Jul 31, 2015

Happy Friday

No one else in the world has your smile. Only you can share it.

I always share my smiles, especially on a Happy Friday!

Busy Holiday Week

Get your smile on, August 1 to 7 is International Clown Week. The first week in August is also World Breastfeeding Week - August 1-7, both always celebrated during the first week in August. Not sure how these two coincided, but someone was not checking their calendar.

On October 8, 1970, Public Law 91-443 under the 91st Congress, JJR 26 was passed by both the House and Senate and was sent to the president for his signature. It was signed into law by President Nixon on August 2, 1971. Many clown organizations have an international constituency and over time, National Clown Week has expanded to be International Clown Week.

World Breastfeeding Week was first celebrated in 1992 by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action and is now observed in over 120 countries by UNICEF, WHO and their partners including individuals, organizations, and governments. WABA's goal is to re-establish a global breastfeeding culture and provide support for breastfeeding everywhere. The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics emphasize the value of breastfeeding for mothers as well as children.

August 6, 2010 is National Fresh Breath Day. A group of New York dentists created this holiday as an awareness that having fresh breath is part of overall health and wellness. Appropriate at the end of Breastfeeding week.

Following that is Happiness Happens Day celebrated each year on August 8, founded in 1999 by the Secret Society of Happy People as “Admit You’re Happy Day.”

Blue Moon

Today we can see the second full moon in July and a second one in a month is commonly referred to as a blue moon. The US Naval Observatory in Washington describes it as, " ... the third full moon in an astronomical season in which four full moons fall." It takes place at the same instant everywhere in the world, whether the moon is above or below the horizon.

The phenomenon appears about every 33 months, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The most literal meaning of blue moon is when the moon (not necessarily a full moon) appears to a casual observer to be unusually bluish, usually caused by smoke or dust particles, which is a rare event. Hence the saying of, "once in a blue moon."

Of course, today's blue moon is not actually blue, but this song from the Marcells definitely is
LINK, and this one is all light, but not blue from Judith Durham and the Seekers LINK.

Copyright © vs. Registered ® vs. Trademark ™

A Copyright protects original creative works such as books, movies, songs, paintings, photographs, TV shows, web content, and choreography.

Registered may only be used after the US Government grants a Federal registration certificate. The ® symbol may not be used while the Federal application is pending.

A Trademark protects names, terms and symbols that are used to identify the source of goods and/or services on the market. Trademarks include brand names such as "Coca-Cola" and images such as Nike's famous "swoosh" and taglines such as "just do it." Your business can use the ™ symbol whenever it wishes to claim a trademark. You do not need to file any paperwork to receive permission to use the ™ symbol. Use of the ™ symbol can put your competition on notice that your business considers a mark to be your trademark. 

YouTube Tips

YouTube is ten years old this year, so thought I would offer a few tips for the site that just keeps getting better.

Add quotation marks, as well as a plus or minus sign to include or omit results, for example: “beyonce” + “destiny’s child” or “beyonce” - “jay-z”.

Keyboard hacks
- k = pause or play
- j = rewind 10 seconds
- l = fast-forward 10 seconds
- m = mute
- Number 0 = go to the beginning of the video
- Numbers 1 to 9 = jump to 10% to 90% of the video

While captions are on:
+ = make caption font bigger
- = make caption font smaller

When searching for a TV show, add the word full after the title and YouTube will eliminate the trailers and mostly deliver only full shows.

And last, but not least - While signed in, go to youtube.com/account_privacy and make sure all boxes are checked.

Google Births and Obits

Google has an interesting forum that show notable births and deaths for any given day. Short and sweet, with no pictures, but you can click to get more details. LINK

Keyboard Alt Codes

Sometimes we need to add a few symbols to a document and spend too much time looking for a picture, when a key code sequence will work just as well, if you are using Windows. These use the numeric keypad on the keyboard, not the numbers across the top. For instance, if you need to put a copyright symbol next to a company name, push the num lock key to use the number pad, then hold down the ALT key and type 0169, release and you see © , Alt 0153 works for trademark ™, Alt 0174 works for the trademark registered symbol ®. (Some keyboards require holding the shift and alt keys while typing numbers or the FN key and alt).  The symbols show up when you release the ALT key.

To try them yourself, go through the numbers from 1 thru 127 then 0128 thru 0255, such as ALT 1 ☺, ALT 2 ☻, ALT 3 ♥, ALT 0128 €, ALT 0165 ¥, ALT 0189 ½, etc., to find some happy surprises. Incidentally, these work in Word documents as well as email, etc,. Facebook has its own set. You can also use Windows. Type in character map in the search box and it will show the full list.

Pillow Hack

Summertime is especially tough on pillows as we tend to perspire and make them flatten. If you do not have the type you can throw in the washer, you can always place your pillow out in the sun for about an hour and it will not only puff up, but also smell fresher.

Five Handy Uses for Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus is Analgesic (pain relieving), Antiviral, Antibacterial, Antiseptic, Disinfectant, and Expectorant. Europeans have long been using eucalyptus branches in the shower, but if you cannot get the real thing, you can get eucalyptus oil and use it the same way. Place 2-5 drops on shower floor to help clear nasal and sinus congestion. It acts on receptors in the nasal mucous membranes, leading to less stuffiness.

Eucalyptus oil has been used historically to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Applied to painful joints together with peppermint oil, it may help relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and help relieve other minor muscle soreness.

Place a few drops on a cloth to remove stubborn stickers.

Use in a diffuser near bedside or in any room for clear breathing. It kills viruses, fungus, and bacteria.

Add some to your mouthwash or just mix with water and swish around your mouth to kill bad breath bacteria and prevent plaque and gingivitis. (Do not swallow.)

Facebook Ad Opt Out

You can adjust how ads are targeted to you based on your activity off of Facebook. Notice the words "off of Facebook" Yes, it tracks on thousands of web pages, not just your on Facebook activity.

If you do not want Facebook or other companies to collect or use information based on your activity on websites, devices, or apps off Facebook for the purpose of showing you ads, you can opt out from all participating companies through the Digital Advertising Alliance in the USA, the Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada in Canada or the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance in Europe. You can also opt out using your mobile device settings.

Jul 24, 2015

Happy Friday

True happiness lies within you, you do not need to search for it.

It is within me to enjoy every day like a Happy Friday!

U.S. Social Security Week

July 19th through 25th marks the celebration of the second National 'my Social Security' Week. Social Security Admin is hyping the benefits of signing up for a 'my Social Security' account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. With an account, you can verify earnings and get estimates of future benefits to help make important financial decisions. If you already receive benefits, you can get a benefit verification letter, check benefit and payment information, change address, or direct deposit information, and get a replacement Medicare card or SSA-1099 for tax season.

Ten Uses for Bananas

In addition to tasting good, bananas offer many other benefits. These suggestions may all not seem appetizing, but they do work. For instance, you can make a banana hair mask to give you gorgeous hair, because they are packed with nutrients that your hair needs to be healthy, such as B-vitamins and folate. Mix a banana, whole milk, and honey. After blending the ingredients, put it on your hair and keep it for about 20 minutes. You can also drink the rest of the unused mixture.

You can tenderize a meat dish by cooking it with a banana.

To make your face glow, mash a banana and apply it to your face. Sit with it on for 15 minutes then wash it off with cool water. Bananas are natural skin lighteners because they have Vitamin A that erases discoloration and Vitamin E that provides protection against free radicals.

Bananas are a natural source of probiotics, because they contain fructooligosaccharides that encourage healthy bacteria to flourish. Probiotics are essential, because they balance the bacteria in your gut, which prevents the overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria that leads to inflammation. They are also good to relieve heartburn.

Bananas are rich in potassium, which is good for lowering blood pressure and helps to decrease stress levels and boost mental performance. A banana regulates stress hormones such as cortisol in the body.

Bananas can help you lose weight because they are a great substitute for high-calorie snacks. They are sweet and will satisfy sugar cravings without the calories. Also, they rev up the metabolic rate because they contain chromium, a mineral that helps burn more calories. One medium-sized banana contains 105 calories.

Bananas are high in Vitamin C, which makes muscles, ligaments, and tendons strong. They boost energy and make a good pre-workout snack.

If you have cracked heels, banana can help to smooth your skin because it has moisturizing properties. Mash up the pulp of one banana and apply it to your dry feet and relax, then wash with cold water.

Bananas are a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that contributes to the production of serotonin in the brain. This hormone is a natural sedative. Eat a banana about an hour or so before bedtime so that your body can digest it and allow the tryptophan to work.

Bananas can fight and prevent headaches and migraines, because they are a good source of magnesium. The next time you feel a headache coming on, reach for a banana. Of course, Homer has his own idea for how to eat a banana.

Pluto and the Naming of the Planets

With all the publicity surrounding the recent photos of Pluto, Seems fitting to look at it and the other (real) planets and how they received their names. Pluto is the largest and second-most-massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System and the ninth-largest and tenth-most-massive known object directly orbiting the Sun.

It had been discovered many times by astronomers, who did not realize what they found. It was discovered 'for real' in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, and was originally considered the ninth planet from the Sun. After 1992, its status as a planet fell into question following the discovery of several objects of similar size, in particular Eris, which is 27% more massive than Pluto. This led the International Astronomical Union to define the term planet formally for the first time. This definition excluded Pluto and reclassified it as a member of the new "dwarf planet" category. The other dwarf planets are Ceres, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake (sic).

The tradition of naming planets after mythological gods was passed continued after Roman names for the five extraterrestrial planets they were aware of.
  • Earth is the only planet not named for a mythological god.
  • Venus is named after the goddess of love. It is thought this planet got its name from the fact that it is “pretty” to look at as the third most bright object in our solar system in the sky as viewed from Earth (after the Sun and the Moon).
  • Mercury is named after the god of thievery, tradesmen or commerce, and travel. It is thought that the planet probably was named such due to how quickly, relatively speaking, it travels across the sky.
  • Pluto, although no longer a "real" planet is named after the god of the underworld. The name was proposed by Venetia Burney, a then eleven-year-old schoolgirl in Oxford, England, who was interested in classical mythology.
  • Saturn is named after the Roman god of agriculture. It followed the Greek designation for Cronus. In modern Greek, the planet retains its ancient name Cronus—Κρόνος: Kronos.
  • Neptune was named after the god of the sea. It got its name thanks to the fact that it has a blue color.
  • Uranus is named after the very early god of the sky (and father to the Titans).
  • Mars was named after the Roman god of war. It’s thought that it was labeled such based on the reddish hue of the planet, relating to blood.
  • Jupiter is named after the god of thunder and the sky, and king of the gods. It is probable that it was named such as it is the largest non-star in our solar system.
Incidentally, many languages have their own name for Earth, such as ‘terra’ in Portuguese, ‘dünya’ in Turkish and ‘aarde’ in Dutch. However, the common thread in all languages is that they were all derived from the same meaning, which is ‘ ground’ or ‘soil’. The modern English word and name for our planet Earth likely extends back more than 1,000 years. The name was also found in early English translations from the bible.

Hockey Trivia, Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs say that the name was chosen in honor of the Maple Leaf Regiment from World War I. Because the regiment is a proper noun, its plural is Maple Leafs (not Maple Leaves). Initial reports were that the team's colors would be red and white, but the Leafs wore white sweaters with a green maple leaf for their first game on February 17, 1927. The next season, the Leafs appeared for the first time in the blue and white sweaters they have worn ever since. The Maple Leafs say that blue represents the Canadian skies and white represents snow, but it also followed the Toronto sports tradition of using blue as the primary color, which started with the Toronto Argonauts in 1873 and the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in 1877.

Name That Song

MooMa.sh is great for YouTube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo. The site can identify songs in any video. Copy and paste the URL into MooMa.sh and watch the site identify the song.

National Dance Day

US National Dance Day was created by Nigel Lythgoe and takes place in the United States on the last Saturday in July. This year it is July 25. 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. Not to be confused with international Dance Day, which is in April.

Why Super Heroes Wear Underwear on the Outside

According to previous DC Editor Comics Julius Schwartz, the custom matched the clothing used by circus performers and wrestlers of the time. Although not actually underwear, they wore shorts over tights or leggings. Since super heroes were gifted athletes, it seemed natural to dress them in the same way as the gifted performers. In addition, with early printing techniques being rather primitive by current standards, color changes or divisions at the waist, groin, feet, hands, and chest allow the characters to have certain attributes stand out.

Top 10 Viewers of Shubsthoughts

The top ten countries viewing my blog this month, in order are: Russia, US, Germany, France, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Portugal, India, China. Thank you to all my new BFFs. I hope you continue to enjoy. Hey Soedinyonnye Shtaty Amerik watzup! 

Jul 17, 2015

Happy Friday

A smile is a small investment with big returns.

I always invest in having a Happy Friday!

Cava, Champagne, Cremant, and Prosecco

These are currently the four most popular sparkling wines, although there are many others. Sparkling wines are made using a secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to create carbonation. In 2013, Prosecco outsold champagne around the world.

Cava comes from Spain, primarily around Barcelona and the sparkling wine can be extremely high quality. Cavas are made in the 'Traditional Method', and many are aged longer than Champagne is. The principal grapes used are Xarello, Macabeo and Parellada.

Champagne is made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. Only grapes grown in the Champagne region of France can be used for Champagne, which is produced in that region using a specific 'Traditional Method'. Although its history dates back many hundreds of years, Champagne only got its sparkle in 1668 when Pierre Dom Pérignon, cellar master for the Benedictine Abbey was developing new ways to make wine more enjoyable and stumbled on the method by accident.

Cremant is the sparkling wine made in the same way in any French region other than Champagne. There are 23 sparkling wines made in France and each region may use different grapes, such as Chenin Blanc, Cabernet, Pino Gris, etc.

Prosecco is made from the Glera grape in the Veneto region of Italy. It is made using the ‘Tank Method’. Prosecco is perhaps America’s favorite bubbly, because it is not aged “sur lie” as Champagne is, the flavors of Prosecco tend to be simpler and less complex. Think white flowers, apple, and pear. Some even have a bit of sweetness. Sur Lie is the method of adding extra flavor to the finished wine by letting it sit on the lees (decomposing yeast and grapes) in order to extract more aromas and flavors.

Bottom line, all Champagne sparkles, but not all sparkling wine is Champagne. Champagne is perceived as a region for luxury wines, so it can command higher prices than the others, which can be as or more enjoyable. As with all wines, trust your tongue and not the advertising.

Five More Internet Firsts

Computer-to-computer email started when Bolt Beranek and Newman was hired by the United States Defense Department to work on ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet.  Employee Ray Tomlinson started working on an experimental file transfer protocol that could send a message from one computer to another. He also came up with the “@” symbol to connect the user and network, simply because it made the most sense to him. It would include the user’s name and the host where it should be sent. In July of 1971 Tomlinson sent the first email to the computer next to his, which read, “QWERTYIOP”.

Pierre Omidyar was thinking that the web might make for a great marketplace, specifically utilizing an auction format for fair pricing on items. He launched the website AuctionWeb (which became eBay) on September 3, 1995. The first item to sell was a broken laser pointer, which went for $14.83. He was confused by someone paying for that much for a defective item and discovered the buyer collected broken laser pointers. He thought it was interesting that collectors were so passionate about ordinary items.

The first book sold on Amazon in July of 1995 was Fluid Concepts And Creative Analogies: Computer Models Of The Fundamental Mechanisms Of Thought, by Douglas Hofstadter.

The first Internet single released by a major label happened during 1993, when Geffen Records released the single “Head First” by Aerosmith.

During October 27, 1994, Joe McCambley, who ran a small digital advertising company, created the first banner ad for AT&T. The all-text ad, which said “Have you ever clicked your mouse here?” appeared on Hotwired.com, the first digital magazine. Forty four percent of Hotwired’s visitors clicked the ad, and some even shared it with friends. Today, only about 0.0004 percent of website visitors click on banner ads.

Prescient Quote

"Change has never happened this fast before, and it will never be this slow again." Graeme Wood, Social Principal #9, Geek Media, Sept 29, 2009

Catnip and Insects

Catnip is a member of the mint family, but it is better known for making cats go into a euphoric frenzy, rubbing on everything and rolling on the ground. Only about half of cats react to catnip for some genetic reason that no one understands.

Many insects are also sensitive to the oil in catnip, however they hate it. Lab tests from one study show that catnip is ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, and another study found that it has the same ill effect on bloodsucking flies that attack livestock.

Follow-up studies showed that the oil in catnip was not quite as effective as DEET when used directly on skin. Many people use catnip oil as insect repellent, because it is nontoxic and 100 percent natural.

No one understands why catnip makes such a good insect repellent. Maybe the bugs cannot stand the smell, or maybe catnip acts as an irritant to them.

Wordology, Facts and Factoids

A “Fact” means something that is unquestionably true. Merriam Webster says it is the “quality of being actual.”

“Factoid” has two distinct definitions, one being more or less a subset of “Fact”, the other not meaning the same thing as “Fact”. The first definition is:  “an invented fact, believed to be true because of its appearance in print.” The second is from Merriam-Webster: “a briefly stated and usually trivial fact”.

Free Friday Smile

Jul 10, 2015

Happy Friday

Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.

I always travel well, on my way to a Happy Friday!

We Have Infinite Power

Light travels 93 million miles from the sun unobstructed and we can block it the last few feet from reaching earth.

Lesser Known July Holidays

July 11, Bowdler's Day - This day honors the prude namesake of the word bowdlerize. English doctor Thomas Bowdler quit his job to focus on expunging from Shakespeare all lewd and indecent references. His version, Family Shakespeare, came out in 1818.

July 12, Night of Nights - On July 12, 1999, the US closed commercial Morse operations, but every year since, on that anniversary, the Maritime Radio Historical Society commemorates maritime radio by bringing stations KPH, KSM, and KFS back on the air for one night. Other existing radio stations participate with related content.

July 13, International Town Crier's Day - This holiday, celebrated annually on the second Monday in July, is a chance to honor the lost art of speaking loudly and starting proclamations with "Hear ye, hear ye!" in celebration of the ancient practice of town crying. Now Facebook is used much the same way.

July 15, Saint Swithin's Day - Swithin was the Bishop of Winchester in the 800s. Many years after his death, his relics were transferred to the Winchester Cathedral on July 15, 971, a day which had heavy rains there. Since then, the belief has been that if it rains on this day, it will continue to rain for 40 more days.

July 17, Yellow Pig Day - This is a Princeton mathematician's holiday celebrating yellow pigs and the number 17.  It is celebrated annually since the early 1960's, primarily on college campuses, and primarily by mathematicians. On campus, Yellow Pig Cake and Yellow Pig Carols are tradition!

July 19, National Ice Cream Day - Sundae Sunday, annually the third Sunday in July.

July 22, Spooner's Day - Reverend William Archibald Spooner was a scholar and the warden of New College at Oxford. He also had a habit of transposing the first letter of certain words. It is from his frequent, funny slips of the tongue that we get the word 'spoonerism'. Examples: a blushing crow    a crushing blow, tons of soil    sons of toil, our queer old Dean    our dear old Queen, we'll have the hags flung out    we'll have the flags hung out.

July 24, National Tell an Old Joke Day - Mary Rose sat on a pin. Mary rose!

July 30, National Chili Dog Day - Celebrated on the last Thursday in July.

Wordology, Hebdomadal

It is pronounced as heb-DOM-uh-dul and is an adjective meaning taking place once every seven days. I hope you enjoy my hebdomadal Friday Thoughts.

Eight Strange Things You Can Find in a Library

Erie, Pennsylvania’s Blasco Library loans out fishing poles and tackle boxes, while several branches of the Chicago Public Library run a “Rods and Reads” program that provides poles and tackle sets for adults and kids.

Many libraries lend out passes for free or discounted admission to museums and other institutions. In Michigan, the Library Network provides “Michigan Activity Passes” for admission or discounts at more than 100 museums, galleries, and other institutions across the state. Georgia libraries have passes for Georgia State Parks and historic sites that provide admission for four people and cover parking fees.

Libraries in Ann Arbor, Minneapolis, Iowa City, Aurora, Ill., and Braddock, Penn. have original artwork, prints, posters, and even sculptures that you can take home and display.

The Chicago Public Library and New York Public Library both loan out mobile hotspots so patrons can have mobile broadband Internet access at home or on the go.

Arizona’s Pima County Public Library has seeds for hundreds of types of vegetables, herbs, and flowers that patrons can take home and plant in their gardens. The library encourages borrowers to save and donate seeds from their grown plants.

Berkeley and Oakland public libraries both have a variety of carpentry, masonry, plumbing, electrical, and landscaping tools to lend out. The Ann Arbor library has a tool collection, but focuses on uncommon tools like thermal leak detectors and air quality meters.

The Forbes Library in Northampton, Mass. has banjos, bongos, and ukuleles to lend.

Libraries around the world host “human library” programs where visitors can sit down with human 'books' and learn about their different cultures, backgrounds, and life experiences.

Oxford's Student Atlas

Had to share a recent finding; one of my books showed up in the Oxford's Student Atlas, 0198325800, 9780198325802, Oxford University Press, Incorporated.

"Medical Humor, Medical Nonsense to Tickle Your Funnybone, Thomas F. Shubnell Ph. D., 2008, Humor, 340 pages. Laughter is an orgasm triggered by the intercourse of sense  and  nonsense.  Pain  killers  are  released  during  a  deep  laugh  and  stress  hormones  are decreased." I am chuffed to bits.

Tech Tidbits

Many people are afraid to charge their phone or tablet overnight because they think it might overcharge and destroy the battery, but modern electronics automatically stop charging and will not overcharge.

Do not leave your gadget in the car or outdoors as extreme heat and cold will harm both your battery life and battery health. Cell phone batteries can swell and be destroyed within hours due to extreme heat. In extreme cold areas batteries run out very fast

Older Nickel-Cadmium batteries had a memory effect that meant you had to drain them every time. Newer lithium-ion batteries do not have that problem. In fact, li-ion batteries last longest when you keep them between 40% and 80% charged.

Whether you shut down your computer nightly comes down to personal preference and the vagaries of Microsoft operating systems. If you never shut down your computer, it tends to slow down over time, so a restart every now and then will keep the speed up.

If your Internet connection is slower than usual, try unplugging both your modem and router from the Internet source for 10 to 15 seconds. This usually works to speed things up. Unplugging many from the power source does not work as they have internal batteries, so using the reset button another way to solve this.

Every Web browser has a private mode. When private browsing mode is on, the browser will not record where you go and it wipes most of the information someone could use to piece together your online travels. However, private browsing isn't foolproof. It doesn't hide your browsing from your Internet service provider, the sites you visit, or any law enforcement that happens to be watching. Companies typically log sites visited. Private just means that it is harder to find.

Interesting YouTube and Twitter Facts

It would take more than a thousand years to watch every movie on YouTube and another one hundred hours of video are uploaded every minute. YouTube Content ID scans over 400 years of video every day. More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month.

The number of words posted on Twitter each day would fill more than a ten million page book.

Free Friday Smile

Jul 3, 2015

Happy Friday

You cannot be happy without a smile.

Smile to ensure a Happy Friday!

Happy July 4th

Tomorrow is July 4, and is Independence Day in the US. It is commonly known as the Fourth of July or July Fourth and is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain (but we are still friends).

Bacon Waffle Cheese Egg Burger

Try this for a holiday treat. LINK  Yum!

Excavator Hot Dog

Just in time for a hot dog holiday, a Finnish excavator operator puts together a hot dog with fixings for a friend in this commercial for Statoil, a European gas station chain. Very delicate operation with a monster machine. Fun to watch and only a minute long. LINK

Help With ToDo List

Need some help getting things done around the house so you have more time to play on July 4th? Crowdsourcing is great for getting things done through the power of crowds. TaskRabbit is an interesting site I recently found. It helps people to get others to do their chores. The most interesting thing about TaskRabbit is that you can pay someone to do chores you do not like or have time to do and you can also sign up to do tasks that you do like and have someone pay you. Think of it as like an Angie's List for smaller tasks. There are Taskrabbits in 19 cities so far and more are coming.

Typical tasks listed on the site include; clean your house, run your errands, clean your oven, build your IKEA furniture, hang your shelves, do your shopping, help with a party, and more. LINK

Robots and Games

Rock-paper-scissors is a game that tends to get very frustrating when you lose. Now think about losing to a machine and every time. The rock-paper-scissors robot is called Janken robot and was developed by the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory in Japan.

As for how the robot is able to beat its human opponent every time, the Janken robot cheats. The main purpose is not that of beating people at rock-paper-scissors. The robot uses visual feedback to respond to the actions of a human hand in a matter of milliseconds. This technology opens the door to potential applications that involve precise cooperation between a human and a robot. The robot can be used remotely as the sensors responsible for recording the signals of a human do not need to be in the immediate vicinity of the machine.

The Janken robot is able to respond so fast to human movements that it can potentially be used to help out in a wide variety of fields. Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory says that the robot can also be programmed to have a delayed response to human actions if needed, which might make it even more useful depending on the situation. Incidentally, they used to play rock, paper, scissors, bacon. They took out bacon because it always won.

Five Internet Firsts

Symbolics Inc. registered the first domain name, Symbolics.com, on March 15, 1985, before the real internet was born. Symbolics Inc. grew out of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence lab, and was the first company to make workstation computers.

CERN launched very first website on August 6, 1991. It was a simple page, similar to a Word document with black lettering on a white background with blue hyperlinks. It briefly described project W3, better known now as the World Wide Web.

The first picture ever uploaded to the World Wide Web on July 18, 1992 was a picture of the all-girl comedy group Les Horrible Cernettes. The group was made up of administrative assistants and partners of researchers at The European Organization for Nuclear Research.

A little-known band called Severe Tire Damage, played live on the Internet for the first time on June 24, 1993.

YouTube was registered as a domain on February 14, 2005. On April 23, 2005, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim posted the first video called 'Me at the zoo'. The 19-second video features Karim standing in front of elephants at the San Diego Zoo, talking about his interest in “really, really, really long trunks.”

Incidentally, the Internet is what you connect to and the Web is how you view it.

Control Your E-mail

107.8 billion emails were sent and received per day in 2014 for business-related purposes worldwide. That number is expected to grow to 139.4 billion emails per day by 2018.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine found that when you are interrupted during the work day, either from a phone call, email, or other item, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task you were originally completing.

Here are a few tips to take control. Do not open email until at least 10am. Control the first part of your day and set goals. Set auto respond to tell everyone that you are offline until 10 am.

Turn off alerts for email so you are not distracted, (except on Friday when you can start your day with some interesting thoughts to exercise your brain).

Five More Frozen Food Facts

Carl Paul Gottfried Linde, an engineer, scientist, and professor at the Technical University of Munich helped pioneer industrial cooling, through what is commonly known as the Hampson-Linde cycle, and used his findings to plan an ice and refrigeration machine back in the nineteenth century. Linde’s desire to build such machines was furthered in 1892, when the Guinness Brewery requested that Linde create a carbon dioxide liquefaction plant for them.

The first “complete” frozen meal was not the 'TV dinner', it was airplane food. In 1945, Maxson Food Systems, Inc. starting making its 'Strato-Plates', meals that were created specifically for consumption on airplanes. Each frozen meal included a meat, vegetable, and potato, and was meant to be reheated for in-air eating.

Swanson’s, which is widely hailed as the true creator of TV dinners, coined the name and was the most well-known maker of compartmentalized meals in the 1950s.

Conagra Foods introduced its Healthy Choice line of frozen food in 1989, after the corporation was inspired to pursue healthy frozen picks after its chairman, Charles Harper, suffered a heart attack due to his bad eating habits.

There has long been a debate over which company first introduced the frozen pizza to the grocery store market, with both Totino’s and Tombstone vying for the title. However, the Celentano brothers, who owned their own Italian specialty store in New Jersey, are believed to have marketed the first frozen pizza in 1957.

Yucky Screen

Did you ever wonder why your screen is so yucky?


All Season Protection

A receptionist in a church in a high risk area was concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were counting the collection. She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead. The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds attackers until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn't attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection.

Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania Southview High School. For decades, he has suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed. Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says "spray the culprit in the eyes."

Did you also know that wasp spray will kill a snake and a mouse? It can. It will also kill a wasp.

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