Thursday, July 31, 2008

You don't sneeze while sleeping

While I have never given it much thought, I have just found out that we do not sneeze while sleeping from a Mental Floss RSS feed

According to this article, sleeping will bring on REM atonia which is, "a state caused by the shutdown of the release of certain neurotransmitters during REM sleep that results in motor neurons not being stimulated and reflectory signals not being sent to the brain."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

ad astra per aspera

The motto of Kansas is "ad astra per aspera". Apparently this means, "to the stars, by hard ways". This was the first think I read this morning at 6am. While I may not remember the latin, I now know Kansas has a motto.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Superman's Cod Piece Was Made of Steel

Earlier, I posted that Superman got the name "Man of Steel" due to the fact that in the early TV shows he wore a steel suit underneath his exterior underwear to make him look muscular. Well, I found this information out by listening to a trailer for Studio 360, an NPR show. I finally got around to listening to the whole piece and I found out that his "cod piece" was made of steel. The actress that played Lois Lane would "ping on it" and the actor would get upset.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


"Steampunk is a subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles or analog computers; these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or a presumption of functionality." Taken from Wikipedia.

Possibly a better way to understand it is to see it. It is my understanding that Lemmony Snicket the Movie made use of steampunk in the look of it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Modern Jackass

Heard from Ira Glass with "This American Life" that a "modern jackass" is one who speaks as an expert on a subject while only knowing the basics of the subject. With today's information age, this happens with frequency and I am guilty of it myself.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

TinEye Image Search Engine

On the way to work today, I was listening to a podcast from The Focus Ring. This is a group of photographers/podcasters all around the world that speak on photography. At the end of the broadcast, each photographer gets to bring forward a tip-of-the-month. Boris Nienke, from the German speaking nSonic podcast, brought up TinEye, a web site that will search the Internet for an image that you feed it. It looks like it does a pretty good job finding manipulated copies of the image too. I am off to check it out a bit now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I have just learnt how...

I have just learnt how to post to blogger using jott on my iphone. listen

Powered by Jott

(Typed in Note: I truly do know how to spell learned. :) But this feature is so cool, I may not even correct spelling errors as I go.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

A friend sent me a list of new learning today. :)
Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.
Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store.
If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil.
It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!
Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
Ground Beef
Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking. (My question is is, doen't it evaporate an cause this to not work?)
Scrambled Eggs
To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.
Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.
Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.
Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.
Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.
Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.
No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket.
It will keep the mosquitoes away.
Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.
Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.
Reducing Static Cling
Pina small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing pantyhose. Place pin in seam of slacks and ... ta da! ...static is gone.
Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water.Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient,such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out. (OK, I have done this one, but I thought I would show the whole list.)
Foggy Windshield?
Hatefoggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car . When the window s fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!
Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!
Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so,especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry aboutpets or small children being harmed!
The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the
house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the
dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something; he took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material ... I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. Well ... the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that's what burns out the heating unit.
You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free ... that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box .. well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months.
He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that!?! (Yeah, I knew about this one too and actually have it calendered to do... along with vacuuming under the fridg. Guess I will have to save my wrapping paper tubes for next Spring.)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Man of Steel

Listening to a trailer for next week's Studio 360, I found out that Superman got the name "Man of Steel" due to the fact that in the early TV shows he wore a steel suit underneath his exterior underwear to make him look muscular.

Friday, July 18, 2008

William Moulton Marston, Inventor of Wonder Woman, also Invented a Lie Detector

I heard about both inventions on TV and decided to look it up. Here is what is said about the matter at

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston invented the polygraph test!
It has long been a funny sort of dramatic irony that William Moulton Marston, creator of Wonder Woman and her golden lariat, which forces people to tell the truth, was also the inventor of the polygraph test, which (purportedly) detects whether people are lying.
However, this is not the case.
Marston WAS, however, an early innovator in the field of lie detection, and his contributions to the polygraph test should not be overlooked, for Martson DID, in fact, invent the first lie detector of any sorts, in 1917. In 1921, Martson published his doctoral thesis for Harvard University. The title was “Systolic blood pressure symptoms of deception and constituent mental states.” That was Marston’s innovation - the idea that, by testing a subject’s systolic blood pressure, one would be able to determine whether the subject was lying.
The polygraph test, however, uses three OTHER methods, not just blood pressure. It is only when using the four methods combined that the results of the polygraph test are achieved. The other three tests are for heart rate, respiration and skin conductivity.
Still, one out of four is very impressive!

Yogurt can cure bad breath....

"Sugarless yoghurt could help beat bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease, say scientists." - This from the BBC

I know some people that could eat more yogurt. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Text Reader for the Blind

There is now a text reader for the blind that will translate in 7 different languages. This means that if the seeing are traveling through a foreign country and need help with signs, menu, what have you, s/he can photograph it and have it translated. The world just got a bit smaller. :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Brick" is a verb

Found out that you can use the word "brick" as a verb. For example: "I bricked my phone" means you have just rendered your phone useless, like a brick in an office, and will need to get a new one.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

More Moodle

Seems like a cool program with room to grow

Monday, July 7, 2008

Moodle, moodle, moodle

Today was a four hour HowToMoodle class. While I can't put my finger on what I learned, I do feel more comfortable with it... though not enough to teach with it. I will be taking this class till Thursday.

Friday, July 4, 2008

camera guns

Some police now have the option of having a video camera, flash light
and something else attached to their handguns. The video will record 1
hour of footage with audio. The video will be encripted to prevent
fraud for court purposes. The tape will role once the handgun is

Thursday, July 3, 2008

More considerations

I was speaking to a friend today about "what is learning" and the expression, "You learn something new every day." We were talking about how I was choosing to separate the "discoveries" from actual learning. It is her opinion that discoveries are probably closer to what the expression was talking about. Sure, there are days a person actually learns, but discovering is a learning process too.

So now I am considering the expression more. Especially since it has become much harder to decide what to post. I am over-thinking it... then again, that is what I do... :)