Feb 2, 2018

Happy Friday

Be Happy is number one on my ToDo list.

Complete number one and enjoy every day, especially a Happy Friday!

Groundhog Day

Today is groundhog day and it is pundit predicted that Punxsutawney Phil, Pennsylvania’s weather-forecasting groundhog, will see his shadow, signaling six more weeks of winter weather for the United States. Watch your local news for updates after the sun rises.

How Many Breaths

None of us will be holding our breath to find out about the end of winter, but the following is still interesting. An infant breathes 40 to 60 times a minute; a five-year-old, 24 to 26 times; an adolescent, 20 to 22 times; an adult (beginning at age 25) 16 times. An average person at rest breathes about 17,000-30,000 per day. A person who lives to 80 will take more than 670 million breaths. Of course it may be less when fascinating facts like this take away our breath.

Football Facts

The big game is coming this Sunday, so I decided to look up a few facts about football.

The NFL League Office, is tax exempt and is classified as a trade organization whose primary purpose is to “further the industry or profession it represents.” This began in 1942 when the NFL filed an application for tax-exempt, non-profit status with the IRS. The application was accepted and it has been tax-exempt ever since.

In recent years, about 110 million people watch the Super Bowl. An estimated 98% of those viewers are from North America, mostly from the United States.

Since 1955, the official NFL footballs have been made at the Wilson factory in Ada, Ohio. Each football is handmade from cowhide sourced from Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. The hides are tanned in Ada with a “top secret football-weather-optimizing tanning recipe.” An average 130 people working at the factory produce nearly 4,000 footballs every day. Each football is made up of four pieces and a synthetic bladder, and each cowhide can usually make up to ten footballs (or hand eggs).

During 1951, the first year of night Football, footballs were white with two black stripes so that players and spectators could easily see the ball in the dark. Advancements in stadium lighting were made, making the white ball unnecessary, and by 1956 they were officially replaced with the standard brown football we have today.

The official nickname of the football used by the NFL is “The Duke,” after Wellington Mara. Mara, who was named after the Duke of Wellington, was the co-owner of the New York Giants and the son of the founder of the Giants. The nickname was used between 1941 and 1969. It fell out of use in 1970 when the AFL and NFL merged, but bounced back into play in 2006, a year after Mara’s death.

Scotch, Bourbon, Rye

For those sipping during the big game, this should provide a conversation starter. "If you are a cognac, you have to be made in the Cognac region. If you are a champagne, you have to be made in the Champagne region. It is the same for scotch. Single-malt scotch whisky is made at a single distillery, exclusively from malted barley, and must be aged for at least three years in oak casks.
Bourbon and rye are native American spirits. Aside from the point of origin, what differentiates variants of whiskey (Irish and Americans), or whisky (Scots) is the 'mash bill', or list of ingredients used to make it.

Bourbon in the US must have 51% or more corn, and the rest of the mash bill is traditionally rye and malted barley.
All bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon.

Rye whiskey must have 51% or more rye, and the rest is usually corn and malted barley.

In addition, both must be aged in brand new American oak barrels.

DFW Airport Facts

Dallas-Fort Worth Airport has 17,207 acres (6,963 hectares; 27 square miles) and is larger than the island of Manhattan. It is also the second largest airport by land area in the United States.

It is the third busiest airport in the world by aircraft movements and the eleventh busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic as of 2016.

With nearly 900 daily flights, American Airlines at DFW is the second largest airline hub in the world and the United States, behind Delta's Atlanta hub.

DFW has its own police, fire protection, and emergency medical services.

Airports Council International named DFW Airport the best large airport with more than 40 million passengers in North America for passenger satisfaction during 2016

Wordology, Doohickey

The word first appeared in the November 12, 1914 edition of Our Navy magazine, where it states, “We were compelled to christen articles beyond our ken with such names as ‘do-hickeys’, ‘gadgets’ and ‘gilguys’.”
A Sailor Boy’s Log by Robert Brown in 1886, where he also notes one of the first known instances of “gadget”- “Then the names of all the other things on board a ship! I don’t know half of them yet; even the sailors forget at times, and if the exact name of anything they want happens to slip from their memory, they call it a chicken⁓fixing, or a gadjet, or a gill-guy, or a timmey-noggy, or a wim-wom.”
Doohickey soon spread to being used by airman as well, with it noted in Edward Fraser & John Gibbons’ 1925 Soldier & Sailor Words, that “doo hickey” was an airman’s term for small, detachable fittings. Within a couple decades, the word was being used widely throughout America as a placeholder name for anything one could not remember the name of.
Doohickey probably derives from “doodad,” which has uncertain origin, but first popped up in documented form about a decade before “doohickey,” with doodad meaning “a superfluous ornament.” The sailors simply meshed this term with “hickey,” which meant “a device for bending a conduit or a small fitting used in wiring for electric lights, a fixture piped for gas."
Who first used the term “doohickey” has been lost to history. Other names used around the time were doodad, hickey, doojigger, thingamawhatsit, watchamacallit, thingummy, gadget, widget, gilguy, etc.

Incidentally, during the late 1920s or early 1930s, hickey mostly referred to pimples, then other marks on teenager necks, and later began being used by printers to refer to various blemishes in engravings.

Whats in a Name, CliffsNotes

If you attended any organized school, you likely have heard of CliffsNotes. You maybe even used them. Cliff Keith Hillegass dropped out of a Master’s program studying physics and geology at the University of Nebraska in 1939, got married, and took a job working for the Nebraska Book Company.

During 1958, Cliff met Jack Cole, the co-owner of Coles Toronto book business which published a series of Canadian study guides called Coles Notes. Jack agreed to sell Hillegass the US rights to the guides.

Catherine MacDonald, was a co-founder of Cliff'sNotes (original spelling) with her first husband, Cliff Hillegass. She typed an initial mailing to college stores of about 1,000 letters. Catherine operated the fledgling publishing company out of the basement of the family home and during the first few years shipped over a million Cliff'sNotes with a tiny staff including the couple’s children. They divorced in 1967.

He designed the first yellow and black cover himself, with a visual pun of an outline of mountain cliffs. He used graduate students to write the guides. Cliff never wrote any of the guides. He paid modest fees to its writers and no royalties, sold printed booklets for pennies a copy.

The first run published in 1958 comprised 16 of Cole’s Notes’ Shakespeare study guides, funded with a $4,000 loan. The study guides were a hit, selling a reported 58,000 copies in the early going allowing Cliff to expand his enterprise. From his first Cliff's Notes, a summary of Hamlet, in 1958. He eventually published more than 220 titles and sold more than 50 million CliffsNotes worldwide.

The company was selling more than 5 million pamphlets annually and reaping multimillion-dollar profits. Cliff retired from CliffsNotes, selling the company to IDG Books for $14 million. He died at age 83 on 5 May, 2001.

Jan 26, 2018

Happy Friday

Happiness is the best habit to cultivate.

Happiness always blooms, especially on a Happy Friday!