Dec 20, 2019

More TV Facts

         Findings from Hub Entertainment Research’s Evolution of the TV Set study indicate a disparity between feature availability and consumer awareness, as well as a strong brand awareness lead for Roku over Amazon Fire.

Highlights from the study:

About half of consumers with a 4K TV set have used it to watch 4K content. The top-two reasons for not watching; consumers do not know where to find shows and movies in 4K and they do not believe they have access to 4K content.

Smart TVs are not just for streaming video content; streaming music is a relatively popular Smart TV pastime. The top non-TV application of Smart TVs is music streaming. Nearly four in 10 Smart TV owners use it to stream music and among those who do, a quarter use it for music “all the time” or “often.

Two other Smart TV capabilities have attracted a small, but dedicated group of consumers for checking news, weather, or traffic, and looking at/using social media apps.

In the battle for connected device dominance, consumers are much more familiar with Roku than with Amazon Fire. The majority of consumers (59 per cent) say they know at least something about the Roku brand, and 26 per cent say they know a lot. Fewer than half (43 per cent) are familiar with Fire TV, with only 15 per cent saying they know a lot.

“As smart TVs, connected TVs, connected devices, and TV voice-control devices proliferate, many new services and features have suddenly become available to TV set users,” said David Tice, co-author of the study. “But TV manufacturers and services have a long record of inadequately educating consumers on their offerings.”

Fast Food Size Comparisons

Here are a few statistics to boggle your brain.
  • DQ has 4,406 locations all but two are franchised.
  • Dominos has 5,876 locations, including 390 company stores.
  • Taco Bell has 6,588 locations, 462 are owned by the company.
  • Wendy's has 6,711 locations, including 353 company stores.
  • Burger King has 7,327 locations, 49 are owned.
  • Pizza Hut has 7,456 locations, including 24 owned by the company.
  • Dunkin Donuts has 9,419 locations, all are franchised.
  • McDonald's has 13,914 locations, including 685 company stores.
  • Starbucks has 14,825 locations, 8,493 are owned by the company.
  • Subway has 24,798 locations, all of which are franchised.

McDonald's revenue is $38 Billion and Starbucks revenue is $19 Billion.

Six School Bus Facts

School buses are yellow everywhere except for the roof. The reason is that white tops are more reflective, lowering the temperature inside the bus by an average of 10 degrees during the summer.

School bus yellow is a color that was specifically formulated for use on school buses in North America in 1939. The color was chosen because it attracts attention and is noticed faster than any other color.

White Strobe lights are supposed to make the bus more visible to other motorists. If your bus has one, it must be on while transporting students to and from school. Some states require newer buses to have one, and it has to be on at all driving times. Rules differ from state to state.

Onspot chain systems are a set of built in chains that can be released to provide traction on icy roads. The chains look like a small octopus that hangs next to the rear wheels of the bus. They are fixed to the bus’ suspension and when required are engaged by a button on the dashboard. Many fire trucks and ambulances use the same type of chains.

The cost of adding seat belts to school buses outweighs any potential benefits, according to NHTSA studies. Modern school buses are large and heavy, and their passengers sit high off the ground. School buses are designed to be safe.

The tiny holes in the ceiling surface absorb sound energy, keeping the bus quieter than it would be otherwise. The mechanism is similar to that used by many acoustical tile products, such as dropped-ceiling tiles.

Free TV Channels

If you cannot get enough free content and live TV from your antenna, try some of these ad supported channels for free live TV and movies. Collectively they have more shows and movies than you can watch for the rest of your life. Try a few and you might be pleasantly surprised.

They are, in no order: Amazon IMDB, Pluto TV, XUMO TV, Tubi TV, Crackle, Plex, Dailymotion, CW, CW seed, Stirr, Blaze TV, Roku channel, topdocumentaryfilms, documentarystorm, documentaryaddict, documentaryheaven, Internet Archive, Lego Channel (kids), Newson, Newsy, Haystack TV, Filmrise, Fawesome TV, Vidio, Popcornflix, Reuters TV, Shoutfactory TV, Snagfilms, Streamnews, Viewster, Vudu, and YouTube.
Most are available on smart TVs and all streaming devices, like Roku, Fire TV, Apple, etc. Pluto is one of the most robust with over 175 channels. Newson, haystack, and Reuters are mostly news. YouTube on the web (not YouTube TV) has hundreds of free movies and old TV shows, some classics and most with no ads, search for 'free movies' or 'free TV'.

Locast is an online service that has local stations for many cities without needing an antenna, but asks for five dollars a month donation. LocalBTV app from Didja is another local TV service, but now is limited to a few cities, although more are expected.


Every one of us needs to know that we matter and that our life has meaning beyond the here and now.

We are never too old or too young to do something important and meaningful.

We need to love others and be loved by someone, too.

We need to have something that gets us out of bed every morning and excites and compels us to action.

The happiest people are the people who think the happiest thoughts.

Dec 7, 2019

Happy Friday

Happiness inside cannot remain bottled up. It oozes out through a smile and produces a warm glow outside.
It is easy to ooze and glow, especially on a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Contronym

A “contronym” is a word that is its own opposite. For example: if you seed the lawn you add seeds, but if you seed a tomato you remove them.

Happy Birthday WiFi

This year is the twentieth anniversary of the formation of the Wi-Fi Alliance and the launch of commercial Wi-Fi. Back in 1999 computers were about the only devices that could take advantage of the new technology. Finally we could move around the house without extremely long wires trailing behind. Current estimates show there will be about 10 billion worldwide Wi-Fi connected devices in 2020.
WiFi uses radio waves to provide high speed connections. Today everyone is talking about 5G being the next big wireless move to replace WiFi. The difference is that 5G uses cellular technology, not radio waves. It is the fifth generation cellular and will replace current fourth generation, 4GLTE phones.

What it means to the common person is that there will be no wires necessary to connect everything in the home. It really does not matter if that means WiFi 6 (the newest standard) or 5G. The difference will be felt in the wallet. 5G is very expensive to rollout and repeater towers will be needed across the county (in some places as close as every 1 to 2 thousand feet). WiFi just needs to travel from your router/modem, in your house to all connected devices.

Billions of devices will need to be replaced as 5G is not backward compatible. The same is true for WiFi 6.

For all the wonderfulness of both of these technologies, a wired connection still provides the best TV watching with little to no buffering and the fastest way to take advantage of surfing the internet.

My advice, ignore both for at least a year, maybe two or three years. Let the others share the slings and arrows (and high cost) of new technology. However, when the new ATSC3 (NEXTGEN TV) standard comes available in your city next year or the year after, get a dongle to hang on the end of your antenna cable and be happy with no-cost, free, interactive TV.

Incidentally WiFi is not an acronym, think of it like haagen daz, it is a made up name.

Ketchup Catsup Facts

Ketchup (or catsup) can go bad, because of the acidity of the tomatoes and vinegar, and the amount of sugar.

An unopened container of ketchup can remain stored for up to two years past the printed expiration date.

Once the bottle is opened, it will last for another year in the refrigerator. If you keep your ketchup at room temperature, the shelf life for an opened bottle in your pantry is about a month, though you should check for signs of spoilage before consuming the ketchup.

As ketchup ages, the vinegar and other liquid will begin to separate out from the tomato paste in the condiment. You have likely experienced the beginning stages of this when you go to squeeze out some ketchup, and find a splash of liquid instead.


Now that it is closer to becoming reality, some ominous signs for the viewers are beginning to appear. The FCC only requires local NEXTGEN TV (ATSC 3.0) stations to transmit one free channel. Providing high quality, over-the-air (OTA) content free to all to watch is the foundation of local antenna TV.

One choice being tossed about for broadcasters is to individually charge viewers for ‘premium services,’ possibly for 4K or private pay channels. The success of NEXTGEN TV will depend on station creativity, content, viewer response, and sales results.
Seems the touted benefits of NEXTGEN TV may be going more to the producers and not consumers. A few quality local stations with targeted ads, two way communication (so they can capture our watching habits), a way for them to extract pay for selected content, and 4K that may or not be free is looking more and more like the Nigerian Prince may have another offer coming. The good news is that we will still be able hook up the antenna and skip the WiFi connection. Caveat Emptor!

New Prostate Cancer Test

A simple urine test under development for prostate cancer detection can now use urine samples collected at home, according to University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. The test is early in its development, but has the potential to offer a simple, non-invasive way of predicting aggressive prostate cancer.
Urine samples were collected from more than 500 men. Most had prostate cancer. The researchers looked at the expression of 167 genes in the samples. They found 35 genes that can help predict how dangerous a prostate cancer might be. They also tracked the men's health for an average of six years. The profiles of 23 men whose cancer progressed were significantly different than those whose cancer did not progress.

Scientists pioneered the test which diagnoses aggressive prostate cancer and predicts whether patients will require treatment up to five years earlier than standard clinical methods. Their latest study shows how the ‘PUR’ test (Prostate Urine Risk) could be performed on samples collected at home, so men do not need to come into the clinic to provide a sample. It provides biomarker levels from the prostate that are much higher and more consistent. It looks at gene expression in urine samples and accurately predicts aggressive prostate cancer, and predicts whether patients will require treatment up to five years earlier than standard clinical methods.

The research team provided 14 participants with an At Home Collection Kit, and instructions. They then compared the results of their home urine samples with samples collected after a digital rectal examination. “We found that the urine samples taken at home showed the biomarkers for prostate cancer much more clearly than after a rectal examination.

Robert Mills, Consultant Surgeon in Urology at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said, “This is a very exciting development as this test gives us the possibility of differentiating those who do, from those who do not have prostate cancer so avoiding putting a lot of men through unnecessary investigations.

Wordology, Anosognosia

My brother, whatshisname sent this to me, although he swears he never read it. Anosognosia is a deficit of self-awareness, the inability of a person to be aware of their own disability or illness.

French Professor Bruno Dubois Director of the Institute of Memory and Alzheimer's Disease at La Pitié-Salpêtrière - Paris Hospitals says, "If anyone is aware of his memory problems, he does not have Alzheimer's. . .The more we complain about memory loss, the less likely we are to suffer from memory sickness."

Many people over sixty forget the names of family or friends, forget where they put things, forget why they walked into another room, or misplace keys and other items. It is usually temporary forgetfulness. Half or more of these people have some symptoms that are due to age rather than disease or Anosognosia.

We are learning that forgetfulness is not a disease, but rather a frustrating characteristic due to age. The important thing is, those who are conscious of being forgetful have no serious problem of memory, but those who suffer from a memory illness, Alzheimer's, or Anosognosia, are not aware of what is happening.

Benefits of Hugs

Scientifically, hugging a loved one releases the hormone oxytocin that lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and anxiety, and can even improve your memory. In reality, it just feels good to get and give hugs.

Nov 30, 2019

Happy Friday

Happiness is relief from all the world's pain.

Am still full from yesterday, but am happy and have no pain today!