Archive for January, 2009

Friday Thoughts

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Gimme another cup of Joe – Midlife coffee drinking can decrease the risk of dementia/Alzheimer’s disease later in life. This conclusion is made in a Finnish Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia Study published in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The study has been conducted at the University of Kuopio, Finland in collaboration with Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and the National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland.

It included 1409 participants from the survivors of population-based cohorts surveyed within previous studies.

The study found that coffee drinkers at midlife had lower risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s later in life compared to those drinking no or only little coffee with the lowest risk (65% decreased) among moderate coffee drinkers (drinking 3-5 cups of coffee/day). Adjustments for various confounders did not change the results.

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Elvis and his dyed black hair will always be remembered as he stands among the throng of Californian blondes and again makes true the old adage that, “In the kingdom of the blonde, the one dyed man is king.”
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Speaking of Black – Did you know coal provides just over half our nation’s electricity.
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Check out the new 56″TV from Philips. The new format 21×9 vs. the current HDTV 16×9 vs. regular TV 4×3. Others are expected to come out with competing versions. The idea is that it gives a wider and more pleasing view, like a movie theater.  A demo shows that the  ‘letter boxing’  or black lines on bottom and top of the regular HDTV is eliminated, but there is no more content showing, just a better view of the picture. If they can marry OLED and 21×9, I will be really excited. Oh, yeh, it will be sold first in Europe this spring. Maybe a gift for me next Christmas.

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China becomes more monolithic – China plans to complete its own satellite navigation system by 2015, making it independent of foreign technology such as the US Global Positioning System (GPS).

The Beidou Navigation System will enable military and civilian users from China to find their way anywhere in the world. “The system will shake off the dependence on foreign systems,” said Zhang Xiaojin, director of astronautics at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

China aims to launch 30 more satellites into space by the middle of the next decade. Ten satellites will be launched in 2009 and 2010. The five-satellite system currently in place only provides regional navigation services within China’s own territory.

The Beidou Navigation System is seen as a rival not just of the GPS, but also the European Union’s Galileo Positioning System and Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System.
Just what we need, more space garbage flying around.
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What good is a dollar these days?
– Here is a place to find out.
http://www.dollarartist.com/sculptures.html
and here
http://www.freakingnews.com/Money-Celebrities-Pictures–1998-0.asp
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Health Care – “I think we’ve finally arrived at the point in time [related to health reform] when the pain of change may be lower than the pain of the status quo.” – Francois de Brantes, CEO of Bridges to Excellence, told AIS’s HEALTH PLAN WEEK.
I think he may be correct.

– Last year, 62% of Americans sought some kind of alternative medicine treatment. 75% say they have done this at least once in their lifetime. Eight million people a day conduct health information searches on the Web.

– Legislative provisions that would require providers to use federal health information technology funds to purchase equipment made in America were stripped from both the House and Senate versions of a massive $819 billion economic stimulus package, riling Republican lawmakers who say they want assurances that taxpayer dollars stay in country.

– LONDON, Jan. 24 (UPI) — Doctors say a record number of British men last year sought breast-reduction surgery for “man boobs” or “moobs,” as some call them. Breast-reduction surgery for men rose from 22 operations in 2003 to 224 operations last year, said the Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons in Britain. Are the real boobs the physical appendages, or the guys getting the operations?
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Uncle Jay – We all love those youtubes he does. Here is his website, and it has an RSS. He does a new video each week.
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Cool technology for diabetics
– Scientists at Draper Laboratory, in Cambridge, MA, are developing a nanosensor that could be injected into the skin, much like tattoo dye, to monitor an individual’s blood-sugar level. As the glucose level increases, the “tattoo” would fluoresce under an infrared light, telling a diabetic whether or not she needs an insulin shot following a meal. Sure beats sticking a needle in your finger.
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Dog lovers – will love this way to get their screen cleaned for free.
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Mail to cell phone

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

If you know someone is probably not at their PC or on the road and you want to send them an email, you can use the following to send your email to their cell phone.
address the email to the persons number and the carrier.
example: 2145551234@txt.att.net

The message must be short, 160 characters max. You can also send a small picture (jpg) file.

Below is a list of the major carrier domains:

Alltel @message.alltel.com
Cingular/AT&T @txt.att.net
Nextel @messaging.nextel.com
Sprint @messaging.sprintpcs.com
SunCom @tms.suncom.com
T-mobile @tmomail.net
VoiceStream @voicestream.net
Verizon @vtext.com

If you don’t know the cell phone’s service carrier, you can look it up at whitepages.com or 411.com and enter the 10-digit cell phone number using the reverse lookup feature. It should list the carrier.
If the carrier’s domain isn’t listed above, check its Web site.

Friday Thoughts

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Fifty years ago this month Alaska became the 49th state and Hawaii become the fiftieth in August, 1959. It was a boom year for geography book and map publishers.

Twenty years ago, President George H. W. Bush signs an agreement to bail out over 800 insolvent savings and loans institutions (eight months after taking office).

Eleven years ago, House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton for grand jury perjury and obstruction of justice.

Ten years ago, the Jimmy Carter signed treaty (from 1977) went into effect turning the Panama Canal over to Panama, beginning the slide to the current Chinese control and rule.
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Researchers found the stress of thinking caused overeating with heavy thinkers seeking out more calories. The research team, supervised by Dr Angelo Tremblay, measured the spontaneous food intake of 14 students after each of three tasks.

The first was relaxing in a sitting position, the second reading and summarizing a text, and finally completing a series of memory, attention, and vigilance tests on the computer. After 45 minutes at each activity, participants were invited to eat as much as they wanted from a buffet.

The researchers had already discovered that each session of intellectual work requires only three calories more than the rest period. However, despite the low energy cost of mental work, the students spontaneously consumed 203 more calories after summarizing a text and 253 more calories after the computer tests. This represents a 23.6 per cent and 29.4 per cent increase, respectively, compared with the rest period.

Blood samples taken before, during, and after each session revealed that intellectual work causes much bigger fluctuations in glucose and insulin levels than rest periods. The body could be reacting to these fluctuations by spurring food intake in order to restore its glucose balance, the only fuel used by the brain.

Mr Chaput added: “Caloric overcompensation following intellectual work, combined with the fact we are less physically active when doing intellectual tasks, could contribute to the obesity epidemic currently observed in industrialized countries. This is a factor that should not be ignored, considering that more and more people hold jobs of an intellectual nature.”

The results of the study, carried out at Universite Laval in Quebec, Canada, are published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, December, 2008.

My advice – Just eat and don’t think about and you will lose weight.
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Here is something to relieve your stress. Moving kinetic sculpture – Complex, but not complicated.
http://www.strandbeest.com/film.html
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Statistics show that the people who have the most birthdays live the longest.
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A man called his banker to check on his account. “Your finances are in terrible shape, your checking account is overdrawn and your loan is overdue.”
“Yeah, I know,” said the man. “It’s my wife. She’s out of control.”
“Why do you let her spend more than you have?” asked the banker.
“Frankly,” sighed the man, “Because it’s easier to argue with you than her.”
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Bye George! By George, we’ll miss ya!

bush.jpg

“by George” is a minced oath, (where one letter –  ‘g’ word is substituted for another ‘g’ word), in this case, George is substituted for God because some people did not believe in God. The use of George came into use around the turn of the 20th century and usually meant great or OK, as in ‘everything is George’. Some people also used to say ‘everything is Jake’.
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Leaving Paradise – Jan, 2009 – Official figures show that for a fourth year running, more residents have left California than moved there. According to census estimates, in the year ending July 1, 2008, the state lost 144,000 people, more than any other US state.

California hasn’t seen such a prolonged period of departures outweighing newcomers since the downturn of the early 1990s.

According to those leaving:
soaring unemployment (8.4 percent, the third highest in the nation);
the cost of living – taxes, food, gas, rents, home prices (even with the property crash);
congestion;
overcrowding;
bad schools;
bad air;
a state government inching ever closer to bankruptcy;
and the omnipresent threat of more cuts to public services and tax increases.
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Here are a few goodies from 2008 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Writing Contest. Sometimes I get so inspired.

Bryson the Plainsman seldom spoke a discouraging word, but he did when he filed for divorce after discovering his dear and an interloper played.  Maree Lubran, Saratoga, CA

As usual, Mr. Riddle came home from work, and, as usual, took the toy poodle, Fluffy, out for her walk, and, as usual, Fluffy “did her business” at the usual places, first at the bush, second, on the sidewalk, and third, in the grass, so that there, on the pavement, was evidence of Fluffy’s evening sojourn: Mr. Riddle’s little poodle’s middle piddlle puddle.  Dr. Ford Sutherland, Venice, Florida

The homicide detective was an aging woman with a crusty and somewhat ill-tempered personality, an individual who reminded me of the kind of woman my mother, a Sunday-school teacher, would have been if she had been a crusty and somewhat ill-tempered homicide detective.  Bill Crumpler, McKinney, TX

Vito watched as Robert squirmed in his life vest while the Great White brushed against his chum-soaked and shackled body, but it wasn’t until the terrible fish circled back, finally ending Robert’s evening, that Vito, with the vision of the legless torso undulating up and down in the Farallon current had his epiphany, and uncovered one of life’s truly great mysteries: when you shorten Robert you really do get bob.  Paul Olson, San Jose, CA
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More research – Researchers at the University of Cambridge in England claim that men with longer ring fingers compared to their index fingers, tended to be more successful as financial traders.

Not sure what prompted the study, but at least the research also pointed out that the “finger-index” was about equal to years of experience in the financial business.

With the Wall Street meltdown, a lot of investors would like to give their brokers a message with a finger, but it’s neither the ring finger nor the index finger.
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The Obama plan for another WPA  (Works Progress Administration) type of plan might do well to look at the original WPA.

It was in effect from 1935 to 1943, cost $11 Billion, and was designed to increase the purchasing power of persons on relief by employing them on useful projects. WPA’s building program included the construction of 116,000 buildings, 78,000 bridges, and 651,000 miles of road ,and the improvement of 800 airports. It also sponsored art projects and musical performances.

At its peak WPA had about 3.5 million persons on its payrolls. There was sharp criticism of the WPA by the Senate in 1939; the same year the WPA appropriation was cut, name changed to Work Projects Administration, several projects were abolished, and others were curtailed.

A strike of thousands of WPA workers to prevent a cut in wages on building projects was unsuccessful. Steadily increasing employment in the private sector caused further drastic cuts in WPA appropriations and payrolls.

Now that we have a baseline, we can compare what will happen this time. I wonder if the Obama team will start with those on welfare or if this will be for other folks. . .

BTW – check out whitehouse.gov for all of Obama’s plans – motherhood, apple pie, taxes, and lofty goals. Download the pages that interest you so you can compare in a few years when it is election time again.
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The Firth of Forth – I just like the way this rolls off the tongue. The Firth of Forth is the estuary, or firth, of Scotland’s River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea. It all has to do with the gun at the Edinburgh Castle firing at 1:00 p.m for the seamen approaching the Firth of Forth. Daylight savings time screwed everything up for these folks in the old days.
firth.jpg

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One of my books, “Greatest Jokes” is cited on a wiki about president John Adams of all people.

http://simple.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Adams

Snopes is a site that debunks the myths floating around in cyberspace. Many of the popular emails asking for money, or promising that Microsoft will donate if you forward this email, etc.

This valuable site became even better recently when it cited another of my joke books for a story about Nancy Pelosi. I just love it. Now I am a credible source. . . for jokes, I guess. Such a dubious distinction!

http://www.snopes.com/politics/pelosi/captaincook.asp

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The mother of three unruly youngsters was asked whether or not she would have children if she had it to do over again.
“Sure,” she replied, “But not the same ones.”
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Thomas Jefferson Quotes

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

This is the thinking that made our country great.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
Thomas Jefferson

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
Thomas Jefferson

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Thomas Jefferson

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
Thomas Jefferson

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Thomas Jefferson

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which He disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
Thomas Jefferson

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the Continent their fathers conquered.
Thomas Jefferson

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
Thomas Jefferson

Morphing Presidents

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Interesting site shows the presidents from Washington on. (Yes one was elected twice, but not contiguous.)

http://www.flixxy.com/presidents-morphing.htm