Dec 28, 2018

Happy Friday

Happiness is a choice.

Always choose to be happy, especially on a Happy Friday!

New Year Tradition

Watching 'Dinner for One' is a New Year tradition in much of Europe. Here is a LINK from my blog to the perennially favorite comedy (length 14 minutes). Enjoy. Happy New Year!

Cannabis and Big Business

Cannabis is now fully legal in Canada and rapidly taking over the rest of the world, as soon as politicians get their acts together. Even though outlets are limited and the industry is in its nascent stages, big business is beginning to pour billions in investment to get ahead of the pack for worldwide dominance. Now that hemp is legal and no longer controlled by the Controlled Substance Act in the US, some say it is the crack in the dam and time to look for even more action and investments. Following are a few recently announced deals.

AB InBev (Budweiser, Labatt's, Stella Artois, and more) said it is teaming up with Canada's Tilray to research cannabis-infused drinks. Together, they will invest a combined $100 million into researching non-alcoholic drinks containing cannabis elements.

Marlboro owner Altria invested $1.8 billion in cannabis company Cronos. Phillip Morris is also looking for a cannabis partner to invest in.

Constellation brands (Corona and others) invested four billion dollars into Canopy Growth, another Canadian marijuana business.

Heineken launched Hi-Fi Hops, a cannabis-only beverage in a handful of dispensaries in California. The beverage is designed to taste like beer, but does not contain alcohol. Currently, the beverage comes in a ten-milligram version with THC, and a hybrid version with five milligrams of THC and five milligrams of CBD.

Molson Coors Canada announced a joint venture with The Hydropothecary Corporation, a recognized leader in Canadian medical cannabis to develop a line of non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages.

Alberta-based Aurora Cannabis Inc. recently announced a license agreement with Alcanna, Canada’s largest private-sector liquor retailer paying $82.5 million for a 19.9 percent ownership interest in Alcanna, which at the time was called Liquor Stores N.A. Alcanna already begun converting some of its 229 liquor stores into cannabis retail outlets.

Microsoft shook the cannabis industry and much of the business world when it announced that it would be entering the cannabis industry via a partnership to provide seed-to-sale tracking software, a lucrative sector in cannabis.

Jack in the Box fast-food chain teamed up with the Snoop Dogg-backed cannabis media company Merry Jane to offer a limited-time meal for the cheeky price of $4.20. It is available at a handful of locations in Southern California. The meal was more symbolic than it was an actual entry into the cannabis industry. It marked the first time a non-cannabis company the size of Jack in the Box publicly marketed directly to cannabis consumers.

Walmart, Amazon, and Home Depot sell hydroponic equipment, grow lights, and a number of other products that are used for cultivating cannabis. These are essential items for some cannabis growers, but they have other uses too, so the retailers selling them do not necessarily raise eyebrows. They also sell products that are specifically geared towards cannabis cultivation. American Cannabis Company has a distribution agreement with all three retailers. The retailers will distribute such products as SoHum Living Soils – designed for cannabis cultivation.

Incidentally, investing in cannabis stocks is looking like investing in Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and others was, before they achieved wildly inflated prices they command today.

Typing Tip

Have you noticed the small ridges toward the bottom of “F” and “J” keys with almost all keyboards? Your index fingers can locate them by touch and you are sure you are on the 'home' row and ready to type without looking.

Epilation vs. Depilation

Both refer to the processes of unwanted body hair removal. Depilation refers to hair removal just at the surface and without damaging the follicles. The procedure does not damage the structure of the hair. Its effect lasts from a few hours to several days. For depilation, razors and different hair removal creams are used.

Epilation is the removal of hair entirely, including the part below the skin. It damages hair follicles and the effect lasts from several days to several weeks. Epilation includes waxing, sugaring, lasering, and other salon procedures.

More Google Tips

Either this or that is effective if you are not exactly sure of the information you are searching. Put in a few potential variations of what you are looking for, and separate them by typing the “|“ symbol. You can also use "or". Then it is easy to choose the result that makes the most sense. For instance, "Chuck or Tom".

If you need to find websites on a given subject rather than those that include a specific phrase, add the "~" symbol to your search. For example, if you search for the term "healthy ~food" you will get results about the principles of healthy eating, cooking recipes, as well as healthy dining options.

Sometimes you read an interesting article on a website and find yourself subsequently wanting to share it with your friends or simply reread it. The easiest way to find the desired piece of information again is to search within the website. To do this, type the address of the site, then a key word or entire phrase from the article, and it should come up immediately. For instance try shubsthoughts Google (no " marks).

If you found something you really like online and want to find similar websites, type in "related:" and then the address of the site, without a space between them. For example try

If you type in the words i love you without quotation marks, Google will show the results where these words appear in any order on a website. However, if you type "i love you" within quotation marks, you will get only those results where these words appear in the order you typed them. This is a great way to find lyrics to a song when you might just remember one line from it.

Five Fascinating Body Facts

If you take every vessel in a body and put them end to end, it would be a length of 96,000 kilometers or 60,000 miles in children and 100,000 miles in adults.

There are more bacteria in a human mouth than there are people in the world.
Canadian scientists revealed that the female heart runs 10 beats a minute more than the male heart.

Messages from the human brain travel along nerves at up to 200 miles an hour or 322 km/h.

By the age of 60, people usually lose up to 40% of their sense of taste.

Aerial vs. Antenna

The words aerial and antenna are used interchangeably by almost everyone, except techies. Accurately speaking, the top or elevated portion of the antenna is the aerial, and that portion which completes the electrical connection between the aerial and the instruments is the lead-in. The antenna is the entire system consisting of the aerial and lead-in together.

Dec 21, 2018

Happy Friday

Happiness is a gift you can share all year.

It is great to share happiness, especially on a Happy Friday!

Christmas Pickle

The Weihnachtsgurke, or Christmas Pickle, is supposedly a classic German tradition, but may not be as German as some believe. Legend has it that when Germans decorate their Christmas tree, the very last ornament they hang on it is a pickle or pickle ornament. On Christmas Eve, the first child to find the pickle hidden in the branches is said to get good luck for the year to come, as well as an extra present.

If you ask someone from the American Midwest, they will most likely be able to tell you all about the German festive custom. Germans, on the other hand, may have no knowledge of the custom.
One story is that a captured German-American soldier in the civil war became seriously ill and asked for a pickle as his last meal. After eating it, he was restored to health and from then on always hung a pickle on his tree each year.

According to another legend, St. Nicholas (not Santa) discovered that a shop keeper had murdered three boys and hidden them in a barrel of pickles. He prayed for the boys and his faith miraculously brought them back to life. Supposedly, from then on the pickle has been linked to St. Nick and consequently to Christmas.

Recently, the Christmas Pickle has made its way back across the pond and is beginning to rise in popularity in Germany.

Holiday Hack

Just before guests come over for a Holiday visit, simmer a pan of water on the stove and add some cinnamon and maybe some essential oils. It will make the house smell great and add some much needed humidity.

5G Phones

2019 will usher in new 5G phones, but do we need one? First, 5G service will not be available in many places, so the technology will be useless to most. Second, 5G pioneers will suffer the slings and arrows of new technology and we all know the first generation of most new technology is buggy. Third, the technology is expensive and may cost a few hundred dollars more per phone with 5G.

5G mmWave has worse range and worse penetration compared to the current LTE. A mmWave signal can be blocked by buildings, trees, and even your hand. It also does not work well in the rain or fog, and the ~60GHz chunk of this spectrum can actually be blocked by the air around you. To get around the hand blockage, extra antennas will be added to phones, taking up valuable battery space. One redeeming feature is the phones will be backward compatible, so you can spend more money to get the same service you have now.

First generation 5G chips will be much larger compared to the other extremely-small smartphone components. They will also require more power to use. More size for technology means less size for battery and smaller battery means less usage time between charging.

Bottom line, increased cost, limited availability of 5G coverage areas, new technology woes, and less use time from the battery all point to waiting to buy, unless you have a desire to be 'first on your block' to have new technology for bragging rights.

Hershey Almonds

The first Hershey chocolate bars with almonds were produced during 1908, because they were cheap to make. The nuts took the place of some of the more expensive milk chocolate, which meant Hershey’s could keep the price of the candy at a nickel.

Christmas Goat

        In the Swedish town of Gävle, about 100 miles north of Stockholm, residents have been erecting a giant straw goat in the town center since 1966. The Gävle Goat, also known as the Yule Goat and the Gävlebocken, may be a massive Christmas decoration, but there is never any guarantee that it will still be standing for the holiday. That is because there is a second, illegal annual Christmas tradition in Gävle. It is trying to burn down the Yule Goat before Christmas.
Yule goats have been a Christmas-time tradition in Sweden and elsewhere in Scandinavia for many centuries, though how exactly the practice got its start has been lost to history. During 1966, advertising consultant Stig Gavlén developed the idea of constructing a giant straw Yule goat for the holiday season, hoping it would function as something of an attraction to bring business to the shops around it.
The idea was subsequently executed by the town’s fire department. With funding provided by local businessman Harry Ström, they built a 43-foot tall, 23-foot long, 3-ton straw goat in the town center. It was completed on December 1, 1966 and it stood through that month. On New Year’s Eve, a vandal from a nearby town set the goat on fire. Being made of straw with a wood framework, it quickly burned to the ground.
During the following four years local merchants known as the Söders Köpmän (Southern Merchants) took over financing the Gävle Goat. For the first two years, nothing of note happened; the goat was put up and taken down with no issue.  Then in 1969, vandals managed to again set the goat aflame. The following year, they did it again. In fact, in the 1970 burning, drunken teenagers had managed to burn down the goat just six hours after construction of the goat was complete.
Fortunately for Gävle’s Yule Goat tradition, the Natural Science Club from the nearby School of Vasa took charge in 1971 and the Gävle’s Yule Goat lived on. Their first goat made it through the season without incident. However, sabotage in 1972 led to the goat’s collapse. Two years later, the goat was burned down once again and two years after that, it got hit by a drunk driver and was destroyed.
From the ashes of all this, the tradition of attempting to destroy the Gävle Yule Goat was born. Since 1980, the Gävle Goat has only managed to survive through the holiday season 13 times. This is despite the fact that a fire station is incredibly close by and several attempts have been made to make it more difficult for vandals to destroy the giant straw decoration. For instance, they tried spraying flame-retardant on the straw, only to have it wash off and the treated goat easily burned down.
Of course, despite all this and other efforts, half the fun of the tradition for many is seeing if the goat will make it to Christmas.
After years of trying, it appears they may have hit on the right mix of protection for the Gävle Yule tradition in 2014. After adding even better flame retardant chemicals that will not wash away easily, they moved a busy taxi stand to the town center right near the goat. They also positioned security personnel near the goat and had a 24-hour webcam trained on the decoration. Although there were reportedly a few close calls, the 2014 goat ultimately survived the Christmas season and was disassembled on December 29th, a bit earlier than previous surviving goats.

The 2015 Gävle Goat, which was erected on November 26th, made it through 2015’s Christmas but was burned down at approximately 3 am on December 27 by what police described as a heavily intoxicated man in his twenties. The man, who smelled of petrol, was caught red-handed carrying lighters and newspapers shortly after the goat was set ablaze. The man’s clothes were also singed as they briefly caught fire. Ah, fun traditions continue. . .

McDonald's Bacon Cheese Fries

According to some sources on the web, McDonald's might be planning to sell bacon cheese fries sometime in 2019. They are available now in some locations in California and Hawaii. Yea!

Dec 14, 2018

Happy Friday

"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun." ~Audrey Hepburn

There is always time for more fun, especially on a Happy Friday!

Pig Hearts and Baboons

Some anubis baboons were the recipients of a new heart, courtesy of an international team of researchers. With the new hearts, which came from pigs, the baboons were able to live normal and healthy lives for months.

According to a study published last month in the journal Nature, the researchers managed to keep two of the baboons alive for 90 days before they euthanized them in accordance with the terms of the study. The other two baboons survived for 180 days before the researchers put them down.

Prior to this study, the longest a baboon with a life-supporting pig heart survived was 57 days, and 60 percent of recipients died within just two days.

Bacon Vending Machine

My brother and a friend Deby, both sent this info along to me, almost the same day I came across it on the web (great minds). Ohio State University students have a new vending machine and it is going hog wild for bacon, offering strips and bits for just $1. The machine was courtesy of the Ohio Pork Council.

Located in the Animal Sciences building at the school’s College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, profits from the vending machine will benefit the meat science program, according to the Ohio Pork Council. The porky contents were donated by Hormel, Sugardale and Smithfield. It is like having your own personal cook in the house. Wouldn't it be nice if it also served up a side of eggs. Yumm!

Photos Fact

Ten percent of all photos in the world were taken within the past twelve months.


The media is always writing about generations, but many people do not know exactly what ages they represent. Now you do. Some reporting sources vary slightly, causing overlaps.


The Interbellum Generation 1901

The Greatest Generation 1914 1924

The Silent Generation 1925 1945

Baby Boomer Generation 1946 1964

Generation X (Baby Bust) 1965 1979

1977 1983

Generation Y, Gen Next
1980 1994

iGen / Gen Z 1995 2012

Gen Alpha 2013 2025

Picture Hanging Tip

The middle of hanging piece of art should be 57 inches from the floor.

    Picture is 20" tall
    Middle is at 10" (this mid point should be at 57" from the floor)
    Wire comes to 2" below the top
    10" - 2" = 8"
    Lightly mark 8" above your first mark or 65" on the wall
    Hang up art. You are welcome.

How To Be Happy

In The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky shares the results of years of research into what makes people happy. She is concerned with “chronic happiness” (as opposed to temporary happiness), with people who maintain an elevated sense of well-being over time. Based on her work, Lyubomirsky believes:

- About half of human happiness is biological. Each of us seems to have a happiness “set point” which accounts for roughly 50% of our level of contentment. Because this set point is genetic, it is tough to change.
- Another 10% of happiness is circumstantial, based on external factors. These include traits like age, race, nationality, and gender, as well as things like marital status, occupational status, job security, and income. Your financial situation is part of this 10%, which means it accounts for a tiny fraction of your total happiness.
- The final 40% of happiness comes from intentional activity, the things you choose to do. A huge chunk of contentment is based on your actions and attitude. You can increase your level of well-being through exercise, gratitude, and meaningful work.

Because circumstances play such a small role in your well-being, and because many of your circumstances are unchangeable, it makes more sense to boost your bliss through intentional activity, by controlling the things you can control while ignoring the things you can't.

You can't wait for someone or something to make you happy. Happiness is not something that just happens; happiness is a byproduct of the the things you think and say and do.

Just as you should become a money boss to take charge of your financial life, you should become a happiness boss to take charge of your emotional life. Believe it or not, you can control your emotional responses. It just takes a bit of knowledge and practice.

Security Advice

Good advice.

Dec 7, 2018

Happy Friday

If you moderate your desire for happiness, you moderate your ability to achieve it.
Some things should never be moderated, especially on a Happy Friday!

Aunt Bertha

Aunt Bertha is the largest closed loop referral network for free and reduced cost social services in the United States. Since 2010, it has been connecting people in need and the programs that serve them, with dignity and ease. Go to the site and type in your zip code. Especially great for seniors or others on fixed budgets. LINK


If something is run of the mill, it is average, ordinary, not special. It most likely originally referred to a run from a textile mill. It is material that has been manufactured, before it is decorated or embellished.

The expression you have your work cut out for you comes from tailoring. To do a big sewing job, all the pieces of fabric are cut out before they get sewn together. It seems like if your work has been cut for you, it should make job easier, but we do not use the expression that way. It is more that the task is ready to be tackled, but the difficult part is laying out the pieces in order, and doing the actual sewing.

More Proof of Laughter Benefits

Laughter has positive psychological, physiological, and immunological impacts on our health. In fact there is a term for the study of laughter and laughing and the examination of its effects on the human body: gelotology, from the Greek gelos, meaning 'laughter'.

In a study “Humor and Laughter May Influence Health” in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, authors report that a sense of humor influences psychological and physiological well-being.

- Laughter leads to increased heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen consumption, similar to aerobic exercise. After intense laughter, body muscles relax.
- Like other strong emotions, humor seems to activate the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which shows an increase in such hormones as urinary epinephrine and norepinephrine, but blood pressure remains stable. (Sad emotional stimulus results in higher blood pressure.)
- Exposure to a humorous stimulus decreased self-reported anxiety.
- Laughter in response to humorous stimuli correlates with improvement of natural killer (NK) cell activity, the immune cells that kill cancerous cells and prevent some types of viral illnesses.
- Laughing also has social benefits. Since much laughter is a social response rather than a reaction to jokes, laughing facilitates social reaction.
- Laughter is also contagious. If you see someone laughing, you will probably laugh, too. Scientists found that we often mimic other’s behavior, copying words or gestures due to the mirroring system in the brain.

Straw vs. Hay

Straw and hay are often used interchangeably, and it is easy to see why. They are both dry, grassy, and easy to find on farms in the fall, but the two terms actual describe different materials, and once you know what to look for, it is easy to tell the difference between them.

Hay refers to grasses and some legumes such as alfalfa that are grown for use as animal feed. The full plant is harvested—including the heads, leaves, and stems, then dried, and typically stored in bales. Hay is what livestock like cattle eat when there is not enough pasture available, or when the weather gets too cold to graze. The baled hay most non-farmers are familiar with is dry and yellow, but high-quality hay has more of a greenish hue.

Straw is the byproduct of crops, not the crop itself. When a plant, such as wheat or barley, has been stripped of its seeds or grains, the stalk is sometimes saved and dried to make straw. This part of the plant is lacking in nutrients, which means it doesn't make great animal fodder. Farmers have found other uses for the material throughout history, such as to weave baskets, thatch roofs, and stuff mattresses.

Straw is easy to identify, such as if it is being used in a way that would be wasteful if it were food. Every hayride you have ever been on was most likely a straw-ride.

8K is Here

On December 1, 2018 Japanese TV networks began publicly broadcasting 4K and 8K channels via satellite. NHK is pushing content at 8K with 22.2 channel sound. The first movie listed in its TV guide is '2001: A Space Odyssey', and it is a rescanned version of the original 70mm negatives specifically for this broadcast. Seems like a great choice.

Seven Uses for Leftover Bananas

Banana domestication began some 7,000 years ago. They are one of the most widely grown, traded, and eaten of all the crops. Modern bananas are sterile, containing only tiny residual seeds, so new banana plants are propagated from cuttings. Bananas have many uses and leaves, flowers, fruits, stems, and rhizomes are used for plates, food wrapping, medicines, stimulants, textiles, clothing, packaging, paper-making, crafts, ornaments, and ceremonial magic and ritual activities. Below are a few uses for the banana itself.

Pressing the inside of a banana peel onto a bite from a mosquito or other insect for a few minutes is a surprisingly simple way to stop itching. The use of banana peels to treat inflammation is said to be an ancient Chinese remedy to soothe poison ivy rashes, psoriasis, sunburn, and other skin maladies.

Tape a piece of the peel over a splinter, with the soft, inner side of the peel facing down and leave it in place for about 10 minutes. The enzymes in the fruit should help to force the splinter out.

Monarch butterflies are difficult to spot, but you can improve your chances by placing an overripe banana in your garden. They are soft and sweet enough for butterflies to enjoy. You can also place bananas near a hummingbird feeder to attract fruit flies, which the hummingbirds feast on. (Remove the bananas before you go to bed or you may have other animals like raccoons in your yard.)

While you are out in the garden feeding birds and butterflies, you can give your plants some nourishment, too. Cut up and bury banana peels to enrich the soil with nutrients and help feed plants.

Bananas have long been a staple in smoothies, but if you have a whole bunch that is about to go bad stick them in the freezer. You can pull one out any time you get a smoothie craving, and since it is frozen, you will not need to add ice.

Bananas are a great ingredient in DIY hair treatments and skin exfoliants. The amino and citric acids help protect hair from damage and keep it shiny. There are a few different recipes you can try, some of which combine banana with avocado, yogurt, egg, and other ingredients. Rubbing the inside of a banana peel onto your face (seriously, try it) is also said to brighten your skin, fight acne, and reduce puffiness around your eyes.

A recent study published in the journal PLOS One found that competitive cyclists who had consumed a banana instead of a sugary drink or water had less inflammation following their workout. Although other physicians cite the benefits of consuming bananas post-workout, the sample for this particular study was small, just 20 cyclists and was funded by Dole Foods (although it had no role in any part of the study). May be best to not experiment for the first time on race day.

Vegetarian and Kangatarian

A study by the US Humane Research Council revealed that 84 percent of modern-day vegetarians gave up their new diet less than a year after they started. The participants included 11,000 vegetarians, former vegetarians, and non-vegetarians in the United States. According to the study, 88 percent of Americans above age 17 have never gone vegetarian, 10 percent are former vegetarians, and 2 percent are vegetarians. However, only one in five vegetarians stay that way with the rest returning to eating meat. Of that figure, one-third dumped the vegetarian diet after three months while the rest got rid of it in less than a year. One-third of vegetarians said they started eating meat after they got into a relationship with someone who ate meat. Others went back to meat due to health, financial, or social reasons. All former vegetarians ate less meat than they did before they became vegetarians.

A new group of vegetarians has popped up in Australia. They are kangatarians, vegetarians who only eat kangaroo meat. Kangatarians usually stop eating meat for ethical reasons. Ethical vegetarians do not like the way that animals are reared and slaughtered on farms. Australia has an abundance of wild kangaroos and since they are not reared on farms, these vegetarians have no qualms about eating them. Kangatarians further justify their consumption of kangaroo meat by claiming that kangaroos are greener for the environment since they do not produce as much ozone-destroying methane as cattle and sheep raised on farms.

Vegetarians can receive all the vitamins and minerals they need from a plant-based diet except vitamin B12, which is available in meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. Vegetarians could get this vitamin from vitamin-enriched cereals and supplements, but it is not usually enough. Vitamin B12 deficiency can trigger the excessive production of homocysteine, leading to depression, fatigue, weakness, nausea, constipation, anemia, heart disease, and stroke. The people at most risk are vegans who do not consume any kind of meat or animal product. However, regular vegetarians are also at risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency. Another study revealed that 92 percent of vegans and 67 percent of lacto-ovo vegetarians suffer from B12 deficiency.

Dec 1, 2018

Happy Friday

"Do not run after happiness, but seek to do good, and you will find that happiness will run after you." ~James Freeman Clarke

I am always chased by happiness, especially on a Happy Friday!

Common Acronyms

Here are a few names that you probably did not know they really were acronyms.

PAM (cooking spray) stands for Product of Arthur Meyerhoff.
NECCO (wafers) stands for New England Confectionery Company.
Smart Car (a collaboration between Swatch and Mercedes), is short for Swatch + Mercedes + Art.
The USA PATRIOT Act stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. (a real mouthful)
TIME (magazine) stands for “The International Magazine of Events.”
CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.
Arby’s is a play on RB, for the chain’s founders, the Raffel brothers.
A&W stands for its founders, (Roy) Allen and (Frank) Wright.

What's in a Name, Larry

The blue bird from the Twitter logo has a name: Larry. The creators of the social network named the bird after basketball player Larry Bird.

Minneapolis Food Ordinance

During 2016, Minneapolis enacted the Staple Food Ordinance which requires all grocery stores, with few exceptions, to keep on hand fresh produce, and other healthy foods that city politicians felt they needed in order to change the eating habits of the public.

Two years later the city has found no discernible increase in the amount of healthy food people are buying. It also found the healthy food mandate is leading to frustrated grocers and reports of food waste, due customers not buying the mandated items.

A survey of 3,000 customers outside selected convenience stores was conducted to see if the Ordinance was actually encouraging people to buy healthier foods. So far, it has not. The survey shows "We did not see any significant changes in the healthfulness of customer purchasing. We can't point to customer purchasing and say purchases are getting healthier as a whole."

In addition, a survey found just 10% of stores were compliant. The law requires, among other items, stores must keep six one-dozen containers of eggs on hand; 6-count or 18-count containers do not count toward this requirement. Nor do one-dozen containers if the eggs inside are medium or extra-large size. Stores must stock approximately 13 cans of beans, but baked beans do not count toward this requirement, nor do cans that mix beans and meat, despite canned meat being another requirement.

The rigid requirements are a large problem for ethnic grocers, who are forced to stock foods that are not used in their customers' native cuisines. Owners are questioning whether the law is perpetuating institutional racism and cultural bias.

After two years, the mandates in Minneapolis have produced few observable health gains, a number of upset store managers, increases in food waste, increased costs, and frustrated customers. The findings mirror some of the same problems as the school lunch dictates did.

Computer Size

This is a picture of a grain of rice next to the world's smallest computer. It is built by the University of Michigan, dwarfed by a grain of rice, and measures just 0.33mm on each side.

Traffic Safety

The most important single traffic safety device, the painting of lines down the center of roads was devised by Michigan, Wayne County Road Commissioner Edward Hines in 1911 after he saw the dotted drippings from a leaking milk wagon and struck on the concept.

He ordered his road commission to begin center striping all danger spots, curves and bridges were first, and the immediate reduction of accidents was impressive. He then ordered the striping of all roads in Wayne County. When the rest of the state and the nation saw the results, they began center lining their roads as well. Incidentally, he was also responsible for the first mile of concrete roadway. It was in the City of Detroit, Michigan.

Arlington National Cemetery

Union soldiers buried their dead in Robert E. Lee’s garden. Before Arlington was a national cemetery, it was the Lee homestead, and then a tent city for occupying troops.

Robert E. Lee inherited Arlington House
from his wife’s late father. It was a hillside manse overlooking 1,100 acres, just across the river from the White House. Lee left Arlington in April 1861, after resigning from the Union Army and accepting the rank of major general of the Confederacy.

Union troops were preparing to claim the estate almost as soon as he left and his wife Mary, fled.

As the war raged, Arlington looked like a place to put a graveyard after the government acquired the estate in 1864, for $26,800. It became a cemetery during June, 1864. Today, Lee’s former estate is the final resting place for more than 420,000 people. Funeral services continue six days a week, with several dozen a day.


Push the envelope belongs to the modern era of the airplane. The “flight envelope” is a term from aeronautics meaning the boundary or limit of performance of a flight object. The envelope can be described in terms of mathematical curves based on things like speed, thrust, and atmosphere. You push it as far as you can in order to discover what the limits are.

Go haywire relates to actual haywire. In addition to tying up bundles, haywire was used to fix and hold many things together in a makeshift way, so a patched-up place came to be referred to as 'a hay-wire outfit'. It then became a term for any kind of malfunctioning thing. The fact that the wire itself became easily tangled when unspooled contributed to the use of the phrase.

Why Vote on Tuesday

Americans always vote in federal elections on Tuesday and it goes back to the time of horse and buggy.

Between 1788 and 1845, states decided their own voting dates and it resulted in different times to pick the electors. For instance, property owners would cast their votes for president on the first Wednesday of December. During 1792, a law was passed mandating that state elections be held within a 34-day period before that day, so most elections took place in November after the harvest was finished, but before winter began.

With the advent of the railroad and telegraph, Congress decided it was time to standardize a date. Monday was out, because it would require people to travel to the polls by buggy on the Sunday Sabbath. Wednesday was also not an option, because it was market day and farmers would not be able to make it to the polls. So it was decided that Tuesday would be the day that Americans would vote in elections, and in 1845, Congress passed a law that presidential elections would be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.


The Military Order of the Cootie of the United States is a non-profit Veterans Service Organization. It is known as "The Honor Degree of the VFW" and members are comprised of the officers and leadership of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

The Military Order of the Cootie was established on September 17, 1920, in Washington, D.C., by Fred Madden and F. L. Gransbury. The organization was modeled after the Imperial Order of the Dragon, an auxiliary to the Spanish American War Veterans.

The name "cootie" is a reference to the lice that plagued soldiers in World War I. Cooties were credited with keeping soldiers' heads down in the trenches. A meeting of cooties is called a "scratch", the local chapter a "Pup Tent", the state affiliate a "Grand", and national headquarters at Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, "The Supreme".

In the years after its founding, it took on several special projects designed to bring smiles to the faces of two special groups of people - hospitalized veterans and residents of the VFW National Home.

The official uniform of the VFW's Military Order of the Cootie is red pants with a white stripe running down each side; ruffled white shirt; lace-trimmed red vest emblazoned on the back with a gold-outlined, bug-like creature with flashing light bulb eyes; red, overseas-style cap worn sideways so that the tassels dangle beside the wearer's ears.

There are about 37,000 Cooties in 1,000 Pup tents. Membership is open to members in good standing in the VFW who have displayed their willingness to work for the parent organization.

The Military Order of the Cootie Auxiliary draws its membership from the ranks of women eighteen and older who have been active members of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary for at least six months and who are the wife, widow, sister, half-sister, daughter, foster daughter, or granddaughter of an active VFW member in good standing. Today there are approximately 17,000 auxiliary members contained in 597 Pup Tents.