Jul 6, 2018

Happy Friday

Anyone who keeps the ability to be happy never grows old.
I feel young and invigorated, especially on a Happy Friday!

National Cut the Cord Day

Roku began celebrating 'National Streaming Day' a few years ago and now national retailers and others are celebrating 'Cut the Cord Day' with big sales and giveaways. Seems like creative advertising, rather than days for celebration. Oh, and Amazon is coming up with Amazon Prime day later this month. It is devoted to having us buy stuff from Amazon. Wow, what a concept, have a special day for us to buy stuff.

National Hot Dog Day

It is celebrated on the third Wednesday of July, except when Wednesday falls on July 1st, then it is held on the 4th Wednesday. This year it is July 18.
According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans eat more than 20 billion hot dogs every year. More than 155 million hot dogs will be eaten during the Fourth of July weekend. The Council estimates each American eats 60 hot dogs every year on average.
Favorite hot dog add-on for adults is mustard. Children prefer ketchup.

The annual Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest is the world's most famous hot dog eating contest. It has also become an Independence Day tradition for many. Each year, more than 40,000 people come to Coney Island to watch the contest.

During the contest, 20 people compete to see who can eat the most hot dogs with buns in just 10 minutes. The winner gets to wear a special jeweled mustard-yellow belt and receives a cash prize.

Miki Sudo held onto her title as the top women's competitor at the 2018 contest, downing 37 franks and buns to take home her prize for the fifth consecutive year.

Joey Chestnut of San Jose, California, holds the world record for hot dog eating. In 2016, he ate 73.5 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. He also won during 2017. He broke his own world record on July 4, 2018 by eating 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes to claim his 11th Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest title. Yikes!

Bell Pepper Myth Debunked

Myth, flip the bell peppers over to check their gender. The ones with four bumps are female and those with three bumps are male. In fact, some have two and some five lobes. Bell peppers do not have gender. Some things never go away and there are many errant web sites still propagating this myth.

The number of lobes of a bell pepper is determined by its variety. Different varieties produce different numbers of lobes, between two to five. The most popular variety of bell pepper in the US produces four lobes, so many plants have been bred for this characteristic. There is no difference in the peppers number of lobes or bumps for sweetness or number of seeds.

Election Day Factoid

France, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, and more hold their national elections on Sunday.

Amazon and Charity

Approximately 64% of American households had a Prime membership in 2017.

One of the least-known and best perks of Amazon is that you can use your leftover boxes to ship donations to local charities for free. Go to GiveBackBox.com, click on the logo of the participating company you have a box sitting around from, type in your zip code and email address, and you'll get a prepaid shipping label emailed to you. After you fill the leftover box with your donations, attach the label and schedule a UPS pickup. There is no cost. Plus, GiveBackBox will email you a tax receipt for your records once your box is received.

Also, Amazon will give 0.5% of your purchase price to local organizations when you shop through Amazon Smile.

Wordology, Intergluteal Cleft

That is the medical term for butt crack. I know, too much information.

First Cell Phone

The Nokia 3310 was its first ever GSM cell phone, when it came out in 2000. It had a battery life of 2 h 30 min to 4 h 30 of talk time and 55 to 245 hours of standby charge. It had features such as SMS messaging, a calculator, Nokia network monitor, stop watch, and a reminder function. It also had four games: Pairs II, Space Impact, Bantumi, and the hugely popular Snake II.

It is also back in production. The new Nokia 3310 takes the iconic silhouette of the original and reimagines it. The custom designed user interface brings a fresh look to a classic. It has a 2.4” polarized and curved screen window, which makes for better readability in sunlight. It offers 22 hours of talk time off a single charge and should keep running for 31 days in standby mode.

Fore, Golf

This word is shorthand for “watch out ahead” or ‘watch out before.” In other words, yelling out fore allows bystanders to be forewarned of a fly ball.

Jun 29, 2018

Happy Friday

No one ever died from an overdose of happy.
Soak it up, devour it, and bathe in it, especially on a Happy Friday!

Netflix Tidbits

Have you noticed that movies and shows from Netflix look bad for a few seconds? That is because Netflix will start playing a stream sooner than it can be played at its full quality and buffers for the full-resolution version as it is ready then the stream will be displayed at full resolution.

If your bandwidth slows down (like when sharing WiFi), video resolution will drop until the full-res stream is sufficiently buffered again. Netflix does this to keep the load times short so you see less buffering circles instead of the show. This is effective use of technology others might do well to emulate.

Western Wedding Dresses

As we finish up the month of June, the traditional month of marriages, which dates back to Roman times when they celebrated the festival of the deity Jupiter and his wife Juno, who was the goddess of marriage and childbirth. In Victorian times, the tradition is thought to have continued because there were flowers available for wedding d├ęcor, and the scent of the flowers masked body odor.

The common form of white dresses for those in the west began during the 1800s, especially when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840. Before that any color would do, based on wealth or personal preference. The white dress practice spread quickly to the broad reaches of the British Empire. Back then, no woman, not even royalty was expected to wear her wedding dress only once and then never again. This practice also changed after the marriage of Queen Victoria.

After that, wedding dresses were adapted to the styles of the day, such as during the early 1900s, they included lace or frills. During the 1920s, they were typically short in the front with a longer train in the back and were worn with cloche-style wedding veils. Following current fashions continued until the late 1960s, when it became popular to go back to long, full-skirted designs reminiscent of the Victorian era. These days the majority of wedding dresses are strapless dresses or sleeveless.

White wedding dresses had been used for many years before that, but it was not the dominant color. Also, white dresses did not have a symbolic meaning of virginity or purity, but rather were costlier and harder to keep clean, and thus were status symbols of wealth for the wearer. Victorian ideals of weddings, romantic love, and purity were projected backwards to rewrite the white dress as a symbol of innocence and virginity rather than wealth.

Many other cultures also have specific, although usually unwritten rules for wedding attire, including color and style.

Five Animal Factoids

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
A cow gives nearly 200,000 glasses of milk in a lifetime.
Bats are the only mammals that can fly.
A single elephant tooth can weigh up to nine pounds.

Ants never sleep as we know it. They take hundreds of power naps each day.

Google Tabs

Many of us use Google search by typing in some word or phrase and usually find what we want on the first page and go no further. Google search has become much better at anticipating our needs, including fixing typos for us.
However, there are times we are looking for specific information and do not wish to wade through the swamp of irrelevant and overlapping pages.
My biggest problem with searching, other than relevance, is dates. Seems like nothing ever leaves the web and as information changes, the web just adds more, rather than fixes incorrect information.
My favorite tab is the Tools tab. When you click on it there are two options, Any Time and All results. Using the Any Time button there are options for various time periods, including custom. For technical information, I like to use past week or past month. For other things, past year usually weeds out most of the old garbage. All results is the default, but also offers verbatim (in case you forgot to use quote marks in your search).

On the top of every search results page there are a number of tabs. Usually you will see Web, Images, News, Videos, Shopping, More, Settings, and Tools. Using these tabs can help define what kind of search you need to do. If you need images, use the Image tab. If you are looking for a recent news article, use the News tab. If you click on More, then choose advanced search, Google offers boxes to help refine your search criteria. You can forget many of the tips I have offered by using this Advanced Search as it shows boxes to fill in and offers examples. Advanced search is particularly good for very specific searches.

Find pages with... To do this in the search box
All these words:...Type the important words:  tricolor rat terrier
This exact word or phrase:...Put exact words in quotes:  "rat terrier"
any of these words:...Type OR between all the words you want:  miniature OR standard
None of these words:...Put a minus sign just before words you don't want:  -rodent, -"Jack Russell"
Numbers ranging from:...to Put 2 periods between the numbers and add a unit of measure: 10..35 lb, $300..$500, 2010..2011.

Michael Phelps Gold Medals

Michael Phelps has won more Olympic gold medals than India, Nigeria, North Korea, Portugal, Taiwan and Thailand combined.

Slugs and Snails

Slugs and snails are both part of the same class of gastropods. Gastropod comes from the Greek words gastros (stomach) and podos (foot). Most gastropods live in water. Snails and slugs are the only gastropods that can also be found on land, but the majority of snails and slugs live in water.
The most obvious difference between snails and slugs is snails have shells. Their only other differences are in habitat and behavior. Without those big shells to carry around, slugs can squeeze themselves into many different habitats that snails cannot.

As they move along, leave behind a slimy trail, called mucus. Snails and slugs make mucus so that they can move on the ground and keep their bodies from losing moisture to the dry soil beneath them. It also protects them from being cut by sharp objects in the soil. Snails and slugs can completely destroy gardens by eating plants and fruits, including their roots, leaves, and stems. One redeeming feature is that escargot, which is made from land snails, tastes great.

Browser Resolution Format Limits

Below is the maximum resolution for each web browser on a computer. If you have a PC hooked up to your TV, you will not get the best picture quality due to browser limitations. A 720p format has a resolution of 1280×720. Most entry level TVs these days are 1080p and upscale whatever image is given, but higher resolution input looks better.

 Google Chrome: Up to 720p
 Firefox: Up to 720p
 Internet Explorer: Up to 1080p
 Microsoft Edge: Up to 4K (requires HDCP 2.2 connection to 4K display, with at least Intel’s 7th gen Core CPU, and Windows 10)
 Opera: Up to 720p
 Safari: Up to 1080p (requires OS X 10.10.3 or greater)

There are browser addons available for services, such as Netflix, to up the resolution to 1080p. Better to get a streaming box, than using a PC if you want the best quality pictures for your TV.

Jun 23, 2018

Happy Friday

Life happens, whether you take advantage of it or not.

Take advantage of being happy by celebrating a Happy Friday!

Five Kool-Aid Hacks

Remove the toilet tank lid and pour in a dark-colored Kool-Aid packet. Wait about 30 minutes without flushing the toilet. If any of the colored water appears in the toilet bowl, there is a leak. You may need to replace the flapper, or you may need to investigate further.

Fill your empty dishwasher’s detergent compartment with lemon Kool-Aid and run a normal cycle. The citric acid will help remove buildup.

Run 1/4 cup lemon or orange Kool-Aid in a regular wash cycle in your washing machine without clothes and repeat as needed to help remove scum buildup.

Kool-Aid mixed with water is a cheap way to dye Easter eggs or to color hard boiled eggs (without the shell), for a fun way to perk up a salad or meal.

Singular and Plural Words

In many languages there are certain words which have no singular form, only a plural form. It is called "plurale tantum", which is Latin for "plural only". Very often there no particular reason for it and does not conform to the rules you learn at school.
In English, pluralia tantum, the plural of "plurale tantum" are usually things that function together as pairs or sets: scissors, pants, pajamas, pliers, spectacles, etc.

There is also "singularia tantum", which are words that have no plural form, such as information.

There are some examples of pluralia tantum that have become singularia tantum. One such is 'news', which was originally plural, but is now always singular. 'Data' was originally the plural of 'datum', but is now pretty mostly a singulare tantum.

Some words can be used as ordinary nouns or as plurale tantum, and you can decide which is the most appropriate. For example, if you want to tell somebody they should apply some thought to a matter, you can say either "Use your brain" or "Use your brains". A bad person would want to blow your brains out, rather than just your brain. There are some that we always get two of, such as pants. There is one "pant" on each leg, but we never talk about them separately, because you need both. A pant would signify just one leg hole.

Ten Percent

        In 1900, less than 10% of families owned a stove, or had access to electricity or phones.
-- In 1915, <10 a="" br="" car.="" families="" of="" owned=""> -- In 1930, <10 a="" br="" clothes="" families="" of="" or="" owned="" refrigerator="" washer.=""> -- In 1945, <10 a="" air-conditioning.="" br="" clothes="" dryer="" families="" of="" or="" owned=""> -- In 1960, <10 a="" br="" color="" dishwasher="" families="" of="" or="" owned="" tv.=""> -- In 1975, <10 a="" br="" families="" microwave.="" of="" owned=""> -- In 1990, <10 a="" br="" cell="" families="" had="" of="" phone.="">

Today, at least 90% of the country has a stove, electricity, car, refrigerator, clothes washer, air-conditioning, color TV, microwave, and smart phone.

Inventions By Year

The year some items were invented might be related to why less than ten percent of people owned them.
1913 The zipper
1916 Electric power drill
1917 Radio tuners
1929 Car radio
1930 Jet engine
1931 Electric razor
1932 Electric can opener
1935 Radar
1939 Helicopter
1940 Color television
1941 Artificial heart
1944 Kidney dialysis machine
1950 Alkaline batteries
1958 Pacemaker
1962 LED.. light-emitting diode
1964 Plasma television
1976 Lithium batteries
1982 IBM PC
1988 Digital mobile phones
1989 World Wide Web (1991 live)
2001 Apple iPod
2003 Blackberry 6210
2004 Samsung OLED TV
2007 Apple iPhone
2009 Twitter
2010 Apple iPad

Pagers were originally designed and built during the 1950's, but did not take hold in terms of popularity until the 1980's. These one-way communication devices were often used by emergency services, doctors, and others who needed to be reachable at all times.

Original mobile phones basically did nothing, but call and send text messages. They are now mostly obsolete. The precursor to the modern smartphone, they were extremely useful in their time and ran for days without requiring a charge.
Fax machines were essentially a modern version of the telegram. For many years, they allowed people and businesses to transmit scanned documents from one phone number to another. They are almost gone now, except for medical and legal offices.

We originally connected to the World Wide Web via analogue and dial-up modems.

Broken Bulb Fix

If your light bulb breaks there is no need to panic. Before taking action, turn the light switch off. Round the end of the potato with a knife, put on protective gloves and jam the cut potato into the broken bulb. Turn the bulb counterclockwise, then remove.

More Google Search Tips

Asterisk - Use an * (asterisk) in place of unknown word or words. This is great for song lyrics or quotes that you may only half remember. Alternatively, ones that are often misquoted. Example: Play * Sam.
Double Period - Use a double period between two numbers to convey ranges. This is handy for pricing, dates, and measurements. Example: Samsung TV buy $1000..$2000.
Define: - Use define: to learn the meaning of words, including slang. Example, define: mortgage.
Flip a Coin – Example: flip a coin. Google will actually show a coin spinning then land on heads or tails.

Some characters used for searching, such as ~ (tilde) for synonyms no longer works in Google.

Veteran Discounts

There is a website that shows 230 businesses that offer veteran discounts. Many, like Lowes offer up to 30%. LINK The list includes airlines, home improvement stores, phone companies, hotels, outdoor stores, clothing, etc. If you need proof and do not have a small copy of your DD214, you can have them add the word 'veteran' to your driver's license for free. When in doubt, just ask the cashier if there is a veteran's discount available.

Five Factoids

Male horses have 40 permanent teeth, while females have just 36.

Giraffes Have Black Tongues.

Giant Anteaters Have Two-Foot Tongues.

Tigers Have Striped Skin. It’s not just their fur that bears a distinctive pattern.

The hollow behind your knee is called a hough, pronounced ho.

Google Reverse Image Search

This is very handy if you want to find the origin of a photo you have randomly stumbled across on the web. For example, a plate of delicious looking food that you would love to know the recipe for.
Reverse image searching is also great for tracking down original photographers, identifying things (celebrities, flora and fauna, unlabelled products you want to buy), discovering where your own work may be getting used, and debunking fake social media posts and profiles.

You can do a reverse image search by going into the ‘images’ tab on Google and clicking on the camera icon in the search bar. You can then either upload an image to look for like images, or insert an image address (right click on an image and hit copy image address). Google will then deliver its best guess about the image. Incidentally, Google was formed during 1998 and Facebook during 2004.

Jun 15, 2018

Happy Friday

If you worry about what Was or what Will Be, you miss what Is.

Get up and decide it Is time to be happy, especially on a Happy Friday!

Google Trends

You can search for any term and check changes over time, or by region, or by country and see how it is gaining or losing interest. You can check what parts of the world are interested currently. Once you enter a search term, you can set a variety of criteria underneath it.

Use the first box to set the region of search. You can choose Worldwide to see everywhere or drill it down to specific regions of a country. For instance, under United States, you can select a state like Virginia to see only information for that area.

At the top of the results page, click Compare to add another topic. You can compare up to five terms. As you add more, you will see them color-coded throughout the page. The region breakdown shows you which areas search most for what topics, and the breakdown among them. It is an interesting way to see what people think of competing topics.

I tried bacon, then I compared it to Clinton. As you would expect, bacon is still popular and very much more popular than Clinton. Fun diversion. Go to LINK and try it.

Top Fifteen Passwrods

Passwords are ranked by the number of times they were exposed in known data breaches. This means do not use any of these, or if you already are using one of these, change it now. For instance, The top password, 123456 has been hacked over 20 million times. If your password is easy for you it is also easy for hackers to find.

1: 123456 - 20,760,336
2: 123456789 - 7,016,669
3: qwerty - 3,599,486
4: password - 3,303,003
5: 111111 - 2,900,049
6: 12345678 - 2,680,521
7: abc123 - 2,670,319
8: password1 - 2,310,111
9: 1234567 - 2,298,084
10: 12345 - 2,088,998
11: 1234567890 - 2,075,018
12: 123123 - 2,048,411
13: 000000 - 1,832,944
14: iloveyou - 1,462,146
15: 1234 - 1,143,408

Street Sign Shapes

Street sign have specific meanings, based on the shape. The first official stop sign appeared in Detroit during 1915, it was small, white, and square. During 1923, a branch of Mississippi’s highway department suggested a change, suggesting that a sign’s shape could denote the kind of hazard ahead. The more sides a sign has, the more dangerous the upcoming stretch of road is.

Circles (which were considered to have infinite sides) designated the riskiest hazards, like railroad crossings. Octagons denoted the second most perilous hazards, like intersections. Diamonds signaled less-tricky stretches, and rectangles were strictly informational.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

A recent study from researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto suggests the most commonly consumed vitamin and mineral supplements provide no consistent health benefit or harm.
Published May 28, 2018 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the systematic review of existing data and single randomized control trials published in English from January 2012 to October 2017 found that multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin C, the most common supplements showed no advantage or added risk in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke or premature death.
"We were surprised to find so few positive effects of the most common supplements that people consume," said Dr. David Jenkins, the study's lead author. "Our review found that if you want to use multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium or vitamin C, it does no harm, but there is no apparent advantage either."
The study found folic acid alone and B-vitamins with folic acid may reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke.

His team reviewed supplement data that included A, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B6, B9 (folic acid), C, D, E; and beta-carotene; calcium; iron; zinc; magnesium; and selenium. The term 'multivitamin' describes supplements that include most vitamins and minerals, rather than a select few.

Bottom line is that food should provide the vitamins and minerals our bodies need, unless your doctor tells you to take something specific.

Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is the result of using technology to superimpose information, such as sounds, images, and text on the world we see. It adds to what we see. An example is Google glasses. It displays videos and sounds onto the screen. The heads-up displays in many fighter aircraft shows information about the attitude, direction, and speed of the plane, and can show which objects in the field of view are targets. Some cars have begun showing a digital display on the windshield so drivers do not need to look down at the dash.
Phones and tablets offer AR, such as the Star Walk app, which allows a user to point the camera at the sky and see the names of stars and planets superimposed on the image. Another app called Layar uses the smartphone's GPS and its camera to collect information about the user's surroundings and displays information about nearby restaurants, stores, and points of interest. Another example is an app that allows translation of signs into a user's own language.

Virtual reality (VR) means computer-generated environments for you to interact with, and be immersed in. It replaces what we see by using a head set to block out the real world. As you move your head, the picture or video moves in the same direction, allowing a person to view a 360 degree virtual scene.

Researchers are developing holograms, which can take VR and AR a step further, since holograms can be seen and heard without a headset.

Six Fun Factoids

Antarctica contains about 70 percent of Earth's fresh water and 90 percent of its ice.

Humans have explored just five percent of the oceans.

Earth's magnetic north pole is moving northward at a rate of ten miles per year.

A teaspoon of honey is equivalent to the life work of twelve bees.

Those strips with pin holes that you tear off from a dot matrix printer are called printer bacon.

"All the stuff Americans throw away for the next 1,000 years would fit into one-tenth of one percent of land available for grazing." ~John Tierney, NY Times

Flossing Myth Debunked

Floss daily to prevent gum disease and cavities is something we have been told for years. However, there is little proof that flossing works.
The federal government, dental organizations, and manufacturers of floss have pushed the practice for decades. Dentists provide samples to their patients. The American Dental Association says on its website that, “Flossing is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.”
During 2017, the Associated Press asked the departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture for flossing efficacy evidence, and followed up with written requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
During 2018, the federal government issued its latest dietary guidelines and the flossing recommendation had been removed, without notice. In a letter to the AP, the government acknowledged the effectiveness of flossing had never been researched, as required.
The AP reviewed research conducted during the past ten years, focusing on twenty five studies that generally compared the use of a toothbrush with the combination of tooth-brushing and floss. The evidence for flossing is “weak, very unreliable,” of “very low” quality, and carries “a moderate to large potential for bias.” “The majority of available studies fail to demonstrate that flossing is generally effective in plaque removal,” according to one 2017 review. Another 2015 review cites “inconsistent/weak evidence” for flossing and a “lack of efficacy.” A 2011 study did credit floss with a slight reduction in gum inflammation, which can sometimes develop over time into full-fledged gum disease. However, the reviewers ranked the evidence as “very unreliable.” A commentary in a dental magazine stated that any benefit would be so minor it might not be noticed by users.
Two leading professional groups, the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology, for specialists in gum disease and implants cited other studies as proof of their claims that flossing prevents buildup of plaque, early gum inflammation called gingivitis, and tooth decay. However, most of these studies used outdated methods or tested few people. Some lasted only two weeks, far too brief for a cavity or dental disease to develop. One tested 25 people after only a single use of floss. Such research, like the reviewed studies, focused on warning signs like bleeding and inflammation, barely dealing with gum disease or cavities.
The president of the periodontists’ group, acknowledged the weak scientific evidence and the brief duration of many studies. When asked about the origins of his organization’s endorsement of flossing, he said it may simply have “taken the ADA’s lead.” When the ADA was asked for proof of its claim that flossing helps prevent early gum disease and cavities, the group cited the 2011 review and a 2008 two-week study that measured bacteria and did not consider gum disease. A spokesman for the dental association, acknowledged weak evidence, but he blamed research participants who did not floss correctly.
The global floss market is almost $2 billion, with half in the United States. The floss industry has paid for most studies and sometimes designed and conducted the research. Procter & Gamble, which claims that its floss fights plaque and gingivitis, pointed to a two-week study, which was discounted as irrelevant in the 2011 research review. Johnson & Johnson said floss helps remove plaque. When the AP sent it a list of contradicting studies, J&J declined comment.
Floss can occasionally cause harm. Careless flossing can damage gums, teeth and dental work. Though frequency is unclear, floss can dislodge bad bacteria that invade the bloodstream and cause dangerous infections, especially in people with weak immunity, according to the medical literature.

Generally dentists agree that there is a possibility that it works and are comfortable telling people to floss. It is interesting to note that, with two billion dollars at stake, no one is willing to actually do a real study and perhaps find that the king really has no clothes on. . .

Food Label Updates

The Grocery Manufacturers Association has been urging its members to use one of just two phrases: 'use by' or 'best if used by'. It is trying to eliminate the "sell by" and "best by". The labels were confusing to consumers.

According to the GMA, the phrase “best if used by” will indicate to the consumer that, after a specified date, the product may not taste or perform as expected, but can still be used or consumed. Food would still be safe to eat after the date had passed.

A “use by” date would appear on a small number of time or temperature sensitive products that should be consumed by the date on the package and discarded after. That phrase would indicate foods should be thrown away after the date had passed.

Maybe they could be even more clear and use "discard after" to make sure we all understand.

Jun 8, 2018

Happy Friday

"The only thing that will make you happy is being happy with who you are, and not who people think you are." ~Goldie Hawn

I am always happy with me, especially on a Happy Friday!


Street performance or busking is the act of performing in public places for gratuities. In many countries the rewards are generally in the form of money, but other gratuities such as food, drink, or gifts may be given. Here is a video LINK of two English buskers, the Dualers (Tyber and Sy Cranstoun) before they broke up the act. Tyber (on the left) graduated to recording and is still doing sold out live theater shows all around Southern England. Sy has also graduated to successful solo recording of his own albums.

Liquid vs. Normal Bandages

Liquid bandages replace a normal bandage with a layer of clear liquid applied directly to the wound. There are multiple brands using different chemicals, and they come in spray-on or paint-on forms.
Tiny cuts and bug bites were sometimes covered with tape, nail polish, or sealing cuts with superglue. Liquid bandage is just an optimized version of that, with an added antiseptic. It is less likely to irritate the wound, and it is easier to apply. (The Mayo Clinic often uses skin adhesive instead of stitches, because it is quicker and less painful.)

Regular bandages tend to fall off of knuckle and finger wounds, but liquid bandages much less often.

As with regular bandages, liquid bandage is useful for treating and preventing blisters. Musicians use superglue or liquid bandages to protect their fingers from stringed instruments.

Of course you can always fall back on the manly alternative, duct tape with a swatch of toilet paper to cover the wound. Ha

Wordology, Cherophobia

It is the fear of being happy, stemming from the Greek word chairo, which means 'I rejoice'. Some people are afraid of happiness and joy. They avoid activities and social events they think will be fun. It is usually a defense mechanism that stems from trauma or conflict. According to Healthline, some medical experts classify cherophobia as a form of anxiety.

Fifteen Benefits of Coffee

Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. It tastes good, provides energy, and has many other benefits.

  • It is a good source of antioxidants.
  • It can help reduce risk of diabetes.
  • Drinking two cups of coffee a day provides a 35 percent lower risk of ending up with liver cirrhosis. A 2017 study published in BMJ found it could be possible to see a 20 percent reduced risk by drinking one cup a day, 35 percent by drinking two, and 50 percent with five because of caffeine’s ability to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells.
  • It can help burn more calories. Because caffeine increases energy use whether you are at rest or not, the Mayo Clinic suggests it stimulates thermogenesis, which is just one of the ways you generate heat and energy from the food you digest.
  • A 2017 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests drinking coffee might reduce your risk of dying from heart disease and stroke.
  • A 2016 study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention found drinking it could help cut risk of colon cancer by 50 percent. Researchers say one or two cups for a 26 percent reduced risk or more than 2.5 for a 50 percent-reduced risk.
  • A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests drinking it speeds up your heart rate because of how quickly it is absorbed into the blood stream and in turn increases metabolism.
  • A 2007 study published in the International Journal of Dermatology, researchers found caffeine could be a potential hair growth stimulant for men with androgenetic alopecia, a common type of hair loss. In fact, the growth of the hair follicles that were treated with caffeine increased 46 percent and the life cycle of the hair was extended by 37 percent.
  • Caffeine might suppress your appetite long enough to make you feel less hungry for a while, says the Mayo Clinic.
  • A study published by the American Association for Cancer Research found drinking coffee can help reduce the risk of melanoma.
  • A 2016 meta-analysis published in the journal Nutrition found drinking high levels of coffee was associated with a 27 percent reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease found those who drank as little as one or two cups every day were less likely to experience mild cognitive impairment than those who did not drink coffee.
  • In astudy from the Radiological Society of North America, researchers found two cups of coffee were able to boost participants’ short-term memory skills, because of caffeine’s ability to have an effect on higher brain function.
  • A 2013 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that it can significantly help prevent retinal degeneration.
  • Research has shown its ability to give workouts a boost and increase athletic performance, and that is why so many Olympians drink it. One report from the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found the majority of the 20,686 Olympic athletes analyzed had caffeine in their urine.
  • A 2003 study in the Journal of Pain found those with high caffeine consumption had significantly reduced muscle pain after working out, which could be explained by caffeine’s ability to decrease sensitivity to pain, opposed to those who drank a placebo.

Wordology, Whopping

This is an interesting word and not as popular as it used to be. It has many definitions, but Whopping and Wopping are two different words, often misused. Wopping is a bit more slang and I will skip that definition.
Whopping is the act of physically beating a person until they can no longer stand. It is also a heavy blow or the sound made by such a blow.
Examples: Planned spending amounts to a whopping fifty billion dollars,
Footballers in whopping studded boots approach the field,
A 100g portion gives a whopping ten teaspoons of sugar.

Incidentally, I enjoy spending a whopping amount of time putting this stuff together for your reading pleasure.

Voice Input

Voice input to control computers and a variety of IoT devices is becoming more prevalent and has been increasing since the technology has finally caught up with interpretation of a variety of voices, dialects, and accents.

This is a great benefit to the estimated 781 million adults over the age of 15 who are illiterate. People who cannot read finally have easier access to the internet, typing, and information through smart devices, such as Amazon's Alexa, Google, Cortanna, Siri, and Bixby. There are hundreds of apps that let users search, write emails, take notes and set appointments with their smartphone. Amazon says more than 1.8 million e-books support audio books, which automatically read aloud the words on the page.

Predictions abound -

  • “50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020” according to comscore
  • “About 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020.” according to Mediapos
  • “We estimate there will be 21.4 million smart speakers in the US by 2020” according to Activate
  • “By 2019, the voice recognition market will be a $601 million industry”, according to a report from Technavio.
  • “This year (2017), 25 million devices will be shipped, bringing the total number of voice-first devices to 33 million in circulation.” based on a new study by VoiceLabs
  • “By the end of 2018 the Google Assistant will reach 95 percent of all eligible Android phones worldwide” according to Techcrunch.

Jun 1, 2018

Happy Friday

Each day is not an occurrence, it is an opportunity.

Take advantage of the opportunity to be happy on a Happy Friday!

Online Manuals

If you need a manual for almost anything in your house, you can go to https://www.manualslib.com/ and likely find it. It has manuals online that cover almost two million products with 2,832,546 pdf manuals.

Just enter the keywords in the search field and find what you are looking for. Search results include manual name, description, size and number of pages. You can either read manual online or download it to your computer.

Amazon' Choice

You may have noticed some items on Amazon have the text 'Amazon's Choice' next to the description.  It means that many buyers have purchased and were satisfied with it, as told to Amazon through reviews data, is highly rated, well-priced, and available to ship immediately. It also means the item has a low return rate and a best-seller ranking.

Reference Thesaurus

Stuck for a word that you know is on the tip of your tongue, but just won't come out. Try  http://www.onelook.com/reverse-dictionary.shtml

This site lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept. Your description can be a single word, a few words, or a whole sentence. Type in your description and hit Enter to see the related words. You can find a word if you only know its definition.

Almond, Rice, and Soy Milk

The basic method of modern domestic almond milk production is to grind almonds in a blender with water, then strain out the almond pulp with a strainer. Although it is made of nuts and water, it is called Almond milk, because it has a milky white consistency. It contains neither cholesterol nor lactose and an eight ounce glass contains the equivalent of about 4 almonds. It has fewer calories if unsweetened and has no saturated fat.

Even though almonds are a good source of protein, almond milk is not. Almond milk is also not a good source of calcium unless supplemented with calcium as well as vitamin D. It can also be fortified with protein.

Rice Milk is made from milled rice and water. It is the least allergenic, which makes it a good choice for people with lactose or nut allergies. While rice milk can be fortified with calcium and vitamin D, it is not a natural source of either of these, just like soy and almond are also not.
Rice milk is very high in carbohydrate and very low in protein, so it is the least desirable choice for people with diabetes as well as people who want more protein.

Soy Milk is made from soybeans. It is also a popular milk alternative for vegans and people who are lactose intolerant. Since it comes from plants, it is naturally free of cholesterol, low in saturated fat, and contains no lactose or cholesterol.

Soybeans and soy milk are a good source of protein, calcium (when fortified), and potassium. Soy milk contains almost as much protein as cow’s milk, yet is lower in calories than whole milk. A 2008 Harvard study showed that higher intakes of soy-based foods caused fertility problems and lower sperm counts.

Farther vs. Further

The terms have very similar meanings, but are not interchangeable. Farther is taken more literal and refers to an actual physical distance that can be measured, while further explains a more symbolic distance that cannot be measured.

Some Examples: To further the conversation, he asked how much farther it was the beach. She studied to further her education, but she had to drive farther to get to school.

Zinc for Colds Works

Zinc is one of the only ingredients linked to shortening a cold. Unlike Vitamin C, which studies have found likely does nothing to prevent or treat the common cold, zinc may actually be worth it. The mineral seems to interfere with the replication of rhinoviruses, the bugs that cause the common cold.

In a 2011 review of studies of people who were recently sick, researchers looked at those who started taking zinc and compared them with those who took a placebo. The ones on the zinc had shorter colds and less severe symptoms.

Microwave vs. Conventional Cooking

Many are under the false claim that microwaving foods robs them of their nutrients. This is false. Microwave ovens cook food using energy waves. The waves cause molecules in food to vibrate quickly, building up their energy as heat.

It is true that some nutrients begin to disintegrate when heated, whether from a microwave, a stove. However, since microwave-cooking times are typically much shorter than oven-cooking times, microwaving often keeps vitamins more intact than other cooking methods.

May 25, 2018

Happy Friday

Smiles are free, but priceless gifts.
Share your priceless smile, especially on a Happy Friday!

More Company Name Origins

L.L.Bean is named after its founder, Leon Leonwood Bean.

FIAT originally stood for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, which translates as "Italian automobile factory of Turin."

FAO Schwarz named after Frederick August Otto Schwarz founder of the toy store

H & R block, the American tax preparation company in North America, Australia, and India was founded by brothers Henry W. Bloch and Richard Bloch. The brothers chose to spell the name "Block" with a K to ensure the name is not mispronounced "blotch."

Pam cooking spray comes from Product of Arthur Meyerhoff, the founder of PAM Products, Inc.

KLM is the abbreviation of Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij (Royal Aviation Company) Royal Dutch Airlines. During September 1919, Queen Wilhelmina awarded the yet-to-be-founded KLM its "Royal" (Koninklijke) status.

Bonus - Captcha, that code you have to type in for security purposes stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. Interesting that it is a computer testing us to prove we are human.

Devein Shrimp

Understanding what the 'vein' is, adds to the conversation. Vein is just a euphemism for the shrimp’s lower digestive tract, meaning it is filled with shrimp poop. It will not harm you, but it might taste a bit grainy.

Experts say you might not be able to taste the vein depending on the shrimp’s size. Small and medium shrimp tend to have smaller 'veins' and do not need deveining except for cosmetics. For larger ones it is usually a good idea to do it.

Climate Stuff

Last week the NOAA announced that April was the 400th month of warmer than average temperature (and caused by us). The NOAA has been tracking temperature since 1880 and reports it has been getting warmer. Interesting that it corresponds directly to the end of the Little Ice Age around 1860. During the Little Ice Age, average global temperatures were 1-1.5 degree Celsius (2-3 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler than they are today.

The Little Ice Age followed the Medieval Warm Period also known as the Medieval Climate Optimum, or Medieval Climatic Anomaly. Scientists believe possible causes of the Medieval Warm Period include increased solar activity, decreased volcanic activity, and changes to ocean circulation.

As late as 2012, scientists still did not agree when the Little Ice age specifically began or ended. Some believe 1300s beginning and others believe 1600s. Most agree it ended in the mid 1800s. A theory from 2012 reports that an unusual, 50-year-long episode of four massive tropical volcanic eruptions triggered the Little Ice Age. Their results are in contrast to the work of other scientists who contend that decreased radiation from the sun is what caused the Little Ice Age.

Scientists mostly agree that the warm period was caused by less volcanic activity and more solar activity. They also mostly agree it was followed by the ice age, which was caused by more volcanic activity and less solar activity.

They all agree that the earth has tilted on its axis over time and there have been many periods of colder weather and many periods of warmer weather on earth during the past millions of years.

Scientists also all agree that mankind cannot control volcanoes, the sun, or the earth tilting on its axis. What they cannot agree on is whether this time climate change is our fault, politics, or just another natural cycle of Mother Nature toying with us.

Passport vs. Visa

A passport serves two purposes: to regain entry to the country of citizenship (i.e. the United States) and is a requirement by many countries to gain entry to the country you are visiting.

A travel visa can be a stamp or sticker placed by officials of a foreign country on a passport that allows the bearer to visit that country.

Visas are obtained from the proper embassy or local consulates of the country to be visited. Visit is defined as the reason for entry, usually business, tourist or transitory. There are over 270 countries that offer travel visas and literally thousands of different types of visas available based upon country, type of visit, and length of visit. A travel visa is an official government document that temporarily authorizes you to be in the country you are visiting. There are about 185 different types of visas.

There are two main categories of US visas:  Non-immigrant visa - for temporary visits such as for tourism, business, work, visiting family, or studying. Immigrant visa - for people to immigrate to the United States.

Technologically Obsolete

One of the first things predicted with the advent of the computer age was eliminating paper. It stands out as one of the greatest prediction blunders. We continue to produce tons of paper. In fact computers created a great surge in the use of paper. Other items have come and gone in short order and many of the following items have been invented, rose, and have fallen out of widespread use during our lifetimes. Some, such as cable TV have become victims of their own success. Here are a few completely or virtually obsolete inventions many of us have known and loved - or hated:

  • Backing up to floppy disk or CD
  • Calculators
  • Calling 411 to find a restaurant or store
  • Cathode ray tube monitors and TVs
  • Tethered computer terminals
  • Dial up internet service
  • Eight track tape
  • Encyclopedia sets and dictionaries
  • Fold up maps and road atlas books
  • Separate GPS devices
  • Movie rental stores (like Blockbuster)
  • Paid e-mail accounts
  • Personal digital assistant (like Palm Pilot)
  • Personal online privacy
  • Phone Books
  • Non-jet commercial planes
  • Punch tape, paper tape, and punched cards
  • Typewriters (manual and electric)
  • Black and white TV
  • VCR (videocassette recorder).
Other items that are on the brink of going away include:

  • Cable TV
  • Physical cables to deliver cable TV (to be replaced by WiFi)
  • Camera (non-digital)
  • CDs (compact disks)
  • Newspaper and magazine classified adds
  • Fax Machines (except in medical field)
  • Getting film developed
  • Landline phones
  • Tower PCs (vs laptops)
  • Public pay phones and phone booths
  • Record stores.

Other things we wish would go away include the myriad types of non-standard cables, all cables with big bricks (baluns) at the end, and sticking a needle in us to deliver medicine. Things we wish will never go away include hugs and kisses and smiles. . . oh, and bacon.

8K TV is Coming

Speaking of obsolete, even though many do not yet have 4K TVs, 8K sets are coming this year. Sharp began shipping the world's first commercially available 8K monitor, the 70-inch, 7,680 by 4,320 Aquos LV-70X500E.
85,000 8K sets are likely to be sold worldwide during 2018 compared to 98.4 million 4K sets. NHK in Japan has committed to inaugurating an 8K channel on December 1, 2018 with thousands of hours of programming. South Korea has already deployed the NextGen 4k TV over antennas in that country and produced the Olympics for the rest of the world in 4K. It was available in the US, but cable companies could not broadcast it in 4K.

The World Cup, Wimbledon, and the Premier Football League are all distributed in 4K. However, we in the US are stuck with "selected holes" at the Masters Tournament shown in 4K.

8K monitors will also be available in the US at the end of the year from a variety of other brands. TCL announced its intention to unveil its own 8K TV at the 2017 IFA show in Berlin. It is likely that all the major Chinese TV brands will show their own 8K models at IFA 2018 and at CES 2019 in January.

The US severely lags the rest of the world and US cable companies still are forcing us to show 720p pictures on our 1080p and 4K TV sets. The good news is that the newer 1080p and 4K smart TVs use software to greatly enhance the crappy 720p pictures and virtually no 720p TVs are being sold these days.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world has moved on. If it were not for Netflix, Amazon Video, Directtv, YouTube, and Blu-ray, many in the US would not even know the beauty of 4K, and the world is already moving beyond it to 8K. Maybe I need a chill pill for pixel envy.

Well, Pinch My Bum

How many names can one holiday have? Quite a few, such as Restoration Day, Oak Apple Day, or Royal Oak Day. It was an English public holiday, observed annually on 29 May, to commemorate the restoration of the English monarchy in May 1660. It is also known as Shick Shack Day, Oak and Nettle Day, Bumping Day, and Pinch-bum Day. Each group seems to have their own name and as many ways to celebrate the English monarchy.

May 18, 2018

Happy Friday

You do not need teeth to smile, just a happy thought.

It is easy to have happy thoughts, especially on a Happy Friday!

Google Tricks

Type “Do a Barrel Roll” (without quotes) in your search bar and hold your desk for a second as this will give a circular roll off your screen. A few more to try, "space", "gravity", "underwater". Fun stuff to keep you from doing your work.

Tonsils and Adenoids

Technically, there are three sets of tonsils: the pharyngeal tonsils, commonly known as adenoids, the palatine tonsils, and the lingual tonsils. People refer to tonsils usually as the palatine tonsils, which are oval, pea-sized clusters of lymph cells at the opening of either side of the throat. Their role is to filter bacteria and viruses and produce white blood cells and antibodies. Tonsils are the first line of defense as part of the immune system.

Adenoids or pharyngeal tonsils are clusters of lymphatic tissue in the back of the nose, above the roof of the mouth. They begin to shrink by age 7 or 8, are barely visible by the late teens, and completely gone by adulthood. Adenoids are covered with cilia and mucus. The small hairs wave about to spread mucus, which is carried to the stomach by swallowing. The purpose of the mucus is to capture infectious bacteria, dust, and other particles and flush them away.

Bottom line, all adenoids are tonsils, but not all tonsils are adenoids.

Wordology, Hoi Polloi

This term is used to mean two completely different things. Originally it came from the Greek and is a transliteration of the Greek for 'the many'. So, it means the masses, the ordinary folks, the general populace, and usually it is usually meant as derogatory. However, it also has a second meaning. According to Merriam Webster it also means people of distinction, or wealth, or elevated status.

I checked a few dictionaries and found the first definition, but the second seems limited to Merriam Webster. Incidentally, the hoi polloi is actually redundant, as hoi means the, so the hoi polloi literally would mean the the masses.

Top Ten Websites in US

Interesting to note that three of the top ten are porn sites. Not sure what that means.

1 google.com,  Search Engine
2 facebook.com,  Social Network
3 youtube.com,  TV and Video
4 amazon.com,  Shopping
5 yahoo.com,  News and Media
6 xvideos.com,  Adult
7 pornhub.com,  Adult
8 xnxx.com,  Adult
9 ebay.com,  Shopping
10 wikipedia.org,  Reference

Other sites of interest Walmart is number 20, linkedin 22, and AOL is 48. Evidently, my blog did not make the cut.

Skin Printer

Wow, 3D printing is getting interesting. A handheld skin printer is like a magic wand for healing flesh wounds. It acts like tape used for correcting a writing error. It can produce a sheet of skin tissue to cover a wound. University of Toronto engineers have developed a 3D skin printer that can apparently, form tissue in situ, depositing and setting in place, within two minutes or less.

This could serve as a future alternative to regular skin grafts. However, instead of first requiring that a patient has healthy skin removed to be grafted elsewhere, this device can roll out a new layer of bio ink-based, 3D-printed skin tissue.

It is portable and weighs just over 2 pounds and has already been shown to function when patching up both rats’ and pigs’ wounds. The team is currently conducting wound-healing experiments to benchmark their approach against established alternatives.

Wikipedia Hack

Enter a search for month and year and it will return world news for that month. Try it for your birthday. Try it for a family member or friend who is having a birthday, print it out and give it to them as an interesting gift.

The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, says that some years the most births occur during July or September. Worldwide birth statistics vary with climates and cultural factors that influence the timing of conceptions and births.

Incidentally, in the US, February is the month with the least births and August has the most.+

Happy Songs

Current hit songs in the UK are happier, more danceable, and more likely to be sung by women than songs which fail to make it to the charts. Songs were considered successful if they made it into Top 100 charts.

The new 2018 study, based on 500,000 songs released in Britain between 1985 and 2015, found that as happy music declined, so did the popularity of songs sung by men.
The study analyzed the sound characteristics of popular tracks, but not their lyrics.

It also discovered trend that there is less happy music, while people clearly prefer happy music. "More and more unhappy songs are being released each year," a research team from the University of California Irvine reported in the journal Royal Society Open Science. Overall, they found that happiness in music has declined, while sadness increased during the last 30 years.

However, hit tunes defy the trend, and tend to be much happier than unsuccessful tunes.

May 11, 2018

Happy Friday

Desire, admire, and inspire happiness.

I always desire, admire, inspire, and require happiness, especially on a Happy Friday!

Mattress Cleaner

A quick way to clean the upper layer of your mattress is with a spray consisting of one part alcohol mixed with two parts water. Vacuum your mattress and then spray it with the alcohol solution and let it dry. The alcohol will disinfect the upper layer and kill any bacteria that are making it smell bad. If you have any essential oils handy, put a few drops in the solution to also make it smell fresher.

Incidentally, there are not pounds of dead mites and skin on the mattress. LINK

Smartphone Cell vs. WiFi Data

Many people do not know the difference between WiFi data and cell data (LTE, 4G). WiFi allows your phone or tablet to connect to the Internet via a router. You need to be to be in the range of a router and connect to the network in order to access the Internet. Cellular data allows your phone or tablet to connect to the Internet via a cell phone signal. You need to be in the range of a cell phone tower to access the Internet. When you use your phone to access the Internet without WiFi, you are using up the monthly allotment of data your cell phone plan allows. Another important distinction to know, especially for the security conscious, cell data is encrypted so it is safer than public Wi-Fi.

Think of two types of data, background data is data that is used behind the scenes by apps and the operating system (iOS, Android, etc.). This can also include data from actions you are aware of such as downloading email messages. Apps on your phone use background data even when you are not using the app. You can individually turn off background data for apps, such as Chrome, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat when you are not using them. If you do not have an unlimited plan it is very advantageous to turn off background data. It will turn back on automatically when you use the app and off again when you close it.

Foreground data is data that you deliberately use, such as streaming videos, derping the internet, downloading a new app, etc. This is where WiFi comes in handy if you do not have an unlimited data plan. Also, WiFi is often faster, under the right conditions.

However, WiFi drains the battery quicker. It works by sending and receiving a microwave radio signal through the air to a Wireless Access Point. Radio waves are essentially electricity from your battery that has been converted into a specific frequency, and pushed out of your device through an antenna. Ideally, you might set your WiFi to be off all the time, then turn it on when you are home using your WiFi, or when you are out and want to download large amounts of data, such as a movie or Facebook video.

If you spend more time connected to WiFi networks than cellular, leave your WiFi turned on. If not, it is advantageous to keep it turned off and save your battery. If you travel internationally, use WiFi to avoid expensive charges for international roaming.

Bottom line, if you have an unlimited data plan, the difference between WiFi and cell data is battery usage. If you do not have unlimited data, then the difference can be costly from overage charges, if you exceed your limit. Both are automatically available on smartphones.

Other may have caught on to this battery saver idea as OpenSignal analyzed a 90-day period beginning on Dec. 1, 2017 and found the time spent on WiFi dropped for three of the four major U.S. carriers compared to the first quarter of 2017, due to the growth in unlimited data plans.

Incidentally, on an Android phone, if you go into settings, tap “Data usage”, and then tap the Facebook app icon, you can then select “Restrict app background data.” You can also go into the settings in the actual Facebook app (found under “More” after you open Facebook), uncheck “autoplay videos” and set it to “WiFi only”. Now Facebook does not add to cell data unless you are using it. In addition, there is another data saving setting on the phone to update all apps only when connected to WiFi.

Dark Chocolate and Vizion

Good news for dark chocolate lovers. Researchers had 30 healthy adults, averaging 26 years old; eat either a 1.5-ounce Trader Joe's 72 percent Cacao Dark Chocolate bar or a similar-sized Trader Joe's Crispy Rice Milk Chocolate bar. Labels were removed from each bar so participants did not know what type of chocolate they were eating.

About two hours later, each participant underwent vision testing using standard letter-based eye charts. Compared to people who ate the milk chocolate bar, those who snacked on the dark chocolate showed "small enhancements in visual acuity and large-letter contrast" on the vision test, the researchers reported.

Heart-healthy compounds in chocolate called flavanols appeared to sharpen eyesight. The observed change in vision was small, but significant. Prior studies showed that the antioxidant flavanols in dark chocolate might help boost blood flow to the nervous system, boost heart function, and even help preserve the aging brain. The study results were published April 26, 2018 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Hot Phone Battery Tips

Ah, summer is fast approaching and we love to get out in the sun. Did you know your smartphone does not like it as much as you do? In fact, it is adversely affected by it. The hotter outside it gets, the more it uses battery power. Heat and background apps are the quickest ways to drain your phone without you realizing it.

Phones are good for temperatures up to 95 degrees and can be stored up to about 110 degrees. Never leave a phone, tablet, or computer in a hot car, especially in direct sunlight, because temperatures in parked cars can exceed this range.

As noted above for usage charges there are other reasons for turning off apps you are not using, such as battery draining. On your smartphone, turn off WiFi, bluetooth, GPS, and other energy-draining functions if you are not using them. Another energy killer is screen brightness. Dimming brightness even just a little, can save hours of battery life.

Just because you press the Home button on your phone does not mean an app is closed. In fact, the app is still running in the background. To make sure that an app that you had opened is not sucking up your battery life press the Home button twice or the multiple apps button on some android phones, then swipe left, right, or hit the X on the app, depending on phone, to turn off apps that are currently running in background. Bottom line, if it is too hot for you, it is likely too hot for your phone.

Wordology, Halitosis

Halitosis is a word used in mouthwash commercials to describe a medical condition characterized by very bad breath. Contrary to the popular belief that Listerine coined the term halitosis, its origins date to before the product's existence.

Company owner Jordan Wheat Lambert decided to market Listerine as a cure for bad breath. To convince the public they needed Listerine, he needed something ominous sounding and came across the word halitosis. The company then ran a series of ads claiming that halitosis was a chronic problem plaguing America for which only it had the cure. In seven years, the company's revenues rose from $115,000 to more than $8 million.

This was about the same time King Gillette convinced women to shave their underarms and legs. Both men are still regarded as marketing geniuses.

May 4, 2018

Happy Friday

The beauty of a smile cannot be judged.

However, the verdict is in. Today is a Happy Friday!

Next Generation TV and 5G

Next Gen TV is an internet based system, which means it can carry internet content along with traditional over-the-air broadcast signal. It provides new services like video on demand, mobile viewing, 4K Ultra Hi-Def, enhanced emergency alerts, a high frame rate, more colorful picture, and immersive audio – all delivered free with an over-the-air antenna. It is based on the ATSC 3.0 standard. Although current over-the-air TV antennas are able to receive the new signals, there are no TVs, no converter boxes, and no DVRs on the market in North America today that support ATSC 3.0's Next Gen TV.

Next Gen TV is totally separate from 5G. Basically Next Gen TV is for free over-the-air TV and 5G is for communications. 5G will provide wireless to the house and is likely to offer the strongest competition to the world’s free, over-the-air broadcast model. Planned 5G services may offer multiple content streams, 4K, support for new video standards, mobile reception, and on multiple devices. Vendors, carriers, and broadcasters trying to be first to market are feverishly spending billions to set up new signal boxes, antennas, and repeaters for both technologies. (editorial - Cord cutters, millennial lifestyles, and people opting out due to poor service and high prices have forced vendors to find new ways to drill into our wallets.)

Next Gen TV was specifically designed to support mobile uses like rear-seat entertainment and navigation systems in vehicles, in addition to phones and other portable devices. We will be able to watch broadcast TV in a moving car with a better signal than we receive in our living room today.

Here are main points of the ATSC 3.0 Next Gen transition:

  • 4K Ultra HD Video
  • High dynamic range (HDR) color management
  • 1+4 surround sound and immersive audio
  • More multi-casting - over 100 sub-channels per main channel, which means potentially hundreds of over-the-air channels per market
  • More reliable and robust transmissions less prone to interference
  • Indoor reception will be much easier with an antenna
  • Will allow two way communications with the broadcaster to choose viewing angle on sports, etc.
  • Will allow targeted advertising to particular demographics
  • More detailed show info, actor bios, etc.
  • Immersive and Virtual Reality experience.
There is much hype with the transition, but it will be a lengthy process. Some carriers, such as AT&T, Verizon, etc., are testing now in Dallas and Phoenix. Other cities are planning to begin testing soon. There are currently no broadcasters transmitting in 3.0 (other than as tests) and they will not be until likely 2019 at the earliest. It will all depend on when a station decides to make the switch. To take advantage of this new technology, consumers will need a device with a 3.0 tuner chip set. One TV maker, LG is planning to offer TVs this year with a combination of the current 1.0 tuner and a 3.0 chip included. A tuner is a device or computer chip that provides the TV Guide capability.

Bad news is that all of the Next Gen and 5G technology deployment will cost consumers a bundle for new phones, TVs, PCs, routers, and tuners. In addition, we should be prepared to see rates go up as early as this year,because the purveyors seek to recoup their investment as soon as possible. Next gen TV will not require an internet connection, but some features will not work without one.

Good news is that there is not a hard turn off deadline for ATSC 1.0 (for TVs) or 4G LTE (for phones and other devices). There is no specific date when all of a sudden there will no longer be 1.0 or 4G and everyone will be broadcasting in 3.0 or delivering 5G as there was with the conversion from analog to digital TV. No need to put off purchases now for either, as both will be a few years from full deployment. As with all new technology, prices will fall hard and fast as widespread adoption takes place.

William Tell Overture

Continuing with the entertainment theme, here is Glen Campbell on YouTube playing the Lone Ranger Theme. Wow. LINK

Wordology, Electrolytes

After downing a generic Gatorade drink with my friend Jeff, he asked if I ever thought about electrolytes. Of course we all know electrolytes for batteries are a compound which produces ions when dissolved in a solution such as water. They can be divided into acids, bases, and salts.

However, I had not thought much about what an electrolyte means when it comes to our body, so it sent me on a search. Interesting that it has the same definition. It is basically a substance that conducts electricity when dissolved in water. We most often see the term in conjunction with sports drinks. The main reason is that bodily potassium and sodium electrolytes are lost in sweat during exercise. There are other causes for electrolyte imbalances, including vomiting, diarrhea, poor diet, dehydration, congestive heart failure, cancer treatment, and some drugs.

Electrolytes are essential for a number of bodily functions and are regulated in the body by our kidneys, along with hormones. Many automatic processes in the body rely on a small electric current to function, and electrolytes provide this charge. They regulate nerve and muscle function, hydrate the body, balance blood acidity and pressure, and help rebuild damaged tissue. In addition, heart, muscle, and nerve cells use electrolytes to carry electrical impulses to other cells.

Fruits and vegetables are good sources of electrolytes. Common electrolytes include bicarbonate, calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, and sodium.

Incidentally, unless you are a professional athlete or running marathons, you are probably getting a sufficient amount of electrolytes from your regular diet. Consuming sports drinks adds calories and increases levels of electrolytes you do not need.

National Nurses Day

National Nurses Day is celebrated annually on May 6 to raise awareness of the important role nurses play in society. It marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, which ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale and also International Nurses Day. I have a warm spot in my heart for nurses and the work they do. If you know a nurse, give him or her a hug for me.