Feb 1, 2019

Weed Eater vs. Weedwacker vs. Weed Wacker

Husqvarna holds the Weed Eater trademark. Stanley Black & Decker holds the Weedwacker trademark. Weed Wacker, note the space, is owned by Environmental Essentials, LLC.

White House Numbers

The US White House has 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms and 6 levels in the residence. It also has 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases and 3 elevators.

First Speed Limits

The first US speed limit for motor vehicles was set in Connecticut in May 1901. It was 19 kilometers per hour (12 mph) within the city and 24 kilometers per hour (15 mph) on the highway. Earlier speed limits were targeted at horse-drawn carriages, not motor vehicles.

Representative Robert Woodruff, who proposed the speed limit for vehicles, wanted it set at 13 kilometers per hour (8 mph) within the city and 19 kilometers per hour (12 mph) on the highway. Drivers were warned to either slow down or stop driving when they saw a horse-drawn carriage. This was because the state did not want drivers scaring the horses.

Wordology, Nibling

Nibling is a gender-neutral term for a niece or nephew.

Science vs. Science

Researchers have discovered that healthy men and women continue to produce new neurons throughout life, suggesting older people remain more cognitively and emotionally intact than previously believed. For decades it was thought that adult brains were unable to form new cells, but a Columbia University study found older people continued to produce neurons in the hippocampus, a part of the brain important for memory, emotion, and cognition - at a similar rate to young people. However, the researchers also noted fewer blood vessels and connections between cells in the older brains.

The research results come a month after a University of California study suggested adults do not develop new neurons.

Jan 25, 2019

Happy Friday

Man is not constrained by happiness, but a lack of it.

I never feel constrained, especially on a Happy Friday!

McDonald's Embraces More Bacon

McDonald's is launching Cheesy Bacon Fries next week on Jan. 30, 2019 along with the Big Mac Bacon burger and Quarter Pounder Bacon burger, the company said.

The fast-food chain explained in its official announcement, "'That’s too much bacon,' said no one ever."

McDonald’s is also hosting a nationwide one-time bacon bash and free bacon giveaway from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday January 29 at participating locations nationwide to celebrate bacon menu items arrival the following day. During "Bacon Hour," customers can get a free side of thick-cut, Applewood smoked bacon with any purchase, be it a filet-o-fish, hot fudge sundae, or apple pie.
“When we said there’s no such thing as too much bacon, we weren’t kidding,” said McDonald’s manager of culinary innovation Michael Haracz. "January 29, we’ll be upping the bacon ante — the bac-ante, if you will — and celebrating this glorious food favorite like never before."

Incidentally, doing market research, the brand found that the word “bacon” was mentioned across Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and other forums an average of 17,000 times a day (or 740 times an hour) by users in the US between January 1, 2018, and January 7, 2019.

National Gorilla Suit Day

During 1963, Don Martin (one of my favorite cartoon artists) published National Gorilla Suit Day in a collection 'Don Martin Bounces Back', in which Fester Bestertester mocks the (then fictitious) concept of a National Gorilla Suit Day, and suffers a series of incredible assaults from gorillas and other creatures in gorilla and other suits.

Martin also brought us the great new words like spladap, shtoink, bukkida bukkida, splitch, sladap, sizafitz, and many more from his cartoons.

Subsequently, Don Martin fans have celebrated National Gorilla Suit Day on January 31. Enjoy!

Wordology, Tatterdemalion

A tatterdemalion is somebody wearing tattered clothing. It can also be used as an adjective meaning tattered or ragged in appearance.

Actresses Switch Roles

Meg Ryan turned down the role in Pretty Woman, and Julia Roberts turned down Ryan’s role in Sleepless in Seattle.

Incidentally, during 2010 Roberts announced that she was a practitioner of Hinduism; she was initially drawn to the religion after seeing a photo of a guru.

Six Uses for Tea Bags

A used tea bag can be used to give a little more flavor to dinner by using it to marinade meat and give it a savory taste. Just mix with the marinade for adding a bit of flair to your dish.

Tea helps to speed up the decomposition process of organic matter. For non-biodegradable tea bags, you can slit them open and use the moist tea leaves in your compost.

Roses love it, and so do houseplants and garden plants like ferns; tea makes a nutrient rich fertilizer with its tannic acid and nitrogen-boosting properties. To use as a fertilizer, you can brew up some tea or mix damp black tea leaves into the soil or spread it around the base of plants.

Bug bites and stings can be treated by using a cooled tea bag as a compress to relieve itching, sting, and inflammation.

With poison ivy or sunburn, you can either use the compress method, or make tea to add to lukewarm water in a bath and soak up its healing properties.

Rodents and cats do not like the smell and bugs and slugs can be kept at bay with some tea leaves sprinkled into the soil. Use dry tea leaves or a moist bag that’s been cut open. It is thought that the caffeine can keep pests from eating or urinating on your garden.

Saving Your TV

Many TVs come from the factory with the brightness level higher than it needs to be. Some folks like an ultra-bright picture, but it can soften picture detail and cause the TV to work harder to display all that light. Try adjusting the brightness level so the picture looks more realistic, displaying more detail. Your eyes will be happier and so will your TV. The reduction in brightness will add more hours to your set’s life.

The Contrast or Picture setting measures the difference between a TV's brightest and darkest colors. If the Contrast or Picture level is too high, it can force the TV to exert more power, reducing its total hours of use. To ensure this does not happen, set it to Standard or Movie Mode rather than Vivid or Dynamic. This will keep your Contrast or Picture level at a more efficient setting.

Cable vs. Netflix Cost

The average cable price in 2017 was US $100.98. Nielsen says the average American adult watches four hours and 23 minutes of live TV a day, plus 33 minutes of DVR content. So, that is four hours and 56 minutes of pay TV a day. During the course of a year a typical cable customer watches about 1,800.67 hours of live and time-shifted TV (including commercials), and pays about $1,210.80 for the privilege. That comes out to 67.2 cents per hour of cable.

An average Netflix user pays about $11.66 a month or $139.96 per year. An average Netflix user is streaming 3.21 hours of content. That amounts to watching 1,171.65 hours of Netflix a year. This is a worldwide number and most non-US users spend less time watching than the average American. That comes out to 11.95 cents per hour of Netflix watched.

Streaming Outpaces Cable TV

Streaming video services already outpace pay TV in US homes with broadband (about 80 percent of all US homes. More than three-fourths of those homes (76.4 percent) use a streaming service like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu, etc., according to research from The Diffusion Group.

Slightly fewer broadband homes, 74 percent, have a traditional pay TV service from a cable, satellite, or fiber provider. Another 8 percent use a net-distributed service, such as DirecTV Now or Sling TV. The Diffusion Group found in its survey of 2,000 US adults with broadband service, "Despite subscriber growth for virtual pay TV services, they will not be enough to overcome declines in legacy services," said Michael Greeson, Diffusion Group's president and co-founder. "We see the entire pay TV sector slowly declining in the next five years."