May 8, 2020

Find Obituaries

Rather than trying to find individual obituaries for local cities or individual funeral homes, use Google. Type name in quotes followed by the word obit into Google.

Obsessive vs. Compulsive

The easiest way is to use an example. An OCD patient who is a germaphobe. The O represents a fear of germs and the C is the action of constantly washing one's hands.

Think of obsessive is thoughts and compulsive is actions. A compulsion is what we do to quell an obsession.

Robo Call Relief

The FCC tried to get phone companies to voluntarily enact technology to reduce or eliminate robo calls and many did, but some did not. The new action is to require all phone companies to deploy technology that prevents spoofing of Caller ID under a plan by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.

The original requirement on the FCC was part of the TRACED Act that was signed into law in December 2019. Pai previously hoped that all carriers would deploy the technology voluntarily.

The STIR and SHAKEN protocols use digital certificates, based on public-key cryptography, to verify the accuracy of Caller ID. STIR/SHAKEN would work best if all phone companies adopt it because it can only verify Caller ID when both the sending carrier and receiving carrier have deployed the technology. Depending on how each carrier implements it, flagged calls could be passed on to consumers with a warning or be blocked entirely.

The requirement would apply to big carriers by June 30, 2021 and to small and rural providers one year later. In addition to mobile providers, companies that offer IP-based phone service over cable or fiber lines would have to comply.

While STIR/SHAKEN might help reduce robocalls or slow their growth, it is not enough on its own to solve the large and complicated robocall problem. For one thing, a lot of robocalls originate from overseas. Robocalls from outside US, are a major problem.

Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda

When baking powder is mixed with salt and coated on chicken it dries out the skin, leaving it crisp and crunchy. It happens because the addition of the baking powder raises the pH level in the chicken, allowing the peptide bonds in the skin to break down, thus letting the skin get more crisp and brown.

Meat is treated with baking soda dissolved in water to keep it tender. Briefly soaking meat in a solution of baking soda and water raises the pH on the meat's surface, making it more difficult for the proteins to bond excessively, which keeps the meat tender and moist when it is cooked. Tenderizing with a baking soda solution is faster than using a saltwater brine. Meat only has to sit in a baking soda solution for 15 to 20 minutes.

Wordology, Quarantine

You have probably heard the word quarantine too often in the recent COVID-19 coverage. It derives from the Latin word for forty.

The word was coined in Venice to describe the forty day period ships had to be isolated before they would be allowed to dock. The Venetian word for forty is quaranta, which has a Latin root.

Mar 9, 2020

Happy Friday

A smile is happiness you will find right under your nose. ~Tom Wilson

Wow, happiness to wear, especially on a Happy Friday!

Daylight Saving

After the past few years of campaigns for the presidency, politicians take a brief respite to do their semi-annual battle with Mother Nature. This weekend is the beginning of Daylight Saving Time.
None of us has ever seen a clock that actually controls sunlight, but politicians believe there is one - somewhere - that can do it. Twice a year, they ask us to join them and drink the sunlight kool aid and magic will happen. Saturday night, just move your clock ahead one hour, go to bed, and when you wake up there will be more sun during the day.

Obviously there are a number of gullible believers, because they are the ones who keep re-electing these snake oil salesmen. Also obvious is that Mother Nature continues to defy them and cheerfully raises and lowers the sun on her same schedule as she has since before anyone of us was born.

I am surprised that the climate folks have not taken up the banner as that extra hour of daylight in every village, city, and town across the whole globe surely is enough to raise the temperature higher and contribute to even faster and more precipitous global warming.
The other bad news this year is that it provides an extra hour for the ( COVID-19) corona virus to spread.

The solution, wait until election day, vote for someone else, tell the politicians to go to bed, and tomorrow they will no longer need to worry about too much sunshine, warming, or virus.

Be Grateful

Psychologists have studied this phenomenon, and have found that people who regularly write down the things they are grateful for exhibit higher levels of optimism and satisfaction with their lives. I am very grateful that you are reading this.

Happy by Law

If you are feeling blue, then you better stay away from Milan. In the Italian city, it is a legal requirement for people to smile at all times. The only exception to this seemingly strict, happiness-enforcing rule is during funerals or hospital visits. Apparently, the rule came from 19th-century city regulations imposed by the Austrians who then ruled over the city, and it was never repealed since. Fortunately, frowning rebels can probably expect to get by without a fine.

Lava Lamp Ingredients

The watery-looking base liquid is mostly a mixture of water, colored dye, and chemicals that prevent the formation of fungus. The water-based liquid is mixed with a secret combination of chemicals that give it a similar density to the wax. The other ingredient, which forms the psychedelic, slowly-changing shapes that float around the lamp, is primarily made of wax. Like a paraffin wax, a petroleum-based wax that is commonly found in candles and cosmetic products.

Because the wax and water mixtures have different densities, they do not mix with each other. When the lamp is turned off, the wax is slightly more dense than the water, and will rest on the bottom of the lamp. When you turn the lamp on, the light bulb at its base will heat the wax, causing it to expand, lose density, and rise through the lamp. By the time it reaches the top, it has cooled, contracted, and begun to fall back down to the bottom, where it will keep repeating the process until you turn it off.

Chili Powder vs. Chile Powder

Chile powder has one ingredient, pure ground dried peppers, like cayenne or jalapeno.

Chili powder is a blend that includes other ingredients, like garlic, cumin, salt, and oregano.

What's in a Name, Ferris Wheel

The Ferris wheel is a beloved centerpiece for any good fair, carnival, or amusement park. The revolving ride was invented after a challenge was set forth to create a structure for the Columbia Exposition in 1893 that would rival Paris' Eiffel Tower (which was erected in 1889 for the Exposition Universelle).

Rising to the challenge was a man named George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. As Smithsonian magazine remarked, the new attraction provided people with access to "an aerial panorama few had ever beheld."

More Wordology

Words sometimes seem similar, but have different meanings.
Infamous and famous are not the same words. You really do not want to mix up these commonly confused words. While famous means "widely known" with no positive or negative connotation, the adjective infamous is defined by Merriam-Webster as "having a reputation of the worst kind." People who are infamous are usually also famous, but people who are famous are not necessarily infamous.

Adverse and Averse are not the same words. Adverse is an adjective synonymous with unfavorable and harmful. Averse is an adjective used when someone strongly dislikes something. You can have an adverse reaction to a medication and you are averse to taking it again.

Accept and Except are not the same and are not interchangeable. Accept is a verb meaning to believe or receive something, and except is a preposition used to refer to something being excluded.
Entitled and titled are not synonyms. Per Merriam-Webster, entitled is an adjective meaning "having a right to certain benefits or privileges" or "showing a feeling of entitlement." A piece of literature is titled, meaning that it has a title.
Bemused and amused are not synonyms. People who are amused are not usually also bemused. While amused is synonymous with entertained, bemused is synonymous with confused and befuddled.

Disinterested and uninterested are synonyms and similar adjectives, but are not exactly the same. To be disinterested is to be unbiased. To be uninterested is to simply not care.

Incidentally, according to Merriam-Webster, the meanings of these words used to be reversed. Disinterested used to mean "not interested," and uninterested used to mean "unbiased."

Another Redhead Myth Debunked

The redhead gene is not becoming extinct. In August 2007, many news organizations reported that redheads would become extinct, possibly as early as 2060, due to the gene for red hair being recessive. Although redheads may become more rare due to mixed marriages where one parent is from a group without the redhead gene and will result in no redheaded children, but some redheaded grandchildren. Redheads will not die out unless everyone who carries the gene dies or fails to reproduce. This misconception has been around since at least 1865, and often resurfaces in American newspapers.