Apr 24, 2015

Happy Friday

In the music of life there are no sour notes.

I always enjoy the sweet melody of a Happy Friday!

National Pretzel Day

April 26 was declared as National Pretzel Day by then-Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell in 2003.

World Tai Chi and Qigong Day

The last Saturday of April each year (April 25, 2015 - 10 am local time) in hundreds of cities, spanning 80 nations, people come together to provide a healing vision for our world.

Tai chi (tie chee) and Qigong (chee gung) combine deep breathing techniques, gentle body movement, and visualization techniques. Tai chi is a form of Qigong and is an ancient Chinese tradition that is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.

Tai chi is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of physical exercise and stretching. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that the body is in constant motion. It has many different styles. Each style may have its own subtle emphasis on various principles and methods. There are also variations within each style. Some may focus on health maintenance, while others focus on the martial arts aspect of tai chi. I have been learning tai chi locally for the past six months and, although some call it gentle, it is still a workout.

One World ... One Breath. Here are some interesting tai chi day videos. LINK

Eye Color, Green

Just two percent of people in the world have green eyes, making it the least common eye color. The color green is generally associated with jealousy, which is a common character trait amongst people with this eye color. However, they are also passionate people who have a zest for life and enjoy living life to the fullest. Others see people with green eyes as being mysterious and curious, but also highly intelligent.

Green eyes originate from Siberia and now can mostly be found in Europe. Interestingly, in Iceland the number of females with green eyes is greater than the number of males with green eyes! Ireland is also a hotspot for green eyes as they are believed to have Celtic ancestry, making green eyes and red hair a typical combination. Elsewhere around the world green eyes are very uncommon, but individuals can be found in all corners of the globe, including the USA, Europe, Asia, South America and Northern Africa.

Sometimes green eyes can bear a striking resemblance to cat's eyes, resulting in the myth that people with green eyes were evil. History is full of stories of women being condemned as witches, simply because of their green eyes. My cousin tells me she and her brother were born with brown eyes, but they are now most often hazel, and sometimes green.

Frogs and Toads

Toads have dry and pebbly skin, and frogs have moist and smooth skin. Frogs like water and toads prefer land.

Toads and frogs lay their eggs in water, because their babies start off as tadpoles. The difference is that frog eggs are laid in bunches or clusters, and they have a jelly-like substance around them. Toads lay their eggs in lines or strands, on leaves of plants that live in the water. A baby toad is a tadpole or toadlet

Frogs have slim bodies and long legs, and jump to get around. Toads have short forelimbs and hop or walk. Toads have big glands behind their eyes, called paratoid glands, which produce poison.

There are three names for baby frogs, depending on which segment of the life cycle they are in. After 21 days of being an embryo, a baby frog is called a polliwog and at this point, has a long tail and lives in the water. It becomes a tadpole when it sprouts legs. As a froglet, it has almost matured into a full-grown adult that breathes with lungs, but still has a bit of a tail. The sequence is polliwog, tadpole, froglet.

Frogs don’t actually drink water with their mouths; they drink it through their skin. A frog’s skin absorbs water when it is in the water so its body gets all of the hydration that it needs that way.

True toads do not have teeth and the skin on the head is typically ossified to the skull. Toad’s skin lets out a bitter taste and smell that burns the eyes and nostrils of its predators, much like a skunk does. True toads belong to the family Bufonidae, which consists of 50 genera and nearly 600 species, native to all continents except Antarctica and Australia. Toads belong to the order Anura, and are actually a subset of frogs. In popular use, toad seems to be used to refer to any frog that has a dry warty skin and short legs.

 Need to live near water
 Have smooth, moist skin that makes them look “slimy”.
 Have a narrow body
 Have higher, rounder, bulgier eyes
 Have longer hind legs
 Take long high jumps
 Have many predators
 Hibernate in the winter.

 Do not need to live near water to survive
 Have rough, dry, bumpy skin
 Have a wider body
 Have lower, football shaped eyes
 Have shorter, less powerful hind legs
 Do not have many predators
 Will run or take small hops rather than jump.

Bottom line, all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads and neither frogs nor toads will give you warts.

Bangers and Mash

The British meal of sausage and mashed potatoes goes back a long way. Sausages can be traced back to ancient times. Victorians were skeptical of what was in a sausage, suspected horse meat, and nicknamed them ‘Little Bags of Mystery’. After the outbreak of the World War, food shortages led to a dramatic reduction of meat in sausages, so producers packed them out with scraps, cereal, and water, which caused them to pop when cooked over hot fires. That is how the name bangers came to be. The mash comes from the way potatoes are cooked - mashed.

Crap Email Hack

We all get way too much marketing stuff in our inbox. One way to reduce it is to filter for the word unsubscribe and send the mail straight to trash. If you want to keep some of the materials, set up a folder for marketing and send the emails there. That way you can keep the info, but it is not mixed with important emails.

Origin of Credit Cards

In 1949, Frank McNamara, an executive at the Hamilton Credit Corporation, was embarrassed to find himself short of cash when it came time to pay for a dinner with clients at a New York restaurant. Charge accounts were already common, allowing customers to add up a tab at certain establishments and pay it later, but those accounts were only for each specific business. McNamara had the idea of making a card which could be used at multiple unconnected upscale New York restaurants. Diners Club would pay the restaurant, and the diner would pay Diners Club, plus interest. Diners Club's had 20,000 members in its first year, who could use it to pay for services at 28 restaurants and two hotels.

Bacon, Vitamins and Minerals

Bacon provides us with substantial amounts of the important, necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need to function healthfully. From bacon, we receive: 65% of our Recommended Daily Intake of Thiamin (Vitamin B1) as well as 47% of our Niacin (Vitamin B3), 38% of our Vitamin B12, 36% of our Zinc, 24% of our Vitamin B6, 22% of our Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), 22% of our Phosphorus, 10% of our Pantothenate, 10% of our Magnesium, 9% of our Iron and the Protein to fat balance in bacon is actually 4 to 1, which is one of the highest protein to fat balances found in any meat, fish, or fowl found on Earth.

International Dance Day

April 29 is International Dance Day. It was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Council (Conseil International de la Danse). The main purpose of Dance Day events is to attract the attention of the wider public to the art of dance. Emphasis should be given to addressing a new public, people who do not follow dance events during the course of the year. Every year, the president of the CID sends the official message for Dance Day which circulates in every country of the world.

US National Dance Day was created by Nigel Lythgoe and takes place in the United States on the last Saturday in July. It was founded and officially recognized in 2010 when American congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a National Dance Day resolution to promote dance education and physical fitness.

Free Friday Smile

Apr 17, 2015

Happy Friday

There is no doubt in the honesty of a child's smile.

I cultivate the habit of smiling and sharing a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Trivia

The word trivia originates from the Latin word trivium (plural trivia), where “tri” stands for triple and “via” means way. Basically, the word means a place where three ways meet. This word gained prominence in Rome, where people would often chin wag with others at a trivium. The word trivalis in Classical Latin meant an appropriate street corner and commonplace. In medieval times, the word gained broader meaning and came to refer grammar, rhetoric, and logic. Much of what you read here can be referred to as trivia.

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is mostly known for archiving the web, which the San Francisco-based nonprofit has done since 1996, two years before Google was founded.
It is also called the Wayback Machine and indexes over 435 billion webpages dating back to 1996. It is the largest archive of the web. The archive also hosts:

Crocks, Gators, and Plovers

Crocs and gators keep their mouths open as a way to avoid overheating. Keeping cool may be the primary purpose, but for some species there's a secondary gain from the behavior. For crocodiles living in the range of the Egyptian plover, or 'crocodile bird', sitting around with their mouth open means they get free teeth cleaning from the small birds. The plover acts as both a dental hygienist and a warning system for danger.

PawNation writes, "The plover comes along and, using its sharp little beak like a toothpick, removes the bits of meat from between the crocodile's teeth. This feeds the plover and removes parasites from the croc's mouth. The plover serves as a security alarm system for the crocodile. If, while in the croc's mouth, the plover senses danger from an oncoming animal, it screams and flies away. This behavior alerts the crocodile to the imminent danger, so it can slide into the water and out of harm's way."

Eye Colors, Hazel

Hazel eyes appear to be a mixture of brown and green. They are very uncommon so it's thought that they are caused by a recessive gene, but in fact, very little is known about hazel eyes and what causes them. This is a much less common eye color than brown, but it is still more common than green.

People with hazel eyes are generally thought of as having quite upbeat, fun-loving, spontaneous characters. These people enjoy mischief and adventure, and become bored if there is little to entertain them. If you're after a good time then you'll want someone with hazel eyes around, as typically they're adaptable, courageous and even rather sensual. One word of warning would be that you should try not to cross them, as people with hazel eyes can have quite a fiery temper!

Myths state that hazel eyes change color according to mood and the person's surroundings. This is actually true - the subtle blend of green and brown coloring means that different lighting brings out different effects from the hazel eye color, sometimes looking more green, while other times having a browner tone.

Most people with hazel eyes descend from European ancestors, so many can be found in the USA and Europe. Hazel eyes are very rare in Africa and Asia, where brown eyes are the most common. My eyes are hazel.

Limiting Baby Names

Up until 1993, France had a list of official names that new parents were required to pick from. After 1993, they were allowed to pick almost anything they wanted. However, one that caught the attention of the court was a girl named Nutella. The court ruled that the name would lead to the child being teased and was not in the best interest of the girl. When the parents failed to appear in court, the judge ruled that the girl’s name be changed to Ella.

Belgium has a list of approved baby names.

Denmark has a list of 7,000 approved names.

Italian law says a name cannot be chosen "when the child's name is likely to limit social interaction and create insecurity."

In Japan, only official kanji may be used in babies' given names. The purpose is to make sure all names can be easily read and written by the Japanese. The Japanese also restrict names that might be deemed inappropriate.

Malays cannot name their children after animals, insects, fruits, vegetables, or colors.

In Morocco, there is a list of approved names that appropriately reflect 'Moroccan identity'. You can name a baby 'Sara' (Arabic version) but not 'Sarah' (Hebrew version).

Norway has an official list of acceptable Norwegian names and parents may be fined and go to jail if they choose to use a name not on the list.

In Sweden, "First names shall not be approved if they can cause offense or can be supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it, or names which for some obvious reason are not suitable as a first name."

During 2013, New Zealand released a report with all the names it has banned. A name may be rejected if it is thought to "cause offense to a reasonable person," is "unreasonably long" or "resemble an official title and rank." New Zealand has an agency that signs off on baby names.

In the Mexican state of Sonora, government officials pulled 61 names from the baby registry that were banned for being "derogatory, pejorative, discriminatory, or lacking in meaning".

The German government rules state that a name must clearly identify the person as male or female, and it cannot be offensive. No surname names are allowed in Germany, or are names of objects or products.

Iceland has a list of 1,712 male names and 1,853 female names. The lists exist to avoid embarrassment for the children, and are based on meeting certain rules of grammar.

The UK deed poll service has restrictions on name changes. It must have both a first and last name, and it cannot be vulgar, promote racial or religious hate, or the use of controlled drugs. A name cannot ridicule people or government departments.

Portuguese authorities ban nicknames from birth certificates. Tomás would be OK, but Tom is not allowed. Portugal has an 80-page document outlining names which are acceptable and which are not. Children’s names must be traditionally Portuguese, a full name, and not unisex.

Spain bans names that can be unisex.

China babies are required to be named based on the ability of computer scanners to read those names on national identification cards. The government recommends giving children names that are easily readable, and encourages Simplified characters over Traditional Chinese characters. Numbers and non-Chinese symbols and characters are not allowed.

Saudi Arabia released a list of names that were banned including western names and names with royal connotations like Prince.

Hungary, Lithuania, and Poland also have laws dealing with children naming conventions.

The US has fewer naming laws than most countries and is rooted in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, but a few restrictions do exist. Restrictions vary by state, but most are for the sake of practicality, such as several states limit the number of characters, due to the limitations of software used for official record keeping. Some states ban the use of numerals, pictograms, or anything other than the 26 characters in the alphabet. A few states ban the use of obscenity.

Robert Liston, MD

He was a Scottish speed surgeon during the 1800s. In one case, he amputated a leg in less than 2.5 minutes (the patient died afterward from gangrene). He amputated, in error the fingers of his young assistant (who died afterward from gangrene). He also slashed through the coat tails of a distinguished surgical spectator, who was so terrified that the knife had pierced his vitals he dropped dead from fright. It was the only operation in history with a 300 percent mortality.

SUV vs. Crossover

A crossover is based on a car's platform, while an SUV uses the chassis of a truck. The result is that crossovers use "unibody" architecture, meaning the body and frame are one piece, while SUVs use a "body on frame" design, meaning the body is built separate from the frame.

SUV is often applied to both crossovers and SUVs. In the past, that was even more common. Before, SUV brought up negative associations with large size and poor gas mileage. That is when many automakers started using the term "crossover" to describe a vehicle that was "crossing over" from the practicality of an SUV to the drivability and fuel efficiency of a car.

Many vehicles, such as the Explorer, Highlander, Grand Cherokee, Nissan Pathfinder, Lexus RX, and Acura MDX are technically crossovers.

The Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, and Mercedes G-Class are all SUVs in the original sense of the term.

If you are unsure whether a vehicle uses a car-based unibody design or body-on-frame construction, it is safe to use the term SUV. That acronym is still used to describe nearly anything with available all-wheel drive and raised ground clearance.

Eyelash Facts

A study published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface reports that eyelashes divert airflow to prevent drying of the eyes and protect against airborne particulates.

Twenty two species of mammals possess eyelashes of a length one-third the eye width. Wind tunnel experiments confirm that this optimal eyelash length reduces both deposition of airborne particles and evaporation of the tear film by a factor of two. This happens because of the incoming flow's interactions with both the eye and eyelashes.

Another study found that growth of eyelashes occurs in response to exposure to allergens. Children with allergies have ten percent longer and denser lashes than those without allergies. Allergens trigger mast cells within the inside of the eyelid to release prostaglandins that promote hair growth, which presumably protects the eye. If models only knew their long lashes make them look like they have allergies.

Effective Mood Elevator

Bacon makes us feel happy, satisfied, and blissful, which greatly reduces stress in our lives and effectively relieves the negative effects of frustration, self deprivation, and sense of lack in our existence.

Free Friday Thought

Apr 10, 2015

Happy Friday

Life is a gift. It is up to you how to play with it.

I tie mine up in happiness and float it toward a Happy Friday!

90-Mile Beach

It appears, New Zealand might be stretching the facts a bit. New Zealand's 90-Mile Beach is only 55 miles long. Back when missionaries traveled on horseback a horse could travel on average about 30 miles (50 km) in a day before needing to be rested. The beach took three days to travel therefore earning its name. However, the missionaries did not take into account the slower pace of the horses walking in the sand, thus thinking they had traveled about 90 miles (140 km) when in fact they had traveled just 55 (88km).

Eye Colors, Grey

The exact causes of grey eyes are a bit uncertain, but there is a possibility that it is the eyes having more collagen and less melanin than blue eyes. As a result, when light enters the eye it is scattered slightly different, causing them to look grey, rather than blue.

Those with grey eyes are generally believed to have strong characters, with a dominant, rational, analytic mindset.

Grey eyes are most commonly found in Northern and Eastern areas of Europe. They can also be found at various locations around the world, including North West Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Incidentally, Gray and grey are different spellings of the same word, and both are used throughout the English-speaking world. Gray is more common in American English, while grey is more common in all other varieties of English.

Millions of Lakes

There are 117 million lakes on Earth, covering 3.7 percent of the continental land surface. This does not include Antarctica, Greenland, or the Caspian Sea. About 90 million of these lakes are less than two football fields in size, or 0.5 to 2.5 acres (0.2 to 1 hectares).

Weekday Name Origins

Sunday has been set aside as the “day of the sun” since ancient Egyptian times in honor of the sun-god Ra. The Egyptians passed their idea of a 7-day week onto the Romans, who also started their week with the Sun’s day, dies solis. When translated into early German, the first day was called sunnon-dagaz, which made its way into Middle English as sone day. For some in the Christian tradition, the first day of the week is named in accordance with the creation tale in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, where one of the first things God did was say “let there be light, and there was light.” Not every culture has Sunday as its first day, and notable exceptions are found in the Slavic languages, where Sunday is the last day of the week and is not named in honor of the sun. For example, in Hungary, Sunday is called Vasárnap and means market day, and in old Russian, where Sunday was sometimes called free day.

Monday was named after the moon. In Latin, it was known as dies lunae (day of the moon), and this made its way into Old English as mon(an)dæg and the monday in Middle English. In early pagan traditions, Monday was dedicated to the goddess of the moon, although in some Christian traditions, assigning the moon to the second day also follows the story of Genesis, where in between the first and second days, darkness was separated from light and “evening came.”

Tuesday has always been dedicated to a war god, and in ancient Greek, it was known as hemera Areos (day of Ares), modified only slightly by the Roman dies Martis (day of Mars), and later in Old English Tiwesdæg, in honor of a Norse god of war and law, Tiwaz or Tiw.

Wednesday was dedicated to the messenger of the gods, and for the Greeks, it was known as hemera Hermu (day of Hermes), then to the Romans as dies Mercurii (day of Mercury). When it was adopted by the Anglo-Saxons, as Mercury’s areas of expertise overlapped with his, they dedicated the day to Odin, Woden in Old English (calling the day wodnesdæg).

Jupiter was awarded the fifth day, dies Jovis, by the Romans, and it was assigned to Thor by the Norse, where it was originally called thorsdgr, later modified by Old English into thurresdæg, and then into Middle English’s thur(e)sday.

Friday was assigned to Aphrodite and Venus, in Latin dies Veneris. In Old Norse and English, Venus was associated with Frigg, a goddess of knowledge and wisdom. By Old English, the day’s name had been modified into frigedæg (Frigg’s day) and by Middle English, to fridai. TGIF, for Thank God It’s Friday, dates back to 1946.

Saturday historically was dedicated to Saturn or Cronus to the Greeks, Jupiter’s father and a god associated with dissolution, renewal, generation, agriculture and wealth. In Latin, the day was originally called dies Saturni, which was transformed into sæter(nes)dæg in Old English and saterday in Middle English. For some religions, Saturday is celebrated as the weekly day of rest, known as the Shabbat in Judaism and Sabbath for Seventh Day Adventists.

Deepweb and Darknet

These two words are often spoken by the news media and we hear them on some TV shows, but they are never explained.

The Deepweb refers to part of the Internet, specifically the world wide web (anything that starts www) that isn't indexed by search engines, and can't be accessed by Google.

The Darknet refers to non-www networks, where users may need separate software to access them. For example, Silk Road and many illicit markets are hosted on Darknet networks like I2P and Tor.

Amazon May Print Your Product

Amazon plans to create and patent 3D-printing delivery trucks. The patent, called 'Providing Services Related to Item Delivery via 3D Manufacturing on Demand', describes an effort to deliver 3D printed items manufactured on a truck to customers.

3D printing is a process, which three dimensional objects can be printed on demand.

The 3D printing trucks that Amazon is proposing will double as delivery trucks. The patent lays out a sequential series of steps in regards to how this process will likely happen: first, a customer places an order, the 3D printable order is sent to the delivery truck closest to the customer, and the item is produced en route and delivered once complete.

The patent also covers subtractive printing, which is the process of taking a block of material, usually metal and removing pieces in order to obtain the desired shape.

Rabbits and Hares

Rabbits and hares are often confused with one another. Rabbits and hares do not breed with one another in their natural habitats. Jackrabbits are a type of hare.

From the moment they are born, rabbits and hares are easily distinguished. Baby rabbits, called kittens, are born blind and furless. They are unable to move around much on their own and are weak. Baby hares, called leverets are born with their fur and their eyes open. A baby hare explores its new world shortly after birth.

Rabbits are more social and when they are in the wild they prefer to share their burrows with other members of their colony. They sleep in their burrows during the day, hiding from potential predators. If mother rabbit needs to leave her kittens, she will cover them up with fur and leaves to keep them warm and safe.

Each group of rabbits tends to have a dominant male that gets to mate with the majority of the females. Rabbits prefer softer foods, such as grass and vegetables. Rabbits have been domesticated while hares have not.

Hares are generally larger, lithe, wiry, and have larger back legs and paws. Their ears are longer, and stick straight up from the head. Usually, a hare’s ears will have black markings. Additionally, hares usually change color according to season; they are grayish brown in spring, summer, and fall, and turn white in the winter. A hare’s skull is slightly different in shape to a rabbit’s skull.

Hares prefer to live alone, coming together only to mate (with little contention among males over mating rights), and usually make their homes in nests among tall grasses rather than dig a burrow. They also are not afraid to leave their leverets just hours after the babies are born. Baby hares are well equipped to living without their mothers at just an hour old. Hares are more likely to choose harder foods like bark and twigs.

Satellite Orbits

The reason we do not hear about satellites bumping into each other is because they each have their own protected orbit, kind of like a one lane highway. Orbits aren't patented, but “useful systems which incorporate particular orbits, such as technological solutions for providing telecommunications which utilize equipment in those orbits, are patent-eligible.”

So while a company couldn't attempt to patent a specific set of gravitational dynamics, it could exert control over an orbit by patenting the specific set of innovations needed to keep a satellite in that orbit.

US Patent No. 5,410,728, was issued to Motorola, and outlines how a formation of several satellites can optimize cellular coverage. The satellite orbit is not subject to this patent, but the process of deploying them into those orbits for some use as telecommunications is patented.

Incidentally, Sci-Fi author Arthur C. Clarke wrote about patenting orbits way back in 1945. The geostationary orbit he proposed that year is now home to hundreds of satellites, and has been officially designated the Clarke orbit by the International Astronomical Union.

Friday Tax Advice

Apr 3, 2015

Happy Friday

"Life is a mirror, if you frown at it, it frowns back; if you smile, it returns the greeting." William Makepeace Thackeray

I smile in the mirror every morning and it sticks, especially on a Happy Friday!

The Easter Bunny

Today’s Easter Bunny grew out of religious practices in pre-Christian Germany. Eostra, a goddess of fertility and spring, was associated with the rabbit because of the animal’s high reproductive rate. The legend was subsequently merged with the Christian celebration of Jesus’ rebirth.

Easter Eggs

Decorated eggs predate Easter and have been found as early as 60,000 years ago. About 3000 BC in Persia, eggs were dyed red given as gifts in celebration of the first day of spring.

The practice of giving red Easter eggs, symbolizing the blood of Christ, became a Christian tradition, with the hatching of an egg symbolizing the resurrection. The Easter egg is also a byproduct of Lent, as many families would give up eggs during those fast days, which ended with Easter.

Some of the oldest egg dyes were made from a variety of materials, including onion peels, tree bark, flower petals, and vegetable and fruit juices.

Cadbury sells over 200 million cream eggs each year in the UK. More than three for each person who lives there.

The PAAS Dye Co. launched its product during the 1880s. The first packets contained five colors for 5 cents. The company now claims to sell more than 10 million kits annually including dyes, paints, stickers, glitter, etc.

In some European countries, children go from house to house to collect eggs.

The White House Easter Egg Roll, an annual tradition on the Monday after Easter, is the only time that tourists are allowed to gather on the White House lawn. The tradition actually started on the lawn of the Capitol, by Dolly Madison during the early 1800s, and was moved to the White House in 1878, when Rutherford B. Hayes was president.

Many Easter eggs are formed from chocolate. In Scotland, a popular treat sold in fish-and-chips shops is deep-fried chocolate eggs.

The most valuable Easter eggs are the jewel-encrusted Fabergé eggs, crafted in the late 1800s and early 1900s as Easter gifts for the families of Russian czars. Only 65 were known to have been made. Most are worth millions of dollars.

The world's largest Easter egg, as recognized by Guinness World Records, was made of chocolate in 2005 in Belgium and weighed 1,200 kilograms or more than 2,600 pounds.

The term for intentional inside joke, hidden message, author's names, or feature in a work such as a computer program, video game, movie, book, or crossword is Easter Egg. The term was coined at Atari after a programmer put his name in a hidden room in the game Adventure, released in 1979. The name evokes an Easter egg hunt.

Cheese Weasel Day

April 3rd is Cheese Weasel Day, the holiday where the Cheese Weasel brings dairy goodness to all the boys and girls in the tech industry. It seems to have started about 1992 when a weasel was spotted carrying a Kraft Cheese Single. They assumed it must be the Cheese Weasel and therefore, that it must be Cheese Weasel Day. He was off to put it under the keyboards of good tech workers everywhere and that is what many techies do today. Some offices put out a spread of exotic cheeses for all to enjoy. Some still hide cheese slices under keyboards of the unsuspecting.

What's in a Name, Cutty Sark

"Cutty Sark" is a brand of whisky, and before that it was the name of a legendary sailing ship. Originally, it referred to ladies' underwear. Cutty sark comes from the now outdated words cutty (short) and sark (shirt). The term first appeared in an 18th century Scottish poem where it described a skimpy nightgown worn by a seductive, but dangerous witch.

Incidentally, since the 1960s, American writers have increasingly used whiskey as the accepted spelling for aged grain spirits made in the US and whisky for aged grain spirits made outside the US. However, some prominent American brands, such as George Dickel, Maker's Mark, and Old Forester use the 'whisky' spelling on their labels, and the Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits, the legal regulations for spirit in the US, also use the 'whisky' spelling throughout.

Whisky/ey is an umbrella term for a type of spirit distilled from a mash of fermented grains. Within the broad category of whisky/ey are sub-categories, including bourbon, rye, Tennessee, Scotch, Irish, and Canadian style whiskies. Whisky usually denotes Scotch whisky and Scotch-inspired liquors, and whiskey denotes the Irish and American liquors.

A way to remember - Countries that have E’s in their names (UnitEd StatEs and IrEland) tend to spell it whiskEy (plural whiskeys). Countries without E’s in their names (Canada, Scotland, and Japan) spell it whisky (plural whiskies)

RIP Gary Dahl

Gary Dahl got the idea for the Pet Rock, an ordinary rock, packaged in a pet carrier, requiring no food or care, at a California bar.

Pet Rocks made Mr. Dahl a millionaire practically overnight. He passed away March 28, 2015

Rich Folk Facts

In 2013, the world had about 2,170 billionaires. Women make up 8.5% of those. Ten of America's 43 self-made billionaires dropped out of college.
Sheldon Adelson dropped out of City College of New York ($36.4 billion)
Paul Allen dropped out of Washington State ($16.2 billion)
Andy Beal dropped out of Baylor University ($11.1 billion)
Michael Dell dropped out of University of Texas ($15.3 billion)
Larry Ellison dropped out of University of Chicago ($52 billion)
Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard ($81.6 billion)
Jan Koum dropped out of San Jose State University ($7.5 billion)
Jack Taylor dropped out of Washington University ($11.4 billion)
Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard ($33.1 billion)

Four of the youngest billionaires in the world are connected to Facebook (Dustin Moskovitz, Sean Parker, Eduardo Severin, and Mark Zuckerberg, ).

America's youngest self-made female billionaire is 30 years old and a college dropout.

New York has the largest number of billionaires, with 96, Hong Kong has 75, Moscow 74 and London 67.

Carlo Slim Helu, a Mexican billionaire worth $69 billion, is considered to be the first “world’s richest man from a developing nation.” He has lived in the same modest home for the past 30 years. His wealth is equal to 5% of Mexico’s economic output.

Millionaires -
The average millionaire goes bankrupt at least 3.5 times.

In the United States, approximately 7% of households are millionaires.

A 2010 study shows that millionaires pay approximately 40% of all taxes in the United States.

According to the book The Millionaire Next Door, only 20% of millionaires inherited their wealth. The other 80% earned their cash on their own.

Half of all millionaires are self employed or own their own business.

Eighteen percent of millionaires have Master’s degrees, eight percent have law degrees, six percent have medical degrees, and six percent have PhDs.

Those with Russian ancestry have the highest concentration of millionaire households in America, with $1.1 trillion, or nearly 5% of all the personal wealth in America. The Scottish rank second, Hungarians rank third, and English ancestry groups rank fourth.

A pentamillionaire is someone with the net worth of $5 million. A decamillionare has a net worth of $10 million. A hectamillionaire has a net worth of $100 million.

The number of U.S. millionaires dropped by 129,000, to about 5 million in 2011.

On average, millionaires are 61 years old with $3.05 million in assets.

Just twenty percent of millionaires are retirees.

In 2008, there were 10 million people around the world who were classified as millionaires in US dollars.

There were 185,000 millionaires in Canada in 2011.

The largest increase in the number of millionaires in the past year were in India (21%), China (16%), and Singapore (14%).

Top five countries with highest percent of millionaires.
Rank, Country, Percentage of Population with Millionaire Status, Total Number of Millionaires
#1 Singapore 17.1% 188,000
#2 Qatar 14.3% 47,000
#3 Kuwait 11.8% 63,000
#4 Switzerland 9.5% 322,000
#5 Hong Kong 8.8% 212,000

What's in a Name, Birdseye

The namesake of Birds Eye Frozen Foods was the company’s founder, Clarence Birdseye, who introduced the concept of flash freezing to the world. He developed his technique after seeing food freezing in action in the Arctic, and noting how much better frozen fish tasted if it had been frozen immediately after been caught. He helped pioneer flash freezing as a frozen food standard and helped develop in-store freezer cases and refrigerated boxcars that allowed his frozen foods to travel in comfort.

Birdseye’s food was the first frozen food sold commercially in the United States. On March 6, 1930, Birds Eye frozen foods were put on sale at Davidson’s Market in Springfield, Massachusetts, the first product of its kind.

Eye Colors, Brown

Each of the various eye colors show something about us.

Brown is the most common eye color in the world, because it is caused by a dominant gene. Brown eyes contain large amounts of melanin, a pigment that also causes skin to darken in the sun. If you are lucky enough to have brown eyes, you are much less likely to develop melanoma skin cancer than those with less melanin and those with fairer coloring.

There is a common myth that people with brown eyes are very confident, but it is not always true, as eye color does not determine confidence.

Very dark eyes are sometimes mistaken for being black, but truly black eyes only exist in fiction. Those people who do have incredibly dark brown, almost black, eyes share many of the same traits as those with a lighter shade of brown.
It is very uncommon to find people with brown eyes in some parts of the world, especially Iceland and other parts of Scandinavia. Conversely, brown eyes are everywhere in Africa and Asia.

Technically in the brown eye family, amber eyes are of a solid color and have a strong yellowish/golden and russet/coppery tint from the yellow colored pigment lipochrome in the iris (which is also found in green eyes). Amber eyes should not be confused with hazel eyes; although hazel eyes may contain specks of amber or gold, they usually tend to comprise many other colors, including green, brown and orange. Amber eyes are very rare worldwide, and are most common in Asia and South American countries. Amber eye color can range from golden yellow to a more copper tone. There is a new laser treatment undergoing human testing in Costa Rica that turns brown eyes blue. Reminds me of a song LINK.