Friday, July 31, 2009
1948: President Harry Truman dedicates New York International Airport, commonly known as Idlewild. It's later renamed after President John F. Kennedy.
1972: Sen. Thomas Eagleton withdraws after 18 days as the Democratic vice presidential candidate.
1991: After almost a decade of negotiations, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is finally signed by President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Englishman Arthur S Mole and his American colleague John D Thomas took these incredible pictures of thousands of soldiers forming icons of American history. Arthur's great nephew Joseph Mole, 70, says: "In the picture of the Statue of Liberty there are 18,000 men: 12,000 of them in the torch alone, but just 17 at the base. The men at the top of the picture are actually half a mile away from the men at the bottom"
President Kevin presents 2009 East Alton-Wood River High School graduate Jayson a check for $2200 that will be used to further his education at Lewis & Clark Community College. He plans to study fire science and nursing. We wish only great success!
For those not in attendance at today’s Rotary meeting, Charlie announced that one of our scholarship students, Ethan Stiverson, is currently deployed to Afghanistan with the .
Ethan graduated from Roxana High School in 2007. We would like to put together a to send to Ethan and request that everyone bring items in. They are very good at sharing with others. I’ve attached a list of ideas for items to put in the care package. They are strictly suggestions; feel free to include other items that are not on the list. We’ll probably collect items over the next two or three weeks and then ship them to Ethan.
Our speaker today, Jeff Welker teacher at RHS, had Ethan as a student and said the Marines have had a positive impact on him. Here is Ethan’s address if you’d like to drop him a card or letter of encouragement:
Lance Corporal Stiverson, Ethan
HMLA – 169 (OEF)
The picture of Ethan is, obviously,pre-Marines! He looked quite different when he visited us in his Marine dress uniform…Let’s brighten Ethan’s day!!!
(noun, transitive verb)
1. a support, usually of stone or brick, for the wall of a building: "The wall had long been knocked down, but its buttress was still intact, standing strong without anything to support."
2. something resembling a buttress
3. something that gives support or reinforcement
4. to reinforce with a buttress; 'buttress the church'
5. to make stronger or defensible; 'buttress your thesis'
proudly, "I know what the Bible means!"
His father smiled and replied, "What do you mean, you
'know' what the Bible means?
The son replied, "I do know!"
"Okay," said his father. "What does the
"That's easy, Daddy..." the young boy replied
excitedly," It stands for 'Basic Information Before
There was a very gracious lady who was mailing an old
family Bible to her brother in another part of the country.
"Is there anything breakable in here?" asked the postal clerk.
"Only the . " answered the lady.
"Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people
in the world. There are those who wake up in the morning and
say, "Good morning, Lord," and there are those who
wake up in the morning and say, "Good Lord, it's morning."
A minister parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large
city because he was short of time and couldn't find a
space with a meter.
Then he put a note under the windshield wiper that read:
"I have circled the block 10 times. If I don't
park here, I'll miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses."
When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer
along with this note "I've circled this block for
10 years. If I don't give you a ticket I'll lose my
job. Lead us not into temptation."
There is the story of a pastor who got up one Sunday and
announced to his congregation: "I have good news and
bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for
our new building program. The bad news is, it's still
out there in your pockets."
While driving in Pennsylvania , a family caught up to an
Amish carriage. The owner of the carriage obviously had a
sense of humor, because attached to the back of the
carriage was a hand printed sign... "Energy efficient
vehicle: Runs on oats and grass. Caution: Do not step in
A Sunday School teacher began her lesson with a question,
"Boys and girls, what do we know about God?"
A hand shot up in the air. "He is an artist!"
said the kindergarten boy.
"Really? How do you know?" the teacher asked.
"You know - Our Father, who does art in Heaven... "
A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas
just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked
quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him. Finally,
the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump.
"Reverend," said the young man, "I'm so
sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until
the last minute to get ready for a long trip."
The minister chuckled, "I know what you mean. It's
the same in my business."
People want the front of the bus, the back of the church,
and the center of attention.
Sunday after church, a Mom asked her very young daughter
what the lesson was about.
The daughter answered, "Don't be scared,
you'll get your quilt."
Needless to say, the Mom was perplexed. Later in the day,
the pastor stopped by for tea and the Mom asked him what
that morning's Sunday school lesson was about.
He said "Be not afraid, thy comforter is coming."
The minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was
going to ask the congregation to come up with more money
than they were expecting for repairs to the church
building. Therefore, he was annoyed to find that t he
regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought
in at the last minute. The substitute wanted to know what to
play. "Here's a copy of the service," he said
impatiently. "But, you'll have to think of
something to play after I make the announcement about the
finances."During the service, the minister paused and said,
"Brothers and Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the
roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected and we need
$4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please
stand up." At that moment, the substitute organist played "The
Star Spangled Banner." And that is how the substitute became the regular organist!
MANDEVILLE, Manchester - Water, health, food aid and literacy will be high on the agenda of the Rotary Club of Mandeville over the next 12 months, according to the new president of the organisation, Dr Olajide Adekeye.
Speaking at the 2009 annual Installation banquet at the Mandeville Hotel recently, Adekeye said that under his leadership Rotarians in Mandeville would be required to abide strictly by the motto of "service above self" - their reason for "being". The membership would also be asked to maintain their integrity and "high ethical standards" in public and private life.
Adekeye, a Nigerian medical doctor who has lived and worked in Mandeville for several years, said the service club had a responsibility to assist in the process of providing "clear and clean water" to those in need, "especially in schools". Mandeville, like much of Manchester and south-central Jamaica, suffers from chronic water problems.
The new president claimed that efforts to combat hunger should be a matter of great concern. "How can there be peace in the world when some people are going to sleep hungry?" he asked.
The Mandeville Rotarian tradition of providing assistance to the Mandeville Regional Hospital would continue with efforts being made to give US$50,000 in equipment during the coming year.
Computers and books would be provided for basic schools and the service club would be building a partnership with a local cable station for educational programmes at the CXC level, Adekeye said.
Outgoing president McClooney Blair gave a glowing report of the service club's achievements over the past year in education and health, inclusive of the presentation of medical equipment worth millions of dollars to the Mandeville Hospital. Over the period the service club had raised $800,000 from fundraising projects, Blair said.
Guest speaker at the banquet, Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica Jesus Silva, emphasised the value to Jamaica's tourism of billions of dollars in additional hotel rooms and infrastructure made possible by Spanish investment of recent years. The result was that Jamaica was now probably "the country with the most developed (tourism) infrastructure in the Caribbean" and was ideally placed to benefit when the globe exits the current economic recession, he said.
Senior Medical Officer at Mandeville Regional, Dr Peter Wellington, was honoured by the Mandeville Rotarians for his services to medicine.
1945: Four days after delivering the atomic bomb used on Hiroshima, the USS Indianapolis is torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine. Only 316 out of 1,196 men survive the shark-infested waters.
1975: Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa disappears in Michigan. His body is never found .
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The iNap@Work app makes office-like “productivity noises” so that your co-workers will hear a constant din of activity coming from your space. Even though you may be snoring, your workers will hear sounds like typing, mouse clicks, flipping through papers, stapling, and human sounds such as clearing your throat.
All you do is adjust the settings on the iPhone touch screen to pick the sounds you want to simulate. You can adjust the frequency of sounds to simulate either a light or a hectic work day. You then click on the Start to begin your nap time and Stop when you want to do some real work.
Yes, this is one of those only in America stories, and only on the iPhone. And why not? If apps such as iFart can become wildly popular on the iPhone, this one ought to have its day in the sun and help drive Apple toward a billion app downloads. Clearly, it’s a novel idea and it would be great if it let its owners quit or redefine their day jobs. It’s got a lot of competition with 37,000-plus apps available on the iPhone, but most of those aren’t as silly as this one.
iNap@Work is the product of a two-man show. Trieu Pham came up with the idea and approached Alvin Wong, owner of Silent Logic Studios in San Jose, Calif. Wong has developed a couple of video games for the iPhone. The duo have funded the project themselves for several months.Pham said he came up with the idea and thought it was funny enough to give it a shot. Even if people don’t really use it, they can show it off to their friends at the watercooler.
There are 8,240 species of reptiles in the world, inhabiting every continent except Antarctica.
Reptiles and amphibians are cold-blooded, or "ectothermic,"
animals, which means that they depend on external sources,
such as the sun, to maintain their body temperatures. Since
they don't burn energy to heat internal "furnaces," reptiles
eat 30 to 50 times less food than do birds and mammals
(warm-blooded animals) of similar sizes.
Only a few hundred of the world's 3,000 snakes are venomous.
In the United States, only rattlesnakes, copperheads,
cottonmouths, and coral snakes are poisonous. More Americans
die each year from bee and wasp stings than from snake bites.
One way to tell a frog and a toad apart: frogs have smooth,
clammy skin, while toads have more dry, bumpy skin. Both
frogs and toads lay their eggs in water, but toads spend
more of their time on land than do frogs.
Frogs can breathe not only with their lungs, but also
through their skin. A frog's skin is thin and contains
many mucous glands that keep it moist. Oxygen can be
absorbed through this thin, damp skin.
The emerald tree boa can strike a bird or small mammal in
complete darkness. The pits along the lips of most boas and
pythons, and the nostril-like cavities of pit vipers, are
infrared heat receptors. Snakes use these pits to sense the
location of anything that differs in temperature from its
surroundings by as little as 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Vinegar works wonders nearly everywhere you use it
It's a pantry staple in any even remotely well-stocked kitchen, but in many cases vinegar is woefully underused. Yes, you can use it to color Easter eggs, or as a basis for salad dressing. You probably know that malt vinegar is good sprinkled on french fries, balsamic vinegar on strawberries. But here are 10 uses for vinegar from The Vinegar Institute that may not have occurred to you.
CHIP IN FLAVOR
Sprinkle 2 to 4 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar over barbecue potato chips for a nice tangy flavor.
TAKE OUT THE EWW!
Does your child's lunchbox -- or yours -- have a sour, stale odor? Dampen a piece of bread with white distilled vinegar and leave it in the lunchbox overnight.
FIND EVERY LAST DROP
When you can't get the last bit of mayonnaise or salad dressing out of the jar, try dribbling a little of your favorite vinegar into it. Put the cap on tightly and shake well. You may be amazed at how much you're wasting.
MAINTAIN SHAPELY FISH
Try soaking fish in white distilled or rice vinegar and water before cooking it. It will be sweeter and more tender and hold its shape better. When boiling or poaching fish, 1 tablespoon of vinegar added to the water will keep it from crumbling as easily.
TURN BACK SPLATTERS
Boil a solution of 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 cup of water in the microwave. It will help loosen spattered-on food and deodorize as well.
SEE OUT WINDOWS
Wash with a mixture of equal parts of white distilled vinegar and warm water. Dry with a soft cloth. This solution will make your windows gleam and will not leave the usual film or streaks on the glass.
MAKE SPUDS SPARKLE
Adding 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar to the water in which you boil potatoes will keep them nice and white. And you can keep peeled tomatoes from turning dark by covering them with water and adding 2 teaspoons of vinegar.
Send weeds to their graves
To kill grass or weeds in the cracks of sidewalks or driveways, pour full-strength white distilled vinegar on it.
Add 2 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar to 1 pint of water and use to wash fresh fruits and vegetables, then rinse thoroughly. Research has shown that vinegar helps kill bacteria on fresh produce.
How much can you save by comparison shopping? In our tests there was a surprising disparity between the highest priced and lowest priced parking area. In the screenshot above, for example, we searched for parking around Detroit Metro. Among the airport parking garages there was an almost 100% difference between the highest price and the lowest price for parking.
That kind of price gap isn't a big deal if you're only parking for a single day and are willing to pay a little surcharge for convenience but if you're plunking your car in long term parking for a week you could save yourself some serious cash by picking the right lot.
If you didn't plot out which parking garage to use ahead of time, fire up the browser on your mobile phone and head to the mobile version of BestParking to get a last minute rate check. Have a trick or two for scoring cheap parking while traveling? Share them in the comments.
1890: Vincent van Gogh dies of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in France. He is 37.
1957: Live from New York, Jack Paar debuts as host of NBC’s Tonight Show.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
In case you spend a lot of your time thumbing through books or drinking coffee in or around a Barnes & Noble bookstore, you'll be glad to know that B & N is now the proud distributor of free Wi-Fi through AT &T. They've offered Wi-Fi for quite some time, of course, but now you no longer have to pay for it.
(This article appeared in the July 23rd issue of the Wall Street Journal) On October 22, Microsoft will finally release a new version of Windows that will be as good as the deeply disappointing Windows Vista should have been when it came out in January 2007. The new edition, called Windows 7, is a big improvement over both Vista and the sturdy, 2001-vintage Windows XP still widely in use. It will give Apple’s long-superior Mac OS X operating system a run for its money (though Apple might maintain its edge with a new version, called Snow Leopard, due in September). But how will Windows users transition their current computers to the new Windows 7? While this latest operating system stresses simplicity, the upgrade process will be anything but simple for the huge base of average consumers still using XP, who likely outnumber Vista users. It will be frustrating, tedious and labor-intensive. Microsoft will come out with a new and much-improved version of Windows on October 22, 2009. But upgrading from XP to Windows 7 promises to be a frustrating experience, says Personal Technology columnist Walt Mossberg.In fact, the process will be so painful that, for many XP users, the easiest solution may be to buy a new PC preloaded with Windows 7, if they can afford such a purchase in these dire economic times. In fact, that’s the option Microsoft recommends for XP users. (Conveniently, this option also helps Microsoft’s partners that make PCs.) By contrast, if you’re using Vista, the upgrade to Windows 7 should be a fairly easy, straightforward process. Because the new version shares most of the underlying guts of Vista, it installs itself on your current machine relatively quickly and smoothly, preserving all your files, folders, settings and programs. In a test of this process earlier this year, using a pre-release version of Windows 7, I upgraded a Vista laptop with no problems and little effort in about an hour. But Windows XP users, including the millions who have recently snapped up cheap, XP-powered netbooks, will first have to wipe out everything on their hard disks in order to install Windows 7. on their current machines. In fact, Microsoft doesn’t even call migrating to Windows 7 from XP an “upgrade.” It refers to it as a “clean install,” or a “custom installation.” This disk wipeout can be performed manually, or automatically during the Windows 7 installation process. If you’re an XP user, the disk-wiping will cause you to lose your current file and folder organization, and all your programs, though not necessarily your personal data files themselves. However, in order to preserve these personal files, like documents and photos, you will have to undertake a long, multi-step process, typically requiring the use of an external hard disk, to which all these files will have to be temporarily moved and then moved back. That means you’ll have to buy or borrow an external hard disk, or clean out enough room on one you already own, to hold all your files. And the pain doesn’t end there. If you’re an XP user, moving to Windows 7 on your current computer means you will also have to re-install all your programs and restore all the software drivers for your printers and other add-on hardware. That could require locating the original program disks, or downloaded program installers, and then re-downloading and re-installing the numerous updates that have been issued since these original disks or installers came out. And, there’s another problem: XP hardware drivers won’t work in Windows 7. Microsoft says it can automatically replace thousands of common older drivers with newer Windows 7-compatible versions, but admits that there may be some for which it doesn’t have replacements. The company specifically warns that some netbooks may include obsolete drivers. Netbook owners face another problem. Even though Microsoft says Windows 7 will work fine on netbooks, most of them lack a DVD drive, which is needed to run the Windows 7 installation disk. So they’ll have to buy or borrow an external DVD drive. Microsoft has taken some steps to make this easier. It plans to offer a free “Easy Transfer” program (explained at http://bit.ly/M5Il7) that will automate the process of moving your personal files to an external drive, and then restoring them to your computer after Windows 7 is installed. But this program won’t transfer your programs, only your personal data. Also, if you don’t want to use an external hard disk to temporarily store your files, you can transfer them over a cable or network to another computer. The company even has an alternative where it will stow your personal data in a special folder called windows.old, on the transformed PC. But you’ll then have to manually move all of these files back to their normal locations. Finally, Microsoft officials point out that this XP migration issue may be moot for many owners of older XP computers, because their ancient machines lack enough memory, hard disk space, or graphics power to accommodate Windows 7 anyway. And, even if a really old machine is marginally capable of running Windows 7, it’s a mistake to try and cram a new OS into it and expect a great experience. But if you do own an otherwise capable computer that happens to be running Windows XP, you’re likely facing a painful process should you choose to transition it to Windows 7.
Service to others is “as important as exercise and quitting smoking,” says Stephen Post, coauthor of Why Good Things Happen to Good People and director of Stony Brook University’s Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics, in New York, USA. Post is also president of a nonprofit with a memorable name: the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love.
When it was founded in 2001, Post admits, some of his academic colleagues were skeptical. But those feelings dissipated after they saw what the institute was accomplishing. The nonprofit funds research – it has disbursed about $9.4 million in grants so far – that focuses on unselfish love, including such areas as volunteerism and organ donation.
For several years, Post has observed mounting evidence that volunteering can benefit both mental and physical health. One study with participants over age 55, conducted by Doug Oman, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, found that volunteering for at least two organizations was as beneficial as exercising four times a week in reducing mortality rate.
When Oman began the study in the 1990s, he was intrigued by friends’ responses to his work. “I would say, ‘I’m doing this study on volunteering and longevity,’ and they’d say, ‘Oh yeah, volunteering, it’s good for your health.’” What his friends knew intuitively wouldn’t be scientifically verified for another decade, he notes. “It was fascinating to see. It was almost like researchers were catching up to popular culture.”
The growing body of literature also suggests that certain factors may amplify the health benefits of volunteering. Oman evaluated several studies for a chapter in Altruism and Health: Perspectives from Empirical Research, published by Oxford University Press in 2007, and saw an intriguing pattern emerge. “We found that in many of these studies, the [health] protectiveness of volunteering was greater among people who had other kinds of social connections,” he says. “You might think if people have enough social connections already, volunteering won’t make much of a difference. But it does.”
Rotarians might engage in philanthropic projects out of a desire to help others, but they also likely enjoy the social interaction with their peers. And though a sincere urge to serve can result in health benefits to the volunteer, Post notes, “a lot of the success of volunteering depends on how we take care of volunteers. To optimize their capacity to give, you don’t want to forget that people have physical and emotional limits.”
Volunteering includes more than organized activities, he says. “People who report informal helping behavior in the neighborhood are doing well too.” That’s the case for John St. Clair, a member of Rotary Club of Idaho Falls, Idaho. In 2007, St. Clair learned that John “Jack” Watson, of the Rotary Club of Minden, Nev., had a kidney disease that would soon require dialysis. The two men, both members of the United States Golfing Fellowship of Rotarians, had met every year for a decade at the fellowship’s tournament, hitting the links and swapping Rotary stories.
Now they have something else in common: a kidney. St. Clair gave one of his to Watson in February; the surgery took place the day before Valentine’s Day. Seven months later, St. Clair and his wife visited Watson. “We walked up to their front door, Jack walked out, and his color was so good. He looked so well healed that both of us just grinned.”
St. Clair shrugs off any suggestion that his organ donation was a dramatic example of giving. “To me, it’s just right place, right time, right thing to do,” he says. “Consistently my thinking has been, God gave us two kidneys for a reason – and that’s so we can give one away.”
Watson experienced the most pronounced health benefits, but St. Clair feels he’s gained as well. “There’s a vicarious sense of joy in Jack’s recovery,” he says. “I can feel great because he feels great.”
Several studies underscore the mental health benefits of volunteering. In October, Foresight, a British government scientific think tank, released five recommendations for preventive care to promote mental health. On the list was “Give. Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. … Volunteer your time.”
When people volunteer, their mental health often improves, partly because they spend less time ruminating on personal problems, says Post. “It frees them from a kind of emotional insularity,” he says. “It’s amazing to see how many people with major illnesses have really gotten into volunteering.”
A 2002 study by researchers at Boston College suggests that volunteering can help people dealing with chronic pain. The research showed that when patients served as peer volunteers for others with chronic pain, the volunteers’ pain intensity diminished, and their mental health improved.
Says Post, “You see a convergence on the idea that it’s good to be good.”
The first official disc golf course opened in
Flintridge, California in 1975.
The metal pipe that is mounted on a sturdy wooden post and
commonly used as a target in disc golf is called a tone
The technique where a players throws with the edge away
from the body angled toward the ground is called a hyzer.
The technique where the disc is held upside down and
chipped to the basket with a normal fore-hand toss is known
as a Prebinator.
Stability is one of the most important disc properties when
choosing a golf disc to use.
The modern disc golf target, which consists of a metal
basket with chains hanging over it, was invented in 1976.
When a player holds the disc with two hands and inlines
with the target, it is known as a Bi-Moto Putt.
In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility he would "pass the buck" to the next player.
COOL canine Fei Fei left other dogs in the shade after his owner bought him a pair of sunglasses as a joke. But now the fashion mad mutt refuses to leave owner Bo Lee's home in Chongqing, central China, without being given his wraparound shades! "I think he likes all the attention he gets on the street," said Lee. "I bought them to protect his eyes but now if I try to leave the apartment without them he howls the place down," he told the Austrian Times.
1914: Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. It’s the start of World War I.
1965: Lyndon B. Johnson announces American troops in Vietnam will increase from 75,000 to 125,000.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Most states have at least one form of official food. In Louisiana, the official doughnut is the beignet. (I’m unaware of any other state doughnuts — and I’m disappointed.) New York’s official muffin is made with apples; Minnesota’s with blueberries; and none have yet found it fit to honor the vegan bran and raisin muffin, despite whatever strange wonders it works on the abdominal tubing. Vermont is the only state with an official flavor: maple, as in maple syrup — but because they’ve designated the “flavor,” not the “syrup,” we can assume the appointment includes everything from maple-glaze for ham to autumnal maple lattes. Shockingly, Oklahoma has recognized a complete (and daunting) meal: fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbeque pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, chicken friend steak, black-eyed peas, strawberries, and pecan pies. As for state drinks, Nebraska has Kool-Aid, Indiana has water (hubris!), and Alabama, the standout, has Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey — a re-creation of some well-regarded illegal moonshine made in the backwoods by a man named Clyde May.
- "Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."-Edgar Allan Poe
GLENDALE, CA. - 911 calls normally aren't funny -- but when a Glendale man came home to a man robbing his house over the weekend, he tackled him and held him still while talking on the phone to a 911 dispatcher.
Officers arrived to the home in the 4600 block of W San Juan where they found the victim on top of the suspect, holding him down.
Bigley told police he came home through the garage about 4 a.m. and found the storage door open. He then spotted the suspect going rifling through his DVDs.
On the 911 tape, Bigley says, "All I am doing is holding him down on the ground… He's saying he can't breathe he's tried to run twice but I caught him in my home."
"Look please stop struggling... we're going to wait here and were going to wait for the cops to come."
The suspect told Bigley there were other robbers upstairs, but they got away and ran down the street. The burglars took six TVs, a stereo, a laptop and a digital camera -- about $11,000 worth of electronics.
Police are still searching for the rest of the suspects.
Consumers who used to rely on over-the-air television have until July 31 to apply for a $40 converter box coupon so they can once again receive the news and emergency information they need.
The Department of Commerce's TV Converter Box Coupon Program provides up to two $40 coupons per eligible household toward the purchase of converter boxes to help consumers who rely on free over-the-air broadcasting with the digital transition.
Consumers have three options to receive digital television: subscribe to cable, satellite or another pay service; buy a television with a digital tuner; or purchase a TV converter box with or without a government coupon. When connected to an older analog TV and antenna, a TV converter box allows the television to receive over-the-air digital television signals.
Coupons must be redeemed at the time of purchase, and consumers are encouraged to call ahead to confirm availability of coupon-eligible converter boxes on the day they plan to shop. Consumers may re-apply for coupons only if their previously issued coupons expired without being redeemed. Coupons expire 90 days after they are mailed and have the expiration date printed on them.
(noun, transitive verb)
1. any vertical post or rod used as a support: "It is now sufficiently long enough past Christmas for us to remove the candy-cane decorations from all the stanchions."
2. a frame with two or more vertical bars used to secure a cow, usually used for milking
3. to support something using a vertical post or rod
4. to secure (cattle) with stanchions
1866: On his fifth attempt, Cyrus W. Field finishes laying the first underwater trans-Atlantic telegraph cable.
1940: “What’s up, Doc?” Carrot in hand, Bugs Bunny makes his Warner Bros. debut in “A Wild Hare.”
Sunday, July 26, 2009
(This article appeared in the Wall Street Journal)
The Yo-Yo Has Had Ups and Downs, But It's Far From End of Its String High-Tech, Hard Times Fuel Latest Comeback; A Warning to Enthusiasts: Duck! Dave Schulte tells his students that if they aren't getting head injuries, they're not trying hard enough. The 39-year-old Mr. Schulte is a professional yo-yoist who makes $50,000 a year giving lessons and performing. He's got the world on a string -- and a right index finger that's numb from years of yo-yoing. The sport has been transformed by metal and industrial-plastic yo-yos with ball bearings that spin so fast the tricks possible today would have been unthinkable a few years back. The string spider webs of the "Corn Pops Explosion," the freehand whirls of the "Yosemite Escape" or the tightly wound spins of the "Cold Metal" are all made possible because of advances in yo-yo technology. The world record for "sleeping," when the yo-yo is at the bottom of the string but spinning rapidly, has gone from just over seven minutes in 1998 to 16 minutes and 17 seconds. Trouble is, a fast yo-yo can be a dangerous yo-yo. Hardcore yo-yoists now upload images of their battle wounds online: chipped teeth, calloused hands, bandaged brows. Mr. Schulte's angiogram of his right hand showing the ruined veins in his index finger is circulated widely via email among yo-yoists. At last year's World Yo-Yo Competition, one competitor was carted off on a stretcher. The injured yo-yoist, from Singapore, dislocated his knee during a freestyle competition, which often involves intense full-body choreography. Simple yo-yos have been around for centuries, but the modern ones have their roots in the 1920s, when Filipino-American Pedro Flores opened a yo-yo shop in Santa Barbara, Calif. American marketer Donald Duncan then bought the company and began pushing manufactured versions nationwide. Most were made of wood or plastic. The inexpensive toys were a hit during the Great Depression. Throughout the 1950s, Duncan sent traveling yo-yoists across the country to peddle their wares and demonstrate tricks at shopping centers and schoolyards. But sales slipped, and the company filed for bankruptcy-court protection in 1965. Three years later, Flambeau Inc. in Baraboo, Wis., bought Duncan and now runs the company. To celebrate Duncan's 80th anniversary, the company is resurrecting the yo-yo demonstrations of yore, enlisting 66 yo-yo professionals to conduct more than 130 demonstrations this summer. The yo-yoists are also featured on newly released trading cards. The current economic downturn has been good for Duncan. The company, which sells more than two-thirds of the yo-yos in the U.S., says sales are up 23% from a year ago. Most of their "bread and butter" yo-yos retail for less than $20, says Mike Burke, spokesman for Duncan. New Duncan yo-yo models, such as the free-hand Hayabusa or the $499 Freehand Mg made of 99% magnesium, are created by Duncan's yo-yoists. The stringers regularly submit drawings and prototypes of their models. When Pat Cuartero quit his job at Merrill Lynch, it was the height of the boom. But now he's doing what he loves: extreme yo-yoing. Mary Pilon reports.The company will unroll a new line of high-end yo-yos this summer. They feature wider axles to allow for wiggle room for complex tricks, precision ball-bearings for smooth glides and perfectly weighted casings for an even touch. Still, Duncan doesn't cut it for some extreme yo-yo practitioners. They build their own. Brian Roberts, better known in the yo-yo world as "Doctor Popular," is holding on to 100 Bolt yo-yos that he custom designed out of a high-grade plastic called Celcon that's impossible to shatter. Mr. Roberts, of San Francisco, also sports a flaming yo-yo tattoo on his left arm. His right arm is so much larger than his left, because of yo-yoing he says, that the sleeves of some of his T-shirts are too tight. Mr. Roberts once sold a "Silver Bullet 2" yo-yo to a man who had recently been robbed at gunpoint while working at a gas station in Minnesota. The Bullet is known for its sharp edges, high-end metal body and fast spin. "His boss wouldn't let him get a gun," he says. "I think he thought he was a ninja." Pat Cuartero, 28, of New York, left a six-figure gig as a technology programmer at Merrill Lynch in 2006 to pursue yo-yoing full time. Before he got out of Wall Street, Mr. Cuartero regularly toted his favorite yo-yos in his suit pockets and in briefcases. He regularly spun two-handed while on conference calls. Now, he runs a company called YoYoNation that sells yo-yos, organizes competitions and plays host to online discussion forums. Mr. Cuartero, who specializes in two-handed play, boasts palms white with calluses and middle fingers with permanent string indentations. He says that though his wrists ache sometimes, "I've never been happier." Some yo-yoists still cling to the slower and safer models. Valerie Oliver of Fort Worth, Texas, uses a classic fixed-axle Technic yo-yo when she performs at schools. She started with a Duncan Imperial made of plastic in 1962 when she was 6 years old. Her yo-yo group, the Lone Star Spinners, has met once a month for more than a decade. Newer models used by the pros don't actually return to the hand when thrown down. That allows for longer string play. "I want my yo-yo to come back when I jerk it," Ms. Oliver says. An out-of-control yo-yo can cause big trouble. Paul Yath of Lakewood, Calif., shattered his apartment window a couple of winters ago. The cotton string "just snapped" while he was performing a difficult maneuver and shot the metal yo-yo like a bullet across the room. Another time, the four-time national champion took a bloody cut above his brow to the emergency room. He didn't need stitches. These days, Mr. Yath carries two sets of backup yo-yos when he goes onstage, he says. "You never know when you might hit an unexpected snag," he says. Although Mr. Schulte, of Brooklyn Park, Minn., says he's accustomed to the numbness in his index finger, he was recently rudely reminded that his face is far from numb. While he was performing a stunt called "the trapeze" before a group of seniors at a nursing home, a snagged string backfired. The metal, sharp-edged yo-yo cut his right cheek. That drew some blood, but in this business, too, the show must go on. "You just keep going," he says.
Everyone knows the Slinky. Beloved by children and physics teachers, this toy debuted in 1945 and hasn’t slinked away since. Odds are good that every kid had at least one Slinky during their lifetime and if they didn’t actually own one, they’ve certainly played with somebody else’s. How did a simple metal coil become such a childhood icon? Naval engineer Richard James was testing tension springs for his suspension system when one of the springs ran away from him. Or rather, it fell and then walked away, admittedly strange behavior for an inanimate object. James brought the novelty home to his family and we have his wife to thank for the name Slinky. A few modifications later, James unleashed the Slinky on an unsuspecting public who snatched up every last one of them just in time for Christmas. The instructions were simple: place the Slinky at the top of the stairs or at an incline, give it a little push and watch it slink down down down. Two Slinkies were better than one because you could race them. The simple coil was even eye pleasing in a minimalist sculpture sort of way and if you held a Slinky end in each hand, you could pretend you were playing the accordion. Yep, Slinkies were fun but they really hit their apex in the 1960s when the legendary commercial embedded the Slinky jingle in pop culture. Don’t start humming the song because it is addictive. Whether you use a Slinky to demonstrate scientific principals or have half a dozen of them racing down your stairs right now, you can’t deny the attraction of this toy for every new generation. New versions of the toy include Slinky Junior, Plastic Slinky (in fun colors!) and Slinky Pets; anything can be Slinkified by attaching it to a spring coil. And yet, the original Slinky has remained unchanged after 50 years on the market, a true and enduring classic.
1947: President Harry Truman signs the National Security Act, reorganizing the military and creating America’s first peacetime intelligence institution—the CIA.
1963: President John F. Kennedy announces an agreement with Great Britain and the Soviet Union banning nuclear testing in the atmosphere, in space and underwater
A Ssese Islander sits on a schoolroom bench in Kasekulo Village, Kalangala, Uganda, while a volunteer dentist extracts a tooth. Bottom: Ssese Islanders line up for treatment as Phyllis Kwesiga, president of the Kampala-Ssese Islands club, listens to their needs and sends them to the right place for either dental or medical assessment. Photos by Jessica Scranton
A woman lies stretched out in the grass. She has just had a decayed tooth extracted; its root was stuck in her gum, and the remains were chiseled from her mouth.
Earlier that day, she walked more than 3 miles to Kasekulo, a fishing village and one location where the Rotary Club of Kampala-Ssese Islands, Uganda, has established an ongoing traveling medical and dental clinic.
For more than 16 years, Ugandan Rotarians have taken hourlong ferry rides from Kampala to this community of islands. Since 200l, twice each year, members of the Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA, have participated in the one-day clinics. Another once or twice a year, the Ugandans have visited the impoverished villages without the Americans. The U.S. Rotarians learned about the project while they were building water wells in northern Uganda eight years ago. Together, the Rotarians provide dental care, general health treatment, and deworming for islanders, many of whom have never left the island or their fishing villages.
A line begins to wrap around a school soon after the Rotarians arrive, transforming it into a clinic. Two volunteer physicians and two dentists attend to more than 300 patients. They often have so many patients that they work into the night and don’t leave until they attend to everyone there. Bainbridge Island club member John Walker remembers holding a flashlight into patients’ mouths so dentists could pull teeth. In 2003, the Kampala-Ssese Islands club built a permanent clinic on the main island of Kalangala.
With no other medical centers, villagers look forward to the visits, says Joy Bagyenda, a member of the club. The common health threats facing islanders often come from the parasites in Lake Victoria and the harsh presence of HIV/AIDS in small communities such as Kasekulo. In 2007, there were 54 documented cases of AIDS in this village. According to Bainbridge Island Rotarian Joanne Croghan, the women held a meeting to discuss the active cases of the disease and the many children orphaned by it. Uganda has an information campaign to recommend safer sexual practices, but this remote community does not receive the educational outreach.
Croghan has helped out by making cotton balls by hand and boiling the instruments in water heated by kerosene lamps. She has watched dentists yank and chisel hundreds of decayed teeth. Any patient who has a tooth extraction receives antibiotics. Every child receives antiparasitic medication. Swollen bellies, a typical sign of worm infestation, are commonplace here.
Rotarians help the islanders in other ways too. The Kampala-Ssese Islands club brought life vests for the villagers, who have a high incidence of drowning. Bainbridge Island Rotarian Pete Cholometes brought 50 pounds of toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, mosquito nets, soccer balls, pumps, and bouncing rubber balls to Kasekulo.
By the time the Rotarians leave the village, many people have large gaps in their smiles from the dental work, but the children, who bounce their new balls off the mud huts and the schoolhouse, are having too much fun to notice.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
A cluster of bananas is called a hand and consists of 10
to 20 bananas, which are known as fingers.
As bananas ripen, the starch in the fruit turns to sugar.
Therefore, the riper the banana the sweeter it will taste.
Banana plants are the largest plants on earth without a
woody stem. They are actually giant herbs of the same
family as lilies, orchids and palms.
Bananas are one of the few fruits that ripen best off the
plant. If left on the plant, the fruit splits open and the
pulp has a "cottony" texture and flavor.
Bananas were officially introduced to the American public
at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. Each banana
was wrapped in foil and sold for 10 cents. Before that
time, bananas came to America on the decks of sailing ships
as sailors took a few stems home after traveling in the
Each banana plant bears only one stem of fruit. To produce
a new stem, only two shoots - known as the daughter and
the granddaughter - are allowed to grow and be cultivated
from the main plant.
1906-Members agree to be on "first name" basis. Singing introduced by Harry L. Ruggles. Rotary "Wagon Wheel" emblem adopted, the first of many varieties of "wheel emblems" to be used by different clubs, until 1912, when a geared wheel was adopted, this to be follow by authorization of an official emblem (1924), a wheel of six spokes, twenty-four cogs, and a "keyway.