Apr 26, 2019

Happy Friday

If you cannot change, how can you discover that each day is better than the last?

Today is a better day to celebrate a Happy Friday!

Tesla Space Roadster Progress

Elon Musk is so difficult to keep up with as he spreads his time between massive projects that each would consume other mere mortals.

His space roadster and Starman was one of those projects that we marveled at, but has since almost slipped from memory. It has traveled more than a half million miles so far. Here is a site that is still tracking the vehicle as it continues to fly in orbit around the sun at a speed of 13,561 mi/h.  LINK

National Pretzel Day

April 26 is National Pretzel Day. Most people agree that pretzels have a Christian background, and they were developed by the monks. According to The History of Science and Technology, in 610 AD, an Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children who learn their prayers. He called the strips of baked dough, folded to resemble arms crossing the chest, pretiola (little rewards).
The Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants introduced pretzels to North America in the 19th century. At this time, many handmade pretzel bakeries populated central Pennsylvania, and their popularity quickly spread.

Grapefruit Juice and Drugs

Why many prescription medications include the warning, “do not take with grapefruit juice.”

The reason is because grapefruit juice messes with your body’s ability to properly metabolize the medicine. It blocks a crucial enzyme (CYP3A4) that controls how much of the medicine you receive. Drinking even one glass of grapefruit juice throws off the safe dose. Basically, it is subject to a potentially dramatic increase in systemic exposure and associated higher risk of overdose with grapefruit as a result of diminished the CYP3A4 activity, primarily in the small intestine, rather than in the liver.

Kohl's Accepts Amazon Returns

Kohl’s announced that it will start accepting Amazon returns at all 1,150 of its stores starting in July 2019. There is no extra charge for the service.
Kohl’s and Amazon started experimenting with a collaboration on brick-and-mortar returns back in 2017, allowing customers to take back items purchased on Amazon even if those items were already out of their Amazon shipping boxes.
Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass explained in a press release that the partnership with Amazon, called 'Amazon Returns', is “delivering innovation,” and perhaps more importantly, driving traffic to Kohl’s stores.
The announcement from Kohl’s is careful to note that the company will only accept “eligible” returns, which means that you cannot return things you bought on Amazon from a third-party. If your item was sent from an Amazon warehouse, you are probably safe to return it, but you must double-check by heading to the Amazon Returns Center online.

Kohl’s started carrying Amazon products in over 200 stores last month, including the Amazon Fire tablet, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, the Echo Dot, and the Echo Show.

Wordology, EPCOT

Back during 1966 Walt Disney had an idea for part of his theme park in Florida. He planned for it to be an actual community and called it EPCOT. Most folks have forgotten or never knew what that meant or if it was just a word. On Disney World’s website, “Epcot” actually is not written in all caps, which would suggest that it is not an acronym. However, it is an acronym for “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.” Now you know.

Incidentally, Walt Disney might have been the first to put gloves on his characters. In addition to being easier to animate, he also did not want Mickey to have mouse hands, because he was supposed to be more human.

More Things You Think Cause Cancer but Do Not

Power lines emit both electric and magnetic energy, but do not cause cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute's fact sheet on Electromagnetic Fields and Cancer. 'The electric energy emitted by power lines is easily shielded or weakened by walls and other objects. The magnetic energy emitted by power lines is a low-frequency form of radiation that does not damage genes.

Slicing a tumor does not cause it to spread. During 2005, nearly 41 percent of people surveyed by the American Cancer Society said they believed that surgery to remove cancer actually caused cancer to spread, and an additional 13 percent were not sure. Surgeons use special protocols to prevent cancer cells from migrating during surgical procedures. Also, cancer replicates and metastasizes on its own, not with the help of a scalpel.

Exposure to air does not cause cancer to spread. "There is no scientific data supporting that theory," says Blair Marshall, MD, thoracic surgeon, on oncolink.com. Dr. Marshall writes that the theory stems from situations where cancer patients have surgery and then later die of metastatic cancer. "In actuality," Dr. Marshall reports, "if the patient had not undergone any surgery at all, they still would have developed widespread disease." This belief is more prevalent and difficult to disentangle in under-served groups, according to the study, and may contribute to disparities in cancer outcomes in those groups.

Optimum Oreo Dunk Time

Members of Utah State University’s Splash Lab, an academic group studying the behaviors of fluids put Oreos to the test.
Three researchers gathered Oreos, Chips Ahoy, Nutter Butter, and Graham Crackers and dipped the cookies halfway in 2 percent milk for half a second to seven seconds. After dunking, the team weighed the treats and measured how much milk had been absorbed.
The results: Oreos absorbed 50 percent of their potential liquid weight in just one second. After two seconds, they absorbed 80 percent. The number flatlined briefly for a second. After the fourth second, the cookie maxed out: It absorbed all its possible milk. “This data indicates that for the tested cookies, keeping your cookie in the glass any longer than five seconds does not lead to any additional milk entering the cookies,” their study suggested.

Three seconds is enough time to saturate most of an Oreo. There is no benefit to dunking longer than four seconds. To increase dunk time, use high-fat dairy, such as whole milk (3.25 percent butterfat) or half-and-half (about 10 percent butterfat).


During 2010, an interesting study was conducted at Wayne State University. Its purpose was to find out if a smile could influence humans’ life expectancy. Scientists studied baseball cards with famous baseball players produced before 1950. It turned out that players who did not smile lived around 72.9 years, players with a slight smile lived 75 years, and those with really wide smiles lived 79.9 years. Hmmm.

There is a connection between a smile and mood: even if you are forced to smile, you start feeling better. A wide smile equals 2,000 bars of chocolate. Our smile can influence others. People cannot keep scowling if you smile in front of them. Smiling is contagious, so we lose control over our facial muscles and smile back. A smiling person also looks more attractive and professional.

Apr 19, 2019

Happy Friday

Take the end of each day to bed with you and it will transform overnight to a wonderful new day.

This is especially true when you wake up on a Happy Friday!

International Cannabis Culture Day

April 20 is the official cannabis celebration day. Carl's Jr. says it is debuting a cannabis-infused burger on 4/20. The "Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight" will be topped with CBD-infused "Santa Fe Sauce" and sold at one location in Denver for a single day. It will cost $4.20.

Other April 20 Birthdays and Events:

Hitler (born 1889),
George Takei (star Trek's Sulu (born 1937)
1775 American Revolutionary War
Carmen Electra [Tara Leigh Patrick] (born 1972)
1972 – Apollo 16 lands on the moon.
2008 – Danica Patrick wins the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race.
Alfred Hawthorne "Benny" Hill, English comedian and actor (born 1924) D 4/20/1992
Cantinflas, Mexican actor, producer, and screenwriter (born 1911) D 4/20/1993

Wordology, Chyron

The pronunciation is Keeron. It is a caption superimposed over usually the lower part of a video image (as during a news broadcast) or any predominantly text-based video graphic as used mainly by television news broadcasts that typically resides in the lower third.

Although it is often used generically, it actually comes from the name of the company whose software allows television producers to add those crawling words, phrases, and images to their broadcasts.

What's in a Name, Blackberry

The creators thought its keyboard somewhat resembled the skin of a blackberry and an employee suggested that for a name. It was accepted.

Nine Things People Think Cause Cancer but Do Not

The wax on apples
is used to extend shelf life and to make the fruit look enticing. Although some claim the wax is carcinogenic, it is not. While there are some credible concerns about carcinogenic pesticides that might be trapped under the wax, you can take care of that problem by rinsing fruits with water and scrubbing them with a soft brush.

Disposable chopsticks internet rumor began circulating that disposable wooden chopsticks contain carcinogens, including sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide is not a carcinogen. If you do not want to ingest sulfur dioxide you might consider using reusable chopsticks, or a fork.
The cold water viral rumor has been going around that drinking cold water after meals can cause cancer. It does not. The email claims that cold water interferes with digestion, and somehow that causes cancer. No research anywhere backs up this nonsense claim.
Supposedly if water is boiled for too long or reboiled, chemical compounds form, including carcinogens like arsenic. Consuming re-boiled, clean, uncontaminated drinking water will not cause cancer or poison you or your family. As long as your water comes from a source that is regularly inspected, you can boil it as many times as you want.

The claim is that turning on the AC in your car after your car has been running will spew benzene, a carcinogen into the cabin. There are zero studies demonstrating that well-maintained cars contain or produce benzene through their air conditioning system in sufficient quantities to have any carcinogenic impact.
Some studies indicate that constant exposure to hair dyes can put hairdressers and barbers at a higher risk of bladder cancer. There is no scientific evidence that coloring your hair, even regularly increases your risk of cancer. The only reason to extend the time between hair coloring appointments is to save time and expense.
Occasionally the idea crops up that shampoo causes cancer, because it contains the foaming agent sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate. Also found in hair conditioner, soap, and various cleaning products, SLS may damage your hair, but not your genes. It is definitely not a carcinogen, reports the American Cancer Society.
The National Cancer Institute is clear: There is no truth to the rumor that antiperspirant causes cancer. 'The best studies so far have found no evidence linking the chemicals typically found in antiperspirants and deodorants with changes in breast tissue,' the institute reports in a fact sheet titled Antiperspirants Deodorants and Breast Cancer.

People have long been suspicious of cell phones, but there is no need to be. The American Cancer Society explains, cancer grows through genetic mutations, and cell phones emit a type of low-frequency energy that is not capable of damaging the DNA inside cells. Although researchers continue to study this potential link, there are no reputable findings linking cell phones and cancer risk.

Apr 12, 2019

Happy Friday

If you worry about what Was or what Will Be, you miss what Is.

Do not miss the chance to be happy, especially on a Happy Friday!

What's in a Name, Corned Beef

There is no corn in corned beef. Corned beef and cabbage, a staple for Irish and other Americans, does not have anything to do with the grain corn. It is due to the large grains of salt that were historically used to cure meats. They were known as corns.

Hawaii Spam Jam

Every April, Spam fans from across the globe find their way to the island of Oahu to pay homage to their favorite mystery meat. The Waikiki Spam Jam is Hawaii’s largest food festival, and the largest Spam celebration in the world. More Spam is consumed in Hawaii than in any other state. Streets are lined with vendors selling an assortment of meaty dishes, from traditional Spam musubi (sliced or grilled Spam on top of rice), sizzling slices of pizza topped with Spam, Spam flan, and chocolate-covered Spam.

However, it is not the only one. You can find a smaller, week-long Spam party in Austin, Minnesota, the birthplace of the iconic meaty mash. Also, Spam has become a staple of South Korean life, and is now the biggest consumer of it outside the US. Spam is available in 41 countries. 

World War I Kleenex

Doctors decided to use gas mask filters as disposable handkerchiefs after the war. “Items created for the war often had to be re-purposed following the war, and one of those items is Kleenex, which was actually the crepe paper used in the filters of gas masks.

During the influenza epidemic following the war, paper goods company Kimberly-Clark re-purposed the paper as a disposable product for people to sneeze into and limit the spread of bodily fluids. Although it is a brand name, Kleenex is used to refer to any facial tissue.

Hashish vs. Marijuana

Hashish is also called ghanja or hash on the street. Hashish is derived from the dried resin (or kief) of the flowering tops of mature and unpollinated female cannabis plants.  These resin glands, known as trichomes or crystals, produce a powdery substance rich in the properties of cannabis. Kief is usually pressed into blocks known as cakes. These cakes are then smoked, with the consumer using a small amount of the block each time. Hash is smoked using pipes, or else it is vaporized and inhaled, or mixed with marijuana in joints.
Marijuana is made up of a mixture of the dried shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Hash is made up of only the collected and compressed trichomes of the plant. These trichomes are the most potent part of the cannabis plant, so hashish is stronger than marijuana.

Marijuana may generally have a potency of 10-20 percent THC while hashish can range from 20 percent to 60 percent THC. Because they come from the same plants, if marijuana is legal, hashish is legal.

Sharpie Hacks

When you have a switch or outlet cover plate off, write its circuit breaker number with a Sharpie on the back of the plate for future reference. You can also add the info on the breaker box.

Label stuff in your fridge or pantry with a Sharpie with the date you opened it. This is a good way to get rid of very old items.


Fly off the Handle - This comes from the days before mass manufacturing. Poorly built axe heads would occasionally soar off of their handles, leading to dangerous and unpredictable results.
Steal Someone's Thunder - This idiom comes from the early 1700s, when an English playwright named John Dennis used a device to imitate the sound of thunder for one of his plays. The play was a flop, but other playwrights started using the device for their own plays to greater success.
Under the Weather - Modern speakers use this to refer to any kind of illness, for sailors it meant seasickness. The original phrase was "under the weather bow," referring to the side of the ship that took the brunt of bad weather. When storms made for choppy water, sailors would head below deck to brace themselves and try to stave off seasickness.
Ride Shotgun - English speakers use this to mean sitting in the passenger seat of a car. The phrase dates back to the early 1900s in the Wild West when the person sitting beside the driver in a coach would often carry a shotgun for protection.
Barking Up the Wrong Tree - In the early 1800s, dogs were commonly used for hunting. When a dog would identify prey that had run up a tree, the dog would bark at it furiously. When the prey jumped to a different tree, the dog would be left at the base of the original tree, confused, barking up at nothing.

Jump on the Bandwagon - The origin of this idiom dates back to the 1848 U.S. Presidential election when a famed circus owner supported the campaign of Whig Party candidate Zachary Taylor by inviting him on his horse-drawn carriage carrying a live orchestra during a parade to advertise his message and meet potential voters. Other members of Taylor's party realized what a good idea this was, and clamored to join him on the bandwagon during future parades.

Six More Body Facts

A human skeleton renews itself completely every 10 years.
By the time a person reaches 70 years old, he or she will have consumed over 12,000 gallons of water.
The body can detect taste in .0015 seconds, which is faster than the blink of an eye.
Every hour, humans shed about 600,000 particles of skin, or about 1.5 pounds every year. By the time a person is 70 years old, they will have lost about 105 pounds of skin.
There are ten times more bacteria cells in your body than human cells.

The brain contains 86 billion nerve cells joined by 100 trillion connections. This is more than the number of stars in the Milky Way.

Happiness Class

Yale's most popular class ever, "The Science of Well-Being," was designed by professor Laurie Santos.  She collected all the psychological science related to happiness and came up with a step-by-step process for boosting your own happiness.
The class has already been taken by more than 225,000 students online. About one in four students at Yale have taken it since it was first offered. Santos designed the course for three reasons: to synthesize what psychologists have learned about making our lives better, to help undergrads overcome stress and unhappiness on campus, and to live a better life herself.
A few exercises include:
Focus on your strengths - Identify your signature strengths and refocus on them each day. Studies show happiness increases and depression decreases when a person uses his or her signature strengths regularly.

Invest in experiences - Going for a walk or traveling to a new place are much better investments in terms of happiness than buying material things. Your stuff loses "happiness value" almost as soon as you have purchased it. Paying for experiences, however, has multiple benefits for happiness, including the anticipation of the experience leads to more happiness and joy. Also, talking about the experience afterward with friends reignites your own happy memories and, sharing these tales with friends tends to boost their happiness, too.

Apr 5, 2019

Happy Friday

Destiny is a decision and so is Happiness.

I always decide to be happy and celebrate a Happy Friday!

Butte vs. Mesa vs. Plateau

A butte is a prominent isolated hill with steep sides and a small, flat top. The word “butte" comes from a French word meaning “small hill." Buttes are taller than they are wide

A mesa is distinguished from the butte by its much larger size. Buttes usually have a surface area of less than 10,000 square feet. Mesas can have as much as four square miles of surface area. Mesas are wider than they are tall.

Many plateaus form as magma deep inside the earth pushes toward the surface, but fails to break through the crust. Instead, the magma lifts up the large, flat, impenetrable rock above it.

Butte: a small isolated piece of highland.
Mesa: a large isolated piece of highland.
Plateau: a large area of highlands, not necessarily isolated (often delimited in just one side by a cliff).

Vegan Vegetarian Study

According to a poll of 11,000 Americans, 84 percent of vegetarians and vegans return to eating meat.

Eggplants are Berries

In botany, a berry is a fleshy fruit without a stone produced from a single flower containing one ovary. Berries so defined include grapes, currants, and tomatoes, as well as cucumbers, eggplants, and bananas, but exclude certain fruits commonly called berries, such as strawberries and raspberries.

By this definition, oranges, kumquats, blueberries, and even tomatoes can be considered part of the berry family. The term berry refers generically to any small, edible fruit with multiple seeds. Aggregate fruits, such as the blackberry, the raspberry, and the boysenberry, which develop from several ovaries are berries in this sense, but not in the botanical sense.

Spacesuit Facts

According to NASA:
A spacesuit is also known as Extravehicular Mobility Unit.
Spacesuits provide protection from extreme temperature to providing a pressurized environment for astronaut body.
Spacesuits are puncture proof.
A spacesuit weighs approximately 280 pounds on the ground - without the astronaut in it. In the micro-gravity environment of space, a spacesuit weighs nothing.

They have an internal pouch attached to contain urine. They have a separate pouch for drinking water.

Shuttle spacesuit materials include ortho-fabric, aluminized mylar, neoprene-coated nylon, dacron, urethane-coated nylon, tricot, nylon/spandex, stainless steel, and high-strength composite materials.
Putting on a spacesuit takes 45 minutes, including the time it takes to put on the special undergarments that help keep astronauts cool. After putting on the spacesuit, to adapt to the lower pressure maintained in the suit, the astronaut must spend a little more than an hour breathing pure oxygen before going outside the pressurized module.
The reason that spacesuits are white is because white reflects heat in space the same as it does on earth. Temperatures in direct sunlight in space can be more than 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
It has a liquid cooling and ventilation system inside the spacesuit.
No difference exists in a male's or female's suit, other than size.
Spacesuits are designed to be made of many interchangeable parts, to accommodate the large number of astronauts with widely varying body sizes.

Body measurements of each astronaut are taken, then the measurements are plotted against the size ranges available for each spacesuit component.

Did You Know

JAB Holding, a German private conglomerate, headquartered in Luxembourg owns Bruegger's Bagels, Einstein Brothers Bagels, Panera Bread, Krispy Kreme, Peet’s Coffee, Caribou Coffee, Stumptown Coffee, Clearasil, Dr. Pepper, Snapple, 7Up, Sunkist, Au Bon Pain, Calgon, Keurig Green Mountain, Mighty Leaf Tea, and Bally, among others.

Wordology, Red Herring

The actual origin of the figurative sense of the phrase can be traced back to the early 1800s. Around this time, English journalist William Cobbett wrote a presumably fictional story about how he had used red herring as a boy to throw hounds off the scent of a hare.

An extended version of this story was printed in 1833, and the idiom spread from there. Although many people are more familiar with red herrings in pop culture, they also crop up in political spheres and debates of all kinds. Robert J. Gula, the author of Nonsense: Red Herrings, Straw Men and Sacred Cows: How We Abuse Logic in Our Everyday Language, defines a red herring as "a detail or remark inserted into a discussion, either intentionally or unintentionally, that sidetracks the discussion."

The goal is to distract the listener or opponent from the original topic and it is considered a type of flawed reasoning or, more fancifully, a logical fallacy.

Aspirin and Heart Attacks

Taking an low-dose aspirin every day to prevent a heart attack or stroke is no longer recommended for most older adults, according to guidelines released a few weeks ago. Doctors said for decades that a daily 75 to 100 milligrams of aspirin could prevent cardiovascular problems, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association just reversed that idea.

This change comes after a large clinical trial found a daily low-dose aspirin had no effect on prolonging life in healthy, elderly people, and actually suggested the pills could be linked to major hemorrhages. The recommendations say low-dose aspirin should not be given to prevent atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease on a routine basis to adults older than 70 or any adult with an increased risk of bleeding.

“Clinicians should be very selective in prescribing aspirin for people without known cardiovascular disease,” Roger Blumenthal, co-chair of the new guidelines said in a statement. "It’s much more important to optimize lifestyle habits and control blood pressure and cholesterol as opposed to recommending aspirin."

Only select people with a high risk of cardiovascular disease and low risk of bleeding might continue using the pain killer as a preventative, as told by their doctor, Blumenthal said. I you are taking one, consult your doctor before quitting.

Seven More Body Facts

In an adult human, 25% of bones are in the feet.
The gluteus maximus in the buttocks is the body’s largest muscle.
A human’s ears and nose never stop growing.
A human’s little finger contributes over fifty percent of the hand’s strength.
If a human being’s DNA were uncoiled, it would stretch 10 billion miles, from Earth to Pluto and back.
There are more than 100,000 miles of blood vessels in your body.

For an adult human, taking one step uses up to 200 muscles. I am already tired just thinking about it.