Jul 29, 2011

Happy Friday

Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations.

I am happy to have the expectation and talent to have a Happy Friday!


Interesting that the United States Space Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), was authorized by Congress this day in 1958 and we now witness the end of the NASA Space Program. NASA is cutting its workforce for the program from 6,700 to 1,000, who will prep the shuttles for shipment to museums. Many inventions and discoveries that touch us everyday came as byproducts from that program. NASA holds 6,300 patents.

A few of the things from NASA that you may know, such as invisible braces, scratch-resistant lenses. memory foam (like tempurpedic beds), infrared ear thermometer, athletic shoe cool insoles, long distance communications via satellite, adjustable smoke detector, lightweight cordless tools (with Black & Decker), water filters, thermal gloves and boots, LED lights, heart pump, artificial limbs, aircraft anti-icing system, enriched baby food (in over 90%), freeze drying. There are hundreds more.

Gaudy or Gaudi

Some people might think Antoni Gaudi's name spawned the word Gaudy (or gawdy) because of his outlandish architecture. The word Gaudy means ostentatious or tastelessly ornamental.

Gaudi's architechture is the epitome of Gaudy. It is coincidence that his name is so close to the adjective as gaudy had been in use for a few hundred years before he was born. His Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church that began construction in 1882 and is scheduled for completion in 2026 (not a typo).

Some of Gaudi's creations, including the church can be found here LINK.

Testicle Festival

Speaking of gaudy, this festival runs from August 3 - 7 at the Rock Creek Lodge, Montana. Obviously for adults only, it is also known as the “Testy Festy” or the “Breasticle Festival,” this four-day drunken jamboree is filled with wet t-shirt contests, pig wrestling, stripping, mooning, bull riding, and fried bull testicle consumption.

Rocky Mountain Oysters, or bull testicles are considered delicious by a select group of fine diners. In a showcase of masculine virility, There is even a bull testicle eating contest. Matt Powers took the title after consuming over 40 bull testicles in four minutes. Mentioned in Playboy as one of the top things to do in the summer, they advertise "come out and have a ball!”

Meat Labeling

Food manufacturers are now pushing the federal government for more truthful labeling that would allow them to tell consumers clearly that some products contain nitrate and nitrite, from natural rather than synthetic sources. The current rules require products that derive the preservatives from natural sources to prominently place the words “Uncured” and “No nitrates or nitrites added” on the label even though they are cured and do contain the chemicals.

A study published earlier this year in The Journal of Food Protection found that natural hot dogs had anywhere from one-half to ten times the amount of nitrite that conventional hot dogs contained. Natural bacon had from about a third as much nitrite as a conventional brand to more than twice as much.

The current U.S.D.A. labeling rules require natural products to indicate there may be naturally occurring nitrate or nitrite, but it often appears in small print. When combined with the more prominently displayed “No nitrates or nitrites added” banner, many consumers are left scratching their heads.

The U.S.D.A. responded by limiting the amount of nitrate and nitrite that goes into processed meats, and today they contain far less than they did 40 years ago.

However, scientists have gained more understanding of the role of nitrate and nitrite in human health and have discovered the preservatives also have benefits, for example, in the healthy functioning of the cardiovascular and immune systems.

Some in the meat industry have seized on these discoveries to dismiss as outdated, the link between nitrite in processed meat and cancer. They insist processed meats are safe. Sounds good to me, bacon and hot dogs need more nitrates and nitrites, like the good ol' days.

Arnold Palmer

During 1968, Arnold Palmer became the first golfer to make a million dollars in career earnings after he tied for second place at the PGA Championship.

It took Palmer 13 years and 2 months as a professional golfer to reach that goal. He won 52 golf tournaments during that time.

Tiger Wood's Woods

Speaking of golf, during July 2000, Tiger Woods won the British Open at St. Andrews, Scotland to become the youngest player, at  24, to win the career Grand Slam of golf (The Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and British Open) and the first to win all four majors since Jack Nicklaus’ victory in the 1966.

Jul 26, 2011

What's in a Name, Automobiles

Buick racing driver Louis Chevrolet started the Chevrolet Motor Car Company. When William C. Durant became the president of General Motors in 1916, he shortly bought Chevrolet and folded it in the the General Motors lineup. So Chevrolet was conceived by a Buick Motor Company (Originally the Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company) racing driver, who just happened to be named Chevrolet. Buick is the oldest active American make of car and was named after its founder, David Dunbar Buick.

Eleven Bacon Facts

Americans consume an average of 18 pounds of bacon per year.
BLT became popular after WWII when lettuce and tomatoes became available in stores all year.
Oscar Mayer patented packages sliced bacon in 1924.
Over $2 billion of packaged,sliced bacon is consumed each year. 
Guanciale is an Italian specialty bacon made from pigs cheeks.
A single serving of bacon is considered three medium slices and it has only 100 calories.
90.4% of the Brits have bacon in their homes.
In USA bacon is eaten 70% breakfast, 11% lunch, 17% dinner, and 2% snack.
A side of unsliced bacon was once known as a flitch, but now is known as a slab.
An individual slice of bacon is a slice or strip.
The term rasher of bacon is occasionally found on restaurant menus and means a serving, typically several slices.