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,  Search Engine
2,  Social Network
3,  TV and Video
4,  Shopping
5,  News and Media
6,  Adult
7,  Adult
8,  Adult
9,  Shopping
10,  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.

Alarm Clock Snooze

Smart phones have a built in snooze for about nine minutes. There is an interesting reason for this. Clock experts say when snooze alarms were invented during the 1950s; the gears in alarm clocks were standardized.

When the snooze gear was introduced, its gears needed to mesh with the existing gears. The engineers needed to choose between a gear that made the snooze period nine-plus minutes or ten-plus minutes and opted for nine. There was no scientific reason for this time period. It was purely mechanical, just as it is with railroad tracks, but that is another story. There are no scientific papers published on benefits or detriments to using the snooze, but there are many opinions for and against. Fortunately modern technology allows us to use it or not and to change the snooze time as we choose.

Incidentally, snooze means sleeping for a short period of time.

Bill Nye, Not so Science Guy

Bill Nye has long been known for his children's show Bill Nye The Science Guy and recently for his views about climate change. He has a BS degree in mechanical engineering. He is an entertainer, and although known as the 'science guy' he does not claim to be a scientist. In order to earn the privilege of calling yourself a 'scientist' one normally has to have an earned PhD in the natural sciences.

Nye started doing standup comedy during 1978 while working at Boeing as an engineer. He eventually left Boeing and began writing and performing jokes and bits for a local sketch television show Almost Live!, where he would regularly conduct wacky science experiments, such as what happens when you eat a marshmallow that has been dunked in liquid nitrogen. He moved from that show to do eight segments for the Disney Channel's All-New Mickey Mouse Club.

Throughout it all, he had his eyes on bigger things and went on to star in Bill Nye Science Guy for public broadcasting station KCTS-TV in Seattle. It became part of a package of syndicated series that local stations could schedule to fulfill Children's Television Act requirements. It ended in 1998. He was also host of an eight-part Discovery Channel series called Greatest Inventions with Bill Nye and appeared in a number of other TV shows. In addition, he holds several United States patents, including one for ballet pointe shoes and an educational magnifying glass created by filling a clear plastic bag with water.

During 2012, Nye supported President Barack Obama's reelection bid and frequently consulted with Obama on science matters during his presidency. He has also received a number of honorary degrees, including one in pedagogy, although he has never contributed any research to the scientific community.

Incidentally, there are many other entertainers who have honorary degrees, including Ben Affleck, P, Diddy, Alec Baldwin, John Legend, Aretha Franklin, Kanye West, Jon Bon Jovi, Conan O'Brien, LL Cool J, and Jimmie Fallon, among others.

Apr 27, 2018

Happy Friday

If you are not more happy today than yesterday, you are not smiling enough.

Start your day with a smile, especially on a Happy Friday!

Funny Diet Thoughts

I bought a talking refrigerator that said “Oink” every time I opened the door. It made me hungry for pork chops.

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.

I feel about airplanes the way I feel about diets, they are wonderful things for other people to go on.

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. . . unless there are three other people.

Food is like sex: when you abstain, even the worst stuff begins to look good.

The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.

Soup is just a way of screwing you out of a meal.

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.

Life is too short for self-hatred and celery sticks.

Human Affect on Earth

There are many statistics about the earth, oceans, and weather. Although satellites give us a good picture of land and sea, many parts of both have not been visited or set foot on by humans. Almost all of the earth's subsurface is still unexplored. The following are closest to consensus data that I could find.

About 80% of the earth is covered in water. The other roughly 20% is surface land. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies says urban areas currently take up less than 1 percent of earth's surface.

According to the FAO Global Land Cover SHARE database, produced in 2014, 0.6% of Earth’s land surface is defined as 'Artificial surfaces'. Artificial surfaces include any areas that have an artificial cover as a result of human activities such as construction (cities, towns, transportation), extraction (open mines and quarries) or waste disposal.
Of the 108 billion people that have ever been alive, it is estimated that 6.4 percent of them, roughly seven billion are alive now. So seven billion humans inhabit or use just .6% of 20% of the earth. Since we have yet to discover major parts of land and sea, it is difficult to project future impact, because we still do not know what we do not know.

Incidentally, to date we have explored five to ten percent of the ocean. There are around 8.7 million species on earth of which 80 percent are undiscovered. No one has been able to determine how many ocean species there might be or the percent we may have already discovered. It is estimated that approximately seven percent or more of territorial earth is yet to be discovered. Finally, we have yet been able to fully explore the human body.

Wordology, Unexplored vs. Uncharted

These two words are often used interchangeably, but do not mean the same thing. Uncharted means unmapped. For example, Canada, as recently as 1916 was about 25 percent still uncharted.

Unexplored means a geographic area where no one has explored or investigated and published their findings. There are considerable areas of the jungles in Brazil, Indonesia, and desert areas such as the Sahara, the Namib desert, central Australia, and desolate cold areas such as Siberia, northern Canada, Greenland, Antarctica, remote areas in central Asia, and central Africa that are still essentially unexplored. As recently as 2011, British researchers were using Google Earth to look around Africa when they noticed a patch of forest on and around Mozambique's Mount Mabu that they never knew existed. It was uncharted and unexplored. 

Spleen vs. No Spleen

The spleen is an organ in the upper far left part of the abdomen, to the left of the stomach. It varies in size and shape between people, but is commonly fist-shaped, purple, and about four inches long. Because the spleen is protected by the rib cage, you cannot easily feel it unless it is abnormally enlarged. About 10% of people have a small extra accessory spleen, which causes no problems and is considered normal.

The spleen plays multiple supporting roles in the body. It acts as a filter for blood as part of the immune system. Old red blood cells are recycled in the spleen, and platelets and white blood cells are stored there. It also helps fight certain kinds of bacteria that cause pneumonia and meningitis.

Bottom line, the spleen filters blood and helps the body fight infections, but it is not essential for survival. The spleen can be removed if it is damaged. However, people without a spleen are more prone to infections.

Optical Illusions

Here are three optical illusions for your viewing pleasure (3.5 minutes). LINK

Wordology, Antioxidant

Few people are aware what exactly an antioxidant is. An antioxidant is a substance that inhibits oxidation. It is a substance that removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism.

The level of antioxidants in any substance or food is evaluated with an ORAC score, (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity). ORAC tests the power of a plant to absorb and eliminate free radicals. These measurements were developed by the National Institute of Aging and are based on 100 grams of each food or herb. Cinnamon, clove, oregano, dark chocolate, and pecans have extremely high ORAC scores.

Antioxidants can be man-made or natural substances.  They are found in many foods. They are also available as dietary supplements. Examples of antioxidants include: Beta-carotene, Lutein, Lycopene, Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. Vegetables, fruits, and nuts are rich sources of antioxidants.

The benefit list of antioxidants is long and includes:
    Slower signs of aging, including skin, eyes, tissue, joints, heart, and brain,
    Healthier more youthful glowing skin,
    Reduced cancer risk,
    Detoxification support,
    Longer life span,
    Protection against heart disease and stroke,
    Less risk for cognitive problems, such as dementia,
    Reduced risk for vision loss, such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

Bottom line, antioxidants are generally very good for you, but high-dose supplements of antioxidants may be linked to health risks in some cases, such as high doses of beta-carotene may increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers. High doses of vitamin E may increase risks of prostate cancer and one type of stroke. As my mother used to say, "It can be too much of a good thing."

Best Road Rage Video

Funny stuff. Here is a LINK

Robo Calls are Big Business

Consumers get an estimated 98 million robocalls daily, according to the US government. Fraud from these unwanted calls amounts to about $9.5 billion annually. More than 3 billion robocalls were placed during March, 2018, according to the YouMail Robocall Index. In addition, the FCC gets about 200,000 complaints about robocalls each year, and the FTC received 4.5 million complaints about unwanted calls during 2017.

During 2017, the FCC gave phone companies the ability to block numbers they know are attempting to send spoofed calls that look as if they are local calls. And the agency also began a process to improve caller ID so calls could have "a verified digital fingerprint" to ensure a caller was legit.

Most of the big carriers offer a free call protection app, except Sprint, which costs $2.99 a month.

There are hundreds of apps such as Hiya, Nomorobo, RoboKiller, Truecaller, and YouMail that work. Look at the rating and read user comments before downloading any app. You can block numbers on your phone, but the major bad guys keep changing their number so it does not help much. However it is good for blocking local business that keep calling to sell services.

I have not found any app that blocks the call and locks the caller out of voice mail. This is the most aggravating part for me. I want one that blocks the call and blocks voice mail at the same time.

Incidentally, YouMail operates a Robocall Index that compiles the scope and location of the worst robocalling hotspots across the country by area code, and Atlanta leads the list.

Apr 20, 2018

Happy Friday

If you are happy and you know it clap your hands.

I always applaud a Happy Friday!

SD vs. SSD

An SD card is removable flash memory, much like a USB stick (thumb drive), it just fits into smaller slots, like in a digital camera, or phone. SD stands for secure digital.

SSD stands for solid state drive and is a hard drive based on flash memory technology just like the an SD card, except it usually holds much more data. SSD differs from a conventional hard drive. It has no moving parts, it is much faster and lighter, does not use much energy, and does not emit heat.

Google Maps Hack

Google probably knows more about where you have been than you can remember. This may be good or bad. If you are a criminal, law enforcement can use this information to place you at the scene of a crime. If you are not a criminal, it might just be interesting information. Many forget that phones have location turned on and never think about it. You mostly only need location turned on when using maps or for Lyft and Uber. Some also suggest when you go out to unsavory or unfamiliar places it is good to have it on, so you can be tracked or if worse, be found.

The link below takes you straight to your Google Maps Timeline, a record of all your movements logged in Google Maps. Just sign in to Google and it will direct you. Enjoy. LINK

Funny Tweet

This is from the funniest tweets of all time. Made me laugh out loud.

"Been on hold so long I can't remember who I called. I have a credit card out and my pants off, but that doesn't really narrow it down much. 1:08 PM - 30 Jun 09"

Names Behind Retail Store Initials

Shopping strips and malls are littered with companies whose original names have now been replaced with initials. Those initials often reveal a pearl or interesting fact of the history of the company.
In some instances, businesses attempt to change the meaning of their initials. British Petroleum, better known to the world as BP, decided in 2000 that its name now stood for “beyond petroleum”.
B&M comes from Billington & Mayman as it was set up by Malcolm Billington but shortened to B&M for Bargain Madness.

Some initials quite obvious, depending on where you live. ANZ is the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group; BWS stands for “Beers, Wines and Spirits”.
H&M comes from the official name Hennes & Mauritz AB. It is a Swedish multinational clothing-retail company.
The ASOS fashion brand and online megastore started as a supplier of unbranded clothes to celebrities on TV and the idea was people could find clothes and accessories they had seen celebs wearing. Before long people started referring to AsSeenOnScreen as ASOS and in late 2000 the domain name was bought.
QVC comes from Quality Value Convenience. It sums up the service the shopping channel provides. QVC was set up by Joseph Segel in Pennsylvania in 1986 and it now broadcasts to over 350 million households in seven countries across the globe.
CVS pharmacy chain was founded in Lowell, MA in 1963, and was known as "Consumer Value Stores." Over time the name became abbreviated to simply CVS.

Kmart's big red K. Officially the K does not stand for anything and the brand has only ever read in Australia as “Kmart”. The American company’s history goes back to traveling salesman Sebastian Spering Kresge from Pennsylvania. In 1897, he opened his first store in Memphis and by the 1950s Mr Kresge had 600 stores bearing his surname. Do you remember SS Kresge? The stores began to convert to the simpler Kmart brand in 1962, the K is a nod to its founder. Kresge died in 1966.
JBL, the speaker company is named after its founder, James Bullough Lansing. He was born James Martini in 1902, but at 25, he changed his name to James Lansing.

KFC changed from Kentucky Fried Chicken and the public relations reason given for the name change was that health-conscious consumers associated the word “fried” with “unhealthy” and “high cholesterol.”

According to KFC, during 1991, Kentucky Fried Chicken decided on a name change to KFC. "In reality, we wanted to let our customers know that we had more for them to enjoy than just fried chicken, and many were already calling us KFC, as it was much easier to say."

Incidentally, KFC is owned by Yum! Brands. It operates Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and WingStreet worldwide.

Amazing Flying Diversion

Four minutes to make your heart pump. This is an Air Show in Cameron, a small rural town in Missouri. LINK

Masters Tournament Bans

Bryce Ritchie, an editor at golf magazine "Bunkered," reported that the Masters Tournament had a list of sayings that had been banned from the course, with 2018 list including the now-iconic "Dilly Dilly". According to Ritchie, fans who shout "Dilly Dilly," or similar phrases, will be ejected from the tournament.

Augusta National forbids any phones.  For fans who need to reach someone off the course, payphones are available.

The tournament still has rules on the books regarding the use of beepers. So doctors better leave their pagers at home. Are they the only people that still use pagers?

Cameras are allowed on the course at Augusta National only during the practice rounds before the start of the official tournament.

Raw vs. Roasted Nuts

Nuts are generally roasted to improve their taste, aroma and crunchy texture. Roasting is defined as cooking using dry heat, which cooks the food evenly on all sides. Most nuts are roasted without their shell, except for pistachios, which are often roasted in-shell. Roasting nuts changes their structure, chemical composition, color, and decreases their moisture content.

There are two main kinds of roasting: Dry roasting without oil. Nuts can be dry roasted in the oven or in a frying pan. Oil roasting can also be done in the oven or in a frying pan.

Raw and dry-roasted nuts have very similar amounts of fat, carbs and protein, but roasted nuts have slightly more fat and calories per gram. During roasting, nuts lose some moisture, so a roasted nut weighs less than a raw nut. That explains why the fat content per ounce is slightly higher in roasted nuts. Some studies indicate that trans fats are formed after roasting, but the amount is negligible

One ounce (28 grams) of raw almonds contains 161 calories and 14 grams of fat. The same amount of dry-roasted almonds contains 167 calories and 15 grams of fat. Both types contain similar amounts of calories, protein, carbs, and fiber, but roasting nuts may damage their healthy fat, and reduce their nutrient content.

Eating roasted or non-roasted nuts may reduce your risk of heart disease. Nuts are filled with healthy fats and the amino acid arginine, which relaxes constricted arteries and increases blood flow, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Nuts also contain vitamin E, folic acid, fiber, and potassium. Good nut choices include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, filberts, peanuts, pistachios, and walnuts.

Benefits of Smiles

Scientists have found that a human fetus starts smiling in its mother’s womb. In his TED talk, “The power of smiling,” Ron Gutman said that child smiles 400 times a day on average, while just a third of adults smile more than 20 times a day.
The theory of interconnection between a person’s emotional state and their facial expression says that our mood and well-being improve when we smile, even if this smile is artificial. Smiling affects the production of endorphins in our brains and blood then transfers them through the whole body. Scientists believe that such “joy moderators” can seriously lessen physical pain and emotional discomfort.

My favorite task after I wake is to look in the mirror and smile. Try it now, or tomorrow, or everyday. Amazing how much it helps to start the day with a smile.

Apr 13, 2018

Happy Friday

Smiles are free, but priceless.

You can't afford not to smile, especially on a Happy Friday!

Happy Birthday Thomas Jefferson

April 13, 1743 was this great man's birthday. He could write in Greek with one hand while writing the same in Latin with the other. His Portrait is on the Two $2.00 Dollar Bill.

Here are some facts about his life and quotes from Thomas Jefferson.

At 5, began studying under his cousin's tutor.
At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.
At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.
At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.
At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wythe.
At 23, started his own law practice.
At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.
At 31, wrote the widely circulated "Summary View of the Rights of British America" and retired from his law practice.
At 32, was a delegate to the Second Continental Congress.
At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence.
At 33, took three years to revise Virginia's legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.
At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia.
At 40, served in Congress for two years.
At 41, was the American minister to France and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations.
At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.
At 53, served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.
At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions and became active head of Republican Party.
At 57, was elected the third president of the United States.
At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase doubling the nation's size.
At 61, was elected to a second term as President.
At 65, retired to Monticello.
At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.
 At 81, almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia and served as its first president.
At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence.

John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the White House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: "This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." -- Thomas Jefferson

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." -- Thomas Jefferson

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too
much government." --Thomas Jefferson

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." --Thomas Jefferson

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -- Thomas Jefferson

"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." --Thomas Jefferson

Tap Dance Diversion

Here is Bill Bojangles Robinson from 1932 tap dancing with stairs as a prop. LINK

Wordology, Pancreas

Inside your abdomen is your pancreas, just behind and below the stomach. It is a long, flat organ that is connected to the small intestines.

It is part of the digestive system and releases digestive enzymes into the small intestines that help to break down food, so your body can extract the nutrients it needs. It also produces sodium bicarbonate, which neutralizes acids that find their way from the stomach into the small intestines.

The pancreas also secretes important hormones your body needs, such as insulin and glucagon to help to regulate blood sugar levels in your body.

Incidentally, the abdomen is an area of the body that contains most of the tube-like organs of the digestive tract, as well as several solid organs. Hollow abdominal organs include the stomach, the small intestine, and the colon with its attached appendix. Organs such as the liver, its attached gallbladder, and the pancreas function in close association with the digestive tract and communicate with it via ducts. The spleen, kidneys, and adrenal glands also lie within the abdomen, along with many blood vessels including the aorta. 

Little Tree Story

Not the usual fare I include, but the following is thought provoking and I decided to share.

The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and then his pickup truck refused to start.

I drove him home and when we arrived, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. Upon opening the door he had undergone an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

He walked me to my car and as I was leaving, we passed the small tree. My curiosity got the better of me and I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier at the little tree.

"Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I will always have troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, those troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children." "So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning I pick them up again."

"Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren't nearly as many as I hung there the night before." ~
Author unknown

State Gas Tax Rates

The highest state gas tax is assessed in Pennsylvania, at 50.4 cents per gallon, with Washington State (44.5 cpg) and New York (42.64 cpg) following closely behind. Alaska drivers pay the lowest rate in the country at 12.25 cents per gallon. These figures do not include the 18.4 cpg federal gas tax.

Science I Like

Do not make up your bed. When you are sleeping under a blanket, your body becomes hot and sweaty. This creates the perfect breeding ground for dust mites which are microscopic bugs that can exacerbate asthma and allergies. Research from Kingston University has proven that the best way to get rid of dust mites is to leave your bed unmade and let it dry out. When mites are exposed to sun and air they get dehydrated and die.

Scientists have developed a computer model to track how changes in the home can reduce numbers of dust mites in beds. “We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body,” Dr Pretlove said. “Something as simple as leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die.”

The two-year project has attracted more than £200,000 funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Dr Pretlove is working alongside built environment experts from University College London and the University of Cambridge. Zoologists from Insect Research and Development Ltd and the Royal Agricultural College are also part of the project team.

Apr 6, 2018

Happy Friday

"There is nothing more beautiful than cheerfulness in an old face." ~ Jean Paul

Cheerfulness makes everyone beautiful, especially on a Happy Friday!

Licking Machine

A school of higher learning, engineering students at Purdue University, actually measured Tootsie Pop licks. It officially takes 364 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. They used a proprietary “licking machine” rather than a human tongue. Human volunteers reached the center in just 252 licks.

Wordology, Achilles Heel

In Greek mythology, Achilles was the son of an immortal goddess named Thetis and a mortal man named Peleus. When Achilles was born, Thetis thought she could make him immortal by submerging him into the River Styx. The legend says Thetis held Achilles by his heel when she dipped him into the river. Therefore, his heel was not touched by the magical waters of the River and it remained mortal and thus vulnerable. Achilles went on to become a hero in the Trojan War, but was killed toward the end of the war when he was shot in the heel by an arrow.
Since then, the term "Achilles' heel" has come to mean a vulnerability or weakness in an otherwise strong person. For example, a fighter might be brought down by his Achilles' heel, such as pride, or overconfidence.

The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body, stretching from the calf muscles down to the heel. It is strong, but prone to injury. Doctors speculate this is because of its limited blood supply and the fact that it frequently has high tension placed upon it, especially during walking and running.

I Write The Songs

Barry Manilow did not write his hit song “I Write the Songs”. Before he recorded it, Barry didn’t even think it was a particularly good song. It was written by Bruce Johnston, of the Beach Boys, during 1975.

Monowi Nebraska

There is an American town with a population of one. Monowi is the only town in the United States with an official population of one person. Monowi means "flower" in a Native American language. Elsie Eiler became the sole resident of Monowi in 2004, after her husband, Rudy, passed away. She pays taxes to herself and grants her own alcohol license.

She is in her 80s, and is employed as the village’s mayor, librarian, and bartender. The Monowi Tavern has regular customers. At the tavern, she is the only full-time staff, but she occasionally brings on extra help when she is expecting a big crowd, like the motorcycle group that meets there several times a year.

The nearest community to Monowi is Lynch, located approximately 6.92 miles (11.14 km) away. The village is located approximately 193.97 miles (312.16 km) from Omaha.

Windshield Repair Hack

It is frustrating when a truck or car in front throws up a rock and creates a nick in the windshield. If you ignore it, it might spread and require a new windshield. There are a few ways to put off the trip to a repair shop.

One - Clear nail polish can fill the nooks and crannies of your small windshield chips and cracks and when it dries, helps to seal and protect it from the cold and elements that cause further cracking. Clean the damaged area of your windshield with dish soap and warm water. When dry, apply a thin layer of clear nail polish to the damaged area and let dry.

Two - So clever that I had to look it up to verify. You can actually fix a cracked window with garlic. Cut a garlic clove lengthwise down the middle. Rub the cut side softly over the crack and wipe away the excess garlic juice with a paper towel. Garlic contains various sucrose compounds called fructans in high concentrations. Fructanos are responsible for making the knife sticky when we cut one of these and is like a natural glue. When filled with the natural garlic glue, it will prevent cracks from spreading. It is not a substitute for a professional fix, but it will keep the crack on your windshield from getting worse until you can get to a repair shop.

Distressing Birthday Thought

You are most likely to die on your birthday. According to research published in the Annals of Epidemiology, people over sixty have a fourteen percent higher chance of dying on their birthday than any other day. Other researchers have found that an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, falls, and suicides makes our birthdays a far more dangerous day of the year than any other. Another group of researchers, who have studied more than two million people over the course of two decades have found: we are more likely to die on our own birthday than any other day of the year. More reasons to skip birthdays and just be happy every day.

Cheese May Prevent Nightmares

In case your birthday is close, there is a way to not have nightmares about it. According to research conducted by the British Cheese Board, no study subjects reported having nightmares after eating cheese, but blue cheese consumption had a tendency to make dreams a bit odd. Filed under another odd study, but it seemed to fit.

Bread and Sugar Myths Busted

Sugar can be as addictive as heroin myth says some brain imaging studies have found that sugar activates similar parts of the brain as seriously addictive drugs, like heroin. However, an eating behavioral specialist explains, “In neuroimaging, there is no clear-cut sign of addiction.” Just because that part of the brain is activated, does not mean that the person experiencing it is actually addicted to the substance.

Brown bread is healthy myth equates color with whole wheat bread. Just because a loaf is brown does not make it better than a loaf that is white. “Contrary to popular belief, brown bread does not automatically translate to mean 100 percent whole wheat bread. To ensure you are buying the most nutritious bread option, read labels and check to see that the first ingredient listed is either whole wheat or ‘whole meal’ flour.”

Mar 30, 2018

Happy Friday

"Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain." ~Charlie Chaplin

I always enjoy a good laugh, especially on a Happy Friday!

Happy Easter

This year, Easter falls on April Fool's Day, April 1. Beware uncooked decorated eggs and other silly surprises. Think positive thoughts and enjoy the day.

Doctor's Day

Today is National Doctor's Day in the US. It began on March 30, 1933 and is a holiday that honors physicians for the work they do for their patients, the communities they work in, and for society as a whole. It is their hard work and devotion that keeps us healthy and this day thanks them for doing that. Be nice to your doctors, they keep you well.

Small Forks

Consider this for your Easter dinner. A study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that when diners were given smaller forks with which to eat their meals, they ended up eating less. According to the researchers, smaller forkfuls of food lead diners to, “feel they are not making much of a dent in consuming their food, and, hence, satisfying their hunger.”

Dilly Dilly

Contrary to some recent internet descriptions for the Budweiser commercial, dilly dilly is not new. Versions of the song date back to at least the 1700s. Below typical version (name back then was 'Lavender's Blue', from1849.
    Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,
    When I am king, dilly dilly, you shall be queen:
    Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so?
    'Twas mine own heart, dilly dilly, that told me so.

Other versions from the 1940s were sung by Burl Ives and Dinah Shore. In addition, this is my favorite version from 1959 'Lavender Blue' by Sammy Turner. LINK            

Myth, Flaming Removes Most Alcohol

Many of us have cooked with alcohol, whether wine or straight alcohol for flaming dishes. There is a persistent myth that cooking removes the alcohol making it safe for alcoholics and children.

However, it is difficult to remove alcohol from food by cooking. Setting fire to alcohol in the pan actually reduces the total alcohol percentage by only 25%. In other words, when you add a cup of brandy to a pan and set it alight, once the flames go out you still have the equivalent of 3/4 of cup of brandy left behind with the alcohol intact. If you want to reduce the alcohol to five percent you need to cook for 2.5 hours.

Information comes from the 'Modernist Cuisine Book 1 History and Fundamentals'. The full six volume set contains 2,438 pages, which detail the history of cuisine and explain the science of cooking. The team comprises scientists, research, and development chefs.

Mickey Mouse Myth

Most people believe that Walt Disney drew Mickey Mouse. He did not draw his most famous creation. Mickey Mouse was his idea, and he provided the voice, but the pancake ears, the red shorts, etc., are the creation of Ub Iwerks, Disney’s favorite animator.

Light vs. Regular Beer

Most light beers contain about 100 calories, while regular only contains about 145 calories. Budweiser regular has 143 calories and Bud Light has 110, not much difference. According to Wikipedia, Budweiser Light has 3.5% ABV per 12 US fl oz (355 mL) and Budweiser regular is 5.0% ABV. It is made with up to 30% rice in addition to hops and barley malt.

Light beer has been brewed to be lower in alcohol, lower in calories, or lower in both, depending on the brand. Low-carb beer has only been brewed to remove carbohydrates, but can have the same alcohol content. Most light beers are made from a process made possible in 1964 with the commercial introduction of amyloglucosidase. This enzyme makes all the dextrins fermentable. Brewers generally add water to adjust the alcohol content to slightly below that of a regular beer.

Bottom line, with less alcohol, many tend to drink more light beer, negating any calorie reduction benefits, and costing more money in addition to consuming amyloglucosidase.

Library Seeds

Many libraries around the US now give out plant, herb, and vegetable seeds for free. Seeds change by region to accommodate local climate. For instance, a seed lending library is available at the Dallas library. Library card holders may check out seeds donated by commercials growers and Dallas gardeners. Users are encouraged to replace seeds in the fall with those from their own harvest, but it is not a requirement.

Among the seed available in Dallas, are vegetables, such as round baby carrots, leaf lettuces, French mesclun, yellow squash, pole beans and pumpkins. Available flowers included nasturtiums, zinnias, cleome, amaranth, white bishop's lace, purple coneflower, poppies, cosmos, foxgloves, moonflowers and morning glory.

Wordology, FOMO

According to the Urban Dictionary, fomo is "fear of missing out". The fear that if you miss a party or event you will miss out on something great. Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.

Happy Friday

Happiness cannot hide from a broad smile.

Wake up with a smile every day, especially on a Happy Friday!

US Behind in Broadband

In telecommunications, broadband is wide bandwidth data transmission which transports multiple signals and data traffic types. The medium can be coaxial cable, optical fiber, radio or twisted pair. In the context of internet access, broadband is used to mean any high-speed internet access that is always on and faster than dial-up access. In other words, broadband is cable and internet.

According to a recent study, the five leading countries for broadband communications infrastructure are South Korea, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, and the Netherlands. The U.S. is #18.

In addition, US is #18 for broadband access and affordability. The top five are South Korea, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, and Norway.

The US is #13 for average fixed broadband connection speed. The top five are South Korea, Norway, Sweden, China and Switzerland.

World's Most Popular Fruit

Over 100 billion bananas are consumed worldwide each year. India, China, Brazil, and Indonesia account for half of that consumption.
Bananas make up approximately 75% of the annual tropical fruit trade. In fact, they are the world's most exported fruit. The world's top banana exporter is Ecuador, while the United States imports the most bananas.

Bananas grow in tropical and subtropical areas around the world. Classified botanically as a berry, bananas grow on large plants that look like big bushes. The name "banana" comes from the Arabic word "banan," which means finger.

Cement, Concrete, Gunite, and Mortar

Although the terms cement and concrete often are used interchangeably, cement is actually an ingredient of concrete. Concrete is basically a mixture of aggregates and paste. The aggregates are sand and gravel or crushed stone; the paste is water and Portland cement.

Cement is a fine binding powder, which is never used alone. It is made most commonly of limestone, clay, shells, and silica sand. These materials are crushed and then combined with other ingredients (including iron ore), and then heated to about 2,700 F. This material, called Clinker, is ground into a fine powder. It is used to make both concrete and mortar.

Both mortar and concrete are widely used building materials. They cannot be substituted for each other without compromising the integrity of a build.

Concrete is much stronger and more durable than mortar. Because it needs a low water to cement ratio, it is much thinner when mixed, making it difficult to use as a bonding element. Concrete is used in structural projects and is often reinforced with steel rebar to maintain its structural integrity. It is best used for support, such as beams, walls, or other building foundations. Its unique characteristic is that it starts out as a simple, dry mixture, becomes a liquid flexible material capable of forming into any mold or shape, and ends up as a hard-as-rock material.

Gunite is a very durable mixture of cement, sand, and water that is sprayed on a surface under pneumatic pressure. It is used for tunnels, underground structures, slope stabilization, structural repairs, and swimming pools. Gunite or shotcrete material is mortar or small-aggregate concrete applied using a wet or dry process.

Mortar is used to hold building materials such as brick or stone together. It is composed of a thick mixture of water, sand, and cement. The water is used to hydrate the cement and hold the mix together. The water to cement ratio is higher in mortar than in concrete in order to form its bonding element. When mixed, it is a much thicker substance than concrete, making it ideal as a glue for building materials like brick.

Bottom line, a hydrated cement mixture forms the base of all three materials, the rock chipping in cement makes it much stronger for use in structural projects, and mortar is thicker, which makes it a better bonding element.

Incidentally, the name Portland cement comes from Joseph Aspdin, who first produced cement during the 1800s in England. He thought its color was like the color of stone from quarries on the island of Portland off the coast of England.

Two Cool Tips

To correct misspelled words, press the Ctrl key and hit backspace to eliminate the whole word. Beats backspacing to delete each letter individually.

Finding shiny objects. If you drop something shiny, like an earring, or change, turn off the lights and use a flashlight. It should shine and stand out from its surroundings.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are not essential to our lives, but they are essential. The name means 'essential' in the sense of 'containing the essence' or as in pure essence. Essential oils are made from pure extracts of the plant, which makes them healthier to burn in an oil burner and generally non-toxic as opposed to fragrance oil which is only scented with the plant's essence.

Poo Paper

Researchers presented their results at the 255th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.
The idea for the project germinated on Crete, where Alexander Bismarck, Ph.D., noticed goats munching on summer-dry grass in the small village where he was vacationing. "I realized what comes out in the end is partially digested plant matter, so there must be cellulose in there," he recalls.
After working with goat manure, Bismarck, who is at the University of Vienna, Austria, his postdoc Andreas Mautner, Ph.D., and graduate students Nurul Ain Kamal and Kathrin Weiland moved on to dung from horses, cows and eventually elephants.
The supply of raw material is substantial: Parks in Africa that are home to hundreds of elephants produce tons of dung every day, and enormous cattle farms in the U.S. and Europe yield mountains of manure, according to Mautner.
The researchers treat the manure with a sodium hydroxide solution. This partially removes lignin, which can be used later as a fertilizer or fuel, as well as other impurities, including proteins and dead cells. To fully remove lignin and to produce white pulp for making paper, the material has to be bleached with sodium hypochlorite. The purified cellulose requires little if any grinding to break it down into nanofibers in preparation for use in paper, in contrast to conventional methods.
"You need a lot of energy to grind wood down to make nanocellulose," Mautner says. But with manure as a starting material, "you can reduce the number of steps you need to perform, simply because the animal already chewed the plant and attacked it with acid and enzymes. You inexpensively produce a nanocellulose that has the same or even better properties than nanocellulose from wood, with lower energy and chemical consumption," he says.

The dung-derived nanopaper could be used in many applications, including as reinforcement for polymer composites or filters that can clean wastewater before it is discharged into the environment.

Shipping Someone

The Urban Dictionary's definition of shipping is a term used to describe fan fictions that take previously created characters and put them as a pair. It usually refers to romantic relationships, but it can refer platonic ones as well. Think of “shipping” as short for “relationSHIP”.


Have you noticed some pictures on i devices and in Windows 10 now have an extension of HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format), instead of JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)?

It is a new designation for pictures and supports bonus features, such as it can accommodate live photos, bursts of photos, 3D scene data useful for special effects, audio, and more. As a container, HEIF can actually accommodate multiple compression technologies. When used with HEVC video compression, the resulting files are called HEIC images.

It compresses the file size to roughly half the size of JPG files to save space. The quality is reported to be identical.

Apple is using is also using it as a new standard, so you will be seeing more of these picture file types. Incidentally, i
t is usually pronounced heef.

Mar 16, 2018

Happy Friday

Smiles are like music to soothe a happy soul.
I love a good tune, especially on a Happy Friday!

World Happiness Day

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 is International Happiness Day. Don't worry, be happy!

Happiness is Contagious

A joint venture study by Harvard University and the University of California at San Diego, followed 5,000 people over a 20-year period. The family, coworkers, and neighbors of these individuals were also followed, involving at least 50,000 people in the process. The researchers determined how happy the participants were by administering standard happiness assessments, where subjects responded to statements, such as "I feel hopeful about the future," "I feel I am just as good as other people," and "I am happy."
According to the results, if a friend who lives within a mile of you gets happy, your chances of happiness increase by 25 percent. If that happy friend lives closer to you, you have a 42 percent chance of being happy yourself, showing that proximity to happy people makes a difference. In fact, neighbors of happy people feel the effect more than family members do. Siblings who live close to a happy sibling increase their likelihood of happiness by 14 percent, while next-door neighbors of the happy individual have a 34 percent benefit, even if the neighbors are not friends. The happiness effect lasts up to a year. "We know it's not a 'birds of a feather flock together' effect," said one of the study authors, Nicholas A. Christakis of Harvard University.
Your happiness can affect the happiness of someone you have never met. However, work colleagues seem immune to the benefit. Partners and spouses are less receptive than friends, with only an eight percent benefit from a happy spouse. Good news the researchers found was that while happiness spreads, unhappiness does not spread as much.
"You would think that your emotional state would depend on your own choices and actions and experience," said Dr. Christakis. "But it also depends on the choices, and actions, and experiences of other people, including people to whom you are not directly connected. Happiness is contagious."

Happiness has a significant impact on health. All of which means that it pays to live next to healthy, happy individuals. This study indicates that when you do something right for yourself, the ripples of that positive choice extend farther out into the world than you might have thought.

World Happiness Report

The United States has dropped four spots in the latest World Happiness Report ranking. It has now dropped to 18th spot (from 14th) in the annual ranking, which is published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a United Nations initiative.
The new report lists 156 countries by their happiness levels. The rankings are based on results from Gallup World Poll surveys. Researchers used factors including income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust, and generosity to measure happiness.

Finland was ranked number one, with Norway second, and Denmark third. Rounding out the top ten are Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, and Australia. 


Caffeine is an odorless alkaloid. It is a natural ingredient that is found in the green coffee bean. It is also found in a number of other plants, including tea, cocoa, kola, guarana, and yerba mate. Caffeine, used by people is the largest psychoactive stimulant, which speeds up the central nervous system.
Caffeine affects all of us differently. Where some might be able to fall asleep soon after drinking coffee, some might not.
Recent international studies have shown that caffeine has demonstrated protective effects against Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease when consumed in moderation.
Caffeine enters your blood stream through the lining of your mouth, throat, and stomach. Your stomach contents can account for different effects of caffeine. It can take up to forty-five minutes for the majority of caffeine to be absorbed and the effects can last up to three hours.
A cup of coffee contains 98.6% water, which means 1.4% of that cup is dissolved coffee solids.  Caffeine is 1.2% of that 1.4% coffee.

Incidentally,  the US, drinks the most coffee, 400 million cups per day.

Coffee Bean Types

The two species of coffee beans most widely cultivated commercially are Coffea arabica (Arabica) and Coffea canephora (Robusta).

The coffee that most are accustomed to is made from arabica beans which typically have better flavor. Arabica comprises about 75-80% of world production.

Estimates of caffeine content average about 1% for Arabica beans and 2% for Robusta beans by weight.

Starbucks advertises that it only uses arabica beans, Even though its coffee consistently is rated with higher caffeine than Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, etc.

There are a number of techniques in brewing coffee: concentrate brewing, Turkish or Greek, vacuum brewing, percolating, the French press (also called press pot or plunger coffee), and drip or filter coffee. Assuming that the brewing method stays the same, the finer you grind coffee, the more caffeine it will release.

Temperature is also an important factor. Proper coffee extraction happens between 195-205 degrees, however most drip brewers only reach about 190 degrees. Espresso machines usually brew at near boiling temps. With French press coffee, you have total control over the temperature with the option of pouring boiling water (212 degrees) over the grounds. Water temperature can vary by brewing method, with the hotter the water, the better the extraction. With better extraction comes better tasting coffee and caffeine extraction.

Brewed coffee requires that the water is in contact with the grinds for a long time, this leads to a higher caffeine concentration. Espresso actually has the lowest caffeine content at 100 mg per 2 ounces. However, if you consider the amount of caffeine per ounce, espresso has more caffeine than drip coffee. Coffee brewed in the French press has 107.5 mg per 7 ounces. Drip brewed coffee is highest, with 145 mg of caffeine per 7 ounce cup. Generally, for brewed coffee, two tablespoons of ground coffee is used per 6 fluid ounces of water.

Light, medium, and dark flavors are an indicator of flavor strength, with the dark roasts having the boldest tastes. The darker the beans, the longer they have been roasted. The loss of caffeine from light to dark is minimal, regardless of what many web sites show.

Factors, in addition to brewing process that affects the amount of caffeine: variety of coffee bean, roast level, temperature of water, amount of coffee, brew time, grind level, and beverage size.

Bottom line - longer brewing time, fine ground, robusta equals more caffeine.
Shorter brewing time, course ground, arabica, (light, medium, or dark roast) equals less caffeine.

Snooze Your Facebook Friends

After all that caffeine, maybe you need a snooze. Facebook has a feature that you can shut down a friend's posts for thirty days. They will not be notified. Great for someone who is inundating everyone with the latest adventure, vacation, election, new baby, new car, etc.

When you see a post in your feed from a friend, whom you want to snooze click or tap the three dots in the top right corner of the post. In the menu that opens, click or tap the option that says Snooze [Name] for 30 days. You can also snooze your friend's friends the same way. Think of it as temporary relief. Also, if you change your mind, you can unsnooze. I have not found the option in my feeds, but many say it works great.

You can do the same procedure if you decide to unfollow someone. Unfollowing a friend is permanent, until you go to their page and change it. Also, it does not notify them either way.