Oct 28, 2016

Happy Friday

Celebrate the delicious fleeting flavors of life with all your heart.

I always savor the delicious flavors of a Happy Friday!


This year Halloween is Monday October 31. Here is a Halloween Hack - If you want your carved pumpkin to last longer, rub some Vaseline on the cut parts. Boo!


It began in 2003, and the Movember movement has grown to be a global one, inspiring support from over 5 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas. Men can help by growing a mustache during the month of November, then attending or throwing a party to raise funds for men's health. It is a very worthy cause. My nephew participates each year and has turned his group’s costume parties into major events as well as fundraisers.

The Movember foundation says, "We’re the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, year round. We’re addressing some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention. We know what works for men, and how to find and fund the most innovative research to have both a global and local impact. We're independent of government funding, so we can challenge the status quo and invest quicker in what works. In 13 years we’ve funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects around the world. By 2030 we’ll reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%.

Exercise vs. Exorcise

Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between the pronunciation of these two words and content of the rest of a sentence is key to understanding. We exercise to stay fit, but we also exercise to get rid of fat and we exercise to develop skills. We exorcise demons to get rid of them.

Many people have a fear of public speaking, but we can both exercise (develop skills), and exorcise, to get rid of public speaking demons.

Water and Toxins Myth

There is a myth that says water flushes out toxins from our body. This popular misconception is that drinking copious amounts of water will help magically cleanse our innards.

Drinking adequate amounts of water ensures our body’s metabolism works correctly. Part of this is the natural detoxification process liver and kidneys conduct. They work fine as long as they are getting enough, but not too much liquid.

Additional water intake is not going to help. In fact, drinking too much water can actually prevent the detoxification process. It reduces the concentration of salt in our blood, which can damage kidneys and liver and prevent their normal functioning.

DoS and DDoS

These letters mean Denial of Service and Distributed Denial of Service. They are important, because last Friday was not so happy for people trying to get into Amazon, Twitter, GitHub, Heroku, Paypal, Etsy, Spotify, Soundcloud, Reddit, Crunchbase, Netflix, BBC, CNN, The New York Times, HBO Now, Elder Scrolls online, Yelp, Freshbooks, various Squarespace sites, Pinterest, Twilio, NHL.com, Quora, Business Insider, Zillow, Box, tableau, GrubHub, Overstock, Walgreens, Ruby Lane, Pixlr,  PicMonkey, Ticketfly, and ironically, outageanalyzer - plus more.

DDoS originate when multiple compromised devices or systems are used to target a single computer system. Victims of a DDoS attack are both the end targeted system and all systems maliciously controlled by hackers in the distributed attack. The incoming traffic flooding the victim originates from potentially hundreds of thousands to many millions of devices, including PCs, cameras, DVRs, and many smart devices, such as thermostats, etc. The wave of outages move from the East coast of the US to the West coast as the day progressed. It was reported that 145 thousand security cameras among other devices were part of the attackers causing the outages.

Incidentally, a way you can prevent your devices from being part of the problem is easily solved by changing the default password. Unfortunately many connected devices, such as thermostats, refrigerators, etc. do not provide a means to change the default password. Caveat Emptor.

What's in a Name, Frank Hayes

Frank Hayes was a horse trainer and jockey during the early 1900s. In 1923, at the age of 35, Hayes had an opportunity to compete in a steeplechase in Belmont Park, New York. He had never won a race before that. The horse that he was going to race was named Sweet Kiss, a 20-1 underdog.

In spite of the long odds of winning, and despite the fact that Hayes had little experience as a jockey since he was a horse trainer by profession, Hayes and Sweet Kiss ended up victorious.

The owner of the horse, elated with the win, approached Hayes afterward only to find out that Hayes was dead. It appeared at some point during the middle of the race, Hayes suffered a heart attack and died. Sweet Kiss somehow managed to hop the final fence and cross the finish line ahead of everyone while carrying literal dead weight.

The track physician speculated that his death may have been caused by a pre-existing heart disease. Hayes is in the Guinness Book of Records as the first, and so far the only, deceased jockey to win a race.

IKEA Size Fact

IKEA uses 1 percent of the planet’s lumber. That is about 530 million cubic feet of wood used to make IKEA furniture each year.

Candied Bacon

If you love maple syrup and if you love bacon, Bob Evans should be on your breakfast list of places to visit. It is now serving a candied bacon appetizer.

“It's so crunchy, it doesn’t even feel like meat, but it tastes like meat,” said one taster. "It's sweet and savory and it's still crisp," said another satisfied taster. "It's God's food," said another of the pulcritudunous porcine product.

Health concerns, at least when it comes to bacon may not be much of a concern for the average American. According to the National Pork Board, ten pounds of bacon is sold annually per person, demonstrating the continuous popularity of pork.
The sweet and salt combo will the spot for breakfast, lunch, brunch, or dinner and every snack in between.

Incidentally, in May, a British man legally changed his name to Bacon Double Cheeseburger.

Oct 21, 2016

Happy Friday

Sometimes we need less planning and more doing.
Today I am already doing a Happy Friday!

Microsoft Word Tip

Did you open up your Microsoft Word document after having worked on it all day and have trouble finding where you ended typing?
As soon as you open up your document, press SHIFT and F5.  This will take you back to your last edit.  In fact, if you press Shift-F5 repeatedly, it will take you through your last four edits. This feature disappeared briefly in version 2007, but is back in version 2010.

Honing vs. Sharpening

When most people at home use a honing steel or butcher's steel, or that long metal rod that comes in the center of a knife block, to sharpen their knives, what they are really doing is honing them.

The difference is that a honing steel straightens out the blade of a knife, making the edge straight, free of burrs, and ready to use. As you use a knife, the tip of the blade will eventually bend and curl so you don't get a real blade-on cut at the very tip. The best you can really do at home is to hone your knives regularly to keep the cutting edge straight. For most at-home cooks, this makes the knives feel sharper. To sharpen a blade, you need a knife sharpener, or stone. Attached is a video at Chow showing a visual description.

Food Marketing Expense

Seventy percent of food manufacturers’ marketing budgets goes to trade promotion fees, which is money paid to supermarkets to obtain better product placement and promotion. The other thirty percent is for advertising and product packaging.

Brand awareness only goes so far and packaging, a fine art, is used to entice us to buy, but ultimately we are swayed by what is in front of us. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder and we buy what we see first in the store.

Four Rules of Three

The main point of the Rules of Three is that we need to concentrate on the most immediate problem first. People mainly think of these rules for being stranded in the wilderness, but they also apply in an urban setting, such as natural disaster, earthquake, flood, etc. In any extreme situation:

You can survive for 3 minutes without air (oxygen) or in icy water,
You can survive for 3 hours without shelter in a harsh environment (unless in icy water),
You can survive for 3 days without water (if sheltered from a harsh environment),
You can survive for 3 weeks without food (if you have water and shelter).

Some people have suggested a fifth rule and that is 3 months without hope.

Incidentally, if you have a stick, or knife, or any other object stuck in you, do not pull it out. The object restricts blood flow. Wrap the area around the wound and seek help as soon as possible.

Dairy and Healthy Bones Myth

Many people confuse “dairy” with “calcium,” and assume they are the same thing. Most still believe that dairy is the best thing for healthy and strong bones. Dairy contains calcium, but so do dark-leafy greens. Milk is fortified with vitamin D, as are many other foods.

Bone health goes beyond calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin K is important for bone health, dark leafy greens have it but dairy does not. Magnesium, which plays an important part of bone health, is present in foods like almonds, cashews, oatmeal, and potatoes, but missing in dairy products.

You should get enough calcium in your diet, and milk and cheese are good sources of it. However there are many other good sources. The Harvard School of Public Health and the
University of Missouri point out that milk is not the best, or only source of calcium. If you are looking for good sources of calcium and Vitamin D, consider collard greens, mustard greens, kale, and bok choy instead of milk.

Caffeine Facts

The Mayo Clinic says most healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine each day.

Caffeine is
a central nervous system stimulant that makes us feel alert. It can also improve our mood and is associated with a reduced risk of depression. It can also increase our adrenaline level, which can leave us more irritable, anxious, and far more emotionally-charged. Caffeine has been shown to improve certain types of memory in some, but not all studies. Controlled amounts of caffeine can boost notable performance gains for athletes. Some studies also indicate caffeine is effective to increase long term memories. Although ingesting too much caffeine makes it difficult to focus on anything.

There is some evidence that caffeine, when combined with certain pain-relieving medications like acetaminophen, the main active ingredient in Tylenol, and aspirin, helps those medications take effect quicker, last longer, and increases their effects.
Excedrin contains caffeine.

Here are a few common sources of caffeine:

Most 12-ounce cups of coffee contain 90 to 120 mg of caffeine,
One 12-ounce cup of Starbucks contains about 260 mg,
Dunkin Donuts has 215 mg,
One 2-ounce shot of 5 hour energy contains about 215 mg,
One 12-ounce cup of McDonald's coffee has about 109 mg,
One 8-ounce can of Red Bull contains 80 mg,
One cup of brewed black tea contains about 67 mg,
One shot of espresso contains about 71 mg, (a latte is espresso plus steamed milk - cappuccino is espresso plus milk and foam),
One 12-ounce can of diet Coke has 46 grams of caffeine,
One 12-ounce can of regular Coke has 34 grams of caffeine.

Laughter and Exercise

According to researchers at Georgia State University, forced laughter incorporated into an exercise program increases the health benefits and makes older adults more likely to exercise more. Simulated laughter techniques added to a strength, balance, and flexibility workout improved older adults' performance in an exercise program and significantly improved their enjoyment.
Laughter has physical benefits, and in many cases has an effect on the muscles used during exercise programs. Forced laughter, or choosing to laugh, rather than as a response to something funny gave way to actual laughter and enjoyment for most participants in classes with laughing incorporated into physical exercises.

Laughter is an enjoyable activity and has many health benefits. In a recent study, participants experienced improvement in mental health, aerobic endurance, and outcome expectation for exercise, with 96.2 percent of participants saying laughter made exercise more enjoyable, 88.9 percent saying it made exercise more accessible and 89.9 percent saying it would motivate them to participate in more exercise classes or activities. We all need a good laugh for better mental health and to clear out the cobwebs of our mind.

Oct 14, 2016

Happy Friday

A smile is more contagious than a yawn.

Share your smiles every day, especially on a Happy Friday!

Happy World Egg Day

Happy World Egg Day! It was established at the International Egg Commission, Vienna, 1996 conference, which decided to celebrate World Egg Day on the second Friday in October each year.

Eggs are one of nature’s highest quality sources of protein, and indeed contain many of the key ingredients for life. The proteins contained within eggs are highly important in the development of the brain and muscles, have a key role to play in disease prevention, and contribute to general well being.

Banana Myths Debunked

There is an old wife's tale that you cannot store bananas in the refrigerator. There is a reason for this myth, bananas do get a dark and ugly skin in the refrigerator. However, this does not mean the fruit goes bad. Also, they do not produce gas or other toxins in the cold.

Once bananas are ripened, they can be kept in a fridge. A banana peel will turn dark brown, making it appear bad, but the part you eat inside actually stays quite good. Remove the ugly peel and you will see the flesh inside is as delicious as ever. You can let it sit out for a short time to return to room temperature, if desired before eating.

Bananas can typically be kept in the refrigerator for about a week, which is significantly longer than an optimally ripe banana will last at room temperature. A handy place to store them is in the crisper.

Banana companies Chiquita and Dole recommend you do this to make the banana last longer in its perfect ripeness stage. Once a banana reaches its optimal ripeness for your taste, stick it in the refrigerator to drastically slow the conversion of starch into sugars, almost to the point of stopping the ripening process.
It is important not to put the bananas in the refrigerator before they reach the level of ripeness you desire. Chiquita says, “If you place your unripe Chiquita bananas in the refrigerator, they may not be able to resume the ripening process even if they are returned to room temperature.”
There are other ways to keep bananas fresh longer. For instance, you can slow the ripening process of a banana by keeping the banana away from other fruits, including separating a banana from the same hand it came from. Bananas put off large amounts of ethylene, relative to many other fruits. This triggers and quickens the ripening process significantly.

Incidentally, if you would like to speed up the ripening of some green bananas or other fruit or vegetables, put them in a paper bag together over night. The trapped ethylene will quickly ripen the fruit, and the paper bag will still let enough oxygen in to keep the ripening progress smoothly.  Also, putting fresh bananas in the same container as an overripe banana will rapidly accelerate the ripening process of the fresh bananas. Related posts LINK1, LINK2.

Airline Seats and Windows

Have you ever noticed that most airplane windows do no line up with your seat? The reason for this is that the airline manufacturers place windows as they believe is the optimum seating arrangement. Airlines decide on actual seating arrangements, using the flexible tracks in the plane. So, while one airline might coincidentally line up seats with windows, others do not. Plane window placements are standard, seating arrangements are not.

Airport WiFi Passwords

If you want to make travel a bit less troublesome, there is a tiny free app that can ease your wait time. It shows the passwords for WiFi at many of the world's airports. It is constantly updated for you, so check it out for the next time you have an interminable wait at the terminal. LINK

Pronunciation Poem

The following is the beginning of a poem "The Chaos" The only way it makes sense is if you know how to correctly pronounce the words. If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.

The poem was written during 1922 by Gerard Nolst Trenité. Here is a LINK to the poem in its entirety. There is also a YouTube version with someone reading it out loud (6 minutes long) LINK. Friday fun diversion.

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
   I will teach you in my verse
   Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.

I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
   Tear in eye, your dress you'll tear;
   Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.

Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
   Just compare heart, hear and heard,
   Dies and diet, lord and word.

Sword and sward, retain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it's written).
   Made has not the sound of bade,
   Say-said, pay-paid, laid but plaid.

Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
   But be careful how you speak,
   Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak,

Previous, precious, fuchsia, via
Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir;
   Woven, oven, how and low,
   Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.

Windows 10 Tip

 If you cannot get into Windows, hold down Shift key when restarting, then go to Troubleshooting options.

Baking Soda Facts

You likely have one or more boxes of baking soda in your home. Baking soda can be used for many purposes. It cleans homes, deodorizes furniture, exfoliates skin, kills mold, polishes silver, and more. You can use it to wash your hair, to make deodorant, and to take the stink out of sweaty clothes.

Baking soda comes out of the ground in the form of minerals nahcolite and trona, which are refined into soda ash (calcium carbonate), then turned into baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), among other things. Most of it comes from the United States, which contains the world’s largest trona deposit. Nahcolite, a naturally occurring sodium bicarbonate, is often found in evaporated lake basins. It is also mined in Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Turkey, and Mexico.

Glass-making consumes about half of the soda ash and the chemical industry uses about a quarter of the output. Other uses include soap, paper manufacturing, and water treatment.