Nov 28, 2012


6 Million were using Facebook in 2005, now it has over a 1 billion users
67.2 million watched the last presidential debate and 111.3 million watched the Super Bowl in 2012
There are 500 million Twitter users

Titanic Numbers

It cost 7 million dollars to build the Titanic and 200 million dollars to make a film about it. The ship sank and the movie is still floating.

Ponzo Illusion

Have you ever wondered why the Moon looks bigger on the horizon? It is an illusion, known as the Ponzo Illusion. What is happening is actually something that your brain does all the time. The yellow lines are the same size, but the top one appears larger.

Think about what happens when you see one of your friends on the horizon. Although they appear to be very small, your brain doesn’t actually interpret them as being that tiny. This is what happens when we look at the moon. Your brain inflates the size of the Moon to make it appear larger than it really is. Next time you are looking at an over-sized moon, block everything else out with your hands and watch it appear to shrink.

Nov 23, 2012

Happy Friday

There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

My philosophy tells my brain and my heart to always have a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Racking

Rack likely comes from the Middle Dutch “rec”, meaning 'framework', and the Old English 'recken', meaning 'to stretch out'. Usage became the word used for a frame that you put things on to dry or to stretch something out on.

Later the word also came to mean a frame for putting people on for torture. This expanded the meaning to include causing mental or physical harm or suffering or to stretch or strain. So, when someone says they are racking their brain, it means they are straining their brain. I reckin this stuff is true.

John Josefa Moe

Born in India to Samoan father Pulu Moe and Filipino-Hawaiian mother Louisa Moe while his parents were touring in Hawaii. He performed with Hawai'i notables Don Ho, Kui Lee and Ed Kenney between the 1950s and 1970s, did a vaudeville act in England, carved tiki, created a then-innovative koa Hawaiian Kepi bracelet with names etched in old-English lettering, and designed restaurants and clubs on the East Coast of the US.

He had other skills including: one of the best fire knife dancers in the world; comedian; musician and singer; middleweight Golden Gloves boxing champion; did custom airbrush art on t-shirts; surf boarding instructor.

Moe was Samoan, but had a thick British accent because he attended an English boarding school while his parents toured. Another famous Samoan with an accent is Dwayne, the rock, Johnson, although his is American English. At one time, Josefa was roommates with Sir Roger Moore of James Bond fame and was once considered the most photographed Samoan in the world.

He passed away Nov 3, 2006 at 73 years of age in Summerlin, Nev. (near Vegas), his home. He had 12 children.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

It is not just for people. Some other famous characters with stars include Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Winnie the Pooh, Tinker Bell, and more, including most recently Shrek. Dubious achievement to be able to say, "Yes I am right up there with Mickey Mouse."

Dolphins and Porpoises

Many people confuse the two, so here is a summary of the differences of these mammals.

Top Porpoise, bottom Dolphin
Feature Dolphin Characteristic Difference in a Porpoise
The nose A dolphin usually has a pointed snout (beak)

A porpoise snout is short and blunt like a cartoon fish sketch
(never strongly pointed)
The fin
(Some species of both have no fin on their back)
The leading edge of the fin on a dolphin's back is shaped like a curling wave
(Called the dorsal fin)
The leading edge of a porpoise's back fin is straight.

The porpoise's fin is also triangular like a shark's

The teeth

Dolphins have pointed cone-shaped teeth

Porpoise teeth are flat, spade shaped, with upper edges that are long and sharp
Size Dolphins grow up to 12 feet long Porpoises are usually less than 7 feet long
Shape Dolphins are longer and sleeker in shape Porpoises are shorter and more compact
Sounds Dolphins produce sounds we can hear (and are talkative!) Porpoise sounds are inaudible to us
Behavior Dolphins have much less fear of humans - will ride the waves alongside boats Porpoises are shy - you are much less likely to see one - wild or captive.
Rarely seen at surface unless up to breathe.
Groups Dolphins live in large groups Porpoises live in pods of 2 - 4
Lifespan Dolphins can live for more than 50 years Porpoises do not live long past the age of 15

Dolphins are some of the only animals known to have sex for reasons other than reproduction.

Nov 21, 2012


There is a common saying: "If you think that, you have another thing coming" However, the correct phrase is “If you think that, you have another think coming.” It describes “what you think is wrong so think again.” Lazy English has changed the phrase over time. I think there is another thing following this.

Drinking and Antibiotics Myth Debunked

This one should be a relief for some folks as we begin the holiday season. With the advent of antibiotics to treat sexually transmitted diseases came a word of advice: don’t drink while taking the pills. The reason given for this is that it will stop the medication working. This advice is untrue for most antibiotics.

Alcohol does not reduce the effectiveness of most antibiotics. Antibiotics and alcohol can cause similar side effects, such as stomach upset, dizziness and drowsiness, so combining them can increase these side effects. Less than five of the more than one hundred types of antibiotics do have adverse effects when taken with alcohol. Obviously, moderation in all things is the key.

Speaking of Drinking

This is just in time for the holidays. Now you can eat all the ham you want and save calories by drinking this new diet drink.

Nov 16, 2012

Happy Friday

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.

I gain strength, courage, and confidence every time I have a Happy Friday!

Happy Thanksgiving

Next Thursday November 22 is Thanksgiving this year. Hope you have a great Holiday!

Another November Holiday

The day after Thanksgiving this year, November 23rd is National Day of Listening.

It is sponsored by oral history nonprofit StoryCorps. This year’s National Day of Listening honors teachers. The organization has asked everyone to participate by taking a few minutes to thank a teacher. Other ways to commemorate National Day of Listening is by recording interviews in veteran’s hospitals, senior centers, homeless shelters, and other community centers.

Wordology, Stock, Broth, Soup

These terms are often used interchangeably, but they are different. Stock is water or other liquid in which vegetables, meat, bones or all of them are simmered over a long period to extract flavors, then the solids are removed. Stock normally contains no salt and is not soup. Stock is not meant to be eaten until it is combined with seasonings. Dried stock cubes are called bouillon cubes.

Broth differs in that it is a basic soup where the solid pieces of flavoring meat or fish, along with some vegetables, remain. It is often made more substantial by adding starches.

Soup is a liquid savory food which can be thin, as in broth, or thick with other ingredients added.

MSG Facts

It is a common misconception that monosodium glutamate (MSG) is bad and must be avoided. That is not exactly true, MSG is a naturally occurring substance found in foods like tomatoes, mushrooms, and more. It was first isolated and presented in pure powder form in 1909 and is a flavor enhancer that excites the fifth taste sense umami, like sugar enhances sweet.

Most good chefs use natural MSG by using tomatoes or mushrooms, etc., but many will also use the powder directly. MSG does not make you ill. It is found in seasonings, chips, many fast-food and pre-packaged foods, and sauces.

Potato Facts

One of the ingredients of almost all Thanksgiving and other holiday meals is the potato. The starchy, edible tuber was introduced to the world around 400 years ago from regions around the Andes. Originally they were grown almost 10,000 years ago in Peru and Bolivia and are now found growing in most countries around the world, although the Andes continues have major production.

Currently potatoes are the fourth largest food crop in the world and there are more than a thousand different types. They are versatile and can be enjoyed baked, boiled, or fried. They can be mashed, sliced, chopped, diced or eaten whole. They can be eaten cold or hot, raw or cooked. I will need some chips to hold me over until next Thursday and mashed potatoes with cheese and bacon. Mmm!

Smart Credit Cards

Here is something coming to your wallet, a new MasterCard that has LCD screen and keyboard. The credit card with an LCD display and built-in keyboard has been launched in Singapore by MasterCard  The card will be available from January before being rolled out globally.

The card has touch-sensitive buttons and the ability to create a one-time password. Future versions of the card could display added information such as the remaining balance or display information such as loyalty or reward points or recent transaction history.

Last year, Visa announced a similar card with interactive functions. Smartphone manufacturers are hoping that enhanced credit cards will be quickly replaced by near-field communication feature that many smartphones already have.

Nov 13, 2012

Crowns While You Wait

Instead of making a mold and sending it to a lab for scanning, dentists are now using a small camera to scan misshapen teeth. The digitized scan is then sent to an on-site milling machine that carves a crown from a block of porcelain. After preparation the crown is ready to be implanted.

The whole process is not much different than currently done. The area is numbed, and the dentist drills the tooth to shape it for the crown. Then the dentist uses a tiny camera to create a three-dimensional image of the drilled tooth. A computer program uses that to construct an image of what the tooth will look like with the crown in place. The image is transmitted to a machine on site mills the crown which is then glued on in the same process currently used.

Currently, the process is in use by about 10% of dentists, but will be used by more as the price of equipment comes down.

What's in a Name, Gräfenberg

Gynecologist Dr. Ernst Gräfenberg came to the US from Nazi Germany in 1940. He ran a successful gynecology practice in New York until his death in 1957.

Gräfenberg researched the subject of stimulation and stated in a study, ”An erotic zone always could be demonstrated. . ." Although others had studied this before him, he is usually given credit for its 'discovery' and the name “G-spot” named for him came from a 1981 paper published in the Journal of Sex Research.

He also invented the first known Ring IUD birth control device, the Gräfenberg ring.

Facts About Plants and Oxygen

Plants do not turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. The way this happens is a complex process called photosynthesis. Plants convert carbon dioxide into carbohydrate precursors and water as fuel for the plant. This does not require any light.

Oxygen is a byproduct of photosynthesis where the plant uses light and converts it to potential energy.

Nov 9, 2012

My Latest Book

If you like this blog, you will love my latest book, "Amazing Facts and Bite Sized Brain Food. It is my 49th book and is now available on Amazon.

Thousands of amazing facts about things you don’t know but want to know, and facts you think you know but don’t. Nestled in among the facts are bite sized pieces of brain food you can use to spice up any conversation.

Here is the LINK

Happy Friday

Every object is beautiful in motion as a ship under sail and a tree gently agitated with the wind.

It is time to get up, get the wind at your back, and set sail toward a Happy Friday!

Presidential Drinking

Our 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant had a reputation for drinking heavily while still a young man. When President Lincoln was warned about Grant’s drinking habits during the civil war he is supposed to have responded “If it makes fighting men like Grant, then find out what he drinks, and send my other commanders a case.”

Ten Four, Roger That

The ten-codes or ten-signals are code words used as stand-ins for common phrases in radio communication, such as ten-four, meaning message received. Charles Hopper, a communications director with the Illinois State Police, developed them in 1937 to combat the problem of the first syllables or words of a transmission being cut off or misunderstood. Preceding every code with “ten” gave the sometimes slow equipment time to warm up and improved the likelihood that a listener would understand the important part of a message. The codes also allowed for brevity and standardization in radio message traffic.

The codes were expanded by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International (APCO) in 1974 and were used by both law enforcement agencies and civilian CB radio users. Over time, differing meanings for the codes came about in different agencies and jurisdictions, undoing the codes’ usefulness as a concise and standardized system. The problem came to a head in 2005 during rescue operations after Hurricane Katrina. After several instances of inter-agency communication problems, the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) discouraged the use of ten-codes and today the federal government recommends they be replaced with plain, everyday language.

In the days of the telegraph, the Morse code letter R (dot-dash-dot) was sometimes used to indicate “received” or “message received/understood.” When radio voice communication began to replace telegraphs, Roger, the code word assigned to the letter R in the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet (the radio alphabet used by all branches of the United States military from 1941 to 1956), took on the same role.

Roger means “last transmission received/understood.” Wilco (Will Comply) is the code used if the speaker intends to convey “message received and will comply.” The phrase Roger Wilco, often heard in the movies, is redundant and not really used since Wilco alone covers all the bases and acknowledges receipt of message and states intent to comply.

Interesting Country Facts

Most Lakes in the World – Canada: With over 3 million lakes 9% of Canadian territory is actually fresh water and over 60% of all the lakes in the world are found in Canada. It also has 50% of its population educated at the post secondary level, making it the most educated in the world.

Country Covered with the Highest Percentage of Desert – Libya: With 99% of the country covered in desert, Libya is one of the most arid places in the world and in some regions decades may go by without a drop of rain.
Russia: Siberia is home to approximately 25% of the world’s forests that span an area larger than the continental United States.

Least Densely Populated– Mongolia: With 4 people per square mile, Mongolia is the least densely populated country on Earth. Compare this to the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong that has the highest population density in the world with 340,000 people per square mile.

Suriname: It has 91% of its land covered in jungle.

Wordology, Skid Row

The term “Skid Road” or “Skid Row,” a slang term for a run-down or dilapidated urban area, was an actual road in Seattle, Washington during the late 1800′s. The real name of the road was Yesler Way (now better known as Pioneer Square),  and it was the main street along which logs were transported.  It soon became a rather sketchy street that loggers began to call “Skid Road.” It also became the dividing line between the affluent people of Seattle and the mill workers along with the more impoverished population of the city. It didn’t take long for the name to catch on and eventually stick.

Honest Criticism

Need to share this about the sincerity and wonder of children's criticism. Maurice Sendak was an American writer and illustrator of children's literature who passed away in May, 2012 at 83. He was particularly known for 'Where the Wild Things Are', a 1963 children's picture book.

“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters, sometimes very hastily, but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I have ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.” The wonder and beautiful sincerity of children never ceases to amaze and amuse me. Adults would do well to eat up and drink in the great things we see every day.

Nov 6, 2012

Drinking and Intelligence

The next time you're inclined to enjoy an extra glass of wine, consider that it may be a reflection of your intelligence. That is one of the findings from data from the National Child Development Study in the United Kingdom and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in the United States.

Childhood intelligence, measured before the age of 16, was categorized in five cognitive classes, ranging from "very dull," "dull," "normal," "bright" and "very bright."

The Americans were revisited seven years later. The British youths, on the other hand, were followed in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Researchers measured their drinking habits as the participants became older.

More intelligent children in both studies grew up to drink alcohol more frequently and in greater quantities than less intelligent children. In the Brits' case, "very bright" children grew up to consume nearly eight-tenths of a standard deviation more alcohol than their "very dull" cohorts.

Researchers controlled for demographic variables, such as marital status, parents' education, earnings, childhood social class and more, that may have also affected adult drinking. The findings held true that smarter kids were drinking more as adults.

Psychology Today takes an evolutionary approach. It argues that drinkable alcohol is a relatively novel invention of 10,000 years ago. Our ancestors had previously received their alcohol kick through eating rotten fruits, so more intelligent humans may be more likely to choose modern alcoholic beverages.

Although increased alcohol consumption could be a reflection of exceptional brainpower, drinking more will certainly not make you any more intelligent than you already are. I'll drink to that.

No Name, Colorado

This place can be found west of Denver along Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The origin of the town lies in its location, the unincorporated area lies between No Name Canyon and No Name Creek.

The town received its name when the Colorado Department of Transportation was improving the signage along the interstate, when a CDOT employee noticed that there was no sign for Exit 119 he simply wrote "no name" on the map to indicate that there was no name for that exit.

Wordology, Melissophobia

This phobia is a fear of bees.

More November Holidays

Here are a few more November Holidays that you might want to celebrate.
November 13th brings us 'World Kindness Day' founded in 1998 by an organization called the World Kindness Movement, this international holiday encourages everyone to look deep into their hearts past religion, race, and other differences to do something nice for their neighbors and/or humankind.

This followed on November 15th with 'Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day'. It was probably started as a way to make room to stock up on Thanksgiving goodies. November 15th also shares the spotlight with 'I love to Write Day'. I will refrain from writing about the things I find growing in my refrigerator.

Nov 2, 2012

Prescient President

Our 13th president, Millard Fillmore refused an honorary degree from the University of Oxford on the basis that he was not classically educated and so could not read the diploma, written in Latin. He said, “No man should accept a degree he cannot read.”

He is contrasted with James Garfield, who could write Latin with his left hand while simultaneously writing Greek with his right.

Electrically Charged

Thomas Edison publicly electrocuted dogs and cats in order to demonstrate to people how AC electricity was more dangerous than DC. He even once electrocuted an elephant in order to kill it. The elephant had previously trampled and killed a few people and a method was needed to put her to death, so Edison agreed to do it using AC electricity as a publicity stunt.

Edison is also credited with inventing the electric chair to be used on those sentenced to death, although, it was invented by employees of Edison, Harold Brown and Arthur Kennelly.

Thomas Edison held 1093 patents in the United States. One of his sons, Theodore Edison, who died in 1992 held 80 patents in his lifetime.

Traffic Sign Tip

To check for left and right exits, check the exit number sign.

Hawaiaan Punch

Hawaiian Punch was originally supposed to be used as an ice cream topping. it was originally called 'Leo’s Hawaiian Punch'.

The recipe for the confectionery was created by Tom Yates, A.W. Leo, and Ralph Harrison in a garage in Fullerton, California in 1934. They started out by selling the tropical fruit flavored ice cream topping to local restaurants, stores, and ice cream makers.

Over the next decade as the syrup’s popularity spread, people started using it not just as an ice cream topping, but also mixing the syrup with water to make a tropical drink. By 1946, this was a common practice. In 1946 Reuben P. Hughes and other investors purchased the company and began offering it in the drink forms most commonly associated with it today. In 1955 it became a national selling brand.

The name Hawaiian Punch came from several of the original recipe ingredients, which included apple, apricot, guava, orange, papaya, passion fruit, and pineapple, being imported from Hawaii. Hawaiian Punch is currently owned by Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.

Oct 30, 2012

Abigail Adams

She was the first Second Lady and the second First Lady. She was the wife of  John Adams, who was the first Vice President and second President of the US.

She said something to remember around election time, "Many of our disappointments and much of our unhappiness arise from our forming false notions of things and persons."

Voting Tuesday

Between 1788 and 1845, states decided their own voting dates. In 1792, a law was passed mandating that state elections be held within a 34-day period before December, so most elections took place in November. By November the harvest was finished but winter had not begun, so it made for a good time to vote.

During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, communication was slow, so results took weeks to announce, but with the advent of the railroad and telegraph, Congress decided it was time to standardize a date.

Monday was out, because it would require people to travel to the polls by buggy on the Sunday Sabbath. Wednesday was not an option, because it was market day, and farmers would not be able to make it to the polls. So it was decided that Tuesday would be the day that Americans would vote in elections.

In 1845, Congress passed a law that presidential elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Baseball Record

Joel Youngblood was the only major league baseball player to get hits for two different teams in two different cities on the same day. On April 4, 1982, he hit a single that drove in two runs for the New York Mets at Shea Stadium against the Chicago Cubs. He was traded to the Montreal Expos and flew to Philadelphia in time to get a hit in the 7th inning at Veterans Stadium.

Poll, Polled, Polling, Polls

The word comes from the German Poller, meaning head. Modern use seems to have evolved from 'counting heads'. Poll has many definitions:


1. The casting and registering of votes in an election.
2. The number of votes cast or recorded.
3. The place where votes are cast and registered. Often used in the plural polls.
4. A survey of the public or of a sample of public opinion to acquire information.
5. The head, especially the top or back of the head where hair grows.
6. The blunt or broad end of a tool such as a hammer or ax.

polled, polling, polls Verb,
1. To receive a given number of votes.
2. To receive or record the votes of: polling a jury.
3. To cast a vote or ballot.
4. To question in a survey; canvass.
5. To trim or cut off the hair, wool, branches, or horns of: polled the sheep; polled the trees.
Sometimes, when the polls do not go their way, people feel like they have been clipped.

Oct 26, 2012

Happy Friday

You look at where you are going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back and a pattern emerges.

It makes much sense when you have a history of having Happy Fridays!

Jack O' Lantern

This was originally one of the numerous names given to ignis fatuus (Medieval Latin for “foolish fire”), another of which is “Will O’ the Wisps”, basically the odd light that can occasionally be seen over marshes, swamps, etc.

When you see someone carrying a lantern in a distance at night you see is a man, but you can’t make out who exactly it is, he is literally “man with a lantern”, a.k.a. “Jack of the Lantern” or “Jack O’ Lantern.” This was also commonly used for a nickname for night watchmen.

“Jack O’ Lantern” first popped up in the mid-17th century in East Anglia, UK and spread from there through parts of England, Ireland, and Scotland. The name likely originally derived from the practice of calling men generically “Dick, Jack, Tom, etc.” In particular, men who were lower class, were often called generically “Jack” beginning around the 14th century in England.

How this name made the jump to referring to carved pumpkins with lights inside, it has its origins in the Celtic practice of hollowing out and carving faces into turnips and other vegetables during Samuin (a festival where many of the traditions of Halloween come from). After carving the vegetables, they placed candles inside and put them in windows or carried the make-shift lanterns with them as they walked to ward off evil spirits.

In Britain, pranksters would make these types of carved lanterns to scare people on the road or children would carry them around during Hallowmas while begging for soul cakes.

Milk Duds

They really are duds. The Milk Duds name came about because the original idea was to have a perfectly round piece. Since this was to be impossible to do at the time, the word 'dud' was used. Each piece was a dud, because it was not round.

In 1928, Milton J. Holloway took over F. Hoffman & Company of Chicago, the original manufacturer of Milk Duds chocolate covered caramels. The brand passed through many other hands in subsequent years and is now owned by Hershey.

Marx Brothers Name Origins

The five Marx brothers got their nicknames during a poker game. The Marx family comedy act was made up of Julius, Adolph, Leonard, Milton, and Herbert Marx. The five characters became better known as Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Gummo, and Zeppo. Four of the five were given their new names in 1915.

The boys were involved in a poker game with monologist Art Fisher. It was a popular fad around this time to give everyone a nickname that ended in “o”. Common nicknames were “Jingo” or “Bongo” or “Ringo, etc.

In this poker game, Fisher was dealing out the cards to the four Marx brothers and he gave them each their nicknames as he dealt. “First, here’s a card for ‘Harpo’.” Adolph Marx played the harp.

“Here’s one for ‘Chicko’.” Leonard Marx was a notorious ladies’ man and, in those days, women and girls were often referred to as “chickens”. Later the slang term became “chicks.” Supposedly, a typesetter accidentally left the “k” in “Chico” out in one town the brothers were performing in, and his name became “Chico.”

Next was Julius, “And here’s a card for Groucho.” The name derived from Julius’ not-so-friendly demeanor. Julius denied this for most of his life.

The fourth was Milton, “And here’s a card for Gummo”, Fisher said. This one has two popular theories behind it. The one the family (except Harpo) is because Milton often wore gumshoes (rubber soled shoes), hence “Gummo.” The alternate from Harpo is that Gummo was sneaky and would creep up on people like a gumshoe detective. Gumshoe detectives received their name for the same reason, rubber sole shoes.

A few years later, the youngest of the five brothers entered the act, replacing older brother Gummo. Herbert Marx became “Zeppo.” Harpo said Zeppo was named in honor of a wild monkey who played on the bars and ran around named “Zippo”. Groucho said in 1972 that Zeppo was named after the Zeppelin airships.

What's in a Name, Grawlix

That is the name we give to a sequence of typographical symbols used to represent a non-specific, profane word or phrase. That is no #@$%*! It is true.
The term was coined in 1964 by American cartoonist Mort Walker, who is best known as the creator of the Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois cartoons.

He also created and named an international set of symbols used in comics around the world and called it Symbolia. A few examples:
 briffits: clouds of dust indicating that a character left in a rush
 plewds: drops of sweat indicating that a character is hot or stressed
 squeans: asterisks with an empty center indicating drunkenness or dizziness

Dog Years Myth

Most of us have heard one dog year is equal to seven human years. This bogus fact is usually worked out so that a dog life is equal to a human life in total years, but the numbers do not add up. The average human life expectancy is 78, while the average dog life expectancy in dog years would equal around 90 years.

Furthermore, different dog breeds have dramatically different life expectancies, ranging from a short 6 years to 13 or more years. In general, the smaller the dog, the longer its life expectancy. Well, I'll be doggoned.

Oct 25, 2012

Bonilla Bonus

In 1999 Bobby Bonilla returned to the Mets for a second time following his borderline disastrous free-agent signing in 1992. He again didn't so well, so the Mets waived him in 2000.

However, the team still owed him $5.9 million in guaranteed salary. His agents agreed to defer the salary if the team would pay him $1,193,248.20 every July 1 from 2011 (he was 48) to 2035. Sounds like a sweet deal to me.

Fortune Cookie Facts

The commonly held notion that they were invented in China typically comes from the fact that they are primarily served in American Chinese restaurants. However, you will not find fortune cookies in actual Chinese restaurants, nor will you find historical records of a similar food item in China.

The largest manufacturer of fortune cookies, Wonton Food, based in New York, even once tried to introduce fortune cookies to the Chinese in the late 1980s. After three years, they gave up, as they simply were not a popular food item in China.

The people often credited with inventing fortune cookies were Japanese immigrants to America. Fortune cookies were actually invented in Japan.

A researcher, Yasuko Nakamachi, encountered a fortune cookie-shaped cracker, called a Tsujiura Senbei, made by hand in a family bakery near a Shinto shrine outside of Kyoto, Japan. This cracker, not only looked like a fortune cookie, it also contained a fortune, called an “omikuji” (fortune slip), and was traditionally sold in shrines and temples.

Around 3 billion fortune cookies are consumed annually world-wide, with most consumed in the United States. Wonton Food produces around 4.5 million fortune cookies per day.

As an aside, Chop Suey, which translates to “break into many pieces,” is commonly believed to be a Chinese food invented in America. Not so. It was invented in Taishan, a district of Guangdong Province, China.

Halloween Facts

Here are some interesting tidbits about the holiday.

    In parts of Mexico, rather than saying the Spanish equivalent of “trick or treat”, “dulce o travesura” (literally “candy or mischief”), it is common to say ¿Me da mi calaverita? (“Can you give me my little skull?”)
    During Samuin, it was also traditional to leave a place and food at the table for deceased loved ones temporarily returned from the grave.
    The word Halloween originally came from the Middle English ‘Alholowmesse’, meaning “All Saints’ Day”.  The night before Alholowmesse was called “All Hallows Even (evening)” which was eventually shortened to “Hallowe’en” until it just became “Halloween” in the 20th century.
    In North America about $3 billion is spent on Halloween costumes.
    Haunted house attractions bring in about half a billion dollars annually.
    Halloween candy sales average around $2 billion per year in the United States.  Chocolate candy bars are consistently rated as the #1 treat to get, with the Snickers candy bar being most preferred.  In addition, Reese’s peanut butter cups and candy corn are among the most sold Halloween candy items.
    Over 35 million Halloween cards, worth $100 million are given every year.
    Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday world-wide after Christmas.
    Recently “Trunk or Treat,” where many people will gather in a parking lot with their trunks open and the children will walk from car to car to get their treats from the trunks.  This is purported to be a safer way to do trick or treating than having kids go door to door.

Oct 19, 2012

Happy Friday

The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart, head, and hands, and then work outward from there.

It is the same for having a Happy Friday!