Feb 12, 2016

Happy Friday

A good smile and hearty laugh are the honey to which all are attracted.

I always try to spread some honey, especially on a Happy Friday!

Valentine's Day

February 14 is Valentine’s Day; the second most celebrated holiday around the world, second to New Year’s Day.

Also celebrated on Feb 14 is National Condom Day, originally started on campus at the University of California, Berkeley. It is celebrated every year in California and is designed to raise awareness of safe sex practices and encourage the use of condoms in a humorous, educated way, and to educate people about the serious risks from having unprotected sex.

For the interested few, there are J&D’s Bacon-Flavored Condoms that look like and taste like bacon.

National Flag Day of Canada

Since 1996, February 15 is the day it is celebrated. The day commemorates the inauguration of the Flag of Canada on that date in 1965. The day is marked by flying the flag, occasional public ceremonies, and educational programs in schools. It is not a public holiday, although there has been discussion about creating one.

The Maple Leaf flag replaced the Canadian Red Ensign, which had been in conventional use as the Canadian national flag since 1868. Canada is the second largest country in the world.

Canada U.S. War of Pork and Beans

Canada and the United States have not fought a war against each other officially since 1814, but in 1839, there was a ‘war’ of sorts fought mainly with fists and axe handles. It was along the New Brunswick–Maine border and the warriors were lumbermen. It is known as the 'war of pork and beans', or the 'Aroostook Controversy'.

Logging along both sides of the border was controlled by powerful lumber barons who were not always careful about the areas into which they sent their lumberjacks. Most of the trouble was in the rich Aroostook Valley pines. The worst battle broke out on February 8, 1839. Under normal circumstances, the fighting among loggers might not have caused much alarm, but the situation was dangerous, because of the dispute about the location of the border.

Maine and New Brunswick called out the militia. Nova Scotia passed an appropriation for defense, and British troops were rushed from Halifax to guard the border along St. Croix River. The United States Congress voted $10,000,000 to raise a force of 50,000 men if required.

London and Washington realized the seriousness of the situation and President Van Buren persuaded the Governors of Maine and New Brunswick to arrange a truce.  Britain and the United States finally agreed on a border. The Ashburton-Webster Treaty provided a settlement in 1842.

Canadian Inventions

Did you know the following were all invented in Canada: peanut butter, Wonderbra, Trivial Pursuit, the car odometer, Imax, egg cartons, McIntosh apples, discovery of insulin, sports instant replay, luggage bag tags, electric wheelchair, and more.

Global Internet Speeds

The US is still slipping behind the rest of the world when it comes to download speeds, with an average of 10 Mbps it ranks just 55th worldwide.

For coverage, US subscribers get an LTE signal 81 percent of the time, or seventh best in the world. By comparison, Romania offers only 61 percent coverage for its LTE network, but has speeds as fast as 33 Mbps.

The global average for download speeds on LTE is 13.5 Mbps. Singapore offers the fastest networks, with downloads as fast as 40 Mbps. During 2015, America's average download speed was a paltry 9 Mbps.

Top 5 fastest countries average speeds:
    New Zealand, 36 Mbps
    Singapore, 33 Mbps
    Romania, 30 Mbps
    South Korea, 29 Mbps
    Denmark, 26 Mbps.

Mondegreens, Malapropisms, and Eggcorns

A mondegreen is a word or phrase resulting from a misinterpretation of another word or phrase that we hear. Mondegreens sound like the original wording, but often change the meaning of the word or phrase entirely. The term mondegreen is usually applied to misheard song lyrics or lines of poetry, but can also refer to other types of speech. For example, someone might hear the sarcastic saying “Thank you, Captain Obvious” as “Thank you, Katherine Obvious.”

A malapropism is the use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsense, or humorous utterance. Yogi Berra was a master of this, saying things, such as "Texas has a lot of electrical votes," rather than "electoral votes". Another example is “dance the flamingo” instead of “dance the flamenco.”

Eggcorns are an idiosyncratic substitution of a word or phrase for a word or words that sound similar or identical in the speaker's dialect. The new phrase introduces a meaning that is different from the original, but plausible in the same context, such as "old-timers' disease" for "Alzheimer's disease" or "mating name" instead of "maiden name."

If a person stubbornly sticks to a mispronunciation after being corrected, that person has committed a mumpsimus.

Yogi Berra Quotes

Here a just a few of his many famous quotes:
•    You can observe a lot by just watching.
•    He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.
•    Take it with a grin of salt.
•    Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.
•    You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.
•    It gets late early out here.
•    You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.
•    I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.
•    If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.
•    If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.
•    I never said most of the things I said.

Garbage Technology

This tickled me, so thought I would share. Seems Peru is mixing hi-tech and low-tech to solve an age old problem of garbage.

Officials in Lima are strapping GoPro cameras and GPS trackers to vultures to help map the area’s illegal dumping problem. With about twenty percent of the Peruvian capital’s garbage ending up in places other than one of its four landfills, officials hope the project brings more attention to the issue.

more hi-tech-low-tech - Dutch police are using eagles to solve the problem of unauthorized drone flights in restricted areas such as airports and over crowds. Dennis Janus said, "We use the birds' age-old hunting instinct to intercept and neutralize drones." Police released video footage of the tests, which shows an eagle in flight firmly grasping the drone with its talons before landing a few metres (yards) away. The eagles are trained by 'Guard from Above', which describes itself as the "first company in the world that uses birds of prey to intercept drones."