May 29, 2020


Continuous and Continual - Continuous and continual are not the same, although they are similar. As Grammarist notes, things that happen without any interruption (like the flowing of a river) are continuous, while things that happen regularly with breaks in between (like bus departures) are continual.

Farther and Further - The difference between farther and further might be subtle, but it is important. Though both words mean "more distant," farther refers to physical distance, and further refers to figurative distance.

Allusion and Illusion - An allusion is a reference, most often one made in literature. An illusion, on the other hand, is a mirage or some other sort of deceptive appearance.

Evoke and Invoke - Evoke and invoke both come from the Latin word vocare for "call," so it makes sense that they are two of the most commonly confused words in the English language. These verbs are not interchangeable.
Evoke means "to call forth" and is typically used in reference to memories or emotions. Invoke, meanwhile, means "to call upon" and is most often heard in a court of law.

Alcohol and Brain Cells

Alcohol does not necessarily kill brain cells. Alcohol can, however, lead indirectly to the death of brain cells in two ways: In chronic, heavy alcohol users whose brains have adapted to the effects of alcohol, abrupt cessation following heavy use can cause excitotoxicity leading to cellular death in multiple areas of the brain. In alcoholics who get most of their daily calories from alcohol, a deficiency of thiamine can produce Korsakoff's syndrome, which is associated with serious brain damage.

Bacon Facts

The first bacon factory opened in 1770. For generations, local farmers and butchers made bacon for their local communities. In England, where it became a dietary staple, bacon was typically "dry cured" with salt and then smoked. In the late 18th century, a businessman named John Harris opened the first bacon processing plant in the county of Wiltshire, where he developed a special brining solution for finishing the meat. The "Wiltshire Cure" method is still used today, and is a favorite of bacon lovers who prefer a sweeter, less salty taste.
The phrase "bringing home the bacon" dates back centuries. These days the phrase refers to making money, but its origins have nothing to do with income. In 12th century England, churches would award a flitch, or a side, of bacon to any married man who swore before God that he and his wife had not argued for a year and a day. Men who "brought home the bacon" were seen as exemplary citizens and husbands.
Bacon was used to make explosives during World War II. In addition to planting victory gardens and buying war bonds, households were encouraged to donate their leftover bacon grease to the war effort. Rendered fats created glycerin, which in turn created bombs, gunpowder, and other munitions. A promotional film starring Minnie Mouse and Pluto chided housewives for throwing out more than 2 billion pounds of bacon grease every year: "That’s enough glycerin for 10 billion rapid-fire cannon shells."
Hardee's Frisco burger was a game-changer for bacon. Bacon took a beating in the 1980s, when dieting trends took aim at saturated fats and cholesterol. By the '90s, Americans were ready to indulge again. Hardee’s Frisco Burger, one of the first fast-food burgers served with bacon, came out in 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 the Frisco Burger "a momentous event for fast food, and bacon’s fate, in America."
The average American consumes 18 pounds of bacon each year. Savory, salty, and appropriately retro: The past couple of years have been a bonanza for bacon, with more than three quarters of restaurants now serving bacon dishes, and everything from candy canes to gumballs are now flavored with bacon. Recent reports linking processed meats to increased cancer risk have put a dent in consumption, and may have a prolonged effect. But America’s love affair with bacon continues.
There is a Church of Bacon. This officially sanctioned church boasts more than 25,000 members under the commandment "Praise Bacon." It is more a rallying point for atheists and skeptics than for bacon lovers, per se, and there is no official location, but the church does perform wedding ceremonies and fundraisers, and has raised thousands of dollars for charity. All bacon praise is welcome.
There is also a bacon camp. Bacon camp is like summer camp, but with less canoeing and more bacon cooking. Held every year in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Camp Bacon features speakers, cooking classes, and other bacon-related activities for chefs and enthusiasts eager to learn more about their favorite food.

Modern technology wants to help you wake up and smell the bacon. An ingenious combination of toaster and alarm clock, the Wake 'n Bacon made waves a few years back with the promise of waking up to fresh-cooked bacon. Sadly, the product never made it past the prototype phase, but those intent on rising to that smoky, savory aroma were able to pick up Oscar Mayer’s special app, which came with a scent-emitting attachment.

Email Disclosure

You cannot rope someone into a binding legal agreement without their consent simply by e-mailing them. Those disclaimers at the end of emails only have weight (legal or otherwise) if all participants/recipients of the e-mail have explicitly agreed to abide by such disclaimers. Common examples include: Internal e-mails of a company where this is company policy; As a result of a preexisting contractual agreement;

There are plenty of other reasons why it might be illegal to reveal the contents of an e-mail (e.g. sensitive information) but the "weight" there comes from existing laws, not any sort of disclaimer.

The point of the disclaimers would be two-fold:

To remind people for whom the disclaimer actually applies that the have to abide by it.

To scare people people into not releasing the contents of the e-mail when they actually can.
In other words, they are mostly useless.

More Google Tips

A search for “What is the Who” is going to get results about the English rock band. Search instead for “What is a Who” and you see top results around the whimsical characters in Dr. Seuss’ “Horton Hears a Who!”

Word order matters. Leave common terms in the correct order. Typing “blue sky” yields very different results from “sky blue.” it is better to ask, “What is the average length of an octopus” rather than “Is the average length of an octopus 21 inches?" and you may see search results "confirming" 21 inches? Maybe other sources also got it wrong. When you include the answer in a search query, you bias results, which may not be correct.

Add a minus sign to that same search along with the thing you want to eliminate from your results. So you might type “kitchen remodeling -stainless” to leave out stainless steel. Or “kitchen remodeling -stainless -granite” to knock out both stainless and granite images. The spacing between the thing you are searching for and the thing you are excluding is important – the search will not exclude the words without a space before the minus.

Google does not recognize uppercase or lowercase letters and punctuation. But pay attention to characters such as “$”,” %” and “+” which do make a big difference.

You are searching for a specific quote, but one of the words slips your mind. Put an asterisk in its place. "Four score and * years ago."

National Emergency Library Free Stuff

The National Emergency Library promotes learning and education in a time where libraries are closed. The library is great to learn something new or read a good book for free. The Internet Archive released the National Emergency Library that gives public free access to over 1.4 million digital books.


"To address our unprecedented global and immediate need for access to reading and research materials, as of March 24, 2020, the Internet Archive will suspend waitlists for the 1.4 million books in our lending library by creating a National Emergency Library to serve the nation’s displaced learners. This suspension will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later."

Data vs. Dayta

Data is technically the plural of datum, so, the “correct” pronunciation is dayta. This is also the most widely used pronunciation.

It is also pronounced Dah-tah in Australia and Boston area.
In modern non-scientific use it is generally not treated as a plural. Instead, it is treated as a mass noun, similar to a word like information, which takes a singular verb. So as long as you are not using it in a scientific context, it is usually fine to use “this data is”.
Strictly-speaking, data is a plural term. For example, if we are following the rules of grammar, we should not write "the data is" or "the data shows" but instead "the data are" or "the data show".

As usage has changed over time, Oxford Dictionary indicates both pronunciations are now acceptable.

Mold and Mildew

These are types of fungi; typically, mold is black or green, and mildew is gray or white. Mold tends to grows on food, whereas mildew grows on damp surfaces, like bathroom walls, basement walls, or fabrics.

Mold grows in the form of multicellular filaments or hyphae, while mildew has flat growth. Mildew is often referred to as a kind of mold and is classified as powdery (under the order Erysiphales) and downy (under the family Peronosporaceae).
Mildew is a specific kind of mold, usually with a flat growth habit. Mold is a fungi that contains multiple identical nuclei. It grows in the form of hyphae of filaments.
Mildew could be downy or powdery: Downy mildew starts as yellow spots that first become brighter in appearance and then the color changes to brown. Powdery mildew is whitish in color and that slowly turn yellowish brown and then black. Mold has a fuzzy appearance and can be an orange, green, black, brown, pink or purple in color and can be found in several shapes.
Some molds are used in food production, for example, Penicillium is used in the production of cheese, Neurospora in the production of oncom, which is made from the by-product of tofu.
To prevent mildew at home, keep all the areas moisture-free. There are mildew removers available at stores to eliminate mildew. To protect crops from mildew use mildew-resistant seeds, remove infested plants, avoid overhead heating.     To prevent mold in your home, you need to keep all the areas dry and moisture-free.
Prolonged exposure to mold spores can cause health problems such as allergic reactions and respiratory problems, due to the toxins (mycotoxins) it produces.

Mildew can cause damage to crops and other plants it infests. Inhalation of mildew can cause coughing, headache, scratchy throat and lung problems. Mildew can also start growing in lungs and cause other serious health problems.

Some molds are used in food production, in the production of bread, soya sauce and so on. Mildew has no uses as such in food production.


A steroid is a biologically active organic compound with four rings arranged in a specific molecular configuration. Steroids have two principal biological functions: as important components of cell membranes which alter membrane fluidity; and as signaling molecules. Hundreds of steroids are found in plants, animals, and fungi.
There are many different steroids, testosterone is one type, it increases muscle mass and men produce more of it then women. Other types are progesterone, helps maintain pregnancy among other things. Prednisone, which reduces inflammation to help people with breathing problems.
All testosterone is a steroid, but not every steroid is testosterone.


Adapt and Adopt - Adapt and adopt are not synonyms
The words adapt and adopt are only similar in spelling and style. According to Merriam-Webster, adapt means "to make fit (as for a new use) often by modification." Animals adapt to their environments.

Adopt means "to take up and practice or use." Parents adopt a stern tone when their children are being naughty.

Especially and Specially - It is easy to understand how adverbs especially and specially are commonly mistaken for each other. Not only do they look the same, but they also have very similar meanings. While especially means "in particular," specially means "for a special purpose."

Specially and especially can sometimes be used interchangeably, for instance, you can say you bought a snack both specially and especially for after work, but generally, they are not the same.
Amoral and Immoral - Something or someone that is amoral is neutral from a moral standpoint. Something or someone that is immoral, meanwhile, is not moral and knows that their behavior is wrong. If you ever get these words confused, just remember that an amoral person is apathetic and perhaps even unknowing, while an immoral person is unethical.

Emigrate and Immigrate - Emigrate and immigrate are commonly confused words. The difference between these two words is subtle, but significant. When you emigrate, you leave one country to live in another. When you immigrate, you go to another country to live there permanently. So, if you are a resident of Germany moving to the United States, you are emigrating from Germany and immigrating to the United States.

5G Networks Myth

They are much faster than 4G networks, they also operate on a much higher spectrum (up to 6 GHz), which results in a signal that can’t go much further than 100 meters and cannot be positioned higher than 50 ft. above the ground.

Because of shortened range, it is estimated that approximately 100 to 350 small cells per square kilometer will be needed in areas that require 5G densification, further necessitating the construction of brand new cell sites, or, at the very least, cell site upgrades.

5G is radio technology and there is no relationship between virus and radio waves.

National Unicorn Day, 9 April

National Unicorn Day on April 9th each year celebrates the mythical horse-like creature with a single, pointed horn growing from the center of its forehead.

Unicorns have been a popular mythical creature since the Ancient Greek times when people believed they lived in exotic India. While they were once considered to be fierce, powerful animals, many now see them as a symbol of love, purity, enchantment, and magic. Let us all think of something fun today. We can sure use some positive fun thoughts.

How do You Pronounce That, Part Two

English is a delicious language.
Mayonnaise - Americans find it necessary to argue over the correct pronunciation of sandwich condiments, too. Though there are some slight variations within regions, the general consensus is that in the West and Midwest, you will put may-uh-naze on your sandwich, and in the North and South, you will use man-aze.
Coyote - Unless you live on the West Coast, you probably don't even realize that there are two ways to pronounce "coyote." "Ki-ote is a Colorado-Wyoming kind of pronunciation," Andrew Cowell, director of linguistics at CU Bolder, told 9 News. "If you come from the East, you are much more likely to say ki-o-tee."
Mischievous - The word "mischievous" is spelled so that it should be pronounced like mis-che-vous, but somehow the Harvard Dialect Survey found that over 26 percent of Americans pronounce the word with four syllables.  According to Merriam-Webster, a variant spelling of the word with an -ious ending existed as far back as the 16th century, though today both this spelling and pronunciation are considered "nonstandard."
Creek - The majority of Americans can agree on the fact that the "ee" in "creek" is pronounced like "seek." However, in the Harvard Dialect Survey, approximately 4 percent of people noted that they pronounced the "ee" in creek so that it sounded like "crick." Most of these people were from Midwestern states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Adult - If you choose to pronounce it like add-ult or uh-dult, you are correct.

Asterisk - It might not come up often in conversation, but when it does, it is pronounced differently depending on the region. In parts of the Northeast, it is pronounced asteri[ks]; up and down the Northern coast, it is pronounced asteri[k]; and in the rest of the country, it is asteri[sk].

Realtor - How many syllables are there in "realtor"? In the Northeast they will tell you that there are two. Ask someone from the Midwest or the South and they are more likely to use three syllables, pronouncing it either reel-uh-ter or ree-l-ter.

What's in a Name, Tupperware

Meal-preppers and leftover lovers everywhere have Earl Silas Tupper to thank for these endlessly useful and portable plastic food containers.

After working in the plastics division at DuPont, Tupper founded the Earl S. Tupper Company in 1938. It was there that he focused on developing plastic consumer goods, eventually inventing a more durable and resilient type of plastic, as well as an air and watertight seal that he modeled after the lid of a paint can. It is especially useful these days of hoarding and prepping for the unknown. PS - toilet paper does not require Tupperware to stay fresh.

Paul McCartney Honors

He is the only musician to have number one singles as a solo artist, as part of a duo, a trio, a quartet, a quintet, and a sextet.

Tinder vs. Kindling

Tinder is the smallest. Tinder ignites into flame with the smallest spark. Types of tinder include: cotton balls. dry grass, Cattail fluff,  and Birch tree bark.

Kindling is slightly larger. It refers to any ignitable material that is larger than tinder, but smaller than firewood (fuelwood). Most people use small sticks, cedar bark, and dry leaves for kindling, which ignite more quickly than the firewood and burn for longer than the tinder.

San Francisco Fact

It is mostly water. The 232 square miles that make up the Bay Area city are 80 percent water, 20 percent land. Seems like now it is also about 10% poop on sidewalks.

Wordology, Ennui

(on wee) This is especially appropriate during this virus time to know. It is the feeling you get when you are simultaneously bored and annoyed. It describes a feeling that combines tiredness and boredom. You were expecting more, but did not get it. You are not depressed exactly, but you would definitely rather be anywhere but here. Cheer up. Better days are coming - hopefully soon.

May 8, 2020

Doorbell Opt out

Ring shares your doorbell activity and data with third parties like Facebook and Amazon unless you tell them not to. An investigation by the Electronic Frontier Foundation found that Ring has shared personally identifiable information such as when you are home and away, names, email addresses, when you use the doorbell app, model numbers, and your home internet address. Here’s how to block third party data from being shared by Ring.

Launch Ring app > tap menu on top left > Control Center > Third Party Service Providers > Opt Out

Next see if there are any strangers currently signed into your Ring doorbell. From the Control Center in the Ring app, select Shared Users.

Then set Two-Factor Authentication within the Control Center to make it next to impossible for a hacker to get into your Ring doorbell.

SpaceX Update

The FCC has granted Elon Musk's SpaceX a license for up to a million terminals that will allow Starlink satellites to deliver broadband service. The decision was shown in a public notice from the FCC on March 18. “Granting this application would serve the public interest by helping to speed broadband deployment throughout the United States by authorizing the ground-based component of SpaceX’s satellite system,” says the FCC.

GeekWire reports that Starlink satellites are being made at the SpaceX facilities in Washington, at a rate of 6 per day. 360 satellites have been launched, with thousands more to come. The service is slated to begin in 2020.

Wordology, Slang

Non-standard, slang or colloquial terms used by English speakers are sometimes alleged not to be real words, despite appearing in numerous dictionaries. Irregardless is sometimes dismissed as not a word. All words in English became accepted by being commonly used for a certain period of time; thus there are many informal words currently regarded as "incorrect" in formal speech or writing, but the idea that they are not words is a misconception. Examples of words that are sometimes alleged not to be words include "conversate", "funnest", "mentee", "impactful", and "thusly", all of which appear in numerous dictionaries as English words.

Incidentally, slang is a type of language that consists of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal, are more common in speech than writing, and are typically restricted to a particular context or group of people, such as grass is slang for marijuana.

Sign Languages

They are not the same worldwide. Aside from the pidgin International Sign, each country generally has its own, native sign language, and some have more than one. There are substantial similarities among all sign languages.

Mezcal vs. Tequila

Both spirits are distilled from agave plants, but tequila can only be distilled from certain agave plants. In order for a spirit to be legally advertised as tequila, it must be made from the Weber blue agave, and grown in specific territories recognized by the General Declaration on the Protection of the Appellation of Origin Tequila, as put forth by Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council.

Anything else made from the agave plant – even to near-identical standards – is a mezcal, which is technically a blanket term for any spirit distilled from agave.

Agave hearts, or piñas used in the production of either tequila or mezcal can be cooked before fermentation, though those used for mezcal are more often roasted in underground pits, imparting the finished product with generally more of a smokier aroma and taste.

Following the fermentation and distillation processes, tequilas and mezcals can be aged to varying degrees before bottling, resulting in multiple distinctions. The distinctions include Blanco (bottled within two months), Reposado (aged between two and 12 months) and Añejo (aged longer than 12 months), with the younger tequilas generally being better for mixing, and the older better for sipping.
All tequila is mezcal, but not all mezcal is tequila.

Incidentally, Mezcal is Spanish and mescal is English spelling.