Sep 13, 2019

Happy Friday

A smile is the window to your soul.
I always open the blinds to let the light shine in, especially on a Happy Friday!

Burger Sandwich

A burger is not called a sandwich because it is not sandwich. A sandwich is made by putting a filling between two slices of cut bread. Sandwiches can be hot or cold.
Only bread slices can make a sandwich, anything placed in a bun, roll, sub, cob, or whatever not a sandwich. A patty melt is a sandwich that has a burger between two slices of, usually Rye bread.

Palindrome Dates

This is the last full week of palindrome dates in this century. However, there are still plenty of single palindrome days to celebrate. If you are willing to add a zero to the beginning of the date, you can look forward to February 11, 2020 (02-11-20) and February 22, 2020 (02-22-20).
9-13-19 (91319)
9-14-19 (91419)
9-15-19 (91519)
9-16-19 (91619)
9-17-19 (91719)
9-18-19 (91819)
9-19-19 (91919)
A palindrome is a word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backward as forward.

Steering Controls Trivia

In dual-control airplanes, the captain always sits on the left side of the plane. In helicopters, the captain sits on the right side.
Many early American motorized vehicles placed the steering wheel on the right hand side of the car, even though America used the keep-right driving rule.  This practice was ended largely due to Henry Ford. He preferred the left side steering wheel.  Ford cars adopted the left hand side steering wheel and, due to their popularity squashed right hand steering wheel cars in America.

Typing Emojis Tip

If you are a Windows user, there is a quick keyboard shortcut to add emojis to whatever you are typing. Hold down the Windows-key and tap the period (.) key. A new box will pop up from which you can select an emoji. Tap on one to add it to your document, email, etc. You can scroll down for more to use. The bottom row allows you to change categories, such as objects, people, food, etc.
After you open the emoji box with Windows-key/Period, you start typing and the box will search for a match.

Overpaying for Fast Broadband

Recently, 53 reporters worked with Stanford and another major University to develop custom software and high end routers to monitor speed at the router level as opposed to most speed tests that are done at the device level (such as your TV or PC).

They found that even trying to stream video to more than 7 devices at the same time, most people were never able to use more than on average 18 Mbps. Startup times for Netflix and other streaming services were within .6 seconds regardless of if you had a 15 mbps connection or a 500mbps connection. Ironically one of the few ways you are able to fill your full bandwidth is running a speed test. The test sends a large file and tests how long it takes to transmit it.

One of the few times having a super fast connection is useful is if you are downloading really big files, like movies. Most often, we just watch movies and do not download them.

For one or two TVs, 25mbps up and down is good, including Netflix, Prime and any other service. For families with many devices, children playing online games and multiple TVs being used at the same time, 50mbps up and down is more than sufficient. For most people, any speeds past these provide no benefit and are a waste of money.

I and Me

Here is a quick test for using I and me. Take the other person out of the sentence to see if it still makes sense.
"Draw this picture of my husband and me." "Draw this picture of me." Me is correct.

"Hanging out with my girlfriend and I." "Hanging out with I." It does not make sense, so I is incorrect.

Optimists May Live Longer

According to a US study, optimists are more likely to live longer than those who have a more negative approach to life. The theory is that optimists may find it easier to control emotions and so be protected from the effects of stress.

A recent study spanning thousands of people and three decades, confirmed optimists live longer. Optimistic people live as much as 15% longer than pessimists. Scientists combined data from two large, long-term studies: one including 69,744 women and another of 1,429 men, all of whom completed questionnaires that assessed their feelings about the future. After controlling for health conditions, behaviors, like diet and exercise and other demographic information, the scientists showed that the most optimistic women (top 25%) lived an average of 14.9% longer than their more pessimistic peers.
For the men, the most optimistic of the bunch lived 10.9% longer than their peers, on average. Results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The most optimistic women were also 1.5 times more likely to reach 85 years old than the least optimistic women, whereas the most optimistic men were 1.7 times more likely to make it to that age.

Prof Bruce Hood, chair of developmental psychology in society at the University of Bristol runs a course called "the science of happiness". He said the study supported existing evidence of the benefits of positive thinking. He added: "I think that one causal mechanism could be that optimists cope better with stress, and this could be by avoiding rumination about negative life events.

Sep 6, 2019

Happy Friday

Happiness is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of what you already have.

I am always fulfilled, especially on a Happy Friday!

Conception Day, Russia

September 12 is Conception Day, also called Procreation Day in Russia and couples get the day off specifically to have sex. Couples who “give birth to a patriot” during the June 12 festivities win money, cars, refrigerators and other prizes.

Origin of Cardboard Box

Few inventions have blended as seamlessly into our daily living routines as the humble cardboard box. During the 1st and 2nd century, the Han Dynasty of China was pioneering the use of paper. During the same era, sheets of bark from the Mulberry tree were used to wrap and protect food, one of the earliest examples of a sturdy, wood-based product being re-purposed for packaging.
The earliest form of the cardboard box as we know it today did not appear until the 1817 German board game The Game of Besieging. Throughout the 19th century, companies began using the boxes as a means of storage and transport for cereals and even for moth eggs used by silk manufacturers.
A pleat was needed in order to turn these carriers into something more durable. During 1856, top hat peddlers Edward Allen and Edward Healey used a stiffer paper made with a fluted sheet in the middle of two layers to provide stability and warmth to the lining. It was a precursor to corrugated cardboard.
The breakthrough came during 1879, when Robert Gair, owner of a Brooklyn paper factory, figured out he could both score a single sheet of cardboard and then have his printing press cut it at the same time, eliminating hand-cutting.
Gair sold consumer product companies on this handy new form of storage, eventually receiving a 2-million-piece order from Nabisco. Snack foods could now travel without the danger of being crushed, and soon the cardboard box was migrating from kitchen cupboards to anywhere a cheap, effective form of packaging was needed.

During the 1930s, the Finnish government adopted the boxes as part of a take-home maternity package for new mothers who may not have been able to afford cribs. Babies took their first naps in the mattress-lined box.

Blog Visitors

An interesting change this past month as the top twelve countries reading my blog were, in order: United States, Vietnam, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Thailand, Taiwan, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and South Africa. Welcome to my new BFFs. Am delighted by the diversity of readers.

More Phone Scams

Scammers are offering “free” genetic tests and claiming Medicare will cover it, so they can get your Medicare Number and use it to commit fraud and identity theft. They are targeting people through telemarketing calls, health fairs, and even knocking on doors.
Only a doctor you know and trust should order and approve any requests for genetic testing. If Medicare is billed for a test or screening that was not medically necessary and/or was not ordered by your doctor, the claim could be denied. That means you could be responsible for the entire cost of the test, which could be thousands of dollars.
To protect yourself, do not share your Medicare Number, Social Security Number, or other personal information with anyone who offers to give you a "free" in-person genetic screening or cheek swab, or a DNA testing kit in the mail. If you get a genetic testing kit in the mail, refuse the delivery or discard unless your doctor ordered it.
 - A scammer will call someone and inform them that due to "suspicious activity," their SSN has been "suspended," and in order to reactivate it, they need to either pay a small fee or "confirm" their SSN by reading it over the phone. During 2017, the Social Security Administration reported that 3,200 people had fallen victim to this scam, for a total cost of $210,000. In 2018, that figure rocketed to 35,000 victims and a total cost of $10 million. During 2019, from February and March alone, over 36,000 people were successfully scammed out of $6.7 million.

  - First a scammer will call your phone, being sure to only ring once, and then hang up. They do this again and again, in the hope that you are so flustered by the volume of missed calls that you do not notice you're about to call a premium-rate toll number based in some far-off country. You then get hit with a variety of charges, none of which you will find out about until your next phone bill, while the scammers walk away with a cut of the proceeds. Caveat Emptor.

World Wide Web Turns Thirty

The World Wide Web turns 30 during 2019. It took 16 years to add the first billion users, six more years to add the second billion and is now adding a billion users every 2.7 years.
During 2014, 26% of users connected to the web using a cellular phone. Today that has grown to 48%.
There are 11 new users on the web every second. The most considerable growth of internet users is in India, which had almost 100 million new internet users during 2018, a 21% increase. That represents 25% of all new internet users in the world for last year.
About 40% of internet users now interface with the web using voice. In China and India, over half of users interface the web with voice.

GlobalWebIndex reports that 92% of Internet users (about 4 billion) now watch video each month. Incidentally, there are an estimated 6 billion people around the world have access to a television.

Live Sports Delays

Have you noticed some sports channels seem to be a bit late? Here is the reason:

Live sports delays - At the game, no delay,
Over the air live 5 to 10 seconds behind real live so network bleep out bad content/language,
Cable/satellite 20 to 40 seconds behind live,
Streaming anywhere between 30 and 100 seconds behind live based on app and how you watch, such as roku fire tv, phone, etc.,

Just enough time to make a sure thing bet. You are welcome.

UPC vs. SKU vs. PLU

Stores use many codes for inventory tracking. Here are a few you might have seen, but not sure how they are used.
A UPC, or Universal Product Code, is the number (usually under the barcode) universally used to identify a certain product. Identical products at different stores will have the same UPC. There are multiple UPCs. UPC10, UPC11, UPC12, and UPC14 are frequently used, with UPC12 being the most popular.
A SKU, or Stock Keeping Unit, is the product code used by an individual store. Many SKUs, for simplicity’s sake, were simply their UPCs, but most store-brand items have shorter SKU numbers. If a product’s packaging changes there might be two different UPCs represented by one SKU, because the newer item would eventually replace the older one.

A PLU is a Price (or Product) Look-Up. Some are universal, such as 4011 for bananas and some can be assigned by the store for unique items. Items with a PLU are generally sold by weight, or volume, or quantity. An item sold with a PLU could have 3 different numbers to represent its price, UPC, and the store’s stock keeping unit.

Calzone vs. Stromboli

When I was younger, a pizzeria where I lived advertised its stuffed pizza. It was really, a Calzone, but we were not familiar with that name. The place was wonderful and the "stuffed pizza" gained a loyal following. Another place I lived had a bakery with the best Stromboli and it was on the weekly list of must have dinners. Sadly, miss them both.
One of the major differences between a Calzone and a Stromboli, beside shape is the sauce. In a Stromboli the sauce is baked in and with a Calzone it is served on the side like a dipping sauce.
Calzone origin: Naples, Italy
Tomato Sauce: On the side
How it is made: Baked or fried
Shape: Crescent moon (think of pizza folded in half)

Stromboli origin: Philadelphia, PA
Tomato sauce: Baked in
How it is made: Baked
Shape: Log
My mouth is watering just thinking about both of the pizza treats.

Happy Friday

A smile is the quickest way to get a yes answer without asking a question.

Yes, I always enjoy a Happy Friday!

Burning of Zozobra

On the Friday before Labor Day each year, Santa Fe residents watch as their sadness and gloom go up in flames. Traditionally, burning Zozobra allows gloom and sadness to be dispelled so the fiesta can begin. The 50-foot-tall, white-clad, dreadful faced marionette is mounted high above Fort Marcy Park. His growls turn to agonizing screams as the Fire Spirit dances and throws flames at Zozobra’s feet. He begins to scream violently as he is set on fire and begins to burn. Fireworks burst forth from within the marionette, burning him completely and he crashes to the ground.

The crowd cheers as the monster representing their sorrows explodes before crumpling to the ground in defeat. Setting this massive marionette aflame rids Santa Fe of doom and gloom for another year.

International Bacon Day

Happy Bacon Day! August 31, 2019

I would be remiss if I forgot this wonderful day. It is always celebrated on the Saturday before the US Labor Day Holiday.

For a free peek at some wonderful bacon facts and trivia, try this link to my book 'Bacon Orgazmia' on Amazon

Skin Facts

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It makes up about 16% of your body weight and covers about 1.73 square meters.
The skin is composed of several layers. The very top layer is the epidermis and is the layer of skin you can see. The epidermis is waterproof and serves as a protective wrap for the underlying skin layers and the rest of the body. It contains melanin, which protects against the sun’s harmful rays and also gives skin its color. The epidermis also contains very sensitive cells called touch receptors that give the brain a variety of information about the environment the body is in. It is the layer upon the dermis, the second layer of skin.

The dermis contains hair follicles, sweat glands, oil glands, blood vessels, nerve endings, and a variety of touch receptors. Its primary function is to sustain and support the epidermis by diffusing nutrients to it and replacing the skin cells that are shed off the upper layer.
The bottom layer is the subcutaneous tissue which is composed of fat and connective tissue. The layer of fat acts as an insulator and helps regulate body temperature. It also acts as a cushion to protect underlying tissue from damage when you bump into things. The connective tissue keeps the skin attached to the muscles and tendons underneath.
Our sense of touch is controlled by a huge network of nerve endings and touch receptors in the skin known as the somatosensory system. This system is responsible for all the sensations we feel – cold, hot, smooth, rough, pressure, tickle, itch, pain, vibrations, and more. Within the somatosensory system, there are four main types of receptors: mechanoreceptors, thermoreceptors, pain receptors, and proprioceptors.
Mechanoreceptors perceive sensations such as pressure, vibrations, and texture.
Thermoreceptors perceive sensations related to the temperature of objects the skin feels.
Pain receptors detect pain or stimuli that can or does cause damage to the skin and other tissues of the body.
Proprioceptors sense the position of the different parts of the body in relation to each other and the surrounding environment.

Your skin regenerates itself about every 28 days and you have an entirely new layer of skin. It naturally sheds dead skin cells every day.

There are millions of bacteria on your skin. These bacteria are harmless, and your skin microbiota can even help your immune cells to fight microbes that can cause diseases.

Cartoon Villain Shape

The villains in cartoons, live action, and animated movies share many of the same characteristics. They often have horns, pointed ears, protruding chins, sharp eyes, pointed wings, V-shaped eyebrows, and devilish goatees.
This is because the facial and body shapes of villains are often drawn or designed to resemble triangles with pointed tips. Filmmakers and animators use triangles for villains, because our faces look triangular when we are angry. People also notice triangular and angry faces faster, because they appear threatening.

For movie directors, threatening and angry means evil. This is something backed by science. In one study, volunteers noticed the angry expressions first when shown the faces of smiling, angry, and neutral people. They also noticed the downward-facing triangles first when shown pictures of four triangles pointing up, down, left, and right.

Death Row

The United States has the 7th highest execution rate in the entire world, behind China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, and Egypt. Since 1976, 1,500 people have been executed in the United States.
Texas, US has executed the most prisoners. In 2018, the 13 men that the state executed was over half of the total executions in the entire country (25). Last year, Texas had almost double the amount of executions compared to the previous two years, as 7 men were executed in both 2016 and 2017.
Twenty Two juveniles were executed between 1976 and 2005 for crimes that they committed while they were underage. In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to execute juvenile offenders.
As of April 1, 2019, there were 54 women living on death row. Since the death penalty was reinstated during 1976, a total of 16 women have been executed.

Incidentally, Bathsheba Spooner became the first woman to be executed in the United States on July 2, 1778.

LEO and the Internet

Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites are much smaller and orbit closer to Earth than traditional satellites. The lower orbit dramatically reduces the time lag that usually comes with satellite broadband internet. The purpose of these satellites is to blanket the earth and provide wireless internet service everywhere.
Elon Musk's SpaceX has plans to launch as many as 12,000 satellites as part of its Starlink constellation. Each Starlink satellite weighs about 500 pounds (227 kilograms) and is about the size of an office desk. They will deploy into orbit about 273 miles (440 kilometers) up. After the first successful launch, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved Starlink’s formal request to offer broadband service. That service will take a few years to get enough satellites in place for a viable network. Starlink’s ultimate goal is to launch 4,425 satellites by 2024, but it will likely start offering service before then.
Amazon plans to launch a constellation of 3,236 satellites into low Earth orbit in order to provide internet to “unserved and underserved communities around the world.” Amazon confirmed that Kuiper Systems is one of its projects.
Telesat successfully launched a test LEO satellite in January 2018. Telesat announced during July 2019 that it had partnered with the Government of Canada in a mission to provide affordable high-speed Internet connectivity across rural and remote areas of Canada through the development of Telesat's LEO Satellite Constellation. Blue Origin will launch the next Telesat LEO satellites using its New Glenn rocket, which is currently under construction. Telesat plans to launch 120 LEO satellites by 2021, all with Blue Origin.
OneWeb has an initial 600-satellite constellation currently being built out to provide global satellite Internet broadband services beginning in 2021. The first six satellites of the constellation were launched in February 2019 and plans to launch 900 LEO satellites by the end of 2019 using Virgin Orbit and Blue Origin. OneWeb is considering nearly quadrupling the size of the satellite constellation over time by adding 1,972 additional satellites.
Jeff Bezos’s rocket company, Blue Origin, is not building a satellite network, but is building reusable spacecrafts to launch satellites for a variety of companies. Telesat, the largest satellite internet provider in Canada, is one such company.
Loon, started by Google and now run by parent company Alphabet, is slightly different from the other companies. It is not building a satellite constellation, but it is using similar concepts. Instead of an orbiting network in space, Loon uses weather balloons to float transmitters high in the atmosphere, essentially creating a floating network in the sky.
Facebook, filed a request with the federal government to fly a single experimental satellite in low orbit. It has not committed to deploy a full-fledged network or revealed much about its strategy. Other smaller companies with smaller wallets have also begun to join the race.

All will also require a network of Earth stations for the satellites to communicate with. There is much competition, many dollars to spend, and much work to do before we see the results in our living rooms.

Aug 23, 2019

Happy Friday

Get up and decide it is time to celebrate a Happy Friday.

I celebrate every day, especially on a Happy Friday!

New NFL Roku Channels

Here are the teams with a free Roku channel:

The NFL is not the only sport to launch Roku channels. Increasingly teams and even full leagues are launching free streaming channels on Roku to make it easy for their fans to enjoy free content from their favorite teams and sports.

Staying Young

Received this from a friend recently and thought it is good enough to share.

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight, and height. Let the doctors worry about them.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning.  Learn more about computers, crafts, gardening, etc., and never let your brain idle.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long, and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. Tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on.

7. Surround yourself with what you love. Whether it is family, friends, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.

8. Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Do not take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the beach, to a park, but not to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Stop Signs

Stop signs are the only octagonal (eight-sided) road signs. They are like that because the government wants them to be easily distinguished from other road signs, even when viewed from the back.

The first stop signs appeared in 1915. At the time, they were square with a white background. “STOP” was written in a black font. The sign worked until more cars began to crowd the roads during the 1920s.

The American Association of State Highway Officials came up with a new eight-sided 'STOP' sign that drivers could easily recognize, even if they did not understand or could not see what was written on it.

The old eight-sided stop signs had yellow backgrounds with black lettering and outlines. The background became red with white lettering during 1954. They changed to a red background, because traffic lights were using red to mean 'STOP'.

Egg Substitutes

Catering to vegans and vegetarians these days is popular and profitable. However, the purity of vegan and current concocted substitute offerings seem to be at odds. Reminds me of the purist greenies who decided bottled water is better than natural water and are now running away from the consequences of millions of pounds of trash plastic bottles their cause created.

Like with plant based burgers, new vegan does not mean cheap. In fact, Just brand vegan eggs suggested price for 12 oz (about 7-8 eggs) is $7.99 vs. $1 to 1.20 for a dozen real eggs. So, 10 cents per egg vs. about $1 per mung bean egg equivalent.
JUST egg's is a plant based egg substitute. According to its website, Just eggs are made from: "Water, Mung Bean Protein Isolate, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Dehydrated Onion, Gellan Gum, Natural Carrot Extractives, Natural Flavors (sic), Natural Turmeric Extractives, Potassium Citrate, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Sugar, Tapioca Syrup, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Transglutaminase, Nisin, and contains soy."
According to Food Navigator, JUST's process for extracting the protein is: "the raw mung beans are de-hulled and milled to produce flour, which is mixed with water and a food-grade defoaming agent to form a slurry, the pH of which is adjusted with a food-grade sodium hydroxide solution for solubization of the target protein into the aqueous solution.”
A serving of JUST Egg contains 5 grams of protein and zero carbs, similar to a real egg. It works for scrambled eggs, omelets, stir-fries, French toast, and crepes. It does not mimic the properties of an egg in baking nor will it emulsify when it is raw, meaning it is no good for something like a carbonara or a salad dressing.

Mung beans originated in India and are typically found in many Far East and Middle Eastern diets. When bean sprouts are called for in recipes, it generally refers to germinated mung bean or soybean sprouts. About 7 ounces (202 grams) of boiled mung beans contains 212 calories. Generally speaking, mung beans, but not necessarily Just Eggs are healthy for us.

Mmmm, going to gas up with some mung bean eggs for breakfast.


OTA is an acronym for Over the Air, meaning antenna. OTT means Over the Top and refers to watching TV using the internet (also called streaming). Millions of people around the world have been replacing cable with OTT monthly offerings, due to cable's extremely high fees and multi-year no-cut contracts. All of the OTT offerings have a free period, usually seven days to test and see if you like the service.

Many people are also discovering antennas today are not like the old days and offer many more free channels. Additionally, antennas produce a better picture than any of the cable or OTT services (excluding 4K) because they do not compress the signal coming into your house. Also, there are many relatively inexpensive (less than $20) indoor antennas that can be attached to a window, so no need to climb up on the roof as we did in the past. Unfortunately rural areas still mostly lack local service.

There are eight OTT players with live TV vying for your TV dollars: PlayStation Vue, AT&T TV NOW, AT&T Watch, Hulu, Sling TV, Philo, FuboTV, and YouTube TV. Each has a curated list of offerings, with some catering to sports fans, or families, or variety. Most offer multiple options to use and pay for more or less channels.

They all stream live TV and selected movies over the internet and require a smart TV or a box, like fireTV, Roku, Chromecast, etc. Luckily, each device is a one time purchase, some as low as $24.95. Some services do not play on all boxes, so check before you buy. Almost all offer addons, like Netflix and Prime purchased through them or separately. Many, but not all offer live sports.

Disney+ is coming this fall, but will not offer live TV, just movies, old TV reruns, and some original content, like Netflix and Prime. Incidentally, Netflix will have 158.8 million viewers of the 182.5 million people using OTT services in 2019. Amazon Prime Video is the second most-popular service behind Netflix, with 96.5 million subscribers.

AT&T TV (not to be confused with
AT&T TV NOW or AT&T Watch) is a new service that is meant to eventually replace satellite services AT&T Uverse and AT&T DirectTV. It is sold as a two year bundle and prices like traditional cable. Also, like cable, has penalties for early termination, requires a box like cable, and extra fees.

The major benefits for considering OTT is to save money, as much as $100 per month or more by not paying for all the extra channels on cable that you do not watch. Some people switch out one service for another, such as for those that provide sports in the fall, then switching again in spring or adding Netflix to watch new series, then dropping when the series is over. This adds variety and still keeps costs down. Services begin as low as $15 per month and can go as high as close to $100 per month.

Many seniors especially, have found that an antenna alone provides enough entertainment and is totally free of monthly payments. Others have added an antenna as a backup for OTT sports blackouts or when there are contract disputes and local channels are temporarily unavailable. Many places have over thirty channels available for free with an antenna. You can find more info. Use the search box for 'antenna'. 

Aug 16, 2019

Happy Friday

He who smiles most, loves best.

I always try to share both, especially on a Happy Friday!


On Aug 12, 1981 (38 years ago this week) IBM launched its IBM Personal Computer (IBM 5150) at a starting price of $1,565 for the base model with 16K RAM, a color graphics adapter, and no disc drive. It had 40K of read-only memory and 16K of user memory. Options included a display, a printer, two diskette drives, extra memory, communications, game adapter, and application packages, including text processing. The operating system was from an unknown company at the time, Microsoft.

It was not the first personal computer, but it revolutionized business computing by becoming the first PC to gain widespread adoption by industry and for personal use. It was designed, developed, built, and sold within 12 months - at that time faster than any other hardware product in IBM's history. We have come a long way in a short time.

Thought for the Day

Beyond Burger vs. Impossible Burger

Traditional meat products usually have one ingredient, meat. These new meat free products are more complicated. They are touted as good for the environment, but neglect to publish whether they are good for us to eat.

The Impossible Burger has 21 ingredients, and the Beyond Burger has 22. These burgers are highly processed foods, which generally get a thumbs-down from nutritionists and dietitians alike. Just because a product is plant-based, does not mean it is automatically healthy. French fries are plant-based. However, like so many other things, marketing trumps science and good sense.
“My main concern is the questionably high sodium content of these veggie-based alternatives, which can rank up to five times the amount of a regular burger patty. Beyond and Impossible burgers are very different," said Cynthia Sass, a New York-based performance nutritionist.
Impossible's main protein source is soy, one of the big eight most common allergens. Soy is high in phytic acid, also known as phytates. These phytates prevent the absorption of minerals like iron and calcium (among others). This can be particularly harmful, especially for children. Additionally, soy is high in phytoestrogen. This can block normal estrogen, which leads not just to hormonal imbalance, but possibly breast cancer. Impossible Burgers also include coconut oil, which supplies a significant amount of saturated fat,” according to another nutritionist. Because coconut oil contains more saturated fat than butter or lard, many nutritionists recommend using it sparingly.

Impossible Burger 2.0 ingredients include: Water, Soy-protein concentrate, Coconut oil, Sunflower oil, Natural flavors (sic), Potato protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast extract, Cultured dextrose, Modified Food Starch, Soy leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy-protein isolate, Mixed tocopherols (vitamin E), Zinc gluconate, Thiamine hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium ascorbate (vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Riboflavin (vitamin B2), and Vitamin B12.

The Beyond Burger uses pea protein isolate, which most people find easily digestible, but can cause increased gastrointestinal discomfort if people are not used to it, said Vandana Sheth, a registered dietitian nutritionist.  "This is a source of saturated fat, and you will see that one burger contains 30% of the recommended daily value." Beyond Burger is using that ingredient for a marbling effect. The American Heart Association advises that we be wary before choosing coconut oil due to its high saturated fat content.
Beyond Burger ingredients include: Water, Pea protein isolate, Canola oil, Refined coconut oil, Cellulose from bamboo, Methylcellulose, Potato starch, Natural flavor (sic), Maltodextrin, Yeast extract, Salt, Sunflower oil, Vegetable glycerin, Dried yeast, Gum arabic, Citrus extract, Ascorbic acid, Beet juice extract, Acetic acid, Succinic acid, Modified food starch, and Annatto.
Beyond Meat's 4-ounce patty is listed at 270 calories, while Impossible Foods' is listed at 240 calories. There are 246 calories in 4 ounces of Ground Beef (90% Lean / 10% Fat). Four ounces of extra-lean ground beef (95 percent lean, 5 percent fat) contains 155 calories.

A real burger made with lean beef has about the same calories, fat, and saturated fat as a Beyond Burger, but more protein, less sodium, and less calories. Caveat Emptor!

"It's Greek to Me

In a wide-ranging number of languages, major and minor, from all different branches of the language family tree, there is some version of “It’s Greek to me.”

One theory ties it to medieval monks. In Western Europe, the predominant written language was Latin, but much of the writing that survived from antiquity was in Greek. The theory holds that these monks, in transcribing and copying their texts, were not necessarily able to read Greek, and would write a phrase next to any Greek text they found: “Graecum est; non legitur.” Translated: “It is Greek; it cannot be read.”

This and other idioms all seek to describe one person’s failure to understand what the other is trying to say, but in a particular, dismissive way. It is not just, “Sorry, I can’t understand you.” It is saying, “The way you are speaking right now is incomprehensible.” It specifically compares that incomprehensibility to a particular language, a language agreed upon in that culture to be particularly impenetrable.

To Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, and Dutch - Greek serves as an indecipherable tongue and not understandable. Baltic countries think Spanish is impenetrable. People from Greece, Philippines, Poland, France, Albania, and in many other places, say some variation of, “That’s Chinese to me.”

NFL TV is Confusing

NFL makes it difficult to watch football games. In its effort to maximize profits, it has split who can broadcast what games and when. Of course, most sports leagues still sell their biggest rights packages to live TV networks, because that is still where the largest live audiences are.

There are five channels you need to access to if you want to watch the NFL. You need broadcast channels like ESPN and NFL Network either on cable or various streaming services. For local channels, you need CBS, NBC, and FOX. These channels can be accessed through a streaming service depending on your location, or using an antenna.

  • Most local NFL games will be broadcast over the air on network channels like CBS, FOX, and NBC.
  • Sunday football games air on CBS and FOX during the afternoon and on NBC for Sunday Night Football.
  • Monday Night Football airs exclusively on ESPN.
  • Thursday Night Football airs on different channels, depending on the week. The NFL Network will host 5 exclusive games that will only be found on it. The other 11 games will be simulcast on NFL Network, FOX, and Amazon Prime.
Bonus - It is long overdue, but the first time the NFL will be available in 4K on any service, including satellite and cable is from FuboTV, the only live streaming service that offers live sports in 4K. This LINK has the dates and various sports that will be broadcast in 4K on FUBO. Why not try a seven day free subscription to see the difference of 4K for live sports.

Human Freedom Index

The Human Freedom Index is the most comprehensive freedom index created for countries. It covers 162 countries for 2016, the most recent year for which sufficient data is available. The index ranks countries beginning in 2008, the earliest year for which a robust enough index could be produced.

A variety of indicators are used by various study groups to determine the level of personal freedom enjoyed by citizens across the world, including economic freedom (the ability to earn a living wage, and retain it for personal use), political freedom, access to education, religious freedom, and many others. The evaluation is then compared between nations. America’s neighbor to the north, Canada, invariably finishes with a higher ranking of personal freedom than the United States, which routinely ranks in the second ten.

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents more freedom, the average human freedom rating for 162 countries in 2016 was 6.89. Since 2008, the level of global freedom has decreased slightly (−0.06), with 56 countries in the index increasing their ratings and 81 decreasing. Out of 10 regions, the highest levels of freedom are in North America (Canada and the United States), Western Europe, and Oceania. The lowest levels are in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.

The top 10 places, in order, were New Zealand, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and Denmark (tied in 6th place), Ireland and the United Kingdom (tied in 8th place), and Finland, Norway, and Taiwan (tied in 10th place).

Selected other countries rank: Germany (13), the United States and Sweden tie (17), Mexico (75), Russia (119), China (135).

Happy Friday

Everything happens for a reason.

Today is the reason I am celebrating a Happy Friday! 

Mind Changers

Many self proclaimed and real experts have once told us and sold us that these items are either good or bad for us. In fact each of the following have gone from good to bad or from bad to good and a few changed back again.

They include: artificial colors green 1, orange 1, red 1,2,4,32, butter, chocolate, cigarettes, coffee, cyclamates, eggs, nuts, red meat, red wine, salt, saturated fats, sugar, potatoes, carbohydrates, whole milk, coconut oil, baby aspirin, paper bags, plastic bags, quaaludes, thalidomide, and toilet paper.

If something becomes a super fad, just wait for a while and the "experts" will change their mind. Think gluten hype and the less than one percent of people who are celiac sufferers.

Space Program Benefits

Here are some great NASA spinoffs that many are not aware of.
Water purification — In the closed environment of space, keeping water clean is vital. If and when we colonize the Moon, or Mars, water purification will be all the more critical.
    Air purification —  \Clean air is just as important as clean water, and so air scrubbing was a priority for NASA. Boosted by NASA technology, air scrubbing is a big business, both for the home and for the planet. It is possible that NASA’s efforts to enlist bacteria in an air-purification push will prove to be the biggest breakthrough of all.

    Carbon capture — As NASA notes, “Metabolic wastes—mainly evaporative water loss, urine, utility water, expired carbon dioxide, and feces amount to 10 to 14 pounds per man per day.” In space, such accumulation is an enormous burden. NASA knew that carbon is also an energy source, and so with good science, carbon waste can become carbon fuel. Thus carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere could become, potentially, the basis of a new energy source, clearing the air while powering human civilization. In other words, this new system could become a closed loop of abundant, and clean, energy.
    Temper Foam —  NASA started out trying to keep astronauts from being crushed or killed by G-forces and impacts. “The material now known as Temper Foam­, not only provides better impact protection, but also enhances passenger comfort on long flights because it distributes body weight and pressure evenly over the entire contact area.”
    Shock absorbers for buildings — NASA’s efforts to cushion astronauts and their rockets have turned into a new technology that cushions people and their buildings: “With NASA funding, North Tonawanda, New York-based Taylor Devices Inc. developed fluidic shock absorbers to safely remove the fuel and electrical connectors from the space shuttles during launch. The company is now employing the technology as seismic dampers to protect structures from earthquakes. To date, 550 buildings and bridges have the dampers, and not a single one has suffered damage in the wake of an earthquake.”
    Freeze-drying food — One of the early challenges NASA faced was bringing food into space. Such nutrients had to be kept minimal, had to be kept clean, and had to be easy to clean up. At the same time, they had to be satisfying and tasty and now it is a new terrestrial industry.
    3-D food printing — Even now, the 3-D printing of anything is difficult  to understand. Fortunately, we do not have to understand how it is done; we can just get the benefits.
    Advanced ceramics — As NASA wrote in 2006, “To meet the requirements of the next generation of both rocket and air-breathing engines, NASA is actively pursuing the development and maturation of a variety of ceramic materials.” In the years since, advanced ceramics have been used to develop and safeguard all manner of structures in challenging environments, from wings to engines to antennas.
    Powdered lubricants — In space, where every ounce counts, it’s vital to make everything as light and efficient as possible. Thanks to technology transfers, everyone has access to lubricants that weigh little and last long.
    Scratch-resistant lenses — Plastic lenses are far superior to glass lenses because they do not shatter. However, early plastics scratched easily. So NASA figured out how to use an electric discharge of organic vapor to make a thin plastic film that was both tough and translucent. That helped considerably with space-helmet visors and now many eyeglasses are no longer glass.
Other items from the space program. These include cordless power tools, flame-resistant firefighter gear, the integrated circuit that gave rise to the microchip, and thin, lightweight insulation. Improvements to kidney dialysis, a lightning detector, automated credit card transactions, radar, jet aviation, and synthetic rubber.
Contrary to popular belief, NASA had nothing to do with the development of Tang, Velcro, or Teflon, although it did use and popularize these products.

Incidentally, the first meal on the Moon included bacon squares, cubes of sugar cookie, a fruit drink, and coffee. Fly me to the moon

Six Interesting Animal Facts

Pandas can sleep anywhere, so they usually fall asleep wherever they happen to be.

Squirrels use their tails as umbrellas and parachutes.

A dog’s nose print is as detailed as a human fingerprint and can be used to identify them.

Giraffes only sleep for about 4 and a half hours a night, on average.

Tigers have striped skin underneath their striped fur.

Baby elephants suck on their own trunks, like pacifiers.

Aug 2, 2019

Happy Friday

No one ever died from an overdose of happy.

I like to soak it up, devour it, and bathe in it, especially on a Happy Friday!

Happy National Happiness Happens Day

It is celebrated annually Aug 8 on the founding date of the Society of Happy People, which you can join for free. The society encourages members to recognize their happy moments and think about happiness in their daily life. They have two mottos which include “Happiness Happens” and “Don’t Even Think of Raining on My Parade.” Their purpose is to stimulate people’s right to express their happiness.
The holiday is based on the premise that happiness is unlimited and contagious and that sharing one's happiness and can bring a lot of joy in other people's lives. Happiness is encouraged all day. Recognize every moment of glee, joy, delight, and pleasure.  A flicker of a giggle should be given its due and should it blossom into full blown happiness.

Incidentally, August 9 is Book Lovers Day, an unofficial holiday that encourages people to pick up a book (or two) and spend the day reading, especially all 54 of my books.

Antenna Color Codes

Many are not aware of how much free TV is available using a TV antenna. There is a handy site that lets you know how many TV channels you can expect to see using an antenna. There is some overlap of stations and some not in English or for shopping only, but there is variety. A number of local stations have begun adding sub-channels, such as Laff, PBS, CW Network, Escape, GRIT, Cozi, Retro TV, Movies!, Go, ME TV, This TV, Justice Network, Weather, Bounce, and more. In fact, there are over 130 new, free, over-the-air stations coming during the next year.

Obviously all antennas are not equal and outdoor are better than indoor for receiving more stations. LINK
By typing in my zip code, I find that there are 112 free over the air TV stations, not including sub-channels available, providing I use the correct antenna. They are sorted by antenna color code, with the easiest and cheapest type first.

Yellow - A Small Multi-Directional Antenna is recommended in Yellow color code areas. Signal strength is highest, so small antennas that receive signals equally well in all directions work very well. Indoor antennas work very well in Yellow color code areas, which are usually 10 to 15 miles from the TV station transmitter. Many indoor antennas have a range from 30 to 50 miles.

Green - A Medium Multi-Directional Antenna is recommended in Green color code areas. Signal strength is still good, but weaker than in yellow areas. An amplified indoor antenna may also work in Green color code areas, which can be up to 30 miles from the TV station transmitter.
Light Green - A Large Multi-Directional or Small Directional Antenna is recommended for Light Green color code areas. Signal levels are weaker, so a larger omnidirectional antenna or a directional antenna is needed to receive signals effectively, which can be up to 30 miles from the TV station transmitter.
Red - A Medium Directional Antenna is recommended in Red color code areas. Signal strength is weaker, and directional antennas are needed to pick up signals. These are the most popular antenna types due to their modest size and effectiveness 30 to 45 miles from the TV transmitter site.
Blue - A Medium Directional Antenna with an Antenna Preamplifier or a Large Directional Antenna is recommended for Blue color code areas. Signals are weaker, so larger antennas or antennas with amplification are needed to receive TV signals effectively. TV antennas in the blue color code area may also need to be installed on a tower or high rooftop to pick up distant channels, which can be 45 to 60 miles from the TV station transmitter.

Violet - A Large Directional Antenna with an Antenna Preamplifier is recommended for Violet color code areas. These are areas farthest from the TV station transmitting towers, and need the largest antennas and best preamplifiers to pick up TV signals effectively, which can be 60 miles or more from the TV station transmitter. TV antennas in the Violet color code area may also need to be installed on a tower or high rooftop to pick up distant channels.

Networks Sue Over Free Channels

This is amazing. For profit companies are suing a non profit company because it is giving away free access to local TV stations, and because these companies sell the same free stuff to cable companies.
CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox sue Locast, a free, nonprofit TV streaming service for distributing free channels. Locast has been operating since January 2018 without issue. It reaches 35 million homes in 13 cities. Locast says it is an independent nonprofit that provides a public service, and what it does is allowed under copyright law. The networks it streams are also available free to consumers if they have an antenna.

Broadcast TV networks are available for free over the air with an antenna, but selling the rights to retransmit those signals in other ways is a big business. Broadcasters reportedly collected $10.1 billion in 2018 and over $11 billion expected during 2019 via retransmission fees they charge cable and satellite TV companies.
Because companies like NBC, etc., typically charge cable and satellite operators a fee for redistributing their programming, they fear that Locast will erode this revenue stream, because it does not pay them.

Bottom line, for-profit companies are suing a nonprofit company for giving away free the same free channels that they are mandated to give us for free, but they also charge cable companies for. Next they will be coming after us for using an antenna to view those same stations. Yikes!

Food Labeling Followup

The following is Gluten-free, fat-free, non toxic, and GMO-free.

The FDA’s 2015 guidance made clear that some labeling actions were violations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act: “Another example of a statement in food labeling that may be false or misleading could be the statement ‘None of the ingredients in this food is genetically engineered’ on a food where some of the ingredients are incapable of being produced through genetic engineering (e.g., salt).”

“GMO-free” labels are found on products that have never had “genetically modified” counterparts. They are even on products that could not possibly come from “genetically modified organisms” because they do not come from organisms at all, such as salt and water. They are used to imply health and safety risks which, according to the judgment of more than 280 global health, safety, academic, scientific, and governmental organizations, including our FDA, do not exist.
The agency’s recently updated guidance once again makes it clear that the Non-GMO Project and many other GMO-free labels are “false and misleading” and violate long-standing truth-in-labeling laws.

Whether a food is manufactured to be free of gluten or by nature is free of gluten (e.g., bottled water), it may bear a gluten-free labeling claim if it meets all FDA requirements for a gluten-free food. The claim is voluntary.

Equifax Cash Gone

If you have not filed a claim for cash compensation in response to the Equifax breach, you might be out of luck. The company is no longer offering payouts in lieu of credit monitoring.

The Federal Trade Commission page devoted to the settlement it announced with Equifax last week was updated July 31 to say that any consumer affected can claim up to 10 years of free credit monitoring. "Previously, a cash payment was identified as an option," the site now adds, "but there are limited funds available."

The FTC said in a statement that "public response to the settlement has been overwhelming." In a separate blog post, the commission said the "unexpected number of claims" would result in claimants not getting the money they thought.

How to File Equifax Claim

Step 1: Check your eligibility. Use the eligibility lookup tool to see if you were among the 144 million US residents who was affected by the breach.

If the answer is no, congratulations. Your data may be still included in dozens of other breaches, but not this one. If the answer is yes, proceed.

Step 2: File a claim. You can use an online form or, if you prefer, send in a paper claims form. On the first page of the online claim form, fill in your personal information and click next. The second page will ask you to choose what you want to claim: cash or credit monitoring. Selecting either option will bring up an explanation of your choice. If you select credit monitoring, you will also have the option to add an additional six years of service, provided by Equifax, to the initial four years provided by Experian.

Finally, the form will ask if you lost or spent money as a result of trying to prevent or recover from identity theft linked to the incident. If you select "yes," you will be presented with a form asking you to provide detailed information and to upload documents supporting your claim. Funds spent freezing your credit or paying for credit monitoring in the wake of the breach are eligible in this section.

Jul 29, 2019

Coffee and Cancer

Drinking coffee does not change a person's risk of being diagnosed with or dying from cancer. The research findings have been published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. The QIMR Berghofer study used cancer data drawn from the UK Biobank cohort for more than 46,000 people who had been diagnosed with most invasive cancer types, including about 7,000 people who died from the disease. The genetic and preference information from the people with cancer was compared to data from more than 270,000 others who had never been diagnosed with cancer.
Senior author and head of QIMR Berghofer's Statistical Genetics Group, Associate Professor Stuart MacGregor, said the study looked at data from more than 300,000 people and showed drinking coffee every day neither reduced nor increased a person's risk of developing any cancer.
Associate Professor MacGregor said, "We also know that a preference for coffee is heritable. Our two-pronged research looked at whether cancer rates differed among people with different levels of self-reported coffee consumption, and whether the same trend was seen when we replaced self-reported consumption with genetic predisposition towards coffee consumption. We found there was no real relationship between how many cups of coffee a person had a day and if they developed any particular cancers."
"The study also ruled out a link between coffee intake and dying from the disease."

In an August 2018 statement, the US Food and Drug Administration said current science indicated that consuming coffee posed no significant risk of cancer.

More Canadian Inventions

The paint roller was invented about 1940 in Toronto by Norman Breakey, but he died before being able to patent his invention. The first paint roller patent was held by American Richard Croxton Adams.
The pager was invented by Alfred J. Gross, a Toronto-based wireless communications pioneer, during 1949. Gross is also often credited as the inventor of the walkie-talkie, a distinction he sometimes shares with fellow Canadian Donald Hings, who is also credited for having created the two-way radio during 1939.
The first internet search engine, Archie (Archive without the V), was created by Alan Emtage at McGill University about 1988.
Basketball was invented by Canadian James Naismith, born in Ontario and educated at McGill University, but he did not invent it in Canada. He invented the sport while working as a physical education instructor at a YMCA in Massachusetts during 1891.

The first electric wheelchair was developed by George Klein, during 1953. The Ontario-born inventor also developed aircraft skis, the M29 Weasel army snowmobile/ATV, the microsurgical staple gun, the ZEEP nuclear reactor, a scientific language for snow and more.

More TV Antenna Facts

Any TV antenna will receive analog, digital, and HD TV signals. Even those old rabbit ears that you have in storage from when you switched over to cable/satellite can be used to receive digital and HD TV signals if the station transmitters are in range. Omni directional vs. directional antennas work well for capturing stations located in different directions from your location.

Current antennas can even be used with the new ATSC 3 coming during the next few years. It will offer two way communication with TV, 4K, targeted (personal) advertising, and weather alerts. The only thing that will need to be changed is the addition of an ATSC 3 dongle/box, or an ATSC 3 equipped TV. This standard is not compatible with current over-the-air TV.

Do not worry, it will be years before the changeover is made, and stations are required by law to maintain old signals for five years. During that time the stations will be broadcasting old and new. That is why you need to re-scan your antenna stations every few months as the broadcasters have already begun to consolidate station numbers. Many cities have been testing and may begin rollout during 2020.
Some newer antennas do have better designs for pulling in some signals, but most benefits are not significant and especially not because they are labeled HD (which is not true). All newer antennas are not better. Try your old one first, then decide. Generally outdoor antennas placed higher up pull in more stations. For most local sports and news, indoor antennas work well.

You cannot use a satellite dish to receive over-the-air TV signals. It is not the correct shape and has internal circuitry that is not suitable for broadcast TV reception. You can ditch the dish and attach an antenna to the pole to reuse the pole. Also, the same coax cable works for both satellite and antenna, unless it is more than ten years old or worn, then you might consider replacing it with an RG6 cable.

TV Stations Moving

The recent FCC sales of bandwidth and ATSC 3 changes are causing local TV channels to change numbers. Here is a handy web site that lets you know when to re-scan so you always have the most channels available in your area. Just type in your zip code. LINK

Select Scan or Autotune from your TV or converter box control menu to start the scanning process. Your TV will do the rest. This process usually takes a few minutes to complete.

Once your re-scan is complete you will find your favorite stations and maybe a few more. If you have re-scanning difficulties, you can usually find instructions by selecting the Set-Up or Menu button on your television or converter box remote control.

Interesting Mosquito Facts

We are in the season, so thought some juicy tidbits might be in order. Of the 3,000 species of mosquitoes around the world, at least 150 are found in the United States, and 85 of those can be found in Texas.
The female mosquitoes, which are the ones that sting and suck blood, are the transmitter of disease, and the deadliest animals in the world. Each year, the malaria parasites they transmit kill 2 million to 3 million people and infect another 200 million or more. They also spread pathogens that cause yellow fever, dengue fever, Rift Valley fever, Chikungunya, and West Nile disease.
Not every species of mosquito sucks blood from people, and among those that do, not every one transmits disease. Males live entirely on nectar and other plant fluids, and the females’ diet is primarily plant-based, too. Most of the time, they only go after people when they are ready to reproduce, because blood contains lipids, proteins, and other nutrients needed for the production of eggs.
What you see sticking out of a mosquito’s face is the labium, which sheaths the mouth parts that really do all the work. The labium bends back when a mosquito bites, allowing these other parts to pass through its tip and do their thing. The sharp, pointed mandibles and maxillae, which both come in pairs, are used to pierce the skin, and the hollow hypopharynx and the labrum are used to deliver saliva and draw blood, respectively.
The saliva that gets pumped out from the hypopharynx during a bite is necessary to reduce our blood’s tendency to clot. It contains a number of chemicals that suppress vascular constriction, blood clotting, and platelet aggregation.

An old wife's tale is that you can flex a muscle close to the bite site or stretch your skin taut so the mosquito cannot pull out its proboscis and your blood pressure will fill the bug until it bursts. The consensus among entomologists is that this is nonsense.

Elections Interference

Trying to influence elections goes back a long way in the US. During 1757 George Washington stood for election to the House of Burgesses representing Frederick County, Virginia. He won only 40 votes out of more than 580 cast by the male landowners of the jurisdiction, an embarrassing defeat.

According to his close aide and political adviser at the time, his defeat was caused in part, by his failure to provide suitable liquid refreshment to voters, an oversight which his opponents took advantage of. Washington, who had publicly avowed that he would never stoop to such underhanded tactics, reconsidered his position during the election of 1758. He directed his friend and adviser, Colonel James Wood of the Virginia Colonial militia, to ensure potential supporters were better treated.
Washington purchased rum, whiskey, wine, beer, and hard cider, according to his own account books, spending the equivalent of about $9,000. His supply included nearly 50 gallons of beer, a like amount of wine, three full barrels of rum (over 100 gallons) and a half-pint of brandy, presumably for his own consumption.
In winning he received nearly 400 votes, though the exact count varies depending on the source, and his alcohol supply ensured there was at least a half-gallon of libations for each Washington supporter available at the polling site.

He never again lost an election, though he never again needed to ply his supporters with liquids to achieve success. It should be noted that juicing the voters was a common practice during the 18th century, and one reason why sales of alcohol were for many years in America proscribed while the polls were open.

Jul 20, 2019

Happy Friday

You cannot learn a deep appreciation of happiness if you do not dive in.

I always dive in to appreciate a Happy Friday!

Historical Facts and Time Perception

When we think of historical facts, we often confuse the sequence of events in history.
The Coliseum in Rome, Italy, was unveiled in 80 A.D., about the same time the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible were written.
Oxford University in England was created before the emergence of the Aztec Empire in modern Mexico.
Tiffany & Company is older than the nation of Italy. The Italian Republic did not happen until 1861 and Tiffany was founded in 1837.
The Titanic sank the same month that Boston’s Fenway Park opened during 1912 and the same year vitamins and Oreos were invented.

The fax machine was invented the same year the first wagon crossed the Oregon Trail in 1843.
The Brooklyn Bridge was being built during the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876.
Nintendo was founded when Jack the Ripper was still on the loose in 1889.
Buffalo Bill Cody was alive at the same time the Germans were bombing with Zeppelins in 1916.

Cowboy Wyatt Earp was a movie consultant in his later years and knew William S. Hart, Tom Mix, Charlie Chaplin, Jack London, and more. He died in 1929.

Marilyn Monroe, Chuck Berry, Queen Elizabeth, Don Rickles, and Fidel Castro were born the same year in 1926.
Prisoners arrived at Auschwitz just days after the original McDonald's was founded in May, 1940.

The guillotine was still in use when Jimmy Carter was President of the United States, the year the first Star Wars was released, the year Charlie Chaplin Died, and Apple was incorporated. The last person was beheaded by the device in France during 1977.
The first man to achieve powered flight lived to see it accomplished at speeds faster than sound. Orville Wright lived until 1948, a year after a plane passed the speed of sound during 1947, and a few years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed in 1945.
The last eligible Civil War widow and American pensioner from the Civil War died in 2008. Pensions payable to surviving children and their spouses continued until at least 2017. That means the United States was continuing to incur costs related to the Civil War over 150 years after it ended.
Woolly mammoths were still roaming the earth when the pyramids were built at Giza. The great mammals coexisted with humans for several thousand years and the date of their final demise is several centuries after the construction of the pyramids.

Americans were on the moon in July, 1969, before women in Switzerland were allowed to vote in October, 1969.

Cure Brain Freeze

According to Johns Hopkins University, a bout of radiating pain in your head after eating cold food is known as cold neuralgia or sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. It is likely caused by your body entering survival mode when it detects a freezing temperature on the roof of the mouth: our system constricts blood vessels in the palate to preserve our core temperature. When they rapidly open back up, a pain signal is sent to the brain via the trigeminal nerve. Since that nerve leads directly to the midface and forehead, your face bears the brunt of the referred pain from the mouth.

A brain freeze typically lasts less than five minutes, but when your head is throbbing, that can feel like forever. To minimize the pain, the best strategy is to warm the palate up. You can do this by pressing your tongue or a thumb against the roof of your mouth, by drinking a warm liquid, or both. Covering your face and breathing into your hands can also warm the air inside your mouth that was chilled by the ice cream.

Wordology, Eke

If we see the word eke these days, it is when we "eke out" a living, but it comes from an old verb meaning to add, supplement, or grow. It is the same word that gave us eke-name for additional name, which later became nickname.


During May, 2019 robocallers rang Americans' smartphones an estimated 4.7 billion times, according to YouMail, a company that makes an app that helps users block suspected spam calls. That is nearly double the amount from two years ago, reflecting the extent to which fraudsters have outwitted carriers such as AT&T and Verizon, lawmakers on Capitol Hill and the government's chief robocall cops, including the Federal Communications Commission.

At Tufts Medical Center, administrators registered more than 4,500 robocalls between about 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. on April 30, 2018.

Testifying in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, it stressed robocalls represent a "serious threat" to the Tampa-based facility, which serves more than 60,000 patients each year. Over a 90-day period, robocallers rang more than 6,600 times using numbers that mimicked its own, which it estimated had consumed 65 hours of hospital response time. That came in addition to about 300 robocalls that appeared to be coming from numbers affiliated with the U.S. Department of Justice. Callers sought to swindle physicians into surrendering critical information that might make it easier for scammers to obtain prescription drugs fraudulently.

Robocall Popular Area Codes

The list from the app HIYA shows popular area codes and number of unwanted calls. Looks like Texas is popular.

area code, area code region, estimated unwanted calls
214 Dallas, TX 210,590,643
817 Fort worth, TX 177,353,949
210 San Antonio, TX 167,494,351
512 Austin, TX 141,493,980
832 Houston, TX 125,617,537
404 Atlanta, GA 104,613,003
205 AL 98,239,446

Veggie Cutting Tip

Place your cutting board in a sheet pan to keep your table clean when dealing with messy veggies.

Five Canadian Inventions

Here are a few things many do not know were invented in Canada.
Peanut Butter - Although American agricultural pioneer George Washington Carver is often credited for inventing peanut butter, the first patent for the spreadable substance was actually given to Montreal, Canada’s Marcellus Gilmore Edson in 1884.
IMAX - Canadian filmmakers Graeme Ferguson and Roman Kroitor first pioneered the technology of high-resolution images on huge screens at Montreal’s Expo ’67.
Hockey Mask - No surprise with this one. The hockey mask, which has helped keep many a goaltender’s face intact, was first worn regularly by Montreal Canadiens player Jaques Plante in 1959.
World Time Zones - Canadian railroad engineer Sandford Fleming came up with the idea of creating 24 time zones across the entire globe, which would form “international standard time.” In 1884 at the International Meridian Conference in Washington, D.C., his ideas were eventually adopted worldwide.

Trivial Pursuit - During 1979, Montreal Gazette picture editor Chris Haney and sports journalist Scott Abbott came up with Trivial Pursuit, which became the biggest phenomenon in game history, with over 100 million copies of the game sold.

Making with Steel

Interesting short video. LINK