Jul 26, 2013

Happy Friday

Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word.

You never need to hunt for the meaning of having a Happy Friday!

Free Hug Day

Did you get yours? The first Saturday in July is free hug day. It started by an Australian who realized the healing powers of a simple hug. He went to a shopping mall equipped with a “Free Hugs” sign and soon overcame leery passersby to give his free hugs exactly as advertised. 

In 2006, the Australian band Sick Puppies made a video of his endeavor, and helped spread the movement by way of a 74 million times viewed video on YouTube.

Eleven Ways to be Happy

Hugs may not be on this list, but they should be.
Spend money on other people. A study  concluded that "the happiest people were the biggest givers, no matter what they earned."

Count your blessings. A University of Pennsylvania professor proved that people who wrote down three good things that happened to them every night were significantly happier than control group who did not.

Try something new. People who try new experiences are generally happier, research has shown.

Delay gratification. Anticipating happiness actually makes you happy. Studies have shown that it's human nature to forestall an enjoyable event.

Expose yourself to more blue. Researchers showed that exposing yourself to the color blue sent "self confidence soaring, cut stress, and boosts happiness."

Set goals for yourself. Psychologist Jonathan Freedman claims that people who set objectives for themselves are happier than those who don't.

Go to church. In a study, people who attended church regularly responded that they were happier and more satisfied with their lives than people who were not religious.

Sleep at least six hours every night. Six hours and 15 minutes a night of un-interrupted sleep makes for the happiest people, a British study found.

Make sure you have at least 10 good friends. Adults who said they had 10 good friends were happier than those who could count five or less close friends.

Fake it 'til you make it. Several studies have shown that just the act of smiling can cause people to experience happy feelings.

Have a romantic relationship. People in relationships were generally found to be happier than other people, and spouses have the highest sense of well-being whether they are happily married or not, according to a study from Cornell University. Of course, listening to "Don't Worry, Be Happy" always makes me smile.

Worcestershire Sauce

This is difficult to spell and more difficult to pronounce liquid is made of vinegar and soy sauce, spices, and liquefied anchovies. The anchovies are soaked in vinegar until they are totally dissolved, including the bones.

It is named for the town  in England where it was originally brewed. (woos teh shur) Here is one Heinz pronunciation LINK

Driest and Wettest

Parts of Antarctica have had no rain for two million years, so it is considered the driest place on earth.

A desert is technically defined as a place that receives less than 254 mm (10 inches) of rain a year. The Sahara desert gets just 25 mm (1 inch) of rain a year. Antarctica’s average annual rainfall is about the same, but 2 per cent of it, known as the Dry Valleys, is free of ice and snow and it never rains there at all.

Antarctica can also claim to be the wettest, since seventy per cent of the world’s fresh water is found there in the form of ice.

The next-driest place in the world is the Atacama Desert in Chile. In some areas, no rain has fallen there for 400 years and its average annual rainfall is 0.1 mm (0.004 inches).

Hot Day Car Tip

To keep from burning your hand on your gear shift lever, put an upside down beer cozy over it. Instant cool.

Homo Sapiens

Homo sapiens is Latin for 'wise man'. It is the scientific name for the human species. Homo is the human genus, which also includes Neanderthals and many other extinct species of hominid. H. sapiens is the only surviving species of the genus Homo. Modern humans are the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens.

German anthropologist Friedrich Blumenbach divided Homo sapiens into five distinct races based on their physical characteristics. There was the Mongolian, or yellow race, the red American race, the brown Malayan race, the black Ethiopian race, and the white Caucasian race.

He looked at many physical traits to carve out his categories and thought characteristics of the skull, the size and angle of the forehead, jawbone, teeth, eye sockets, etc. were especially important.

He thought that the skulls of Georgians were exemplary of the characteristics of his white race and named the group (Caucasian) after the Caucasus Mountain Range that runs along Georgia’s northern border.

Wordology, Bridegroom

This word comes from the Old English “bridgome.” Gome was then a word for 'man'.

Spelling Bee

The “bee” in spelling bee means a gathering or get together. The earliest documented case of this word appearing with this meaning was in 1769, referring to a spinning bee, where people would gather to protest purchasing goods from Britain due to the high taxes on those items.

Any sort of major competition or work gathering, with a specific task in mind, was a 'bee'. Gatherings that were commonly labeled with 'bee' were: apple bee, logging bee, quilting bee, barn bee, hanging bee, sewing bee, field bee, and corn husking bee, among others.

The popular theory among etymologists today is that it is likely that the actual origin of bee, in the sense of gathering, derives from the Old English bēn (prayer / favor), or the Middle English 'bene'. Finally, this resulted in “bean” meaning “help given by neighbors”.

The first US National Spelling Bee was in 1925, sponsored by the Louisville Courier-Journal. Nine finalists competed in the first spelling bee in Washington D.C. The winning word that year was “gladiolus”, spelled by Frank Neuhauser.

In 1941, E.W. Scripps Company began sponsoring the National Spelling Bee and changed the name to Scripps National Spelling Bee.

It offers a study booklet to prospective contestants that contains between 1,000 and 4,000 words. It also currently offers a list of over 24,000 words that include all words used in the National Spelling Bee since 1950, sorted by frequency of use in the contest. The word that has been used the most in the National Spelling Bee is connoisseur.

The winner of the National Spelling Bee receives several prizes including: $30,000 cash prize from the National Spelling Bee; $5,000 cash prize from Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation; $2,500 savings bond; a complete reference library from Merriam-Webster; a lifetime membership to Britannica Online Premium Encyclopedia; $2,600 worth of reference works; and a trophy. The second place contestant receives $12,500.

To date, 45 girls have won the spelling bee vs. 41 boys. That is sure to create a buzz.