October 23, 2020: Some Voting Stats and Innocent U.S. Presidential Facts
Most of us know the presidential election is coming up in the U.S. I’m sure most everyone will have their eyes glued to the TV screens to see who might be the winner on November third. I still have to get back to Richard Nixon’s Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, CA or as some people refer to him as “Tricky Dick.” While he was tall, he wasn’t the tallest president because that goes to Abraham Lincoln who was 6’4″ or 1.9304 meters. The shortest president was James Madison at 5’4″ tall or 1.6256 meters. Who was the biggest president in terms of weight? That was William Taft who was 340 pounds. Who was the lightest president? That was James Madison who was 100 pounds.
In terms of presidents who were assassinated, there were four with Abraham Lincoln in 1865, James Garfield in 1881, William McKinley in 1901, and John F. Kennedy in 1963. The longest living U.S. president still alive is Jimmy Carter at 96 years and the longest living president who recently died is George H.W. Bush. The youngest president who died from gunshot wounds was John F. Kennedy at 46 years of age. The youngest president who died from sickness was James Polk at 53 years of age in 1849. Some presidents did not find the need to have children and there were five including George Washington, James Polk, Warren G. Harding, James Buchanan, and Andrew Jackson. The president with the most children was John Tyler who had 15 children between two wives.
So what does this all mean? Nothing really. I just like putting together information such as this. In terms of U.S. voting stats, there were only three years where voting turnout percentage during presidential elections was above 80%. They were 1876, 1840, and 1860. The lowest voting turnout percentage were the years of 1920, 1924, and 1996 when it ranged from 48.9 to 49.2%. As you can see below, the U.S. isn’t that motivated to vote in recent years. We haven’t gotten to 60% turnout since 1968. Time will tell if we reach it this year. One can only hope.
October 17, 2020: Top 10 National Park and Service Sites
Top 10 National Park Service sites (419 total) by CNN in 2019
1. Golden Gate National Recreation Area (CA) :15 million visits
2. Blue Ridge Parkway (NC/VA): 14.9 million visits
3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NC/TN): 12.5 million visits
4. Gateway National Recreation Area (NY/NJ): 9.4 million visits
5. Lincoln Memorial (DC): 7.8 million visits
6. George Washington Memorial Parkway 7.5 million visits
7. Lake Mead National Recreation Area (AZ/NV): 7.5 million visits
8. Natchez Trace Parkway (AL/MS/TN): 6.3 million visits
9. Grand Canyon National Park (AZ): 5.97 million visits
10. Gulf Islands National Seashore (FL/MS) 5.6 million visits
Top 10 National Parks (62 total) by CNN in 2019
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NC/TN): 12.5 million visits
2. Grand Canyon National Park (AZ): 5.97 million visits
3. Rocky Mountain National Park (CO) 4.7 million visits
4. Zion National Park (UT) 4.5 million visits
5. Yosemite National Park (CA) 4.4 million
6. Yellowstone National Park (ID/MT/WY) 4 million
7. Acadia National Park (ME) 3.4 million visits
8. Grand Teton National Park (WY) 3.4 million visits
9. Olympic National Park (WA) 3.2 million visits
10. Glacier National Park (MT) 3 million visits
October 17, 2020: Past and Upcoming Presidential Election Results
If you haven’t noticed or heard, there’s a lot of debate going on whether to trust the polls. In 2016 U.S. presidential election, half the nation was stunned and sad/mad while the other half was stunned and happy/thrilled. Fast forward to 2020 and we seem to be in the same predicament except four years have passed and we are in the middle of a pandemic. The U.S. has shown no hope of the COVID going away any time soon and other cities in the world are seeing an increase of this resilient virus strain and yet here we are without a vaccine. I’m willing to take it after there has been adequate testing and not rushing it like Ford did that ended in people getting sick in 1976. Let’s not do that again, but the U.S. seems to have a problem lately of repeating past mistakes.
Without getting any more political although unless you are a person who just doesn’t give a damn about either major party (can’t really blame people for this either) or belong to another party, I do encourage those people to get out there anyway. I know it is hard to care about something you don’t give a shit about and while your life may not depend on who gets elected in November or should I say January, this year seems more dire than others I lived through where I could vote. I never even voted in the 1996 election when I should have and since 2000 I have voted mainly as an Independent until I had to declare a party in 2008. As with most people, there are certain core principles I will not and cannot stray from and while I never thought of myself as political, it’s increased over the years since 2000.
I’ve seen more questionable things occurring from the Republican side of the coin as of late and I hope soon it can stop being a follow behind your leader and give no dissent party. The presidential debates leading up to an election is what makes life exciting, but not so much this year. I will spend the next two weeks trying to remain calm and know whatever the election results, I will have to accept. Trust me, I accepted Trump as president in 2016, but that didn’t mean I liked it. I had a tiny sliver of hope he would succeed on some level and while he did to a the littlest point, he has failed in more ways than not. From what political experts are saying, it will be a while until we know who is the next president of the U.S. after the election. I’m looking for more common ground in 2021 and beyond because we all deserve it. No one gets anything done when you are dealing with polar opposites or people when they close the door before it’s even opened.
I posted below the past presidential election winners. It’s interesting how there’s a flip flop of Republican and Democrat presidents since 1972 for the most part. Will Trump end up like H.W. Bush in 1992? Will Biden end up like Gore in 2000? No one will get a better picture until November 3rd and even then, still no one will know who is the clear winner because both sides have an arsenal of lawyers ready for the fight. Like I said before, buckle up because either way it’s going to be a bumpy ride from any angle one sits.
October 5, 2020: First Ladies
So, where’s the First Ladies hiding? My attempt at a play of words of Beyoncé song Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It). If you want to laugh, watch the SNL skit with her, Justin Timberlake, and some of the cast. Getting back to the First Ladies. Here is a list of them past and present. There are notable scandals while I’m not going to focus on that, they exist. Think excessive spending, bigamy, affairs, too liberal, and too involved. Most were wives but a few first ladies were nieces, daughters, in laws as noted below. Two were born in another country that includes Louisa Catherine Johnson (Great Britain) and Melania Knavs (Yugoslavia/Slovenia). Starting at the beginning and working up to the present, here they are.
(I don’t know why it went all big font on me, but for time’s sake, here it is. At least you don’t need your reading glasses.)
Martha Dandridge was 57 when she became First Lady. (George Washington)
Abigail Smith was 52 when she became First Lady. (John Adams)
Martha Jefferson (daughter) was 28 when she became First Lady. (Thomas Jefferson)
Dolley Payne was 40 when she became First Lady. (James Madison)
Elizabeth Kortright was 48 when she became First Lady. (James Monroe)
Louisa Catherine Johnson was 50 when she became First Lady. (John Q. Adams)
Emily Donelson (niece) was 21 when she became First Lady. (Andrew Jackson)
Sarah Yorke (in law) was 31 when she became First Lady. (Andrew Jackson)
Sarah Angelica Singleton (in law) was 20 when she became First Lady. (Martin Van Buren)
Anna Tuthill Symmes was 65 when she became First Lady. (William Henry Harrison)
Jane Irwin (in law) was 36 when she became First Lady. (William Henry Harrison)
Letitia Christian was 50 when she became First Lady. (John Tyler)
Elizabeth Priscilla Cooper (in law) was 26 when she first became First Lady. (John Tyler)
Julia Gardiner was 24 when she became First Lady. (John Tyler)
Sarah Childress was 41 when she became First Lady. (James K. Polk)
Margaret Mackall Smith was 60 when she became First Lady. (Zachary Taylor)
Abigail Powers was 52 when she became First Lady. (Millard Fillmore)
Jane Means Appleton was 46 when she became of First Lady. (Franklin Pierce)
Harriet Rebecca Lane (niece) was 26 when she became First Lady. (James Buchanan)
Mary Ann Todd was 42 when she became First Lady. (Abraham Lincoln)
Eliza McCardle was 54 when she first became First Lady. (Andrew Johnson)
Julia Boggs Dent was 43 when she became First Lady. (Ulysses S. Grant)
Lucy Ware Webb was 45 when she became First Lady. (Rutherford B. Hayes)
Lucretia Rudolph was 48 when she became First Lady. (James A. Garfield)
Mary Arthur McElroy (sister) was 40 when she became First Lady. (Chester A. Arthur)
Rose Elizabeth Cleveland (sister) was 38 when she became First Lady. (Grover Cleveland)
Frances Clara Folsom was 21 when she became First Lady. (Grover Cleveland)
Caroline Lavinia Scott was 56 when she became First Lady. (Benjamin Harrison)
Mary Scott Harrison (daughter) was 34 when she became First Lady. (Benjamin Harrison)
Frances Clara Folsom was 28 when she became First Lady. (Grover Cleveland)
Ida Saxton was 49 when she became First Lady. (William McKinley)
Edith Kermit Carow was 40 when she became First Lady. (Theodore Roosevelt)
Helen Louise Herron was 47 when she became First Lady. (William Taft)
Margaret Woodrow Wilson (daughter) was 28 when she became First Lady. (Woodrow Wilson)
Edith Bolling was 43 when she became First Lady. (Woodrow Wilson)
Florence Mable Kling was 60 when she became First Lady. (Warren G. Harding)
Grace Anna Goodhue was 44 when she became First Lady. (Calvin Coolidge)
Lou Henry was 54 when she became First Lady. (Herbert Hoover)
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was 48 when she became First Lady. (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
Elizabeth Virginia Wallace was 60 when she became First Lady. (Harry S. Truman)
Mamie Geneva Doud was 56 when she became First Lady. (Dwight D. Eisenhower)
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was 31 when she became First Lady. (John F. Kennedy)
Claudia Alta Taylor was 50 when she became First Lady. (Lyndon B. Johnson)
Thelma Catherine Ryan was 56 when she became First Lady. (Richard Nixon)
Elizabeth Ann Bloomer was 56 when she became First Lady. (Gerald Ford)
Eleanor Rosalynn Smith was 49 when she became First Lady. (Jimmy Carter)
Nancy Davis was 59 when she became First Lady. (Ronald Reagan)
Barbara Pierce was 63 when she became of First Lady. (George H.W. Bush)
Hillary Diane Rodham was 45 when she became First Lady. (Bill Clinton)
Laura Lane Welch was 54 when she became First Lady. (George W. Bush)
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson was 45 when she became First Lady. (Barack Obama)
Melania Knavs was 46 when she became First Lady. (Donald Trump)
September 19, 2020: Looking Back to the U.S. Supreme Court Justices
Due to the recent passing of Ruth Bader-Ginsburg yesterday, I decided to look at all the justices that have served on the U.S. Supreme Court. So far 14 Justices have served 30 plus years with longest length served being 36 years and 221 day with William O. Douglas from 1939 to 1975. There are five justices having served was less than two years if you count Brett Kavanaugh and the shortest length served being 138 days with John Rutledge in 1795. Justices hold the title of either associate or chief and leave their post by resigning, retiring, or dying. Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter are the remaining retired justices still alive. There are now eight justices with John Roberts as the chief and seven associate justices with the latest of Kavanaugh being sworn in 2018. The Justices don’t hear many cases, but most of them are heavily loaded, often dealing with human rights, expressions of freedom, and control over the self. Here is the list of justices from the earliest days to the current times and the Presidential administrations that nominated them.
“You can disagree without being disagreeable.”
John Jay as Chief Justice, John Rutledge as Chief Justice, William Cushing, James Wilson, John Blair, James Iredell, Thomas Johnson, William Paterson, Samuel Chase, and Oliver Ellsworthas Chief Justice were nominated by George Washington.
Bushrod Washington, Alfred Moore, and John Marshall as Chief Justice were nominated by John Adams.
William Johnson, Henry Brockholst Livingston, and Thomas Todd were nominated by Thomas Jefferson.
Gabriel Duvall and Joseph Story were nominated by James Madison.
Smith Thompson was nominated by James Monroe.
Robert Trimble was nominated by John Quincy Adams.
John McLean, Henry Baldwin, James Moore Wayne, Roger B. Taney as Chief Justice, Philip Pendleton Barbour, and John Catron were nominated by Andrew Jackson.
John McKinley and Peter Vivian Daniel were nominated by Martin Van Buren.
Samuel Nelson was nominated by John Tyler.
Levi Woodbury and Robert Cooper Grier were nominated by James. K. Polk.
Benjamin Robbins Curtis was nominated by Millard Fillmore.
John Archibald Campbell was nominated by Franklin Pierce.
Nathan Clifford was nominated by James Buchanan.
Noah Haynes Swayne, Samuel Freeman Miller, David Davis, Stephen Johnson Field, Salmon P. Chase as Chief Justice were nominated by Abraham Lincoln.
William Strong, Joseph P. Bradley, Ward Hunt, Morrison Waite as Chief Justice were nominated by Ulysses S. Grant.
John Marshall Harlan and William Burnham Woods were nominated by Rutherford B. Hayes.
Stanley Matthews was nominated by James A. Garfield.
Horace Gray and Samuel Blatchford were nominated by Chester A. Arthur.
Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar II, Melville Fuller as Chief Justice, Edward Douglas White as Chief Justice, and Rufus W. Peckham were nominated by Grover Cleveland.
David Josiah Brewer, Henry Billings Brown, George Shiras Jr., and Howell Edmunds Jackson were nominated by Benjamin Harrison.
Joseph McKenna was nominated by William McKinley.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., William R. Day, and William Henry Moody were nominated by Theodore Roosevelt.
Horace Harmon Lurton, Charles Evans Hughes, Edward Douglass White as Chief Justice, Wills Van Devanter, Joseph Rucker Lamar, Mahlon Pitney were nomiated by William Howard Taft.
James Clark McReynolds, Louis Brandeis, John Hessin Clarke were nominated by Woodrow Wilson.
William Howard Taft as Chief Justice, George Sutherland, Pierce Butler, and Edward Terry Sanford were nominated by Warren G. Harding.
Harlan F. Stone was nominated by Calvin Coolidge.
Charles Evans Hughes as Chief Justice, Owen Roberts, and Benjamin N. Cardozo were nominated by Herbert Hoover.
Hugo Black, Stanley Forman Reed, Felix Frankfurter, William O. Douglas, Frank Murphy, Harlan F. Stone as Chief Justice, James F. Byrnes, Robert H. Jackson, Wiley Blount Rutledge were nomiated by Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Harold Hitz Burton, Fred M. Vinson as Chief Justice, Tom C. Clark, and Sherman Minton were nominated by Harry S. Truman.
Earl Warren as Chief Justice, John Marshall Harlan, William J. Brennan Jr. Charles Evans Whittaker, and Potter Stewart were nominated by Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Byron White and Arthur Goldberg were nominated by John F. Kennedy.
Abe Fortas and Thurgood Marshall were nominated by Lyndon B. Johnson.
Warren E. Burger as Chief Justice, Harry Blackmun, Lewis F. Powell Jr, and William Rehnquist were nominated by Richard Nixon.
Sandra Day O’Connor, William Rehnquist as Chief Justice, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy were nominated by Ronald Regan.
David Souter and Clarence Thomas were nominated by George H.W. Bush.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer were nominated by Bill Clinton.
John Roberts as Chief Justice and Samuel Alito were nominated by George W. Bush.
Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were nominated by Barack Obama.
Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were nominated by Donald Trump.
September 9, 2020: Facts About Babies
Babies don’t have bacteria growing in their stomach until you feed them and that is when the stinky poop smell comes into play. If only humans didn’t need to eat. It would make life a lot better and less nasty smelling.
Babies can stop breathing especially when they are sleeping. Obviously when their faces turn blue, you will want to do something about it. Learn mouth to mouth for one before it happens and CPR for that matter along with what to do if a baby is choking. These are all things one should know even if you don’t have babies or children around. I first learned about it due to being a lifeguard. I need a refresher, but I remember the gist of it.
Babies have more areas on their bodies when taste buds are involved. Like most adults, they prefer sweet over sour.
Babies don’t produce tears until about a month old but that doesn’t mean they don’t cry. The obvious reasons they cry is hunger, overtiredness, or just because they want to and have lungs.
Babies tend to face right instead of left in the beginning of their lives. Sort of like adults who like to turn a certain way or prefer to walk on the left or right of someone.
Babies have more neurons than adults because they don’t get replaced. They learn to focus better as they get older, but their creativity lessens.
Babies have birthmarks that might disappear. Mine didn’t unfortunately and are often found on the forehead, noses, eyelids, and back of neck.
September 4, 2020: Some of the Longest Living Animals
You think you want to live until 100? Well, I don’t. If it happens to be that way, then so be it. Changing subjects, here are some animals that live longer than humans.
Warty Oreo is a fish that can live up to 140 years.
Orange Roughy is a fish that can live up to 140 years.
Aldabra Giant Tortoise is a tortoise that can live up to 152 years.
Lake Sturgeon is a fish that can live up to 152 years.
Shortraker Rockfish is a fish that can live up to 157 years.
Galapagos Tortoise is a tortoise that can live up to 177 years.
Red Sea Urchin is a urchin that can live up to 200 years.
Rougheye Rockfish is a fish that can live up to 205 years.
Bowhead Whale is a whale that can live up to 211 years.
Ocean Quahog is a clam/mollusk that can live up to 400 years.
September 4, 2020: The Most Successful Food Franchises that Started in the U.S.A.
Have you ever thought about opening up a franchise? Not me. Too much work. Here are some of the ones most successful today although they started out small.
Kentucky Fried Chicken started in 1930 with headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. KFC was founded by Harlan Sanders.
Subway started in 196 with headquarters is in Milford, Connecticut. Subway was founded by Fred DeLuca and Peter Buck.
Domino’s Pizza started in 1961 with headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Domino’s was founded by James Monaghan, Tom Monghan, and Dominick DiVarti.
Starbucks started in 1971 with headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks was founded by Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker.
Wendy’s started in 1969 with headquarters in Dublin, Ohio. Wendy’s was founded by Dave Thomas.
McDonald’s started in 1940 with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. McDonald’s was founded by Richard and Maurice McDonald.
Dunkin’ Donuts stated in 1948 with headquarters in Canton, Massachusetts. Dunkin’ Donuts was founded by William Rosenberg.
Dairy Queen started in 1940 with headquarters in Edina, Minnesota. Dairy Queen was founded by John Fremont McCullough.
August 10, 2020: More Common, Semi Common, and Lesser Common Phobias
We all know what a phobia is and here are a handful of the more common, semi common, and lesser known phobias. Some of them are justified while others not so much and yet they strike just as much fear in people. I highlighted in bold the one I feel is the most common in the three categories.
Let’s start with some of the more common ones.
Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders.
Aichmophobia is the fear of needles.
Ablutophobia is the fear of bathing.
Atychiphobia is the fear of failure.
Claustrophobia is the fear of confined spaces.
Cynophobia is the fear of dogs.
Coulpohobia is the fear of clowns.
Hemophobia is the fear of blood.
Hypochondria is the fear of illness.
Lockiophobia is the fear of childbirth.
Mysophobia is the fear of dirt and germs.
Necrophobia is the fear of death or dead things.
Nyctophobia is the fear of the dark.
Pteromerhanophobia is the fear of flying.
Xenophobia is the fear of strangers or foreigners.
Zoophobia is the fear of animals.
Here are some of the semi common ones.
Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to your mouth.
Botanophobia is the fear of plants.
Coulpohobia is the fear of clowns.
Chronomentrophobia is the fear of clocks.
Dentophobia is the fear of dentists.
Gamophobia is the fear of marriage.
Globophobia is the fear of balloons popping.
Pentheraphobia is the fear of mother-in-laws.
Pyrophobia is the fear of fire.
Sanguivoriphobia is the fear of vampires.
Scolionophobia is the fear of school.
Technophobia is the fear of technology.
Here are some of the lesser common ones.
Anatidaephobia is the fear of being watched by a duck.
Anthrophobia is the fear of flowers.
Barophobia is the fear of gravity.
Bibliophobia is the fear of books.
Ephebiphobia is the fear of teenagers.
Geniophobia is the fear of chins.
Octophobia is the fear of the figure 8.
Omphalophobia is the fear of navels.
Papaphobia is the fear of the pope.
Papyrophobia is the fear of paper.
Porphyrophobia is the fear of the color purple.
Pteridophobia is the fear of ferns.
Somniphobia is the fear of sleep.
Turophobia is the fear of cheese.
Trypophobia is the fear of holes.
Venustraphobia is the fear of beautiful women.
Chrometophobia is the fear of money.
July 14, 2020: State, Territory, and Country Nicknames
Cotton State, Yellowhammer State, Heart of Dixie
The Last Frontier, Land of the Midnight Sun
Grand Canyon State, Copper State
Natural State, Land of Opportunity, Hot Springs State
Golden State, Beach State
Nutmeg State, Constitution State, Blue Law State
First State or Diamond State
Sunshine State, Alligator State, Everglade State, Orange State
Peach State, Empire State of the South, Goober State
Aloha State, Pineapple State, Youngest State
Gem State, Spud State
Prairie State, Land of Lincoln
Sunflower State, Jayhawker State
Bluegrass State, Hemp State, Tobacco State
Pelican State, Creole State, Sugar State
Pine Tree State, Lumber State
Chesapeake State, Free State, Old Line State, Oyster State
Bay State, Old Colony State, Pilgrim State, Baked Bean State
Wolverine State, Great Lakes State, The Mitten State
North Star State, Gopher State, Land of 10,000 Lakes, Bread and Butter State
Magnolia State, The Bayou State
Show Me State, Bullion State
Treasure State, Big Sky Country, The Last Best Place
Cornhusker State, Antelope State, Blackwater State
Silver State, Sagebrush State, Battle Born State, Casino State
Granite State, White Mountain State
Land of Enchantment, Land of Sunshine
Empire State, Excelsior State
Tar Heel State, Old North State
Flickertail State, Sioux State, Peace Garden State, Rough Rider State
Sooner State, Native America
Beaver State, Webfoot State, Pacific Wonderland
Keystone State, Quaker State, Coal State, Railroad State
Ocean State, Little Rhody, Smallest State
The Mount Rushmore State, Land of Infinite Variety, Coyote State
Volunteer State, Butternut State, Big Bend State
Lone Star State
Beehive State, Mormon State
Green Mountain State
The Old Dominion, Mother of Presidents, Horse Country
Evergreen State, Chinook State
Mountain State, Panhandle State
Badger State, America’s Dairyland, The Mitten State, The Dairy State
Equality State, Cowboy State
Motu o Fiafiaga (Islands of Paradise)
District of Columbia
Tano y Chamorro (Land of the Chamorro), Hub of the Pacific
Northern Mariana Islands
Håfa Adai (Hello), America’s Best Kept Secret
Isla del Encanto (Island of Enchantment)
U.S. Virgin Islands
America’s Caribbean, American Paradise
Land of the Thunder Dragon
The Red Dragon
The Emerald of the Equator
Land of the Rising Sun
Land of the Blue Sky
The Hermit Kingdom
The Pearl of the Orient Seas
Land of the Morning Calm
Land of Smiles
The Lion City
Land of the Golden Pagodas
Asia’s World City
Vegas of the East
Graveyard of Empires
The Holy Land
Switzerland of the Middle East
Cradle of Ancient Civilization
Land of the Upright Men
The Gift of the Nile
The Kingdom In The Sky
The Red Island
Land of a Thousand Hills
Land of the Long White Cloud
Land Down Under
Land of Grace
United States of America
The Land of the Free
The Island Surrounded by Land
Land of Many Waters
Land of Poets
The Great White North
Land of the Palms (Pindorama)
Land of the Incas
The Bread Basket of Europe
The Sunny Side of the Alps
The Emerald Isle
Land of Fire and Ice
L’hexagone (The Hexagon)
Land of Hope and Glory
The White Russia
Land of the Eagles
Land of Beauty and Music
The Bull Skin
The Land of the Midnight Sun
The Elongated Country
The Land of a Thousand Lakes
The Flat Country
The Grand Duchy
The Land of Poets and Thinkers
The Land of Fields
The Land of Honey
The Land of Count Dracula
The Land Of Storks
The Land of Blue Lakes
The Bread Basket of Europe
The Heart of Europe
The Land of Magyars
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Heart Shaped Land
The Black Mountain
The Land of Freedom
The Land of Eagles
The Land of Roses
The Land of the Sun
The Island of Love
June 18, 2020: Get to Know Your Nuts
For some reason I’m thinking about the holidays. Back in the day when I lived with my parents, they brought out the bowl of nuts in November or December. I would crack them with the metal tool and with the tiny metal picker, scrape out the pieces that stuck to the sides of the shell. The walnut and pecans were easy to get out but damn those Brazil nuts. I’d spend a good two minutes trying to get every last bit of the nut. They were the best ones. A little sweet and a whole lot of nutty. The almonds were always good and the pecans and walnuts too. The walnuts could get a little dry in my mouth but that is the purpose of water. The macadamia I could go without, but the hazelnut was okay. I try not to eat too many nuts due to the state of my teeth although I still sometimes eat almonds, peanuts, and pistachios. If I’m feeling really ambitious, I use a hammer to make them smaller. You’d think I’d just put them in a blender. Are you kidding me? I’d have to get a chair to get that. It’s too time consuming. Why use a hammer and a plastic bag? I mean I save so much time doing it this way (written with sarcasm). Since the U.S. is now a major producer of pistachios, there is no need to buy the dyed red ones. Does anyone miss having dyed red hands? Probably not. This is all I have to say about nuts for now.
April 28, 2020: Looking Back at Past Olympics
The Olympic Games
With the Tokyo Games postponed to 2021, I decided to look up past Olympics Games information. The games have been postponed five other times, which were due to the World Wars in 1916, 1940 twice, and 1944 twice. The country that hosted the most games is the United States and the continent that hosted the most games is Europe.
Ten cities have held the Olympics more than once: Athens (2), St. Moritz (2), Lake Placid (2), Innsbruck (2), Lillehammer (2), Tokyo (will be 2 in 2020/2021), Beijing (will be 2 in 2022), Cortina d’Ampezzo (will be 2 in 2026), London (3), Paris (will be 3 in 2024), Los Angeles (will be 3 in 2028), Beijing will be the first city to hold summer and winter games.
The countries winning the most medals as a host city are the following: Canada, France, Great Britain, Norway, Germany, Russian, Soviet Union, China, and the United States. Every country except the U.S. has accomplished this once. The United States has done it five times.
It used to be that only amateurs could compete in the games and when professionals were able to compete, it turned some viewers off. I personally will take it either way, but the IOC in the past penalized amateur athletes for not abiding by their rules. Jim Thorpe was stripped of his medals for not adhering to the amateur code in 1912 although the IOC restored them in 1983, long after he died.
What are some Olympic Games highlights, controversies, and embarrassing moments? This will not include every sport because there isn’t enough time. I’m going to break it into two parts: 1896 to 1968 and 1972 to 2018. If you find I’m missing something and you will, I encourage you to make your own list and post it. Besides, I’m curious what everyone else might pick.
Prior to 1900, female athletes weren’t allowed to compete. It was in Paris that they could compete in tennis and golf.
The world learned about two American track & field athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, when they silently protested by raising their fists during the 1968 Mexico City Games.
The 1936 Berlin Games included a South African boxer named Thomas Hamilton-Brown. After his disappointing fight, he took to food, gained weight, and disqualified.
In the 1968 Grenoble Games, three women luge athletes were disqualified for illegally heating their runners.
Denver, Colorado residents didn’t want the 1976 Winter Olympics in their city which lead to Innsbruck, Austria being the host city.
The American who won the gold by actually running the full marathon was Tom Hicks. His teammate, Frederick Lorz, decided it was better to hitch a car ride for 11 miles during the St. Louis Games of 1904.
Jesse Owens from the United States wins four gold medals in Track & Field during the 1936 Berlin Games much everyone’s surprise.
The Paralympic Games started in London in 1948 with its predecessor, the International Wheelchair Games.
During the 1904 St. Louis, Missouri Games, an American gymnast was able to win three gold, two silver, and one bronze medal with a wooden leg. His name was George Eyser.
The elusive perfect 10 in gymnastics. Up until the 1976 Montreal Games, no gymnast had ever received one. Enter Nadia Comaneci, a Romanian gymnast, who won three gold, one silver, and one bronze medal.
When you don’t have foot problems, you don’t need to wear shoes to run a marathon. In 1960 Rome Games, Abebe Bikila from Ethiopia, ran barefoot and won gold.
Seven countries boycotted the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. Egypt, Iraq, and Lebanon did not participate because of the Suez Crisis when Egypt was invaded. The Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland did not participate because the Soviet Union had invaded Hungary. China did not participate because of Taiwan.
The 2008 Beijing Games did not disappoint in their opening ceremony although people from all over the world boycotted watching it due to various reasons.
You train hard for years but not everything goes as planned. Derek Redmond realized that when he had to stop running due to a hamstring tear and with the help of his father crossed the finish line. He was disqualified but he’s still remembered from the 1992 Barcelona Games as an athlete who never gave up.
Gymnasts are known for their original moves and if you are the first one to do it, it is named after you. In the 1972 Munich Games, Olga Korbut from the Soviet Union won three gold medals and wowed everyone with her “Korbut flip” on the uneven bars. It has since been banned from competition.
Chris Boardman, a British cyclist, won the gold at the 1992 Barcelona Games by catching up to the leader, Jens Lehmann from Germany.
As part of the Magnificent Seven, it was all up to Kerri Strug from the United States in the 1996 Atlanta Games. It was between the U.S. and Russia on who would win the gold team medal. Her first vault resulted in injury due to a fall and she had to do another one at the insistence of her coach, Bela Károlyi. The Americans got the team gold, but Strug missed out on the individual competition. In a weird reversal, Dominque Moceanu who fell on both vaults replaced Strug in the individual competition.
When Allan Wells was pressured to boycott the 1980 Moscow Games, he did not. He went with no flag bearer for Britain and the generic Olympic anthem played when he won gold in the 100-meter race.
Mark Spitz, an American swimmer, wins seven gold medals in the 1972 Munich Games. Back in the day, swimmers wore no caps or goggles, but Speedos were still a staple of this sport.
Wilma Rudolph, an American sprinter, won three gold medals at the 1960 Rome Games. She was the first American woman to win three golds in an Olympic Games.
There’s always room for mishaps especially when you include animals in an opening ceremony. The 1988 Seoul Games realized it probably wasn’t the best idea to include doves. They incinerated when the cauldron was lit although a few were smart enough to fly away.
Sometimes interruptions happen by an Irish priest named Neil Horan. He made sure to make himself visible during the 2004 Athens Games marathon race by delaying Brazilian runner, Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima marathon run. He lost precious seconds and came in third.
The Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan fiasco and who would be the winner in the 1994 Lillehammer Games. When the short and long program ended, Nancy won the silver medal while Tonya came in 8th place.
The 2014 Sochi Games was supposed to have five rings, but due to technical issues we got four rings and one small flower.
The Worst for Last
There are a few situations I saw to be the worst possible situations any athlete could be in and these are the ones I chose.
Zola Budd from South African who ran barefoot in the 1984 Los Angeles Games caused Mary Decker from the United State to fall, well partly her fault. Zola would come in 7th place in the 3000 meter while Mary never finished. Mary did compete in the 1988 and 1996 Games.
Ángel Matos from Cuba was not happy during the 2008 Beijing Games. When losing to Arman Chilmanov from Kazakhstan due to violating time limits, he kicked the Swedish referee, Chakir Chelbat, in the face. The Taekwondo fighter was banned for life.
Ben Johnson, the Canadian sprinter, had his world record time of 9.79 seconds gold medal taken away from him in the 1988 Seoul Games. He admitted to taking steroids when it was found in his body.
Dong Fangxiao, a Chinese gymnast, was stripped of her bronze medal in 2010 because of her age during the 2000 Sydney Games. She was only 14 and this gave the U.S. women’s team bronze when her scores were retracted from the team competition. T
here should only be one gold medal when it comes to figure skating, but in the 2002 Salt Lake City Games there were two because of unfair judging. The Canadian skating pair of Jamie Salé and David Pelletier tied with the Russian skating pair of Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze.
Ryan Lochte, Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger, all United States swimmers vandalized a gas station bathroom at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. They made false reports of being robbed and were punished and suspended for their conduct.
Top 25 in the Medal Count
Let’s end on a positive note. Okay, sort of positive note. The probability of winning a gold medal is in the million range. The issue with most of us is getting to the Olympics in the first place. Yet, something went right for these athletes as they won 10 or more Olympic medals.
The athlete with the most Olympic medals is Michael Phelps, the swimmer, from the United States. He competed in three games, 2008, 2012, and 2016. He won 23 gold, 3 silver, and 2 bronze with 28 total medals.
Second ranking goes to Larisa Latnina from the Soviet Union. As a gymnast, she competed in three games, 1956, 1960, and 1964. She won 9 gold, 5 silver, and 4 bronze with 18 total medals.
Third ranking goes to Nikolai Andrianov from the Soviet Union. As a gymnast, he competed in three games, 1972, 1976, and 1980. He won 7 gold, 5 silver, and 3 bronze with 15 total medals.
Fourth ranking goes to Ole Einar Bjørndalen from Norway. As a biathlete, he competed in six games, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014. He won 8 gold, 4 silver, and 1 bronze with 13 total medals.
Fifth ranking goes to Boris Shakhlin from the Soviet Union. As a gymnast, he competed in three games, 1956, 1960, and 1964. He won 7 gold, 4 silver, and 2 bronze with 13 total medals.
Sixth ranking goes to Edoardo Mangiarotti from Italy. As a fencer, he competed in five games, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, and 1960. He won 6 gold, 5 silver, and 2 bronze with 13 total medals.
Seventh ranking goes to Takashi Ono from Japan. As a gymnast, he competed in four games, 1952, 1956, 1960, and 1964. He won 5 gold, 4 silver, and 4 bronze with 13 total medals.
Eighth ranking goes to Paavo Nurmi from Finland. As a runner, he competed in three games, 1920, 1924, and 1928. He won 9 gold and 3 silver with 12 total medals.
Ninth ranking goes to Birgit Schmidt-Fischer from East Germany/Germany. As a canoer, she competed in six games, 1980, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004. She won 8 gold and 4 silver with 12 total medals.
Tenth ranking goes to Bjørn Dæhlie from Norway. As a runner, he competed in four games, 1988, 1992, 1994, and 1998. He won 8 gold and 4 silver with 12 total medals.
Eleventh ranking goes to Jenny Thompson from the United States. As a swimmer, she competed in four games, 1992, 1994, 2000, and 2004. She won 8 gold, 3 silver, and 1 bronze with 12 total medals.
Twelfth ranking goes to Sawao Kato from Japan. As a gymnast, he competed in three games, 1968, 1972, and 1976. He won 8 gold, 3 silver, and 1 bronze and 12 total medals.
Thirteen ranking goes to Ryan Lochte from the United States. As a swimmer, he competed in four games, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016. He won 6 gold, 3 silver, and 3 bronze with 12 total medals.
Fourteenth ranking goes to Dara Torres from the United States. As a swimmer, she competed in six games, 1984, 1988, 1992, 200, and 2008. She won 4 gold, 4 silver, and 4 bronze with 12 total medals.
Fifteenth ranking goes to Alexi Nemov from the Soviet Union. As a gymnast, he competed in two games, 1996 and 2000. He won 4 gold, 2 silver, and 6 bronze with 12 total medals.
Sixteenth ranking goes to Mark Spitz from the United States. As a swimmer, he competed in two games, 1968 and 1972. He won 9 gold, 1 silver, and 1bronze with 11 total medals.
Seventeenth ranking goes to Matt Biondi from the United States. As a swimmer, he competed three games, 194, 1988, and 1992. He won 8 gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze with 11 total medals.
Nineteenth ranking goes to Věra Čáslavská from Czechoslovakia. As a gymnast, she competed in three games, 1960, 1964, and 1968. She won 7 gold and 4 silver with 11 total medals.
Twentieth ranking goes to Viktor Chukarin from the Soviet Union. As a gymnast, he competed in two games, 1952 and 1956. He won 7 gold, 3 silver, and 1 bronze and 11 total medals.
Twenty-first ranking goes to Natalie Coughlin from the United States. As a swimmer, she competed in two games, 2004 and 2008. She won 3 gold, 4 silver, and 4 bronze with 11 total medals.
Twenty-second ranking goes to Ray Ewry is an American track & field athlete beginning in 1900 and ending in 1906. He competed in four Olympics including Intercalated Games and won 10 gold medals.
Twenty-third ranking goes to Carl Lewis is an American track & field athlete beginning in 1984 and ending in 1996. He competed in four Olympics and won 9 gold and 1 silver medals.
Twenty-fourth ranking goes to Aladár Gerevich is a Hungarian fencer beginning in 1932 and ending in 1960. He competed in seven Olympics and won 7 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze medals.
Twenty-fifth ranking goes to Marit Bjørgen is a Norwegian cross-country skier beginning in 2002 and ending in 2014. He competed in four Olympics and won 6 gold, 3 silver, and 1 bronze medals.
April 19, 2020: Land Mass and Population in the U.S.
April 18, 2020: Pound for Pound UFC Ranking
April 9, 2020: Genetic Mutations
Don’t ask me why, but I looked up genetic mutations. Let’s start with the more common ones and end with the rare genetic mutations. I think most of us can agree chin dimples rank pretty low compared to the more rare and destructive mutations. Enjoy reading.
Common Genetic Mutations
Baldness is more common in men but women do have it too. This comes from one or both parents.
More men are colorblind than women.
A chin dimple is determined by a dominant gene.
The HERC2 gene is responsible for blue eyes.
Red hair gene especially common in Scotland and Wales.
Asian flush is the ALDH2 gene which prevents alcohol from being fully digested.
Half of alcoholism risk seems to be hereditary.
Bad acne can be passed down from parents.
Fraternal twins often repeat itself in a family line.
Heart disease, diabetes, stroke or high blood pressure can be developed in children if parents have any of these health conditions.
More Common Genetic Mutations (the more serious ones)
Cystic Fibrosis that affects mostly Caucasians and both parents have to be carriers.
Tay-Sachs is because of a missing enzyme called Hex-A and causes early death in children and there is no treatment for it.
Jackson-Weiss Syndrome is the premature fusion of skull bones, which leads to a deformity of the head and face. It is caused by a mutation in the FGFR2 gene.
Neurofibromatosis causes tumors to grow on nerves.
Thalassemias thalassemias results in anemia with fatigue and shortness of breath. Infections are common as well.
Fragile X syndrome causes mental disabilities such as cognitive impairment and learning disabilities
Huntington’s disease cause degeneration of the the brain and central nervous system nerve cells including difficulty walking and loss of cognitive functions.
Marfan Syndrome is a disorder of the connective tissues. People tend to have long and thin arms and legs. Spinal curvature is another problem.
Rare Genetic Mutations (the more serious ones)
Lesch–Nyhan Syndrome affects mainly boys. It can cause gouty arthritis, kidney, and bladder stones. It also affects neurological function and behavior.
Anencephaly is a neural tube disorder that causes degeneration of the nervous tissues. Babies are usually stillborn or die within a few weeks.
Trimethylaminuria is the break down of trimethylamine so the odors are severe and occurs more in women.
Ectrodactyly is a condition with split hands and feet.when one or more missing digits exists on the foot or hand.
Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis is a recessive skin disorder where lesions grow on hands, feet, and face.
Polymelia are born with extra lower limbs and usually incompletely formed.
Hypertrichosis is excessive hair growth all over the body.
Progeria is rapid aging in children. They have have small noses and chins with large ears.
Cyclopia is when someone is born with one central eye or two undivided eyes. Most infants with are aborted, stillborn, or die soon after birth.
Polycephaly is conjoined twins sharing major organs with two heads.
Proteus is an overgrowth condition with benign tumors and lesions. They have long faces and wide nostrils. The mutation is on the ATK1 gene that controls cell growth, division, and death.
Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder is where the baby can’t fight off germs and life expectancy is short.
Cowden Syndrome is a multi-system disorder with benign over growths and increased breast, thyroid, uterine, and other cancers. It also includes lesions called trichilemmomas.
Lhermitte–Duclos disease is a slow growing tumor of the cerebellum and may have multiple growths on skin. People often have mutations in enzymes related to cell growth. It usually begins in the third and fourth decades of life.
April 4, 2020: Eight Major Blood Types
I’ve known my blood type since high school. It’s a good thing to know, in case you need a a blood transfusion. Some people like to donate their own blood before they have surgery. Not me. I’d rather take blood from someone else with my blood type while I’m on the table. I have the most common blood type around, O+, which is why Red Cross is always after my blood. I’ve given blood before and often at a cost to me. I’ve reacted quite ugly and the last person who took my blood told me I should find other ways to volunteer. My blood ultimately ended up going to a young male in San Diego. The first time I got a notice saying where my blood was used.
Whole blood contains red cells, plasma, and platelets. The reality is some donations take longer than others. Platelet donations take the longest time and red blood cell donations take the shortest. The other reality is not all blood donated to Red Cross is used. Why? Because blood only lasts up to 42 days when stored properly, platelets for five days, and plasma for a year if frozen. Blood can also be frozen and stored up to ten years but it’s not the best way to go for obvious reasons. Sometimes the demand is low and the supply high, therefore some of it has to be thrown away.
There are four major blood types based on the absence or presence of antigens. The two antigens are A and B. The eight most common blood types are A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-, AB+, and AB-. The universal red cell donor is type O- blood and the universal plasma donor is type AB blood. While worldwide there is no standard rarest blood type, in the U.S. it is the AB- blood group and O+ being the most common.
Blood type O has neither A or B antigens on red cells. There are A and B antibodies in the plasma.
Blood type A has A antigen on red cells. There is B antibody in the plasma.
Blood type B has B antigen on red cells. There is A antibody in the plasma.
Blood type AB has both A and B antigens on red cells. There aren’t A and B antibodies in the plasma.
So what recipient gets what blood type and what about the donor? The only blood type that can donate to all eight blood types is O- while the only blood type to be the recipient of all eight blood types is AB+. The eight blood types and combinations are listed below.
O- blood can be donated to A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-, AB+, and AB- but can only receive blood from O- blood.
O+ blood can be donated to O+, A+, B+, and AB+ but can receive blood from O- and O+ blood.
A- blood can be donated to A+, A-, AB+, and AB- but can receive blood from A- and O-.
A+ blood can be donated to A+ and AB+ but can receive blood from A+, A-, O+, and O- blood.
B- blood can be donated to B+, B-, AB+, and AB- but can receive blood from B- and O- blood.
B+ blood can be donated to B+ and AB+- but can receive blood from B+, B-, O+, and O- blood.
AB- blood can be donated to AB+ and AB- but can receive blood from AB-, A-, B-, and O- blood.
AB+ blood can only be donated to AB+ but can receive blood from A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-, AB+, and AB- blood.
March 21, 2020: 17 Amazing, Unusual, Concerning and Just Plain Facts
Since the Coronavirus has been infecting everyone either physically, mentally, emotionally, all of them, and ones not listed, I will give you some facts. I call them facts the majority of us don’t think about on a daily basis and probably not even weekly. Here they are in no particular order.
Koalas sleep more than sloths at around 22 hours a day, but sloths aren’t that far behind at around 20 hours a day. The rest needing 15 hours of sleep include tree shrews, tigers, human infants, owl monkeys, North American opossums, pythons, giant armadillos, and brown bats. (Source: BBC Science Focus)
There are two shapes of parabaloids: hyperbolic and elliptic. The shape of a Pringle chip has a hyperbolic parabaloid shape where the elliptical parabaloid is shaped like an oval cup. (Source: Wikipedia)
17.7 million people celebrate a birthday on any given day and in the U.S. about 814,000 people celebrate birthdays every day. (Source: The Old Farmer’s Almanac)
An income of $32,400 per year allows you be in the top 1% of world income earners, but to be in the top 1% of wealth, you would need to have a net worth of $744,400 based on data from 2019. (Source: Investopedia)
Red blood cells last around 120 days and the average adult makes 2.5 million new ones every second. The color difference between red and blue is due to the change in frequency of light absorbed and reflected by the blood cells. (Source: HRF)
Art was an official discipline between 1912 and 1948 in the Olympics. Medals were awarded for architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture that were inspired by sport and original. It (Source: Wikipedia)
Denmark had the highest rate of melanoma in women while Australia had the highest number during 2018. (source: World Cancer Research Fun International)
Dogs have more than 220 million olfactory receptors where humans only have 5 million. (source: Animal Planet)
The most deadliest plants are caster bean, oleander, deadly nightshade, rosemary pea, tobacco, white snakeroot, and water hemlock (Source: Encyclopedia Britannica)
The wealthiest 1% captured 95% of the growth since 2009 while the bottom 90% became poorer. (Source: Forbes)
While the marriage rate was 6.9 out of 1,000 people, the divorce rate was 2.9 outof 1,000 people based on data from 2017. (source: CDC)
Shape, size, smell, and, shade are factor you should look for if there is something wrong with your bowel movements. Constipation usually means insufficient fiber in your diet whereas diarrhea usually means allergies, food intolerance, or underlying medical conditions. (Source: Dr. Oz)
About 65 billion neutrinos will pass through a fingernail in a second. If you’re wondering what neutrinos are, they are subatomic particles with no electric charge with little mass that travel at near lightspeed. There are three kinds of neutrinos: electron, muon, and tau. (Source: Stanford News)
A single bolt of lightning has about 5 gigajoules or 5,000 megajoules of energy. Putting this in perspective, you can electrify your home for about 1.2 months, run two refrigerators for a year, toast about 89,000 pieces of bread, drive 3,600 miles with an electric car, and run a pool pump for five months. (Sources: Wikipedia and Freeing Energy Project)
The brain-eating amoeba called Naegleria fowleri lives in fresh water and can kill a human in seven days. The death rate is 98% with the core treatment being an antifungal drug called amphotercin B. (Source: Wikipedia)
The CIA created a gun that shot darts, poisoning the target, and leaving body before the poison could be detected. (Source: Military)
Ernő Rubik took a month to solve his own creation, the Rubik’s Cube. (Source: Encyclopedia Britannica)
February 25, 2020: Most and Least Narcissistic Presidents
When this narcissistic poll was conducted by the Association for Psychological Science and published online by Psychological Science, it was 2013 and President Barack Obama was in his second term and the U.S. was not on their edge of their seats to see who would replace him compared to 2015. When 2016 came upon us and Donald Trump won, then I really started to wonder what would happen as these four years went by. Fast forward to 2020 and here we are again. I’m sure in about ten years or so another poll will be conducted to include Obama and Trump and see where they fall into the mix. For now here are the former presidents at the time the poll was conducted in ranking order from most narcissistic being Lyndon B. Johnson and Millard Fillmore being the least narcissistic. It’s no surprise presidents are more narcissistic than most Americans as the research shows. You’d have to be if your goal is to be the most powerful person in the U.S, the big kahuna as I call it. The study cites grandiose narcissism increasing among presidents, which includes attention-seeking, inflated demands, and denial of their weaknesses. Again, no surprise with the influx of social media. Their personalities, character, and performance were used in determining the list, but as with any poll it is not 100% objective. The truth remains it’s good to have self-worth, but how much before it becomes an enemy to the self is less clear. You need a thick skin to want to be president and be able to handle criticism. Some people are better able to handle it, others less so but once your in the White House, it’s a whole new kind of game for everyone to witness. The year 2016 was a turning point when it came to the U.S. presidency and it’s looking like 2020 will be as well. How history will look upon this time period remains to be seen, but one thing’s for certain both Obama and Trump will be included in the history books for very different reasons.
February 20, 2020: Looking for a Different Job, Try This!
Let’s face it, we’ve all looked for that perfect job and again very few of us have that perfect job where we feel 100% positive about whatever job it might be. Most of us would rather be retired than working although there are probably a handful that like a routine and need to have a job in order to function. I’m not sure yet where I fall into this category as I like to keep busy, but also enjoy my free time. I could easily fall into a pattern of eating, drinking ice tea, watching TV and movies (wait, I do that already) instead of doing other things I should be doing. As a way to further not do what I should be doing, I looked up different jobs around the world. Some are better than others. Some are downright not a chance would I do that. Anyway, here they are in no particular order.
Do you like hockey? As a Stanley Cup keeper, you are responsible to making sure the Stanley Cup doesn’t disappear as the winning team gets to have it while they celebrate.
Do you like eating dog food? You can be a pet food tester. You will be eating dog treats and dog food. It’s a good way of not having to buy lunch.
Do you like clean water and bikes? Move to Amsterdam and be a bike digger/fisher. They empty the over 10,000+ bikes from the canals every year due to tourists.
Do you like shoving people? Move to Japan and you can shove people onto trains during rush hour times. These train pushers shove as many people onto one train as possible.
Do you like riding bike and dodging traffic? In large cities, bike messengers are necessary such as New York City. They basically provide quick delivery services compared to the longer option of taxis and walking.
Do you like to cry? You can become a professional mourner in Africa, China, and the Middle East. All you have to do is cry and make sad noises.
Do you have an addiction to Facebook? Those who have no issue with creating fake accounts to boost someone’s ego, you can be a fake Facebooker. Yes, that’s right. I aim to have three million followers and six million likes (just kidding).
Do you like chemistry? Those who are smart in chemistry can be a flavorist. They get paid six figures for deciding natural and artificial flavors.
Do you like ostriches? As an ostrich babysitter, you are responsible for making sure they don’t hurt each other with their beaks and not get eviscerated in the process.
Do you like being creative? The nail polish namer comes up with those memorable and catchy names on the bottles.
Do you like gum? You can be a gumologist which means you figure how much flavor and sweetness/tartness should be in a piece of gum. It also includes chewing gum.
Do you like ears? In India, you can be a ear cleaner, which is an art passed down in the family. They use a cotton covered needle and a pair of pincers.
Do you like snakes? Or maybe aren’t afraid to handle venomous snakes. As a snake milker, you basically squeeze venom out of snake fangs for various medical uses.
Do you like to be in traffic? Move to to Tehran, Iran and be a car plate blocker. This way odd number license plates can drive with the even because your body covers the plate.
Do you like pens? People often have special pens and so when one breaks, it’s not a good thing. You can be a fountain pen doctor which means you more than likely be fixing the nib from which the ink flows.
Do you like cleaning and movies? As IMAX screen cleaner, you clean dust and anything else people throw at screens. This is not a job if you’re allergic to dust such as myself.
Which job would I like the best and least out of all of these? I would say the nail polish namer the best and the dog food tester the least. Now, it’s your turn to decide.
February 17, 2020: Top Cruise Lines
The U.S. News & World Report ranked the best cruises for different variables such as singles, children, groups, affordability, etc in 2020. Here’s the list they came up with and based on reviews and health ratings.
If you have lots of money to spend, these are your top seven cruise lines.
Best Luxury Cruise Lines
1. Viking Ocean Cruises
2. Seabourn Cruise Line
3. Crystal Cruises
4. Regent Seven Seas Cruises
5. Azamara Club Cruises
6. Oceania Cruises
7. Silversea Cruises
If you’re on a budget, these are your top eight cruise lines.
Best Affordable Cruise Lines
1. Royal Caribbean International
2. Celebrity Cruises
3. Norwegian Cruise Line
4. Princess Cruises
5. Carnival Cruise Line
6. Holland America Line
7. MSC Cruises
8. Costa Cruises
If you’re single and want to mingle, these are your top 10 ships to sail.
Best Cruise Ships for Singles
1. Seabourn Odyssey by Seabourn Cruise Line
2. Silver Spirit by Silversea Cruises
2. Viking Sky by Viking Ocean Cruises
4. Crystal Symphony by Crystal Cruises
4. Silver Muse by Silversea Cruises
6. Crystal Serenity by Crystal Cruises
6. Seabourn Encore by Seabourn Cruise Line
8. Nieuw Amsterdam by Holland America Line
9. Norwegian Joy by Norweigen Cruise Line
10. Viking Jupiter by Viking Ocean Cruises
If you want to bring your significant other, these are the your top 10 cruise lines.
Best Cruises for Couples
1. Viking Ocean Cruises
2. Seabourn Cruise Line
3. Crystal Cruises
4. Azamara Club Cruises
5. Oceania Cruises
6. Regent Seven Seas Cruises
7. Celebrity Cruises
8. Silversea Cruises
9. Cunard Line
10. Princess Cruises
If you enjoy being with your whole family, these are your top six cruise lines.
Best Cruises for Families
1. Disney Cruise Line
2. Royal Caribbean International
3. Carnival Cruise Line
4. Norwegian Cruise Line
5. MSC Cruises
6. Costa Cruises
If you love the Caribbean, these are your top 10 cruise lines.
Best Cruises in the Caribbean
1. Disney Cruise Line
2. Royal Caribbean International
3. Seabourn Cruise Line
4. Celebrity Cruises
5. Carnival Cruise Line
6. Norwegian Cruise Line
7. Princess Cruises
8. Holland America Line
10. Silversea Cruises
If you love the Mediterranean, these are the top 10 cruise lines.
Best Cruises in the Mediterranean
1. Seabourn Cruise Line
2. Crystal Cruises
3. Viking Ocean Cruises
4. Azamara Club Cruises
5. Oceania Cruises
6. Celebrity Cruises
7. Regent Seven Seas Cruises
8. Royal Caribbean International
9. MSC Cruises
10. Costa Cruises
February 11, 2020: 10 Largest Cruise Ships from 2019
Here’s a list of the 10 largest cruise ships in the world with a gross tonnage over 120,000 that have been built and sailed in 2019. There are larger ships expected to sail in 2020 and beyond. To put these numbers in perspective, the largest container ships have a range of 187,541 to 232,618 gross tonnage that were built from 2015 to 2019. The source material came from Wikipedia.
10. Spectrum of the Seas by Royal Caribbean International. It first sailed in 2019 with a gross tonnage of 169,116 and is 348 meters or 1,141 feet long. It has 2,090 staterooms and double capacity of 4,180.
9. MSC Bellissima by MSC Cruises. It first sailed in 2019 with a gross tonnage of 171,598 and is 315.83 meters or 1,036.2 feet long. It has 2,217 staterooms and double capacity of 4,434. (This is basically the second 8).
8. MSC Meraviglia by MSC Cruises. It first sailed in 2017 with a gross tonnage of 171,598 and is 315.83 meters or 1,036.2 feet long. It has 2,244 staterooms and double capacity of 4,488.
7. MSC Grandiosa by MSC Cruises. It first sailed in 2019 with a gross tonnage of 181,541 and is 331.43 meters or 1,087.4 feet long. It has 2,632 staterooms and double capacity of 5,264.
6. AlDAnova by AIDA Cruises. It first sailed in 2018 with a gross tonnage of 183,858 and is 337 meters or 1,106 feet long. It has 2,626 staterooms and double capacity of 5,252.
5. Costa Smeralda by Costa Cruises. It first sailed in 2019 with a gross tonnage of 185,010 and is 337 meters or 1,106 feet long. It has 2,612 staterooms and double capacity of 5,224.
4. Allure of the Seas by Royal Caribbean International. It first sailed in 2010 with a gross tonnage of 225,282 and is 360 meters or 1,180 feet long. It has 2,742 staterooms and double capacity of 5,484.
3. Oasis of the Seas by Royal Caribbean International. It first sailed in 2009 with a gross tonnage of 226,838 and is 360 meters or 1,801 feet long. It has 2,742 staterooms and double capacity of 5,484.
2. Harmony of the Seas by Royal Caribbean International. It first sailed in 2016 with a gross tonnage of 226,963 and is 362.12 meters or 1,188 feet long. It has 2,747 staterooms and double capacity of 5,494.
1. Symphony of the Seas by Royal Caribbean International. It first sailed in 2018 with a gross tonnage of 228,081 and is 361.011 meters or 1,184.42 feet long. It has 2,759 staterooms and double capacity of 5,518.
February 11, 2020: Driest and Wettest States
I have 17 blogs waiting for me to finish and post. I’m hoping I get to most of them this week. I keep putting it off to do other things or I’m too tired to work on them. I’ve been sitting on my futon and color or mindlessly watch TV when I should be doing other things and thinking of my dry skin. The fact my lips keep cracking and my skin in insanely dry to the point of never getting rid of these dry patches on my legs since moving to Las Vegas, I decided to look up why this was happening, as I never had this issue when I lived in Los Angeles. It comes down to the dryness of Nevada (somewhat), but I swear this dryness is creating other skin issues for me. It’s like the irritation monster was woken up. I found out Nevada is the driest state in the U.S along with being the second hottest city in the U.S. Lucky me. The driest and wettest state information is derived by World Atlas.
The driest states are first. The ones where your skin feels like a reptile and good luck experiencing a lot of rain. I’m surprised North Dakota and South Dakota are included in this list.
10. California with 22.4 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being February.
9. South Dakota with 19.1 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being June.
8. Montana with 18.7 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being June.
7. Colorado with 18.1 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being August.
6. North Dakota with 17.3 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being June.
5. Wyoming with 15.9 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being May.
4. New Mexico with 14.0 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being August.
3. Utah with 13.6 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being April.
2. Arizona with 12.6 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being August.
1. Nevada with 10.3 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being January.
The wettest states are last. The ones where your skin feels great and you’ll probably get sick of the rain. I’m surprised Oregon or Washington is excluded in this list.
10. South Carolina with 48.0 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being August.
9. North Carolina with 49.3 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being August.
8. Arkansas with 49.6 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being May.
7. Georgia with 50.1 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being July.
6. Tennessee with 51.6 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being July.
5. Florida with 53.7 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being August.
4. Alabama with 55.3 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being March.
3. Mississippi with 55.5 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being December.
2. Louisiana with 56.9 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being June.
1. Hawaii with 57.2 yearly inches of rain with the rainiest month being December.
January 31, 2020: The Year Was 1528
I decided to see how long my iPhone went back in time. It stopped at 1528 and then stayed there. I had to remove and reinstall the calendar app. This lead to me seeing what was actually going on during 1528 and here are some of the things I found. I thought I better finish this before January ends, which was the whole purpose of doing this. You know the New Year and all and before February 1st comes upon us. So which year would you rather be living? 1528 or 2020? I think the choice is clear as only one of them is available to us and the other is not.
January 12th = Gustav I of Sweden was crowned King.
January 22nd = Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France declare war on Emperor Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria and King of Spain.
January 28th = Philip of Cleves, the Lord of Ravenstein, Wijnendale, and Enghien dies in Belgium.
February 14th = Edzard I or Edzard the Great, count of East Frisia which is a coastal region in Germany (1494-1528), dies at 66 in the year 1528.
February 29th = Patrick Hamilton was tried as a heretic by Archbishop James Beaton and burned at the stake for being a reformed thinker.
February 29th = Albrecht V von Wittelsbach was born in Bavaria, Germany.
April 1st = Francisco de Peñalosa, a Spanish composer of the middle Renaissance dies in Seville, Spain.
April 6th = Albrecht Dürer, a German painter and print maker, dies in Germany one month before his 57th birthday.
April = Pánfilo the Narváez, a Spanish conquistador with 300 men arrive in Florida, around Tampa Bay, but later dies due to storms and hostile attacks.
July 8th = Emanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy/governor of Netherland, is born.
July = Jacopo d’Antonio Negretti, an Italian painter, dies.
August 15th = Odet de Foix, Viscount of Lautrec, a French military leader, dies from infection.
October 5th = Richard Foxe, an English churchman, dies.
October 20th = Treaty of Gorinchem is signed by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Duke Charles of Guelders and broken in 1534.
October 23rd = Hungarian king John Zápolya signed a treaty with the Ottoman Empire.
October 25th = Seerp van Galama, a Dutch nobleman/soldier/politician, is born.
November 2nd = Petrus Lotichius Secundus, a scholar and neo-Latin poet, is born in Hesse, Germany.
November 12th = Qi Jiguang, a Chinese general, is born in Shandong
November 16th = Jeanne d’Albret, queen regnant of Navarre and mother of French King Henry IV is born.
January 30, 2020: Crime Around the World
There are many things in the world that no matter what you do will always be there. Criminal activity in the many forms is included. Some of my sources come from lawyers posted on their webpages and the fact I’m watching Boston Legal is probably one of the main reasons I’m doing this. The law definitely works well for the rich and not so much for the poor. I’ve had conversations with people comparing different kinds of crime about which is worse: my best example is someone who murders another versus someone who uses other people’s funds for selfish reasons (think Bernie Madoff). I don’t think you can get too much lower than Madoff when it comes to white collar crime. Blue collar crimes are usually those relegated to lower social classes such as burglary, property, theft, and drug crimes although those from upper social classes are capable of these crimes too. Still interested? Keep reading.
Let’s start with the United States. These are the top crimes committed in the U.S. according to World Atlas with the most common crime being property crime. The data shows the U.S. has an estimated 8.2 million property crimes occurring yearly and around 14,249 murder and non-negligent manslaughter at the time this data was collected.
Motor Vehicle Theft with 9 out of the 10 top cities being in California.
Burglary with 3 out of the top 5 cities being in Ohio.
Larceny with top states being Florida and Arizona.
Robbery with the top city being Oakland, California.
Property Crime with the top city being Tucson, Arizona.
Aggravated Assault with the top city being Detroit, Michigan.
Violent Crime with the top city being Detroit, Michigan.
Rape with the top city being Anchorage, Alaska.
Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter with the top city being St. Louis, Missouri.
Most of us have heard about the correlation economic inequality and criminal activity. Here are some statistics and information from The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and compiled by Amber Pariona. The complete restructuring of the criminal justice and law system is an immense task and until we do it, countries will face the same kind of problems year after year like murder. Here are the countries with the highest and lowest murder rates. The words in red are my own.
In El Salvador 61.8 out of 100,000 people are killed and these deaths are related to gang activity. Put this into better perspective, you have a 0.06 percent of being killed. While any death is not good, the probability is lower than 1% and gets lower as we go down the list. You have a better chance of getting killed in a car accident in any state of the U.S.. For those of you who don’t live in the U.S., count yourself lucky because there are bad drivers in every state.
In Jamaica 57 out of 100,000 people were killed. They are the result of organized criminal activity.
In Venezuela 56.3 out of 100,000 people were killed. The capital of Caracus is one of one of most dangerous cities in the world.
In US Virgin Islands 49.26 out of 100,000 people were killed.
Honduras 41.7 out of 100,000 people were killed. The capital of San Pedro Sula is where much of the violence occurs.
In Lesotho 41.2 out of 100,000 people were killed and most of the crime happens in urban areas including the capital city of Maseru.
In Belize 37.9 out of 100,000 people were killed.
In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 36.46 out of 100,000 people were killed.
In South Africa 35.9 out of 100,000 people were killed.
In Saint Kitts and Nevis 36.46 out of 100,000 people were killed.
Let’s look at some of the countries with the lowest murder rates and the population ranges from around 5.5 million to 1.4 billion. The chances of getting killed in these countries is very unlikely.
In Singapore 0.2 out of 100,000 people will be killed. That is 20% of one person and 0.0002 percent chance of getting killed out of a population of 5,638,700 people.
In Japan 0.2 out of 100,000 people will be killed. It has a population of 126,150,000 million.
In Switzerland 0.5 out of 100,000 people will be killed. It has a population of 8,570,146.
In United Arab Emirates 0.5 out of 100,000 people will be killed. It has a population of 9,599,353 million.
In South Korea 0.6 out of 100,000 people will be killed. It has a population of 51,709,098 million.
In Czech Republic 0.6 out of 100,000 people will be killed. It has a population of 10,649,800 million.
In China 0.6 out of 100,000 people will be killed. It has a population of 1.4 billion.
In Austria 0.66 out of 100,000 people will be killed. It has a population of 8,857,960 million.
In Italy 0.67 out of 100,000 people will be killed. It has a population of 60,359,546 million.
In Spain 0.70 out of 100,000 people will be killed. It has a population of 46,733,038 million.
These are the most commonly committed crimes in the world by List10 and compiled by Amber Gilbert with theft having the most offenses.
These are the top crimes committed by teenagers and student according to The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and compiled by Global Youth Justice with theft having the most offenses.
School Disciplinary Offenses
Simple Assault or Battery
Let’s go back to the U.S. and look at the most common criminal offenses compiled by Ivey McClellan with Drug Related Offenses being on the top. David J. Kramer listing the most common crimes with Larceny/Theft being on the top. The FBI states a property crime is reported every 3 seconds and a violent crime every 22 seconds. Property crimes are ten times more likely to happen than violent crimes.
Drug Related Offenses includes possession of controlled substances or illicit drugs for your personal use or intent to sell; drug paraphernalia; drug distribution and/or trafficking; manufacture of drugs; and cultivation of drugs.
Theft includes larceny, embezzlement, extortion, and fraud.
Burglary is the act of entering a building unlawfully, with the intent to steal, rape, murder, or commit any other felonious offense.
Robbery involves direct threatened contact with one or more victims.
Assault is any act that creates intimidation or apprehension. Battery is any harmful, offensive, or sexual contact forced upon another individual.
Sex Crimes includes rape, prostitution, molestation, statutory rape, child enticement and sexual abuse, child pornography, sexting, and obscenity.
Disorderly Conduct includes public intoxication; loitering; fighting; unreasonable noise making that continues after a request to cease; disrupting a lawful assembly; and unlawful assembly with intent to disturb the peace or engage in tumultuous conduct are examples of disorderly conduct.
Vandalism or deliberate damage or destruction to either public or private property.
Forgery includes passing bad checks and writing checks on someone else’s bank account without their knowledge or consent.
Traffic offenses includes speeding and reckless driving, driving while impaired (DWI) by alcohol and/or prescription drugs.
Larceny/Theft is the most common crime with 7 million thefts reported each year. It represents 60% of all reported crimes.
Burglary is the second most popular crime and often involves entering a building and the intent to commit a crime. Burglary reports are around 2 million each year. It represents 18% of all reported crimes.
Car Theft is a lucrative crime where more than 1 million cars are stolen every year. It represents more than 10% of all reported crimes.
Aggravated Assault is a violent crime where there is an attack with the intent to cause grave injury to another person. It represents 7% of all reported crimes.
Robbery involves violence to another person such as a mugging or a liquor-store stick-up. It represents 3% of all reported crime.
Let’s end with white collar and federal crimes. In terms of the U.S., the difference between state and federal crimes is that one violates state laws and the other violates federal statutes. As you probably know, law is a complex entity. There are misdemeanor and felonies in both state and federal offenses. Federal crimes list is compiled by Michael Berg (no relation) and statistics and further information by Brett A Podolsky.
Gun law violations
White collar crime can be bank fraud, identity theft, antitrust violations, and bankruptcy fraud, counterfeiting, securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, etc.
Immigration law violations such as visa overstays, entering illegally, immigrant smuggling. The federal courts handled about 30,000 immigration prosecutions in 2011 (a little outdated).
Drug crimes involve drug trafficking and with the high level of offenders in prison, almost 6,000 offenders were released in 2015 due to the new guidelines set by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
Weapons crimes are those in possession who aren’t legally permitted to carry them. About 93% of offenders receive prison sentences compared to 72% for non weapons crimes.
Sex crimes can be child pornography, human trafficking, sex abuse, repeated sex crimes, etc.
There are white collar crimes committed and prosecuted at the state level. Some examples are below and that is how I will end this post. As you can see, there’s a lot of criminal activity in the world and some are more severe than others. I think anyone would say, on average, murder is worse than most crimes although some might differ. It depends on the severity and length in some cases.
Auto Insurance Fraud
Health Care Fraud
Unemployment Insurance Fraud
Workers Compensation Fraud
Okay, I lied. I will officially end with some statistics. Three crimes could get you the death penalty in the U.S. and depends on what state: piracy, treason, and murder. There are mandatory sentences that some think are unfair because 80% of them relate to drug offenses. Talk about the War on Drugs continued failure. Weapons crimes offenses will get 5 to 10 years on the first offense and don’t be using silencers or act like Machine Gun Kelly (not the rapper) because it adds a lot of years to your sentence. Remember Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi scheming? He received a 150 year prison sentence plus a forfeiture of 17 billion dollars. The worst thing he did to his family on a personal level was causing the suicide of his son in 2010 and obviously, the thousands of people and organizations he victimized. Basically, be aware of your surroundings including your money, but have a little trust in others so you don’t fear getting clubbed over the head on a daily basis.
January 26, 2020: Cold Feet and Cold Showers
While I haven’t had any scientific and medical evidence, I believe my feet and hands have poor circulation. You tend to think of poor circulation belong to elderly people and even I’m getting more white hairs, I’m not a senior citizen by any means although sometimes I feel it. My feet can get cold when it’s 70 degrees inside the apartment. This is not normal. I now have a heater underneath my desk to warm up my feet when in the winter and sometimes when it is cold inside. I’m not one to turn on the heat during the winter and only when I can’t stop sweating do I turn on the air conditioner in the summer. While this isn’t a post about my feet and hands, one of my massage therapists recommended I look up Wim Hof. He’s a Dutchman who likes the cold whether submerging his body in ice cubes, climbing Mt. Everest in shorts, and controlling his breathe. He brought it up because I spoke about watching this video of a Swedish woman who takes an ice bath, outside, every morning before work. If you ask me, that’s a lot of dedication and for a lazy American, not for me. Let alone, I have no ambition to get in freezing water, sit there as if it’s comfortable, and then get out and make yourself a nice hot cup of coffee or tea. But it does show that over time things become routine for people and bodies can adapt. Over time hot water feels warmer and cold water isn’t so shocking although I have a ways to go. After I took the bulk of my shower, I tried to stand under cold water with my shoulders down and relaxed. I couldn’t fully have the cold water hit my back because yes, it was cold, but I did put most of my body under it as well as my head. It became harder to breath, but this is part of the challenge: not fighting against it, relaxing your body, and controlling your breath. It’s sort of a shock to the system, resetting it if you will, and while I’m not going to devote my life to this type of thing, it did make me think again of how powerful a mind can be. I wish I had all the money in the world to experience all kinds of therapeutic techniques, but I don’t so I do what you can. I’m not one of those extreme people who do something to the point of addiction (okay some things), but I’m also aware of pushing yourself beyond your comfort zones a little bit. Am I going to wear something on my hands in the cold? Hell yes, I am. I don’t want frostbite. I’ve seen what it does to a hand. Purple and black fingers anyone? Do I wish I could hold my breath longer underwater? Yes because my lung capacity is not that good. So on that note, I’m open to new things within reason. Maybe this is something you want to try? Maybe not? I’m going to try it and see what happens. Is it going to get rid of my arthritis? No, it’s not going to get rid of my pain and inflammation. I’ve submerged my hands before in ice water and while it numbed my fingers, they still looked ugly. But, if nothing else this breathing technique and standing under cold water will allow me to challenge myself in ways I haven’t done before. I included a few videos of Wim Hof and he also published in a book in 2011 called Becoming the Iceman. With everything, there are naysayers and critics. I can’t really say whether it is not my cup of tea because I haven’t given it the good old try. If you do, let me know what you think.
December 30, 2019: Smallest, Smartest, Strongest Dogs
Here they are in all their glory. The large ones. The small ones. The strongest ones. The smartest ones. The laziest ones. Is there such a thing as an ugly dog? Maybe. There are breeds I love and some others not to much. The smallest dog I’d get is a Jack Russell Terrier and maybe a Papillon. In the medium size breeds, I like ones with a lot of fur and a few short haired ones. Think Siberian Husky, Samoyed, Finnish Spitz, Basenji, and Jindo although there are many others I wouldn’t mind having. The big dog breeds I like belongs to the German Shepherd, Alaskan Malamute, and Great Dane, but nothing to reach the Guinness Book of World Records in any breed.
December 27, 2019: FYI: Penny For Your Thoughts
December 26, 2019: Oh, How You’ve Changed, Las Vegas
December 20, 2019: The “I Word” No One Talks About Until Recently
December 16, 2019: The More You Know About Drugs
There are basically six types of drugs, based on their effects. They are stimulants or uppers, depressants or downers, hallucinogens, opioids, inhalants, and cannabis.
Stimulants are from the coca leaf, mainly cocaine and amphetamine or derivatives of it like crack and methamphetamine. If you’ve ever watched someone on a documentary make cocaine or crack, it’s a long process and all the extra ingredients are highly toxic. It’s not good to put in your body. If meth has become a huge problem in the United States, I’d venture to say other parts of the world have issues too with it too. Thanks to this epidemic I can only buy one box of Sudafed at a time and have to show my driver’s license each time. They can range from Ritalin to ecstasy. Then there’s the legal drug of caffeine, which I tend to abuse in the form of ice tea and once in a while an ice blended drink.
Depressants are basically taken in pill form like Rohypnol, Xanax, and Valium although nicotine is from snuff leaves that is extracted and usually inhaled. We all know about alcohol that can be made from many things because all it needs is fermentation or distillation. Nicotine is mixed with carcinogens like tar that blacken your lungs. Alcohol is legal in most countries, but alcoholism is rampant in the United States. I can’t speak for other countries, but I’ve seen plenty of people drunk and driving drunk when I lived in Los Angeles.
Hallucinogens take the form of mushrooms or psilocybin and peyote or mescaline where they are usually eaten, smoked, or put into drinks. They cause psychedelic effects including distortions of reality. Also known as designer drugs, LSD or acid, PCP or angel dust, MDMA or ecstasy, and ketamine are often used at raves or back in time the discos. There is some overlap because obviously ecstasy is an hallucinogen.
Opiates are from the poppy plant. The most common opiate is heroin that’s usually injected. It’s no good as it spreads diseases but morphine can be beneficial especially when you have cancer and need it for pain relief. RIP Grandma E. They can be smoked, eaten, drank, injected, or swallowed in pill form. Hydrocodone, Vicodin, and OxyContin are some examples.
Inhalants can be found in anything where it is directly inhaled from a container. It can be anything from glue to pain thinners, gas, hair spray, spray paint, felt tip markers. It also includes huffing and bagging. If you don’t know what they are, look it up. It’s frightening that children are using this to combat their starvation.
Cannabis plants are the origin of marijuana and hash. Marijuana is the combination of the leaves, flowers, seeds, and stems and THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocarbocannabinol. It can be smoked, vaporized, or eaten in leaf form. It has some therapeutic properties as well as being a pain reliever. Hashish or hash comes from the flower tops of female cannabis plants in the form of dried resin. There is also hash oil, or cannabis based medicines.
So what are the top ten dangerous drugs based from David Nutt’s test he conducted in 2007 based on three variables? The three variables are acute physical harm (immediate effects and toxicity), chronic harm (health consequences of repeated use), and intravenous (needles add significant health risks). The most dangerous drug is heroin and the least dangerous is 4-MTA from this list. The results were published in the Lancet.
4-MTA is a synthetic derivative of amphetamine and has acute physical harm and chronic harm in equal proportion.
Anabolic steroid has lower acute physical harm than intravenous danger and chronic harm. Chronic harm has the highest value.
Buprenorphine (Subutex or OxyContin) is an opioid medication and has physical harm than intravenous danger and chronic harm. Intravenous danger has the highest value.
Benzodiazepine (Valium and Xanax) is a psychoactive drug and has a lower acute physical harm than intravenous danger and chronic harm. Chronic harm and intravenous danger is equally proportioned.
Amphetamine (Adderall, Ritalin, and Dexedrine) has lower acute physical harm than intravenous danger and chronic harm. Intravenous danger has the highest value.
Street methadone is the watered down opioid and has lower intravenous danger than acute physical and chronic harm. Acute physical harm has the highest value.
Ketamine is used in anesthesia or loss of consciousness and has the lower chronic harm than acute physical harm and intravenous danger that is equally proportioned.
Barbituates is a depressant and has the lower chronic harm than acute physical harm and intravenous danger. Intravenous danger has the highest value.
Cocaine has acute physical harm and chronic harm in equal proportion. Intravenous danger has the highest value.
Heroin has lower chronic harm than acute physical harm and intravenous danger. Intravenous danger has the highest value.
Also according to Lancet in 2010, here is a list of most harmful drugs to users and others based out of a score of 100 with the least to the most harmful. This was a study done in the United Kingdom, but it’s probably comparable to other countries and probably not much has changed in terms of chemical makeup of these drugs.
9 Ecstasy and Khat
10 Anabolic steroids
15 Ketamine and Benzodiazepine
54 Crack cocaine
December 7, 2019: Differences Between Similar Looking Creatures, Big and Small
December 6, 2019: Various Top Ten
December 3, 2019: Best and Worst Countries to Live
November 29, 2019: Inventions and Garages
May 9, 2019: Random Info and Facts
I decided to put together random information and facts most people would find interesting about three main topics: U.S. presidents (Huffpost), earth (National Geographic), and health/food (Live Science, Livestrong, Time Magazine, Health.com, Health24, Houston Chronicle, and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation)
Earth’s inner core is a solid sphere of iron and nickel that’s 759 miles wide and as hot as 9,800 degrees Fahrenheit. The outer core is a 14,00 mile thick band of iron and nickel fluids. The mantle, which lies beyond the outer core, is 1,800 mile thick layer of viscous molten rock.
John Quincy Adams regularly skinny-dipped in the Potomac.
Nearly 30% of the world’s population is obese.
There are more than 3,800 planets orbiting other stars, some the size of Earth.
McDonald sells 75 hamburgers every second of every day.
James Buchanan was the only president not to marry.
The human body has more than 650 muscles.
Earth’s atmosphere is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% other gases like carbon dioxide, water water, and argon.
If improperly prepared, fugu or puffer fish, can kill you since it contains a toxin 1,200 times deadlier than cyanide.
Even at rest, muscle is three times more efficient at burning calories than fat.
Andrew Johnson was drunk during his inauguration.
On average, Earth’s surface temperature is 57 degrees Fahrenheit, but without an atmosphere it would be zero degrees.
There are 7,500 varieties of apples grown throughout the world, and if you tried a new variety each day, it would take you 20 years to try them all.
Exercising regularly can increase your lifespan by keeping your DNA healthy and young.
On land the Earth’s continental crust is an average of 19 miles in thickness, but the oceanic crust that forms the seafloor is an average of 3 miles in thickness.
The popsicle was invented by an 11-year old in 1905.
Woodrow Wilson was the only president to have a Ph.D.
There are more bacteria per square inch in a kitchen sink than the bathroom.
Liquid water covers 70% of the Earth’s surface and is on average 2.5 miles deep.
Fruit-flavored snacks are made with the same wax used on cars.
Brushing teeth too soon after eating or drinking can soften the tooth enamel.
George W. Bush was a cheerleader in high school.
Earth moves through its orbit at an average velocity of 18.5 miles a second.
SPAM is short for spiced ham.
Humans have 46 chromosomes, while peas have 14 and crayfish have 200.
Apples float in water because 25% of their volume is made of air.
Earth is the fifth largest planet in the solar system and the only one known to have liquid water on its surface.
Humans can cough at 60 miles an hour and sneezes can be 100 miles an hour.
And the best for last,
According to FBI statistics, serial killers comprise less than 1% of all murders and according to the numbers crunched the odds of being president of the US out of the entire population is 1 in 43,000,000 chance. So in other words, you are more than likely not to ever meet a serial killer or become president of the US. Lucky us!!!!!!!!!!!!
January 11, 2019: World’s Highest Paid Actresses and Actors
The world’s highest paid actresses in 2018 (Forbes)
The world’s highest paid actors in 2018 (Forbes)
The best investment return of actors and actresses in 2018 (Forbes)
This means for every one dollar paid to the actress or actor, the average return of her or his movies earned was great to good.
The worst investment return of actors and actresses in 2018 (Forbes)
This means for every one dollar paid to the actress or actor, the average return of her or his movies earned was okay to bad.
The highest paid TV actresses or actors in 2018 (Forbes)
The longest running U.S. TV series (Wikipedia)
The longest running scripted U.S. TV series (Wikipedia)
January 11, 2019: School Matters to an Extent
Here are some who dropped out of high school and doing fine when it comes to money and others who are also fine who stepped away from Hollywood to continue their education. For all the ones who come and leave Hollywood within a few years, these are the ones who manged to start on the bottom rungs of the ladder and stayed. The sources are from Bazaar, People, and IMBb.
The Drop Outs
Jennifer Lawrence dropped out of middle school at age 14. The first thing she starred in was a TV Monk episode in 2006.
Tom Cruise dropped out of high school at age 15. The first thing he starred in was the movie Endless Love in 1981.
Catherine Zeta-Jones dropped out of high school at age 15. The first thing she starred in was the movie Les 1002 nuits in 1980.
Johnny Depp dropped out of high school at age 15. The first thing he starred in was the movie A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984.
Chris Rock dropped out of high school at age 16. The first thing he starred in was the movie Krush Groove in 1985.
John Travolta dropped out of high school at age 16. The first thing he starred in was a TV Emergency! episode in 1972.
Nicole Kidman dropped out of high school at age 16. The first thing she starred in was the movie Bush Christmas in 1973.
Cameron Diaz dropped out of high school at age 16. The first thing she starred in was the movie The Mask in 1994.
Hilary Swank dropped out of high school at age 16. The first thing she starred in was a TV ABC TGIF episode in 1989.
Patrick Dempsey dropped out of high school at age 17. The first thing he starred in was the movie Heaven Help Us in 1985.
Daniel Radcliffe dropped out of high school at age 17. The first thing he starred in was a TV miniseries David Copperfield in 1999.
Keanu Reeves dropped out of high school at age 17. The first thing he starred in was a TV Hangin’ In episode in 1984.
Christina Applegate dropped out of high school at age 17. The first thing she starred in was the movie Jaws of Satan in 1981.
Jude Law dropped out of high school at age 17. The first thing he starred in was a TV movie The Ragged Child in 1988.
Ryan Gosling dropped out of high school at age 17. The first thing he starred in was a TV Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode in 1995.
Robert Downey Jr. dropped out of college at age 17. The first thing he starred in was the movie Pound in 1970.
Whoopi Goldberg dropped out of high school at age 17. The first thing she starred in was the movie Citizen in 1982.
Marlon Brandon was expelled from high school and military academy at age 17 or 18. The first thing he starred in was a TV Actor’s Studio episode in 1949.
The Higher Educated
Angela Bassett graduated from Yale in 1980 and 1983. The first thing she starred in was a TV Ryan’s Hope episode in 1987
Conan O’Brien graduated from Harvard in 1985. The first thing he wrote were TV Not Necessarily the News episodes in 1985 and 1986.
Jodie Foster graduated from Yale in 1985. The first thing she starred in was a TV The Doris Day Show episode in 1969.
Brooke Shields graduated from Princeton in 1987. The first thing she starred in was a TV The Doctors episode in 1963.
Connie Britton graduated from Dartmouth in 1989. The first thing she starred in was the movie The Brothers McMullen in 1995.
Julie Bowen graduated from Brown in 1991. The first thing she starred in was a TV Loving episode in 1992.
Maggie Gyllenhaal graduated from Columbia in 1995. The first thing she starred in was the movie Waterland in 1992.
Elizabeth Banks graduated from University of Pennsylvania in 1996. The first thing she starred in was the movie Surrender Dorothy in 1998.
Rashida Jones graduated from Harvard in 1997. The first thing she starred in was a TV miniseries The Last Don episode in 1997.
John Krasinski graduated from Brown in 2001. The first thing he starred in was the movie State and Main in 2000.
Mindy Kaling graduated from Dartmouth in 2001. The first thing she starred in was the movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin in 2005.
Ellie Kemper graduated from Princeton in 2002. The first thing she starred in was a TV Neutrino episode in 1999.
Natalie Portman graduated from Harvard in 2003. The first thing she starred in was the movie Léon: The Professional in 1994.
Julia Stiles graduated from Columbia in 2005. The first thing she starred in was a TV Ghostwriter episodes in 1994.
Emma Watson graduated from Brown in 2014. The first thing she starred in was the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 2001.
Best of the Best
If you’re wondering what are the best ranking U.S. colleges in 2019 from U.S. News & World Report, the top 20 are the following. We all know someone doesn’t need to attend any of them to make a difference or be successful (in your own way), but for those that are smart enough to get accepted (I know a few), great job because not many do for one reason or another.
19. Washington University in St. Louis in St. Louis, MO
19. University of California-Los Angeles in Los Angeles, CA
18. University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, IN
16. Rice University in Houston, TX
16. Cornell University in Ithaca, NY
14. Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN
14. Brown University in Providence, RI
12. Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH
12. California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA
10. Northwestern University in Evanston, IL
10. John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD
9. University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA
8. Duke University in Durham, NC
7. Stanford University in Stanford, CA
3. Yale University in New Haven, CT
3. University of Chicago in Chicago, IL
3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA
3. Columbia University in New York, NY
2. Harvard University in Cambridge, MA
1. Princeton University in Princeton, NJ
On May 2, 1928 General Motors Corp. purchased Chevrolet Motor Co.
Lightning strikes about 100 times each second, with about 1,800 thunderstorms in progress over Earth’s surface at any given time.
The nicknames of baseball players are the following: Mitch Williams was Wild Thing, Mark Fidrych was The Bird, Lou Gehrig was The Iron Horse and Biscuit Pants, John Franklin Baker was Home Run, and George Herman Ruth was Babe, the Bambino, and the Sultan of Swat.
An eighteen year old Elvis Presley paid a private recording studio 4 dollars in 1953 to record “My Happiness” and “That When Your Heartaches Begin” on a two –sided record as a gift to his mother.
On May 16, 1080, rookie point guard Earvin “Magic” Johnson filled in for injured center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and scores 42 points in the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA Championship win.
In 2008, Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300, become the first female drive to win and IndyCar race.
Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers known to have reached the summit of Mount Everest in May 1953.
Mark Twain was not a fan of fellow novelist Jane Austen, at one point writing in a letter, “Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”
In 1965, at age 59, Satchel Paige pitched in his last Major League Baseball game for the Kansas City Athletics. In his honor, owner Charles O. Finley furnished the bullpen with a rocking chair.
In 1991, Willy T. Ribbs became the first African-American driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.
The Eiffel Tower leans as much as seven inches in really hot weather because the portion of the structure that’s in the sun expands more than the parts in the shade.
Major League Baseball teams managed by Leo Durocher on this way to a career total of 2,009 wins. The teams were Dodgers, Giants, Cubs, and Astros.
Source Material: Andrew McMeel Publishing
The last American troops departed South Vietnam, ending nearly ten years of U.S. military presence in that country.
Jeopardy premiered on March 30, 1964 with host Art Fleming.
The U.S. Congress established time zones and approved daylight saving time in March 1918.
Violinist Midori Goto made her concert debut in 1982 with the New York Philharmonic symphony orchestra at the age of eleven.
Compact disc players and music CDs made their debut in the United States and the UK on March 2, 1983. The products were released in Japan the previous year.
To remove unpleasant odors from your microwave, add a tablespoon of lemon juice to a cup of water and microwave on high for a minute. Your microwave will smell lemony fresh.
The dwarf planet Pluto is only four hours away when traveling at the speed of light
The Sahara Desert once had a wet climate. The area was covered with forests about 12,000 years ago. Today it is the world’s largest desert.
Professional mime Marcel Marceau had the only speaking role in Mel Brooks’ Silent Movie.
Total winnings of Ken Jennings was $2,520,700 during his record-shattering seventy-four game winning streak on the TV quiz show JEOPARDY! (not including a $2,000 consolation prize for coming in second on his final game in 2004).
In 1958, the Boston Red Sox signed Ted Williams for $135,000, which was then the highest salary in baseball.
Number of postage stamps in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s personal collection, according to the FDR Presidential Library and Museum is 1.2 million.
Source Material: Andrew McMeel Publishing
Since the release of the movie Groundhog Day in 1993, crowds of up to 30,000 have visited Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania each year on February 2nd to see whether Punxsutawney Phil observes his shadow.
Seemingly fluffy, airy clouds are actually quite heavy. The water droplets forming a small cumulus cloud weigh more than a mid-size car.
During Andrew Jackson’s presidency in the 1830s, the United States’ White House lawn was home to a milk cow.
In 1986, Mike Tyson knocked out Trevor Berbick to become the youngest-ever heavyweight boxing champion at the age of twenty years and five months.
Amount of money graphic designer Milton Glaser charged the New York state tourism board for designing the “I (heart) New York” logo in 1977 was zero dollars.
On February 16, 1968, the United States’ first 911 emergency phone system went into service in Haleyville, Alabama. Today, hundreds of millions of 911 emergency calls are made in the United States each year. The Federal Communications Commission estimates that more than 70 percent are wireless calls.
John F. Kennedy was 43 when he was elected the youngest president in U.S. history.
When in Japan, slurp your noodles. It’s considered polite to do so.
The first movie ever to be screened privately at the U.S. White House was The Birth of a Nation, which President Woodrow Wilson viewed in 1915.
To clean a sink drain, put 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then flush with hot water.
On February 28, 1983, more than 60% of U.S. TV-owning households watched the final episode of the TV series, M*A*S*H. The series finale boasted a 77 percent share of the Nielsen ratings during its original airing.
Source Material: Andrew McMeel Publishing
January 2018: Looking Back in Time and Random Information
Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem “The Raven” was first published in the New York Evening Mirror on January 29, 2845. Poe was paid $15.
Astronaut John Glenn was seventy-seven when the Space Shuttle Discovery launched in 1998, making Glenn the oldest person ever to travel in space.
Roald Dahl, best known as an author of children’s books, including The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was the screenwriter of the 1967 James Bond film, You Only Live Twice.
You probably wouldn’t consider Australia as a skiing destination, but it does snow down under. The Australian Alps get about 6.5 feet of snow from June through September.
Use baking soda in place of many toxic and irritating cleaners. To clean the bathtub, sprinkle baking soda over the tub surface, then wet it, and scrub with a damp sponge. Rinse, and enjoy your shiny tub.
The South Pole is colder than the North Pole.
It is tradition to open your front door on New Year’s Eve in Scotland before midnight to let the old year out and the new year in.
Price for one pound of Oreo cookies in a novelty can when the cookie was introduced in 1912 was 25 cents.
The number of publishing companies that rejected the manuscript of Dr. Seuss’s first book for children, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street was 27.
The London Underground subway began operations on January 10, 1863.