

But, you can always depend on having a Happy Friday!

Ten Teeth Facts

Teeth in a growing fetus begin to develop at six weeks after conception

About one in every 2,000 babies is born with natal teeth.

Not everyone loses their baby teeth. By age 3, the average child has a full set of 20 temporary teeth.  Children typically start losing teeth around 5 or 6 and finish in their early teens. If a person does not have a replacement permanent tooth, that baby tooth will stay put.

Thirty five percent of people are born without wisdom teeth.

About 2,500 years ago, the Maya already had a very advanced understanding of teeth. They would have their dentists use a primitive drill to decorate their teeth. Sometimes they would have parts of the tooth cut out or shaped to make it look more interesting. Their most extreme modification was the bejeweling of teeth.

Ancient Egypt people were using primitive tools made from twigs to brush their teeth. Many countries still use twigs from trees with antibacterial properties, such as cinnamon and neem, and they have been found to be as effective as modern toothbrushes.

Acidic foods, like sour candy, soft drinks, and fruit juices soften teeth. The result is enamel erosion and diminished tooth size.

Paul Revere, in addition to earning a living as a silversmith and copper plate engraver, also worked as a dentist. Revere is the first person known to use dental forensics to identify the body of a colonial colonel killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill by his dental bridge.

Some cheeses, including aged cheddar, Swiss, and Monterey Jack have been found to protect teeth from decay. Grilled cheese and bacon immediately springs to mind.

Every person has a set of teeth as unique as his or her fingerprints, and dental fingerprints of identical twins are different.

According to a Time Magazine Survey, 59% of Americans would rather sit in a dentist’s chair than sit next to someone on a cell phone.

What's in a Name, Rugby

According to legend, this sport was invented when a pupil at Rugby School in England picked up the ball and ran with it during a soccer game. The first written rules for the game originated at the school in 1845.

Bacardi Bats

Bacardi Limited is the largest privately held, family-owned spirits company in the world. It has a portfolio of more than 200 brands and labels. Rum drinkers have likely noticed the bat symbol on Bacardi products.

The Bacardi brothers purchased their first distillery in Cuba which had a tin roof and fruit bats lived in the rafters. Bats in Cuba are considered a symbol of good health, good fortune, and family unity. That is why it is used as the symbol.

When you see Ron Barcardi, it is not the owner's name, ron means rum in Spanish.

Color Me Green

The word ghre-, meaning "to grow," is another root which endured the centuries. Grhe- gave us many modern words meaning "green," including English green, German grün, and Icelandic grænn, as well as the English words grow, grass, and graze.

Green Traffic Light means go.
Only one national flag is a solid color: the green flag of Libya.
Ancient Egyptians colored the floors of their temples green.
In ancient Greece, green symbolized victory.
In the highlands of Scotland, people wore green as a mark of honor.
Green is the national color of Ireland.
A “greenback” is slang for a US dollar bill.
Lean green is slang for a dollar.
Saying “all systems are green,” means everything is in order.
The green room of a concert hall or theater is where performers relax before going onstage.
The “green-eyed monster” is jealousy.
A greenhorn is inexperienced, a newcomer, or unsophisticated person.
Green is youthful.
Being “green around the gills” means looking pale and sickly.
“Green with envy” means full of envy or jealousy.
A person with a “green thumb” is good at making plants grow.
Al Green is a great singer.
Green Day group has 13 million viewers of this video
A green, or common, is a town park.
Green is a healing color, the color of nature.

WD-40 Uses

If you have tea stains on your counter tops, just spray a little on a damp sponge or cloth then wipe.
Remove marker and crayon marks by spraying it on upholstered furniture (spray on inconspicuous place first to make sure it does not leave a mark of its own).
Spraying a little WD-40 on a zipper then moving it up and down will help lubricate.
Prevent wasps nests tend to build in eaves, so a few sprays in those areas will prevent them.
Also, in early spring, spray into weep holes in bricks to prevent ant, bees, and other little critters.
Spray a bit into your hands to degrease, rub them together, and wash with soap and water.

Nuts to Food Allergies

Food allergies are less common in underdeveloped countries. Proponents of the hygiene hypothesis say that the relatively low incidence of childhood infections in developed countries contributes to an increased incidence of allergic diseases.

Harvard Medical School asserts that recent increases in peanut allergies, and the measures taken in response, show elements of mass psychogenic illness - hysterical reactions grossly out of proportion to the level of danger.

Only 150 people (children and adults) die each year in the US from all food allergies combined. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially documents 13 deaths (including six adults) due to peanuts between 1996 and 2006. Peanuts are legumes, not true nuts.

Four percent of adults and four percent of children have food allergies. Less than one percent (0.6) of people in the US have a peanut allergy. In France, the rate of peanut allergy is between .3 percent and .75 percent, Denmark is .2 to .4 percent; and Israel about .04 percent.

The exact cause of someone developing a peanut allergy is unknown.

Smelling the aroma of peanuts cannot cause an allergic reaction.

Highly refined peanut oil is purified, refined, bleached, and deodorized, which removes the allergic proteins from the oil.

A recent study showed 26.6% of children with a peanut or tree nut allergy outgrew their allergies, at an average age of 5.4 years old. Black children were less likely to outgrow their allergy than white children and boys were more likely to outgrow their allergy than girls.

The American Academy of Pediatrics used to instruct parents to avoid peanut use until their kids reached age 3, but that has been rescinded. A British study has found that consuming peanuts in infancy lowers the risk that a child will develop peanut allergies.

Headlines most often ignore that people who are allergic to peanuts are also often allergic to one or more tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, etc.).

A new study shows increased peanut consumption by pregnant mothers who were not nut allergic was associated with lower risk of peanut allergy in their offspring.

Spiders on Drugs

 Interesting view of spider webs after spiders were given different drugs.

Origins of Popcorn

The Aztecs who inadvertently introduced popcorn to the world as a result of the Spanish invasion. When Columbus first interacted with the Arawak tribe, he was given a popcorn corsage. Believed to be a key component in the foundation of their empire, popcorn played a large role in Aztec culture. It was often made into necklaces or headdresses, and it was commonly used to decorate religious statues. One Aztec ritual involved throwing a whole ear of un-popped popcorn into a fire as a sacrifice to the gods. They referred to the kernels which came out as 'hailstones'.

Some archaeologists believe that popcorn was actually the first form of corn ever cultivated, with evidence of its existence dating to the Anasazi tribe of Utah, who arose around 350 B.C. Using seed selection, an agricultural process to determine the healthiest future crop, Native Americans are thought to have developed the crop almost 5,000 years ago.

Free Friday Smile

No words needed

May 2, 2014

Happy Friday

How many more grand paintings, marvelous tunes, inspired writings, etc., would the world have if not for the snooze button.

If you use the snooze button, there is less time to celebrate a Happy Friday!

National Hamburger Month

May is national hamburger month and it is also Barbecue month.

The term hamburger originally derives from Hamburg, Germany, from which many people emigrated to the United States. Hamburger, in the German language, is the demonym of Hamburg. Similar to frankfurter and wiener, names for other meat-based foods, being demonyms of the cities of Frankfurt and Vienna (Wien), respectively. A hamburger is typically made with ground beef. White Castle traces the origin of the hamburger to Hamburg, Germany with its invention by Otto Kuase. Many others have claimed to be the first in the US to make hamburgers.

The term "burger" is generic and may refer to sandwiches that have ground meat, chicken, fish, or vegetarian fillings other than a beef patty, but share the characteristic round bun. Other "burgers" are usually referred to as "chicken burgers", "fish burgers", etc.  Some fast food places more accurately call them "chicken sandwiches", "fish sandwiches", etc. An infinite number of fillings and toppings can be found in many locations around the block and around the world.

A veggie burger, garden burger, or tofu burger uses a meat substitute such as tofu, TVP, wheat gluten, beans, grains, or an assortment of vegetables, ground up and mashed into patties. This really stretches the definition of 'burger'.

Another variety of hamburger is the slider, which is a very small hamburger patty served on an equally small bun. This is the kind of hamburger has been popularized by White Castle. The name comes from their size (and sometimes greasiness) and are considered to slide down your throat in one or two bites.

A cheeseburger is a hamburger accompanied with melted cheese. The term itself is a portmanteau of the words "cheese" and "hamburger." The cheese is usually sliced, then added a short time before the hamburger finishes cooking, to allow it to melt.

In the US Upper Midwest, particularly Wisconsin, burgers are often made with a buttered bun, butter as one of the ingredients of the patty, or with a pat of butter on top of the burger patty, and called a "Butter Burger."

In Alberta, Canada a kubie burger is a hamburger made with a pressed Ukrainian garlic sausage, kubasa.
In Toronto the local eatery Dangerous Dan's Diner offers the Colossal Colon Clogger, 24oz burger served with a quarter pound of cheese, a quarter pound of bacon, and 2 fried eggs.

A slugburger is a traditional southern delicacy found in northeast Mississippi, US. It is a patty made from a mixture of meat or pork and an inexpensive extender such as soybeans and deep fried in canola oil.

My favorite is the Bacon Cheese Bomb, a cheeseburger with cheese inside the meat patty rather than on top. A thick chunk of sharp cheddar cheese is surrounded by the meat, which is a mixture of ground beef mixed half and half with finely chopped bacon. The smoky bacony flavor with a molten core of cheese within the patty is ooey gooey heavenly bacony food for the gods.

Twelve Pizza Facts

Ancient Greeks and Egyptians covered flat-breads with toppings and are considered the real originators of the tasty dish.

Modern Pizza originated in 1738 in Naples, Italy when people covered focaccia (Italian bread with olive oil and herbs) with tomatoes. Cheese was added as a topping about a hundred years later.

Frozen pizzas were introduced during the 1950s.

The first online pizza purchase was from Pizza Hut in 1994.

Ninety-three percent of Americans eat pizza at least once a month.

Saturday night is the biggest night of the week for eating pizza worldwide.

More pizza is consumed during the week of the Super Bowl than any other time of the year.

In 2001, Pizza Hut paid the Russians one million US dollars to deliver a six inch pizza to the international space station.

Thin crust pizza remains the most popular crust across the world. More than 61 percent of all pizza orders are for thin crust.

Some popular pizza toppings in Japan are squid and Mayo Jaga (mayonnaise, potato, and bacon)

The world's largest pizza was constructed in Italy in 2012 in Italy. It contained 19,800 pounds of flour, 10,000 pounds of tomato sauce, 8,800 pounds of mozzarella cheese, 1,488 pounds of margarine, 551 pounds of rock salt, 220 pounds of lettuce and 55 pounds of vinegar"; it weighed in at 51,257 pounds, and took 48 hours to cook. (According to the World Record Academy)

Over five billion pizzas are sold worldwide each year.

Netflix Facts and Numbers

What is better with pizza than a movie? Netflix was founded in 1997 in Scotts Valley, California by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings, who previously had worked together. Randolph was a co-founder of a computer mail order company and later was employed by Borland International as vice-president of marketing. Hastings, once a math teacher, had founded Pure Software, which he had recently sold for $700 million. Hastings invested $2.5 million in start up cash for Netflix.

The idea of Netflix came to Hastings when he was forced to pay $40 in overdue fines after returning a rented movie well past its due date.

The Netflix website was launched on August 29, 1997 with only 30 employees and 925 works available for rent and brought a more traditional, online pay-per-rental model (late fees applied). The company offers unlimited vacation time for salaried workers and allows employees to take any amount of their paychecks in stock options.

Netflix introduced the monthly subscription concept in September 1999, and then dropped the single-rental model in 2000. Since that time the company has built its reputation on the business model of flat-fee unlimited rentals without due dates, late fees, shipping and handling fees, or per title rental fees.

Netflix was offered to Blockbuster for $50 million in 2000, but Blockbuster declined.

In 2005, Netflix shipped 1 million DVDs every day.

In February 2007, the company delivered its billionth DVD and began to move away from its original core business model of mailing DVDs by introducing video-on-demand via the Internet.

By 2010, Netflix's streaming business had grown to 14 million subscribers and shifted from the fastest-growing customer of the United States Postal Service's first-class mail service to the largest source of Internet traffic in North America. In November of that year it began offering a standalone streaming service separate from DVD rentals. It launched internationally in 2011.

On January 26, 2012, the company announced it had 24.4 million US subscribers.

Disney and Marvel TV said they will provide Netflix with live action series, beginning in 2015, featuring Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, leading up to a miniseries about the Defenders.

Netflix signed an agreement in 2014 with a US Cable company to offer it as a channel on the TV lineup. Users can click on the channel, like any other channel, and have all the Netflix options.

Telling Time

It occurred to me that telling time in sixty second and sixty minute intervals seemed odd, so I looked it up. In the early second millennium B.C., the Babylonians invented their number system, and its influence still affects us to this day. Because of a limited amount of symbols (they only had two, along with their indicator for zero), they had to innovate, creating a system where one column indicated multiples of 1, one column indicated multiples of 60, and one column indicated multiples of 3,600. The columns were separated by a small space.

Once they had their number system in place, the Babylonians began applying it to various aspects of their life, such as the number of degrees in a circle and the number of days in a year. Since their system was much easier to calculate and divide, the Babylonian numbers reigned supreme over those of other nations, remaining the favored system for astronomers up to the 16th century. Eventually, thanks to its divisibility, the base-60 system was applied to the concept of time, giving us the number of minutes in an hour and the number of seconds in a minute.

Bluetooth Symbol

Have you ever wondered how the bluetooth symbol was developed? Look at the top line on your smart phone to see it.

It comes from the Nordic runes for the letters GH and B for Harald 'Bluetooth'  Gormson, the king of Denmark and Norway back in the nine hundreds, who turned the Danes to Christianity. The name suggests he had a dark or blue tooth.

Color Me Red

The Proto-Indo-European word for red, reudh, remained largely unchanged for thousands of years, showing up in English red, Spanish rojo, French rouge, German rot, Icelandic rauðr, and Welsh rhudd. Not only did it lead to these words for the color itself, it also led to red-related English words like ruby, rust, and rubeola.

For the ancient Romans, a red flag was a signal for battle.
Because of its visibility, stop signs, stoplights, brake lights, and fire equipment are all painted red.
The ancient Egyptians considered themselves a red race and painted their bodies with red dye for emphasis.
In Russia, red means beautiful. The Bolsheviks used a red flag as their symbol when they overthrew the tsar in 1917. That is how red became the color of communism.
In India, red is the symbol for a soldier.
In South Africa, red is the color of mourning.
In China, red is the color of good luck and is used as a holiday and wedding color. Chinese babies are given their names at a red-egg ceremony.
Superstitious people think red frightens the devil.
A “red-letter day” is one of special importance and good fortune.
In Greece, eggs are dyed red for good luck at Easter time.
To “paint the town red” is to celebrate.
Red is the color most commonly found in national flags.
In the English War of the Roses, red was the color of the House of Lancaster, which defeated the House of York, symbolized by the color white.
The “Redshirts” were the soldiers of the Italian leader Garibaldi, who unified modern Italy in the nineteenth century.
Red is a song by Taylor Swift
To “see red” is to be angry. A “red herring” is a distraction, which takes attention away from the real issue. A “red eye” is an overnight airplane flight. If a business is “in the red,” it is losing money.

Google Search Tip

Google's site-specific search; the search company's results are often better than many big operations. This works great on everything from media sites to retail outlets. Just include "" (replacing with actual site name) along with your search term to get results just from that site.

Wordology, Collywobbles

 I love words that roll off the tongue and actually sound like what they describe. Collywobble is one of them and means a pain in the abdomen and especially in the stomach; a bellyache. "I awoke this morning with collywobbles, and had to take a small dose of laudanum with the usual consequences of dry throat, intoxicated legs, partial madness and total imbecility..." Robert Louis Stevenson.

Etymologist believe that collywobbles most likely has its origin in cholera morbus, the Latin term for the disease cholera (the symptoms include severe gastrointestinal disturbance). How cholera shifted into collywobbles was probably influenced by the words colic and wobble. John Chapman is currently suffering from the collywobbles.

Texas has a Happy Place

Go to the "town without a frown" Happy, Texas, close to Amarillo.