Sep 28, 2018

What's in a Name, Cocktail

There are almost as many stories about the origination of the word cocktail relating to drinks as there are types of cocktail. Most concede that the word is of US origin.

A computerized newspaper database showed up an 1803 article from New Hampshire satirizing the fast young men of its day by printing what was purportedly an extract from one of their diaries - "Drank a glass of cocktail—excellent for the head...Call'd at the Doct's, found Burnham—he looked very wise—drank another glass of cocktail."

On May 13, 1806, the Balance and Colombian Repository of Hudson, New York, answered a reader’s query as to the nature of a cocktail: "Cock-tail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, in as much as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else."

In one of James Fenimore Cooper's more obscure novels the salty Elizabeth “Betty” Flanagan keeps a rough tavern, and Cooper characterizes her as “the inventor of that beverage which is so well known at the present hour 1821, to all the patriots who make a winter's march between New York City and Albany, and which is distinguished by the name of ‘cock-tail."

Another theory as to the origin, is ginger was used in the horse trade to make a horse stick its tail up. If you had an old horse you were trying to sell, you would put some ginger up its butt, and it would cock its tail up and be frisky. That was known as “cock-tail.”

Battery Cost

Here is the cost and value of various batteries.

Pigs vs. Hogs

Pigs generally weigh less than 200 pounds, while hogs are 200-plus pounds.

Bacon Capsules and Bacon Cotton Candy

Mary Poppins said a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, but now we have bacon flavored capsules to make the medicine go down even better. Capsule Depot, based in Ontario, Canada, describes itself as the world's largest online supplier of empty capsules. These are bought wholesale by health-related businesses, are filled with some kind of medicine or nutritional supplement, and end up at your local pharmacy or nutrition store. Among other varieties, it makes Capsule Depot Bacon Flavored Capsules.

Cotton candy is basically threads of spun caramelized sugar, so light that when it was invented in the late 1800s, it was called "fairy floss". The Iowa-based confectionery Chocolate Storybook creates more than 50 flavors for it, including
Chocolate Storybook Bacon Cotton Candy.

Wordology, Crocodile Tears

This expression is not used much these days, but it is interesting to know the history. It means tears or expressions of sorrow that are insincere.

It originated from a 14th century, a book called “The Travels of Sir John Mandeville” where the author recounts a knight’s adventures through Asia. In the book it says that crocodiles shed tears while eating a man they captured. Even though it is factually inaccurate, the phrase ‘crocodile tears’ found its way into Shakespeare’s work and became an idiom in the 16th century, symbolizing insincere grief.

Sep 21, 2018

Happy Friday

Happiness does not require validation.

Being happy is its own validation, especially on a Happy Friday!

Autumn, Fall

Yikes, tomorrow September 22 at exactly 9:54 P.M. EDT is the first day of Fall (as in fall of the leaf) in the Northern Hemisphere. Autumn is also the season that comes between summer and winter. Fall is the common American and Canadian term for Autumn. Before both of those terms, it was called Harvest.

Incidentally, September 1 is the beginning of Spring in Australia and New Zealand.

Another History Lesson

The Brooklyn Bridge was being built during 'Custer’s Last Stand” at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. It took place at the same time that the world's first steel wire suspension bridge, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, was under construction.

The battle was fought between forces of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes and the United States Army. The defeat of US forces, led by Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, was the most significant action of the Great Sioux War of 1876.

The Brooklyn Bridge still stands proud, having undergone major renovation works between 2011-2015, and carries roughly 150,000 vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians between Manhattan and Brooklyn each day.

What's in a Name, Pink Floyd

The name Pink Floyd came from their original front man, Syd Barrett. Barrett was a big fan of blues artists Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, so he took one name from each of them and combined them into one name for the band. Early on in their career, with little budget Pink Floyd would create visual effects for their live shows in a number of cheap, but effective ways. One of these ways was to cover their lights with colored condoms.

White Meat vs. Dark Meat

The differences in color between white meat and dark meat reflect the fact that different cuts of chicken or turkey meat come from different types of muscle.

Dark meat cuts, such as the thighs and drumsticks come from frequently-used muscles needed for walking and standing. These muscles use more oxygen and contain more fat and iron. The iron in the muscles is located in a protein called myoglobin. The myoglobin gives dark meat its darker color.

White meat cuts, such as the breast, breast tenders, and wings, come from muscles that are used less frequently. These muscles primarily use a carbohydrate called glycogen for energy, and they do not need as much oxygen. There is less iron and myoglobin in these muscles, so the meat is lighter in color.

Experts note that there are also slight differences between white meat and dark meat in nutritional value. All chicken contains valuable protein, niacin, biotin, and vitamins B6 and B12, but dark meat tends to be slightly higher in calories due to the fact that it contains more fat. The extra fat in dark meat also gives it a stronger flavor and makes it juicier.

MJ Overdose - NOT

Marijuana is impossible to overdose on. The median lethal dose (LD50) of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) is so high and the methods of intake so dilute that it would take impossible feats to have it occur.

While there are a couple of different and conflicting sources, one estimate placed it at 40,000 times as much as the dose needed to get high. For instance, with cannabis brownies you would die of sugar poisoning long before the THC got you. With smoking, you would need to smoke about 1,500 pounds in a duration of 15 minutes. This is contrasted with alcohol, where five to ten times the amounted needed to get you drunk can kill you.

Wordology, Toast

The word toast derives from the Latin word 'tostare' (to scorch or roast). From Classical times it was common to flavor wine by floating small pieces of toasted bread in it. Sometimes these pieces would be flavored with spices; at other times the carbon in the toast would mellow the wine.

The following guidelines apply specifically to toasting in Canada and the United States.  Most people will lightly touch glasses when giving a toast, often saying "toast", "cheers" or a short phrase such as "to us". Toasting by raising the glass without touching is regarded by some as a slightly more sophisticated mode of behavior.

Except during formal occasions, it is not common to "propose a toast" in the more formal sense. However, when someone does make such a gesture, it is almost invariably met with approval regardless of the setting or the occasion.
If someone wants to propose another, this second toast should have a different focus than the first and be briefer than the first so as not upstage it. Subsequent toasts, if any, should even more succinct.

Americans and Canadians typically toast only once per gathering. Even lifting one's glass and saying "cheers" each time a new drink is poured is not impolite, but can get tedious.

Smart Devices Vulnerability

If you have smart home devices on your home WiFi network, such as light bulbs, security cameras, connected thermostat, etc., they might be vulnerable to hacking.

Here is a quick way to check if any of your devices can be found on the internet. Click on the link and it will check if your devices might be vulnerable. Not perfect, but it can provide an early warning. You can use it each time you add a new device. LINK

More Coffee Benefits

A review that combined the results of nine studies found that drinking more coffee is associated with lower risk of cirrhosis. In the review, drinking one cup of coffee per day was shown to be linked with a 22% reduced risk for cirrhosis, a liver disease. Two daily cups were associated with a 43% reduced risk, three cups with 57% reduced risk, and four cups with 65% reduced risk.

A review of more than 200 studies found that people who drank three or four cups of coffee per day were 19% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

One large review of studies found that every additional cup of coffee a person drinks per day was correlated with a 7% reduced risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

A meta-analysis of studies about coffee intake and brain health calculated that regular coffee drinkers were approximately 16% less likely to suffer from Alzheimer's, dementia, or cognitive decline.

A large study of more than 500,000 European people found that during a 16-year period, men who drank three or more cups per day were 12% less likely, and women who did the same were 7% less likely to die from circulatory and digestive diseases and had healthier livers.