Mar 2, 2018

Happy Friday

Smiles are like Spring to Winter.

Your smile will warm up everyone, especially on a Happy Friday!

Amazon Fire TV Screensaver

If you or someone you know has an Amazon Fire TV you likely came across the beautiful landscape pictures that show as the screensaver. I was wondering about some of them and came across this site LINK that shows each of the 182 pictures, along with a description.

Incidentally, if you have a fire TV and an Amazon Prime membership, you can upload your own photos for free and watch them on the big screen, and/or use them to replace the generic screensaver.

Accent vs. Dialect

The words "dialect" and "accent" are often used interchangeably, but they have different meanings. An accent might be described by muddling up the difference between words people use and the sounds they make, their pronunciation. It is the distinct way that a group of persons or even one particular individual speaks with distinctive phonetics and phonology. Groups sharing an identifiable accent may be defined by any variety of common traits, such as regional, the socio-economic status of its speakers, their ethnicity, their caste or social class, their first language (when the language in which the accent is heard is not their native language), etc. In the US, think Boston, New Orleans, etc.  For example, the Southern accent might refer to the pronunciation of the vowels like fire to 'fahr' or stress shift like 'po lice versus po 'lice.

A dialect is a variation in the language itself and not only in the pronunciation. Dialect is a type of language that is derived from a primary language. A dialect is a variety of language differing in vocabulary and grammar as well as pronunciation. Dialects are usually spoken by a group united by geography or class. It is a geographically or ethnically restricted form of a language characterized by a combination of distinctive phonetics (individual sounds), phonology (sound system rules), syntax, grammar, and vocabulary. The major native dialects of English are often divided by linguists into three general categories: British Isles dialect, North America dialect, and those of Australasia.

If someone from India were to move to London and start speaking English, we would refer to the speech as foreign accented speech, not a dialect.

IRS Scams

This time of year in the US there are many IRS scams due to tax season. If you receive an IRS scam call or a fraudulent tax refund call, never return a phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS. Instead, individuals should call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040, and businesses should call 800-829-4933.
The US Department of Justice says the IRS never discusses personal tax issues through unsolicited emails or texts, or over social media. Always be wary if you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the IRS who says you owe money.

If you receive an unexpected and suspicious email from the IRS, forward it to

Four Google Tips

If you are searching and want to eliminate a word, put a minus - sign before it as in "cowboys -dallas" (without the quotes). It will get you the information about cowboys, but very few results about the football team.

Use an asterisk * to search and find the word you cannot remember, such as the "* of march" (without the quotes) returns results for the ides of March.

Looking for pictures, type in your search then click images on the top row. It will load your page with (mostly related) pictures. If you want animated pictures, click on search tools and choose "animated pictures".

The Google tool I use most is to filter by time. After you type in your search, click Tools, click "Anytime", then choose the time period. Many sites become outdated over time, and it is important to get the latest information. At the very least, choose "Past Year" for more recent information.

Monkey and Banana Myth

Monkeys actually prefer leaves and insects rather than bananas. In fact, bananas are not healthy for monkeys. Bananas are too sweet for them. The UK has banned them from its zoos. They love eating ripe fruits, seeds, vegetables, honey, and flowers.

Incidentally, goats do not eat tin cans.

Draught Guinness

Draught or draft Guinness is special. There is a precise, elaborate, and time-consuming art-form of pouring the perfect pint of Guinness beer. Bartenders around the world are given instructions for the proper pouring process, including details about the type of glass used, the angle the glass is held at during the different states of pouring, the precise length of time the pint must be left to settle, and the force with which the draught Guinness is poured from the tap.

During the 1950s, Guinness scientist Michael Ash was tasked with solving the 'draft problem'. At the time, dispensing a draft pint of Guinness was very complicated, and the company was losing market share to draft lagers in Britain that could be easily dispensed with CO2. “The stout was too lively to be dispensed with CO2 only,” Brady said. “Ash worked on the problem for four years, working long hours day and night, and became a bit of a recluse apparently. A lot of doubters at the brewery called the project ‘daft Guinness'.”

Then Ash attempted dispensing the beer with plain air. It worked. The secret ingredient, he discovered, was nitrogen. The air we breathe is 78 percent nitrogen. Today, a Guinness draft contains 75 percent nitrogen. Not only did the discovery make dispensing the beer easier, it created a creamy mouthfeel that has been the signature of Irish stouts since.

Nitrogen forms tighter bubbles than carbon dioxide when put under pressure in a solution and has a different appearance and texture. The bubble is a pocket of released gas that becomes trapped inside of a thin membrane of beer. There are many more little bubbles in a nitrogen pour.

Incidentally, Draught Guinness, as it is known today, was first produced in 1964. Bottled Draught Guinness was formulated in 1978 and launched into the Irish market in 1979.

Live to 90 With Booze

If you want to live into your 90s, booze actually beats exercise, according to a long-term study. The research, led by University of California (no surprise) neurologist Claudia Kawas, tracked 1,700 nonagenarians enrolled in the 90+ Study that began in 2003 to explore impacts of daily habits on longevity.
Researchers discovered that subjects who drank about two glasses of beer or wine a day were 18% less likely to experience a premature death. Meanwhile, participants who exercised 15 to 45 minutes a day, cut the same risk by 11%.
“I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity,” Kawas stated at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in Austin, Texas.

Other factors were found to boost longevity, including weight. Participants who were slightly overweight, but not obese, cut their odds of an early death by 3%. “It’s not bad to be skinny when you are young, but it is very bad to be skinny when you’re old,” Kawas noted in her address.

Also, subjects who kept busy with a daily hobby two hours a day were 21% less likely to die early, while those who drank two cups of coffee a day cut that risk by 10%.

God's Aging Plan

Related to the above, most seniors never get enough exercise. In His wisdom God decreed that seniors become forgetful so they would have to search for their glasses, keys and other things, thus doing more walking. And God looked down and saw that it was good.

Then God saw there was another need. In His wisdom He made seniors lose co-ordination so they would drop things, requiring them to bend, reach, and stretch. And God looked down and saw that it was good.

Then God considered the function of bladders and decided seniors would have additional calls of nature, requiring more trips to the loo, thus providing more exercise. God looked down and saw that it was good.

God saw that the knights of the round table were getting weak, so he took the wheels off the chairs, thus causing them to actually pull on chairs before sitting down to stuff their faces. God looked down and saw that it was good.

So if you find as you age, you are getting up and down more, remember it is God's will. It is all in your best interest even though you mutter under your breath.