A friend shared this with me via email, so I don’t lay any claim to their accuracy – I just found this interesting.


  • It takes glass one million years to decompose, which means it never wears out and can be recycled an infinite amount of times!
  • Gold is the only metal that doesn’t rust, even if it’s buried in the ground for thousands of years.
  • Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.
  • If you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink more water. When a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off.
  • Zero is the only number that cannot be represented by Roman numerals.
  • Kites were used in the American Civil War to deliver letters and newspapers.
  • The song, Auld Lang Syne, is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year.
  • Drinking water after eating reduces the acid in your mouth by 61 percent
  • Peanut oil is used for cooking in submarines because it doesn’t smoke unless it’s heated above 450F
  • The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.
  • Nine out of every 10 living things live in the ocean
  • The banana cannot reproduce itself. It can be propagated only by the hand of man
  • Airports at higher altitudes require a longer airstrip due to lower air density
  • The University of Alaska spans four time zones
  • The tooth is the only part of the human body that cannot heal itself.
  • In ancient Greece, tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage. Catching it meant she accepted.
  • Warner Communications paid $28 million for the copyright to the song Happy Birthday.
  • Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
  • A comet’s tail always points away from the sun
  • The Swine Flu vaccine in 1976 caused more death and illness than the disease it was intended to prevent
  • Caffeine increases the power of aspirin and other painkillers, that is why it is found in some medicines.
  • The military salute is a motion that evolved from medieval times, when knights in armor raised their visors to reveal their identity.
  • If you get into the bottom of a well or a tall chimney and look up, you can see stars, even in the middle of the day.
  • When a person dies, hearing is the last sense to go. The first sense lost is sight
  • In ancient times strangers shook hands to show that they were unarmed
  • Strawberries are the only fruits whose seeds grow on the outside
  • Avocados have the highest calories of any fruit at 167 calories per hundred grams
  • The moon moves about two inches away from the Earth each year
  • The Earth gets 100 tons heavier every day due to falling space dust
  • Due to earth’s gravity it is impossible for mountains to be higher than 15,000 meters
  • Mickey Mouse is known as “Topolino” in Italy
  • Soldiers do not march in step when going across bridges because they could set up a vibration which could be sufficient to knock the bridge down
  • Everything weighs one percent less at the equator
  • For every extra kilogram carried on a space flight, 530 kg of excess fuel are needed at lift-off
  • The letter J does not appear anywhere on the periodic table of the elements.

Watch Party in Denver

This is for all those on Twitter who showed an interest in joining us at a Watch Party.  I’ll be posting the details to this blog, as well as my Twitter feed.  There are two many people now for me to keep including everyone in the Tweet – this is a good thing, but also a logistical bump.

So, the plan right now is to meet INSIDE the convention center right in front of this

Big Blue Bear: Colorado Convention Center, Denver

The big blue bear is on the outside, we’ll meet on the inside.

Our first stop will be someplace to eat and then our second stop will be here


At the Denver Sheraton, 15th and Court.  The Democratic Watch Party is from 7:30pm to 11pm, and its cash bar (no food).

Stars Aligned

When we were very young we had a lot of friends in school but there was this one person who was our “best friend”.  How do you describe that best friend? What makes them different than your other friends?  When we were that age, it may have meant walking to school together every day, or sitting next to each other, or knowing everything there is to know about the other, even things family members did not know.

We should consider ourselves very lucky if we have a best friend in school, but to have two, or three, or even four, was most likely unheard of.  Then, we grow up, and for whatever reason it starts to sound odd to call someone “my best friend”.  It sounds a bit childish, like the next thing you should say is “tag, you’re it” and run away.

The concept of the best friends doesn’t change very much over time.  Its someone who knows you the best, and still is friends with you anyway.  Its that person who, no matter how much time has passed since you last spoke, or you last saw each other, its like not a moment has gone between you.  Its the person who can laugh with you and cry with you, sometimes within a few sentences, and who understands why those feelings are so important.

I consider myself very lucky to know so many people and to have such a great relationship with many.  But I have been truly blessed to have several people who I would consider “best friends” and I got to see two of them over the last week.  In fact, I got to see them both at the same time, over the same dinner table.

One I have known for almost 32 years.  We worked together in my previous career, but that is not how we met.  I was in her wedding party and ended up going on her honeymoon with her.  That was not planned intentionally.  I was living up in Rochester, NY at the time and flew back to New Jersey for the wedding a few days in advance.  It gave me a chance to visit my family here and also to do the pre-wedding stuff, like the rehearsal dinner.  I figured, since I was down here, I might as well go on vacation so I planned a trip to an all-inclusive in Jamaica that I had been to a couple of times before.  I found out at the rehearsal dinner that the loving couple had planned their honeymoon to the same place.  Our lives as friends are full of great stories like that.

The other I know for over 13 years.  We were in grad school together, we worked together in the early days of my current career (but, again, this is not how we met), and although I did not go on her honeymoon with her, I was in her wedding party.  For several years, I saw this person every day, all day, and also spent time outside of work together.

There is so much I have in common with each of them, and so much we share, and I have no plans on going into more detail here, with this short exception.  They both now live in Florida and within less than a hour from each other.  So naturally I wanted to see both of them when I travelled to their area for business just this last week.

Not only did I get to spend some quality time with them both individually but I brought them together over dinner.  I knew they would enjoy each other and wanted them to meet. They are two of the most amazing people I know and I had to get them in the same place at the same time.  It happened, and it was one of the most magical and memorable nights of my life.  Not only were the stars aligned, they were all having dinner together.

Blue Reflection

Aside from being dark when I get up now, this morning is also very cool – with a temperature of 45.  If I’m going to be getting up this early (it’s a little before 4:30am), I’m going to have to have the heat come up earlier.

I finally got all of the leaves out of the pool. It took me a couple of days because of the endless supply that was not just falling as I was working but also that were lining the deck, gliding into the pool with the slightest breeze.

I’m not sure what the pool looks like this morning, but this is what it looked like yesterday when I got done skimming the leaves off the top, scooping them up from the floor of the pool with the skimmer, and then vacuuming.  The bigger leaves won’t make it up through the vacuum, so they quite literally need to be “scooped” up.  This process takes a great deal of time because of the water resistance in bringing a skimmer full of leaves up from the bottom of the pool but also because leaves drop from the skimmer and then get suspended temporarily in the water, so you need to wait until they settle down or try to play catch with them floating in the water.  I’m hoping that my pool guy will get any leaves from the bottom before he closes it up today.

I hate to cover the pool.  Not only does it mean that summer is over (yes, yes I know, summer is WAY over, but as long as the pool is uncovered I can kind of deny it – but once its covered, its like that for 6 months) but a covered pool is also a sad pool.  I like looking out my office window, or any of the windows that face the back of the house for that matter, and having the pretty blue of the pool reflecting back.  Once the pool is covered, there is no reflection, just the dull drab green of the safety cover rendering the back yard all but useless.

It’s like the pool has been put to sleep for the long slumber of winter.  It confirms that days will get shorter and that we’re in for colder weather ahead.  I much prefer the warmer weather.

The plus side, of course, is that I don’t have to clean it for those six months, but that is a chore I would gladly trade if the days were to be longer and the weather warmer.  Some have suggested I heat the pool, and that would be a great, albeit expensive idea.  But it wouldn’t mean that I’d go in right now, even if the water were 85 degree, because the air is still 50.

So, today they will put my backyard companion to sleep for the winter.  This wonderful friend to all who come near will rest until the leaves return to the trees that surround her, until the days are once again getting longer, and until the names of the months of the year beging to get shorter.  Until then, sleep well dear friend.

Car Time

Over five years ago I bought a VW Jetta from someone on a “for sale” list at work. The person was a contract employee who had just left working for the University, he’d been there for six or seven years.

I fell in love with the car the minute I drove it but debated buying a used car from someone.  I believe that people don’t get rid of a car unless they have to – like if something is wrong with it or they think something is going to go wrong with it.  Gone are the days of people getting a new car every few years, with the financial situation the way its been, people are stringing cars out as long as they can.  So when I saw the car, and knew what they were asking for it, I figured something had to be really wrong with it.

Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to buy the car.  I did put some serious cash into it at first – clutch (its a standard transmission), timing belt, etc., but the low initial investment made it worth it.  I figured if the car ended up lasting me two years, I’d be happy.  That was nearly six years ago.  I bought the car with a little over 150,000 miles on it and now it has over 220,000. I’ve made the decision to replace the car before the end of the year.

I have no hard sign that the car is going to die, or need some major repair.  I do feel in my gut that the cars days are numbered and I decided that I didn’t want to drive it into the ground, that I wanted to proactively replace it.  I don’t want the inconvenience of being stranded someplace.  Fact is, the car could very well last another year, or two, who knows?  I’m surprised it lasted this long.  And I don’t mean that because its a junker – I mean that because the darn thing has over 220,000 miles on it.  That’s a lot for any car, although I know its not close to unheard up (especially for foreign cars)

The previous owners took very good care of it and so have I.  So I guess its not luck that its lasted this long.  But as hard as it is for me, like saying goodbye to an old friend, I know its time to start thinking about what to replace it with.

I’m not looking forward to having a brand new car, either.  Sure, there are some things I’m looking forward to: the people who owned the car before me were both very (very!) big people, so the drivers side bucket seat has been nearly flat since I first got the car (which is definitely causing me problems with my back), and I have no A/C (haven’t in three years – kept saying “if the care is still around next summer…lol).  But I like parking and not caring if someone scratches/dents/dings the car.  People in general have stopped caring how they park, and I park in a parking lot or garage each day.  So, its a trade off, but one I now have to make.

I don’t even know where to start looking.  Perhaps in another post I’ll write more about what I want and need.

(bonk bonk) Is this thing on?

I started to write a sentence about the meal plan topic and then erased it.  ”Nah”, I said to myself, “I don’t want to talk about that today.”  So I stared back at the once again blank screen and thought briefly to myself “what DO I want to write about, then”.  And then I thought of a friend I was talking to yesterday who mentioned that she reads my blog from time to time.

I post the title of each blog, and a link, to Facebook, so the folks I am friends with there see that a blog has been posted and I’m guessing some of them click on it and read when the title catches them.  I know a few others do because they have either left a comment in the actual blog (by clicking the LEAVE A REPLY option at the bottom of the post) or they comment in Facebook or just give that status posting a “like”.

It always kinda thrills me to know that someone actually reads this.  I mean, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t write this hoping, even expecting, that someone does.  I do run Google Analytics on all of my blogs, and my main home page, so I know a few folks each day are visiting.  I also know a bit about those people – what web browser they use, where in the world they are from, what operating system, etc…

Yes, its actually quite simple to know these things.  So if my simple littel blog can know then, can you imaging what information the big boys, like Facebook and Google, are collecting.  Just a reminder, nothing is private on the Internet.  But I digress…

I wonder how many time I use the word “digress” in this blog.  I’ll have to count one of these days, but I bet it’s a lot….anyway, I digress yet again….

I don’t write these “for” others.  I write them for myself.  I write them as an exercise to get my brain working first thing in the morning, and I’ve posted about that in the past (and I’m too lazy/tired this morning to find the links to the past blog postings, sorry).  I do these so I have some kind of record of what a portion of my life was like, so I can look back (or search back) to find things, to remember things.  And, yes, I do these with the hopes that someone else will read them, otherwise I would make them all “private” and not share them with the world.

And I do have private entries.  Entries that cover topics of a more personal nature than I’m willing to let out publicly.  I can assure you, thought, that they are not THAT private, because then I would be violating one of my basic principles – that if you don’t want to see something above the fold on the cover of the New York Times, DON’T put it anywhere on the Internet.  When I hit the “private” button, I always think twice to myself, “what if this somehow ended up not being private”.

I’m sure, over time, I’ll be able to find SOME use of these many words.  If I write 500+ words each day, after only one year that ends up being 730 pages of writing.

Meal Plan

About a month ago I started working with a trainer.  One of the other things I decided about that same time was to also see a nutritionist.  It seemed silly to me to work on getting into shape without changing the fuel that goes in.  Nutritionists are covered on our health plan, but only three visits.  Considering chiropractic and acupuncture are both included, it didn’t surprise me too much that nutritionist was also.

It turned out that my trainer was also a certified nutritionist but he would not be part of my health insurance.  Math-wise, it would be much more expensive to go with Jesse (the trainer) instead of some random person on my health plan.  The pros of the health plan are the cost (it would cost me about 6x as much in the long run).  The cons were that I wouldn’t know a lot about the person I was seeing, that it would take three visits, which means having to find appointment times that worked, actually going to the office, the time waiting there and see the nutritionist, not knowing the nutritionist, and ultimately not knowing if what that person would give me as a meal plan would sync up with what I was doing with Jesse.

I decided to spend the extra money, figuring with the office visits the cost of my time made up for the difference in initial cost, plus having my work out and meal plan coordinated was a huge plus.  So far, I’m not sorry.

I got my meal plan on Wednesday and started on it that night.  I wasn’t able to go food shopping so I had to be a bit creative for the first few days, but the last few days I’ve been strictly on the plan.  So far, its going quite well.  I do not find that I am hungry, except for the occasional time when I looking for something to do instead of needing to eat.  I’m more than happy to break THAT habit.  The big headache I’ve had has been getting the timing right.  Eating 6-7 times a day can be a challenge.

Apparently, during the week, I’m awake more hours than on the weekend.  This makes sense because I sleep a few extra hours in the morning on the weekends but don’t go to bed an appropriate number of hours later.  So instead of having eighteen waking hours on the weekend I only have fourteen or so.  Having to eat every two hours is trickier than every three hours, but i’m sure with time I’ll get the timing all worked out.

My real challenge comes next week when I travel to Orlando for the SLOAN-C conference.  I’m going to have to think differently about packing, as there are some things I’ll need to bring that I’ve not before, like all my supplements   I’m also going to have to bring clothes to work out in, so this will require some strategic planning if I’m to be able to keep my travel luggage to the, currently, free carry-on type and not the paid-checked-and-take-me-longer-to-get-out type.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Oh, and by the way – here’s Jesse


although I am not part of this class, I work with him 1-on-1.

Red Bulls and Research

It seems odd that my situation for writing these has been reversed.  It used to be that I was able to do them during the week before work, but I tended not to do them on the weekend.  Now, with my longer prep time for work, which means needing to get up earlier if I want to also do these, I’ve not been getting them done.  I might eventually get that new morning pattern down, its just not happened too frequently as of yet.

Last night I stayed home for a Red Bulls home game.  I live all of 15 minutes from Red Bull Arena, so its a quick jump over there, but since finding a new soccer buddy to go to games with me, going alone was less appealing.  But that’s not why I didn’t go.  I just wasn’t feeling up to it, and I’m not sure why.  I’d gotten up early yesterday to get things done and by 5pm or so I needed a nap.  Once I got the call confirming that my friend was unable to go this week, I was in full nap mode.  So I rolled over at game time and watched from bed. It was a pretty exciting game but I’m still firm in my believe that the team needs to replace the head coach.

I’m working on a bit of research I hope to do, not just for my research class this semester but also as a pilot project for me dissertation.  I still almost can’t believe I hear or read those words when I say/write them.  So I presented the survey instrument I had developed as a first draft to dolcelab on Friday and got some exceptional feedback.  Now I have to try to get the revision done quickly because I have to file an IRB (Institutional Review Board, for those of you not in academics, its what we have to do when we want to do research using human subject if we ever plan to use the data, like in a publication.)

The IRB came about as a result of questionable research practices, most famously in the Milgram Experiments.  IRB approval can take a while and, in fact, their site says to allow 2 moths.  Since the class ends in December, the research in order to make it into the class paper would need to be done (or even partially done) by then, so if we back that out time-wise, I need to file with the IRB now!

The only thing going in my favor is that this might be an exempt or expedited request.  An exempt request would be, as the word suggests, one that is exempt from needing approval.  An expedited request is one that can be approved with the IRB administrator and does not need to be reviewed by the whole board.  There is a check list for this and I believe I meet all the criteria – not the least of which are: I’m not asking any questions that could be seen as being harmful to the subject (participant) and I’m not asking any personally identifiable information.  I’m using a survey and it will be entirely anonymous.

More on the progress on this, I’m sure, as things progress.

(cross posted a portion of the above here)