Sep 22, 2017

Happy Friday

Happiness shapes the heart, smiles light it up.
Light up your day, especially on a Happy Friday! 

September Odd Holidays

Here are a few, just in case you need another reason to celebrate.
National One Hit Wonder Day - September 25
Johnny Appleseed Day - September 26 (1774)
National Pancake Day - September 26
Crush A Can Day - September 27
Gone-ta-pott Day - September 28
Ask a Stupid Question Day--September 28
Confucius Day - September 29

National Mud Pack Day - September 30

Salty Tip

Before frying, put a pinch of salt in the pan. It should keep the oil from spattering so much.

Ig Nobel Awards 2017

The Ig Nobel awards are given for achievements that first make people laugh then make them think. On September 14, 2017 at the 27th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Harvard's Sanders Theatre, the following prizes were awarded.


  • Physics, Using fluid dynamics to probe the question "Can a Cat Be Both a Solid and a Liquid?"
  • Peace, Demonstrating that regular playing of a didgeridoo is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea (sic) and snoring.
  • Economics, Experiments to see how contact with a live crocodile affects a person's willingness to gamble.
  • Anatomy, medical research study "Why Do Old Men Have Big Ears?"
  • Biology, Discovery of a female penis, and a male vagina, in a cave insect.
  • Fluid Dynamics, Studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks backwards while carrying a cup of coffee.
  • Nutrition, First scientific report of human blood in the diet of the hairy-legged vampire bat.
  • Medicine, Using advanced brain-scanning technology to measure the extent to which some people are disgusted by cheese.

Camel Camel Camel

Came across this interesting site. It tracks prices for all things Amazon. You can create Amazon price watches and get alerts via email and Twitter when prices drop. View the price history of Amazon products. Seems practical if you are planning a large purchase, but waiting for a price drop. LINK

Wordology, Ultracrepidarian

One who gives opinions on something beyond his or her knowledge. Someone who does not know what they are talking about. No comments please.

Gravity in Space

Contrary to common opinion, gravity is everywhere, even in space. Anything with mass creates gravity. The effect of gravity decreases as distance increases. At extreme distances, the gravity exerted on a particular object might be almost zero, but is never completely absent.

At the orbit of the International Space Station, Earth's gravitational pull is about 90% of what it is at Earth's surface.

Astronauts on spaceships in outer space are affected by gravity in the same way that their spaceships are. They are both orbiting Earth, which means they are falling sideways (in orbit) at the same time they are falling toward Earth.


On Earth, astronauts feel the force of gravity as weight, because the ground prevents them from falling. In outer space there is no ground to push against astronauts. As they orbit and fall toward Earth at the same rate as their spaceship, astronauts feel weightless, as if there were no gravity.

Burger and Booze Home Delivery

Saw an ad that shows Friday's is starting home delivery of booze along with food. It claims to be first to home deliver this combination and is rolling out in Dallas and Houston, Texas, then nationwide next year. The liquor and mix come separate and you need to mix it yourself. It will be interesting to see how this will work with so many unique local liquor laws around the country.

Sep 16, 2017

Happy Friday

You cannot learn a deep appreciation of happiness if you do not dive in.

Dive in all the way to appreciate a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Rasceta

The creases on the inside of wrist.

What's in a Name, 7Up

7 Up is a brand of lemon-lime flavored, non-caffeinated soft drink. The rights to the brand are held by Dr Pepper Snapple Group in the United States, and PepsiCo in the rest of the world. Creative marketing during prohibition moved the product to underground speakeasies. Like other products such as ginger ale and tonic, 7 UP quickly became a popular mixer for alcoholic drinks. After prohibition was repealed, it was still marketed as a mixer. By the late 1940s, 7 UP had become the third best-selling soft drink in the world.

Westinghouse bought 7 Up in 1969 and sold it in 1978 to Philip Morris, which then during 1986 sold it to a group led by Hicks & Haas. 7 Up merged with Dr Pepper in 1988. Cadbury Schweppes bought the combined company in 1995. The Dr Pepper Snapple Group was spun off from Cadbury Schweppes in 2008.

7 Up was created by Charles Grigg, who came up with the formula for a lemon-lime soft drink in 1929. The product, originally named "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda" contained lithium citrate, a mood-stabilizing drug. "Bib-label" referred to the use of paper labels that were placed on the plain bottles.

The US Food and Drug Administration banned the use of lithium in beer and soft drinks in 1948, and 7-Up was reformulated two years later. Its name was later shortened to "7 Up Lithiated Lemon Soda" before being further shortened to just "7 Up" during 1936.


The actual origin of the 7Up name is unclear, as is the origin or meaning of the red dot. It contains no sugar, preservatives, caffeine or coloring.

Banana Facts

The wonderful banana probably first grew in Southeast Asia, and did not make a big impact elsewhere until the early Islamic period when it was brought from India to the Middle East, and on to Africa. The banana turned up in Europe before that, but only as an exotic rarity. In ancient Rome, it had to make do with borrowing the name of the fig (a notion which lived on in the early French term for ‘banana’, figue du paradis).

Spanish and Portuguese colonists took the banana with them across the Atlantic from Africa to the Americas, and along with it they brought its African name, banana, apparently a word from one of the languages of the Congo area (it has been speculated that it derives ultimately from Arabic banana ‘finger, toe’, an origin which would be echoed in the English term hand for a bunch of bananas, and serves as a reminder that many varieties of banana are quite small, not like the large sizes imported into Britain).


Since the end of the nineteenth century Bananaland has been used by Australians as a colloquial and not completely complimentary name for Queensland, a state where the banana is a key crop. Even less complimentary is banana republic, a term coined in the 1930s for small volatile states of the South American tropics (from their economic dependence on the export of bananas).

Wordology, O'Clock

The long form of this expression is 'two of the clock' or 'two on the clock' and the apostrophe stands for the missing letters. Two of the clock is an old expression that dates back to the time of sundials and other means of telling time. In order to distinguish the fact that one was referencing a clock's time, rather than something else, one would say, "It is two of the clock," which later became two o'clock.

Manicule

A manicule is a unique symbol. Literally it takes the form of a hand with an outstretched index figure, gesturing towards a particularly pertinent piece of text or a direction.

Although manicules are still visible today in old signage and retro décor, their heyday was in medieval and Renaissance Europe.

Despite its centuries-long popularity, the first-ever use of a manicule is surprisingly difficult to find. They were reportedly used in the Domesday Book of 1066, a record of land ownership in England and Wales. Widespread use began around the 12th century. The name comes from the Latin word manicula, meaning little hand, but the punctuation mark has had other synonyms, including bishop’s fist, pointing hand, digit, and fist.

As far as punctuation marks go, the manicule’s function was fairly self-explanatory. Usually drawn in the margin of a page (and sometimes between columns of text or sentences), it was a way for the reader to note a particularly significant paragraph of text. They were essentially the medieval version of a highlighter.

The use and dynamic of manicules changed once books began to be printed. This new technology allowed writers and publishers to highlight what they believed to be significant. The little hands with outstretched finger make it easy to find the key points without re-reading the whole text.

Funny Town Names

What started out as a temporary solution has become a point of pride for locals. In No Name, Colorado according to reports, a government official first marked a newly constructed exit off I-70 with a sign reading “No Name” as a placeholder. By the time officials got around to officially labeling it, “No Name” had the support of the community and it stuck. Visitors can find the spot near the No Name tunnels, No Name Creek, and the No Name hiking trail.

British Slaves in America

Between 1718 and 1776, British authorities exiled approximately 50,000 male and female convicts to American colonies in a policy euphemistically known as 'transportation'. Once in America, the convicts fell under a life of servitude or outright slavery, underfed and overworked.


They had to obey their masters or risk being imprisoned. In the early period of transportation, half of them died while in bondage. The Americans’ demands for independence caused Britain to stop sending its convicts to America and forced the Brits to send them to Australia instead. The Australian convict trade was about three times as large as the American version.

Sep 8, 2017

Happy Friday

If you cannot change, how can you ever discover that each day is better than the last.

Today is a better day to celebrate a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Laughing Hyena

It is used to describe someone cackling: "laughing like a hyena."
Scientists who have studied hyenas will tell you the unique sounds they make are not actually laughing. Hyenas do indeed make loud barking noises that sound like cackling laughter, but it is not because they are amused by anything.

Instead, a hyena's sound is actually a form of communication used to convey frustration, excitement, warning, or fear. Most often, you hear this unique vocalization during a hunt or when the animals are feeding on prey as a group.

What sounds like maniacal giggling to humans lets other hyenas know that one of the other members of their pack has either made a kill or been attacked. When sharing a fresh kill, the sound might also indicate frustration on the part of a younger animal that did not get its fair share yet. Likewise, the animal in possession of the meat might also 'laugh' as a warning to others that it is not ready to share yet.

There are several species of hyenas, and they all have a variety of unique vocalizations. Only one of these species, the spotted hyena makes the laughing sound that has become synonymous with hyenas, in general.


Researchers have also learned that the pitch of a hyena's sound usually varies dependent upon its social status. Hyena packs are matrilineal, which means that females are dominant and lead the pack. There is intense competition for food within a pack, and the subordinate animals, often male tend to make the sound more frequently with a higher pitch.

Scrolling Tip

If you tap the space bar while on a web page you will scroll down, but if you hold down the shift key and hit the space bar you will scroll up.

Costco Liquor Facts

Costco is the US largest wine seller.

In many states, like Texas you do not need to have a membership to buy liquor.
It sells more bottles of Dom Perignon champagne than any other store in the country.

Costco brand wine, beer, and liquor is Kirkland.


Costco's Kirkland brand vodka scored higher than Grey Goose in blind tastings and its water comes from the same region in France.

Behind the Scenes

Just came across this web site and found some fascinating behind the scenes special effects that movie makers use. An educating look at the process LINK.         

What's in a Name, Genghis Khan

That was his title, his name was Temüjin, which means “of iron” or “blacksmith.” He was the Great Khan and founder of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death. First Khagan (Great Kahn) of the Mongol Empire and Supreme Khan of the Mongols, the King of Kings.


Between 1206 and his death in 1227, the Mongol leader Genghis Khan conquered nearly 12 million square miles of territory, more than any individual in history. He was responsible for the deaths of as many as 40 million people.

He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. After founding the Empire and being proclaimed "Genghis Khan," he launched the Mongol invasions that conquered most of Eurasia.

The Mongol Empire ended up ruling, or at least briefly conquering, large parts of modern day China, Mongolia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Moldova, and Kuwait. Many of these invasions repeated the earlier large-scale slaughters of local populations.

Scissors Facts

Many people mistakenly give credit to Leonardo da Vinci for inventing scissors, but scissors were invented many years before him. Some believe scissors were invented in the Middle East over 3,000 years ago. The device consisted of two bronze blades connected by a spring-like mechanism that kept the blades apart until they were squeezed together.
A pair of scissors more like modern scissors with a cross-blade design was developed by the ancient Romans around 100 A.D.


Cross-blade scissors were made by hand for hundreds of years and were not mass-produced until 1761 when English manufacturer Robert Hinchliffe adapted the design so it could be manufactured in a factory. He was also the first to make scissors with steel.


Today, there are a wide variety of scissors with specific purposes. Scissors with a length in excess of six inches are often referred to as shears. Children's or safety scissors have dull blades and rounded tips to ensure their safe use in school environments. Nail scissors were specially developed to cut fingernails and toenails. There are also specialty scissors used by hairdressers, seamstresses, doctors, and more.

Gas is Not a Gas

Soon after oil was found in Pennsylvania during 1859, John Cassell, publisher and coffee merchant, began importing it to London. Cassell came up with a name for the substance, inspired by his own name, cazeline. On 27 November 1862 he placed an advertisement in The Times that stated, "The Patent Cazeline Oil, safe, economical, and brilliant … possesses all the requisites which have so long been desired as a means of powerful artificial light.

The first use of gasoline to be found in America is in an 1864 Act of Congress which declared a tax on the oil.

Cassell discovered a shopkeeper in Dublin, Samuel Boyd selling counterfeit cazeline and wrote to him to ask him to stop. Boyd did not reply, but instead went through his stock, changing with a single dash of his pen, every ‘C’ into a ‘G’ and gazeline was born.

Aug 25, 2017

Happy Friday

Each day is not an occurrence, it is an opportunity.

Take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate a Happy Friday! 

Just Because Day

We celebrate the unofficial holiday each year on August 27. You can celebrate this day any way you choose, just because. It started during the 1950s and has been growing in celebrations since then.

Every day we all do things that are expected or required of us. On National Just Because Day, that does not apply. The day is a chance to do something without reason. How about that person you have secretly been wanting to kiss; do it, just because.


Possibly you want to sing really loud while in your car by yourself with your windows rolled down; do it, just because. I may walk around the block backward, just because.


Incidentally, August 27 is also National Burger Day in the UK. They probably chose that day, just because.

OTA vs. Cable

Satellite and cable TV companies have massive networks, carrying 100s of channels to millions of customers. To effectively service these customers, they use digital compression technologies to shrink the size of the signal, allowing more channels to fit on the cable. When compressing the signal, some of the original data is lost. The result is the picture on your TV loses sharpness and detail.

We have been accustomed to cable and with no comparison, the picture we see is presumed to be the best that can be put out by our TV screen. Many channels are not even delivered in 1080p as we presume. They are still delivered as 720p. The only reason pictures look better is that the new flat screen TVs are adept at up-scaling the signal to make it look better (even though it is not as good as it could be).


OTA means Over The Air. It is difficult to compare the new TV antennas with the old rabbit ears, because the rabbit ears were analog and the new antennas are digital. Using an antenna to pick up a signal over the air provides an uncompressed signal directly to your TV. The results are significantly noticeable and better than cable. A few friends and I have recently added antennas and comparing the picture is as easy as clicking on the input to go from cable to OTA. In every case on each TV the resulting picture is remarkably better with an antenna.


Incidentally, if your cable package blacks out some sports, pick up an antenna, just for game day. They are cheap and can be easily hung on a wall or in a window with a pin or sticky tape. Also great if you want to watch TV out by the patio or pool, no extra wiring, just drag out your TV and attach an antenna.

Alphabet Facts

The word alphabet is derived from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha and beta. We owe our own alphabet to the Phoenicians. Their 22 letter alphabet had no vowels, but it was used as the basis of the ancient Greek alphabet, which in turn was adapted by the Romans, and is essentially the same as the one we use today.

A sentence that contains all 26 letters of the alphabet is called a pangram.



Ernest Vincent Wright's novel Gadsby: Champion of Youth (1939) - a story of more than 50,000 words in which the letter ‘e’ never appears. George Perec’s novel La Disparition (1969) which doesn’t contain the letter ‘e’. Its English translation, A Void by Gilbert Adair, also avoids using the letter ‘e’ which is the most common letter in both languages.

Wordology, Fulsome

By far, its most common use is in the expression “fulsome praise,” which would seem like a good thing. The word sounds positive, drawing mental associations to “full” and “wholesome.” At one point, this was exactly what the word meant.

Then Samuel Johnson, considered the father of the English dictionary came along. He and Noah Webster thought that the word “fulsome,” which mostly held a positive connotation for hundreds of years (meaning “copious” or “abundant”), drew its roots from the word “foul” and “fulsome” gained its negative connotation. Many have fought and continue to fight for its original use, even as far back as 1868.

The word simultaneously retains both definitions, and even former president Barack Obama used the word in its much older, positive sense. He came under some scrutiny for that and for the fact that he misused “enormity.” It is another word that may create an entirely new definition, because people incorrectly associate it with size.

“Fulsome praise” usually means “disgustingly over-the-top and insincere praise, but some have assumed its meaning to be more positive.

Hispanic vs. Latino

Many people use the terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" interchangeably, they actually have different meanings. There is significant overlap between the terms, but their differences may make only one term correct in certain circumstances.

Hispanic and Latino are often mistakenly used to refer to race or color. Instead, these terms actually describe ethnicity.

Hispanic is a term that focuses on language and describes the culture and people of areas formerly ruled by the Spanish Empire. The common thread among Hispanics is the shared common language of Spanish. This would include areas such as Mexico, Central America, and most of South America.

Latino (or Latina for females), on the other hand, focuses on geography and describes people of Latin American descent. This would include countries in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and North America whose people speak Romance languages, such as Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.

Based upon those definitions, it's easy to see how much overlap there is between the terms Hispanic and Latino. To make things more confusing, the term "Hispanic" comes from the Latin word for "Spain," while Latino comes from the Spanish word for "Latin."

To see where the two terms differ, consider the people of Brazilian descent. Since the people of Brazil speak Portuguese rather than Spanish, they would be considered Latino but not Hispanic.

So, the terms have much overlap, but they are not completely interchangeable. Hispanics and Latinos generally choose not to use either term. Instead, most prefer to be referred to simply as Americans or by their family's national origin, such as Mexican-American, Cuban-American, etc.

Today, there are more than 56 million Hispanic and Latino people in the United States, over 17% of the US population.

Corpsing

On stage 'dead' actors involuntarily laughing is such a big problem, that in British theater it is known as 'corpsing'. This has become generalized to any situation where an actor laughs inappropriately; any time you see a reference to an actor "corpsing", it means they ruined the shot by laughing.

Wordology, Terminal Velocity

You close your eyes and jump. You feel yourself in free fall, hurtling toward Earth, open your eyes and see the ground slowly getting closer. You seem to be picking up speed as you fall and soon you hit terminal velocity. It is the velocity at which you stop accelerating. It describes a physical reality based upon Newton's First Law of Motion.

When an object falls freely through a medium, such as water or air, the force of gravity pulls it toward Earth. As the object falls, its velocity increases as it accelerates toward Earth.

Gravity is not the only force working on the object. Air molecules collide with the falling object, pushing it upward against gravity. Scientists call this force air resistance. As the velocity of the falling object increases, so does air resistance.

Eventually, air resistance will equal the weight of the object in free fall. When this occurs, the object reaches terminal velocity. This means the falling object has reached its maximum velocity. The object will continue to fall at the same speed (terminal velocity) for the remainder of its free fall, until it hits Earth or a parachute opens.

Terminal velocity can be affected by a few different factors. For example, a heavier object will generally have a higher terminal velocity and a smaller surface area will have a higher terminal velocity than a larger surface area.

Most skydivers reach a terminal velocity of about 125 miles per hour. Experienced skydivers who streamline their bodies during free fall have reached speeds of over 200 miles per hour.

During October, 2012, Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner jumped from a helium balloon in the stratosphere, twenty four miles above Earth. Because the atmosphere at that height is so thin, there is next to no air resistance at the beginning of the free fall. This allows the skydiver to reach a much higher terminal velocity before encountering Earth's normal atmosphere far below.

On Baumgartner's skydive, he reached an estimated top speed of approximately 843.6 miles per hour.

Aug 18, 2017

Happy Friday

If you worry about What Was or What Will Be, you miss What Is.

Get up and decide What Is is time to celebrate a Happy Friday!

Total Solar Eclipse

A total solar eclipse is happening on August 21, 2017, and for the first time in nearly a hundred years, it will be visible from much of the continental US. In the US, the eclipse will appear to move across the country from West to East, with the best view starting around 9:05 a.m. PDT in Lincoln Beach, Oregon, according to NASA, and moving southeast throughout the day to end around Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 pm EDT.

It is true that you should not look directly at it with your naked eyes, because the sun delivers more power than our eyes are designed to handle, and it will damage your retinas. Not likely to make you blind, but could cause serious ongoing problems.
In Dallas, the Partial Eclipse begins Aug 21 at 11:40 am. The moon touches the Sun's edge Maximum Eclipse at 1:09 pm. The moon is closest to the center of the Sun. The Partial Eclipse ends at 2:39 pm.
When the moon passes between Earth and the sun, and scores a bull’s eye by completely blotting out the sunlight, that is a total solar eclipse. The moon casts a shadow on our planet. The total eclipse will last up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds in places. A partial eclipse will be visible along the periphery.

Below are site links to see the eclipse online. In addition to the links below, you can check YouTube, which also promises live viewing.


National Spumoni Day

August 21 is National Spumoni Day in the United States. Go out and eat some great Spumoni ice cream while watching the eclipse. It will make you happy.

Ostrich Facts

Ostriches are the largest flightless bird living today, and also happen to lay the largest eggs of any living bird in existence today. In fact, the Guinness World Record for the largest egg laid by a bird was achieved during 2008 on a farm in Sweden – the egg weighed 5 pounds and 11.36 ounces. A typical ostrich egg is equivalent to about two dozen chicken eggs.

The shells of ostrich eggs are so thick that most people recommend getting into them by boring in with an electric drill. They usually take about two hours to cook, due to the thickness of the shell.

Ostriches sleep standing up. Ostriches are the fastest two-legged creature in the world. An ostrich when pushed or in danger can achieve speeds of up to 43 miles per hour, and can steadily keep up a pace of about 30 miles per hour for 10 miles at a time without needing to slow down or rest.

Ostriches are found naturally in Africa, but many are also found in southern Australia and some are farmed in the US.

Ostriches do not stick their head in sand when startled or threatened. They dig shallow holes in the dirt to use as nests for their eggs. Several times a day, a bird puts her head down and turns the eggs. It just looks like she is burying her head in the sand.

Glue Anything to Anything

There is an interesting web site called thisTothat LINK   It has two boxes and you choose a material to put in each, such wood, glass, leather, or whatever and it offers suggestions of the best glue for the project. Very handy.

Wordology, Peruse

Peruse has a controversial double meaning due to common misuse. Even dictionaries do not all agree on the meaning of the word.

The primary meaning for the word peruse is to read or look at carefully or thoroughly. Its original meaning is synonymous with words like examine or inspect. The new definition addressing the misuse cropped up rather recently, sometime late in the last century.

The new meaning for the word is to skim, to look through in a casual or selective manner. These definitions have one suggesting a thorough examination and the other a few simple glances.

A word with two potential, opposite meanings is called a contronym, an autoantonym, or a Janus word. Others include: “To bolt” can mean “to run away,” but it can also mean “to hold in place.” “Sanction” can mean “to approve” or “to boycott.”

Elsie the Cow

Elsie is the name of the cow used as the symbol on Elmer's products. She is the spouse of Elmer, the bull (male cow) who the company is named after.

Function Keys

Keyboard function keys really do have functions and some are quite handy. Function keys are usually on the top row and have an F followed by a number, such as F1, F2, etc.

The most universal is F1, press it and you get help for almost every program you happen to be using.

F3 is handy for doing searches. For instance, if you are in a document or on a long web page, just press F3 and a search bar appears on the bottom of your screen. (You can also open a search box by holding down the CTRL key and hitting the letter f.)

F6 is handy if you are using a browser. It jumps the cursor to the address bar so you can type a new address in it.

Obviously there are more, but some are used by specific programs, such as F7 while in Microsoft Word checks for spelling. Try them, you may be surprised at how much time you can save.

Nude cartoons

Warner Brothers’ Tweety Bird, was told to put some clothes on. In his first cartoon, Tweety was pink, but censors said he looked naked, so animator Bob Clampett said he was repainted yellow, so he appeared to have feathers.

Aug 12, 2017

Happy Friday

Life happens, whether you take advantage of it or not.

Take advantage of celebrating a Happy Friday!

Bacon and Nose Bleeds

According to a study conducted by the Detroit Medical Center, bacon can quickly and effectively treat a nosebleed by serving as a nasal tampon. For this bizarre method to work, one must plug the bleeding nostril with a piece of cured uncooked pork.
The team tested their bacon hypothesis on a girl who had Glanzmann thrombasthenia, a rare hereditary disease that causes prolonged bleeding. After sticking a piece of cured pork inside the girl’s bloody nose, the bleeding stopped immediately.
The results of this scientific research were published in the Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology. The researchers acknowledged that doctors had used cured pork to treat nosebleeds in the past. However, the practice was discontinued.

The researchers speculated that the high risk of acquiring parasitic and bacterial complications from stuffing one’s nose with cured pork caused the unconventional treatment to be abandoned.

Wordology, Terrific

John Milton, author of Paradise Lost came up with many new words. One of them is the word terrific, but it had a different meaning for Milton. He used the word terrific to mean something that was terrifying, as in terrif fic.

Tree Growth

In the United States, which contains eight percent of the world's forests, there are more trees than there were a hundred years ago. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, "Forest growth nationally has exceeded harvest since the 1940s. By 1997, forest growth exceeded harvest by 42 percent and the volume of forest growth was 380 percent greater than it had been in 1920."

The U.S. had 319 million people in 2014 and 228 billion trees. The greatest gains have been seen on the East Coast, with average volumes of wood per acre almost doubling since the 1950s. Over 75 percent of the productive commercial forest land in the United States is privately owned.
In a study released during 2015 in Nature, a team of 38 scientists found that the planet is home to 3.04 trillion trees, far surpassing the previously estimate of 400 billion. The researchers estimated there are 422 trees for every person on Earth.

Incidentally, the US federal government owns 28% of all US land.

Wordology, Wamblecropt

It sounds just like it means. It means overcome with indigestion. You might have observed your stomach was wambling a bit. If the wambles (indigestion) got so bad you could not move, you were wamblecropt. Sad that such a descriptive word has gone out of favor.

Riot, Rout, Unlawful Assembly

Riot, rout, and unlawful assembly are related offenses, but are separate and distinct. A rout differs from a riot in that the persons involved do not actually execute their purpose, but merely move toward it. The degree of execution that converts a rout into a riot is often difficult to determine.
A riot is a form of civil disorder commonly characterized by a group lashing out in a violent public disturbance against authority, property, or people. To be considered a riot in England and Wales it must legally involve a minimum of twelve people. Under US federal law it is only three people, in New York, US ten people, Lynchburg, VA, US, three people, and in Nevada, US only two people can constitute a riot.

An unlawful assembly transpires when persons convene for a purpose, if executed would make them rioters, but who separate without performing any act in furtherance of their purpose.

Sticky Things

When measuring ingredients for cooking, like peanut butter, honey, etc. Spray the measuring cup with cooking spray first. It will make cleanup much easier.

Claddagh Rings

The Claddagh ring (Irish: fáinne Chladaigh) is a traditional Irish ring given which represents love, loyalty, and friendship. The hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown represents loyalty.

The design and customs associated with it originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the old city walls of Galway, now part of Galway City. The ring, as currently known, was first produced in the 17th century, but the name Claddagh ring was not used before the 1830s. In recent years it has been embellished with interlace designs and combined with other Celtic and Irish symbols.

The ring belongs to a group of European finger rings called "fede rings". The name "fede" derives from the Italian phrase mani in fede ("hands [joined] in faith" or "hands [joined] in loyalty"). These rings date from Roman times, when the gesture of clasped hands was a symbol of pledging vows, and they were used as engagement/wedding rings in medieval and Renaissance Europe.


Incidentally, "Top of the morning to you." "And the rest of the day to yourself." Both are Hollywood inventions and never used in Ireland.

New Spam

Yesterday I received a "thank you for your purchase" email supposedly from Apple iTunes for $99. There was no credit card info and when I hovered on the link, it was for a bitly web site. Other things I hovered on were also not from Apple. Bottom line, if there is no credit card info, delete the email after you mark it spam.

Aug 4, 2017

Happy Friday

If you season your friendships with joy you will taste the sweetness of life.

I always savor the sweetness of a Happy Friday!

Fastest Computer

It was not that many years ago that we were anxiously awaiting a computer that could do a million operations per second. Now we have the Sunway computer, which has a linkpack benchmark rate (the maximum speed at which it can operate) of 93 petaflops (a thousand trillion floating point operations per second). China has been building its next-generation high performance computer which will be at least 10 times faster than Sunway when the machine is finished during 2019.

Theater 4K HDR TV

Wow, 4K HDR just grew up. The same TV technology that is in living rooms just began in theaters. A few months ago, Samsung introduced its immense 34 foot Cinema TV LED Screen, an alternative to projectors.

This cinema display TV features digital cinema 4K resolution and about 500,000 more pixels than what you will find in a normal consumer 4K TV.

Typical projectors will lose color quality as brightness is increased, but the Cinema TV Screen maintains perfect color accuracy at peak brightness levels regardless of the ambient illumination, similar to those found in the 2017 QLED 4K TVs, which also achieve strong color volume at high brightness levels. The most remarkable aspect of Samsung’s screen is its brightness that is 10 times more than that offered by standard projector technologies. Makes me want to raise the ceiling in the living room to fit a larger screen.

Wordology, Knickerbockers

Knickers is actually a standard word for underwear, mainly in Britain. “Knickers” derives from “knickerbockers,” or “loose-fitting short pants gathered at the knee.” Because the city’s early Dutch settlers wore those pants, “New Yorkers” became known as “Knickerbockers.” The Knickerbockers, now more commonly “The Knicks” is the name of New York’s NBA team. It does not have a picture of knickerbockers in its logo.

Psychopath vs. Sociopath

The terms “psychopath” and “sociopath” often get used interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same. It is believed that psychopathy is the largely the result of genetics, while sociopathy is more likely the result of the environment. However, it is not completely nature or nurture, but a complex combination of genetics, neurology, and environment. They are both classified as Antisocial Personality Disorders. They both show a disregard for laws and social mores, a disregard for the rights of others, a failure to feel remorse or guilt, and a tendency to display violent behavior.

Psychopathy is related to a physiological defect that results in the underdevelopment of the part of the brain responsible for impulse control and emotions. Psychopaths are unable to form emotional attachments or feel real empathy with others. Traits include a total freedom from fear, anxiety, or guilt. They can be charming, outgoing, and charismatic. They thrive on power and control and are self centered and impulsive.

Sociopathy is likely the product of childhood trauma and physical/emotional abuse. Sociopathy can also be acquired, such as by dementia or a head injury. Sociopaths have a less severe form of lack of empathy and lack of guilt. Sociopaths may be able to form some deep bonds while a psychopath cannot. A sociopath would feel no guilt about hurting a stranger, but may feel guilt and remorse over hurting someone with which they share a bond. A sociopath is less organized in demeanor and might be nervous, easily agitated, and quick to display anger. Sociopaths are often crusaders or martyrs for a perceived cause and may see their wild acts as necessary.

Psychopaths are confident, social, and dominant, but sociopaths are reserved and inhibited, sometimes loners.

Psychopaths are exempt from negative emotion, but sociopaths do experience anxiety and rejection.

Psychopaths have no morals, but sociopaths have a sense of morality and a conscience however, it is skewed.

Bottom line, all psychopaths are sociopaths, but not all sociopaths are psychopaths.

Yoda Toes

In different movies Yoda has different numbers of toes. In The Phantom Menace he has 3 toes, in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Sith he has 4.

What's in a Name, Groundhog

The groundhog (Marmota monax), also known as a woodchuck, or whistlepig, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. It was first scientifically described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. The groundhog is also referred to as a chuck, wood-shock, groundpig, whistler, thickwood badger, Canada marmot, monax, moonack, weenusk, and red monk. The name "thickwood badger" was given in the Northwest to distinguish the animal from the prairie badger. Monax was a Native American name of the woodchuck, which meant "the digger".

Whisky

Whisky is a spirit distilled from malted grain, barley or rye. The word whisky is originated from the Old English word usquebae. The word is derived from the words uisce, which means water, and bethu, which translates to life. Summing it up, the word whisky basically means 'water of life'.

Vanilla vs. French Vanilla Ice Cream

Both are made with vanilla beans for flavor. Vanilla ice cream is more white and French vanilla ice cream tends to have a slightly yellow coloring.

The name French vanilla is derived from the classic French way of making ice cream using an egg custard base. French vanilla ice cream has egg yolks, which give it a smoother consistency and its distinctive yellow hue. The taste is a bit richer and a bit more complex than a regular vanilla, which is made with just milk and cream.

Jul 28, 2017

Happy Friday

A perfect smile reflects perfect happiness. Happiness reflects the sunshine of a perfect smile.

I always try to smile and reflect happiness, especially on a Happy Friday!

Medicare Birthday

On July 30, 1965, at a public ceremony in Independence, MO., President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed Medicare into law. Moments later, the 36th president of the United States presented America's 33rd president, Harry S. Truman, then 81 years old — the nation's first Medicare card.
Medicare provides health insurance to Americans age 65 and older and to younger people with certain disabilities or health conditions. At its creation, Medicare consisted of two parts: Medicare Part A hospital insurance coverage and Medicare Part B, an optional medical insurance program.


Medicare's first beneficiaries paid a $40 annual deductible for Part A. The monthly premium for Part B was $3.

CT, MRI, PET and SPECT Scans

Had a chance to sample some of this technology recently and realized many folks are not aware of what the terms actually mean. Each requires a distinct type of radiology equipment used to perform mostly medical procedures. Each piece of equipment costs millions of dollars and data shows that more machines cause more tests to be performed. Various pieces of equipment may look different than the pictures below, due to company design and age of the equipment.

A CT (computed axial tomography) scan uses X-rays, an MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) scan uses magnetic and radio waves, a PET (Positron emission tomography) scan uses a radioactive substance injected in the body and gamma rays, and SPECT (Single photon emission computed tomography) scan uses a radioactive substance injected into the body and a gamma camera. Tomography is a technique for displaying a representation of a cross section through a human body or other solid object using a penetrating wave.
CT Scanner

A CT scan is better suited to cancer, pneumonia, abnormal chest x-rays, and bleeding in the brain, especially after an injury. A CT scan shows organ tear and organ injury more quickly, so is more suitable for trauma cases. Broken bones and vertebrae are more clearly visible on a CT scan. CT scans provide a better image of the lungs and organs in the chest cavity between the lungs.
MRI Scanner

An MRI is better for examining the spinal cord. An MRI show a more visible brain tumor.

A
CT scan does not show tendons and ligaments, but an MRI does.

A CT or MRI scan can assess the size and shape of body organs and tissue, but they cannot assess how these work.

PET Scanner

The PET system detects pairs of rays emitted indirectly by a positron-emitting radionuclide (tracer), which is introduced into the body. Three-dimensional images of tracer concentration within the body are then constructed by computer analysis. A PET scan can show how an organ works, and is often used with a CT or MRI scan. PET scans are used to diagnose a condition or to track how it is developing. PET scans are used to investigate epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and heart disease.

The SPECT system works like a PET, but uses gamma rays to show a tracer dose of radioactive material injected into the body. The material moves to areas of bone and elsewhere highlighting healing or cancer progression as it is usually lit up on SPECT scans.

Chicken Facts

Here is something to cluck about. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization concluded that, as of 2014, the world has about 21 billion chickens, which produce the 79 billion eggs eaten by Americans every year. As the human population grew by 80 percent between 1970 and 2008, the global chicken population grew by 262 percent. That makes three chickens for every human on earth.

Al Capone


A famous crime boss during prohibition in the US was jailed for income tax evasion. He was released from Alcatraz prison on November 16, 1939 and died January 25, 1947 with few of his friends attending his modest funeral.

H
e died penniless after once earning $40 million a year. He struggled to support his family on an income of $600 a week, which was provided by former associates of the Chicago Outfit. After his death, his wife, Mae, whom he married in 1918, was forced to sell their home due to financial constraints. She died during 1986.

Wordology, Lidar

The word is an acronym for Light Detection and Ranging. The US military and NASA invented the Lidar technology during the early 1960s for measuring distance in space. Its first commercial usage did not occur until 1995.

It uses ultraviolet, visible, or near infrared light from lasers. Radar (Radio Detection and Ranging) uses radio or electromagnetic waves.
Lidar used in cars is low powered and classed as 'eye-safe' allowing it to be used with few safety precautions.

Some refer to
Lidar as laser radar, however it is not. It is more precise than radar, because the speed of light is a constant, so a laser can make extremely precise measurements of distance by computing the time between when the device emits a laser pulse and when it detects the reflection. Sound travels about 1,000 feet (300 meters) per second and light travels about 984,000,000 feet per second (300,000,000 meters). Also, radar wavelengths suffer from atmospheric conditions, such as humidity, fog, rain, snow, and temperature, but do perform better in smokey or dusty conditions.

A laser unit fires a short pulse of light. The pulse rebounds off a point, such as the rear of the car in front and is detected by a sensor in the laser unit. A computer connected to the unit measures the time between the initial pulse and the light return and, using the speed of light, calculates the distance the light has traveled. It creates a high-resolution 3D map of the surrounding environment. The best sensors can see details of a few centimeters at distances of more than 330 feet or 100 meters.

Currently most autonomous cars use some combination of Lidar, Radar, and camera. Lidar is precise, Radar is good at motion, and cameras are good for depiction. Each technology has strengths and weaknesses, so automakers and others are trying to find the best combination of strengths at the lowest cost.

Father and Son

John Scott Harrison was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio and the only person to be both the child and the parent of US Presidents. He was also the grandson of Declaration of Independence signer, Benjamin Harrison V. He was the father of thirteen children.

His father, William Henry Harrison was the ninth President in 1841 and his son, Benjamin Harrison, was the 23rd President from 1889 to 1893. Harrison did not live to see his son become President.

Jul 21, 2017

Happy Friday

Happiness, like oceans comes in waves, some higher, some lower, but all appreciated.

I always look for the perfect wave of happiness, especially on a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Dox

Here is an interesting word that has been floating around the web for the past bunch of years. Doxing or doxxing, from abbreviating the word documents, is an Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting private or personal identifiable information about an individual or organization. It is usually done to humiliate or expose someone.


Doxing is the act of finding one's personal information through research and discovery, with little to no information to start with. You may have seen doxing in the news, for instance when not so long ago, hacker team Anonymous doxed and reported thousands of twitter accounts related to ISIS.

Doxxing is easy to accomplish using common internet sites. Social media, phone number databases, housing information, etc., are all readily and freely available. Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, etc. are treasure troves of personal information, such as relatives, friends, coworkers, pictures, nicknames, employer name, job title, school information, addresses, and much more.

Hackers, police officers, and amateur detectives can harvest the information from the internet about individuals. There is no particular structure in place for doxing, meaning a hacker may seek out any kind of information related to the target.

Eagle Fact

If a bald eagle loses a feather on one wing, it will shed a corresponding feather on the other to stay balanced.

Streaming Movies and TV

2016 was the first year more movies were streamed than played on DVDs. Amazing, since DVDs were first invented in 1995 by  Panasonic, Philips, Sony and Toshiba. Of course, other formats had been around for a number of years before that. Hmm, over the hill at the tender young age of 22.
The first basic cable network, launched via satellite in 1976, was Ted Turner's superstation WTCG. A May 2017 study from Fluent LLC asked internet users about their cable and TV habits. Across age groups, 67 percent of people reported using a video streaming service, such as Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime video. Cable subscriptions, which peaked during 2000, was reported by 61 percent of responders.

Incidentally, during 2008, cable subscribers had 129 channels to choose from, and they watched an average of 17 channels in a given week. Five years later, they had 189 channels, and were still watching only 17.5. Their bills have doubled or more since 2000.

Anime vs. Manga

Anime (pronounced ann e mae) is animation of a cartoon show. The word is the abbreviated pronunciation of "animation" in Japanese, where this term references all animation. Anime is usually, but not always, the animated version of popular manga.

Manga is book of pictures or comic. Manga are comics created in Japan or by creators in the Japanese language, conforming to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century. They have a long and complex pre-history in earlier Japanese art.

Cleaning White Shoes

For major dirt stains, use 409 cleaner or any other all-purpose spray cleaner, an old toothbrush and a couple of paper towels.

Rub Whitening toothpaste into the shoe using an old toothbrush and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping off.
Micellar water and cotton will help you clean the white shoe sole and rubber/leather toe bit of your shoes.
Magic erasers and vinegar are great for removing stains on white shoes as well.

To bring the white color of your canvas shoes back, use rubber gloves, mix one part of bleach and 5 parts water. Apply it with an old toothbrush to get rid of various stains and dark spots.

The Great Lakes

Lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Erie make up the largest body of fresh water on Earth, accounting for one-fifth of the freshwater surface on the planet with 6 quadrillion gallons.

The area of all the Great Lakes is 95,160 square miles (246,463 square kilometers) and span 750 miles (1,200 km) from west to east. The square mileage is larger than the state of Texas.
The lakes are on the U.S. and Canadian border, touching Ontario in Canada and Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York in the United States. The St. Lawrence River connects Lake Ontario to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which leads out to the Atlantic Ocean.


As of 2017, more than 30 million people live in the Great Lakes basin, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. This equates to 10 percent of US residents and 30 percent of Canadian residents. More than 3,500 species of plants and animals inhabit the Great Lakes basin, as well as more than 170 species of fish.

Quote

"The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: Be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge." This is also the definition of a politician.

Quote 2

Someone added another of my quotes to a picture

The Island of Discussion

The island in Glencoe, Scotland was a place to settle disputes and resolve differences. Officially named Eilean a’ Chomhraidh, the Island of Discussion is small and alone.

This island served a noble purpose for many years. During more than 1,500 years, when clansman had a disagreement, this is the place they went to work it out. When there were quarrels or arguments, the feuding parties where taken to the island and left alone with whiskey, cheese, and oat cakes. They did not leave the island until the dispute was settled. The result, in over 1,500 years, only one recorded murder in the area.

Jul 15, 2017

Happy Friday

A half-hearted spirit has no power. You must put your whole heart into achieving happiness.


I put my whole heart into enjoying every Happy Friday!

World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

Next week, July 19 - 22, 2017, the third Wednesday in July, at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks .

WEIO gives people and participants a chance to see supreme feats of endurance and agility and the rare chance to experience a culture alongside those who live within it. WEIO is a time to share stories through dance and display parkas, kuspuks, mukluks, moose hide dresses, vests and jewelry at the Native Arts & Crafts fair. In additional there is a cultural Miss WEIO pageant to showcase talents and traditional knowledge. Events include: Native Regalia and Baby Regalia contest, Knuckle Hop, Blanket Toss, High Kick, Stick Pull, and more.

Flitch Day

Next week, July 19 is Flitch day. The Flitch Trials are held every 4 years in Great Dunmow, Essex, England. The town is located north-east of London, just off the A120 between the M11 at Stansted Airport and Colchester.

4,000 Flitches lined up and ready to go.

Dating back to 1104 in Dunmow Priory, England, monks offered a side of bacon (flitch) to any married couple proving a year and a day after their wedding that they had lived in harmony and fidelity for the past year and had not wished they were single again.

Knots and Bends

A ‘knot’ is something tied in a single piece of rope or line. Something that joins two ropes together is a ‘bend’.

Keep Fruit Fresh

One way to keep your fruits and veggies fresh longer is with an inexpensive ethylene gas absorber. It can extend the life of fruits and veggies by weeks or more vs. using nothing. Ethylene is a harmless, odorless, and colorless gas that is given off naturally by fruits and vegetables as a signaling mechanism for produce to ripen faster. Many growers add extra ethylene or absorbers to their delivery trucks to hasten or reduce ripening during fruit's trip to the store.

These are relatively cheap and come in various guises, such as food storage tray liners for fridge, plastic apples filled with absorber, 'stayfresh' bags, and sachet type packets. Some of them use a coated zeolite, which has a honeycomb like structure which absorbs odor and ethylene. Depending on type, the absorbers last about three months to a year in constant use. When not in use, they can be stored in an airtight container almost indefinitely, for later use.

There is scientific evidence that absorbers are effective and growers would not waste money on technology that does not work. A US Navy test showed a 245% improved shelf life for tomatoes, 88% for lettuce, and 10% for cucumbers. All indications are that they work best in closed area, rather than simply putting an absorber on a counter next to fruit. They can be purchased online and at Walmart, Bed Bath, etc. I read many comments from users and they appear to work as advertised, which is a pleasant change these days.

More Egg Facts

Most eggs are not egg-shaped. Hummingbirds lay eggs that look like Tic Tacs, owls lay almost perfect spheres, and sandpipers lay almost conical eggs that end in a rounded point. Swift eggs are pointed, more like pine nuts than Tic Tacs. The most common shape, exemplified by a songbird called the graceful prinia, is more pointed than a chicken’s. Eggs of 1,400 bird species had measurements extracted from 50,000 photos. It revealed the left-field nature of chicken eggs.

Incidentally, if you dissolve an egg shell in acid, the naked egg will still retain its original shape due to the internal membranes.

Hoopla

Hoopla is a service that works with libraries to offer patrons an enormous selection of digital products, such as TV, Movies, Music, Comics, Ebooks, and Audio books for free and with no ads or commercials. You can download an app from Amazon, Apple, Google, etc. It has a free sign up, but you must also have a valid library card. Nice way to add to your entertainment without breaking the bank.

These days libraries have grown up and offer much more than dusty books. Last time I visited my local branch, I picked up a free prescription card that covers prescriptions not covered by insurance. Saved over $30 vs. using my insurance on one script a few weeks ago. You do know where your local library is don't you? It is likely the place where you go vote.

Solar Eclipse

Next week Friday is when we in the US will experience the first total solar eclipse in 99 years. Check your local area for the times.

Texas Obscenity Law, or Not

The Obscene Device Law is a Texas statute dealing with obscenity. In 1973, the Texas Legislature passed Section 43.21 of the Texas Penal Code which, in part, prohibited the sale or promotion of "Obscene device[s] mean[ing] a device including a dildo or artificial vagina, designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs."

In an appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the statute on February 12, 2008, by a vote of 2–1, holding that "the statute has provisions that violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution".

On November 4, 2008, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel released a two-page document dated October 29, 2008, in which he stated that the Texas Attorney General's Office notified him that they would not file a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court.

The following month, on November 13, Yeakel filed a "joint status report" that noted the parties had come to an agreement. "Texas Penal Code §§ 43.23, to the extent that it applies to “obscene devices” as defined in Texas Penal Code § 43.21(a)(7), is declared to be facially unconstitutional and unenforceable throughout the State of Texas," the report read.

Robot Flipper

This week a robot burger flipper "Flippy"was installed at CaliBurger in California. Cali Group partnered with Miso Robotics to develop the burger robot. Flippy uses the latest machine learning software to locate and identify what is in front of it and learn from experience.

It has one arm with six axes to give it a wide range of motion and allow it to perform multiple functions. There is an assortment of detachable tools the bot can use to help it cook, including tongs, scrapers, and spatulas, and a pneumatic pump lets it swap one tool for another, rather than a human having to change it out. The plan is to install a Flippy in each of its 50 restaurants.

Another Search Tip

If you are looking up someone's name, it helps to either type in the "at" sign, as in @tomshubnell or use quote marks, as in "tom shubnell". This narrows down your results, because with no qualifier, your search will yield everything that has either tom or shubnell in it. Either of these qualifiers force it to look for specifically those two names together.

Jul 7, 2017

Happy Friday

"If you want to understand the meaning of happiness, you must see it as a reward and not as a goal." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupérys

I think it is rewarding to celebrate every Happy Friday!

Australia is Moving

Australia's adjusted national GPS coordinates  were recalculated and adjusted to keep pace with changing navigation technology. The continent moves north by seven centimeters (2.76 inches) every year due to its position on the world's fastest moving continental tectonic plate, according to Geoscience Australia. The country's coordinates were off by 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) due to years of natural shifting.

Satellite navigation systems on smartphones align with digital map information and autonomous vehicles could show you are in the middle of the road or you are in another lane. The Geocentric Datum of Australia, the nation's local coordinate system, was last updated during 1994.

Incidentally, the Indian Subcontinent in the past was moving towards Asia at a speed of about 6 inches per year. When they collided, the Himalayas came into being. They are still growing, but since then, India is only pushing into Asia proper at about 2 inches per year. 

Coral Bleaching

Newsmedia has been hyping the coral bleaching going on as a disaster, but it does not seem as dire as we are led to believe. The way it works is that coral polyps live as a symbiote with algae, which photosynthesize and produce carbohydrates for the polyps. When temperatures get too high, the algae starts to produce free oxygen radicals (which is harmful). The polyps have no choice but to expel the algae, which are responsible for the coral color, and to lose an important food source. This is known as coral bleaching.

Corals do not die from coral bleaching, but they are significantly weakened. Corals do recover from bleaching. They die out, then slowly grow back. Centuries do not mean much for a coral colony that exists for millennia.

Starbucks Sizes

A Venti iced size (24 ounces) at Starbucks is equal to two Tall (12 ounces). If you buy a Venti and split it with a friend you can save over a dollar each.

Incidentally, Short [8 fl. oz.], Tall [12 fl. oz.], Grande [16 fl. oz.], Venti Hot [20 fl. oz.], Venti Cold [24 fl. oz.] and Trenta Cold [31 fl. oz.]