Mar 1, 2020

Pill Identifier

Have you ever found a pill in the bottom of a drawer or on your counter and not known what it was? Maybe you threw a daily supply of pills for a trip and forgot which was which. There is a web site that can help. You fill out a few characteristics and the site will tell you what the pill is.Very clever. I tried a few and it worked. LINK

What's in a Name, Bowler

English nobleman Edward Coke went to a London-based hat-making company, requesting a hat that was better suited for the gamekeepers who worked on his family estate, because top hats were often knocked off by tree branches when they were on horseback. In response, the company's Thomas and William Bowler came up with the sturdy and stout piece of headgear that we know as the Bowler hat.

Incidentally, the fedora hat originated in 1891 after the stage play Fedora. Princess Fedora, the cross dressing heroine of the play, wore a center creased and soft, wide brimmed hat and this is how the fedora hat came to be. Also, the trilby hat name also comes from a play, an adaptation of George du Maurier's 1894 novel Trilby, performed in London, a hat of this style was worn and so the trilby hat was born.

Four More Uses for Meat Tenderizer

Relieve Bug Bites/Stings – Meat tenderizer can offer some relief from itchy and painful insect bites and stings. It is a staple in some prepper medicine cabinets.  It is an analgesic of sorts with pain-numbing powers.  Just mix it with water, and make a paste if you are bitten or get stung.  It will help soothe the irritation while calming inflammation. The Journal of the American Medical Association states “This proteolytic enzyme of meat tenderizer probably breaks down the venoms and kinins injected by the insect.”

Burn Remedy – To use meat tenderizer to heal burns, make a soothing paste out of it using water. Meat tenderizer is the instant relief that sits in your pantry, but belongs in your medicine cabinet.

Stain Remover – Get out tough stains using meat tenderizer, but avoid using meat tenderizer on silk or wool.  You could ruin the fabrics. You should be able to tackle blood stains, perspiration stains, and milk stains using it.

Muscle Aches – Interestingly enough, the ingredient bromelain in meat tenderizer is a plant compound and an antifibrotic enzyme that breaks down scarification in muscles to help with muscle tension and pain. It can help soothe aching and sore muscles.

People who have allergies, such as bee allergies or latex allergies, or other sensitivities, should follow their normal protocol and discuss its use with a physician before using a meat tenderizer for first aid. Likewise, if you have issues with sodium, refrain from using meat tenderizers as they typically have high sodium content.

Facebook Blue

Facebook’s blue color scheme is for Mark Zuckerberg’s benefit. The Facebook founder suffers from red-green colorblindness, and blue is the color he can see best.

Feb 23, 2020

Happy Friday

Chasing happiness is futile. Stand still and it will find you.

Stand still, look in the mirror, and happiness will smile back, especially on a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Henge

The word henge is a backformation from Stonehenge, the famous monument in Wiltshire, England. A henge is a prehistoric enclosure in the form of a circle or circular arc defined by a raised circular bank, and a circular ditch usually running inside the bank, with one or more entrances leading into the enclosed open space. Henges were probably used for ritual purposes or for marking astronomical events, as solstices and equinoxes. Due to the poor defensive utility of an enclosure with an external bank and an internal ditch, henges are not considered to have served a defensive purpose.

The alignment of henges is a contentious issue. Popular belief is that their entrances point towards certain heavenly bodies, but henge orientation is highly variable and may have been more determined by local topography than by desire for symbolic orientation.

Stonehenge is not a true henge as its ditch runs outside its bank, although there is a small extant external bank as well. The term was first coined in 1932 by Thomas Kendrick, who later became the Keeper of British Antiquities at the British Museum. Concentrations of henges occur over much of Britain.
Stonehenge was in private ownership until 1916, when it was bought on the spur of the moment by Sir Cecil Chubb, the owner of a local lunatic asylum, as a present for his wife. Three years later she gave the site to the nation. Over the centuries nearly half of Stonehenge has been quarried away for building stone. Before 1900, visitors to Stonehenge were handed chisels so that they could provide themselves with a souvenir.

Carhenge, which replicates Stonehenge, consists of the circle of cars, 3 standing trilithons within the circle, the heel stone, slaughter stone, and 2 station stones and includes a “Car Art Preserve” with sculptures made from cars and parts of cars. Located just north of Alliance, Nebraska, Carhenge is formed from vintage American automobiles, painted gray to replicate Stonehenge. Built by Jim Reinders as a memorial to his father, it was dedicated at the June 1987 summer solstice.

What's in a Name, Smart Alec

The insult is dismissively applied to those who think they know everything. The real Alec was not.

Alec Hoag was a prominent criminal in 19th century New York. Hoag’s wife, Melinda, disguised herself as a prostitute. While the johns were distracted, Alec pilfered through their pockets. Because Melinda could be easily identified and to keep the business flowing, the police received a portion of the profits from the stolen goods.

Hoag improved upon his scheme with a move called “the panel game.” In the middle of a tryst, Alec again took the valuables out of the discarded clothes of the unsuspecting mark. He then barged in the room accusing the man of sleeping with his wife. The adulterer would pick up their clothes and escape without thinking of their missing items.

Eventually, Hoag made enough that he thought he no longer need law enforcement’s help. They disagreed. Alec and Melinda were quickly arrested. Mocking him, the police ironically referred to him as “smart Alec.” The phrase entered the lexicon shortly after.

Bacon Powder

This is a new one and I need to try it. Powders are a new addition to menus and are flavors that are dried to a dust and then sprinkled or served alongside food as a garnish. In some restaurants they are served as an entire course on their own. The main method for preparing powders is to mix a liquid of some type with maltodextrin. This is then processed in a food processor until it becomes a powder.

An incredibly tasty powder is made from rendered bacon fat and maltodextrin. It melts in your mouth while filling it with an intense bacon flavor. What more could anyone want to eat? Yumm!

Bacon powder is a great way to add flavor and texture to different dishes, such as sprinkled over New England clam chowder at the last minute to add a visual treat and a flavor that melts through the dish.

Bacon Powder Ingredients: 60% rendered bacon fat, 3g salt, 40% tapioca maltodextrin. Heat the rendered bacon fat until it becomes a liquid. Pour it into a bowl large enough to comfortably hold it. Whisk in the salt. Begin to whisk in the tapioca maltodextrin. Once it begins to thicken and clump you can add it in more slowly and you may have to start using a fork to incorporate the maltodextrin as whisks will often fill with the paste. Continue to add tapioca maltodextrin while mixing until it forms the texture you want. The actual amount will also depend on the quality and type of bacon fat you use. Wait at least 20 minutes before serving. Of course you can also just buy the powder, which I am planning to do.

The home-made powder will last for several hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator for several days. When you are ready to serve the bacon powder simply spoon or sprinkle it over popcorn, burgers, veggies, fried chicken, or another favorite dish. Think of it as an all the flavor with none of the fat ingredient.

More Google Facts

Google searches 30 trillion web pages, 100 billion times a month.

Google HQ rents 200 goats from California Grazing to mow its lawns and fields.

Type solitaire or pacman in the Google search box, and a screen with the game will appear under the box.

Google processes more than 2.3 million searches per second, or about one hundred Billion searches per month.

Over 60% of Google searches happen on mobile.

Nine More Myths Debunked

Toilet seats are full of germs.
It is one of the most commons misconceptions that the seats of a toilet are full of germs. A study conducted by the University of Arizona found them to be relatively clean, because they are often disinfected or washed. In fact, they were found to have ten times fewer germs than cell phones.

Alcohol warms you up.
It feels good to have a sip of whisky on a cold day, but that burning sensation is not some kind of interior warmth. In fact, alcohol dilates blood vessels, causing blood to be pumped closer to the skin, leading to a drop in your core body heat. If you are cold, reach for a blanket, not a flask.

Caffeine dehydrates you.
Drinking coffee makes you dehydrated is another myth. While caffeinated drinks do have a slight diuretic effect, researchers have not found any increased risk of dehydration in coffee drinkers compared to non-drinkers.

Coffee comes from beans.
Coffee comes from the pit inside the coffee fruit. They are actually coffee seeds.

Penguins mate for life.
It is true that penguins are monogamous, but they do not stay that way for life. Many change partners from one season to the next.

Baseball was invented in Cooperstown.
That history is an invention, cooked up in 1907 by a committee charged with figuring out the origins of baseball. They gave the credit to Abner Doubleday, a Civil War hero who allegedly invented the game in Cooperstown, NY in 1839. Doubleday was still at West Point in 1839, and he never claimed to have anything to do with baseball. Variations on baseball have been around since the 18th century, from children’s games like rounders to cricket. Baseball as we know it today was the brainchild of New Yorker Alexander Joy Cartwright, a volunteer firefighter and bank clerk who codified a new set of rules, such as the three-strike rules, a diamond-shaped infield, and the foul lines. He also abolished the dangerous practice of tagging runners by throwing balls at them.

French Poodles are French.
The French Poodle is widely believed to have first been bred in Germany, not France. In fact, the word “poodle” comes from the German word Pudelhund, a combination of words meaning “dog” and “to splash.”

Hawaiian pizza comes from Hawaii.
Hawaiian pizza actually originated in Ontario, Canada, when Satellite Restaurant owner and Greek immigrant Sam Panopoulos returned from Detroit, MI having sampled what was then a novelty for Canadians: pizza. He decided to try out pineapple on pizza during 1962 to attract customers to one of his Ontario-based restaurants. He named it Hawaiian pizza after the brand of canned pineapple used on the pie. Incidentally, about 17 percent of all American restaurants are pizzerias, and pineapple is a fruit, just like tomatoes.

Polar Bears have white skin and fur.
That white fur polar bears have is actually two layers of clear fur that appear white to the human eye. Underneath that coat, their skin is actually black.

Bacon Patch

Could not resist this one. It is real, but am not sure it is effective as it claims. A professor recently unveiled a wearable patch infused with bacon flavor that is supposed to help curb meat cravings.

Charles Spence, a professor of experimental psychology at the University of Oxford, teamed up with plant-based food company Strong Roots to create a patch that, when scratched, produces a smell similar to that of cooked bacon. The idea behind this strange invention is that the human mind is connected to our senses of taste and smell, and that certain smells can significantly reduce food cravings.

If you believe him, people will walk around smelling like meat in order to avoid eating meat. Spence’s creation is supposed to be worn like a nicotine patch, but instead of slowly releasing nicotine into the wearer’s body, it is supposed to be scratched for an instant olfactory dose of bacon. I admit I am biased, but like millions of others, if I smell bacon, am induced to go eat some, not abstain.

Four Types of Leather

There are basically four types of leather, although there are other designations, such as suede, reconstituted, etc. Italian leather is just leather from Italy.

Full-grain leather is the highest quality and longest-lasting type. It is characterized by its luxurious, smooth surface and it has few, if any, flaws. It is the most popular type of leather. It has not been snuffed, sanded, or buffed to remove any natural marks or imperfections from its surface. It is used in making high-quality footwear and furniture. The second layer or lower layer of the skin left after removing the full grain layer is the split suede and will be suede on both sides.

Top-grain leather is second highest quality and what you will find in fine leather goods and designer stores. It has better stain resistance and is less expensive than full-grain leather.

Split leather or corrected grain leather, also known as genuine leather, is produced using the skin layers that remain after the top is split off and from the corium. Split leather tends to be tougher in texture due to the fact that is resides under the top layers and is mostly used in applications that do not require the leather to be soft, like furniture backs and sides. Usually, the surface is spray painted and embossed with a leather-like pattern to resemble natural appearance. Genuine leather is made from real leather, but is lower in quality.

Bonded leather is the lowest and cheapest grade of leather. It is made up of leftovers from the hide, including dust and shavings. These are bonded together using polyurethane or latex on top of a fiber sheet. It is often spray-painted to look like full or top grain leather. It is used on low end furniture and book bindings.

Incidentally, drop a small amount of water on a sample. Real leather absorbs moisture. If the good is fake, the water will puddle up on top, but real leather will absorb a small drop of water in a few seconds, showing it is genuine.

Cheddar Cheese Color

Most cheddar cheeses coming from Vermont and New York are white, but the majority of Wisconsin cheddar is colored.

All cheese is naturally white, off white, or even a golden yellow, depending on the type of milk used. The color comes from the flavorless Annatto seed, which gives Wisconsin cheddar the pumpkin orange hue.
Sid Cook, fourth-generation owner of Carr Valley Cheese in LaValle, Wis., believes the state’s cheddars were tinted orange as far back as the late 1800s. In the early days of Wisconsin cheesemaking, cows dined on carotene-rich pasture, and their milk naturally produced a cheese with a rich golden color. Gradually, some dairies moved their cows off pasture and onto dry feed, with the resulting milk yielding paler cheese. Because consumers already associated the gold color with quality, cheesemakers used Annatto to bring back the color.
Another theory holds that Wisconsin cheese-makers wanted to differentiate their cheddars from those coming from New York, so they used Annatto seed and turned their cheddars orange, using it as their own claim to fame and capturing a portion of the market.
After a cow chews the cud, beta-carotene dissolves into the animal’s fat stores and ends up in fat globules in its milk. However, protein clusters and the membranes that surround fat globules in milk conceal the pigment’s color, reflecting light in a way that makes milk appear white and opaque. During the cheesemaking process, the pigment is released. After bacterial culture and rennet have been added to milk and the coagulated mixture is cooked, the fat membranes dissolve and the protein clusters loosen so they do not reflect light. The beta carotene is made visible, and it also becomes more concentrated, since the lean liquid component of the milk, called whey, is drained off. It follows that the fattiest cheeses, and those from cows grazed on open pasture, tend to have the deepest natural color.

Incidentally, there is no taste difference because of color. When it is produced, cheddar cheese is naturally white to light yellow in color. The dark yellow / orange color is the result of the coloring additive. Also, but unrelated, according to research conducted by the British Cheese Board, no study subjects reported having nightmares after eating cheese, but blue cheese consumption had a tendency to make dreams a bit odd.

Feb 14, 2020

Happy Friday

If your smile is big, the rest of you will not matter.
I always keep a huge smile, especially on a Happy Friday!