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.