Aug 31, 2012

Happy Friday

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.

My circumstances move my attitude and my attitude moves my circumstances toward having a Happy Friday!

Touching Birds and Eggs Myth

Many of us have heard that handling a baby bird or bird egg will cause the parent birds to reject it.

Most birds have a very poor sense of smell, so they are unable to notice human scent on baby birds (even a skunk’s spray doesn’t seem to bother many types of birds). In most cases, even if the nest is destroyed by wind or other means, you could create a new one and put all the nestlings back in it and the parents wouldn’t care that their baby birds were in a different nest when they come back; so long as the new nest near where the old one was so they can find it.


Ducks and Hoopoe will often poop on their own eggs with particularly smelly discharge to discourage predators from eating them.

Parking Tip

Since most of us have smart phones and usually do not carry pencils, pens, or paper - take a picture of the nearest sign where you parked so when you return, it will be easy to find your vehicle.

Whats in a Name, Union Station

Many towns have a Union Station. Some larger ones are in Chicago, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Denver, El Paso, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Nashville, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and many more.

Union stations or depots were constructed to consolidate rail traffic into a single terminal instead of having each railroad build a separate station and approach-track system. They formed a 'union', or coming together of railroad companies, facilities, and tracks.

The intent was to save money and hundreds of acres of valuable downtown real estate. It was and remains a success for achieving those goals. In addition, It is handy for travelers to have one place to go, regardless of final destination.

A railroad operating only a handful of trains per day through a town couldn't afford to build a fancy station, but several railroads sharing one facility could. Many Union Stations were impressive works of architecture that were preserved long after the trains that used them disappeared.

Sticking to Legend

According to legend, Scotch tape earned its name when a frustrated customer told a 3M scientist to “take it back to your Scotch bosses and tell them to put more adhesive on it.” Today, Scotch “Magic Tape” is manufactured in one place in the world: Hutchinson, Minn.

The Real Little Mermaid

In the Disney version, the film ends with Ariel the mermaid being changed into a human so she can marry Eric. They marry in a wonderful wedding attended by humans and merpeople.

In the original version by Hans Christian Andersen, the mermaid sees the Prince marry a princess and she despairs. She is offered a knife with which to stab the prince to death, but rather than do that she jumps into the sea and dies by turning to froth.

Andersen later modified the ending to make it more pleasant. In the new ending, instead of dying when turned to froth, she becomes a 'daughter of the air' waiting to go to heaven.

Aug 28, 2012

Nero Didn't Fiddle

The violin (fiddle) was invented a thousand years after the Great Fire of Rome. It belongs to a family of stringed instruments, which includes the cello and viola. Among these three, it is the highest-pitched and smallest.

Renowned violin maker Andrea Amati constructed the very first violin sometime in 1555. Before that, there was a violin-like instrument called violetta, which only had three strings instead of the usual four strings that are found in modern-day violins.

Many archive documents relate that from about 1585 Brescia, Italy was the cradle of a magnificent school of string players and makers, all called with the title of 'maestro' of all the different sort of multi-string instruments of the Renaissance: viola da gamba, violone, lyra, lyrone, violetta, and viola da brazzo.

A Persian geographer, Ibn Khurradadhbih of the 9th century was the first to cite the bowed Byzantine lira, which is held upright as a typical instrument of the Byzantines and equivalent to the rabāb used in the Islamic Empires of that time. The Byzantine lira spread through Europe westward and in the 11th and 12th centuries European writers use the terms fiddle and lira interchangeably when referring to bowed instruments.

The rabāb was introduced to the Western Europe and both bowed instruments spread widely throughout Europe giving birth to various European bowed instruments.


This is the practice of crafting stringed instruments, such as a violin or guitar. Lutherie is commonly divided into two main categories: makers of plucked or strummed string instruments or makers of stringed instruments that are bowed, which may require the additional help of an archetier. An archetier is someone skilled in the crafting of bows.

Experimental luthiers are craftsman who design string instruments with altered parts, or who create new and original instruments as are commonly used in the rock and jazz genres. Most instruments are never replicated or mass produced on a scale like the guitar or violin. However, additions to major instruments, such as the original vibrato bar become a vital part of the instrument.

Yogurt Breath

Research shows that the live bacteria in yogurt can suppress levels of bad breath causing bacteria. "Good" bugs in yogurt may crowd out the "bad" stink-causing bacteria or create an unhealthy environment for it.