Mar 27, 2015

Happy Friday

Absorb life like a sponge and squeeze out every drop of joy you can.

I always squeeze hard enough to have a swimmingly Happy Friday!


DNA is DeoxyriboNucleic Acid. The blueprint of every living thing on the planet is encoded in DNA. It can hold a lot of information. We could theoretically encode all the world's data (emails, movies, books, pictures, etc.) on just a few grams of DNA.

According to New Scientist, a gram of DNA could theoretically store 455 exabytes of data. The world has about 1.8 zettabytes of data, according to a 2011 estimate. All the world's information would fit on a four-gram DNA hard drive the size of a teaspoon. Also, given the right conditions, DNA can survive for thousands of years. Long past the time traditional hard drives have degraded.

Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich encapsulated DNA in tiny, dry glass spheres. The researchers say that DNA kept at a temperature of 10 °C would remain uncorrupted and readable for 2,000 years. At even lower temperatures the data could last two million years.

However, preserving data in DNA is currently very expensive. Swiss researchers spent $1,500 to encode 83-kilobytes, which is smaller than the size a picture taken on a smartphone uses. There are a nearly two quintillion kilobytes in the world's 1.8 zettabytes.

Top Ten Sports

These are the top ten sports in the world from the lowest to highest, according to number of fans. Seems it is not the age of the sport, but the sport itself that makes it popular.

  • American Football, # of fans: 400 million (began 1800s)
  • Basketball,  # of fans: 400 million (began late 1800s)
  • Golf,  # of fans: 450 million (began 1400s)
  • Baseball,  # of fans: 500 million (began late 1800s)
  • Table Tennis,  # of fans: 850 million (began 1900s)
  • Volleyball,  # of fans: 900 million (began late 1800s)
  • Tennis,  # of fans: 1 billion (began in 1300s)
  • Field Hockey,  # of fans: 2 billion (began 3rd century BC)
  • Cricket,  # of fans: 2.5 billion (began 1600s)
  • Soccer,  # of fans: 3.5 billion (began 200s BC)

Baseball Season Opens

Abner Doubleday is routinely touted as the inventor of baseball, but there is little, if any historical evidence to back that claim. Much like Betsy Ross and the flag, Doubleday had a good story which circumvented the truth. When baseball started getting really popular, there was actually a committee called the Mills Commission organized with the purpose of tracking down the origins of the sport.

One of the men on that commission, Albert Spalding, did not like the fact that baseball was seen as a variation on the English game of rounders. He wanted this new beloved pastime to be 100% American and Doubleday’s story fit the bill perfectly. He had a decorated Civil War general who created the sport in his youth living in a small town in New York. And so the legend began. . .

White and Black

The Proto-Indo-European word bhel evolved into many modern words meaning "white," including Spanish blanco, French blanc, Italian bianco, and Portuguese branco, as well as white-related words such as bleach and blank. Bhel also referred to anything bright, like fire, and the result of fire is blackened, charred remains. Hence, black. Symbols and sayings about white and black:

A white flag is the universal symbol for truce.
White means mourning in China and Japan.
Angels are usually depicted wearing white robes.
The ancient Greeks wore white to bed to ensure pleasant dreams.
The Egyptian pharaohs wore white crowns.
The ancient Persians believed all gods wore white.
A “white elephant” is a rare, pale elephant considered sacred to the people of India, Thailand, Burma, and in Sri Lanka it is either a possession that costs more than it is worth to keep or an item that the owner does not want, but cannot get rid of.
It's considered good luck to be married in a white garment.
White heat is a state of intense enthusiasm, anger, devotion, or passion.
To whitewash is to gloss over defects or make something seem presentable that is not.
A white knight is a rescuer.
A white list contains favored items (as opposed to a blacklist).
A whiteout occurs when there is zero visibility during a blizzard.
A white sale is a sale of sheets, towels, and other bed and bath items.
A whited sepulcher is a person who is evil inside, but appears good on the outside.
White lightning is slang for moonshine, a home brewed alcohol.
A white room is a clean room as well as a temperature-controlled, dust-free room for precision instruments.
White water is the foamy, frothy water in rapids and waterfalls.

The ancient Egyptians and Romans used black for mourning, as do most Europeans and Americans today.
The Blackshirts were the security troops in Hitler's German army, also known as the S.S.
Black humor is morbid or unhealthy and gloomy humor.
A blackhearted person is evil.
If a business is “in the black,” it is making money.
A “blacklist” is a list of persons or organizations to be boycotted or punished.
Black is associated with sophistication and elegance. A “black tie” event is formal.
A black belt in karate identifies an expert.
A black flag in a car race is the signal for a driver to go to the pits.
A blackguard is a scoundrel.
The ancient Egyptians believed that black cats had divine powers.
Black lung is a coal miner's disease caused by the frequent inhaling of coal dust.
Blackmail is getting things by threat.
Black market is illegal trade in goods or money.
A black sheep is an outcast.
A blackout is a period of darkness from the loss of electricity, for protection against nighttime air raids, or, in the theater, to separate scenes in a play.
When you “black out,” you temporarily lose consciousness.

Roller Skate Dancing

Received this from my cousin and thought I would share this little skating, tap dancing, musical interlude. Four minutes long with amazing Gene Kelly. Enjoy! LINK

Internet, IP, Web, and URL

The Internet is a collection of computers and cables that form a communications network.

The Web (World Wide Web) is a collection of HTML (web) pages on the Internet. The Web is the user part of the Internet.

The term Interweb is a combination of the words Internet and Web. It is most often used in the context of joking or sarcasm.

A URL (universal resource locator) is synonymous with Internet address.  A URL is usually a combination of code and text, such as '', but numbers are also allowed. A URL always starts with a protocol prefix like http://, but most browsers will type those characters for you. URLs are internally converted to IP addresses

IP address (Internet Protocol address), is a unique identifying number given to every device on the Internet. Like a car license plate, an IP address is a special serial number used for identification, such as =

Bottom line, all URLs have an IP address, but not all IP addresses have a URL.

Google News is Cool

Why read twenty newspapers to get a glimpse of what is going on around the world? Google News watches more than 4,500 news sources worldwide and you can search about 200 years of articles. You can personalize news to your specific taste if you have a Google account and you can get alerts of topics that interest you. It also works on your smartphone. Type google news in Google and it will take you to the site.

Computer on a Stick

Intel is coming out with a 'Compute Stick' that is a full personal computer. It is about the size of a USB memory stick. On one end, the device has a full-size HDMI plug which attaches to your TV or monitor. On its side is a microUSB port which plugs into the wall for power using a standard USB cable. A second, full-size USB port allows you to attach peripherals and a microSD card slot provides for memory expansion.

Not to get too technical, but it is a quad-core Atom-powered mini PC with 2GB of RAM, 32GB eMMC storage, running Windows 8.1. The price when it comes out later this spring should be about US $150.

It also has a power button, and in addition to its USB port, it can pair with a keyboard and mouse using Bluetooth. Since Bluetooth sends a signal to about 30 feet, you can sit in your easy chair and have the best of TV and PC on one device, with no extra wires or gadgets. It also supports 802.11n Wi-Fi for connecting to the Internet and your home network. Now you can have a real PC TV with a keyboard, etc. No longer necessary to send YouTube videos from your PC as they are already on the screen. Am very sure I need one of these and hope by the time it is available I will be able to explain/justify to myself why.

You've Got Mail

This phrase and other familiar phrases spoken by your computer including 'Welcome', 'File’s done' and 'Goodbye' were voiced by Elwood Edwards. He said his wife worked for a company called Quantum Computer Services that became AOL and she volunteered his voice in 1989 to the then future CEO, Steve Case. He recorded the words on a cassette deck in his living room. The familiar voice made it into a movie of the same name and continues, even though Edwards has been retired for a few years.

Free Friday Smile

Mar 20, 2015

Happy Friday

Happiness is like a coin. It's better on the obverse.

I always flip over having a Happy Friday!   

Happy International Day of Happiness

Today is also known as International Happiness Day. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly on 28 June 2012. The General Assembly, says, "Recognizing also the need for a more inclusive, equitable, and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness, and the well-being of all peoples. Decides to proclaim 20 March the International Day of Happiness, invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Happiness in an appropriate manner, including through education and public awareness-raising activities."

Happiness Activists are getting together to take action in cities across the globe, from Washington DC to London and Milan. Here is a short video of people around the world celebrating Happiness Day. LINK

International Pizza Expo

You might think this type of expo would be held in Italy, but it is held in the Las Vegas, NV Convention Center. The 31st Annual International Pizza Expo is billed at the World's Largest and Oldest Pizza Tradeshow. It is held March 23-26, 2015.

Air Traffic Control Towers

Air traffic control towers always have windows that slope toward the tower at the base. Many people assume they are designed that way to prevent the sun's reflection or glare from blinding incoming pilots.

The benefit is not for those outside the tower, but those inside it. Ordinarily, we see reflections in glass all the time, for example from computer monitors or car windows, but air traffic controllers must not have any distracting reflections as they monitor flights. By tilting the glass away, any light from inside the tower (such as video screens, lights, etc.) are reflected up onto the ceiling, which is painted black. That way, the glow from a wristwatch across the room won't be mistaken for an incoming UFO.

Foiling Garden Pests

Cut up small strips of used aluminum foil and mix in with garden soil to keep away aphids and other garden pests.

Canadian Coins

When Canada introduced its 1-dollar coin in 1987 with the queen on front and a loon on back, it became known as the “loonie” for the loon on its back.

When it introduced the 2-dollar coin in 1996 with a picture of the queen on front and a bear on the back, Canadians tried hard to find a nickname. Toonie or twoonie won. Some of the failed suggestions included “doubloonie,” “doozie,” and, “moonie.” Moonie was suggested, because the coin depicts the queen with a bear behind.

Wordology, Orchid

Take a look at certain orchids’ roots, and you will probably notice that they look like testicles. If not, you have set yourself apart from multiple generations of language-makers that simply could not help but name the whole plant family after this observation.

The contemporary word for the flower, introduced in 1845, comes from the Greek orchis, which literally translates as testicle. Speakers of Middle English in the 1300s came up with a phonologically different word inspired by the same exact dirty thought. They called the flower ballockwort from ballocks, or testicles, which itself evolved from beallucas, the Old English word for balls.

Four Interesting Facts

The FBI call Ted Kaczynski 'The Unabomber', because his early mail bombs were sent to universities (UN) and airlines (A).

Even though most black bears are black, they also come in white, brown, cinnamon, and blue, depending on where in the world they are found.

During the last 3,500 years, it is estimated that the world has had a total of 230 years in which no wars took place.

Rhode Island is the smallest state with the longest name. The official name, used on all state documents, is 'Rhode Island and Providence Plantations'.

Sound Mirrors

Mirrors can actually reflect sound as well as light. Mirrors that reflect sound waves are known as “acoustic mirrors,” and were used in Britain during World War I to detect certain sound waves coming from enemy aircraft from 8 to 15 miles away. This was before the development of radar.

Several were built around the coast of Britain, and are still standing today. They are located on both the north and south shores of England. They are also called listening stones.

Concrete acoustic mirrors were built on the south and northeast coasts of England between about 1916 and the 1930s. The ‘listening ears’ were intended to provide early warning of incoming enemy aircraft.

They did work, but the development of faster aircraft made them less useful, as an incoming aircraft would be within sight by the time it had been located. Increasing ambient noise made the mirrors harder to use successfully, and then radar rendered acoustic detection redundant.

There is also an example of one that is a parabolic sound mirror carved into boulders to dramatically magnify the sound of a nearby stream for listeners. It is inspired by satellite dishes, the seating in choir lofts where curved walls reflect sound and the antique hand-held sound magnifiers used in the days before hearing aids.

11 Interesting Uses For Butter

  • If you have anything sticky on your hands, like glue, tar, or paint, just rub with butter, then wash with soap and water.
  • Gum in hair comes off easier if rubbed with butter.
  • Tree sap on a car comes off easier if rubbed with butter before washing.
  • Cutting things like marshmallows, pies, toffee, dates is easier if you slice the knife through butter first so it does not stick.
  • Butter works like oil to shine shoes, baseball gloves, etc. Just put some on a cotton swab and rub in.
  • Large pills can go down a bit easier if rubbed with a bit of butter before swallowing.
  • Butter works like expensive skin oils to soften cuticles and nails and to soften dry skin. it can also be used in a pinch to replace shaving lotion.
  • Rubbing butter on hard cheese helps keep down mold if you rub it on the cut edge before wrapping.
  • Dingy dusty holiday candles can be brought back to life by rubbing with butter. It cleans and brings back the shine.
  • Difficult to remove rings slide off easy if you apply butter first.
  • After handling and cleaning fish, rub some butter on your hands before washing with soap and water to remove the smell.
  • Last, butter is not good to rub on burns, use an ice cube instead.

Mar 13, 2015

Happy Friday

You can't have the best time of your life if you keep hitting the snooze button.

I never sleep in, especially when celebrating the gift of life on a Happy Friday!

Pi Day

Tomorrow is Pi day (not to be confused with Pi approximation day celebrated July 22) - On 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 in the morning will be a once in a century happening and we all get to celebrate it.
Pi Day was invented by physicist Larry Shaw and the first Pi Day celebration was held at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1988. In 2009 the US Congress officially recognized March 14 as Pi Day in the United States.

National Potato Chip Day

March 14 is also National Potato Chip day in the US. Americans consume 1.2 billion pounds (over 17 billion US dollars) of potato chips each year. It remains the nation’s favorite snack food. A recent survey showed 86% of US and France consume potato crisps/potato chips followed by 84% of Brits and 72% of Egyptians. Bottom of the scale is China with 28% consumption.

Detroit, Michigan leads the way in potato chip consumption; in fact, it is the potato chip consumption capital of the country. Detroiters consume an average of seven pounds of chips per year; the rest of the country about four pounds.

Have some fun, eat more chips and rest assured that all calories have been removed from all potato chips in the world for one day only. I have eaten hundreds of brands of chips from around the world, including the original Saratoga chips, but still prefer Better Made Potato Chips from Detroit Michigan, USA. Celebrity chef Rachael Ray named the Better Made's salt-and-vinegar chips the best in the nation.

St. Patrick's Day

This coming week is another holiday, St. Patrick's Day, March 17. It is celebrated globally and is a time to get your green on and celebrate the many major parades, wear green, drink green beer, have a party, and remember the patron saint of Ireland. Why not save a few potato chips to savor with your favorite green beer. Erin go Braugh!

Internet Immortality

While recently browsing Forbes, found an interesting web site. It allows you to post up to 16Gb of any documents, pictures, videos, family tree info, etc. It promises to post the info on the site in a private 'room' for you where you can make any or all of the information public or private. It also promises, for a onetime fee, to keep the info "at least as long as civilization exists". Very interesting concept and worth a read. If you try it, click on the 'About Us' and 'FAQ'. For a sample, click on search and type in "lindstrom" the site owner's name. LINK

Wordology, Stave Off

To 'stave off' means to keep at bay, fight off, or defend against. In its original noun form, around 1400, the Oxford English Dictionary says, a “stave” was a thin strip of wood that was curved to make a cask or barrel. Staves was originally the plural of staff, a long rod or walking stick. So by extension, many kinds of sticks or rods, including the staffs of a lance or other weapon, were known as staves.

By the 1600s, stave evolved to mean drive off or beat with a staff or stave. The use was meant literally, as in to stave off an attack on the castle, possibly using lances or other weapons with staves. The common use today has become figurative, as in to stave off a cold.

Five Company Name Origins

Etsy, The online crafts marketplace tried to use a “complicated name-generating script” that never worked. Rather than fix the kinks, they ran with the program’s codename, Etsy, and told the media it was an interpretation of the Italian (“oh yes”) and Latin (“and if”) sayings.

Microsoft, Paul Allen not Bill Gates, came up with the name for their billion-dollar PC dynasty. He found inspiration from the creation of MICROprocessors and saw the future of computers in SOFTware, leading to the blend of terms.

Instagram, Seeking a title that personified the belief of “right here, right now,” the folks behind Instagram merged the terms “instant camera” and “telegram” to play off the app’s speedy interaction. It took them a week and half to think of something that could be recognized and “spellable” for bar crowds.

Sony, Combine the Latin term for sound ‘sonus’ with the American slang for bright youngster ‘sonny’ and you have the name for a billion-dollar electronics business. Founder Akio Morita believed ‘Sony’ was a way of letting the public know they “were sonny boys working in sound and vision” in the industry at the time. It is also an easy pronunciation in all languages.

Twitter, The social network considered Twitch. Former CEO Jack Dorsey was not sold on it, so he had the team pick a name from a hat and ‘Twitter’ became its dual-meaning of bird chirping and chattering to describe the service.

Wordology, Fat Free and Free Range

When the dangers of saturated and trans fat became popular headlines, the market was flooded with products that touted their fat-free status. They sometimes contained nearly as many calories as full-fat versions. “Just because it says it’s fat-free, doesn't mean you get a free ride,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix. “Packages could say it is fat free, but be loaded with sugar, and sugar-free products could be loaded with fat.” Check the label for calorie content, and compare it to the full-fat version.

Although a food label may say free range chicken, do not assume your bird was dancing around the farmer's field. The US Department of Agriculture does define the words free range, but there are no requirements for the amount, duration, and quality of outdoor access. “What it’s supposed to mean is that they are out running in a field,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, nutrition expert and author of Read It, Before You Eat It. “But what it really means is they just have exposure to the outdoors.”

Nine Porcupine Facts

The porcupine is one of the world's largest rodents and weigh about 12 kg (26 pounds).

There are about thirty different species of porcupine.

Porcupines have weak eyes and rely entirely on their nose for food search.

One of the olfactory signals porcupines use is a pungent odor that lets potential predators know they have raised their quills and they are not afraid to use them.

Salty is porcupine’s favorite flavor, so it will eat anything salty, such as axe handles, canoe paddles, etc.

Female porcupines mate once a year, and often the males bring them into estrus by urinating on them.

Babies are called porcupettes and they are born with soft quills, which will begin to harden in a few hours to days.

Young porcupine will leave its parents after a few months and begin solitary life.

Some porcupines have up to 30,000 quills on their body. Porcupines cannot shoot out their quills, but they will be easily released when predators touch the animal.

Double Meaning Animals

We do not often think of the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, and we ignore how many times we egg someone on by calling them chicken. Here are a few more ways we use animals in discussions.

I was fishing for how to begin this.
Am not trying to be a leech or to sponge off of you.
Sometimes we hound someone for no good reason.
Too often we wolf down food or just plain pig out.
We feel playful and horse around or monkey around.
When we get caught, it is time to pony up.
Children often ape their parents and too often parrot what they say.
When someone gooses you, it is time to duck out, but most often they just did it for a lark.
You probably think it is time for me to clam up, but I am not done yet.
There are a few more squirreled away, just to badger you a bit more.
Luckily there were no moles in the crowd to give away my secrets.

Am still crowing that I managed to finished this.

FDA Terms Defined

Although the FDA has definitions for terms like reduced sugar, no added sugar, and sugar free, companies sometimes come up with marketing lingo that is just made up. One of those terms is lightly sweetened, which is not defined by the FDA. “Whether Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size is “lightly sweetened” should be determined by federal rules, not the marketing executives of a manufacturer,” according to a CSPI report from 2010.

Cholesterol free does not mean no cholesterol. Cholesterol-free products must contain less than 2 mg per serving while low-cholesterol products contain 20 mg or less per serving. Foods that say reduced or less cholesterol need to have at least 25% less than comparable products. Cholesterol is made by the liver, so only animal products like meat, dairy, eggs, and butter can contain it. If a plant-based product, such as corn oil touts its cholesterol-free status, there is no benefit compared to other vegetable oils, which also do not contain it.

Sugar free does not mean a product has fewer calories than the regular version; in fact it may have more calories. (Food makers are supposed to tell us if a product is not low-cal). Sugar-free products have less than 0.5 grams of sugars per serving, but they still contain calories and carbohydrates from other sources. These products often contain sugar alcohols, which are lower in calories (roughly 2 calories per gram, compared to 4 per gram for sugar). We need to compare labels to see if the sugar-free version is any better than the regular version. (Common sugar alcohols are mannitol, xylitol, or sorbitol).

Products that say trans fat free or no trans fat can contain less than 0.5 grams per serving. If a product says 0 trans fat on it, it may not be zero. If you have two servings, then you may get a good amount added to your diet. Check for words on the ingredient list such as hydrogenated oils and shortening, which mean trans fat is still present.

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat or rye and can cause problems for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Gluten-free products are becoming easier to find, which is great for those with Celiac Disease (less than 1% of the population). For the other 99% of us there is no advantage to buying them. In fact, gluten-free whole grains may have less fiber than the regular version. Unless you have metabolic problems, gluten-free products do not help you lose weight and are not necessarily good for you, but because it’s a buzz word, it is put on packages.

Flushing Fat With Flavor

People have heard horror stories for years that bacon is full of harmful fat, but facts show the opposite, as bacon helps to fully satiate appetite with high protein, low carb energy, helping the body lose weight, raise metabolism, and build leaner, stronger muscles. Bacon actually has less total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than many cuts of beef and chicken. Some fish have less fat and cholesterol than bacon, but bacon has more protein and does not contain mercury toxin. One strip of bacon has 43 calories and .1g carbohydrates.

Brumal, Hibernal, and Hiemal

I am officially tired of brumal, hibernal and hiemal.
brumal - adj. wintry
hibernal - adj. of, pertaining to, or proper to winter
hiemal - adj. of or relating to winter

Am ready for Spring - The first day of spring this year is March 20, 2015. Starting in the 14th century, this time of year was called 'springing time' and then in the 15th century this was shortened to 'spring-time', and then further shortened in the 16th century to just 'spring'. The 14th century 'springing time' came about in reference to plants springing from the ground. Before those, the season was called 'Lent' in Old English.

Happy St. Patrick's Day March 17

Mar 6, 2015

Happy Friday

"It is chiefly through books that we enjoy the intercourse with superior minds."

It is chiefly through friendship that I enjoy intercourse with a Happy Friday!

Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Saving March 7, after midnight turn clocks forward one hour.

Interesting Time Facts

In 1903 the Wright brothers successfully flew a plane for 59 seconds. 66 years later Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969.

Teaching started in Oxford in 1096 and by 1249, the University was officially founded. The Aztec civilization, as we know it began with the founding of Tenochtitlán in 1325.

Ten percent of photos ever taken were taken during the past 12 months.

The Chicago Cubs baseball team last won a world series in 1908, before women were allowed to vote, which came during 1920.

If you were born in 1968, the world population was 3,557,000,000. Today, the world population has more than doubled from then and is 7,217,000,000.

Daylight Savings and Heart Attacks

A team of Swedish researchers conducted a study in 2008 that showed the rate of heart attacks during the first three weekdays following springtime daylight saving time increased by about 5 percent from the average rate during other times of the year. The effect did not arise at the end of daylight saving time in the fall.

The researchers attributed the small surge in heart attacks in the springtime to changes in people's sleep patterns. Lack of sleep can release stress hormones that increase inflammation, which can cause more severe complications in people already at risk of having a heart attack.

The 2009 Journal of Applied Psychology study found that mine workers arrived at work with 40 minutes less sleep and experienced 5.7 percent more workplace injuries in the week directly following the springtime daylight saving transition than during any other days of the year. The researchers attribute the injuries to lack of sleep.

A 2012 Journal of Applied Psychology study found that the incidence of cyberloafing significantly increased in more than 200 metropolitan US regions during the first Monday after daylight saving time in the spring, compared with the Mondays directly before and one week after the transition. The team attributed the shift to a lack of sleep and thus lack of workday motivation and focus.

Russia and DST

Russia will turn back its clocks for the last time March 8 to permanently adopt winter hours. It will also increase its time zones from nine to eleven, from the Pacific to the borders of the European Union. The Soviet Union introduced Daylight Saving Time in 1981. In 2011, then President Dmitry Medvedev introduced measures to reduce Russia's time zones to nine, and to keep summer time all year round. Russians put their clocks forward one hour, but did not put them back in winter time. For the last three years, Russia kept permanent summer time, but it proved to be highly unpopular with many Russians. When Crimea was annexed by Russia from Ukraine in March, Crimea's time was adjusted to match Moscow time.

Wordology, Donut and Doughnut

This issue has plagued food writers for decades, especially because there is one dictionary-approved spelling and one that is used by a popular chain. A doughnut gets its name because it is a combination of the words dough and nut. It is literally a nut (ball) of dough

The shortened donut spelling came into popular usage about 1900 and is used mostly in the US, but gaining popularity around the English speaking world. Writers outside the US still favor doughnut. Donut appears about a third of the time in published US writing.

Think of donut as a cousin of the words lite and tonite. They are supposed to be spelled light and tonight, but marketers and advertisers choose otherwise.

Spring Weed Killer

Get a head start as spring is beginning to blossom (except for those in the Northeast). Mix one ounce of vodka or vinegar , a few drops of dish soap, and two cups of water in a spray bottle. This works best on weeds that grow in direct sunlight. The vodka breaks down the waxy coating that protects the leaves, and helps the weeds dehydrate. Ants also do not like to cross a path of the mixture.

Random Interesting Facts

There are over two hundred corpses on Mt. Everest and some are used as way markers for climbers.

The tallness of a mountain refers to its length from base to summit. The height refers to the length from sea level to summit. Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world, but it is not the tallest. At 33,465 ft (10,200 m) Mauna Kea in Hawaii is taller than Everest, which is only 29,029 ft (8,848 m). However, almost two thirds of Mauna Kea is underwater.

The US Supreme Court's basketball court is on the fifth floor of the United States Supreme Court Building, higher than the second floor courtroom, so it has been dubbed the highest court in the land.

Almost twenty five percent of Los Angeles is covered by automobiles and there are also more cars than people in Los Angeles.

John D. Rockefeller's wealth, when adjusted for inflation was ten times greater than Bill Gates.

There are over seventy various spacecrafts on the Moon, as well as a few flags, some golf balls, some TV cameras, empty packages and, human waste containers. All total over 400,000 pounds.

IBM Watson Update

During the three years since the Jeopardy match on TV, Watson has become 24 times smarter and faster, improved performance by 2,400%, and is 90% smaller. IBM says it has shrunk Watson from the size of a master bedroom to the size of three stacked pizza boxes.

IBM says, "What we believe is happening right now, is that the amount of information being produced in the world is overrunning the ability of humans to consume it. When these kinds of things have happened in history, new tools emerged that helped humans deal with scale, such as in the industrial revolution." "I think as we look at knowledge-based professions today — health care, law, teaching — they're all being overrun with information. It's very difficult for people to keep up — and that leads inventors to come up with ways to help humans deal with that overload."

Size Matters

The last quarter of 2014 has seen the phablet smartphones with a screen 5.5 inches and larger have the most impressive sales performance to date, constituting 12.8% of total global mobile device sales.

These phones have been outperforming the mobile device market since the launch of the Galaxy Note in 2012, and their popularity continues to rise in all regions. Even the original smartphone producer capitulated and introduced a large iPhone factor. The prediction of insiders is that this form factor will continue to increase as older contracts come up for renewal.

Cowboy Hats

The cowboy is one of the most iconic images in American history, but that doesn't mean our understanding of it isn't flawed. The iconic Stetson might be what every cowboy wears in Westerns, but it wasn't what they actually wore in real life until the very end of the Wild West. The Stetson wasn't even around until 1865 and in fact, it became really popular at the end of the 19th century. Up until then, the derby, also known as the bowler hat was most popular. The sombrero was also quite popular, but a gentleman might have preferred a top hat.