Dec 12, 2014

Happy Friday

Even a quantum smile produces exponential benefits.

It is difficult to calculate the exponential benefits of a Happy Friday!

Free Microsoft Books

Came across this site recently and thought it is worth passing along. The site offers over one hundred Microsoft e-books for free. Topics like Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Office 2013, Office 365, Office 2010, SharePoint 2013, Keyboard shortcuts, CRM, PowerShell, etc. Likely will appeal more to the technical bunch, but also useful to get the most out of software you may already be using. For instance, instructions for using Windows voice commands to tell your computer to perform many actions.  LINK

Six Tape Types

Beyond duct tape (Duck tape is a brand name), scotch tape, packing tape, and others are a few relatively unknown to many. Here are a few of the more interesting types of tape.

Speed tape is an aluminized adhesive tape used to do minor repairs on aircraft, and as a temporary repair material until a more permanent repair can be carried out. It has an appearance similar to duct tape, with which it is sometimes mistaken, but its adhesive is capable of sticking on an airplane fuselage or wing at high speeds. It is resistant to water, solvents, and flames, and will reflect heat and UV light. It is also able to expand and contract through a wide range of temperatures.

Bondage tape adheres to itself without using adhesives. Bondage tape is a 2-to-3-inch-wide (51 to 76mm) and 0.0051 inch-thick (0.13mm) strip of thin plastic material, usually latex. It is typically intended to be used for erotic bondage. Since it does not stick to the hair or skin, a person can be tightly bound or gagged without causing harm when the tape is removed

Elastic therapeutic tape, also known as K tape and kinesiology tape, is an elastic-cotton strip backed with acrylic adhesive. It is used for treating various physical disorders. It is claimed to be able to stretch up to 140% of its original length. As a result, if the tape is applied to a patient with a stretch greater than its normal length, it will recoil after being applied and therefore create a pulling force on the skin that it is being applied to. This elastic property allows much greater range of motion compared to traditional white athletic tape and can also be left on for long periods of time.

Gecko tape is being designed with directional adhesion properties, which is the ability to grip a load in one direction and to release its grip when the direction is reversed. The same structures on Scotch tape revealed that this material could support a shear stress of 36N/cm2, nearly four times higher than a gecko foot. This new material can adhere to a wider variety of materials, including glass and Teflon. When pulled parallel to a surface, the tape releases, not because the CNTs lose adhesion from the surface, but because they break, and the tape cannot be reused. It only works for small area (approximately 1 cm2). Researchers are currently working on a number of ways to strengthen the nanotubes.

Lingerie tape, also called cleavage tape or fashion tape is double-sided adhesive tape used to keep clothing in place.  It is used to secure the edges of a strapless dress or top to the cleavage or side of the breasts or on shoulders to secure bra straps from slipping, in order to keep the item of clothing in place. It may also be referred to as toupee tape or wig tape, a similar double-sided tape intended for a different function.

Road marking tape is reformed polymer tape that can be applied permanently or temporarily on pavement to create road surface markings.  It is heavy-grade material with reflective beads embedded in the plastic. It is commonly used to mark crosswalks, stop bars, and traffic guidance, such as turn lanes, HOV lanes, train crossings, pedestrian crossings, taxi lanes, bus lanes, etc. 

Holiday Meal Cures

This also a bit tacky, but it is a real product. Pills to change the smell of flatulence to something less offensive. Just in time for the holidays.  LINK

Searing Meat

A 19th century German chemist Justus von Liebig was one of the first people to propose that by applying very high temperatures to meat you would create a 'sealed' layer of cooked meat through which liquid inside the meat couldn't escape.

Liebig's experiment compared the liquid and nutrients from a piece of meat submerged in cold water which was gradually heated in that water and simmered in the cooking liquid with a dry piece of meat applied to an extremely hot surface. Liebig thought that searing meat "sealed in juices," because the resulting meat was juicier than the meat that was essentially boiled to death.

However, in the book On Food and Cooking, Harold McGee makes a direct comparison between a seared piece of meat and an un-seared piece, both cooked with identical methods. The result was that the seared piece of meat actually retained fewer juices than the un-seared piece, and at the very least the searing did nothing to preserve the moisture inside the meat. This debate still continues. Many people think that searing meat does result in moister meat, while others dispute it.

In reality, the best thing about searing meat is that when applied to high heat, the surface of the meat undergoes the Maillard Reaction, which results in some delicious browning on the surface of the meat. Bottom line; sear your steaks, not because it locks in juices, but because it is tastier.

Which Sandwich

The Earl of Sandwich is purportedly the first to put a slab of meat between two slices of bread.

The existence of the club sandwich comes from a cook named Danny Mears, who worked at the Saratoga Club House in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. during the 1800s.

During the 1920s, Reuben Kulakofsky, who was playing poker at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska, ordered a sandwich with corned beef and sauerkraut. Bernard Schimme made the sandwich by draining the sauerkraut and mixing it with Thousand Island dressing then layering it with corned beef and Swiss cheese on dark rye bread. He then grilled the sandwich and served it with it a sliced kosher dill pickle and potato chips.

A French myth says croque monsieur was accidentally discovered in 1910 when some French workers left their lunch pails full of cheese and ham sandwiches too close to a hot radiator. The sandwich was originally made with ham and Gruyère cheese, later evolving into other variations like the the croque madame, the croque Provencal, the croque tartiflette, and the Monte Cristo (my favorite).
The grilled cheese sandwich was first widely eaten as a cheap meal during the US Great Depression, when cheese and bread were some of the least expensive food items.

In 1901, Julia David Chandler published the first known recipe for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Peanut butter is not widely consumed in Europe and is almost never mixed with jelly. In the US peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a staple.

Joe Lorenza added cheese to a popular chopped steak sandwich creating the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich during the 1940s.

The bacon chip butty is made with handfuls of French fries and large pieces of crispy bacon between two slices of soft buttered bread. It was originally considered a working-class meal and was served in English pubs. Yum!

The most likely story of the origin of the  New Orleans po' boy belongs to Clovis and Benjamin Martin, who had a restaurant on St. Claude Avenue during the 1920s. When streetcar drivers went on strike in 1929, the brothers created an inexpensive sandwich consisting of gravy and bits of roast beef on French bread that they served unemployed workers out of the back of their restaurant. A worker would come to get one and the restaurant employees would yell, “Here comes another poor boy.” which eventually transferred to the name of the sandwich, po’ boy.

Wordology, Lector

The word ‘lector’ usually makes us think of university lecturers and public speakers, but in the 1900s, a lector was actually a form of entertainment. A factory lector was employed to entertain workers in cigar factories by reading out loud, usually newspapers and sometimes novels. The profession started in Cuba, later becoming more prominent in New York and Florida.

Life in a cigar factory was mostly manual labor, such as rolling cigars by hand, so the lectors proved to be good for the morale of workers. The employees would pool money together to help pay the lector’s salary. Lectors had a huge influence on the workers, providing an education for them through their reading. Lectors were eventually replaced by radios during the 1920’s.

Expired Milk Dates

That date on the carton of milk could mean very different things depending on what US state you are in. Some states require a sell by date, which indicates the last day a store can legally sell the milk. It is calculated to give the consumer a reasonable amount of time to enjoy. Other states have a use by date that indicates the date milk is believed to be at peak flavor. For instance, milk cartons in Montana are labeled with a sell by date 12 days after pasteurization, Washington requires a use by date that is 21 days after pasteurization.

While the pasteurization of milk kills most of the harmful bacteria, precautions always need to be made by the consumer to keep the milk from going bad. One way to keep milk as fresh as possible is to keep it on a shelf, never in the door of your fridge, where temperature fluctuates the most.

Depending on whom you ask, the refrigerator temperature should be 34-38 °F or 38-40 °F. Warmer temperatures give bacteria more of a chance to develop.

One rule of thumb is that if you are properly refrigerating it, whole milk's expiration date is five days after the "sell-by" date. If it is non-fat, skim, or reduced fat, you will have a bit less time. Ultra pasteurized milk has a longer shelf life than other types of milk and can be left in the pantry until opened, and then it must be chilled.

Free Friday Thought

Dec 5, 2014

Happy Friday

Happiness is its own reward.

I plan to reward myself by having a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Gnurr

It is the official name of the lint that collects at the bottom of your pockets.

Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes have nothing to do with time, but rather small, as in minute (my-newt). Minutes in this sense first appeared in the early 18th century, possibly directly from the Latin “minuta scriptura”, meaning small notes.

Minutes as in 'meeting notes' references condensing something, such as information down, as in the 'my-newt' pronunciation, not as in 'seconds, minutes, hours'.