Sep 7, 2018

Wind Power

Wind power constituted 25 percent of all US generation capacity additions during 2017. Wind energy contributed 6.3 percent of the nation's electricity supply, more than 10 percent of total electricity generation in 14 states, and more than 30 percent in four of those states (Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota).

Lower installed project costs, along with improvements in capacity factors, are enabling aggressive wind power pricing from 7 cents per kWh in 2009 to around 2 cents per kWh during 2017.

Blunts vs. Joints vs. Spliffs

Blunts and joints only contain cannabis, but blunts are rolled with tobacco paper whereas joints are rolled with lighter, partially translucent papers. Blunts are generally considered to be the heaviest hitters due to the interaction between the tobacco paper and cannabis. Joints often include a paper filter known as a crutch, which adds stability to the roll and allows you to enjoy your joint without burning your fingertips.

Spliffs are essentially hybrids, part tobacco and part cannabis. They are rolled in the same paper spectrum as joints and also often include a crutch. Tobacco provides an initial head rush and energetic physical buzz similar to coffee, which precedes the effects of cannabis. This sensation is most notable in spliffs because of the loose tobacco presence.

Paper choice is important, impacting the product’s size, flavor, and burn rate. You can use loose papers to roll joints and can use both loose papers and pre-rolls to make spliffs.

In Europe the names are reversed: a joint refers to a roll with cannabis and tobacco and a spliff refers to rolled cannabis exclusively. This is because a “joint” is a combination of two items instead of just one. Puff well my friends.

Wordology, Arachibutyrophobia

It is the fear of getting peanut butter thuck to the roof of your mouth.

New Technology

Last week the IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin or International radio exhibition Berlin), Europe's largest technology show opened. It ran Aug 31 to September 5, 2018. Some of the new stuff included the usual tech items, including ear buds, speakers, smart watches, smart phones and smart phone watches, laptops, new computer chips, etc.

Lenovo introduced a laptop convertible that has a speaker built in to its hinge, so the sound comes out directly at you vs. on the bottom or back as current PCs have them placed.

There were some smart appliances, including a fridge with a built-in vacuum sealer and another with built in lazy Susan. Also shown were smart dishwashers, cook tops, and smart vacuums. Difficult to go through the entire list as there were a few thousand exhibitors showing their wares to a few hundred thousand attendees.

If you have yet to buy a 4K TV, you may pass a whole generation in technology as 8K TVs were everywhere at the show and here are a few - LG 88 inch, Samsung 4 - 65 inch smallest, one is 88 inch, Sharp 60, 70, and 80 inch, TCL from 65, 70 and 75 inch, Toshiba 65 inch. Many are already or will be available as soon as this month.

Many experts say the smallest TV for 4K should be 65 inches to get the best appreciation for being able to notice the picture quality. Interesting to note that Japan starts 8K broadcasts in December 2018. No word from Netflix or Amazon about when 8K movies or shows will be produced.

Best of show winner was the LG 8K OLED TV (price about $25,000 US). Best smartphone: Sony Xperia XZ3 smartphone, best TV: Samsung 8K TV, best in home theater: Harman Kardon Citation speakers, best smart speaker: Huawei AI Cube, best headphones: Sony WH-1000XM3, best wearable tech: Garmin Vivosmart 4.

Aug 31, 2018

Happy Friday

Wear happiness draped with a smile and the world is yours.

I love to dress well, especially on a Happy Friday!

International Bacon Day

Yea, it is almost here again. The celebrations are held each year on the Saturday before Labor Day in the United States. That is tomorrow folks, enjoy some bacon and do not forget to save the grease for cooking other things, like popcorn, eggs, and more to tantalize your taste buds.

Lost Phone or Emergency Contact

Here are two options for a lost phone or emergency situations that may prove useful. Both options allow someone who has found your lost phone or found you in need of emergency help. The first is for medical emergency and requires a free app from the Google app store.
This app is used for emergency if you cannot use the phone, or if it is lost. It puts a little icon on the lock screen to get at the information you provide, including an emergency call number. LINK

The second is built into Android phones and requires no app. It shows a scrolling name and number of your choice on the lock screen, but still preserves that the person cannot get past the lock screen and into your phone. It only shows information you desire, but has no medical information. Go to "Settings" then "device", then look for "Lock Screen," "Security" and/or "Owner Info" (depending on phone version).  You can add any contact info you want a person to call for emergency or lost phone (other than your own cell number). It will scroll across the lock screen and preserve that the person cannot get into your other information, but can still contact someone to tell them the emergency, or the fact that they found your phone.

Union Membership Decline

The overall rate of union membership was 10.7% during 2017, compared with 20.1% in 1983, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2017, 6.5% of private-sector workers belonged to a union, while 34.4% of public-sector workers were members.

Eight DARPA Facts

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is sixty years old as of 2018. Below are some favorite DARPA facts.

  1. The original sketch of ARPANET fits on a napkin.
  2. In August 1962, J.C.R Licklider published a paper titled “On-Line Man Computer Communication,” which detailed a connected global network. Less than two months later, Licklider was appointed as director of the new Information Processing Techniques Office, or IPTO at ARPA, as it was called back then. His brief was to create a network to connect Department of Defense computers at three isolated locations.
  3. By the end of the decade, the first host-to-host connection between computers on the new Arpanet was established at 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 29. 1969, creating the world’s first fully operational packet-switching network. By December, a four-node network was up and running.
  4. The first email was sent across it in 1972.
  5. In the summer of 1979, a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology students, funded by DARPA, demonstrated the interactive Aspen Movie Map on videodisc. The map let users travel through the city of Aspen, Colorado, virtually. Additionally, the map included the ability to view how historic buildings looked like in the past. (Think Google maps.)
  6. The voice-recognition system embedded in many smartphones was born out of DARPA research. DARPA has been researching the concept of voice recognition combined with artificial intelligence since 2003. The goal of the research is to provide translation of foreign languages by service members deployed to foreign countries.
  7. Nearly every automaker now offers a self-driving car and it all started with a contest held by DARPA in 2004. Anyone could enter. Their vehicle must be self-driven. The fastest vehicle to make it safely through 300 miles of desert wins a $1 million prize.
  8. As part of its Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance, or EXACTO program, DARPA developed a .50-caliber ammunition that can maneuver in flight. A bullet that can change direction after it has been fired from a weapon. It uses a “real-time optical guidance system” that tracks and directs the bullets to intended targets, ensuring the high accuracy rate of snipers regardless of external factors that could affect the trajectory of the bullet, such as weather or target movement.

Charcoal and Odors

Charcoal is an excellent odor absorbent and all you have to do is rip the bag open a bit and set it in your pantry. You can use charcoal in your other cabinets, too. Just place a piece of two inside in the back and change it out every few months. If you have a plastic container that smells like onions or garlic, pop a piece of charcoal in it overnight with the lid on it and it will smell better by morning.

Web Cam History

At the beginning of the nineties, the world wide web had no search engines, no social networking sites, and no webcam. Scientists at the University of Cambridge were addicted to caffeine, but the coffee pot was stationed in the main computer lab and many of the researchers worked in different labs and on different floors.

They came up with a solution; set up a camera to grab images three times a minute, and they wrote software to run the images from the camera on their entire internal computer network. During 1993 the program made it to the World Wide Web and millions of tech enthusiasts from around the world began accessing images of the now famous coffee pot.

Junk Paper Mail Opt Out

We receive too many unsolicited paper mail ads in our mailbox and it contributes to landfill pollution. Below are a few ways to opt out of the paper mess. Some take from a few days to a few weeks to opt out, but be patient and your mail box glut should diminish. In addition, you can check my blog for a few more of my opt out ideas LINK.

Catalogue and publishing companies share consumer information via Abacus. Send an email to its parent company at Put “remove” in the subject line and your name and address in the body of the email. Be sure to include your name as it appears on the bulk mail you receive. If your middle initial is on there, use it. If your name is misspelled, include that.

Here are a few more opt-out pages:

- Money Mailer sends big red, white and blue envelopes. If you do not want them, email your name and address to
- RedPlum asks that you fill out a form on its website to put a stop to its mailings:
- Valpak also offers an online opt-out form:
- Yellow Pages books opt out:

- Credit card and insurance offers 5 years opt out, if you use online form or permanent if you wish to use paper to mail in your signature. It is endorsed by Equifax, Innovis, Xperion, and TransUnion.:


It is best to save photographs as JPG or JPEG - for altered colors, gradients and textures. JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group that created the standard. JPG loses a bit of clarity each time it is copied, due to compression.

Graphics and screenshots are best saved as PNG. PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics, which is a bitmap image format that uses lossless data compression. If it has pointed lines, clearly unconnected areas of flat colors and text, PNG is best. File compression for a PNG is lossless, which keeps all of the data contained in the file, within the file, during the process. Lossless compression is necessary when you have images that are still in the editing process. PNGs are often used if size is not a concern and the picture is complicated because a PNG file holds additional information than a JPG.
Basic Rule: JPG for Photos, PNG for Graphics.

More Google Facts

If an employee of Google dies, the company mandates that the employees’ spouse receives half the former employees’ salary for the next ten years as well as stock benefits. If the employee has any children, they will each receive $1,000 per month until they turn 19.

In addition to street view cars, images have also been captured by attaching a camera to individual people, a tricycle, and even a camel. The camel cam was attached to a ten year old dromedary named Raffia, who captured images across the Liwa desert in the United Arab Emirates.