Nov 30, 2019

Phone Number Substitute

You can put 000-000-0000 as a phone number on a website that will not let you proceed without a number. It does not work on every site, but worth a try if you do not wish to give out your real phone number. Of course you can also use a dummy number, but you probably do not want your info tied to someone else's number.

Alzheimer's vs. Dementia

There are about fifty million people living with dementia worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are often used interchangeably, but there are differences.
Alzheimer’s disease is a specific type of dementia and is the most common. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease marked by deposits of beta-amyloid plaques and proteins called tau that damage cells in brain regions that control functions like thinking, memory, and reasoning. With Alzheimer’s, you may forget new information or find that you need to ask family members to remember important facts you should be able to remember for yourself. It is not where you cannot remember the name of your barber and then it comes to you later.

Dementia is an umbrella term for symptoms like impaired memory and thinking that interferes with daily living. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in order for a person to be diagnosed with dementia, two of the following must be “significantly impaired”: memory, communication and language, the ability to focus and pay attention, reasoning and judgment, and visual perception. A medical illness, metabolic issue (like a nutritional or thyroid problem), vascular disease (like a stroke), or infectious diseases can affect brain cells, causing dementia.
There are no FDA-approved therapies for dementia, but there are four medications that target Alzheimer’s. These drugs do not stall disease progression or cure the disease, but they can help control symptoms.

All Alzheimer's is dementia, but not all dementia is Alzheimer's. 

Impeachment Facts

The media is throwing the term about as if the process is a criminal trial. Impeachable offenses are not necessarily illegal. It also does not mean the accused has been found guilty. Impeachment can be at the federal or state level. It is only a statement of charges, such as to an indictment in criminal law.

Impeachment is not a criminal trial. It is a political process. In fact, impeachment is actually two separate processes. The lower House of Representatives investigates and chooses to indict the president or charge him with offenses that could disqualify him from the presidency. The charges are referred to as articles of impeachment. The House of Representatives must pass, by a simple majority of those present and voting, articles of impeachment, which constitute the formal allegation or allegations. Upon passage, the defendant has been 'impeached'.

Removal, or conviction is the second process where the upper house Senate holds a trial and, by a two-thirds vote (for at least one article) of those present, can vote to remove the president from office.

Judgment in cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States; but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment, and Punishment, according to Law.

The process as outlined in the U.S. Constitution applies not only to the president, but to the vice-president and other officials, including governors and federal judges. Members of Congress have their own process and are exempt from impeachment and removal.

Impeachment does not mean a president has been found guilty of the charged offense(s).  The U.S. constitution states that disqualifying offenses for impeachment are “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” It does not define the term ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ which means that the House of Representatives and the Senate get to define those terms.

To date, just two presidents have been impeached by the House of Representatives: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. Also, during the 1990s, first the House and Senate Banking Committees and then a Senate special committee investigated President and Mrs. Clinton’s involvement in the Whitewater land deal and related matters. The Senate had an enabling resolution; the House did not.

If a president is removed from office, the party they represent is still in power. For example, if President Trump ultimately is removed from office, Vice President Mike Pence would become president, and Republicans would still control the White House.

Open Doors In or Out

Was watching a show and all the doors on Scandinavian houses opened out and most English doors opened in. There is no universal code that dictates inward or outward.

Most reasoning shows that opening in allows hinges on the inside so thieves cannot simply remove a pin and gain entry. On the flip side, a high percentage of home invasions and burglaries begin with the intruder kicking in a door. That is virtually impossible when the door swings outward. Current exterior doors designed to open outward include protected hinges.

In public buildings and offices doors open in so as to not disrupt hallway traffic.

Three most popular reasons for outward doors are - There is a legend that during the 19th century some king decreed that all external doors should open outwards after many people were killed in a church fire. Another explanation is that apartments in Sweden were at one time very small. Another explanation is the cold winters opening the doors inwards would let in snow and when winds push against outward-opening doors the weather seal functions better. Florida, US communities are now accepting the concept of outward opening doors as an advantage, especially during hurricanes.

Incidentally, room design typically determines the left or right swing designation for doors. An inward opening door should swing in the direction needed to provide adequate passage. Interior pocket doors solve all these problems.

Happy Friday

The sound of laughter is like the vaulted dome of a temple of happiness. ~ Milan Kundera,
My home has a vaulted dome of happiness, especially on a Happy Friday!

Daylight Saving

Here we go again, when we defy Mother Nature's natural time and mess with our clocks. Sunday Nov 3, 2am is the day and time we turn our clocks back one hour. Mother Nature just sits back smirking until we change our clocks back to her schedule in the spring.
Incidentally, this year, 2019, Finland called for daylight saving to be abolished across the EU after a petition gathered more than 70,000 signatures from citizens asking the state to give up the practice.

European Union is allowing 28 member countries to choose for themselves once mandated daylight saving time ends after 2021. Currently, some 30 bills are being considered in US States. In Canada, some 93% of British Columbia residents said they want year-round daylight saving time. Japan currently observes Japan Standard Time (JST) all year. DST is no longer in use in China, South Africa, and the Philippines.

Bonfire Night

On the Fifth of November, British people celebrate Bonfire Night on the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot. A scarecrow in the likeness of Guy Fawkes is put in the center of a large pile of wood, before lighting it on fire. There is also a huge fireworks display, eating, drinking, and partying.

The reason why the conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot were trying to blow up Parliament was in an attempt to end the persecution of Recusant Catholics.  Before the scarecrow was made in the likeness of Guy Fawkes, they were burning an effigy of the Pope. In the town of Lewes in Sussex, they will have a parade where they burn crosses on the Fifth of November.

Wordology, NMLS

So many commercials end with some fast talking announcer and one of the things the announcer says is NMLS Number 12345, or whatever the number is. NMLS stands for the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry. NMLS is a web based platform for regulatory agencies to administer initial license applications and ongoing compliance requirements.

NMLS itself does not grant or deny license authority. It is the system of record for all federal registrations required of federally regulated mortgage loan originators. License cost for an individual is usually less than $100. Individuals usually need 20 hours training and take a test to pass the National Mortgage Licensing System pre-licensing exam. It includes 100 computer-generated, multiple-choice questions that must be answered within three hours. Ten of the 100 questions are "test" questions that do not affect the grade. Passing score is 75%. The test can be taken online.

Winter and Phone Batteries

Very low temperatures can reduce your battery to ½ or less of your normal use time. Keep your phone warm to keep your battery level up. If it gets cold and battery charge goes down, making the phone warm again will not bring up the charge level.

Doctor Drug Payments

There is a website that you can look up your doctor or hospital to see what payments they have received from drug and medical device companies. I looked my primary care doc and found he received $892 last year. Not sure of the value of the info, but it is interesting to know. LINK 

Roger Whittaker

Came across this video "Last Farewell" the other day while perusing YouTube. It has over nine million views. Almost forgot how smooth Whittaker's voice is. He is 88.  LINK

Netflix Plans

Netflix offers three streaming video plans, plus you can still order DVD and Blu-ray discs in the mail.

The most basic plan allows one user at a time and is shown in standard definition, which is equivalent to the old, pre-HD (720) televisions. The standard streaming plan allows you to watch on two screens at a time in high definition (1080) (HD), like newer, but non-4K TVs. The premium plan allows you to watch on four screens at once and you can watch programs in HD or 4K Ultra HD.
What amazed me is that it is still offering the old 720 standard television, until I realized how much of its business is overseas and how millions of users around the world use PCs, pads, and phones to watch and which require 720 or less for adequate pictures.

Incidentally, Netflix still makes 30 million US dollars a month on DVD and Blu-ray rentals.

Wordology, Whistleblower

Back in Elizabethan times “to whistle” or “to blow” was to reveal secret information. During the twentieth century, “to blow the whistle” and “whistleblower” referred to people blowing whistles, or people attempting to stop illegal or immoral activity by causing a disturbance. Law enforcement officials, such as police in the United Kingdom used whistles to alert the public or fellow police of a crime.

A whistleblower is someone who exposes information about wrongdoings that companies or organizations do not want to share, usually about illegal or unethical actions or wrongdoings within a public or private organization. Whistleblowers disclose the wrongdoing without approval, to the public, a higher authority, or law enforcement. They could expose illegal actions affecting public safety, violations of company rules or policies, or fraud, among others.

Incidentally, the main difference between leakers and whistleblowers is that whistleblowers release information that shows wrongdoing. They have a right and responsibility to report this information. Leakers release sensitive or classified information unlawfully and possibly for their own personal or political agenda, not necessarily for public good or policy.

Oct 26, 2019

Happy Friday

Laughter is the sharpest weapon in the arsenal.

It is the swiftest tool to open a closed mind, especially on a Happy Friday!