Apr 17, 2015

Happy Friday

There is no doubt in the honesty of a child's smile.

I cultivate the habit of smiling and sharing a Happy Friday!

Wordology, Trivia

The word trivia originates from the Latin word trivium (plural trivia), where “tri” stands for triple and “via” means way. Basically, the word means a place where three ways meet. This word gained prominence in Rome, where people would often chin wag with others at a trivium. The word trivalis in Classical Latin meant an appropriate street corner and commonplace. In medieval times, the word gained broader meaning and came to refer grammar, rhetoric, and logic. Much of what you read here can be referred to as trivia.

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is mostly known for archiving the web, which the San Francisco-based nonprofit has done since 1996, two years before Google was founded.
It is also called the Wayback Machine and indexes over 435 billion webpages dating back to 1996. It is the largest archive of the web. The archive also hosts:

Crocks, Gators, and Plovers

Crocs and gators keep their mouths open as a way to avoid overheating. Keeping cool may be the primary purpose, but for some species there's a secondary gain from the behavior. For crocodiles living in the range of the Egyptian plover, or 'crocodile bird', sitting around with their mouth open means they get free teeth cleaning from the small birds. The plover acts as both a dental hygienist and a warning system for danger.

PawNation writes, "The plover comes along and, using its sharp little beak like a toothpick, removes the bits of meat from between the crocodile's teeth. This feeds the plover and removes parasites from the croc's mouth. The plover serves as a security alarm system for the crocodile. If, while in the croc's mouth, the plover senses danger from an oncoming animal, it screams and flies away. This behavior alerts the crocodile to the imminent danger, so it can slide into the water and out of harm's way."

Eye Colors, Hazel

Hazel eyes appear to be a mixture of brown and green. They are very uncommon so it's thought that they are caused by a recessive gene, but in fact, very little is known about hazel eyes and what causes them. This is a much less common eye color than brown, but it is still more common than green.

People with hazel eyes are generally thought of as having quite upbeat, fun-loving, spontaneous characters. These people enjoy mischief and adventure, and become bored if there is little to entertain them. If you're after a good time then you'll want someone with hazel eyes around, as typically they're adaptable, courageous and even rather sensual. One word of warning would be that you should try not to cross them, as people with hazel eyes can have quite a fiery temper!

Myths state that hazel eyes change color according to mood and the person's surroundings. This is actually true - the subtle blend of green and brown coloring means that different lighting brings out different effects from the hazel eye color, sometimes looking more green, while other times having a browner tone.

Most people with hazel eyes descend from European ancestors, so many can be found in the USA and Europe. Hazel eyes are very rare in Africa and Asia, where brown eyes are the most common. My eyes are hazel.

Limiting Baby Names

Up until 1993, France had a list of official names that new parents were required to pick from. After 1993, they were allowed to pick almost anything they wanted. However, one that caught the attention of the court was a girl named Nutella. The court ruled that the name would lead to the child being teased and was not in the best interest of the girl. When the parents failed to appear in court, the judge ruled that the girl’s name be changed to Ella.

Belgium has a list of approved baby names.

Denmark has a list of 7,000 approved names.

Italian law says a name cannot be chosen "when the child's name is likely to limit social interaction and create insecurity."

In Japan, only official kanji may be used in babies' given names. The purpose is to make sure all names can be easily read and written by the Japanese. The Japanese also restrict names that might be deemed inappropriate.

Malays cannot name their children after animals, insects, fruits, vegetables, or colors.

In Morocco, there is a list of approved names that appropriately reflect 'Moroccan identity'. You can name a baby 'Sara' (Arabic version) but not 'Sarah' (Hebrew version).

Norway has an official list of acceptable Norwegian names and parents may be fined and go to jail if they choose to use a name not on the list.

In Sweden, "First names shall not be approved if they can cause offense or can be supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it, or names which for some obvious reason are not suitable as a first name."

During 2013, New Zealand released a report with all the names it has banned. A name may be rejected if it is thought to "cause offense to a reasonable person," is "unreasonably long" or "resemble an official title and rank." New Zealand has an agency that signs off on baby names.

In the Mexican state of Sonora, government officials pulled 61 names from the baby registry that were banned for being "derogatory, pejorative, discriminatory, or lacking in meaning".

The German government rules state that a name must clearly identify the person as male or female, and it cannot be offensive. No surname names are allowed in Germany, or are names of objects or products.

Iceland has a list of 1,712 male names and 1,853 female names. The lists exist to avoid embarrassment for the children, and are based on meeting certain rules of grammar.

The UK deed poll service has restrictions on name changes. It must have both a first and last name, and it cannot be vulgar, promote racial or religious hate, or the use of controlled drugs. A name cannot ridicule people or government departments.

Portuguese authorities ban nicknames from birth certificates. Tom├ís would be OK, but Tom is not allowed. Portugal has an 80-page document outlining names which are acceptable and which are not. Children’s names must be traditionally Portuguese, a full name, and not unisex.

Spain bans names that can be unisex.

China babies are required to be named based on the ability of computer scanners to read those names on national identification cards. The government recommends giving children names that are easily readable, and encourages Simplified characters over Traditional Chinese characters. Numbers and non-Chinese symbols and characters are not allowed.

Saudi Arabia released a list of names that were banned including western names and names with royal connotations like Prince.

Hungary, Lithuania, and Poland also have laws dealing with children naming conventions.

The US has fewer naming laws than most countries and is rooted in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, but a few restrictions do exist. Restrictions vary by state, but most are for the sake of practicality, such as several states limit the number of characters, due to the limitations of software used for official record keeping. Some states ban the use of numerals, pictograms, or anything other than the 26 characters in the alphabet. A few states ban the use of obscenity.

Robert Liston, MD

He was a Scottish speed surgeon during the 1800s. In one case, he amputated a leg in less than 2.5 minutes (the patient died afterward from gangrene). He amputated, in error the fingers of his young assistant (who died afterward from gangrene). He also slashed through the coat tails of a distinguished surgical spectator, who was so terrified that the knife had pierced his vitals he dropped dead from fright. It was the only operation in history with a 300 percent mortality.

SUV vs. Crossover

A crossover is based on a car's platform, while an SUV uses the chassis of a truck. The result is that crossovers use "unibody" architecture, meaning the body and frame are one piece, while SUVs use a "body on frame" design, meaning the body is built separate from the frame.

SUV is often applied to both crossovers and SUVs. In the past, that was even more common. Before, SUV brought up negative associations with large size and poor gas mileage. That is when many automakers started using the term "crossover" to describe a vehicle that was "crossing over" from the practicality of an SUV to the drivability and fuel efficiency of a car.

Many vehicles, such as the Explorer, Highlander, Grand Cherokee, Nissan Pathfinder, Lexus RX, and Acura MDX are technically crossovers.

The Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, and Mercedes G-Class are all SUVs in the original sense of the term.

If you are unsure whether a vehicle uses a car-based unibody design or body-on-frame construction, it is safe to use the term SUV. That acronym is still used to describe nearly anything with available all-wheel drive and raised ground clearance.

Eyelash Facts

A study published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface reports that eyelashes divert airflow to prevent drying of the eyes and protect against airborne particulates.

Twenty two species of mammals possess eyelashes of a length one-third the eye width. Wind tunnel experiments confirm that this optimal eyelash length reduces both deposition of airborne particles and evaporation of the tear film by a factor of two. This happens because of the incoming flow's interactions with both the eye and eyelashes.

Another study found that growth of eyelashes occurs in response to exposure to allergens. Children with allergies have ten percent longer and denser lashes than those without allergies. Allergens trigger mast cells within the inside of the eyelid to release prostaglandins that promote hair growth, which presumably protects the eye. If models only knew their long lashes make them look like they have allergies.

Effective Mood Elevator

Bacon makes us feel happy, satisfied, and blissful, which greatly reduces stress in our lives and effectively relieves the negative effects of frustration, self deprivation, and sense of lack in our existence.

Free Friday Thought


Apr 10, 2015

Happy Friday

Life is a gift. It is up to you how to play with it.

I tie mine up in happiness and float it toward a Happy Friday!

90-Mile Beach

It appears, New Zealand might be stretching the facts a bit. New Zealand's 90-Mile Beach is only 55 miles long. Back when missionaries traveled on horseback a horse could travel on average about 30 miles (50 km) in a day before needing to be rested. The beach took three days to travel therefore earning its name. However, the missionaries did not take into account the slower pace of the horses walking in the sand, thus thinking they had traveled about 90 miles (140 km) when in fact they had traveled just 55 (88km).

Eye Colors, Grey

The exact causes of grey eyes are a bit uncertain, but there is a possibility that it is the eyes having more collagen and less melanin than blue eyes. As a result, when light enters the eye it is scattered slightly different, causing them to look grey, rather than blue.

Those with grey eyes are generally believed to have strong characters, with a dominant, rational, analytic mindset.

Grey eyes are most commonly found in Northern and Eastern areas of Europe. They can also be found at various locations around the world, including North West Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.


Incidentally, Gray and grey are different spellings of the same word, and both are used throughout the English-speaking world. Gray is more common in American English, while grey is more common in all other varieties of English.