Jan 24, 2020

Happy Friday

Happiness does not need rules. It is unfettered by constraint.

I love to be unfettered, especially on a Happy Friday!

Chatelaines, Handbags and Reticules

Handbags originated from the loose, small bags or pouches people carried around centuries ago. Clothes did not have pockets at the time and people created the pouches to keep their money and other items them safe. The pouches were often attached to a belt worn around the waist.

During the 16th century, women dumped the pouches for small pieces of metal called chatelaines. They hung their keys and sewing materials on the chatelaines, which were worn under their skirts. Women dumped the chatelaines for reticules in the 18th century. The reticules (also called indispensables) were drawstring handbags ; usually made of net, beading or brocade and used in 18th and 19th centuries.

The modern handbag appeared in the early 1900s. The name was coined from the hand held bags men carried around. Fashion designers of the day used the male handbags to create handbags for women. These feminine handbags had fasteners and were separated into compartments to make them more practical. The male handbag soon gave way to the female handbag.

Metric Growing

Almost all of the more than 200 countries in the world use the metric system when describing things like length or mass. However, there are three countries that stand out: Liberia, Myanmar (Burma), and the United States.

Soon, that number might be down to two. In 2018, Liberia commerce and industry minister Wilson Tarpeh said the government plans to adopt the metric system in order to promote accountability and transparency in trade.

Exact World Population

As of 2019, the overall human population was estimated to be more than 7.7 billion people. It had taken all of human history until around 1800 for world population to reach one billion, the second billion was achieved in 130 years (1930), the third billion in 30 years (1960), the fourth billion in 15 years (1974), and the fifth billion in only 13 years (1987), six billion in 12 years (1999) and, seven billion in 12 years (2011). As of this morning world population was 7,756,548,011. Incidentally, the growth rate is declining.


To watch the increase in real time, you can see the World Population Clock web site, which shows as babies are born and other people die. You can also see the current populations of different countries, including China (1,436,000,000+), India (1,373,000,000+), and the U.S. (330,000,000+). Watch the numbers and you can see India has faster birth rate than China.  LINK

Panda Facts

All Pandas in all the zoos around the world are owned by China and loaned to the zoos. Male pandas do a handstand when urinating, because when they pee on a tree, higher means more dominance.

US Supreme Court Facts

Recently a presidential contender said he would appoint Barack Obama to the Supreme Court. Obama is not a lawyer and has never been a judge, so I looked up qualifications required.
There are no explicit requirements in the U.S. Constitution for a person to be nominated to become a Supreme Court justice. No age, education, law degree, job experience, or citizenship rules exist.

To date, six justices have been foreign born; the most recent. The youngest associate justice ever appointed was Joseph Story, who was 32 years old when he joined the bench in 1811. Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who served from 1902 to 1932, retired at age 90, making him the oldest person ever to sit on the court. One thing every justice who has served shares in common is that all were lawyers (although not required) prior to joining the court. During the 18th and 19th centuries, before attending law school was standard practice, many future justices got their legal training by studying under a mentor.


James Byrnes, who served on the court from 1941 to 1942, was the last justice who did not attend law school or graduate from high school. He worked as a law clerk and later passed the bar exam. Justices are appointed for life but can be impeached.

Incidentally, during recent years, the court has received some 10,000 annual requests to review cases, but hears only about 80.

Largest Armies

With more than 2 million personnel, China’s army is the largest. The second largest is from India with about 1.4 million, the U.S. army comes in third with about 1.3 million. Russia is fourth with about 900,000.

Signing 2020

Have seen this in a number of places and thought I would pass along, in case you missed it. According to law enforcement, this habit could put you at major risk of fraud.
When signing and dating legal documents, do not use 20 as the year 2020.
The problem stems from the ease at which the year 20 can be changed to any date from the last two decades. For example 02/01/20 could easily be changed to 02/01/2019, 02/01/2016, etc., giving scammers a chance to defraud you. Of course that was also true of using 19 as it could have been changed to 1991, etc, but that would make the dates changed to much older.


Incidentally, using 02/29/20 would be a bit less of a problem due to the lower number of leap years. Just had to add that tidbit as 2020 is a leap year. Ha.

Auld Lang Syne

Most people do not know any of the lyrics beyond the first stanza and chorus of this traditional New Year's Eve song 'Auld Lang Syne'. During 1788 Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote down the traditional lyrics and added some of his own.
Auld lang syne literally means "old long since," or "long, long ago." The phrase "for auld lang syne" translates to "for old time's sake."
The first line of the song is a question: Should we forget our old friends?
The answer is in the chorus:
For auld lang syne, my jo (For old time's sake, my dear)
For auld lang syne (For old time's sake)
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet (We'll take a cup of kindness yet)
For auld lang syne (For old time's sake)

The remainder of the lyrics sound as though they are spoken to an old friend. That unusual verse actually means, "We two have paddled in the stream / From morning sun 'til dinner time." The singer is reminiscing about all the fun he and the friend have had together.
The last verse concludes: And we'll tak' a right gude-willie waught (And we'll take a good-will drink, alright) For auld lang syne (For old time's sake).
The tradition of singing Auld Lang Syne on New Year's Eve came from Scottish immigrants who brought the custom with them when they moved abroad. It is traditional to sing the song just before midnight as a reminder that, even though the New Year is coming and we are about to face new delights and challenges, we should not forget where we came from.


Auld Lang Syne is also sung at social gatherings like weddings or funerals.

Old 2020 Predictions

In 1990, The Washington Post reported in a front page story: "Carbon dioxide is the gas most responsible for predictions that Earth will warm on average by about 3 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2020." It further warned: "The United States, because it occupies a large continent in higher latitudes, could warm by as much as 6 degrees Fahrenheit." Thirty years later, 2020 has finally arrived. The Earth has warmed about 1 degree Fahrenheit according to NASA. The United States also warmed roughly 1 degree.
- CNN ran a headline in 2003 titled 'World oil and gas 'running out'. The New York Times reported in 1989 that "untapped pools of domestic oil are finite and dwindling," and that "William Stevens, the president of Exxon U.S.A., said ... by the year 2020 there would not be enough domestic oil left 'to keep me interested.'" Both U.S. oil output and U.S. proven oil reserves are dramatically higher now than they were in 1989.
- "It's now estimated that by the year 2020, there will be no glaciers of Mt. Kilimanjaro," the U.N. Environment Program, told CNN in 2003. In 2001, glaciologist Lonnie Thompson predicted the snows of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania would disappear within the next 20 years.”  Today, Kilimanjaro's glaciers are still there, according to a 2019 paper in the Journal Ecology and Evolution that includes photos and another new timetable: "most of glaciers on Kilimanjaro ... will most likely disappear within 25 years."

- Reuters headline in 1997: "Millions will die unless climate policies change." The report said 8 million people would die by 2020, citing a prediction in the Lancet medical journal. “None of these predictions came true, and aren't even close to coming true,” said Roy Spencer, a climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. “It's amazing that the public can continue to believe apocalyptic predictions despite a 95 percent decline in weather-related deaths in the last 100 years.”

Personal Online Privacy

Beginning New Year’s Day, you may have noticed a small change to some of the websites you visit: a button or link, probably at the bottom of the page, for privacy policy and/or reading “Do Not Sell My Personal Information.” The California Consumer Privacy Act defines personal information broadly, including, but not limited to identifiers (name, address, online identifier, IP address, etc), purchasing history, geolocation, audio/video, biometric data, inferences made about your personality or psychological trends. The act also allows Californians to see the sources of that data, the types of third parties data is shared with, and how it has been categorized.

It empowers consumers to access the personal data that companies have collected on them, to demand that it be deleted, and to prevent it from being sold to third parties. Since it is a lot more work to create a separate infrastructure just for California residents to opt out of the data collection industry, these requirements will likely transform the internet for most users. Unless you love ads, take advantage and opt out.

New Olympic Events 2020

The summer Olympics and Paralympics Tokyo 2020 will feature four new sports: karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. Baseball and softball, which had previously been played in earlier games, will both return. Incidentally, just like the London Olympics, it will be broadcast in many places as 8K or 4K. Japan currently has a 4K and a 24hour 8K station broadcasting daily since December 2018. 8K also includes 22.2 channel sound.

Interesting January Events

Start your year with some amazing facts to impress your family, friends, and neighbors.
January 2, 1975 - The U.S. Patent Office was renamed "U.S. Patent and Trademark Office" to incorporate its new function as a trademarking center.
January 3, 1967 - Harry Thomason received a patent for an apparatus for cooling and heating a house using solar energy.
January 5, 1965 - "Home of the Whopper" was trademarked by Burger King.

January 7, 1913 - Patent was granted to William Burton for the manufacture of gasoline.

January 9, 1906 - Campbell's soup was trademark registered.

January 13, 1930 - The first Mickey Mouse cartoon appeared in U.S.

January 17, 1882 - Leroy Firman received a patent for the telephone switchboard.

January 20, 1929 - "In Old Arizona," the first outdoor feature-length talking motion picture, was made.

January 21, 1954 - The first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched.

January 24, 1935 - The first canned beer, "Krueger Cream Ale," was sold by the Kruger Brewing Company of Richmond, VA.

January 26, 1875 - The first electric dental drill was patented by George Green.

January 27, 1880 - Patent was granted to Thomas A. Edison for "an electric lamp for giving light by incandescence."


January 28, 1807 - London's Pall Mall became the first street lit by gaslight.

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 or more of my books and spend the day filling your brain with more exciting, interesting, and random trivia.

Keeping Cooked Chicken

According to food expert Janilyn Hutchings, StateFoodSafety food scientist and Certified Professional in Food Safety, cooked chicken will last in the refrigerator for three to four days.

According to the USDA, chicken should be refrigerated within two hours of it being cooked and one hour if the temperature of the environment is 90 degrees or over. The USDA also advises to reheat leftovers to 165 degrees.

If you know you will not get around to eating it before it is time to toss, another option is to put it in the freezer and it will stay good for up to six months. The USDA suggests that if you are freezing chicken, make sure it is wrapped tightly with a freezer-safe covering.

Canary Island Facts

The Canary Islands were named after canary birds, but the location was actually named after dogs. Although it is off the coast of northwestern Africa, the archipelago is part of Spain. In Spanish, the area's name is Islas Canarias, which comes from the Latin phrase Canariae Insulae for "island of dogs."

2020 Quirk

Because of a quirk in our calendar, which began on January 1 at year 1 (1AD) we have some question about when a specific named decade begins and ends. Since there was no year 0, between year 1 BC and year 1 AD, it can be confusing.

A decade, by definition is ten years, regardless when you begin counting, but decade names begin in the “1” year, not the “0” year. The 2020s will begin in 2020, but the next named decade will begin in 2021. When the year is 2021, 2020 years would have passed since the beginning of our calendar at year one.

2020 is also a leap year, so we get to enjoy an additional day of fun next year.

Incidentally, Chronom├ętrophilia, the Swiss Association for the History of Timekeeping, pointed out a practical shortcut applies to the century system. "The 20th [Century] started with 1901, ended with 2000, so the two first digits of the last year of any century give it its name."

Year ending in 1 is named decade and year ending in 0 is century.

Explode vs. Implode

Take a plastic bottle. Fill it with water until it is full. Continue filling it with water - plastic will expand, stretch, and eventually burst. This is an explosion, an outward expansion.

Now take same bottle, and suck air out of it. Keep sucking air out, creating vacuum, and pulling sides of the bottle inside. The bottle is experiencing an implosion, an inward expansion.

To add to this - if you EXplode a building, debris ends up everywhere - spread out for many yards/meters. If you IMplode a building, 99% of the debris falls into the footprint of the building.

Two Way Mirror Tricks

Move up to the mirror and place your fingertip or nail against it. If the reflection of your finger directly touches your finger, it is a two-way mirror. If there is about 1 centimeter of distance between your finger and the reflection, it is not.
Another way is turn the lights off in the room, then place a bright flashlight against the mirror surface. If there is a hidden chamber behind the mirror, the flashlight will illuminate it, and since you are in a darkened room, you will see the hidden room. Of course, any mirror hung in front of a wall will be a mirror and pane of glass installed into the wall, like any other window, will have window framing.


The recommended lighting ratio for surveillance purposes is 10:1, with the subject side being ten times brighter than the observer side.

Man on the Moon

There is one human whose ashes are on the moon. Eugene Shoemaker is often credited with inventing the field of planetary science and after a career filled with stellar accomplishments, he spent his days traveling around the world to study impact craters. He trained the astronauts headed to the Moon and named many of the craters, valleys, and mountains on the Moon.

When he passed away in 1997 his wife sent his ashes to the moon in a metal cylinder that was inscribed with a quote from Romeo and Juliet: "And, when he shall die/Take him and cut him out in little stars/And he will make the face of heaven so fine/That all the world will be in love with night/And pay no worship to the garish sun."

Since his ashes were interred on the Moon, Shoemaker has remained the only person ever buried on an extraterrestrial surface.

Compost Your Remains

A new Washington State law was the first-in-the-nation, to legalize the practice of “natural organic reduction” of human remains. A Seattle-based company named Recompose opens in 2021, offering $5,500 services that turn a human body into one cubic yard of soil during the course of 30 days. Families of the deceased can take as much soil as they like and any remainder goes to sustaining conservation land in the Puget Sound region. It claims the (not-so-cheap) service is a more eco-friendly way to go.

Largest Libraries

The British Library with 170 to 200 million items is the largest library in the world.


The US Library of Congress is the second largest library in the world with more than 168 million items in 450 languages, followed by the Library and Archives Canada with 55 million items, the New York Public Library with 54 million items, Shanghai Library with 50 million items, and the Russian State Library with 47 million items.

What's in a Name, FISA

Many headlines have used FISA during the past few years, but a good number of people do not really know what it is. It is a United States federal law that establishes procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance and collection of "foreign intelligence information" between "foreign powers" and "agents of foreign powers" suspected of espionage or terrorism. The Act created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to oversee requests for surveillance warrants by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) permits the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect massive amounts of internet communications and associated data. NSA was founded in 1952 and is a member of the Defense Department and an Intelligence Community agency. Its goals are to discover adversaries' secrets, protect U.S. secrets, and outmaneuver our adversaries in cyberspace while at the same time protecting the privacy rights of the American people.