Nov 9, 2011

Other Uses for Wine

A nice glass of wine with dinner is always appreciated, but what happens when dinner is over and there is still wine in the bottle? We all know wine does not last forever, so here are a few tips to make use of the last bit of wine in the bottle. Pour leftover white wine onto grease and oil stains on garage floors and driveways, and the alcohol and acidity will help them dissipate.

Just like baking soda, wine can be used as a natural fruit and vegetable cleaner. The alcohol in the wine dissolves impurities on the surface, and according to a 2005 study by Mark Daeschel of Oregon State University, components in wine kill several types of foodborne pathogens like salmonella and E. coli.

Spoiled white wine is on its way to being vinegar, so naturally it works like a charm on dirty glass. Add a few tablespoons to a spray bottle of water, apply to windows and mirrors and wipe with a newspaper.

Nov 5, 2011

Happy Friday

We can be knowledgeable with other folk's knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other folk's wisdom.

I have some knowledge and wisdom to enjoy a Happy Friday!

Daylight Savings Time

It looks like we saved enough time this year. This weekend, at 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 6th, Daylight Savings Time will end, and revert back to Daylight Standard Time (turn your clock back to 1:00 AM). Actually, the debate is still raging, whether clock shifting is a benefit or curse. It seems to me that all the debate, clock changing, and missed appointments more than offsets the benefit. Am reminded of the Indian wise man who said that changing the clock was like cutting the bottom of a blanket off and sewing in on the top.  If you live in Arizona, Hawaii, or parts of Indiana, and other parts of the modern world, please disregard this message as you are smart enough not to believe in hobgoblins or time monsters.

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty, was presented to the American people by the French and unveiled in October 1886. The statue in New York Harbor is the work of French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. He called it Liberty Enlightening the World.

Inscribed on a tablet inside the pedestal of ‘Miss Liberty’ is a poem by Emma Lazarus. It describes the statue of a woman holding a book and torch. The symbol of freedom, she waits for immigrants who must pass by her on their way to Ellis Island and admission to America.

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, with conquering limbs astride from land to land; here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp! cries she with silent lips. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost [sic] to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

The 152-foot high statue, weighing 225 tons sits on Liberty Island. On August 3, 1957, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower changed the name from Bedloe’s Island to Liberty Island.

Freezing Candles

Candles will last almost twice as long if they are placed in the freezer for a day before using them. For some candles this will also cause them to drip less and burn straight down without burning through the side of the candle. If you have the kind in a glass, freezing them when done will make it easier to get the remaining wax out of the bottom.

Really Rich People

Who are the wealthiest people in the US and where did they get their money? Half of the top 20 are from the computer industry and 9 of the top 25 are family heirs.

Four Waltons (stores) $80B, Gates (Microsoft) $59B, two Kochs (energy) $50B, three Mars (candy) $41B, Buffett (conglomerate) $39B, Ellison (Oracle) $33B

These few distort the numbers so greatly because their wealth is so great. Over a quarter trillion dollars with just that handful of people. Add the next bunch and there is another quarter trillion dollars. The top 25 added together are worth over half a trillion dollars.

The technology folks make up half of the top twenty and are all new wealth, made from working for a living. Their hard work and ideas created hundreds of thousands of jobs. Jeff Bezos $19B, Sergey Brinn $16.7B, Mark Zuckerberg $17.5B, Larry Page $16.7B, Michael Dell $15B, Steve Balmer $13.9B, Paul Allen $13.2B. Steve Jobs is way down the list with only $7B. Facebook produced 5 billionaires, Microsoft at least three and hundreds of millionaires. Apple also produced at least 300 millionaires.

Only 4 of the top 25 richest people in America made it from investing - Buffett companies and stocks, Soros and Paulson hedge funds, and Icann leveraged buyouts. Buffett and Soros are in their 80s, Kochs are 75, Mars are in their 70s and 80s.

It is difficult to estimate how many millions of people are employed by these few and how many lives have been made better by them. Difficult to fault them for being wealthy when we buy their stock, which accounts for the vast majority of their wealth.

Nov 1, 2011

Explosive Pumpkin Carving

This is very interesting video of a teacher showing how to carve a pumpkin instantly using gas. It is only 45 seconds long. LINK

Earmarks and Pork Barrels

Earmarks are defined as "Provisions associated with legislation that specify certain congressional spending priorities or in revenue bills that apply to a very limited number of individuals or entities."

Pork Barrel usually refers to "Spending that is intended to benefit constituents of a politician in return for their political support, either in the form of campaign contributions or votes." It supposedly originated in a pre-Civil War practice of giving slaves a barrel of salt pork as a reward and requiring them to compete among themselves to get their share of the handout.

Both terms are derogatory and used interchangeably. Either are requested by only one chamber of Congress; not specifically authorized; not competitively awarded; and serve only a local or special interest. Below are a few examples.

$1,800,000 was earmarked for a climate model evaluation program.  This is on top of the $2 Billion in stimulus money for the climate science program, and another half a billion in stimulus money that the White House directed to global warming. I am getting warm just thinking about it.

Online Dictionary

If you use Firefox to read newspapers and other articles online, there is a great tool to help. Highlight a word that you do not understand, and a little question mark appears above the word. Just click on it and you will be taken to a dictionary with that word defined. Technology is great.