Jul 25, 2014

Happy Friday

Laughter is the only music with no sour notes.

Music is like smiling out loud while enjoying a Happy Friday!

Placebo and Color Affect

Researchers found the color of a package and a pill makes a difference in how it works. In one study, every patient was given the exact same sedative, but some patients received it in a blue pill and others in an orange pill. The blue pill takers reported falling asleep 30 minutes faster, and sleeping 30 minutes longer, than the orange pill takers.

You likely know that you can give a person with a headache a Tic Tac, say it is medicine, and it may eliminate a headache just like an aspirin would, for reasons science doesn't completely understand. This phenomenon is also affected by color. In other words, how you perceive effectiveness affects effectiveness and color matters.

Subjects, in another study were told they would get a sedative or a stimulant, when they were actually getting placebos. Sixty six percent of the subjects who took blue pills reported feeling less alert, compared to only twenty six percent of those who took pink pills. It is because we have been conditioned to think that blue is tranquil.

In yet another study, when researchers put various fake medicine packages in front of subjects, the subjects picked certain colors of boxes over others. Warm colors like brown and red were perceived as more potent, especially if the shades were darker. This is why heart medicines are often red and brown, while skin medicines are yellow, and sleeping pills are often blue. Painkillers are most often white. All carefully chosen to match our perceptions.

The majority of fast food chains have red and yellow or orange in their logo, because these are stimulating colors. Lowfat containers, more often than not have blue on the package.

Color associations are also cultural. In America blue is a calming and peaceful color, but in Italy it is associated with the national soccer team. Researchers found that, rather than making him drowsy, a blue pill might send an Italian singing into the night.

Sugar Stops Hiccups

This remedy is no placebo. Hiccups occur when a spasm contracts the diaphragm, a large sheet of muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. This spasm causes an intake of breath that is suddenly stopped by the closure of the vocal cords. This closure causes the 'hiccup' sound.

Hiccups are irritating, but it is possible to stop them within sixty seconds or so by swallowing a teaspoon filled with dry sugar or honey. Specialists believe the abrupt sweetness on the tongue overloads the nerve endings in the mouth and blocks the hiccup spasm.

Joseph Lister

The idea of clean operating rooms did not exist until Joseph Lister began his practice of antisepsis in the 1860's. He introduced washing surgical instruments in carbolic acid, and keeping the operating area clean and sterile. He used it on the incision wound, dressings, and instruments. It was a revolutionary change for hospitals. Lister discovered that the infections in wounds which caused so many surgical deaths were not caused by the miasma in the air, but by something entirely different.

In his article in The Lancet of 21 September 1867 and his book 'Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery' he explained the cause was microorganisms that traveled from the surgeon’s hands onto the wound. Because of his miraculous results in operative and post-operative infection, Lister is considered to be one of the founders of modern surgery.

In 1893 Dr. J.C. Bloodgood (his real name) insisted on surgical glove use by his entire surgical team. This was followed by W. Steward Halstead's adoption of surgical gloves at Johns Hopkins that gained national exposure. Halstead is generally credited with the glove's discovery, which is not true.

Listerine was formulated by Dr. Joseph Lawrence and Jordan Wheat Lambert in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1879. Joseph Lister had nothing to do with it, other than it was named after him.

Bad Breath Eliminators

If you do not have any Listerine handy, here are a few other options. Sugar may cure hiccups, but it also can cause plaque, which is one cause of bad breath. Bad breath usually results from poor oral hygiene and gastrointestinal health. Breath odors originate inside the mouth and also from the digestive tract. The cause in both is mostly bacteria.

Coriander, spearmint, tarragon, eucalyptus, rosemary, and cardamom are all good for fighting bad breath, either by chewing, or steeping in hot water, as a tea.

Research also shows that live microorganisms in sugar free yogurt may reduce levels of bad breath germs. A serving of yogurt each day reduces the level of odor-causing hydrogen sulfide in the mouth. It also reduces bacteria in the mouth as well as reduces plaque and gum disease.

Apples, carrots, celery, and any fiber-rich fruits or vegetables also help fight halitosis. Plaque build-up causes odors and eating foods that increase saliva production keep the mouth moist and rinsed. Eating berries, citrus fruits, melons and other vitamin C foods create an inhospitable environment for bacteria growth and prevent gum disease and gingivitis.

National Hot Dog Day

You can renew that bad breath with some of your favorite toppings on a hot dog, wiener, or frankfurter. This week, July 23, Americans celebrated National Hot Dog day.

Hot dogs were originally culturally imported from Germany. The word frankfurter comes from Frankfurt, Germany, where pork sausages similar to hot dogs originated. Wiener refers to Vienna, Austria, whose German name is 'Wien', home to a sausage made of a mixture of pork and beef.

Americans eat seven billion hot dogs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. That amounts to about 818 hot dogs consumed every second, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

Hot dogs are made with a simple mixture of ground meats and spices, such as salt, garlic, and paprika. Some commercial makers include binders and fillers. Preservatives from curing typically include sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrite. Skinless dogs have the casing removed after cooking and before packaging. I love the natural casing dogs that crunch with every bite.

3D Printed Keys

The once almost ubiquitous key kiosks have long since gone and many hardware stores no longer provide the service. Now a company called 'Keys Duplicated' prints keys from photographs. Snap a picture of any key, send it in, and within a few days you will receive a duplicate in the mail. The site suggests to text a link to its page to your phone, or go to keysduplicated.com on your mobile browser. It says it is easier to send a key if you visit the page directly on your mobile phone. No need to download an app.

The charge shows six dollars for the first key and four dollars for the second, with no shipping charges. The company pitches its service to people who need an extra key to their own house. LINK  Practical use for new technology.

Hologram Shopping

Lowe's may not provide printed 3d keys yet, but it is entering the digital age in a big way. The Lowe's Holoroom is a home improvement simulator which applies augmented reality to provide homeowners an intuitive, immersive experience in the room of their dreams. It was introduced to stores in Toronto in June, 2014 and equipped with thousands of products to help customers plan a bathroom remodel or refresh project.

Customers begin by choosing their preferred products on a pad device before viewing and experiencing those products in the Holoroom. While in the Holoroom, they can make changes to the room design or finalize their plan. A take-home link allows customers to view a 3-D model of their room at home, and share the model with family and friends by downloading a free app available on smartphones.

The concept is to let customers use a pad to create the room, adding features, textures, tiles, counters, etc., then walk around a physical space set up in the store to view it as if they are in the actual room. They can look down into the sink to see the texture and drain or up to see a light fixture.

Lowes plans to expand additional living spaces in the future, including the kitchen and outdoor living. It is also envisioned to eventually let people do the same thing in their own home, then click to buy everything needed to make that room a reality. Cool technology, from hammers to holograms. Seems to me this might be a perfect application for an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset device.

National Ice Cream Month

July is National Ice Cream Month, so here are a few ice cream facts.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared the third Sunday in July to be National Ice Cream Day and the month of July to be National Ice Cream Month.

Per capita ice cream consumption in the US is about 5 1/2 gallons.

It takes about twelve pounds of whole milk to make one gallon of ice cream.

French Ice Cream is enriched with egg yolks.

More ice cream is sold on Sunday than any other day of the week.

It takes 50 licks to finish a single scoop of ice cream.

The top five most popular ice cream flavors are: vanilla, chocolate, Neapolitan, strawberry, and cookies n' cream.

Vanilla makes up about twenty five percent of all ice cream sales.

Neapolitan ice cream is ice cream made up of blocks of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream side by side in the same container. Giuseppe Tortoni, a Neapolitan (living in Paris) created many layered ice cream cakes and the term Neapolitan was named after him.

Free Friday Smile

Jul 18, 2014

Happy Friday

The greatest hindrance to life as we know it is the snooze button.

I always get up early to enjoy a longer Happy Friday!

Hot Weather Thoughts

While some of complain about heat, think of this: Lowest temperature recorded was in Vostok, Antartica July 21, 1983, –128.6f or –89.2C

Record breaking rainfall during 24 hours in Alvin, Texas, July 25–26, 1979 43inches or 109centimeters

The hottest temperature recorded was 134f or 56.7C at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley California, July 10, 1913

Heaviest hail officially recorded: 2.25 pounds or 1.02 kg; Gopalganj District, Bangladesh, 14 April 1986.