Oct 4, 2013

World Smile Day

Today (first Friday in October) is World Smile Day®.

Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts created the smiley face in 1963. He worried the world lost sight of the meaning of his famous smiley face and thought that we all should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts. It began in 1999 and has continued every year around the world. Ball passed away in 2002, but  'Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation' was created to honor his name and memory. The Foundation continues as the official sponsor of World Smile Day® each year. Do an act of kindness and make someone smile today.

National Sausage Month

October is National Sausage Month. In the UK it is celebrated in September. In addition, October 11 is National Sausage Pizza Day.

A sausage is a prepared food product usually made from ground meat, animal fat, salt, and spices, and sometimes other ingredients such as herbs and generally packed in a casing. Sausage making is a traditional food preservation technique originating with European cuisine. Traditionally, casings have been made of animal intestines, though they are now mostly synthetic. Some sausages are cooked during processing, and the casing may be removed at that time. Sausages may be preserved by curing, drying in cool air, or smoking. The distinct flavor of some sausages is due to fermentation during curing.

Barbecue vs. Grilling

These usually fit in any conversation about sausage. Barbecue or Barbeque or BBQ is slow cooking for several hours. Grilling is cooking fast, at a high temperature.

Barbecue is a method and apparatus for cooking food with the indirect heat and hot gases of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of charcoal and may include application of a marinade, spice rub, or basting sauce to the meat.

Grilling or broiling is a form of cooking that involves direct heat. Devices that grill are called grills. The definition varies widely by region and culture. In the United States and Canada, use of the word refers to cooking food directly over a source of dry heat, typically with the food sitting on a metal grate that leaves 'grill marks'. In the UK and other Commonwealth countries this would be referred to as barbecueing.

Grilling in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries (except Canada) generally refers to cooking food directly under a source of direct, dry heat. The grill is usually a separate part of an oven where the food is inserted just under the element. This is referred to as broiling in North America. To sum it up, whether grilled or barbecued, broiled or boiled, marinated or rubbed, slathered or dry, sausage is almost as good as bacon.

GPS Belt

Here is something someone will want to rush out to buy, a belt that gives directions. Triposo gives hands-free experience with its vibrating travel belt. The Travel Belt connects to a wearer’s smartphone and gives out directions by buzzing.

With the help of the Triposo app, the wearer can activate the belt by tapping the “Buzz Me There” option. The app sends a signal to the belt to tell the wearer where to go. Start walking and the belt will buzz in any of four directions, guiding you from corner to corner until you reach your destination. Fifty dollars for pre-order with estimated delivery February 2014.

What do They Think

Found this interesting web site that answers that question. Just type in a word or phrase and it will tell you what the rest of the internet thinks. http://www.whatdoestheinternetthink.net/
It provides three percentages, Positive, Negative, and Indifferent. It also allows you to type in two terms or names to compare how the net feels about it (I tried IBM and Google). That is it, simple answers to let you know what the rest of the net thinks. You may be surprised at the answers.

I typed in 'politics' and what came back confirmed my suspicion -
Negative 20.8% - 21k+ hits
Positive 13.4%  - 14k+ hits
Indifferent 65.8% - 68k+hits

Happy Birthday Confucius

Sorry I missed it last Saturday Sep 28, when ceremonies were held across China to mark the 2,564th birthday anniversary of Confucius. Not many are remembered that long.

"If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself." Confucius

Beer Spread

Chocolate beer spread has hit the shelves at Selfridges stores in the UK as the result of a collaboration between an Italian chocolate maker and beer brewer. The result is a sweet and beer-perfumed jelly with an intense scent and a full-bodied taste, perfect for spreading on a slice of warm toast.

"Beer lovers rejoice, you can now enjoy your favorite tipple with cheeses and bread with Omid dark ale spreadable beer," explains the Selfridges sales pitch. ‘The beer spread provides a unique accompaniment for hors d’oeuvres and cheeses… or as a stuffing or garnish for tarts and cakes.’ I think I need some of that.

Farrington B Font

The squared-off numbers on almost every credit card were invented in a bar at the Waldorf-Astoria. David H. Shepard, who invented the first optical character recognition device (in his attic), first voice recognition system, also created the Farrington B numeric font to try to combat the smudging and smearing that would inevitably occur at gas pumps, one of the first places optical character recognition would be used.

These days, credit card companies could use any font for the account number, because the information is gathered from the magnetic strip on the back. Farrington B is still commonly used as tradition. Shepard passed away in 2007.

What's in a Name, Corned Beef

The term 'corned beef' refers to the 'corns' of salt used to preserve the meat. Meat is treated with large grains of salt (corns) in a process known as salt-curing. Corn is used to describe any small hard particles or grains, in this case, salt. That is why corned beef tastes salty. The salt draws water out of the meat via osmosis, making it more difficult for microorganisms to breed in the meat.