Feb 22, 2019

Happy Friday

Each day is not an occurrence, it is an opportunity.

Take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate a Happy Friday!

Whats in a Name, Boysenberry

The boysenberry was created by Rudolph Boysen during the 1920s. It is considered to be a variant of the blackberry, although it is actually a hybrid of a blackberry and either the loganberry or the red raspberry. It could even be a hybrid of all three. However, it looks more like a blackberry than the other two. There are claims that the boysenberry is actually a cross between the Eastern dewberry and the man-made loganberry. The loganberry was created in 1881 when James Logan crossed a raspberry with a wild blackberry.


The boysenberry was not a commercial success due to its short shelf life. It decays just two days after harvest. Stores tried prolonging the shelf life of the boysenberry by harvesting and shipping them before they ripened. The plan ultimately failed because unripe boysenberries taste acidic. These days, the boysenberry is only sold at farmers markets.

Psychologist vs. Psychiatrist vs. Psychotherapist

A psychologist is an expert who has a Ph.D. in psychology. They usually work in one sphere of psychology (e.g. child psychology) and typically deal with healthy people.
A psychiatrist has a medical degree and specializes in mental disorders and their treatment.

A psychotherapist may be either a psychiatrist or a psychologist depending on their academic degree. They help people overcome light or moderate problems such as psychosomatic disorders, depression, eating disorders, and phobias.

Yams vs. Sweet Potatoes

A sweet potato is not a yam. A yam is not a sweet potato. A sweet potato is not a potato, nor is a yam. The US FDA, which regulates food labeling, does not have a standard of identity for either sweet potatoes or yams, so either term works. The US Department of Agriculture requires that labels with the word ‘yam’ on them also be accompanied by ‘sweet potato’.

They are both tuberous root vegetables that come from a flowering plant. The sweet potato is in the morning glory family, while yams are related to palms and grasses.
Yams are starchy and dry. Sweet potatoes are sweet and moist, some more than others.

Some yams and some sweet potatoes look similar. They are both tubers or edible roots.

Shape is the key. Sweet potato can be short and fat or long and thin, but it will always taper at the ends. Yams have a cylindrical shape with blackish or brown, bark-like skin and white, purple, or reddish flesh. Yams can be reddish or purplish as well, but most often, if you scrape the skin with a fingernail, you see white or cream-colored flesh. Most Americans have never had a real yam.

Sweet potatoes are grown in the United States, mainly North Carolina. Yams in Africa (where they originated), Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Central America.

Since the "soft" sweet potatoes slightly resembled true yams, they picked up the name and became labeled as "yams" in most US grocery stores. Common US Grocery Store Labeling
 Yam — Soft sweet potato with a copper skin and deep orange flesh.
 Sweet potato — Firm sweet potato with golden skin and lighter flesh.


A yam is super sweet and can grow over seven feet in length. Yams are toxic when eaten raw, but safe when cooked. A true yam is a starchy edible root of the Dioscorea genus. It is rough and scaly and very low in beta carotene.

High Tech Meets Low Tech

Nike just released its new self-lacing Adapt BB sneakers with self-lacing technology, integrated lights, and an app to lace them. You control your sneaker lacing with an app and a motor inside the shoes mechanically tightens the laces or loosens them. However, the Android version of the app refuses to pair with the second shoe. The necessary firmware update appears to have caused connectivity problems and prevented the Android version of the app from pairing with one of the shoes. Absolutely true.

This comes on the heals of the basketball shoe blowout on the court during a game a few days ago. Caveat Emptor!

All Living Things

The world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things. 

Bacteria are a major life form representing 13% of everything


All other creatures, including insects, fungi, fish, and animals, make up just 5% of the world’s biomass.

Plants account for 82% of all living matter on the planet – 7,500 times more than humans. Most of plant biomass is in the form of wood.

Viruses alone have a combined weight three times that of humans, as do worms. Fish are 12 times greater than people and fungi 200 times as large.

Sam's Club Secret Menu Items

You can get a secret menu item that combines the best of both menu items.
The Pizza Pretzel - Sam's Club douses one of their pretzels with marinara sauce and tops it with shredded mozzarella cheese and pepperoni.

The ICEE Float - The cold drink is paired with Sam's soft serve ice cream.

Just ask for either by name as Sam's Club employees in the United States are familiar with the secret menu item and will know how to build it when ordered.

Four Things You Think Cause Cancer but Do Not

Back in the 2000s, you might have read that plastic contains diethylhexyl adipate (DEHA), a supposed carcinogen. The US Environmental Protection Agency says DEHA 'cannot reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer.' Likewise, the International Agency for Research on Cancer does not list DEHA as a carcinogen.
Many people are afraid to microwave foods in plastic containers and plastic wrap under the mistaken impression that it will release cancer-causing chemicals into their food. The US Food and Drug Administration strictly regulates plastic food containers and approves the ones marked 'microwave safe.'

Some people still believe microwave cooking makes food radioactive. Not so, according to the ACS. The group explains, 'Microwave ovens can cook food, but they do not otherwise change the chemical or molecular structure of it. 'Microwave ovens are designed so that the microwaves are contained within the oven itself,' the ACS states. When used according to instructions, there is no evidence they pose a health risk to people.

Cavities you had filled a many years ago are likely to have mercury in them. Too much mercury can be bad for your brain, but it is not a carcinogen. Those mercury fillings also included silver, tin, and copper. According to the American Dental Association, the combination of these metals makes the fillings, known as dental amalgams, completely safe.

Orange Facts

Many varieties of orange exist today. However, every variety traces its roots to the man-made hybrid created by crossing the pomelo with the mandarin. The pomelo is almost as bitter as the grapefruit, while the mandarin is sweet. The mandarin has an orange color, and some people misidentify it as a variety of the orange, but the mandarin is an ancestor of the orange.

The history of the orange is unclear, but it is believed to have first appeared in southern China. Humans have selectively bred oranges to create many varieties, making it easy to confuse the orange with other citrus fruits. A fruit needs to have evolved from the pomelo and mandarin to be considered an orange.


A tangerine is not considered an orange, because it evolved from the mandarin, but not the pomelo.

Fourteen Sleep and Dreaming Facts

  1. You have no sense of smell when you are sleeping.
  2. You burn more calories while sleeping than you do when watching television.
  3. Sleeping less than 7 hours each night reduces your life expectancy.
  4. The colder the room you sleep in, the better the chances are that you will have a bad dream.
  5. Babies start dreaming even before they are born.
  6. The three things pregnant women dream most of during their first trimester are frogs, worms, and potted plants.
  7. Scientists say the higher your I.Q. the more you dream.
  8. You can go without eating for weeks without succumbing, but only eleven days without sleep.
  9. In a year on an average person sleeps for 122 days out of 365 days.
  10. When we go to sleep and enter REM (Rapid Eye Movement), our bodies become completely paralyzed as areas of the brain that control movement are de-activated.
  11. An average person has over 1,460 dreams a year which is about 4 dreams every night.
  12. An average person falls asleep in seven minutes.
  13. By 60 years of age, 60% of men and 40% of women will snore.
  14. A human body releases growth hormones during sleep.

Stan Laurel Laughing

Thought you might enjoy this short clip to get you in the right frame of mind to start your day with a smile. LINK

Feb 15, 2019

Happy Friday

"True happiness is... to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future." ~Lucius Seneca

I always enjoy the present, especially on a Happy Friday!

What's in a name, Cadillac

This luxury car maker combined elements from the Ford and Oldsmobile companies when it was started in 1902 and later became known for its innovation and high quality. The company was named for the French explorer Antoine Laumet de la Mothe Cadillac, who founded the city of Detroit in 1701. Cadillac, Michigan (Originally Clam Lake) is also named after Antoine.

Warmer or Cooler

Headlines say that the world is doomed as 2018 was so warm, but the facts they offer spell something a bit different. The facts they give say the warmest year was 2016, 2017 was the third-warmest, and 2018 was fourth warmest.


That means 2017 was cooler than 2016 and 2018 was cooler than 2017. This indicates there has been a cooling trend for the past few years. It will be interesting to see if the polar vortex influences 2019 numbers.

More Celebrity Real Names

After seeing the real names, it is easy to understand why some changed their name.


Lady Gaga - Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
Jean-Claude Van Damme - Jean-Claude Camille Fran├žois Van Varenberg
Tom Cruise - Thomas Cruise Mapother IV
Freddie Mercury - Farrokh Bulsara
Winona Ryder - Winona Laura Horowitz
Alice Cooper - Vincent Damon Furnier
Vin Diesel - Mark Sinclair
Whoopi Goldberg - Caryn Elaine Johnson
Ben Kingsley - Krishna Pandit Bhanji

Wall Street

The name of the street originates from an actual wall that was built in the 17th century by the Dutch, who were living in what was then called New Amsterdam. The 12-foot (4 meter) wall was built to protect the Dutch against attacks from pirates and various Native American tribes, and to keep out other potential dangers.

The area near the wall became known as Wall Street. Because of its prime location running the width of Manhattan between the East River and the Hudson River the road developed into one of the busiest trading areas in the entire city. During 1699, the wall was dismantled by the British colonial government, but the name of the street remained.

The financial industry got its official start on Wall Street on May 17, 1792. On that day, New York's first official stock exchange was established by the signing of the Buttonwood Agreement, named because it was signed under a buttonwood tree that early traders and speculators had previously gathered around to trade informally, gave birth to what is now the modern-day New York Stock Exchange NYSE.

Disinfection vs. Sterilization

Disinfection is the process of reducing harmful microorganisms from inanimate objects and surfaces. It includes airing, shaking, wiping surfaces, boiling, and using substances such as chlorine, alcohol, etc.

Sterilization is the process of killing all microorganisms, no matter if they are harmful or not. This includes thermal treatment, radiation, filtration, and using gaseous or liquid substances.

Human Ear Facts

Earwax production is necessary for good ear health. Ear wax is made up of oil and sweat.
It only takes 7 pounds of pressure to rip your ear off.
The human ear can distinguish between hundreds of thousands of different sounds.
The human ears can hear in the frequency of 1,000 to 50,000 hertz.
Your ears never stop hearing, even when you sleep. Your brain just ignores incoming sounds.
Your ears secrete more ear wax when you are afraid than when you are not.
Sound that is above 130 decibels can cause pain to our ears.
After eating too much, your hearing is less sharp.

A human ear contains about 24,000 fibers in it.
Tiny hair cells in your inner ear are what translate sound waves to electricity to send to the brain.
Your ears are responsible for the equilibrium and balance of the body - the inner ear has direct connection with the brain.
The inner ear is no larger than a pencil eraser in circumference.
The middle ear is composed of three small bones, and one among them, the stapes, is the smallest bone in the human body.
Children have more sensitive ears than adults.
The ears never stop growing through lifetime.

Sheetrock and Drywall

Sheetrock and drywall are mostly used interchangeably, but it is important to note that Sheetrock is a trademarked name owned by the United States Gypsum Corporation.

Eating Marijuana

Most edible marijuana is metabolized by the liver, which then produces a kind of THC that has a bigger psychedelic punch than the THC that reaches your blood plasma when you smoke it. So when you finally feel the edible’s effects, it will likely be more powerful than what you get from a joint, plus the high will last much longer, up to 12 hours.

Edibles are split into two categories: foods like cookies, candies and pills that are metabolized in the liver, as described above, and products like lollipops, gums, and sublingual drops that take effect through saliva in your mouth. The latter type works faster, but the effects might not be as powerful and will wear off more quickly.

Feb 8, 2019

Happy Friday

Happiness requires your own approval, not other's. They get the benefit.

Give yourself permission to be happy today, especially because it is a Happy Friday!

National Pizza Day

My brother reminded me, even before I started writing this that Saturday February 9 is National Pizza Day. Although it comes so close to Super Bowl, folks are still in the mood for more pizza. A survey by California Pizza Kitchen found that if Americans could only eat one thing for the rest of their lives, twenty percent would choose pizza. The original dish was started by the Romans and was hardly known outside Italy or Italian communities before WWII, but is now ubiquitous.


Most of the national and regional chains have deals from discounts to free pizza. Look them up in on the net or your local paper for a deal near you.

New Battery

John Goodenough, an engineer and professor at the University of Texas who Quartz writes, "has dominated the world of advanced batteries" for nearly 40 years. He is known around the world for his pioneering work that led to the invention of the rechargeable lithium-ion battery.


He and his team announced that they have created a low-cost, all-solid-state battery that can store twice the energy of modern lithium-ion batteries, can be fully charged in minutes, and is noncombustible. The new battery uses glass, which the researchers claim enables the anode to be made from pure lithium or sodium metal. This has a huge amount of potential energy. In the case of sodium, it is incredibly cheap. Either can charge more quickly. The team believes it will be commercially available within a few years.

Grilling Juicy Burgers

It is always the right time of the year to grill up burgers. Always preheat the grill for burgers, and other meats. A quick tip to make burgers juicy is to add a pat of butter or an ice cube on top when you first put the meat on the grill. The moisture will seep into the patty and make it juicy. Also, never, never, never push down on a burger when it is cooking. It squeezes all the juices out. Bonus tip, line a small pot or pan with foil, add barbecue sauce, and put it on the grill. It will be hot and ready to go when your meat is done.

What's in a Name, Toque

Toque is Arabic for hat. The 100 folds in a chef’s toque are said to represent 100 ways to cook an egg.

McDonald's Fries

Takeout did a small study and found the ideal time to finish your McDonald's french fries is within five minutes. It also determined the fries are unpleasant to eat after eighteen minutes.

Year of the Pig

You all know I could not resist this one. Asia welcomed the lunar Year of the Pig on February 5, 2019. Celebrations took place throughout the region, from Beijing and Seoul to Hanoi and Singapore.
The Pig is the twelfth of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. Pig was late because he overslept. In Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth. Their chubby faces and big ears are signs of fortune as well.
The streets of Beijing and other major Chinese cities were quiet and empty after millions of people left to visit relatives or travel abroad during the year’s biggest family holiday.

Families gathered at home for multi-generational banquets. Companies, shops, and government offices closed for official holidays that ranged from two days in South Korea to a week in China. Vendors sold toys branded with the British cartoon character Peppa Pig, which is enjoying a surge of popularity for the Year of the Pig.

5ghz vs. 2.4ghz

WiFi comes in two flavors 5ghz and 2.4ghz, but many do not know the difference.

2.4ghz travels father and penetrates walls and other objects better but is not as fast as 5ghz. Many more devices use the 2.4 ghz band, like baby monitors, RC toys, and Xbox controllers.

5 ghz has higher speed, shorter range, and lower penetration through walls and obstacles. It also allows for more throughput.

Bottom line, if your device is close to the router or the router is in the open rather than hiding in a niche of your house, 5 ghz is better.

Incidentally, 5ghz should not be confused with the new phone 5G and 5G LTE networks, which use much higher frequencies in the 30 ghz to 300 ghz range. It has the potential to be 20 times faster than 4G, meaning you can download things 20 times faster or download more data in less time.

Attitude and Strokes

If you had a stroke, a positive outlook might help prevent another one, a new 2019 study suggests. Researchers found that when people felt they could protect themselves from a second stroke, they had lower blood pressure and high blood pressure is a significant risk factor for a recurrent stroke.

"You can protect yourself against stroke by reducing your risk factors. This study shows that if you think you can do it, you can," said the study's senior author, Bernadette Boden-Albala. The researchers looked at data on more than 400 people who survived a mild or moderate stroke or had a transient ischemia attack.


The group was half female. Their average age was 64. One third of the group was white, about one third were black, and another one-third were Hispanic. Boden-Albala said stress may play a role as well and those who felt they had control would likely feel less stressed. She said, "Patients with a positive attitude had lower systolic blood pressure, irrespective of gender, race, etc., and regardless of intervention status. People with a sense of control seemed destined to have a better outcome."

Feb 1, 2019

Happy Friday

No one is happier than a person who is happy with himself.


It is easy to be happy with yourself, especially on a Happy Friday!

Calorie Comparison, Banana Chips vs. Raspberries


What's in a Name - Maverick, Macadamia Nuts, Mason Jars

Although most of us are familiar these names, not so many know they were all named after real people.
During the 19th Century, Samuel Agustus Maverick did not want to brand his cattle. He coined the term "maverick" for anyone who is unbranded and roams free. Historians thought this was a ploy so he could own any unbranded calf in the area.
Although named after John Macadam, macadamia nuts were discovered in Australia in 1828 by an English explorer, Allan Cunningham. It was given the name and scientific attributes by Ferdinand Mueller, a fellow scholar and personal friend of Macadam.

The popular jars were patented by John Landis Mason in 1858. These jars changed the way we store and preserve food and many other items. We also use them for preserving summer harvest and drink tea or other beverages from them.

Healthy Nuts

A 2018 study of more than 81,000 people found that those who consumed approximately a handful of mixed nuts and/or seeds per day decreased their risk of developing deadly heart problems by 40 percent. Some nuts are healthier for us than others. A few ounces of nuts each day before a meal are good to curb your appetite and a few ounces at night provide a healthy alternative snack.

1. Walnuts contain the most antioxidants compared to any other nut and also offer the healthiest kind of fat, omega-3 fatty acids, which prevent heart disease. Walnuts also contain iron, which supports oxygen-carrying red blood cells, calcium and zinc, which support the immune system, and vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant.
2. Chestnuts have the least calories at only 55 per ounce, but they also have the least protein and most carbohydrates. Chestnuts also provide a decent portion of manganese, which helps the body metabolize proteins and carbs.
3. Peanuts are actually legumes, since they grow underground, like beans. They contain 160 calories per ounce; have the most protein, and high amounts of healthy monounsaturated fats, considered to be one of the healthiest fats, since they lower cholesterol.

4. Pistachios are a great source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and heart-healthy fats. They contain more vitamin B6 than any other nut, which is important for blood sugar regulation and the formation of hemoglobin. They are also rich in potassium, with one ounce containing more potassium than half of a large banana.

5. Almonds contain more fiber than any other nut and are also the highest in Vitamin E. They also contain healthy fats, protein, and magnesium. They may help lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels.
6. Pecans provide many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also contain monounsaturated fats and they provide flavonoids, which are among the most anti-inflammatory of all antioxidants. They are high in calories at 200 per ounce.
7. Brazil Nuts are one of the richest sources of selenium and are high in monounsaturated fat. They are a great source of magnesium, zinc, calcium, vitamin E, and B vitamins.
8. Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts — approximately 82 percent of their fat is unsaturated fat, the majority being heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They contain 160 calories per ounce and are slightly lower in protein than peanuts.
9. Hazelnuts contain a high amount of phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants that have been shown to help decrease blood cholesterol and inflammation. They are good for muscles, joints and digestion. Hazelnuts contain 180 calories per ounce and are high in monounsaturated fats and fiber.

10. Macadamia Nuts contain more monounsaturated fat per serving than any other nut, and they are a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Origin of the Tooth Fairy

The story comes from the book, 'The Tooth Fairy' By Anita Feagles. It tells the tale of a cute little waif girl who works harder than the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, because she works all year round.

She loves teeth and has buckets of them that she sorts into boxes of girl’s teeth, boy’s teeth, top teeth, bottom teeth, extra teeth, etc. She uses teeth to decorate her fish bowl, and a jar on the kitchen shelf. She paves the path to her house with teeth; she has garlands of teeth outside the house. She has a party for all the fairies once a year and they all get gifts of teeth and play games with teeth. The reason she loves teeth so much is because she does not have any of her own. Nothing is mentioned about putting money under the pillow.

Weed Eater vs. Weedwacker vs. Weed Wacker

Husqvarna holds the Weed Eater trademark. Stanley Black & Decker holds the Weedwacker trademark. Weed Wacker, note the space, is owned by Environmental Essentials, LLC.

White House Numbers

The US White House has 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms and 6 levels in the residence. It also has 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases and 3 elevators.

First Speed Limits

The first US speed limit for motor vehicles was set in Connecticut in May 1901. It was 19 kilometers per hour (12 mph) within the city and 24 kilometers per hour (15 mph) on the highway. Earlier speed limits were targeted at horse-drawn carriages, not motor vehicles.

Representative Robert Woodruff, who proposed the speed limit for vehicles, wanted it set at 13 kilometers per hour (8 mph) within the city and 19 kilometers per hour (12 mph) on the highway. Drivers were warned to either slow down or stop driving when they saw a horse-drawn carriage. This was because the state did not want drivers scaring the horses.

Wordology, Nibling

Nibling is a gender-neutral term for a niece or nephew.

Science vs. Science

Researchers have discovered that healthy men and women continue to produce new neurons throughout life, suggesting older people remain more cognitively and emotionally intact than previously believed. For decades it was thought that adult brains were unable to form new cells, but a Columbia University study found older people continued to produce neurons in the hippocampus, a part of the brain important for memory, emotion, and cognition - at a similar rate to young people. However, the researchers also noted fewer blood vessels and connections between cells in the older brains.

The research results come a month after a University of California study suggested adults do not develop new neurons.