Jan 25, 2019

Happy Friday

Man is not constrained by happiness, but a lack of it.

I never feel constrained, especially on a Happy Friday!

McDonald's Embraces More Bacon

McDonald's is launching Cheesy Bacon Fries next week on Jan. 30, 2019 along with the Big Mac Bacon burger and Quarter Pounder Bacon burger, the company said.

The fast-food chain explained in its official announcement, "'That’s too much bacon,' said no one ever."

McDonald’s is also hosting a nationwide one-time bacon bash and free bacon giveaway from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday January 29 at participating locations nationwide to celebrate bacon menu items arrival the following day. During "Bacon Hour," customers can get a free side of thick-cut, Applewood smoked bacon with any purchase, be it a filet-o-fish, hot fudge sundae, or apple pie.
“When we said there’s no such thing as too much bacon, we weren’t kidding,” said McDonald’s manager of culinary innovation Michael Haracz. "January 29, we’ll be upping the bacon ante — the bac-ante, if you will — and celebrating this glorious food favorite like never before."

Incidentally, doing market research, the brand found that the word “bacon” was mentioned across Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and other forums an average of 17,000 times a day (or 740 times an hour) by users in the US between January 1, 2018, and January 7, 2019.

National Gorilla Suit Day

During 1963, Don Martin (one of my favorite cartoon artists) published National Gorilla Suit Day in a collection 'Don Martin Bounces Back', in which Fester Bestertester mocks the (then fictitious) concept of a National Gorilla Suit Day, and suffers a series of incredible assaults from gorillas and other creatures in gorilla and other suits.

Martin also brought us the great new words like spladap, shtoink, bukkida bukkida, splitch, sladap, sizafitz, and many more from his cartoons.

Subsequently, Don Martin fans have celebrated National Gorilla Suit Day on January 31. Enjoy!

Wordology, Tatterdemalion

A tatterdemalion is somebody wearing tattered clothing. It can also be used as an adjective meaning tattered or ragged in appearance.

Actresses Switch Roles

Meg Ryan turned down the role in Pretty Woman, and Julia Roberts turned down Ryan’s role in Sleepless in Seattle.

Incidentally, during 2010 Roberts announced that she was a practitioner of Hinduism; she was initially drawn to the religion after seeing a photo of a guru.

Six Uses for Tea Bags

A used tea bag can be used to give a little more flavor to dinner by using it to marinade meat and give it a savory taste. Just mix with the marinade for adding a bit of flair to your dish.

Tea helps to speed up the decomposition process of organic matter. For non-biodegradable tea bags, you can slit them open and use the moist tea leaves in your compost.

Roses love it, and so do houseplants and garden plants like ferns; tea makes a nutrient rich fertilizer with its tannic acid and nitrogen-boosting properties. To use as a fertilizer, you can brew up some tea or mix damp black tea leaves into the soil or spread it around the base of plants.

Bug bites and stings can be treated by using a cooled tea bag as a compress to relieve itching, sting, and inflammation.

With poison ivy or sunburn, you can either use the compress method, or make tea to add to lukewarm water in a bath and soak up its healing properties.

Rodents and cats do not like the smell and bugs and slugs can be kept at bay with some tea leaves sprinkled into the soil. Use dry tea leaves or a moist bag that’s been cut open. It is thought that the caffeine can keep pests from eating or urinating on your garden.

Saving Your TV

Many TVs come from the factory with the brightness level higher than it needs to be. Some folks like an ultra-bright picture, but it can soften picture detail and cause the TV to work harder to display all that light. Try adjusting the brightness level so the picture looks more realistic, displaying more detail. Your eyes will be happier and so will your TV. The reduction in brightness will add more hours to your set’s life.

The Contrast or Picture setting measures the difference between a TV's brightest and darkest colors. If the Contrast or Picture level is too high, it can force the TV to exert more power, reducing its total hours of use. To ensure this does not happen, set it to Standard or Movie Mode rather than Vivid or Dynamic. This will keep your Contrast or Picture level at a more efficient setting.

Cable vs. Netflix Cost

The average cable price in 2017 was US $100.98. Nielsen says the average American adult watches four hours and 23 minutes of live TV a day, plus 33 minutes of DVR content. So, that is four hours and 56 minutes of pay TV a day. During the course of a year a typical cable customer watches about 1,800.67 hours of live and time-shifted TV (including commercials), and pays about $1,210.80 for the privilege. That comes out to 67.2 cents per hour of cable.

An average Netflix user pays about $11.66 a month or $139.96 per year. An average Netflix user is streaming 3.21 hours of content. That amounts to watching 1,171.65 hours of Netflix a year. This is a worldwide number and most non-US users spend less time watching than the average American. That comes out to 11.95 cents per hour of Netflix watched.

Streaming Outpaces Cable TV

Streaming video services already outpace pay TV in US homes with broadband (about 80 percent of all US homes. More than three-fourths of those homes (76.4 percent) use a streaming service like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu, etc., according to research from The Diffusion Group.

Slightly fewer broadband homes, 74 percent, have a traditional pay TV service from a cable, satellite, or fiber provider. Another 8 percent use a net-distributed service, such as DirecTV Now or Sling TV. The Diffusion Group found in its survey of 2,000 US adults with broadband service, "Despite subscriber growth for virtual pay TV services, they will not be enough to overcome declines in legacy services," said Michael Greeson, Diffusion Group's president and co-founder. "We see the entire pay TV sector slowly declining in the next five years."

Jan 18, 2019

Happy Friday

Anticipating tomorrow causes us to ignore today.

Be happy and enjoy this Happy Friday, next week will bring another!

Happy Thesaurus Day

Peter Mark Roget, the author of Roget’s Thesaurus, was born on January 18, 1779. In 1840, Roget retired from a successful career in medicine and spent the rest of his life working on “Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases.” He published his dictionary of synonyms in 1852. Since then, it has never been out of print.

The word “thesaurus” is Latin for 'treasure'. Roget’s original information included 15,000 words organized into primary categories, existence, relation, quantity, number, and time. Today the book boasts over 230,000 words, but it is still organized by ideas and concepts.

Lunar Eclipse Coming

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon and the sun are on exact opposite sides of Earth, according to NASA. When this happens, Earth blocks sunlight that normally reaches the moon. Instead of sunlight hitting the moon’s surface, Earth's shadow falls on it.
Starting at 9:36 p.m. EST Jan. 20, sky-watchers will notice a "little notch is taken out of the moon," according to Brian Murphy, director of Indiana's Holcomb Observatory & Planetarium and Butler University professor. "The moon starts to enter into the earth's shadow in a portion called the umbra when the sun is totally blocked out," he said. "Earth is moving from right to left through the shadow."

At 10:34 p.m., it moves into a partial eclipse, and starting at 11:41 p.m., the full eclipse begins; a maximum eclipse occurs at 12:12 a.m. Jan. 21. The total eclipse ends at 12:44 a.m.

Global Belly Laugh Day

Next Thursday, January 24 is Global Belly Laugh Day. Time to celebrate the gift of laughter. On January 24 at 1:24 p.m. (local time) smile, throw your arms in the air and laugh out loud. You will scare some people, amuse others, possibly make new friends, and generally have fun laughing out loud. Laughing out loud is good for your body and your soul.

Liver Facts

Our liver does everything from filtering blood, breaking down and absorbing fats, processing cholesterol, carbohydrates, and proteins. It stores glycogen, vitamins, and minerals. It detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. It is also one of the organs that break down old or damaged blood cells.

The liver plays a central role in all metabolic processes in the body. In fat metabolism the liver cells break down fats and produces energy. The liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions. The liver is the largest internal organ and is the only organ that can regenerate itself. However, repeated damage to it can eventually injure and scar it.

Wordology, Minuscule

This is a frequently misspelled word. It is not 'mini-scule'. It bears no linguistic relation to mini or miniature, but actually comes from the Latin minus, meaning “less.” Now that you know the 'minus' origin, it should be easy to remember the spelling of minuscule.

IBM and Weather

IBM’s new Global High-Resolution Atmospheric Forecasting System, or GRAF for short, is a global weather forecasting system that uses IBM supercomputers and taps into millions of previously untapped crowdsourced data to more accurately forecast weather around the world, by what IBM claims represents a nearly 200 percent improvement.
IBM owns The Weather Company. By relying on cell phone data from the Weather Channel app, in addition to traditional forms of weather data from balloons and weather station observations around the world, GRAF also draws on atmospheric data collected by planes and also ground pressure data from millions of cell phones that have the Weather Channel app.

Most smartphones have a barometer inside, which is used to help your phone’s fitness tracker figure out how many stairs you climbed. It has been useful for meteorologists for years, because pressure provides clues about storms. Using this additional phone data as a network of tiny pressure sensors opens up a world of forecast improvements. Some of this barometric work has been going on for a few years. LINK

Cheese King

Denver headquarters of Leprino Foods, sells mozzarella to Pizza Hut, Domino's, and Papa John's. It also sells cheese for ham-and-cheddar Hot Pockets, Stouffer's lasagna, and Smart Ones baked ziti, cheese cubes like pear flavor with nuts or Gorgonzola with pretzels. It even sells a dessert salted-caramel-flavored mozzarella wrapped in hot dough, rolled in cinnamon sugar. The company's lactose and whey powders are used for protein bars, Yoplait yogurt, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel, and baby formula. In fact, Leprino Foods sells more than a billion pounds of cheese a year.

Taste Bud Tidbits

The taste cells in our taste buds live for only about two weeks.

Taste buds are not visible to the naked eye; the little bumps that can be seen on the tongue are actually papillae, taste buds rest on top of the papillae.

Jan 11, 2019

Happy Friday

If you appreciate who you are, you will never be unhappy.

If you appreciate who you are, you will always have a Happy Friday!

Body Mass Index (BMI) Origin

Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet (pronounced Ket-eh-lay) was born into a middle-class family on February 22, 1796. He was a mathematician, astronomer, statistician, poet, dramatist, and one of the founders of sociology. Quetelet believed society could be analyzed without bias using statistics. He described this new academic field as social physics, believing it would reveal important patterns in human society. In 1832, Quetelet discovered in his mountains of data a relationship between height and weight in adults. “The weights of individuals of different height are nearly like the square of their height.” In 1972, the American physiologist Ancel Keys formed the view that the Quetelet Index was the best way to identify obese individuals and gave it a new name – the body mass index.

In 1985, the U.S. National Institutes of Health adopted the body mass index or BMI as a means of identifying underweight and overweight individuals. He died age 77 on February 17, 1874.

Hardee's Frisco Burger

Hardee’s Frisco Burger, one of the first fast-food burgers served with bacon, came out during 1992 and was a hit. It revived bacon as an ingredient, and convinced other fast-food companies to bacon-ize their burgers. Bloomberg called it "a momentous event for fast food, and bacon’s fate, in America."

Incidentally, Hardees was founded by Wilber Hardee and is now owned by CKE, owner of Carl's Jr. Because of the similarity to the name of popular Canadian chain Harvey’s, all Canadian locations of Hardee’s need to be called Carl’s Jr.

Tool Tips

Synthetic wine corks are great for sealing partially used tubes of caulk. Drill a 5/16-in. hole into the cork about 1 in. deep. It makes an airtight seal and is reusable.

Used six pack holders are great for storing things, such as caulk, spray paint cans, WD40 cans, etc.
To keep pictures level, use two hangers or use small rubber feet with adhesive back on each bottom corner.
Spring is coming, so save old newspapers to spread on the ground before you mulch. It is very effective to eliminate weeds and easily poked through for planting. It also will keep moisture in and decompose over time.
Dryer sheets can be reused twice, so save them for that second load of clothes.
Egg cartons are great for keeping the odd screws, bolts, and nails separated and handy. They are also great indoor plant starters to get ahead of spring.

A soap dispenser brush is not just for the kitchen. Keep one in the shower with dish soap that also works well for a quick tile cleanup.

New Toothbrush

The Consumer Electronics Show is being held in Las Vegas this week and one interesting item is the 'Y Brush'. The info says to put toothpaste on it and hold in your mouth, press power button, and chew for five seconds, rinse then put more toothpaste on it, turn over and repeat for a full mouth brushing in ten seconds. There are four sizes for children and adults.

The ad says, "Our mouth is made up of 32 teeth with 3 visible angles for a total of 96 overall faces to be cleaned. If the recommended brushing time is 2 minutes minimum, then it means that each surface of the tooth should be brushed for 1.25 seconds at least for a total of 3.75 seconds per tooth.

With Y-Brush each of your teeth are brushed 5 seconds since all the teeth are brushed simultaneously, that is 4 times more than with a traditional manual or electric toothbrush during a brushing of 2 minutes." Price is $125 and no description about how long it will last. Will be anxious to read reviews on this one, which is due out in April, 2019. (PS - the arrow does nothing, I clipped the picture.)

Wordology, Shoes

From the annals of improbable research, we discover that 'Shoes' is a word which has many synonyms as this kind of outfit has developed in terms of its shape, which is obviously seen.

From the observation done in this research, there are 26 kinds of shoes with 36 distinctive features. The types of shoes found are boots, brogues, cleats, clogs, espadrilles, flip-flops, galoshes, heels, kamiks, loafers, Mary Janes, moccasins, mules, oxfords, pumps, rollerblades, sandals, skates, slides, sling-backs, slippers, sneakers, swim fins, valenki, waders and wedge. The distinctive features of the word “shoes” are based on the heels, heel shape, gender, the types of the toes, the occasions to wear the footwear, the place to wear the footwear, the material, the accessories of the footwear, the model of the back of the shoes and the cut of the shoes. Hmmm, this is no barefoot observation.

Free up Phone Space

If your phone response is getting sluggish or you get the message that it is getting full, there are two places to look, pictures and messages. Obviously movie files and podcasts take up the most storage. You can back up files to the cloud or your PC, then delete the largest files first to gain the most storage with the least amount of files deleted.
You should routinely delete old photos and videos anyway as good maintenance. As a side benefit, you will be able to find what you want faster. Also, if you lose your phone there is less chance of pictures hitting the internet.

To many it is not as obvious, but messages, especially messages with pictures or videos take up an enormous about of room. You can save the pictures and videos from messages into your pictures app, then delete them from messages. Many people do that, but do not realize there are duplicates taking up an enormous amount of space. Even without pictures, messages take up much space. The easy to delete messages is to check delete all, then uncheck the boxes of ones you wish to keep. Just as with photos, routinely deleting old messages is good maintenance to keep your phone from getting sluggish and from running out of space.


Robocall management company YouMail has been tracking the volume of calls and says that 2018 saw 48 million of them harass cell phone owners in the US last year, up 60 percent from 2017. It is easy for robocallers to spoof a local number and trick you into answering by making you think you are getting a legitimate call from your area instead of from a toll-free number you do not recognize. About 60 percent of robocalls are classified as legitimate, even if they seem annoying to you. Those would be things like automated messages from pharmacies, schools and political candidates. I think we need to renegotiate what constitutes 'legitimate robocall'.

Google Search Tip

When our memory decides to prevent us from recalling that one key word, phrase, or number we need in order to find what we are looking for, you can turn to the powerful asterisk "*" symbol. Just use this in the place of the word/phrase you can’t remember, and you should be able to find the results you are looking for. For example, junk* returns anything that has junk as a prefix, including junk itself. Junk * returns any phrase containing "junk".

Sometimes we urgently need to acquaint ourselves with events that occurred during a certain period of time. To do so, you can add a time frame to your search query with the help of three dots between the dates. For example, if we want to find out about scientific discoveries during the 20th century, we can write: scientific discoveries 1900...1999.

Jan 4, 2019

Happy Friday

"Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, 'It will be happier.'" ~Tennyson

We awake to a happier day, especially on a Happy Friday!

Happy National Trivia Day

January 4 each year is National Trivia Day. Over time, the word “trivia” has come to refer to obscure and arcane bits of dry knowledge as well as nostalgic remembrances of pop culture. You can celebrate by getting together with friends and play Trivial Pursuit. You can call friends and family and enlighten them with some trivia. More fun is to stop random people and start a conversation with “did you know...?” You may even make some new friends. You can also pick up one of my books and spend the day filling your brain with more random trivia.

Quick Trivia

Three Musketeers used to contain three small bars of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate.
Chemists describe the old book smell as grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness.
The Sun-Maid Raisins girl was modeled after Lorraine Collett Petersen.
A California woman once tried to sue the makers of Cap'n Crunch because crunch berries contained no berries.
During 2006, a man tried to sell New Zealand on eBay. The price went to $3,000 before eBay shut it down.
Forty is the only number in which the letters are in alphabetical order.

Despite the urban legend, birds ingesting uncooked rice will not explode.

Nutritious Foods

After analyzing more than 1,000 raw foods, researchers ranked the ingredients that provide the best balance of your daily nutritional requirements.
There is no one food that contains all the nutrients necessary to meet, but not exceed, our daily nutrient demands. Scientists assigned each a nutritional score. The higher the score, the more likely each food would meet, but not exceed daily nutritional needs, when eaten in combination with others.
Out of the top one hundred from the one thousand analyzed, pork fat came in eighth (one is most nutritious). It provides a good source of B vitamins and minerals. Pork fat is more unsaturated and healthier than lamb or beef fat. It has 632kcal per 100g and has a nutritional score of 73. Of all the most nutritious foods, pork fat is the only one derived from livestock.

So, my opinion that bacon is the best tasting (my friend Mike says it is Maple Bacon) and most satisfying, is fortified by scientists who rate is as eighth most nutritious. According to them it is more nutritious than sweet potato (nutritional score 49), ginger 49, Brussels sprouts 50, broccoli 50, cauliflower 50, carrots 51, oranges 51, tomatoes 56, spinach 59, kale 62, etc.

Almonds came in first as most nutritious, and is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids, promotes cardiovascular health and may help with diabetes. It has 579kcal per 100g and has a nutritional score of 97.

Food selection, ranking based on the scientific study “Uncovering the Nutritional Landscape of Food”, published in the journal PLoS ONE. The list can be found at LINK

Silent Monks Singing Hallelujah

One last musical for the season. The silent monks provide three minutes of fun. It has been around for a while and has had 1.7 million views. LINK

Wordology, Psithurism

The "p" at the beginning of psithurism is silent. It is pronounced sith-err-iz-um. It is the sounds of wind in the trees and the rustling of leaves.

Psithurism comes from the Greek word psithuros, which means whispering. It fits with the sound wind often makes when it blows through trees. On windy fall days, the rustling of the leaves seems almost musical. Your worries disappear for a time as you listen to the melodies of the wind in the trees.

Quick Fact About Cable

About 33 million people have ditched their cable or satellite subscription in 2018, according to researcher eMarketer, up from 24.9 million who cut the cord during 2017. The number one reason was to save monthly fees.

What's in a Name, Kansas and Arkansas

Have you ever wondered why they are pronounced differently? This is why.

Kansas was named for the Kansa, a Siouan tribe that lived in the region. The Kansa people were called, in plural, Kansas, and that became the name of the state.

Arkansas was named for a related Siouan tribe, the Quapaw. The Algonquians called them “akansa,” joining their own a- prefix (used in front of ethnic groups) to the Kansa name. It took some time for Arkansans to come to agreement on pronunciation. In 1881, a heated disagreement between the state's two senators, one who said “arKANzis” and the other who said “ARkansaw,” led to a ruling by the state legislature making the “ARkansaw” pronunciation official.