Nov 27, 2015

Happy Friday

Know-it-alls don't. Do-it-alls do.

I do always have a Happy Friday!

Optimus Prime

Voice actor Peter Cullen did the voice of Optimus Prime in the original Transformers series, in the 2007 Transformers, 2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and 2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon.  He also did the voice of Optimus Prime in the Transformers: War for Cybertron video game. 

In addition to those, he also did the voice for Eeyore, in the Winnie-the-Pooh series, and was the first person to voice Nintendo’s Mario character. He also did voices for other characters in: Duck Tales, Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Adventures of Captain Planet, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, Garfield and Friends, Darkwing Duck, The Jetsons, and Gremlins.

What's in a Name, Applejack

Apple brandy has been produced in the US since colonial times. Farmers would let apples ferment, then put the fermented juice in a barrel outside when it became cold. Since the freezing point of water is higher than that of alcohol, the water in the mixture would freeze. The farmers would scoop the ice out, leaving the alcohol behind. This process, known as jacking left behind a higher proof product and it was referred to as "applejack." The name eventually became synonymous with apple brandy.

Cartoon Character Original Names

Tweety was not specifically named in the original cartoon, but staff called him Orson.

Mickey Mouse was originally to be named Mortimer by Walt Disney until his wife suggested the friendlier-sounding “Mickey.”

Pluto was originally Minnie’s dog Rover. He then became Pluto a few months after the discovery of Pluto in 1930.

Goofy was originally Dippy Dawg for a few years until 1934, when he became Goofy.

Elmer Fudd was originally Egghead until the 1940 cartoon “Elmer’s Candid Camera.”

Mighty Mouse was Super Mouse until another cartoon character by the same name came out. It was changed to Mighty to avoid confusion.

Betty Boop was originally called "Nancy Lee" or "Nan McGrew" in a few episodes. She was also originally a poodle. In her first official color cartoon, she was actually portrayed as a redhead. Later she was changed back to black hair and a red dress.

Alcohol and Calories

Good news for the holidays, a five-ounce glass of red, white, or rosé has about 100 calories per glass. Many believe wine is high in sugar because it is made from grapes, but because the fermentation process in wine-making converts sugars into alcohol. Only sweet or dessert wines are high in sugar. Wine is considered a heart healthy drink, especially red wine, which contains resveratrol, the antioxidant compound linked to heart health benefits. The American Heart Association recommends 1-2 four-ounce servings of wine per day.

Hard liquor is higher in calories per-ounce than wine, but not by much since after distillation, spirits such as vodka, whiskey, gin, and rum have nothing left but the alcohol. They contain zero carbs, which makes them a diet-friendly option, plus, the standard 1.5 ounce serving of spirits has 105 calories.

The average 12-ounce serving of beer contains 150 calories and 13g carbs, higher than wine and spirits. Choosing light versions of beer will save about 50 calories per serving and cut carbs in half. Lager and wheat beers are generally lower in both calories and carbs per serving compared to heavier beers such as ales, stouts, and porters. Beers differ in color, flavor, and consistency, and the good news all offer some nutritional value. The brewer’s yeast used to ferment beer contains B vitamins that benefit the nervous system health and reduce homocysteine, a chemical that can contribute to cardiovascular disease. Bottoms up!

Germ Fact

More germs are passed by shaking hands than by kissing. This holiday season, be safe and liberally pass out hugs and kisses at every opportunity.

Bug Repellant Pill

Nice go outdoors without the threat of mosquitoes. Mozi-Q is a new bug repellant pill. This revolutionary pill invented by Erin Bosch has been cleared by the Canadian Health board as being safe for users as well as quite successful at keeping the bugs away.

The pill is available online and Bosch claims its effectiveness come from the five types of flowers that it is made from. The pill takes about thirty minutes to take effect after it is ingested. It is a combination of several homeopathic remedies claimed to be up to 90% effective at reducing bites. By changing the body’s susceptibility to being bitten, bugs lose interest in the attack.

Turkey Sex

Some turkeys (and chickens) reproduce without sex. Parthenogenesis is reproduction without benefit of sex. In other words, asexual reproduction in which the offspring develops from unfertilized eggs. It occurs spontaneously in a handful of species, like insects, lizards, snakes, and sharks. Turkeys have a virgin birth rate in some breeds of up to 40 percent. Virgin birth can become more frequent in turkeys if the female is exposed to semen having a low sperm count.

Turkey Terms

A few common labels and what they actually mean, which is not much. I hope you are enjoying the leftovers from your premium, young, fresh, free range turkey, with no hormones added.

  • Young: Most commercial turkeys are killed at 16 to 18 weeks, so this is mostly meaningless. The USDA does not define “young” for turkeys and only requires the label of “mature” or “yearling” for turkeys that lived more than a year.
  • Fresh: This means the turkey was never frozen.
  • No Hormones Added: Mostly meaningless as commercial turkeys, and other poultry are not given growth hormones, per USDA rules.
  • Premium: Meaningless as premium has no USDA definition.
  • Free range: Often misleading, as it means the animal was given “access to the outdoors.” In most cases, the animal is still raised in standard, crowded cages.

Immortal Lobster Myth

Photos of lobsters can be found at many sites on the net with captions calling the crustaceans biologically immortal. A 2007 news story that reported that lobsters do not show typical signs of senescence, the process of growing older. The report said that lobsters do not age the way other living creatures do, because they do not lower their reproductive ability, slow their metabolism, or decrease in strength.

It is true that lobsters continue reproducing, and growing until the end. Like most decapod crustaceans, which also include crayfish and shrimp, they have indeterminate growth. That means they do not reach a set size limit in their lifetimes, continuing to grow until they die. Previous research has suggested that the biggest European lobster males in the wild live an average of 31 years, and the females an average of 54 years.

According to the Animal Aging and Longevity Database, other organisms with negligible aging includes: Rougheye rockfish  – 205 years, Painted turtle – 61 years, Blanding's turtle – 77 years, Eastern box turtle – 138 years, and Red sea urchin – 200 years, among others.

Free Friday Fun Commercial

Nov 20, 2015

Happy Friday

If you have only one choice, choose happiness.

I always choose to be happy, especially when celebrating a Happy Friday!

Whats in a Name

A 16-week-old turkey is called a fryer. A five to seven month old turkey is called a young roaster. A group of turkeys is technically called a “rafter”, though they are often incorrectly referred to as a “gobble” or a “flock.”

Turkeys and Bowling

Late eighteenth and early nineteenth century prizes given out during bowling tournaments were often food items, such as a basket filled with various grocery items, a large ham, etc. Around Thanksgiving in the United States, turkeys became common prizes. At some point, one tournament decided to give away a turkey to people who managed to bowl three strikes in a row. This practice spread and eventually embedded itself in common bowling vernacular, long after giving away actual turkeys stopped.

Back then, bowling three strikes in a row was extremely difficult to do, because they did not have the beautiful lanes we have now. Also, bowling pins were setup by hand and not always uniform, bowling balls were not well balanced, and people running the tournaments would often use tricks to make the pins more difficult to knock down.

Because it is more common to hit three strikes or more in a row today, new names have been developed. Six consecutive strikes is a Wild Turkey and nine consecutive strikes is a Golden Turkey.

Earliest Thanksgiving Celebrations

Scholars agree that the first Plymouth Thanksgiving, which lasted for three days, occurred in the fall of 1621 with 90 Native Americans and 50 white settlers in attendance. It was based on English harvest festivals. The Wampanoag men may have been trying to negotiate a peace agreement. They brought five deer to the feast, which probably also included cod, goose, dried corn, and fruit.

There is no historical record of turkey or pumpkin pie. The first feast was not repeated, so it was not the beginning of a tradition and the colonists did not call the day Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving was a religious holiday and they would go to church and thank God for a specific event, such as the winning of a battle. On such a religious day, the types of recreational activities the pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians participated in during the 1621 harvest feast, such as dancing, singing secular songs, and playing games would not have been allowed. That feast was a secular celebration, so it never would have been considered a thanksgiving in the colonists minds.

Pilgrims, Colonists, and Puritans

The word pilgrim was never used by the actual people it describes. It is a myth that pilgrims wore only black and white clothing and had buckles on their hats, garments, and shoes.

The Church of England Separatists living in Plymouth during the 1600s were much more colorful than story books portray. Black and white were commonly worn only on Sunday and formal occasions and women typically dressed in red, earthy green, brown, blue, violet, and gray, while men wore clothing in white, beige, black, earthy green, and brown. Buckles did not come into fashion until late in the seventeenth century.

Colonists (pilgrims and puritans) did not live in log cabins. The log cabin did not appear in America until late in the seventeenth century, when it was introduced by Germans and Swedes. Log cabins were virtually unknown in England at the time the Pilgrims arrived in America. Pilgrims lived in wood clapboard houses made from sawed lumber.

Pilgrims and Puritans were two different groups. The Pilgrims came over on the Mayflower and lived in Plymouth. The Puritans, arrived a decade later, settled in Boston, and came to America strictly in search of religious freedom. They did not welcome dissent.

Puritans considered the Pilgrims incurable utopians. While both shared the belief that the Church of England had become corrupt, only the Pilgrims believed it was beyond redemption. They therefore chose the path of Separatism. Puritans held out the hope the church would reform.

Puritans welcomed laughter and upper class dressed in bright colors, but lower classes dressed in dark clothes. The anti-liquor and anti-sex attitudes usually attributed to the Puritans are a nineteenth-century addition to the views of early settlers in New England.

Annual Turkey Pardon

President Truman received two turkeys in December 1948 from the poultry industry and began the tradition of the president receiving turkeys from a business, rather than random folks. However, Truman did not pardon either of them. He said the birds would make for a tasty Christmas dinner.

In 1963, John F. Kennedy was presented with a turkey and remarked, "Let's keep him going." A Washington Post article about the comment was first to use the words "reprieve" and "pardon" to describe the fate of the turkey. So, JFK began the modern turkey pardon tradition.

Origin of Bowl Games

During 1916, the Roses Association decided to sponsor a football tournament between WSU (then called The State College of Washington) and Brown.  This game was held at Tournament Park in Pasadena, as were subsequent annual matches.

Fast-forward five years and they needed a larger stadium to play the game as attendance outgrew that venue. Myron Hunt was commissioned to design a stadium for this purpose which was named Rose Bowl.  The Rose Bowl was modeled after the design of Yale’s stadium, Yale Bowl, which resembled a bowl.  This tournament sponsored by the Roses Association then was named the “Rose Bowl,” after the stadium.

As other universities with football teams saw the money making opportunities and promotional value of these tournament games, they began creating their own 'bowl' games, even though many of these games were not played in bowl shaped stadiums.

The NFL borrowed this terminology when it created the Pro Bowl in 1951. In 1970, the AFL and NFL merged and they created a championship game called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. Once the merger was completed two years later, the championship game was re-branded the Super Bowl, using the college naming convention. The third match-up, was named Super Bowl III and also set the tradition of using Roman numerals for the Super Bowl.

Brownie Points

The term originated with the points earned for various achievements by the youngest group of the Girl Scouts, called Brownies. Brownie points are imaginary points earned by someone for doing a good deed, and lost by doing something bad.

The Girl Scout or Girl Guide Brownies took their name from the mythical creature, the brownie. The mythical brownies were known for being kind and helpful and performing household chores while a family slept. The girl-brownies are supposed to emulate this behavior, being quietly helpful without asking for much in return. (Historical Dictionary of American Slang argues that Brownie points, was US army slang from WWII.)

The slang brown-noser, seems to have first popped up around 1939. It is defined in the 1944 edition of American Speech, as: "A person who is always asking and answering questions in class to impress the instructor. Also a person who stays after class to try to insinuate himself into the teacher’s good graces." This hints at the brown-noser / brownie points connection and how the behavior of Brownies might have overlapped with that of brown-nosers. However, it is American military slang and alludes to the practice of 'brown nosing', or 'arse-licking'. The older term brown-nose is used for a person who curries favor to such an extent that his nose seems to be up his superior’s backside.

Holiday and Booze Myths

Drink dark liquor and get a hangover, drink light and you are good all night. Congeners are in alcoholic beverages, mostly as a result of the processes used in fermenting and aging, or are leached from oak barrels. They are toxins such as acetone, histamines, and tannins. Although they are only slightly toxic in the small amounts found in booze, some believe congeners are to blame for typical hangover symptoms. Gin and vodka have the least congeners while bourbon and scotch have the most as dark liquors have more than clear ones in general. However, the biggest determinant of getting hung-over is alcohol intoxication, not dark vs. light drinks.

The old saying: “Beer before liquor, never been sicker. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.” People tend to down liquor but sip beer. As such, drinking liquor first might do more damage because of greater speed of drinking. The one truth in this adage is that if you drink much beer before drinking much liquor, you very well could get sick. The truth is that it is more about how much you drink than the order you drink it. If you drink enough, you will probably get sick either way.

Meaning of Emojis

Have you ever wondered what the meaning of a particular emoji is, or how to use it? Here is a LINK to the emojipedia. You can find all those confusing and amusing emoji pictures and you might find that you are likely using some of them to mean something completely different than you intend. Beware bad emoji use can get you in trouble. 

Old Movie Dance Mashup

This will stir some emotion and get your heart pumping. Some of the greatest dancers on the big screen to Mark Ronson-Uptown Funk ft.Bruno Mars. My toes are still tapping. LINK

Nov 13, 2015

Happy Friday

You cannot be satisfied until you do something to be satisfied about.

I am always satisfied when I smile and celebrate a Happy Friday!

Wholistic vs. Holistic

Wholistic emphasizes the organic or functional relation between parts and the whole. Wholistic refers to a philosophy of life.

Holistic is the philosophy that all parts of a thing are interconnected. In medicine, holistic treatment is the treatment of a person as a whole, mind, body and social factors. Related words are holism and holistically. The word holistic is first seen in 1926, holistic medicine appears in 1960. Wholistic and holistic are words that are interchangeable, though holistic is used more often when referring to holistic medicine and wholistic when referring to a philosophy of life.

Holy Mackerel

It is an exclamation of surprise. Holy Mackerel dates back at least 200 years and is one of very many blasphemous oaths with the Holy prefix. Holy Mackerel was almost certainly a reference to Catholics eating fish on Fridays (rather like Holy Cow is a reference to Hindus, and Holy Smoke is a reference to incense burning and funeral pyres. Mackerel was popular because it did not cost much.

Holy Moses was shortened to the rhyming Holy Moley or Holy Moly. The way that words roll off the tongue is significant in how these expressions become widely used and adopted.

Another slang for Catholics of the 19th century was mackerel snatchers. The word Mackerel has historically been a strong fish symbol and fish stereotype.

Anchovy vs. Sardine

Speaking of fish, anchovies and sardines come from two different families, but they do share some traits - both are small, silvery fish that are available fresh, preserved, and canned.

Sardine is an imprecise term for any number of small, silvery saltwater fish related to the herring and found throughout the world. They tend to travel in large schools close to the water's surface and are harvested fresh in the summer.

In the US, sardines are usually canned in oil or sauce, salted or smoked. In Europe, larger sardines are also eaten fresh, roasted in the oven or cooked on the grill either whole or in fillets. The name 'sardine' may be a reference to the Sardinian coast, where pilchards were one of the first fish to be packed in oil. The sardine is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and generally considered to be a brain food.

Anchovy refers to a family of small fish found in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. There is no single “anchovy fish” to be found, but rather a series of aquatic relatives that make them recognizable to us as members of the same fish family. Anchovies are sold flat or rolled, filleted and either salt-cured or oil-packed. The curing process is comparable to that of aged hams in that it is basically the anchovy’s own juices that make it happen, with bacterial fermentation playing a supporting role. For most of human history this salt packing was the way that anchovies were sold.

In Europe, marinated fresh anchovies are eaten frequently, available in restaurants and Spanish, Greek, and Italian groceries. Known mostly for their strong flavor and aroma, anchovies can be soaked in water to remove excess brininess.

What's in a Name, Tank

WWI (1914 - 1918) military war machines were called tanks, because they were originally disguised to resemble water tanks. Tanks with cannons were called male tanks and tanks with machine guns were called female tanks.

'Little Willie' was developed in 1915 by British scientists and inventors, and it was the first World War 1 tank. The British produced over 2,600 tanks during the war, but by the end of the war British Tank Corps had only 8 tanks left.

Space Explosions Myth

There are two popular misconceptions about how explosions work in space. The first is the kind you see in sci-fi movies, a giant explosion when a spaceship blows up, often big enough to destroy other ships with the shock wave. The second, believed by many is that because there is no oxygen in the vacuum of space, explosions are categorically impossible .

The reality is somewhere in the middle. The latter misconception is predicated on the idea of setting fires in a literal vacuum, wherein you are in the vacuum of space and trying to flick a lighter on. That would not work, but if an explosion were to occur inside a spaceship, the oxygen inside could briefly mix with other gases and form the necessary chemical reactions for a fire. Depending on the gas concentrations, it could even be large enough to blow up a ship. Since there is no pressure in space, the explosion would dissipate in a matter of milliseconds once it hit the vacuum. If you blinked, you’d miss it. There would also be no shock wave, which is the deadliest part of an explosion in the Earth’s atmosphere. 


They are yellow, orange, and red pigments in plants. The most common carotenoids in a Western diet are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene. Each of these carotenoids carries a distinct set of actions, benefits and originating fruits and vegetables. There are more than 600 carotenoids.

Carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, papaya, watermelon, cantaloupe, mangos, spinach, kale, tomatoes, bell peppers, and oranges are among the fruits and vegetables in which carotenoids can be found.

In order to be properly absorbed, carotenoids should be consumed with a fat. Carotenoids are associated with antioxidant activity, eye health, immune system activity, intercellular communication, and reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.

The body can convert alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin into vitamin A (retinol), which is associated with anti-aging and immune system function. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids found in the retina and are associated with lower risks of macular degeneration.

Manga vs. Anime

Manga is a Japanese style of graphic novels and comic books that is aimed at adults as well as children. In manga, the characters have oversized eyes and the drawings are often in black and white. Manga stories are told in serial form. Manga style descends from Japanese aesthetics, though many see the influence of American comic books brought into Japan during after World War II. Katsushika Hokusai coined the term manga in 1814 to describe a free-flowing, quirky style.  Manga style has been popular since 1984 and literally means involuntary pictures.

Anime is a Japanese style of animation for television and film, often based on previously published manga. Anime appears in Japan in 1985 as the Japanese word for animation, taken from the French verb, animé. So, manga is printed material and anime is video material.

Seventeen More Banana Facts

Here are a few more facts about why bananas, nature's wonder fruit, are so good for us.

  1. Bananas contain tryptophan which turns into serotonin after consumption.
  2. The boost in serotonin is an effective and natural way to reduce the effects of depression.
  3. Potassium in bananas greatly reduces the likelihood of getting muscle cramps.
  4. Bananas are a great source of calcium.
  5. Bananas have been known to reduce the prevalence of menstrual cramps.
  6. Bananas are high in vitamin B, promoting the production of white blood cells.
  7. Bananas contain a healthy amount of iron.
  8. The FDA says bananas can help lower blood pressure.
  9. Bananas contain pectin, which is a great digestion aid.
  10. Bananas are natural antacids and can calm heartburn.
  11. Bananas are one of the only foods that can combat the pain of stomach ulcers.
  12. Bananas are known to be natural protection against kidney disease and brittle bones.
  13. Bananas are high in antioxidants.
  14. Bananas can normalize blood sugar levels between meals.
  15. Rub the inside of a banana peel on a bug bite for quick itch relief.
  16. If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, bananas can reduce the effects due to their high level of tryptophan.
  17. To quit smoking, help curb the withdrawals with the high levels of vitamins, potassium, and magnesium in bananas.
    (Make banana ice cream. Peel two bananas and put in freezer for an hour. Take out, slice, put in blender with two tablespoons peanut butter, or some chocolate chips, or bacon - blend, scoop, enjoy.)