Feb 27, 2015

Happy Friday

Caress life, don't just flirt with it.

I caress life every day and fondle it freely on a Happy Friday!

Fabricated Animal Facts

Rabbits eat carrots, but as any bunny owner will attest, rabbits prefer leafy green vegetables. The image of the rabbit enjoying a carrot was made iconic by the cartoon character Bugs Bunny. However, when Bugs first did it, he was actually parodying a then famous scene from another movie called It Happened One Night. In the movie, Clark Gable is munching away on the carrot while talking and, when Bugs did it, he was merely referencing a scene which was quite well-known at the time, but became less so over the years.

Old cartoons tell us elephants love peanuts and they were constantly fed peanuts at circuses and zoos. This is no longer a common practice. In the wild, peanuts are not a part of an elephant’s diet and most who have been fed peanuts in captivity do not like them. They prefer hay and other grains along with fruits and vegetables.

An elephant's nose is a regular nose. Since it is very long and dexterous, an elephant can use it to grab things, but its primary role is to breathe air, just like any other nose. Something an elephant definitely cannot do is drink water through it like a straw. It might appear that way, because elephants do suck in water through their trunks, but only to carry it into their mouths.

Ostriches been never been observed sticking their head in a hole, except in cartoons. When an ostrich is in danger, it will either 'fight or flight' like most other animals. It is equipped to do both quite well. It can reach speeds of up to 40 mph. In a fight, an ostrich has big, sharp claws and a kick powerful enough to take down a lion.


Regardless of what we learned in Braveheart, the kilt didn’t appear until about 300 years after Wallace. The version we are familiar with today did not appear until the 18th century

The word kilt is of Scandinavian origin. Middle English (as a verb in the sense ‘tuck up around the body’): Danish kilte (op) ‘tuck (up)’ and Old Norse kilting ‘a skirt.’ The noun dates from the mid 18th century.

The kilt made its first appearance in the 16th century, but it was very different from the modern version. Now referred to as the great kilt or belted plaid, it was a full-body garment that covered both upper and lower halves. The upper half of the kilt could be draped over the shoulder like a cloak or worn over the head like a hood. This was the only type of kilt used for a couple hundred years.

Sometime during the early 18th century, Englishman Thomas Rawlinson decided that the standard kilt was too cumbersome to wear while working, so he came up with the small kilt. It was just the lower half of the great kilt and resembled the kilt we all know today. He went into business with Scottish chief Ian MacDonell, who liked Rawlinson’s idea and also started wearing the small kilt. Because they were influential, all of their employees started wearing it the small kilt and its popularity spread throughout Scotland.

Interesting Facts

A friend of mine, Bob D. passed on these tidbits, some old some new, but all interesting. The population of the world could fit into the state of Texas and it would still be less crowded than New York City. The surface area of Russia is slightly larger than that of Pluto. Lego makes more tires than any company, including tire companies. The combined weight of all ants on earth is about equal to the combined weight of all humans. Alexander the Great conquered half the known world by age 22. Tenth US president John Tyler (born 1790) has two grandsons (born 1924, 1928) still living (as of Jan, 2015). The last known widow of a civil war veteran died in 2008.

Texas Independence Day

Texas Independence is March 2. Here are a few interesting facts about the great state of Texas.

  • El Paso is closer to California than to Dallas.
  • World’s first rodeo was in Pecos, Texas, July 4, 1883.
  • The Flagship Hotel in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built over water. It was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008.
  • Brazoria County, Texas has more species of birds than any other area in North America.
  • Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America’s only remaining flock of whooping cranes.
  • Jalapeno jelly originated in Lake Jackson, Texas in 1978.
  • The worst natural disaster in U.S. history was in 1900, caused by a hurricane in which over 8,000 lives were lost on Galveston Island.
  • The first word spoken from the moon on July 20, 1969 was “Houston,” but the Space Center was actually in Clear Lake City at the time.
  • The King Ranch in South Texas is larger than Rhode Island.
  • Texas is the only state to enter the US by treaty, (known as the Constitution of 1845 by the Republic of Texas to enter the Union) instead of by annexation. This allows the Texas Flag to fly at the same height as the US Flag, and Texas may choose to divide into five states.
  • Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. There is no period in Dr Pepper.
  • The Capitol Dome in Austin is the only dome in the US which is taller than the Capitol Building in Washington, DC (by 7 feet).
  • The name ‘Texas’ comes from the Hasini Indian word ‘tejas’ meaning 'friends'. Tejas is not Spanish for Texas.

Cholesterol and Salt

Hooray, bring on the bacon and eggs! Two recent reports are shaking up the food industry. Salt has recently been vindicated by scientists. "Cardiovascular disease, heart failure, or death in older Americans are not linked to salt intake", according to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine on January 19, 2015. This follows last year’s Institute of Medicine report, which also raised questions about sodium recommendations. The IOM committee found that there was no clear evidence to support limiting sodium to 1,500 milligrams or less per day.

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in August 2014 which reported that people who consume less 1,500 milligrams of sodium are more likely to die than people who eat between 3,000 to 6,000 milligrams of sodium per day.

Now this new report says, cholesterol is no longer a "nutrient of concern," according to the US leading nutritional panel in February 2015.

In its 2015 version of the guidelines from the US Department of Agriculture, it will no longer place an upper limit on cholesterol, "because available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol." The draft report said, "Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for over consumption." The recommended changes were compiled by 14 nationally recognized nutrition, medicine, and public health experts. It makes Dr. Adkins appear absolutely prescient.

Health experts agreed it is no longer necessary to consider a food's cholesterol content when making dietary decisions. The committee’s new report also advised eliminating 'lean meat'  as well as 'cutting back on red and processed meats' from the list of recommended healthy foods. The panel also said it OK to have three to five cups of coffee per day.

The science connecting high-cholesterol foods to the accumulation of bad cholesterol in the blood is lacking - not conclusive enough to warrant federal intake recommendations. Even the predictive value of bad cholesterol levels in looking at heart attack risk has shown to be weak by recent studies.

The new enemy is increased carbohydrates, according the current analysis of government data. It says that, "over the past 50 years, we cut fat intake by 25 percent and increased carbohydrates by more than 30 percent." That is what has led to the increase in obesity.

Other countries that offer dietary guidelines have long abandoned specific caps on cholesterol. According to David Klurfeld, a nutritional scientist at the USDA, "The US is the last country in the world to set a specific limit on dietary cholesterol." Finally science begins to trump headlines. Many of my friends know I have been a Cassandra of cholesterol for years. I wonder how long it will take for 'artery clogging' to be banished from the lexicon.

Nitrates and Nitrites

While it is true that nitrates and nitrites are unhealthy for your body, what most pro-veggie, chicken, and fish nutritionists fail to tell us is that we can easily avoid nitrates and nitrites by simply not burning, charring, and over cooking bacon. It can also be avoided by baking bacon in the oven.

If you include some dairy and citrus with your bacon meal, vitamins A, D and E work to effectively prevent conversion of nitrates and nitrites into toxic nitrosamines in the stomach, rendering them harmless to the body.

BPA Update

More good news. The FDA has reached a conclusion about BPA, the chemical that first made consumers worried about plastics that could act like hormones. Late in 2014, the agency issued a statement reiterating its position that products made with BPA are safe.

Crumpet, Muffin, and Pikelet

Most websites and cookbooks agree that crumpets and English muffins are different, although they all disagree exactly how.

Crumpets and English muffins are both griddle cakes - meaning they were originally made on the stove top in a cast-iron griddle pan. They are both round and generally biscuit-sized. They both have a spongy texture full of nooks and crannies for absorbing melted butter and other toppings. They are also both considered to be a breakfast, brunch, or tea food, but not the kind of bread you would serve with dinner.

Crumpets are always made with milk, but English muffins are not.
Crumpet batter is a loose batter. English muffins are usually made from a more firm dough.
Crumpets are made only using baking soda. English muffins are usually made with yeast or sourdough.
Crumpets are cooked only on one side, so the bottom is flat and toasted while the top is speckled with holes. English muffins are more bread-like and toasted on both sides.
Crumpets are served whole with jam and butter spread on top. English muffins are usually split before coating and serving.

A regional variation of the crumpet is the pikelet, whose name comes from the Welsh bara piglydd or "pitchy [dark or sticky] bread", later shortened simply to piglydd. This spread initially to the West Midlands, where it became anglicized as "pikelet", and subsequently to Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire, and other areas of the north. The main distinguishing feature of the Welsh or West Midlands pikelet is that it was traditionally cooked without a ring, with an end result rather flatter or thinner than a crumpet.

Free Friday Double Smile

Feb 20, 2015

Happy Friday

Life is like a kite, the higher it goes, the softer the wind.

I am always high on having a Happy Friday!

Robot Reporters

Quarterly business earnings reports are dull and boring to read. That makes them ripe for automation. The Associated Press has been using an automated system since last year to write its stories and few readers noticed. AP implemented the system six months ago. It now publishes 3,000 such stories every quarter and that number is poised to grow.

AP says the automated system is now logging in fewer errors than the human-produced equivalents from years past. Of the estimated 3,000 such reports each quarter, about one hundred will have an added human touch, either by updating the original story or doing a separate follow-up piece.

The giveaway is that there is no byline and at the end of the article we see, "This story was generated by Automated Insights." The Wordsmith platform also generates millions of articles per week for other companies, such as Allstate, Comcast, and Yahoo, whose fantasy football reports are automated.

Four Vaccine Myths Debunked

They cause autism: The origin of the myth was from a study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Most of Dr. Andrew Wakefield's co-authors withdrew their names from the study in 2004 after learning he had been paid by a law firm that intended to sue vaccine manufacturers. The same year, the Institute of Medicine reviewed evidence from the US, Denmark, Sweden, and the UK and found no connection between vaccines and autism. Around 2010, another British medical journal concluded Wakefield's study misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of his study.

The Lancet retracted Wakefield's paper in 2010 and he lost his medical license.

They contain poison: The cause was from a preservative and Thimerosal is no longer used in vaccines. In 2001, the FDA stopped issuing licenses for children's vaccines containing it. The preservative has been used for decades and still is in adult vaccines. There have been many studies and none of them show a correlation with autism or other serious side effects, the FDA says.

Doctors and insurance companies promote vaccinations to drive profits: Some insurers pay the cost of vaccinations to prevent paying more later, when a patient gets sick. A 2009 study found that up to a third of doctors actually lose money when giving vaccines.

The diseases they help prevent are long gone: One example of this effect is before the measles vaccine was introduced in the 1960s, there were between 3 to 4 million cases a year, resulting in 400 to 500 US deaths. Measles vaccination in the US has reduced the rate of infection in the population by 99% when compared to times when no vaccine was available. Measles has been on an uptick this year, because so many children have not been vaccinated against it.

Rhino Sex

Not much is known about certain rhino ovulation cycles, but it has been confirmed that some do not have set mating seasons and may become sexually active two times per year. Most seem to mate in the summer and fall seasons, likely due to the availability of food.

Female rhinos put on weight and become irritable if they do not reproduce, according to a study. Experts also discovered that, although they are ready and willing to copulate, they show no outward signs, so males do not realize that they are in heat.

Researchers at Chester Zoo teamed up with Manchester and Liverpool universities to carry out the first comprehensive study into reproduction among black rhinos. They performed hormone analysis on animals from eleven European zoos. A total of 9,743 samples were analyzed by Chester Zoo’s wildlife endocrinology laboratory. Dr Katie Edwards, from the University of Liverpool, who led the research, said females that had never bred were found to be heavier than those that had. Non-breeding females were also found to have “unpredictable” temperaments. The results were published in the Journal of General and Comparative Endocrinology.

The male Rhinoceros is ready for mating between the ages of 7 and 8 years old. However, if there are other males to compete with, it can be much older before it is able to find females that are receptive to advances. The bigger and stronger males are the ones that have the best success when it comes to mating. For females mating can begin from the ages of 5 and 6.

It is common for fierce fights to occur between males and females, because the male will not take no for an answer when it comes to mating. The male usually does get his way and then will leave after mating.

The fact that the mother carries the young in her body for more than one year and she may keep it with her for several years is a problem when it comes to increasing their numbers. The females may take three years to mate again.

Bee Fact

Honey bees, a very small minority of bee species die after stinging, because their stingers have barbs at the ends and get lodged into their target. When the bees fly off, they are basically ripping themselves in half. Most other species of bees have a smooth stinger that can go in and out of the target with no problems.

More Drinking Terminology

Bootleg comes from the late 19th century smugglers' practice of concealing bottles in their boots. In football, "bootleg" means the quarterback fakes a hand-off and runs while concealing the ball, ostensibly on his leg.

Touching glasses, as in toasting, comes from ancient Greeks, who clanked their cups in order to purposefully spill some alcohol, which was an offering to the gods. It also follows a medieval custom of clinking goblets together in order to frighten the demons out of the spirits, because it sounded like church bells.

Shot glasses
serve two functions: to measure liquor for a cocktail or to consume straight liquor in a quick manner. The first printed use of the term “shot glass” occurred in the 1940s in a news story discussing ways to regulate the size of a shot of liquor in the restaurants and bars of New York City, US. Before it was called a shot glass, it was referred to as a jigger or pony. A jigger is a measuring glass of varying volume, while pony means one US liquid ounce.

The cocktail glass pre-dates the drink for which it is named. It was developed as a way to keep chilled drinks from being warmed by a drinker’s hands. During the early 20th century the martini glass, which is wider and less rounded, became distinct from the cocktail glass.

The earliest reference to a corkscrew was in 1681 where it was called a 'steel worm used for the drawing of corks out of bottles'. The term 'steel worm' was derived by gunsmiths, who had crafted similar tools by the same name for cleaning the barrel of a musket.

Blotto and blackout are British slang from the early 1900s. To blot can mean both to soak up a liquid and to erase something, which is what happens to your memory when you blackout.

Three sheets to the wind comes from sailing terminology. If all three sheets (on a three-sail rig) are released and allowed to go slack, the sail will flap about sloppily, the boat will lose speed, and control. Another theory comes from the Dutch windmill industry. The mills generally had four blades that were just frames. When a miller wanted to grind grain he would put material over the frames of the blades, so that the wind would propel them. If the miller only put three sheets on before it started spinning, it would be lopsided. As the unbalanced blades spun it would cause the entire mill to sway back and forth, much like a drunken person.

The first documented use of hangover or hang-over was in 1894, and it meant a survival or a thing left over from before. The term was also associated with the 1929 US stock market crash often written about as if it were a hangover from the wild 1920s.

The verbal short form of '86' to mean to dismiss or quash, to bar entry or further service to, and even to kill. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first verifiable use of 86 for 'refuse service' dates to a 1944 book about John Barrymore, a movie star of the 1920s and infamous for his drinking. "There was a bar in the Belasco building, but Barrymore was known there as an 'eighty-six'. An 'eighty-six', in the language of western dispensers, means do not serve him." There are many other theories, but this seems to be the most accepted.

Send Money in Gmail

If you are in the US or UK, you can exchange money with friends and family quickly and safely using Google Wallet. You can also do this directly from Gmail.

If it is your first time sending, receiving, or requesting money, you may need to verify your identity. Once you verify your identity, any money someone sends to you will automatically go into your Wallet Balance.

Receiving money, and transferring it to your bank account, is always free no matter which payment source the sender uses.
Sending money is also free using a bank account or debit card, but has a 2.9% fee if you use a credit card. Most transactions are completed within 2 business days or less.

Wordology, By Hook or By Crook

This was first used during the 14th century, it refers to peasants pulling down branches for firewood using either a bill-hook (long handle saw with curved blade) or a shepherd’s crook (walking staff with curved handle). It is an old phrase that describes any means possible, but it has no relation to criminals.

Alzheimer's and Dementia

Both Alzheimer’s and dementia are associated with a loss of memory, but there is a difference. Alzheimer’s refers to a physical change in the makeup of the brain, which causes dementia as one of its major symptoms. Dementia can be a symptom of other diseases as well.

Dementia is one of the major symptoms of and the final stage in the progression of Alzheimer’s (an age-related disease that is characterized by symptoms other than just memory loss, as well as by a physical change in brain tissue). When a person suffers from the symptom of dementia, it means that they are afflicted by memory loss and an overall decline in their ability to process information. In order to be diagnosed with dementia, a person must demonstrate impaired abilities in two of the following areas: memory, ability to focus, reasoning and judgment, visual perception, and communication.

Dementia is diagnosed when the symptoms get so bad they interfere with a person’s ability to function on a daily basis. Forgetfulness and memory loss is a normal part of aging, but dementia is defined as severe instances of those.

Common causes for dementia can include vitamin deficiencies or problems in other parts of the body, such as the thyroid. Some medications can cause dementia as one of their side effects, and the excessive use of alcohol can also lead to dementia. It generally starts out mild and progresses slowly over years. In some cases it can be treated and reversed.

Alzheimer’s can be one of the causes of dementia. It describes a physical condition in which there is a change in the tissue of the brain, including the formation of structures called amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. They are blockages in the brain that prevent the transmission of signals. The loss of signals between the brain’s neurons results in dementia, among other symptoms.

In addition to dementia, those who suffer from Alzheimer’s often show other signs of cognitive difficulty. This can include a loss of depth and spatial perception, abnormal sleep patterns, and an inability to visualize and understand abstract concepts, such as numbers. There is often a change in personality, as well, and a person can become angry, restless, or paranoid. Those afflicted with the disease often have trouble following directions or fulfilling requests, and may also lack the motivation to do so. This lack of motivation can extend to all areas of life, from getting up in the morning to interacting with other people.

Alzheimer’s also worsens over time, and three distinct stages have been identified. The first is a stage where there are no symptoms, but the disease it starting to develop in the brain. In the second, symptoms begin to manifest themselves and the person suffers from mild, but not complete cognitive impairment. In the third stage, symptoms progress to full-blown dementia.

Currently, there are no cures or preventative methods for Alzheimer’s, and those who are diagnosed with it will eventually need around-the-clock, complete care. What triggers the development of Alzheimer’s is unknown, although many doctors point to an all-around healthy lifestyle as the best way to keep brain function at healthy levels, regardless of age.
Bottom line, Alzheimer's and other diseases can cause dementia, while dementia can be a symptom of Alzheimer's.

Happy New Year

Chinese New Year 2015 began Thursday 19 February, and ends on 5 March. It is day one, month one of the Chinese lunar calendar and its date in January or February varies from year to year, between January 21 to February 20.

2015 is a year of the Goat according to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle. If you were born in a Goat year you should be particularly careful in 2015, according to Chinese astrology.

During 2015 most Chinese will be off work from Wednesday, February 18 (New Year's Eve) to Tuesday, February 24 (the 6th day of Chinese New Year). Officially only the first three days of Chinese New Year (February 19–21, 2015) are statutory holidays.

Like Christmas in the West, people exchange gifts during the Spring Festival. The most common gifts are red envelopes filled with money and given to children and (retired) seniors.

Free Friday Smile

Feb 13, 2015

Happy Friday

I always think I am right, but I do not think I am always right.

I am always right about celebrating a Happy Friday!

Free Valentine Thought

Valentine's Day

Make some bacon hearts for your special Valentine - or make a valentine for your special bacon.

Benefits of Dark Chocolate

It is fitting with the holiday tomorrow that we look at some of the positive benefits of dark chocolate. It takes only two to three ounces of dark chocolate per week to achieve these benefits.

Dark chocolate is in the top 10 dietary sources of antioxidants, along with seasonings like cloves, mint, anise, cacao powder, black chokeberry, and black elderberry, according to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Dark chocolate is also rich in bioactive flavanols and theobromine. These have good effects on the cells of our hearts and blood vessels.

The Journal of the American Heart Association research showed that eating dark chocolate helped people who have peripheral artery disease walk farther and longer.

Eating dark chocolate is linked to significantly lower blood pressure.  Systolic blood pressure (top number) for people who ate dark chocolate went down by three points. Diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure went down by two points.

Researchers followed a group of more than 37,000 men for 10 years and counted instances of stroke. The numbers showed that those who ate about 63 grams (2 oz.) of chocolate per week had a lower risk of stroke, compared with those who ate no chocolate. Five additional studies also showed lower stroke risk, on average by about 20 percent for chocolate eaters.

Those who had the dark chocolate saw an average drop of 12 percent in their LDL cholesterol, known as bad cholesterol, which is linked to higher risks of heart disease.

A June 2014 study found that eating dark chocolate helped people better cope with stress.

I could go on about the super benefits of dark chocolate covered bacon, but will save that for another day.

Mind Control

Our minds are so powerful, that we can actually heal ourselves through the power of thought. The difficulty is that sometimes we need to be tricked into it. We need a reason to believe we have the power. The placebo effect gives us a reason and has been well documented.

In a recent study, researchers found a patient's perception or expectation of a drug based on how much it costs, significantly affects the drug's efficacy. The medical team gave a group of volunteers with Parkinson's disease two shots of a placebo drug for the disease and participants were not told it was a simple saline solution. Doctors told the patients they were receiving two drugs, one shot and then the second after the first wore off. Prior to administering the shots, doctors told the participants each drug had proven equally effective, but one cost $100 per dose and the other cost $1,500 per dose. Both doses were the exact same saline solution.

Results showed the 'expensive' placebo minimized hand shaking and improved motor skills among the Parkinson's disease patients more effectively than did the 'cheap' placebo. Researchers also found the difference in efficacy was most pronounced among patients who admitted to expecting an improved result from the expensive version of the drug. The study was recently published in the journal Neurology. I think I can. I think I can. . .

Placebo Affect

Ted Kaptchuk’s first randomized clinical drug trial, All the patients had joined the study hoping to alleviate severe arm pain: carpal tunnel, tendinitis, chronic pain in the elbow, shoulder, and wrist.

In one part of the study, half the subjects received pain-reducing pills; the others were offered acupuncture treatments. The pills his team had given patients were actually made of cornstarch; the acupuncture needles were retractable shams that never pierced the skin. The study was designed to compare two fakes.

In both cases, people began to call in, saying they couldn't get out of bed. The pills were making them sluggish, the needles caused swelling and redness; some patients’ pain ballooned to nightmarish levels. Almost a third of his 270 subjects complained of bad side effects. The side effects were exactly what patients had been warned their treatment might produce. Most of the other patients reported real relief, and those who received acupuncture felt even better than those on the anti-pain pill.


It was originally called rumbullion. Richard Ligon in 1651 said, “Rumbullion alias Kill-Devill . . . is made of suggar cane distilled, a hott, hellish and terrible liquor . . . will overpower the senses with a single whiff.” 

The world rumbullion formerly existed as either Royal Navy jargon for “an uproar” or Creole slang for “stem stew” It was shortened to rum years later, but its reviews did not get any better. In 1654 a General Court Order was issued in Connecticut to seize and destroy “whatsoever Barbados liquors, commonly called rum, Kill Devill, or the like.” Demon rum was first coined by Timothy Arthur in his 1854 temperance play “Ten Nights in a Barroom,” and it wasn't long before the phrase came to describe all forms of evil alcohol.

Wordology, Hair of the Dog

The expression, “hair of the dog that bit you” refers to an old method of treating a rabid dog bite by placing hair from the same dog on the wound. We now use it to acknowledge the practice of soothing a hangover (actually alcohol withdrawal) by ingesting the same substance that caused the problem. The earliest known reference to the phrase "hair of the dog" in connection with drunkenness is found in a text from ancient Ugarit dating from the mid to late second millennium.

This metaphor first surfaced in a 1546 collection of English colloquial sayings: “What how fellow, thou knave, I pray thee let me and my fellow have a haire of the dog that bit us last night. And bitten were we bothe to the braine aright.”
Applied to drinks, it means, if overnight you have indulged too freely, take a glass of the same drink to soothe the nerves. "If this dog do you bite, soon as out of your bed, take a hair of the tail the next day." Aristophanes used the Latin 'similia similibus curantur' (like cures like) and it exists today as the basic postulate of classical homeopathy.

During the 1930s, cocktails known as Corpse Revivers were served in hotels.
The Hungarian translation to English is, "(You may cure) the dog's bite with its fur," but has evolved into a short phrase "kutyaharapást szőrével" that is used frequently in other contexts when one is trying to express that the solution to a problem is more of the problem.

Among the Irish and Mexicans, the phrase "the cure, or "curarse la cruda" in Spanish is often used. In Costa Rica the same expression is used but it refers to a pig as in: hair of the same pig.

In some Slavic languages (Polish, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovenian and Russian) hair of the dog is called "a wedge" (klin), as in dislodging a stuck wedge with another one, which is used figuratively with regard to alcohol and in other contexts. The proper Russian term is – опохмелка "after being drunk", which indicates a process of drinking to decrease effects of drinking the night before.

In German, drinking alcohol the next morning to relieve the symptoms is sometimes described as ein Konterbier trinken "having a counter-beer." In Austria people have a reparatur-seidl "repair-beer." In Portuguese people speak of uma rebatida "a hit," meaning to strike away the hangover with more alcohol. There is a new Belgian beer called Snuffles and it is brewed exclusively for dogs. Maybe a new term, 'Hair of the Human' will come into vogue. 

Phone Spam

Finally a bit of help with the decreasing phone spam. Forward spam texts to 7726. Your carrier will respond and ask you what number it came from.

Good to Know Costco

You can go to Costco and buy alcohol without a membership. Also, you can fill prescriptions and get shots at their pharmacy, eat at the food court, get your eyes checked, and use a Costco gift card bought for you by a member.

Bums, Hobos, Tramps, Vagrants, and Vagabonds

Hobo, tramp, and bum are all terms for a person who is homeless and without a steady job. While most folks use these words interchangeably, there is a slight difference between the three. A hobo is someone who travels from place to place looking for work, a tramp is someone who travels, but avoids work whenever possible, and a bum does not care to work or travel.

While no one is quite sure how the word “hobo” developed, it seems to have originated in the American West after the US Civil War, when many discharged veterans were looking for employment. The hobo population also increased during the Great Depression, as unemployed men took to train-hopping with the hopes of finding better prospects on the road. Although “hobo” is a slang word, its meaning was well known by the late 19th century and Funk and Wagnall's even listed “hobo” in the 1893 edition of its dictionary. It was derived from the term hoe-boy meaning "farmhand", or a greeting such as "Ho, boy!". Bill Bryson suggests in Made in America, 1998 that it could either come from the railroad greeting, "Ho, beau!" or a syllabic abbreviation of homeward bound.

The British Hobo Museum exhibits hobo history and lore. Initially just a "Hobo Convention" museum, in the late 1990s it evolved into the Hobo History Museum.

The word “tramp” comes from a Middle English verb meaning to “walk with heavy footsteps,” and, like “hobo,” it also became widely used after the Civil War. It initially referred to migrant workers searching for permanent work, but it was later used to designate those who “prefer the transient way of life.” In Britain the term was widely used to refer to vagrants in the early Victorian period. It is also used for a sexually promiscuous woman.

Lately, the word is experiencing a bit of resurgence as many wanderers have adopted the title to more clearly differentiate their way of life from hobos. Some, for example, intentionally avoid participating in the economic system and therefore take pride in their 'tramp' status and may even view themselves as superior to hobos.

A vagrant could be described as being "a person without a settled home or regular work who wanders from place to place and lives by begging." Both "vagrant" and "vagabond" derive from Latin word vagari "wander." The term "vagabond" is derived from Latin vagabundus. In Middle English, "vagabond" originally denoted a criminal.

Panhandling is a solicitation made in person for immediate donation of money or other gratuity. Bottom line, most bums, tramps, and vagrants, but only some hobos panhandle. All politicians and some other groups and individuals engage in panhandling or public fundraising for many causes and charities.

Oxford University Press Guidelines

The news is that Oxford University Press has issued guidelines instructing authors of children’s books to avoid references to pigs, sausage, or anything else that might be construed as porcine for fear of offending Muslims. It has no specific policies issued instructing authors not to offend Christians.

Feb 6, 2015

Happy Friday

The journey of a thousand laughs begins with a single chuckle.

I plan to share a thousand laughs while enjoying a Happy Friday!

Free Friday Smile

Dalai Lama

“Man surprised me most about humanity, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health and then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

Gotta Go?

There is an app for that. When you really Gotta Go, Flush Toilet Finder is an app for smartphones that helps you find free public restrooms.

The app on Android and iOS is handy if you are in a strange city and you do not know where you can go or if you are shopping, and emergency hits.

Open the app and it searches the area around you. Its database covers over 100,000 public restrooms around the world and the database is constantly expanding. When you find the one you want, you can get directions via Google or Apple Maps. Flush also lists if a restroom has a fee, requires a key, or if it provides disabled access. LINK

Size Matters

The largest oil tanker ships displace about 520,000 tons when fully loaded, which is 10 times the 52,310 tons 883 feet length of the Titanic. The largest ship (and largest oil tanker) ever built was the Seawise Giant, 1,500 feet length and displacement 657,019 tonnes (724,239 tons).

Top Ten Tech Changes

1. Farming is quickly becoming a high-tech job. Farmers are using big-data analytics to better monitor, manage, and understand their outputs.
2. Energy utility companies are slow to adopt new technologies, and they have a set business model used for decades. Renewable energy, however, needs advanced battery technology and new storage and transmission systems, so this has to change. It is starting to with the development of microgrids and other smart grid technologies, which are a major part of the future for utilities. The market for smart grid IT will grow to more than $23 billion by 2023.
3. Electric vehicles are powered by high-tech batteries, but the technology for them is not yet fully developed. Data analysis is big with EVs too, as most cars are equipped with sensors that track the behavior of the driver so that companies can better understand and develop EV technologies.
4. As solar panel prices decrease and more individuals and companies adopt them, the renewable energy industry is finally heading toward the mainstream.
5. There is no industry transforming the future faster than 3D printing, but the technology is also infiltrating many other ones, like healthcare, manufacturing, and aerospace. It means new tech jobs that revolve around understanding, developing, and monitoring the printers and software development and management.
6. The healthcare industry is notorious for developing slowly, but all that is changing with the advent of bioprinting, telemedicine, and big data analytics. There will be IT jobs in hospitals and clinics, software companies, hardware companies, data science companies, and even big tech companies.
7. Technology is changing the way government processes work. Cities like Boston and New York are adding social media directors and Chief Digital Officers to promote campaigns, run social media, and get people to interact more with their government. Organizations revamping government websites to make them more efficient.
8. Technology and computer science education will be increasingly important as the world works to get more children prepare for the future. Nine out of ten schools in the US do not yet  offer computer programming classes.
9. Toys are getting smarter. People are building toys that serve a purpose and incorporate robotics, sensors, and computers.
10. Companies are using sensors and data analytics to identify and monitor leaks and water waste in the home so that people can better conserve the resource and their money.

WiFi Dilemma

Get the WiFi passwords at various places by checking the comments section of their FourSquare accounts. You are welcome.

Wordology, Red Handed

This expression has its origins in Scotland. Given the context it was often used in the earliest references, the phrase 'red hand' or 'redhand' probably came about referring to people caught with blood on their hands. The first known documented instance of “red hand” is in the Scottish Acts of Parliament of James I, written in 1432: "That the offender be taken reid hand, may be persewed, and put to the knawledge of ane Assise, befoir the Barron or Landeslord of the land or ground, quhidder the offender be his tennent, unto quhom the wrang is done or not… And uthers not taken reid hand, to be alwaies persewed…"

The first documented instance of the expression morphing from 'red hand' to 'red handed' was in the early 19th century work Ivanhoe, written by Sir Walter Scott: "I did but tie one fellow, who was taken redhanded and in the fact, to the horns of a wild stag."

It later showed up in 'Guy Livingstone' written by George Alfred Lawrence and published in 1857: "We were collared on the instant. The fact of the property being found in our possession constituted a ‘flagrans delictum’ – we were caught red-handed."

Climate Change

Clothing could reflect 90 percent of body heat by dipping clothes in a solution made of AgNW, also known as silver nanowire. Regular clothing only reflects 20 percent of body heat back at your skin, making nanowire-coated clothing much more energy efficient. The study was conducted by Professor Yi Cui of Stanford University and his team of researchers. Since metal nanowire coating can conduct electricity, all you would need to do is connect a battery to the clothing.

They see metal-coated clothing as a way to combat the rampant energy demands of the winter months. They report that "47 percent of global energy continues to be spent simply on indoor heating." We are told global warming is caused by energy use. Now we find half of that is caused by trying to keep us warm. Hmmm

Snow Driving Tip

Take out your floor mat, tuck it tightly in front of the spinning tires, and slowly drive forward. I used this back when I lived in the snow belt and it works.

Bacon’s Brain Building Business

Bacon is full of a very important nutrient called choline, which helps increase our intelligence and memory and has been shown in University studies to help fight off the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s Disease and other chronic mental impairments.