Jun 1, 2018

Microwave vs. Conventional Cooking

Many are under the false claim that microwaving foods robs them of their nutrients. This is false. Microwave ovens cook food using energy waves. The waves cause molecules in food to vibrate quickly, building up their energy as heat.

It is true that some nutrients begin to disintegrate when heated, whether from a microwave, a stove. However, since microwave-cooking times are typically much shorter than oven-cooking times, microwaving often keeps vitamins more intact than other cooking methods.

May 25, 2018

Happy Friday

Smiles are free, but priceless gifts.
Share your priceless smile, especially on a Happy Friday!

More Company Name Origins

L.L.Bean is named after its founder, Leon Leonwood Bean.

FIAT originally stood for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, which translates as "Italian automobile factory of Turin."

FAO Schwarz named after Frederick August Otto Schwarz founder of the toy store

H & R block, the American tax preparation company in North America, Australia, and India was founded by brothers Henry W. Bloch and Richard Bloch. The brothers chose to spell the name "Block" with a K to ensure the name is not mispronounced "blotch."

Pam cooking spray comes from Product of Arthur Meyerhoff, the founder of PAM Products, Inc.

KLM is the abbreviation of Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij (Royal Aviation Company) Royal Dutch Airlines. During September 1919, Queen Wilhelmina awarded the yet-to-be-founded KLM its "Royal" (Koninklijke) status.

Bonus - Captcha, that code you have to type in for security purposes stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. Interesting that it is a computer testing us to prove we are human.

Devein Shrimp

Understanding what the 'vein' is, adds to the conversation. Vein is just a euphemism for the shrimp’s lower digestive tract, meaning it is filled with shrimp poop. It will not harm you, but it might taste a bit grainy.

Experts say you might not be able to taste the vein depending on the shrimp’s size. Small and medium shrimp tend to have smaller 'veins' and do not need deveining except for cosmetics. For larger ones it is usually a good idea to do it.

Climate Stuff

Last week the NOAA announced that April was the 400th month of warmer than average temperature (and caused by us). The NOAA has been tracking temperature since 1880 and reports it has been getting warmer. Interesting that it corresponds directly to the end of the Little Ice Age around 1860. During the Little Ice Age, average global temperatures were 1-1.5 degree Celsius (2-3 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler than they are today.

The Little Ice Age followed the Medieval Warm Period also known as the Medieval Climate Optimum, or Medieval Climatic Anomaly. Scientists believe possible causes of the Medieval Warm Period include increased solar activity, decreased volcanic activity, and changes to ocean circulation.

As late as 2012, scientists still did not agree when the Little Ice age specifically began or ended. Some believe 1300s beginning and others believe 1600s. Most agree it ended in the mid 1800s. A theory from 2012 reports that an unusual, 50-year-long episode of four massive tropical volcanic eruptions triggered the Little Ice Age. Their results are in contrast to the work of other scientists who contend that decreased radiation from the sun is what caused the Little Ice Age.

Scientists mostly agree that the warm period was caused by less volcanic activity and more solar activity. They also mostly agree it was followed by the ice age, which was caused by more volcanic activity and less solar activity.

They all agree that the earth has tilted on its axis over time and there have been many periods of colder weather and many periods of warmer weather on earth during the past millions of years.

Scientists also all agree that mankind cannot control volcanoes, the sun, or the earth tilting on its axis. What they cannot agree on is whether this time climate change is our fault, politics, or just another natural cycle of Mother Nature toying with us.

Passport vs. Visa

A passport serves two purposes: to regain entry to the country of citizenship (i.e. the United States) and is a requirement by many countries to gain entry to the country you are visiting.

A travel visa can be a stamp or sticker placed by officials of a foreign country on a passport that allows the bearer to visit that country.

Visas are obtained from the proper embassy or local consulates of the country to be visited. Visit is defined as the reason for entry, usually business, tourist or transitory. There are over 270 countries that offer travel visas and literally thousands of different types of visas available based upon country, type of visit, and length of visit. A travel visa is an official government document that temporarily authorizes you to be in the country you are visiting. There are about 185 different types of visas.

There are two main categories of US visas:  Non-immigrant visa - for temporary visits such as for tourism, business, work, visiting family, or studying. Immigrant visa - for people to immigrate to the United States.

Technologically Obsolete

One of the first things predicted with the advent of the computer age was eliminating paper. It stands out as one of the greatest prediction blunders. We continue to produce tons of paper. In fact computers created a great surge in the use of paper. Other items have come and gone in short order and many of the following items have been invented, rose, and have fallen out of widespread use during our lifetimes. Some, such as cable TV have become victims of their own success. Here are a few completely or virtually obsolete inventions many of us have known and loved - or hated:

  • Backing up to floppy disk or CD
  • Calculators
  • Calling 411 to find a restaurant or store
  • Cathode ray tube monitors and TVs
  • Tethered computer terminals
  • Dial up internet service
  • Eight track tape
  • Encyclopedia sets and dictionaries
  • Fold up maps and road atlas books
  • Separate GPS devices
  • Movie rental stores (like Blockbuster)
  • Paid e-mail accounts
  • Personal digital assistant (like Palm Pilot)
  • Personal online privacy
  • Phone Books
  • Non-jet commercial planes
  • Punch tape, paper tape, and punched cards
  • Typewriters (manual and electric)
  • Black and white TV
  • VCR (videocassette recorder).
Other items that are on the brink of going away include:

  • Cable TV
  • Physical cables to deliver cable TV (to be replaced by WiFi)
  • Camera (non-digital)
  • CDs (compact disks)
  • Newspaper and magazine classified adds
  • Fax Machines (except in medical field)
  • Getting film developed
  • Landline phones
  • Tower PCs (vs laptops)
  • Public pay phones and phone booths
  • Record stores.

Other things we wish would go away include the myriad types of non-standard cables, all cables with big bricks (baluns) at the end, and sticking a needle in us to deliver medicine. Things we wish will never go away include hugs and kisses and smiles. . . oh, and bacon.

8K TV is Coming

Speaking of obsolete, even though many do not yet have 4K TVs, 8K sets are coming this year. Sharp began shipping the world's first commercially available 8K monitor, the 70-inch, 7,680 by 4,320 Aquos LV-70X500E.
85,000 8K sets are likely to be sold worldwide during 2018 compared to 98.4 million 4K sets. NHK in Japan has committed to inaugurating an 8K channel on December 1, 2018 with thousands of hours of programming. South Korea has already deployed the NextGen 4k TV over antennas in that country and produced the Olympics for the rest of the world in 4K. It was available in the US, but cable companies could not broadcast it in 4K.

The World Cup, Wimbledon, and the Premier Football League are all distributed in 4K. However, we in the US are stuck with "selected holes" at the Masters Tournament shown in 4K.

8K monitors will also be available in the US at the end of the year from a variety of other brands. TCL announced its intention to unveil its own 8K TV at the 2017 IFA show in Berlin. It is likely that all the major Chinese TV brands will show their own 8K models at IFA 2018 and at CES 2019 in January.

The US severely lags the rest of the world and US cable companies still are forcing us to show 720p pictures on our 1080p and 4K TV sets. The good news is that the newer 1080p and 4K smart TVs use software to greatly enhance the crappy 720p pictures and virtually no 720p TVs are being sold these days.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world has moved on. If it were not for Netflix, Amazon Video, Directtv, YouTube, and Blu-ray, many in the US would not even know the beauty of 4K, and the world is already moving beyond it to 8K. Maybe I need a chill pill for pixel envy.

Well, Pinch My Bum

How many names can one holiday have? Quite a few, such as Restoration Day, Oak Apple Day, or Royal Oak Day. It was an English public holiday, observed annually on 29 May, to commemorate the restoration of the English monarchy in May 1660. It is also known as Shick Shack Day, Oak and Nettle Day, Bumping Day, and Pinch-bum Day. Each group seems to have their own name and as many ways to celebrate the English monarchy.

May 18, 2018

Happy Friday

You do not need teeth to smile, just a happy thought.

It is easy to have happy thoughts, especially on a Happy Friday!

Google Tricks

Type “Do a Barrel Roll” (without quotes) in your search bar and hold your desk for a second as this will give a circular roll off your screen. A few more to try, "space", "gravity", "underwater". Fun stuff to keep you from doing your work.

Tonsils and Adenoids

Technically, there are three sets of tonsils: the pharyngeal tonsils, commonly known as adenoids, the palatine tonsils, and the lingual tonsils. People refer to tonsils usually as the palatine tonsils, which are oval, pea-sized clusters of lymph cells at the opening of either side of the throat. Their role is to filter bacteria and viruses and produce white blood cells and antibodies. Tonsils are the first line of defense as part of the immune system.

Adenoids or pharyngeal tonsils are clusters of lymphatic tissue in the back of the nose, above the roof of the mouth. They begin to shrink by age 7 or 8, are barely visible by the late teens, and completely gone by adulthood. Adenoids are covered with cilia and mucus. The small hairs wave about to spread mucus, which is carried to the stomach by swallowing. The purpose of the mucus is to capture infectious bacteria, dust, and other particles and flush them away.

Bottom line, all adenoids are tonsils, but not all tonsils are adenoids.

Wordology, Hoi Polloi

This term is used to mean two completely different things. Originally it came from the Greek and is a transliteration of the Greek for 'the many'. So, it means the masses, the ordinary folks, the general populace, and usually it is usually meant as derogatory. However, it also has a second meaning. According to Merriam Webster it also means people of distinction, or wealth, or elevated status.

I checked a few dictionaries and found the first definition, but the second seems limited to Merriam Webster. Incidentally, the hoi polloi is actually redundant, as hoi means the, so the hoi polloi literally would mean the the masses.

Top Ten Websites in US

Interesting to note that three of the top ten are porn sites. Not sure what that means.

1 google.com,  Search Engine
2 facebook.com,  Social Network
3 youtube.com,  TV and Video
4 amazon.com,  Shopping
5 yahoo.com,  News and Media
6 xvideos.com,  Adult
7 pornhub.com,  Adult
8 xnxx.com,  Adult
9 ebay.com,  Shopping
10 wikipedia.org,  Reference

Other sites of interest Walmart is number 20, linkedin 22, and AOL is 48. Evidently, my blog did not make the cut.