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.]

3D Pancake Printer

Now I have seen it all. Amazon is selling "PancakeBot PNKB01BK 3D Food Printer." It is a 3D printer, with computer smarts that includes a grill and makes pancakes in any shape you can design. Oh, it costs $299. That is a bunch of dough to spend.


According to the description - There is a proprietary batter dispensing system to draw your perfect customized pancake every time. Software is included to trace any image on your computer. Non-stick electric griddle with removable probe is included and a BPA-free batter dispenser. Quick start Guide and Recipe Book are also included. Disclaimer - I have no financial interest in this, nor do I have any interest in buying one. However, I do think it is a fun and innovative use of technology.

Streaming vs. Casting

These terms are used when discussing getting information from devices to your TV. Streaming is video-delivery sent over the internet to your computer or smart TV. It also may refer to Internet Protocol television (IPTV) also called just Internet TV. It includes Live TV, time shifted replays of live TV, and video on demand, such as movies. IPTV is delivered over a closed, proprietary network, accessed via a specific internet service provider. It is different from OTT (see below), which is open and delivered by providers over the top of any internet service.

Casting refers to the delivery of audio, video, or other media types from a users mobile device or PC to a Television or connected TV device. For mobile devices, such as smartphones, mirroring means casting uses your bandwidth allocation and costs money each time you use it. Video uses an extremely high amount of bandwidth and if you do not have unlimited use, your monthly phone bill could be enormous. Mirroring takes the display from a sender devices and replicates that on a receiving device. Casting without mirroring means that after you cast the video to your TV, you can use the phone as normal, because it hands off the original signal to the TV.

Bottom line, streaming goes directly to a device and casting sends a stream from one device to another.

OTA vs. OTT

The often used abbreviations can be confusing. Think of OTA (Over The Air) as using a TV antenna, where the signal comes into your antenna, literally over the air from satellite or huge broadcast antenna at a TV or radio station, vs. on a cable.
Think of  OTT (Over The Top) as directly accessing the internet via a physical cable (such as the one that goes into your modem/router LINK). WiFi also gets its input from that cable. It refers to audio, video, and other media transmitted via the Internet without cable or direct-broadcast satellite television systems controlling content. No TV tuner or receiver is necessary.

OTT devices which support streaming include Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, and FireTV, etc. OTT services include video on demand services like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Sky Go, BBC iPlayer, etc.

Bottom line, OTA uses the air outside of your house to receive signals and OTT uses cables outside of your house to receive signals. They both use cables from the wall to devices inside the house.

Wordology, Empty Calories

Many people associate alcohol calories with empty calories. They think empty calories are less fattening than regular calories. Empty calories are empty because they have no vitamins, minerals, or nutrients associated with them.


Alcohol calories are treated differently in the body than food calories. Alcohol calories get used for energy like any other calorie. However, alcohol is treated as a toxin by the body, and is given first priority for metabolism, so food calories must wait to be burned until after the liver deals with the alcohol calories. Food calories are stored as fat until used after the alcohol calories are used and that (simplified) is why alcoholics suffer from liver cirrhosis, or fatty liver, which is deadly.

Calorie Defined

The official definition of calorie is: A measurement of energy- the amount of energy needed to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius at standard atmospheric pressure. Calories in food are actually measured in kilocalories, so 1,000 actual calories for every 1 Calorie listed on food packages. Europe uses the actual kilocalories or kilojoules.

During the 1880s, Wilbur O. Atwater decided to determine how much energy different types of foods contained. He decided to treat different foods just like coal and burn them to ash in a furnace and measure how much heat (or calories) each one produced. He gave a numerical value to the calories produced by each food. He measured nine calories per gram from high-fat foods, and about four calories per gram from carbohydrates and proteins. We still use this system, to an extent.

During 2003, a US university team of nutritionists tested two slimming diets with the same number of calories on a group of overweight women. One diet was very low-fat and relatively high in carbohydrate. The other was high in fat, but low in carbohydrate. The low-fat dieters lost 3.9kg (almost 9lb), but the high-fat dieters lost more than twice as much weight at 8.5kg (almost 19lb).
The calories are the same, but the body reacts differently when it uses them. Maybe it is time to rethink how we count calories.
Calories listed on food labels are only an approximation. The US FDA allows food manufacturers to look at their ingredients and determine how many grams of fat, carbohydrates, and protein they contain, and then assume that each gram of protein and carbohydrates gives 4 kilocalories, each gram of fat gives 9, etc. Then they subtract 4 kilocalories for every gram of fiber, and that is the official, government sanctioned calorie measurement.
In addition to the above, different bodies deal with Calories differently. Genetic conditions, illnesses, and other factors can cause foods to be metabolized differently by some people vs. others. A 100 Calorie snack for you, might only be an 80 Calorie snack for someone else.

Bottom line, since Calories are an approximation, ingesting a few hundred more or less on any given day is not going to make much difference on your weight.