Oct 27, 2018

Wordology, Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

It means to find fault with something that has been received as a gift or favor.

Long ago when buying a horse, people would determine the horse’s age and condition based on its teeth, and then decide whether they want to buy it or not. This is the reason why people use this idiom to say it is rude to look for flaws in a thing that was given to you as a gift.

Flag Shape

Did you know there is only one state in the United States that has a non rectangular shaped flag? The flag starts wider on the left, getting narrower on the right side. Instead of a straight edge on the right, it has two points. It is red, white, and blue, with five red-and-white stripes on the right side.

The left side has a dark blue triangle, in the center of which is a red-and-white circle surrounded by 17 white stars. The 13 stars surrounding the circle pay homage to the original 13 colonies, and the four stars to the right of it bring the number up to 17, representing Ohio’s admission to the Union as the 17th state. The large blue triangle represents Ohio's hills and valleys, and the stripes represent roads and waterways. The circle in the center evokes the “O” for Ohio, in addition to slightly resembling a buckeye seed (since Ohio is “the Buckeye State”). 

Oct 19, 2018

Happy Friday

You can smile to be happy and you can be happy to smile.

I practice vice and versa, especially on a Happy Friday.

Amazon Shark Tank

Never one to miss an opportunity, this week Amazon added a special area on its site to sell Shark Tank items. More than 70 products that successfully received funding from Sharks during seasons 1-9 are now available. This collaboration coincides with the premiere of Shark Tank season 10. Reminds me of the “as seen on TV” items in stores.   LINK      

Aldi Facts

The Aldi name is a syllabic abbreviation for Albrecht Diskont (Discount)

Aldi is two different companies: Aldi Nord and Aldi Sud, or North and South. During the 1960s, Theo and Karl Albrecht could not agree on whether or not they were going to allow their stores to sell cigarettes. They came up with an interesting solution; instead of compromising they divided the company in half.

There is a line that runs across Germany known as the "Aldi equator" and Theo took the north while Karl took the south. You can tell the difference by looking at the logo: Nord's logo is a basic blue and white, Sud's logo is orange and blue. The southern Aldi is a bit fancier. When it came time to expand to the rest of the world, other countries were also divided. Stores in areas like the UK, Ireland, and Australia are all Aldi Sud, while Aldi Nord took France and Poland.

There is only one country where Aldi Nord and Aldi Sud share pieces of the grocery store pie, and that is in the US. Aldi Sud, with its blue and orange logo does business as Aldi, and Aldi Nord uses another name, Trader Joe's.

This year, 2018 Aldi and Kohl's announced Kohl's will sublet space to Aldi in limited stores in the US.

Geography Trivia

Texas is larger than any country in Europe which is not Russia.

Russia makes up 40% of the total area of Europe,

The population of China is significantly larger than the combined populations of South America (385,7 mil), North America (529 mil) and Australia (31.26mil).

The Pacific Ocean covers a larger area than all land masses of Earth combined.

The average depth of oceans water is about 3.8 kilometers (2.4 miles). Maximum depths can exceed 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).

Washington Monument may be more famous, but things are bigger in Texas. The San Jacinto Monument of La Porte, Texas is 15-feet taller than the monument in DC and is the tallest stone column structure and war monument in the world. It is 9.6 feet (2.9 m) taller than the next tallest, the Juche Tower in North Korea.

Amarillo, Texas is home to 90% of the entire world’s helium reserves.

Texas is home to the largest bat colony in the world, Bracken Cave has over 20 million bats. The city of Austin is also home to the largest urban bat colony on the continent.

Dallas Cowboys may be America’s team, but they have not played football in the city of Dallas since 1971.

Eyeglasses Origin

Salvino D’Armate an Italian likely invented wearable eyeglasses towards the end of the 13th century. The earliest differed from modern eyeglasses, because they did not have the arms hooking behind the ears, and the lenses were only for hyperopia (farsightedness). Lenses for myopia (nearsightedness) were invented during the 15th century. Of course people did not know how silly they looked, because mirrors were not invented until 1835 by German chemist Justus von Liebig.

Incidentally, Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals, not glasses as many wrongly believe. Also, Leonardo da Vinci during 1508 produced the first known sketches that suggested the optics of the human eye could be altered by placing the cornea directly in contact with water as with contact lenses.

Transistor Size Changes

During 1971 the first commercial microprocessor was 1,000 times bigger than today’s when it was released.

During 2007, the state-of-the-art for Intel was 3.3 million transistors per square millimeter. Now in 2018, 100 Million Transistors are in each square millimeter.

Intel has just announced the first microchip that contains more than two billion transistors - tiny switches that together perform the calculations in computers.

As of 2017, the largest transistor count in a commercially available single-chip processor is 19.2 billion— AMD's Ryzen-based Epyc. In other types of ICs, such as field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), Intel's (previously Altera) Stratix 10 has the largest transistor count, containing over 30 billion transistors

Intel has just announced the first microchip that contains more than two billion transistors. The chip, known as Tukwila, marks a milestone in chip density technology.

Meanwhile software bloat diminishes the amazing hardware changes and common laptop computers still lag as they did a number of years ago. Just as with TVs, hardware is progressing faster than our ability to take advantage of it.

Intel's latest chips, based on Kaby Lake, are made using a 14-nanometer process, and the company is now moving to 10-nm with its upcoming Cannonlake chip, which was shown in a PC at CES 2017.
14 nm – 2014 still using in 2018
10 nm – 2017 (now 2019)
 7 nm – 2018 (7nm pilot plant set in 2017 to determine how to make in volume)
 5 nm – 2020

Incidentally, to offer perspective, nano means one-billionth, so one nanometer (nm) is one-billionth of a meter (3.2 feet). There are 25,400,000 nanometers in one inch. A strand of human DNA is 2.5 nanometers in diameter. A human hair is approximately 80,000 - 100,000 nanometers wide.

Carat vs. Caret vs. Karat vs. Carrot

A carat is a unit of weight for diamonds, other gemstones, and pearls. One carat equals 200 milligrams (0.200 grams).

A caret is a proofreader's mark showing where something needs to be inserted in a document. It shaped like a tiny pitched roof ^.

A karat is a measure of purity when referring to gold. You may have seen different types of jewelry referred to as 14-karat gold or 18-karat gold. Pure gold is known as 24-karat gold. Gold is a fairly soft metal, so it is not often used to make jewelry. Jewelry made of pure gold can be easily bent and scratched, so gold is often mixed with other metals, such as copper or silver, to form an alloy that can be used to make jewelry. A karat is equal to 1/24 pure gold, so an 18-karat gold ring would be made with 18 parts gold and 6 parts of another metal.

The orange vegetable carrot,
that grows down into the ground is completely unrelated.

Wordology, Pull Out All The Stops

To pull out all the stops means to make a great effort to achieve something. The origin came from organs.

Organ consoles have knobs that are called ‘stops’. Without them the organist can play at a much higher volume, so ‘pulling out all the stops’ would let the organist achieve maximum volume. With all of the stops pushed in, there is no air movement, so there is no sound. Strategically pulling out stops allows the organist to influence the quality of the sound. Pulling out all of the stops activates all of the pipe sets, so it results in a very full sound, and maximum volume.

Robot Dance

Speaking of pulling out all the stops, watch this robot twerk. One minute diversion to get your heart pumping. LINK

College Coach Salaries

A while back, a friend of mine Marilyn asked about the very high college coach salaries and are they worth it.
A head football coach is more impactful on the success of that team than virtually any other coaching position in sports. Some of their duties include:
recruiting his players, calculating what their future growth and maturity rates are, assemble a huge staff of talented assistants, deal with young people going through many emotional challenges, put together winning offensive and defensive schemes, and deal with the administration alumni and press. The monetary effect of producing packed stadium, alumni contributions, and huge television contracts are all a function of winning.
Regarding whether they are worth it, we must consider college sports as a business, which it is. For instance, USA Today reported Texas A&M’s athletic revenues totaled $192 million, the most of any school in the nation. Its coach is receiving 7.5 million dollars a year. From a business standpoint, it appears to be appropriate. When looked upon in the larger landscape of the success of an athletics program, coaches can be seen as the centerpiece
Ticket sales, advertising deals, merchandise sales, licensing agreements all increase by millions of dollars each year when the football program is winning and playing at a top level. Lucrative deals and extensions with Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour heavily depend upon the success of football.

This, of course does not answer the question of whether colleges should be in the business of sports vs. providing education.
A few examples of contracts below:

Alabama head coach Nick Saban signed a three-year contract extension in May that will pay the five-time national champion $11.125 million in 2017, according to USA Today. The deal, which is worth $65 million over eight years, made Saban the highest paid college coach across all sports. Record at Alabama: 119-19 in 11 seasons - National championships: 5 total (2003 at LSU; 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015 at Alabama)

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh made $7 million in 2017. Record at Michigan: 20-6 in three seasons

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer made $6 million in 2017. Record at Ohio State: 61-6 in six seasons - National championships: 1 at Ohio State (3 total)

Penn State coach James Franklin signed a contract extension that guarantees him $34.7 million through 2022, bringing his annual base salary to $5.78 million (up from $4.6 million) with up to $1 million in incentives. Record at Penn State: 25-15 in four seasons

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher made $5.3 million in 2017 and will make
$75 million over 10 years at Texas A&M. His record at Florida State: 78-17 in eight seasons. National championships: 1

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney inked a new deal that runs through 2021 and brings his average annual salary up to $5.125 million. Record at Clemson: 89-28 - National championships: 1

New Texas Longhorns coach Tom Herman signed a five-year deal worth $5 million per year, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin made $5 million in 2017. Record at Texas A&M: 44-21 in six seasons

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn signed a four-year extension in 2016 that will pay him $4.725 million per year. Record at Auburn: 35-18 in five seasons

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz signed a contract extension in 2016 that brought his base salary up to $4.5 million annually.

Quick Google Tip

If you want to watch a show, but do not know where to find it, you can search the word “watch” followed by the name of the show in Google and it will show you all the sites and service from which it is available.

Oct 13, 2018

Happy Friday

Smile and everyone becomes your mirror.

I always smile and collect smiles back, especially on a Happy Friday!