Archive for the ‘General Musings’ Category

Fun Fact Friday, Number Eleven!

February 17, 2017

It may be winter, but the country’s national parks are still open.  Here are the best National Parks to visit during the winter:

  • Everglades National Park (Florida)
  • Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)
  • Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho)
  • Acadia National Park (Maine)
  • Saguaro National Park (Arizona)
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Colorado)
  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (California)

Did you know that the National Park Service manages over 350 parks on 80 million acres of public land? (Real Fact #695)

Did you know that over half of the world’s geyser’s can be found in the Yellowstone National Park? (Real Fact #742)

Did you know that Manhattan Island was once home to as many different species as Yellowstone National Park? (Real Fact #684)



February 16, 2017

Yes, I know that Valentine’s Day was a couple of days ago, but the Winter 2017 issue of the Michigan State University Alumni magazine (MSUAlumni, Vol. 34, No. 2) had an awesome collection of “hearts” that I just couldn’t resist sharing with the world.  A huge shout out to my niece Elizabeth Vinton who simply adores anything “hearts.”    A shout out also to Paula Davenport (editor of the MSU Alumni magazine), Derrick Turner (the photographer), and the Michigan State Alumni Association . . . you all rock . . . Go Green!



Love is in the Air!

February 12, 2017

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner (on Tuesday).  Are you ready?  In case you are curious here is an infographic that show how other countries celebrate this event (and provide you with some gift ideas if you haven’t already decided).



Fun Fact Friday, Number Ten!

February 10, 2017

Today’s fun fact(s) concern your taste buds.

  • Did you know that there are approximately 9,000 taste buds on your tongue?  (Real Fact #452)  [Note: Encyclopedia Britannica  estimates that the average human tongue has between 2,000 and 8,000 taste buds.]
  • Did you know that children have more taste buds than adults?  (Real Fact #833)
  • Did you know that the life span of a taste bud is about ten days?  (Real Fact #62)

Taste buds are sensory organs that allow you to experience and differentiate between  sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.

Happy tasting!


Still Not Losing?!

February 9, 2017

Well, we are more than a month into the year and if one of your New Year’s resolutions was to lose some weight, it’s time to check in and see how you are doing.   If you are doing all of the right things (primarily diet and exercise) and still find you are having trouble shedding those pounds, there may be other culprits to blame . . .

  • It could be the medications you are taking (the side effects of some prescription medications is weight gain — don’t quit taking your meds, but by all means check in with your doctor for options that may not have this side effect).
  • It could be you are not getting enough sleep.  Establish a healthy routine, aim to get between 7-8 hours per night, and stick to a schedule (get up and go to bed at the same time everyday, including the weekends).
  • It could be the bacteria in your gut.  While bacteria generally do a world of good (breaking down food, absorbing water and nutrients, regulating insulin, producing fuel, etc.), certain bacteria could also be responsible for regulating inflammation, fat metabolism, and appetite.  Stick to the helpful microbes (live-culture yogurt and a variety of high fiber foods).
  • It could be the temperature you keep your thermostat set at.    We naturally seek out the thermoneutral zone (comfy-cozy), bump the temp down a bit and kick-start your fat metabolic activity. (66 degree temps or lower).
  • It could be a strain of the common cold – adenovirus 36 — avoid this virus if at all possible (wash your hands frequently, exercise [boosts your immune system], and get enough rest).

Simple enough, right?  Good luck!

Source: AARP: the Magazine, Feb/Mar 2017, p. 24-25.

International Holidays for February!

February 4, 2017

Here is an updated list of some selective holidays for February from around the World.

February 1 – Spring Festival (China)
February 2 – Spring Festival (China)
February 6 – Constitution Day Holiday (Mexico)
February 6 – Waitangi Day (New Zealand)
February 11 – Foundation Day (Japan)
February 11 – Makha Bucha Day (Thailand)
February 13 – Family Day (Canada [BC])
February 13 – Makha Bucha Holiday (Thailand)
February 20 – Día de los Próceres Puertorriqueños (Puerto Rico)
February 20 – Family Day ( Canada [AB, ON, SK])
February 20 – Islander Day (Canada [PE])
February 20 – Louis Riel Day (Canada [MB])
February 20 – Heritage Day (Canada [NS])
February 23 – Motherland Defender’s Day (Russia)
February 24 – Public Holiday (Russia, in lieu of January 1st)
February 24 – Maha Shivaratri (India)
February 27 – Lunes de Carnaval (Argentina, Brazil)
February 28 – Martes de Carnaval (Argentina, Brazil)
February 28 – Día de Andalucía (Spain)

Source: Q++ Studio

Fun Fact Friday, Number Nine!

February 3, 2017

Category: Biology . . .

Do you know where most tigers live?

While the correct answer would be “in captivity,” the country that can lay claim to this distinction is the United States.  Surprised?  A century ago, India certainly would have been the correct answer; current, India only has a few thousand, while the U.S. may have more than four thousand in Texas alone.  And, according to the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, while many tigers are kept in zoos throughout the U.S., there may be as many as twelve thousand tigers being kept ILLEGALLY as pets in the U.S.  Tigers can be legally kept in the states of Delaware, Maine, Indiana, and Idaho.  Scientists estimate that there may be fewer than ten thousand tigers, in the wild, on the planet.

It’s a Lie!

February 2, 2017

Today marks the first use of a lie detector as evidence in a court of law (1935).

The instrument: the Keeler Polygraph (invented by Leonarde Keeler, Northwestern University’s School of Law’s Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory, Chicago, Illinois).
The case: Wisconsin State v. Cecil Loniello and Tony Grignano.
The jurisdiction: Circuit Court of Columbia County, Portage, Wisconsin.
The judgment: both defendants were found guilty of assault.

Source: Famous First Facts, by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell

Be The Bridge!

January 29, 2017

bethebridge_largeHappy Sunday! Learning to see the humor in everything is a talent that can sometimes take a while to develop.  I’d like to think that I have achieved the ability to not take the world too seriously (I certainly am always quick with a joke or humorous quip, almost to the point of being obnoxious [but not quite]).  And, I have long been a fan of‘s demotivator series (“demotivator” has been defined by as the condition of being without motivation).  As luck would have it, late last year they unveiled several new ones. They never cease to amuse me and I think this would have been an awesome job to challenge my wit and creativity; and how much fun could I have with the opportunity to come up with these catchy phrases and captions (hmm, perhaps it is not too late to explore).  Priceless to say the least (and usually so tongue-in-cheek that they are more often quite accurate despite their poking fun at life).  Enjoy!

Fun Fact(s) Friday, Number Six!

January 27, 2017

Can these fact possibly “bee” true?  According to the “Real Facts” (courtesy of, yes.  Were you aware of the following truths about honeybees?

  • a honey bee can fly at 15 miles per hour (Real Fact #6)
  • a queen bee can lay between 800 and 1,500 eggs per day (Real Fact #7)
  • a bee has five eyelids  (Real Fact #8)
  • a honeybee is the only insect that creates a form of food for humans (Real Fact #118)
  • honeybees navigate by using the sun as a compass (Real Fact #133)
  • bees’ wings beat about 11,400 times per minute (Real Fact #442)
  • honeybees have hair on their eyes (Real Fact #767)
  • bees are born fully grown (Real Fact #775)
  •  to make one pound of honey, a honeybee must tap about two million flowers (Real Fact #989)